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Personal Injury Practice Center

If you have lost a family member or suffered injuries as a result of another person's negligence or misconduct, you could be legally entitled to compensation for your loss. To learn more about your right to damages, contact our firm to schedule a consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney for straightforward solutions that will work for you.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injury Law

Q: How do I know if I have a personal injury case?

A: First, you must have suffered an injury to your person or property. Second, you should consider whether your injury was someone else's fault. It is not always necessary to have a physical injury to bring a personal injury lawsuit — some personal injury claims can be based on a variety of nonphysical losses and harms. In the case of an assault, for example, you do not need to show that a person's action caused you actual physical harm, but only that you expected some harm to come to you. Similarly, you also may have a case if someone has caused injury to your reputation, invaded your privacy or intentionally inflicted emotional distress upon you.

Q: How soon after I am injured do I have to file a lawsuit?

A: Every state has certain time limits, called "statutes of limitations," which govern the amount of time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you miss the deadline for filing your case, you may lose your legal right to damages for your injury. Consequently, it is important to contact a lawyer as soon as you suffer or discover an injury.

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Personal Injury - An Overview

Personal injury lawsuits are filed by people (or their representatives) injured due to the negligence of someone else. The injury may be either physical or emotional, and it can arise from a variety of sources or types of conduct. Some of the most common types of personal injury cases include slip and fall, automobile accidents, assaults and battery, medical malpractice, and product liability. In general, the goal of a personal injury action is to determine who was responsible and to compel the responsible party to compensate the injured person for the losses sustained. If you or someone you know has been injured by the careless actions of another, contact a personal injury attorney at Martin D. Haverly, Attorney at Law in Wilmington, DE, at once to find out how we can help you preserve your rights.

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Dangerous or Defective Products

A person who suffered harm while using a product that was manufactured or marketed in a defective or dangerous way may be able to recover damages from the responsible party in a products liability-based personal injury suit.

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Motor Vehicle Accidents

Motor vehicle accidents cause the loss of time, property, health and even life. Such accidents have a variety of possible causes, including driver error, negligence, manufacturing defects and dangerous weather. No matter what the specific cause or result, a crash can turn a normal day into a prolonged struggle. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer about your motor vehicle accident case can help you sort out your rights, your options and your future.

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Animal Bites

Although animal-attack claims most commonly involve dog bites, many other types of domesticated animals, such as cats, ferrets, rats, snakes and even birds, can also bite humans. Even non-domesticated animals, such as large cats or monkeys and apes ordinarily found in the wild (owned by some people as pets or held in private animal refuges) have been known to attack children and adults. An animal owner's liability for injuries caused by his or her pet, if any, will vary greatly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

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Slips, Falls and Other Premises Liability Claims

Premises liability law involves the legal responsibilities of property owners and occupiers to prevent injuries to persons on their property. One of the most common causes of such injuries is a trip or slip and fall, such as on an icy sidewalk, a loose or uneven stair tread, or a piece of debris or spilled liquid on the floor. Property owner liability varies depending on the rules and principles adopted in the jurisdiction where the injury occurred.

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Wrongful Death

In general, a wrongful death claim is one in which it is alleged that a person died as a result of another's negligence. The deceased person's surviving relatives, dependents or beneficiaries may bring suit against the responsible party or parties, seeking monetary damages for their losses. These may include medical bills, funeral expenses, lost wages and loss of companionship. Each state has its own wrongful death laws and not every state follows the same guidelines, principles or rules.

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Assault and Battery

In civil court, assault and battery are intentional torts, and can be the basis of a personal injury lawsuit against the person who commits them. Assault and battery are different from other personal injury claims in that the person accused of assault or battery must have acted with the intent to cause a certain result, namely either fear in the victim or physical contact to the victim's person.

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Personal Injury Resource Links

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
The CPSC is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of property damage, serious personal injury or death from consumer products such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard or can injure children. The CPSC's website includes recalls and product safety news, information on reporting an unsafe product and more.

National Safety Council (NSC) Safety Resources and Information
The National Safety Council offers safety resources that provide statistics, tips and suggestions for staying safe at home and while on the road.

Tort Law: An Overview
This website, maintained by the Legal Information Institute (LII) at Cornell University Law School, provides general information about tort law, including discussion of intentional torts, negligence and strict liability.

Dog Bite Liability
This article from the Insurance Information Institute (III) discusses issues related to dog bite liability, including the responsibilities of dog owners, recent developments in state legislation and important court decisions.

Products Liability Law: An Overview
This website, also maintained by the Legal Information Institute (LII) at Cornell University Law School, provides general information about the law of products liability as well as links to federal and state judicial decisions and statutes.

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View Cases

  • Sheridan v. E. I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., 100 F.3d 1061 (3rd Cir. 1996) (en banc) (Plaintiff's jury verdict and the "pretext only" paradigm for proof of intentional discrimination established).
  • Hawkins v. Division of State Police, et al., C.A. No. 99-297-SLR (Religious discrimination case which successfully obtained an offer of judgment and caused the State to stop using the MMPI-1.
  • Miller v. Daimler Chrysler Corp., C. A. No. 01-827-JJF (D.Del. 2003) (Race Discrimination claim survived Motion for Summary Judgment).
  • Panaro v. J.C. Penny, Inc., C.A. 01C-02-010 JOH, 2002 WL 130692 (Del. Super. 2002)(In a personal injury case, admission into evidence of direct examination of deceased deponent/plaintiff does not.
  • Price, et al. v. L. Aaron Chaffinch, et al., C.A. No. 04-956-GMS, 2006 WL 1313178 (D.Del. 2006) (First Amendment Retaliation, Petitions Clause and Defamation Claims survived Motion for Summary Judgment).
  • Reyes v. Freebery, 141 Fed. Appx. 49 (3d Cir. 2005) (per curiam) remanding to District Court to explain its restrictions on the public's right to access to judicial records and counsel's First Amendment.
  • Underwood v. Sear Roebuck and Co., 343 F.Supp.2d 259 (D.Del. 2004) (Gender discrimination claim survived Motion for Summary Judgment).
  • Shotzberger v. State of Delaware Dept. Of Correction, 2004 WL 758354 (D.Del. Jan. 30, 2004) (Gender discrimination claim survived Motion for Summary Judgement).
  • Stull v. Thomas S. Neuberger, P.A., 2003 WL 21481016 (Del. Super. Febr. 28, 2003) (Effect of Delaware accord and satisfaction law on a contract for legal services).
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