Slipping and falling doesn’t have to mean you were somewhere high up. And you don’t have to be on stairs or a ladder to sustain a serious injury. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor and the CDC, 2/3 of falls that cause an injury do not involve falling to a lower level but are considered same-level falls. More than one million people in the US are injured in falls each year, so you are not alone and should not feel embarrassed.
The CDC also reports that 20% of falls cause major injuries like a TBI (traumatic brain injury) or a broken bone. This makes falling the number on cause of TBIs in the US. Medical costs of falls reach $34 billion per year in the USA. But lost money is not the only effect of a fall.
Long-Lasting Effects of Falls
While a concussion or whiplash-type trauma is certainly a serious injury on its own, the aftereffects can be long lasting leading to things such as post-concussion syndrome or spinal arthritis. Plus, an injury from a fall can have lasting mental and emotional effects resulting from the fear of future falls. One may fear to go into the type of building where the injury occurred, or may experience years of future anxiety and PTSD.
If your personal injury has occurred on someone else’s property (commercial or residential), you need to know what your rights are in regard to compensation. The responsibility lies with the property owner to make the area safe for others. If you are entitled to compensation to help you deal with medical costs, missed work, and other lasting effects of the slip and fall, we can help. Don’t forget that the consult is free, so you have nothing to lose from bringing your case to Petrov Law Firm.Read More
On March 7, 2016, a jury in Tennessee rightfully awarded a major verdict in favor of Erin Andrews. The defendants, Michael Barrett, the man who secretaly videotaped her through a peephole while she was nude in her hotel room and the Nashville hotel where the taping took place were both found liable. The jury awarded $55M to Ms. Andrews assigning 51% of the blame to Mr. Barrett and 49% to the Nashville hotel.
But, what does this mean to Ms. Andrews? in 2013, Tennessee, by statute, got ride of a doctrine called joint and several liability. If this doctrine was still in place, both defendants would have been on the hook to pay. Now, they each only owe their share of the liability.
As such, it is unlikely that Ms. Andrews will be able to collect from Mr. Barrett the $28M to pay his share of the verdict. The remaining $27M is owed by the Nashville hotel. This is a large figure and will most likely be heard by an appeals court to see if the figure matches the harm done to Ms. Andrews. It is likely that before the appellate court makes its ruling, Ms. Andrews and the hotel will reach a settlement.
While this verdict certainly sends a message to people and hotel chains, Ms. Andrews will see much less of that verdict than the media wants to have you believe.Read More
Making the decision to pursue a personal injury case can feel stressful. Is it the right thing to do? How much will it cost? What happens if I lose? Luckily, one conversation with a personal injury attorney will answer all of those questions.
The lawyer will set some basic expectations. For example, the lawyer doesn’t get any money unless you get money. In short, the lawyer takes a percentage. And so, the lawyer isn’t likely to take on a case that is a losing battle. Finally, personal injury cases are generally not about right and wrong; they are about injury and losses. If you lost money because of the injury (like lost wages) then you should be paid back.
If you slipped and fell at a grocery store, you aren’t really suing the grocery store; you are submitting an insurance claim through your attorney. The grocery store (or airport or cafe…) has an insurance policy to protect them from paying out on an accident. The insurance company pays for your injuries — not the business owner. So there is no need to feel guilty if you need to submit for reimbursement because of your losses.
Slip and fall cases take time — sometimes over a year. During that year, you will have to visit the lawyer a few times to answer some questions about the fall. Your lawyer can help you find a doctor to treat your injuries and you won’t have to pay for the treatments. Don’t go it alone if you’ve had a fall; ask a lawyer for help.Read More
More and more people in California are bringing companion animals with them everywhere they go. Unfortunately, not all of the animals that are classified as companion animals are equally trained, and some could still be likely to bite. If you’ve been bitten by an animal in public, make sure to collect the name of the owner along with the names of witnesses. Then contact a personal injury attorney to help you find out how you can proceed.
There are two classification of companion animals. The first are professionally trained, working animals. Professionally trained companion animals go through an extensive selection process to eliminate any animal that might be aggressive or uncooperative. Then, the animals that are selected for training spend years learning self control along with companion skills to finally reach certification. These animals can go anywhere the owner goes — from restaurants to airplanes. These animals are extremely intelligent and are very unlikely to bite anyone.
The second form of companion animals are emotional support animals. While dogs are the most common emotional support animal, cats, birds, and rabbits (among others) can also be considered as companions. These emotional support animals do not receive any training and are not able to self regulate their behavior any better than a common household pet. In addition, getting a doctor to say you need a companion animal is fairly easy and inexpensive.
In California, the law prevents most commercial establishments from demanding a form of proof for the companion animal. (Demanding proof can be seen as an act of discrimination.) Some consumers take advantage of this law and simply buy a companion animal vest, knowing that no one can demand proof. And while interpretations vary, the current laws might not even allow emotional support animals in eating establishments; but because of the discrimination laws, no one can ask for proof.
So because of the complex and conflicting laws, untrained dogs are everywhere. While many of those animals are legitimate, working dogs, some are not. So if you’ve been bitten by a stranger’s dog, consult a lawyer. The dog isn’t likely a true working animal, and you are well within your rights (and morals) to demand compensation for your injury.Read More
As the injured party, you probably don’t care where or how you got hurt; you’ve been injured by no fault of your own and you want to recover your losses. However, where and how you got hurt makes a tremendous difference to the legal system. In order to find the right lawyer to help you, you need to have a working knowledge of the differences between employment practices, workers compensation, and personal injury cases.
Workers compensation cases are based on a physical or mental injury sustained by an employee while at work. For example, if you work in a warehouse and a shelf falls on you, then you have a workers compensation claim. The employer is responsible for the injuries because the accident occurred while you were on the job. Likewise, if you have a boss that constantly yells at you and threatens to fire you, you can develop stress-related health issues like anxiety and sleeplessness.
Employment practices is generally about sexual or emotional harassment and discrimination. Of course the typical example for sexual harassment is a boss demanding sex in exchange for a promotion. Realistically, harassment is more subtle, and includes a workplace environment where abusive or sexual jokes and unwelcome advances are commonplace. Discrimination lawsuits are generally based on ethnicity, age, and gender. Discrimination cases are harder to prove, but with several unrelated victims detailing the same problems, a lawyer can make a case for discrimination.
Personal injury takes place outside of the claimant’s workplace. Personal injury accidents include injuries sustained in a retail store, in a car accident, by a faulty product, etc. If you’ve been injured by no (or little) fault of you own, then you probably qualify for a personal injury lawsuit. One major exception is for accidents that happen in your own home. If you slip and fall while in your own kitchen, you can’t sue yourself or your homeowner’s insurance company for medical bills.Read More
If you’ve ever been to the emergency room with a broken bone, you might have received a letter from your health insurance company asking if the injury happened at work. Why would they care if you got hurt at work? Because if you broke a bone while working, then the employer’s insurance plan has to pay for the medical expenses — not your health insurance plan.
So when you file a personal injury claim, you frequently unleash a battle between insurance companies as to which one is responsible for the costs. When insurance companies sue each other, its call subrogation. And frequently, as the insured you don’t know that these insurance battles are raging on behind the scenes. In the fine print of every insurance policy (and there is a lot of fine print) you give permission for the companies to sue each other.
However, while the insurance companies will fight with each other over the cost of your x-rays and pain prescriptions, they probably aren’t asking if you’ve lost wages due to the injury. You have to hire your own lawyer so that the lawsuits include all of your costs. With a few weeks out of work or a lifetime of disability, you have to become an advocate for yourself by hiring a lawyer.
And you have to do it before all of the insurance money runs out. Let’s say you were crossing the street and got hit by a car. You broke your foot. Initially, your health insurance covers the costs, but they soon realize the driver’s insurance company should be paying for the medical coverage. The insurance companies fight it out and come to a settlement. Meanwhile, you’re at home with a broken foot, unable to work. After a few months, you realize that you could still get some money for your lost wages. And with a lawyer, you can. It might take some time, but you can get money because you couldn’t work with a broken foot. However, had you contacted a lawyer right away, you could have come to a settlement before the insurance companies used it up for themselves.
Personal injuries cost more than the price of medical treatments. Don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer and claim your share of the insurance money.Read More