Your Guide to Comparative Negligence

When somebody gets injured in a car accident, deciding who’s responsible is frequently a difficult task. Certainly, there are a few accidents where it is pretty clear who’s at fault, but mostly, it is not so obvious. And so, here comes comparative negligence.

Comparative Negligence and Personal Injury Lawsuits by Injury-Law discusses the various concept of the term. Below are a few examples the article provides:

  • “Imagine person A is speeding while driving. Driver B suddenly moves into A’s lane without signaling, and driver A collides with B. Driver A may be held responsible for harm to driver B or to his vehicle, but A’s liability may also be reduced because driver B negligently failed to use his blinker.
  • In a slip and fall accident, person A is walking through an icy parking lot owned by person B. Person A notices ice, thinks she can walk over it, but falls and injures herself.  Even if person B was aware of the ice and should have cleaned it up, person A’s failure to avoid the ice may impact her ability to recover for the injuries.
  • Person A is hit by a car driven by person B. Person A was in the road at night and not crossing at a light or a cross walk.  Person B may be responsible for the injuries, but person A could be negligent because his decisions while crossing created a dangerous situation.”
car accident

Car accident scene

As we’ve mentioned, when somebody gets injured in a traffic accident or car collision, deciding who’s legally responsible is often a very tough task. There are certainly some accidents wherein it’s rather clear where to put the liability, but often, it isn’t so apparent. So for instance, we have two drivers: Brian and Abby. Brian stops at a red light and prepares to make a left turn onto a much busier road without a stop sign. Brian looks both ways sometimes and chooses to turn left when the road looks clear.

So for instance, we have two drivers: Brian and Abby. Brian stops at a red light and prepares to make a left turn onto a much busier road without a stop sign. Brian looks both ways sometimes and chooses to turn left when the road looks clear.

In the meantime, Abby drives down the highway 20 mph over the mandated speed limit. Abby is unable to decelerate and crashed into Brian’s vehicle. In this example, both parties bear some of the legal responsibility or fault: Abby certainly shouldn’t have been speeding, yet Brian should’ve been a tad more cautious and attentive before turning. So who’s responsible?

Pure Contributory Negligence – there are states that recognize such rule, wherein plaintiffs may not get damages even if they’re as little as a percent to being responsible for the incident. Five states abide by this legal rule: Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Alabama.

Now that you’ve grasped the term via the examples, let us now proceed to the details of the terms. Comparative Negligence by FindLaw features the various types of comparative negligence law.

“Pure Contributory Negligence – In states that recognize the pure contributory negligence rule, injured parties may not collect damages if they are as little as one percent to blame for the incident. Only five states follow this legal rule: Alabama, the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia.”

“Pure Comparative Fault – States recognizing the pure comparative fault rule of accident liability allow parties to collect for damages even if they are 99 percent at fault. However, the amount of damages is limited by the party’s actual degree of fault. So if a drunk driver is predominately to blame for an accident, but makes an injury claim because the other driver had a burned out taillight, he or she may collect a minimal amount of damages. Nearly one-third of states follow this rule, including California, Florida, and New York.”

“Modified Comparative Fault – The majority of states follow the modified comparative fault model, which is split into two distinct categories: the 50 percent bar rule and the 51 percent bar rule. In states following the 50 percent rule (including Colorado and Utah), a party that is 50 percent or more responsible for an accident may not recover any damages. In states adhering to the 51 percent rule, a party may not recover if he or she is 51 percent at fault.”

truck accident law

Big truck on the road

Pure Comparative Fault – the states that recognize the accident liability’s pure comparative fault rule enable parties to get for damages even though they’re 99% responsible. On the other hand, the damages amount is only limited by the actual extent of the fault of the party. Therefore, if an intoxicated driver is predominately legally responsible for an accident, but files a personal injury claim as the other party had a burnt out taillight, then he or she could get a minimum damages amount. Nearly 33% of states abide by this rule, including New York, Florida, and California.

Modified Comparative Fault – most states abide by the modified comparative fault rule, which is divided into two separate categories: the 51% bar rule and the 50% bar rule. In states that follow the 50% rule (including Utah and Colorado), a party that’s 50% or more at-fault for the accident may not get any damages. And in states following the 51% rule, a party may not get if that party is 51% responsible.

Confused? Get an Evaluation Completely Free

It is normal to feel quite overwhelmed by the negligence law’s complexities, especially when you could be partly at fault for the injuries you sustained. If you’re filing a case, just talk with an experienced personal injury attorney. You actually have nothing to lose by having a lawyer assess your claim at completely no cost.

You may check out the entire article by clicking o the link provide above.

 

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.

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.

 

An Overview on Hit and Run Bicycle Crashes

Bicycle accident such as “hit and run” is one the most widespread bicycle crashes that can happen to cyclists. The highway can be filled with careless drivers on their phones chatting or texting away. A negligent driver may not be paying careful attention to their surroundings.

These cases aren’t a lost cause, and mostly, the cyclist can recover from the automobile insurance of driver or the cyclist himself or herself. As is common the case, the insurer isn’t too content to disburse on these claims. The bias that bicycle riders face against car drivers, insurer, and even cops can make these claims hard.

Bicycle accidents

Guy met with a bicycle accident.

Things you must do if you got involved a hit and run crash in preserving your case and protect your rights:

  • Firstly, you should instantly file a police report. Cyclists frequently feel that contacting the police is nonsense since the liable driver already fled the accident scene. This could not be far from the truth. Police have substantial resources, can track down the responsible party, and can do so if called or contacted immediately. But even though the vehicle driver can’t be found at all, your insurance will almost constantly call for an investigation be commence and recorded in a police report. The majority of cyclists do not know that there’s still a chance for recovery from such accident and frequently fail to go to the police. It is a vital thing you can do when a hit and run occurs.
  • You should instantly notify your health and car insurance companies. In most states, the law typically calls for you tp report the accident right away and a few states even entail you to do so in 24 hours. Submitting this claim against the car insurance policy could be the mere recovery source for your damages such as lost wages, bicycle replacement cost, medical bills, suffering and pain, and all that.
  • Seek medical attention immediately. Most people harmed in a bicycle crash are likely to be more concerned about the bikes or training event instead of the actual physical damage that has happened. Frequently, bicycle accident cases involve significant injuries and painful recoveries. It’s very vital that you take the time to heal and seek prompt and adequate medical help. Once you get medical attention, you should comply with your doctor’s orders.
  • Identify witnesses. Even when the driver has fled the accident scene, witnesses could still be pulled over in order to help out. Ensure that you get their contact details and declarations of what they saw. The investigation of the police will go much more for you if you can present witnesses that they can ask.
Bicycle

Bicycle and helmet.

Bicycle crashes are not rare and they can be just as damaging as an ordinary automobile accident (even more fatal). If you even get involved into one, know that you can always depend on the services of a personal injury lawyer. You deserve just compensation after what you’ve been through.

Combinations of factors The Determine a Personal Injury Accident

Accidents are not as direct as many people assert them to be. There are many contributing factors to accidents and these factors should be considered when assessing a personal injury accident. We have listed some of these factors in this post.

Numerous combined conditions can create a worse situation, such as:

  • Combining cannabis and alcohol has a more serious influence on a driver’s performance than either alcohol or cannabis separately, or
  • Taking doses of some drugs together, which, separately, don’t cause damage, could combine to cause lethargy or other damage. This may be more evident in an elderly individual whose kidney function is already less efficient.

Therefore there are circumstances when an individual could be impaired, yet still legally permitted to drive, and turns out to be a potential danger to themselves as well as other road users. Cyclists or pedestrians are affected likewise, and can also endanger themselves or other people when traveling.

Truck accidents.

Road design

A US study in 1985 revealed that about 34 percent of serious collisions had causative factors that relate to the roadway and/or its environment. The majority of these collisions also took in a human factor. The environmental or road factor was either observed as making an important contribution to the crash’s circumstances or didn’t permit room to recover.

In these conditions, it is typically the driver who’s liable instead of the road; those who report the accident are likely to disregard the human factors involved, like the design’s subtleties as well as maintenance and care that a driver may fail to notice or incompetently compensate for.

Studies have revealed that maintenance and careful design, with well-made road surfaces, intersections, visibility as well as traffic control strategies, can cause major improvements in accident frequencies. Moreover, individual roads have usually differing performance if an impact happens.

In Europe, there are now “EuroRAP” examinations that point out how forgiving and self-explaining a certain road, as well as its roadside, will be if a major incident occurs.

In the United Kingdom, research has revealed that investing in an infrastructure program concerning safe road may yield a one-third decrease in road causalities, saving £6 billion every year. A group of thirteen major road safety investors has created the Safe Road Design Campaign, which calls on the United Kingdom Government to make the safe road design a transport precedence.

 

Think about Hiring a Lawyer? Read This Post for Guidance!

Dealing with an insurer can be challenging in any situations. After a vehicle crash, it can even be scarier to face the duty of presenting all the essential documents to the insurance company and to take part in settlement negotiations. A skilled personal injury lawyer can ease the burden using engaging in information-gathering, collecting the necessary documents, and creating concise and comprehensive demands for your personal injury claims settlement.

Starting a Slip and Fall Injury Claim

Caution Wet Floor sign in a shopping mall

Caution Wet Floor sign in a shopping mall

After an accident like a slip and fall, the initial actions to take could go a very long way towards protecting your future claim. Just follow the following tips, and you cannot go wrong.

Report The Mishap To The Property Owner

If you are harmed in a slip/fall accident, you ought to immediately report it to the owner of the premises or some individual in charge of the premises. If you’re injured on commercial property, notify the highest-ranking individual that can you find in the property about the accident. If you’re injured on public property and the injury wasn’t that severe to call for emergency responders or the police to arrive at the accident scene, notify the town or city about the mishap as soon as possible.

Though failure to instantly report a slip/fall injury won’t legally restrict you from submitting or filing a case, you shouldn’t wait, particularly if the accident was not witnessed by other people. Insurers and juries question the validity of an accident claim that’s unwitnessed, and that wasn’t reported by the following day at least. Even a several-day delay in the accident reporting can hugely harm a claim. In a few instances, perhaps you will even need to send a letter of notification.

Get The Witnesses’ Names

If there were eyewitnesses to the accident, ensure that you acquire their names as well as contact details. Witnesses can be vital in a slip/fall case.

Take Photos ASAP

If you happen to be in a slip/fall accident, perhaps you won’t be in a mood or condition to collect evidence. But take photos immediately if you can. If you have a smartphone or a camera , take as many photos of the scene of the accident as you can – from different angles – prior to leaving the scene.

If you don’t have a device for taking pictures or cannot physically take any photos after the bodily injury claim, have a relative or friend take photos immediately, and before anybody changes or fixes the accident area. This is particularly vital if you slipped or skidded on snow or ice. The ice and snow’s condition can alter within minutes. Ice melt, or can be cleaned or cleared away. It may be tough to win a case involving snow and ice without photos showing the snow and ice as it was during your injury.