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The Government and Premises Liability Lawsuits

Posted on August 23, 2012 by Fast Lawsuit Team

You were walking when you tripped over an uneven section along the sidewalk. Or, you were driving along the highway, when you were rear ended by a police car in hot pursuit of a fleeing suspect and this resulted in sever soft tissue injuries. Or, your child was playing in the park and was cut by a broken section of the slide. Another case would be an accident caused by a malfunctioning traffic light.

If you suffered from a personal injury from the above instances, who do you sue?

When you suffer from an injury that occurred while you are inside private property – you know who you can name in the personal injury lawsuit. This includes the property owner, the business owner or the property manager. But with government property, things can be different.

Basic Principles of Premises Liability

Premises liability states that those who have the right to be in a certain property or area (i.e. a hotel, a private home, a restaurant, etc.) should be able to expect that he is reasonably safe in that premises. There are four basic elements in premises liability:

Duty. The entity running the business, the owner of the house or swimming pool, or any other property owner has the duty of care to people they invite or allow inside their property. There is a responsibility to exercise reasonable care in keeping the premises free from risks.
-  Breach of duty of care. The entity or owner is negligent of this duty if he fails to exercise due reasonable care in maintaining the property, providing adequate warnings, keeping security measures, etc.
-  Causation. This breach on the part of the property owner has resulted in injury to another party (i.e. guests invited to the home, shoppers in a mall, etc.). It should be shown that the negligence had foreseeable consequences.
-  Damages. The injury caused damage to the victim. This damage can be financial (i.e. medical expenses, lost income) as well as emotional, physical and psychological (i.e. trauma, pain and suffering).

The Government’s Sovereign Immunity

The government owns a huge percentage of property that can come in the form of:
-  Government buildings
-  Sidewalks
-  Bridges and causeways
-  Roads
-  Parks
-  Playgrounds

The government has the responsibility to ensure the proper maintenance of these and to keep public properties safe for its users. There are instances where sovereign immunity shields the government from potential premises liability lawsuits. There are also some specific legal procedures and limitations involved when a premises liability lawsuit is filed.

The Federal Tort Claims Act of 1946 has specified at what instances the federal government is liable for wrongful death and personal injury. This covers lawsuits that can be filed to government employees who act within their duties.

Special defects. The duty of care owed by the government may be different than the “normal” duty of care that a property owner has to exercise towards his invitees. The government usually limits liability to special defects – these are defects that present a danger for its users that is unexpected and unusual. For the government to be liable, it should be shown that the government should know or should have known about the problem and yet failed to act upon it.

Planning Decisions. In some states, you cannot sue the government if its planning decisions result in injury. For instance, the government has planned to undergo major road repairs and has rerouted traffic flow accordingly. If you figure in an accident that is caused by the change in traffic flow, the government is protected from the lawsuit for its planning decision.

Acts of government employees. If a government employee, acting within the scope of the authority given him by the government, exercised neglect or breached a duty of care and this negligence or breach resulted in injury, the government can be held liable. However, if a federal employee acts according to his discretion and failed to exercise due care in the performance of a government regulation or statute, the government is, more often than not, immune to any resulting lawsuits.

Acts of government contractors. Generally, independent contractors commissioned by the government cannot be sued under the FTCA. However, if an independent contractor that is hired by the federal government acts negligently and this results in injury, the government may be liable if it can be shown that the government had the authority to supervise the contractor’s day-to-day activities and keep track of what the contractor was doing.

Public transportation system. Bus, subway trains and other government property can be areas where the government can be liable when the injuries are caused by a failure on the part of the responsible government entity to inspect and repair defects.

Filing a claim. Before you can file a lawsuit against the government, you must first file a written notice of claim and address it to the federal agency in question. You must file this within the time limit. This can vary per city and state and can range from 1 month to 1 year. Under the FTCA, you must file your claim within two years.

Government response time. Upon receipt of your claim, the federal government has 6 months in which to make an investigation with regards to the incident and to respond. The government entity in question can admit your claim (and pay you outright). It can also deny your claim or fail to act upon the claim. In this event, you can proceed with your lawsuit. You have six months to file this.

The long and short of the matter is, it’s complicated! The regulations covering government liability may vary from state to state.

When you feel you have reason to “fight city hall”, be sure to have adequate legal advice and representation. Remember, regardless of the limitations prescribed by the FTCA, the federal government still compensates valid claims allowed under the FTCA.

Lawsuit Funding

When you are involved in a personal injury lawsuit against the government, you may have a long wait coming – especially after you have filed your notice of claim. It can be helpful to look into applying for lawsuit funding to help with your family’s financial needs while you are awaiting the resolution of your complaint.

Reputable companies such as FastLawsuitMoney.com have helped victims for years in providing settlement loans to victims who have yet to receive the settlements from their lawsuit. The money from the lawsuit cash advance can be used to pay for medical bills, household bills and court-related costs.

Personal Injury Basics: Loss of Earning Capacity

Posted on March 16, 2012 by Fast Lawsuit Team

Unless we are heirs drawing income from a particularly substantial trust fund or have recently won the multi-million lotto draw, chances are, we have to work (whether as employees for a company or as a business owner). Our employment or business provides us with the income we need to survive so that we can enjoy life and provide for our families.

However, our ability to earn may be cut short due to the injuries we sustained due to instances caused by other people’s negligent or willful acts. One may be rendered totally disabled so that he can no longer perform the tasks required for his current job. Or, one may become partially disabled so that he may have to look for a job that he can do with his current set of abilities. As such, loss of earning capacity is one of the items you can include in a personal injury claim.

When Is One eligible for Loss of Earning Capacity?

Loss of earning capacity covers more than income lost in the past. It also is about recovering potential or future earnings. However, past lost income comes into play as it is used as a basis for future earnings. Loss of earning capacity also looks at how the injury affects efficiency and stamina.

One can claim for loss of earning capacity when:

-          He is no longer able to perform the job that he currently has.  For instance, if the victim is a radio announcer or voice talent, and he loses his voice as a result of an accident, he can be considered “disabled”. This is because he can no longer do the tasks and responsibilities that he used to do, even though he can still find another kind of employment.

-          The injury hurts one’s employment prospects. Another example would be a famous model gracing the catwalk, as well as magazines and television commercials. If her face is permanently scarred due to the accident, she can no longer get modeling jobs and enjoy the income she used to earn. She may need to find another kind of employment, even when this pays lower than what she currently receives. On the other hand, if one is an office worker, a scar may not be material as it does not affect her ability to perform her tasks as an office worker.

-          The injuries sustained hurt one’s chances of promotion or advancement. If your injuries mean that you can no longer be considered for promotion, then you are eligible to claim for loss of earning capacity.

Other considerations

Future earnings may be difficult to compute. There are other considerations to make, which includes:

-          The age of the victim. If the victim is young, then the court will compute for the number of working years remaining in his lifetime. This means that someone that is close to retiring will receive a lower amount of compensation for loss of earning capacity compared to someone that has just worked for a few years. A minor (or his parents as representatives) can file for lost future earning capacity as a result of the child’s injuries.

-          The ability of the victim. What is the victim’s educational background? Does his work involve a special skill or talent (i.e. basketball players getting injured)?

-          The possibility of retraining. Can the victim be retrained so that he can work in another area in his field? Or does he totally need to move to another field due to his injuries?

-          The possibility of further injury if a victim continues with his current job. For instance, a basketball player with an injured knee can risk further physical damage if he continues with his job as a basketball player.

-          Self-employment or working on commission. Potential earnings may be computed based on how much he stands to earn if he did the same kind of work for another company. It can also be computed based on past business returns. It will also take into consideration the amount of money needed to hire someone to do the victim’s tasks.

Loss of Earning Capacity and Lawsuit Funding

Loss of earning capacity is just one aspect of a personal injury claim. Loss of earning capacity may be a bit tricky to prove and may prolong a lawsuit. During this time, you may need some lawsuit funding to help you with your financial concerns while you are waiting for the verdict and for the lawsuit to settle.

A lawsuit settlement advance can help you by providing you with quick and ready cash at an already difficult time. This will make you less vulnerable to the temptation of accepting a settlement offer that is far less than what you stand to get, especially if you consider loss of earning capacity.

If you are in need of a lawsuit cash advance, you can go to FastLawsuitMoney.com. With FastLawsuitMoney.com’s streamlined process, you can be sure that your application for lawsuit funding does not require a lot of legwork and paperwork from your end. We will work with your lawyer to evaluate the lawsuit. Once you receive approval of your lawsuit funding, it is not unusual for you to get the money in as quickly as a day.

 

 

Lawsuit Funding for Truck Accidents

Posted on November 24, 2011 by Fast Lawsuit Team

Accidents involving trucks (including tractor-trailers, delivery trucks, semis, light trucks and large trucks) result in around 3 million accidents every year. The sheer size of the trucks results in a high number of fatalities every year, yielding some 5,000 deaths. This may involve cars being rear ended by trucks that lost their brake, vehicular accidents where the driver failed to see the other vehicle or pedestrians being run over. Other cases involve a truck turning into a driver’s path even if that driver had the right of way, being hit by cargo or tire parts that get detached from the truck or a truck jackknifing or rolling over the other vehicle. Recently, a tragic accident happened in Michigan where a boy was killed when an ice cream truck reversed and the driver was not aware that two boys were still playing at the back of the truck.

Truck accidents happen due to several factors, which include:

-          Loss or failure of brakes or wheels

-          Driver fatigue or inattention, as most truck drivers travel long distances

-          Improper loading or overloading of the truck

-          Over speeding

-          Tailgating

-          Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol

-          Steering wheel problems

-          Poor truck maintenance

-          Driving under difficult conditions (slippery roads, heavy traffic)

-          Reckless driving on the truck driver’s part (including driving while texting and disregarding traffic signs)

When truck meets car or pedestrian, the usual result is that the truck usually wins. The weight of the truck (and its cargo) causes the higher impact on the other party during a collision. There is a higher risk of injury or death for the driver and passengers of the other vehicle. The injuries resulting from the truck accident may include soft tissue injuries (i.e. whiplash), bone fractures, damage resulting to the loss of a limb, herniated spinal disks, serious head injuries, head and brain injuries and in worst cases, death.

The impact of a truck accident can create a serious financial burden for the family, not to mention the pain and suffering that is inflicted upon the truck accident victims. The medical expenses can be quite substantial, especially if the accident necessitated surgery. There are also related expenses, such as the need to pay for housekeeping or childcare services, transportation costs of going to and from the hospital and so on. The victim will also have to miss work while getting treated and during the recovery period.

Filing a truck accident lawsuit

When it is clearly the truck driver’s fault, the injured party can file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver and his insurance company. Please note that you may not sue for damages when you are the one who caused the accident.

The lawsuit will demand for compensation that includes:

-          Medical and doctor bills

-          Recovery and physical therapy costs

-          Loss of income and/or loss of job

-          Counseling and therapy costs

-          Compensation for trauma, pain and suffering

When filing for a truck accident lawsuit (as well as applying for lawsuit funding), be sure to get the following information or documents:

-          Police report, including statements of witnesses

-          Photographs of the scene of the accident, including photographs of the surrounding scene for reference purposes

-          Medical reports (doctor’s report, diagnostic reports such as X-rays, CAT Scan and MRI reports)

-          Records of medical and related expenses

The issue is that, often, the truck accident lawsuit can take months or years to get settled. This can make things financially difficult for the injured individual and his family, particularly when they are living from paycheck to paycheck. The medical bills will make a serious dent on the finances of the family. This is where lawsuit settlement funding can help.

Lawsuit funding (or lawsuit loans, as some call it) can provide a victim and his family with a stopgap. The proceeds can ensure that the victim gets the medical care he needs while his family is provided for in terms of food, shelter and other basic needs. One can also use the proceeds from the lawsuit funding to pay for debts.

When you are applying for a lawsuit loan, it is important to work with a reputable lawsuit funding company with a fast turnaround time such as FastLawsuitMoney.com. FastLawsuitMoney.com can do the legwork, evaluate your lawsuit and once you are approved, you can get your cash in as quickly as one day.

 

How Lawsuit Funding can Help In Commercial Litigation

Posted on November 18, 2011 by Fast Lawsuit Team

It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there – and businesses can fall into that same world. Sometimes, businesses find themselves as victims of a legal breach or a business dispute and in turn as complainants in a commercial lawsuit against another business.

For instance, if the software you bought from a vendor crashes and a large percentage of your business information is lost, how do you pay for the cost of data recovery and the purchase of another operating software while you are suing the erring vendor? What happens when another business commits a breach of contract and reneges on a crucial aspect of your operations? How do you deal with the effect this could have on your operations, pacify customers, and manage the negative image this event can give to your business, even as you are spending to strengthen your breach of contract lawsuit?

The effect of a lawsuit on a business

The challenge of a commercial lawsuit is that this may bleed the company (and even the owner’s) assets dry. Money that is supposed to support the company’s operations or fund the company’s growth is often diverted to spend for the lawsuit. You need funds to cover your operating expenses and payroll, as well as buy equipment or inventory.

Yes, business lawsuits may turn out to be expensive affairs. They may seriously hamper the operations and financial health of your business, especially if you are taking on a business that has deep pockets and the lawsuit stretches on for months or years before the settlement is in sight.

And since a lawsuit is unsure, there may be problems with finding more funding. Investors will be hesitant to put in funds due to the uncertainty of the results of the lawsuit. Existing investors may even pull away, so may customers and suppliers.

Kinds of commercial lawsuits

Commercial lawsuit cases usually cover offenses such as fraud, copyright infringement, intellectual property violations, unfair competition, libel and slander, disputes in real estate, consumer fraud, breach of contract, or product liability.

Breach of Contract Lawsuit. This is when the failure of the other party in a contract (whether written, implied or given verbally) to meet the terms of the contract results in damages to the complaining party.

Copyright or Intellectual Property Infringement Lawsuit. This happens when an entity makes use or copies your material (music, writings, research, artwork, product, designs, patents or trademarks) for commercial gain without your consent. You may be a software company that suffered from financial loss due to other business’ copying of your programs and selling them as their own. You may be a producer of publications and books, where someone copied the contents. You may be a music recording company who lost out on sales because there are entities that sell bootlegged copies of what you legally own.

Libel and slander. This pertains to false statements given that results in damage to a business’ reputation so that they are exposed to the condemnation, contempt and hatred of the public. This could result to a loss of sales or a hit on the business’ public image which may result to the withdrawal of investors.

Defective Products. For commercial lawsuits, this covers mostly products related to the course of the business operations such as machinery and equipment, defective raw materials, construction products and the like. When defective products result in personal injury or wrongful death, the victims have the right to sue for damages.

How Lawsuit Funding can Help

At this particularly troubling time, the company and its officers may be tempted to accept a settlement offer that is far from the lawsuit potential worth – which may turn to hundreds of thousands or even millions.

The good thing is that businesses can also turn to lawsuit funding to help support their cash flow and ensure their stability even as they are waiting for the lawsuit to settle. This buys the company more time to build a stronger case and perhaps negotiate for a settlement from a position of strength.

With access to commercial litigation funding, businesses can continue with their operations and expansion even as they await the verdict of the lawsuit. In today’s tough economy, it is a comfort that a small business has some help in fighting for what is right. A business owner does not have to worry that the business he has built from the ground up will see its end just because of a commercial lawsuit.  Commercial lawsuit loans are available based not on the business’ capacity to repay the “lawsuit advance”, but on the merits of the case.