Posted on June 1, 2013 by Fast Lawsuit Team
When you file a personal injury lawsuit against someone who has caused you injury, you can’t expect the person (called the “defendant” in legal terms) to take it lying down. Since a personal injury claim can involve a lot of money, there are some ways that a defendant can answer your lawsuit. As someone who has filed a lawsuit (or the “plaintiff), it is important to anticipate the arguments that the other party will advance towards his defense.
Here are some of them:
- Comparative negligence.Comparative negligence, as a defense, states that both the plaintiff and the defendant were responsible for the accident and thus, they are also partially responsible for the damage. This means that the defendant only gets to pay a portion of the compensation amount, depending on the degree of his fault with regards to the accident. For instance, if the defendant has successfully shown that the plaintiff is 20% responsible for the accident, the defendant will only be liable for 80% of the total compensation amount. Comparative negligence as a defense may work differently on different states. There are states that follow the modified comparative negligence system, where the plaintiff should be responsible for 50% or less of the accident for him to be able to sue for compensation. There are also states that adhere to the pure comparative negligence system, where a plaintiff can sue for compensation as long as he is not completely at fault.
- Contributory negligence. Only a few states use this rule. This includes Alabama, Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina. Under the contributory negligence system, even if the injured party were only partly at fault, he cannot claim for compensation. This means that the defendant can try to show that the plaintiff was also partly at fault and is therefore barred from making personal injury claims.
- Assumption of risk. If the plaintiff knew that a certain activity or sport was risky but participated in it anyway, the defendant can try to use “Assumption of Risk” as a defense. This is usually seen in contact sports, where the injury was closely related to the risk assumed. If you tripped in the field while playing football, you don’t usually get to claim for compensation because tripping over another player may happen during such games. When you played that game, you should have known that as one of the inherent risks of the game and you knowingly assumed that risk. However, if the injury was due to your tripping over an obstruction that should have not been in the field and that the property manager should have known about and failed to act upon it, then you can file for compensation.
- Intervening Cause. In this defense, the defendant will try to show that it was another separate and independent event that actually caused the damage. This “other event” usually comes after the defendant’s act of negligence and the injury that the plaintiff suffered. The intervening cause cuts off the chain linking the defendant’s negligence directly to the accident that caused the injury. For this defense to be successful, the intervening cause should be unforeseeable. For example, if the janitor failed to wipe a spill and someone slipped on that wet section, the janitor’s actions were directly responsible for the accident. However, if the janitor forgot to set a pail of water aside and an earthquake occurred, causing the pail’s contents to spill, it could be said that the earthquake was an intervening cause and that the janitor (and the property manager) is not completely liable for the accident.
- Lack of foreseeability. Here, the event that resulted in the injuries is so unforeseeable and thus, frees the defendant from liability. For instance, if a property manager failed to have the saggy carpeting fixed and someone slipped on it. The person who slipped was otherwise okay, but his companion had a heart attack because of the event. Even though it was the property manager’s negligence that caused the slipping incident, he could not have foreseen that it would cause a heart attack.
- Failure to mitigate injury. If you were injured in an accident caused by someone else but you failed to have your injuries treated promptly, the erring party can only be liable up to the extent of the injuries he directly caused. That means that compensation for additional injuries (i.e. infections) will not be included in the compensation amount.
As you can see, filing a personal injury lawsuit is no simple matter. You will need patience, as well as the skills of an experienced personal injury lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected and that you are able to get the fair compensation that you deserve. Another way to ensure this is to get lawsuit funding.
A lawsuit settlement advance provides you with ready cash at the time when you are dealing with hospital bills on top of your family’s daily needs. This forestalls the need to settle for a lower settlement amount.
FastLawsuitMoney.com is a reputable provider of lawsuit settlement funding. It has a streamlined applications process to make it easier for victims to have access to funds at the time they need it the most. With FastLawsuitMoney.com, you can get the lawsuit advance in as quickly as 24 hours once your application is approved.
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.
Posted on November 6, 2012 by Fast Lawsuit Team
With the many cars in the country’s roads, it is inevitable that accidents will happen. In fact, deaths caused by car accidents are in the top 10 causes of fatalities, especially for those below 34 years of age. Yearly, about five million accidents happen in the highways, streets and parking lots.
With these statistics, it seems that Murphy’s Law reigns. There are a number of causes why car accidents occur. Defective products (faulty brakes, exploding gas tanks, etc.), faulty road design, inclement weather conditions are some of the reasons for car crashes. Sadly, though, most of these accidents are caused by human error or negligence.
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or prescription medication
- Careless driving – driving while texting, putting on make-up
- Driver fatigue
- Driving aggressively
And one mistake or act of negligence of another can have serious consequences. If you are lucky, you can escape with only bumps and bruises. However, a car collision may mean serious injuries that can affect you for a lifetime – brain injury, paralysis, loss of limbs. Quite a number of these accidents also result in wrongful death.
If you are a victim of a car accident brought about by someone else’s carelessness, you may seek compensation from the erring party who is responsible for the accident. The important thing is that you need to show driver negligence – or simply, how the driver was directly at fault with the accident and subsequently, your injuries.
Owning a driver’s license is not just a right and privilege, it is also a serious responsibility because your life and that of others are on the line. There are specific responsibilities a driver must fulfill:
- To follow traffic rules and road signs. This includes following speed limits and traffic lights, rules covering right of way, changing lanes and turning. Other important rules include refraining from driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and not using the cell phone while driving.
- To exercise reasonable care while driving. This means driving in a way that is prudent and reasonable, taking into consideration the flow of traffic and the presence of pedestrians, the condition of the road, as well as visibility and weather conditions. This also means keeping one’s eyes on the road while driving.
- To ensure that he controls the car at all times. This includes the ability to stop quickly, if needed by maintaining a safe distance from the car in the front.
- To ensure that the car is properly maintained. Signal lights, headlights, brakes and steering capability should be in working condition.
A driver can be considered negligent when he fails to fulfill the above responsibilities and that failure (whether through careless or deliberate acts) caused the accident and subsequently, harm and injury.
Violation of traffic rules. If the driver was found to have violated a traffic law at the time of the accident, there is an immediate presumption that he was negligent. It is not up to the victim or complainant to prove the driver’s negligence. Rather, the burden of proof is on the driver or the defendant to show that he was not negligent.
Partly victim’s fault. If it can be shown that the accident was not entirely the defendant’s fault and that some of the blame can also be attributed to the victim, the driver may only be required to pay a certain portion of the damages, with the rest shouldered by the complainant. The driver can try to show that you have also been negligent because you were not able o take evasive action or keep a lookout of the road. At this point, the defendant will be liable only for his proportionate responsibility for the car collision.
Unavoidable accidents. One other defense an erring driver can bring to the table is that the accident was something that was unavoidable. Meaning, it was not his negligence that caused the accident, but some other reason such as a slippery road, poor visibility due to fog, a sudden and unexpected illness (such as a stroke) or a defect in the way the car was manufactured.
Your Personal Injury Lawsuit
A victim can claim for compensation for the losses brought about by the accident. This does not just include medical costs, expenses for therapy and loss of income. The settlement (depending on some states) may also include compensation for pain and suffering, as well as loss of enjoyment or loss of consortium.
A personal injury lawsuit aims to seek for that compensation – notably from the erring driver and his insurance company. However, you can expect the other party to try to put up a defense. While you are battling it out in the courtroom, there will still be a lot of expenses related to your recovery from your injuries. In addition, you may be suffering from more financial loss because of lost work days. During this time, some financial assistance would be welcome. This is where lawsuit funding can help.
Also referred to as lawsuit loans, this provides non-recourse funding at a time you need it most. It is a type of funding which you only have to pay back when the lawsuit settles. Also, a lawsuit cash advance is a type of funding where the application is evaluated based on the merits of the case, rather than on your employment standing or your credit rating.
You can trust in FastLawsuitMoney.com to provide you with a fair and honest evaluation of your case. It has streamlined its applications process so that once approved, you can readily receive the funds from the settlement loan within the day.
Posted on October 22, 2012 by Fast Lawsuit Team
Americans are granted the right to bear arms through the constitution’s Second Amendment. This is so individuals can protect themselves from assailants or enjoy hunting as a sport. There are also gun enthusiasts who enjoy having a collection of guns. However, along with the right to bear arms is the responsibility of ensuring that these guns don’t inadvertently cause harm.
Gun owners are responsible for:
- getting a license to carry a gun
- putting on the safety latch when the gun is “idle”
- removing ammunition from the gun if it isn’t in use
- storing guns and ammunitions in a place where children and other individuals cannot easily have access to them
- not entrusting the guns to someone who has a known predilection for acts of violence
- ensuring that any person handling the guns has the training and ability to handle the gun safely
In spite of the regulations that govern the safe use and storage of guns, gun accidents still happen. According to the Center for Disease Control and prevention, there are over 100,000 people who are victims of gunshot wounds. Out of this, more than 30,000 die. Although some of these are caused by assault, crime or suicide, there is also a portion of these deaths and injuries that can be linked to the neglectful storage, use or entrustment of the gun.
What is tragic about gun accidents is that they can be avoidable. If the gun owner only practiced due care, people don’t have to face the tragedy of:
- A child being shot dead while he or another child was playing with a gun
- A bystander being hit in a hunting accident
- A death arising from using the gun while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Gun shots can cause serious physical injuries, including broken bones, deep wounds, damaged organs, tearing of the muscles, infection, brain damage and death.
Who can be liable?
The person who used the gun. A person who negligently handles the gun can be liable for a personal injury. For instance, a person who tries to clean the gun without the safety engaged and bullets removed or a hunter who did not first determine that there were other people in their range may be faced with a lawsuit because of their negligence. For hunters, there are safety guidelines and hunting laws set in place to prevent gun accidents from happening during hunting. Those who also use a gun but are actuality unfamiliar with the firearm or altogether inexperienced to handle them are similarly liable.
Gun owners. If the gun owner handled, maintained or cleaned the gun improperly, he is liable. If the gun owner failed to keep their guns in a safe storage space or lent the gun to someone who is known for his violent tendencies and who is obviously drunk or under the influence of drugs, he can also be held liable for your personal injuries. Some cases involve owners who let children play with the guns.
Gun manufacturers. This is if the accident is caused by a defect in the design or manufacture of the product. For instance, if the gun safety unlocks on its own or a portion of the mechanism fails and these defects resulted in injury, the manufacturer can be named in a lawsuit. There was also a case in Alaska where a handgun (with the safety engaged) fell. The fall caused the gun to shoot and kill someone who was in the vicinity.
Building a Personal Injury Lawsuit for Gun Accidents
With the help of your lawyer, you can start gathering evidence for your lawsuit. This can include:
- Expert testimony. Gun experts can testify about the condition of the gun, the angles by which it was shot, any defects present or how it was negligently handled. There may be a need to provide testing and experiment using high speed photography and other forensic tools. This can prove to be expensive.
- Medical records. This will show the extent of the injury and disability caused by the gun accident.
- Previous cases involving that gun. To show that there may be a defect in the design of the gun, it will be helpful to look into statistics of injuries and deaths related to gun accidents for that specific model.
These are just some of the expensive evidence you may need to make. Some lawsuit and court-related costs involving your claim may leave you financially drained. Add to this the medical expenses resulting from your treatment of your gunshot wound.
During this time, you can look into the possibility of getting lawsuit funding to help with the financing of your household needs, medical expenses and court-related costs. You can apply for a lawsuit loan without having to go through hoops doing the paperwork and legwork. You don’t actually need to wait long to get the funding – usually it takes only as little as 24 hours after the application is approved.
The lawsuit cash advance is non-recourse funding that guarantees you don’t need to pay anything back for as long as the lawsuit fails to settle. This can provide to be a help you hold out for the fair and just compensation you deserve rather than reluctantly accepting a low-ball offer just because of your financial situation.
Posted on September 17, 2012 by Fast Lawsuit Team
The cornerstone of a personal injury lawsuit is proving that the other party is liable for the injuries that you have sustained. In short, it is showing the court that the other party’s action (or inaction) was the one that directly caused the injury. As such, this erring party will be ordered by the court to pay you for your financial loss, as well as for the pain and suffering you had to endure.
In your lawsuit, you must prove that the other party has a duty of care to you because of your relationship. These relationships include employer-employee relationships, business entity-customer relationship, manufacturer-purchaser relationship, property owner-guest/invitee relationship, or doctor-patient relationship. For instance, a restaurant owes its customers a duty of care of ensuring that the food served is safe for consumption. A doctor owes his patients a duty of care where his treatments will not cause his patients harm. Manufacturers are expected to provide products that will be benefit (and not injure) the users of their products.
Next, it should be shown that there was a breach of that duty, and that the other party should know or should have known that such a breach of duty was putting you at risk for injury. This is called the principle of foreseeability. This will prove whether there is proximate cause – that the party being sued caused the injury because he should have reasonably foreseen what could happen due to his conduct.
You, as the complainant, should show that the causal chain of events that began with the other party’s breach of duty of care and ended with you being injured is something that is reasonably expected to happen (foreseeable). For instance, it can reasonably be expected that if one ran a red light, he may collide with other cars. It is also reasonably expected that if you leave a wet floor unattended, someone might slip and fall.
Foreseeability and How it Affects Your Personal Injury Lawsuit
The other party’s liability will depend on how foreseeable the injury (and harm) is, as well as the manner of the harm. Based on the foreseeability of the harm, it can be determined whether the other party is indeed negligent.
The Type of Harm was not a foreseeable result of the negligent act. One landmark example would be the Palsgraf vs. Long Island Railroad case. As a train conductor was helping someone aboard, he inadvertently pushed a man who was carrying a package covered in brown paper. This package contained fireworks, which exploded after being dropped. Due to the explosion, some scales dropped. Mr. Palsgraf, who was standing near the scales, was injured. The court ruled that the injury was not a foreseeable result of the conductor’s pushing the man with the package. It could not be reasonably expected that the brown paper bag contained fireworks, and the resulting explosion will displace the scales. In this case, someone who causes harm and injury to another will not be responsible for that harm if the type of harm is not a foreseeable result of his actions.
The way the harm was done was unforeseeable. If in between a person’s act of negligence and the harm, something else happens that results in the harm, this is called a superseding cause. A person is not held liable if the superseding cause is not foreseeable. This includes storms, earthquakes and other acts of God, as well as criminal acts done by other persons. For instance, someone driving a car crashed into a tree, causing its roots to weaken. That tree is later hit by lightning and subsequently falls and injures another person. The driver is no longer liable for the injuries because the tree’s being hit by lightning is something that is not foreseeable.
The degree of harm suffered was unforeseeable. This is where the Eggshell Skull principle comes in. This principle states that when an erring party causes an injury, he is fully responsible for the extent of that injury. The eggshell skull principle is used to illustrate a person walking around with an “eggshell skull” but looks normal and just like any other healthy person. If someone harms him and, because of his vulnerability, he is seriously injured, even though the same incident would be simply brushed off by a person in good health.
Finding Help For Your Personal Injury Lawsuit
As you can see, proving a personal injury lawsuit is a bit complicated. However, if you have a strong case, you need not worry. You just need to wait it out until you can see the settlement through. While you’re waiting for the lawsuit to settle, you can think about getting lawsuit funding to help you with your pressing financial obligations.
The lawsuit cash advance can be used not just to help bolster your case by collecting more evidence that the negligence had foreseeable consequences. It can also be used to fund your day-to-day needs, as well as your hospital bills.
The good thing about lawsuit loans is that it is non-recourse funding. Unlike a loan, you don’t have to present your employment history or your credit rating. What is important is that you have a strong case. Also, you won’t have to pay back the loan if the lawsuit, for some reason, fails to settle. With reputable lawsuit funding providers such as FastLawsuitMoney.com, you can rest assured that you can quickly get access to cash in as quickly as 24 hours after your application is approved.
Posted on August 26, 2012 by Fast Lawsuit Team
Do you know that you can be held liable for personal injury due to a car accident, even when you’re not actually there at the time of the accident? It is important to be aware of your personal responsibilities with regards to the use of your car, especially by people other than yourself.
Ownership = Liability
The principle underlying one’s liability in this instance is that if you own a car, you are legally responsible for the acts of the person you allow to drive the car. In some states, the law does not even require you to have a “legal” relationship with the driver, as long as you give your permission to someone to use the car, you can also be held liable for his driving.
Here are some instances where liability can be placed in your hands, even when someone else is driving:
- Your kids. There are states where parents are held responsible for the negligent acts or hazardous driving of their kids. The way the law looks at it:
- You are responsible when you sign your minor child’s license application. Under the law, you are vouching for your child’s driving when you put your signature on the dotted line of the license application your teen submitted to the DMV.
- You are responsible when you put your car for general family use. When you buy a car and the keys hang where any family member can simply get it and take the car for a spin, you are liable, even if you have previously stated to your teen that he cannot use the car. This is based on the doctrine of “family purpose” – where, if the car is for the use of people in the family, and people in the family have easy access to the car keys, the car owner is liable for any mishaps involving family members driving the car.
- You are responsible if you let your “hot-rod” teen drive the family car. Teens can be reckless and prone to show off. They can also be excited about being able to drive for the first time and have very little experience being on the road. They also have a very high tendency to drive distracted (driving while eating, using the phone, etc.). The law will point out that you should have known this and should have withheld permission for your child to use the car and acted to ensure that the child cannot easily have access to its keys.
- Your employees. If you use the car for business purposes and your employee drives negligently and recklessly while he is performing duties related to his job, you are liable due to the legal theory of imputed negligence or vicarious liability. This can be the case even if your employer is not driving the company car, but rather, your own personal car if you let an employee use the car for business purposes. However, if the company vehicle was used by the employee outside of office hours for personal (and not company purposes) and the employer gets the car without permission, you are not considered liable.
- Anyone who can be considered unfit to drive. This can include a family friend, a neighbor, your baby sitter or just about anyone to whom you hand your car keys. Under the principle of negligent entrustment, the fact that you have entrusted your car to that person can make you liable.
Drivers who should not be on the road
Your part in the personal injury lawsuit is your entrustment of the car to someone who is negligent, incompetent or reckless. You should have known that these persons should not be behind the wheel, considering their physical or mental state. These include
- A driver who has had marks in his license. You can lend someone who has shown to be a negligent or reckless driver your car, but you are doing so at your own risk, knowing that should a road mishap happen with your car, you can also be held liable.
- A new and inexperienced driver. As with pilots who are required to log in a number of hours on a particular plane, you should think whether the driver has had enough time on the road for you to allow that person to drive without any supervision from an experienced driver.
- A drunk driver. Handing over your car keys to someone who’s had a few drinks too many makes you liable.
- A minor who has no license. Letting your 15-year old nephew have a joyride with your car is not just asking for trouble, but also asking to be part of a personal injury lawsuit.
- Elderly or sick driver. There is a joke about a grandfather sleeping peacefully while the other passengers were screaming during the car accident. It turns out that the grandfather was behind the wheel at that time. This joke is only funny in abstract but not in real life. Lending a car to someone who has vision and hearing problems, who have a slow reaction time, or who is sick to the point that it can affect his driving skills can be considered negligence on your part.
Thus, it is very important to carefully consider who you’re lending your car to. Before you turn over your car keys to someone else, be sure to think twice. The law can still judge you responsible even when you’re not behind the wheels.
Taking a Look from the Other Party’s Point of View
Chasing after the car owner is something that the victim can do in an effort to claim for compensation. More often than not, it is the car owner that has the insurance, as well as the money when a claim has reached the limits provided by the car insurance. Teens and minimum-wage employees, as well as drivers on a pension may be unable to pay the compensation that the victim is due.
While the victim is waiting for the lawsuit to settle, he can apply for lawsuit funding to help provide funds at a financially challenging time. This lawsuit settlement loan can provide funds for medical treatments, everyday household expenses, as well as covering other court-related costs.
If you have already filed a personal injury lawsuit, you can think of applying for a lawsuit loan from a reputable source, such as FastLawsuitMoney.com. Through the years, it has helped victims who have a pending personal injury lawsuit get the funds they needed so that they can continue to fight for the fair and just compensation they deserve.