Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog

January 2015 Archives

Contractor Injured at Your House: Are You Liable?

Homeowners having work done to their homes may be concerned about not just the quality of the work, but also about the potential legal liability for injuries sustained by contractors performing the work.

By virtue of owning the property, homeowners may generally be held responsible for injuries caused by negligence in failing to maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition. What is considered negligence in a given situation depends in part upon the status of the injured person, but also the cause of the injury and the circumstances surrounding an accident. A homeowner's eventual liability may also depend on whether an injury will be covered by insurance.

What do homeowners need to know about the possibility of a home-improvement or construction contractor being injured?

How Do Free Consultations Work in Personal Injury Cases?

Many personal injury attorneys offer free consultations. This allows a lawyer to learn more about the facts surrounding your case before deciding to take you on as a client.

As the first step in the process of pursuing a potential personal injury claim, your initial meeting with an attorney will also be an opportunity for you to find out more about your legal options and to get a feel for whether you and the attorney would work well together.

But how do these initial meetings work? And what should you expect from a free consultation with a personal injury attorney?

Comedian Joan Rivers’ death was the result of medical malpractice, her daughter claims in a lawsuit. What can consumers learn from this pending case?

As you may recall, Joan Rivers underwent a procedure to remove a growth from her vocal cords last summer. She suffered cardiac and respiratory arrest during surgery and was rushed to a hospital; Melissa Rivers later decided to remove her mother from life support.

But according to Melissa’s lawsuit, Joan Rivers’ death can be blamed on doctors and the New York City clinic where her procedure was performed. Here are three legal facts about medical malpractice cases to keep in mind as this lawsuit proceeds:

Injury Lawsuits: When Can You Sue for Lost Wages, Future Earnings?

When calculating damages for an injury lawsuit, lost wages are often included in the total amount.

Lost wages typically include money that a plaintiff would have earned from the time the injury occurred until the settlement is reached or a trial is complete. However, an injury lawsuit may also seek recovery for the loss of future wages, known as earning capacity. Damages for lost earning capacity seek to compensate an injured person for his or her diminished ability to earn money in the future due to impairments caused by an injury.

When can a plaintiff seek these two types of damages?

Falling Carry-On Bag Leads to Injury, Airline Lawsuit

A man who claims he was injured on a Southwest Airlines flight by a falling carry-on bag has filed a lawsuit against the airline.

Jerry Reinhardt was seated on a Southwest plane at Portland International Airport in 2013 when another passenger tried to fit a large carry-on bag into the compartment above Reinhardt’s head, reports The Oregonian. Reinhardt’s lawsuit claims that when a flight attendant came to help the passenger cram the bag into the overhead bin, the bag fell on him, causing him to suffer an injury.

Why does Reinhardt think the airline should be responsible for his injury, and how much is he seeking to recover?

Brain Injury Lawsuits: How Much Is Your Case Worth?

Brain injuries can cause permanent physical and mental damage. Determining the value of a person's injuries can often be complicated.

Generally, damage awards in a personal injury case include two types of damages: compensatory damages and punitive damages. Punitive damages are typically reserved for cases in which a defendant's actions justify a monetary punishment as opposed to simply compensating a victim, and are generally awarded at the discretion of a judge or jury.

In most injury cases, the value of your case will largely depend on the amount of compensatory damages you are awarded. How are these damages calculated in a brain injury lawsuit?

5 Things a Truck Accident Lawyer Can Do (That You Probably Can't)

When a vehicle accident involves a big rig semi-truck or other large commercial truck, the potential for those involved to suffer serious injuries or even death may be increased.

One Washington man somehow escaped with not just his life, but also without serious injuries last week when his vehicle was pinned between the trailers of two semi-trucks in a 26-car pileup on Interstate 84 in Oregon. Kaleb Whitby’s entire pickup truck was demolished except the small space surrounding his seat, CNN reports. But Whitby escaped with just a few cuts and bruises.

Unfortunately, other drivers can’t always count on being so lucky. And injury lawsuits involving commercial truck accidents may require different or additional legal considerations than a typical auto accident, meaning your best move may be to hire an attorney who specializes in truck accidents.

Why should you hire a truck accident lawyer? Here are five things that a truck accident lawyer can do that you probably can’t:

What Is Social Media Defamation? Do You Have a Case?

People say hurtful and offensive things on social media all the time. But when do these words cross the line into legally actionable defamation?

Offensive social media posts can be product of Internet "trolling" (which more than 1 in 4 Americans have admitted to doing) or real life conflicts carried over into the online sphere. And while gossip, disagreements, or even old fashioned name calling may be disagreeable, in order for a social media post to be considered defamation -- and for the individual behind the post to be held liable for damages -- several specific requirements must be met.

When does a social media post rise to the level of defamation?

How Can a Damages Cap Affect Your Injury Case?

Although it may seem like the sky is the limit when it comes to personal injury damage awards, in many cases a damages cap may limit compensation in an injury case.

A damages cap can apply in a number of different situations. Case in point: In a lawsuit brought by a 13-year-old girl injured in the 2011 stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair, the Indiana Court of Appeals this week upheld an Indiana law limiting the state's total liability for an incident to $5 million. In that incident, seven people were killed and more than 100 were injured. Nevertheless, Indiana's damages cap limited total recovery to $5 million among the more than 62 victims who settled with the state, in addition to $6 million for 59 other victims approved by state legislators.

With this case in mind, how might a damages cap affect your injury case?

How to Find the Right Worker's Comp Lawyer for You

If you need help with a worker's compensation claim or want to appeal a denial of worker's compensation benefits, then you may need a worker's comp attorney. But how do you find the right one for you?

Choosing the right attorney may have a profound impact on your ability to obtain worker's compensation benefits or other compensation. And there's likely to be a number of attorneys willing to take your case.

So which worker's comp lawyer should you hire, and where should you start looking for one? Here are a few tips you may want to consider:

Winter Chain-Reaction Crashes: 5 Legal Considerations

With inclement winter weather comes increased odds of being involved in a multiple-vehicle chain-reaction crash.

A winter storm that created whiteout conditions and icy roadways led to one such chain-reaction pileup in Michigan last week. The crash involved a total of 193 vehicles, reports the Lansing State Journal, causing the death of a truck driver and more than two dozen injuries.

What should drivers know about these wild winter wrecks? Here are five legal considerations:

Child Injured at School: Should You Sue?

For parents or guardians of children, an injury suffered at school is certainly cause for alarm.

But whether or not a child’s injury should lead to a personal injury lawsuit may depend on a number of different factors. One of the most important factors is, of course, the type and severity of the injury suffered by your child. When an injury does not result in the need for medical treatment or create lasting physical or emotional harm, it may be difficult to recover damages in a lawsuit.

What else should you know when deciding whether to file a lawsuit for a school injury? Here are a few points to consider:

Injured in a Commercial Truck Crash: Should You Sue?

If you’re injured in a crash involving a commercial truck, you have the option of seeking recovery for your injuries through a lawsuit.

Truck crash injuries are on the rise. The most recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report found that truck crash injuries increased by 18 percent, from 88,000 reported injuries in 2011 to 104,000 in 2012. Truck accidents also led to nearly 4,000 deaths in 2012.

But what should those who may be injured in a truck accident consider know about their potential legal options? Here are a few points to consider:

When Can You Sue for Trespass to Property?

Hey, you kids! Get off my lawn!

Actually, you don’t have to be plagued by neighbors’ baseballs in order to sue for trespass to property. As it turns out, anytime anyone, or anything, ends up on your property without your permission, it’s technically a trespass. Whether you can legally recover anything for that trespass, though, is a different question.

What are the elements of trespass, and when does it make sense to go to court?

How Do You Prove Assault in Civil Court?

The word “assault” most likely brings to mind a criminal act. And while assault certainly can be charged as a criminal violation, it may also be the grounds for a lawsuit in civil court.

When it comes to proving an assault, there may be an even more pervasive misconception: that an assault requires some form of physical violence or contact. On the contrary, a person may be liable for assault even where no actual physical contact has taken place.

With that being said, what are the requirements for proving assault in civil court? Here’s a general overview:

5 Questions to Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer

When you’re considering an injury lawsuit, what questions should you ask a personal injury lawyer?

Any time you suffer an injury, the priority is to get medical treatment if needed. After that, you may want to meet with a personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options.

During this meeting, the lawyer will likely have a number of questions about your injury. But your lawyer shouldn’t be the only one with questions. What do you need to know from your potential attorney? Here are five questions you might want to ask:

When Are Landlords Liable for Injuries?

As the owners of property, landlords are often legally responsible for the condition, upkeep, and use of their property, including legal liability for injuries that may be suffered by tenants or visitors.

Known as premises liability, this legal theory may be used to hold a property owner liable for injuries that occur on his or her property. But a landlord’s potential liability can depend on both the cause of the injury as well as the legal status of the person who was injured.

Although specific laws may vary depending on your state, when are landlords liable for injuries? Here’s a general overview:

When Is It Too Late to Sue for Injury?

You may have been injured a while ago, and you just haven't gotten around to pursuing your injury claim yet.

But beware: If you wait too long, you might be too late to get compensation in civil court for your injuries. On the other hand, even though a lot of time has passed, you shouldn't always assume that your case isn't worth pursuing.

So when is it too late to sue for injury?