A 33-year-old woman, went to IKEA on her day off from work looking for a table top she could use as a writing desk. She didn’t find anything in the main part of the store, so she went to the As-Is section, where IKEA displays for sale it is returned and damaged goods of all kinds. There is a no-return policy for items purchased in the As-Is section, so customers must examine the merchandise before purchase.
She walked over to a large open cabinet where some table and countertops were stored on their ends. There was nothing there that she wanted, so she turned to look for the way out of the section. She had not touched anything. Suddenly, several large countertops that had been leaning against the outside of the cabinet, and that weighed in excess of 350 pounds, fell on her crushing the pelvis.
IKEA’s method of displaying countertops that were too large for the cabinet was to lean them against the outside of the cabinet. IKEA claimed this system was safe because there were bungee cords holding the countertops in place. However, no one actually saw the bungee cor4ds after the incident, and one IKEA employee testified at trial that they did not know how strong the cords were and doubted whether they would have kept the large objects from falling.
She suffered fractures of her pelvis in two places and a fracture of the right side of her sacrum. The first surgery she had was to insert a metal stabilizer so her pelvis would grow back together; the second surgery was to remove the metal hardware and screws. There are two large, prominent scars on her lower back. It has been almost three years since her injury, and she is left with pain every day. This one active, joyful woman now moves slowly. She doesn’t go hiking or climbing or bicycling or kayaking anymore.
She had a very good friend on the day she was injured, and they had planned to go hiking the next day, at which time they would have expressed their affection for each other. That conversation didn’t happen for almost one year while she recuperated from her injury. They got married in August 2008. In addition to the pain has every day, she is concerned about getting pregnant and the strain the pregnancy will put on her body, plus how she will be able to care for the baby after it is born.
After three days of testimony, the jury returned a verdict in favour of her in the amount of $3,200,000 after two hours of deliberation.
Read more accidents and law-related articles here.
Motorcycle operator on the shoulder of a highway is killed when he is struck by a driver with cataracts who was returning home after her eyes were dilated by her eye doctor. The case settled for the driver’s insurance policy limits plus personal assets.
A man had stopped his motorcycle off the highway at a wide shoulder where he was well away from the travel portion of the road. There were no obstructions on the highway that would prevent a driver from seeing him. Nevertheless, the defendant drove her car out of the travel lane and onto the shoulder and ran into. He died after two weeks of intensive medical treatment.
The driver of the car, who had cataracts, had just left her eye doctor’s office where her eyes had been dilated.
He had a five-year-old daughter who depended on her father for support. His medical expenses exceeded $155,000.
The driver had only $100,000 in liability insurance coverage on her car. The case settled for her policy limits accidents plus $20,000 from her personal assets. It was his daughter was the wrongful death beneficiary of her father’s estate.
A “wrongful death” occurs when a person is killed due to the negligence or misconduct of another individual, company or entity. An action for wrongful death belongs to the decedent’s immediate family members (“beneficiaries”).
Awarded: Settlement $100,000 insurance and $20,000 personal assets
If you go to the Yellow Pages, and even to lawyer sites on the Web, you might think that all personal injury lawyers are the same. After all, their ads and Web sites certainly look a lot alike, and many say the same thing: free consultation, we work hard for you, etc.
So, how do you find the personal injury lawyer who is right for you and your case? Often, when people move to a new city, one of the first things they do is find a new doctor and a new dentist for their family. However, they don’t usually go out to find a new personal injury lawyer — they don’t need one.
You probably didn’t ask that question before you were injured in an accident. After all, it’s not like you got up in the morning knowing you were going to be injured and need a personal injury lawyer to help you. After all, people don’t need a personal injury lawyer until after they have been hurt by someone else.
Finding the lawyer who is right for you and your case is very important. You and your lawyer will be working together for many months, and you should have someone who “fits” you. Here are some ideas to help you successfully find the right attorney for you.
Think about what you want in the lawyer who you will hire to help you with this problem.Do you want someone who is in a particular geographical area so you won’t need to drive very far to meet her at the office? Do you want someone who drives a fancy car? Is it necessary to you that your lawyer shares a specific religious philosophy with you? Do you care if the lawyer is male or female? Does it matter to you whether your first meeting will be with the lawyer who is going to handle your case? Do you want a lawyer with lots of cases because that must mean the lawyer knows what she’s doing?
What kind of person can you work with best? Do you want someone sympathetic and empathetic who is also forceful and optimistic? Or, must your perfect lawyer be organized and available? Is it most important to you that your lawyer update you often?
Decide ahead of time what kind of lawyer you want to work with.
There are hundreds of competent personal injury lawyers in Virginia, so you have many to choose from. Be prepared to find the one who’s best for you.
Ask someone you know and trust for a referral. If a family member or trusted friend has had experience with a personal injury attorney, they will probably be happy to tell you about that experience — good or bad. If you were injured in an accident with an18-wheeler truck, ask your family member or the trusted friend if the personal injury lawyer they had handles that kind of case.
This is an excellent way to start your search. If no one in your family or circle of close friends has a referral for you, ask your hairdresser/barber or people in your religious community or children’s school or even at the grocery store. Even if you don’t know these people very well, if they have someone to tell you about, that’s a better start than just a random call to someone whose ad you see on TV or in the Yellow Pages without any personal reference at all.
Call the lawyer’s office and talk to the person who answers the phone.See if you are comfortable with the answers to your questions and the way the office is set up to respond to people who call with a problem. If you don’t like what you hear and how you are treated on the first call, you probably won’t like it any better over time.
Ask the lawyer about her experience handling cases like yours.You want someone who mainly represents people who have been injured by someone else who was at fault. Did your family member die from the injuries? (This is called a wrongful death case.) Were you seriously hurt by falling merchandise in a store? Did you fall because of a defect in the premises? Did a doctor make a severe error during surgery? Was your child injured on the playground? Just like you wouldn’t go to an orthopedist for colon surgery, you need a lawyer with expertise in handling personal injury cases.
Also, some lawyers who advertise for injury cases don’t go to court; they settle all their claims. A good trial lawyer does solve cases. But, if the insurance company will not make a fair offer, a good trial lawyer will take your case to trial. Insurance companies know who is afraid to try a case and who is not. Be sure to find out if the lawyer you are talking to tries claims in court.
WHAT THE RIGHT LAWYER WILL DO FOR YOU
If you or a family member has been injured and someone else is at fault, you have many things to be taken care of —most importantly, healing your injuries.
You have many questions about the future: “How will the bills get paid? What will happen if I’m out of work and can’t pay my bills? What if I need more treatment in the years to come? How will I get around now that I have this permanent injury?” This is a scary and frustrating time.
When you hire the right personal injury or medical malpractice lawyer to represent you in your injury case, she will answer these questions and take many burdens off your shoulders. Your injury attorney should provide you valuable service such as these:
The lawyer’s office will do a thorough investigation of the events that led to the injury. Witnesses will be contacted and interviewed. If the incident is a truck accident or car accident, she and her staff will go to the scene to find out exactly what happened. Photographs will be taken of the scene, the vehicles, and the injuries. If the incident is a medical malpractice case, the lawyer will find an expert in the same field to explain what the doctor or hospital did wrong and testify on your behalf.
The lawyer and the staff will take over the job of talking to the insurance companies for you. Insurance companies often call the injured person or his family and ask detailed questions about what happened. Sometimes, they call many times. These calls not only interrupt your life, but they also cause you worry and stress. Insurance companies know correctly what to do and how to do it because they do it all the time. You don’t know how to deal with them and their requests for information. An injury lawyer will do this for you. Once you hire a lawyer, insurance companies are not allowed to speak to you again.
The lawyer’s staff is trained to gather all the medical records that will prove the extent of the injury. Injury lawyers are accustomed to dealing with doctors and hospitals to get the medical evidence necessary to show the harm.
The lawyer will bring the case to a conclusion. Once you are finished treating for your injuries or the doctor can establish what your future condition will be, the lawyer will begin negotiating with the insurance company to try to get your case resolved without having to file a lawsuit. However, if the case cannot be settled, the lawyer will file the lawsuit in court. A claim that is presented in court will take many more months to get concluded, but an injury or medical malpractice lawyer who goes to court and tries circumstances can give you the best advice about how to handle your particular situation.
And, all along the way, if s/he is the right lawyer for you, s/he will keep you informed of what is going on in your case. Sometimes, there won’t be much happening. Other times, the lawyer and his/her staff will be very busy on your case, getting it ready for the next step.
Recovering from an injury caused by someone else is never pleasant. But, when you have the lawyer who is right for you working for you, the whole process will be more tolerable.
Pedestrian crossing the street a few feet outside the crosswalk after dark was hit by an oncoming car. The driver claimed he did not see him, although he was under a street light. The issue was whether the pedestrian had lost the right of way because he was outside of the crosswalk. The insurance company first said the incident was our client’s fault because he was not in the crosswalk; however, the case settled for $45,000 when it became obvious that our client’s being a few feet away from the painted markings on the street did not contribute to his injuries.
He was walking across a suburban street going from the grocery store to his apartment one evening after doing his shopping. He was not in the crosswalk, but he was a few feet away from it. The defendant did not see him even though he was walking under a street light. His injuries included…
The driver’s insurance company claimed the incident was his fault because he was not in the painted crosswalk. (If the injured person is even a tiny bit responsible for his own injury, he loses. This is called contributory negligence and is a total bar to an injured person’s recovery.)
However, it soon became apparent that it was the driver’s fault because he had been distracted . . . and would have hit him even if he had been in the crosswalk. That is, he is outside of the crosswalk was not a cause of the incident.
His medical expenses were $25,000. The case settled for $45,000.
California personal injury attorney advising that, at long last, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has proposed an amendment to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard that would require motorcycle manufacturers to install anti-lock braking systems on motorcycles. The changes to the FMVSS would create minimum performance standards that have been successfully tested elsewhere and would also prohibit motorcycles with unsafe brakes from being sold in the United States.
Anti-lock braking systems have been installed in motor vehicles for many years and have been proven to save lives and prevent accidents. More and more people are using motorcycles as a primary means of transportation, and as the number of motorcyclists has increased, so have the number of motorcycle accident fatalities. Although there is no way to make motorcycles as safe as four-wheel vehicles, motorcyclists deserve the safety features that can save lives. Read more related articles here.