It’s not a surprise that healthcare providers are more likely to make mistakes at the end of the day, when they are tired after seeing many patients. This is supported by a recent study in JAMA Network Open and was also a topic on Forbes too.
The general conclusion is that afternoon fatigue is affecting many physicians. Based on this studies, some experts even suggest that you don’t visit your doctor later in the afternoon because the effects of later afternoon fatigue may compromise the patient’s safety.
Some doctors tend to order less of necessary testing/screening e.g. breast or colon cancer screening in the afternoon than in the morning. You might wonder if this has anything to do with medical errors. Well in this particular case, all patients were due for screening. However, the number of screenings ordered was highest in the morning and by the end of the day, those races were at least 10-15% lower. Many experts believe that fatigue is the main cause of this discrepancy. So based on these researches, primary physicians make mistakes in the afternoon that they wouldn’t in the morning.
Also, not only the primary physicians are the ones making mistakes due to fatigue. Did you know that radiology errors also increase as the day goes by? Some research says that the diagnostic accuracy drops by 4% later in the afternoon. This means that some fractures and nodules go unnoticed later in the day.
How to reduce medical mistakes
In order to reduce the mistakes caused by fatigue, healthcare providers could:
- Take breaks every few hours
- If possible try working in shorter shifts, up to 9 hours
- Step away from the computer after you’re done with a few patients
Of course even patients can contribute to reducing the number of errors by:
- Making appointments early in the morning
- Stay well informed about the screening options
- Make follow-up arrangements with your doctor.
In case that you or your loved one was misdiagnosed or received medical care and suffered an injury as a result, you should contact a personal injury lawyer to help you file a claim for compensation. A personal injury lawyer that has experience with medical malpractices will be able to provide you additional information on medical errors and inform you about your rights.
When it comes to personal injury claims, they all require you to have an experienced attorney who is well familiar with the process and knows the differences from cases involving auto accidents, nursing home abuse or neglect. But what are the main burning questions when it comes to personal injury law?
Is your personal injury claim valid?
If you want to pursue a successful personal injury claim, you need to be able to prove that your injuries are caused by someone else’s negligence. Extensive medical treatments are usually part of every personal injury case. However, not all personal injury claims have physical injuries. Some have non-physical harms or losses. A good example is if someone attacks your professional reputation or invade your privacy. These can all be good grounds for a personal injury claim.
How soon can you file a lawsuit?
This depends from one state to another. To be more precise, on the states ‘statute of limitations’. This statute basically determines how much time you have to file a personal injury claim. Of course the statute of limitation differs from case to case. Some states have a statute of limitation of 4 years for a personal injury lawsuit, but for medical malpractice this statute is only two years.
The best thing you can do is to pursue the lawsuit as soon as possible after your injury. This is because preservation of evidence is very important in these cases. Furthermore, a standard procedure involved in a personal injury case is investigation done by your personal injury attorney, which can take some time.
What is negligence exactly?
Negligence concerns actions taken in a specific situation by a ‘reasonable person’. For example, you would expect a truck driver (or basically any driver) to obey the traffic rules and to drive at full attention in order to avoid putting themselves and others at risk. In the event that they cause a car accident because they didn’t pay enough attention while driving, they can be liable for the accident.
So basically, someone is negligent if he/she fails to act in a way an ‘ordinary reasonable person would’ in a specific situation. Personal injury cases are generally found on negligence.
Will the person at fault be punished?
Personal injury cases are NOT criminal actions. They are civil actions. Jail terms cannot be sentenced to defendants in personal injury cases. The same goes for criminal fines. This is because there was no real malicious intent that caused the injury. The cause of the injury is negligence.
Nonetheless, in some rare cases, there can be punitive damages. Punitive damages have a goal to punish the defendants that were reckless OR didn’t act in the best interest of the public. The end result of punitive damages is to discourage defendants to behave in such way.
If you think that you have a valid personal injury case, because someone else’s negligence caused you harm, contact us today and let’s review your case together!
When someone gets injured due to someone else’s negligence, they assume that they are entitled to receive compensations for the medical bills. And they are right. However, that’s not the only damage available to you.
Sometimes, injuries will prevent you from working so naturally, you can pursue that your lost income be compensated as well. You will be able to get more information from your personal injury lawyer. He/she will provide more details on how to determine lost wages and what is the reasonable amount you should expect in a fair settlement. But before you speak to a personal injury lawyer, here are some tips on how you can calculate the approximate lost wages.
The calculation process starts with you collecting documents that will serve as proof to your claim and support the claim that your injuries are preventing you from working. The most common documents include:
- Tax returns
- Paycheck stubs or paycheck forms
- Settlement sheet for three years prior and every pay period since the accident (if you’re a trucking owner or operator)
- Business records or documents (even CPA letters) if you’re a business owner
- Other documents depending on your unique circumstanced
In order to document that you need to take time off from work, you need to ask your doctor to issue a statement that will describe in detail, how much time you have to take off from work until you are fully recovered from your injuries. This is important as it will act as medical support to justify your absence from work. Your personal injury lawyer can help you secure this information through various reports or depositions.
In addition to all these documents stated above, you should also ask your employer to give you copies of your most recent checks or pay stubs. This will show how much did you earn before you got injured. And as the final document, you need to ask your employer to write you a statement that will confirm the information about your employment.
Calculating your lost wages
Calculating your lost wages, mainly depends on how you’re paid. It will be different if you’re paid by the hour, you receive a salary or you’re paid by some other basis.
When you’re paid by the hour, you will multiple your hourly wage with the total number of hours you missed because of your injuries.
So for example, if you’re paid $20 per hour and you work 8 hours a day and you missed 22 days of work, your lost wages will be:
20 x (8 x 22) = $3,520
In other cases, where you’re paid on a salary basis, the calculation is a bit different. Your annual salary gets divided by 2,080 (the number of working hours in a year). Then you will take that number and multiply it with the number of working hours in a day (so 8) and with the number of days you didn’t work because of your injury (let’s keep it 22 as before). If we assume that your annual salary is $50,000 the calculation will look like this:
$50,000 / 2,080 = 24.04
24.04 x (8 x 22) = $4,231 in lost wages
Of course, lost wages aren’t the only income that you can recover. If you receive other forms of income such as regular overtime, commissions, bonuses etc. these can be recovered too. Your personal injury lawyer will ask you about those as well and he/she will provide more information.
Lost income of Self-employed people
Let’s assume that you’re a self-employed person, maybe a web designer working from home. Even through you’re technically not employed by anyone, you can still claim your lost income. What’s different in this scenario is that your lost income consists of your earning AND profit that you would make if you weren’t injured. In this case, you have to gather documents and records that will prove the earning that you expected from the day you were in an accident until the date of judgement or settlement. Useful documents are: 1099 forms, invoices you issue to your clients / customers, records from your bookkeeper or accountant, receipt, communication between you and your clients/customers and so on.
Other income losses
Aside from your past income that you lose because of your injury, you might also be entitled to claim certain future income losses and your lost earning capacity. This will require your personal injury lawyer to work with an economist or vocational expert to establish your lost opportunities in the labor market.
Even through determining lost wages might seem like a pretty straightforward process, it can be rather difficult and complicated in some cases. That’s why you should work with a personal injury who is well informed about this and who can really help you. You can of course do some calculations on your own, but it’s best to let the attorney do the real math and negotiate on your behalf.
In our previous blog posts we’ve summarized that car accident are life-changing events that can occur out of nowhere. One moment driving down the motor way listening to the radio, and in the next your car is totaled, your body is aching with pain and you’re trying to grasp what has happened.
We also talked about what insurance companies usually do, how they want to deny or minimize your claim payment and what reasons (or tricks) they use to deny your claim. Today we will be focusing on the tips on settling a car accident claim.
Contacting the authorities
If you wish to successfully settle your car accident claim, there are several things you need to do immediately after the accident.
First and foremost, you need to contact the authorities and wait until the police arrives at the scene. Once the police arrive, make sure to tell them exactly what happened and seek medical attention if you need to. You might not feel that you need help from a doctor, but that can be a result of the shock your body went through. So make sure that you get examined by the doctor. Once the effects of the shock settle down, you will feel the effects of the accident. This can take a few hours.
Once the doctor establishes that you’re safe and not injured, take photographs of both damaged vehicles and make sure that the license plates are clearly visible. You should also make notes about the other car e.g. the make, model, color and exchange information with the owner of the other vehicle. Taking photos of the scene and location is also a good idea because this will provide useful information on the weather, traffic signs and even skid marks.
Doing this, you’re starting the car accident settlement the right way. Also, you need to keep in mind that you might not be settling the claim directly with the owner of the other vehicle, but rather with his insurance company.
Consult a Personal Injury Lawyer
Not all accidents will lead to a totaled car. Some will just end up with minor property damage, for which you don’t heel to have an attorney. It’s easy to settle this.
But if the accident caused severe damage to your vehicle and caused significant injuries to you, you should really consider getting help from a skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer. It might help your claim.
Experienced personal injury lawyers are well informed about the process to come and can anticipate the strategies that the other side will implement so he/she can be well prepared.
The goal of the insurance company is to protect the bottom line and their self-interest. They do this by offering you very low settlements and they might even try to dispute the entire claim. But having a good personal injury lawyer in these cases can help you a lot because he/she will be negotiating on your behalf.
Recorded statements and documents
It’s not uncommon practice, that insurance company representatives will contact you as soon as they learn about the accident. The representative might sound reasonable, friendly, polite and helpful but keep in mind one thing…they work for the insurance company, not you. The goal is to minimize the value of the claim. And since many car owners aren’t exactly skilled in these matters, the insurance representatives will even try to use some rather questionable methods to get what they need/want.
One of the things they might use are recorded statements. If you get asked to give a statement, politely decline and tell the insurance representative that you will be speaking with an attorney first. This is your right before giving any statements. You might as well use it.
Another thing that insurance companies also do, is send you documents like a medical authorization or similar. The strongly advise that you DO NOT sign any type of authorization that comes from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Why? Well because then the insurance company can then dig through your medical history looking for a way to prove that some of your previous injuries were the cause of the accident.
So when settling a car accident claim, it’s imperative that you speak to a personal injury lawyer. He will be negotiating with the insurance company, he will release any medical records and advise you on giving statements.
A car accident can change your life in an instant and it can happen without any warning. As if injuries aren’t enough, but you also might need to navigate the complex and lengthy process of an insurance claim. This can be both stressful and confusing, especially if you know nothing about car insurance claims.
But the question still remains. How do car insurance claims exactly work? Here’s what you need to know about car insurance claims, especially if you were injured in a car accident.
After the car accident that you were involved, you should notify the insurance company right away. In some states you can file the claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. And in other states, different rules will apply. For example, did you know that Kansas has a no-fault insurance system? This basically means that if you were in a car accident and you’re not the at-fault driver, you have to file the claim with your own insurance company.
After the accident, in most cases the insurance companies will contact you. Sometimes even while you’re recovering. Once the claim gets filed, the insurance company appoints an adjuster who will evaluate your claim and determine its worth.
You might think that the adjuster is here to work in your favor. Well, he/she isn’t. The adjuster appointed by the insurance company works for the insurance company’s interests. The sole goal of the adjuster is to minimize the amount that the insurance company will pay you for your claim.
Working with the adjuster
It’s often the practice that the insurance adjuster will contact you in order to get more information about the accident. The adjuster might even ask you to give a recorded statement. However, if you haven’t yet spoken to a personal injury lawyer, we strongly recommend that you don’t give a recorded statement to the adjuster or any other representative from the insurance company.
The recorded statement and any other evidence is collected for processing your claim. So when the adjuster asks you to give a statement, just politely decline and let him know that you will be willing to give a statement once you consult your personal injury lawyer. In case you’re still under some stress from the accident or you’re experiencing pain and take medication for it, allow yourself some time to pass before giving a statement. Also, you can rely on your personal injury lawyer to negotiate the process with the insurance provider.
Sometimes, the car accident will only cause property damage and no one will be injured. In cases like that, the insurance claim process is pretty simple. The insurance company will ask you to take your car to the mechanic, who will then assess the damage and provide the estimate to the insurance company. Car accidents that only end in property damage is something that you can handle. So you don’t really need a personal injury lawyer.
Determining who’s at fault
It’s the adjuster’s job to determine who caused the accident and who’s at fault. Sometime, even when the police record clearly state that you’re not at fault, the adjuster will try to dispute it.
Another practice is that insurance companies sometimes want to settle a claim rather quickly. If someone from an insurance company approaches you and makes you an offer, don’t accept it. It’s best to first speak to a personal injury lawyer who can evaluate your claim. Because when insurance companies make you an offer right away, the offer is usually extremely low compared to the realistic value that you should be compensated for (the insurance company is trying to pay out as little as possible).
Once your personal injury lawyer evaluates your claim, you will realize that the offer from before was really low. The lawyer will provide you a range of values and a fair offer from the insurance company should fall within that range.
When you agreed on how much you would request from the insurance, the lawyer will draft a letter, include additional proof and send the new offer to the insurance company. The insurance company can do three things: accept your offer, offer you a lower amount or just deny it.
As you can see, the insurance claim process is not as simple. The entire process can be a complicated maze you need to navigate and that’s why it’s important that you have a good and experienced personal injury lawyer who will support you.
Mesa, Arizona is a great place for dog owners. There are dog-friendly hiking trails within a 20-mile radius like Shaw Butte, North Mountain, Lookout Mountain and many more.
However, according to CDCP (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) about four and a half million people are victims of dog bites annually and nearly 20% require medical attention. The two highest risk groups for a dog bite are children and adult males.
In order to protect you and your family from potential dog bite-related injuries, here’s a list of useful tips on how to prevent dog bites.
- If you see a dog without its owner, don’t approach it.
- If you don’t know the dog, don’t approach it. You never know how long has the dog been on the street and whether he is regularly vaccinated or not.
- If you see an injured dog, instead of trying to help him yourself, call a professional that will assess the injuries and provide the help he/she needs.
- Don’t approach dogs that are sleeping, eating or nursing. Remember, dogs can be very territorial and when spooked, they can charge.
- Don’t run from a dog or chase a dog
In Mesa, AZ if a dog injures a human, it’s the dog’s owner who is responsible, no matter if he was aware of the aggressive nature of the dog or not. That is if the victim didn’t provoke the dog in any way.
How can you tell if the dog is aggressive?
Even though there are no foolproof ways to prevent a dog bite, there are telltale signs that you can learn to recognize and that will surely help you to determine whether a dog is aggressive or agitated. These are just a few signs and the most common ones:
- Baring teeth
- Intense stare
- Ears positioned flat or straight up (depending on the breed)
- The scruff – bristling hair around the neck
Even though these are the most common signs that the dog is aggressive, some don’t show any signs before attacking. So it’s best to keep your distance if you come across a dog that you don’t know.
What to do after a dog bite?
After a dog bit, first and foremost you should see medical attention, even if the wounds seem superficial. Like we mentioned before, you might now the full vaccination history of the dog so it’s best to seek professional medical help to have the wound looked at and thoroughly cleaned.
Once you’ve been cleared from the emergency room or hospital, you should research and hire a personal injury lawyer. Even though there is a two-year statute of limitations on dog bit related injuries, most victims lose protection if they haven’t reported the attack within the first year.
Often, the dog owners claim that the victim provoked the dog somehow, which can further complicate the case. So that’s why it’s essential that you seek professional counsel.
In Part 1 we briefly discussed what are your rights and what should you do in case your injury at work wasn’t taken seriously enough. Today, we will be digging further to see what other benefits are you entitled to if you suffer an injury at work.
Covering your medical bills
If you suffered an injury at work so severe, that it requires you to undergo surgery and the company’s / employer’s compensation isn’t enough to cover the medical bills, it’s your legal right to have the employer take care of the bills for you.
You shouldn’t be accountable if you got injured at work because of less than favorable work conditions. Said conditions allowed the accident to happen, so you should be reimbursed for any medical bills.
An injury at work will certainly leave a toll. That is why, you should be properly compensated, and not just in the amount that is sufficient enough to cover the necessary treatments. The monetary compensation should also cover the toll the accident has taken on you.
Sometimes, injuries at work might cause you to permanently stop doing that specific job. In those situations, the compensation should handsomely cover your disability. These compensations could be weekly, monthly or a one-time sum. It all depends on the court’s ruling and how good was the deal of your legal time was able to negotiate.
Special treatments after injury at work
Depending on the severity of your injury, it’s highly likely that you won’t be able to work as fast and as efficiently as before when you return to work that is. If that occurs, the employer is obligated to accommodate your needs and make things easier for you. This can be in the form of a separate parking spot just for you, installing a ramp that will help you move in a wheelchair or other things that will make your job easier.
Post-injury incentives and legal issues
Some employers use this tactic in order to avoid getting a claim from their employment or to avoid going to court. These ‘persuasion tactics’, both illegal and immoral are quite often used, where your employer offers you incentives in the form of money or benefits. And unfortunately, most victims that suffer an injury at work fall for them.
To be clear, the only monetary compensation you should be getting is through your insurance, and there should be nothing stopping you to claim your legal rights. Agreeing to side deals is NOT a good idea and we strongly recommend that you first speak to your lawyer before agreeing to anything.
Settling for less than you deserve or nothing at all, is NOT in your best interest. However, that happens very often. Most employees that got injured at work don’t know what to agree to and what not to agree to. They just don’t know how the system works. That’s why it’s important to have a skilled personal injury lawyer by your side, who knows the system inside and out and can counsel you in the decision-making process.
If the court’s ruling is not applicable, turn it down and file for an appeal. If the insurance company is offering you a bad deal, turn it down and negotiate a better one that you feel good about.
Fully understand that you deserve to be properly compensated for what you’ve been through, all the physical and emotional difficulties and that you SHOULDN’T settle for less.
Employees should do their best to make the workspace safe in order to avoid accidents. Regrettably, no matter how hard they try, an accident will happen from time to time. And if an employee gets injured at work, he/she deserves proper compensation.
On the other hand, employees should also take all the necessary precautions in the workplace to avoid accidents. No matter what, the accident will happen an in those situations you should be fully aware of your rights and compensated for your injury.
Accidents and other incidents involving adults usually result in a personal injury case. But what about cases when a child causes the injury or ends up being injured? According to Personal injury law, children don’t yet have the same well-formed judgment that adults do. And because of this, Personal injury law has created rules for compensation and liability regarding accidents where a child was involved.
Injuries to children
Accidents can happen. Every parent can confirm this. However, some injuries to children can result in a personal injury claim, especially when the cause of the injury is someone else’s carelessness. For injuries caused to your children, a school might be liable. That’s just one example.
Even though getting compensation for a minor (generally a person younger than 18) can be different from state to state, in general terms, a minor has the right for compensation for the same types of injuries/damages you will find in a personal injury claim for an adult. This includes, but it’s not limited to, payment for pain and suffering, permanent injury, emotional distress, and disability. Furthermore, the parent of the injured child can also have the right to be compensated, for medical expenses paid on behalf of its child.
Since a child cannot negotiate a settlement for a personal injury case, the parent usually negotiates on behalf of the child or hires an attorney. Some states require a judge’s approval before the claims can be settled. The approval process is usually very simple and straightforward. You fill out a few simple forms and file them with the court for approval.
Accidents Caused by Children
Liability for accidents caused by minors is established on the same idea of care and carelessness as accidents caused by adults. However, the same standards of care, that are normally expected from an adult, cannot be expected from a minor. Furthermore, carelessness implies that someone understands the risks, and minors don’t comprehend risks the way adults do.
When it comes to establishing liability for accidents caused by a minor, the law applies different standards to different age groups. Very your children (younger than 7) are generally not liable for accidental injuries. They’re simply too young to comprehend that they were careless and in what manner. This of course, doesn’t exclude the child’s parents or legal guardians for negligence and failure to control the child.
The child can be held liable for injuries it causes intentionally, once he/she is old enough and able to tell right from wrong. If one child intentionally hurts another child or causes material damage to a vehicle by throwing a rock at it, both the child that committed the intentional act and the negligent parents, may be liable.
In case of older children, they can generally be considered as liable for their negligent conduct and if they don’t behave carefully, which is measured by what their peers consider reasonably careful. Once the child reaches its mid-teenage years, he / she is held to almost the same standards as adults. For example, when driving a car, the minor is held to the exact same standards as adults are.
Since children don’t normally have a lot of their own money, and in case a minor is found liable, there are various ways an injured person can be compensated. First and foremost, actions caused by minors are usually covered by insurance. So if a minor is driving a car, the minor’s own car insurance or the owner’s car insurance (if the car is owned by the parent or employer) will cover the accident.
In cases where the accident doesn’t involve a vehicle, the homeowner’s insurance policy may cover the accident. In those cases, the victim will be dealing directly with the parent’s insurance company.
When there is no insurance that covers the minors conduct and you are seriously injured, you can pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the minor. If you get a judgment from a court which says how much the minor owes you, he/she will be paying for the damages as soon as he/she turns 18 (in most states) and starts earning income. However, these processed can take long and are only worth pursuing when the injury is extensive. In these cases, this will require help from a skilled attorney.
Parents’ Liability for Minors’ Car Accident
Minors driving a car or a motorcycle are usually covered by the vehicle’s insurance policy or if the car/motorcycle is owned by their parent, by the parent’s insurance policy.
When a minor is the registered owner of a vehicle but has no insurance, the majority of states hold the parents liable for the damages (from $5,000 to $25,000) caused by the minor. So when you’re involved in a car accident when the minor has no coverage or very little, you might be able to collect compensation from both policies (parent’s and child’s).
In 2020 What Does a Wrongful Death Lawsuits Include In Arizona?
Losing a loved one is a trying and difficult reality that many of us will face as sometime in our lifetime. Not only is it an emotional burden but deaths, especially unexpected ones, can be financially cumbersome. If you believe that someone else is at fault for the death of family member then you may have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Wrongful Death Definition
Wrongful death claims are made when a defendant has allegedly caused someone’s death either negligently or through intentional harm. Wrongful death is a civil action that allows the estate of the deceased person to file a lawsuit against the party that is liable for the death. The suit is typically filed by an attorney on behalf of the surviving family members and other affected parties.
What Kind of Deaths Do Wrongful Death Lawsuits Include?
A good way to think of when a wrongful death claim is applicable is to ask, “Would the victim have filed a personal injury claim had they survived the offending incident?” This can come in a wide variety of forms including when, The victim was intentionally killed, murder is a criminal trial, but you can still seek financial compensation for the death of a loved one despite the outcome of a criminal trial. For example, OJ Simpson was acquitted in a criminal child for the murders of Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman, however he was still found liable in a civil wrongful death case. The case was based on an intentional act. These specific civil lawsuits were brought by the victims’ families and separate from the state’s criminal case.
If a doctor fails to diagnose a condition or if a doctor is careless to the level of incompetence then they may be open to a wrongful death lawsuit. Common examples include doctors being under the influence of drugs/alcohol, and doctors dismissing patients without giving a thorough examination.
Car Accidents involving Negligence
If a victim dies as a result of a car accident injuries, a wrongful death claim may be brought to the courts. The driver might be deemed negligent if they were intoxicated, texting or simply not paying attention while behind the wheel of the car.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim is usually filed by a representative of the estate of the deceased victim. This is done on behalf of those who had a relationship with the victim, and it can vary depending on the state. In all states, a spouse may bring a wrongful death action on behalf of his or her deceased spouse. Also, parents of minors can also bring a action forward if one of their children is killed. Similarly, minors can collect if their parents were killed. As the extended family reaches further and further, the states begin to differ as to whether those members have the right to file these suits (think distance cousins, aunts, etc…).
In some states, marriage is not a requirement to file a wrongful death claim, as long as you can show financial dependence on the deceased. If you think you are dealing with a wrongful death claim, give our office a call. We would be happy to help you file if necessary.
Contact Your Mesa Injury Law Firm Today
4140 E. Baseline Road Suite 101
Mesa, Arizona 85206-4677
We are conveniently located off the U.S. 60 on Baseline Road between Val Vista and Greenfield in The Gateway Executive Suites.
Email Us: [email protected]
Phone: (480) 757-5000
Fax: (480) 471-5181
Hours of Operation
Monday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Tuesday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Wednesday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Thursday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Friday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
When dealing with a personal injury case, it’s nice to know what’s going on. This allows you to have confidence in what’s occurring during your case and not just trusting an attorney blindly. Although it’s important to pick an attorney that’s good at what they do and whom you can trust, it’s still important to be prepared and knowledgeable yourself. Having tabs on your own case and understanding the steps as they come allows you to make an informed decision when presented with one. Below covers some topics on personal injury cases when you are the one who has sustained the injuries.
What Does a Typical Personal Injury Case Look Like?
When an injury occurs at the negligence of another party, most states have laws that allow the person injured to recoup costs. This can include emotional trauma connected to the injury. Negligence can be from a workplace being unsafe or not kept up to code which resulted in an injury. Negligence can also include careless driving, malpractice by a doctor, and more. A typical case will have an injured party and a negligent party seeking to prove whether negligence was indeed the issue.
What Happens After Filing a Case?
The assumed negligent party is then served papers of the notice and becomes the defendant while you become the plaintiff. The next step is called “discovery” as lawyers on both sides gather evidence, ask questions, and build a case. Once this mode has ended, offers can be made before the case is taken to trial. If the offer is refused, it will go to trial and be decided by a judge. However, it’s common for personal injury cases to be settled outside the courtroom.
What Happens if I Win?
A judge or jury will decide an amount for damages and you will be rewarded this amount of money. Those deciding the amount will take into account the injury, grief caused by the injury, future wages lost, etc. All angles will be considered in order to fully cover the plaintiff. This is why cases like this are often settled outside of court.
How Long Do I Have to File a Case?
Each state differs on the length of time following an injury that you have to file a claim. This is referred to as the “Statute of Limitations.” Your attorney should be able to help you with this amount of time for your state. However, it’s always best to file a claim as quickly as possible following the injury. This often helps with evidence trails and the case in general.
Some other important notes to consider are that the defendant of the case isn’t punished. Other than paying out what’s rewarded to the plaintiff if they lose the case, a defendant won’t have to worry about aspects such as probation, jail time, etc. Further, if you decide to settle a case outside of court, this is when you and the defendant agree on a specific outcome of the case without a judge or jury. Your lawyer will handle the details.