Also note that, unless you're seriously injured and must be transported to a hospital immediately, you must not leave the scene of the accident (often called a “hit-and-run") without handling the necessary steps related to your particular accident. Doing so can result in misdemeanor or felony charges, as well as hefty fines, all depending on your state laws.
Most cases settle before trial. At any point in the process described above, the parties can settle and end the case. In fact, the plaintiff can send the first settlement offer before the complaint is ever filed. What is more typical, particularly if the initial evidence establishing liability and/or damages is inconclusive, is that a settlement is reached after the discovery process has gone on for a while.
We’re proud to say that our personal injury lawyers in Los Angeles, are recognized as leaders in the state of California. Our firm has won millions, in compensation for our clients. We’ve been recognized by many lawyer ranking platforms, like Super Lawyers, Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and many others. Our founding partner, Joel Farar – was named a 2012-2016 Super Lawyers Rising Star – which is an honor given to only 2.5% of the top personal injury attorneys in California.
Most personal injury attorneys are paid on a “contingency” basis, which means there is no fee unless your case is successful (i.e., they don’t get paid unless you get paid). If you are awarded monetary compensation, the lawyer’s fee is based on a percentage of the total recovery, usually 25% to 40%, and is paid at the very end of the case. Once you agree to hire an attorney, you will be asked to sign a client contract that specifies the exact attorney fee. Make sure to ask any questions you have about the fee before you sign the contract.
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Defective products are products that cause injury due to an error in labeling, a defect in design, or an issue with the manufacturing process. This legal label covers any number of product-related injuries, including injuries from kitchen appliances, misleading health claims on food labels, and car defect injury claims (as in the case of Firestone tires). Those injured by usage of a consumer product should file a defective product injury lawsuit with local personal injury lawyers or check to see if a defective products class action lawsuit is already in place.
“Slip and fall” accidents usually involve a scenario where a person is injured by slipping or tripping and falling due to a dangerous hazard on an owner’s premises. Falls can of course occur inside and outside, and are most often caused by wet floors, but can also be caused by poor lighting near uneven stairs or steps, uneven or broken flooring, weather-related hazards such as snow or ice, especially black ice, or by other non-obvious hazards.
At Morgan & Morgan, we have handled many cases like this, investing time and energy on a contingency-fee basis in order to get your family justice. For one family, our attorneys were able to secure a $38 million verdict from a doctor and hospital responsible for birth injuries associated with a delayed C-section. One birth injury is too many, but when they do happen we’re available to help families hold medical professionals accountable for negligent practices.
Unless it is a rare case involving intentional conduct by the defendant, a slip and fall case will require the plaintiff to prove negligence. Negligence means that the defendant failed to act in a reasonable manner under the circumstances. For example, it is reasonable to expect a store clerk will place warning signs in recently mopped areas. If this is not done, and a customer slips on the wet floor and gets hurt, the store may be liable for negligence.
If insurance applies, and the defendant must notify the insurance company as soon as he or she knows about the lawsuit (which is a strict requirement in insurance policies). The insurance company will then supply and pay for its own lawyer if the defendant has not already hired one. Defense attorneys work for an hourly rate, not a contingency fee, so if the defendant can afford to pay out-of-pocket, a “losing” case headed for early settlement is not a deterrent to taking the case on.
Not only does a punitive damages award punish the defendant, but it also can serve as a deterrent that dissuades other parties and companies from engaging in similar activity. For the court to award such compensation to a plaintiff, the actions must have been either intentional or the result of wanton and willful misconduct. An example of such a defendant is an insurance company that acts in bad faith or a medical professional that commits malpractice. As noted above, not every state allows punitive damages awards and, in some that do, there are caps on how much a jury can award a plaintiff.
One of the most common defenses to a slip and fall accident is that the plaintiff was not exercising reasonable care. Under the doctrine of comparative negligence, a plaintiff's recovery is reduced by his or her percentage of fault for the accident. For example, in the example above involving a grocery store slip and fall, if there was a yellow cone that said "warning" next to the spill, but you were distracted while looking up at a sale sign and slipped anyway, you may be found partially or wholly responsible for your fall. In a state that adheres to the doctrine of contributory negligence, even if a jury finds you only 1% at fault for not noticing the spill, you cannot recover anything.
However, there are some situations where a lawsuit is necessary for recovering the compensation you need after an accident. This can include a car accident that was especially tragic and resulted in severe injury or death, or if an insurance company refuses to provide a reasonable amount of compensation that would cover the damages of a car accident.
It is natural for a person to try to catch themselves when falling, that type of quick response can stop the fall all together, or make the injuries worse. When using your feet, knees or hands to prevent the fall, you could tear a ligament or tendon. These injuries can be treated with surgery and physical therapy, these type of injuries cause those injured to suffer life-long consequences that more often than not never completely heal.
You become the plaintiff in the case and the person who injured you becomes the defendant. Lawyers for each side (and for the insurer) typically begin gathering facts through exchange of documents, written questions (interrogatories) or depositions (questions that are asked in person and answered under oath). This process is called discovery. After discovery, many cases get settled before trial. Only a small percentage of personal injury actions ever go to trial.
A slip and fall accident can happen anywhere–at work, at home, at a friend’s house, at the shopping mall, or even at your place of worship. Slipping and falling can lead to serious and sometimes permanent injuries, especially for children and the elderly. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that slip trip and fall accidents account for 15% of all accidental deaths in the United States, which puts them in second place behind car accidents. The good news is that, in many cases, the person or business who owns or manages the land that a person slips and falls on is legally responsible for preventing those kinds of accidents. If they fail to uphold this legal duty and someone gets hurt, they could expose themselves to liability.
By hiring our attorneys, you are retaining a team of legal professionals that will help provide relief from disputes with insurance companies and other legal hassles that prevent you from focusing on your recovery. We will personally handle any uncooperative insurance providers and will act as your representative if you choose to take legal action against the at-fault party.
Attorneys in this specialty usually represent clients on a contingency basis. Their fees represent a percentage of the plaintiff's eventual compensation when the case is resolved, typically from 30 to 40 percent. This arrangement means that the plaintiff doesn't pay a fee unless and until the lawyer recovers money on her behalf. These lawyers are typically only compensated if they win.
Usually party depositions and lay witness depositions can be completed within a few months of the first phase of written discovery being completed. Expert and medical depositions take a little longer due to scheduling issues and oftentimes many of the expert depositions are not needed until the case gets close to trial. Expert and medical depositions can get very expensive, therefore, we generally recommend holding off on these depositions in an effort to control case costs. This is a strategy that is discussed with the client and a final decision is then made.
If there is no settlement, the case will proceed to trial. In order to be successful, the plaintiff will need to establish liability by proving the following to the judge or jury: (1) the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care; (2) the defendant breached his or her duty of care; (3) the plaintiff suffered injuries; and (4) the breach of the defendant’s duty of care was the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.
If you've been injured in an accident that wasn't your fault, a personal injury attorney can help you receive a fair settlement from the insurance company. Although it's possible to receive some compensation without legal representation, if you don't have a personal injury attorney there's an increased chance that the insurance company will try to take advantage of you and give you less than you deserve."
Your vehicle might have had a faulty brake light, or the road conditions might have been unsafe. On your own, you will probably not be able to tell exactly which parties were responsible for the crash. An experienced auto accident attorney can help you with a thorough investigation into your accident and help you determine who is legally responsible for the crash.
Seek immediate medical attention following a car crash. Even if you feel as if you are not injured, there may be a hidden condition that could have serious repercussions if left untreated. By seeking medical attention immediately after an auto accident, you are obtaining documented evidence that the injury was a direct result of the collision. The longer you wait to see a physician, the more difficult it becomes to prove that the injury was caused by the accident.
Motor vehicle accidents including car accidents, motorcycle accidents and truck accidents are the most common type of personal injury claim. These claims are typically based on the theory of negligence. In most Illinois motor vehicle accidents, the injured party, the plaintiff, must establish the negligence the defendant in order to seek civil damages. Furthermore, the plaintiff must show that the defendant’s negligence was the proximate cause of both the accident and the plaintiff’s injuries. A chicago car accident attorney can help guide you through this process.
For many law firms, personal injury cases form a large portion of their revenue. Therefore, future job prospects continue to look promising for this specialized field. However, there are proposed changes in tort law which could limit compensation and decrease litigation. If this tort reform occurs, it would cause a decline in personal injury cases.