After the lawsuit has been filed, the parties have an opportunity to get information from each other about the case. This can be in the form of written questions, sworn testimony in front of a court reporter, and requests for documents and things. For example, a plaintiff who was injured tripping on a step may want to find out if other people had tripped on the same step before the accident. This information would be used to show that the owner knew the step was dangerous and should have foreseen that someone might be injured in a fall (a necessary element to prove negligence on the part of the owner). On the other hand, the owner might want to find out if the plaintiff had been injured before to argue that the injury claimed was not caused by the fall on the steps.
While there is no specific guideline or deadline as to when you have to hire a personal injury attorney, especially after a car accident injury, it is very important to engage the services of a personal injury lawyer shortly after the accident. You do not want to go without counsel during any part of the process and you can usually hire a lawyer on a contingency basis.
States that recognize contributory fault laws will not award a settlement to a plaintiff if there is any degree, even the slightest, of partial blame on the part of the injured party. States that enforce comparative negligent laws will award compensations in cases where there is partial negligence, but they will reduce the settlement in proportion to the percentage of liability. Determining partial liability on the part of the injured person is determined by the engagement, access and warnings provided to the plaintiff. If the injured person was distracted by talking or texting on the phone they may be deemed to personal liability. If the injury took place in a restricted area in which the plaintiff was not granted access to, or they disregarded warning signs posted in the area, those issues may also present a case of partial liability.
One thing you should keep in mind when considering a personal injury lawsuit is whether you will actually be able to recover the damages awarded to you by a court. If you file a personal injury lawsuit after a dog attack against a dog owner who has no job or other assets (such as a home or car), you may not ultimately recover any money from the dog owner.
(1) You may get additional compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. Insurance companies are limited by the amount of coverage that the insurance policy provides, but in a personal injury damages award is not necessarily limited to the limits of the insurance policy and you may be able to recover additional sums from the negligent driver, especially if he or she has significant assets.
With so many moving parts, personal injury cases and other torts can get complicated. It’s important to hire a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorney to advocate for your rights. If you or a loved one has been injured in a personal injury accident, you may be entitled to compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Contact Ankin Law Office at (312) 346-8780 or (312) 600-0000 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation with one of our Chicago personal injury lawyers.
In order to get compensation, you have to be able to establish fault – and a responsible party. Most accidents aren’t intentional, but they happen. Just because it’s an accident doesn’t mean the other party isn’t responsible. Our job, is to show to the court and opposing insurance company that the other party caused you harm – by acting in a manner that is not “reasonable.” We demonstrate that they are responsible, and that you have suffered emotionally, physically, and financially, as a result of your injures – which is the basis for the claim. If the court determines that you were acting careless, it may reduce the amount you are entitled to. Our goal is to look at the evidence, and then build a personal injury claim which proves your the victim.
Many personal injuries involve insurance claims, and an insurance provider will generally require a release of liability before a policyholder or claimant can receive a settlement offer. Every state has different laws and regulations for handling insurance claims, but generally most policies allow for at least a few years for a claimant to dispute a claim or revisit a claim.
Generally, a property owner will have one of two defenses; lack of negligence or fault of the injured party. The most common location that a slip and fall occurs is in a place of business. In these cases, a property owner may try to prove that he or she exercised reasonable care in keeping his or her property safe for customers. Business/property owners are required to exercise due diligence in making their property safe for all persons that may enter it. This includes detecting any hazardous conditions that may be present and making sure they are resolved and do not cause harm to patrons. Property owners may show that the cause of the injury was outside of their control. For example, the injured person slipped on liquid that had just been spilled by another customer.
If you are considering taking an injury claim to trial, you may already have been told by a lawyer, friend, or your insurance company that taking your case to trial increases your chances of receiving a higher dollar value through a jury award. Going to trial may also give you a better chance of recouping all of your out of pocket costs. As such, the option of taking a personal injury case to trial as opposed to settling can sometimes be beneficial to you from a financial perspective, but there are risks and rewards to taking a personal injury case to trial that you should be aware of before you decline a settlement offer and decide to go the trial route.
An RAC survey of British drivers found 78% of drivers thought they were highly skilled at driving, and most thought they were better than other drivers, a result suggesting overconfidence in their abilities. Nearly all drivers who had been in a crash did not believe themselves to be at fault. One survey of drivers reported that they thought the key elements of good driving were:
The third situation is the most common, but is also less clear-cut than the first two because of those pesky words "should have known." Liability in these cases is often decided by common sense. Judges and juries determine whether the owner or occupier of property was careful by deciding if the steps the owner or occupier took to keep the property safe were reasonable.
A fall on a premises can occur anywhere at any time but most frequently we see them occur at department stores, in parking lots, grocery stores and often on city sidewalks. While many, including insurance companies and their lawyers, don’t think slips and falls are serious matters, the consequences of a fall can be devastating, even deadly. A slip and fall accident may result in closed head or brain trauma, injuries to the spine, shoulder injuries, wrist and hand injuries, knee injuries, coccyx fractures, as well as muscle, tendon, and ligament injuries.
Every state has what is called a "Statute of Limitations" which puts a time limit on how long after an accident a person has to file a claim. In Georgia, the time frame allotted for filing a slip and fall accident injury claim is two years. If a victim does not file a claim within this time frame, the courts will not hear their case and they are not eligible for compensation.
Liability for slip or trip and fall injuries may arise based upon a defendant's ownership of the premises where the injury occurred, their control of the premises, or both. For example, a store may be liable for a slip-and-fall injury that occurs inside of its premises, even though it rents those premises, because it has exclusive control of the interior of the rented property. The owner of the premises (the store's landlord) may have sole or shared liability for an injury that occurs outside of the store's exclusive premises, such as the injury from a fall on the sidewalk or in the parking lot of a shopping mall.
Although there may be good reasons to use another form of business organization, there are also advantages to “going it alone" with a sole proprietorship. Mainly for the purpose of protecting personal assets from business obligations or potential lawsuits, many experts advise the formation of an LLC or a corporation. However, for various reasons, many business owners opt to run their business as a sole proprietorship. Sole proprietorship advantages include:
Personal injury lawyers often have investigative staff at their disposal that can help with your personal injury claim. They can help recreate the accident and use the information at trial, or in negotiations with the carrier to get you the best possible settlement or verdict. Private investigators are just as important as the personal injury attorneys as they arm the personal injury lawyer with the information necessary to pursue your claim.
A personal injury is different than property damage. If you were involved in a minor fender bender that caused only minimal damage to your vehicle and you suffered no injuries to your body or psyche, you have not suffered a personal injury. In this scenario, an insurance company or a small claims court may provide you with a remedy. However, you do not have a legally recognized basis for a personal injury lawsuit.
"I have never actually needed a lawyer before until I had my first car accident which was caused by someone else. My dad researched lawyers in our area and Ed had top-rated reviews, so naturally, we chose him. They helped me obtain medical treatment right away and always checked up on how I was doing. They were always very friendly, answered all my questions, and kept me informed. A very pleasant experience.. got a great settlement. The rest of the staff great as well, very friendly and inviting. I always felt welcomed any time I needed to stop by the office to sign paperwork. I would highly recommend this law office." - Kristina M.
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).
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).
Medical records, which can show diagnoses, prescriptions, clinical visits and hospital stays, are a major way of showing both the extent and duration of recovery from an injury. This only works, though, if you are proactive about your treatment and communicate with your physician in a comprehensive manner. It can also be helpful to take photos and videos of your injuries and keep written records of your symptoms.
The lawsuit process is complex, with many twists and turns, each requiring expert decision-making skills on the part of an attorney. Be sure your personal injury attorney has expertise in cases like yours and a proven track record of success. And since your lawsuit may last for months to years, make sure you have a good rapport with your attorney. Remember, you have only one opportunity to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries or loss, and having the right attorney on your side can mean the difference between winning and losing your lawsuit. Choose yours wisely.
The criminal is typically driving an older vehicle filled with passengers. The criminal pulls in front of the victim’s vehicle, and a backseat passenger in the criminal’s car watches for the victim to be distracted by something. Once the victim appears distracted, the backseat passenger tells the driver to slam on the brakes, causing the innocent motorist to rear-end the criminal’s vehicle. The victim’s insurance company then typically must pay for vehicle damage and any injuries the criminal’s passengers claim to suffer.
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.
At The Sawaya Law Firm, our practice has been dedicated exclusively to helping injured people for more than 35 years. We have helped thousands of people in Denver, Greeley, and throughout northeastern Colorado and the Rocky Mountains. Many of our attorneys, including our founding attorney, Michael G. Sawaya, have been listed among Colorado Super Lawyers®.
Take as many pictures, notes, and recordings of conversations as possible. After you’ve secured all of this, we recommend you speak to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. First, you should get medical attention. When you get medical attention immediately after an accident, it established a track record of your injuries – which proves the injuries happened as a result of the accident.
Motorcycle Accidents: Motorcycle riders lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle, and they can be seriously injured in an accident. Most motorcycle accidents are caused by other drivers who fail to see or register the motorcycle on the roadway. If you have been hurt in a motorcycle accident caused by the negligent act of another party, you will find a skilled and dedicated legal advocate with our firm. Keep the shiny side up!
Personal injury attorneys typically focus on one type of personal injury claim, such as car accident injuries or medical malpractice. They also have experience in tort law, which involves civil litigation to recover financial damages in a settlement. The following are a few scenarios where you might consider hiring a personal injury lawyer to represent you:
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.
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.
You should seek prompt medical treatment if you have suffered serious injuries on another’s property. If your injury does not require urgent medical treatment, you should still seek a prompt medical evaluation within 72 hours after an accident on another person’s property. You should explain to the doctor how your injuries occurred. The doctor’s report provides an independent evaluation of your injuries. Insurance adjusters will rely upon the medical report in evaluating your claim.
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.
In a more perfect world, insurance companies and their adjusters would take responsibility for the wrongdoing of their insureds and try their best to both fix your vehicle and help you obtain a fair recovery. More often than not, however, they treat you as if you were the wrongdoer and give you attitude and contempt. Delay and pressure tactics are sadly all in a days work for insurance companies.
Unless your injuries were very minor (i.e. very minor soft tissue injury from a 5 MPH fender bender), you should consult with an attorney very soon after your accident. A good personal injury attorney can help you gather key evidence and provide valuable advice on how to document your injuries and damages. Under no circumstances should you talk to an attorney representing the other person in the accident, the other person’s insurance company representative, or sign any documents, before consulting with your own attorney first.
As the discovery period ends, the lawyers will generally start talking about settlement. Sometimes the lawyers can settle a case just by talking among themselves, but, in other cases, they will go to mediation. Mediation is a process in which both clients and both lawyers go in front of a mediator to try to settle the case. (Learn more about Mediation of Personal Injury Claims.)