Personal Injury

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Personal injury law includes a vast array of cases. These cases include motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall claims, assault claims, and wrongful death claims to list a few. A personal injury is a term used for an injury to the body, mind or emotions, as opposed to an injury to property.


The person or entity responsible for a personal injury is known as a “tortfeasor”. This person or entity will be held responsible for damages of the plaintiff if it can be proven that the person or entity was negligent. Generally a plaintiff must show:

    • There was a duty of care owed to the plaintiff;
    • The tortfeasor acted negligently or otherwise in violation of the applicable standard of care;
    • Such deviation from the prevailing standard of care was the cause in fact of the injury; and that the plaintiff was injured or suffered damages.

In a personal injury lawsuit, it is the plaintiff’s burden to prove each element of the plaintiff’s case by a preponderance of the evidence. In other words, plaintiff must prove that it is more likely than not that each of the factors set forth above existed under the facts of their case.

Personal injury cases can be complex and the law limits the amount of time you have to pursue your claim. A personal injury attorney can pursue your claim and make sure your rights are protected. A personal injury attorney will often represent clients on a “contingency basis,” in which the attorney’s fee is a percentage of the plaintiff’s eventual compensation, payable when the case is resolved or when the plaintiff receives compensation from the defendant.

Attorneys cannot promise that you will obtain a certain amount of money. Your claim is valued upon many factors including an estimate of what a jury would award you.

Call us today to speak with a lawyer who would welcome the opportunity to speak with you about your potential claim.


HELPFUL REMINDERS IN PERSONAL INJURY CASES

1. SEEK OUT MEDICAL ATTENTION. If you have been seriously injured, the first thing you should do is to get medical attention. Do not attempt to handle any claims before you have properly addressed your injuries with a medical professional. Your first job is to recover from your injury.

2. BE CAUTIOUS WHEN DEALING WITH INSURANCE COMPANIES. You will have certain notice requirements for coverage under your policy. However, do not dis­cuss the case with insurance claim representatives for the at fault party; as certain things that you say may be misconstrued or even used against you. Insurance companies are not public service companies. Make sure you understand:
SUBROGATION BY YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY;
 THAT YOU MAY BE WATCHED AND PHOTOGRAPHED; AND 
BOTH PHYSICAL AND FINANCIAL RECOVERY TAKE TIME.

3. KEEP ACCURATE RECORDS RELATED TO THE INJURY. These may include hospital bills, medical diagnosis statements, bills related to property damage, and insurance records. You may also need to maintain records of lost wages if the injury has caused you to miss work. It’s also a good idea to make a written account of the injury, especially while the events and facts are still fresh in your recollection. If your injury is one that is visible such as a scar, disfigurement, broken leg, etc., have pictures taken so a pictorial record can be kept of such dam­ages. Be sure to keep your medical appointments and be accurate in discussing your injuries with medical personnel.

4. COMMUNICATION. Working with a lawyer can help you avoid costly mistakes that can have negative effects on your claim. Keep your attorney informed as to your recovery progress and expenses. Ask questions if you do not understand the process.

5. BE AWARE OF DEADLINES. Once the statute of limitations (the time within a lawsuit must be filed) has expired, you may not be able to file your claim anymore. Filing a legal claim is a serious matter. Obtaining proper evidence and testimony and effectively proving a claim can involve dealing with complex issues and procedures.

*A website is not a substitute for speaking with a lawyer on your case.
Please do not hesitate to contact the John Michael Garrett for a consultation.*