Personal injury litigation is a complex process. Our experienced personal injury lawyers can work effectively to recover monetary losses resulting from your injury.
At The Cedar Law Firm we litigate complex personal injury, professional liability, construction site accident, truck and automotive accident and product liability claims.
Below is a list of common questions past personal injury clients have had.
- DO I HAVE A CASE? If you or a loved one has suffered an injury as a result of another individual’s or organization’s carelessness, negligence, or willful misconduct, you may have a valid personal injury lawsuit. In order to successfully recover fair compensation, The Cedar Law Firm must prove that: 1) you are injured; 2) your injury was not pre-existing; and 3) your injury is the result of another’s actions. To have our lawyer evaluate your claim, contact The Cedar Law Firm today.
- WILL MY CASE GO TO TRIAL? At the earliest stages of a personal injury lawsuit, it is impossible to predict when, or even whether, your case will settle. To ensure that you are justly compensated, we cannot initiate settlement negotiations until your medical treatment is complete. Whereas many law firms handle their cases intending to dispose of them primarily with fast settlements, The Cedar Law Firm is willing and able to bring your claim to trial to maximize your return.
- HOW LONG WILL LITIGATION TAKE? The answer to this question depends greatly on the court jurisdiction where your claim will be filed, the extent of your injuries, and the amount of treatment necessary for you to heal. In exchange for settling with an insurance company, a plaintiff must sign a release stating that he or she will no longer attempt to recover money from the insurance company or defendant. It is important that you are certain of your injuries and necessary treatment before signing such a release. Resolving a case prematurely often results in a smaller recovery.
- WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO MY MEETING WITH A LAWYER? You should provide a lawyer with any documents that might be relevant to your case. Police reports, for example, contain eyewitness information and details about the conditions surrounding auto accidents, fires, and assaults. Copies of medical reports and bills from doctors and hospitals will help demonstrate the extent and nature of your injuries. Information about the insurer of the person who caused your injury is extremely helpful, as are any photographs you have of the accident scene, your property damage, and your injury. The more information you are able to give your lawyer, the easier it will be for him or her to determine if your claim will be successful. If you haven’t collected any documents at the time of your first meeting, however, don’t worry; your lawyer will be able to obtain them in his investigation of your claim
- WHAT IS CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE? The term “contributory negligence” is used to describe the actions of an injured person that may have also caused or contributed to his injury. For example, if you were hit by a bike while crossing the street, but you jumped into the street without looking first then your carelessness will be taken into consideration and any money that you receive may be discounted because of your own carelessness. If you are found to have contributed to your own injury, the rules in some states will prevent you from collecting any money. Many states have done away with the concept of contributory negligence altogether and instead use the concept of “comparative negligence.” Comparative negligence looks to the degree of fault of each party in determining whether an award is justified in the case and what amount the award will be. e same or similar circumstances. To establish negligence, a plaintiff (the person injured) must be able to prove or demonstrate in court that the defendant (the person being sued): owed a duty to the plaintiff, the defendant breached that duty by failing to conform to the required standard of conduct, the defendant’s negligent conduct was the cause of the harm to the plaintiff, and the plaintiff was, in fact, harmed or injured. For example: The driver of a tractor trailer truck hauling a large piece of machinery owes a duty to other drivers on the freeway to be careful. If the truck driver failed to strap down the machinery and it fell off the truck, landing on a passing car and injuring the driver of the car, a personal injury claim could be made based upon the negligence of the truck driver.
- WHAT IS COMPARATIVE NEGLIGENCE? Comparative negligence works on a percentage basis to assign a degree of fault for the injuries suffered. For example, in a broad-side car accident case where the injured person is awarded $100,000, the driver who broadsided the other car might be found to be eighty-percent responsible for the accident because of, say, turning on a yellow light. The injured plaintiff could also be found to be, say, twenty percent responsible for not exercising caution by failing to look both ways. In such a case, the award would be reduced to $80,000.
- WHAT DOES THE TERM LIABLE MEAN? The term liable generally means that a court has determined individual, company or some other entity caused, and is responsible for, another person’s injury. When a defendant is found liable, he or she is generally obligated to compensate the injured party for their damages. The term “liable” is often confused with “guilty.” However the term “liable” is used in civil cases and the term “guilty” is only is used in criminal cases.
- WHAT DOES THE TERM “REASONABLE PERSON” MEAN? A person has acted negligently if he or she has departed from the conduct expected of a reasonably prudent person acting under the same or similar circumstances. The hypothetical reasonable person provides an objective by which the conduct of others is judged. Using the truck driver example above, the driver who failed to strap down the heavy machinery on his truck would be considered negligent if other truck drivers hauling the same machinery would typically strap such machinery down.
- WHAT DOES STRICT LIABILITY MEAN? Some persons or companies may be held “strictly liable” for certain activities or products that harm others, even if it can’t be shown they acted negligently or with intent. This theory is important because it protects the community from dangerous products or activities and provides relief for injuries. Strict liability is applied to two different situations which the public should be made aware. These are strict products liability and liability for people engaged in “ultra hazardous activities.” Strict products liability is applied against merchants of a product who sell abnormally dangerous products. A product may be abnormally dangerous because there is a defect it its design such as a faulty brake pedal, or simply because it lacked adequate warnings. A product may also be abnormally dangerous because of a manufacturing defect which resulted in a single defective product entering the stream of commerce. An example of this is a soda bottle entering the stream of commerce that contains a glass shard. In either case, both the manufacturer and merchant are liable for the sustained injuries that were foreseeable at the time the product was designed and manufactured. It is important to note, casual sellers of products such as those who host garage sales will not be strictly liable as merchants. Strict liability is also used to protect the public from ultra hazardous activities. An ultra hazardous activity is one that involves a risk of serious harm which cannot be eliminated by the exercise of utmost care. Classic examples of ultra hazardous activities include blasting using dynamite or keeping wild animals. The person who engages in an ultra hazardous activity will be liable for all damage and injuries resulting from the activity regardless of whether they took every single possible precaution imaginable. If you have been injured by a defective product or as the result of an ultra hazardous activity, it is important to contact a personal injury attorney immediately. Injury claims are limited by a state’s statute of limitations and failure to file within this period may result in the forfeiture of your claim.
For information that is more specific to your case, contact us to arrange a case consultation and evaluation.