Personal injury law, commonly referred to as tort law, provides legal rights to victims who have been physically or psychologically injured as a result of the carelessness or wrongdoing of another person, company, government, or other entity. Personal injury laws apply to a variety of cases, including:* Cases where a person acts out of negligence and therefore causes harm to another person. Examples of these types of cases include medical malpractice, slip and fall accidents, automobile accidents, and some toxic tort cases, among many others;* Cases where a person knowingly and intentionally causes harm onto another person. These types of cases include murder, assault and battery;* Cases where a person may have not intentionally performed a wrongdoing through negligence on his part can still be found liable for a personal injury claim. Dog bite cases (under some state laws) and certain types of product liability claims are examples of this type of personal injury law; and,* Cases that involve insult of character, such as libel or slander.WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF PERSONAL INJURY LAW?The primary goal of personal injury law is to provide legal rights for injured victims to be compensated financially after suffering from a loss or injury that they would otherwise not have endured if it was not for the negligence or omissions of the defendant. Personal injury laws impose a legal duty on people and companies to perform and interact with one another on a minimum level of care and attention. These laws are expected to encourage and promote good behavior and reduce bad behavior; therefore, personal injury laws serve a significant purpose for the general public. HOW DO PERSONAL INJURY CASES TYPICALLY WORK?Although no personal injury case is exactly the same as another because no accidents are exactly the same, these types of cases generally tend to follow these steps:Plaintiff is Injured by a Defendant With the exception of contractual breaches, this can be almost any unscrupulous act on the defendant’s part.Defendant is Determined to have Breached a Legal Duty to Plaintiff The breached duty is depends on the specifics of the particular case. For example, manufacturers and/or distributors have a legal duty to not allow dangerous or harmful drugs to enter the market.Settlement Negotiations If there is obvious evidence to all parties involved that the Defendant breached his contractual duty, then the defendant may opt to settle the matter outside of court by offering monetary compensation to the plaintiff in order to prevent the plaintiff from filing a lawsuit against the defendant.If the plaintiff does not agree to the defendant’s offer, he may pursue in litigation. A settlement can be offered and negotiated after suit is filed at any time until a verdict is announced by a jury or court.Plaintiff Files a Lawsuit Against the Defendant When the plaintiff initially files a case, he must be prepared to state what the legal basis of the claim is and what type of remedy he wishes to seek in compensation for his injuries.The Defendant Files an Answer to the Plaintiff’s Claim The defendant must answer after being served by some type of official (usually a sheriff or a process server) within a certain period time.
Choosing a Personal Injury Lawyer - What to Look For
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When an individual is harmed through negligence or deliberate action, whether by another individual or by a giant corporation, the law provides channels for that individual to receive appropriate compensation from the offending party.
If you’ve got the basis for a legal case, protect your rights: don’t sign anything, don’t walk into the courtroom by yourself, and don’t take legal advice from anyone except your lawyer. Contact Krueger Law Firm for your initial consultation with an accident and injury lawyer. Our office has specialized and focused 100 percent on personal injury lawsuits since 1990. We only represent the injured victims. There are no fees or costs if you don’t receive a recovery. We never represent insurance companies, so the injured person does not have to wonder whose interests the attorney really has in mind.
We are recognized as one of Minnesota’s top accident and injury law firms. Besides attorneys, we also have paralegals, legal secretaries, investigators, interpreters, and case managers that work on your injury claims. If the attorney is in court, there are others that would be knowledgeable about your case. Protect your rights. Call us today for a free consultation. We offer same day appointments, and we will come to your home or hospital for visits.
- Airplane Accidents
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- Nursing Home Neglect
- Premises Liability and Falls
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As a personal injury attorney, I see car accident cases everyday. For me, and others like me, the process of handling such a case is not overly complicated -- after all, this IS what we do for a living.But for most people, being in an accident, and more specifically, being injured in an accident, can be stressful and overwhelming. Should you call an attorney? Should you talk with an insurance company? What do you do about medical bills piling up?Let's assume for the purpose of this article, that we have a rear end collision involving two cars, and that the Plaintiff (the person who was rear ended) suffers a neck injury, and hires an attorney. Let's also assume that the Defendant (the person who caused the accident), is insured with Company X.From the Plaintiff's standpoint, the focus should be on his or her health. Getting medical treatment and working to get back to pre-accident condition is the most important thing, regardless of the case or any other factors. I always tell my clients to focus on getting well, and let me worry about the legal issues -- that's why they hired me in the first place. Once the Plaintiff reaches maximum medical improvement (a fancy and lawyerly way of saying they're injuries are better) it's time for the attorney to really dig in and get to work. The attorney will have already notified the Defendant's insurance company, Company X, that the attorney represents the Plaintiff. There might have been some other preliminary work that could have been done while waiting on the Plaintiff to receive treatment and get well. Once the Plaintiff is released from medical treatment, the attorney will gather the Plaintiff's medical records and bills. lost wage documentation if the Plaintiff missed work, and any other documentation he thinks will be helpful to proving the Plaintiff's case.Once all of the documentation is received, the attorney will organize the information in a way that makes it paint a narrative of what the Plaintiff has been through. In my practice, I like to include a cover letter, which summarizes the medical treatment the Plaintiff received, lists the medical bills incurred, and explains any other relevant information that I think will be helpful to the case.This information is reviewed with the client for accuracy, and then forwarded to Company X, the Defendant's insurance carrier to be reviewed by a claims adjuster. Typically, the adjuster for Company X will review the information received, place a value range on the claim, and contact the Plaintiff's lawyer to make an initial settlement offer.The attorney will relay this offer to his client, and begin a series of negotiations with Company X with the hopes of being able to reach an agreement. If the two parties are unable to reach an agreement, the lawyer can file a lawsuit against the Defendant directly, and push the case into litigation.If the parties are able to reach a settlement agreement, the company will pay a lump sum of money in exchange for a release. Most injury settlements are full and final, meaning the is no consideration for payment of future medical expenses, and the insurance company is not obligated to pay the Plaintiff any other forms of compensation in the future.The money is generally sent to the Plaintiff's lawyer to be disbursed. The lawyer will deposit the money into his Client Trust Account, provide his client with a detailed accounting of where the money should be disbursed, and have the client sign off on the disbursement before releasing the funds. These funds will go to pay the lawyer, pay the medical expenses, and of course, pay the Plaintiff. Of course, this is just a general overview of the big-picture process that most attorneys go through when handling a car accident case, but every case is different.So with all of this in mind, why do you need a lawyer?As a former insurance adjuster, I can tell you that insurance carriers pay more money to people who are represented by an attorney, which hopefully leads to you receiving more money in the end (yes, even after the lawyer takes his fee).Secondly, everyone has heard the phrase, "Everything you say can and will be used against you... " and although that phrase is usually associated with criminal charges, it is still very relevant to personal injury cases. Insurance adjusters are master negotiators, trained to solicit information from you, and then use that information to save their companies money by paying you as little as possible on your case. A lawyer becomes your voice against the insurance company, and good lawyers know how to effectively communicate without compromising issues on your case.If you've been injured in an accident, err on the side of caution and consult with an attorney about your rights before talking with the insurance company.
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