Every situation is different, but one may be able to recover compensation if one is injured due to someone else’s actions. A victim may be unsure about what to do after an injury happens. Fortunately, a victim can find legal assistance. With the help of the Belleville personal injury attorneys at The Cates Law Firm, LLC, victims can obtain the maximum amount of compensation possible.
At The Cates Law Firm, LLC, victims can recover compensation for the following:
- Emotional distress
- Loss of quality of life or loss of a normal life
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
- Wage loss
Since each case is unique and the outcome will depend on different circumstances, it is advisable to schedule a free consultation to learn more about legal options, what to expect from the legal process, and how The Cates Law Firm, LLC can help victims achieve the best possible outcomes for their cases.
Are Serious Injuries Common?
A serious injury can result from a minor accident. The Belleville personal injury lawyers understand the devastating effects of common accidents and other situations. These injuries can be physically and mentally traumatic for victims.
Some of the most common injuries include the following:
- Broken bones
- Burn injuries
- Emotional distress
- Internal injuries
- Loss of limbs
- Neck and back injuries
- Soft tissue damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Vision and hearing loss
These types of injuries may leave a victim unable to work, which can lead to significant pain and suffering. A victim may have to undergo extensive medical treatment and ongoing rehabilitation.
One may be wondering how medical bills will be paid. Fortunately, a Belleville injury lawyer can help a victim take the next steps to recover compensation for a personal injury claim, so the victim can get the care and treatment needed to protect his or her financial future after a serious accident.
What are Typical Personal Injury Cases?
The Cates Law Firm, LLC have represented victims of personal injuries in a multitude of situations, including the following:
- Assault and battery: The criminal justice system does not provide compensation for those injured by the acts of others. Contact The Cates Law Firm, LLC to find out how one can obtain the maximum amount of compensation possible.
- Dangerous premises: If a victim was injured because of a dangerous or defective condition on someone else’s property, contact The Cates Law Firm, LLC for legal assistance.
- Dog bites: Victims suffering from dog bites deserve compensation. A Belleville personal injury lawyer at The Cates Law Firm, LLC can help a victim get financial alleviation for medical bills, lost wages, and other losses.
- Defective products: Products that are designed, manufactured, or advertised in a defective manner can cause devastating injuries. The Cates Law Firm, LLC fight against companies that cause serious injuries.
- Environmental exposure: A victim can initiate a claim or join a class action or mass tort lawsuit against those who created a dangerous situation in the environment with hazardous substances.
- Food poisoning: A victim can suffer from a serious illness after eating contaminated or undercooked food and should receive help.
- Medical malpractice: Medical treatment is supposed to help, not harm. If someone is injured by a medical provider or treatment facility, it is beneficial to seek legal counsel.
- Motor vehicle accidents: Car accidents, motorcycle accidents, and truck accidents are some of the most common personal injury cases.
- Nursing home abuse and neglect: People who are older or disabled are often the victims of negligence. The Belleville personal injury lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC aggressively protects victims injured by long-term care facilities.
- Slip and fall injuries: Property owners have a legal responsibility to keep their premises safe for visitors. When an individual sustains a slip and fall injury because an owner neglects a property, the victim is entitled to compensation. Victims are encouraged to consult a Belleville personal injury lawyer to discuss legal options after facing a slip and fall injury.
- Work injuries: Workers’ Compensation does not always cover all expenses, someone else may be responsible for an injury. Contacting a lawyer will help a victim recover necessary losses.
Understanding and Proving Negligence
Victims who file personal injury lawsuits claim that their injuries resulted from negligence. Negligence is an important component to a personal injury case because it proves that a party breached a duty of care. This breach ultimately led to an injury, thus making that party liable for the victim’s financial losses.
Duty of care refers to an individual’s legal responsibility to avoid hurting others, such as a doctor, property owner, motor-vehicle driver, and product manufacturer. A personal injury victim and his or her lawyer must prove that the at-fault party had a duty of care that was breached.
Next, the victim must prove how the at-fault party breached this duty of care. This breach depends on the party’s duty.
Common breaches include the following:
- A motorist committing distracted driving.
- A store owner who fails to put out wet floor signs.
- A medical professional who fails to provide adequate treatment.
- A product manufacturer who sells faulty products.
Finally, the victim must prove that the party’s negligence ultimately led to the injury. To do this, the plaintiff should collect and present evidence. This evidence may include witness testimonies, police reports, or physical evidence. A victim should contact a personal injury lawyer to make this process easier. Hiring a lawyer also helps ensure that the victim will collect entitled compensation for economic and non-economic losses.
How Do I File a Premises Liability Lawsuit?
If an individual sustains an injury while on another’s property, the owner could be held liable. This is called premises liability. Premises liability refers to a property owner’s legal responsibility to provide a safe premises for guests. Property owners must eliminate hazards or warn guests of potential hazards; however, an owner’s legal responsibility is dependent on a few factors.
In a premises liability case, a victim must prove several things. A victim must first prove that the at-fault individual owned, occupied, or leased the property where the injury occurred. The victim must then prove that the owner was negligent in maintaining and securing the property. After this, a victim must prove that he or she faced injuries that were caused by the property owner’s negligence. Proving all three is crucial for the success of a victim’s case.
It is important to note that premises liability differs and depends on a guest’s status. Legally, guests are divided into three categories. The first category is called invitees. A person is considered an invitee if he or she was invited for the owner’s financial benefit or if the property is open for the public. This might include a pool guest at a public swimming pool or a hotel guest. Legally, owners must keep the property reasonably safe for this group to avoid injuries.
The next group is called licensees. A person is considered a licensee if he or she obtains implied or expressed permission from the property owner to enter the premises. This typically includes social guests on private property. A property owner has the legal responsibility to fix any hazards or warn guests of hazards that are not clearly visible. It is important to note that an individual who stays on the property after being asked to leave is considered a trespasser.
The last group is called trespassers. A person is a trespasser if he or she enters another person’s land without permission from the owner. This group unlawfully intrudes on lands; therefore, the property owner has no legal responsibility to avoid harm. However, owners should avoid willfully injuring any trespassers.
There is an exception to this law, called the attractive nuisance doctrine. This doctrine protects children who may illegally trespass to utilize attractive features of another person’s home. These attractive features may include trampolines or swimming pools. This doctrine claims that a child’s age may fail to realize the risks of these attractive features. However, this law only applies to a few states in the U.S., so a victim should talk to a lawyer to learn more.
How Do I File a Class Action Lawsuit?
A class action lawsuit usually occurs when a group is filing a lawsuit against one entity for the same reasons. For example, a group dealing with the environmental effects of a nearby coal plant may file a class action lawsuit against the coal plant for illnesses. This is because the group is dealing with similar losses from the coal plant. Ultimately, this differs from a regular lawsuit because it involves multiple people.
To start a class action lawsuit, only a few plaintiffs will initiate the formal complaint. However, the judge will later certify the class and open it to the public. Anyone else dealing with similar injuries or illnesses will be able to join the class.
Victims filing a class action lawsuit must prove a number of things. First, the plaintiff must prove that injuries and illnesses are the same as the rest of the plaintiffs in the class.
Next, the class must prove that it is clearly defined and that identifying potential class members is possible. The class must also be large enough that a regular lawsuit would not be practical.
Finally, the class must prove that a class action lawsuit is the most effective way to handle the case. After these questions are answered, the judge will officially certify the class.
If the class certification is denied, the plaintiffs can continue the case as a regular lawsuit. However, if the judge certifies the class, potential members will receive public notices of the class. It is important to note that a judge’s certification of the class does not indicate that the defendant is liable. Instead, it just proves that a class is the best way to handle multiple claims against one defendant.
How Much Is My Case Worth?
A victim interested in filing a personal injury lawsuit may wonder how much his or her case is worth. However, this number is dependent on a few factors. The most important factor to consider is the economic loss associated with the injury. Economic losses include present and future medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, and property damage. The victim might also collect general damages for non-economic losses, like pain and suffering.
Victims filing a lawsuit should find a trustworthy lawyer. A lawyer can help a victim determine a fair settlement for an injury by looking at former cases, adding up bills, and projecting future bills related to the accident. A lawyer can also help maximize a victim’s damages.
In some personal injury cases, the plaintiff will receive punitive damages from the defendant. Punitive damages are one way to punish an at-fault party being especially negligent. Although victims receive a higher settlement amount, the primary goal of awarding punitive damages is to punish the defendant. Ultimately, punitive damages aim to prevent particularly negligent behavior. These damages may add tens of millions of dollars to a victim’s total settlement.
Victims should also consider the factors that could hurt their total payout. One of these factors is comparative negligence. This is when a victim is partially to blame for their injuries. In this situation, a judge may assign a percentage of fault to a victim and the defendant. This percentage may influence the total damages the victim can collect.
Similarly, some states have contributory negligence. Contributory negligence may prevent a victim from collecting any damages if he or she is even partially at fault for an injury. This is why it is important to contact a personal injury lawyer.
Belleville Personal Injury Lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC Help Injured Victims Obtain Necessary Compensation
Our attorneys have an impeccable track record that speaks for itself. We can help you navigate the legal issues of a personal injury claim while you focus on your recovery. Our Belleville personal injury lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC have extensive experience dealing with accident claims. Call us at 618-277-3644 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Swansea, Illinois, we serve clients throughout Belleville, Carbondale, East St. Louis, Granite City, Edwardsville, Chester, Waterloo, St. Louis, Madison County, St. Clair County, Monroe County, and Randolph County.