The Best 4 Things You Can Do for Your Personal Injury Case

The Best 4 Things You Can Do for Your Personal Injury Case

Some people aren’t injured in accidents. They don’t suffer any injuries and walk away without a scratch. Some are obviously injured, and others begin to experience symptoms a few hours or even days after the crash. After an accident, you want to protect not only your property rights but also your rights involving any personal injury claim that you might have. Here are the four best things you can do to protect them.

Call 911 for Police and Paramedics

You’ll want a police accident report because it contains all contact and insurance information for the person who caused the accident. If there were independent witnesses, the report is likely to contain their contact information too. Your attorney can interview those witnesses to aid in determining liability.

Get Examined

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 2.34 million people are injured in motor vehicle accidents every year. If you’ve been injured, you’ll want paramedics at the scene. The first reason is that they’ll examine and treat you at the scene, and then they’ll transport you to the emergency room for further examination and treatment. Records of care and treatment are the foundation of any personal injury claim. Your case begins with the paramedics’ records and it continues with the records of examination from the emergency room. You’ve started the process of documenting your injuries.

Don’t Give a Statement to the Other Side

The insurer of the party who caused the accident might contact you and ask to take your statement. Politely refuse to give one. According to Trammell and Mills Law Firm LLC, there are no laws requiring you to give that statement without your attorney being present on your behalf. There will be a time in the future when you’ll be required to give that statement, but your attorney will tell you when and where you’ll give it. Your attorney will also prepare you for that statement and be present with you when you give it.

Attend All of Your Medical Appointments

In your medical records, the opposing insurer will be looking for missed medical appointments or gaps in treatment, and then it will use them against you to raise issues about possible faking or malingering. Be sure to attend each and every medical appointment that you have.

Being responsible with your case is of great help to your attorneys. You’ll help in maximizing any settlement or verdict.

Author information: Anica Oaks is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.

How Having the Right Paralegals Changes a Law Firm

How Having the Right Paralegals Changes a Law Firm

Staffing is important to the success of a law firm. While the top priority should be to recruit top legal talent, it’s also essential to hire a strong support staff. When the right paralegals join a firm or practice, both productivity and client satisfaction can increase.

What Paralegals Do

Paralegals support attorneys by performing a variety of tasks, including legal research, document preparation, and case investigation. Many paralegals also perform administrative duties such as filing and setting appointments.

Paralegal Education

In the United States, paralegals are not licensed, though many choose to earn a professional certification through organizations such as The Association for Legal Professionals. The lack of licensure makes paralegal education an issue of significant concern.

While licensure is not required to be a paralegal in any of the 50 states, many paralegals choose to complete an educational program. Some complete a two-year degree, while college graduates may opt for a post-bachelor’s degree certificate in paralegal studies. There are also graduate-level paralegal degrees online. Attorneys that practice in very specialized areas of law may feel more comfortable hiring a paralegal who holds a master’s degree or graduate-level certificate.

How Paralegals Impact a Law Firm

Law firms that hire highly-qualified paralegals often find that their attorneys are better able to focus on their cases and clients. This can be particularly true in a solo or small practice, where attorneys without paralegal support may be expected to handle time-consuming administrative tasks.

Larger firms also benefit from having highly qualified paralegals on staff. A paralegal who is intimately acquainted with a specialized area of legal practice such as free speech can provide unique insights to the legal team. In addition, that paralegal is better equipped to perform in-depth research that can help attorneys win their cases.

Finding the Right Paralegal

Finding the right paralegal for a practice can be a challenge, although straightforward human resources principles are often helpful. Investigating the paralegal’s work background, including experience in law firms of similar size and composition, is a must. Other things to examine include the paralegal’s training. While some paralegals are trained on the job, the completion of specialized coursework that coincides with the firm’s areas of practice can be a strong indicator that the paralegal is a good fit.

Over the years, attorneys have realized the importance of investing in quality administrative and paraprofessional team members. Quality support for legal professionals equals long-term profitability.

This article is from Lizzie Weakley, a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. She enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her four-year-old husky Snowball.

Friday Fun

This is the sweetest video of a horse and a cat.

Business Acquisitions: Understanding the Legal Aspects of Absorbing Another Company

Business Acquisitions Understanding the Legal Aspects of Absorbing another Company

Mergers and Acquisitions have become a specialized part of the business world since the takeover wars of the 1980s. The process of buying a company is one of the most complicated transactions there is precisely because a company’s property can be both varied and part of a complex ownership structure which may involve multiple levels of detail and legal ramifications.

Legal Details

When one company buys another, it assumes all the assets, liabilities and obligations of that company. This can be a source of potential problems if the company being acquired has significant debt, is entangled in some kind of dispute or has operational problems. Business attorneys like those in the Carter West firm will often advise their clients to take their time in due diligence. Once the transaction is complete, the acquiring company will have responsibility for those problems just as if they originated in their own offices.

Tax Advantages

A popular acquisition strategy for larger companies involves acquiring smaller companies if they have incurred heavy losses during recent fiscal years. This allows the larger company to accumulate something called “net operating losses” or NOLs. The strategy involves offsetting these losses against the larger company’s earnings. If the combination of the acquisition price and the tax advantages produce a higher net return, then it makes sense to acquire the smaller company just to get access to its net operating losses.

Subsidiary or Merger

There can be significant benefits to bringing an acquired company into an ownership structure instead of merging two companies together. For one thing, in the event of the purchased entity becoming a wholly-owned or partially-owned subsidiary, the acquired company’s operations won’t be disrupted, and neither will the acquiring company’s. Secondly, the contracts, business relationships and financial structure of the acquired company may be best left intact for tax purposes, easier (and less expensive) accounting and a variety of ownership reasons.

Third, and likely the most important reason, the acquired company’s stock may experience a dramatic price shift post-acquisition depending on how the purchasing transaction was structured. This may lead to tremendous gains for the acquiring company which may either offset or eliminate the entire expense of the transaction. This can be a common occurrence with merged companies and is part of the reason acquisitions are so popular.

Mergers and acquisitions remain a complex subject, but navigating the jungle of options often leads to operational, tax, valuation and legal advantages that would otherwise take many years and incredible capital to achieve independently.

This article is from Lizzie Weakley, a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. She enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her four-year-old husky Snowball.

How Can You File a Personal Injury Claim After a Car Accident?

File a Claim

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Personal injury is a broad term that encompasses a variety of actions and incidents, from automobile accidents, to getting hurt on another’s property, to wrong diagnosis and prescription, to a ton of other incidents where you are harmed or injured due to someone else’s actions and wrong-doing.

The point we are getting to is that not all personal injuries are serious and substantial in nature, and require attorney representation. When we talk specifically about car accidents, there are certain situations where you can do without attorney representation. If you have received minor injuries in a car accident, or your vehicle has been rear-ended by someone at a low speed and is slightly damaged, there are chances that you can file a personal injury claim yourself and receive your due compensation from the party at fault and the insurers.

If you do intend to file a personal injury lawsuit without attorney help after a car accident, the following steps are important and will help you navigate your lawsuit better.

Photographs Are Very Important

Pictures are the strongest evidence you can present to receive your rightful compensation from the responsible party. Take proper photographs of the scene of the accident, the injuries you have received, the damage to your vehicle (if any) and the license plate of the responsible party.

These will be pertinent to establish fault for the crash and prove to the jury what injury and damages you sustained and why you deserve to be compensated.

Find Out the Statute of Limitations

There are general statute of limitations, and then there are specific statutes in certain jurisdictions and situations. When you are filing the personal injury lawsuit, do your research extensively and find out what the statute of limitations is for your case.

Do remember that you need to find out the statute of limitations at the earliest. Don’t procrastinate. When an attorney is involved, all the legal elements get taken care of. In absence of an attorney, the statute of limitations needs to be dealt with very carefully. These are arcane rules that do not leave much scope for adjustments.

So make sure you find out all about them in detail and then pursue your case. Do take care that you file your lawsuit in plenty of time and not in the nick of time. That way you will have ample time to review your case and align situations and evidences in your favor. Filing the case at the last moment will have the opposite consequences.

Don’t Give Recorded Statements

Don’t fall in the trap of insurance companies when they tell you that you need to give a recorded medical statement prior to a settlement offer. This is a recurrent mistake many make. There is absolutely no legal binding to this. This is simply the insurance company’s excuse to use the cross-examination material against you and reduce your settlement amount or use it against you in the trial.

This so-called ‘independent medical exam’ and doctor check-ups are nothing but a ploy on the part of the insurance companies to make you the weaker party in negotiations.

However, when the personal injury case involves an uninsured or underinsured claim, recorded statements become a necessity. Uninsured and underinsured claims are slippery territory. It is a good idea to consult a competent lawyer if such a situation arises and try to get some free advice or opinion on the scenario. Even if you do have to shell out a consultation fee to the attorney, professional advice can make that all-important difference to your lawsuit.

So the bit to remember is that you don’t need the insurance company’s doctor to evaluate you, nor do you need to give a recorded statement to process your claim.

Do Thorough Research in Your Case

First and foremost, understand that planning to file your own personal injury lawsuit is not going to be all that simple. The perks include absence of attorney fees, but there is also absence of experience and expertise. Under such circumstances you will need to do extensive research on the law and settlement processes before you proceed.

Read up and understand important legal elements of the case like fault and legal liability, compensations available for different damages, and the laws of your state.

Be Effective and Confident in Your Communication

Once you have done your research and are armed with all relevant information, it is time to negotiate confidently with the insurance company on your rightful dues. Make sure that at no step of the case you appear vulnerable or unsure. Confidently and effectively negotiate on the amount you consider fair. If at any moment the insurance agent feels you don’t have knowledge of relevant issues, he will make you a very raw deal and call it his final offer.

This is another key concern. Don’t take this final offer at face value. Insurance agents have a first final offer, and a final final offer. Make sure you don’t accept an amount that is far below your settlement figure. If you are well-informed and effective in your dealings you are much more likely to succeed.

Find Out the Complete Extent of Your Injury

The best lawyers will tell you not to arrive at a compensation amount until you have consulted more than one doctor and found out the real extent of your injury.

Think of it this way, you receive a minor whiplash and hit your head lightly on the driving wheel. You think it’s a mild head injury and demand your compensation amount accordingly. After the settlement is completely done with, you have regular headaches and realize that head injury has affected a major part of your brain and it has started affecting your cognitive processes.

To avoid such circumstances, you need to consult reputable doctors and ask them all possibilities associated with your injury. Go for repeated checkups before you determine the amount, as some symptoms take time in surfacing.

At the same time, don’t opt for medical treatment that you don’t need. Some people believe that more medical treatment will make their case more valuable and get them a higher compensation amount. This is not true. So do not get any additional medical treatments to make your case stronger. It usually proves counterintuitive and is not advised.

To Conclude

There are certain personal injury cases that do not require hiring an attorney. A little research, alertness and attention to detail can enable you to tackle your personal injury claim after a car accident and receive rightful compensation. However, when you do realize that this is going to be a task that will require a lot of your time and energy, and if you feel that you cannot devote that much effort, bring on a lawyer at the right time before it is too late. 

Author Bio:

Christine Boldrick is a registered Florida paralegal, specializing in personal injury litigation from Vasilaros Wagner law firm. Vasilaros & Wagner has more than a decade of experience in representing a wide range of cases, including personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice, and nursing-home neglect.

 

Nader Raises Concerns Over Self-Driving Cars

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NBC News reports that consumer advocate Ralph Nader wants the auto industry “to slow down when it comes to self-driving cars.” He “told Automotive News that automakers’ rush to push automated features in vehicles could lead to more distracted driving — and therefore more deaths on the road.” Nader said, “There are definite benefits of collision-avoidance systems. But the problem is once the auto companies get on to something, they don’t know when to stop.”

The Huffington Post reports on Ralph Nader’s role in shaping US policy and history, noting that his book “Unsafe became a bestseller, and it’s now listed by the Library of Congress as one of the 88 ‘books that shaped America.’” Thanks to his contribution, “Congress passed, and President Lyndon Johnson signed into law, a bill creating the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,” the article reports.

Google self-driving cars programmed to be overly cautious. Business Insider reports that Google’s self-driving cars “are equipped with all kinds of sensors to process the world around them,” but they “also programmed to recognize a library of emergency sirens so that they can better access their environment.” The company said in its monthly self-driving car project report said, “As soon as we’re alerted, our cars drive more conservatively (e.g., slowing down a bit or avoiding entering an intersection) until we have a better sense of where the sirens are coming from.” The report added, “Even if sirens aren’t sounding, our cameras are on the lookout for emergency vehicles and are designed to detect flashing lights. So if a fire truck is coming through an intersection, we’ll stop and let it through. Or if an emergency vehicle is approaching from behind, we’ll slow down and pull over until we know it’s safe to resume the journey.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

Lawsuits Seek to Abolish Nation’s Bail Bond System

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The AP reports from San Francisco that Crystal Patterson “didn’t have the cash or assets to post $150,000 bail and get out of jail after her arrest for assault in October 2015,” so Patterson, 39, “promised to pay a bail bonds company $15,000 plus interest to put up the $150,000 bail for her, allowing to go home and care for her invalid grandmother.” The day after her release, “the district attorney decided not to pursue charges,” but Patterson “still owes the bail bonds company,” and “criminal justice reformers and lawyers at a nonprofit Washington, D.C., legal clinic say that is unconstitutionally unfair.” The attorneys “have filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of Patterson, Rianna Buffin and other jail inmates who argue that San Francisco and California’s bail system unconstitutionally treats poor and wealthy suspects differently.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

 

Friday Fun

I really, really wish I was foolish enough to try this giant water slide.

Five Negative Consequences Of Driving Under The Influence

5 Negative Consequences Of Driving Under The Influence

Driving under the influence is a very serious crime nearly everywhere in the country. Judges and prosecutors are pressured to impose stiff penalties on anyone found committing this crime. The consequences can be far-reaching. Here are five negative consequences of a DUI.

A Permanent Mark on Your Record

One of the most devastating consequences of a DUI is a permanent mark on your criminal record. This will impact your entire life. It can make it hard or impossible to get a job, apartment or federal loan. It can prevent you from getting insurance for any reasonable rate. It can exclude you from certain federal programs.

Possible Jail Time

A DUI conviction can lead to possible jail time. The amount of time you serve is based on your jurisdiction. You could spend a few days in jail or more than a year. You might have to spend years in prison if the DUI resulted in particularly egregious damages or injuries to others.

Financial Penalties

It has become very common for judges to penalize people convicted of a DUI with financial fines. Judges have a good amount of leeway when it comes to the amount of the fine. You might have to pay just a few hundred dollars. Certain jurisdictions have maximum penalties of tens of thousands of dollars. These must be paid and cannot be discharged through bankruptcy.

Loss of Driving License

There is a good chance that you will lose your driver’s license after a DUI. It might simply be suspended for around 30 to 60 days. If your actions were exceptionally bad or resulted in serious injuries, then your license could be revoked for years or permanently. It is not easy to get a permanently revoked license back.

Potentially Lose Your Vehicle

A final consequence of a DUI is that your vehicle might be impounded or fitted with special devices. Your vehicle can be taken away due to a DUI charge. Alternately, an ignition lock device might be installed to prevent you from driving drunk. You have to pay for the device while it is installed as well.

Although the penalties for a DUI grow with each subsequent conviction, a single charge could be enough to ruin your life. This is especially true if you are not represented by a good lawyer. The best course of action is to avoid drinking and driving at all costs even if you feel fine at the time. If you do get a DUI, be sure to speak with a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer right away.

This article is courtesy of Anita Ginsburg, a freelance writer from Denver who often writes about home, family, law and business. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family when she isn’t writing.

Judge Ruled Against You? How to Know When You Should Appeal

Judge Ruled Against You? How to Know When You Should Appeal

Contrary to what most people believe based on the average courtroom drama depicted on television and in the movies, the good guys don’t always win at trial. In fact, it’s fairly common for the good guys to lose because they put too much emphasis on “playing fair” and not enough emphasis on “winning the case.”

In situations like this, many people assume an appeal just gives them a built-in second chance. The reality is appealing a judge’s decision or a court order has to follow some rather inflexible rules and isn’t always the best course of action. So how do you know if you should file an appeal or not?

Mistakes of Law

There are some legal eventualities that can’t be appealed no matter how you feel about the outcome. For example, in many states, a small claims case may only be appealed on the grounds a judge made a legal error, and not on the merits or facts of the case. Usually these kinds of appeals must be filed within a short time period and require a fair amount of preparation ahead of time.

Rule Changes

Potential appellants might also want to note the fact that small claims court and appeals courts are two different venues with different sets of rules. In North Carolina and Virginia, for example, small claims appeals may be presented to a jury. Most appeals courts allow attorneys as well, so while in California you might not have been allowed to be represented by counsel before the small claims judge, you may be allowed to retain counsel for the appeal (click here to find out more). This may or may not be a good option depending on the amount at issue and the complexity of the case.

Upon Further Review

One method of determining if you are eligible for appeal is to ask yourself what you are petitioning the appeals court to change about your case. If it is a factual dispute, where you are about to tell the appeals judges something that starts with “yeah, but” and then re-outline your disagreement with the defendant or plaintiff, there is a high likelihood your case isn’t eligible. However, if the opposite is true, and you are going to point out to the appeals court an error on the part of the judge who heard the case originally, you likely are eligible to appeal.

The Clock Is Running

The very moment the gavel sounds on your small claims or other civil action, the clock starts on the filing deadline for your appeal. You absolutely must be prompt in filing otherwise you may be permanently barred from further litigation in the matter. If you can’t prepare your appeal in time, you might want to avoid further action. It is often a good idea to wait 24 to 48 hours before you file an appeal in any event, as that will give you time to consider your options. Contact the Clerk of the Court to find out what the deadline is for your state and venue. Even if you need extra time, file the appeal first, then ask for a continuance. If you reverse that procedure there is no guarantee it will succeed.

Trials are stressful, no doubt about it. However, they can be successfully navigated if you follow some basic rules and make sure you stay within the boundaries of the court’s procedures.

Author information: Anica Oaks is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.

7 Long-Term Consequences of a Criminal Conviction

7 Long-Term Consequences of a Criminal Conviction

Being convicted of a crime is no laughing matter. The consequences of a conviction can be quite severe. It can leave a lasting stain on your record and life for decades to come. Many of the negative impacts are in fact irreversible. Below are seven long term consequences of being convicted of a crime.

1. You May Lose the Right to Vote

If politics are important to you, you may have to forget about ever taking part in the political process again after a criminal conviction. In most states, you will not be allowed to vote with a felony on your record. You won’t be able to run for office either.

2. You May Lose the Right to Own a Gun

If you are an avid gun enthusiast, you should know you will have to give up your guns after a felony conviction. Federal law specifically prohibits felons from owning firearms. The second amendment only applies to non-felons.

3. You Will Be Barred from Certain Careers

Certain jobs require licenses and certifications. Those with criminal records are often barred from obtaining such licenses. You will, for example, never be allowed to be a legally licensed pawnbroker.

4. You Won’t Be Allowed to Serve in the Military

Convicted criminals are specifically restricted from joining and enlisting in the different branches of the military. For an exception to take place, the Secretary of Defense has to approve it.

5. You Will Have a Hard Time Finding a Job in General

If you’re used to full-time employment, you may find yourself hard pressed to find good work after leaving prison. Most employers do background checks and screen employees for their criminal records.

6. You May Not Be Able to Drive

According to Appleton criminal defense attorneys at Hammett, Bellin & Oswald, LLC., you could lose your license if convicted of a DUI. The first offense could result in up to a nine month license suspension. A third DUI charge could result in a three year suspension.

7. Your Reputation Could Be Ruined

Like it or not, criminals gain a stigma that is very hard to get rid of. Your reputation with the community and even your own family members could remain tarnished for the rest of your life.

Overall, a criminal conviction can have extremely negative consequences for the long term. Do your best to avoid committing criminal acts. If you have been charged with a crime, hire a good attorney and try to mount a vigorous defense. The stakes are high.

This article is from Lizzie Weakley, a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. She enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her four-year-old husky Snowball.

Social Security Claims: 5 Common Obstacles

Social Security Claims 5 Common Obstacles

Social Security is a right to those who are disabled and unable to work. Unfortunately, many times those in need have to fight for what is rightfully theirs. The Social Security system started back in the 1930’s. Those who have worked have paid into these funds, which should take care of them if and when they are unable to work. However, there are many obstacles that one must face claiming their Social Security benefits. Here are five common issues people face when filing for their disability.

The Massive Amount of Paperwork

Filing for Social Security can be a nightmare. You can start the application online, but you must finish it with a representative on the phone. You will need to have all the names of the doctors who have treated you in the past few years. You will need their information, as well as anything pertinent to the case. The first hurdle is coming up with all the information for your case. The more documents you provide to the agency, the quicker the process goes.

Proving the Need

The Social Security Administration has a list of illness that they recognize as verifiable disabilities. Just because a person has a disability on that list doesn’t mean that it is an automatic win. They still use measuring systems to see how much a person can work and if they still can do some type of work. Many people have to jump through several hoops to verify that they are in fact disabled.

They Don’t Always Take Your Doctors Word

If you have several medical specialists helping with your case it is promising, but don’t assume that the Administration will take their word. They have their own doctors who often do evaluations on their behalf. They want to make sure that a person can absolutely do no work before they grant disability. Seeing another doctor can drag things out.

Appeals and More Appeals

Have you been denied Social Security disability in Utah? The general belief is that the Social Security Administration denies all claims on the first try. Actually, that is not true regardless of how it seems. Everyone should try the first time on their own. If they get a denial letter; it’s time to get legal representation. Companies like Summit Disability Law Group can help you get your disability approved. After the first denial, don’t mess with the appeals alone. Let a legal professional assist.

The Waiting Game

It can take anywhere from 3-6 months to get an answer on your case. Thankfully, if and when you get approved, you may be granted back pay from the date you filed. The waiting for months on end with no income seems to be the hardest part. Rather than wait, it’s better to get legal assistance and get the compensation that is deserved.

This article is from Lizzie Weakley, a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. She enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her four-year-old husky Snowball.

Friday Fun

I don’t use vending machines often, but I may change my ways if this is the path of the future. Take a look at The World’s Wackiest Vending Machines.

Injured on a Commercial Property: Can You File a Lawsuit?

Injured on a Commercial Property, Can You File a Lawsuit

Commercial property owners have a duty to ensure that their properties are safe for the public. Thus, if you are injured on a commercial property, you may be able to recover damages for your injuries from the property owner in a premises liability lawsuit.

Your Rights May Vary Depending on Your Legal Status

The level of care owed to a visitor to a commercial property depends on whether the visitor is an invitee, licensee or trespasser. An invitee is an individual the property owner has invited onto the property. Customers of a commercial business are considered invitees. A licensee is a person who is present with the consent of the property owner, but who the property owner has not invited, such as a family friend who has permission to use the property at their pleasure. Commercial property owners owe the highest level of care towards invitees, while trespassers are afforded the lowest level of legal protection.

You Can Recover for a Variety of Injuries

While most people are aware that they may recover losses for injuries from a slip and fall at a commercial property, many are surprised that they may also recover for a variety of other injuries. Though slip and falls are the most common injuries, plaintiffs can also recover for a variety of injuries, including injuries arising from assault and batteries, toxic fumes and accidents on elevators and escalators.

Take Steps to Preserve Evidence Immediately If Injured on a Commercial Property

If you are injured on a commercial property, you should take steps immediately to preserve evidence, even if you are unsure you may wish to file suit. Your ability to recover will depend on the evidence collected of the conditions on the property at the time you were injured. You should take pictures or have someone else do it for you if you are unable to do so. Obtain the names and contact information for people who witnessed your injuries.

Seek Legal Help If In Doubt

You should seek legal help from Bullock Law Group or another specialty firm if you have been injured on a commercial property, even if you don’t believe you have a right to recover damages. Premises liability law is very complex and fact intensive. Under certain circumstances, property owners may be liable for injuries to trespassers. An experienced attorney can assist you in determining whether you have a viable claim.

Time is of the essence when you have been injured on a commercial property. You should contact an experienced attorney right away to maximize your chances of recovering for your injuries.

Author information: Anica Oaks is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.

Maximizing Your Personal Injury Settlement: 4 Tips to Help

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Insurance companies, like all other corporations, are concerned primarily about the profit they make and as such, are loyal to their shareholders. As a claimant, this shouldn’t deter you from pressing for a fair personal injury settlement, but should serve as a reminder that you need to be careful if you’re intent on maximizing the settlement.

Whether you choose to settle the case on your own or hire an attorney to take care of everything, you’ll have to be wary from the start and have an effective strategy in place. Here are some tips to keep in mind that will help you maximize your personal injury settlement.

Document Everything You Can

The better you’re able to document all your injuries and losses, the more your chances of being compensated for medical treatment, loss of pay, and other expenses. So gather evidence from the start; with the help of modern technology, this shouldn’t be difficult.

Make sure you take ample photographs of the accident to support your claims and strengthen your case. If possible, take videos as photographs can be given the benefit of doubt sometimes. Furthermore, collect enough documents like police reports, witness statements, medical records, bills, etc. Keep accurate records to aid during negotiations and to speed up the settlement procedure.

See the Right Doctor

Delaying medical treatment or not getting appropriate treatment can not only put your health at risk, but also affect the amount of compensation you receive negatively. Consider this, if you don’t see a doctor and bear pain simply assuming that you’ll get better, no one is going to believe your claims.

On the other hand, if you see a doctor and tell him about your health issues, he’ll be able to document all of it so that you can use it as evidence. So after you’ve received emergency treatment, see the right specialist who can treat your injuries. Undergo tests like CT scans, MRI scans, and X-rays so that the extent of your injuries becomes clear.

In addition to this, don’t miss your doctor’s appointments and don’t quit receiving medical care until your doctor advises you to. Be sure to take prescribed medications on time and regularly; not doing so can mean that your injuries aren’t severe.

Also keep a journal and maintain a written record of your everyday activities and how your injury has affected your life. The reason for this is that memories fade easily and if your case goes to trial, you don’t want to give vague and inaccurate answers to the jury.

Be on Your Guard

As mentioned, insurance companies have to keep their own interests in mind, so they might try to make you settle for a lesser amount. You might be made to admit that the accident was your fault or that your injuries aren’t as bad as you claim them to be! To ensure you’re able to maximize your personal injury settlement, keep these tips in mind:

  • Never discuss your medical condition with anyone other than your doctor and lawyer. Tell immediate family members only if absolutely necessary.
  • Avoid using social media for a while; you don’t want insurance adjusters to use your status updates and pictures that show you’re having a great time as evidence against you.
  • Insurance companies may hire private detectives to watch your moves in public. So if you have problems lifting heavy weights, don’t attempt to help strangers and prove otherwise!
  • Have a minimum settlement amount in mind before you speak to the insurance company, but don’t reveal it to them.
  • Insurance adjusters start negotiating by quoting a low settlement amount; they may even deny liability in some cases. Be confident and hold your ground, presenting evidence to back your claims.
  • Note down the adjuster’s arguments so you can prepare your case with valid points.
  • If the adjuster gives you a figure that’s somewhere near your minimum, make a counteroffer to show that you’re willing to compromise and are being reasonable.

Hire an Experienced Lawyer

An experienced personal injury lawyer will have the experience and knowledge to handle everything in the best way possible and maximize your settlement. With a lawyer by your side, you won’t have to worry about maintaining health and other records or negotiating with the insurance company.

Just be sure that you go to a trial lawyer! A lot of lawyers are settlers, meaning they will try to avoid court proceedings and might get you to settle for a lesser amount, but a trial attorney will ensure that you get enough compensation for your injury.

Conclusion

A personal injury can affect your lifestyle and that of your loved ones gravely. If you have been involved in such an accident recently and have been trying to maximize your personal injury settlement, the tips given in this post are sure to help.

Remember that acting as soon as you can will surely be beneficial to your case. So follow these tips and change your life for the better!

About the Author

Ralph Leon is Marketing Manager at The Berkowitz Law Firm LLC, one of the leading personal injury lawyer firms in Connecticut. He has experience of more than a decade in writing about law and legal issues, particularly medical malpractice and personal injury law.

Understanding How Workers’ Compensation Plays Into Your Workplace Injury

Understanding How Worker's Compensation Plays into your Workplace Injury

Work is unfortunately not always a safe place. A variety of work-related accidents can occur on many types of jobs. These accidents may cause injuries that require extensive medical treatment, and an injured worker may miss weeks or months of work for recovery. These accidents may even cause a death that creates a tragic and unexpected hardship for families. Workers’ compensation is the system of laws that seeks to ensure injured workers and their dependents get the proper care and financial support they need for recovery without requiring the worker to litigate against their employer.

Workers’ Compensation Versus a Personal Injury Lawsuit

It is important to understand that a workers compensation claim is not a lawsuit. There does not have to be any wrongdoing or negligence on behalf of the employer in order to invoke rights under workers’ compensation. It must simply be demonstrated that the injury occurred at the workplace or because of work-related activities. If there is some proof of negligence or even intentional law violations that contributed to the injury, then the worker will need to decide with their attorney whether or not to peruse an actual personal injury lawsuit. This is a critical decision because a worker cannot collect on both a lawsuit and a workers’ compensation claim. Choosing to peruse a lawsuit, which could result in overall higher compensation, means abandoning the more reliable promise of workers’ compensation.

What an Attorney Can Do

Attorneys like those at Bachus & Schanker Law work to ensure that an injured employee gets all of the benefits they are entitled to under the law. Unfortunately, it is common for employers to argue against extensive compensation claims whenever possible. Since these claims present a cost to the employer, it is normal for the employer to minimize these costs. This often means shortchanging employees when it comes to payment for medical care or lost wages.

Differences in Laws

A variety of different laws may affect a workers’ compensation case depending on the worker’s particular job and location. In Colorado, the Division of Workers Compensation oversees most claims in the state. This may change if the worker is a federal employee. Even if they work in Colorado, their claim will fall under the laws outlined in the Federal Employment Compensation Act. Certain professions, including those in the railroad, maritime and mining industries, also have additional laws that pertain to them.

All injured workers should file a workers’ compensation claim as soon as possible after being injured. The laws related to a claim can be complicated to understand or navigate. No employee should be forced to suffer additional financial or personal hardship after an injury due to an supportive employer, which is why workers’ compensation aims to protect employees.

This article is from Lizzie Weakley, a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. She enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her four-year-old husky Snowball.

Should You Sue if You Suspect Your Family Member Was Abused at a Nursing Home?

Should You Sue if You Suspect Your Family Member Was Abused at a Nursing Home

Abuse of residents in nursing homes is often underreported. Sometimes it even goes wholly unreported. What constitutes nursing home abuse can also be difficult to define. Some victims of nursing home abuse might not even be able to communicate with anybody about it due to physical and/or mental limitations. Other victims might be fearful of retaliation.

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

Indications of suspected nursing home abuse can be both subjective and objective. Those signs might include but not be limited to the following:

Bedsores
Unexplained bruising, particularly around the groin and/or genitals
Apparent emotional withdrawal
Dehydration
Significant behavioral changes
Unexplained changes in estate documents
Apparent banking irregularities

Washington’s Vulnerable Adult Act and Reporting Suspected Abuse

Chapter 74.34 of the Revised Code of Washington is called the Vulnerable Adult Act. It governs suspected nursing home abuse and both mandatory and permissive reporting of it. An employee of a long term care facility who suspects nursing home abuse of a patient and reports it is protected by the Vulnerable Adult Act from workplace retaliation by their employer. Of course, family members of the patient can report suspected nursing home abuse too.

Who Do I Report Suspected Nursing Home Abuse To?

If you suspect nursing home abuse to a vulnerable adult, and you live in the state of Washington, you can report it to the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services or an analogous office near you. You’ll also want to contact your local police department who might conduct its own investigation.

Civil Liability for Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home abuse violates the dignity of the patient. The victim of nursing home abuse has the right to take legal action. According to the Hornbuckle Law Firm, which has good nursing home abuse lawyers in Tacoma, legally recognized damages might include but not necessarily be limited to:

Past and future medical expenses
Any permanent conditions caused by the abuse
Pain and suffering
Financial losses
Emotional distress

Any patient can become a victim of nursing home abuse, but he or she might be physically and/or mentally unable to communicate what’s happening. Know what to look for. Visit the patient frequently. Watch for signs of neglect, abandonment or even self-neglect, and make yourself aware of signs of both physical and sexual abuse. Watch for possible financial exploitation in the context of present finances and changes in estate planning. Remember that the patient might not be able to report abuse. If you suspect it, you can report it yourself and bring a civil action for damages.

Author information: Anica Oaks is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.

4 Allegations You Should Fight in Court

4 Allegations You Should Fight in Court

In the United States legal system, you are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. In civil court, judgments are based on a preponderance of the evidence. Just because an allegation has been made does not mean you will lose your case. Certain accusations are certainly worth fighting in court. The stakes are just too high. Here are a few allegations that are worth fighting.

Drug Charges

Drug use is often referred to as a “victimless crime.” This is indeed false as the primary victim is the drug user. This is true in regards to both that person’s health as well as the possibility of being sent to prison. If you have been charged with a crime related to drug use, hire a lawyer and try to mount a vigorous defense. Proving such crimes in court is very difficult without substantial evidence. If found guilty, your career could be ruined and you could even lose custody of your children.

Sex Crimes

Perhaps even worse than receiving a drug charge is being accused of a sex crime. These crimes often result in lengthy prison sentences and hefty fines. Even worse, if convicted, you will be placed on a sex offender registry. Being placed on such a registry is a black mark that will follow you wherever you go. You may never be able work a decent job again or even have a family. If you are innocent, you certainly need to mount a strong defense in court. For instance, a Houston sex attorney knows that the latest information and ongoing education is central to defending individuals against these accusations. After all, a sex crime is a very serious matter, and knowledge is needed to understand all the aspects of the case. Learning what you need to can save your livelihood and reputation in the community.

Defamation of Character

Something else you should certainly defend yourself against in court is defamation of character. Unlike the other two above, this comes under the scope of civil law. Defamation of character occurs when another party spreads falsehoods about another person through either slander, which is spoken, or libel, which is printed. Such falsehoods can destroy a person’s professional reputation, reputation in the community, and their relationship with others. Try to clear your name through the court system if you are the victim of slander or libel.

Boundary Disputes

Another thing you can settle in civil court is a boundary dispute. If you own real estate, you are entitled to use that land as you wish. If another party such as a development company impedes on your rights to control that land, you should certainly sue.

Overall, you should always defend yourself when the legal stakes are high. Not doing so could result in serious consequences for your reputation, relationships, finances, and even your very freedom. If you have been accused of something unfairly, discuss your options for clearing your name with a seasoned attorney.

Author information: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter: @RachelleWilber

Friday Fun

These guys are much better at driving on ice than I am!

4 Times When a Malpractice Lawsuit is the Appropriate Route

4 Times when a Malpractice Lawsuit is the Appropriate Route

A patient has the right to file a medical malpractice case when they are harmed by a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional because they failed to perform the medical duties they are required to perform by law. The rules about medical malpractice vary from state to state, but there are broad rules that apply in most medical malpractice cases.

Filing Medical Malpractice for Untimely Death

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, more than 250,000 people in the United States die as a result of medical malpractice each year. Common practices that lead to medical malpractice deaths include infections caused by unsanitary hospital conditions, medical personnel who misdiagnosed a disease, errors committed by the anesthesiologist, and mistakes made during surgery.

Birth Defects That Result from Medical Malpractice

The birth of a child is usually a happy occasion. However, many parents have dealt with the traumatic experience of having their child injured during the childbirth process as a result of negligence on the part of the medical staff. One birth defect example is Brachial Plexus injury, which is an injury resulting from the doctor not carefully maneuvering the baby through the birth canal. As a result of Brachial Plexus injury, babies can be born with paralysis in their hands or fingers.

Cerebral palsy is another infirmity that can be caused by medical malpractice during the delivery process. For instance, a Philadelphia birth injury attorney knows that broken bones can also occur during the birthing process. If the negligent doctor does not detect that the infant is not getting enough oxygen to the brain and performs an emergency C-section, or if the doctor does not treat a dangerous infection, or does not provide proper care for premature birth, traumatic brain injury can occur and the child can be left with cerebral palsy.

Medical Malpractice for Brain Injuries

Brain injuries have been referred to as a silent epidemic. They are the second leading cause of disability in the United States. A medical malpractice lawsuit may be filed as a result of errors in diagnosing the ailment, errors in prescribing medicine, surgical errors, emergency room errors, or anesthesia errors that lead to a traumatic brain injury, which in turn impairs the patient’s cognitive, emotional, and motor abilities.

Medical Malpractice for Wrongful Amputation

Amputation of the wrong limb is a growing concern in hospitals around the United States. One would think that with modern technology things like wrongful amputations would not happen. However, statistics show that every single year thousands of individuals suffer from wrongful amputations. These injuries are devastating because the victim ends up having both limbs amputated.

The above scenarios are just a few of the reasons why a person would want to file a malpractice lawsuit. In order to have the best result in court, an individual filing a malpractice lawsuit should have the backing of a reputable personal injury attorney.

Author information: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on twitter: @RachelleWilber