Personal Injury Trial Lawyer Ben Sansone is a top Missouri and Illinois injury lawyer located in St Louis Missouri. Injury attorney Ben Sansone focuses his practice on all personal injury related cases including: wrongful death, medical malpractice, truck and car accidents, workers compensation, premise liability (property and business owner negligence), drunk driving accidents, products liability or dangerous products and all negligence cases.
What exactly is personal injury law? What is a negligence claim?
Personal injury claims have three general but essential elements:
1. Liability: did someone violate a safety rule?
2. Causation: Did that violation cause an injury?
3. Damages: amount of harms and losses suffered and equated to dollars?
In Missouri and Illinois, as well as most states, we require people, corporations, employees, and professionals (i.e. doctors, business owners, truck drivers, machinery operators, etc ...) to maintain a duty of reasonable care, meaning they must follow the safety rules of society, the road, their profession, or their industry.
For example, a driver of a motor vehicle must operate their car or truck with "a high degree of care", which is a legal way of saying they must follow the safety rules of the road. Examples of safety rules for drivers, rules we were all taught when we learned how to drive and passed the tests to get our driver's licenses:
- A driver must keep a careful lookout;
- A driver must obey traffic signals;
- A driver must not drive drunk;
- A driver must stop at a stop sign;
- A driver must stop if necessary to avoid colliding with slowing traffic;
- A driver must drive at a safe speed;
A doctor or other medical professional must perform their job duties within the medical "standard of care". Again, "standard of care" is a legal way of saying that a medical professional must follow patient safety rules. As a "standard" is a "rule". Examples of medical safety rules:
- A doctor must always put patient safety first;
- A surgeon must identify what they are cutting before they cut it;
- A surgeon must be prepared to handle known complications of surgery;
- A surgeon must take all reasonable safety precautions.
The owner of commercial property has the duty to make the premises safe and to inspect for defects that may cause an injury to a customer or other member of the public. Some of these safety rules that apply to business for the safety of their customers or tenants include:
- Common areas must be kept safe and free from hazards;
- Customer area should not have known fall or trip hazards;
- Apartment complexes must have adequate lighting in common areas;
- Business must have reasonable security for the safety of their customers;
- Apartment complexes must have adequate security for the safety of their tenants.
People are negligent, and therefore liable, when they chose not to follow the safety rules and a needless injury or death is caused by that choice.
After proving legal liability for violation of a safety rule, now the questions is, how much money is the injury victim legally entitled to for the harms and losses suffered?
Individuals and sometimes their relatives or survivors are entitled to damages (money) based on the following harms and losses:
- All Medical expenses related to the injuries or death;
- All rehabilitation expenses;
- Any other treatment necessary for the treatment of the injuries;
- Past lost wages, lost support, loss of consortium (companionship);
- Future lost wages, lost future support, future loss of consortium;
- Non economic damages, HARMS AND LOSSES.
The second measure of damages is referred to as "non-economic damages" which includes past and future harms and losses the victim or families will be forced to endure as a result of the victim's injuries or death.
1. Comparative Fault: Almost always the insurance companies assert comparative fault, basically, if their insured violated a safety rule, well, the insurance lawyer will argue the victim was at fault too, and therefore, the percentage the was at fault should offset the recovery.
For example: Car accident injury case after the defendant violated a safety rule of the road and made a left turn in front of the victim's car either from the center turn lane, or at an intersection with a solid green light, not a left turn arrow. Teh defendant violated the safety rule when they chose not to yield, thus causing the accident. The insurance company lawyers will assert comparative fault claiming that the injured party is partially at fault and therefore should be partially to blame. So if the jury awards $100,000 and the injured party was 30% at fault, then the insurance company only pays $70,000.
The causation defense is defeated by a good offense, mainly having solid medical testimony from treating physicians supporting that the injuries are the type that would be caused from the accident described. Many lawyers do not know how to properly prep a doctor for testimony, especially because of the tension between our professions they are often hesitant to testify, especially in medical malpractice cases.
Personal injuries are often the result of the following types of cases that we handle:
Motorcycle accidents and collisions resulting from inattention by drivers or just plain recklessness. You need an experienced and qualified Missouri Motorcycle Accident Lawyer or an Illinois Accident Attorney.
Trucking Accidents including, Semi Trucks, Tractor Trailers, Industrial Trucks, Garbage Trucks, Government Trucks, and Emergency Vehicles. We are top truck accident lawyers in Missouri and Illinois.
- Addressed on detail in our work comp section
Missouri Wrongful Death and Illinois Wrongful death resulting from workplace injuries, truck accidents, medical malpractice, car accidents, prescription drugs, products liability, dangerous premises, elevator accidents, and failure of safety equipment. You need a top Missouri wrongful death lawyer.
Ben Sansone - (314) 863-0500 or Ben@SansoneLaw.com
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