Posts tagged with "personal injury"

Why you should speak to a lawyer following a personal injury 

Personal injury claims may relate to any injury where the person or company responsible for your physical or mental suffering could have reasonably done more to prevent the injury. There are many different ways this can come about, whether it be a slip in the workplace or a car accident that wasn’t your fault (find a car accident lawyer in the city of Chicago if you have been affected). Let’s look at why you should speak to a lawyer following a personal injury. 

The legal system is complicated

Beginning a claim for personal injury compensation is not as straightforward as you might think. The process is, in fact, multifaceted. For example, the outcome of any claim will be based on evidence – where there is little or no evidence, the courts may not see fit to reward compensation. This means that starting any case begins with gathering relevant evidence. Next, the case must be filed in the appropriate way with the courts, and the other side must be informed of your intention to prosecute. If you don’t have an in-depth understanding of the legal system, speak to a lawyer for more information about beginning a claim for personal injury compensation.

Claims move faster when there is structure

All too often, people believe that their claim for personal injury compensation will, sort of, just, take care of itself, as long as they make their situation known to the person or company responsible for having caused the injury. Unfortunately, you may find that the person or company responsible for having caused your injury is slow to progress your grievance towards a mutually agreeable solution. In essence, you could find that following an initial interest in your well-being, their interest begins to wane, and you could face unanswered emails and unreturned calls. By speaking to a personal injury lawyer, you will be in a position to understand the structure of the claims process, meaning you will be able to stop relying on the other side to do the right thing and you will instead be able to put in motion a meaningful progression towards the outcome you desire.

Challenge the other side’s valuation of your claim

Some people may not realise that when an offer is made by the other side, the quoted settlement figure is not necessarily the final figure that must be accepted. The whole point in the offer is to bring the case to a close, thus avoiding court and therefore keeping costs down (the majority of personal injury compensation claims do not progress to court for this reason). By speaking to a personal injury lawyer who has experience in your type of claim, you stand to learn more about what kind of settlement offer represents a fair valuation of your claim and what kind of settlement offers fall short of bringing your claim to a close.

Lawyers have a greater understanding of what to include in your claim

Your personal injury compensation claim is not limited to claiming for obvious things such as lost earnings and damage to personal property. By speaking to a lawyer, you could learn that, depending on your circumstances, your claim could include factors such as ongoing and future medical bills. Always speak to a lawyer for more information if you are unsure.    

Lexus Performance Driving School, 360 MAGAZINE, Lexus, Toyota, WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca

What to Include in the Police Accident Report

Accidents can happen anywhere, anytime, to anyone, and without a warning or time to prepare. According to a report, more than 37,000 people lose their lives to road accidents each year in the US, around 2.35 million people are subject to injuries or disabilities due to accidents, and these accidents amount to $230.6 billion in costs (around $820 per person). No matter how many precautions you take while driving, you still might get into an accident with no fault of yours, as many times you just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. While what you do before the accident might not have such a big impact on the situation, what you do after an accident is very important, and is under your control.

In an unfortunate instance of an accident, the first thing you need to do is keep your calm and make sure that you are alright and check to see if any injuries have been incurred by you or other people involved in the accident. If there are any injuries, you should immediately call for emergency services and inform the police.

It is very important to make a police accident report after an accident, even if it is a minor one. The Texas law requires the individual to report the accident to the police if the damages exceed $1,000, or there is an injury or death. If you do not report the accident despite the conditions mentioned earlier, you might face a fine of $5,000. Even if the police do not come to the scene due to whatever reason, you still might have to file an accident report with the Texas Department of Transportation.

The essential things that must be included in the police accident report are:

Witness accounts

Whether you think what they have to say is of any importance or not, the statements of any witnesses present on the scene must be included in the police accident report, as these statements might help you out in any future legal actions. The statements are usually taken by the police but in case no police are present, you can record these on your mobile phone.

Details

Complete details need to be included in the report including the place, time, date of the accident, the people involved in the accident, details of the vehicles involved in the accident, and how and why the accident took place. The details should be as rich as possible as you never know what information might be useful in the future if there are any lawsuits or insurance claims. The details of the conditions in which the accident took place also need to be mentioned in the report including the weather, road and lighting conditions at the time and place of the accident.

Injuries and damage

The report should include the injuries incurred by the people involved in the accident and the damage incurred by the cars involved in the accident.

Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE, nyc

A Layman’s Guide to Personal Injury Law

If you have cable or satellite TV, try this. Turn it on and start flipping through the channels. Chances are it won’t be long before you land on a program that deals with crime and/or the justice system. From dramedies like Boston Legal and Ally McBeal to riveting true-crime documentaries such as The Staircase and Making a Murderer, to old standbys like Dateline, 48 Hours Mystery, and the many incarnations of Law & Order, it’s plain to see that we love watching shows that explore the law. 

An entire generation of Americans can recite the Miranda warning word-for-word from memory. We all know that detectives will set their sights on a murder victim’s spouse as the most likely suspect. And once-obscure terms and concepts, like a Brady violation or an Alford plea, are now household phrases. Criminal law is chock-full of interesting stories and compelling drama, but what about civil law? Have you ever wondered about how personal injury law plays out in a boardroom or courtroom? If so, read on for a quick primer on all things personal injury related.

What’s the Difference Between Personal Injury Law and Criminal Law?

Also known as tort law, personal injury law concerns itself with civil, rather than criminal, violations. In criminal cases, the plaintiff is always “the state” — in other words, the governmental entity whose laws have been broken. In civil cases, one party — an individual or group of people — brings a lawsuit against another party — an individual, a group, a company, or a government agency. 

Another of the major distinctions between civil and criminal law is that the purpose of a criminal charge is to punish the wrongdoer. In civil cases, the plaintiff is seeking damages, or compensation. It is entirely possible for someone who has been accused of a crime by the state to also face a civil suit brought by a victim or victim’s family.

The Different Types of Personal Injury Law

Many of the most common types of personal injury have to do with accidents. There are others, as well. The following are some of the most common branches of personal injury law:

  • Car, truck, or motorcycle accidents
  • Pedestrian and bicycle accidents
  • Slip, trip, and fall accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Defective products
  • Animal attacks
  • Wrongful death

Each of these has its own legal precedents, and most personal injury lawyers will specialize in one of them. As you can imagine, motorcycle accidents are very different from medical malpractice or dog bites and must be handled differently. 

Even within one of these areas, case law can vary widely. The Barnes Firm, for example, has dedicated Oakland car accident lawyers, motorcycle accident lawyers, and tractor-trailer accident lawyers, in addition to others, on staff. This is true of all major personal injury law firms. 

Where Does Negligence Come In?

With the exception of intentional torts, such as slander, fraud, assault, false imprisonment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, all types of personal injury law have one factor in common: they stem from negligence. In legal terms, negligence occurs when one party has a duty of care but fails to observe or perform that duty. The law stipulates that all people (and other entities, such as companies, institutions, and governments) have a legal obligation to act with a reasonable amount of care and prudence in the course of committing actions that may be harmful to others. 

For example, a surgeon has a legal duty to not kill the person on her operating table. A dog owner has the obligation to prevent the dog from attacking and biting passersby. A retail store is obliged to keep its floors clean so that no one slips on a wet surface, falls, and injures themselves.

There are four elements that must be proven in order to establish negligence:

  1. Duty. The defendant owed a legal duty under the circumstances to the plaintiff;
  2. Breach of Duty. The defendant acted (or failed to act) in a way that breached his or her duty;
  3. Causation. This action or inaction caused the injury in question;
  4. Damages. Finally, the plaintiff has to have suffered harm or injury as a result of the first three elements. 

If one or more of these elements cannot be proven, there is no legal negligence at play. 

The Odds of a Tort Case Going to Trial

The vast majority of tort actions will never see the inside of a courtroom. It is almost always easier, faster, and less expensive for all parties to settle out of court — although that’s not to say that negotiating such a settlement is a quick or painless process. In fact, torts can stretch on for years. 

If, after extensive negotiation on both sides of the dilemma, the parties are unable or unwilling to agree on the terms of a settlement, then the case will go to a court of law. This happens in less than 5% of instances, however.

Concluding Remarks

Tort law is an incredibly complex aspect of the judicial system. If an individual feels that he or she is entitled to receive damages, it’s in his or her best interest to hire the most experienced attorney available, as well as one who specializes in the particular type of personal injury in question.