Car accidents create situations where there may be several types of liability depending on the parties involved. After someone is injured, it is important to get legal advice to discuss the possibility of a lawsuit and determine how the victim’s expenses will be paid. Without professional advice, it may be difficult to obtain the maximum amount of compensation allowed by law.
Emergency workers had to assist an accident victim who was trapped in his car after a crash in Charleston, South Carolina.
Driver gets pinned inside his car after it flips over
The local fire department responded to the area of Highway 17 at Timmons Acres in Charleston County. They believe that one vehicle rolled over after a collision with another car, and one of the occupants was trapped inside.
News reports confirmed that the man inside was eventually removed. The lanes on Highway 17 were also blocked for a period of time while police and emergency services worked in the area. There were no specifics reported regarding the extent of the victim’s injuries, or whether he required hospitalization. Police in the Charleston area confirmed that they would conduct a full investigation to get more details regarding the initial cause of the accident and any associated damage.
Determining liability and attempting to win a lawsuit
In a situation like this, there may be liability for the driver at fault. Government workers who assist also have a duty of care to ensure that they do not make a victim’s injuries worse. In any personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff’s lawyer needs to prove that the defendant was the actual cause of medical problems, financial losses, and other types of damage. This is usually done through a combination of evidence collected from the accident scene as well as testimony from witnesses or those who are experts in accident reconstruction. The case will be resolved as more information becomes available through the discovery process. Sometimes this is done through a settlement agreement, while the parties will take their chances at trial if they cannot agree on a monetary amount or other important details.
Can an emergency worker be sued for a mistake?
For emergency workers, there is normally a medical standard of care that requires them to follow certain procedures. The plaintiff will have to prove that the worker, government agency, or company responsible for the worker acted negligently or committed malpractice in some manner. There must also be damages which can be shown through something like an aggravated injury or additional health problems caused directly by the rescue workers. As a procedural matter, the government, ambulance company, the individual EMT, and others may initially be attached to a lawsuit. Some of these parties may be detached from the legal proceedings as fault becomes more clear.
There have also been lawsuits against ambulance companies or the local government that operates emergency services for things like excessive delays after a 911 call. An excessive wait time can cause issues like lack of blood flow to the brain and other traumatic injuries. Workers can make mistakes even after arrival, that results in damaged bones or paralysis if a victim in a sensitive situation is not handled properly.
The complexity of diagnosing medical problems
When an accident related injury results in a specific kind of long term health issue or trauma, it may be necessary to retain someone with extensive knowledge in the field to prove causation and describe the injury properly, as well as verify the significant costs associated with long term treatment. Some law firms routinely work with doctors and retain them as expert witnesses at trial for these reasons. They are usually very skilled at explaining complex medical problems to a jury after testifying in a number of cases during their years of experience.
Before an expert witness can appear at trial, there will need to be a separate hearing to verify their credentials and field of practice. This is required by the rules of evidence, because expert witnesses can give opinions to the jury and give other kinds of testimony that normal witnesses cannot due to evidentiary rules about speculation. This hearing can include details about education, publications, work history, and prior trials or legal experience. The judge has to make the final decision whether the witness will be allowed to testify as an expert or not. If they are not found to be an expert based on their credentials, the party calling this person cannot allow them to give opinions or testify about certain other technical aspects of the case.
Speak with a local attorney to get more information
There are lawyers who dedicate their practices to assisting people who were harmed in various kinds of motor vehicle accidents. To speak with a personal injury lawyer in Charleston, contact The Clekis Law Firm.