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Personal Injury 101: Vicarious Liability

Posted on May 15, 2013 by Fast Lawsuit Team

You were injured in a vehicular accident caused by a delivery truck driver or a teenager who does not have a license and who “borrowed” his parents’ car for a joyride. The bad news is, the party who directly caused your injuries does not have the money to pay for the damages and injury you suffered. What do you do?

You can file for a personal injury claim citing vicarious liability. This allows you to run after another party for the compensation you deserve. Vicarious liability is a doctrine in personal injury liability that holds an entity (a person or a company) liable for the actions of another party. This can be a parent/guardian or an employer – entities that usually have “deeper pockets” and have the financial means to pay the compensation being demanded.

Vicarious liability for employers

Employers are the usual recipients of a personal injury lawsuit involving vicarious liability, since employers receive benefit from their employee’s actions. The following are the elements that cover this kind of lawsuit:
Employer control. If the employer can be shown to have contracted the employee and pays the employee a wage, the employer can be considered vicariously liable. Furthermore, it should be shown that the employer exercises inherent authority over the employee. The complainant needs to show that the employee works under the supervision, direction and control of the employer.
-  Employer’s acts of negligence. An employer can be held vicariously liable if it failed to exercise reasonable precautions to prevent injury:

  • The employer hired someone who he knows is unqualified for the job or he has failed to screen the applicant properly
  • The employee showed that he does not have the skills for the job but the employer delayed or did not re-assign or terminate the employee
  • There were no mechanisms to prevent harm caused by an employee’s mistakes (i.e. not enough training, no policies and procedures or no supervision)
  • The employer failed to provide adequate training for the employees

Individuals who are under a contract for services (i.e. independent contractors) are usually excluded and it may be more difficult to sue for vicarious liability.
-  Injury contracted while employee was doing his job. It needs to be shown that the actions that caused the victim’s injury were within the scope of the employee’s job responsibilities. This means that if the truck driver who bumped into the victim’s car was on his way delivering goods for his company, the company can be sued for compensation. However, if the truck driver was driving his own car after office hours, vicarious liability against the employer may not hold.
-  Authorized or unauthorized actions. Another element would be how the employee acted. If the actions that caused the injury were authorized because it is within the scope of employment, the employer can be held liable. If the employee performed his authorized tasks in a haphazard or dangerous manner, the employer can still be held liable as well. If the employee performed an act that was expressly prohibited or is illegal, the employer cannot be held liable unless it can be shown that it failed to expressly prohibit the act.

If the injuries were caused while the truck driver was doing illegal things or things that are not within his scope of responsibilities, there may be no link to show vicarious liability. For instance, if the truck driver was doing personal errands during his working hours and that was the time the accident occurred, the employer cannot be held liable.

Vicarious liability for parents

Minor children still fall under the supervision of their parents. This means that if a minor acts in a way that directly caused injury or harm to another, it can be shown that these acts were due to the parents’ own negligence or failure to act appropriately to prevent those acts.

Parents may be held vicariously liable when it can be shown that:
-  The child was acting within the scope of the parent’s authority or even under the parent’s consent or approval (i.e. the parent let the minor drive the family car to pick up the laundry from the drycleaner’s).
-  The parent’s failure to provide proper supervision or implement appropriate restrictions, when the parent knows the child’s tendency to act in a way that will endanger others. (i.e. The parent kept the car keys at a place that was easily accessible, knowing that the minor has a tendency to “borrow” the car and drive it without a license).
-  The parent negligently entrusted an instrument that could be unreasonably dangerous if a minor gets hold of it. (For instance, a parent fails to securely lock his gun in the gun safe and instead, keeps it lying around where a child can play with it and accidently shoot somebody).

Lawsuit Funding for Victims

As you can see, vicarious liability is not a simple matter. It is but natural that employers will exercise all means to defend themselves against the lawsuit. This may mean that you, as the victim, will have to wait longer than expected in order to receive the compensation you need. This means that in the meantime, you will have to dig deep into your pockets for medical expenses, household bills and even for legal costs related to your lawsuit. To free yourself from any financial worries, you can apply for a lawsuit settlement advance.

Also called lawsuit loans, these are non-recourse loans that you only need to pay back when the lawsuit settlement has come through. If the lawsuit fails to settle, the money does not have to be repaid. A lawsuit settlement advance can come during a time when you need it most. The good news is that at FastLawsuitMoney.com, you don’t need to jump through hoops and produce mounds of documents for you to file your application. The applications process is fairly simple and once you get approval for the lawsuit funding, you can receive the much-needed funds within the day.

Dram Shop Claims: Liquor Seller, Beware!

Posted on May 8, 2013 by Fast Lawsuit Team

Relaxing and having fun, for some, invariably involves alcohol. There is something about that rich liquid running along your system to get you into the mood. The enjoyment of being with your buddies, swapping stories about your day, cheering on a friend’s success or celebrating a deal you have recently closed is taken up an extra notch when you add alcohol into the mix.

That is why a lot of establishments – pubs, bars, restaurants, and clubs have alcohol as part of their offerings. There are also liquor stores and wine shops that provide a wide range of choices for both the beer guzzler and the wine connoisseur.

These establishments are required to obtain a license from the local government for them to be able to serve liquor. They should also ensure that they do not sell their liquor products to someone who is intoxicated nor allow drunk customers to drive. This will prevent them from being held liable for a dram shop claim – where their serving of alcohol has contributed to a car accident that caused harm and physical injury to individuals.

What is a dram shop claim?

Bars and other establishments that serve liquor should refrain from serving more alcohol to someone who obviously has had enough to drink. Bar tenders and servers must be adequately trained to serve liquor in a responsible manner. Otherwise, the establishment will also be held responsible for DUI incidents resulting from their serving the erring driver.

A DUI incident may have catastrophic consequences. The damages involved may not be sufficiently covered by the drunk driver’s car insurance. Some victims, in an effort to fully recover the damages due them, also run after the establishments who provided the liquor that contributed to the driver’s inability to drive as he should.

A dram shop claim can be proved by showing:
-  Proximate cause. The victim of the DUI accident needs to show that the driver was drunk at the time of the accident. The influence of alcohol resulted in the accident and since the establishment served the alcohol that caused the driver to get drunk, the establishment is also liable.
-  Sale of liquor to minors. A claim can also be made against an establishment that sold liquor to a minor or to persons who failed to show valid ID.
-  Illegal sale of liquor. An establishment can also be held liable for a dram shop claim if it sold liquor without a license or selling the liquor after the specified hours.

Dram shop claims can also be applied to assault and battery lawsuits or to other acts of the drunken customer that resulted in the personal injuries of other parties. For instance, if the drunken customer got into a fistfight and injured some other customers, the restaurant who served the liquor can be liable through a dram shop claim. The dram shop claim can only be applicable to other parties – there will be no liability if the drunken customer hurt only himself.

Dram shop claims can be challenging.  There are statutes of limitations involved. The victim must file the lawsuit against the establishment before a specific period. The lawsuit should also be able to show proof of sale of the alcoholic drink by the establishment, statements of witnesses (that can testify that the establishment over served liquor to the driver), as well as police reports that contains indications that the driver was served high levels of alcohol. For some states, there are also limits as to the amount of compensation that the establishment should be liable for.

Getting Financial Help While You Recover

Your recovery will not only be your physical recovery. You also need to recover the damages your personal injuries caused. This will mean filing a personal injury claim against the drunk driver, as well as a dram shop personal injury claim against the establishment that served the alcohol. While you are waiting for your lawsuit to be heard and settled, it may be a good idea to consider getting lawsuit funding.

Getting treated and recovering can drain you financially. And while you are recovering from your injuries, you may be unable to earn an income. You may even lose your job. It may be tempting to accept low settlement offers from the driver’s (as well as from the liquor establishment’s) insurance companies. With your financial situation, you may feel that you have no choice but to sign off on your rights to claim for the amount that is due you by law.

A lawsuit settlement advance will help you negotiate for fair and just compensation from a position of strength. With the money you have from the lawsuit loan, you can say no to compensation that you know is far below your actual medical expenses and damages. You can get lawsuit funding from FastLawsuitMoney.com – it has since built a solid reputation for streamlined applications processes. With FastLawsuitMoney.com, you can get the much-needed cash within 24 hours from the time the lawsuit funding application has been approved.

Forklift Foots and Personal Injury Claims

Posted on May 1, 2013 by Fast Lawsuit Team

In the popular reality show “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”, viewers were aghast (but weirdly fascinated) when Mama June talked about her “forklift foot”. Apparently, while she was working in a factory, a forklift ran over her foot, injured it and left it deformed. She has been hiding the deformity, even to the point of keeping that foot covered while getting her pedicure.

Forklift injuries are, surprisingly, very common. As Mama June said herself, “I’m sure I ain’t the only person to get run over by a forklift.” In fact, statistics show that more than 11% of all forklifts in the country will be involved in an accident. Forklifts also are involved in more than 80 fatalities annually, as well as around 35,000 serious injuries and some 62,000 non-serious injuries.

Forklifts are very important machines that make moving heavy boxes and pallets around easier. Forklifts, however, are accident prone because the machines themselves are heavy but also need to carry more weight. The forklift driver may also have problems with visibility since the load he carries may also block his view. And because of the weight involved, forklifts are very hard to control and slow down. Aside from the driver’s mistake, conditions present in the workplace or factory may also be contributory. These include a noisy environment, insufficient lighting, lack of safety equipment or traffic control and lack of space by which to maneuver the forklift properly.

As a result, forklift accidents may involve a person getting run over or has the load falling onto him.  A forklift may also be overturned and crush someone. There are also cases where the forklift falls off the loading dock or collides with another forklift.

Forklift injuries

Forklift injuries can be serious, life-threatening or cause permanent disfigurement or disability. Injuries can involve:
-  Crush injuries and amputations. Like Mama June’s foot, other body parts (arms, hands, legs, feet and torso) may be crushed by the weight of the forklift or the load it carries. In some scenarios, the victim may have to undergo amputation of a limb.
-  Back injuries. Operating the equipment itself can be hazardous to the operator’s health. If the equipment does not have sufficient suspension or if it is operated on an uneven surface, the driver can suffer from injuries to the spine, back and neck.
-  Wrongful death. Collisions and dropped loads can be fatal. So could the driver’s inability to escape when the forklift falls off the loading dock and into the water.

Claiming for a Forklift Accident

If you are a victim of a forklift accident, you can see whether the employer has been negligent in providing safe working conditions for you. Companies are responsible for:
-  Ensuring that forklift operators are licensed and trained to operate the equipment
-  Ensuring that horseplay and reckless driving are strictly and expressly prohibited in the workplace
-  Ensuring that the workplace is well-lighted and that there is only a reasonable volume of traffic in the workplace
-  Providing warning and traffic signs and sounds (that signify that a forklift is in operation)
-  Providing enough space for the forklift to maneuver and that slopes are not too steep
-  Putting up guard rails and walkways to protect pedestrians
-  Ensuring that the forklift is properly maintained

The company’s failure to provide the above safety mechanisms will render the company liable for your injuries.

But what if the accident was caused by a fellow worker? The employer may still be held liable by virtue of vicarious liability. Even though it was your co-worker’s direct act that caused your injuries, you can still file against the employer because it was their employee who caused the accident. The employer is responsible for the actions of the employees while they are doing their responsibilities.

As a victim of a forklift accident, you can claim for:
-  Medical expenses, both present and future
-  Therapy and related costs of recovery
-  Lost income/lost job
-  Loss of use/enjoyment
-  Pain and trauma

Going through medical treatment and recovery from forklift injuries can be traumatic and painful.  This can be further compounded by the stress of having to wait for the lawsuit to settle for you to get the money you need to pay for medical bills. You can turn to lawsuit funding to help meet your financial needs in the meantime.

A lawsuit settlement advance can be a welcome lifeline during the time when you need money for your hospital bills, your mortgage payments, groceries and other day-to-day needs, as well as the cost of therapy. There may also be some legal costs that you need to cover.

Also called lawsuit loans, this provides quick and easy access to funds without the hassle that usually involves applying for a loan. Unlike a loan, you don’t have to present your credit rating or your employment status. Lawsuit funding is also a non-recourse loan, which means it only has to be paid back once the lawsuit settles. When considering a lawsuit loan, it is highly advisable to go to a reputable company such as FastLawsuitMoney.com.