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What Is the Process for Bringing About a Claim?

Millions of injury claims are brought forward every year. A personal injury claim process starts when a private individual called a “plaintiff” files a complaint against another person or entity known as the “defendant,” seeking a form of compensation for an injury allegedly caused by the defendant. Whether you are considering an injury claim due to slip and fall incidents, automobile accidents, medical malpractice, or several other potentially harmful situations, understanding the process of bringing about a claim is crucial. 

Below we take a look at all the basic steps to bring about a claim:

Personal Injury Claim and Statutes of Limitations

Essentially, it is essential to file your personal injury lawsuit before the statute of limitations deadline expires. A statute of limitations refers to a law that specifies the duration of time that may pass before a lawsuit is filed. Each state has its own statutes of limitations for different types of cases, and it is crucial to understand the specific deadlines for your state. The statute of limitations clock starts when your personal injury occurs or when you discover your injury. Failure to file a lawsuit before the deadline expires may make it quite challenging to bring a lawsuit in court and recover compensation for your damages.

The Step By Step Guide to Filing a Personal Injury Claim

No personal injury lawsuit is necessarily the same as the other. Besides, each state has its own rules and standards that could affect how the case starts and proceeds. However, here are the basic steps common to most personal injury lawsuits.

Step 1: Filing a Complaint and the Summons

The first document you file in a personal injury lawsuit is called a “complaint.” Almost all cases require the payment of a filing fee, usually ranging from $30-$300 depending on the state. The complaint includes the following crucial information:

  • The identities of potential defendants
  • Legal basis for the court’s jurisdiction concerning the lawsuit, the legal claims, and the facts surrounding those claims
  • The prayer for relief, which explains the actions that you want the court to do, for example, enter judgment against the defendant and the damages you are seeking.

Once you have successfully filed your claim, your next step is to make the defendant aware that you are suing them. You can achieve this through a document known as the “summons.” The summons notifies a potential defendant of the lawsuit while referring them to the attached complaint. Notably, you must file both the complaints and summons with the court. Additionally, both the complaint and summons must be “served” to the defendant in a legal procedure referred to as the “service of process.”

Notably, there are specific state rules that you must follow when serving the defendant. For example, most jurisdictions don’t accept summons that are mailed to complainants. It is crucial that you properly serve your summons, or the court may dismiss your lawsuit based on inadequate process.

Step 2: Response or Answer

Once you serve the complaints and summons, you must allow the defendant to respond within a specified amount of time. This period may vary from one court and jurisdiction to another but usually averages around 21 days.

The defendant’s response to the complaint is legally referred to as the “answer.” The answer typically addresses all the allegations raised in the complaint by admission or denial. The defendant’s answer typically sets forth the course of action the case takes. The defendant may raise legal reasons why they should not be held liable for your damages through a process called a “counterclaim.” Essentially, the counterclaim takes the format of the complaint, and once you receive it, you will have an opportunity to answer.

Step 3: The Discovery

Once the initial pleadings have been filed and dispensed with, both parties begin obtaining evidence from each other. This process is legally referred to as the “discovery.” The purpose of the discovery is to enable both parties to access all the essential information they need to build their case or defense strategy.

Notably, you don’t hand over or receive evidence automatically from each other. The law provides that you request the information you need to build a strong case. Some of the standard tools to use when requesting this information from the other party include:

  • Depositions: A deposition refers to a witness’s sworn out of court testimony and is one of the most utilized tools when gathering information in a discovery process. The witness being deposed is referred to as the “deponent.” The deponent must answer the questions orally and under oath. Notably, depositions may not involve the courts as the process is initiated and supervised by the parties. The persons present in a deposition are the deponent, a person qualified to administer the oaths and both parties’ attorneys.
  • Interrogatories: Interrogatories refer to a set of questions a party in a lawsuit submits to the other party. Ideally, the responding party is expected to answer the questions under oath and in writing.
  • Requests for production: Requests for production borrow similarities from interrogatories. However, instead of asking questions, a party requests the other to avail copies of relevant documents in their possession.
  • Request for admission: This involves one party asking the other to admit or deny any material fact
  • Physical examinations: A court may authorize a mental or physical examination of the party whose condition is an issue

Step 4: Motions

A motion is an application that either party makes to the court requesting a decision on a specific issue before the trial begins. A motion can have adverse impacts on the trial, defendants, evidence, or testimony. It is the prerogative of the judge to decide the outcome of the motions. Where a ruling on a motion results in a termination of the lawsuit, it is referred to as a “dispositive motion.” Some of the typical motions in personal injury cases include:

  • Motion for summary judgment
  • Motion for default judgment
  • Motion for change of venue
  • Motion to compel

Step 5: Pretrial Negotiations 

Pretrial negotiations refer to the process where parties bargain a settlement to avoid expensive, time-consuming, and emotionally draining trials. There are three ways out of pretrial negotiations:

Settlement: After the discovery is concluded, the lawyers from both sides generally discuss the settlement. Settlement processes involve written offers and counteroffers or oral conversations between attorneys over the phone. Most claims are settled before the trial begins.

Mediation: If the attorneys fail to reach an agreeable settlement during the negotiations, the court may appoint a neutral third party to help. The third party is legally referred to as a “mediator.” The mediator meets both parties in private to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of their case and assist them in settling.

Arbitration: Parties may also choose a third party referred to as an “arbitrator” to resolve their dispute. In an arbitration process, parties in a dispute provide evidence and argue their cases to the arbitrator in a mini-trial. If parties settle their dispute during arbitration, they usually may not appeal the arbitrator’s ruling to a court.

Step 6: The Trial

If parties fail to settle, the case moves to trial. A trial is a court process in which a plaintiff seeks damages or other remedies from a defendant through a lawsuit. In a civil trial, the judge or jury assess the evidence and listens to both parties’ argument before deciding whether the defendant should be held legally responsible for the damages suffered by the plaintiff. A civil trial has six primary phases:

  • Choosing of the jury: Lawyers and judges choose juries through a process called “voir dire.” During this process, the attorneys for both sides and the judge ask potential jurors questions to determine their suitability and competency to serve in a case.
  • Opening statements: Opening statements feature attorneys from both sides speaking to the jury and describing the case. The attorneys use this chance to narrate the story of the case and what they hope to prove with the evidence they will present. Notably, legal arguments are prohibited during the opening statement.
  • Witness testimony and cross-examination: A cross-examination is where an attorney from the opposing side questions a witness from the other party.
  • Closing arguments: Closing arguments are typically the climax of the trial. During this process, attorneys from both sides deliver an emotional plea for justice. Closing arguments present great opportunities for attorneys to pull together all critical aspects of the evidence for the jury with the sole aim of appealing to their reasoning and persuading them to view the case from a certain angle.
  • Jury instructions: Jury instructions refers to a set of guidelines that the judge gives to the jury concerning the law that applies to the facts they have found to be true. The main goal of the instructions is to help the jury arrive at a verdict that follows the law of that jurisdiction. These instructions must be given in a manner that enables a layperson to understand and effectively administer justice.
  • Jury deliberation and verdict: Jury deliberations refer to the process where a jury in a trial court discusses the court’s findings in private and decides the argument to agree upon. Once the jury receives the jury instructions, they will retire to the jury room and begin the deliberations. In most states, a presiding juror presides over the jurors’ deliberations and votes. During their deliberations, the bailiff guarantees no party or their representatives access to the jury to influence their verdict.

Step 7: A Collection of the Judgment

If you win the lawsuit, the judge or jury may award you money for damages. At this juncture, it is easy to think the hard part is over. However, this may not always be the case. Sometimes the defendant may fail to pay the amount of judgment as directed by the court order. Collecting a judgment from an uncooperative defendant is as challenging as winning a lawsuit in some cases. However, if this happens, your lawyer can help you take additional steps to collect the judgment. These steps include:

  • Placing a lien on the debtor’s real property
  • Garnishing the debtor’s wages
  • Carrying out post-judgment recovery to uncover a debtor’s sources of income and assets

Step 8: The Appeal

Where a party in a dispute doesn’t agree with the court ruling at the trial, they have a right to appeal the decision. As part of the appeal process, each party is accorded opportunities to submit a brief to the appellate court. The appellate judges review the brief and the record of the trial court before releasing their opinion. This opinion will either affirm the verdict by the trial court or reverse it. The court may also order a new trial.

How Long Do Personal Injury Lawsuits Take?

There is no typical personal injury claim, and it may be quite a challenge to predict the length of time your case takes before you receive a settlement or awards for damages. Once your attorney files a lawsuit, the clock starts running before a case makes it to trial. Typically, most states have different pretrial procedures, but for the most part, it usually takes one to two years for a personal injury case to get to trial. The factors that determine the timing of the case include:

  • The complexity of the case.
  • The number of damages that a plaintiff seeks from the defendant
  • The severity of the injuries
  • The caseloads in your jurisdiction
  • Defendant’s willingness to settle

Injury Lawsuits Alleging Professional Malpractice

Some states require you to file a certificate of merit, affidavit of merit, or an order of proof when filing a lawsuit that concerns an injury suffered due to the negligence of a professional like a doctor. The affidavit of merit requires a sworn statement where an attorney or an expert medical witness narrates that your medical malpractice claim meets specific threshold requirements set by the law. 

Get Help from the Professionals

Lawsuits can always be lengthy and complex. If you have been injured and are considering a lawsuit to recover compensation for your damages, the attorneys at Guardian Law Group can help settle your case faster and avoid the consequences of litigation. Contact us today to learn more.

Understanding Statutes of limitations

A recent survey by the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS) reveals more than100 million casesare filed each year in state trial courts, with about 400,000 cases filed in federal trial courts. If you have been injured and want to sue to recover the damages from the party responsible, you need to be aware of statutes of limitations or time frames placed at both the state and federal levels. This guide provides all essential information on the statute of limitations and how they impact your case.

What Is a Statute of Limitations?

A statute of limitations refers to a law that establishes the amount of time that conflicting parties have to commence litigation from the time of an alleged offense, whether criminal or civil cases. The length of time the statute allows for the plaintiff to bring legal action against the defender varies from one state to another and the nature of the offences. While Rhode Island provides the most lenient statutes of limitations spanning ten years for most cases, Louisiana has the shortest time frame for legal action, which is only one year except in cases related to contract law.

What Are the Purposes of Statutes of Limitations?

There are three reasons why statutes of limitations are essential. These include:

  • Ensure reasonable diligence: Statutes of limitations guarantee lawsuits are dealt with promptly. If you intend to file a lawsuit against another person for an injury or claim, you should pursue the lawsuit within reasonable diligence. This means that you should file the lawsuit as soon as is reasonably possible.
  • Preserve facts and evidence: People’s memories fade and become less reliable over time. Statutes of limitations ensure the facts surrounding the lawsuits don’t become stale or unclear. Where the evidence of a case is based on a person’s memory, waiting for too long before one initiates a lawsuit may result in memory loss, conflicting testimony, and inaccuracies. Additionally, a person holding critical information may forget the facts, become incapacitated, or pass away if you wait for too long to file a lawsuit.
  • Prevents malicious lawsuits: Statutes of limitations also prevent people from filing long, drawn-out lawsuits on stale claims merely for harassment purposes.

Common Statutes of Limitations in Civil Cases

If your case falls under the following categories, you will likely be subjected to a statute of limitations. It is crucial to investigate both at the state and federal levels to establish the statute’s duration and how it specifically applies to you. Common statutes in civil law include:

  • Personal injury due to negligence or intentional wrongdoing: The statute of limitations in personal injury cases ranges from as short as one year to as long as six years, depending on the state.
  • Breach of a written or oral contract: Written contracts generally have a longer statute of limitations, whereas oral contracts will have shorter limitation periods. Most states have in place a statute of limitations ranging between 3 to 15 years for a breach of contract.
  • Property damage from negligence or intentional wrongdoing: In most states, the statute of limitations on property damage claims is three years.
  • Debts: In most states, the statutes of limitations for long-drawn debts fall in the three to six-year range. However, this may extend for a longer period in some jurisdictions, depending on the type of debt.
  • Medical malpractice: In most states, medical malpractice claims have a statute of limitations of three years. However, if the medical malpractice case involves the minor, the lawsuit must be commenced within three years of the alleged wrongful act or if the minor is under the age of six, before their eighth birthday.
  • Libel and slander: For most states, the statute of limitations for defamation suits is one to three years, depending on the state.
  • Fraud and misrepresentations: The fraud and the breach of fiduciary duty statute of limitations are generally four years. However, this can extend depending on the nature of the case and the jurisdiction.

Do Statutes of Limitations Apply to Criminal Cases?

Criminal offenses can also have statutes of limitations. However, cases related to severe crimes, such a murder, don’t have a maximum period under a statute of limitations. Some states also remove limitations of sex crimes involving juveniles or violent crimes like arson or kidnapping. Additionally, under the International Law, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide don’t have a statute of limitations, in accordance with Article 29 of the Rome Statuteof the International Criminal Court and theConvention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitationsto Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes.

When Does the Statute of Limitations Clock Start Running and How Does It Affect My Case?

Essentially, the clock starts running on the date the crimes are committed. Should the time limit expire before criminal proceedings begin, your claim may be denied. Also, waiting too long to file a lawsuit may make it hard for you to recover damages for your losses and injuries. However, for several states, the statute of limitations clock can be paused or tolled under some special circumstances. This means that the “clock” might not start running until the said issue is resolved.

What Happens If a Prosecutor Charges a Case Whose Statute of Limitation Periods Has Run Out?

Judges typically don’t take it upon themselves to review cases for possible deadline issues. Ideally, if the defendant doesn’t raise the limitations problems with the judge, the courts can allow a stale case to proceed. It is up to the defendants or their attorneys to raise the statute of limitations issue via a process referred to as“affirmative defense.” Affirmative defense allows the defendant to petition the court for dismissal of a case due to a violation of the statute of limitations.

Can the Statute of Limitations Clock Be Paused or Tolled?

Some circumstances allow for filing a personal injury suit even when the statute of limitations that applies to your case has lapsed. Some of the special circumstances that allow for the pausing or tolling of the limitations clock include:

Discovery Rule

The discovery rule is one of the few legal exceptions to statutes of limitations. Under the discovery rule, the statute of limitations for a cause of action does not begin to run until the injured party discovers an injury. This rule is one of the most effective tools used to suspend or toll the statute of limitations and ensure the clock won’t run until when an injury was discovered, rather than when it happened. However, even when the discovery rule applies, you should keep in mind there could be other bigger deadlines beyond which filing a lawsuit is prohibited.

Injured Minors

Personal injury claims typically have a two-year statute of limitations. However, most states allow for injured minors to reach 18 before the statute of limitations laws start applying.

Out of the state

Most states have legislation that allows for statutes of limitations to be tolled when a defendant is absent from the state. If the cause of action accrues and begins to run and the defendant leaves the state while the limitations period is running and before it expires, the clock is suspended.

Fraudulent Concealment

Statutes of limitations may also be tolled in scenarios where there are fraudulent concealments. Fraudulent concealment may occur if a defendant engages in a misleading, deceptive, or contrived action to prevent a plaintiff from recognizing a possible cause of action. This scenario can occur if the defendant fakes documents or lies to the plaintiff, intending to cause them to be unaware of the cause of action to take.

Disability

Statute of limitations could also be suspended due to disability that impairs a person from bringing forth a cause of action. Some specific examples of disability include:

  • Where a victim may be a minor and may not be legally permitted to bring forth a case until he or she is an adult
  • If a person has a medical condition such as cancer that makes him or her not competent to bring forth a cause of action
  • If a person filed bankruptcy and may not be able to recover

Legally Insane

In most states, the legal defense of insanity law means that a defendant cannot be found guilty of a crime if they were legally insane at the time they committed the crime. Once the tolling condition related to legal insanity ends, the statute of limitations begins to run.

What Is a Tolling Agreement and Why Is It Important?

Before you file a suit or initiate arbitrations, consider a crucial legal tool called atolling agreement. A tolling agreement refers to written agreements that both parties to potential lawsuit signs and which effectively suspend the statute of limitations for an agreed amount of time. With the limitation period suspended, the parties are accorded enough time for fruitful negotiation and settlement of the dispute.

Some of the advantages that come with temporarily suspending the statute of limitation include:

Encourages Settling of the Case

A tolling agreement establishes an agreed deadline for parties to negotiate before the plaintiff file a suit to enforce their legal rights. Because both parties probably want to avoid trial, a tolling agreement puts pressure on both sides to settle the dispute.

Increases the Plaintiff’s Leverage

The threat of eventual litigation is a looming shadow that makes a tolling agreement such an effective tool. Potential plaintiffs can leverage this tool as an advantage by capitalizing on the defendant’s anxiety to settle for a reasonable amount that covers their damages.

Avoid Litigations Costs

In most cases, the anticipated economic costs of civil litigation cause a potential plaintiff to avoid acting on their rights. Defendants too are attentive to potential litigation costs, especially where they are likely to be held liable for damages suffered by the plaintiff. The mutual anxiety helps push parties to formally settle the matter.

Allows More Time to Think

The tolling agreement typically states the period that parties wish to suspend the statute of limitations. The buffer period allows both parties to think calmly on how best to reach a settlement. A plaintiff is typically accorded more time to consider their claim’s strengths and weaknesses. Similarly, the defendant is also given more time to build a solid defense or negotiate a resolution.

What Happens If I Never Know About the Injury Until After the Statute of Limitations Passed?

Some injuries may fail to manifest for weeks, months, or even years. If you discover the injury after the statute of limitations has passed, you may still file a lawsuit based on the delayed discovery rule. Delayed discovery is common in medical malpractice cases and several other types of personal injury lawsuits and provides for a longer statute of limitations in the following situations:

  • If the plaintiff is not aware of the facts, that would have caused them to suspect they had suffered harm due to someone else’s negligence.
  • If reasonable and diligent investigations would not have discovered a harmful product or situation contributed to the plaintiff’s harm.

Can I Do Anything After the Statutes of Limitations Have Passed?

If the statutes of limitations have passed, there could be other ways to seek compensation for your damages, which may include filing a claim under an alternative cause of action with a longer statute of limitations. Additionally, the statute of limitations could also be open if it tolled based on the victim’s age, the absence of the defendant from the state, or if the defendant was imprisoned or declared legally insane.

Talk to your personal injury attorney at Guardian Law Group about the statute of limitations in your case to make sure the claim is filed on time. Our personal injury lawyers may also be able to identify any exceptions to an expired statute of limitations.

Need Help Filing a Personal Injury Claim Within the Statute of Limitations? Call Us for Help.

Nearly all civil actions are subject to statutes of limitations. If you believe you might have a valid personal injury case after an accident, it’s crucial to pay attention to these deadlines. If you have questions about the statute of limitations and how it applies to your injury case, discuss your situation today with an experienced personal injury attorney at Guardian Law Group.

What Types of Damages Do I Qualify For?

Experts tell us to set goals for ourselves if we want to be successful in life, but few offer advice on what to do when you’ve been in an accident, and your new goal is just staying afloat. Figuring out how to pay the bills after an accident can be hard, but it’s nice to know that you can at least expect compensation for your medical expenses. 

But what about the other areas of your life, like the loss of wages due to the fact that you can no longer work? How are you supposed to pay your bills in this situation?

Thankfully, there is more to damage claims than just medical bills. There is loss of income, consortium, and even cancellation of future plans. In this article, we’ll discuss the types of possible damages you can claim if you’ve been in an accident.

Compensatory Damages

This is the money you will receive as compensation due to an injury, accident, or damage that is caused by someone else’s negligence. In this instance, it doesn’t matter if the harm was intentional. You would not be in the situation you are in if it weren’t for their actions (or lack there of). There are three things you must prove in order to receive compensatory damages.

  • The defendant breached their duty of care toward you
  • This breach of duty caused your injury or illness
  • As a result, you have economic and non-economic damages

There are two types of compensatory damages, and how much money you could receive depends on the type. 

  • Economic damages– These are damages that are measurable, and can be given a monetary value. Compensatory damages can include medical care, loss of income, ambulance expenses, and nursing home care. You may also hear economic damages referred to as active damages.
  • Non-Economic damages– In this case, the damage done as a result of the accident is not measurable, and doesn’t have a quantifiable money variable. This can include mental anguish, disfigurement, loss of consortium, and inconvenience. Another legal term for non-economic damages is general damages.

Let’s take a look at some economic damages before we dig into the non-economic.

ECONOMIC DAMAGES

When filing for economic damages, you will be expected to give a monetary amount for the claims you are filing. This means you’ll need things like check stubs from your work place, tax returns, billing statements from your medical providers, property damage estimates, and any bills that come in from people you hire to take care of you or your household.

MEDICAL CARE

After an accident, you’ll most likely require medical care for your injuries. This can include the cost of:

  • Hospital stay
  • Medications
  • In-home nurse aids
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Special equipment such as wheelchairs, case, bath chairs, etc.

Medical care costs can quickly skyrocket, leaving you trying to figure out how to pay the bills while you’re still in recovery. It’s possible that you could receive compensation to cover part of these costs, if not all of them.

FUTURE MEDICAL BILLS

It’s hard to know what’s going to happen in the future, especially when it comes to your health. While you may feel fine today, there may be upcoming medical procedures that you will need to live a more functional life. This can include:

  • Surgeries
  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Medications
  • Equipment

An example of this would be someone who was in a wreck, and experienced traumatic brain injury (TBI). In many cases, patients recover from this and go on to live perfectly normal lives. For someone who experiences severe TBI, however, it may result in long-term loss of motor skills or even their speech. In this case, that person would qualify for compensation of future medical costs.

LOSS OF INCOME

You can file for loss of income when your injuries are so severe you can no longer continue to work at your place of employment. This also applies if your ability to work has been impaired or diminished.  

For example, if you worked as a carpenter before the accident, and you’re now confined to a wheelchair, you won’t be able to return to carpentry work. 

If this is the case, you can receive compensation for loss of income. It will require expert testimony that will consider: 

  • Your age
  • Health
  • Life expectancy
  • Talents
  • Past earning capacity

LOSS OF INCOME FOR YOUR SPOUSE OR FAMILY MEMBER

Some accidents are severe enough that your spouse, child, parent, or other family members are forced to take time off of work to care for you. This could be something that only last for a few days, or it could mean your care taker is unable to return to work for an extended period of time. If this is the case, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your loved one’s loss of income as well as your own.

VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION

There can be occasions when you were injured badly enough that you can’t return to your previous employment, but are still able to work in a different field. An example of this would be if you used to work with the local power company, and was responsible for repairing power lines. 

If you injured your back, and can no longer work as a power line repairman, there may be other types of work you can do. This will require further training, however. You may be able to receive compensation to cover the cost of your vocational rehabilitation as you train for a new career.

HOUSEHOLD EXPENSES

Home repairs don’t stop just because you’ve been in an accident. There are still general maintenance items that will need to be addressed, such as trimming the bushes, cutting the grass, or just washing the clothes. 

Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may not be able to do this yourself any longer, and need to hire someone as a result. For example, if your foot was injured in the accident, then you’re no longer able to climb a ladder. This means that you won’t be able to climb up on the roof and repair it, as you were planning to do before the accident took place. This could also apply to cleaning your home if your ability to do so has been impaired.

In the situation that you were already hiring someone else to do it, such as a housekeeper, you will most likely not receive compensation. This is because you were not completing these tasks yourself prior to the accident, and therefore your ability to do so now is not in question.

CANCELED TRIPS AND PLANS

If you were planning to take that long awaited vacation to Buenos Aires when your accident occurred, you may be forced to cancel your trip. This could be due to a variety of factors, such as:

  • Loss of ability to drive
  • Loss of ability to fly
  • You have scheduled doctor appointments related to the accident

While it’s possible that you could get a return on the deposit you made for the trip, that’s not always an option, and you may end up losing the money as well as your ability to travel. If this is the case, it’s possible to receive compensation for the canceled trips and plans you had scheduled. 

PROPERTY DAMAGE

Damage to your property can become costly in more ways than one. There is the obvious need to either repair or replace your vehicle if it were damaged due to a car accident. This means that it will either need to go to a repair shop or be totaled. In turn, this impairs your ability to travel freely. 

There is always the option to simply rent a vehicle until you either get your own out of the shop, or until you have the money to buy another one, of course, but if the accident had never taken place, you wouldn’t need to.

NON-ECONOMIC DAMAGES

In the case of general damages, assigning a monetary value  is not possible. There are ways to calculate the damages, but this will depend on a variety of factors such as the nature of your injuries. In some cases, the judge may leave it to the jury to assign a monetary number. This will change from case to case. What one plaintiff was awarded may be radically different from another. 

PAIN AND SUFFERING

Pain may not be measurable, but this doesn’t mean it doesn’t impair your quality of life or ability to do the things you love. That’s where the pain and suffering claim comes in. This is designed to compensate you for the physical and mental pain you feel as a result of the accident, as well as the daily disruptions to your life.

For example, if you are unable to go to sleep at night because the back injury you sustained in your fall prevents you from falling asleep, you might be able to file a pain and suffering claim. Your inability to fall asleep and stay asleep is affecting your life in more ways than one, after all.

LOSS OF CONSORTIUM

Consortium is essentially the loss of benefits you receive from a family relationship. This can include affection and sexual relations. For example, if you were in a wreck, and can no longer bear children as a result, this would fall under the loss of consortium. Some of the ramifications of loss of consortium include:

  • Marital strains
  • Loss of companionship
  • Unable to do activities together such as walking, biking, swimming, etc.
  • Sexual constraints
  • Inability to bear children
  • Decreased ability to communicate
  • Inability to participate in social activities
  • Lack of assistance with household chores and childcare

It’s important to note that the loss of consortium is filed by the legal spouse of the injured party, and it must be filed within four years of the date of the injury. If the injured spouse settled the claim, then the non-injured spouse no longer has a claim for loss of consortium. Other family members such as children, parents, significant others, fiancés/fiancées, or any other party are not eligible to file in the state of Georgia. 

MENTAL ANGUISH

Mental anguish is the severe stress or anguish someone feels as the result of an accident. It’s also known as emotional stress. This could be caused by watching a loved one become injured or killed as a result of an accident.

In many states, you can file for mental anguish damages even if there was no physical injury to you, but that’s not always the case in Georgia. The impact rule states that you can’t file a claim for mental anguish if you have not also suffered a physical injury.

An example of when you have a claim for mental anguish is when you and your spouse was driving down the road, when another vehicle rams into you. If your spouse was either greatly injured or killed, and you saw the event, you might have a claim for mental anguish.

DO I NEED AN ATTORNEY?

For simple accidents such as a minor fall, most likely not. It’s possible to work with the insurance company without involving an attorney. If the injuries are more severe, you can always seek counsel from an attorney. They can thoroughly investigate the case to see if you can file a claim, or advise you on how to proceed if you don’t. 

It’s important to note that an attorney is prohibited from giving you an estimate of how much you could be awarded up front. They might be able to provide estimates from similar cases, but this is not a guarantee that you’ll receive that amount of money.

LET THE GUARDIAN LAW GROUP HELP

Once you decide you want to pursue a case for damages, it’s important to seek out an attorney to help. While there are plenty of lawyers out there, choosing a personal injury attorney who has experience with these types of cases can determine whether you win or lose the case.

Here at the Guardian Law Group, our personal injury attorneys are experienced in car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, work place accidents, and slip and falls. We’ll work hard to get you the money you need to get back to living your life on your terms, just as you did before the accident.

Contact us for a free case evaluation. We don’t charge a penny until we win the case. 

Personal Injury| What are Your Treatment Options?

Each day, hospitals receive many patients in need of various forms of treatment. Whereas most are ill, a considerable proportion goes because of injuries. Regardless of how careful you are, you are always at risk of sustaining injuries. 

Such injuries may result from sporting activities, car accidents, slip and falls, animal attacks, etc. Depending on the type and severity of the injury, it may have significant ramifications. For some, they can resume life normally after receiving some treatment. For others, it’s not that easy. You may end up with life-long impairments, disabilities, and become dependent on others.

Unfortunately, most of these injuries are preventable as they result from another party’s negligence. If so, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible person or organization with the help of a personal injury attorney.

Due to the health and cost implications such injuries may have, medical damages are a key feature of successful personal injury claims. Undoubtedly, no compensation can reverse the harm and pain you have gone through. As such, the purpose of medical damages is to ensure you are compensated for the medical costs you incur and continue receiving treatment if need be.

Are you worried about the treatment options available after sustaining an injury? Read on to find out possible treatment options for common injuries associated with personal injury claims.

Whiplash

One of the most common injuries after being involved in a rear-end car accident is whiplash. It’s a neck injury that occurs when the neck moves back and forth rapidly at a high force. Other than car accidents, other common causes of whiplash include:

  • Sports accidents
  • Other forms of trauma such as falls
  • Physical abuse

After the accident or ordeal, it may take a few days for you to notice the symptoms of whiplash. These may include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Reducing range of motion in the neck
  • Increasing pain when moving the neck
  • Pain or tenderness in the upper back, arms, or shoulder
  • Headaches that mostly emanate from the base of your skull
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Numbness or tingling in the arms

Additional symptoms that you may experience include:

  • Irritability
  • Blurred vision
  • Memory problems
  • Depression
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Depression
  • Concentration problems

In most cases, you can expect a full recovery from whiplash in a few weeks if you follow the prescribed treatment regimen. Along with medication, treatment will involve some neck exercises. 

However, the pain and complications of whiplash can last several months, possibly years, for some people. At the onset, it is difficult to determine whether you will make a quick and full recovery or if the symptoms will last for long. 

As such, it is important to take whiplash seriously. If your injury results from another party’s negligence, ensure that you visit a doctor and consult your personal injury lawyer. 

Fractures and Broken Bones

Each year, millions of people sustain fractures and broken bones. These occur when a force greater than what a bone can bear is exerted on it. Some of the common causes of broken bones and fractures are car accidents, sports injuries, and falls. 

Fractures may run along the length of the bone or across it, splitting it into one or more pieces. Depending on the nature of your fracture, it can be classified into one of the following types:

  • Partial fracture- The fracture does not go all the way through the bone.
  • Complete fracture- The bone breaks completely, splitting into two pieces.
  • Closed or open fracture- Closed fractures are where the bone breaks, but there is no skin tear. When the fracture tears the skin, it’s referred to as an open or compound fracture.
  • Stress fracture- Impact or pressure results in a crack in the bone that’s usually hard to identify, even with imaging.
  • Displaced fractures- injury results in a gap where breakage occurs. 

If you suspect that you have a bone fracture, there are several tests that you can take to confirm it. These include bone and CT scans as well as x-rays and MRIs. Once the healthcare provider confirms the size and position of the fracture, you can begin treatment.

For small bones such as toes and fingers, they’ll wrap it the injury and use a splint to keep it immobile. For bigger bones, treatment will involve the use of a cast or splint. Casts offer hard protection for the bone while keeping it immobilized. This allows the bone to grow back in place and heal.

Depending on the extent and nature of the injury, the healthcare provider may put you in traction. This treatment method aims to stretch the tendons and muscles around the broken bone using pulleys and weights.

In some cases, you may have to undergo surgery, during which doctors may insert stainless-steel screws, fixators, and plates to hold the bone in place.

Dog Bites

One of the most common causes of personal injury is animal attacks, especially dogs. According to a study by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there are roughly 4.5 million incidents involving dog bites in the US each year. Among these, 800,000 thousand require medical care. 

If a dog bites you, it is important to take action immediately as it can result in a bacterial infection. Determine the severity of the wound by assessing it and then self-administer first aid if you can. This involves washing the wound with warm water and soap. After cleaning, press gently on the wound to encourage a little blood loss to flush out germs. Proceed to apply antibacterial lotion to disinfect it.

If the bite is severe and there is noticeable blood loss, cover the wound with a clean cloth and put some pressure to stop the bleed.

Seek medical attention if your dog bite meets any of the following criteria:

  • You do not know the vaccination history of the dog
  • It causes intense pain
  • If bleeding does not stop
  • If the bone, muscle, or tendons are exposed
  • You notice redness or inflammation
  • There is reduced function in affected areas

Your healthcare provider will begin by stopping the bleed and tending to your wound. If the dog’s vaccination record is unknown or you do not remember the last time you had a tetanus shot, the doctor will give you the necessary injections to prevent infection.

Traumatic Brain Injury

A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) occurs from a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, causing it to hit another object violently, resulting in a disruption to the brain’s normal functioning. Alternatively, it also occurs when an object penetrates the skull and pierces brain tissue. 

As you can imagine, TBIs can be very dangerous. Some of the effects include:

  • Reduced or loss of consciousness
  • Memory disruption for the events before or after the ordeal
  • Speech impediments, loss of vision, and muscle weakness due to neurological deficits
  • Disorientation, difficulty concentrating, slow thinking, and alteration in mental state

Depending on the extent of the damage to the brain, the symptoms of TBI may range from mild to severe. 

For a mild traumatic brain injury, over-the-counter pain killers and rest may be sufficient treatment. However, it is still to monitor someone with mild TBI closely. 

If it’s a case of moderate to severe TBI, it’s important to seek immediate emergency care. This is usually associated with other severe injuries and loss of consciousness. The purpose of seeking treatment promptly is to ensure the victim has sufficient blood supply and pressure, preventing further injury to the neck and head and ensuring they have enough oxygen supply. 

Some of the medication that you may receive to limit secondary damage to the brain include:

  • Coma-inducing drugs- To reduce the brain’s oxygen requirements, doctors may put you into a temporary coma to allow injured or compressed blood vessels to recover.
  • Anti-seizure drugs- During the first week after a moderate to severe TBI, you’ll be at risk of having seizures. Doctors will give you anti-seizure drugs to keep them in control and prevent further brain damage.
  • Diuretics- To reduce pressure inside the brain, your doctor may give you diuretics to reduce fluid content in your tissues and increase urine output.

In some cases, TBIs may require surgery to address particular issues and minimize the risk of further damage. Surgery may be necessary to:

  • Repair skull fractures
  • Remove hematomas (blood clots)
  • Address bleeding in the brain

Severe TBIs may result in long-term loss of motor skills or even speech. As such, post-surgery treatment may involve rehabilitation to help you relearn basic skills such as talking and walking. Such therapy may begin in the hospital and extend to inpatient rehabilitation and may last for months, possibly years. 

Due to the key role your brain plays in your ability to be self-sufficient and perform various functions you may rehabilitation may involve a wide range of professionals. These include:

  • Physiatrist- Oversees the entire rehabilitation process and prescribes the necessary medication
  • Physical therapist- Assists you to regain balance and relearn movement patterns and walking
  • Neuropsychologist- Assesses your cognitive performance and impairments and helps you learn coping strategies to assist with emotional and psychological well-being
  • Occupational therapist- Provides assistance with relearning and learning the skills necessary to perform day to day activities
  • Vocational counselor- Assesses your recovery progress to determine whether you can return to work and also provides support after that

Back Injuries

One of the most important yet sensitive parts of the body is your back. It’s made up of a complex system of muscles, bones, nerves, ligaments, and tendons. More importantly, it protects the spinal cord, which is very delicate. Any injury to any of these sections can result in significant pain or even disability. 

Sadly, there are many causes of back injuries. These include:

  • Lifting heavy objects
  • Tripping
  • Excessive twisting of the spine
  • Falling

However, some of the primary causes of severe back injuries include: 

  • Car accidents
  • Direct blows to the top of the head or back
  • Falls from significant heights
  • Stabs or penetrating injuries to the back

With fortune, you may be able to recover fully from your back injury. However, if it’s severe, it may result in temporary or permanent disability. This is why it’s crucial to seek medical intervention immediately.

In most circumstances, the pain may go away within four weeks with home treatment. This involves resting and taking some pain relievers. Though you may continue with daily activities if it’s a minor injury, avoid straining yourself. 

If the symptoms persist, visit your doctor. Depending on the severity, treatments may vary. It may include painkillers, muscle relaxants to control muscle spasms, and topical pain relievers to soothe aching and sore muscles and joints.

In cases when there is excess pain and inflammation, your doctor may give you a corticosteroid injection. If you sustain a fracture, herniated disc, or spinal cord injuries, surgery may be necessary. 

Although it’s important to rest, remaining inactive for extended periods may be detrimental to your ability to recover fully. This is why physical therapy, exercise, and chiropractic care are key features in back injury treatment. 

Do You Need a Personal Injury Attorney?

Other than the physical pain, injuries can come with other significant health, social, financial, emotional, and psychological effects. This becomes even worse if you or your loved one is in such a position due to someone else’s negligence.

In such cases, even if the injury seems mild at first, it’s essential to take the necessary steps to protect yourself. After seeking medical care, contact a personal injury lawyer to help you determine whether your case qualifies as such.

As you recover, they will do some investigations and compile evidence on your behalf to help with your claim. They will also negotiate with insurance adjusters to help you get fair compensation.

Getting the Right Attorney Is Key

Whereas there may be plenty of attorneys available, they may not deliver the same results. This is why you must go for a personal injury attorney with sufficient experience and a proven track record of getting clients the compensation they deserve. 

Guardian Law Group is a law firm with experienced personal injury attorneys committed to serving our clients. Reach out to us today for a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help you seek damages for your injuries. 

Types of Personal Injuries Guardian Law Group Accepts and Possible Case Scenarios

Any incident or accident can lead to personal injury cases. In most cases, accidents lead to injuries and other damages such as loss of income, days off work, medical bills, disability leading to loss of earning capacity, loss of property, and even death of a loved one.

Accidents can set victims behind a great deal, and often they need to make claims or file lawsuits to receive compensation for damages suffered. Unfortunately, insurance companies almost always try to settle claims quickly and for minimal amounts. Accepting a settlement means losing the right to demand more money to cover additional costs.

Hence, hire or consult a personal injury attorney before engaging with an insurer because lawyers won’t be fooled or intimidated. The attorneys at Guardian Law Group are experienced at personal injury law and have negotiated many settlements in favor of our clients, helping them get back on track.

This article discusses various types of personal injury cases we handle and their possible case scenarios.

1. Car Accidents

Nobody ever wants to become a victim or another statistic of a car accident – but it happens to many people daily. These unfortunate accidents result in costly medical bills, changes in your quality of life, time off work, lost earning capacity, pain and sorrow, and even death.

Car accidents often result in either minor injuries that resolve in a few days or serious ones that cause some level of physical disability. The type and severity of injuries victims suffer depend on factors such as:

  • Was the person wearing a seat belt
  • Did their car get hit from the front, rear, or side?
  • Was the victim facing straight ahead, or was their body or head turned in a particular direction
  • Was it a high-speed crash or a low-speed collision?
  • Did the car have airbags?

The National Law Review classifies the eight most common car injuries in the following categories:

  • Soft tissue injuries such as bruising, contusions, back and neck injuries, and whiplash
  • Head injuries such as concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Mental or emotional issues like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Internal injuries such as broken bones, internal bleeding, or spinal cord injuries leading to paralysis

Other auto accident injuries include limb loss and amputation, joint injuries (knee, ankle, shoulder, or wrist), and disfiguring facial injuries and scars.

Determining fault often involves a closer look at the car accident scenario, among other things, during an investigation. But, honestly, the primary goal of insurance companies is getting away with paying as little in claims as possible. Thus, they will assign blame to you if they can.

So while many accidents may seem straightforward, insurers will always try to find loopholes to spin things in their favor. Therefore, it’s always best to consult a personal injury lawyer if you are involved in an accident and seek compensation.

Below are some common scenarios and factors that can change the course of your case:

  • Rear-End Accident

Rear-end accidents occur when a car (trailing vehicle) runs into another (leading vehicle) from behind. If the accident is minor with minimal-to-no vehicle damage or injuries, it’s called a fender bender.

Rear-end accidents are among the most common automobile accidents on the road. In most cases, the at-fault party is the trailing driver because they have a responsibility to maintain a safe driving distance and remain aware of their surroundings.

Some common locations for many rear-end accidents include stoplights, parking lots, the freeway, or the middle of the road.

  • Parking Lot Accidents

Parking lot accidents are rampant but, fortunately, involve low speeds and minimal-to-no injuries. However, sometimes these accidents can cause severe injury or aggravate an existing one. Typical parking lot accident scenarios include:

  • Hitting a driver while they back out of a parking space
  • A driving opting to exit forward through an empty parking space instead of backing up
  • Two vehicles collide as they try to enter the same parking space
  • Vehicles colliding at the end of the isle
  • Driver Ran a Red Light

Drivers running red lights are rampant across the U.S. and are a leading cause of road accidents. It can cause a T-bone collision (side-impact or broadside collision).

Unfortunately, these types of accidents are often dangerous because the side of a vehicle provides minimal protection during an accident. Regardless of which vehicle got struck, the driver who ran a red light is often at fault. Some reasons for running red lights include driving in a hurry, speeding, driving under the influence, and distracted driving.

  • Collisions Involving Left Turns with no Turn Signal

A left turn requires the driver to turn into oncoming traffic, which can be dangerous at an intersection with no turn light. Turning left at a green light requires you to yield to oncoming traffic until you have room to turn, even if you must wait through multiple light cycles.

Due to this, left turns on solid green traffic lights cause many drivers to make impatient decisions to beat oncoming traffic leading to:

  • A traffic pile-up
  • An accident at an angle or on the side
  • An accident involving multiple vehicles

A lot of variables can affect who is at fault in an accident. For example, a rear-end collision involving a completely drunk leading driver who randomly stops for no reason. 

Factors that make assigning fault for an accident complicated include driver fatigue, drunk driving, mechanical failure, or other drivers. Hence, it’s best never to admit blame following an accident and have a personal injury attorney examine the facts of your case.

2. Truck Accidents

Truck accidents cause serious injuries or death because they involve vehicles weighing over 80,000 pounds. In comparison, an 18 wheeler tractor-trailer is nearly 40 times heavier than a car. The significant weight difference makes such accidents severe or even fatal to occupants of a small vehicle.

Common injuries include:

  • Brain injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Multiple fractures
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Disfigurement
  • Death 

Accidents involving trucks can be legally complex mainly because of the weight difference, and most trucks on the road are commercial vehicles.

Below are some common truck accident scenarios:

  • Jackknife

Jackknife accidents occur when a truck travels at high speed and the driver brakes suddenly without slowing down first. As a result, it folds at a 90-degree angle and sweeps away everything in its path. In addition, the trailer’s weight prevents it from slowing down with the cab, so it moves forward instead and could even break away.

  • Wide Turn

A truck driver steers and makes a sharp right turn, which can sometimes be problematic. Additionally, navigating a truck is challenging, especially with heavy traffic at the truck’s rear end since passengers can easily get trapped.

  • Blind Spots

Blind spots are a big issue for trucks since the driver cannot notice other vehicles at the rear end, especially regular small cars and motorcycles. When a trucker cannot see what is going on in the blind spot, such as motorists making turns or switching lanes, it puts the adjacent vehicles in grave danger. The truck could hit them, topple them, or crush them in a matter of seconds.

  • Tire Blowout

Tire blowouts can happen to any vehicle but are more common in trucks. An experienced driver can easily get nervous when a tire blows out, losing control and causing an accident. The tire can also hit and hurt or kill a pedestrian.

  • T-Bone

T-bone accidents occur when a vehicle runs a red light before colliding with one or multiple other cars or even pedestrians. These accidents occur as perpendicular collisions due to rash driving.

  • Rolling Over

Truck rollovers often occur on curved paths while the driver hauls heavy cargo. Reckless driving and speeding can cause rollovers and risk hurting or taking the lives of pedestrians and other motorists.

  • Head-On Collisions

When motorists fail to slow down as other vehicles, especially tractor-trailers, speed past can cause a devastating collision. Drivers and other victims experience such powerful inertial forces and fly from the windscreen and onto the road or other oncoming traffic.

  • Runaway Trailer Crashes

Sometimes, a trailer’s speed increases past that of the truck (often due to weight), causing the driver to lose control. If the truck’s brakes fail, the driver may panic and collide with other vehicles. In other cases, the trailer may completely detach from the cab with disastrous results.

  • Underride Collisions

These are easily the deadliest truck accidents, and so many mishaps can occur. For instance, the truck’s tires might burst to lead to an underride collision, or a car may lose its rooftop when it passes below the trailer. Still, a vehicle may collide with a truck parked beside a road.

3. Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcyclists are at a significant disadvantage when involved in a road accident with other vehicles, no matter the type and amount of protective gear they wear. Accidents can result in broken bones, severe internal injuries, head and spinal cord injuries, or death.

Common motorcycle accident causes and scenarios include:

  • A  driver turns left but fails to see a biker or inaccurately predict their speed and ends up causing a crash
  • A car changes lanes and enters a biker’s lane, causing a side impact because they did not see the motorcyclist
  • A vehicle hits a motorcyclist from behind because the driver is distracted or drives too close to the biker. Fender benders can be deadly to motorcyclists.

Different states have different ways of assigning fault in a motorcycle accident case. These include at-fault, no-fault, and comparative negligence. An at-fault (tort) state puts all the blame on individuals plus the resultant financial responsibility.

No-fault states require drivers and motorcyclists to maintain insurance to cover losses suffered in an accident unless the damage amount is more than the insured amount. Comparative negligence states assign fault or negligence base on the involved parties’ respective contribution to an accident.

4. Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian accidents and injuries are rampant across the country and can occur on the road, at crossings, on sidewalks, and even in parking lots. In addition, defects in sidewalks, parking lots, and other poorly maintained property can also cause accidents.

Common pedestrian accident scenarios involve:

  • Pedestrians getting hit by oncoming traffic while crossing the road
  • Pedestrians hit at night in poorly lit areas
  • Pedestrians hit when attempting to cross the road while traveling in line with traffic.
  • Pedestrians getting hit in a parking lot when a vehicle backs out of a space

5. Dog Bites

The U.S has a significant number of domesticated dogs, which increases the chances of dog bites. Fault laws concerning dog bites vary from state to state. In some cases, the dog and its owner will be at fault, especially if they know of their dog’s bite history.

States with strict liability laws place the responsibility on the owner, except if the bite resulted from an intentional provocation. For instance, a dog bites a child after the latter continually pokes the former.

Dog bites at home are often the family’s fault because they should provide a safe environment for the dog and understand behavioral signals to avid agitation.

6. Workplace Accidents

Workplace accidents resulting in severe injuries or deaths are common in the U.S. Employees are entitled to worker’s compensation to protect them in case of accidents by covering their medical bills and part of their wages.

While accidents are commonplace, sometimes, injured individuals may have the grounds to pursue personal injury lawsuits if they believe neglect or malice played a part in their misfortune. Also, if the victim dies, a third party (usually family members) may file a wrongful death claim. Such cases can have multiple possibilities and complexities, which is why it’s advisable to find a personal injury lawyer.

Below are some workplace accident causes and scenarios:

  • Slip and Fall

An employee drives to work in the morning and parks his car before exiting and proceeding to the office. Unfortunately, he steps on the sidewalk and slips on the snow and ice, injuring his back and causing him to miss multiple days of work.

If the company privately owns the sidewalk and sine the employee was on it because of work, he can hold the company liable for the accident.

  • Fights at Work

An employee drives to work in the morning and proceeds to clock into work before a second employee approaches her. A physical altercation ensues, and the first employee breaks an arm. The incident counts as an act of violence in the workplace.

  • Crashes and Collisions

Accidents resulting in impact or crush injuries are frequent at work and involve cars, trucks, or even forklift trucks.

  • Getting Hit by Falling Objects

An employee gets hit with a wood plank falling from a raised work platform while working or walking below. Falling objects can cause severe injury, and employers need to put strict systems in place to prevent them

  • Inhaling Toxic Fumes

Most people don’t work in hazardous environments with dust and chemicals. However, those who do are at risk of eye or skin reactions and other respiratory issues. Thus, protective equipment is indispensable in these workplaces to avoid dangerous exposure.

Other workplace accident causes and scenarios include exposure to loud noises, repetitive strain injury, walking into objects, and muscle strains. In addition, employers must provide proper training, access to safety equipment, and clear signage to avoid unnecessary mishaps.

7. Slip and Fall Accidents

Slip and fall are a common occurrence for many people, especially seniors above 55 years. These accidents can occur anywhere, such as on a parking lot, sidewalk, slippery ban floors, vacation rental properties, and shopping malls.

It’s easy to assume slip and falls are nobody’s fault because all you can do to protect against them is to remain vigilant and observe all safety precautions if available.

Unfortunately, business owners, property owners, landlords, and employees may be irresponsible and fail to maintain the surfaces and properties under their management. Such acts of irresponsibility resulting in slip and fall accidents are called premises liability.

An accident can lead to minor bruises, sprains, hip or spinal cord injuries, or death. Below are some slip and fall causes and scenarios:

  • Wet and Uneven Walking Surfaces

Wet or uneven surfaces cause slip and fall accidents. The associated instances of wet or uneven surfaces include loose floorboards and mats, worn carpeting, freshly mopped or waxed floors, defective sidewalks, parking lot potholes, and poorly constructed staircases.

  • Weather

Weather is a natural occurrence and a leading cause of slip and falls. Winter sees snow, ice, and moisture on walking surfaces, making them a slipping or tripping hazard. For instance, the law requires building owners to shovel the sidewalks, plow streets, and salt walkways during winter.

  • Stray Cords and Electrical Wires

Stray electrical cords and wires are also common causes of slip and fall accidents because they can hook your shoes or make your legs slide over as you walk.

  • Poor Training

Inadequate training is a cause of slip and fall accidents in the construction industry. Employers and employees must undergo proper training before they start work to avoid these accidents while on duty. The government has a guideline on educating people about preventing slip and fall accidents.

  • Nursing Home Neglect

Aging and sickly people are at a higher risk of slipping and falling due to their reduced sense of balance. Such accidents can be life-threatening or make their situation worse. It’s the responsibility of facility administrators and nurses to assist and monitor their everyday life within the premises.

  • Broken or Damaged Handrails

Handrails support people as they walk on staircases, pavements, or other slippery areas such as bathrooms. Broken railing provides a false sense of support while missing ones provide none, leading to slips and falls.

  • Poor Lighting

Poor lighting in pavements and buildings also contributes to a high number of slip and fall accidents. Therefore, OSHA requires every public property and workplace to have proper lighting to improve vision. Failure to do so opens up employees and property owners to liability for any slip and fall accidents as a result.

Why Hire Guardian Law Group

The Guardian Law Group has a team of highly skilled and professional lawyers knowledgeable and experienced in all aspects of personal injury law. Visit our offices in Atlanta, GA, or Birmingham, AL, or contact us today and discuss your case.