Posts tagged with "motor vehicle accidents"

These are the three elements of a personal injury lawsuit

If you don’t have these three things, you don’t have a case

Personal injury litigation is a complex subject and we never expect clients to come in knowing what all of their rights are. We’re always ready to listen to someone about their experience and let them know if they have a case or not.

Every case needs to have the following chain of three things: Liability, causation and damages. If it misses one, a lawsuit is not possible. For an example, imagine a person became violently ill after eating food at an expensive vacation resort.

The three elements of a personal injury case

Liability is the first step. Did the the defendant, or defendants, act carelessly that allowed the accident to occur. For this example, did the resort staff serve undercooked or spoiled food? Can we prove that they did?

If we can prove liability, we move on to the next step: Causation. Did the negligent behavior from the defendant cause the accident or injury? It’s not enough that the plaintiff was staying at the resort and ate the food, can we show that it was the resort’s food that made them sick, and not something else? If not, the lawsuit won’t happen.

Once we have causality established, we then have to show that the plaintiff suffered real damages. Did the victim require expensive medical treatment, miss work, or suffer excruciating pain? Did the foodborne illness cause a permanent injury or disfigurement?

It’s not enough to say the patient was in danger, they must have had real damages to be compensated through the lawsuit. You can’t sue for what could have happened, it needs to have caused them to directly suffer harm.. Without liability, causation and damages, no personal injury case can proceed.

A tragedy in Boston gives us an important lesson

This weekend brought a terrible tragedy to Boston. A young woman operating a moped was struck and killed by a so-called Duck Boat. Events like this should make everyone take a moment to try and appreciate how precious life is.  And if you’re a parent, like me, that feeling is heightened.

None of us truly knows what tomorrow holds, and the stark truth of that statement is brought into focus when an accident like this occurs. Most mistakes that take place on a day in, day out basis have no consequences, thank God. But every once in a while a mistake has catastrophic consequence. Our hearts and prayers go out to the victim’s family. It’s hard to even conceive of receiving such a phone call.

After representing families who have endured similar fates, I can tell you that the responsible parties need to be held accountable. When you hear about an accident such as this, most people’s immediate reaction is to merely blame the operator of the vehicle that struck the victim. It’s been our experience, however, that someone needs to look deeper to find all responsible parties.

Truth be told, you can never really tell at the outset where the investigation will lead, but the need to drill down is there. Does the company skimp on safety; are their employees properly trained; was the vehicle in proper working order; are undue expectations placed on the drivers to meet schedules or deadlines, etc. It is as true as it is tragic to recognize that no law suit can ever bring a life back  But thoroughly and aggressively investigating each detail will almost always bring about change that may save another’s life.

 

Crosswalk accidents don't always turn out how you first thing. Always take down their information

Always play it safe after you’ve been hurt

I was speaking to a client yesterday and he told me that his mother was hit by a car while in a crosswalk. He then told me that she never took down any information from the driver because she “ didn’t think she was hurt badly.”

It’s now been several months and she very much regrets that decision because her pain an limitation has gotten progressively worse.

This happens often and I have a theory on it: I think that when someone is involved in an accident their adrenaline is pumping and the first thing we as humans do is take a quick inventory. In other words: Am I bleeding; did I break anything; can I walk; etc. If all seems well, we want to ignore what just happened and hope that everything is ok.

The truth is that you really don’t know what you will ultimate feel. Once the adrenaline subsides and the you relax pain and problem often sets in. Even then, people think that they’re just sore and it will pass. But it’s very difficult to discern between expected soreness and injury.

The best thing to do in these situations is to be on the safe side. Just jot down the other person’s name, address, phone number, and license plate (provided it’s a car accident). If you go home and truly do feel ok, go about your life and thank God that it wasn’t more serious. But if you do wind up feeling badly or learn that you actually were injured, you’ll be in a better position to pursue due compensation.