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Table of Contents
Introduction Discussions on the 20 Things You Need To Know Before Getting Personal Injury Attorneys 1. Who exactly are Personal Injury Attorneys? 2. What are the general responsibilities of Personal Injury Attorneys? 3. How can a person be known as Personal Injury Attorney? 4. What is the career structure of a Personal Injury Attorney? 5. How does Personal Injury Attorney s deal with business? 6. What is the mode of compensation of a Personal Injury Attorney? 7. What are the governing rules of a Personal Injury Attorney? 8. What is the main criticism received by a Personal Injury Attorney? 9. What is personal injury law and what are the corresponding personal injury compensations? pp. 6-7 p. 5
pp. 8-9 pp. 9-11 pp. 12-13 pp. 13-14 pp. 15-16 pp. 16-18 p. 19 pp. 20-22
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10. What is negligence? 11. How do we define a Personal Injury Service? 12. What are compensatory damages? 13. What is a Breach of tort duty - (ex delicto)? 14. How do we quantify a detailed personal injury claims? 15. How can we choose the Best Personal Injury Attorneys? 16. What are the costs for a Personal Injury Attorney? 17. What are their payment options? 18. What are the grounds to file for personal injuries claims? 19. Where to find a Personal Injury Attorney online? 20. Who are considered as the best lawyers of all times? Recommendation
p. 23 pp. 24-25 p. 25 p. 26 pp. 27-30 pp. 31-33 p. 34 pp. 34-37 pp. 38-58 p. 58 p. 59 p. 60
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INTRODUCTION Accidents and injuries are part of our lives. Besides affecting us physically, an accident can result in economic hardship, causes mental agony, and may even hamper our earning potential. In most cases of serious accidents, the injuries caused to victims are irreversible which demands considerable monetary reimbursement. However, to claim your compensation amount with, there are certain legal hurdles to cross. This is precisely why you must consider hiring a personal injury attorney or lawyer. Hiring a personal injury attorney is very vital in special cases that you are a victim. Thus, it is indeed as important as knowing the person himself. This book will inform and educate you all the whereabouts on the need of having a personal injury attorney.
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20 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE GETTING PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEYS
1. Who exactly are Personal Injury Attorneys? As defined in Wikipedia, a personal injury lawyer or attorney is a lawyer who provides legal representation to those who claim to have been injured, physically or psychologically, as a result of the negligence or wrongdoing of another person, company, government agency, or other entity. Thus, personal injury lawyers tend to be especially knowledgeable and have more experience with regard to the area of law known as tort law, which includes civil wrongs and economic or non-economic damages to a person s property, reputation, or rights.
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Even though personal injury lawyers are trained and licensed to practice virtually any field of law, they generally only handle cases that fall under tort law including, but not limited to: work injuries, automobile and other accidents, defective products, medical mistakes, slip and fall accidents, and more. The expression "trial lawyers" can refer to personal injury lawyers, even though most cases handled by personal injury lawyers settle rather than going to trial and other types of lawyers, such as defendants' lawyers and criminal prosecutors, also appear in trials.
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2. What are the general responsibilities of Personal Injury Attorneys?
A personal injury lawyer has numerous responsibilities in serving his or her clients. These responsibilities encompass both professional and ethical rules and codes of conduct set forth by state bar associations where the lawyers are licensed. Once licensed to practice law by their state bar association, lawyers are legally permitted to file legal complaints, argue cases in state court, draft legal documents, and offer legal advice to victims of personal injury. Also referred to as a plaintiff lawyer, a personal injury lawyer is responsible for interviewing prospective clients and evaluating their cases to determine the legal matter, identify the distinct issues rooted within the plaintiff s larger problem, and extensively research every issue to build a strong case. The ultimate professional responsibility of a personal injury lawyer is to help plaintiffs obtain the justice and compensation they deserve for their losses and suffering through advocacy, oral arguments, client counseling, and legal advice.
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Personal injury lawyers must also adhere to strict standards of legal ethics when dealing with clients. While the guidelines vary according to state, the basic codes of conduct state that a lawyer must knowledgeably evaluate legal matters and exercise competence in any legal matter undertaken. Moreover, personal injury lawyers owe their clients a duty of loyalty and confidentiality and must work to protect their clients best interests.
3. How can a person be known as Personal Injury Attorney? Through its certification and education In order to practice law in the United States, a personal injury lawyer must pass a written bar examination and, in some cases, a written ethics examination. Bar examinations vary on a state-to-state basis.
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However, most states require applicants to have completed a four-year college degree and a law degree from an accredited law school (California is one notable exception, but the non-accredited law school must meet certain requirements.) In most states, a personal injury lawyer is required to take the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE), the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE), and the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) and a state bar exam. Some states require another exam, the Multistate Performance Test (MPT), as well. Once admitted to the state bar, personal injury lawyers must remain up-to-date on the latest legal and non-legal developments in their field of practice by completing a required number of continuing legal education (CLE) courses designed to help personal injury lawyers stay abreast of developments in their field. The number of CLE hours required varies by state.
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Lawyers can concentrate their practices to certain areas of law, which is typically true of personal injury lawyers. By limiting the range of cases they handle, personal injury lawyers are able to acquire specialized knowledge and experience. However, to be certified as a specialist in personal injury, a lawyer must complete a specialty certification program accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). Certification programs have set standards of competence, knowledge and experience that lawyers must meet in order to be recognized in their area of practice as a specialist. Lawyers who have completed a specialty certification program in personal injury law at an accredited certifying organization are recognized as personal injury specialists. Some states, such as New Jersey, offer a certification as a "Certified Trial Attorney", which can be for both plaintiff and defense attorneys.
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4. What is the career structure of a Personal Injury Attorney? The career structure of most lawyers varies widely. Once licensed, a lawyer may take on any kind of case whether or not they have much experience in it. However, legal ethics require an inexperienced lawyer to enlist appropriate help or take the time to learn the issues to competently represent the client. Most lawyers prefer to stick to one area of the law to gain the knowledge and experience necessary to provide the highest quality legal representation to their clients. Personal injury lawyers choose to delve into a more specialized area involving only personal injury litigation. Personal injury litigation involves a large number of claims including accidents, medical malpractice, product liability, workplace injury, wrongful death, and more.
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Some personal injury lawyers choose to devote the majority of their time and energy to one area of litigation within personal injury law, thus becoming more experienced at handling very specific types of cases (e.g. medical mistakes, aviation accidents, work accidents).
5. How does Personal Injury Attorney s deal with business? As with other types of lawyers, personal injury lawyers may choose to start a solo practice or join a small, mid-size, or large law firm as an associate. Personal injury lawyers may also be partners (owners) of a law firm or strive to be a partner. Sole practitioners of personal injury law offer a number of benefits to potential clients, which include more personal attention and a oneon-one working relationship between the lawyer and the client.
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Sole practitioners are also more willing to take on smaller cases and often have lower fees and costs. A small law firm generally consists of two to ten lawyers who can provide more expertise in a given area of personal injury law and can handle a wider range of legal issues. Mid-size law firms with ten to 50 lawyers offer legal representation in almost every major area of litigation and may house several highly experienced and knowledgeable personal injury lawyers. Large law firms with more than 50 lawyers are often the most reputable, having built up the firm for a number of years and consisting of lawyers with high levels of expertise.
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6. What is the mode of compensation of a Personal Injury Attorney? Typically lawyers fees are based on a number of factors, which may include the time and energy spent on a case, the outcome of a case, the difficulty of a claim, the experience and prominence of the lawyer, and the costs associated with the case. There are several standard payment options a personal injury lawyer may offer his/her clients. These options include contingency fees, hourly rates, flat fees, and retainers. A contingency fee is a prior arrangement between lawyer and client in which the lawyer receives a set percentage of the amount of recovery awarded to the plaintiff in a case. In most cases, monetary recovery is obtained through settlement, mediation, arbitration or trial. Generally, when a lawyer takes a case on a contingency fee, a client has no obligation to pay his/her lawyer a fee unless the case is successfully resolved. Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis.
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An hourly rate is also a common payment option that involves an agreed amount of compensation for each hour the lawyer spends on the case until its resolution. In some cases, personal injury lawyers charge a flat fee, which is a set amount, or a retainer, which is an arrangement where a certain amount of money is paid before legal representation begins. These fee arrangements may also be combined.
7. What are the governing rules of a Personal Injury Attorney? Personal injury lawyers are regulated by codes of conduct established by state bar associations, which have the power to take disciplinary action against lawyers who violate professional or ethical regulations.
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The American Bar Association (ABA) Joint Committee on Lawyer Regulation offers assistance to state bars, helping them to draft, implement, and/or promote regulatory policies regarding personal injury lawyers. Personal injury lawyers may belong to any number of professional associations, some of which are mandatory and others voluntary. For instance, personal injury lawyers are licensed by their state bar associations, of which they must be members. Among the more common professional associations that personal injury lawyers may voluntarily join are the following:
American Bar Association a professional association dedicated to improving the legal system and providing accreditation for law schools and continuing legal education programs Association of Personal Injury Lawyers an association founded in 1990 by personal injury lawyers on behalf of accident victims
20 Things You Need To Know Before Getting Personal Injury Attorneys
Association of Trial Lawyers of America also known as ATLA, an association of trial lawyers that was founded in 1946 by a group of plaintiff s attorneys committed to safeguarding victims rights. In 2007, ATLA changed its name to the American Association for Justice, also known as the AAJ.
The Mission of the American Association for Justice is to promote a fair and effective justice system and to support the work of attorneys in their efforts to ensure that any person who is injured by the misconduct or negligence of others can obtain justice in America's courtrooms, even when taking on the most powerful interests.
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8. What is the main criticism received by a Personal Injury Attorney? The aggressive representation of injured parties by personal injury lawyers has spawned movements to establish tort reform in the United States in recent years. Tort reform proponents argue that such reforms are necessary because personal injury litigation has led to a substantial increase in health care costs; they further claim that many doctors have had to leave practice or relocate because of cost-prohibitive medical malpractice insurance rates. A recent publication by the Harvard School of Public Health found that in only 60% of medical malpractice litigation cases was there evidence of medical error.
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9. What is personal injury law and what are the corresponding personal injury compensations? Personal Injury Law refers to compensation for physical and emotional injuries suffered by a person as a result of the conduct of some other person. The central issues in a personal injury case revolve around the ability of a personal injury lawyer in proving liability, causation, and damages. Before you can collect an award, your attorney ought to prove that the defendant is legally accountable for your injuries. A personal injury claim can result from any type of body injury, sickness, disease, or death sustained by any individual and originating by an occurrence for which the state may be held responsible. The first step in a possible personal injury claim is to evaluate whether the person who you are claiming is at fault is actually legally responsible for your injuries.
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Prior to filing the personal injury attorney should analyze whether or not the damages you are claiming truly show the extent of your injuries or losses. Personal injury law involves an odd word to most laypersons. The word is "torts". Torts are acts, or failures to act, that hinder somebody's freedom to enjoy their personal and property rights. Torts can be based on: (a) Intentional Misconduct; (b) Strict Liability without regard to actual misconduct; or (c) Negligent Misconduct. Intentional misconduct might involve assault, battery, illegally invading an individual's privacy, or deliberately inflicting emotional distress on another person. Personal injury also means any injury resulting from Libel, Slander, Malicious Prosecution, false arrest. There typically is no insurance coverage for intentional acts, and they are not a big part of any personal injury practice. "Strict Liability" is usually limited to product failures.
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Negligent misconduct is usually what is involved in most personal injury claims, and a personal injury lawyer is hired in the following most prominent cases: accidents, including auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, slip or trip and falls, work place accidents and many other such accidents. Whatever form of tort case you have though, you cannot delay your claim if you want to be rightfully compensated for your injuries. If you are looking at putting a lawsuit based on a tort, you must act without delay and hire a skilled Personal Injury Attorney. The statute of limitations for bringing cases based on torts is often rather short. In some states, it's only one year.
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10. What is negligence? Negligence is the failure to use rational care. That is, negligence is measured against what a sane person would have done under the same or similar circumstances. This can include an unlawful activity as well as not doing something, such as not mopping up a spill on the floor. If you are injured or damaged as a result of someone else acting in a negligent manner, you may have a cause of action, or a lawsuit, against the person who behaved unreasonably. You can ascertain your eligibility of claim by seeking advice of a professional personal injury attorney. Statutes of limitation forbid lawsuits from being filed after a certain period of time from the date of the alleged negligence. Laws concerning personal injury cases vary from state to state. It is important, then, to consult with a Personal Injury Attorney, and understand your rights if you feel you have been injured by the negligence of another. For more information about negligence, consult a qualified personal injury attorney.
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11. How do we define a Personal Injury Service? Personal Injury Service may refer to the act of receiving or claiming compensation for work related injuries. There are many Law firms who specialize in assisting people who have been injured while at work. When an accident occurs in the workplace it may be caused by negligence on the part of the employer. Lawyers can help by representing their client's needs in a court of law and hopefully receive some compensation for any inconvenience caused by an employer s negligence. No win no fee is the term used to describe the Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) between a law firm and their client. In a Personal Injury claim, this is an agreement between the client and their lawyer, which will enable the lawyer to take on a personal injury case on the understanding that if they lose the case, the client will not have to pay their lawyer s costs.
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It also may be used in conjunction with:
Health Insurance - A form of group insurance, where individuals pay premiums or taxes in order to help protect themselves from high or unexpected healthcare expenses. Workers' compensation - To protect employees who have incurred work-related injuries. Damages - legal term referring to the financial compensation recoverable by reason of another's breach of duty; the money paid or awarded to a plaintiff.
12. What are compensatory damages? Compensatory damages, called actual damages, are paid to compensate the claimant for loss, injury, or harm suffered as a result of (see requirement of causation) another's breach of duty.
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13. What is a Breach of tort duty - (ex delicto)?
Damages in tort are generally awarded to place the claimant in the position that would have been taken had the tort not taken place. Damages in tort are quantified under two headings: general damages and special damages. In personal injury claims, damages for compensation are quantified by reference to the severity of the injuries sustained (see below general damages for more details). In non-personal injury claims, for instance, a claim for professional negligence against solicitors, the measure of damages will be assessed by the loss suffered by the client due to the negligent act or omission by the solicitor giving rise to the loss. The loss must be reasonably foreseeable and not too remote. Financial losses are usually simple to quantify but in complex cases which involve loss of pension entitlements and future loss projections, the instructing solicitor will usually employ a specialist expert actuary or accountant to assist with the quantification of the loss.
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14. How do we quantify a detailed personal injury claims? The quantification of personal injury is not an exact science. In English law solicitors like to call personal injury claims as general damages for pain and suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA). Solicitors quantify personal injury claims by reference to previous awards made by the courts which are similar to the case in hand. The guidance solicitors will take into account to help quantify general damages are as hereunder: 1. The age of the client The age of the client is important especially when dealing with fatal accident claims or permanent injuries. The younger the injured victim with a permanent injury the longer that person has to live with the PSLA. As a consequence for this is the greater the compensation payment. In fatal accident claims, generally the younger deceased, the greater the dependency claims by the partner and children.
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2. The nature and extent of the injuries sustained. Solicitors will consider like for like injuries with the case in hand and similar cases decided by the courts previously. These cases are known as precedents. Generally speaking decisions from the higher courts will bind the lower courts. Therefore, judgments from the House of Lords and the Court of Appeal have greater authority than the lower courts such as the High Court and the County Court. A compensation award can only be right or wrong with reference to previous judgments. Sometimes it is a matter of opinion of how much an injury claim is worth and the skill of the solicitor is persuading the opponent and ultimately the judge that their assessment is right. Solicitors must be careful when looking at older cases when quantifying a claim to ensure that the award is brought up to date and to take into account the court of appeal case in Heil v Rankin. Generally speaking the greater the injury the greater the damages awarded.
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A quick guide to assess personal injury claims is by reference to the Judicial Studies Board Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases. Some case examples can also be considered. 3. Gender of the client Generally speaking damages for personal injury for males and females are the same. However where there can be a difference weighted in favor of females is where the injury results in permanent scarring to the skin. Where the scarring is clearly visible such as the face, legs, and arms, females will usually obtain a greater amount of compensation than males. The compensation reflects the general assumption that females will be affected more than males by scarring and thus will be awarded more. However each case will be decided on its own particular facts. For instance a male model who sustains a scarring tissue to his face may obtain just as much as a female.
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4. Personal attributes and fortitude of the client This heading is inextricably linked with the other points above. Where two clients are of the same age, experience and suffer the same injury, it does not necessarily mean that they will be affected the same. We are all different. Some people will recover more quickly than others. The courts will assess each claim on its own particular facts and therefore if one claimant recovers more quickly than another, the damages will be reflected accordingly. It is important to note here that psychological injuries may also follow from an accident which may increase the quantum of damages. When a personal injury claim is settled either in court or out of court, the most common way the compensation payment is made is by a lump sum award in full and final settlement of the claim. Once accepted there can be no further award for compensation at a later time unless the claim is settled by provisional damages often found in industrial injury claims such as asbestos related injuries.
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15. How can we choose the Best Personal Injury Attorneys? Tips on how to hire the best possible Personal Injury Lawyer If you or your loved ones have sustained injuries due to the negligence or intentions of others, your utmost priority, along with getting medical treatment done is to file a personal injury lawsuit against the wrongdoer. In most of the cases, the defendant proposes to indemnify your losses. Even the insurance companies, try to make cheap and unfair settlements, because they take the layman to be unknowledgeable about legal matters. In most of the cases, where personal injury lawyers have not been hired by the victim, they have had to settle for unprofitable settlements. So it is most favorable to hire a personal injury lawyer in order to get a deserving settlement. One has to be resourceful in finding a good personal injury attorney. Almost everyone you know, knows a personal injury lawyer.
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Before finalizing on one, meetings should be done with few experienced personal injury lawyers and the best one should be hired. For special type of personal injuries for example:- traumatic brain injury, mesthelioma, dog bites, etc. specialist personal injury lawyers should be hired. These specialist personal injury lawyers are more accomplished in their respective fields and have the apt sense to direct your specific personal injury litigation. Before hiring a personal injury lawyer, his previous records should be checked. His credibility can be reviewed through the number of cases he has done and his success ratio. Even details such as time taken to solve the previous cases should be looked into, so that a rough idea of the duration of one's own case can be calculated. It is very important to keep the time factor in mind because , to get compensation on the right time , almost solves more than half the problem of the plaintiff , as the medical treatment and economic loss can be taken care of. One should not be hesitant in asking the success chances of one's lawsuit.
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Another very important issue which should be clarified before finalizing a personal injury lawyer is asking him about his fee structure. Mostly, all personal injury lawyers charge on a contingent fee basis. If the case is lost, they do not charge any fee. This in a way falls economical for the plaintiff. Still, it is better to ask the lawyer, the percentage he would take, if they win. A written retainer agreement should be taken from the personal injury lawyer, so that no clash arises between him and his party. Usually, at the start, they take money to cover their costs which include fee to file the case in the court, legal assistant fee and travel expenses.
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16. What are the costs for a Personal Injury Attorney? Personal injury victims with a strong case should not have to pay any out of pocket expenses. Any attorney worth his salt will take on a personal injury case on a contingency basis. This means that the attorney will cover all expenses during the trial, and take his fee as a percentage of the recovery. Typically, this ranges from 1/3 to 1/2 of the total damages. 17. What are their payment options? Every personal injury lawyer has a price. An experienced personal injury lawyer has more ability to build your case, negotiate it with an insurance company and if necessary, to take it to trial. He knows that he is often able to recover more damage claims for his clients than a personal injury attorney with lesser skills and therefore demands a higher fee.
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A personal injury lawyer who specializes in specific personal injury cases such as medical malpractices, defamation, assault and battery, wrongful deaths, and automobile accidents is more adept in his field. So the fee charged by a personal injury lawyer depends on various factors .The primary ones being:Experience of a personal injury lawyer Time spent on the case Energy spent on the case The costs associated with the case Difficulty with the claim The state in which the lawyer is practicing Standard payment options offered by personal injury lawyers to their clients are:
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It is the calculated percentage of the recovered claim won by the client which is taken by the personal injury lawyer. It is a conditional fee. If the personal injury lawyer looses he does not get payment for his services. It is a "no win, no fee" criteria. It is "key" to the jury system for most Americans. Mostly personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis and it varies from lawyer to lawyer and state to state .In most states, the personal injury attorney fee is one third or 40% of the personal injury recovered claim. Personal injury attorney fee for worker's compensation is usually lower than the regular personal injury matters. Solo practitioners are also more willing to take a lesser percentage from their client. Courts have set limit on the contingency fee of personal injury lawyers. In most cases it should not exceed one third of the settlement. Florida had passed a law limiting contingent fees of personal injury lawyers in medical malpractices.
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Hourly rates This is also a common payment option of personal injury lawyers. They charge according to the number of hours they work on their client's case. Hourly rates may vary from $50 an hour to $ 1000 an hour. These rates depend on personal injury attorney's experience, operating costs and the location of his practice. In major metropolitan cities, like Los Angeles, New York and Chicago average hourly rates of personal injury lawyers is $ 200 to $ 400, whereas, in smaller towns the average hourly rates is between $100 to $200. Retainer fee A retainer fee agreement is also referred to as short fee agreement. It is an advance payment made to the personal injury lawyer. Pro Bono It is a Latin word which stands for "public good". Personal injury lawyers are recommended under American Bar Association (ABA) to do fifty hours of pro bono work.
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18. What the grounds to file for personal injuries claims?
Auto Accident Cases Auto accident cases are regarded by many attorneys as simple litigation. In many instances, that stereotype is true, and attorneys may quickly collect a recovery. However, in cases involving serious injuries or fatalities, insurance coverage may reach its limits, and cases quickly become complicated. Under these circumstances, many attorneys simply recommend that their clients accept a settlement, although this does not usually maximize the recovery.
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What to do if in an Auto Accident 1. Stay at the scene. 2. Call the police, or request that a witness call. It is important not to handle the accident yourself. 3. Render first aid to others involved if you are qualified. Do not move any injured unless their life is in immediate danger. 4. If possible, keep vehicles in their original positions. If necessary, move as little as possible. 5. Stay in your car is injured. 6. Do not admit responsibility. 7. If injured at all, seek medical attention at the scene. 8. Gather information at the scene. Important info includes name, address and phone number of all those involved. In addition, license number and insurance information of all drivers involved is important. Last, take notes about the scene, weather, traffic, and skid marks.
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The accident will be investigated by either the responding police officer or a crash unit. These officers will interview all parties and take statements on the accident. In addition, the office should provide all parties with contact information. Once the investigation is complete, the officer will issue a formal report, and criminal charges may be made. What to do after an Auto Accident 1. Immediately call your auto insurance company to inform them 2. Make a follow up appointment with your physician. Although there may not be any apparent injuries, it is important that the cause of any unseen injuries be determined. 3. Contact your attorney to understand legal rights and responsibilities. 4. Report the accident to the Department of Public Safety.
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Defective Product Cases 'Defective Products' are those which cause injury to a person due to some defect in the products' design, labeling, or use. In these cases, the manufacturers of the products are often liable for injuries caused and damages may be sought. All 50 states have laws in place that allow persons injured by these defective products to seek damages. These cases include obvious defects, such as an automobile lacking brakes, as well as less obvious, such as side effects of prescription drugs. Product Liability Basis Although product liability laws vary between states, all share three basic legal theories that form the basis for a defective product case:
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Manufacturing defects. This refers to cases in which injuries were caused by defects in the manufacturing of a product. Examples can include auto manufacturing errors, such as an improperly connected brake line. Design defects. In cases of design defects, injuries are caused due to poor design, although there may not be any actual defect in the product. A recent example of massive design defects was the use of Firestone tires in the design of the Ford Explorer. These tires constituted a critical flaw that caused the vehicles to roll. Inadequate warning. These cases involve injury caused due to a potentially dangerous product being mislabeled or sold without a proper warning. Recently McDonalds was judged to have sold hot coffee without proper warning, which resulted in injury. Another example would be drugs sold to consumers without dosage warnings.
20 Things You Need To Know Before Getting Personal Injury Attorneys
If you or one of your family members has been injured as a result of a product defect or one of the cases above, you should contact an attorney experienced with product liability cases to maximize your chance of recovery. Negligence A products liability claim can be brought against the manufacturer of the product as well as the supplier, distributor or retailer of the product. Manufacturers and sellers of dangerous goods can be sued for negligence under various circumstances, including:
· · · · ·
failure to inspect or test the product before placing it on the market creating a flaw in the product failing to discover a flaw in a product failure to discover that the product could be dangerous failure to warn or adequately warn of a risk or hazard associated with the product
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Agencies & Product Recalls
· · · · · ·
Food & Drug Administration (FDA) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Department of Agriculture Coast Guard Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Medical Malpractice Cases Medical malpractice occurs as a result of a doctor improperly treating a medical condition, and the improper treatment or negligence is the cause of a new or worse injury to the patient. Medical malpractice does not include cases referencing the original medical problem, which cannot possible be the physicians responsibility. These negligent cases can include, but are not always limited to the following circumstances:
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· · · ·
Failure to diagnose a disease or delay in doing so An surgical or anesthesia related error Doctor's failure to gain consent for performing a given procedure Failure to properly treat a disease even if the correct diagnosis has been made Errors in use of prescription drugs and/or other medical devices
In the case of medical malpractice, it is the lawyer's responsibility to quickly determine if the case is legally actionable. These cases can be extremely expensive for both parties, hold a high risk of absolutely no payout, and also involve strong emotions of the client. The initial step in this analytical process involves an agreement between the potential client and attorney to determine compensation. Under normal circumstances, the attorney will agree to advance all case costs in exchange for a percentage of any recovery. This is known as a contingent fee, and guarantees that the client endures no additional financial loss.
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In addition to the attorney-client agreement, the attorney will also collect the medical history of the client, including any doctors and/or hospitals that have provided medical care. In many cases of medical malpractice, this history can provide important evidence to prove negligence. Workers Compensation Cases Workers compensation laws eliminate the need for litigation, allowing workers that are injured on the job to collect fixed monetary awards. In addition, workers compensation laws allow families of workers injured or killed in work related accidents to collect benefits. These laws may also protect employers by setting limits on the amounts of lawsuits, as well as limiting the personal liability of co-workers. Most workers compensation cases are governed by state statutes, with federal workers under the jurisdiction of federal statutes.
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Workers Compensation Statutes The Federal Employment Compensation Act provides workers compensation for non-military, federal employees. Many of its provisions are typical of most worker compensation laws. Awards are limited to "disability or death" sustained while in the performance of the employee's duties but not caused willfully by the employee or by intoxication. The act covers medical expenses due to the disability and may require the employee to undergo job retraining. A disabled employee receives two thirds of his or her normal monthly salary during the disability and may receive more for permanent physical injuries, or if he or she has dependents. The act provides compensation for survivors of employees who are killed. The act is administered by the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs.
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The Federal Employment Liability Act (FELA), while not a workers' compensation statute, provides that railroads engaged in interstate commerce are liable for injuries to their employees if they have been negligent. The Merchant Marine Act (the Jones Act) provides seamen with the same protection from employer negligence as FELA provides railroad workers. Congress enacted the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA) to provide workers' compensation to specified employees of private maritime employers. The Office of Workers' Compensation Programs administers the act. The Black Lung Benefits Act provides compensation for miners suffering from "black lung" (pneumoconiosis).
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The Act requires liable mine operators to pay disability payments and establishes a fund administered by the Secretary of Labor providing disability payments to miners where the mine operator is unknown or unable to pay. The Office of Workers' Compensation Programs regulates the administration of the act. California 's Workers' Compensation Act provides an example of a comprehensive state compensation program. It is applicable to most employers. The statute limits the liability of the employer and fellow employees. California also requires employers to obtain insurance to cover potential workers' compensation claims, and sets up a fund for claims that employers have illegally failed to insure against.
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Violence Cases Violence is another major cause of physical injuries, particularly to women and children. More than two million women suffer physical injuries from domestic abuse every year in the United States, a number greater than all those injured in car accidents each year. More than one in five cases of child abuse involve significant physical injuries. Unexplained or suspicious bruises, burns, lacerations, broken bones, head injuries, or internal injuries may be physical injuries caused by domestic violence. Self-inflicted physical injuries and other types of violence also comprise a significant number of physical injury cases each year.
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Animal Attacks If an animal attacks someone, the owner of that animal may be liable for the resulting injuries. This falls under personal injury law. The majority of animal attack claims involve dog bites, but claims may be made for any attack by any animal whether wild or domesticated. Depending on which state you live in, there may be specific statutes that govern animal attacks. A personal injury attorney familiar with animal attack cases can help you determine if you have a case and how to best proceed. Proving an Animal Attack Case Animal attack cases can be more complicated than they first appear. These cases can either be governed by the theory of negligence or the theory of strict liability depending on the state. If the case is governed by the theory of negligence, the plaintiff must show that the owner of the animal acted carelessly or recklessly in allowing the attack.
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For example, if a dog was not properly secured behind a fence, escaped and bit someone, the owner would be clearly negligent. If the case is governed by strict liability, the plaintiff does not have to prove negligence. One Bite Laws In some cases, the knowledge of the owner is also considered. If the animal has never attacked anyone before, the own many be shielded from liability on the first offense. This is known as the one bite rule. About half the states in the U.S. have this rule. Once an animal has attacked a human, however, the owner is no longer shielded from liability.
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Animal Attack Exceptions There are two circumstances in which an owner may not be liable for an animal attack. These include:
Provocation - If the attack can be shown to have been caused by intentional provocation by the plaintiff, the victim s claim may be limited or barred. Trespassing - If an attack occurs on the animal owner s property, the owner is only liable for injuries to those who are legally permitted onto the property. This is treated as a premises liability case.
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Intentional Torts Intentional torts are not a widely understood area of the law for laymen because most of tort law centers on issues of negligence and strict liability. In an intentional tort, the defendant is accused of purposeful wrongdoing that causes an injury to the plaintiff. Intentional torts are civil cases, but they are often preceded by criminal cases for the same offense. An intentional tort, however, does not have to have a criminal component. Types of Intentional Torts
The most common types of intentional torts include:
· · · · ·
Defamation (slander and libel) Assault and battery Sexual abuse False imprisonment Infliction of emotional distress
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In order to prove an intentional tort, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant either purposefully caused harm to the plaintiff or acted with reasonable knowledge that harm was likely to occur. Damages for Intentional Torts In most personal injury cases that center around negligence or strict liability, recovery is usually limited to compensation for such damages as medical bills, lost wages and pain & suffering. With intentional torts, however, more substantial compensation is often available in the form of punitive damages. Punitive damages are meant to punish defendants for their intentional bad acts. They are also intended to serve as a deterrent to other would-be wrongdoers.
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Nursing Home Abuse Nursing homes are meant to offer older people a safe living environment where their long-term care needs can be met. Unfortunately, however, some nursing home residents discover their living environment is actually unsafe for them. Elderly patients may be physically, sexually or emotionally abused at the hands of their caregivers. This abuse may be intentional or the result of negligence. Victims of nursing home abuse and their families can seek damages from the responsible parties through a personal injury civil action. Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Nursing home residents are particularly vulnerable to abuse because they are often unable to take care of or defend themselves and may be unwilling or unable to report such abuse because of fear of embarrassment or limiting medical conditions.
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Family members should look for the signs of abuse or neglect while visiting. These signs can include:
· · ·
Bedsores and/or frozen joints--signs of inattention Bruises, cuts, broken bones, burns and other physical injuries--signs of physical abuse Injuries to or infections of the genitals--signs of sexual abuse Unexplained behavior changes Suspicious behavior from the nursing home staff such as prohibiting or restricting visitation Unexplained medical sedation Unexplained financial transactions
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Proving Nursing Home Abuse Cases When perusing a nursing home abuse case, it s important to choose a skilled attorney who is well versed in this area of personal injury law. Your attorney should be knowledgeable about state statutes for standards of care in private nursing homes as well as licensing requirements and other relevant regulations. 19. Where to find Personal Injury Attorneys online? There are lots of sites in the internet to schedule for a call on Personal Injury Attorneys online. One of the best is at newlawyer.com where lawyers are listed based on locations. Also, you can find a personal
injury lawyer through one of the two largest online listings of attorneys: Martindale.com and Lawyers.com.
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20. Who are considered as the best lawyers of all times?
Abraham Lincoln, who as most people recognize as our 16th President, was also an accomplished lawyer. During his time as President, he was responsible for abolishing slavery and uniting the North and the South after the Civil War. Lloyd Cutler
Lloyd Cutler, an American lawyer who passed way in 2005 served as White House Counsel during the Carter and Clinton administrations. Culter was a graduate of Yale Law.
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In closure, it is indeed true that Ignorance to the Law, Excuses No One .
So in any case, whether we are the grieved, or, the responding party; we should at least be responsible enough on our obligations. For the responding party, do the right thing. For the grieved ones, fight for your right. Having known the need of getting Personal Injury Attorneys is extremely important. To remember the above 20 Things helps a lot! We should put it on mind to act immediately when circumstances happens.
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