A Personal Look into Personal Injury Cases

When watching television, we are seemingly bombarded with a host of personal injury commercials with a fast talking attorney promising us the best representation possible in the case of an accident. But how many of us really know about personal injury cases?

There are a variety of reasons why someone may want to initiate a personal injury suit. I researched personal injury claims and found that the following three cases are the most common.

Elements of a Personal Injury Case

Before discussing the three most common personal injury claims, we need to talk about the elements of a personal injury case:

  • The negligent party in the case has a responsibility to do something or refrain from doing something
  • The negligent party fails to uphold that responsibility
  • The negligent party’s failure to uphold this responsibility is the cause of your harm or damages.
  • You actually suffer any harm or damages.

Attorneys will check that your case contains all four elements before agreeing to represent you so that they will be able to file your claim.

Some of the most common personal injury claims are as follows: car accident cases, medical malpractice cases, and slip and fall cases.

Car Accidents

Every day, many drivers are injured when involved in a car accident. Some, unfortunately, are even killed. Sometimes the car itself may suffer such damages that you have to get a new one.

If you suffered damages as a result of someone’s carelessness on the road, you are likely entitled to a reward, likely in the form of financial compensation. Many car accidents are the result of someone not paying attention to the road or disregarding traffic rules designed to keep us safe.

Medical Malpractice

A medical malpractice suit is filed when a patient believes his or her doctor did not provide them with the proper medical care. As a result of this incompetent care, the patient has suffered damages — usually in the form of a bodily injury or the development of a condition.

Slip and Fall Cases

Those who are injured as a result of a property owner’s failure to ensure that their property is safe file slip and fall claims. The property owner has a responsibility to keep their property safe so that those on it don’t suffer any injuries, but sometimes that doesn’t always happen. The extent of the property owners responsibility depends on the situation and the laws in the state.

What to Do When You are Injured

Of course, there are a variety of other personal injury suits that you can file, and I encourage you to read more about them here.

If you believe that you are entitled to financial compensation as a result of an injury, you should contact a personal injury attorney  like the ones at Evans Moore, LLC immediately. These attorneys are equipped with the knowledge and expertise to represent you in a wide range of personal injury matters so that you receive the highest amount of compensation possible.

What are contingency fees, and why do they benefit legal clients?

Lawyers work on contingency fees in order to work for clients that cannot afford to pay lawyers at an hourly rate. In many areas of law such as personal injury, clients typically do not have the funds necessary to pay lawyers by the hour for their case. In order to serve these clients, attorneys draw up contingency fees that a client does have the means to accept. Contingency agreements present a couple different advantages for clients. Let’s take a look at the major benefits of hiring an attorney based on contingency fees.

Clients Are Not Affected by Case Length

When an attorney agrees to take a case and they’re working on contingency, they cannot charge more based on the length of the case. Typically, if a case ends up being more complicated than expected, it can take several months of work and have associated court fees. Normally, an attorney would charge their client more money if their case ended up taking longer than expected, but contingency agreements prevent this from happening, as attorneys will still only collect an agreed upon portion of the settlement.

Clients Cannot Lose Money

Contingency fees prevent attorneys from collecting money out of pocket. These fees are based on a percentage of the expected settlement. If your lawyer is unable to secure a settlement, your lawyer will collect no further fees from you. If your lawyer is only able to secure a settlement that does not cover court fees, it is not your responsibility to cover the difference out of pocket.

Lawyers Accept Contingency Arrangements on Simple Cases

Because of the benefits that contingency arrangements provide to clients, attorneys are put at risk when accepting them. When cases are overly-complicated or take longer than expected, attorneys made end up losing money. To prevent these sorts of situations, lawyers likely only accept cases that they think will be relatively quick or simple. Lawyers may adjust their contingency rates based on the predicted outcome as well. For very short and simple cases, lawyers may ask for a contingency fee of up to 50%. For a case of average length and complexity, fees range from 33% to 40%. If a lawyer wants to take on a case that may take a long time but will have a large payout, fees may drop to as low as 15%. However, every lawyer will evaluate and predict the outcome of a case differently.

Experienced Attorneys in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

While researching for this post, I came across some helpful information from the Law Office of William J. Luse. Attorneys at the Law Office of William J. Luse accept cases on based on contingency fees in a number of different practice areas. These include personal injury, employment law and civil litigation. The Law Office of William J. Luse also takes on criminal defense cases such as DUI and drug charges, but contingency fees are not available for these types of criminal cases. This is because criminal cases do not result in settlements the same way that other civil cases do.


What Happens in the Case of Insurance Bad Faith

Insurance is one of those necessary evils of our lives. We pay into it on a monthly, or yearly basis so that it will cover us when we need it most. Most of the time we don’t use our insurance (or hope that we don’t use it) because we’re healthy, haven’t gotten into an accident, etc. However, when we do need it, we hope that it will come through for us after everything we’ve paid into it. When it doesn’t, it leaves people with a real problem on their hands. Something they paid for isn’t doing its job, and they have a big bill they were banking on being paid for by their insurer.

Bad faith insurance is a huge punch in the face for those who are counting on it most. When an insurer delays or withholds payment of a policyholder’s insurance claim that it knows is reasonable and clear, the insurer may have acted in bad faith. The relationship between the insurer and the insured is an important one, and the insured relies heavily on the insurer in times of need. It doesn’t matter whether an earthquake hit and you lost your home or hail damage put dents in your car; you should be covered promptly. Texas law demands that insurance carriers deal with their policyholders in good faith in both common law and statutory law situations. Common law situations are those that arise from particular cases, while statutory law situations are those that are based in written, codified law.

Common law claims by policyholders usually occur due to insurance companies abusing their size, superior knowledge and wealth to benefit themselves at the expense of the policyholder. When insurance companies use this to their advantage over their policyholders, said policyholder might be able to bring forth a bad faith claim. For these claims, an attorney will be best utilized to help. Not all denied insurance claims are done in bad faith, and an attorney is well equipped to realize this, even while fighting for you. 

Conversely, an attorney will know just as well if an insurance company has acted in bad faith. They may be able to seek compensation based on the insurance claim and damages done due to lack of payment. It’s critical to hire an attorney when dealing with bad faith insurance claims, because the insurance company will rarely give their policyholders the benefit of the doubt, and will rarely be looking to fight in your favor. An aggressive, attentive attorney will be on the lookout for bad faith behavior in your insurance carrier’s correspondence with you and will make every effort to secure what you deserve. In cases where bad faith has been practiced, your attorney may be able to seek additional damages for the harmful behavior. We count on our insurance to cover us in times of need, and they shouldn’t be able to avoid that responsibility.

The Optimal Child Custody Agreement

An article published by Romper details new research conducted in Sweden about the best arrangement for child custody agreements. While divorce is often painful and rarely an easy transition, the new study suggests that complete joint custody is the best option for children following a split. Of course, this setup is not sustainable or practical for all couples, but allowing your child to maintain an active relationship with both parents turned out to be extremely important for their mental health.

Of the subjects used in the study, 3,369 were children in nuclear families, 79 lived primarily with one parent, 72 lived exclusively with one parent, and 136 were in a joint physical custody arrangement. The researchers then surveyed parents and teachers about the behavior of the children. In particular, the adult participants completed the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), a popular screening test used to measure emotional symptoms; conduct and peer relationship problems; and inattention. The results indicated no significant difference in SDQ scores between children in joint physical custody and those in a nuclear family, although the children in a nuclear family performed slightly better on average. Children in the custody of a single parent or mostly in the custody of a single parent showed more behavioral issues and emotional symptoms.

The results of the study are hardly surprising. Past research suggests that children fare better emotionally when they have a stronger relationship with both parents. When both parents are active in their child’s life, it leads to less stress for the child on average. Less stress, in turn, leads to fewer emotional problems and behavioral issues. Therefore, splitting time between parents and spending about an equal amount of time with both parents has some benefits.

However, the study is not without shortcomings. For one, researchers at Uppsala University, Karolinska Institutet, and the Centre for Health Equity Studies conducted the study. These are Swedish organizations, so the outcome of the study may not hold across cultures. While the results seemed clear for Swedish children, it is possible that the results are different for Americans. Second, the subjects in the study were very young children ranging from 3 to 5 years of age. Developmental changes are dramatic at that age, so what is true for a 3-year-old may not end up being true for an 8-year-old. Although it is certainly positive to decrease stress for your child, how that occurs can be complicated, and joint physical custody may not be an option for families.

According to the attorneys at https://www.bestafkalaw.com, the health of a child can be at stake in child custody proceedings, so it’s best to hire an attorney to keep proceedings short and amicable. With this new study, it may become easier for parents to agree that sharing custody of their child is the healthiest option for everyone involved—especially their child. Of course, as with all things, the study is a little flawed, but I think this is a great first step toward a future where fewer children “suffer” through a divorce, and merely experience one.

Understanding How Surgical Errors May Occur with Da Vinci

The Da Vinci Surgical System by Intuitive Surgical Inc. is not really all that new. It was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in the US on July 11, 2000. While it made waves in the medical community when it was first made commercially available, it was only in the last three years that it became spotlighted for the general public. Unfortunately, it is because of the surgical errors and injuries that have become associated with the technology.

Under usual circumstances, liability for surgical errors is placed on the surgeon as medical malpractice. However, with the use of the Da Vinci which is considered a supervisory-controlled robotic surgery system, the problem may be in the tool itself rather than the wielder. To understand how this can happen, one must know how the system works.

The da Vinci is made up of the surgical arm unit which is placed near the patient and a console for the surgeon who will be viewing and controlling the arm unit from several feet away. The system is designed so that the surgeon is the one making all the moves, using a joystick to control the motions of the three or four arms the robot may have. Small incisions are made in the abdomen in which stainless steel rods are placed. One of the rods is equipped with two endoscopic cameras while the others have surgical tools attached. The surgeon is then provided with a 3D image of the patient’s insides without having to actually open up the patient or touch the instruments.

There are two ways that are immediately apparent that surgical errors may occur. One is based on the lack of physical contact between the surgeon and patient could affect how the surgeon intuits the condition of the patient, something that may be balanced out with proper training. The other is the use of electrical instrument which may malfunction at any time. Surgeons have reported numerous incidents of a system freeze or shutdown in the middle of a procedure, necessitating a switch to more traditional surgical methods. Some patients experience inadvertent electrical burns to internal organs. These may all be considered surgical errors leading to injury.

The Da Vinci system has its merits, but it has a long way to go before it can be all that it can be in surgery.