PERSONAL INJURY MATTERS
Your search indicates that you may have an interest in, or a need for a lawyer practicing in one of the
following, relating to accidents and personal injury.
ALL PLAINTIFF'S PERSONAL INJURY MATTERS
• Automobile accidents
• Truck and bus accidents
• Motorcycle and bicycle accidents
• Wrongful death
• Train and subway accidents
• Pedestrian accidents
• Slip and fall accidents
• Building, construction site and on the job accidents
• Dog and animal bite cases
• Elevator and escalator accidents
• Birth defects
• Burns and explosions
• Medical malpractice and hospital liability
• Defective products and machinery
• Products liability
• Toxic and harmful products and substances
All other personal injury, accident, negligence and tort litigation and appeals in all state and federal courts.
In today's legal environment, matching your needs with the correct firm is crucial to the successful outcome
of your legal matters. Like so many other areas, in law, the pace of change can be "breakneck," the details
As an informed consumer of legal services, you need to be sure that the firm you select is in fact qualified to
handle the matter at hand. Today, that's more important than ever. We have dedicated our practice to the
representation of hurt and injured persons as against negligent parties and their insurance carriers.
To that end, what follows is a brief description of the type of matters we successfully handle. We have made
a solid commitment to these areas of the law so that we can assure you the best possible legal
• Personal Injury - Our firm represents individuals involved in controversies alleging an injury, wrong,
harm or damage to another person, rights, reputation, or property resulting from events or activities
such as automobile accidents, truck and bus accidents, motorcycle and bicycle accidents, train and
subway accidents, pedestrian accidents, slip and fall accidents, building and construction site and on
the job accidents, dog and animal bite cases, elevator and escalator accidents, birth defects, bums
and explosions. medical malpractice and hospital liability, defective products and machinery, products
liability, toxic and harmful products and substances, wrongful death, health and healthcare, and all
other personal injury, accident, negligence and tort litigation and appeals, and infliction of emotional
distress and intentional misconduct.
• Litigation and Appeals - Our firm represents and advises clients who are, or might become involved
in, a lawsuit or appeal as a result of a dispute, including prevention and settlement, in the personal
injury and accident area of law.
• Products Liability and Toxic Torts - Our firm has experience representing individuals who have
been injured as a result of an unsafe product that was designed. manufactured, sold, and/or furnished
by a person or company. We assist those injured individuals in bringing their claims and being fairly
compensated for their injuries. Our attorneys have represented individuals injured by apparel,
alcoholic beverages, firearms, food and agricultural products, machinery, explosions and fires,
dangerous substances, forms of energy, and devices. chemicals and cosmetics, hazardous waste,
medical products and devices, pesticides, pharmaceutical products, tools and medical products.
When You Need a Lawyer to Handle Your Personal Injury Claim
A few types of injuries and accidents almost always require that you consult a lawyer.
Sometimes, the skills of an experienced personal injury lawyer or at least the threat to an insurance company that such
present are worth the money you must pay that lawyer to represent you. You may need a lawyer because of complex 15
involved in your claim, or because the seventy of your injuries might cause your compensation to vary greatly from the no
because an insurance company refuses to settle a matter in good faith. The following types of injuries and accidents alrnc
require a lawyer's help.
Long-Term or Permanently Disabling Injuries
Some accidents result in injuries that significantly affect your physical capabilities or appearance for a long time - over a
permanently. Figuring out how much such a serious injury is worth can be a difficult business. You'll probably require sorn
from an experienced lawyer to get the most out of your claim.
The amount of your accident compensation is mostly determined by how severe your injuries were. And the severity of you
measured by the amount of your medical bills, the type of your injury and the length of time it takes for you to recover. As
your potential compensation increases, it may be worth the expense to have a lawyer handle your claim and make sure y
compensation at the highest end of the range.
If you have suffered an injury or illness due to careless, unprofessional or incompetent treatment at the hands of a doctor,
clinic, laboratory or other medical provider, both the medical questions and the legal rules involved are complex. They almost
require that you hire a lawyer experienced in medical malpractice cases.
In the increasingly chemical world, we sometimes become ill because of exposure to contaminants in the air, soil or water
in food. Claims based on such exposure are difficult to prove, however, and often require complex scientific data. And be
chemical and other industries have erected a huge wall to protect themselves from legal exposure while they continue to
potentially harmful chemicals, the required evidence is very hard to come by. Get expert help.
When an insurance Company Refuses to Pay
In some instances, regardless of the nature of your injury or the amount of your medical bills and lost income, you will want a
lawyer because an insurance company or government agency simply refuses to make any fair settlement offer at all. In that something - what the lawyer can get minus the fee charged to get it - is better than nothing.
Personal Injury, General - An Overview
If you have suffered a personal injury, you may be entitled to compensation for your injury. Legal responsibility, called "liability," revolves around the simple fact that most injuries happen because someone was careless or "negligent." Even if you believe you may have partly caused your own injury, in most states you can still get some compensation from anyone else who was also careless and partly responsible for your injury.
There are several factors that affect the potential success and value of a personal injury claim. Such factors include the ability to prove the fault of another for your injury and the nature and extent of your injuries. If you suspect you may have a legal claim, you should contact an attorney for an evaluation of your case. Personal injury attorneys are experienced with cases like yours, and can tell you at the outset whether it is worthwhile to pursue legal action. If you are unlikely to prevail, your attorney will tell you so, and you will not need to incur the time and expense of pursuing an unpromising claim.
In pursuing personal injury claims, attorneys work with investigators and experts in specialized areas, who can skillfully investigate the technical and medical aspects of your case. More importantly, an attorney can work through the maze of paperwork necessary to resolve your claim so that you can get on with your life.
Steps You Can Take Now
There are several steps you can take to increase your chances of recovery, and increase your potential overall recovery, in a personal injury case, even before you meet with an attorney. Such steps include:
writing down as much as you can about the accident or injury itself, your injuries and any other losses (such as wages) you've suffered as a result of the accident
making notes of conversations that you have with people involved in the accident or the injury claim
preserving evidence of who caused the accident and what damage was done by collecting physical evidence and taking photographs
locating people who witnessed the accident and who might be able to help you prove your case
notifying anyone you think might be responsible for your injuries of your intention to file a claim for your injuries, especially if a government agency or employee may be involved.
How Much is Your Personal Injury Claim Worth?
Determining how much certain injuries are worth is a critical aspect of any injury claim. It is also the part of a claim about which it is most difficult to generalize; the amount depends on your very particular circumstances. A personal injury attorney can be more objective about your case than you can, and will not make a rash decision. Where you may be tempted, for instance, to go for a quick payout, your attorney may counsel you that it is in your best interests to wait for a more appropriate offer. Lawyers are used to working with insurance companies, and will not be confused by their tactics or feel pressured to settle for an unsatisfactory amount. Personal injury attorneys work hard to reach the best settlements for their clients, as early in the litigation process as possible. If a trial becomes necessary, a personal injury lawyer can zealously represent you in court and work toward achieving the best possible jury verdict in your favor.
In assessing the value of your claim, an attorney will consider everything you have suffered as a result of your injury. Usually, a person who is liable for an injury must pay the injured person for:
medical care and related expenses
income lost because of the accident, because of time spent unable to work or undergoing treatment for injuries
permanent physical disability or disfigurement
loss of family, social and educational experiences, including missed school or training, vacation or recreation, or a special event
emotional damages, such as stress, embarrassment, depression or strains on family relationships for example, the inability to take care of children, anxiety over the effects of an accident on an unborn child, or interference with sexual relations, and
Also, the following guidelines usually apply:
The more painful the injury, the higher the potential damages you may recover
The more invasive and long lasting the medical treatment, the higher potential damages you may recover
The more obvious the medical evidence of the injury, the higher potential damages you may recover
The longer the recovery period, the higher potential damages you may recover
The more serious and visible any permanent effect of the injury, the higher potential damages you may recover.
How Will Fault for My Injury Be Determined?
The extent of every party's fault in causing your injury is the most important factor affecting how much you are likely to receive for your personal injury claim. Determining fault for an accident is not an exact science. But in most claims, your attorney will at least have a good idea whether another person was entirely at fault, and the extent, if any, that you were at fault. Whatever that rough percentage of your fault might be 10%, 50%, 75% is the amount by which the damages total will be reduced to arrive at a final settlement or award figure.
Various rules of fault apply in different types of personal injury actions. Here are some examples of liability rules in different types of actions:
Suppose you are injured in a store can you recover damages from the store? It depends on the facts of the case. Store owners must keep their premises reasonably safe for customers, inspecting and discovering any dangerous conditions. They also must keep all aisles clear and properly maintained. A judge or jury will look at whether the owner was aware of the condition that caused your injury and how long it had existed. A judge or jury will also look at your conduct in relation to the condition.
If you've been injured by a dangerous consumer product, you may have an easier time recovering compensation for your injuries than those who are injured in other ways. "Product liability" the legal rules concerning who is responsible for defective or dangerous products is different from ordinary injury liability law, and this set of rules sometimes makes it easier for an injured person to recover damages. For several reasons, the law has developed a doctrine known as "strict liability," that allows a person injured by a defective or unexpectedly dangerous product to recover compensation from the maker or seller of the product without showing that the manufacturer or seller was actually negligent.
Many thousands of people are injured each year some very seriously when they slip or trip and fall on a dangerous floor, a flight of stairs or a rough patch of ground. There is no precise way to determine when someone else is legally responsible for something on which you slip or trip. Each case turns on whether the property owner acted carefully so that slipping or tripping was not likely to happen and whether you were careless in not seeing or avoiding the thing that caused you to fall.
Automobile accident claims are by far the most common type of personal injury case in our court system today. Except in those states where legislation has been passed doing away with fault as an issue (no-fault laws), these cases are litigated under general negligence principles. The injured plaintiff is required to prove that the defendant was negligent, that the negligence caused the accident, and that the accident caused the plaintiff's injuries. As with other types of accidents, figuring out who is at fault in a traffic accident is a matter of deciding who was negligent. In many cases your instincts will tell you that a driver, cyclist or pedestrian acted carelessly, but not what rule or rules that person violated. Your case can be strengthened if you find some "official" support for your conclusion. Your attorney will look to a number of sources to help you determine who was at fault for your accident, such as police reports, state traffic laws, and witnesses.
There are many different types of personal injury actions, and several theories of fault that may apply in a given case. Discussing your case with a personal injury attorney is the best way to have a thorough evaluation of the likelihood of success if you were to bring a claim for your injuries, and of the potential value of your case. In light of the deadlines imposed under state and federal law for the filing of personal injury actions, meeting with an attorney sooner rather than later if you think you might have a claim is always commended.
Cases arising out of automobile accidents are by far the most common type of personal injury case in our court system today. This is not surprising, given that every ten seconds, someone in the United States is involved in a car accident, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Except in those states where legislation eliminating fault as an issue has been passed (no-fault laws), these cases are typically governed by the law of negligence. Generally, people who operate automobiles must exercise "reasonable care under the circumstances." A failure to use reasonable care is considered negligence. A person who negligently operates a vehicle may be required to pay for any damages, either to a person or property, caused by his or her negligence. The injured party, known as the plaintiff, is required to prove that the defendant was negligent, that the negligence caused the accident, and that the accident caused the plaintiff's injuries.
As with other types of accidents, figuring out who is at fault in a traffic accident is a matter of deciding who was negligent. In many cases, your instincts will tell you that a driver, cyclist or pedestrian acted carelessly, but not what rule or rules that person violated. An attorney will look to a number of sources to help you determine who was at fault for your accident, such as police reports, state traffic laws, and witnesses. Courts look to a number of factors in determining whether a driver was negligent. Some of these factors include, but are not limited to, the following:
Disobeying traffic signs or signals
Failing to signal while turning
Driving above or below the posted speed limit
Disregarding weather or traffic conditions
Failing to drive on the right side of the road
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Other Causes of Automobile Accidents
Reckless Driving: A driver may also be liable for an accident due to his or her intentional or reckless conduct. A driver who is reckless is one who drives unsafely, with "willful and wanton disregard" for the probability that such driving may cause an accident. A driver could be found reckless, for example, if he or she drives in a threatening or harassing manner out of "road rage" and causes an accident. (Criminal charges will also stem from such behavior.) Road rage is defined as "an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the operator or passenger(s) of another motor vehicle or an assault precipitated by an incident that occurred on a roadway."
Statistics compiled in 1997 by NHTSA and the American Automobile Association showed that almost 13,000 people had been injured or killed since 1990 in crashes caused by aggressive driving. According to a NHTSA survey, more than 60 percent of drivers consider unsafe driving by others, including speeding, a major personal threat to themselves and their families. About 30 percent of respondents said they felt their safety was threatened in the last month, while 67 percent felt this threat during the last year.
Traffic safety and law enforcement organizations are renewing efforts to identify and penalize aggressive drivers: those who speed, tailgate, zip from lane to lane, flash headlights in frustration, and engage in other dangerous driving practices. The NHTSA defines aggressive driving as a progression of unlawful driving actions such as:
Speeding: exceeding the posted limit or driving too fast for conditions;
Improper or excessive lane changing: failing to signal intent, failing to see that movement can be made safely, or
Improper passing: failing to signal intent, using an emergency lane to pass, or passing on the shoulder.
If you are confronted by an aggressive driver, the NHTSA recommends that you take the following actions:
Get out of the way: First and foremost, make every attempt to get out of his or her way.
Put your pride aside: Do not challenge the aggressive driver by speeding up or attempting to hold your own in your travel lane.
Avoid eye contact: Eye contact can sometimes enrage an aggressive driver.
Gestures: Ignore gestures and refuse to return them.
Report serious aggressive driving: You or a passenger may call the police. But, if you use a cell phone, pull over to a safe location.
Every 30 minutes, someone in this country dies in an alcohol-related crash. Last year alone, over one million people were injured in alcohol-related traffic crashes. In a lawsuit arising from a drunk driving accident, in addition to the intoxicated driver being held liable for the injuries he or she caused, a bar or social host may be liable for damages if they served an obviously intoxicated guest, who then drove and caused an accident. The fact that the person who served the intoxicated driver alcohol may be held liable does not relieve the intoxicated driver of liability, however. Because attorneys are aware of the many laws governing legal responsibility, an attorney can help you identify who might be held responsible for your injuries, including people or businesses you might not have considered.
Accidents that are Not Caused by the Drivers Involved
In certain cases, accidents are caused by factors unrelated to the conduct of any particular driver. For example, an automobile accident may occur due to a defect in someone's automobile. In such a case, an automobile manufacturer or supplier may be responsible for injuries caused by a defect in the automobile under the law of product liability. A product liability suit is a lawsuit brought against the seller of a product for selling a defective product that caused physical injury to a consumer or user. If a manufacturer of a product creates a defective product either in designing, manufacturing, or labeling the product the manufacturer is liable for any injuries the product causes, regardless of whether the manufacturer was negligent.
Another example of a situation where a driver may not be at fault for an accident is where a mechanic fails to properly repair a vehicle, and the failure causes an accident. In such a case, the person who improperly repaired the automobile, and his employer, may be liable for the injuries sustained under the theory of negligence.
Other factors, such as poorly maintained roads and malfunctioning traffic control signals can contribute to cause an accident as well. Improper design, maintenance, construction, signage, lighting or other highway defects, including poorly placed trees and utility poles, can also cause serious accidents. In cases such as this, government entities may be potential defendants. Special rules apply to claims and lawsuits brought against governmental bodies, however, and good legal advice is critical to preserving and winning such claims.
In all of the above cases, it is essential that measures be taken promptly to preserve evidence, investigate the accident in question, and have physicians or other expert witnesses thoroughly evaluate any injuries. Because an attorney can best help you accomplish all of these things, if you have been involved in an automobile accident, it is strongly recommended that you contact an attorney to evaluate your case as soon as possible.