What Has to Be Proven in a Wrongful Death Case?

Losing a loved one through an accident that wasn’t their fault — like a car crash, fatal workplace injury, or exposure to a hazardous chemical — is one of the worst things that can happen to a family.

Many families experience the trauma of losing their loved ones and are angry at the party that caused the accident. Financial worries are another concern. While no amount of money can make up for the loss of a loved one, a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles can help families with a wrongful death settlement to ease their financial plight.

However, proving a wrongful death claim can be complicated. Generally, a wrongful death claim requires the same burden of proof as a personal injury case and the same legal elements as well.

What Is a Wrongful Death?

Not every death — even one caused by accident — is considered to be a wrongful death under the law. A wrongful death lawsuit is filed by the decedent’s heirs which are generally family members. It can also be filed by a personal representative of the deceased person’s estate. Not all family members qualify to bring a wrongful death case, and such cases must meet specific criteria to be valid.

Main Components of Wrongful Death Cases

Your personal injury attorney in Los Angeles will need to prove four things:

  1. Legal Duty
  2. Negligence
  3. Causation
  4. Damages

We’ll explore each element a little closer.

Legal Duty

Duty of care is a legal responsibility that people have toward each other.  For example, a doctor or nurse owes a duty of care to their patients. A manufacturer of consumer products has a duty toward customers to create safe products. A driver has a legal duty of safety to others on the road. Before showing that the defendant caused a wrongful death you must first show the defendant had a legal duty of care to the decedent. This finding is essential for a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles to proceed with a wrongful death case.

Negligence

Negligence is a fancy word that basically means someone did something wrong or acted unreasonably. This wrongful or unreasonable conduct is negligence. When a wrongful death lawsuit is brought your lawyer must show that the defendant was negligent. They must prove that the defendant acted unreasonably and thus breached their legal duty of care to the decedent. All types of conduct can be considered negligent. Violating traffic laws like running a red light would certainly be considered negligent conduct. Allowing a dangerous condition on a property can be considered negligent. Other types of negligence may include sloppy oversight on the part of a consumer product manufacturer, disregarding workplace or OSHA safety standards, or distracted driving that causes a vehicle collision. Negligence can also include the failure to act, known as an omission.

Causation

The personal injury attorney has to prove that the defendant’s negligence caused the death of their loved one. They’ll gather evidence, including witness statements, CCTV footage, or details about company procedures that focus on safety. A defendant may still be responsible for the wrongful death of a loved one even if they were not the sole cause of the death. There may be a number of factors that lead to a loved one’s death. The defendant’s conduct or omission only needs to be more than a trivial factor in the death for a valid wrongful death claim.

Damages

Damages are the money owed to compensate the family in a wrongful death case. These are both economic (quantifiable) and non-economic (impact on the survivors’ lives). Common damages in a wrongful death case include:

  • Medical expenses, including hospitalization before the individual died
  • Burial and funeral costs
  • Loss of income and potential earnings
  • Pain and suffering of the victim before death and the family after the death
  • Loss of love, compassion, society, and affection

Although some of these costs can be quantified, others are harder to put a dollar figure on, which is why families benefit from an experienced wrongful death lawyer.

Common Wrongful Death Causes

Many causes of wrongful death are the same as those classified by personal injury. Each type of wrongful death requires the same four elements to be proven.

The most common causes of wrongful death are:

  • Medical malpractice and birth injuries
  • Vehicle accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Occupational exposure or hazards
  • Product defects
  • Abuse or neglect in a nursing home or other care facility
  • Premises liability accidents
  • Construction accidents

Although each type of accident has the four elements that determine liability on the part of the defendant, establishing the elements is different for each type of accident.

However, since it’s a civil matter, the burden of proof in a wrongful death case is lower than in a criminal case. While the defendant may face criminal charges — such as the penalty for DUI in a car crash — wrongful death cases are to compensate victims, not punish the guilty party.

Who Is Able to File a Wrongful Death Case?

In California, the only parties that can file a wrongful death suit are the deceased’s:

  • Spouse or domestic partner
  • Children, both biological and adopted
  • Parents
  • Siblings in the absence of any of the above

Technically speaking, the only person who files the wrongful death suit is the deceased’s heirs at law. A decedent’s estate can also file a wrongful death claim through a personal representative of the estate.

Compensation in wrongful death cases can and should be significant. The loss of love and affection from a father, mother, or child is significant. Wrongful death cases often result in large settlements and jury verdicts.

Understanding the Houston, Texas Personal Injury Claim Process

If you have suffered an injury in an accident in Houston, Texas that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may have a valid personal injury claim. Pursuing compensation through the personal injury claim process can help you cover medical expenses, lost income, and other damages. Here is what you need to know about how the personal injury claim process works in Houston.

Determining If You Have a Valid Claim

The first step is to determine if you have grounds to file a personal injury claim. Generally, you must prove:

  • The other party owed you a duty of care that they breached through negligent actions or inaction
  • You suffered damages or losses as a direct result of their breach
  • Your actions did not contribute to the accident

Common scenarios that can lead to valid personal injury claims in Houston include:

  • Car accidents – If another driver caused an accident through actions like speeding, running a red light, or distracted driving, you may have a claim against them for your injuries and vehicle damage.
  • Slip and fall accidents – Property owners are responsible for maintaining reasonably safe premises. If you slipped on a wet floor or tripped over an obstruction, the property owner may be liable.
  • Medical malpractice – Doctors, nurses, hospitals, and other healthcare providers must meet professional standards of medical care. If negligence during diagnosis or treatment causes injury, you may have a malpractice claim.
  • Dangerous or defective products – Manufacturers and distributors are liable if a defective product injures someone through no fault of their own.
  • Dog bites – In Texas, dog owners are strictly liable for bites, meaning negligence does not have to be proven.

If any accident and injury was caused by someone else acting carelessly or negligently, it is a good idea to consult with a Houston personal injury attorney to fully evaluate your potential claim. An attorney can examine the facts and evidence and provide guidance on your legal options.

Collecting Evidence and Documenting Your Injuries

Strong evidence is crucial for proving liability and damages in a personal injury claim. It is important to gather as much documentation as possible, including:

  • Police reports from any officers who responded to the accident scene
  • Photographs and video documenting the accident scene, property conditions, vehicles, injuries, etc.
  • Medical records related to diagnosis, treatment, prescriptions, procedures, etc.
  • Receipts for medical expenses, hospital bills, prescriptions, medical equipment
  • Records of missed work and pay due to the accident and injuries
  • Receipts for property repairs or replacement

Thoroughly documenting your injuries and treatment is also important. Keep detailed records of:

  • All doctor and specialist visits, dates and notes
  • Diagnostic test results, like x-rays or MRI scans
  • Emergency room treatment
  • Hospitalization including surgeries
  • Medications prescribed
  • Physical therapy sessions
  • Assistive devices like crutches, wheelchairs, braces
  • Any nursing or in-home care required

Detailed injury and treatment records help substantiate the economic and non-economic damages resulting from the accident. This provides strong evidence of the compensation you deserve.

Attempting Settlement Negotiations

Many personal injury claims settle out of court through direct negotiations between attorneys. Once your Houston, Texas personal injury lawyers have gathered evidence to prove liability and damages, they will contact the at-fault party’s insurer and present a demand letter.

This letter outlines the facts of the accident, your injuries and losses, applicable laws, and a monetary demand amount to compensate you. This starts a back-and-forth negotiation process as both sides communicate to reach a settlement agreement and avoid a trial.

The insurer will likely make a low initial counteroffer. Your attorney may then go back and forth negotiating and providing additional evidence until a satisfactory settlement amount is reached. However, if it becomes clear that taking the claim to court will be necessary, your attorney will begin preparing for litigation. Settlement negotiations can take weeks or months depending on the complexity of the case.

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If initial settlement negotiations fail, the next step is your Houston, Texas injury lawyers filing a personal injury lawsuit in Houston civil court on your behalf. This formal legal complaint names the defendant(s) and specifies the legal and factual basis of your claim, such as:

  • The defendant’s negligent actions (like texting while driving)
  • How those actions breached their duty of care to you
  • How you were injured as a direct result

Defendants then have a period of time, such as 30 days, to respond to the complaint with their side of the story and any counterarguments. The discovery process also begins, where your attorney and the defendant’s attorney investigate evidence related to the case. This can include:

  • Interviewing witnesses
  • Taking depositions under oath
  • Issuing subpoenas for documents
  • Exchanging relevant documents and information

Both parties work during the discovery phase to establish their positions, build their arguments, and prepare for trial. As evidence is gathered, negotiations may restart and a settlement could still be reached before going to trial. But if not, both sides proceed to a civil trial.

The Personal Injury Trial Process

During the civil trial, both sides present arguments and evidence before a judge or jury. Key stages can include:

  • Opening statements explaining each side’s position
  • Questioning and cross-examination of witnesses
  • Presentation of evidence like medical records, photographs, videos, etc.
  • Expert testimony from doctors, accident reconstructionists, etc.
  • Closing arguments tying the evidence back to the law

The judge or jury will then decide if the plaintiff proved their case and legal right to damages by a “preponderance of the evidence.” If so, the jury will determine the compensation amount. It is critical to have experienced car accident lawyers Houston, Texas to effectively argue your case at trial.

Receiving Compensation After a Settlement or Trial

If you agree to a settlement or receive a favorable trial verdict, the final step is getting compensated for your damages. Payment typically happens within 30 days of the settled agreement or court judgment.

In addition to economic damages like medical expenses and lost income, you may receive compensation for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and other non-economic losses. An experienced personal injury attorney can help maximize your compensation.

How the Personal Injury Claim Process Works in Houston, Texas

Successfully navigating the personal injury claim process requires strategic legal guidance. An attorney can handle negotiations, litigation, evidence gathering, and documentation to help obtain full and fair compensation for your injuries.

Contact the experienced Houston personal injury lawyers at Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys for a free consultation if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by negligence. We can evaluate your case, determine the liable parties, and outline your legal options for recovering damages. Call us today to get started and let us help fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.

10 Key Questions to Ask When Hiring an Injury Lawyer in Las Vegas

Hiring the right injury lawyer can make all the difference in your personal injury case. Choosing the wrong attorney can end up costing you a lot of time, money, and effort. That’s why it’s crucial to ask the right questions during your initial consultation to ensure the lawyer is the best fit for your needs. Here are 10 FAQs to ask when hiring an injury lawyer in Las Vegas:

1. Do you have experience with injury cases of this kind?

The first thing you will need to ask about is the lawyer’s experience specifically handling cases that are similar to yours. Personal injury law encompasses many types of accidents and injuries, so you want to find someone with focused expertise in your particular situation. For instance, if you were in a car accident, you don’t want a lawyer whose primary experience is with medical malpractice claims. Ask how many cases similar to yours the attorney has handled, their success rate, and if they can provide references from past clients with comparable injuries and claims. This will inform you about their level of knowledge and skills with your specific legal needs.

2. What is your overall success rate with injury cases?

While their experience with your type of case is crucial, you also want to get a sense of the lawyer’s general success record. High settlement rates and frequent favorable verdicts indicate the attorney knows how to build strong cases and achieve maximum compensation. Ask about their percentage of wins at trial versus settlements, average settlement figures, and examples of large jury verdicts in recent cases. If their success rate is low, it may be best to keep looking.

3. Who exactly will be handling my case?

Find out exactly which attorneys and legal staff will be working on your case. Will a senior partner lead while junior associates do most of the legwork? Or will the lead attorney be handling your case directly from start to finish? Request to meet everyone who will be involved so you can get a sense of their experience, skills, and responsiveness. Beware of law firms that constantly shuffle your case between different people or hand it off to less experienced attorneys. Continuity of representation is crucial.

4. How quickly do you start working on injury cases?

Timing is critical following an accident, so it’s important to understand the lawyer’s workflow and process. The best personal injury firms begin investigating and gathering evidence immediately so that details aren’t forgotten and valuable legal opportunities are not missed. Ask when they typically get started on a new case, how quickly they contact insurance companies, and if they can provide any guarantees around starting the claims process right away. Beware of firms that take weeks to assign your case—the longer they wait, the weaker your claim.

5. What is the legal fee structure?

Be upfront about how the attorney charges for their services. Most personal injury attorneys Las Vegas work on contingency, taking a percentage of your final settlement or award. Others may charge hourly fees. Ask if there are any upfront costs or hidden fees to be aware of. Reputable accident lawyers will clearly explain their fee structure so you aren’t surprised by costs down the road. Get their contingency percentage in writing.

6. What are your opinions on settling vs. going to court?

Understanding the lawyer’s philosophy on reaching settlements versus taking cases to trial is key. Some attorneys push for early settlements well below what you may deserve while others refuse reasonable offers in hopes of bigger payouts through lengthy litigation and courtroom battles. You want someone who aims for fair settlements but isn’t afraid to fight for maximum compensation if needed. Ask how they approach these decisions and where they feel your case may end up. Their strategy should align with your priorities.

7. Will you have adequate time to dedicate to my case?

You want an attorney who can devote the proper time and attention to you and your case—not someone who is stretched too thin. Ask how many active cases the lawyer is currently handling. A caseload of more than 100 clients may compromise their ability to thoroughly investigate claims, respond quickly, and aggressively represent each case. Also, consider if they have proper legal staff and resources to sufficiently manage their current caseload.

8. Can you provide references from clients you have represented in the past?

Speaking with former clients can offer great insights into what it will be like working with that attorney. Quality lawyers should have no shortage of satisfied clients willing to vouch for them and the experience they provide. Ask for 2-3 references who had similar types of cases—preferably some with settled claims and some who went to trial. Reach out to them about their level of communication with the attorney, legal knowledge/skills, and overall impressions of their representation and results.

9. Do you have strong relationships with medical experts?

Having connections with respected medical professionals can significantly impact injury cases. You want a lawyer who has working relationships with doctors, accident reconstructionists, life care planners, and rehabilitation specialists who can accurately assess damages, effectively explain injuries to insurance firms or juries, and help convey the true scope of your losses. A strong network of medical experts can often lead to larger settlements and awards.

10. Do you have malpractice insurance?

An attorney should carry professional liability insurance (malpractice) to protect clients in the event of any legal errors. Ethical injury lawyers with a proven track record will have no problem showing proof of an active policy. Ask to see documentation showing robust coverage levels—at least $1 million per incident is recommended. Lack of adequate malpractice insurance is a major red flag.

Choosing the Right Injury Attorney for You

Hiring the best Las Vegas injury attorneys for your needs can feel overwhelming initially. Following this FAQ guide will help you gain valuable insights during the law firm selection process. Focus on finding legal counsel with proven expertise in your type of case, a successful track record of results, dedication to client communication, and a willingness to aggressively fight on your behalf if necessary. Taking the time to ask these key questions will give you confidence you are placing your case in the most capable hands.

For personalized guidance on choosing an attorney or for a free consultation on pursuing the compensation you deserve, contact the accomplished personal injury lawyers Las Vegas at Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys. With many years of combined experience successfully representing injury victims in Las Vegas, we have the resources and the skills to help maximize your next legal outcome. Call or email our office today to find out more.

How Does a Contingency Fee Work in a Personal Injury Case?

A contingent fee, also referred to as a contingency fee, is an attorney’s fee that is paid only if there is a successful outcome. This type of fee arrangement is typical for personal injury cases. Here is an overview of how contingency fee agreements work and what to expect if you hire a personal injury attorney on a contingency basis.

What Is the Contingency Fee for Personal Injury?

A contingency fee means that the attorney receives payment for their services only if money is recovered in the case. The fee amount is a percentage of the total settlement or court award. The client does not pay any attorney fees if no money is received. Contingency fees typically range from 33% to 40% of the recovered amount.

This type of arrangement provides clients who have a strong personal injury case with improved access to legal representation that they may not be able to afford otherwise. Attorneys are more willing to accept cases when payment is contingent on a successful outcome. Clients also benefit because contingency fees shift some of the risk of litigation over to the attorney.

Additionally, contingent fees align the interests of the attorney and client. Because compensation is tied directly to case results, the attorney is motivated to secure the largest recovery possible under the circumstances. This gives clients extra assurance that the attorney will work diligently on their behalf.

Establishing a Contingent Fee Agreement

Clients and attorneys discuss payment details upfront when entering into a contingency fee contract. Important terms that are established include:

  • Percentage of recovery amount: This is typically a standard percentage based on case type and attorney expertise. Some firms have sliding scales depending on the case stage reached.
  • Case expenses: The agreement states whether litigation expenses are paid separately by the client or deducted from the settlement/award before splitting the remainder.

Once the percentage amount and key details are agreed upon in writing, personal injury lawyers California fully take on case preparation and litigation at their own expense. Payment only comes from settlement funds or court awards later, if any.

Pros of Contingency Fee Agreements

Hiring a personal injury attorney on a contingency basis has several notable advantages:

  • No upfront costs: Attorney fees are only paid if the case is successful, so no out-of-pocket payment is required to initiate the case.
  • Access to experienced counsel: Makes strong cases affordable despite a client’s immediate financial constraints.
  • Motivated representation: The attorney has a direct financial stake in maximizing the recovery amount.

So, while contingent fee arrangements expand legal accessibility, clients should weigh the benefits versus the potential drawbacks when hiring a personal injury lawyer.

Case Expenses

Hard costs related to contingency fee personal injury cases may still be the client’s responsibility, depending on what is outlined in the initial agreement. Standard expenses include:

  • Court filing fees
  • Service of process charges
  • Costs related to obtaining medical records
  • Expert witness fees
  • Deposition transcription costs

Such expenses can add up over the course of litigation. Some car accident attorneys California cover them fully and take reimbursement out of the final settlement or award before calculating their percentage fee payment. Others require clients to pay a portion of expenses separately as they are incurred. This is an important detail to clarify upfront.

Termination Clauses

Another key provision addresses what happens if the client chooses to terminate the attorney’s services at some point or settles independently without the attorney’s involvement. Well-crafted contingency fee contracts include termination clauses that protect both parties’ interests in this scenario.

Typical terms require the client to pay reasonable attorney fees based on work performed up to the termination date. This compensation rate is usually lower than the original contingency fee percentage. Standard hourly charges or fixed fees based on case stage progression at termination are common.  However, the termination of an attorney is governed by state law.  You can terminate your lawyer at any time without having to pay a dime.

Getting the Maximum Settlement

While contingency fee agreements greatly improve access to experienced personal injury counsel, it is still important for clients to understand what a reasonable settlement amount is for their case. Attorneys may be incentivized to push for a quick settlement so they get paid faster, even if holding out longer could potentially increase the total value.

Clients should educate themselves on typical settlement ranges for similar cases and injury types. Consult experienced motorcycle accident lawyers California with a strong track record of maximizing recoveries, not just quickly settling. Ask plenty of questions to understand how the attorney evaluates cases and arrives at a recommended demand amount.

Additionally, find out if the attorney is willing to finance extra expenses necessary to bolster claims, like hiring specialized medical experts. Such upfront investments can significantly strengthen a case and result in a higher settlement later. The best personal injury law firms utilize sufficient case financing combined with aggressive litigation and negotiation tactics to obtain maximum payouts for their deserving clients.

Get Legal Guidance After an Injury

Suffering any kind of disabling injury can be devastating, both physically and financially. Contact a personal injury law firm as soon as possible after an accident to understand your rights. An initial consultation is often free. At Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys, we have extensive experience representing injury victims throughout California, Nevada and Texas. We provide knowledgeable legal guidance and work on a contingency fee basis, ensuring access to quality representation for clients without sufficient funds to pay high hourly attorney rates. Connect with our attorneys today to discuss your situation confidentially.

Why Car Wrecks are a Leading Cause of Injuries in Houston, Texas

Houston, the largest city in Texas with a population of over 6 million, has unfortunately earned a reputation for being one of the most dangerous cities for drivers. Statistics show that car accidents are one of the leading causes of injuries for Houston residents. This blog post will analyze the key reasons why vehicle crashes occur at such high rates in the Houston area and what can be done to improve road safety.

High Traffic Volumes

One of the main contributors to Houston’s high rate of car wrecks is the sheer amount of traffic on the city’s roads and highways. As a sprawling metropolitan area, Houstonians rely heavily on cars to commute to work and get around the region. This leads to millions of vehicles on the move daily, increasing the chances of accidents. Congestion and dense traffic also lead to more careless or reckless driving as motorists become frustrated stuck in jams.

Driver Behaviors

In addition to heavy traffic volumes, unsafe driving behaviors are major factors in many Houston collisions. Speeding, tailgating, improper lane changes, running red lights, and distracted or impaired driving are all common issues on Houston roads seen by our motor vehicle accident lawyers. For example, cell phone usage behind the wheel continues to cause thousands of distracted driving accidents every year, which lead to cases dealt with by our vehicle accident lawyer team. Drunk drivers also account for over 25% of fatal crashes in the Houston area according to state data.

Design of Roads

The design and maintenance of Houston’s complex road infrastructure may also contribute to accidents in some locations. Areas with complicated intersections, poorly visible signage, faded lane divider markings, ineffective lighting, and low friction pavement materials can become high incident zones. Road defects like potholes or debris can also lead to single-vehicle crashes when drivers attempt evasive maneuvers at high speeds.

Consequences of Accidents

The end result of Houston’s high accident rate is thousands of preventable injuries annually. While the majority of collisions result in minor vehicle damage and soft tissue injuries, many lead to more critical trauma requiring intensive medical treatment. For example, car wrecks are the leading cause of traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries in the Houston region. Other severe consequences include internal bleeding, organ damage, broken bones, permanent disabilities, emotional trauma, and financial burdens. Hundreds of people also lose their lives in vehicular accidents on Houston roads every year.

Potential Solutions

There are no easy fixes for improving road safety, but potential steps in the right direction include more stringent traffic law enforcement, better public transportation options to reduce congestion, regular road maintenance programs, effective safety awareness campaigns, and advances in vehicle technology. Government agencies, law enforcement, insurance companies, advocacy groups, and everyday motorists all have a role to play in helping reduce crash rates through legislation, financial incentives, infrastructure projects, responsible driving practices, and more. With a concerted effort, the high rate of injuries from accidents can be mitigated.

Navigating the Aftermath of an Accident

Being injured in a vehicle collision leads to both physical and financial hardships for victims. Along with medical treatment, accident victims also face lost wages, property damage expenses, insurance claims processes, and other complex legal and administrative burdens. Fortunately, victims have every right to seek fair compensation and support during the aftermath.

Those affected by serious injuries face considerable uncertainties about how to pay for healthcare, recover missed income if unable to work, get their vehicle repaired, or ensure their insurer covers treatment. The legal and insurance systems only amplify anxieties for those already coping with crash trauma.

However, the ordeal following accidents does not need to be faced alone. Victims can educate themselves on their legal rights and protections. For severe injuries with debilitating impacts, it’s often advisable to have an experienced road accident attorney representing you to help obtain fair damages, negotiate insurance settlements, and handle paperwork burdens during recovery.

Pursuing Fair Compensation

Following a vehicle accident, the path to obtaining fair compensation for injuries and damages can be complex to navigate alone. However, legal resources and representation by a good vehicle accident lawyer can help ensure victims receive what they are rightfully owed according to the law.

Seeking Medical Attention

The first priority is always to get evaluated and treated by a doctor after an accident. This establishes medical documentation about injuries sustained that may become important evidence. Those uncertain about their health should still get examined as some trauma like soft tissue damage or concussions have delayed onsets. Regardless of insurance status or financial situation, emergency rooms provide critical injury treatment.

Gathering Evidence

From a legal standpoint, gathering evidence to prove fault and damages begins right away after a collision. Police reports, photos of damage, eyewitness statements, and contact details for other parties involved establish key documentation. Victims should retain medical records, insurance claim letters, repair invoices, income loss data, and anything demonstrating accident circumstances. Thorough valid evidence is instrumental in successful legal claims.

Understanding Compensation Types

Financial compensation after accidents covers a wide array of potential costs victims may accrue. Categories of damages include property loss, medical treatment, lost income, pain and suffering, disability care if they are permanently impaired, emotional damages, and other expenses stemming from injuries suffered. The law provides avenues to pursue reimbursement for much more than just immediate hospital bills or car repair costs after a crash.

Evaluating Representation Options

In severe injury cases, hiring legal counsel provides victims the best chance of maximizing compensation while also handling tedious administrative burdens. The best car accident attorneys investigate fault, estimate total current and future damages amounts to pursue, negotiate insurance settlements, and file lawsuits if out-of-court resolutions cannot be reached. Understanding legal representation fees, case assessment strengths, and law firm experience aiding past clients can help evaluate the best accident lawyer options.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Houston, Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys are here to fight your corner. Let us represent you and fight to get you the compensation you deserve as you focus on recovery. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.

What are Common Symptoms Of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when an external force impacts the head, causing damage to the brain. TBIs range in severity from mild to severe, but even mild cases can result in lifelong complications. Understanding the common signs and symptoms following a TBI is crucial for diagnosis and treatment. If you or a loved one suffers a head injury and experiences any of these symptoms, it is vital to seek medical care promptly.

Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) happens when a sudden trauma damages the brain. There are internal and external causes that can lead to this damage.

Car accidents remain a leading origin of TBI, whether from the initial collision, ejection from the vehicle, or hitting interior surfaces. These crashes cause extreme deceleration forces that slam the brain against the inside of the skull. Acts of violence also commonly involve blows to the head from physical assault, abuse, or gunshots at close range. Contact sports, too, result in TBIs from forcible collisions with equipment, the ground, or other players. Finally, powerful explosive devices used in military combat produce shockwaves that can damage soldiers’ brains without even striking their heads.

Internal causes typically involve health events precipitating falls. Strokes, seizures, low blood sugar, and drug reactions can all result in losing consciousness. The subsequent fall then slams the head forcefully into the ground. Additionally, the suddenly disrupted oxygen and glucose supply to the brain during medical events directly harms delicate tissues.

Whether from external collisions or internal health events, understanding key TBI causes assists with prevention and treatment.

Physical Signs and Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury

Some of the most identifiable signs of TBI relate to physical capabilities and functioning. Since the brain controls motor functions, injuries often impair mobility and coordination. Common physical symptoms include:

Loss of consciousness

If a person loses consciousness for any length of time, it signals the brain has undergone trauma. This critical indicator prompts urgent medical care to assess and monitor the situation. Even a brief loss of consciousness requires emergency evaluation, as it represents acute injury and risk. Doctors will check for ongoing bleeding, swelling, and escalating pressure inside the skull.

Headache

Headaches emanating from the site of the injury are a common sensation. These may indicate bleeding, bruising or swelling inside the brain itself. Headaches arising immediately or a few days later suggest TBI. If the headache persists or worsens, it could show an evolving brain hemorrhage requiring intervention. Medications may ease headaches, but ongoing severe head pain always warrants medical attention.

Dizziness

Many people with TBI experience dizziness and vertigo. This symptom indicates potential damage to the brain’s coordination and balance centers. The vestibular system and cerebellum are vulnerable to trauma and may be bruised or swollen after injury. Lingering dizziness hampers daily activities and raises the risk of falls which could inflict further injury.

Nausea and vomiting

Trauma to the brain frequently causes nausea and vomiting. If these symptoms linger for more than a day, it may show swelling or bleeding inside the skull. These symptoms also cause dehydration and chemical shifts which further stress the healing brain. Anti-nausea medication may provide relief but ongoing nausea or vomiting requires medical assessment.

Fatigue

Feeling extremely tired and lacking energy to perform daily activities is very common with TBI. It signals that the brain’s stamina is impaired. This fatigue can be physically and emotionally draining for patients. Energy conservation techniques combined with physical, occupational and speech therapy help counteract persistent exhaustion.

Sleep disturbances

Difficulty sleeping and changes in sleep patterns often arise after brain trauma. This shows disruption to the body’s sleep-wake cycle. Lack of restorative sleep hampers all aspects of TBI recovery. Doctors may prescribe medications to help stabilize sleep rhythms and consult with neurologists for sleep studies.

Sensory problems

Injuries may lead to altered senses of taste, smell, hearing and vision. Loss or heightened sensitivity in these areas reflects injury to brain regions that process sensory information. These sensory shifts add frustration and can interfere with daily functioning. Neuro-optometrists and occupational therapists help patients adjust through rehabilitation exercises.

Cognitive and Emotional Symptoms

In addition to physical symptoms, many cognitive and emotional symptoms emerge after TBI. Since the brain controls our abilities to think, feel and communicate, trauma can profoundly impact these realms. Common cognitive and emotional symptoms include:

Memory loss

One of the hallmark symptoms of TBI is memory deficits. These range from forgetfulness of details to larger gaps indicating amnesia. Memory loss shows potential hippocampal damage.

Concentration and focus problems

Sustaining concentration and focus on tasks requires significant mental energy, which is often lacking after brain trauma.

Processing speed reduction

When the speed and efficiency of understanding information decline, it reveals diffuse damage to the brain’s pathways.

Communication challenges

Speaking, comprehending, reading and writing deficits arise frequently with TBI. Since the brain coordinates communication, injuries to certain areas lead to varied linguistic impairments.

Judgment and reasoning issues

Decision-making involves complex cognition, which relies on multiple undamaged regions. Impaired judgment after an injury highlights damaged areas.

Mood changes

Fluctuations in mood and easier emotional upset or irritation reflect potential limbic system damage regulating emotions.

Depression

Many patients suffer reactive depression following the trauma, frustration of symptoms, or reduced quality of life.

No two traumatic brain injuries look exactly the same, given the cognitive complexity and variability of the brain itself. But understanding the diverse range of physical, cognitive, and emotional symptoms empowers patients, families and physicians to identify TBI and seek appropriate treatment. If you notice any cluster of these symptoms after an accident, err on the side of caution and consult a doctor for an assessment. While all brain trauma differs in cause and details, the journey toward healing starts with recognizing common signs.

Working with a Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney

Suffering any degree of traumatic brain injury often brings devastating disruption and costs for survivors and families. Expenses quickly escalate to include medical bills, rehabilitation services, accessibility modifications, lost current and future income, and more.

Working with an experienced personal injury attorney gives you the best chance of securing the compensation you need and rightfully deserve after this life-changing harm. An accomplished brain injury lawyer Los Angeles thoroughly investigates your injury claim, retains expert witnesses, quantifies both economic and non-economic damages, skillfully negotiates settlement offers, or takes your case to trial if necessary.

With compassion and dedication, a Los Angeles traumatic brain injury lawyer from Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys will fight for justice on your behalf.

What Should You Do If You’re Injured on Government Property?

Have you ever realized just how many buildings are classified as government property? From public libraries to schools and official government offices, there are thousands spread out across the country.  You can’t really escape them, even if you were actively trying to. So, if you have been injured in one of these places, what can you do about it? Who is liable, and where do you turn? Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys have all the answers.

What Does the Law Say?

If you have been the victim of an injury in a government building, the law is there to protect you. In California, it is quite straightforward. A governmental entity is held to the same standards as any property owner. If there was a dangerous condition on the property that injured you, and the governmental entity knew or should of know about the dangerous condition, then they are liable for your damages.

What Counts as a Public Entity?

There is a long list of public entities that you can seek justice against. These include the federal government, state agencies and departments, municipal buildings, city buildings, public schools and even state universities.

Which Types of Personal Injuries Warrant Further Action?

There are some injuries like minor scrapes and bruises that really don’t justify filing a lawsuit or any further action at all. However, if you have got this far and you are reading our advice then it is assumed that something far worse happened to you. Any category from broken bones to traumatic brain injuries can be discussed further, especially if said affliction has impacted your capacity to lead a life as you normally would pre-accident. Our personal injury law firm can help give you the most suitable advice for your specific case.

Assessing the Consequences

Our trained attorney will sit down with you and take a look at all the ways you have been affected since the incident first occurred. These are the things we will uncover and explore.

Medical Treatment

Any medical treatment, whether it was in the past or still ongoing, is relevant. Provide as much evidence and information as possible that shows your injuries and how they have impacted you. This will be the best grounds to move forward with because this is the most direct, easy to prove, negative after effect of the accident. Medical bills cost money, especially the longer they go on for, and no one should have to take the on the burden of high medical bills when the incident was not their fault.

Medical treatment can include initial hospitalizations, diagnostic imaging, continued follow-up with health care providers, physical therapy, rehab care, surgery etc.  Serious injuries may require the need for extensive care in the future and possibly even life long care.  For instance, a spine injury or traumatic brain injury will require an intense amount of care to heal and regain independence. This will cost a lot regardless and it is not your responsibility to foot the bill.

Mental Health Toll

There is also a price to pay for the impact on your mental health. Accidents can cause depression and severe anxiety, even PTSD in some cases. It could take you years to heal from the mental wounds, and you should not suffer on your own without support.

Loss of Wages

You can also claim for any lost wages you have experienced during your period of illness. There are lots of reasons why you may not have been able to return to work, and the financial burden is extremely important to highlight.

Wrongful Death

We have a strong wrongful death attorney team here too, so if you did go through the loss of a loved one, we can help. This should also be a major focal point for your claim.

How Long Do You Have to Take Action?

Any personal injury accident lawyer here at Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys will tell you that you have six months to make a claim and take action after your accident takes place. If you miss this window, i.e., the Statute of Limitations, then your claim may be barred.  That is why there is no time to waste, and you can call us now to start the process of obtaining justice.

What Steps Do You Have to Follow?

As mentioned above, our accident injury lawyers will be looking to first prove that there was some kind of dangerous condition that led to the event in question and all of the consequences thereafter. We can establish this fact if any of the following criteria are met and proven.

Potholes and Pavement Cracks

Yes, the government is responsible if you are injured because of the condition of almost all public roads. This is never more true than if a problem has been reported but not resolved. Filing a claim is easy with the help of experienced personal injury and accident attorneys.

Broken Traffic Controls

If you were in an accident either as a pedestrian or a driver, and it all happened because of a broken traffic light, then this is solid ground for filing a claim as well. We don’t need to tell you the potentially serious consequences of a traffic accident.

Improper Building Maintenance

If you are injured inside a government owned or funded building and it was because there were issues with the structure or maintenance, you are able to proceed.

Filing a Notice of Claim

A Notice of Claim is when you state your intention to bring a claim against the governmental entity you perceive to be in the wrong. Our attorneys will help because there are certain things that must be included and if you leave anything out, your claim may not be valid at all.

The expert team at Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys is here to help. Do not delay picking up the phone and securing your confidential appointment.

A Guide to Bus Accidents in Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas, known for its glitz and glamour, welcomes over 40 million visitors per year. With a booming tourism industry and a growing population nearing 2.3 million residents in the greater metro region, Las Vegas streets are constantly buzzing with vehicles, including public transportation buses.

While generally safe, accidents unfortunately still occur. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bus accident in Las Vegas, this guide will provide an overview of key information you need to know regarding the incident, liability and fault, documenting evidence, filing an injury claim, and working with a personal injury attorney to help maximize your compensation.

Common Causes

Several recurring causes tend to result in bus collisions within Las Vegas and Clark County:

  • Driver Negligence – When a bus driver operates recklessly, drives distracted, fails to yield, or makes improper turns, accidents often ensue.
  • Impaired Drivers – Intoxicated drivers make the roads more dangerous for everyone, including bus passengers.
  • Speeding – Excessive bus speeds reduce response times needed to prevent collisions.
  • Poor Maintenance – Lack of inspections or mechanical issues like faulty brakes can also lead to crashes.
  • Insufficient Safety Features – Metro buses lag behind other major cities in safety upgrades like cameras and sensors.

Determining Liability

Following an accident, liability must be established to determine which party or parties were at fault and to what extent. Common liable parties in bus accident cases include:

  • The Bus Driver – Recklessness, distraction, intoxication and other negligence may leave the driver fully or partially liable.
  • The County or City – If poor bus maintenance, inadequate driver training or lax safety protocols contributed, the municipality may shoulder blame.
  • Other Motorists – Drivers of other vehicles involved who exhibited negligence also hold liability.

Evidence Gathering

To build the strongest injury claim or lawsuit after a bus crash, promptly gather and preserve key evidence while details remain fresh, including:

  • Contact Info of Parties Involved – Record names, phone numbers, addresses and insurance data for the drivers, witnesses, transit authorities, etc.
  • Photos of Damage, Injuries & Scene – Capture images of property damage, injuries sustained and accident site conditions.
  • Police Report – This vital report contains officer diagrams, analysis and interviews regarding fault.
  • Video Footage – Ask businesses, transit agencies and others nearby for any useful video.
  • Vehicle Data – Mechanical systems or black boxes may reveal telemetry on factors like speed and braking.

Filing an Injury Claim

Those hurt in a bus accident should take key steps for securing potential compensation:

  1. Seek Medical Attention – Thoroughly evaluate and document crash-related wounds, get necessary imaging tests and diagnosis procedures done, and follow prescribed treatment plans to ensure no injuries are overlooked that may cause problems down the road.
  2. Notify Transit Agencies – Fully report all incident and accident details in written documentation to all bodies like the RTC of Southern Nevada as soon as feasible after the event occurring to properly log the crash.
  3. Call Your Insurance Provider – Before you speak to any insurance company you should consult with a car accident attorney first. Remember that even your own insurance company is not looking out for your interests. Insurance companies will often try to devalue your claim from the very beginning.  An experienced attorney will help you through this process to make sure your claim is protected, and you don’t say or do anything that will harm your claim.
  4. Contact an Attorney – An experienced personal injury lawyer from Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys intimately understands the nuances of liability laws, damage assessment, claim procedures, negotiating tactics and other factors specific to successfully reaching maximum settlements for bus accident victims.
  5. Submit Written Claim – Under legal guidance from your bus accident lawyer, formally file a detailed written injury claim or lawsuit against any and all potentially liable parties that both comprehensively outlines all damages experienced and establishes a case for appropriate financial compensation.

Hiring an Attorney

Due to complex state and federal regulations governing injury claims involving transit companies and municipalities, securing experienced legal counsel such as an experienced bus accident law firm like Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys, is highly advisable after any bus crash resulting in harm. A bus accident lawyer Nevada can handle important responsibilities like:

Investigating Fault – They determine which party exhibited negligence contributing to the collision and to what degree based on evidence and expertise. An experienced attorney will leave no stone unturned in gathering facts about the accident through crash analysis, hiring reconstruction experts, issuing subpoenas, retaining private investigators and more in order to fully understand fault and liability.

Assessing Damages – By tabulating and documenting all economic damages like medical expenses, lost wages, and property loss and calculating the worth of non-economic damages like pain, suffering, emotional distress and loss of enjoyment of life, a skilled personal injury lawyer can advise on an appropriate settlement value demand that fairly encompasses the true extent of hard and intangible damages resulting from the crash.

Negotiating Settlement – Legal professionals adeptly utilize their deep knowledge, negotiation tactics and leverage to secure favorable settlements from insurers and transit agencies prior to commencing depositions or filing a lawsuit – settlements that offer appropriate compensation without the time, stress and uncertainty of trial. A bus accident injury attorney provides critical guidance on crafting a demand, participating in settlement meetings and mediation sessions and objectively analyzing any offers presented.

Trial Representation – In the event that pre-trial settlement offers fail to adequately cover established damages and harm from the incident, then pursuing jury-awarded compensation through state or federal court litigation becomes essential, even if the process proves lengthy. Seasoned litigators specifically trained in courtroom arguments, expert testimonies, evidence submission and other trial techniques can greatly strengthen your chances of a favorable verdict.

By understanding key aspects of bus crashes in the Las Vegas region including common causes, liability determination factors, critical evidence needed, proper claim filing procedures, and the vital necessity of retaining skilled legal counsel, victims of these accidents—along with their families—can significantly better protect their rights and effectively access both public and private resources essential to ultimately recover complete and fair compensation for injuries, losses and damages suffered.

An experienced personal injury attorney from Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys is intimately familiar with local and state laws governing transit incidents can prove invaluable in guiding victims through initial evidence gathering, claim submissions, negotiations and potential litigation in the aftermath of a crash.

No one anticipates being impacted by a catastrophic bus collision; but educating yourself on response protocols and rights advocacy resources now, before an accident strikes, provides citizens of southern Nevada with greater personal legal protection and empowerment if tragedy unfortunately occurs. Contact us today if this happens to you.

What Happens After a Deposition in a Car Accident Case?

A deposition is a crucial step in the legal process of a car accident injury case. It involves testimony given under oath in front of a court reporter or video camera, often in a lawyer’s office. After the transcript has been created or video recording made, important steps follow and lead up to a potential trial or settlement.

When Does a Deposition Take Place?

In a car accident lawsuit, depositions generally occur after initial fact-finding and discovery proceedings are underway but prior to trial. Specifically, depositions usually take place after the complaint and answer have been filed to frame the disputed issues.

A Texas car crash lawyer will have submitted written discovery requests and received responsive documentation from opposing parties relevant to the accident circumstances and injuries incurred. With preliminary evidence and information exchanges complete, the next vital stage is taking sworn depositions of both liability eyewitnesses and expert witnesses expected to testify at trial. Deposition timing ensures adequate case development for thorough questioning while avoiding losing witness availability as the trial approaches.

What Happens After a Deposition in a Car Accident Case?

Here is an overview of key events in the aftermath of this vital pre-trial process.

Transcript Review

After a deposition concludes, the court reporter will produce a written record of all statements made. This transcript may require a few days to a couple of weeks for completion and delivery to the attorneys involved. Each legal side will carefully review the contents, checking for any mistakes made in transcription or instances where testimony appears contradictory or uncertain.

The witnesses themselves may also evaluate the written account to confirm its accuracy, especially for their own remarks. If errors come to light in the record, attorneys can submit an errata sheet to request corrections. This document outlines discrepancies for legal correction to reflect precisely what was said under oath during questioning.

Gather Additional Evidence

A deposition frequently highlights areas where deeper investigation could prove useful by the legal teams. For example, a witness account might reference other individuals involved in key events who have not yet given testimony. Vehicle accident injury attorneys may decide to subpoena these persons as well for their own depositions to add clarity from different perspectives surrounding the accident circumstances.

Similarly, a witness statement may point to specific documentation requiring procurement for a fuller understanding. This could include police reports, medical evaluations, insurance claims, or automotive records pertaining directly to the individuals and vehicles associated with the incident. Ongoing evidence collection and case development often occur even after initial depositions.

Determine Settlement Options

In addition to building their evidentiary bases, plaintiff and personal injury lawyers for the defense utilize what they learn from depositions to evaluate prospects for settlement. A witness statement illustrating plainly weak fault arguments or exaggeration of injury claims can motivate parties to avoid further litigation expenses through a compromise agreement. Conversely, convincing displays of negligence and injury legitimacy may strengthen a victim’s bargaining position for maximal compensation demands short of trial.

By gaining insights into how testimony appears before a judge or jury, personal accident injury attorneys can apply their court experience to predict success at various settlement levels. They balance the risks of proceeding further against potentially improved offerings from the opposing side. Ongoing settlement negotiations may play out for weeks or months, relying heavily on information gleaned from deposition proceedings.

Final Trial Preparation

For those cases not resolved through an out-of-court settlement, further efforts go toward finalizing arguments and evidence to present before a judge and jury at trial. Car accident attorneys solidify strategies for direct and cross-examination of witnesses, including possible deposition video playback as trial testimony for unavailable parties. They ensure all documentation aligns correctly with witness accounts to avoid damaging credibility.

Why are Depositions Used?

Depositions serve a critical purpose in the legal process by allowing attorneys to interview parties and witnesses under oath prior to trial. There are several key reasons to conduct depositions:

  1. They permit in-depth examination of what key parties and witnesses know surrounding the case circumstances. Their recounted experiences, observations, timelines, and interpretations of events help attorneys piece together what transpired.
  2. They establish formal testimony that can be utilized at trial if witnesses become unavailable. The transcript or video record preserves legal evidence for consideration regardless of a witness’s ability to appear in court.
  3. They furnish opportunities to assess credibility through questioning and witness responses or behavior. Attorneys can identify and probe into inconsistencies, biases, gaps, and vagueness within accounts given under oath.
  4. They build foundations for current lines of inquiry while unveiling new pathways for investigation. Witness revelations shape further discovery efforts and requests in strengthening respective legal positions.

Once the depositions are over, effective opening and closing statements get drafted to maximize the impact of evidence on display. Final trial preparations synthesize all evidence and testimonies into a coherent, compelling presentation seeking to persuade the jury on liability, causation and adequate damage awards.

Attorneys work to anticipate responses to objections, create explanatory illustrations of key details, and practice effective verbal and nonverbal communication of arguments before the court. Their aim is to utilize deposition proceedings for shaping the strongest trial advocacy in pursuit of a favorable verdict.

Work with an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

Retaining an experienced auto accident attorney Texas from Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys is crucial for maximizing your injury compensation claim and navigating complex legal processes like depositions. A knowledgeable lawyer understands how to thoroughly investigate accident details, identify all liable parties, demonstrate duty breaches causing harm, and quantify resulting losses down to precise damages amounts.

An attorney experienced in car accident cases maintains resources to recreate scenes, consult traffic engineers, assess vehicle telematics, retain respected medical experts, counter defense tactics, and competently handle litigation demands. With settlement negotiations or trials, a skilled car accident lawyer draws from prior casework to secure optimal damages reflecting income loss, medical bills, pain and suffering, and full scope of harm to your quality of life.

Contact Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys today if you need help with a car accident claim.

How Long You Have After a Car Accident to File a Claim

Being involved in a car accident can be stressful at best and a devastating tragedy at worst. If you or anyone close to you has been involved in a serious car accident very recently, rest assured that there is enough time to take care of the immediate medical emergency before filing any claims. Nevertheless, it is highly advisable to get started with the process of filing your claim as soon as possible.

Even if the accident took place a while ago, you may still be eligible for compensation. In that case, a closer look at the variable particulars of the concerned case would be necessary to determine how much time you have left to file a claim. There are indeed quite a few variables, and we will discuss them for clarity next.

Insurance Claims Versus Personal Injury & Property Damage Claims

The first claim needs to be filed with the insurance company that is liable to pay for your damages. If the insurance amount is deemed adequate, then filing a lawsuit to claim further personal and property damage may no longer be necessary. If the compensation offered is found to be inadequate, then you should discuss the potential of filing a legal claim with your lawyer.

However, this is where you must take the concerned state’s general policy towards car insurance into account. Based on their car insurance laws, all US states can be divided into Fault or At-fault States and No-Fault States.

Fault (At-Fault) States

In fault states, the at-fault driver’s insurance company is liable to pay for both personal and property damages caused by their client.

No-Fault States

In No-Fault states, the at-fault driver’s insurer will only need to pay for the property damage. To receive medical and personal injury compensations, the injured party will need to file a separate claim with their own insurer.

As far as the time limit for filing insurance claims are concerned, they will vary depending on several factors such as the concerned state, the particular insurer, the insurance policy’s specific terms, the circumstances surrounding the accident, etc. As a general rule, no party should take more than 15 days to file an insurance claim with the liable insurance company. Ideally, it should be filed within a week’s time.

Note that you might be eligible to claim further compensation, even if you were compensated previously by the insurance company. However, the claim must be filed within the timeframe of the concerned state’s statute of limitations. Only an experienced car accident lawyer would be able to tell you whether your case has more to gain by filing a lawsuit for more compensation or not. Involve your lawyer early on and they should be able to negotiate with the insurance company and help you receive better compensation.

Different States Have Different Deadlines for Filing Different Claims

How long you have to file a claim depends on the concerned state and the type of claim above all else. The concerned state will always be the state where the accident occurred, irrespective of whether one or more cars involved in the accident are registered in a different state or not.

To find out how much time you have left to filing a claim after being in a car accident, there are two primary factors which you must consider:

  1. Different US states have different statutes of limitations for car accidents (time allowance).
  2. In some US states the time allowance is different for filing personal injury claims and property damage claims.

Now that you know some of the variables, all you need to do is take a look at the following chart and match the statute of limitation with the details of your potential car accident lawsuit.

US States with Equal Time Allowances for Both Personal Injury and Property Damage Claims

  • Alabama: 2 years
  • Alaska: 2 years
  • Arizona: 2 years
  • Arkansas: 3 years
  • California: 2 years
  • Colorado: 3 years
  • Connecticut: 2 years
  • Delaware: 2 years
  • Federal District of Washington DC: 3 years
  • Washington: 3 years
  • Florida: 4 years
  • Hawaii: 2 years
  • Indiana: 2 years
  • Kansas: 2 years
  • Louisiana: 1 year
  • Maine: 6 years
  • Maryland: 3 years
  • Massachusetts: 3 years
  • Michigan: 3 years
  • Mississippi: 3 years
  • Missouri: 5 years
  • Nebraska: 4 years
  • New Hampshire: 3 years
  • New Jersey: 6 years
  • New York: 3 years
  • North Carolina: 3 years
  • North Dakota: 6 years
  • Ohio: 4 years
  • Oklahoma: 2 years
  • Pennsylvania: 2 years
  • South Carolina: 3 years
  • Texas: 2 years
  • Vermont: 3 years
  • West Virginia: 2 years
  • Wyoming: 4 years

US States with Separate Time Allowances for Personal Injury and Property damage Claims

  • Georgia: 2 years for personal injury claims and 4 years for property damage
  • Idaho: 2 years for personal injury claims and 3 years for property damage
  • Illinois: 2 years for personal injury claims and 5 years for property damage
  • Iowa: 2 years for personal injury claims and 5 years for property damage
  • Kentucky: 1 year for personal injury claims and 2 years for property damage
  • Minnesota: 2 years for personal injury claims and 6 years for property damage
  • Montana: 3 years for personal injury claims and 2 years for property damage
  • Nevada: 2 years for personal injury claims and 3 years for property damage
  • New Mexico: 3 years for personal injury claims and 4 years for property damage
  • Oregon: 3 years for personal injury claims and 6 years for property damage
  • Rhode Island: 3 years for personal injury claims and 10 years for property damage
  • South Dakota: 3 years for personal injury claims and 6 years for property damage
  • Tennessee: 1 year for personal injury claims and 3 years for property damage
  • Utah: 4 years for personal injury claims and 3 years for property damage
  • Virginia: 2 years for personal injury claims and 5 years for property damage
  • Wisconsin: 3 years for personal injury claims and 6 years for property damage

The time limit of a claim will generally start from the day of the accident, which is true for both insurance claims, as well as lawsuits. However, there are other factors that might come into play. For example, if someone victimized by the car accident develops a medical condition further down the line that is a direct or indirect effect of the accident, then their time limit for filing a personal injury claim for compensation will start from the time when they were first made aware of that condition, or when they should have been aware of the same.

Time limits for filing cases will depend on a number of factors.  For example, many state have a shorter statute of limitations if the defendant is a government employee/entity.  No matter who the defendant is, what state you’re in, or what kind of case, you should always consult with a lawyer to find out how much time you have to file a claim/lawsuit.