09

Sep

TYPES OF PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS

If you’ve been injured, it is your right to ask for justice from those that harmed you. However, making a personal injury claim can be overwhelming, and you may be unsure of where to begin. There are many types of personal injury claims to consider.

TYPES OF PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS

There are many types of personal injury claims. The most common include:

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider fails to provide a certain standard of medical care. Likewise, medical malpractice can also occur if a healthcare provider fails to provide necessary information for you to make an informed decision about your diagnosis or treatment, resulting in an injury.

Some common types of medical malpractice personal injury claims include:

  • birth injuries
  • misdiagnoses
  • and surgical errors.

Medical malpractice cases are costly and can be challenging to successfully win at trial. It takes a law firm with medical knowledge, access to expert witnesses, the financial resources to build a compelling case, and trial experience to face a vigorous defense from insurance lawyers to obtain a fair outcome.

WRONGFUL DEATH

Whenever the death of a person is caused by “a wrongful act, neglect or default,” the personal representative for the estate of the deceased person to whom the amount recovered belongs may bring an action for wrongful death against the party responsible, as may certain surviving family members who experienced the loss and depended on that person financially.

It is important to note the difference between a survivor action and an action for wrongful death. Generally, in a survivor action, the personal representative, on behalf of the estate, can recover the pre-death conscious pain and suffering of their loved one, the pre-death medical expenses, funeral, and burial expenses and pre-death loss of earning capacity (wage loss).

A wrongful death claim is intended to compensate the survivors for their loss of society and companionship and financial losses arising out of lost wages, inheritance, and the value of household services. Wisconsin statutes strictly define who can bring these claims and what can be recovered, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney when confronted with this tragedy.

NURSING HOME ABUSE AND NEGLECT

Residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities are vulnerable to injuries caused by substandard care or neglect. These injuries can be caused by:

  • choking,
  • medical mismanagement,
  • malnourishment,
  • preventable falls, and more.
     

When a resident is injured, or their health suffers from poor care, we can help recover fair compensation and encourage proper care for all residents.

PRODUCT LIABILITY

If you have been injured by a dangerous or defective product, the product’s manufacturer or seller of the product may be held responsible for your injures. Common types of product liability include:

  • medical devices such as defective hip implants,
  • farm equipment injuries,
  • child care products,
  • pharmaceutical products,
  • car defects,
  • asbestos, and more.

ELECTRICAL FIRES AND EXPLOSIONS

Injuries caused by explosions, electrical malfunctions, and fires are often caused by negligence or carelessness. These cases require specialized analysis and a team of experienced attorneys, investigators, and expert witnesses to hold the responsible parties accountable for the often serious injuries arising out of these types of claims.

AUTO ACCIDENTS

Auto accidents injure more than 2 million people annually and claim thousands of lives every year. Some of the most common causes of auto accidents are distracted and inattentive driving, speeding, and drunk driving. Negligent drivers can seriously injure or kill pedestrians, bicyclists, other drivers, and their own passengers.

If you have been injured in an auto accident due to another driver’s negligence, he or she may be responsible for all of your damages, including past and future medical bills, past and future pain and suffering, past and future loss of earning capacity, as well as property damage.

Our team of experienced trial attorneys can handle all aspects of your automobile accident claim. We are often able to resolve your claim without a lawsuit but have the experience and resources to do what is necessary, including taking your case to trial, to get you fair compensation for your damages.

PREMISES LIABILITY

Premises liability occurs when a person is injured on someone else’s property, including a private residence or a building open to the public. For example, if a property owner fails to salt an icy driveway or parking lot, and you fall and break your leg, Wisconsin’s premises liability law says the property owner may be responsible for your injuries. Furthermore, Wisconsin’s safe place statute requires employers to provide places of employment that are safe for employees and frequenters of the premises and must adopt and use methods and processes “reasonably adequate” to render such employment and places of employment safe.

Every employer, owner of a place of employment, and owner of a public building must repair or maintain their premises as to render it safe. If you are injured and you believe a property owner is responsible, you should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer who can investigate and assess your claim.

can change quickly, and these claims can be challenging. Therefore it is important to document the location and cause of your injuries with photographs taken as quickly as possible following your injury. It is also important to make a report of the injury to the property owner and gather the names and contact information of any witnesses to your injury or the condition that caused it. Talking to an experienced attorney can help you determine your rights and the proper steps to take to protect your claim.

INJURIES CAUSED BY DOGS AND OTHER ANIMALS

Roughly five million people are injured each year in the U.S. due to injuries caused dogs and other animals. Many dog bite injuries require medical attention and/or hospitalization. The owner, the harborer, and the keeper of a dog are responsible for damages caused by dogs. In certain circumstances the owner of the dog may be responsible for twice the full damages caused. Wisconsin law requires dog owners harborers, and/or keepers to use reasonable and ordinary care to ensure the animal does not injure others. Our lawyers have successfully sought recovery for many victims of animal-caused injuries, including dogs, but also caused by cats, horses and cows, among others.

VACCINATION INJURIES

injuries from vaccines are extremely rare, occasionally children and adults can suffer from serious injury from either a reaction to a vaccine or the way the vaccination was administered (SIRVA). If you believe that you have suffered from a reaction from a vaccination, our experienced vaccine attorneys can help you determine whether you have a claim for compensation under a federal program for injured persons. You may be able to recover your out of pocket expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

In Wisconsin, generally the Statute of Limitations personal injury claims is three years. However, there are some important exceptions:

  • An action to recover damages for death caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another and arising from an accident involving a motor vehicle shall be commenced within 2 years after the cause of action accrues.
  • Claims against municipalities or the State of Wisconsin are subject to very strict notice requirements. If you are the victim of negligence and a municipality or the State of Wisconsin is responsible, specific timelines are enforced. It is imperative you consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible to protect your claim.

WHAT CAN I RECOVER?

If you have been injured, financial recovery may include:

  • Past and Future Medical Bills – The law allows you to recover the original billed amount of the medical bills, not what you or your insurance company paid. Also, you may be entitled to recover the cost of future medical treatment that your doctor recommends.
  • Past and Future Loss of Earning Capacity – This item of damages reimburses you for the lost wages you suffered or will suffer because of your injuries.
  • Pain, Suffering, Disability, and Disfigurement – This item of damages compensates you for the physical pain, humiliation, embarrassment, worry, distress, and disfigurement caused by your injuries. This includes scarring from your injury.
  • Property Damage – This item of damages reimburses you for damages to personal property, including, for example, the market value of a motor vehicle, repair costs, loss of use of a motor vehicle, and the diminished value of the motor vehicle.
  • Loss of Consortium (Spouse or Minor Child) – This is defined as the love and affection, the companionship and society, the privileges of sexual relations, the comfort, aid, advice and solace, the rendering of material services, the right of support, and any other elements that normally arise in a close, intimate, and harmonious marriage relationship. A parent can recover for the loss of love, affection, care, and protection the parent would have received from the child had the child not been injured.

For some types of claims the legislature has institute a cap on aspects of the recovery:

  • Wrongful Death Loss of Society and Companionship (Spouse or Minor Child): The legislature has limited the damages an injured person or their heirs can recover for loss of society and companionship of a loved one who is an adult to $350,000 and $500,000 for a child. This does not limit the other types of damages available resulting from the death of a loved one.
  • Medical Malpractice: In medical malpractice claims the Wisconsin legislature has instituted a cap on non-economic damages (such as for pain and suffering) of $750,000. This does not limit the economic damages, for example, for past and future medical bills and past and future loss of earning capacity.
  • Municipalities: Claims against municipal and state governments are subject to damages caps of $50,000 and $250,000. It is important to consult with an experienced attorney when you believe the State of Wisconsin or another governmental agency is responsible for your injuries because of the strict notice requirements, caps on damages, and governmental immunity.

PREPARING FOR A PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM

If you have been involved in a personal injury case, you should work to obtain as much evidence about the incident as possible. This includes:

  • Police Reports
  • Property Damage Photos
  • Property Damage Estimates
  • Medical Bills and Records
  • Witness Statements
  • Photos of Injuries
  • Photos of Location of Injury
  • Wage Loss documentation. This may require working directly with your employer to document time off due to injury as well as cooperating with a doctor to document time off.

WORKING WITH HABUSH HABUSH AND ROTTIER

injury cases are very complex. For victims and their families, it can be especially startling to deal with the calls and forms from insurance companies. These experienced adjusters can make the victim feel pressured and can occasionally provide incorrect information as well as discourage injured persons from hiring an attorney. An injured person must use caution in speaking with insurance adjusters and investigators without the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer.

out to a personal injury lawyer early in the process can put you in the best position for a fair and just recovery. Medical providers, health insurance companies, automobile insurance adjusters, and insurance agents may all give conflicting and misguided advice on how to deal with your medical bills and other items of damage. A skilled personal injury lawyer will assess your situation and put you in the best position to make a full and fair recovery.

When you work with a Habush Habush and Rottier attorney, you get a team of experts who exclusively practice personal injury on behalf of injured parties and their loved ones. While most cases can be settled without filing a lawsuit, it is sometimes necessary to file a lawsuit to make a fair recovery. To do this, you must have an experienced personal injury attorney at your side. Our attorneys fight for what’s right and will take your case to trial if necessary. If you have been involved in a personal injury case, reach out to the Habush Habush and Rottier team. We can help. Contact us today.