December 2008 Archives
The General Steps in a Personal Injury Case:
1. After treatment is complete; make settlement demand on insurance company.
2. Filing of lawsuit (Petition) if unable to settle.
3. Service of summons on defendant (private process server or by certified mail).
4. Defendant has twenty (20) days to file an Answer or Entry of Appearance (may reserve another twenty days to file Answer).
5. Discovery (fact finding process):
a. Interrogatories (thirty days to answer);
b. Request for Admissions;
c. Request for Production of Documents;
d. Depositions (usually after interrogatories and request for production of documents). Sworn statement before a court reporter.
e. Medical examination of Plaintiff by Defendant's doctor;
6. Motion to Enter (tell judge to set scheduling deadlines).
7. Mediation (court ordered settlement meeting).
8. Pretrial conference (meet with judge after ready for trial).
11. Settlement discussion may occur at any stage. Over 90% of the cases settle before a trial is conducted.
12. The trial process, excluding appeal, averages approximately nine (9) months in Oklahoma County from the date of filing the lawsuit to the date of trial.
WSJ sums it up nicely:
The trend is bad news for everybody on the road. If you're hit by an uninsured motorist, you may have to sue to recover costs, and many uninsured motorists have few assets. You can protect yourself by carrying uninsured-motorist coverage -- almost half of states require the added coverage -- but this may boost your premium.
Nearly a million children worldwide die every year as a result of unintentional injuries, and the biggest killer is traffic accidents, according to a report from the World Health Organization.This is startling. The nearly 4 minute radio piece also included the top five causes of unintentional injury:
1. Road crashes: 260,000 children a year are killed and 10 million are injured. This is the leading cause of death among 10 to 19 year-olds.
2. Drowning: 175,000 killed a year while up to 3 million children survive each year. But due to the brain damage invovled in some of the surviviors, nonfatal drowning has the highest average lifetime health and economic impact of any type of injury.
3. Burns: Burns kill nearly 96,000 children a year.
4. Falls: Nearly 47,000 children die due to falls each year.
5. Poisoning: Over 45,000 children die each year from unintended poisoning.
For those wanting a more detailed look at the FMLA, the regulations may be downloaded here.
The suit was filed yesterday, just 5 days after the tragic event. I don't know the New York lawyer involved in the lawsuit, or his rationale for filing suit now, but why the hurry? Perhaps this puts more pressure on Wal-mart, but surely there hasn't been any attempt to settle the case. All of the facts are likely not even known. What about the crazy "shoppers" that were involved in the man's death? The lawyer is certainly getting free publicity for filing suit now though.