At Spencer Law Firm, we are focused on helping injured people recover damages from negligent parties and their insurance companies. We adhere to the philosophy that your personal injury requires our personal attention to ensure the best possible outcome for your case. You should get what you deserve. This life is your time. Do not be robbed of its enjoyment.
A Personal Injury is any physical or mental injury to a person as a result of someone’s negligence or harmful act. Sometimes personal injury may be referred to as bodily injury. Personal injuries can occur in a wide variety of ways. The following are some of the most common accidents resulting in personal injury:
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Personal Injury Victims are entitled to recover money damages for all losses and expenses they incur as a result of an accident. The damages may include the following.
To have a personal injury case, you must be able to show that you have been injured. This may be a physical injury or it may be an emotional injury. In addition, you must be able to show that the someone else (the defendant) is at fault for your injury under a negligence, strict liability or intentional misconduct theory. In some cases, it may be necessary for you to show that the other party is more at fault for the injury than you are.
Even if an accident of injury was partially your fault you still may have a Claim based on the concept of Comparative Negligence.
The term “comparative negligence: means that the fault of all parties is compared and the amount of the recovery for damages sustained by the injured victim is reduced by the percentage of his or her own fault. In this way, each person is held accountable for the amount of damages that they caused”.
If you’re injured by the negligent action of another, but you contributed to the accident by your failure to exercise reasonably prudent care, you’re guilty of contributory negligence. You may also be guilty of a form of contributory negligence if you voluntarily expose yourself to danger. This is called assumption of risk.
If you have been seriously injured or are unsure as to the outcome of your injury, then an experienced personal injury attorney should always be consulted before you give any statements or sign any papers of any kind and as soon after your injury as possible.
In a serious injury case, you are better off hiring an attorney as soon as possible. Most firms offer a free consultation, with no obligation; therefore, you have nothing to lose by consulting an attorney before you accept the insurance company offer.
There is a statute of limitations that requires you to file suit within a specific period of time, depending upon the circumstances of your case, or else you will be prohibited from obtaining any compensation for your injuries. An attorney will be able to help you keep within the statute of limitations.
A contingency fee is a fee that is used by lawyers in most personal injury cases. It is contingent when the fee is conditioned upon your attorney’s successful resolution of your case. A contingent fee is paid as a percentage of your monetary recovery. A contingent fee is what is meant when you hear “there is no fee unless there we recovery”. The client is generally responsible for the out-of-pocket costs of litigation. Contingency fees are usually one third of what you win from the case.
Most personal injury cases are settled out of court between opposing lawyers or by the insurance company. If a case does go to trial you most likely will have to appear so that your testimony can be heard.
Every state has certain time limits, called “statutes of limitations,” that govern the period during which you must file a personal injury lawsuit. In some states, for example, you may have as little as one year to file a lawsuit from an automobile accident. If you miss the statutory deadline for filing a case, your case is thrown out of court.
The statutes of limitations are time frames in which you have to file a lawsuit. When the statute of limitations expires on your case, you simply don’t have a case anymore. Statutes of limitation differ not only from state to state, but also in regard to the kinds of lawsuits involved.
The time it takes to settle a personal injury case depends on the circumstances surrounding the case. The more complex the case the longer it may take to settle. We take pride in obtaining favorable outcomes quickly.
It’s the commission of a civil wrong, a tort, that accidentally causes injury to somebody by reason of failure to perform an expected duty with the care that a reasonably prudent person would use with regard to the safety of other in a particular circumstance.
Negligence is any conduct that falls below the standards of behavior established by law for the protection of others against unreasonable risk of harm. A person has acted negligently if he or she has departed from the conduct expected of a reasonably prudent person acting under similar circumstances. Negligence is also the name of a cause of action in the law of torts. To establish negligence, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant had a duty to the plaintiff, the defendant breached that duty by failing to conform to the required standard of conduct, the defendant’s negligent conduct was the cause of the harm to the plaintiff, and the plaintiff was, in fact, harmed or damaged.
The burden of proof in a tort case, as in most civil law cases, is lower than the proof required in criminal law cases. In a criminal case, the state must prove a person’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. To win a personal injury lawsuit based on tort law, the plaintiff need only prove that a majority of the evidence shows that an injury was caused by the defendant’s tortious actions. This standard of proof is called “the preponderance of the evidence.” The different burdens of proof mean that a company might be acquitted of criminal charges stemming from its actions but be found liable in a civil lawsuit stemming from the same actions.
In the case of negligence, damages awarded for a negligence claim may be reduced if there existed some type of contributory or comparative negligence. In some cases if an assumption of risk was involved the case may be dropped or the award reduced depending on the circumstances. You should consult an attorney for more information regarding negligence defenses.
The term liability generally means that an individual, company or some other entity may be obligated to pay damages or compensation to another.
Strict or absolute liability means that the defendant is responsible for injuring another person regardless of negligence or intent. Some instances in which the law might apply strict liability are with regard to product liability, abnormally dangerous or ultra-hazardous activities and animal owner’s liability. The plaintiff only has to prove that a product is defective or unreasonably dangerous and that the defect caused the injury. It is not necessary to show that the manufacturer was careless or negligent, which is much more difficult to prove.
When a motor vehicle is in an accident, it is important that certain action is taken. The name and address of the operator of each vehicle should be obtained. Additionally, the name and address of the owner of each vehicle involved should be obtained and license plate number of all vehicles should be recorded. Lastly, the name of the automobile insurance company for each vehicle should be obtained. If possible, obtain the names, addresses and telephone numbers of any witnesses to the accident.
If there has been any type of injury, the police should be called to investigate the accident. The police officer will write a report which includes the details of the accident and the nature and extent of any damages and injuries. Insurance companies will require that a report of the accident be obtained before providing any benefits. It is most important to immediately contact your own motor vehicle insurance company to report to them any property damage or personal injury. If you or a family member is injured in a motor vehicle accident, prompt medical attention should be obtained.
If you are seriously injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you should not talk to any representative of the negligent driver or owner’s insurance company until you have sought the advice of your own attorney.
Most businesses and homeowners carry liability insurance to protect them in the event that someone is injured while on their property. This would include slip and fall type cases which are generally known as premise liability cases.
The owner or possessor of a residence, land, or place of business has the duty to exercise reasonable care for the protection of those individuals who are invited to come upon the premises. This would include those who, as members of the public, come upon the land or enter a store or place of business to shop or do business. In such cases, the owner, company, or person occupying the premises must inspect the premises to discover any dangerous conditions and warn the invitee of dangers upon the premises.
Additionally, the property owner or possessor has a duty to exercise ordinary care in maintaining his or her premises in a reasonably safe condition in order to prevent injury to persons on the property. Furthermore, owners or possessors of land or buildings must take reasonable measures after an accumulation of snow and ice to diminish the hazard of injuries to others.
Landowners may also be responsible for injuries occurring as a result of poorly maintained or poorly lit common areas of a building such as stairways, sidewalks, and halls. Likewise, homeowners may be liable for injuries which occur in their homes or yards if such injury results from a condition which presents an unreasonable risk of harm to those who have permission to be upon the premises.
Those injured by a negligent owner or possessor of a premise may recover damages for their injuries, including, loss of income, medical expenses, pain and suffering, etc.
If you are injured upon someone else’s property, you should consult an experienced personal injury attorney who will be able to analyze your case and the principles of law concerning premises liability. You should not give an interview to insurance adjusters of investigators hired by insurance companies until you have consulted with an attorney.
Personal Injury Resources:
Spencer Law Firm, PLC
28 South Washington Avenue
Brownsville, Tennessee 38012
Phone: (731) 772-3322
Toll Free: (800) 597-1586
Fax: (731) 772-4734
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