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We see a lot of great questions in our Answers community every day. Here's a look at some recent questions relating to injuries, accident, and torts from our FindLaw Answers boards:
1. I was injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver pulling out of a bar parking lot. I found out later the driver had been drinking heavily at the bar for more than 4 hours before getting behind the wheel. I'm going to sue the driver, but can I also sue the bar?
The answer to this poster's question depends on the state in which the accident took place. Most states have dram shop laws that make a drinking establishment liable for serving alcohol to an intoxicated person who subsequently injures or kills someone while under the influence of alcohol. These laws generally determine fault according to the "obvious intoxication" test, which requires that the patron be visibly and obviously intoxicated in order for the business to be held liable. Since dram shop laws vary from state to state, it's a good idea to consult with a local personal injury attorney to get a free case evaluation.
2. I just found out my daughter is being bullied by several classmates on Facebook. The things they're posting are so mean-spirited and cruel, and my daughter is absolutely devastated. Can I take any legal action?
As a result of growing awareness and a number of high-profile tragedies, "cyberbullying" is now a rapidly evolving area of law. Many states have enacted cyber harassment laws that criminalize cyberbullying. However, as of today, the law still leaves parents to take much of the initiative by filing civil claims against the school or the bullies' parents. Since so much depends on state-specific law and the details of the individual case, the Answers Community suggested the poster consult with a personal injury attorney or education attorney to determine the family's best legal recourse.
3. Should I hire an attorney to handle my personal injury claim? Or should I go ahead and file it on my own?
Even though this poster doesn't give us many details, this is a great question -- one that comes up pretty frequently. Every case is different, but the decision to hire a lawyer generally depends on the scope and size of the injury.
If the injury and corresponding damages are small, plaintiffs usually go to small claims court. Since small claims courts are designed to settle disputes quickly and efficiently, many plaintiffs go forward with claims without an attorney (and some states even prohibit attorney representation in small claims court).
If the claim involves a more serious injury, the case is likely to be significantly more complicated and involve litigation. Since the average person could be quickly overwhelmed by unfamiliar rules and court procedures, it's generally a good idea to retain a personal injury lawyer to help guide the case smoothly from beginning to end. If you find yourself in this situation, consider getting a free case evaluation from a local personal injury attorney.