Damages You Might Be Entitled To

Damages & Entitlement

In the case of a personal injury, it’s likely that you could be entitled to some form of compensation. When speaking of compensation for personal injury, the legal term is “damages.” There are a handful of different types of damages you could be entitled to after being injured due to someone else’s negligence.

Special Compensatory Damages

Special compensatory damages are those that have a monetary value. They vary from case to case because of the differences in every personal injury situation. The purpose of special compensatory damages is to make the victim whole in regards to any expenses he or she had to pay as a result of the injuries sustained. These damages cover any financial losses and could include:

  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Medical expenses
  • Future medical expenses
  • Household costs

Damages that could also fall under this category include the costs associated with the victim having to alter plans. For example, if you had a big trip planned and had already paid for everything, but now you’re unable to go due to your injuries, you could include the trip costs in your claim.

General Compensatory Damages

General compensatory damages are those that don’t hold a specific monetary value, but that you should still be compensated for. While general compensatory damages don’t fix a financial issue or make the victim whole again, this compensation addresses harm that should not have taken place. Some general compensatory damages include mental anguish, pain and suffering, loss of companionship, loss of consortium, and other similar losses and mental suffering.

Wrongful Death Damages

If you are the surviving loved one of someone who died due to negligence by another party, you could be entitled to wrongful death damages. These damages are typically awarded to the surviving family members if the case would have qualified for a personal injury claim had the victim survived. Damages can be sought for funeral and burial costs, emotional distress, pre-death medical expenses, loss of financial support, loss of consortium, and more.

Punitive Damages

When the defendant in the case is found to have acted particularly malicious or violent, the plaintiff could be awarded punitive damages. This compensation is meant as further punishment for the defendant, and also as a way to show both the defendant and the community that the particular behavior will not be tolerated. Punitive damages are often awarded in violent cases, sexual assaults, drunk driving accidents and similar incidents.

Getting Your Lawyer on the Case

In a personal injury case, there are several types of damages the plaintiff could be entitled to. To learn more, contact a personal injury lawyer from a litigation law firm to get a professional on the case.

 

Class Action Lawsuits

Class Action Lawsuits

As a personal injury and medical malpractice lawyer who handles invasion of privacy claims and lawsuits arising out of HIPAA violations, I am occasionally asked about the potential for filing a class action against hospitals or other entities that are the victim of a date of breach. Class action lawsuits have become disfavored in the law and, therefore, it is more difficult to have a class “certified” so that a class action can go forward. Following is a discussion of some of the considerations involved in class action litigation.

Generally, in order for a class action lawsuit to proceed, the lawyers representing the plaintiffs must prove that certain core issues in the lawsuit impact all class members equally. In addition, there must be a uniformity of injury. In this way, a single lawsuit can resolve multiple claims. However, if the plaintiffs have variable or diverse damages, a class action is not the appropriate vehicle for resolution of those various claims. Many claims that might otherwise be amenable to a class action are subject to arbitration clauses which specifically deny consumers the right to proceed with a class action.

The classic case for a class action is a deceptive consumer sales practice that affects multiple consumers equally. For example, if an insurer overcharges all of its insureds an equal amount or a service provider imposes a “service charge” that was not part of the originally quoted price, each of the individuals impacted by the altered price will suffer the exact same injury in the exact same way.

In many instances, however, the injury suffered by individual consumers is individualized and therefore not subject to class action litigation. For example, if individuals experience personal injury or severe emotional distress, the valuation of each individual’s injury will be varied and therefore not subject to class action litigation. In some instances, the uniformity of injury can be debated. For example, in the Equifax data breach cases, each of the individuals whose data was hacked incurred the cost of monitoring for identity theft. This harm was deemed to be sufficiently uniform for the class action. In the settlement of those claims, a pool of funds was designated for reimbursement of consumers’ personal time spent in monitoring their credit reports, checking accounts and credit cards for unauthorized activity. In addition, another pool of funds was set aside to pay for professional monitoring of these consumers’ credit.

In other cases, where damages are variable, a similar litigation mechanism can be employed to simplify the litigation and speed up its resolution. So-called Multi-District Litigation (MDL) is like a class action in that many cases are combined for resolution. MDL litigation is popular for defective medical devices and dangerous drugs. Although the individuals harmed by medical device manufacturers or pharmaceutical companies may have different injuries that are not subject to a class action, they may be similar enough that the claims can be resolved in one massive litigation.

Generally speaking, class actions are not used in the setting of medical negligence, nursing home abuse, nursing home neglect, car accidents, truck accidents, workplace accidents, or other serious personal injury or wrongful death cases where the damages and the underlying fact pattern is unique.

Nursing home injury lawyer

Was Your Loved One Injured at a Nursing Home?

Injured at a Nursing Home 

Nursing home injury lawyer

If your loved one has been injured at their nursing home, then it is important to find out why exactly this happened. There are many different reasons why an injury could occur that range from accidental to potentially purposeful. Actions taken by nursing homes also could have contributed to the injury of your loved one. Let’s find out some of the other reasons why these injuries occur.

How an Injury Could Occur 

An injury may have occurred due to staffing issues. This could be that there weren’t enough staff on the premises to prohibit this injury or the staff itself may not have the adequate training or experience to help your loved one get in and out of bed or other areas that led to an injury. The overall quality of staff could be a contributing factor as they are supposed to be trained in many different areas of care and also should have the experience to ensure safety and good quality care is being administered. Before you allow your loved one to live in this type of facility, do your best to check with the nursing home itself to see how well their employees are trained and which areas they specialize in.

Premises Injury 

As with most buildings and properties, the property manager or person in charge is supposed to ensure that the premises of that property are safe and free from obstacles or obstructions that could lead to an injury. If your loved one was injured due to the neglectful actions or lack of action on behalf of the nursing home, then there could be a basis for a case and lawsuit against them. Your nursing home injury lawyer can assist you with this type of case as the knowledge and experience they have in nursing home law will come in handy for these types of circumstances.

Legal Representatives 

If your loved one has been injured at a nursing home, then it may be time to contact a nursing home injury lawyer. These types of lawyers are experienced and well-versed in nursing home law. They may be able to secure compensation and damages as well as other possible benefits from this negative outcome. Contact a nursing home injury lawyer today to get your case started and to prevent further injuries in the future to you, your loved one, or other residents. 

Foreseeability and the Sudden Medical Emergency Defense

car accident lawyerGenerally, when a driver causes an accident due their loss of consciousness while driving, they avail themselves of the sudden medical emergency as a defense as long as he can establish that he was in fact unconscious at the time of the accident, and that this loss of consciousness was unforeseen. See, e.g., Moore v. Presnell, 38 Md. App. 243,247 (1977);  Timothy E. Travers, Annotation, Liability for Automobile Accident Allegedly Caused by Driver’s Blackout, Sudden Unconsciousness, or the Like, 93 A.L.R.3d 326 (2005).

The courts differ as to what constitutes foreseeability, but they have used factors such as medical testimony that the driver could not have foreseen the loss of consciousness, whether or not the driver’s doctor had warned him not to drive, witness testimony that the driver lost consciousness suddenly, and the statements of the driver at the scene of the car accident. Id.

One of the most extensive foreseeability tests comes from Hawaii. In the case of Cruz v. United States, a postal worker lost control of his postal truck when he suddenly fainted at the wheel due to a heart blockage. Cruz, 987 F. Supp 1299, 1301 (1997). The test requires balancing among the following factors: 

  1. Extent of driver’s awareness or knowledge of that condition that caused the sudden incapacity
  2. Whether or not the driver sought medical advice or was under a physician’s care for the condition at the time of the accident
  3. Whether the driver has been prescribed, and has taken medication for the condition
  4. Whether or not a sudden incapacity had previously occurred when driving
  5. The number, frequency, extent, and duration of the incapacitating episodes prior to the accident while driving, and otherwise
  6. The temporal relationship of the prior incapacitating episodes to the accident
  7. A physician’s guidance or advice to the driver regarding his ability to drive, and
  8. Medical opinions regarding the nature of the driver’s condition, adherence to treatment, foreseeability of the incapacitation, and any potential advance warning which the driver would have experienced immediately prior to the accident.  

Id. at 1303 (citing to McCall v. Wilder, 913 S.W.2d 150, 156 (Tenn. 1995) in which the Supreme Court of Tennessee held that a driver who suffered a seizure and struck another vehicle as a result was not entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law, because a reasonable mind could differ as to whether the seizure was foreseeable).

Consequently, when facing a defendant invoking the sudden medical emergency defense, it is critical that plaintiff’s counsel obtain extensive discovery regarding the Defendant’s prior medical history, via both party discovery and subpoenas directed at identified medical facilities.  As the lawyers at the Law Offices of Ryan Quinn, PLLC, explain, generating evidence that the claimed emergency was not genuinely unforeseen is vital to prevailing once this defense is asserted. 

 

 

 

Negligence Lawyer Delray Beach, FL

Negligence Lawyer Delray Beach, FL

Negligence-Lawyer-Delray-Beach-FLEvery client deserves to have an attorney that they can trust to guide them through their case, the way a qualified negligence lawyer in the Delray Beach, FL community is capable of doing. However, there are times when lawyers have acted negligently with their case. If you have found that your lawyer has committed legal malpractice, it may be advisable to consult a legal malpractice lawyer about your options. The trusted Law Office of Eric H. Luckman, P.A. understands that this can be a difficult decision to make, so our team is committed to getting your existing case on the right path. 

Negligence lawyer Delray Beach, FL

It can be hard to decide what the best course of action is when you’re faced with the challenge of your lawyer acting negligently. Clients trust their lawyers to support them during an already stressful and exhausting time. It’s a unique situation that no client wants to find themselves, but fortunately there are ways to overcome the hurdle and prevent any threats to the success of an impacted case. 

What is Legal Malpractice? 

Legal malpractice occurs when your current lawyer fails to adhere to their legal responsibilities, or fails to conduct themselves in a manner that another lawyer would do in similar circumstances. This can lead to preventable economic damages and negatively affect the trajectory of a client’s case, introducing unnecessary complications. To prove malpractice, a skilled negligence lawyer trusted by the Delray Beach, Florida community will have the competence to show critical evidence of what a case’s outcome could have been if it was handled correctly initially.  

Signs of Legal Malpractice

Lawyers can commit a number of acts that would be classified under legal malpractice. To file a legal malpractice claim, know some of the rule violations below:

  • Ignorance of laws
  • Poor planning
  • Improper evidence evaluation 
  • Conflict of interest
  • Failure to follow instructions
  • Clerical errors
  • Failure to attend appointments, meetings, and hearings
  • Libel or slander
  • Loss of files and inaccurate documentation

Your channel of communication with your lawyer should be open throughout the duration of your case. They should not withhold information from you that you have a right to know. Another violation is when a lawyer delegates work to another employee or person who shouldn’t have access to your case details.

Building a Strong Case for Your Legal Malpractice Claim

It’s best to meet with a negligence lawyer with your compiled evidence as early as you can. There are several ways an attorney can show elements of legal malpractice, such as proving that your lawyer had the duty of providing you with legal representation, violated that duty by committing specific negligent actions, and as a result of their actions caused emotional harm and economic damages. 

Consult an Experienced Negligence Lawyer 

Though proving legal malpractice claims can be challenging, having a qualified and competent lawyer you can trust by your side can ease the pain from the experience. If you want to start building your case, begin your free consultation with a reputable negligence lawyer in the Delray Beach, Florida area now.

How Non Payment of Child Support May Result in Criminal Charges

If your child’s other parent is delinquent in their payment of child support to you, no doubt you are experiencing frustration and a mix of other emotions. A priority concern may be how you will provide your child with what they need if the child support payments are not made in full and on time. If you have made attempts in the past to rectify the situation with the other parent to no avail, you may be at wit’s end. Because a child support agreement is a legally binding contract, you may be best served by hiring a family lawyer, like from Scroggins Law Group, PLLC. Having a legal advocate on your side may result in the other parent coming forward with the child support payments that they owe you. If they do not do this then your lawyer can assist you in petitioning the court to force the other parent to comply. That could result in them being charged with a criminal offense and possibly going to jail if they do not conform to the child support agreement that is in place.

Potential Penalties for Non Payment of Child Support

As mentioned, a child support agreement is a legally binding contract. As such, the failure by either party to adhere to the agreement may result in serious consequences, particularly for the parent who is not making their required child support payments. Should the issue be presented to the family law court judge, they may rule that the parent who is not making their payments on time and in full may face any or all of the following consequences:

  • Garnishment of their wages. Every time they are to be paid, a court authorized amount of money will be withdrawn from their wages before they receive their paycheck.
  • Withholding of funds from their income tax refund. The amount of money owed to the other parent may be withheld in part or in full from the refund.
  • The loss of driving privileges. They may lose their driver’s license indefinitely or permanently as decided by the judge.
  • The requirement to pay one or more fines.
  • Incarceration.

The Possibility of Criminal Charges

As a legally binding contract, the non-conformance to a child support agreement could result in jail time if the judge deems it is appropriate. Non-conformance of the agreement automatically puts the parent in contempt of court. Criminal charges must be instigated by the court; they cannot be brought by the custodial parent or their child support lawyer.

Turn to a Child Support Lawyer that Families Trust

A child support lawyer can assist you through this difficult time. They can guide you through the legal process, inform you of your rights and legal options, and help you to obtain the best possible outcome. If court action is necessary, they can assist you with this as well and provide you with the experience and insight that you need. Consider contacting a child support lawyer to help you and your child protect your best interests.

The Process of Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If you are planning to file a personal injury lawsuit against another individual or entity, you probably have some questions. How does the process go? What do you need to do now to further your case? It may be best to get those answers from your lawyer, but the following should help you understand the basic process for filing a personal injury lawsuit.

  1. Prepare and File the Complaint

The first thing you’ll do is prepare and file the complaint against the defendant. The complaint is a legal document that goes over all the facts you have to support your personal injury lawsuit. You’ll identify both parties in the case, including yourself and the defendant, and will list the court where you’re filing the lawsuit.

Next, you’ll list out explanations behind each allegation. These are typically in numbered paragraphs so it’s easy to understand each point. You should go into as much detail as you think is necessary to prove your case. You will also list what you’re seeking in damages from the defendant.

Finally, you will need to sign the document. After it is all complete, you will take it to the court and pay a filing fee.

  1. Service and Response

It’s essential the defendant receives your complaint. If not, the process will not be able to move forward. Most courts have someone you can pay to deliver the complaint to the defendant. When the documents are received, the individual or entity has a certain amount of time to respond to the complaint. If you have a hard time delivering the complaint, either because the individual is being difficult or you can’t physically find him or her, the court may grant you an extension of time to get the job done.

Once the defendant has read over the documents, he or she will need to respond. This might include filing a motion to dismiss the case altogether. It might also include an answer to the complaint. The answer would include a response to each of your numbered paragraphs.

  1. Negotiate and Settle

Through your lawyer, you might go back and forth a number of times while negotiating a settlement. There may be offers and counter offers, and your lawyer can help you understand what is fair and what should be negotiated. When a settlement is agreed upon, the case will be closed and you will receive compensation.

Contacting a Lawyer for Assistance

After a personal injury, the plaintiff might be unaware of how the process of filing a lawsuit works. If you’re in this situation, contact a personal injury lawyer, like The Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian, LLC to learn more about whether you have a case and to see what needs to be done to get started.

Can Heirs Recover Punitive Damages Against a Driver Who Causes Death?

Personal Injury Lawyer

When your loved one dies due to someone else’s negligence or misconduct, you have the right to sue that person for your loved one’s wrongful death. If the death resulted from injuries your loved one sustained in a motor vehicle accident, you would sue the driver of the vehicle that caused the accident.

Wrongful death is a civil action, meaning that money damages are the only thing you can recover from the defendant if you win your lawsuit. While no amount of money can make up for losing your loved one, many family members find that winning a wrongful death lawsuit gives them not only a sense of closure, but also a sense that the defendant received justice, at least financially.

Types of Damages

Generally, you can recover two types of damages in a wrongful death suit: economic and noneconomic. Your economic damages consist of such things as bills you actually paid on the decedent’s behalf, including ambulance bills, hospital bills, funeral bills, and more. Your noneconomic damages are more subjective, but no less real. For instance, noneconomic damages include such things as the following:

  • Your loss of your loved one’s support
  • Your loss of his or her companionship
  • Your loss of his or her advice and counsel
  • Your mental and emotional anguish over his or her death

Punitive Damages

In some situations, you may also be able to recover punitive damages. These are damages that a court awards you above and beyond your economic and noneconomic damages. Their purpose is to punish the defendant, not to compensate you for your losses. 

Courts don’t always award punitive damages. In fact, it’s the exception rather than the rule. To receive this type of an award, you will need to present clear and convincing evidence at trial that the defendant’s actions or failure to act that caused the accident were deliberate, willful, wanton, or reckless. In other words, was he or she driving drunk? Was he or she driving at an excessive speed? Was his or her behavior particularly egregious?

Why You Need an Attorney

Each state has its own laws regarding wrongful death lawsuits. This is why you need to consult with a lawyer, like a wrongful death lawyer from Kamper & Estrada, PLLC. He or she will know the specific laws that apply to your state, such as which family members can file such a suit, how long you have after the death to file, and whether or not it sets limits on the amount of damages you can recover.

How To Handle a Divorce in Different States

Divorce Attorney

Not everyone is still living in the same household when they decide to get divorced. Some couples don’t even live in the same state anymore! If that’s the situation you’re in, you might wonder how to handle the divorce being in different states. As a divorce attorney in Collin County, TX, from a law firm like Scroggins Law Group can explain, there are some complications to consider, so you should speak with a lawyer about the specifics.

Residency Requirements

Getting a divorce when you and your spouse live in different states will require a look at the residency requirements for the state of at least the spouse who is filing the paperwork. Residency requirements are different by state, but they must be met in order to file. For example, if you live in a state with a six month requirement, it means you have to live in that state for at least six months before you can file for divorce. If you and your spouse both moved out of your home state and are both living in new states, it may take a little longer to get divorced.

Jurisdiction Over the Case

Generally, the state where a spouse files for divorce has jurisdiction over the case. If you end up going to court, you will go to court in the state where the divorce was filed. Keep this in mind if you and your spouse are trying to decide who will file. If your spouse files in another state, you’ll either have to hire a lawyer in that state, or you’ll have to hire a lawyer near you and pay for him or her to travel for legal proceedings. You will also have to pay for your own travel. For these reasons, it might be better to file in your own state.

State Laws

Because the state where the divorce is filed will have jurisdiction over the case, you have to realize those state laws will apply to your divorce. You may want to look at the differences between the two states and how they handle divorce. For example, some states divide property with a 50/50 mindset. Everything is split evenly. In other states, property is divided with a standard of “equitable distribution.” The circumstances of the couple, how they acquired the property and other issues would be considered.

Child custody is also handled differently between states. You should understand how both yours and your spouse’s states handle this situation, as it may be the most important aspect of your divorce.

Contact Your Divorce Lawyer Today

Getting a divorce when you and your spouse live in different states doesn’t have to be difficult, but you should be smart about it. Contact a divorce lawyer today to learn more about it.

What NOT to Do After A Car Accident

Car Accident Lawyer

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, it is extremely important to know what steps to take immediately after the accident. However, few people realize that it is just as important to know what NOT to do. Read on to learn what you should NOT do after a car accident.

Don’t Leave The Scene

Legally, you are obligated to stop if you have been in an accident. Failure to stay at the scene could lead to serious criminal charges if anyone was injured. Besides, you will need to exchange insurance information with all parties involved, take photos of the scene, and speak with the police officer that is making the accident report.

Don’t Forget to Call the Police

This goes for both minor fender benders and 10 car pile-ups. If there has been any sort of accident, you will want the police to come and make a report. In some states, not reporting an accident can be considered an offense. Plus, the police officer wasn’t in the accident and isn’t experiencing the same intense emotions as you, so they are more able to document any details that you might have forgotten, like the weather, road conditions, witnesses, etc. In this way, a police report can help strengthen property damage or a personal injury claim.

Don’t Admit Fault

Even if it was obviously your fault, do not admit so and do not profusely apologize. Remain calm, help others in need, and wait for the authorities to arrive and make a report. Do be honest when giving a statement to the police but avoid phrases like, “it was all my fault.” Such statements may damage any potential insurance claim.

Don’t Lose Your Temper

When someone puts you and your family in harm’s way, it is easy to let your emotions get the best of you. But getting angry is not productive or helpful in the aftermath of an accident. Do not be aggressive or confront any of the other parties involved.

Don’t Refuse Medical Treatment

Get examined by a medical professional right away, whether that is a paramedic on the scene, your primary care doctor, or a trip to the hospital in an ambulance. The most important thing is your health and well-being.

Don’t Forget to Collect Evidence

Make sure to get, at a minimum, the following information from the other driver(s) involved: name, phone number, license plate number, and insurance card information. Also, make sure to try and get photos and/or videos of the cars involved, the weather conditions, the road conditions, even a bank sign that might indicate date and time.

Did any bystanders witness the accident? Ask if the witnesses would be willing to provide their contact information and give statements to the police.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, give Kamper & Estrada, PLLC a call. Our experienced personal injury attorneys can help you navigate what to do, and what not to do.