Being injured in a construction accident while on the job is a stressful situation already. But when the case cannot be settled through Workers’ Compensation or some other administrative avenue, then litigation may be required. Litigation can be complicated for many reasons. If you have been injured in a construction accident, you need a construction accident lawyer to help you navigate through litigation. That way you know your legal rights will be protected.
Your construction accident lawyer can help you determine fault
In most cases, determining who is at fault is the most important aspect of a personal injury lawsuit. Fault or legal liability is usually the most complicated issue and the most highly debated. Nevertheless, this aspect of litigation is most important because you need to know who to sue in order to recover fully for your losses. If you are not successful in determining every party that may be at fault, someone could escape liability. In most cases, each party will be responsible for the amount of damages attributed to that party’s actions or omissions.
How your construction accident lawyer will prove fault
Proving fault in the legal context requires obtaining relevant evidence and presenting it to the court. Evidence in a construction accident case usually includes photos of the injuries and the scene of the accident or the workplace, eyewitness testimony, and medical records. In a construction accident, evidence could also include information regarding the tools or equipment being used at the time of the accident.
Considering additional claims of product liability
Another legal avenue to be considered in litigating a construction accident claim is whether or not there may be a product liability claim, as well. For example, if you were injured as a result of a defective hand tool or piece of equipment, then that may be the basis for a product liability claim against the manufacturer of that tool or equipment.
Construction accident claims and Workers’ Comp
Some people who are injured on the job are uncertain about speaking to a lawyer about their construction accident injuries. In many cases, people believe their chances of recovery will be insignificant or the compensation they will be able to receive will be nominal. Speaking with a construction accident lawyer, who is particularly familiar with the workers’ compensation system, can ease your worries.
Settling a Personal Injury Case
Clients often ask if their case will settle, or will they have to go to trial. The answer to that question is never simple or predictable. Not all cases can settle. It depends on so many factors. On the other hand, it is possible for a case to settle at any point during the litigation process. The type of case that is involved can have an impact on the possibility of settlement. Some cases are often more difficult to settle than others. When and how you approach settlement can make a difference.
What does it mean to “settle” a case?
Settlement is when the parties of a lawsuit come to an agreement to resolve their disputes and dismiss their claims against one another. Generally, settlement involves the defendant, or the defendant’s insurance company, paying the plaintiff money in exchange for the plaintiff releasing the defendant from all liability regarding that matter. Cases can be settled virtually at any point. This includes even before actual litigation begins, with the filing of the lawsuit.
Early settlement before filing a lawsuit
In some situations, the changes of settling before even filing the complaint can be good. Attorneys have the same incentive to settle early as the parties do, in many cases. Also, there are some types of cases that are better suited to settle early. Cases where the injuries are resolved quickly or, if there is a permanent injury, it reaches that point sooner, rather than later, are good candidates for early settlement. Auto accident cases (non-catastrophic) and slip and fall cases are often settled early.
Advantages of settling before the lawsuit is filed
There are many advantages of settling early. First, the cost of litigation can be avoided, which can be a great advantage to both parties. Also, the earlier the case is settled, the less time there is for any weaknesses in your case will be discovered and considered by the other side. Logically, the stronger your case appears, the more likely the defendant will feel the need to settle. If the defendant has the chance to find flaws in your case, the desire to settle may fade. Once the discovery phase of litigation gets underway, the chances of settlement change based on the strength of each party’s case.
If you have questions regarding construction accidents or any other personal injury concerns in Arkansas or Missouri, please contact the Cottrell Law Office for a consultation, either online or by calling us as (888) 433-4861.
He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.
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