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Why Use Experts in a Personal Injury Trial?

Five reasons expert witnesses can make a difference

If a personal injury case goes to trial, the cost of experts will almost certainly be part of the expenses of the case. There are many reasons that PI attorneys use expert witnesses in trials, and they are almost always worth it. The reasons include:

They know the field - that's why they are experts. Whether it's engineering or medicine or chemistry witnesses who can explain the details of an injury or accident from their particular knowledge can be very persuasive.

What Are Contingency Fees in Personal injury Cases?

According to the New York City Bar Association, a contingency fee is only paid to an attorney when a case is won. This is the kind of fee charged by most personal injury lawyers in New York. It means that if you lose your case, you will owe no attorney's fee.

Advantages of Contingency Fee System

There are some definite advantages to this type of fee arrangement. First, if you find a lawyer who will take your car accident or other personal injury case, you can be assured that he or she thinks there is a reasonable chance of succeeding. Most attorneys do not accept cases that they think will lose - they won't get paid!

It also means that the other side in a personal injury case - an insurance company, an individual or institution - will be more likely to settle than if you had approached them directly. Once you have an attorney who is willing to work on a case, the other side knows that that your legal representative thinks there is a chance of winning. This means that the other side is more likely to make a fair settlement offer.

An important feature of this fee system is the way it allows people who could otherwise not afford an attorney to take legal action when they have been wronged. Contingency fees expand access to the civil justice system.

Are Free Consultations Really Free?

Many people are reluctant to consult an attorney after being injured in an accident because of the negligence of another person. They think that the insurance company will take care of their expenses. They may feel awkward about suing someone or believe that they can't afford legal representation. This post will discuss the third reason for not talking with a lawyer: "I can't afford it."

The bottom line is that you can afford to talk with an attorney about your case. Most personal injury lawyers do not charge for an initial consultation. This is an opportunity for you to tell a lawyer about your accident or injury and find out if you have a case - at no cost.

Not all accidents are the result of negligence; sometimes they are just accidents and no one is to blame. In some cases, the damages are small - maybe a few days lost from work - and it really is not worth taking legal action. In these cases, your best bet probably is the insurance company. Isn't it worth your time to learn this from an experienced counsellor? You have nothing to lose.

You may be asking yourself why a lawyer would be willing to speak with you at no charge. The answer is pretty simple. By offering free consultations, attorneys learn about possible cases that might be successful and could mean business for them.

Ladder Accidents Both Common and Expensive, Part 2

ladder.jpg Our previous post discussed the frequency and causes of ladder accidents. This post continues the theme, listing tips that government and private organizations offer to ensure safe use of ladders at home and on the job.

Ladder safety information can be found at:

Many insurance companies and ladder manufacturers also produce information about the safe use of ladders. Additionally, most state labor and health agencies, including those in New York, provide tips about safe ladder use.

One agency has gone a step further in trying to ensure safety among ladder users. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has developed a smartphone application that helps users position ladders correctly based on visuals, sound and vibration. The app also offers interactive safety materials and a checklist for ladder selection.

Ladder Accidents Both Common and Expensive, Part 1

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Ladder accidents are among the most common causes of construction-related injuries in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ladder falls accounted for 113 work fatalities in 2011, or about 15 percent of the total number of occupational fatalities. Falls from ladders were 43 percent of all fatal fall injuries between 2001 and 2011. An additional 34,000 non-fatal ladder injuries were treated in hospital emergency rooms in 2011. Of these, 15,500 injuries ladder-related injuries resulted in at least one lost workday.

Benefits of Right-of-Way Traffic Law Still Uncertain

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Has the new right of way law in New York City made a difference? The law that went into effect last August has been used 31 times since then, according to a story in a Daily News article last week. It is one of the few ways that sober drivers who injure or kill while committing traffic violations can be held accountable.

Even Minor NYC Construction Accidents Have Costs

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Spectacular and serious construction accidents get the most press in the New York City media. The press highlights the crane accidents, the trench collapses and scaffolding failures. However, the alarming growth in the number of construction accidents in NYC is not limited to the mishaps that draw media attention. Construction workers face danger every day. The dangers cause injuries that may not show up on the evening news, but they could be life-changing nevertheless.

New Laws Passed to Reduce NYC Traffic Fatalities

The New York City Council approved 11 bills at the end of May designed to reduce accidents and improve safety, according to the Daily News. They are part of Mayor Bill de Blasio's Vision Zero plan, an ambitious proposal to eliminate traffic deaths in New York City.

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