Read these 26 Personal Injury Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Legal tips and hundreds of other topics.
A lawsuit settlement is good and is the outcome in about 95% of all personal injury lawsuits. There are excellent reasons for this high percentage of settlements. A settlement ends the lawsuit when both an agreement and payments are made. This stops legal actions that sometimes take years to complete, as the wheels of justice turn slowly. It could take years to get a personal injury lawsuit into a court trial. This can be wearying to everyone involved.
A person may opt for accepting a settlement offer because they are tired of the long process. A defendant may want to work out a settlement agreement because they feel if the case goes to a court and jury trial, they will be slapped with a very large award to pay to the plaintiff.
Another reason to get a settlement agreement in place is that a defendant is more likely to be able to pay that amount. If the case goes to court and a jury awards a significant sum, the defendant may be unable to pay that amount, and the plaintiff could end up with nothing. A lawsuit settlement is good for most plaintiffs and defendants. It's the old "bird in hand versus bird in the bush" reasoning. The goal in settlement negotiations is to create a win-win situation.
The legal term personal injury is described as injury to emotions, mind, or the body. Note that this is not property injury or damage. Personal injury law is frequently used to refer to a kind of tort lawsuit claiming that a plaintiff’s injury has been caused by negligence from another individual, business or organization but can also occur in defamation torts.
The most widespread kinds of personal injury damages include work accidents, traffic accidents, claims of assault, accidents involving tripping, defect of a product (this is where the product is liable). Personal injury can also include dental and medical accidents, which include large amounts of medical negligence claims every year. Conditions resulting from these claims are frequently categorized as industrial disease cases, which include mesothelioma from asbestosis, chest diseases (silicosis, pneumoconiosis, asthma, emphysema, chronic obstructive airways disease, obstructive pulmonary disease, and chronic bronchitis), repetitive strain, vibration white finger, occupational stress, occupational deafness, and contact dermatitis injury cases.
If it is determined that the negligence of another party can be verified, the party who is injured may be able to receive monetary compensation from the responsible party. This controversial and complex system in the U.S. has stirred critics to call for tort reform. Many time attorneys represent clients on contingency basis by which the attorney gets a percentage of the plaintiff’s ultimate compensation that is paid once the case is resolved.
Personal Injury accidents can include a wide range of occurrences, but regardless of the situation, there are two things to remember to do first when personal injury occurs.
1. Contact a reputable, experienced Personal Injury Lawyer or Law Firm
2. Write down a brief description of the accident, including all details while they are fresh in your memory.
Obviously, if you have been seriously injured, your first call will be for medical assistance. As soon as possible thereafter, take care to follow the above tips. Contacting your attorney is essential to assure that your case will be properly reviewed and appropriate actions taken.
Most personal injury attorneys will offer you the first meeting at no charge. Subsequent fees, if the law firm or lawyer takes on your case, will be paid on contingency. You do not pay legal fees, other than some small out-of-pocket office costs, until your settlement or court award has been received. Lawyers will take on a personal injury case because they believe it can be won, and they understand that most clients would have a hard time paying high fees until a case is settled.
It is important to write down all the accident details as soon as possible, so no facts are forgotten or omitted. This document will be important!
Don't just take the opposite party's word for it…..have them show you their driver's license and insurance information, and write down all the information yourself. The worst case scenario would be to finally get home after such an event and realize that you were given fake information. Protect yourself.
An individual that does not practice law of course, can negotiate personal injury settlements, however, because one should protect their rights fully, it is highly advisable that a competent and professional personal injury lawyer should at least review any proposed settlement.
Because of the complexities and varying circumstances, including future medical costs, pain and suffering awards, assuring and including all who share liability in the cause of action, it is again, critical that an individual consult law firm that specializes and employs personal injury lawyers.
Many times a fee for such consultation can be negotiated and not paid until compensation by the offending party is made in any personal injury settlement or jury award.
Defamation is sometimes termed “defamation of character,” and occurs when someone issues either a spoken or written word designed to negatively impact a person's reputation in the community. If a person or some form of media says or writes something negative about you that is meant to lower your reputation, chances are high that defamation has occurred.
Establishing the truth is probably the single most effective defense that can be offered in such a case. If the remark is hurtful or embarrassing but still truthful, then there isn't much recourse available. Unless the remark, whether spoken or written is absolutely false, then there's not much hope in filing a cause of action against the person or entity that has issued the defamation against you.
If you feel you have been the victim of defamation, whether libel or slander (written or spoken) then you should consult with a personal injury attorney who specializes in defamation causes.
Once a determination is made that there is in fact a duty and a breach on the part of the offending party was made, in addition to the fact that this breach is what caused the injury, and then damages are calculated.
Items that may be included in such calculation include:
* Medical expenses, both current and future;
* Any therapy for rehabilitation deemed medically necessary;
* Salary or wages lost as a result of the breach;
* Pain and suffering arising out of the injury;
* Any punitive damages which would in effect punish the offending party for having made the breach of duty.
Once again, it is strongly advisable to seek counsel of a reputable and specializing personal injury lawyer so that all calculations be taken into affect before any personal injury settlement is entered into.
Sometimes when minor fender benders occur, the involvement of the police is not necessary. However, in cases where there is a significant amount of damage either to your vehicle or to yourself, then you might want to involve the police. That way, then and there, the accident report gets taken care of with both parties present.
Negligence is when someone fails to act in the manner of an “ordinary reasonable person. For example, an ordinary and reasonable person would be expected to travel at the posted rate of speed on an Interstate.
However, if there are intervening weather conditions that make it impossible to drive the posted limit, what is the reasonable standard of care that one should take when weather factors might be a factor in driving. Sometimes this critical element in a cause of action has to be determined by a jury if no reasonable settlement can be reached between the parties.
It is important to know what your rights are according to personal injury law. The complexities of personal injury law can be fully explained by a consultation with a reputable personal injury lawyer.
Your local bar association will be a good source of finding a qualified and reputable attorney specializing in personal injury law.
There are also websites that can aid in obtaining a personal injury lawyer to assist with deciding whether the injury you have suffered meets the criteria of a tort. These services are typically fast, free and confidential, designed to assist with finding the right attorney.
Once your case is presented and analyzed by the company, attorneys are matched to your case by their expertise and then you are able to select and consult with an attorney of your choice.
The most important thing in considering whether or not you have a personal injury cause of action is to make sure your rights are not violated and that all circumstances are considered.
Whether you feel that you have may have sustained injury, however minor, you should see your primary care doctor or other medical professional as soon as possible. Your injuries may be more serious or sever than you realize. You may want to consult with a personal injury attorney as well, to determine what if any claim you may have against the store owner.
One thing your attorney will most likely advise you is that because conditions may change, i.e., a spill cleaned up from the area in which you slipped, it will be important for any future personal injury action, to preserve the evidence of the condition with either a photograph or videotape.
Most states have a statute of limitations in which you are able to recover damages and you must give notice to property owners within a certain amount of time to put them on notice.
If your injuries turn out to be more severe than you originally thought and you miss the statute of limitations, you may be prevented from recovering any medical expenses or losses that you suffer. It is important that you consult with a personal injury lawyer as soon after the injury as possible to preserve your right to recover.
Personal injury laws vary from state to state but essentially arise from a breach of duty, or what is referred to in the legal world as a “tort.”
A tort has four elements, which include the existence of a legal duty owed by one person to another, one person has breached duty; the breach of this duty was the cause of the injury suffered by the first person and there are damages that have occurred by the person suffering the injury.
Typically, all of these elements must be present to have a claim against the offending person. If you have been hurt or injured in some way and you feel that there might be a cause of action, it is best to consult a qualified and reputable personal injury attorney to examine your rights and any potential compensation you may be due as a result of someone else's negligence.
The term “defective product” refers to any product that causes some injury or damage to a person because of some problem with the product. Usually the liability falls upon the manufacturer of the product.
There are many examples of “defective products” and can include product liability from a vehicle being sold with inoperable brakes or a mislabeled product that causes injury which are somewhat obvious examples, to the not-so-obvious defective product issues such as exposure to the harmful side effects of second-hand smoke.
If you are unsure as to whether you have suffered injury or harm as a result of a defective product, you should consult a personal injury attorney that has handled this type of claim and is familiar with personal injury liability laws in your area.
Waiver of liability releases have become quite popular nowadays especially with respect to activities which invoke an inherent and dangerous risk, such as sporting events amusement parks. Ski slopes, skating rinks, bungee jumping booths, etc have become infamous for having participants sign these waivers.
Courts have been known to find that these types of activities involve a known risk and therefore the participants in the sport are said to have voluntarily waived their right to recover, even without the liability waver.
This assumption of risk can even apply to those attending events such as baseball games or hockey games and being injured by a stray ball or stray puck. This type of personal injury claim has usually come down on the side of the park owner or event sponsor.
There is a statute of limitations on most personal injury cases. If you believe you have a case, consult with a lawyer before the statute of limitations runs out.
Preventing personal injury at work is an employer’s responsibility mandated by the 1970 Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA); a federal law that requires employers to provide a safe working environment for its employees. In addition to OSHA, employers in 47 states are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to guarantee that employees who experience personal injury at work are financially covered for any costs associated with their injuries.
Employees injured during the course of their employment are eligible for benefits under their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation benefits for employees who withstand personal injury at work cover: total disability; impairment benefits, benefits for temporary or permanent partial disability based on duration of the impairment (Gomez-Mejia, Balkin & Cardy, 2010); survivor benefits and benefits to cover medical expenses.
Employees beware, increasing workers’ compensation claims have made it necessary for employers to do more to not only prevent personal injury at work but to investigate claims from employees to validate they are legitimate.
Workers’ compensation is considered a ‘no fault’ system, meaning that it is not always necessary for employees to prove that the personal injury at work was a result of the employer’s negligence. And in most cases even the employees own negligence does not remove employer liability.
Recovering fair compensation for accident injuries is the focus of accident lawyers and accident lawsuits. Think "accident lawyers" and some people will visualize ambulance chasers and long, dramatic speeches to a jury. In reality, accident lawyers are much less active, quietly hammering out great settlements and awards for their clients during the course of an accident lawsuit. With vehicle accidents, injured parties tend to seek legal assistance right away. In other accident cases, however, there is less knowledge that accident lawyers can indeed offer help.
These attorneys handle far more than just motor accidents. There is a whole range of accidents that land on the desk of a personal injury accident lawyer. Accident lawsuits can be generated even for those who hurt themselves during leisure play. Malpractice, birth injuries, slip and fall injuries, motorcycle accidents, dog bites, slander, libel and deliberate attack all can be handled by the accident lawyers.
Sports injuries, diseases caused by toxic mold or asbestos, mesothelioma, nursing home abuse and workers' compensation accident lawsuits are also destined to be headed to litigation by an accident attorney. Some newer cases that have seen publicity lately include products defect liability lawsuits, drug and medical appliance lawsuits and food poisoning lawsuits. Wrongful death, assault or deliberate attack incidents are also considered to be in the arena of accident lawyers.
Injury lawyers help victims who have been injured due to negligence receive fair compensation. These lawyers investigate why the injury occurred by reviewing the site that the injury took place, among many other variables. Injury lawyers guide clients by explaining the law to them and helping them in their problems.
There are different types of injury lawyers that can be retained to work on specific cases. They include injuries from auto accidents, medical malpractice or work related causes. Automobile accidents often leave victims severely injured. It is important that victims who suffered injuries as the result of reckless driving contact auto accident lawyers so that they can receive compensation for medical bills. Medical malpractice can cause serious complications and affect patients' lives negatively. Medical malpractice lawyers can help patients who have suffered from a wrong medical procedure or a botched surgery. Many times these cases are settled before they even go to trial. Work related injuries can occur from physical or mental conditions. Victims who have suffered from injuries at their job should contact a worker's compensation lawyer so that they can receive pay while being on an extended leave from work.
Victims of accidents may wrongly assume that hiring an injury lawyer will be too expensive. However, often these people lose money through other expenses when they decide not to contact an injury lawyer.
When suffering from a personal injury through no fault of your own, filing a personal injury lawsuit is the means to recover damages.
It is important to choose a personal injury claim solicitor with knowledge of handling personal injury lawsuits. You want to a solicitor that has expertise with these type of suits for proper guidance on steps you need to take to recover your damages.
It is important to speak with a solicitor soon after an accident. They will assist you with any evidence and documentation needed. Never speak to the other person's solicitor, insurance agent or anyone else without your solicitor present.
Sometimes personal injuries lawsuits can be avoided. After hiring your solicitor, he will send a letter to the other party with your demands. This letter will state the facts about the accident, your injuries and ask for a settlement. If the other party doesn't reply in the time allotted then your solicitor will file a lawsuit.
A personal injuries lawsuit can take years to progress through the court system. It is important that you document everything as soon as possible while the events are fresh in your mind.
Millions of people find that at some point in their lives they require the services of accident injury lawyers. Personal injury lawyers regularly handle accident cases for clients who have been injured in vehicle accidents, slip and fall accidents, and malpractice incidents. Most people recognize that accidents usually involve the negligence of at least one party. For example, perhaps an automobile accident was caused because another driver was texting on their cell phone while driving instead of paying attention to oncoming traffic. Other accidents are harder to dissect, such as those involving product defects liability. Deliberate injury is another situation that may place civil and criminal charges against the guilty party.
Many accident cases result in large jury awards, but most personal injury lawsuits are settled prior to court or jury trials. It is beneficial to all to settle prior to a court appearance. Determining liability, negligence and responsibility for an accident is a large part of what the accident injury lawyer does every day on the job.
Some accidents happen during pleasant activities like play. There still may be a legal path to follow even in the most unlikely situation, which is another reason to consult a personal injury attorney immediately. A free consultation with accident injury lawyers can quickly determine if a lawsuit is in order following an injury accident.
Once a client decides that they want to pursue a case, the client should be aware that personal injury lawsuits can take months to complete. These cases are complicated and involve all kinds of medical and legal issues that must be reviewed and studied. In personal injury lawsuits, a team of medical experts may even be called in to comment on the case if the lawyer feels it is necessary to do so.
Personal injury lawsuits demand that a client keep his lawyer informed of the status of the client’s treating with the physician so that the lawyer knows the client is still going to the doctor for the injury sustained pursuant to the case. The lawyer will also want to have an idea concerning the time frame of the client’s treatment and when it is expected that the doctor will release the client from treatment.
Clients should keep the lines of communication open with their lawyer. It will make his job easier if clients supply the information the lawyer needs to keep the case progressing at a healthy pace. Having a good rapport with the lawyer will be beneficial to all parties and will lead to his providing a satisfying personal injury compensation to the client.
A personal injury at work happens more often than most people want to admit. Some people do not want to admit of their injury for many reasons including being off work and not being able to pay their bills. This happens mostly with men since they don't like to let on when they are sick or in pain.
If you do have a personal injury at work it is a good idea to let your supervisor know so they can get your information on file about what happened when it is fresh in your mind. Most companies will want you to go to the doctor to make certain that you are checked out and released to go back to work. Some companies also have a limit of time that you are able to submit your claim for an injury, so you will want to take this into consideration as well and report any problems shortly after they happen.
Some injuries can be prevented, some can not, be careful in whatever you do.
When a loved one dies as a result of an accident, there frequently is a personal injury lawsuit initiated against the liable party. Obvious claims for medical expenses, funeral and burial expenses, and lost wages are pursued through legal negotiations or personal injury claims on behalf of a deceased person.
The question may arise during discussions with survivors about pain and suffering claims. This is an area where the personal injury law firm or attorney should bring in expert witnesses to give testimony about pain and suffering that a deceased person had experienced due to the accident. They have expert knowledge about this topic, and can calculate damage claims based on their experience.
It may be hard to conceive how anyone might know or understand how a person about to die in an accident would feel, or experience pain and suffering knowing they are about to die. It will be difficult for survivors, but this is an important area to include in a survivor's personal injury lawsuit on behalf of their lost loved one.
The deceased person may be gone, but their rights by law are still intact and able to be pursued within the legal system. The survivors may seek compensation on behalf of their deceased loved one, as determined by the law.
Personal injury claims include obvious ones, such as medical bills and lost wages. These are expected, but other claims lie unseen, in the future, and are not so obvious. An astute personal injury lawyer includes many damages under the category of personal injury claims. These will include present and obvious damage claims, but also future, unseen or potential damage claims.
When asking what damages constitute future personal injury claims, remember to think ahead to what should have been, had the injury not occurred. These may include claims for future lost income, future medical or rehabilitation services, therapy, and pain and suffering. If there are minor children, they may be losing parental guidance, and future inheritance. A spouse may be deprived of consortium, or companionship of their spouse. The personal injury lawyer may need to bring in some expert witnesses to calculate potential future expenses and losses for the client or for survivors of a person who is deceased.
None of these items are new things; all have been claimed as personal injury damages in other prior case histories. When it comes to asking for damage claims in a lawsuit, no stone should be left unturned. The impact upon a family or survivors when a loved one is injured or killed in an accident are magnified by that loss.
If you are injured through no fault of your own, maybe in a car accident, negligence by a doctor or hospital, or maybe a business not paying attention to safely issues, you should contact someone familiar with personal injury law. They may be able to help you.
If you do find yourself in personal injury litigation, there are some tips to make it a bit easier on you. Some days it may seem like an uphill battle, answering the same questions over and over again, you may start to wonder if anyone is even paying attention to what you say, since they keep asking it again and again. It's all part of the process, don't let it get you down.
Some things you can do to make it easier on yourself is keep notes, any doctors visits, any pain you are having, things about your day to day life that you are no longer able to do. Things you have had to hire someone to do for you, hobbies you can no longer participate in, these are all things to right down. Any psychological effects from the injury should also be noted. If an injury is something you can see, take pictures. That saying about a picture being worth a thousand words is really true in this instance.
If you have been injured in any type of accident, or if someone has deliberately caused you harmful injury, you may be able to seek fair compensation for your subsequent expenses and damage claims under personal injury laws. Victims are entitled to claim for various damages involved in the incident, including medical expenses, lost wages, and future expenses that might be related to this particular injury.
The free consultation is the opportune time to ask questions of a licensed attorney about your potential case. They will be able to tell you what damages they feel would be collectible under personal injury law, and details about payment to the law firm or attorney. It is the best time to ask any questions you have about personal injury lawsuits. Bring with you notes on the incident, and jot down any questions you might have about the legal process of recovery of damages. Have all facts you know handy to present during the personal injury consultation.
There is no reason to not look for an initial personal injury consultation with an attorney, since most personal injury lawyers and law firms offer a first consultation on these matters absolutely free. Tell them the facts about your injury and discover whether or not you have a claim for monetary damages that you are able to pursue legally.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|