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Personal Injury

How to Correctly File a Car Accident Claim

Getting into an auto accident is – at the very least – a major inconvenience. At its worst, it can be a life-shattering event that results in long-term injuries. If another driver disobeyed traffic laws and rammed into you, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. You will have to file a car accident claim, and there is a very specific process for this. Learn the steps you must take to increase your chances of a successful claim outcome.

Call the Police

Call the police at the scene of the accident. This is especially true if bodily injury is involved. Right after the accident, you may be shaken up and not exactly in the right state of mind. However, please remain composed and call your local law enforcement. A police officer will be able to more objectively assess what happened and record the event. He will also be able to call ambulance if necessary or keep you safe if the other party becomes belligerent.

Document the Accident

While you’re still at the scene, collect as much information as you can. The responding police officer will collect the information, but you should still document as much info as you can. This includes acquiring witness names and contact info, documenting time, taking photos of damage, etc. You should also write down or record an audio of yourself describing in detail what happened. It’s best to log in the information while your memory is still fresh.

File an Accident Report

You are required by law to report the incident to your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. The timeframe for doing so differs depending on your state of residence, though it’s usually five to 30 days starting from the date of the accident. You can submit the report within minutes online, though you may also submit the report in writing or visit the local DMV in person. Keep in mind that failure to file with the DMV may result in a revocation of your driver’s license even if you were not the party at fault.

Contact Your Insurance Company

When you call your insurance company, you will be connected with a claims specialist or an adjuster. This person will discuss your options and work with any third parties and their respective insurance agencies. The adjuster will also provide specific instructions, such as where to take your vehicle for repairs and where to go for a rental car.

On the subject of insurance agencies, you may also hear directly from the other party’s insurer. Expect to provide them the same information you provided your own insurer.

Hire an Attorney

If the claims process goes smoothly, then this step can be avoided. However, there are instances when you may need to hire legal representation. You may be eligible, for example, to file a separate diminished value claim, which is additional compensation due to a vehicle’s partial loss stemming from the accident. This is something an attorney can assist you with. The bottom line is that a car accident lawyer can help you acquire the claim settlement offer you deserve.

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Personal Injury

Should I Sue for Personal Injury?

Personal injury is, unfortunately, something we are all at risk for every day. They are, of course, traumatic events regardless of severity, and they can be devastating in some circumstances. A likely question to arise in these situations is whether or not you have a legal case and whether you should sue for it. This is a question to be answered with three basic points. Obviously, you must first suffer a personal injury to have a case. Secondly, the injury needs to be caused by negligence from another party instead of an innocent mistake. Thirdly, you will need to have verifiable and “recoverable” damages. In this context, “recoverable” means damages that entitle you to compensation. If these three conditions are met, it’s likely that you have a valid case. Since most personal injury attorneys work on contingency fees (you’ll simply pay a percentage of the settlement, but only if you win the case), you may want to seek the help of this Super Woman Super Lawyer to better your chances of success. Additionally, you’ll want to follow these steps.

Medical attention

Any time you are injured, it’s important that you seek immediate medical care. This will give you the opportunity to talk with your doctor about any unusual sensations and give the best chance for a full recovery. This will also help prove that all injuries sustained were due to the accident. If medical care is sought later, it will give the defendant an opportunity to diminish your claim by saying some, if not all, of the injuries could have been due to another cause.

Additionally, immediate medical care will help avoid inconsistencies in your medical record, which is of vital importance to your case. Gaps in any kinds of documents will be harmful to your case, but gaps in medical records in particular are an extreme danger that could even ruin your case. Ensuring these inconsistencies never exist in the first place will eliminate the defendant’s ability to discredit your claim based on medical results. You’ll also want to ensure the records are regularly updated by attending all follow up appointments and adhering to all instructions regarding treatment.

Gathering materials

There are a few things a client can do to prepare for the initial consultation with an attorney in an injury case. You’ll want to gather any materials that could be useful for the case. Photographic evidence of the accident scene can be a great help. If possible, bring photos that were taken at the time of the injury itself. If this isn’t an option, it can still be worthwhile to return to the scene and record the layout of the area anyway. In addition, you’ll want to bring your medical records, an accident or police report, and any contact information of doctors and witnesses to the accident. Having this information will establish you as a knowledgeable and cooperative client, and this generally makes attorneys more likely to take your case.

Communication

Just because an attorney takes your case doesn’t mean you should just leave them to do everything. A client still has some responsibilities during the case itself. First of all, you’ll need to keep your attorney updated on your medical condition. The extent of your injuries and the pace of your recovery are paramount factors.

You’ll also need to provide any further developments in your case. For example, any time an outside source contacts you about the case should be reported to your attorney. This will most likely be insurance companies, and you should direct all questioning to your attorney. There may not be such a thing as a guaranteed case, but working closely with your attorney will provide the best chance for a successful outcome.

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Personal Injury

3 Key Differences Between Personal Injury Cases in Canada and the US

comparatively more litigious than Canadian systems with more than three times as many lawsuits per capita. It’s possible that this is because of the differences in the legal system and the amount that a plaintiff can receive. Let’s take a look at what some of those main differences are. Compensation for pain and suffering In the US, each state is responsible for determining its own limits for pain and suffering award amounts. Some states cap only the amounts that can be awarded for pain and suffering in medical malpractice suits. And some set limits on it for all types of lawsuits. Close to half the states don’t have a limit in all. On the other hand, Canada has a nationwide cap on pain and suffering damages of around $300,000. The difference here is that a plaintiff in a lawsuit in America can walk away with a lot more money than they can in Canada, no matter what the situation. One such incident was a medical malpractice suit in Virginia. A woman sued her gynecologist for a failed tubal ligation after she gave birth to a baby. The jury found the physician liable for damages and requested he pay the mother $39,000 for medical and $9,000 in lost wages. However, the mother was ultimately awarded almost $2,000,000 in total. That means that almost the entire amount she was given was for non-monetary damages caused by pain and suffering. In Canada, no matter how big the amount a judge finds the defendant liable for, the amount for pain and suffering damages will never be allowed to exceed $300,000. But even the US states that have caps are usually higher than the limit in Canada. Court costs In the US, all parties in a legal matter are typically responsible for their own court costs. This is unless, they are appointed an attorney by the court that will be paid for by the state. However, in Canada, the losing party can be held liable for the winner’s costs. So, if you hire a personal injury lawyer Kelowna and win the case, the loser in the trial may have to reimburse you for those expenses. But the costs are on sliding scales. The court may decide the loser is responsible for substantial indemnity, which is up to 80 percent of the costs. Or they may be held liable for partial indemnity, which would cover up to 50 percent of the costs. These rulings are made entirely by the presiding judge. The role of the court systems In both the US and Canada, each state or province has its own government entities and one federal government. But in Canada, the federal courts are much less involved. In the US, for example, any federal laws governing personal injury suits will automatically overrule state laws. In Canada, they very rarely get involved in such cases. Also, in Canada, judges are appointed by the government, making them much less susceptible to local political influences. Canada’s hearings also differ quite a bit from the ones in the US. In America, one judge presides over an entire case. But in Canada, there may be various judges that hear particular parts of it. And they don’t typically use a jury as the US courts do. Another key difference is the way Canada establishes precedence. Canada is apt to look at previous court rulings from other countries in order to make decisions, whereas US courts only use American cases.]]>

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Personal Injury

5 Elements of a Negligence Case

professional negligence lawyers who can connect these concepts to your specific case. What constitutes “duty” in a negligence case? Simply put, a duty is the expectation that the defendant was required to act or behave a certain way towards you. Duties are generally determined by a judge, rather than decided by a jury. One of the most common instances of a duty is the relationship between an employer and employee. For example, if you are pressing charges as a client against a professional such as a doctor, the duty could relate to how you were treated by the doctor as compared to similar professionals. Duties can apply to other company/client relationships as well, but may also extend to someone working as part of a company and a public bystander, such as a child who is hit by a postal worker. In this case, the judge would determine if it was the postal worker’s duty to drive in a safe manner while delivering mail. What makes up a “breach of duty” in a negligence case? While determining whether or not you’re owed a duty by the defendant is the first step in winning your negligence case, there is still more burden on you to prove that the defendant breached, or broke, that responsibility to you. Even though a judge determines what comprises a duty, the jury of your negligence case ultimately decides whether or not the defendant breached this duty. In the earlier example about the postal worker, a jury would determine whether or not the defendant was exercising reasonable care while they were performing their job. If they were texting while driving, that certainly would constitute a breach of duty, whereas if the child ran out into the street after a ball, other factors would most likely have to be considered. How do you define “cause in fact” in negligence cases? Another factor that will be considered during your negligence case is whether your injuries or damages are “cause in fact.” In a nutshell, “cause in fact” refers to whether or not you can trace a direct link between the defendant’s negligence and your current state. In the example about a doctor and their patient, if a botched surgery resulted in loss of feeling in your hand, that would be deemed “cause in fact.” However, if it can be proven that you couldn’t definitively trace your numbness to the surgery in question, this may be called into question. An easy way to think about this element of negligence is to think of cause and effect. Simply ask yourself, “If the defendant hadn’t done this, would my result have happened?” What is “proximate cause” in a negligence case? Proximate cause all boils down to whether or not the defendant could have foreseen the result of their actions, prior to their occurence. In the example with the child and postal worker, the postal worker would have to prove that they didn’t have adequate time or information to appropriately estimate the danger the child was in. This would be hard to do in a place where children often are, like a residential neighborhood or in a school zone. However, if the child was in a location not typically occupied by kids, such as in a casino parking lot, the driver may be able to prove they didn’t have proximate cause to the accident. What count as “damages” in negligence cases? Your final consideration when proving negligence is what counts as damage. Damages must be legally recognized, meaning your most common options are injury or property damage. Even if a judge or jury determines that your defendant did neglect their duty, if you haven’t suffered any damages from the incident, your negligence case won’t have legal standing. While negligence cases can seem complex, breaking down each element of a negligence case, can help you understand how to create the strongest case. As always, consult with a trusted legal professional prior to pressing charges so that you have the greatest possibility of winning your negligence settlement.]]>

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Personal Injury

Preventing Liability Claims in Your Home

Safe walkways Some of the biggest personal safety issues, especially during inclement winter weather, are slipping or tripping hazards when entering and leaving your home. Take a moment to review the driveway and entryway areas for potential hazards, such as uneven pavements or walkways, tree roots, or cluttered porch stairs that could present tripping hazards for the elderly or people with limited mobility, or even guests who become impaired during the party. One easy thing to do is to notify guests during your invitation to watch their step when they arrive. If the hazard is something not easily fixed, another practical solution is to mark things like tree roots in a walkway clearly, such as with brightly-colored duct tape or safety tape. Ensure garden hoses or other lawncare equipment is safely stored away from the walkway. If the ground approaching your home is extremely uneven or rocky, temporary solutions like a solid, even layer of packed-down mulch or fine gravel could improve conditions. But in general, try to provide the most even, tactile surface possible for your guests to enter your home. If guests are coming or going during the evening hours, adequate walkway lighting to the driveway or street is a must. If you don’t have permanent lighting installed already, there are several temporary solutions ranging from individual solar-powered lawn lights to a string of Christmas or rope lights near the ground, or even strategically-placed battery-operated tealights.  Make sure stairs and uneven ground are well-lit whenever possible. During icy or snowy weather, shovel a safe walking area at least 32 inches (81 centimeters) wide, and make sure to salt or sand slippery surfaces thoroughly, re-applying as needed. Clear snow and icicles from the roof over the entryway to prevent injuries from ice and snow sheets tumbling onto your guests. During heavy rains, monitor your yard and driveway for flooding or pooling, as this can present walking hazards, depending on the depth of water or speed of overflow. Safe flooring Anytime you have a gathering at your home, there are likely to be spills, especially if alcoholic beverages are involved. Quickly identifying and cleaning up slippery floors will help to keep your guests safe. You might place a chair on top of the spill or have a guest watch the area to prevent people from walking through while you get the necessary items for cleanup. If you typically prefer that guests remove their shoes, try handing out economical non-skid booties instead, as certain kinds of dress socks render hardwood and tile floors more slippery. Safe railing and decking Make sure all railways on stairs are secure and that the stairs are free of clutter or tripping hazards. Inspect all deck railings to make sure none are loose, and inspect the deck for loose floorboards that might be sticking up on one end to pose a tripping hazard. If your property has a pool, ensure all access points to the pool area are secured and gate locks are in working order. Being able to show that you performed every possible precaution prior to having guests over goes a long way toward preventing injuries and the resultant liability claims. However, should one arise, it’s best to have an professional in your corner. If a suggestion of a potential lawsuit exists, don’t hesitate to look for the best personal injury lawyer in Toronto for a personalized review of your case and some expert advice.]]>

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Personal Injury

How Much Is Your Houston Personal Injury Case Worth?

personal injury attorney would be taking on a lot of financial risk, if you ask if you have a case and they say yes, then it is probably worth pursuing. Once you retain a personal injury lawyer, they pretty much do all the work so that you can focus on healing and getting better. There is no magic calculation about how much personal injury claims Houston are worth. Since each injury is different, there is no way to know this for sure. As a basic rule of thumb, the more severe the injury, the more you may be entitled to. But since the monetary awards are decided by the court or during negotiation, there is no way to know for sure how much your injury is worth ahead of time. The types of damages you are entitled to in a personal injury case are called “compensatory damages.” They are meant to compensate someone who was injured due to someone else’s negligence. The idea is that the money is awarded to make someone “whole” again by compensating them for what they have lost due to the accident. Putting a dollar amount on someone’s injuries is not an easy or an objective thing. There are two types of damages that you are entitled to recover for in a personal injury case: economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages include concrete figures, like how much your medical bills cost and how much money you lost due to lost wages. They can also include the anticipation of any further medical costs you may need according to your diagnosis. This means they would include any later rehabilitation or therapy, and in some instances, being trained to work in a different capacity if you can no longer perform the same occupation due to your injuries. Noneconomic damages are harder to discern. They include things like pain and suffering and emotional distress. Since putting a dollar amount on how much pain someone has endured is highly subjective, it is up to the lawyer to figure this out. The way that most courts calculate things like emotional distress and pain and suffering is by using a multiplier method. To try to determine how much a person has suffered through, the medical bills are added up, and then they are multiplied by the severity of the accident itself. So the more severely you are injured, the more you will likely be awarded for your noneconomic damages. Punitive damages In Houston lawsuits where the conduct of the defendant was either excessively malicious or egregious, plaintiffs are entitled to “punitive damages.” These are additional monetary awards meant to hurt someone who acted with intent. Punitive damages are typically given to set an example to the community or to send a message. Although the calculation of your award is slightly outside of your control, there are things that you can do to further your case. To ensure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries and damages, it is important for you to document things properly. Keep a record of all the treatments and procedures you have endured, along with photos and a journal detailing the hardships you have gone through due to your accident. The more descriptive you can be the more likely you will be awarded what you are entitled to. Also, you do have an obligation to seek medical care. Due to a plaintiff’s obligation to mitigate damages, make sure to make all of your doctor’s appointments, have treatments that will help, and seek care immediately to establish causation. There is no way to know for sure how much a Houston personal injury case is worth. But in general, the more severely you were injured, the higher you will likely be compensated for your injuries. It is imperative that you hire a personal injury attorney to guide you and make sure you are doing everything necessary to get the compensation you deserve.]]>

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Personal Injury

The Financial Side of Injury Damages

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Personal Injury

Do I must Pay a lawyer to Review My own Injury Situation?

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Personal Injury

Why an injury Law Organization Might Refuse Your Situation

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Personal Injury

3 Pointers with regard to Choosing an injury Lawyer