Typically, there is a pre-lawsuit phase of the personal injury claims process, where the injured individual is trying to get well, and to get back on his or her feet. This period can be difficult both for the individual and his family: finding and paying for medical care, securing replacement income, protecting one’s job, resolving a claim for damage to one’s vehicle, and other matters. A good attorney should be able to assist in this difficult transition period.
https://wittlegal.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/clean-well_2521192.jpg417626Matthew Wittemanhttps://wittlegal.net/wp-content/uploads/Logo-Final-Outlined-Fonts.pngMatthew Witteman2016-03-14 18:26:522016-03-14 19:02:12Pre-Lawsuit Phase of Personal Injury Claims
Longshoremen and other harbor workers receive worker’s compensation benefits for their workplace injuries under the Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Act. People who work for military contractors here and abroad can press claims for workplace injuries under the same law and principles, as is provided for by the Non-Appropriated Funds Instrumentality Act and the Defense Base Act, two more federal statutes. Similarly, people who are injured on offshore oil platforms can raise claims under the Outer Continental Shelves Lands Act that again incorporates the provisions of the Longshore Act. These Acts provide coverage that is generally more favorable to workers than their state-side counterparts. Persons receive temporary disability, permanent disability often at a rate of 66 and 2/3 percent of a person’s average weekly wage, medical benefits, and rehabilitation services. A competent attorney should be consulted to determine whether these Acts provide coverage, or what other laws might do so.
Some entity or person other than a worker’s employer is sometimes the cause of a worker’s “on-job” injury. The existence of such a third-party wrong-doer, or “tort-feasor” can dramatically increase the value and recovery of a worker for his or her work-place injuries. Instead of being limited to disability awards representing a fraction of the value of actual lost wages, an injured worker may recover full value for his or her wage loss. Such an injured worker may also recover “pain and suffering” or general damages, or even punitive damages, when neither type of recovery is available in a worker’s compensation case. Such recoveries that “make whole” an injured person are a hallmark of the law of negligence in California, or “tort law.” An attorney experienced in both third-party claims and worker’s compensation should be consulted to maximize an injured person’s recovery.
Persons suffering catastrophic personal injury, as well as their families and representatives, need immediate, substantial, and expert assistance in handling the consequences of such injury to preserve claims and minimize trauma and disruption to the lives of both the injured person and his or her loved ones. Such immediate and pressing needs include finding medical care, figuring out how to pay for it, handling the disposition of a damaged vehicle, obtaining leave from a job, protecting their income, taking care of children and other family matters, and preserving evidence. A good attorney can and should provide or suggest solutions to many or all of such problems.
Access to one’s attorney is critically important, and the difference between success and failure in bringing a claim for personal injury or other wrongdoing. All too often, potential clients select attorneys based on their self-reported reputation and success, and are disappointed to discover their attorneys do not have time for them or their case, that the client interacts with associates or paralegals, and that they clients are not understood and their cases not developed. Potential clients should make sure when they are considering attorneys for their cases that they will have regular and direct access to their attorneys.
https://wittlegal.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/gavel.jpg360460Matthew Wittemanhttps://wittlegal.net/wp-content/uploads/Logo-Final-Outlined-Fonts.pngMatthew Witteman2016-03-14 18:20:512016-03-14 19:01:39Importance of Access to Your Attorney
An injured person might ask himself or herself whether an attorney is really needed to handle a claim asserting personal injury or some other wrongful act. The short answer to this question is that the person that caused injury or loss will have an attorney, including the seemingly nice insurance adjuster that wants you to take $1500 to walk away from a claim worth 50 times that amount. The longer answer is there are many facets of claims for personal injury and other wrongful acts, together with the claims process that they require, which are not self-evident and that a good attorney will help you understand and navigate to your benefit. Persons, corporations, or governments acting wrongfully and causing injury or loss will have their own attorneys to defeat legitimate claims, and a person who has suffered injury or other loss need an attorney simply to level the playing field.