Should You Hire An Attorney If Everyone Agrees The Defendant Was Negligent?


Sometimes, the average individual can look at a situation and just automatically realize, "That's an accident waiting to happen." When that accident does eventually happen, it isn't unusual for a lawsuit to result -- and the plaintiff can often easily win simply because it is fairly clear to everybody involved that there was negligence involved.

If it's so easy to tell that there's negligence involved, why does anyone need to file a lawsuit at all? This is what you should know.

Look at an example where the negligence was pretty obvious.

A good example of a case where somebody should have thought a little harder about what they were doing before they did it involves a school district in Utah. One of the teachers at the Centennial Junior High decided to give students, mostly aged 12-13, a "sobriety demonstration" that was designed to illustrate the effects of drinking on one's judgment, motor control, balance, and vision.

He had his students put on goggles that purposefully impaired their vision and perception in order to simulate drunkenness. Then he encouraged his students to play tag, wearing the goggles, while indoors, surrounded by desks and chairs and other objects that they could trip over and fall into.

Not surprisingly, one of his students did trip over something -- and she sustained major injuries to several bones, including the growth plate in her left ankle. The 13-year-old budding athlete has now had 2 surgeries on her leg, leaving her with one leg that's slightly shorter than the other and chronic pain and swelling with activity.

The school quickly admitted that the teacher was negligent -- saying he breached his duty of care to his students by encouraging the game of tag. As such, the school quickly paid $10,074.84 toward the student's medical bills. As a general rule, employers are liable for the negligent actions of their employees, which is why the school is also named as a defendant.

Understand why the court case and an attorney still have an important role.

If everyone agrees that the defendant was negligent, why get an attorney involved and pay his or her fee? Even though most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, that still means handing 1/3 of any award over to the attorney -- so it might seem like a good idea to go it alone.

The problem with that plan is that most personal injury claims end up settling out of court after a good deal of negotiation. What has to be decided is how much the injury is worth, including how likely there may be future medical expenses involved. Insurance companies that represent the defendants aren't going to eagerly hand over the maximum amount without some proof that you deserve it. Your attorney can help you get your medical records together, employ an expert witness, and use other experts to help place a value on future expenses. Plus, he or she knows how to make the case for pain and suffering, which is usually a significant part of the damages that are awarded. In cases involving minors, your attorney may also know how to explore options like a trust account, which will benefit the child by allowing the money to be invested where it will grow. A sharp attorney knows where to start negotiations and how much room to leave for discussion.

In addition, in cases where there are multiple defendants -- like the Utah one, where both the teacher and the school district could be liable -- your attorney may need to present the court evidence that will compel the defendant with deeper pockets to pay, especially if the other defendant is currently unable to be located or unemployed. For example, the Utah school district eventually agreed to settle for $100,000. Of that amount, $61,247 will go into a trust for the teen, while the remainder goes toward medical bills and attorney fees. The teacher isn't paying anything because he hasn't responded to the lawsuit or located.

For more information on how an attorney can help in your case, no matter how straightforward it may seem, make an appointment for a consultation today. Contact a business such as Law Office Of Andrew J Leger Jr if you suspect that you should file a personal injury lawsuit. 


26 April 2017

Talking About Car Accident Cases

Hello everyone, my name is Nina Zoulon. On this site, I am going to share information about hiring a personal injury attorney. I will also talk about my journey to procuring those services for myself. When I was a beginning driver, I was on the road constantly. During one of those excursions, a driver going the opposite direction crossed the centerline and plowed straight into my vehicle. I was trapped by the dashboard for hours while firefighters helped me escape. After the accident, the other driver tried to blame my inexperience on the accident. I hired a lawyer to help me fight the case and I won. I would like to discuss personal injury attorney services in more detail to help other people win their cases in court. Thanks.