The Basics of Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Cases in the United States
The Basics of Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Cases in the United States
Personal injury and wrongful death cases focus primarily on liability (who was at fault) and damages (how severe is the injury and what are the financial consequences of the injury or death).
Liability is the determination of who is at fault for an injury or death. Many times more than one party is at fault. For example, in an automobile accident case, the client/injured party, another driver, vehicles owners, and others may all be at least partially liable or at fault for an accident. As another example, in a premises liability case (for example where a client is injured in a hotel, motel, restaurant, or other place where the public is invited), the client/injured party, the owner of the premises, the individual causing the injury, employers, and/or others may bear responsibility or liability for the injuries. The law may provide that each party be held liable for its share of responsibility.
Damages are how the law compensates an individual for his or her damages. Unfortunately, the law cannot undo an injury or death. Accordingly, the law seeks to assign a monetary amount to compensate the injured or deceased for such aspects as past, current and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and income, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium or enjoyment of life of family members of the injured or deceased, and other losses resulting from the injury or death.
Who To Sue:
In addition to the basic liability and damages analysis, an experienced law firm will also analyze a case from an economic perspective. Which people and/or entities to include as defendants in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit often depend on the insurance coverage and financial resources of those who may be liable. A successful lawsuit against a party who has no financial resources can be a hollow victory if no funds can be recovered.
Urban Thier & Federer, P.A. has extensive experience dealing with insurance carriers, insurance coverage issues and analyzing all potentially liable parties to maximize each client’s potential recovery. Such potentially liable parties and insurance companies may include automobile insurance carriers, rental car companies, premises liability insurance coverage, homeowner’s insurance coverage, general liability coverage, and other sources.
The Client’s Financial Obligation for the Case:
For cases where the injury and legal action are based in the United States, Urban Thier & Federer, P.A. handles the cases on a strict no win/no fee or contingency fee basis. This means that if Urban Thier & Federer, P.A. agrees to represent you and accept your case (which is done via a written Legal Representation Agreement) the law firm will only be paid if and when funds are actually recovered in your case. Such compensation is strictly limited to a percentage of the total actual recovery. As a result, clients can rest assured that this law firm’s interests and goals are the same as yours – to ensure the recovery of the maximum compensation for your injuries and loss.
Issues Unique to International Cases:
Especially for those injured in the United States but residing outside of the United States, the defendants and insurance companies will often seek to have the case transferred to where the plaintiff/client resides. This is because the United States laws, although similar to United Kingdom, Germany and other European countries’ laws, often result in significantly more generous damages awards to those who are injured or killed due to the fault or negligence of another. As a result, United States based defendants and insurance companies will often seek to have the case dismissed or moved to the plaintiffs’ home country in an effort to minimize any damage awards. Such issues often have very little relation with the personal injury or wrongful death aspects of a case and are best addressed by a law firm, such as Urban Thier & Federer, P.A., that has experience litigating these types of international and related legal issues.
Another issue unique to international personal injury and wrongful death cases is securing proof of damages. For injuries and deaths that occurred in the United States, the liability evidence and facts are usually readily available in the United States and can be secured via the United States legal action. However, a large portion of the damages evidence is often located in the client’s home country where treating physicians are located, where medical care and rehabilitation medical records are located, and where damages such as lost wages, lost income, future medical expenses, rehabilitative expenses, and other damages are incurred. Urban Thier & Federer, P.A., especially for United Kingdom and Germany based clients, routinely utilizes its international legal team to bridge legal, geographical, cultural and other differences in order to secure such damages evidence.
For those cases where Urban Thier & Federer, P.A. determines that a client’s case may be best served by teaming up with other attorneys or law firms, this law firm has a network of other law firms and attorneys who we have worked with in the past. Urban Thier & Federer, P.A. is also well versed in identifying, screening and selecting law firms and attorneys throughout the United States as needed to ensure each client’s case is handled in the most effective and efficient manner to ensure the maximum recovery.