PERSONAL INJURIES: CAR ACCIDENTS, NEGLIGENT TRAINING & SUPERVISION, DEFECTIVE PRODUCTS, AND SLIPS & FALLS CAUSED BY UNSAFE PREMISES.
WHY THE RIGHT LAWYER MAKES A DIFFERENCE When you are hurt by another person, your life is thrown into a tailspin. You may find yourself in the hospital, rushed to surgery or kept for an extended period of time. You may miss work, and worse yet–may lose your job. Your way of life may change overnight. People come to me after being seriously disabled, losing use of their body because of amputation or other disfigurement, and facing a mountain of medical bills and other uncertainty. People often ask “If I was hurt, and it wasn’t my fault, why do I need a lawyer?” I do not pretend that money answers anyone’s problems, nor do I think that the judicial system should be viewed as a lottery. But oftentimes, money is the only way to try to remedy some of the damage and fallout from a serious personal injury. Money does not restore perfect health, does not erase emotional damages from an injury, and certainly does not bring back people we have lost. But the system works against people without lawyers. An insurance company will attempt to take your statement soon after you are injured, and assure you that you don’t need a lawyer! Their goal is to pay you as little as possible. They will discount the seriousness of your injuries. They will question to emotional impact of being hurt. They will dismiss your inability to work. They will even say your injuries are your fault! Even when everything lines up seemingly perfectly, an injured person faces obstacles when they try to settle a personal injury claim without a lawyer. Hospitals and doctors will assert liens against your settlement–sometimes claiming more than they are entitled to! Your own health insurance company, in the fine print of your agreement with them, will come after your settlement. A lawyer negotiates these liens and works with everyone to make sure that you get as much as you’re fairly entitled to. INJURIES FROM AUTO ACCIDENTS I have a long track record of successfully handling car wreck cases, involving all types of car accidents–rear-end collisions, head-on collisions, t-bone collisions, and one-car accidents on behalf of injured passengers. I identify factors that can prevent the insurance company from arguing that you were at fault (such as when the wrongdoer or negligent driver violates a state law or municipal ordinance). I work with doctors to make sure they are paid, and that they articulate the connection between the accident and your injuries–so that the insurance company cannot claim “that wasn’t caused by the accident!” INJURIES FROM IMPROPER TRAINING AND SUPERVISION Not a lot of people think about what to do if another person causes them injury intentionally. Most insurance companies will tell you “we cannot be responsible for the intentional actions of others.” Not so fast! Sometimes, an intentional act by a company employee is the result of improper training or supervision. Examples of past cases include when:
- An auto finance company’s hired “repo man” uses violence to seriously injure a person when trying to repossess a car;
- An in-store security guard beats up a customer after falsely accusing him of shoplifting;
- Bar “bouncers” who fail to protect a customer from being injured by a drunk person;
- Restaurants who serve too much alcohol to a customer, and that customer then drives drunk and kills an innocent person on the road; and
- Business that cause foreign objects — like a piece of broken ceramic, or a large animal artery in a breakfast burrito — to end up in your food!
In these cases, the company often knew or should have known of the employee’s improper training or past conduct. Sometimes, the business or company is responsible even when they did not have specific knowledge, if they have what’s called a “non-delegable duty” or they are “strictly liable.” INJURIES FROM DANGEROUS PREMISES “SLIP AND FALL CASES” A lot of people hear about slip and fall cases and their response is “Watch where you’re going!” They are right. We all should watch where we are going. But sometimes, being careful doesn’t keep you safe. I have handled cases where, despite people being as careful as possible, they were still injured because:
- A business complex failed to warn people walking in the parking lot that small iron bars were sticking out of the pavement and difficult to see at night;
- A business did not lay mats down in their lobby, despite numerous women falling and injuries themselves because of the floor surface being worn-down and unsafe to walk on when wet from outside rain;
- A retailer failed to pick up packing strips that posed a tripping hazard to people pushing shopping carts or carrying large items; and
- An apartment complex laid down salt and sand in their parking lot, but failed to do so on sidewalks.
These mistakes by businesses, called “negligence” in a “premises liability” case, can cause serious injuries–including broken bones and even paralysis–which can lead to loss on income and permanent loss of daily physical activity. WHEN THE RIGHT LAWYER FIGHTS FOR YOU, YOUR RIGHTS ARE PROTECTED AND YOU CAN STOP WORRYING! I handle cases like these on a contingency-fee basis, where I charge a percentage of your settlement and advance all case expenses (which can be very costly, as even a small personal injury case can entail thousands of dollars in expenses for depositions, expert testimony, filing fees, and records acquisition). My fee is lower if your case can be settled fairly without filing a lawsuit. I also offer free consultations for personal injury cases–at my office–or at your home or in the hospital if you are unable to come to me. Finally, I get in touch with hospitals, doctors, and bill collectors to keep your credit rating intact and assure them that they will be paid when your case settles. This can give you great peace of mind when everything feels like it is falling apart.