Working With Great Personal Injury Attorneys

Why Do So Few Car Accidents Lead To A Court Case?

With 1.3 million people dying in car crashes each year and millions more experiencing serious injuries and expensive car repair bills, it’s surprising that the courts are overrun with auto accident cases. Yet the majority of cases don’t make it to court and resolve one way or the other long before that stage. Understanding the reasons why many people choose to find an alternative will help you decide if you want to go through with your auto accident lawsuit. Insurance Fulfillment In many cases, both parties in a car accident are perfectly happy with the compensation offered by the insurance companies and feel like all their medical bills and vehicle repairs are well covered. These are usually minor accidents where no permanent and lasting injuries or disabilities arise from the collision. When you fall into this category, there’s no specific need to go through a lawsuit just to determine fault and get a judgement. However, compensation offered by insurance providers is rarely fair when it comes to victims who are disabled or permanently injured, especially if another party was clearly at fault. Acceptable Settlement After you start your court case filings and make your intent clear to the other party or parties, they can offer you an out-of-court settlement to compensate you for pain and suffering, medical costs, lost wages, and anything else you request or they want to offer. By taking the settlement, most states will consider you to be closing the case and forfeiting your right to sue in the future. This means if you underestimate your injuries and take a small settlement now, you can’t get any more help if you suddenly become more seriously impacted later. Taking a settlement is common because it saves time and energy for both sides while still involving a monetary exchange. Court Costs It costs quite a bit of money to start the initial filings for a court case and even more to bring in a lawyer and complete the case. The losing party pays for all court costs in many areas, but even winners can end up losing some of their award money to legal fees. If you’re already falling behind on your bills because of lost income after your car accident, a settlement is a faster way to get the money you need to stay afloat. Some auto accident lawyers are happy to work for delayed payment after the […]

Emotional Driving – Four Conditions Where Other Drivers Could Be Held At Fault

Distracted driving is often a cause for accidents on the road, but even if someone is paying attention, their emotional state could have an impact on the way a vehicle is operated. After being involved in a car accident, it’s important to break down all of the aspects of the case. If someone has shown or proven that they have been driving emotionally, then you can hire a car accident attorney to hold them liable for any injuries or damages that may have occurred. By breaking down different types of emotional driving, you can see how these factors will impact your case and help build evidence towards a successful settlement. Relationship Issues Relationship problems are often a source of emotional driving. Crying, yelling, or being mentally distracted can keep a person’s mind off the road. If this is the case, then the person may be held liable for a car accident. Police reports may indicate this information, including if the person was crying or emotionally distressed during the accident. A car accident attorney may also gather extra evidence through social media platforms. For example, posts about the break-up near the time of the accident can be used as evidence of the erratic driving and behavior from the other driver. Any type of social media profile that is made public can be used as evidence and presented during a settlement case. Job Stress One of the main reasons that people drive a vehicle is to travel to and from work. These trips can be filled with a lot of stressful factors that can impact driving times. For example, a person may be driving faster to work if they are running late. The threat of being late for work can cause the person to rush through areas and not pay attention to safety signs. Drivers in work uniforms, witness statements, and copies of company schedules can all help build evidence that a person was trying to rush to their job and get there on time. An additional form of job stress may come with recently fired employees. Anger from losing a job and becoming unemployed can lead to road rage issues and problems on the road. Statements from former co-workers and bosses can also contribute to the evidence of the employee’s actions and emotional state when the accident occurred. Parents & Children There’s no doubt that children can cause a lot of […]

Plan B: Preparing For If The Defendant Fails To Show Up In Court

When you sue someone, you expect the person would make a special effort to show up in court to defend against the lawsuit. That’s not always the case, however. Sometimes defendants fail to appear for one reason or another, and you need to be prepared if you want this situation to work out in your favor. Here are a few tips for developing and implementing a plan that may help you win your case if the defendant no shows. Preventing Postponement of the Trial When a defendant fails to show up for court, one of two things may happen: the judge will reschedule the case or allow it to proceed. The judge will usually postpone the trial if the defendant contacted the court with an acceptable reason as to why he or she won’t be there (e.g. death in the family). Another reason the case may be rescheduled is if there are special circumstances that require it. For example, in Utah, judges will issue an automatic stay of 90 days in cases where defendants are in the military. Nothing will proceed in the case until the defendant is contacted or the time limit expires. However, sometimes judges will reschedule cases if it’s not clear whether the defendants knew they were being sued or were adequately notified about the date and time of the hearings. To avoid this, you need to make sure you followed your state’s requirements for serving notice to a defendant and that you have the evidence to prove it. This may mean obtaining documents from a process server indicating the professional had contact with the defendant or a video recording of yourself giving the person the paperwork if you served the person personally. Another reason why the court may reschedule the case absent of any other reason is if your damages aren’t specified. Some courts will render a default judgment against defendants who don’t show up to court but only if plaintiffs have requested damages in fixed amounts (e.g. $10,000 in property damage). If there is a request for unspecified damages (e.g. pain and suffering), the judge will either postpone the case until the defendant can attend or require you to withdraw your complaint and submit a new one that includes damages with specific numbers. To prepare for this eventuality, be sure to file your lawsuit with exact numbers. A personal injury attorney can help you determine […]

False Imprisonment And False Arrest: What Constitutes These Actions And What To Do To Get Help

A tort is a wrongful act that causes injury or loss to another person. While accidents and negligence are what many people think of when discussing civil liability, the law also recognizes that torts can be intentional. Two such intentional torts are false imprisonment and false arrest. If you have experienced what you believe is false imprisonment or false arrest, then you will need to understand what it involves in order to make a convincing case before a court. Below is more information on what legally constitutes false imprisonment and what you should do if you believe you are a victim of the act: What are false imprisonment and false arrest? False imprisonment and false arrest are a duo of closely related, yet distinct, actions. While both are commonly thought of as exclusively criminal offenses, false imprisonment and false arrest can be addressed in a civil court of law where an individual sues for damages. This means you have an opportunity to obtain redress for personal wrongs, if you can prove you are the victim of false imprisonment or false arrest. However, before that occurs, you will need to demonstrate that the first three conditions are present before false imprisonment is established, and the fourth condition must additionally be true to prove false arrest. 1. Restraint – To qualify as false imprisonment or false arrest, the action must involve the restraint of another person through the use of actual or implied force. That means the restraint can be physical, such as tying up a person or locking them inside a room, but it also can include a threat against a person without actually ever touching them. 2. Unwillingness to participate – Another key element in determining whether false imprisonment or arrest took place is the degree of willingness upon the part of the alleged victim. If a person who claims false imprisonment or false arrest maintained the ability to move freely out of a situation and was not subject to a threat to stay, then the claim is not justified from a legal perspective. 3. Unlawful – Restraint against a person’s will is often not considered false imprisonment due to the lawful nature of the act. For example, children in a school classroom are not considered to be falsely imprisoned, despite their limited ability to leave a situation and regardless of their desire to participate. As such, to prove false […]

Injured On A Private Beach? Here’s What You’ll Need To Know

An unexpected injury can easily turn a fun day in the sun into a miserable experience. Being on a private beach can complicate matters due to the unique legal aspects involved, and it can have a sizable impact on your ability to receive just compensation. Here are a few things you should know if you’re injured on a private beach and want to seek damages for your injuries. Premises Liability and Private Beaches In most states, established premises liability laws hold private property owners legally responsible for the overall care and safety of those who enter their property, even when the property is not open to the general public. As a result, private property owners have a duty to keep their premises safe for visitors, whether they be customers or social visitors. This also applies to trespassers, which explains why private property owners can’t set traps for those who trespass on their property. However, liability for private beachfront property is a bit different. Whereas private property owners owe a duty of care to their guests, that doesn’t apply if they allow the public to access and use the beach on their property. Most states have exemptions in place that encourage property owners to make their private beachfront property available for free public use without being liable for injuries that occur due to unknown hazardous conditions. The above applies as long as the beach is being used for non-profit purposes. If the property owner decides to charge admission to the beach or engages in other commercial activity on the property, the owner may become liable for injuries and other damages that occur. Each state can be different when it comes to their premises liability laws, so it pays to look up the statutes for your particular state. Can You Sue If You’re Injured? If you’re injured on a private beach due to existing hazardous conditions, you can still file suit against the property owner and other parties you feel are responsible for your injuries. However, the success of your lawsuit depends on a broad range of factors. Among these is the question of whether the injury came about due to unknown hazardous conditions. Depending on your state’s liability exemptions, the property owner may not be required to warn you of any potential hazards that could result in injury as long as those hazards weren’t deliberately created. Where you were injured can […]

Motorcycle Accidents: Frequently Asked Questions About Determining Fault

For many motorcycle enthusiasts, nothing compares to the ability to hop on their bike and hit the open road. Unfortunately, this love of the road can be shattered by a devastating accident. If you were recently injured in a motorcycle accident, chances are your attorney has discussed the idea of establishing fault. If the concept of establishing fault is confusing, here are a few questions you may have about how the law and insurance companies determine who is responsible for a motorcycle accident: How is Fault Typically Determined in a Motorcycle Accident? Like any other motor vehicle accident, determining fault in a motorcycle accident is very complicated. Typically, the courts or your insurance company will take several factors into consideration, including: The official police report – Typically, the insurance company and courts will take the official police report under consideration when determining fault and negligence. In many cases, if you’re in an accident, the insurance company won’t even make a decision about your case until they obtain a police report Was it a rear-end or left-turn collision? – In the majority of cases and states, the person who was either the vehicle at the rear in a rear-end collision or making a left turn is found at fault. Evidence – Finally, the insurance provider and the courts will take any evidence collected in the crash into consideration when determining fault. For example, if you’re in a motorcycle accident and take several photos of your damaged vehicle and your injuries, the courts and insurance companies will take this into consideration when determining fault. Do All States Take Fault into Consideration? In some cases, fault isn’t even a consideration after an accident. These are called “no fault” states. According to Nolo, these states include Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York and Utah. If you live in one of these states, you will typically not file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. Instead, any compensation for lost wages, medical bills and damage to your car will be paid by your insurance company. However, according to Nolo, there are some instances when you can forego your state’s no-fault laws and seek compensation from the other driver’s insurance company or even file a claim. For example, if you are severely injured in an accident and the cost of your lost wages and injuries surpasses the cap on your insurance claim, you can sue the […]

Things To Know About Car Accidents Caused By Drivers Who Were Texting

Car accidents happen all the time, and many of these are caused by drivers that are distracted with their cellphones. If you were recently in a car accident that was caused by a distracted driver, you may be able to seek compensation for the damages caused in the accident. Here are several things you should understand about texting and driving as you proceed with a car accident lawsuit. It Is A Crime In Most States A decade ago, texting while driving was not a big issue; however, it is today. Around 1.3 million accidents occurred in 2011 from the use of cellphones while driving. This number includes people that were making calls, looking up directions, texting, and doing other things on their phones. Many people complete tasks like these on their phones while driving because they think it is no big deal. The problem is that playing around with a cellphone while driving is very distracting. It causes people to take their eyes off the road, and this is what leads to many accidents each year. States have taken this issue seriously, and most have enacted laws relating to this issue. In many states, a person can actually be charged with criminal charges if they cause an accident while using a cellphone. There are also a variety of other punishments for using cellphones while driving. Texting That Caused An Accident Can Affect The Outcome Of Your Case If you are certain that the driver who caused the accident was on his or her phone when the accident occurred, you might be able to seek additional damages from the person through your lawsuit. The goal your lawyer will have is proving the other party was using his or her cellphone. In some cases, this is easy to prove. After the accident, the police will talk to everyone involved and any witnesses. If the driver admits to using his or her phone during the accident, it will state this in the police report. In this situation, you will have the proof you need to file a lawsuit against the person for causing this accident to occur. There are also times when proving this is harder to do, and these times primarily occur when drivers deny using their phones or are incapacitated and cannot remember what happened when the accident occurred. Your lawyer may suggest completing a police investigation of the person’s cellphone […]

Drowsy Driving: What You Need To Know About Driving While Tired

Most people have driven while they were tired at least once in their life. You may have been exhausted after a long day at work or during a long road trip. However, what most people don’t realize is just how dangerous drowsy driving is. It is estimated that one in 25 adults has fallen asleep at the wheel in the past 30 days and up to 6000 fatal crashes may be caused yearly due to drowsy driving. Learning more about this topic can hlep you to rethink drowsy driving. What Are the Signs of Drowsy Driving? Many people know what it feels like to be tired. But there is a difference between being tired and being too tired to drive. Here are some of the signs that indicate you are too tired to drive and are putting yourself and other drivers at risk for a car accident. Difficulty remembering the past few minutes or miles driven Drifting in and out of your lane Driving past your exit Frequent yawning or blinking Hitting bumps or gravel that tell you you are driving out of your lane Ways to Prevent Yourself From Becoming Drowsy While Driving If you are planning a long road trip or know you will have to drive home after a busy day, you may be wondering how you can combat becoming drowsy while driving. There are many different ways you can do this. Here are a few of the most popular options: Get Enough Sleep It may sound simple enough, but many people fail to do it. If you are planning a long road trip or know you have a long day ahead of your tomorrow, make sure you get enough sleep the night before, and consider taking mid-day naps. Sleeping for eight hours the night before a big drive can help you stay awake, as can taking 20 minute naps if you feel tired while driving. Also keep in mind that you will be groggy for about 15 minutes after waking up, so take this time to stretch, check your email, or make a phone call. This helps to ensure you are fully awake before hitting the road. Eat and Drink Food and drinks can help you to stay awake if you are a bit tired while on the road. Eating and drinking keeps you busy and engages your senses. And things like caffeine drinks can give […]

4 Ways Doctors Can Prevent Post-Surgical Malpractice Lawsuits

Most medical malpractice lawsuits that occur in the U.S. come from surgical procedures. While that fact might be scary to some, most doctors will be comforted by the fact that an astounding 80% of all errors that occurred during surgeries were found to have been preventable, according to a study done by Massachusetts General Hospital. Because knowledge is power, here are four ways you can help prevent a malpractice lawsuit in your practice.  Good Communication You’ve heard the old adage that communication is key, but when it comes to preventing a medical malpractice accusation, it really rings true. If your patient has a less-than-desired outcome from their surgery, open and honest communication can be very effective at preventing issues. The important thing to remember is that just because something didn’t go as planned, it doesn’t mean that the patient is ready to rush out and hire an attorney. In other words, don’t assume the worst and go into hiding. Quite often, it’s not the negative outcome that leads to a lawsuit; it’s when the patient suffers and doesn’t receive adequate communication. They feel ignored and as though they are not important. This can lead to fear and frustration. Whether the problem occurred because of an error on your part or not, listen to your patient and answer their questions, offer easy to follow instructions on what to do next, and involve family members in this Q&A session as well as their post-operative care. Be sure to document everything, including what was said between you and those involved. Be empathetic. Make eye contact, and don’t be afraid to place a compassionate arm around them or give their shoulder a reassuring touch. You’d be amazed at how far these caring gestures go towards making your patient feel important. Let the patient and the family know that you are aware of the situation and that you will do everything in your power to prevent it from happening again. And when necessary, be prepared to offer a formal apology. Taking Your Time Dr. Jonathan Jones, M.D., of one of the nation’s largest medical malpractice insurers, has taken the opportunity to observe surgical procedures. According to his observations, most of the errors have occurred when the surgeon was in a rush. This can cause a multitude of medical mistakes like incorrectly placing sutures or staples, accidentally closing off major blood vessels, and severing nerves. Whatever your reason for […]

Lawsuits And Worker’s Compensation Claims: Get Answers To The Questions You May Have

If you have been injured on the job, you will need to file a worker’s compensation insurance case to receive reimbursement for your injuries and medical expenses. However, you may also wonder if you can file a lawsuit to seek reimbursement for items not covered under worker’s compensation claims, such as pain and suffering. Here are three questions you may be wondering about suing and workers compensation claims. When Can You Sue Outside of Workers Compensation? If you are injured on the job, you are supposed to file a worker’s compensation claim. This claim is filed with your employer’s worker’s compensation insurance company. However, in some cases, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the party that injured you, in addition to filing a worker’s comp claim. Here are three instances in which you can file a lawsuit in conjunction with your worker’s compensation claim: If you were injured on the job because of the actions of someone else, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the party that injured you. For example, if you were driving for work and another car caused an accident that caused your injuries, you may be able to sue the driver for your accident. If you were injured because of a defective product, you may be able to sue the manufacturer of the product and file a worker’s compensation lawsuit. For example, if you are using a welder that malfunctions and burns you on the job, you can file a worker’s comp claim and a personal injury lawsuit. Lastly, you can file a lawsuit against your employer, in addition to filing a worker’s compensation claim, if you can prove they were grossly negligent. For example, if they knew a piece of machinery needed repair, but forced you to continue to use it, and you became injured, you may be able to sue them. Can You Double Dip When Filing a Lawsuit and Worker’s Compensation Claim? If you have filed a worker’s compensation claim, the insurance company will pay for your medical expenses and lost wages. They may also compensate you for any permanent injuries you have sustained. When you file a personal injury lawsuit, you can also collect money for medical expenses, lost wages and permanent injuries, in addition to pain and suffering. This may leave you wondering if you can collect compensation, such as medical expenses, from both groups. […]