December 11, 2018

How Long Do I Have to File My Case?

Car Accident Lawyer

Every state has a set of laws that limit the time in which legal claims can be filed in courts. Those laws are called statutes of limitations. The time in which a lawsuit must be filed is called a “limitations period.”

States set different limitations periods for different kinds of lawsuits. For example, people usually have a longer period of time to sue for breach of contract than they have to sue for a personal injury. The limitations period for bringing an employment discrimination claim is usually shorter than the limitations period to sue for unpaid wages.

Personal Injury Limitations Periods

Different states set different limitations periods for personal injury lawsuits. Depending on the state in which the injury occurs, the statute of limitations may be as short as 1 year or as long as 6 years. Limitations periods of 2 or 3 years are fairly common.

The same state may set a different limitations period depending on whether the injury claim is based on an intentional act or negligence. Some states set shorter limitations periods for medical malpractice claims or wrongful death lawsuits than other kinds of personal injury cases.

Many states extend the limitations period when the accident victim is incapable of bringing a lawsuit. For example, minors usually cannot sue on their own behalf, so states often give minors who are injury victims a longer period of time to file suit. Individuals who are disabled or imprisoned may also be subject to a longer limitations period, depending on state law.

Injury victims need to be careful when they compute the applicable limitations period. For example, the limitations period in a negligence case might be measured from:

  •   the date of the negligent act;
  •   the date on which the injury arising from the negligent act occurred;
  •   the date on which the negligent act was discovered; or
  •   the date on which the injury arising from the negligent act was discovered.

The limitations period might also be extended when the negligent party fraudulently conceals a negligent act (as when a doctor falsifies medical records to conceal medical negligence). Since the limitations period can be difficult to calculate, it is wise to explain all the facts to a personal injury lawyer and to seek a legal opinion about the applicable limitations period.

Why Do Limitations Periods Exist?

A statute of limitations is sometimes called a statute of repose. The legal concept of repose means that people who might have done something wrong should not need to look over their shoulders for the rest of their lives, wondering whether they will be sued for their alleged misconduct. At some point, people should be allowed to stop worrying.

A more practical reason for imposing a limitations period is that it prevents evidence from growing stale. As time goes by, memories fade and physical evidence is more difficult to find. Requiring people to bring lawsuits while evidence is still relatively fresh improves the quality of outcomes by limiting the risk that claims and defenses will be based on unreliable evidence.

Lawmakers sometimes say that people should not be allowed to “sit on their rights.” That’s another way of saying that victims who have been harmed by another person’s actions should be encouraged to bring their lawsuits promptly. This is fair to the person who is accused of misconduct, because it becomes more difficult for those persons to find and preserve evidence to defend themselves as time passes.

Notice of Claim Statutes

A notice of claim requirement is similar to a statute of limitations. When claims are asserted against the government — such as a claim that a car accident was caused by poor road maintenance or a malfunctioning traffic light — the person bringing the claim is often required to give the government notice that the victim intends to bring a legal claim.

Notice of claim statutes may also apply to injuries caused by government employees. Whether they apply to traffic accidents in which a government employee (such as a municipal bus driver) was driving while “on duty” depends on state law.

Notice of claim statutes are generally much shorter than limitations periods. Injury victims may only have three to six months in which to file a notice of claim.

Required contents of the notice differ from state to state. Notice of claim statutes generally require the injury victim to identify the date, place, and cause of the injury. Some states require the notice (or a separate notice) to itemize the damages that resulted from the government’s negligence.

Failure to comply with a notice of claim statute, like the failure to file a lawsuit before the limitations period expires, can be fatal to the injury victim’s case. Injury victims should always consult with an auto accident lawyer Atlanta, GA trusts as soon as the injury occurs so that the limitations period and any notice deadline can be calculated promptly.


Thank you to our friends and contributors at Butler | Tobin for their insight into car accident claims and personal injury cases.

November 10, 2018

Broken Bones After a Car Accident

Car Accident Lawyer Naperville, IL

Getting into a car accident can already be an inconvenience for you. Your car might need repairs, you might be late to work, or you might even need a new car. However, having broken bones from a car accident can be serious, and it can mean time missed from work or school and even high medical bills. Attorneys know the damage that car accident injuries can cause. It can impact your family’s financial well-being, and it can result in months of healing and even physical therapy. Being injured by the negligence of another person on the road is never a small deal. Attorneys work hard to ensure your case is reviewed with diligence and fight to get you the compensation you deserve after a thoughtless accident.

How Car Wrecks Cause Broken Bones

It is not uncommon to have a broken bone after a car accident. When a bone is fractured, it is physically broken in some way. Two common types of broken bones are:

  • Minor Stress Fractures
  • Compound Fractures

When someone else hits your car—let’s say you were involved in a head-on collision—you and the other vehicle suddenly and abruptly come to a crashing stop. When this happens, the cars stop moving, but your body continues to move due to inertia. You keep moving forward but other parts of your body might jerk backward or from side to side. This alone can cause bones to break. Other ways your bones could break are due to outside forces. For example, airbags can cause rib damage, and outside objects can put enough pressure on your bones, forcing them to break, if your car is being pushed or compacted in any way. These incidents can cause severe fractures, especially if broken bones result in open wounds.

What Happens After a Broken Bone?

It is important to keep in mind that any broken bone sustained by a car accident is serious and should be treated through professional medical care. However, some broken bones can lead to more serious damage.

  • Joint or Muscle Pain. This can become chronic after an accident. Joint or muscle pain can be a result of a broken bone and last for years or even for the rest of your life.
  • Infection. When a bone breaks or pierces through the skin, infection is not uncommon. When these areas are exposed to bacteria, they can lead to complications and higher risks during the healing process.
  • Deformities. While your broken bone might heal just fine, that does not mean it will heal perfectly or heal in the way it was originally. A healed broken bone can still be damaged or different from how it was before the accident.

Contact an Attorney For Help

Receiving compensation for injuries sustained after someone else’s negligence caused by an accident should be the last thing you worry about. A car accident lawyer Naperville, IL relies on at The Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian, LLC will fight to get you the best possible outcome for your case and work hard to help get you compensation. Never settle for less.

November 10, 2018

A Car Accident Attorney Discusses the Impact of Car Accident Catastrophic Injuries

Car Accident Lawyer

There is always a high risk of injury whenever a person is involved in a car accident. As a car accident attorney can attest, even a minor fender bender can result in a serious injury. Unfortunately, there are far too many crashes that occur each year that leave victims with catastrophic injuries that can leave victims permanently disabled. And each year, thousands of victims are unable to survive the injuries they sustain.

Life-threatening and fatal injuries often leave victims and/or their families dealing with devastating financial losses to deal with, in addition to the physical and emotional impacts they also are now forced to struggle with. A car accident attorney can help victims obtain the financial compensation they deserve for these overwhelming losses. Some of the more frequent type of car accident catastrophic injuries include the following:

  • Traumatic brain injury: Also referred to as a TBI, these are the most severe head injuries car accident victims can sustain. These injuries can also be “silent” ones because many times there is no bruise, bump, or wound that would normally warn the victim they have been injured. A TBI can occur even if the victim’s head did not hit a surface, but simply by the jerking movements a body makes upon crash impact. Symptoms of a possible brain injury are loss of consciousness, confusion, headaches, and changes in personality. Other common catastrophic injuries to the head that can cause brain injury is a penetrating wound and fractured skull.  
  • Penetration of the abdomen or chest areas: Whenever an object penetrates the abdomen or chest areas, there is a high risk of a fatal injury. Organs in these areas that sustain damage are the bowels, heart, kidneys, liver, and lungs. Major arteries and vessels can also be punctured.
  • Fractures: Depending on the severity of the break, fractured bones can cause all kinds of medical issues for a victim, even requiring surgery and physical therapy to help the bones heal. Facial fractures are common in serious car accidents and victims often have to endure multiple surgeries, including plastic surgery, before they are completely recovered. In many cases, there is permanent disfigurement or scarring. Fractured bones can also create a potentially fatal injury if the broken bone punctures an organ.

Car accident victims who have suffered catastrophic injuries should contact a car accident attorney in order to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the party or parties responsible for the crash. Some of the losses a victim is entitled to receive financial compensation for includes:

  • All past, present, and future medical expenses. This includes all hospitalizations, surgeries, physician appointments, diagnostic testing, physical therapy, medications, and medical equipment and devices.
  • Lost wages from any time missed from work while the victim was recovering. This also includes benefits the victim may have lost. If the injuries have left the victim unable to return to work, then they may also receive loss of future compensation benefits.
  • Non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, permanent disability, scarring, disfigurement, and loss of life enjoyment.

When a victim does not survive their injuries, their family can pursue a wrongful death claim against the liable party.

If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a crash, a car accident lawyer Des Moines, IA relies on can meet with you and explain what all of your legal options are.

 

Thank you to our friends and contributors at Johnston Martineau, LLP for their insight into car accidents and personal injury.

October 24, 2018

What Are the Rules for E-Scooters

Bicycle Accident Lawyer

In the spring of 2018, venture capitalists dropped electric scooters by the scores on select towns across the country. Municipal laws banning the electric ride-sharing vehicles were non-existent – who could have anticipated grown adults would flood the streets with toys reminiscent of their youth? The bombardment of scooters on streets, trails and sidewalks provoked city administrators to ask the California-based entrepreneurs to suspend their ride-sharing businesses while councils could weigh the practicality of electric scooters on city streets and carve out some light rules and regulations until more comprehensive legislation could be written. The E-Scooter visionaries prevailed in most locales while town representatives were left scratching their heads.

In most niche cities, e-scooters are treated much like bicycles. A bicycle accident lawyer Indianapolis, Indiana listens to believes that cyclers in cities with bicycle infrastructure have injury rates approximately fifty percent lower than cities without bicycle lanes. The Rules and regulations regarding rider-assisted shared electric vehicles are sparse to say the least. Each municipality has adopted a list of regulations that may differ from one city to another. The following is a general list of common-sense rules adopted by various cities, but before renting an e-scooter or electric bicycle, check your local rules before you take to the road.

  1. Drivers must be 18 years of age and have a valid driver’s license.
  2. E-Scooters must be operated on the streets; in bike lanes wherever they exist; and on trails only where permitted.
  3. Drivers are generally not permitted to operate e-scooters on sidewalks.
  4. Cities differ in parking requirements. Dockless e-scooters may be left on the sidewalk – not on city streets. Each city requires a margin of sidewalk space for pedestrians, wheelchairs and people with disabilities. Check your city’s regulations before you park, or you may contact your bicycle accident lawyer to learn more.
  5. Vehicles may not be parked in front of ramps or doors
  6. In cities where e-scooters are permitted between sunset and sunrise, most jurisdictions require the vehicle must be equipped with front and rear lamps.
  7. In states where helmets are not required by law, e-scooter companies encourage the operator to wear a helmet and may, in fact, provide one upon request.

There is a genuine need for quick, cheap and easily accessible transportation in congested cities like San Diego, LA, Indianapolis and DC. E-scooters allow urbanites to travel relatively short distances in no time at all, from one office to another or across town for a quick lunch break with a friend. The scooters have also enjoyed popularity as a prime attraction for tourists or a brief time-out for an energetic downtown workforce to burn off steam.

Know and follow the rules of e-scooter safety in your jurisdiction. Failure to abide by the rules may cause harm to another rider, cyclist, or motorist and you may personally be held responsible for their injuries. On the other hand, if you are injured by the negligence of another driver, do not discuss your accident on social media or with the press before you contact your bike accident lawyer Indianapolis, IN residents rely on.

 

 

Thank you to our friends and contributors at Ward & Ward Law Firm for their insight into bicycle accidents and personal injury claims.

September 16, 2018

Can I Sue My Landlord for Mold?

Personal Injury Lawyer

 

Although toxic mold is a hot topic when purchasing a home these days, it is often overlooked when searching for a rental property. You are basically searching for an apartment or rental home that is in your budget, is a good location for commuting, and in generally good condition. Asking or looking for evidence of black mold is probably not on the top of your priority list of questions. Even if it was, it is likely not evident until the damage is done.

 

What Kind of Health Issues Can be Attributed to Exposure to Black Mold?

 

Black mold can be the cause of serious health issues if you are exposed to it consistently for a period of time. These health issues include:

 

  • Respiratory issues
  • Internal organ damage
  • Skin irritation or inflammation
  • Nausea
  • Mental impairment

 

Black mold tends to be found in damp, dark areas; therefore it is often not apparent until the physical damage has been done. In addition, black mold can cause damage to the property that is expensive to remediate and sometimes not treatable.

 

What Do I Do if I Discover Mold in My Rental Property?

 

Legally, landlords must by law provide suitable living conditions to its tenants, which means there are no safety or health hazards present. The standard that landlords need to adhere to is generally the building codes of the local jurisdiction which details the tenant’s safety and health concerns. Toxic mold is considered a major concern and tenants should not be expected to live in conditions where mold is present and health risk.

 

If you find mold in your rental property, your first step should be to contact your landlord. They are responsible legally to remediate the mold problem and reimburse you for any expenses you incur because of the mold. If after the landlord takes care of the mold you still show evidence of health issues you think may be a result of being exposed to the black mold, you can still claim damages against your landlord. If your landlord disputes your claim that your rental has black mold, you can pay for an inspection of the property and if mold is found after the landlord has disagreed with your claim, it may open the landlord up to increased liability.

 

Can I Sue My Landlord for Damages Incurred Because of Exposure to Black Mold?

 

If you have tried other avenues with no satisfaction, your only option may be to take your landlord to court with a personal injury lawyer St. Paul, MN trusts by your side. Depending on the amount you are asking for will determine whether or not you can resolve your issues at small claims court.

 

Damages you may be able to claim because of black mold may be:

 

  • Pain and suffering as a result of being physically harmed from the mold
  • Lost wages when getting treated
  • Any medical expenses as a result of being exposed to the black mold
  • Destruction of any property you had that was contaminated by the mold
  • Long-term earning potential that may suffer because of your injuries

 

Thank you to our friends and contributors at Johnston | Martineau, PLLP for their insight into personal injury cases and mold in rental units.

 

September 15, 2018

What Should I do if I witness a car accident?

 

If you are witness to a car accident, the first step is ensuring that your own safety is put first. If you are in a car, pull your vehicle to the side of the road (or in a shoulder if one is present), at least 100 feet away from the car accident scene with your hazard lights turned on. By keeping yourself and your car at a safe distance from the accident, you will limit your chances of coming into contact with broken glass, possible flames, leaking fuel, and other car debris that was a result of the accident. Additionally, emergency vehicles will need room to pull up to the scene of accident, and by keeping a safe distance you allow ample room for them to arrive.

Should I contact the police?

If you witness a car accident, you should contact the proper authorities once you have pulled off the road safely. Never assume someone else has contacted 911. Once you reach a dispatcher, be prepared with the following information regarding the accident:

  •      You are a witness to this accident
  •      You and your vehicle are both safe from the accident
  •      The location the accident happened
  •      If you can see that anyone sustained injuries from the accident
  •      How many vehicles you see involved in the accident

Should I get out and help those involved in the car accident?

Although it can depend on the state you are in where the accident took place, you are not typically required to get out of your car to help those who were involved in the accident. However, some states have what is known as a Good Samaritan Act, where the person who chooses to aid those who are victims of a car accident do so in good faith, to either care for, or treat those, in an emergency situation. The person cannot be held responsible for what happens to those that he or she helps, as long as they were acting under what is considered to be a reasonable form of helping others. However, if you increase the risk of injury, death, or make injuries worse, the Good Samaritan Act is not applicable.

Should I submit a statement?

When the police arrive at the scene, expect to make a statement. The police must gather as much information as they can to piece together the accident, and, as an impartial witness, you can provide key information in your testimony. When providing a statement, take care to:

  •      Take as much time as you need to recall what happened
  •      Be clear and give as much detail as you can
  •      Be prepared and willing to provide contact information
  •      Do not assume what either driver was doing if you did not witness it

What’s next?

It is likely you will receive a follow-up call from the police, but it is also possible you will receive a phone call from insurance companies or attorneys seeking further clarification or statements from the accident. In these situations, it is always best to be honest about what happened. By keeping these steps in mind, you can bring clarification to an auto accident scene and help authorities build an accurate story. If you have witnessed a car accident or have further questions on what steps to take, contact a car accident lawyer Chicago, IL trusts from The Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian today.

September 15, 2018

Going Under the Knife: Are You Assured of a Safe Procedure

Patients often have a certain level of trepidation before undergoing a medical procedure. For the most part, surgery and other more minor medical procedures are usually safe, however, there is always the possibility that you may have a medical event during the procedure or worse still, your doctor may make a mistake. It happens, and it happens to thousands of patients every year in the United States.

 

So, how can you avoid being a statistic? Well, it is not so simple. Yes, finding a doctor who is very experienced and has a proven track record is important, but even highly skilled professionals make errors. Personal injury attorneys understand that while the expectation for first-class medical care should be the norm, negligent care from a trained professional means you have received substandard care, for which you should be compensated for the harm that you suffered.

 

Medical Procedures and Their Risks

 

Malpractice is not always attributable to lengthy complicated surgeries, but sometimes routine procedures which go terribly wrong. When a doctor, other medical professional, or medical facility doles out care and treatment below what would be reasonably expected of a similarly qualified professional under the same circumstances, you may have a viable case.

Here are some examples patients should be aware of:

 

  •                     A child with a fever not treated promptly or effectively leading to sepsis and amputations
  •                     Birth defects
  •                     Botched endoscopic or cosmetic procedures
  •                     Improper or inadequate anesthesia
  •                     Incorrect medication prescribed, or incorrect dosages given
  •                     Medical devices causing injury either during or after insertion
  •                     Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of a treatable condition

Unfortunately, the possible scenarios are endless. And while seeking compensation for your injuries is important, so is sending a message to the community at large that medical care needs to be delivered in a competent way so others do not have to suffer the same fate.

 

Understanding the Consent Form

 

Prior to medical procedures, patients or their families are given a myriad of paperwork to complete, one being a patient consent form. This form is essentially a communication from the medical provider that outlines all the risks and benefits of the proposed procedure and what complications would fall within the acceptable risks of the treatment.

If you underwent a procedure and experienced serious injury other than the typical risks you were informed of, you may have an actionable case. Consulting with an attorney to assess your circumstances is advisable.  

 

Legal Options

 

In the event you or a loved one suffers a catastrophic injury at the hands of a doctor or due to a systemic failure to provide competent care at a medical facility, statutory time limitations do come into play. You must file a claim before that date passes, usually within two years from the date of the negligent conduct. In your initial consultation with your attorney, he or she can determine what that date is.

 

Finding the right personal injury attorney to represent you is key. A medical malpractice attorney Naperville, IL turns to from The Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian can truly understand how unfair it is to have experienced a serious but preventable injury. They will fight to win a monetary settlement to compensate for your economic losses, medical and rehabilitation expenses, and your pain and suffering.

June 13, 2018

The Physical & Emotional Trauma of a Bicyclist Accident

As a bicyclist, one of the worst things that could ever happen is getting struck by a car driver who was simply not paying attention, distracted or under the influence while behind the wheel. The injuries associated with a bicyclist accident can include physical and emotional trauma. The human body was just not built to withstand the sudden and blunt force from a vehicle body.

May 13, 2018

Why Cars are the Biggest Threats to Pedestrians

When taking a stroll, pedestrians must always be alert and aware of cars that could be coming their direction. Car drivers can become distracted while behind the wheel, and not see that a pedestrian has crossed in front of their path. A major way pedestrians can help lessen the chances of being struck by a car is through prevention.