PERSONAL INJURY & DEATH
Personal injury law seeks to compensate you if you’ve been injured by someone else’s negligence or intentional actions. The law holds everyone to a standard of care, which is defined by what a reasonable person would do in similar circumstances. When an individual deviates from this standard and causes injury, the victim may seek compensation for medical expenses and other damages.
Wrongful death happens when somebody is killed because of another person or entity’s negligence. Although there may be a criminal prosecution related to the fatality, a wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action that is separate and distinct from any criminal charges. The standard of proof is lower in a civil case than it is in a criminal case for murder or manslaughter. Many different circumstances can give rise to a wrongful death lawsuit, such as medical malpractice, motor vehicle accidents, dram shop liability and premises liability. Damages for wrongful death include medical expenses, funeral and burial expenses. Additionally, a survivor can also claim damages for loss of companionship and the mental pain and suffering the victim experienced before death. Damages for wrongful death also include the financial losses that survivors would sustain due to the wage loss resulting from the victim's death.
Dram shop laws pertain to the selling of alcoholic beverages to the public. Laws that regulate the distribution of alcohol make it unlawful for bars, restaurants or other retail establishments to serve alcohol to noticeably intoxicated individuals. Additionally, it is illegal to furnish minors (persons under 21) with alcohol. When the vendor fails to meet this duty of care, a person who is injured by the noticeably intoxicated person may be able to hold the alcohol vendor liable.
Premises liability is a legal theory that holds a property owner responsible for injury or death on that person or entity's property. Property owners must take precautions and/or steps to maintain a safe environment for visitors to the property. This includes private, public, commercial or retail property. When these precautions are not taken and you are injured as a result, you could be eligible for compensation due to negligence on the part of the property owner. Many different types of personal injury cases can be classified as premises liability cases, including slip and fall, snow and ice accidents, inadequate maintenance of the premises, defective conditions on the premises, dog bites, amusement park accidents, and inadequate or negligent building security leading to injury, assault or death.