Jay Paul Kahle - Attorney at Law

Accidents and Just Compensation

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If you're hurt in an Accident, don't cry, seek Just Compensation.

Accidents, as we call them, have a different meaning when it comes to law. In most instances we are talking about an incident which occurs as the result of the actions of a one party (who is negligent) which results in (is the proximate cause of ) injury to another party.

Accidents may occur in many forms such as falling on a slippery floor in your favorite restaurant, (which was either made slippery or allowed to remain slippery by the negligence of the operator of the premises), being struck by a negligent golfer's errant golf ball ( who failed to warn or yell "fore", or negligently struck the ball while he knew you were in harms way), bitten by a person's vicious dog, (who failed to warn you about the dog or to take precautions to see that the dog could not bite you), or the most common of all, being injured in an auto accident by the negligent actions of others.

Probably the four most common elements to consider in determining if an accident is one which is compensable, are:

  1. Was the other person negligent?

  2. Was his negligence the proximate cause of your injuries?

  3. Were you free from contributory negligence?

  4. Did you incur damages?

If these factors exist in your favor, your chances of recovery are good.

How will you be paid? What if the person who was negligent has no assets. While it sometimes happens that you can't collect, today most people are covered by Insurance. Insurance is a contract between an individual and an insurance company to have the insurance company pay for any damages for which the insured is held liable. Automobile insurance is mandatory in most states. (Although the mandatory amount may be woefully inadequate to cover your losses.) You also can purchase Uninsured and Under Insured Coverage for your self to cover those situations where the other guy doesn't have insurance or has too little to cover you losses.

There are a number of important concepts or principles of law of which the injured person should be aware.

Statute of Limitations:

The law has provided in its wisdom that it is not good to allow people to come into court many years after the occurrence of an event and assert a claim against another. So the legislature has established time periods within which a claim can be filed. These are known as Statutes of Limitations.

Damages:

Medical Expenses - Obvious, and includes immediate treatment as well as long term rehabilitative treatment.

Economic Loss - Constitute lost wages, property damage, loss of business reputation, etc, and other losses specifically measurable in dollars.

Disability - The reduction of a persons ability to perform or function in a normal manner due to a crippling condition or the loss of a limb; impairment of the persons normal earning capacity due to inability to perform tasks as before the injury.

Pain & Suffering - the intangible portion of damages; for example compensation for the agony of a bad accident or anguish or a disfigurement or the loss of a loved one.

Malpractice - Malpractice as commonly known is the negligent performance of ones duties by a Doctor, Dentist or even a Lawyer, which results in Damage to his patient.

Contingent Fee - A Contingent fee is a fee which is only earned by the Lawyer if he is able to produce an award for you. No Award, no pay the lawyer. Contingent fees range from 25% to 45% depending on the complexity of the case and the lawyer.

YOU SHOULD ALWAYS DISCUSS THE CONTINGENT FEE ARRANGEMENT WITH YOUR LAWYER AND GET IT IN WRITING. TALK TO A LOCAL LAWYER YOU KNOW!!!

This information is presented as a service of Kahle & Associates, Attorneys at Law


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