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Accidents happen. That is an unfortunate fact of life. But many accidents are avoidable and occur because of the negligent or careless conduct of another person. For victims of those kinds of accidents, the law provides the right to be compensated in money damages for the resulting damages they suffer. In theory, they are entitled to be “made whole” to the extent possible through financial compensation from the responsible party. In reality, however, obtaining just and full compensation can be extremely difficult, and may not happen at all without the services of a tenacious, skilled and experienced attorney.
Claims based on negligence are generally referred to as “tort” claims*. There are many kinds of tort claims based on negligence, including motor vehicle accidents, trip & falls, construction site accidents, dog-bites, and negligent security cases. Within these very broad categories, there are very important differences based on a number of factors. Just as no two accidents are exactly the same, no two tort claims are exactly the same. The facts of each case are always unique to that case. And those facts are vitally important and must be diligently gathered and carefully analyzed by counsel for an accident victim.
The attorney’s fact-gathering should be done as early on as possible. Often, crucial evidence can be lost or altered soon after an accident, so it is vitally important to obtain witness statements, photographs and physical evidence quickly. Once gathered, that evidence must be analyzed to determine how it impacts the client’s case. Sometimes, it is necessary to hire an expert to assist in this process, such as an accident reconstruction expert or a doctor. Cases often turn on small and subtle details that an experienced tort lawyer learns to recognize. Inexperienced attorneys sometimes miss such details, or fail to grasp their significance, often to the disadvantage of their clients. That’s why the Tyner Law Offices are committed to promptly and thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding each of our clients’ accidents.
Another way in which tort cases differ is in how they are treated under the law. There are numerous statutes, case decisions and government regulations that dictate how different kinds of cases must be brought, when they must be brought, against whom they can be bought and what kinds of damages are (and are not) allowed to be recovered. For example, some kinds of cases cannot be filed in court unless a written notice is sent to the responsible party within certain time limits. Often, those time limits are surprisingly short. Another example is that certain parties - charities and government entities, for example – are protected in many circumstances by strict dollar limits on their potential liability, even when those limits don’t come close to fairly compensating an accident victim. Once again, an experienced attorney is best able to ensure that all procedural minefields are properly avoided and that the best available legal strategy is employed to maximize a client’s recovery. For these reasons and others, the wisest choice for a seriously injured individual is clear: consult with a reputable and experienced personal injury law firm as soon as possible.
*Torts also include other types of civil actions, but negligence claims are by far the most common kind of tort.
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