The Small Personal Injury Practice

AuthorEllsworth T. Rundlett III
Chapter 1
The Small Personal
Injury Practice
§100 Introduction
§110 Four Guiding Principles for Personal Injury Cases
§120 Necessary Qualities of the Personal Injury Trial Attorney
§130 Factors to Consider in Accepting Small Personal Injury Cases
§140 Factors to Consider in Rejecting Cases
§150 Conclusion
§100 Introduction
§110 Four Guiding Principles for Personal Injury Cases
§111 Communication
§112 Credibility
§112.1 Establishing Credibility
§113 Commitment
§114 Common Sense
§114.1 Using Common Sense
§120 Necessary Qualities of the Personal Injury Trial Attorney
§121 Ready
§122 Willing
§123 Able
Checklist: Learning Trial Practice
§123.1 Trying Cases in the Year 2013 and Beyond
§130 Factors to Consider in Accepting Small Personal Injury Cases
§131 Liability
§131.1 Automobile Cases
Liability Checklist for Rear-End Collision Cases
Liability Checklist for Intersection and Failure-to-Yield Cases
Liability Checklist for Automobile/Pedestrian Cases and Automobile/Bicyclists Cases
§131.2 Trucking Cases
§131.2.1 Checklist for Trucking Incidents
§131.2.2 Resources for Trucking Cases
§131.3 Premises Liability Cases
§131.3.1 Examples of Typical Premises Liability Cases
§131.3.2 Fall Cases
§131.3.3 Liability Checklist for Fall Cases
§131.3.4 Falling Objects
§131.3.5 Liability Checklist for Falling Object Cases
§131.3.6 Falls From Stairways and Steps
§131.3.7 Liability Checklist for Stairway or Step Cases
§131.3.8 Animal Cases
§131.3.9 Nine Tips on How to Handle Animal Cases
§131.3.10 Sample Complaint in a Dog Bite Case
§131.3.11 Liability Checklist for Dram Shop Cases
§131.3.12 Inadequate Security Cases
§131.3.13 Checklist for Inadequate Security Cases
§131.3.14 Dealing With Wal-Mart and Other Hardball Mega-Stores
§131.3.15 Twenty-Three Tips On How to Deal With Large Chain Store Cases
§131.3.16 New Things to Consider in Large Store Cases in 2013
§131.4 Product Liability Cases
§131.5 Medical Malpractice and Hospital Negligence
§131.5.1 Red Flags in Potential Medical Negligence Cases
§131.5.2 Patent Responses to Refuse a Medical Negligence Client During the
First Telephone Conference
§131.5.3 Investigation and Preparation of a Medical Negligence Case
§131.5.4 Investigation Checklist for Small to Medium Medical
Negligence Cases
§131.5.5 Reference Aids
§131.5.6 Medical Negligence in 2013
§131.6 Intentional Tort Cases
§131.6.1 Checklist: Intentional Tort Cases
§131.7 Pharmacy Negligence Cases
§131.7.1 Checklist for Pharmacy/Drug Store Negligence Case
§131.8 Claims Against Municipalities, School Districts, and Other Public Entities
§131.8.1 Checklist for First Interview Involving Claim Against a Public Entity
§131.8.2 Specific Types of Claims Against Municipalities and Other
Public Entities
§131.9 Litigating Nursing Home and Long Term Care Facility Cases
§131.9.1 Investigating and Preparing Your Nursing Home Case for Mediation
or Trial
§131.9.2 Assessing Specific Types of Nursing Home Cases
§131.9.3 Twenty-Eight Tips to Enhance the Value of Nursing Home Cases
§131.10 Sexual Harassment Cases
§131.10.1 Checklist for Considering Sexual Harassment Cases
§131.10.2 Maximizing Damages in Sexual Harassment Cases
§131.11 Negligence Cases Involving Children and Minors
§131.11.1 Checklist for Handling Cases Involving Children
§131.12 Toxic Mold Cases
§131.12.1 Liability Summary
§131.13 Food Poisoning Cases
§131.13.1 Sample Complaint in a Food Poisoning Case
§131.14 Food and Beverage Burn Cases
§131.14.1 Sample Complaint in a Hot Beverage Burn Case
§131.15 Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act Cases
§131.15.1 Injury and Causation
§131.15.2 Jurisdiction
§131.15.3 Disability
§131.15.4 Proof/Burdens
§131.15.5 Affirmative Defenses
§131.15.6 Nuts and Bolts (Procedure)
§131.15.7 Fees
§131.15.8 Settlements
§131.15.9 Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Forms
§131.16 Unfair Trade Practices
§131.16.1 Evaluating Unfair Trade Practice Cases
§131.16.2 Unfair Trade Practices—Sample Complaint
§131.17 Cell Phone Cases
§131.17.1 Cell Phone Cases—2013
§131.18 Employment Law Cases
§131.19 Wrongful Death
§131.20 Ten Factors to Consider in Accepting Wrongful Death Cases
§131.21 Seven Steps to Processing a Wrongful Death Case
§131.22 Cruise Ship Cases
§131.22.1 What to Consider Before Accepting a Cruise Ship Case
§131.22.2 Tips for the Intake of a Potential Cruise Ship Case
§132 Damages
§132.1 2006 Caveat: Reasons to Avoid Very Small Cases With a Value of Just a Few
Thousand Dollars
§133 Defendant With Assets or Ability to Pay
§133.1 Checklist: Evaluating Defendant’s Ability to Pay
§134 The Good Plaintiff
§135 The Bad Defendant
§136 Referrals From Past Clients
§137 Referrals From Other Attorneys and Referral Fees
§138 Experience
§140 Factors to Consider in Rejecting Cases
§141 Referrals From Out-of-State Attorneys
§141.1 Checklist: Evaluating an Out-of-State Referral
§142 Clients Who Are Lawyer Shopping
§143 Questionable Liability Cases
§144 Questionable Damages
§145 Medical Malpractice
§146 Products Liability Cases
§147 Cases in Other States: Statutes of Limitations, No Fault, and Comparative
Negligence Problems
§147.1 Interview Checklist for Considering Out-of-State Cases
§147.2 Form for Accepting Out-of-State Claims
§147.3 Form Letter to Client Declining Representation in an Out-of-State Case
§148 The Pros and Cons of Taking Very Small Cases
§148.1 Five Reasons to Take the Very Small Case
§148.2 Five Reasons to Avoid Taking the Very Small Case
§148.3 The Ultimate Personal Injury Trial Lawyer
§148.4 Small Cases—2013
§150 Conclusion

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