Most personal injury cases are based on the doctrine of negligence. In essence, negligence requires every member of society to act responsibly and avoid putting others at risk. That is not to say that negligence will result each time someone gets hurt. The doctrine recognizes that some accidents are unavoidable. To establish liability, the plaintiff must show that a reasonably prudent person in the defendant's position would have acted differently under the circumstances.
The insurance company will enter a settlement agreement only if it’s the company’s best interests to do so. However, on the whole, the insurance company knows that settling a claim is in its best interests. Litigation is expensive, and the insurance company knows it is more efficient and less expensive to pay fair compensation to you for your loss rather than pay attorney fees to lawyers to fight against you, especially when the outcome of a trial would be unpredictable.
The most important rule about settlements is that, once the plaintiff tells the defense that he or she has accepted the settlement offer, the case is over. In almost every state, this is final. A change of heart about the settlement offer, even five minutes after it’s been accepted, will go nowhere. Just like any other contract, there is almost zero chance of getting the court to reverse a settlement agreement. For this reason, it’s important that the plaintiff carefully consider the terms of a settlement offer – amount of money, payment terms, release of liability, confidentiality terms – before accepting.
Many people are injured each year because they slip on a wet floor, tumble down a defective staircase, or trip on uneven ground. When a visitor slips and falls on somebody else's property and is injured, he or she may be able to bring a premises liability lawsuit against the property owner or occupant to recover damages. In most states, whether the visitor is able to recover will depend on the visitor's status on the property and on whether the property owner or occupant used reasonable care to prevent slips and falls on the property.
In 2013, 54 million people worldwide sustained injuries from traffic collisions. This resulted in 1.4 million deaths in 2013, up from 1.1 million deaths in 1990. About 68,000 of these occurred in children less than five years old. Almost all high-income countries have decreasing death rates, while the majority of low-income countries have increasing death rates due to traffic collisions. Middle-income countries have the highest rate with 20 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, accounting for 80% of all road fatalities with 52% of all vehicles. While the death rate in Africa is the highest (24.1 per 100,000 inhabitants), the lowest rate is to be found in Europe (10.3 per 100,000 inhabitants).
Sometimes, the skills of an experienced personal injury lawyer -- or at least the threat to an insurance company that such a lawyer may present -- are worth the money you must pay that lawyer to represent you. You may need a lawyer because of complex legal rules involved in your particular claim, or because the severity of your injuries might cause your compensation to vary greatly from the norm -- or simply because an insurance company refuses to settle a matter in good faith. The following types of injuries and accidents almost certainly require a lawyer's help.
Medical treatment for car accident injuries can become expensive and may require long-lasting treatment and surgeries. Filing a claim detailing the damages you or your loved one has suffered could provide some financial relief needed to recover. Our Phoenix auto collision lawyers will be able to provide you with an assessment of the compensation you deserve.
The cases involving a property owner or occupant that "should have known" of a slippery surface can be the most challenging to prove. For example, in a slip and fall that occurs on a wet floor in a grocery store, a crucial issue will be how long the floor was wet. The longer the floor was wet, the more likely it is that the storeowner knew or should have known that the hazardous surface existed and failed to warn customers or otherwise guard against slip and falls. Unfortunately, in many cases, it is hard to determine how long the surface was wet. If you are injured in a slip and fall, it is a good idea to get the name and contact information of any witnesses, especially if they were present in the location over a long period and can give some idea of how long the hazardous surface existed.
A slip and fall accident can happen anywhere–at work, at home, at a friend’s house, at the shopping mall, or even at your place of worship. Slipping and falling can lead to serious and sometimes permanent injuries, especially for children and the elderly. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that slip trip and fall accidents account for 15% of all accidental deaths in the United States, which puts them in second place behind car accidents. The good news is that, in many cases, the person or business who owns or manages the land that a person slips and falls on is legally responsible for preventing those kinds of accidents. If they fail to uphold this legal duty and someone gets hurt, they could expose themselves to liability.
Informal Settlement - In reality, most disputes over fault for an accident or injury are resolved through informal early settlement, usually among those personally involved in the dispute, their insurers, and attorneys representing both sides. A settlement commonly takes the form of negotiation, followed by a written agreement in which both sides forgo any further action (such as a lawsuit), choosing instead to resolve the matter through payment of an agreeable amount of money.
Seek immediate medical attention following a car crash. Even if you feel as if you are not injured, there may be a hidden condition that could have serious repercussions if left untreated. By seeking medical attention immediately after an auto accident, you are obtaining documented evidence that the injury was a direct result of the collision. The longer you wait to see a physician, the more difficult it becomes to prove that the injury was caused by the accident.
While there may have been conditions present that caused the slip and fall in the first place, the plaintiff must be free from guilt in order to place all of the liability on the defending party. If the injured party contributed to the injury in any way, they must accept their portion of liability, which usually negates the assumption of full responsibility by the property or business owner.
Ultimately, your attorney is in the best position to let you know when a settlement offer is fair, or when your case is strong and you should go to trial. Make sure you consult with a qualified lawyer before giving up your right to sue or accepting or turning down a settlement, as once you make a decision on accepting a settlement, you cannot simply change your mind later on.
Injuries that result from auto accidents — both known and unknown injuries — tend to worsen over time, so it’s critical that you seek qualified medical help as soon as possible. You should also know that delays in diagnosis and treatment can also result in losing the ability to have your medical care covered by the at-fault party’s auto insurance company. That can be an expensive mistake if you have any injuries.
A slip and fall victim is also permitted to gather sworn testimony regarding what happened. The plaintiff does not need to wait until trial to learn what the witnesses will say. This is accomplished by conducting depositions (recorded interviews). Subpoenas can be issued to the defendant and other parties to show up to be deposed at the office of the plaintiff's attorney, and to answer questions about the accident on the record.
In some instances, regardless of the nature of your injury or the amount of your medical bills and lost income, you will want to hire a lawyer because an insurance company or government agency simply refuses to make any fair settlement offer at all. In these cases, something -- what the lawyer can get minus the fee charged to get it -- is better than nothing.
When you work with our firm after a serious accident, our Colorado personal injury lawyers will thoroughly investigate your accident and carefully document the facts in your case and the full extent of your injuries. We will help you get the medical care you need and actively pursue the compensation you deserve. Our experienced injury attorneys are aggressive advocates when dealing with insurance companies on your behalf.
A number of factors contribute to the risk of collision, including vehicle design, speed of operation, road design, road environment, and driver skill, impairment due to alcohol or drugs, and behavior, notably speeding and street racing. Worldwide, motor vehicle collisions lead to death and disability as well as financial costs to both society and the individuals involved.
Pedestrian Accidents: Pedestrians are often hit by cars when walking on the street or crossing the street. Often, victims of pedestrians suffer immense injuries to fast/heavy cars. Many pedestrians often assume it was their fault the got hurt – and don’t look into hiring a personal injury law firm. We recommend you speak to us, so we can conduct a full 360 investigation into the accident – and how it happened.
All of our medical professionals are dedicated with providing you with the absolute best care possible. If you’ve been involved in a car accident, it’s likely that you’re already stressed out by all of the different things you need to get done. We are happy to provide you with a variety of patient resources that can make a difficult situation a little bit easier.
The filing of the lawsuit starts the clock running on when the case might get to trial. Every state’s pretrial procedures are different, but generally it will take one to two years for a personal injury case to get to trial. Keep in mind that a lawsuit needs to be filed within strict time limits that every state has set by passing a law called a statute of limitations.
The amount and kind of damages you may be entitled to depend on the facts of your case. In Florida, there are two different types of damages: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages consist of past and future medical care costs and past and future lost wages. Non-economic damages consist of past and future pain, suffering, mental anguish, loss for the capacity to enjoy life and inconvenience.
There are many ways to avoid a car accident but once one happens it is important to know what to do and what questions may need to be answered by the other person involved in order to make your insurance claim. This checklist will help you know what to do after a car accident. It is best to review it now and then print it out and keep a copy with you in your car or bookmark this article in your phone, so you can access it in an accident.
Arizona awards compensation for personal injury and property damage cases based on the rule of “comparative negligence.” Under comparative negligence, a jury will determine the level of fault both parties played in causing the accident. If you have filed a claim for $1,000 and it has been determined that you were 20 percent responsible for causing the accident, you would be awarded $800.
I was referred to the law firm and I’m glad I was. I met the George originally when I first brought my case and he got… to work right away because we were up against a tight deadline for my personal injury claim from an accident that occurred almost two years from the time I met him. From there I began to work with Amanda Carollo. She and the team at the law office were great. They kept in touch with me throughout the entire process leading up to and after my meditation. The process went very smoothly and I would definitely recommend them to anyone who needs a referral to a good law office.more »
A settlement occurs when an insurer or defendant and the plaintiff agree upon an offer of payment to the injured person. An offer can be made before a lawsuit is even filed, while the case has gone to trial, or even while a jury is deliberating. Once the settlement agreement is reached, the plaintiff relinquishes claims arising out of that specific incident, and signs a release.
If you're considering filing a personal injury lawsuit over a car accident, slip and fall, or any other kind of injury, you may be wondering "What is my case really worth?" The answer comes down to "damages" -- figuring out what your injuries have cost you monetarily, physically, and mentally (and, in some cases, whether the defendant's conduct should be punished).
We have built The Sawaya Law Firm around 12 Core Values , which have shaped the success of our firm and the results we have been able to obtain for the benefit of our clients. These core values have made a significant difference in our practice, and our reputation depends on them. If you would like to know more about our firm and the quality of service we provide, read what our clients are saying about us.
Lack of negligence: The defendant may argue that they were not negligent in creating the condition that caused a person to trip or slip, or were not negligent in correcting the condition before injury occurred. For example, the owner of a grocery store may claim that the banana that a patron slipped upon had been dropped on the floor only moments ago by another patron, and that, in the exercise of due diligence, a typical store owner acting with reasonable care would not have had time to discover the danger and take steps to mitigate the danger.
Having the right personal injury attorney on your side can mean the difference between winning and losing your case, so choose yours carefully. Ask the attorney about his or her level of expertise and track record handling your type of case, their policy regarding communicating with clients, and any other questions you might have. At the initial meeting, the attorney will ask you many questions in order to get a full understanding of your case. Be wary of any attorney who, during the initial meeting, makes promises about how much money you can expect to receive. Good lawyers need more time to truly evaluate the value of your case, and they sometimes need to get experts involved too.
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.
Accidents happen, and injuries are often the result, but when the accident was caused by something (or someone) outside of your control, you may wonder if you have any options for legal recourse. This article discusses the key issue in a slip and fall accident claim: Liability. Whether you are pursuing an insurance settlement or personal injury lawsuit, to win your case you will need to be able to prove that someone else – usually the property owner -- is liable for your injuries.
The first thing that you should do after getting injured in an accident is to get medical treatment. If you are hurt, go to the hospital or see a doctor. Not only is this the right thing to do for your health, but, if you don’t see a doctor for some time after an accident, the insurance adjuster and the jury will assume that you weren’t all that hurt.
Copyright 2002-2019. EdgarSnyder.com is sponsored by the Law Offices of Edgar Snyder & Associates®, A Law Firm Representing Injured People. Attorney Edgar Snyder & Associates has offices throughout Western Pennsylvania including locations in: Pittsburgh, Erie, Johnstown, Ebensburg, and Altoona. All of our lawyers are licensed to practice law in the state of Pennsylvania. We also have attorneys licensed to practice law in the states of West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, and Virginia. Although this website is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia, if you are injured in an accident, we have relationships with other personal injury attorneys and lawyers throughout the United States.
You’ve had a car accident and might be a little uneasy about the claims process. We’re here to help. At ERIE, we understand that accidents happen and we want to get you get back on the road as quickly as we can. In fact, our customers often tell us that when it comes to service, there is no company quite like ERIE. We try to treat people the same way we’d like to be treated. After all, if we were in your shoes, we’d want quality care, too.
You would file a personal injury lawsuit in this instance to pursue compensation for immediate medical bills that stem from the crash and future medical expenses, such as rehabilitation. There are also damages available for lost wages, because of an inability to work and the lost ability to work in the future, along with compensation for the physical and emotional suffering you’ve endured.
The discovery process is the procedure in which each party investigates what the adversary’s legal claims and defenses are. They send interrogatories (a fancy word for questions) and document requests to each other, and take depositions of all of the relevant witnesses in the case, generally beginning with the plaintiff and defendant. This process can last six months to a year, depending on the court’s deadlines and the complexity of the case.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of someone else's negligence on the road, it is important to contact an experienced auto accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident. The longer you wait to pursue legal action against the person or party responsible for your damaged vehicle and injuries, the harder it will be to receive the compensation you are entitled to under law. Contacting an attorney soon after your accident will provide you with access to the information and legal representation you need as you deal with insurance companies and the after math of a car accident.
Colorado courts use the legal doctrine of comparative fault in determining damages in premises liability accidents. An accident victim may be entitled to receive compensation so long as the victim was less than 50 percent at fault for his or her injury. If you are partially at fault for your injury, you may still recover compensation, but any jury award you receive would be reduced proportionately. For example, if you were found to be 25 percent at fault for a slip and fall accident and a Denver jury awarded $100,000 in damages, then you would receive $75,000 in compensation.
One of the most common defenses to a slip and fall accident is that the plaintiff was not exercising reasonable care. Under the doctrine of comparative negligence, a plaintiff's recovery is reduced by his or her percentage of fault for the accident. For example, in the example above involving a grocery store slip and fall, if there was a yellow cone that said "warning" next to the spill, but you were distracted while looking up at a sale sign and slipped anyway, you may be found partially or wholly responsible for your fall. In a state that adheres to the doctrine of contributory negligence, even if a jury finds you only 1% at fault for not noticing the spill, you cannot recover anything.
In some cases, the defense attorney will file a motion for summary judgment (a motion to dismiss the lawsuit). In those cases, the defendant may not be willing to discuss settlement until after the court rules on the motion. If the court grants the motion, then the case is over; it has been dismissed. But if the court denies the motion, then it’s time to talk. Other times, the defense attorney will be willing to discuss settlement while the court is considering the motion. In settlement negotiations, every case is different.
Finally, the trial will begin and, for a typical personal injury case, last several days. At trial, the judge or jury will determine if the defendant is liable and, if so, how much the defendant is required to pay out in damages. After trial, either party can initiate an appeals process that can last from several months to several years. After the appeals process has been exhausted, a losing defendant will be required to pay the damages established at trial or on appeal.
Our firm handles workers' compensation and personal injury claims in Chicago, Berwyn, Joliet, Cicero, Waukegan, Chicago Heights, Elgin, Oak Park, Oak Lawn, Schaumburg, Bolingbrook, Glendale Heights, Aurora, Niles, Schaumburg, Arlington Heights, Naperville, Plainfield and all of Cook, DuPage, Lake, Will, McHenry, LaSalle, Kankakee, McLean and Peoria Counties.
Conditions such as poor lighting, limited visibility, lack of company policy enforcement and lack of reasonable justification are all factors that contribute to the determination of negligence in a slip and fall case. Plaintiffs are burdened with the responsibility of proving that the liable party could have take some other action to prevent the accident but failed to do so. They must also prove that even if there was a valid reason for the obstruction to be present, that the justification was not longer valid at the time of the accident occurred, and that no preventive measures were exercised in order to prevent the occurrence. While the burden of proof rests with the plaintiff, the facts of the case will present the affirmations or declarations necessary to determine the degree of negligence involved.
If you have suffered an injury or illness due to careless, unprofessional, or incompetent treatment at the hands of a doctor, nurse, hospital, clinic, laboratory, or other medical provider, both the medical questions and the legal rules involved are complex. They almost certainly require that you hire a lawyer experienced in medical malpractice cases. See Nolo's section on Medical Malpractice for more detail on these complicated cases.