The Cost of Taking A Personal Injury Case to Court

When settlement negotiations do not agree and a personal injury case is brought to court, both parties will spend loads of more cash.

“Litigation” is a word for the method of taking a claim to the civil court system. Litigation can be costly – very costly. We usually think about what litigation will charge us and put that into our plan about deciding whether or not to settle a case.

It is a terrific idea to consider the other side’s costs as well, the insurer representing the accused or defendant. The litigation’s cost is the major reason insurers typically settle reliable injury claims, instead of representing them out in court. Let us take a look.

Lawyers’ Fees

Primarily, legal payment is included when bringing a case to the court system: the cost of lawyers, essentially.

injury lawyer

Lawyer preparing for the courtroom.

The Plaintiff’s Lawyer Fees

In personal injury claims, the plaintiff’s lawyer (that is, the attorney for the plaintiff) frequently works on contingency. Meaning, the attorney gets a portion or percentage of whatever the injured party recovers or wins – and gets zero if their client does not win.

In turn, this means that the plaintiff isn’t usually accountable for a huge cost of going to the court unless they win – in which case, money will be involved.

Remember that most personal injury attorneys will stipulate a greater contingency payment if a case should be litigated. A fee agreement between the lawyer and the plaintiff would typically include a contingency percentage (frequently around 30%) if the case is already settled before going trial and a much higher percentage (over forty percent) if it undergoes litigation.

Even if a personal injury lawyer’s cost for the injured party is contingent on being successful, it’s still “expensive” for a plaintiff to fight a claim out in court – in fact, more of the recovery award is paid out to their attorney.

Expert Witness Payments

A second main expenditure is fees for an expert witness. Experts do not come cheap; a few injury cases can take in numerous professionals: engineers to attest cars or products, accident reconstructionist to attest how an accident took place, medical experts to affirm medical treatment and injuries, even actuaries and accountants to testify lost wages or income.

Many professionals can get a couple of thousand dollars for studying one injury case.

injury attorney

Lawyer consulting the jury.

“Administrative” Payments

Third, there are delivery, copying, messenger, and transcription expenses. Cases are document-intensive, and taking the services of a court correspondent to take statements, making duplicates of huge medical reports or transcripts, and delivering documents around in different high-priority, fail-safe-delivery ways add up to an injury case’s course.

Court Filing Payments

Fourth, there are filing and court fees, such as the service process’ expenses. These costs could each only be tens of dollars, however, over a trial’s course, the total expenses in this area can add up to several hundred or thousands of dollars.

Miscellaneous Cost

There are other expenses, like travel costs for witnesses and lawyers. If anybody has to stay overnight, rent cars, fly, etc., this cost can mount up quickly.

Personal Injury Claims After an Accident

If you’ve been involved in an auto accident, then you may be thinking about how to proceed with settling an injury claim against the responsible driver or vehicle damage. This article offers some tips on the best ways for setting an auto accident claim.

Let us check out Personal Injury Insurance Claims After a Car Accident by All Law. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“At the Scene

First and foremost, check on the safety and well-being of your passengers and the other individuals involved. Call the paramedics if anyone appears to be injured. Many times injuries can occur even from seemingly minor accidents. It is obviously important for health reasons, but also for the ultimate success of any claim for damages, that accident victims seek prompt medical attention

Seeking Medical Care

Obtaining timely medical treatment for any injuries is important. Inform the treating physician that you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident. Follow through on all prescribed treatment.

Dealing with Insurers

As soon as possible, contact your automobile insurance company to report that an accident has occurred. Your insurance company will assign a claim number and a claims adjuster to handle all aspects of your claim.”

personal injury lawyer

Personal injury lawyer in the court room

Tips for Settling a Car Accident Claim by Nolo has further information about an auto accident claim including the various damages you  can get.

“What Types of Damages Can I Collect?

If you are making a claim for property damage only, some of the different types of damages you may be entitled to collect are:

  • vehicle damage
  • personal property damage — compensation for items such as a computer that may have been in the car, or a bike on a carrier, if those were damaged in the accident
  • car rental — most insurance companies will reimburse you for a rental car that you needed while your vehicle was being repaired, and
  • out-of-pocket expenses — for example, if you had to hire a taxi to get home from the accident scene or police station.”

Find Law’s Insurance Claims After an Accident: The Basics has more information when it comes to the claims process itself. Here’s an excerpt:

“The Insurance Claims Process

Whether you were injured in an automobile accident, at a home or building, or while visiting a business, you typically must report the incident to the insurance company within 24 hours of the incident. If you weren’t at fault for the accident, you should contact the insurance provider of the business, building owner, or at-fault driver. You’ll probably be required to provide information about the cause of the accident and the extent of your injuries.

The insurance company will then open an investigation of your claim. You may be asked to provide photos of the accident scene, the names of any witnesses, or a more detailed account of the incident. In addition, you will probably have to submit to an independent medical examination by a doctor of the insurer’s choice. If the injury was caused by a building condition, the claims adjuster may make an inspection of the property.

After calculating the value of your claim, the insurance company will then issue a settlement check. If your claim is denied or if you believe the amount of the settlement is inadequate, you can appeal to the insurance company. An appeal may require you to submit to additional examinations or provide further information and evidence about the accident.”

For more information about personal injury law, go to mcallenpersonalinjurylawyer.com

 

An Overview on Assault and Battery Cases

What are assault and battery? These are words that are commonly used together and often misunderstood. In this post, we will discuss the subject thoroughly so you will get a good understanding of assault and battery.

So keep reading…

Definition of Assault

The term “assault” differs in definition from state-to-state, but it is frequently defined as an attempt to harm somebody else and can take the form of threats or threatening actions against others.

A common definition is a deliberate attempt, using force or violence, to harm or injure another person. Occasionally another direct way that assault is termed is “attempted battery.” Certainly, in general, the main difference between assault and battery is that contact is not necessary for assault to occur, whereas an illegal or offensive contact must take place for the battery.

Act Requirement

Even if contact is not necessary for assault to happen, an assault conviction still involves a criminal “act.” The forms of acts that belong to the assault category can vary widely, but normally an assault entails a direct or overt act that would place the reasonable individual in fear for his or her safety.

And spoken words alone won’t be sufficient of an act to make up an assault unless the defendant furthers them with actions that place the plaintiff in reasonable fear of future harm.

assault and battery

medical practitioner assaulting a senior citizen

Intent Requirement

To commit an assault, a person only needs “general intent.” Meaning, although somebody cannot unintentionally assault another individual, it is sufficient to demonstrate that a defendant intended the actions which constitute an assault.

Thus, if a person acts in a manner that’s deemed as dangerous to other individuals that can be sufficient to support the assault charges, even though they did not intend a specific harm to a specific person. Additionally, intent to frighten or scare another individual can be sufficient to establish the assault charges too.

Assault and battery are closely related legal terms but have different kinds of claims in civil cases. Let us take a look at Assault and Battery Overview by Find Law. The article provides a more comprehensive look at both offenses as well as their elements, which aids to explain how both offenses are closely tied together. Here it is:

“Assault: Definition

“The definitions for assault vary from state-to-state, but assault is often defined as an attempt to injure to someone else, and in some circumstances can include threats or threatening behavior against others. One common definition would be an intentional attempt, using violence or force, to injure or harm another person. Another straightforward way that assault is sometimes defined is as an attempted battery. Indeed, generally the main distinction between an assault and a battery is that no contact is necessary for an assault, whereas an offensive or illegal contact must occur for a battery.

“Battery: Definition

“Although the statutes defining battery will vary by jurisdiction, a typical definition for battery is the intentional offensive or harmful touching of another person without their consent. Under this general definition, a battery offense requires all of the following:

  • intentional touching;
  • the touching must be harmful or offensive;
  • no consent from the victim.”

Definition of Battery

Though the statutes that define battery will differ by jurisdiction, a classic battery definition is the intentional harmful or offensive touching of another individual without their consent. And under this definition, a battery offense involves the following:

  • deliberate touching;
  • the touching should be offensive or harmful;
  • nonconsensual from the victim.

Intent Requirement

It may be surprising that a battery usually doesn’t involve any intent to injure the victim (though such intent frequently exists in battery lawsuits). Instead, an individual only needs intent to cause contact or contact with a person.

In addition to that, if somebody acts in a negligent or criminally reckless manner that causes such contact, it could make up an assault. Therefore, accidentally bumping into somebody, offensive as the injured party might think it to be, wouldn’t make up a battery.

assault victim

Act Requirement

The criminal act necessary for battery comes down to a harmful or offensive contact. This act can range from the apparent battery where a bodily attack (kick or punch) is involved, to even slight contact in a few cases. In general, a victim doesn’t have to be harmed or injured for a battery to have taken place, providing an offensive contact took place.

In a common case, spitting on a person does not physically harm them, but it, however, can make up offensive contact enough for a battery. Whether a specific contact is deemed as offensive is typically assessed from the viewpoint of the “ordinary individual.”

Personal Injury Claims for Assault and Battery by All Law offers us more information regarding the difference between Offensive and Harmful Contact, which is key consideration in a claim. Here’s an excerpt:

“The contact is “harmful” if it in any way alters the physical condition or structure of the plaintiff’s body, even if it does not cause pain. For example, if the defendant grabs the plaintiff’s arm or shoves him, but does not actually cause the plaintiff any pain, the plaintiff may still sue for battery. However, a “harmful” contact could also be something more serious, for example putting a dangerous substance in food that the plaintiff subsequently eats.

“An “offensive” contact is one that is offensive to a reasonable sense of personal dignity. “Dignity” in this legal sense is a broad phrase encompassing other emotions such as insult, fright, disgust, embarrassment or humiliation. Whether a plaintiff was reacting reasonably when he or she experienced any of these emotions as a result of the defendant’s contact is typically a question for the judge or jury.”

Assault and Battery as Personal Injury Claims by Nolo even further offers us more info about defenses in assault and battery cases. Here are examples from the article:

“Consent. A defendant might say that the victim agreed to the possibility of being hurt. This defense arises most often in intentional tort lawsuits in cases involving contact sports, paintball-style games, and similar activities. A plaintiff who files a lawsuit in these cases may have a hard time winning if he or she consented to certain physical contact — getting hit in a game of football, for example — even if the contact ended up causing harm.

“Privilege. A police officer who used force while arresting someone might try to assert the defense of privilege. For example, if a police officer injured someone while making an arrest, a lawsuit for assault and battery probably won’t be successful as long as the officer used a reasonable and appropriate amount of physical force while making the arrest.”

Learn more about assault and battery as well as their elements in autoaccidentattorneysanantonio.org.

 

All About Premises Liability Law

There are a lot of people who have been asking whether they will liable if ever a trespasser becomes injured. And because this subject requires a clear definition of terms, this post will answer the question for your by defining essential terms and taking about premises liability in general.

So read on…

Premises Liability – Injury Law Overview

“Premises liability” is the general term for the established set of laws applied to determine who (if anybody) is legally responsible when a certain condition or use of a land, building or other premises results in an injury. The three major categories of entrant (person injured) are the following– invitee, licensee, and trespasser.

Invitee

An occupier or premises owner has the maximum level of legal responsibility to entrants that belong in the category of the invitee. An invitee is somebody the occupier or premises owner has invited into the area for the occupier or owner’s benefit.

The most popular invitee example is a shop patron: the premises owner has invited the entrant into the shop so that the premises owner can gain from the business of the patron.

Premises liability

A dark corridor is someone else’s property.

An occupier or premises owner is under an obligation to carry out a reasonable job repairing and maintaining a property so that people aren’t injured. In legal terms, this is known as “duty of reasonable care.” And if the occupier or owner has fulfilled his or her duty, but an invitee has been harmed anyway, the occupier or owner won’t be legally responsible to the invitee.

But if the jury or judge determines that the occupier or owner didn’t fulfill his or her duty in maintaining the property, then he or she is legally responsible for an invitee’s injuries due to the lack of repair or maintenance.

Premises liability is the body of law that includes a property owner’s liability for injuries that happen to the individual on their premises. This includes slip and fall injuries and accidents that occur as a guest in somebody’s home.

Before talking about anything else, let us talk about the definition of Premises Liability. What is Premises Liability Law? by HG.org provides this information to us below:

“Premises liability law refers to the legal principles that hold landowners and tenants responsible when someone enters onto their property and gets hurt due to a dangerous condition. With few exceptions, premises liability claims are based on negligence, although the doctrine may be applied differently than it is in other personal injury situations. The primary source of premises liability law is state case precedents (known as “common law”). State statutes, municipal ordinances, and local building codes may also be relevant.

“Slip and falls are the most common type of accident resulting in premises liability. Causes include wet floors, snow and ice, unmarked obstacles, faulty stairs, and other such dangers. Lawsuits can also result from injuries caused by vicious animals, open swimming pools, broken elevators, or violent customers or guests. To obtain compensation, plaintiffs may be able to file suit against owners, landlords, business owners, easement holders, residential tenants, maintenance companies, and other entities that control or possess the property where the accident happened.”

Since Premises Liability has defined, let us now proceed to discuss the three main categories of the person injured. All Law’s Premises Liability – Injury Law Overview has this in detail below:

“Invitee

“A premises owner or occupier has the highest level of responsibility to entrants that fall into the “invitee” category. An invitee is someone the premises owner or occupier has invited onto the premises for the owner or occupier’s benefit. The most common example of an invitee is a store patron: the business owner has invited the patron into the store so that the owner can benefit from the patron’s business.

“Licensee

“A licensee is someone who is permitted to be on the premises, as opposed to someone who is invited. The distinction between invitees and licensees is often difficult and is determined by either the judge or the jury, depending on the circumstances of the case and the law of the state.

“Trespasser

“The lowest level of responsibility is owed to trespassers. Essentially, no duty is owed, other than to avoid intentionally injuring a trespasser for reasons other than self-defense.

“One complicated exception is the child trespasser. If an owner or occupier creates or maintains an object or other dangerous condition that would entice children to play with it, he or she may be liable for a child’s injuries even if the child was a trespasser. How a judge and/or jury will apply this law (typically called the “attractive nuisance doctrine”) can be a little unpredictable.”

Licensee

A licensee is somebody who’s allowed to be on the premises. The difference between licensees and invitees is frequently difficult and is decided by either a jury or a judge, depending on the case’s circumstances and the state law.

But in general, an occupier or owner wants an invite to enter the premises, whereas a licensee is permitted on the premises only if the licensee so wants. But there’s an exception to this– social guests, for instance, individuals attending a social event, are usually deemed as licensees, not invitees.

premises liability law

Premises of someone’s property

Another exemption is that family members or relatives are considered licensees as well.

An occupier or owner has a lower level of duty to licensees than invitees. The occupier or owner should warn a licensee of whatever dangers or hazards that the licensee cannot easily see for themselves. Aside from that, an occupier or owner isn’t under any responsibility to repair or maintain conditions on the premises.

But he or she can be accountable for hazardous activities that harm a licensee, but depending on the state law.

Trespasser

The trespassers are owed the lowest degree of responsibility. Basically, duty is not owed, other than to avoid deliberately harming a trespasser for reasons but self-defense.

A complicated exemption is a child trespassing. If an occupier or owner creates or maintains the dangerous condition that would lure kids to play with it, then he or she could be accountable for the injuries of a child even though the child was trespassing. How a jury and judge will use this law can be a bit unpredictable.

You may check out more about premises liability and the three categories by clicking on the article above.