Ranken & Shnider, Attorneys at Law June 29, 2020

We handle all kinds of personal injury cases, meaning when someone is injured due to the fault of another person that would include most commonly automobile accidents. That is the source of most traumatic injuries. But also bicycle accidents, and pedestrians who are hit by a vehicle. I have handled some boating accident cases as well. One big area is slip and fall or trip and fall cases where there is an unsafe walking surface, which is either too slippery or too uneven. It can be on any property such as a hotel, private property or even public property that can lead to a valid claim for negligence of the property owner for not maintaining their property or building it in a safe manner.

We also handle product liability cases where an injury is caused by a product that is knowingly dangerous. Medical malpractice cases are difficult and expensive ones, but if there is a significant injury and we can clearly show that the doctor fell below the standard of care, than we do accept those cases as well. Finally, wrongful death cases, it is a category that can be in any of the categories that a personal injury can cause a death. I had one recently that was due actually to a slip and fall. The person hit their head fell into a coma and passed away from their injuries. It could be an auto accident, medical malpractice or any of these types of cases. If the injury results in death, then that is called a wrongful death.

What Are the Top Misconceptions People Have About Working with Personal Injury Attorneys?

There is nothing people need to be concerned about in terms of misconceptions when retaining a personal injury attorney. The way my firm and most personal injury firms work is we do not require the client to pay any money upfront. Instead we receive compensation if and when we are successful in either settling the case or getting a verdict in our client’s favor. We receive a percentage from that. Some people think they cannot afford to hire a lawyer, but there is no need to be concerned in that regard. My firm also advances all the costs of each case, which can run into thousands of dollars to investigate, hire expert witnesses, take depositions, pay the court reporters, and the filing fees at court.

We get reimbursed out of the recovery. Maybe the biggest misconceptions that people have about personal injury cases in general is that anytime someone is hurt on someone else’s property, the land owner should be responsible. But in reality we still need to show negligence. We need to show something the land owner did wrong, such as a dangerous condition that they allowed on the property. In most cases for example where people slip and fall in a grocery store, it might just be something that was spilled by another customer.

Unless we can show that the grocery store did not have proper procedures for maintaining and cleaning the floors, or they failed to put out a sign when they were aware there was a spill, unless we can show something like that, those are not necessarily good cases.

How Should I Deal with The Other Party’s Insurance After an Accident or Injury?

I do not let my clients give a recorded statement to the insurance adjustor ever. The reason is that I would rather gather the information myself and present it very carefully and thoroughly in writing to the adjustor, because that is more effective in getting them to fully understand the extent of the damages and get a more favorable settlement of the case. There is no requirement that a person make them available for an interview with the insurance adjustor. There are dangers in doing so, because if you forget one thing, misspeak or do not understand a question correctly, that recording can be played back later on in court and will be used to try and minimize the damages for your case.

It is better to wait, just let me as the attorney work up the cases and present it in the best possible light to any insurance company. If we do not settle and go to court there will be a deposition of the plaintiff, my client, or you will have your deposition taken. We will prepare for that carefully so that the deposition testimony is strong and will help your case.

How Important Are Evidence and Witnesses in A Personal Injury Claim?

Sometimes evidence and witnesses are more important than other times. In an auto accident about sixty to seventy percent of the time it is pretty clear who was at fault. In other cases, there may be a dispute as to whether the light was red or green, and then independent witnesses become very important. I highly recommend to people that they call an attorney as soon as possible after an accident. We can investigate the case and interview witnesses while their memory is still fresh. Witnesses are also important when explaining the damages side of a case. That may include co-workers or family members who are able to say how the injuries have affected the plaintiff’s life and activities.

For more information on Personal Injury Cases in Hawaii, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling today.