Thursday, 23 October 2014

Personal Injury Claims Besides Accidents

An injury caused to a person due to the negligence of another person is a personal injury. The general idea about personal injury is when a person gets injured in an accident. The accident has occurred as a result of negligence of the other driver who is involved. 

Personal Injury Claims Besides Accidents
Besides this general notion, there are other areas which enable you to claim personal injury damages. As the meaning per se, personal injury is the one that happens as a result of offender’s negligence. So, injury caused due to the defective products manufactured by a company, also falls under this parameter.

Defective Products
The products that proved to be dangerous for your personal use are defective products. If for some reason one has received physical damage due to a faulty product, he/she can claim a personal injury claim. Designers and manufacturers are liable to sell safe and comfortable to all products. In case they fail to keep this up, they are liable for paying the damages caused.

This case is different from other visible and non-visible injuries. As in the previously mentioned cases a person has to prove his damages. But in this case where damages are as a result of malfunctioning and faulty products, the claimer need not prove his injury. Rather he needs only to prove that the product is dangerous to use. The product design and manufacturing is unreasonably dangerous to use as intended.

It also can include the defective make of the product. This defective make might have triggered some problem that backfired and injured you. Another reason though is the instructions given to use the product. It is necessary for the manufacturer or the assembler to state instructions for the use of this product. At the same time, making mandatory dos and don’ts, and also provide adequate directions to use the product. When such obligations are not met with and an injury is caused, the defender or the consumer in this case can claim a personal injury claim.

Reporting the injury

  • The defender should keep the evidence, in the first case.
  • Secondly, keep the product in the same state as it was when injury occurred.
  •  Make note of the name of the manufacturer, model, serial number, and user manual.
  •  Keep the receipt which show when and where from the product was brought.
  • If possible, take pictures of the site of accident.
  •  Have accurate addresses and phone numbers of the doctors treating the injured.

This information should be passed on when the claim is made.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Alternative Claim Procedures

Accidents occur due to one’s negligence or the fault of the other person involved in it. In either case, there may be injuries caused. Injuries that are visible and those that cannot be seen.  But these invisible ones actually cause severe pain and discomfort for the person injured. These include strains and stress of the muscles. It also may be a ligament tear or a blood clot. All the mentioned injuries cannot be seen and thus it becomes difficult for the injured to claim insurance.

Alternative Claim Procedures
On the other hand, the insurance company may try to underplay this so as to settle for less. In this case, the question arises about how a claim can be made.  You can file a suit against the offender in the court. This may take a long time to settle keeping in mind that the intensity of the injury cannot be perceived by the judge. Arbitration is the best alternative.

Arbitration is an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). In this type of settlement, the settlement is done out of the court proceedings and traditional lawsuits. If both parties agree for quicker and less messy proceedings, they can go for arbitration system of settlement. 

How does it work?
When the claim is relatively less, (in some places it is less than $50,000) these matters can be subjected to mandatory court-annexed arbitration. The court appoints an arbitrator whose decision will be final. This procedure is inexpensive and relatively informal. A certain amount is fixed by the arbitrator and becomes final. But if one of the parties is dissatisfied, the trial court will hold a trial de novo.  Trial de novo means these appeals are not appeals at all, but mere “do overs” for someone who is unhappy with the result.

When can one adopt Arbitration?
Insurance companies have institutionalized policy of appealing these awards. This is because they need to pay less to the defender. Thus the amount that one may get from arbitration system may be accepted. Another major concern is regarding the jury. The jury has to take painful attempts to understand the injuries they cannot see. These include strained necks and backs. Many times these are the cases that go for smaller claims. So the jury’s work becomes tedious and time consuming and thus may discourage one from going into regular law suits. 

This choice of settlement can be adopted for speedier and less tedious settlement.

Compulsory Arbitration System in Personal Injury
Injuries sustained during an accident may be external or internal. External injury such as a broken leg or arm, or any bleeding involved is quite visible. But it is not that a person will sustain only a visible injury. Many a time a person may sustain a strain in the neck or back, a pull in the muscle or so which is quite invisible. This does not mean that this injury should not be counted as a personal injury. Though externally invisible these injuries are also eligible for claims.

The person injured often feel discouraged to impress the insurance company as this may be a petty claim. Or on the other hand may file a suit against the other offender for a claim. The insurance company may want to settle this for less. When a law suit is filed, again the jury fails to understand the extent of damage. This makes the jury’s work quite tedious and time consuming. 

Arbitration system can be the best alternative for such claims as this requires less time. When the two parties agree upon an arbitrator, the court appoints an arbitrator to settle the matter. The arbitrator looks into the matter and decides upon a particular settlement. It is not necessary that the parties have to agree to it. If any of the party is dissatisfied they can appeal in the court again. But it is rare that it needs a review. 

What is Arbitration system?
Arbitration system is a type of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). It is a way to settle matters outside the traditional lawsuits and court room.

  •  It is inexpensive and faster.
  • One time hearing and decision taken. Doesn’t require trials again and again.
  • The amount of settlement is within a pre-fixed range that the insurance company can pay.
  • The insurance company also is compelled to pay some amount to the injured which otherwise may be high or low according to the insurance company.
  • It will be beneficial as the arbitrator knows the law and the value of the case.
  •  It also allows the parties involved to settle for this high or low amount.
  •  Arbitrations are held outside courtrooms in private offices or conference rooms.
  •  It is relaxed and comfortable.