Frequently Asked Questions
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What’s the difference between a fact witness and an expert witness?
A fact witness is someone who has personal knowledge of the circumstances and events of the case. They may have seen, heard, or have some other type of direct experience or first-hand knowledge that they can testify to.
An expert witness is one who uses facts of the case, along with their own specialized knowledge, to form an opinion. Where the fact witness testimony is based on their experience of the event, expert witness testimony is based on their opinion of the event.
What are the responsibilities of an expert witness?
An expert witness should review all the necessary materials, perform the pertinent tests, form an opinion about an issue of fact, and testify to that issue or issues during the trial, as well as sharing with the jury how the came to this opinion.
What makes someone an expert witness?
An expert witness is someone who has sufficient knowledge, training, and/or experience that can help a jury reach a determination on an issue of fact. Every state has its own laws addressing what qualifies a witness as an expert.
Under North Carolina General Statutes, Chapter 8C Article 7. 1. Article 7, the following are the criteria for expert witness testimony:
- The testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data.
- The testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods.
- The witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case.
How long does it take to get a settlement check once an agreement is reached?
Typically, once the victim has signed the release and agreement, the insurance company will usually send the check within a week or two. If you have a personal injury attorney representing you, the check will be sent to the attorney, who will put together a settlement statement. This statement will include the total funds collected from the insurance company, minus the attorney fees, court costs, and any other necessary deductions. Once the victim signs the settlement statement, the attorney will release the funds.
What is a release in a settlement agreement?
When both parties reach a settlement agreement, the victim is required to sign a release before the agreed-upon compensation will be released by the insurance company. This document “releases” all legal claims the victim has against the at-fault party and the insurance company for their injuries. It is important to note that once the release is signed, the victim is not able to pursue additional damages should issues from the accident arise in the future.
How long does it take to settle a personal injury claim?
Although very few personal injury lawsuits actually go to trial, it is important to remember that every case is different. The majority of cases are resolved with the parties agree to a settlement amount. It is impossible to predict how long it can take to negotiate a fair and just settlement with the at-fault party and/or their insurance company.
Generally, the more serious or severe the victim’s injuries and losses are, the longer it takes to reach a settlement. This is because of the potential amount of financial compensation the victim is entitled to. Insurance companies are notorious for fighting harder the more the victim’s losses add up to. This is why it can be critical to retain a personal injury attorney to advocate for you.
Legal Classifications of Death: What is a medical malpractice death?
A medical malpractice death occurs when a person sustained fatal injuries or complications as a result of an error or negligence in a medical procedure or treatment. The family of the victim can pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit and seek damages for medical expenses, loss of income of the victim, pain and suffering, and more.
Legal Classifications of Death: What is a wrongful death?
A wrongful death occurs when a person dies as the result of intentional or unintentional actions or behaviors of another party or parties. For example, a driver who gets behind the wheel after they have been drinking and causes a crash that kills another driver.
In these cases, the next of kin of the victim can pursue damages in a wrongful death against those responsible. A wrongful death action is separate from any criminal charges the alleged at-fault party may be facing. In some cases, the at-fault party may not even be charged criminally, or they may be found not guilty. This does not affect the civil action.
Legal Classifications of Death: What is an accidental death?
An accidental death occurs when a person dies because of an unanticipated and unusual event. Some of the different types of accidental deaths that can occur include the following:
- An accidental injury that leads to a death
- Fatal disease or infection that develops as a result of an accidental injury
- Accidentally drowning
If the death is caused by an accident that was not caused by negligence or recklessness, then there is no liable party to pursue damages against.
How does a person know if they tinnitus caused by defective 3M dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs?
Although many veterans shrug off these sounds as the aftereffects of being in the military, identifying whether or not you suffer from tinnitus:
- Did you serve in the military between 2003 and 2015 and issued 3M dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs?
- Does anyone else hear the sounds when you hear them?
- Do you only hear the sounds when you have migraines, or do you also have them when you feel fine?
- Are there any medications you are currently taking that could be causing the tinnitus?