If you’re considering a personal injury claim, you will face a time-consuming process. Not to mention it can be complicated and confusing. An experienced lawyer can help you and most important, explain you the whole process so you won’t feel any additional stress. There are some necessary steps, but the unique factors of each case can impact each step. Still, we will sum up the process of some more basic steps that may happen during the claim process!
Consult with an attorney!
The first step is to determine if you have a valid claim, the types of damages you may be entitled to, the extent and severity of your injuries, and your legal options. The statute of limitations in Arizona is two years. Therefore, the period is two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit.
Investigating your claim!
Before you go any further, the legal team should investigate your claim. Angkor’s, after you hire an attorney. The investigation process can include medical records, cell phone records, police reports, the accident scene, witness testimony, etc. Depending on the type of case, the legal team may also need to talk to expert witnesses, even accident reconstructionist.
Filing a Demand
After the process of gathering the evidence, your attorney will file a demand for a settlement. The demand letter will explain your case, including liability and damages you, the plaintiff is demanding. The defendant will review the letter – it can be rejected or denied, or there could be a counteroffer!
Filling a lawsuit
If your injury lawsuit cannot be settled, your attorney will file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf. The discovery phase begins after a lawsuit has been filed. Both parties will obtain evidence from each other and evaluate how is case build on both sides. It will also determine how will the situation be treated and prepared on trial.
Mediation or trial
Keep in mind that most cases are settled before trial. However, at any point in the personal injury claim process, the parties can resolve. This means that the case can be settled just before the case goes to trial.
Arbitration or Trial
Arbitration is considered a type of alternative dispute resolution taken outside of court. It’s not formal as a trial. Instead of presenting a case to judge, the parties dispute in the form of an arbitrator-who is a non-partisan third-party. Depending on the type of a claim you have, arbitration may be required. Arbitration clauses can be found in some agreements, like a nursing home or cell phone contact.
If you don’t go thru arbitration, mediation may be completed before the trial. Both parties will avoid going to trial in the attempt of mediation. During the process, your attorney will work on your behalf for a fair settlement. If the process of mediation doesn’t result in an agreement, then, the next phase is trial. During this process, a jury or a judge will evaluate the facts, and determine fault, and award if they rule in favor of the personal injury victim. Trials can be expensive and time-consuming, which is why many cases are settled before the trial.
Sometimes, older adults are at risk of being abused at home, in the homes of relatives, and nursing care facilities. Many cases of domestic violence and violence, in general, go unnoticed or under-reported. If you notice that your loved one is dealing with a harmful situation or is being financially exploited, there are a few things you need to do to ensure their safety before you take any further legal action.
Older people are less likely to be able to stand up to any bullying or fight. They also may not be able to see or hear as well as they could, resulting in opportunities for others to take advantage of them.
Elders do experience physical and mental limitations, so they can also be more difficult for caretakers to manage. It’s a very demanding position towards elders cause sometimes abuse is not taken seriously by family members. It can be believed that a person has developed dementia and is not making any sense. While signs of abuse can overlap with mental deterioration, each case should be investigated- even if the patient is experiencing neglect.
General Evidence of Abuse
You can assume that something is not right if there are changes in elder behavior or constant tension between the elder and their caregiver.
Please check for additional signs of abuse:
- Unexplained broken bones, dislocations or sprains
- Bruising or scarring
- Failing to take medications properly
- Broken eyeglasses
- Signs of restraint
- The refusal of the caregiver to let you spent time alone with the elderly person
These are the signs of emotional abuse:
- Witnessing controlling or threatening behavior on the part of the caregiver
- Unusual behavior that can resemble symptoms of dementia,
Including mumbling behaviors, or aggressive behaviors
Sign of sexual abuse of the elderly include the following:
- Bruising near the genital area
- Unexplained STDs
- Unexplained genital infections
- Stained, bloody or torn underwear
- Vaginal or anal bleeding unrelated to a medical condition
- Leaving the senior alone at a public location
- Being unsuitably dressed for the weather
- Not bathing the person or leaving them dirty
- Living with soiled bed clothing, bugs, dirty clothes
- Lost of weight or dehydration
- The presence of bedsores from not turning the patient regularly
Financial Exploitation of the Elderly
- Unexplained withdrawals from the elderly person’s account
- Changes in life insurance policies
- Missing cash from the elder’s room or home
- Adding names to the signature card
- Lack of medical care in spite of having money
- Unusual goods, services that elder couldn’t have signed on for
Healthcare fraud is usually perpetrated by healthcare personnel and includes the following:
- Evidence of getting too much or too little medication
- Having duplicate bills for the same services
- Insufficient amount of staff
- A lack of adequate training
- Evidence of poor care
Risk factors of Caregivers
- Depression on behalf of the caregiver
- The caregiver cannot cope with the stress
- Alcohol or drug abuse by the caregiver
- The caregiver perceives that caring for the senior has no psychological reward
Did you know that 3rd of all death cases around the Christmas season involves drunken driving? Even one or two drinks can impact your driving and cause extreme injury to you and others. In 2016 nearly 2,000 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes where drivers had low blood alcohol level ((BACs of .01 to .07 g/dL). Even with the low school levels in the blood, it’s tough to multi-task. You will experience reduced coordination, visual impairment, slow reflexes. All of these potential symptoms make it harder to react in an emergency on the road. Don’t get yourself in a life-threatening position for you or your family. Safety first!
Make Plans Ahead of Time
It’s always important to plan your social events involving alcohol. We are assured that most the people are responsible but here are just a few tips to plan a safer holiday season: Always chose a designated driver if you’re going out with the group of friends before you start drinking. If you are hosting the party, ensure some non-alcohol beverages for your guests, and remind all guests about having a safe ride home! Call Uber or Taxi if you or your friend is too intoxicated to drive.
Keep your vehicle maintained
If you have a long road ahead of you, schedule some time with your mechanic to make sure everything’s covered: oil life, tire pressure, headlights, etc. An essential check is the brake check. Take care of any other repairs you may have been putting off. The last thing you want on a holiday weekend is to be stranded on the side of the road waiting for a tow or someone to pick you up. Pack some snacks and lots of water. Pack an emergency or first aid kit. Update your GPS so its equipped with the latest maps.
Don’t drive Impaired
Even if you’re not drinking be aware of the dangers of driving without enough sleep. Around 72,000 accidents were caused by underslept drivers in 2013 by the CDC report. Don’t rely on energy drinks or caffeine to make up for the tired mind and body especially if you plan so mid-night trip. Make an effective plan to switch off drivers and even pulling off the road for a quick power-nap. Listen to your body when it’s telling you it’s drowsy and needs to rest!
Look out for signs like these:
- Inability to remember the last few minutes of travel
- Missing traffic signals or signs
- Wandering Thoughts
- Drifting in lines
- Doopy eyelids
Occupy Kids and restrain pets
Pets and kids can cause a lot of distractions in the car, so the best choice is to keep them occupied. Give kids options like puzzle books or music/movies on a portable device or play simple card games. Sometimes this can be fun for adults also. Pets should be appropriately restrained, so they are comfortable and safe and don’t pose a treat or distraction to the driver.
Product- What you need to know
Once the product is already in the marketplace, there’s an expectation that the item is free of defect and safe to use. However, in some cases, compounds, devices, and systems are insufficiently tested. Product liability is an area of the law that deals with problems once the product Is in the marketplace and some harm is done.
Understanding Product Liability Lawsuits
Product liability involves wrongful action and hazards toward the everyday user, explicitly done by producers and manufacturers. There are no federal product liability laws. The lawsuits are based on state laws that deal with strict liability, negligence or breach of warranty. State commercial statutes can be applied in product liability cases.
Liability for an injury caused by a product does not apply to the manufacturer of the product. The production chain(distribution of the product) can be helped liable, such as the manufacturer of parts of the product, the company that installs or assembles the product, as well as retail outlets. It depends on the distribution chain type and the product. This standard applies to anyone who is involved in producing the product in the ordinary course of business.
Types of Defects
These are three basic types of defects that may be involved in a liability case:
- Design defects- this problem occurs when there are errors in the final design of a product that should have been changed in the initial steps of creating it
- Manufacturing defects- This condition occurs during the manufacturing or assembly process
- Marketing defects- Insufficient safety warnings, improper labeling or inadequate instructions may have caused an injury or death.
Determining responsibility for the Injury
There is a legal doctrine “Res ipsa loquitur” which means “the thing speaks for itself,” meaning that the product would not have caused an injury except for the actions of the user. Manufactures is often required to defend itself against a liability claim, but attorneys can also turn responsibility onto the plaintiff in the case. That means in this case that the plaintiff is required to defend his or her actions in the product incident.
Breach of Warranty
A warranty is either “express” or “implied” and is used to denote promises made by the manufacturer. Express warranties include wording used in marketing, packaging or instructional materials included with the product. An implied warranty is used to denote the reasonable expectations of an individual purchasing the product.
It can imply failure of action in design, the composition of elements(materials) the manufacturing process, in testing or in communication regarding its safe use. Any aspect that affects the product’s safety can be considered negligence.
Requirements for a Product Liability Lawsuit
These are specific actions that can affect the outcome for the injured party. To file successful product liability, you need :
- Stop using the product immediately
- Save the product
- Consult a physician and give information about the product that causes it
- Retain all packing supplied with the product
- Gather witnesses
- Research your state’s statute of limitations on product liability cases and other requirements
- Consult with an experienced attorney