Q: How do I know if I have a personal injury case?
A: First, you must have suffered an injury to your person or property. Second, you should consider whether your injury was someone else’s fault. It is not always necessary to have a physical injury to bring a personal injury lawsuit. Some personal injury claims could be based on a variety of nonphysical losses and harms. In the case of an assault, for example, you do not need to show that a person’s action caused you actual physical harm, but only that you expected some harm to come to you. You also may have a case if someone has attacked your reputation, invaded your privacy, or inflicted emotional distress upon you.
Q: How soon after I am injured do I have to file a lawsuit?
A: Every state has certain time limits, called “statutes of limitations,” which govern the amount of time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit. In some states, you may have as little as one year to file a lawsuit arising out of an automobile accident. If you miss the deadline for filing your case, you may lose your legal right to damages for your injury. Consequently, it is important to talk with a lawyer as soon as you suffer or discover an injury.
Every year, more than 90,000 people die in the United States as a result of unintentional injuries. If you have been recently injured or diagnosed with an illness, contact our office to see if you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
M. Blake Heath, Trial Attorney LLC – Effective and Experienced Kansas City Personal Injury Attorneys
At M. Blake Heath, Trial Attorney LLC, we are a small personal injury firm that is dedicated to helping the accident victims get the maximum award possible. As a small firm, we can offer our clients a level of responsiveness and personal service that is not available at much larger firms. At the same time, we have extensive resources to properly handle even the most complex cases. We are able to diligently investigate all avenues and potentially liable parties. It is a strategy that has paid off, both in terms of our track record of awards and settlements, and in the recognition of our peers in the form of awards, professional offices, and referrals. Our personal injury cases generally fall into one of the following categories:
Personal Injury – An Overview
Personal injury lawsuits are filed by people (or their representatives) injured due to the negligence of someone else. The injury may be either physical or emotional, and it can arise from a variety of sources or types of conduct. Some of the most common types of personal injury cases include slip and fall, automobile accidents, assaults and battery, medical malpractice, and product liability. In general, the goal of a personal injury action is to determine who was responsible and to compel the responsible party to compensate the injured person for the losses sustained. If you or someone you know has been injured by the careless actions of another, contact a personal injury attorney at our firm to find out how we can help you preserve your rights.
Personal Injuries from Dangerous or Defective Products
When someone is injured while using a product that was manufactured or marketed in a defective or dangerous way, he or she may be able to recover the resulting damages from the responsible party in a products- liability-based personal injury suit. Products liability law is based on the responsibility of a manufacturer or other provider of goods to compensate users of the goods for injuries caused by defective or dangerous products that it placed into the stream of commerce. The basic idea underlying products liability law is that the companies providing the products are usually in the best position to prevent defective products from entering the marketplace, so if they fail to do so, they should be held accountable. An experienced and knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can advise injured persons on whether they may have a claim against a product manufacturer or seller and can help them recover the damages to which they are legally entitled.
Reasons to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
When you’re injured, you need all the help you can get, and you need it as soon as possible. Unfortunately, that means that some injury victims pick the first attorney they find rather than making an informed choice. Before you hire a personal injury attorney, it’s important to educate yourself and find the right fit for you and your case. The following list can help you find an attorney who is right for your case.
Personal Injuries from Animal Bites or Attacks
Although animal-attack claims most commonly involve dog bites, many other types of domesticated animals, such as ferrets, cats, and even birds, can also bite humans. Even non domesticated animals, such as large cats ordinarily found in the wild, but owned by some people as pets have been known to attack children and adults. An owner’s liability for injuries caused by his or her pet, if any, will vary greatly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. A lawyer from our firm who is experienced in handling personal injury claims is an excellent source for accurate advice and information if you have been injured in animal attack.
Slips, Falls, and Other Premises Liability Claims
Premises liability law involves the legal responsibilities of property owners and occupiers to prevent injuries to persons on their property. One of the most common causes of such injuries is a trip or slip and fall, such as on an icy sidewalk, a loose or uneven stair tread, or a piece of debris or spilled liquid on the floor. Property owner liability varies depending on the rules and principles adopted in the jurisdiction where the injury occurred. An experienced personal injury lawyer at our firm can evaluate the strength of your premises liability claim and help you recover damages for lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering.
When Personal Injuries Result in Death: Wrongful Death Cases
In general, a wrongful death claim is one in which it is alleged that a person died as a result of another’s negligence. The deceased person’s surviving relatives, dependents, or beneficiaries may bring suit against the responsible party or parties, seeking monetary damages for their losses. Each state has its own wrongful death law and not every state follows the same guidelines, principles, or rules. A personal injury attorney at our firm can advise you on whether you have a valid wrongful death claim and can help you pursue that claim against the responsible party or parties.
Selecting a Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve suffered an injury through the fault of another, you may be out of work, overwhelmed with piles of medical bills, or in constant pain and agony. Under any of these circumstances, researching, locating, and retaining a lawyer to handle your personal injury claim can seem like yet another insurmountable obstacle. There are, however, some guidelines that can help you to select a personal injury lawyer to handle your case. With a personal injury lawyer from our firm on your side, you can breathe a sigh of relief and focus on your recovery while we carry at least part of your burden.
Personal Injury, General Resource Links
Practical Law: Personal Injury Claims
This Web site, made available to the public by the ABA Division For Public Education contains useful information about personal injury claims.US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
The CPSC is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of property damage, serious personal injury, or death from consumer products such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard or can injure children. The CPSC’s Web site includes recalls and product safety news, information on reporting an unsafe product, and more.
National Safety Council (NSC) fact sheets are resource guides that provide statistics, tips, and suggestions to make life safer. This Web site contains over 80 topics in four categories: agricultural safety, healthy living, environment safety, and road safety.
This Web site, maintained by the Legal Information Institute (LII) at Cornell University Law School, provides general information about tort law, including discussion of intentional torts, negligent torts, and strict liability torts.
This Web site contains an article from the Insurance Information Institute (III) about dog bite liability. The article discusses dog owners’ liability, recent developments in state legislation, important court decisions, and other related issues.
Additional FAQ Articles:
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- What is a Class Action Lawsuit?
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- How do Insurers Determine What a Car is Worth?
- How do I Know if I Have a Personal Injury Case?
- Who is Responsible for Birth Injuries?
- What Type of Claim May I Have for an Animal Bite Injury?
- My Elderly Relative was Injured While Residing in a Nursing Home, What Can I Do?
If you or a loved one has been injured by another person's negligence, contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at M. Blake Heath, Trial Attorney LLC at (816) 931-0048 for a free case evaluation.
At M. Blake Heath, Trial Attorney LLC, we represent the victims of personal injury in the Kansas City, Missouri metro area, and the counties of Jackson, Clay, Platte, Cass, Buchanan, and Johnson - including the cities of Independence, Lees Summit, Gladstone, Raytown, Blue Springs, Liberty, Grandview, St. Joseph, Platte City, Warrensburg