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Personal Injury Basics: Loss of Essential Services

Posted on June 29, 2012 by Fast Lawsuit Team

A personal injury is like a pebble being thrown into a calm lake. Although you feel the disturbance at the initial impact, the ripples it creates may last longer and extend to other areas of your life. When you are injured and recuperating in the hospital, there are other losses that you have to consider, aside from the obvious financial impact of the hospital bills.

Due to the injury you sustained, you and your family will suffer from a loss of income, financial loss related to the need to equip your home with adaptive equipment, as well as the need to hire a nurse or caregiver. Aside from this, your family losses not just the joy of your presence but also the essential services you provide.

A parent not only acts as the family’s breadwinner, he or she is also a caregiver – a cook, driver, housekeeper, and so on. Your injuries may prevent you from providing these services to the people you love.

If you have been injured and are now suing another party who is liable for your injury, you can also include loss of essential services in your claim.

There is a “cost” involved. Keep in mind that although you don’t charge your family for the essential services you do, it will cost you a specific amount if you hired someone else to mow the loan or cook your family’s meals.

Computing for the claim. The claim for Loss of Essential Services can be computed by the essential services you provide and what it would reasonably cost for someone else to do it for you. For instance, you used to drive your children to school, clean the house and prepare the meals but because of a serious back injury or even a soft tissue injury, you are in too much pain to do these after the accident. You can add the cost of hiring a housekeeper/driver to your personal injury claim. One other way of computing for the loss of essential services is computing for your current costs and deducting the usual costs involved in your performance of the service. For instance, if you were the designated cook in the family and your family had to dine out because you can no longer cook, the other party does not have to foot the whole food bill, only the difference between what you now pay for your food and what you used to spend when you were the one doing the cooking.

Justifying the expense. To make the claim payable, you should also be able to justify the need for having someone else do the work for you. Your injuries are such that you can no longer do these things, not that you no longer want to do these things.
-  Tasks were previously done by you. You need to show that you have always done these things prior to the injury. If you can show that you have always been doing the household chores (i.e. other parents in your child’s school can testify that you drove the kids to school or your lawn was always well-maintained), then it shows that you are to be compensated with the loss of the services you used to do.
-  The doctor certifies your inability to perform the tasks. You also need to show that based on the doctor’s reports, you are now unable to effectively do the tasks you need to do. The doctor should justify the fact that you are in pain and that the pain and your inability to do your usual chores are a direct result of the injury you sustained. Then, you can show that the injury was due to the accident for which the other party is liable.
-  Document. It will be helpful to obtain receipts for the services you paid for, to help justify your claim.

Getting help

While you’re waiting for the lawsuit to settle, including the cost of the loss of essential services, it may be helpful to consider getting lawsuit funding to help with your current financial worries. The cash you can get from a settlement loan can be used to pay for essential services, as well as help cover the cost of your hospitalization and day-to-day living.

You can apply for a lawsuit loan from FastLawsuitMoney.com and get the ball rolling towards getting the funds you need. Once your lawsuit cash advance application is approved, you can soon get the funds without having to worry about paying it back should the lawsuit fail to settle.

 

Why You Need An Expert Witness for Your Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

Posted on June 26, 2012 by Fast Lawsuit Team

A medical malpractice lawsuit is not a simple matter – you’re actually combining legal jargon with medical ones! To shed light on the medical aspects of the lawsuit (and to show whether the defendant is liable or not), there is a need to present the testimony of an expert witness. The expert witness provides an opinion and “translates” the medical complexities of the case in a way that the jury will understand so that they can make a more informed decision.

What makes a Medical Expert?

Although the standards on who is an expert witness will vary from one state to another, these are generally the qualities that a medical expert should have:
-  Consultant or specialist status. The expert witness should be at least a consultant or specialist in the field being covered by the personal injury lawsuit. The specialty of the witness should also be the same as that of the medical practitioner being sued. For instance, in cases where a doctor failed to make the correct (and very obvious) diagnosis of cancer, it will be an oncologist consultant that will be called upon.
-  Medical qualifications. This may come be shown by the witness’ level of experience and training, as well as board certifications he already may have earned.
-  An active practice. There are guidelines that stipulate that the expert doctor should actually be practicing rather than just providing expert opinions on lawsuits.
-  Other aspects. There are also some jurisdictions that require that the expert witness’ testimony and opinion be subject to a peer review and that the theory underlying his opinion is generally accepted by the scientific and medical community.

What an Expert Medical Witness Should Show

A medical witness should simply state the facts and provide his honest opinion. But what his testimony should be able to show would be:
-  Whether the injury was caused by the doctor’s breach of duty.
-  Whether the doctor was able to meet the expected standard of care.

And proving these two can be quite tricky. For the first, the medical expert will testify regarding how the doctor’s act of negligence caused the injury to the patient. There may be other causes that may be pointed out by the defense so that medical expert should be able to definitely show that it was the doctor’s actions (or lack thereof) that is the actual cause of the injury.

For the second, the medical expert should be able to show the kind of treatment the patient should have received based on the accepted standard of care. This means that had a “normal” doctor treated the patient, the actions would have been different. The medical witness can use several resources such as guidelines given by the medical board and medical journals covering similar cases.

Res Ipsa Loquitur

There are instances when a medical expert becomes unnecessary. This is when it is very obvious, even for non-experts and non-medical personal (such as the jury) that the fault lies on the medical practitioner being sued, such as when a surgeon leaves out his scalpel inside the area being operated on. Or, when a surgeon removes the right kidney instead of the left.

In cases like this, your injury speaks for itself (or in legalese, res ipsa loquitur). You don’t need to get the services of an expert witness to show that there was a breach in the standard of care provided and that the fault can be solidly placed on the hands of the medical practitioner being sued (especially if he was the one who was in control of or in charge of the situation).

However, even if you feel that your injuries speak for itself, it may be taking a risk to leave it to the jury to understand the medical details of your case. There are also some instances where the lawsuit is dismissed (or worse, lost) because of failure to meet the criteria that defines medical malpractice. Also, the defense may also present their own witnesses. Even though it can be shown that the doctor failed to provide the standard level of care, the defense may still show that be that as it may, this incompetence is not the sole reason for your injury, or that the medical practitioner being sued was not the one who has control over the situation.

A Medical Expert Witness’ Role Prior to the Trial

Most states will require you to get the opinion of a medical expert with regards to an injury to show that the other party may be liable for the injury you have suffered. Once a medical expert declares that there is probable cause by way of a written affidavit, only then will most states allow you to file a lawsuit.

How Lawsuit Funding can Help

Indeed, it may be said that a lawsuit can be won or lost based on the quality of expert testimony you can provide with regards to your injury. However, a medical expert’s services do not come cheap. You will find that you have to dig into your already depleted pockets to produce the funds you need for the expert witness. This comes at a time when you are struggling financially and are trying to make ends meet. Hospital bills, household expenses, the mortgage and all other financial burdens may be piling up. The good news is that you can turn to lawsuit settlement loans as your lifeline.

Lawsuit funding can help by providing you with ready funds you can use to keep financially afloat – and help you get the medical expert witness you need. Reputable settlement funding providers such as FastLawsuitMoney.com can give you that cash to cover what you need.

You can apply for a lawsuit cash advance without needing to show your credit rating or your employment status. What you need to show is how strong your case is. The company will do the legwork for you. Once your application is approved, you can already get that much-needed settlement loan in as quickly as 24 hours.

 

 

Personal Injury Basics: Knowing the Elements of a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Posted on June 23, 2012 by Fast Lawsuit Team

When you are about to do something, it will be more effective if you know what it’s all about. So is the case with a personal injury lawsuit. Before you even file your lawsuit, it will be good for you to educate yourself about what it is all about and what you can expect.

Personal Injury Cases

This arises from a dispute between two parties (the one who suffered harm and the other who is alleged to have been the one to cause the harm).  The one who has incurred a bodily injury has the right to seek for compensation – not just for the medical expenses related to it, but also for other losses:
-  loss of income
-  loss of consortium (use and enjoyment)
-  loss of essential services
-  pain and suffering

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

A personal injury lawsuit is filed in the state where the accident happened (which state has jurisdiction or authority over the case), not where the complainant is living. However, one can file a case under federal jurisdiction (where the federal court will rule over the case). This is when the two parties don’t reside in the same state and there is a dispute as two which state has jurisdiction. The value of the lawsuit should also involve a big amount (i.e. $75,000).

Most minor lawsuits which involve only a small amount of money are heard through the “small claims” court. By “small claims”, we mean settlement awards worth $2000 to $5,000, maximum.

How These Are Settled

A personal injury case is usually settled through:
-  The judgment arising from the lawsuit. This is where the judge or a jury may rule in favor of the complainant and ask that the party being sued pay compensation or damages to the complainant.
-  Informal settlement. This is where the dispute is settle out of court, usually before the lawsuit is filed. In an informal settlement, the two parties and their lawyers sit down to negotiate how much the settlement will be. Once the two parties are in agreement, the supposed victim will sign a waiver withdrawing the claim.

Stages of the Lawsuit

When you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit, you should be aware that you don’t go straight to the courts. Rather, there are various stages that your case will go through. Before you file a case, it is best that you consult with a lawyer. The lawyer will study the circumstances that resulted in your being injured and will see whether the incident is “actionable”, that is, whether you have a case. The case is actionable if there was a violation based on state law.

As the person filing a case, you are the plaintiff or the complainant. The person or entity you are suing is called the defendant.

The stages of the lawsuit are:
Filing of the complaint or Pleading.  The complaint will outline the parties involved (the plaintiff and the complainant), as well as the reason why the complaint is being filed (what damages were incurred and that the defendant was the one liable for these damages).
-  Issuance of the summons. The process server or any officer of the court will then serve the summons to the defendant, notifying him that a lawsuit has been filed against him.
Motion or Answer. Once the defendant receives the summons, he is given sufficient time for him to provide his answer. The defendant may:

- admit or deny the allegations in the lawsuit one
-  attempt to have some portions of the complaint removed
- attempt to have the lawsuit dismissed entirely
-  file a counterclaim, alleging that he was the one who suffered damages in the accident
-  claim that he has insufficient information for him to make a response

-  Mediation. This is optional. The two parties can go to mediation instead of pursuing the trial. With the help of an independent third party (which can be someone who is knowledgeable of the law), the two parties can attempt to arrive at an agreed settlement. This is non-binding but can save both parties the expense involved in a trial.
-  Discovery. This is the time where both parties exchange information with regards to the case. Both parties should be able to see documents that relate to the case. Generally, there should be no surprises at the courtroom. Both parties will share what they have in terms of sworn statements, documents and other written proof. During this time, a number of cases go into settlement since both parties already know the “card” the other party is holding.
Settlement conferences. Both parties can also, at any time before a decision by a judge or jury is reached, opt to “talk it out”, to come into an agreement. If both parties can agree on a settlement amount, the case will be dropped.
-  Trial.  This is the time where your side will try to prove liability and that you are entitled to damages while the defendant’s side will try to show that that the he is innocent or at the very least, minimize the amount of damages the defendant has to pay.
Verdict. Once both parties have presented their evidences, the jury or the judge will give the verdict, including how much damages the defendant should pay you.
Appeal. If you or the defendant don’t agree with the decision (thinking that there are legal inaccuracies with it), any of you can file an appeal.

As you can see, a personal injury lawsuit can cost you a lot of time and money. It can, indeed, be a drain to your finances, even as you struggle with paying your medical bills and everyday expenses. Lawsuit funding can provide you with the money you need to see the trial through, if it comes to that.

Commonly referred to as lawsuit loans, this kind of funding is not really a loan. Rather, it is non-recourse funding. It is not based on one’s employment status or credit rating but on the strength of the case. The settlement loan is aimed towards helping you with your finances while you are waiting for the lawsuit to settle.

FastLawsuitMoney.com is one of the best lawsuit cash advance providers and will evaluate your case for you. Once your application is approved, you can receive your funds without waiting long. In fact, you can expect to get it in as quickly as 24 hours.

 

 

Lawsuits for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Fatalities

Posted on June 3, 2012 by Fast Lawsuit Team

Carbon monoxide is a silent killer. While you play, eat or sleep, it quietly seeps into your home, your car or any other play where you have all the reason to feel safe. Since the presence of carbon monoxide is hardly noticeable (it’s odorless and colorless), you don’t know that the poison has invaded your family.

Carbon monoxide poisoning may be caused by a variety of reasons:
- Poorly maintained and defective appliances
- The absence of the proper ventilation for gas powered heaters and stoves
- Defective and poorly maintained heating systems and boiler systems - Clogged up chimneys and exhaust systems
- Fuel-powered equipment that is run by internal combustion engines. This includes cars, portable generators and lawn mowers

According to statistics, there are about 40,000 carbon monoxide injuries annually. In addition, carbon monoxide poisoning leads the top 10 causes of fatal poisonings in the country, with some 170 people dying every year from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by non-automotive products. If you or a loved one has sustained serious physical damage (or even a fatality), you can file a carbon monoxide poisoning lawsuit to claim for compensation.

Carbon Monoxide Basics

When carbon based material or fuel (such as charcoal, coal, wood, kerosene, natural gas or oil) is burned up, the resulting gas is carbon dioxide. However, there are instances (particularly in badly ventilated areas and enclosed spaces) where there is an inadequate amount of oxygen – the fuels are improperly burned up. Instead of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide is produced. This is composed of one carbon and one oxygen atom each.

Carbon dioxide enters into the body through inhalation. Once it is in the bloodstream, it inhibits the blood from transporting vital and life-giving oxygen to the cells of the body. The victim starts feeling the symptoms (nausea, fatigue, shortness of breath, mental confusion, vomiting and fainting) but it may be too late. If the body has been starved of the oxygen it needs, it loses coordination and control. The victim is powerless to move to save himself. If not rescued, the victim may die.

Even if a victim survives the carbon monoxide accident, it can still result in serious physical damages:
- Kidney failure
- Brain damage
- Heart damage
- Blindness or visual problems
- Deafness and/or speech disturbances
- Irritability or dementia
- Memory problems
- Skin lesions
- Muscle necrosis

The victim may require extensive medical treatment, physical or occupational therapy and special education. Aside from that, the victim will suffer from a diminished quality of life and lost wages or loss of a job. The victim may also need to have his house installed with adaptive equipment.

Who is liable?

Based on the situation, there are a number of entities or persons who may be liable for carbon monoxide poisoning:
- Landlords, condo or apartment complex owners, rental property managers and owners who fail to provide proper maintenance for property being rented out or being used for commercial purposes
- A manufacturer of heating systems or boiler systems that provided a defective product
- A manufacturer of carbon monoxide alarms
- A car manufacturer. There is a case where the car manufacturer, Toyotam was sued because the automatic shut off in the car (which was supposed to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning) was defective
- Contractors where it can be shown that their negligence resulted in the carbon monoxide leak
- Repair companies who are responsible in providing maintenance services
- Gas companies
- Employers who allow their employees to be exposed to carbon monoxide

Filing a Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Case

To help you file your lawsuit, you should consult a personal injury lawyer who is experienced in handling carbon monoxide poisoning cases. The lawsuit will demand for compensation not just for medical expenses, but also for pain and suffering, lost wages and punitive damages.

Carbon monoxide can be complicated since it can cover a wide area (premises liability, products liability, negligence).  You need to prove the source of the carbon monoxide poisoning and also show who is liable for the incident. Aside from that, it may need the testimony of various experts – doctors, engineers, toxicology experts, environmental health practitioners and psychologists.

A carbon monoxide lawsuit may last longer than you expect. This also means that the compensation due you will come long after the hospital and household bills have piled up, you have become broke due to losing your job and having to face the need to pay for therapy and your financial worries have long been wearing you down.

At this point, lawsuit funding may be the solution to your problem. A lawsuit loan provides you with ready access to much-needed funds without you having to go through hoops and be buried in mounds of paperwork. It provides you with the financial solution to your financial woes while you are fighting to get the compensation that is due you.

Lawsuit funding, which is also called a settlement loan, provides non-recourse funding to eligible applicants. This means that once your lawsuit cash advance application is approved you can get the funds and only pay it when the lawsuit has been settled.