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Personal Injury Information
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: How do I know if I have a personal injury case?
A: First, in order to recover damages, you must have been injured or sustained property damage. Second, you should consider whether your injury was due to someone else's fault or negligence. It is not always a physical injury involved in a personal injury lawsuit. Some claims are based upon nonphysical losses and harms as well.
Q: Are there time limits to file a claim?
A: Each state has a time limit, by statute, which limits the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit. Called "Statutes of Limitations," you meet the statutory time limit by filing the lawsuit in Court and then serving the lawsuit complaint upon the defendants whom you are suing. If you miss the deadline for filing, you may lose your right to sue for damages as a result of your injury. Therefore, it is crucial that you talk with a lawyer as soon as you suffer or discover an injury.
An Overview of Personal Injury Cases
The most common types of personal injury cases include slip, trip and fall, automobile accidents, assaults and battery, medical malpractice, and product liability. Basically, the goal of a personal injury action is to determine who was at fault and demand that the culpable party compensate the injured person for the losses sustained. The true aim is to 'make the injured party whole' again to the extent that money damages can do so. If you or someone you know has been injured by the careless actions of another, please contact us to learn how we may be able to help you.
Hire the right Attorney
When you're injured, you need help quickly. Unfortunately, however, some people make the unfortunate mistake of picking the first attorney they find rather than making a methodical, intelligent decision. It's vital to educate yourself and find the right person for you and your family.
Slips, Trips, Falls, and other Personal Injury Claims
Premises liability law involves the legal duties of property owners, landlords, tenants, homeowners, and occupiers to prevent injuries to persons on their property. The basic duty of each is to act reasonably to protect foreseeable users of the property from known dangers they may encounter. One of the most common causes of such injuries is a trip or slip and fall, such as on an icy sidewalk, a loose or uneven platform, or because of debris or spills on the floor. An experienced Attorney will evaluate the strength of your premises liability claim and help you recover damages for lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering.
Our firm also defends major corporations, self-insured companies and insurance carriers. We know how to defend these actions. For this reason, we know how to best prepare your claim and the best way to fight for you all the way through trial.
When Personal Injuries Result in Death: Wrongful Death Cases
A wrongful death action is one in which it is claimed that a person died as a result of another's fault or negligence. The victim's surviving relatives, dependents, or beneficiaries may bring suit against the parties, seeking money damages for their losses. Each state has its own wrongful death law and not every state follows the same rules or guidelines.
Children are owed a higher duty of care regardless of whether they were lawfully on the property or considered trespassers.
Proving Owners' Liability
An injured person must show that the standard of reasonableness required by an owner has not been met. Often, the most difficult element a plaintiff must prove is the owner's 'Notice' or 'Knowledge' of the condition causing his or her injury. The injured person must prove that the owner knew or should have known of the condition in order for liability to attach to justify money damages.
Defenses to Liability
One of the most common defenses set forth at trial to limit or preclude an injured person's recovery is Comparative Fault. A person has an obligation, under the law, in most cases, to exercise reasonable care for his or her own safety. When due care for your own well being is not exercised, then an injured person's recovery may be limited or reduced by an amount attributable to his or her own negligence.
Where a person's injuries are the result of slipping on an icy sidewalk, in a parking lot, or on a food item that has fallen onto a store floor, the property owner may or may not be liable (held to be at fault) for the person's injuries. Although owners have a duty to exercise reasonable care to maintain the premises in such a way to prevent injuries to lawful visitors, if a condition of the premises is noticed by a customer or other visitor is readily apparent (open and obvious), the property owner may avoid liability.
The property owner may also avoid liability by proving that the debris had just fallen or that the ice had so recently accumulated. As such, they may argue that the responsible persons had no reasonable opportunity to correct the condition and avoid the hazard before the plaintiff fell. In other words, the plaintiff must prove that the owner had a reasonable period of time in which to discover the dangerous condition and correct it. The determination of what constitutes a reasonable time varies depending upon the facts of each case.