Personal Injury - Consumer Justice Foundation

Personal Injury

Written by Andrew Sarski on January 12, 2011
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Slip and Fall Accidents

Slip and fall accidents can cause serious injuries, particularly concussion, traumatic brain injury and broken bones. If an individual slips, trips or falls on another person’s property and is injured, he may be entitled to compensation for his injuries. The most common locations where slip and fall accidents occur are restaurants and retail stores and are typically caused by poor lighting, torn carpeting, wet or uneven flooring, stairs without a hand rail, or a broken sidewalk. According to the law, it is the property owner’s duty to maintain a reasonably safe environment and to warn his patrons of any dangers that may exist on the property. If he fails to do either of these things, he may be liable for injuries sustained by the victim. In order to determine fault, the victim must prove one of three things: that the owner created the hazard, knew about the hazardous condition and failed to correct it, or that the danger existed for such a long period of time that the property owner should have discovered it and corrected it before the accident occurred.

Dog Bite Accidents

According to the Center for Disease Control, hundreds of thousands of people are seriously injured or killed by dog bites each year. While dog bite laws typically differ on a state-by-state basis, most states have laws in place that hold the dog owner liable without fault. This means that if the owner kept the dog even after he knew that it was dangerous, he can be held responsible for dog bite victim’s injuries. As long as the victim did not provoke the dog, all he must do is prove that he was a victim of a dog bite. In other states, dog owners may be held liable for damages based upon the circumstances of each situation. This means that the court will decide whether or not the owner was or should have been aware of the dog’s tendency to bite or attack, depending largely upon past behavior. Leash laws, which differ state to state, are also an important component to take into consideration in the event of a dog bite. If your state has a leash law and you are attacked by an unleashed dog, you may have an even stronger case.

Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home abuse can cause significant pain for both the resident and his family. Neglect or physical abuse in this case is defined as any action by a healthcare provider that can cause unreasonable harm, suffering, injury or misery to a nursing home resident. This includes sexual assault or withholding necessary food, physical care, or medical attention. A report filed by the Special Investigations Division of the House Government Reform Committee found that between 1999 and 2000, there were more than 9,000 cases of reported abuse in 30% of U.S. nursing homes. Abuse or negligence can cause serious pain and even death for nursing home residents; a personal injury lawsuit can hold healthcare providers responsible for significant injury to a resident caused by negligence.

Personal Injury Compensation

Most injured victims will look to their insurance company or the company insuring the negligent party for support in the form of financial reimbursement. Unfortunately, the victim’s objective and the objective of the insurance company aren’t in line. Your goal, as the victim, is to receive as much money as you can and the insurance claims adjuster’s is to pay out as little as possible. Often, personal injury claims are denied by insurance companies, or victims are offered a settlement far below what they are entitled to for this exact reason. The only way to fight a rejected claim by an insurance company is to file a personal injury lawsuit.

One of the major components of personal injury claims is determining liability, or who is responsible for the accident in which your injuries were sustained. Liability usually falls to the negligent party; the property owner in slip and fall accidents, the dog owner in a dog bite accident, and the healthcare provider in the case of nursing home abuse. Unfortunately, thousands of people receive less compensation for their injuries than they deserve, simply because they aren’t familiar with the way the system system. For this reason, it is important to hire an experienced personal injury attorney to guide you through the process. By filing a personal injury lawsuit, you and a qualified personal injury attorney can work towards a fair settlement or damages for injuries you have sustained.

Personal injury lawsuits are typically “per diem” which means victims must assign a “per day value” to their pain and suffering, usually determined by calculating medical bills, lost wages, and any other expenses related to their injuries. Your personal injury attorney can help you asses and assign this value. Most personal injury attorneys operate on a contingent fee basis, which means they only collect payment if your case is won.

Finding Personal Injury Legal Help

Finding the right personal injury attorney is imperative to the success of your case. It is important to have the support and knowledge of a professional who is familiar with the system and qualified in the appropriate aspect of personal injury litigation. Personal injury lawyers are experienced in negotiation and gathering information or evidence, including medical and insurance records and police reports.

A qualified personal injury attorney can help you receive fair compensation for your injuries, past and future medical costs, lost wages, and any other expenses related to your injury. In each unique circumstance of personal injury, it is wise to hire a personal injury attorney who is experienced in that area of the law, ensuring that you are being represented by a lawyer who is familiar with the laws governing the circumstances of your case in particular.

Posted Under: Personal Injury
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