Five steps to building the foundations of a successful PI lawsuit in St. Louis

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Personal injury lawsuits are an all-too-common feature of modern life. Covering a vast range of different injuries and accident scenarios, each case has its own unique set of features which makes it distinctive. If you’ve been injured in any type of accident where the fault can clearly be traced to a specific individual, business or organization, you will have the embryo of a successful legal case.

Although many people choose to use a respectable PI attorney St. Louis can provide for, smaller claims are often made without the need for legal representation. If you choose to hire an attorney or not, you will still require knowledge of the general process to ensure you do everything possible to achieve a successful outcome.

1. Report the incident

Before leaving the scene of any accident you should always report the event to any relevant parties.

Depending upon the location and the scale of the incident, this could be the police, the person in charge of the area, your insurance company or a legal professional if you wish to take this avenue. It’s also prudent not to provide any direct statements or admission to any form of guilt at this stage as this could later be used against your case.

2. Keep a personal log of events

One vital step which most people ignore is to keep a diary containing all useful information connected to the accident.

This should include as many details of the actual accident including the date, time and weather conditions, where appropriate. You should then continue to add to this document any relevant information including physical and emotional effects suffered as well as dates and times of medical examinations, meetings with legal representatives and any contact with the defendant.

3. Collect and maintain any evidence

Ideally, before you leave the scene of the accident, try to collect as much primary information to substantiate your claims.

This can include personal details and statements from any witnesses to the event and photographs, video footage or sketches of the area the accident occurred. If there was any particular hazard which contributed significantly to the accident, you should try to gather as much detail as possible, taking multiple photographs from various viewpoints if possible.

4. Seek medical attention and a copy of any records

After leaving the location in which the accident took place, you should seek medical attention at the first possible opportunity.

This is primarily for your own personal safety and well-being, ensuring that any ailments you have incurred have been identified and attended to by a trained professional. Any medical records produced from such a visit can then be used as evidence, however, your first thoughts should be towards ensuring you are able to move forward in your life in the best condition possible.

5. Assemble relevant information and begin filing a complaint

Further documents such as copies of police reports and witness testimonials can then be collected at a later date.

Using all of the available information at your disposal, you can then carefully proceed in forming the complaint against the responsible party, using all of the collected information to prove their liability and negligence was the root cause of the accident which caused you actual physical harm.

September 26, 2017 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
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Woodburn v Thomas – Sen Cts Costs Office (Master McCloud) 11/08/2017

The court provided guidance on drafting bills of costs in details assessments in cases subject to the CPR Part 3 costs budgeting regime.

The bill of costs specified costs claimed on a phase-by-phase basis, each phase matching those set out in Precedent H forms. The costs lawyer set out in the CMC phase of the bill all the CMC costs which did not relate to costs budgeting. He provided a separate “non-phase” part of the bill in which all the costs relating to costs budgeting and costs management were set out. It followed that the bill’s CMC phase excluded some items of costs which related to budgeting which were required to be included in the Precedent H by the PD and the Precedent H Guidance Note.

The defendant paying party submitted that the “non-phase” costs were costs which had actually been budgeted in the CMC phase of the Precedent H and should have appeared in that part of the bill. The claimant receiving party contended that it was correct to have separated out the costs of costs budgeting in line with P v Cardiff and Vale University Local Health Board (unreported) and that the costs for every item appeared only once and were not duplicated.

September 25, 2017 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
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Redman v Zurich Insurance PLC and ESJS1 LTD [2017] EWHC 1919 (QB)

The Claimant brought a claim under the Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 2010 alleging that her husband’s death had been caused by asbestos exposure whilst he was employed by the 2nd Defendant. Her husband had died on 5th November 2013. The Second Defendant was voluntarily wound up on 30th January 2014 and was dissolved on 30th June 2016.

The First Defendant applied for the claim to be struck out. The following issues were raised: (1) whether the Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 1930 or the 2010 Act applied; (2) if the 1930 Act applied, did this preclude retrospective but parallel application of the 2010 Act to claims which hitherto had fallen within the scope of the earlier Act?

 

HELD:

• The Claimant accepted that the 1930 Act applied. Liability was incurred when the damage was caused and Schedule 3 to the 2010 Act provided that the 1930 Act continued to apply where some had incurred a liability against which they were insured, and had become insolvent, before 1st August 2016.
• Parallel operation of the two acts would be inconsistent with s.1 and Sch.3 of the 2010 Act. Moreover, the later Act contained transitional provisions which would be unnecessary if the two operated in parallel. Parliament, had it intended to do so, could have drafted relatively straightforward legislation if it intended all third party claims against insurers to be covered by the 2010 Act.

August 25, 2017 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
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Texting While Driving is One of the Main Causes of Traffic Accidents

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Text messaging, i.e., texting, is very popular among drivers in the United States. The problem is that those people prefer texting while driving. This is especially true for drivers under 20 years of age. Young drivers make up about 27% of the participants in the fatal traffic accidents. It’s estimated that more than 650,000 drivers use electronic devices, including mobile phones, every second during daylight hours.

The combination of driving and texting is one of the main causes of traffic accidents. This way almost 500,000 people are killed or injured in traffic collisions each year in the United States. Though this happens all around the world, the U.S. is the leading country in this issue. Even 69% of Americans have stated that they often use their phone while driving. This is much more common case compared European countries. For example, 29 percent of people use the cell phone while driving in the United Kingdom.

There are a lot of debates regarding the driver distraction and cell phones. The laws and regulations are not the same for all states when it comes to this problem. Thus, some laws only refer to commercial drivers or novice drivers, whereas other regulations target all drivers. Likewise, some laws only apply to handheld electric devices, whereas others affect both hands-free and handheld devices. Here’s how some states ban the use of cell phone in traffic:

  • All cell phone ban – To date, no U.S. state prohibits all drivers from using mobile phones. However, 38 states plus D.C. have banned all cell phone use for teenage or novice drivers, while 21 states ban any use of the cellular phone for school bus drivers.
  • Handheld cellular phone use ban – A total of 14 states, as well as the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Guam ban the use of hand-held mobile phones for all drivers.
  • Texting ban – Even 47 U.S. states, as well as the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Guam ban texting for all drivers. The text messaging is prohibited for all teen and novice drivers in Missouri.

Strict laws present the best way to change bad driving behavior if enforced regularly. This approach has been giving good results in different traffic aspects. It has increased the use of seat belt and decreased alcohol-impaired driving. Ultimately, strong laws have significantly reduced crash deaths.

The distracted driving (or laws regulating driving) is subject to either primary or secondary enforcement by local authorities, county or state. The state-level laws related to cell phone use while driving is the primary enforcement type. This means the police officers can cite the drivers for handheld cell phone use no matter they didn’t make any other traffic violation. The novice drivers could be an exception in some cases. When it comes to the secondary enforcement, the officers can only cite or stop the drivers for the use of cell phones if they have committed another primary traffic offense (like failure to stop or speeding) simultaneously.

In addition to laws and regulations, it’s important to influence people to change their mind about cell phone use while driving. If we manage to reduce text messaging in traffic, that will also reduce the risks of accidents on American roads. This is going to be one of the biggest challenges for law enforcement authorities in the coming years.

 

August 15, 2017 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
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Addressing the Financial Implications of Car Accident Injuries

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Car accidents can be devastating, life-changing events. Even after the initial shock has passed, consequences arising from an incident are often costly over the long term. Injuries sustained during a car crash may require expensive medical treatment. Severe injuries can have an impact on current and future employment prospects. Living costs will still need to be covered. It is important, therefore, to fully consider the financial implications of an accident. However, this can be a challenging task, particularly during the initial aftermath. Priorities may lie elsewhere; especially if victims are recovering from injuries. It is therefore prudent to enlist the help of an expert. Consultation with a lawyer is beneficial, particularly if they have local knowledge. If you need to speak with an experienced Dallas car accident lawyer, for example, contact Tate Law Offices at www.tatelawoffices.com/car-accident-lawyer.

Medical expenses

It’s no secret that medical care in any circumstances can be extremely expensive. After an accident, a visit to the Emergency Room can cost an average of $3,300. If hospitalization is required, that figure jumps to $57,000. Involvement of a spinal injury pushes the average bill even further, to $198,000 for the first year after the incident. It may be the case that victims do not have insurance coverage for these costs, so compensation must be considered. Experienced lawyers are well-equipped to navigate this process.

Rehabilitation

Depending on the severity of injuries sustained during a car accident, a period of rehabilitation may be required. This could involve further medical treatment, including physiotherapy and counselling. The process of rehabilitation may turn out to be costly; a single physiotherapy appointment can range from $50 – $350 on average. Psychological therapy sessions are similarly priced. A long-term recovery can have a severely detrimental impact on finances. This will need to be factored in when considering a compensation claim. Your lawyer will be able to put together a realistic estimate of these costs, and pursue appropriate reimbursement.

Living costs

Whilst recovering from injuries sustained in a car crash, individuals may be required to stop working, or take a period of leave, which may not be paid. During recovery, the everyday costs of living must still be taken care of. Without a regular income, this becomes problematic. Bills can pile up; related interest payments may spiral out of control. This is particularly galling when the victim is not at fault. Through consultation with a legal professional, you will be able to establish how you can claim back these costs.

Employment prospects

The physical and mental scars that result from a vehicular incident can be long-lasting. This may alter current and future employment prospects. In the short term, a period of time away from work might be necessary, which can have an impact on opportunities for development and promotion. Over the long term, career aspirations may be limited, due to physical impairment or mental trauma. Consideration must be taken regarding the impact of an accident on a victim’s quality of life, including their onward career.

The consequences of a car accident cannot be overstated. Resulting financial misfortune can be addressed by an experienced legal professional. They should be consulted at the earliest opportunity, to avoid or minimize the detrimental effect on the victim.

 

August 15, 2017 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
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Why and When to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?

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Personal injury attorneys are often hired by injured persons, i.e., the victims of the negligence or abuse of another party. This has a lot of benefits. Let’s see why and when you should contact a personal injury lawyer for help.

Why Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Technically, it’s possible to file a claim against another person or company without the help of a personal lawyer. Many people avoid hiring a lawyer to save their money in legal fees. Also, people pick this route when they have a lot of time and experience to handle the law claim process themselves. By the way, minor violations and light injuries usually do not require an attorney to be solved.

However, a personal injury lawyer could be of great help in many cases. The majority of attorneys have contingency approach to accident cases. It usually doesn’t require any payment or fee for legal services. The exceptions are when the jury awards a verdict and case settles. Of course, you must pay an attorney to represent you during the trial, but it is worth the money.

You may want to hire an experienced injury lawyer because of the complexity of legal rules and regulations involved in your claim. Likewise, a personal injury lawyer is welcomed when the severity of an injury makes the compensation considerably vary from the current norm. Also, many people need a skilled lawyer when the insurance companies refuse to pay something.

There are a lot of reasons why to hire a personal injury attorney. Some of them include:

  • Legal knowledge
  • Legal advice
  • Legal representation
  • Claims assessment
  • Settlement value estimation
  • Recommendation for medical needs
  • Cooperation with a number of car insurance companies
  • Negotiations with a number of insurance companies

When to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Hiring a personal injury lawyer is the best choice for those who are:

  • Facing with costly medical bills;
  • Suffering serious injury;
  • Experiencing a notable loss of their wages because of injuries.

Not sure when to consult an injury lawyer? The following types of accidents and injuries surely require the help of a personal injury lawyer.

Severe injuries

The severity of an injury is measured by several factors. Thus, it depends on the type of injury (work, pedestrian, dog bite, catastrophic, auto accident injury, etc.), the length of time needed for recovery, and the cost of medical bills.

Medical malpractice

An illness or injury due to incompetent, careless, or unprofessional treatment by a clinic, hospital, nurse, doctor, or another medical provider.

Toxic exposure

This includes exposure to harmful contaminants in food, products, water, soil, or air.

Refusal to pay a fair amount

When a government agency or an insurance company refuses to pay something you have rights to.

Disputed liability

When the insurance companies dispute their policyholders’ liability, especially in case of the car crash.

How to find a good, experienced personal injury lawyer? If you’re looking for a personal injury lawyer in Charleston WV, make sure to visit yourwvinjuryattorneys.com. It’s smart to ask acquaintances, friends, or other attorneys for referrals, and then select the best ones by interviewing several candidates. You also need to consider personal injury attorney’s expertise, focus, reputation, dedication, and experience. That will help you narrow down your choices and choose the right lawyer for your case.

August 15, 2017 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
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The importance of advertising for Personal Injury Solicitors

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Whereas once searching the net would mean physically typing in any search criteria, nowadays those with smart phones will be more likely to just speak when looking for the information required. Personal Injury solicitors at least solicitors who want to stay in business, need to grasp the knowledge to stay on top of the technology involved, and become proficient in how they advertise their services. Although a lot of solicitors might claim to be aware of the importance of Internet Advertising, not many are as good at such advertising as they think, or indeed should be.

The secret to successful Internet usage is to make sure that your advertisement is placed as close to the front page of results given. Solicitors in the personal injury claims sector, have two ways of making this occur. The first and simplest way to achieve this is by payment to the relevant search engine designers. In Google for example the first few results given are actually paid for. The more potential businesses seeking this placement will set the rate of charge set out by the search engine makers. This depending on the jurisdiction country or location can range from moderates to extremely high. Some businesses would consider this to be too expensive. Many smaller businesses could not achieve this. So usually larger more established solicitors might choose this avenue of advertisement.

Personal injury solicitors could otherwise have someone employed directly to run and organize the creation and functioning of their website. Whether they do it themselves, or hire others is not important. What is important is to get their advertising right. Without this their business will face an uphill battle when competing with other solicitors. However good their claim processes is and the amount of successful cases that made in the past, if people browsing the Internet see their competitors advertisements first, then chances are no new business will be generated.

Relevance of advertising by Personal Injury Solicitors

Solicitors, with this in mind should go to all lengths to ensure their website is relevant colorful interesting and foremost seen by the public. However, they achieve it, every avenue should be examined in the fight for market share. And when and if they achieve this end their eye should not be taken off the ball if they become complacent as the Internet is constantly evolving and need to be constantly updated.

This means that competitor’s web sites should be watched and examined as to their content and more importantly their placement. Remembering that the first few web sites are paid for by click by their owners, the web sites on the second half of the front page of the Google listing are the ones utilizing the best techniques in getting positive returns at no further expense. Based on pure creativity rather than paid advertisements. These solicitors have clearly worked out how to best utilize the technology at their fingertips. These solicitors will receive the lion’s share of the personal injury claims business.

August 4, 2017 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
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PT Civil Engineering v Davies [2017] EWHC 1651 (QB)

The appellant (P) appealed against a judgment given for the respondent (D) in his claim for damages for personal injury. D had been working as a self-employed worker, driving a van owned by P. A fire erupted in the vehicle, compelling D to leap from the burning vehicle, thereby sustaining injury. D alleged that P was negligent in failing to maintain the vehicle. On considering the expert evidence the judge found that there was no known cause for the fire, but found the vehicle had been poorly maintained and therefore inferred that was the cause. P submitted that the judge had erred in making that inference.

Held: (1) It was common ground that P owned D a duty of care to take reasonable care to ensure the vehicle provided was safe for the purpose of use. The central question was whether P had failed to exercise reasonable care and whether that failure had caused the fire, thereby causing D to sustain injuries. (2) The judge had been wrong to draw the inference he had from the facts. He had accepted the experts’ evidence that the particular defects were not linked to the cause of fire. Second, the experts’ evidence did not support the inference that the judge had drawn. It had not been open to regard that evidence as indicating that a poorly maintained electrical system or poorly maintained vehicle did not usually burst into flames.

July 28, 2017 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
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How to Diagnose and Prevent These Most Common Heat Related Illnesses at the Workplace

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Heat-related conditions can occur throughout the year, but the hot summer days definitely increase the risk of contracting them. If the conditions aren’t diagnosed and treated immediately, heat conditions can lead to a lot of complications. Employees who work during the peak sun hours and are usually encumbered by heavy equipment and warm protective gear are definitely most at risk.

In most cases, you can seek worker’s compensation benefits for heat-related conditions contracted at work. Just make sure you report your condition to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the weaker your chances are of winning a case against the insurance company. Read more about it at this link: http://www.workerscompensationlawyer-philadelphia.com/youre-injured-work/

The Risks

Workers who are subject to heavy physical labor and those who work outside, like construction workers, are most prone to suffer a heat-related condition. The risk is even greater for workers whose job involves high temperatures like firefighters, factory workers, miners and others. Age also has a lot to do with contracting and dealing with a heat-related illness, as the condition can prove fatal to those over 65. The same goes for workers suffering from heart disease, high blood pressure or obesity.

Heat-Related Conditions

Heat can cause a number of different conditions ranging from mild to serious and even fatal. If you suspect you or your coworker suffered a heat-related condition or notice any of the common symptoms, you should visit the doctor immediately. Listed below are some of the most common heat-related conditions:

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is the least dangerous of all the heat-related conditions, but dangerous nonetheless. The main symptoms of heat exhaustion include headaches, fever, nausea, extreme thirst and dizziness. All of these symptoms can hinder your ability to work and might cause you to get seriously injured, like for example by falling off a scaffold due to dizziness.

Heat Syncope

Heat syncope is another condition that often comes in the form of dizziness and fainting. It often occurs due to dehydration. If you feel dizzy after working under the sun for too long, make sure to retreat to a shady area, drink plenty of fluids and rest until the symptoms disappear. To eliminate the possibility of other conditions, make sure to visit the doctor even if you cannot feel the symptoms anymore.

Heat Cramps

This condition manifests in the form of muscle aches. It occurs due to the loss of salt and fluids after experiencing increased sweating. If you experience any muscle cramps after working for too long in the heat, make sure to drink plenty of fluids with a high electrolyte count, like sports drinks.

Heat Stroke

The most dangerous, and sadly the most common condition on this list, a heat stroke is dangerous as it can often lead to a fatal outcome. You can recognize a heat stroke by extremely high body temperatures and lack of sweating. Patients also often complain about being confused, experiencing chills and loss of consciousness sometimes followed by seizures.

How to Prevent These Conditions

The best way to prevent heat-related conditions is to raise awareness about them among your colleagues and employers. You should have at least one person at your workplace in charge of monitoring the employees for the symptoms of heat-related diseases. Ideally, work hours should change according to the temperature and other weather conditions, but since that can’t always be implemented the company should at least monitor the area for humidity, sun exposure and temperature. Finally, workers should stay hydrated as dehydration is the leading cause of most of these conditions.

July 25, 2017 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
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JC & A Solicitors Limited v Andeen Iqbal & others [2017] EWCA Civ 355

A firm of solicitors appealed against a decision concerning the Pre-Action Protocol for Low Value Personal Injury Claims in Road Traffic Accidents as it stood before 2013. The solicitors had acted for claimants in 3 claims in which a CNF had been submitted. The defendant in each case had admitted liability and paid Stage 1 costs but the claimants had taken no further steps to pursue their claims.

The defendants had sought to recover the £400 + VAT of fixed costs. At first instance, the District Judge found that the Protocol allowed for a right of recovery in such circumstances. On appeal, the claimant solicitors argued that there was no express repayment provision and it was not possible to imply one.

HELD:

There was no express provision for repayment within the Protocol. As to whether one could be implied, it was noted that the claimant was entitled to stage 1 costs under paragraph 5.9 where the claimant reasonably believed that the claim was valued at between £1,000 and £10,000 but it subsequently became apparent that the value was less than £1,000. It did not make sense that this was contingent upon the claimant attending court to prove that belief. This paragraph was intended simply to make clear that the right to stage 1 costs was not lost simply because a claim was worth less than £1,000.

CPR r45.40 implicitly treated stage 1 costs as costs which the claimant was entitled to outright. It simply required them to be taken into account so as to avoid double recovery. It did not treat such costs as a mere interim payment of costs.

The separate, and different, provisions relating to children’s claims – whereby the receipt of costs was deferred – did not have any impact upon an adult claimant’s entitlement to costs.

The Protocol was intended to be a detailed code and the Court should be slow to imply terms into it. It was clear from the Protocol that it intended to ensure that the claimant’s solicitors should receive payment for their work along the way. Cases might be concluded after stage 1 for a variety of reasons; it would be contrary to the intention of the Protocol to incentivise such cases coming to Court when they otherwise would not.

July 15, 2017 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
Posted in: Cases