Bed Bug Bites – Hiring an Injury Attorney

What You Need To Know When Facing A Personal Injury Lawsuit

Posted by on Oct 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What You Need To Know When Facing A Personal Injury Lawsuit

Personal injury lawsuits happen all the time for many reasons. It is perhaps only a matter of time before you can expect to become the defendant in a personal injury lawsuit. Whether the plaintiff is telling the truth or not, you will have to defend yourself in a court of law. You should know what to expect when being sued, including how much you might have to pay out to plaintiff.  Plaintiff’s Role In The Accident Perhaps the single most common claim you will hear on behalf of the defense is some variation of the plaintiff’s fault or role in the accident. This, in fact, is usually the first claim made by the defense attorney on behalf of the defense. Numerous personal injury lawsuits end with the plaintiff being recognized at least partially to blame for the accident, and as such, the damages that he or she will receive are much less grandiose than what the plaintiff was seeking. If this is recognized by both parties, it is usually within both parties’ interests to settle out of court in order to avoid a potentially lengthy legal battle and rising court fees. The degree to which damages can be received by the plaintiff if they are found to have a role in the accident itself depend on what sort of compensatory program that the state has in place for such issues. There are 2 types of compensatory programs in place to account for a plaintiff’s role in the accident. The first of these is comparative negligence, while the second set into place is contributory negligence. Comparative Negligence Most states operate under the rubric of comparative negligence. This is to say they look at who causes what aspects of the accidents and then decide on a percentage value for the accident. This is to say that plaintiff might be responsible for 25% of damages, or rather, is 25% at fault. This will deem that the defendant is 75% at fault. This means that the defendant will have to pay 75% of the damages in question. So, if the damages that the plaintiff was seeking were $20,000, then the defendant will wind up having to pay $15,000. A plaintiff can, of course, only recover damages if he or she is 50% at fault or under. Contributory Negligence Far less common are states that operate under the rubric of contributory negligence. Comparative negligence operates by allowing the plaintiff to receive some degree of compensation, so long as they were not primarily at fault for the personal injury that they themselves received. States operating under the rubric of contributory negligence are far less forgiving to those plaintiffs. If a plaintiff is considered at fault in the personal injury of themselves in any way, then the court brooks no difference, and the plaintiff is awarded no damages whatsoever. This means that even if you are considered only 5% at fault, you will not reap the rewards of receiving any of the damages owed to you by the defendant. As said, contributory negligence is a far less common phenomenon in state courts than comparative negligence. At the time of this writing, only 5 places in the US, Alabama, The District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia, adhere to pure contributory negligence laws. Personal injury lawsuits...

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Be Careful About Signing A Confidentiality Agreement In Your Trucking Accident Settlement

Posted by on Sep 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Be Careful About Signing A Confidentiality Agreement In Your Trucking Accident Settlement

Truck accident settlements are as unique as the people involved in them. However, there is one component most of them have in common: confidentiality agreements. Many trucking companies want to prevent accident victims from discussing potentially damaging information with others and often require plaintiffs to sign nondisclosure contracts as a condition of the settlement. Here’s why you should think twice about signing on the dotted line. The Problem with Confidentiality Agreements Confidentially agreements provide few, if any, benefits to plaintiffs. Typically, the terms of the settlement and the money awarded is kept secret. Plaintiffs who may be concerned about the exposure of personal details or who don’t want others knowing how much money they received may appreciate the nondisclosure clause. The request for confidentiality may also provide some leverage to increase the settlement amount. The company may be willing to pay more than it normally would to keep things quiet. In general, though, these contracts may victimize plaintiffs a second time. First, confidentiality agreements limit what can be said about the incident to unprivileged parties, which means you can’t warn others about the company’s negligent behavior. This can make it difficult to hold the company accountable for its mistakes or effect change in public policy to prevent other people from getting hurt by the same negligent practices. Another issue is that nondisclosure agreements often contain penalties for breaking the agreement that could cost the plaintiff the entire settlement. For instance, a teen caused her father to lose an $80K settlement when she posted on Facebook that he had won the lawsuit. The nondisclosure agreement prohibited the man and his wife from speaking about the lawsuit to anyone outside of their attorney and other privileged parties, which did not include the daughter or her 1,200 Facebook followers. The school rescinded the settlement after learning about the breach, and the Court of Appeals upheld the school’s decision. In addition to losing the settlement money, you may be held responsible for any damages that result from the contract breach depending on the wording of the nondisclosure agreement and the laws in your state. Lastly, confidentiality agreements hurt other victims of trucking accidents because it can make it difficult to accurately evaluate how much a person can get for his or her accident case. Among other resources, lawyers research similar cases to determine how much to ask for in court or during negotiation. If the amounts are hidden by nondisclosure agreements, people may end up getting less than they are due. Negotiating Non-Disclosure Agreements While you’ll probably want to avoid signing a confidentiality agreement as part of your settlement, sometimes that’s not possible. Therefore, if your settlement with the trucking company requires you to sign one, work with your attorney to negotiate the terms so they have as minimal of an impact on your life as possible. For instance, it’s important to limit the breadth of the confidentiality agreement as well as the length of time it remains in effect. Some companies try to prevent plaintiffs from talking about any aspect of the case for all eternity. However, this is unrealistic and likely unenforceable. Additionally, too much restriction on the discussion of the case may inhibit your attorney’s ability to advise you or other clients on similar issues in the future. You’ll also...

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Nursing Home Neglect: Types Of Abuse And Negligence You Should Be Aware Of

Posted by on Sep 8, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Nursing Home Neglect: Types Of Abuse And Negligence You Should Be Aware Of

Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is a big problem in the United States. One study found that around a third of all nursing homes have been found guilty of multiple cases of abuse or neglect within the past two years. If you have a parent or relative in the care of a nursing facility, and you suspect abuse, you probably have grounds for a civil lawsuit. Nursing home abuse and neglect can happen in a myriad of ways. The following are examples or instances where the nursing home would be found guilty of abuse or medical malpractice. 1. Failure to prevent accidents. One of the reasons why you entrust your loved one to the care of a nursing home is because they require a level of supervision and medical care that you cannot provide in their own home or in the home of a relative. When this expected level of care is not provided and accidents occur, causing bodily or emotional harm to your loved one, the nursing home is liable for subsequent damages.  For example, if your parent has dementia and often forgets where he or she is, a safety precaution that the nursing home would take is to make sure that the front doors have automatic locks that the residents cannot operate without an attendant. If these locks are faulty, or if a worker leaves a key lying around, a resident without full mental capacity could leave the facility and suffer injury. These injuries are then the burden of the nursing home, as the injury was directly caused by negligence. Other examples of failure to prevent accidents include leaving medications were residents might find them and overdose, not removing obstacles like boxes out of the walkway, or leaving floors wet when residents without full mobility might slip on them. 2. Intentional abuse. One of the most disturbing trends in nursing home abuse is direct physical, sexual, or verbal assaults on residents. Examples of these types of abuses include: inappropriate touching when bathing and dressing residents baiting residents with words or with objects slapping, punching, or spanking residents for perceived misbehavior verbal insults, including profanity intentionally withholding medications or other needed items as “punishment” All of these examples are extraordinarily serious offenses. When you visit your loved one, you should check for bruises and ask them questions about how they treated and what their day is like. If you have proof of the abusive environment, you can take your findings to a medical malpractice or personal injury attorney. Sometimes, the nursing home may be unaware of the abusive behavior of a certain employee. If this is the case, you will make the case against the individual. However, many nursing homes turn a blind eye to bad employee treatment of residents. When this is the case, you can file a full civil lawsuit against the establishment. 3. Harm through neglect. Another aspect of nursing home injuries are those caused by employees doing too little to help residents. Bed sores are a common problem for patients with limited mobility. These sores develop because the resident is not exercised or moved often enough, and bed sheets and linens are not frequently changed. Other signs of neglect include: sudden weight loss. Your loved one may not be getting enough to eat or may...

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Getting A Witness To Back Up Your Claims For A Car Accident: 3 Factors That Affect Credibility

Posted by on Aug 18, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Getting A Witness To Back Up Your Claims For A Car Accident: 3 Factors That Affect Credibility

There are about 10 million of all kinds of car accidents reported each year, and the average American will get into a car accident once every 17.9 years. Unless there are witnesses to the accident, a lot of accidents are reported based on he said/she said claims. Both parties generally believe that they are not at fault for the accident, and at times, it can be difficult to determine fault even with forensic evidence. In these situations, witness testimonies can come in handy, which is why one of the first things you should always do is to get the contact information of any witnesses nearby. Unfortunately, not all witness testimonies may be used in court. Credibility plays a huge role. Here are 3 particular factors to be aware of. The Witnesses’ Characters First and foremost, your car accident lawyer will need to determine your witnesses’ characters before asking them to take the stand. This involves determining whether the witnesses have been convicted of any felonies or misdemeanors in the past or whether the witnesses have had any run-ins with the law in the past several years. It also includes determining whether the witness has a reputation for dishonesty. Your witnesses’ occupation can play a huge role in determining their characters. In addition to whether they have had any run-ins with the law or a bad reputation, your witnesses’ character also depends on whether they have any interest in the outcome of the case. For example, if the witnesses are reputable members of the community, but are either your family members or friends, they may not be eligible. The Witnesses’ Physical Condition Just because your witnesses claim that they were able to witness the accident in detail, it does not necessarily mean that they were able to witness the accident correctly or remember the accident correctly. The lawyers of the other parties involved may call your witnesses’ physical condition into question. This includes determining whether any of your witnesses have poor eyesight or hearing, whether your witnesses were fully sober and whether your witnesses have a reputation for having a bad memory. The Witnesses’ Viewpoint of the Accident Events move very quickly during a car accident, and witnesses are hardly credible unless they witnessed the accident from the start to the end. To determine your witnesses’ credibility, your lawyer will also need to determine how much of the accident was witnessed and the location where the witnesses were at. Whether the witnesses had an obstructed viewpoint of the accident and whether the witnesses were fully paying attention will be called into question. For example, if your witnesses were driving, the lawyers of the other parties may question whether your witnesses were paying full attention because they could have been distracted by the road. In addition, most lawyers will want to determine whether the witnesses had sufficient time to process the accident to notice whether any of the cars were speeding. The time when the witnesses clued into the accident also plays a role. Whether the witnessed observed the accident from start to finish or whether they only started paying attention at the sound of impact will make a difference. Conclusion Before calling witnesses to testify on your behalf regarding any details surrounding the accident, your car accident lawyer will want...

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2 Simple Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Personal Injury Case

Posted by on Aug 13, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Simple Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Personal Injury Case

In your quest to become a kinder person, you might focus on being patient, understanding, and social. Unfortunately, if you are involved in a serious car accident that wasn’t your fault, practicing your skills could cause problems in court. Here are two simple mistakes that can ruin your personal injury case, and how you can avoid trouble: 1: Not Calling the Police After you step out of the car after an accident, you might be more concerned about the health of everyone involved than you are about your own personal liability. If the cars are still driveable and everyone looks okay, you might be tempted to skip the hassle of calling the police and simply exchange information. Unfortunately, this seemingly innocent choice can have dire ramifications in court. When officers respond to an accident, one of their primary responsibilities is filling out a police report. These reports are vital in court, documenting key details such as: Scene Conditions: In addition to recording the location of the accident and the time of day, officers will also document the scene conditions. For example, if it was snowing or raining when the accident occurred, it could have a bearing on visibility, which could impact your case. Extent of Property Damage: Police officers will also thoroughly assess any property damage that has occurred because of the accident, including damage to vehicles, property, or the roadway. This information can be used to calculate repairs and damages later. Narrative: After the scene has been evaluated, police officers will talk with all involved parties to see what happened. This information can be used to develop a preliminary admission of fault, which can help a lot in court. If you are involved in a car accident, do the smart thing and contact police immediately. In addition to acting as an objective third party and documenting conditions, police officers can also block off traffic and request medical care—so that you can get the help you need. 2: Talking To The Wrong People Sometimes, people try to make things better by explaining their side of the story—especially if the other party seems nice and understanding. Unfortunately, getting chatty with other people after an accident can complicate your case. Here are a few people you should avoid altogether, or ask your lawyer to contact: Involved Parties: Instead of jogging over to that other driver and apologizing about the accident, check to see if they are hurt and then stay silent. Focus on contacting the police and taking pictures of the accident. If you unintentionally admit fault, the other driver could relay that information to police and it could end up in the report.      Insurance Adjusters: That insurance adjuster might seem kind, but they might be more concerned about limiting expenses than paying your medical bills. For example, an insurance agent might ask how you are feeling immediately following the accident. Although you might be tempted to report that you are doing “fine,” that information could be used to show that you aren’t as badly injured as you are. In addition to streamlining your personal injury lawsuit, letting your lawyer communicate with other parties might give them a chance to collect valuable information. For example, if your lawyer has a chance to talk with the attorney representing the other party,...

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Car Crash Caused By Car Hacking? You May Have A Case Against The Manufacturer

Posted by on Aug 7, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Car Crash Caused By Car Hacking? You May Have A Case Against The Manufacturer

Most people know that computers and other Internet-enabled devices are vulnerable to hacking, but many don’t realize that this susceptibility extends to vehicles as well. Recent articles on this topic have exposed just how at risk the driving population is to having their vehicles digitally carjacked by anonymous bad actors through the wireless components found in the cars. If you are involved in an accident because you were hacked while on the road, you may have a viable lawsuit against the manufacturer. Here’s more information about pursuing a case against an automotive company for hacked vehicles. About Digital Carjacking Almost all vehicles today have a computer system that monitors and runs all of the cars’ components. In the past, however, the only way to hack a vehicle’s computer system was by directly connecting to the car. The risk of digital carjacking was minimal, because the perpetrator had to have physical access to the vehicle to take it over. Unfortunately, manufacturers began installing components inside the cars that allow onboard systems to communicate with other computer systems using wireless technology and even let the driver and passengers connect to the Internet while on the road. While providing a lot of convenience, this technology has also given hackers the ability to connect wirelessly to vehicles’ onboard systems and take them over from anywhere in the world. As you can imagine, this can be disastrous for anyone who happens to be in or around a vulnerable vehicle. Although the discovery is somewhat new, it’s only a matter of time before people with malicious intent begin taking advantage of this knowledge. If you are harmed in a car accident caused by a hacked vehicle, you may be able to hold the manufacturer responsible and collect compensation for your injuries by filing a product liability lawsuit against them. Product Liability Lawsuit Using product liability laws, you can prove the company is liable for your injuries and losses by showing the vehicle’s computer system was either defectively manufactured, defectively designed, and/or did not come with adequate warning about the risks or instructions for use. Each of these claims has a different legal meanings and requirements for proof. +Defectively Manufactured This claim requires you to show the vehicle came off the assembly line wrong, that a flaw or error was introduced while it was being manufactured that caused the car or truck to become vulnerable to hacking. For instance, a technician forgets to upload a software patch designed to keep outsiders from accessing the onboard system. If a hacker exploited the hole left open by this oversight, then the company could be held responsible for the damage that resulted. +Defectively Designed With this claim, you’re basically stating there were flaws or defects built into the computer system’s design; thus, making the entire line of vehicles dangerous. An example of this is the research done by Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek. These computer experts hacked into a well-known SUV and showed that any vehicle using automotive company’s Internet-connected system was vulnerable to being taken over. To prove this claim, you’ll likely need to show that multiple vehicles in the line have the same problem and not just yours. This may be easier than showing defective manufacturing because other people are more likely to come forward with the...

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Recently Disabled? What Will Happen To Your Debt And Other Financial Obligations?

Posted by on Aug 5, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Recently Disabled? What Will Happen To Your Debt And Other Financial Obligations?

If you’ve recently suffered an injury or illness that has left you unable to work, you may have already applied for federal disability benefits as a way to provide steady income. While these benefits can be a lifesaver for those without substantial savings or little debt, you likely have a lot of questions about your future finances. What will happen to your existing debt obligations? Will you still be required to pay child support, alimony, or other expenses with disability benefits as your only source of income? Read on to learn more about what happens after you begin receiving Social Security Disability (SSD), as well as which types of funds are protected from creditors. What will happen to your current debts after you begin receiving Social Security Disability? The receipt of disability benefits isn’t like bankruptcy — you’re still responsible for repaying any debts you incurred before your disability. However, these benefits are different from other types of income when it comes to the way they’re treated by judgment creditors. If you’re sued for a debt and a judgment is entered against you, your bank accounts into which SSD payments are deposited may be exempt from garnishment or seizure. If you have other assets outside this bank account, a creditor may attempt to go after these assets for repayment instead; but if federal disability benefits make up the majority of your income, it’s unlikely you’ll be subject to asset garnishment or seizure for unpaid debts. This protection applies only to the cash in an account into which federal disability benefits are deposited. If you’re sued for mortgage foreclosure or for defaulting on an auto loan, your lender may be able to take possession of your home or vehicle without regard to your disability status. It may be in your best interest to streamline and consolidate your existing bank accounts so you can receive the maximum protection for all your funds. Will you still be required to pay child support or alimony after becoming disabled? Certain financial obligations may be modified after you begin receiving disability benefits. Both alimony and child support agreements can be revisited if you’ve experienced a significant change in income — and going from regular wages to SSD usually involves a reduction of funds. You’ll need to be proactive and request a formal modification of your alimony or child support order, as simply failing to pay or reducing the amount could land you in hot water for contempt of court. Once you’ve requested a modified child support or alimony order, the judge will evaluate your income and other assets and determine a payment amount that is equitable under your state’s laws. If you receive SSI rather than SSD, you may be able to have your child support or alimony completely extinguished. SSI is a subsistence-level payment designed for those who don’t have the work history or earnings to qualify for full SSD benefits. Because these benefits aren’t usually enough to put your income above the federal poverty level, it’s unlikely you’ll be ordered to pay child support or alimony when — on paper — supporting only yourself is difficult. However, other previous obligations may continue even after your disability. If you’ve failed to pay child support in the past and have had your wages garnished by...

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Who Will Cover Your Accident If You Are Injured While You Are Driving As A Part Of Your Job Duties?

Posted by on Jul 30, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Who Will Cover Your Accident If You Are Injured While You Are Driving As A Part Of Your Job Duties?

Every year there are approximately 10 million auto accidents in the U.S. Although many of them do not involve fatalities, it is estimated that more than 2 million people are injured as a result of them. Many of these accidents are cut and dry. If the other driver is at fault, you simply file a claim against their insurance company. But what happens when you are injured by another driver, but you are driving as a part of your job? Is their insurance company still responsible, or will your injuries be covered under your employer’s workers compensation insurance? The answer may not be as clear cut as you expect. How Do You Prove You Are On The Job When You Are Driving? To be able to file a claim against your employer’s workers compensation insurance, you must be able to show that you were working when your injuries occurred. Proving you are on the job when you are driving a delivery van, or a service vehicle during regular business hours, is relatively easy. It is not as clear cut when you are driving between clients or job sites, or if you are running job related duties, but you happen to be driving your own personal vehicle. While the rules vary from state to state, and may even vary business to business, there are some general guidelines which outline when you will, or will not, be able to file for workers’ compensation. These include if you are: Being paid for your time while you are on the road Being reimbursed for your mileage Making any type of work related delivery (even if you are using your personal vehicle) Transporting other employees Running work related errands You may also be able to claim an automotive accident under workers’ compensation if you travel for a living and have no fixed office location, or have multiple work locations, which you are required to travel between. What Is The Difference In What You Can Collect? If you file a civil suit against another driver’s insurance company, you may be able to collect damages not only for your medical expenses, but in other areas as well. You may be able to collect: Loss wages Pain and suffering Mental anguish, and more If your injuries are severe, your spouse, as well as your children may be able to sue and be compensated for how your injuries have affected them. In a civil suit, you will also be able to have your vehicle fixed, or be reimbursed for the value of your vehicle if it cannot be repaired.  If the other driver was negligent, or at fault, you may also be able to file a third party claim against the driver. To file this type of claim, you must be able to prove to the court that the driver actually caused the accident, if you file a worker’s compensation claim, you will not have this burden of proof. You will even be able to collect workers’ compensation if you were at fault in the accident. The downside to collecting workers’ compensation, is if you are injured bad enough that you are unable to return to work, in many states you will only receive approximately 66 2/3% of your wages, along with being reimbursed for your medical expenses....

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