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Each year thousands of people find themselves in court battling insurance companies to receive compensation for personal injury claims. While some claims are successfully settled without either party entering a courthouse, there are times when a company is determined to avoid admitting wrongdoing or making payment to an accident victim. One of the best ways to protect yourself from a company attempting to challenge your claim is by gathering evidence that supports your case. Having the type of evidence you need for your personal injury claim to be seen as valid will reduce your chances of having your case dismissed or not taken seriously.

Reports

Official reports that were completed at the time of the incident are some of the most important pieces of evidence in your claim. Not only do they establish when and where the injury occurred, they also show that the person or organization responsible for your injury was made aware of the incident. Useful reports include police reports completed by officers responding to the scene of a traffic accident, incident reports filled out by supervisors or managers at a business, workers’ compensation incident reports completed if an employee is injured, and even initial reports made by paramedics responding to the scene.

Prior to introducing a product to market, companies must be sure that their products do not pose risks to their consumers. The average manufacturer completes a lengthy risk assessment process to ensure that their customers are protected, but sometimes products are released and used that are significantly dangerous. When this happens and a consumer is injured by a defective or dangerous product, a product liability claim may be initiated. There are three common types of product liability claims, and being aware of them could help you determine whether your situation could be grounds for a claim against a business.

Inadequate Instructions or Warnings

Companies are expected to provide their customers with clear instructions and appropriate warnings regarding the use of a product. This expectation is especially important when a product poses a danger or risk that is not immediately obvious to the average user. Failure to provide a warning could result in a claim. Scenarios that could lead to a claim based on a company’s failure to warn or instruct include:

When motor vehicle accidents are discussed, most people only focus on accidents that occur between two drivers or one driver and a non-moving object. While these accident types are dangerous, the conversation leaves accidents involving pedestrians often overlooked. Each summer the number of pedestrians struck by vehicles increases sharply, especially in areas that are home to major tourist attractions. Pedestrian-related motor vehicle accidents have a higher chance in ending with a fatality, making it important to learn what causes these accidents so that everyone sharing roads and walkways can prevent them from occurring.

Age

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has compiled data on pedestrian traffic accidents that occurred throughout the United States. The data shows that age plays an important role in motor vehicle accidents involving pedestrians. Approximately 19% of all pedestrians killed were at least 65 years of age and one fifth of all pedestrians killed were under the age of 15. A lack of awareness and less visibility caused by having a smaller physical profile can increase a pedestrian’s risk of being hit by a vehicle.

When motor vehicle accidents are discussed the focus is usually on collisions between vehicles. While the number of car accidents throughout the United States has grown at an alarming rate, few are aware of the rising number of cycling accidents. Cyclist deaths currently account for 2.4% of all motor vehicle related fatalities. Approximately 75% of these fatalities occur in urban areas with most accidents occurring between dawn and dusk. As the number of injuries and deaths continues to increase at a steady rate, it is important to learn about the overlooked reality of cycling accidents.

Cycling Accident Causes 

The most common and dangerous type of accident a cyclist can get into is a collision with a car.  Since the profile of a bike is even smaller than a motorcycle (another mode of transportation prone to accidents), the driver of a larger vehicle is less likely to notice the cyclist. Most accidents occur when a driver makes a left turn into the path of a cyclist that he or she did not see. Cyclists are also injured when drivers attempt to pass a cyclist on the left and misjudge the distance, causing the driver to veer directly into the cyclist’s path. Drivers suddenly opening car doors or misjudging the distance between their vehicle and a bicycle in front of them also accounts for many collisions.

With new tax laws coming into place, there has been a lot of speculation over how and when settlements will be taxed. It is important to know just how taxation of lawsuits is handled, so that you do not settle your injury case and end up with a large tax bill at the end.

What is and in Not Taxable

First, as a general rule, settlements or verdicts that compensate you for losses as a result of an injury are not considered taxable. Of course, there are exceptions to everything, and this is no different.

Hearsay is probably the best known trial objection by the general public. Hearsay is the subject of courtroom dramas, and cited by arguments among laypeople. Now, a recent Maryland injury case has expanded the kind of records that can be admitted in a Maryland injury trial, even if the records are otherwise hearsay.

Defendant’s Expert Uses Hearsay Medical Records

The case deals with issues that are common to Maryland injury cases – whether the injury that the victim sustained is actually caused by the accident or by something else. In this case, the Defense argued that a longstanding pre-existing injury to the victim’s shoulder was the culprit.

Take the stairs, they tell you. It is a healthy alternative to elevators or escalators. What could possibly go wrong? Hopefully, nothing, but it is worth noting that according to a study published in the Journal of Emergency Medicine, over one million people yearly are injured on or in stairwells.

Study Highlights Stairway Injuries

The very young and the older population are most likely to be injured, but most hospitals report that people of all ages sustain injuries while taking the stairs.

In many cases, damages that a personal injury victim can recover include those items that do not have a dollar figure attached to them. These are damages that recognize that human suffering is compensable, even though there is no bill attached to it. 

Non-Economic Damages

You may already know that traditional non-economic damages include things like pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, anger and anxiety, or mental anguish. They can even include the loss of or damage to personal relationships, such as the changes that a spousal relationship might undergo when one spouse suffers a serious disability due to an accident.

A major part of any injury lawsuit is proving causation. That is, showing to a jury that someone’s negligence is what actually caused the victim’s injury, and not some other force or cause. It may seem like this is an easy bar to meet, but causation is often the most difficult part of a lawsuit. In many cases, proving causation may even require in-depth medical testimony to show that injuries are the result of the accident.

Causation can be Difficult to Prove

Sometimes causation is easy to prove. Take, for example, a rear end car accident where the victim is an otherwise healthy young athlete. There is often little doubt the car that hit the victim from behind caused the accident. Because the victim is healthy, there is little doubt that whatever injuries the victim is complaining of stemmed from the accident.

The use of e-cigarettes as a replacement for real cigarettes was supposed to make smoking safer. By creating a “fake” smoking experience, e-cigarettes were supposed to wean people off of the harmful effects of nicotine, by providing a smoking experience without the actual smoke.

Using e-cigarettes—sometimes called “vaping” because of the inhalation of vapors as opposed to smoke—is causing trouble in other ways, as defective products are causing more and more injuries.

Devices are Exploding

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