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Articles Tagged with injury

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By Kyle Roby
English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley

emergency-room-photo-300x199When you are injured in an accident, you may sue to recover the costs of reasonable and necessary medical treatment following the incident. How do you determine what those costs are and the reasonableness of them? Is it the medical bill itself? Is it what your health insurance paid? Is the other side entitled to a credit or set-off if the cost of your medical bills are reduced by insurance payments or the hospital charges a different rate for your health insurance? These are some of the questions you may have when trying to determine what is the reasonable cost of medical treatment in a personal injury case.

In most states, Courts will follow what is known as the collateral source rule. The collateral source rule is a rule of evidence that prohibits the admission of evidence that the plaintiff or victim has received compensation form other than the damages sought against the defendant. Typical examples of a collateral source are medical bills paid by health insurance or payments made by workers compensation.

Recently, the Tennessee Supreme Court was faced with the question of what was the reasonable cost for medical services in personal injury cases. This case, Dedmon vs. Steelman, is an important win for Tennessee patients and personal injury victims. The Tennessee Supreme Court heard the case in April and issued a ruling on November 17, 2017.

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street-building-construction-industry-300x200When a person who is injured due to another party’s careless conduct files a lawsuit, he or she may expect the matter to be concluded either by a jury trial or by a settlement.

However, a significant number of Kentucky personal injury cases – especially premises liability lawsuits arising from slip and falls, trip and falls, and fall down accidents – are resolved via a motion for summary judgment.

By granting summary judgment, a trial court is saying, in essence, that even if everything the plaintiff says in his or her complaint is true, the defendant is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. Summary judgment is only appropriate in situations in which no genuine issues of material fact must be resolved in order for the issues to be decided.

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pumpkins

In a recent Kentucky premises liability case, a store in which a customer tripped and fell on a pallet underneath a container of pumpkins insisted that the customer’s fall was his own fault. The trial court agreed and granted summary judgment to the store.

Fortunately for the customer, the appellate court understood that the question was not as simple as the store made it out to be. Yes, the large box of pumpkins was clearly visible – but the wooden pallet beneath it was not necessarily noticeable to the customer under the circumstances.

Facts of the Case

In a recent unpublished Kentucky Court of Appeals case, the plaintiff was a man who tripped and fell while shopping for groceries at a store in Lexington. At the time of his fall, the man was carrying a handheld shopping basket that obscured his view of the corner of the pallet upon which he tripped. The accident caused extensive injuries to the plaintiff’s shoulder and knees, causing him to undergo multiple surgeries. He filed a premises liability lawsuit against the store, alleging that his injuries were a direct and proximate result of the store’s negligence and failure to keep the premises safe for business invitees. He sought to recover compensation for his medical costs, his lost earnings (past and future), and his pain and suffering.

The Fayette County Circuit Court granted summary judgment to the defendant and dismissed the plaintiff’s personal injury action.

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review of judgment

When a person is injured due to the negligence of another party, the injured person is entitled to pursue fair compensation for his or her injuries. In determining the amount due to a Tennessee car accident claimant, the court may consider the victim’s past and future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of ability to enjoy life, permanent impairment, and other factors.

If the case is tried to a jury, the jury members make this determination. If the trial court judge hears the case without a jury, he or she makes the determination.

Either way, if one party or the other is aggrieved by the amount of damages awarded by the trial court, there is the possibility of having an appellate court review the award.

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mallThose who own or operate businesses that are open to the public have certain responsibilities to keep their premises safe for those who come onto the property for a business purpose, such as to shop at a store or eat at a restaurant.

When this duty is breached, an injured person has the right to seek monetary compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering associated with the accident.

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gas station

Attorneys who routinely handle personal injury cases often tell clients that it can take anywhere from a few months to several years for their case to make its way through the courts or settle.

Typically, however, the litigation process does not take anywhere near as long as it did in a case decided in March by the Kentucky’s highest court. In that case, a decade passed between the plaintiff’s initial injury and the court’s decision.

One factor that extended the case’s time in the courts was a change in the applicable law while the case was pending. Unfortunately for the plaintiffs, the court’s decision required their case to, once again, be remanded to the trial court for further proceedings.

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Scooter

Most personal injury lawsuits settle out of court, but some do proceed to trial. Most often, this happens because the parties disagree as to who was at fault, the amount of damages to which the plaintiff is entitled, or both.

When one party is displeased with the jury’s decision, he or she has the right to appeal the trial court’s entry of judgment on the verdict to a higher court. However, much deference is afforded to the jury’s verdict, and the burden is on the appealing party to convince the appellate court that a legally reversible error was made in the lower court.

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vicious dog

There is no question that some dogs are more dangerous than others, or that almost any dog is capable of an attack under the right circumstances. What responsibility should the owner of a dog with dangerous propensities – or the owner of any dog, for that matter – have toward the general public?

A Kentucky appellate court addressed this issue recently in a case in which a woman was severely injured by a pack of dogs during a hunting trip.

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hospital hallway

Generally speaking, businesses such as retail stores, restaurants, and even hospitals have a duty to keep their premises in a reasonably safe condition. When a business fails to do so, it can be held liable for the resulting physical injuries (or even a guest’s wrongful death). Those injured or the family of someone who died can file a premises liability lawsuit.

However, such cases are sometimes difficult to prove, and the plaintiff has the burden of establishing the defendant’s liability. If the plaintiff is unable to make out a case of negligence, he or she will not be able to recover any monetary damages, regardless of the severity of the injuries sustained in the accident.

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winter morningEach year, thousands of people are injured in fall accidents. According to statistics maintained by the Center for Disease Control, a significant percentage of these accidents result in serious injury or even death. The case we are examining in this blog post was a fall on ice.

In situations in which a person falls on someone else’s property and is injured, he or she may be able to bring a premises liability lawsuit against the owner of the property, if the landowner’s negligence contributed to the accident. If successful, the plaintiff in such a lawsuit may be able to recover medical expenses, lost wages, compensation for pain and suffering, and other damages.

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