With a new lawsuit being filed every two seconds, it’s little wonder that the United States has a reputation for being one of the most litigious societies in the world. That said, there are many situations in which making a claim is by far the most efficient way to obtain compensation for losses and suffering.
This is especially true in the world of personal injuries. While it is relatively easy to calculate the value of the loss involved in the theft of a car or when an item of property is damaged, the calculation is far less straightforward when that damage is to a person’s body. For this reason, it often falls to legal experts to determine whether a person should receive compensation and how much. Read on to find out more about the most common personal injury claims.
In 2015, 93 American workers were killed on the job each week, a total of 4,836 during the course of the year. The average cost of the medical and legal fees associated with a workplace injury is around $38,000. Other costs associated with the injuries can push this total up by a factor of up to 20. With around 3.2 employees out of every 100 hundred suffering from an injury, a business will face an average cost of injury per 100 employees of $121,600.
For a business with a relatively healthy profit margin on 10 per cent, the company would have to earn $1.2 million dollars to be able to cover the average cost of employee injuries. For this reason, all companies should place a high priority on ensuring their employees are safe and when they fail to do so, they should be held responsible so that similar situations cannot happen in the future.
Accidents can happen in any environment but the chances of being seriously injured at work increase significantly if you have a blue-collar job, especially in the construction industry. However, the fact that you might work in an office environment doesn’t offer you total protection. Injuries involving repetitive strain can afflict those involved in typing or other repetitive work. Poorly designed chairs or desks can lead to or aggravate neck and back injuries.
Many workers do not pursue claims for work-related injuries as they worry they may be dismissed, so it’s likely the figures are far higher than the official statistics show. Although such fears are understandable, it’s important to seek legal advice and take out claims where there is clear evidence of negligence or blame in order to prevent your own suffering as well as that of others.
Slip and fall accidents
Falls account for around 8 million visits to hospital emergency rooms each year and are the leading call of such visits. Of this total, around 1 million are classed as slip and fall accidents. The main reason the numbers are so high is that such accidents can occur just about anywhere, from the office or at home to the supermarket or the cinema.
The older you are, the more damaging a slip and fall accident can be. Around five per cent of victims end up with fractures but the consequences can be far more serious. Around 15 per cent of all accidental deaths are the result of trips, slips and falls, meaning they are second only to motor vehicle accidents as a cause of fatalities.
When it comes to providing liability in a slip and fall claim, you need to be able to show that the owner of the premises was negligent in failing to remedy a dangerous situation, such as cleaning a floor and leaving it slippery without putting a sign to warn customers. Such facts have sometimes been difficult to establish but half the floors tested in a recent research study were found to produce a lower level of friction than the minimum mandated by the American National Standards Institute, suggesting that many businesses may be wholly responsible for such accidents.
Road traffic accidents
There are, on average, some six million car accidents each year in the U.S. In addition to leaving many drivers seriously injured, such accidents can also impact on the lives of cyclists and pedestrians. Although the development of self-driving vehicles is expected to reduce the number of such incidents, their widespread adoption is still many years away and lawmakers have yet to decide who would be liable in the aftermath of an accident involving such a device.
With regular vehicles, the steps that need to be taken following the vast majority of auto accidents are relatively clear: you trade contact and policy information with the other driving and begin the process of filing claims. However, the picture changes dramatically if the accident involves a driver who is employed by a government body as, in many cases, the government has legal immunity which in turn means the individual responsible for the accident cannot be pursued for recourse.
If you find yourself the injured as the result of accident which was not your fault and the other driver was a government employee, such as an FBI agent or a postal worker, you will have to go about things in a very different way. The question most people in this situation want to answer is, even if you secure the services of an experienced auto accident law firm such as Craig Swapp & Associates can you sue the government for damages as a result of the injuries you suffered?
The answer is usually yes, but the flipside is that the lawsuit you have to undertake is far trickier and will take far longer than one involving a private citizen. Such actions must be made under the Federal Tort Claims Act which exists to permit lawsuits against federal employees acting within the scope of their employment.
You’ll need to be able to prove that the government employee driving the vehicle was behaving in a negligent manner and you have a strict two-year statute of limitations. If you find yourself in such a situation, find an attorney and begin the process of filing a claim as quickly as possible.