Toledo Personal Injury Lawyer
Car crashes, falls, drug overdoses, nursing home negligence, and other unintentional events seriously injure tens of millions of Americans each year. The medical bills in these cases can exceed tens of thousands of dollars. Meanwhile, the victim is unable to work, and everyday bills pile up. In the midst of all these things, an insurance company representative usually calls incessantly. The promised financial settlement offer usually seems fair, but there is no way to know for sure.
The compassionate attorneys at Lafferty, Gallagher & Scott understand what you are going through. Many of us are accident survivors. So, we begin each case with a conversation. We take as much time as needed to understand your situation and your goals. Next, we lay out all your legal options, including the pros and cons of each one. Finally, we fight for you every step of the way.
Your Personal Injury Claim in Toledo
Many people dismiss the aforementioned events, especially car crashes, as “accidents.” In a few cases, that label is appropriate. Wind gusts and lightning strikes cause a handful of car crashes. But most of these incidents involve driver negligence. The same thing is true in other types of claims, such as fall injuries. Many landowners neglect their property and people are hurt as a result of their inattention.
Essentially, negligence is a lack of ordinary care. If tortfeasors (negligent actors) breach the duty of care, and that breach substantially causes injury, the tortfeasor may be liable for damages.
Some cases, most notably premises liability claims, work differently. In these cases, the victim/plaintiff must establish that the landowner had a legal duty, there was a connection between the duty and the injury, and the owner knew about the hazardous condition.
In both these situations, the negligence per se shortcut may be available. Generally, tortfeasors are liable for damages as a matter of law if they violate safety laws and their violations substantially cause injuries.
Vicarious liability is often a factor in these cases. For example, Illinois has a dram shop law which holds commercial alcohol providers liable for damages if their intoxicated patrons injure other people. And, the doctrine of respondeat superior (“let the master answer”) holds nursing homes liable for the negligent acts of their employees.
What to Expect in Your Personal Injury Claim
Nearly all civil cases settle out of court, and many personal injury claims settle rather quickly. In fact, largely because of our strong reputation, many of the claims we handle settle before we even file court paperwork.
However, it is usually a bad idea to settle a case before we thoroughly investigate the facts, research all the law, and your medical treatment is substantially complete. Otherwise, the case may settle for less than full value.
If the claim goes to court, most insurance companies immediately file motions seeking to have the case thrown out of court. These motions are almost never successful if the victim/plaintiff has any solid evidence.
Next, the case moves into the discovery phase. In the United States, a personal injury lawsuit is not really about “winning” or “losing.” Instead, it is about determining the truth of the matter. Things like witness depositions, property inspections, and document requests move this process along.
As mentioned, most cases settle out of court, and many settle during mediation. If the case goes to trial, the victim/plaintiff must establish negligence or negligence per se by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not).
Work with Experienced Attorneys
The personal injury claims process can be long, but it is almost always worthwhile. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Toledo, contact Lafferty, Gallagher & Scott LLC. We routinely handle cases in Lucas County and nearby jurisdictions.