A car crash, a botched surgical procedure, or a workplace accident can result in devastating harm that changes a victim’s life forever. In addition to physical and emotional healing, injured individuals often struggle with the expenses imposed by their recovery process. Missed time at work and expensive medical treatments can cause costs to mount swiftly. If you have been hurt because someone else acted carelessly, you may be able to take legal action against the party that harmed you. The legal team at the Law Offices of injury lawyer Russell J. Goldsmith assists accident victims in asserting their rights to compensation. Our offices will investigate the details of your case and will tenaciously pursue your rights, documenting your claim and advocating for you through the settlement negotiation process and, if necessary, the courtroom.Seeking Damages through a Negligence Claim
All too often, motorists fail to use the proper level of care behind the wheel. They may run a red light, text while driving, or even try to operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If an individual’s careless conduct causes a collision, a victim likely will be able to bring a negligence claim for compensation. This requires showing that the defendant had a duty of care and breached this obligation. In the context of motor vehicle accidents, it is generally accepted that each driver has a duty to use the same level of care that an ordinary, reasonable person would use in a similar situation. If someone breaks a traffic law or otherwise fails to meet this standard, this would be considered a breach.
The remaining elements of a negligence claim are causation and damages. Causation means that the accident would not have happened if the defendant had used the appropriate level of care. The harm also must have been a foreseeable result of the breach. Finally, the victim must identify quantifiable costs and losses that arose from the accident. These may include economic damages, such as lost income and earning capacity, medical bills, the costs of future treatment, and property damage. An injured individual also may seek compensation for non-economic forms of harm, such as pain and suffering or emotional distress.
In some instances, a fleeting moment of carelessness leads to a tragic loss of life. When this happens, certain family members may be able to bring a wrongful death claim against the party responsible for the fatal accident. They, potentially, can seek the damages that the victim could have pursued if he or she had survived, as well as damages based on their relationship to the victim. As is the case with ordinary personal injury claims, wrongful death actions are subject to a strict statute of limitations. Someone bringing these types of lawsuits must file a claim within the permitted time period to avoid having the right to compensation barred.
Car accidents are far from the only situation in which negligence may cause injuries. For instance, a medical professional may be sued for malpractice if his or her carelessness harms a patient. The standard of care is somewhat different in these cases, and it usually requires expert testimony to establish a claim. Generally speaking, health care providers are held accountable for meeting what is deemed to be a general standard of care within their medical profession, which does account for the fact that some mistakes are understandable (as the medical profession is not held to a standard of perfection). Understanding what constitutes the appropriate standard of care for a particular medical procedure or in the case of proper diagnosis, requires the knowledge and skill of both medical and legal experts.Bringing a Third-Party Claim after a Workplace Accident
People who are hurt on the job generally are entitled to pursue workers’ compensation benefits, which are provided by the insurance carriers of their employers. Certain accidents, however, may be caused in part by the negligence of a person or entity other than the employer. For example, a worker may be hurt by a defective product used at a construction site, such as a faulty saw or drill or by a third party who is likewise working at the job site. These circumstances may give rise to a claim against the party that made the defective product or caused the dangerous condition that resulted in the accident. These lawsuits tend to proceed in a similar fashion to other personal injury claims. The victim ordinarily needs to show that the third party acted in a negligent manner or, in some cases, may be able to show that the third party is strictly liable (automatically responsible) for causing his or her harm. Third-party claims may be pursued at the same time as workers’ compensation benefits, so an injured individual does not need to choose between them.Consult a Knowledgeable Lawyer When Pursuing an Injury Claim
People who have suffered catastrophic harm may have rights to assert against those responsible for their injuries. Accident attorney Russell J. Goldsmith has more than 30 years of experience holding individuals and entities accountable for their negligent actions. To start exploring your options, contact the Law Offices of Russell J. Goldsmith toll-free at (800) 773-8622 or through our online form.