If you’ve been injured because of someone else’s carelessness, the first step, after getting medical treatment, is to consult an experienced personal injury attorney to get a professional opinion as to whether you have a valid claim. Bring any supporting documentation, medical records, and notes you’ve taken about your situation. Most personal injury lawyers provide free consultations, so steer clear of lawyers who charge fees just to meet with you.
Filing of a lawsuit puts your case in line behind other cases that were filed before yours. Court docketing varies by county, but typically, about 6 months after the lawsuit is filed the Judge will have a “Case Management Conference” where the personal injury lawyers will meet to discuss the details of the case with the Judge. At this time the Judge will set deadlines for certain stages of the case and set a Trial Date.
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.
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.
When the property in question is a retail business, there may be an implied invitation that customers are invited to visit the business or patronize a restaurant or hotel. The property owner or business owner has a responsibility to check for any unsafe conditions such as spills on the floor or loose railings on stairs and to provide adequate warning of the hazards if they cannot be fixed promptly.
Some of those considerations might not have a clearly articulated value at first. However, based on our attorneys’ past experience, they could offer an estimated case value after assessing your medical records, police records, statements, and other evidence, such as the progression or regression of your physical and mental state after an accident. The whole picture can provide a window into what to expect from a personal injury lawsuit.
In order to have a viable personal injury lawsuit or claim, your personal injury or injuries must have been caused by the negligence of another person or entity (such as a business or government agency). Generally speaking, when a person or entity acts in a careless manner and causes injury to someone else, the careless person or entity will usually be legally responsible or (“liable”) for their injury or injuries and any other resulting harms under the legal principle of “negligence.”
In insurance, "personal injury," as typically defined, does not include mental injury that occurs as a result of defamation, false arrest or imprisonment, or malicious prosecution. For example, the Insurance Services Office standard general liability form has a section providing this coverage. Some home insurance policies include personal injury coverage.
In most cases, a person injured in a slip and fall on someone else's property must prove that the cause of the accident was a "dangerous condition," and that the owner or possessor of the property knew of the dangerous condition. A dangerous condition must present an unreasonable risk to a person on the property, and it must have been a condition that the injured party should not have anticipated under the circumstances. This latter requirement implies that people must be aware of, and avoid, obvious dangers.
Before the case is set for trial, the attorneys in the case may make various legal arguments about the case in the form of motions to the court. These might concern the adequacy of the complaint or answer, disputes about discovery, or an argument that one party’s case is so strong that he or she is entitled to judgment in his or her favor without a trial.
If you have lost a loved one in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to pursue compensation in a wrongful death claim. Depending on the circumstances of the case, surviving spouses, children, parents, and representatives of the estate may have the right to file such a claim. Compensation that can be recovered in a wrongful death claim includes medical expenses, funeral expenses, lost wages and benefits, loss of companionship, and punitive damages.
Your insurance company won’t provide you with a lawyer or give legal advice regarding your personal injury but they may cover parts of the medical bill if you have been injured. The two of you have very different goals. An insurance company's goal in an accident is to pay out as little as possible if you’re involved in a personal injury, and your goal is to get as much of your injury and damage costs covered. If you have a case which is specific to insurance, consider hiring an insurance lawyer instead.
When a case goes to trial, your attorney presents his or her side to the judge or jury, then the party who injured you (defendant) puts on their defense. After each side presents their arguments, the judge or jury determines: (1) if the defendant is liable (legally responsible) for your injuries and harm, and (2) if so, the amount of damages the defendant must pay you.
DISCLAIMER: Completing and submitting this form or otherwise merely contacting Leontire & Associates, P.C. or any individual at the firm will not establish an attorney/client relationship. Our firm cannot represent you until we determine that there would be no conflict of interest and that we are otherwise able to accept representation of your case. Please do not send any information or documents until a formal attorney/client relationship has been established through an interview with an attorney and you have been given authorization in the form of an engagement letter with Leontire & Associates, P.C.. Any information or documents sent via this form or otherwise prior to your receipt of an engagement letter will not be treated as confidences, secrets, or protected information of any nature. Submitting information regarding your potential case will not bar Leontire & Associates, P.C. from representing or continuing to represent a person or entity whose interest are adverse to your in condition with your case.
Inadequate Security — A premises liability claim based on inadequate security may be appropriate if a guest or patron has been assaulted or robbed because a property owner failed to take safety measures to make a property safe such as replacing defective windows or doors, hiring adequate security personnel or replacing burned out lights. It must be proved that the property owner or business had a duty to provide for the safety of the person who suffered injury. Our attorneys investigate to determine if similar violent crimes have occurred recently at or near the property, therefore underscoring the need for added security.
Many personal injury claims are the result of an injury that did not appear as serious when it first occurred, but later manifested to a serious situation that required ongoing medical treatment and created a pain-and-suffering compensation situation. All states have a statute of limitations law that is assessed for each particular personal injury lawsuit. This can be an effective defense in cases that are filed at the end of the limitations time period, even when the injury was recognized at a significantly earlier time. Why the plaintiff waited until the end of the limitations time period can be an issue as well because it could indicate that the injury is not as serious as claimed. This could result in a dismissal based on being a frivolous claim.
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.
Also note that, unless you're seriously injured and must be transported to a hospital immediately, you must not leave the scene of the accident (often called a “hit-and-run") without handling the necessary steps related to your particular accident. Doing so can result in misdemeanor or felony charges, as well as hefty fines, all depending on your state laws.
This phenomenon has been observed in risk compensation research, where the predicted reductions in collision rates have not occurred after legislative or technical changes. One study observed that the introduction of improved brakes resulted in more aggressive driving, and another argued that compulsory seat belt laws have not been accompanied by a clearly attributed fall in overall fatalities. Most claims of risk compensation offsetting the effects of vehicle regulation and belt use laws have been discredited by research using more refined data.
If you have been injured in this way, first consider that it is a normal part of living for things to fall on or to drip onto a floor or the ground, and for smooth surfaces to become uneven. Also, some things put in the ground -- drainage grates, for example -- serve a useful purpose there. So a property owner (or occupier) cannot always be held responsible for immediately picking up or cleaning every slippery substance on a floor. Nor is a property owner always responsible for someone slipping or tripping on something that an ordinary person should expect to find there or should see and avoid. We all have an obligation to watch where we're going.
If you’re injured on the job, it’s essential to the results of your recovery that you hire a work injury attorney in Texas. We’ll provide you with answers to those pressing questions, and we’ll follow the letter of the law to ensure that you’re represented in a way that gets positive results. A work injury attorney knows that the complex paperwork and legal process can cause many people to see a delay in getting the financial compensation they deserve, and we work to prevent this from happening so that you can get better and get back to your health.
As occurs in most civil cases, personal injury cases begin by filing with a court a document called a "complaint." Typically, a complaint in a personal injury case identifies the parties to the lawsuit, specifies what the defendant did wrong, alleges that the wrongdoing caused the plaintiff's injury, and specifies what kind of compensation the plaintiff is seeking. The complaint generally sets out the facts that the plaintiff will attempt to prove, and the defendant may attempt to disprove, throughout the litigation.
Many personal injury lawsuits have strict deadlines embodied in the law — these laws are called “statutes of limitations.” In some states, you have as little as a year or two after your accident to file a lawsuit. If you wait too long to file, then a personal injury law firm can’t take your case and you won’t be able to pursue compensation for your injuries.
Most personal injury cases settle, especially when companies see that they’re going up against us. Morgan & Morgan has the resources, track record of success, experience, and talent to bully the bullies, and insurance companies and other parties know this. So they are often more than willing to give our clients what they need and want. We’ve been at this for 30 years and have seen it all, and use that to your advantage.
Workers’ Compensation: Workers injured on the job should be able to easily obtain the benefits they are entitled to receive. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Employers or their insurance companies may dispute the validity of the claim, the time needed for recovery before returning to work, or the degree of disability caused by the injuries. If you have been seriously injured in a workplace accident, it is in your best interests to have an experienced attorney with The Sawaya Law Firm by your side for your workers’ compensation claim.
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:
It is natural for a person to try to catch themselves when falling, that type of quick response can stop the fall all together, or make the injuries worse. When using your feet, knees or hands to prevent the fall, you could tear a ligament or tendon. These injuries can be treated with surgery and physical therapy, these type of injuries cause those injured to suffer life-long consequences that more often than not never completely heal.
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.
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.
Some traffic collisions are caused intentionally by a driver. For example, an accident may be caused by a driver who intends to commit suicide. Accidents may also be intentionally caused by people who hope to make an insurance claim against the other driver, or may be staged for such purposes as insurance fraud. Motor vehicles may also be involved in collisions as part of a deliberate effort to hurt other people, such as in a vehicle-ramming attack.
Contact a personal injury lawyer. If you or a loved one was injured in a personal injury accident, the first critical step is contact a personal injury lawyer. A lawyer can help you get the medical treatment that you need, communicate with insurance companies on your behalf, advise you of your legal rights and options, and fight to get you maximum financial recovery.
Discovery will be conducted over the course of the next several months. During discovery, each party has an opportunity to submit written questions and request documents for review. Depositions of the parties, witnesses, and experts will also be conducted. During the deposition, the parties’ lawyers will ask questions of a party or witness, while under oath, prior to the actual trial. The deposition serves several purposes, including: (1) to find out what a party or witness will say at trial; (2) to obtain information that was not obtained in the written interrogatories; (3) to assess how the party or witness may be perceived by the jury; and (4) to preserve the record for testimony given at trial.
I am a member of Consumer Attorney's of California, The Million Dollar Advocates, The Brain Injury Association of California as well as the Capital City Trial Lawyers Association. The verdicts and settlements my office has achieved are public information and are listed for your review here. You can find out how past clients feel about us by looking at our site here or by learning what clients and other attorneys say about us on Avvo or Yelp.
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A claim for injury due to a slip and fall accident is a tort action in the United States. Generally, an individual suffers harm due to slipping and falling while on anothers property. The property may be public or private property, although most slip and fall claims are based on accidents that occurred on private property (such as a business). The person at fault, or liable for the accident, may be the owner of the property where the accident occurred. The injured party filing a claim will usually be seeking monetary damages for injuries sustained due to the slip and fall.
The insurance company is making a settlement offer based on what they expect the court to rule, and by taking the case to trial, you might get a larger ruling. However, if you do not have enough evidence, or your case is not strong enough, your case may fail to even meet the burden of proof and the defendant may not have to pay you anything at all. In other cases, the financial compensation that the jury will award will be less than the amount you would have received had you simply taken the settlement.
Emotional Distress This type of compensation is related to an injured person’s mental and emotional state following an accident. After all, severe injury isn’t exclusive to a person’s exterior. Depending on the nature of the accident, a personal injury victim could suffer anything from anxiety and depression to severe mental trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Acquiring damages from emotional distress typically requires you to have comprehensive and accurate records from your therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist, as well as a diagnosis of a specific psychiatric condition.
A 1985 study by K. Rumar, using British and American crash reports as data, suggested 57% of crashes were due solely to driver factors, 27% to combined roadway and driver factors, 6% to combined vehicle and driver factors, 3% solely to roadway factors, 3% to combined roadway, driver, and vehicle factors, 2% solely to vehicle factors, and 1% to combined roadway and vehicle factors. Reducing the severity of injury in crashes is more important than reducing incidence and ranking incidence by broad categories of causes is misleading regarding severe injury reduction. Vehicle and road modifications are generally more effective than behavioral change efforts with the exception of certain laws such as required use of seat belts, motorcycle helmets and graduated licensing of teenagers.
Cases that initially appear favorable to the plaintiff are often derailed once the plaintiff's own conduct is analyzed. Defendants in slip and fall cases are sure to raise the issue of comparative fault. Also called contributory negligence, the basic idea is that the victim was careless in not avoiding the danger, and shares some or all of the blame. To avoid such a defense, slip and fall victims should retain an attorney before speaking with anyone about the incident.
Some bar associations and attorney organizations offer certifications, including certification of lawyers in the field of personal injury. Certification is not required to practice personal injury law, but may help a lawyer demonstrate knowledge in the field to potential clients. Within the U.S., not all state bars offer certification for personal injury law. Some states, such as New Jersey, allow lawyers to become Certified Trial Attorneys, a credential that is available to both plaintiff and defense attorneys. Some states, such as Arizona, restrict the use of the words "specialist" or "specialize" to lawyers who have obtained a certification from the State Bar Board of Legal Specialization in a specific field of law, with one such certification being in the area of personal injury law.