Usually party depositions and lay witness depositions can be completed within a few months of the first phase of written discovery being completed. Expert and medical depositions take a little longer due to scheduling issues and oftentimes many of the expert depositions are not needed until the case gets close to trial. Expert and medical depositions can get very expensive, therefore, we generally recommend holding off on these depositions in an effort to control case costs. This is a strategy that is discussed with the client and a final decision is then made.
In some jurisdictions, or by virtue of the retainer agreement between an attorney and client, the amount of the legal fee may vary depending upon whether a case settles before a lawsuit is filed, after a lawsuit is filed but before trial, or if the case goes to trial. For example, a retainer agreement might provide that a lawyer will receive a 33 and 1/3% contingency fee if a case settles before a lawsuit is filed, and a 40% contingency fee if the case settles after the lawsuit is filed.
In smaller injury cases, especially when the lawyers know each other, one lawyer will just pick up the phone and talk settlement. The plaintiff’s lawyer may or may not write an actual demand letter. Then, the defense attorney may or may not respond with a counteroffer. If the defense thinks that the demand was too high, he/she may simply ignore the demand or may say that the demand is too high and that the insurer will not make a counteroffer. If the defense does make a counteroffer, then the bargaining begins. Sometimes the lawyers can settle it, sometimes not. If they can’t settle, they will likely go to mediation.
Common types of personal injury claims include road traffic accidents, work accidents, tripping accidents, assault claims, and product defect accidents (product liability). The term personal injury also incorporates medical and dental accidents (which may lead to medical negligence claims ) and conditions that are often classified as industrial disease cases, including asbestosis and peritoneal mesothelioma, chest diseases (e.g., emphysema, pneumoconiosis, silicosis, chronic bronchitis, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and chronic obstructive airways disease), vibration white finger, occupational deafness, occupational stress, contact dermatitis, and repetitive strain injury cases. Of these, the most common are automobile collisions. Personal injury cases may also include toxic torts, in which a contaminant transmitted by air or water causes illness, injury, or death (as in John Grisham's book, A Civil Action).
Deposition testimony is crucial in a negligence case. By securing this evidence early in the litigation, both the plaintiff and the defendant gain an understanding of the circumstances that led to the accident and the degree of fault that can be attributed the defendant. Taking into account the severity of the injury, both sides can then determine what they believe the case is worth, and settlement negotiations will ensue.
Although people of all ages are potential victims of slip and fall accidents, a disproportionate number of older people are injured every year due to falls. The Center for Disease Control estimated that, in 2005, 15,800 people age 65 and older died from fall-related injuries, 1.8 million ages 65 and older were treated in emergency rooms for fall-related injuries, and over 433,000 people age 65 and older were hospitalized.
The manner in which attorneys are compensated for representing injured plaintiffs varies by jurisdiction. For example, in the United States, attorneys often represent clients on a "contingent fee basis" in which the attorney's fee is a percentage of the plaintiff's eventual compensation, payable when the case is resolved, with no payment necessary if the case is unsuccessful. Depending upon state regulations, a plaintiff's attorney may charge 1/3 of the proceeds recovered if a case is settled out of court or 40 percent if the matter must be litigated. Attorney fees are negotiable before hiring an attorney.
At Accident Care & Treatment Center, Inc., we are Oklahoma City’s leader in experienced, comprehensive and effective medical care for auto-accident injuries. Our medical doctors focus exclusively on auto injuries. We have developed the area’s most complete medical injury treatment program along with a large volume of experience and expertise treating all sorts of auto accident related injuries.
Generally, the property owner will be the one liable for the injury or wrongful death suffered, if the property owner could have reasonably provided security but failed to do so. In other words, you wouldn’t file a negligent security lawsuit against the perpetrator of a shooting, rape, or assault, but instead you’d sue the landlord or property owner.
For example, critics of medical malpractice lawyers argue that lawsuits increase the cost of healthcare, and that lawsuits may inspire doctors to leave medical practice or create doctor shortages. These concerns have not been well substantiated. A publication by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found little evidence that traditional tort reforms affect medical liability costs or defensive medicine. A study conducted on a bi-partisan basis in Texas has found that tort reform, once enacted had no impact on reducing the cost of medical care, tending to throw doubt on claims made by tort reform advocates.