Loader

Proving Responsibility in a Personal Injury Accident

After a personal injury, it is easy to say that the responsible party should pay, but the first step requires proof that the were legally at fault. Determining liability can be complicated, but it usually hinges on carelessness or negligence.

Statistics show that most accidents happen as the result of carelessness and as a rule, if one of the persons involved in the accident took less care than another, the less careful of the two must contribute a portion of the damages suffered by the one who was more careful. This is known as Duty of Care.

The rule of carelessness is determined in conjunction with one or more of the following rules:

  • In the event of a defective product causing injury, both the seller and the manufacturer are liable.
  • The property owner is liable in the event of an accident occurring on a property that is dangerous due to poor building or maintenance.
  • The employer may be legally responsible for accidents caused by their employers.
  • Compensation may be reduced in the event that the injured person also acted carelessly.
  • The person who caused the accident might not be determined liable if the injured person was in the wrong place, or in a place where the type of injury-causing activity took place, in which event the person who caused the accident had no duty of care.

Sometimes, more than one person is responsible for an accident, and in most states, responsibility could lie with any of the careless parties, and they will decide amongst themselves whether they should reimburse one another.

Your own carelessness can also affect your claim, however, in most states, even when you were partly at fault, you may still receive compensation from other persons who were also partly responsible. The other party's carelessness with be compared to your own (comparative liability) and the percentage of liability will determine the percentage of damages he or she will be responsible for.

While there is no formula for determining comparative carelessness, your insurance adjuster will discuss the various factors that played a role in the accident. Your own carelessness will be factored into the value of your claim, along with other factors, such as the cost of your medical treatment and the severity of your injury.

Comparative negligence is approached differently depending on the state in which the accident occurred. In some states, you may be able to recover compensation based on the other party's fault, no matter the size of your own fault.

Available Insurance Influences Your Settlement

When another person's carelessness causes you to suffer an injury, one of the first things your lawyer will determine, is the available insurance. Your lawyer will most likely go after the insurance in a car accident case, rather than after the individual who caused the accident.

In the event that you suffer a significant injury, which might require costly surgery to correct, this will cost much more than the available insurance. You will only be able to recover the maximum amount available in the responsible party's insurance. In that event, it may not be worthwhile for your lawyer to represent you.

In rare cases, your personal injury attorney will go directly after the responsible person and his or her personal assets. If there is a large sum of available insurance, the lawyer will file a lawsuit and represent you in the accident case by going after the insurance policy. If the limits are insignificant, that is the highest amount he can obtain for you. However, lawyers will generally determine whether there is excess insurance, which is an additional level of insurance which supplements the basic policy.

It will require some investigation, over and above your initial consultation for your lawyer to find out whether there is excess insurance. In some cases, this information will not be available until the lawsuit is well underway. Therefore, the case will have to be initiated before the attorney can extract the required information from the responsible party, or from his or her attorneys.

When you're hiring a personal injury lawyer to represent you in your accident injury or medical negligence case, be sure to ask about how they will determine the available insurance. Find out how he or she will determine if excess insurance is available to cover your injuries.

Since your lawyer will be charging contingency fees (no win, no fee basis), he will also want to know that there is more insurance available than what you would require to pay your settlement. The lawyer will only be paid once the compensation settlement has been awarded by the court, and will, therefore, only represent you if he is confident that he can help you win your compensation claim.

In cases where the available insurance is insufficient in covering your injuries, you could ask your lawyer whether it would be worthwhile to pursue the responsible person's personal assets.

Insurance Adjusters and Your Personal Injury Settlement

One of the main reasons why you need legal representation in a personal injury compensation claim, is because the opposing insurance company does not want to pay out claims. They are motivated to do whatever they can to motivate you to settle for an unfair amount. Here are some of the factors that you should be aware of when dealing with the other insurance company.

1. They are not your friend. Some big insurance companies will pretend to be on your side, but you should remember that they are paid to pay out as little as possible. 2. They will do what it takes to delay the process. Insurance companies handle millions of dollars worth of claims. While $100 makes a big difference to you, but by saving that much on a few hundred thousand claims, they increase their bottom line by millions. They invest this money, making massive profits. Meanwhile, you're paying out of pocket expenses daily, and the longer they tag you along, the more desperate you will become to settle for less than you deserve. 3. They will demand unnecessary information. This is a great way to cause delays. Your personal injury lawyer will tell you that you only need to provide information and medical records relating to body parts injured in the accident. They don't require your medical records from three years ago, and your latest flu shots have nothing to do with it. 4. They will hide excess insurance. We have seen adjusters hide insurance money in order to pay out the minimum. They will admit to a small amount of insurance, but once the lawsuit is filed, we will find umbrella policies worth millions. A savvy compensation lawyer knows how to follow his or her instincts to find hidden excess policies. 5. They will act like medical experts.

Most insurance adjusters have never spent a day in medical school, but they often have onerous opinions about your medical treatment and your prognosis. They will therefore undervalue your medical bills and refuse to pay what is due.

Don't wait to be railroaded by insurance adjusters before you turn to an expert compensation lawyer to represent your personal injury claim. Insurance adjusters will try to get you to settle for much less than you need and deserve, by brainwashing you with insurance mumbo- jumbo, rather than advising you on your rights. Don't sign any agreements or accept any settlement until you have spoken to a personal injury lawyer.

Amendments to Workers Compensation Law - October 2015

We're always happy when there is good news for our clients, and the recent amendments to the workers compensation law offer hope. The Government has made the a number of amendments law, taking effect as of 16 October 2016:

1. New increased death and funeral benefits apply for workers dying on or after 5 Aug. 2015, irrespective of the date of injury.

2. An increased lump sum for permanent impairment applies to injuries occurring on or after 16 October 2015.

3. Workers injured after 1 October 2012, are entitled to weekly payments for up to a year after retiring age.

4. No time limit applies to medical expenses for the provision of artificial members, eyes, teeth, aids, spectacles and crutches, as well as modifications to their vehicles or homes.

5. No time limit applies to secondary surgery, provided it is directly consequential to the earlier surgery and affects part of the body that was affected by earlier surgery, which was approved by the insurer within 2 years of the primary surgery. Also, the time limit can be extended, should a dispute arise within the same period of two years.


Am I Entitled to Workers Compensation?

If you have been injured at, or on your way to work, and suffered pain, disease, loss of wages or quality of life as the result, you may be entitled to workers compensation.

Remember that time limits do apply to filing your claim, so please notify your company's HR department as soon as you become aware of the injury or disease. Your employer will have to follow certain processes, and they may make a settlement offer. We would like to encourage you to see a specialist in workers compensation law before you accept any offers, however.

Workers compensation law is an intricate area, and the costs are much more involved than just your current medical costs. There is also the past and future costs, loss of wages, out-of-pocket costs for modifications to your home and car, and the costs of loss of quality of life. These costs will be considered by professionals who have significant experience in assessing such injuries and costs. Get in touch with Paramount Compensation Lawyers and know that you receive your full entitlement to workers compensation.

New Regulation for Injured Workers in NSW

We were overjoyed when we heard about a new regulation that will soon become available for our injured worker clients.

Victor Dominello, Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation, released a Press RElease on 26 october 2015, indicating the New South Wales Government's intention to create a new regulation that will enable injured workers to access a further lump sum.

The regulation will see that workers who have made claims for lump sum compensation before the 19th June 2012, will be able to make a further claim, should their conditions deteriorate significantly. According to the release, the regulation will commence in November.

When this regulation comes into effect, we will consider the funding position in more detail and we will then be able to weigh up options for our clients who are eligible.

If you have been injured at work, and you have received a lump sum before June 2012, but your condition has deteriorated dramatically since then, we urge you to collect any medical records and information and to get in touch with Paramount Compensation Lawyers, your specialist in personal injury law.

Good News for Injured Workers Who Received Lump Sum Payments

We at Paramount Compensation Lawyers often warn people who sustained injuries in the workplace to avoid signing anything or accepting any offers off the bat.

Why? Because it is important to consider the severity of injuries or illness in order to determine the amount of compensation due to you. Most companies don't have the capacity to foresee the various probabilities and financial burdens that an injury can bring about, which is why it is important to go see a specialist in personal injury law.

When you accept your company's offer without having a specialist in personal injury insurance overseeing it first, you run the risk of future complications. It is not uncommon for a condition to deteriorate and require additional financial resources to handle.

If you have received a lump sum for your injury and it has been used to pay for medical costs and or modifications to your home or car, and your condition suddenly deteriorates, you will have to face the financial burden alone. At least, that's how it used to work.

Proving Responsibility in a Personal Injury Accident

After a personal injury, it is easy to say that the responsible party should pay, but the first step requires proof that the were legally at fault. Determining liability can be complicated, but it usually hinges on carelessness or negligence.

Available Insurance Influences Your Settlement

When another person's carelessness causes you to suffer an injury, one of the first things your lawyer will determine, is the available insurance. Your lawyer will most likely go after the insurance in a car accident case, rather than after the individual who caused the accident.

Insurance Adjusters and Your Personal Injury Settlement

One of the main reasons why you need legal representation in a personal injury compensation claim, is because the opposing insurance company does not want to pay out claims. They are motivated to do whatever they can to motivate you to settle for an unfair amount. Here are some of the factors that you should be aware of when dealing with the other insurance company.

Amendments to Workers Compensation Law - October 2015

We're always happy when there is good news for our clients, and the recent amendments to the workers compensation law offer hope. The Government has made the a number of amendments law, taking effect as of 16 October 2016:

New Regulation for Injured Workers in NSW

We were overjoyed when we heard about a new regulation that will soon become available for our injured worker clients. Victor Dominello, Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation, released a Press RElease on 26 october 2015, indicating the New South Wales Government's intention to create a new regulation that will enable injured workers to access a further lump sum. The regulation will see that workers who have made claims for lump sum compensation before the 19th June 2012, will be able to make a further claim, should their conditions deteriorate significantly. According to the release, the regulation will commence in November.

Good News for Injured Workers Who Received Lump Sum Payments

We at Paramount Compensation Lawyers often warn people who sustained injuries in the workplace to avoid signing anything or accepting any offers off the bat. Why? Because it is important to consider the severity of injuries or illness in order to determine the amount of compensation due to you. Most companies don't have the capacity to foresee the various probabilities and financial burdens that an injury can bring about, which is why it is important to go see a specialist in personal injury law.