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5 Reasons to Consult with a Personal Injury Lawyer

Justice demands that individuals suffering from an accident triggered by forces outside of their control should be compensated. Although a lawsuit sometimes isn’t appropriate, speaking with a personal injury lawyer, like from Davis & Brusca, is always a smart decision. Here are five examples of scenarios where meeting with a lawyer specializing in these cases can be extremely beneficial.

1. Severe Injuries

The greater level of suffering you incur, the more justification you have in bringing a lawsuit. Dollar amounts associated with long-term treatment are usually exorbitant. There is no reason for shouldering a financial burden you did nothing to cause. Litigation against responsible parties can help relieve the worry of paying for expensive medical attention.

2. Undetermined Causes

An attorney with knowledge concerning happenstances similar to your situation can be beneficial in identifying where the fault lies. On top of determining what persons or entities are responsible for your injuries, a professional can make the best targeting decision in terms of strategy.

3. Insurance Troubles

If the insurance company with which you have filed a claim is issuing a denial or refusing to respond, speaking with a personal injury attorney becomes a must. Insurance behemoths know that most people do not understand the complexities of their field. They bank on this, hoping that potential beneficiaries will be intimidated into not appealing their rulings. An attorney familiar with the nuances of insurers has better odds than most of achieving a positive outcome.

4. Damage Evaluation

The nature of personal injuries makes it difficult to determine amounts that are owed. How can this figure be calculated in instances where multiple factors caused an accident? How badly is a claim impacted if fault partially lies with the litigant? A personal injury attorney can unravel and clarify these matters.

5. Mounting Bills

Personal injury attorneys typically work on a contingency basis. This means they do not get paid unless they achieve a favorable outcome. Therefore, there is no reason to fear meeting with one even if your financial situation appears bleak. Discussing your circumstances with someone versed in the law costs nothing. At the very least, you may avoid launching a draining and unsuccessful lawsuit. If you do in fact have a winning case, the compensation you receive could be greater than expected.

The smartest decision victims of injurious mishaps can make is consulting with a personal injury attorney. Contact a professional familiar with incidents like yours the moment after you have been wronged.

Wrongful Death Claims

If you or a loved one believes someone is at fault for a loved one’s death, you may have several questions about wrongful death laws and how you can hold that individual or entity accountable. Everyone has questions, and questions of this magnitude deserve answers.

What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?

To begin, you need to understand what a wrongful death is, should you try to pursue a claim. A wrongful death lawsuit likely stems from an individual filing a suit against someone for the cause of another person’s death. Wrongful death could be caused by carelessness. This could be caused in a motor vehicle accident, medical malpractice, a design failure, or defective product. There are so many ways one could be a victim of a wrongful death. Laws vary from state to state, so it is important to speak with a law professional in your area to get a better understanding of your case, if you have one.

 Who Can File a Claim?

You may be aware of someone that was a victim of a wrongful death. It is important to note that not just anyone can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit, though. Usually, it is the person that is responsible for the estate. This may be the deceased person’s child, spouse, or someone who was appointed through a will.

Calculating a Claim

Once a wrongful death claim is pursued, many wonder how much they will receive. The way damages are calculated in a wrongful death claim is based on different things. One of the most important is, how much would the dependent of the deceased person need? This means how much the deceased person contributed to the household plays a role. Any future expenses for the funeral or any previous expenses for medical treatment are calculated as well.

 Wrongful Death Versus Murder

Wrongful death cases simply means someone died at the hands of another by accident. This is quite similar, but also very different from murder. Murder cases will be handled in criminal court, although they can also potentially be worth a wrongful death claim as well. Wrongful death claims typically give financial support to the people suffering. Murder, on the other hand, also holds the individual criminally responsible.   

Speak with a Lawyer

Wrongful death cases and claims can be very confusing. This is why it is important to speak with an attorney that has experience in this area to get a better understanding of what you or your loved ones legal options are. Contact an attorney, like a wrongful death attorney from Andrew R. Lynch, P.C., to learn more today.

Burglary Charges

Criminal Defense Lawyer

The holiday season is usually filled with fond memories and joyous time with family. However, with the season, there is typically an increase in burglaries, with many homeowners being away from their residence and the opportunity to steal precious items on the rise.

Burglary is when someone illegally enters a premise in order to commit a crime, typically theft. This is also known as breaking and entering and it can be a serious offense depending on the severity of the crime committed once inside the property. 

Breaking and entering or burglary, can happen at any time of the day. Many states traditionally defined burglary as an illegal entry into a dwelling that happened at night. As times have changed the definition of burglary has changed with most states amending their law of burglary. Through these amendments, a burglary can be defined as breaking into any type of property; building, car or a home at any given time of the day. 

It is crucial that you take steps to protect yourself from a burglary especially during the holidays. A burglar may scope out your home before breaking and entering. They may hide behind tall trees, peek through windows, go through trash or see a build up of mail in your mailbox. All of these signs can aide in a burglar being able to break in your home and steal your valuable items.

During the holidays, people tend to leave their curtains open to show off their holiday decorations, trash builds up with boxes from new toys, electronics and gadgets and if out of town, mail begins to pile up in the mailbox. These are huge signs that a burglar will look out for and can make your home a target for theft.

Some ways to help prevent burglary are investing in a security system, close your blinds, motion sensor lights, having a neighbor or friend pick up your mail and of course locking your doors and windows at all times. 

Being burglarized in any capacity can be extremely devastating and overwhelming. Depending on the extent of the case and what you are a victim of there are legal options in place for you or your loved one should either of you be a victim. Reach out to a skilled attorney in your area to determine what your legal options are. This is not something you have to go through alone, a criminal lawyer, like from The Lynch Law Group, maybe able to help you.

Will Filing for Bankruptcy Rid Me of My Debts?

There are very few “quick fixes” that will solve complex financial challenges. Anyone who attempts to sell you on a “quick fix” is likely attempting to scam you out of even more money than you already owe. With that said, there are several debt relief and debt management solutions that regularly allow debtors to get a better handle on their debt and, in some cases, allow them to have certain balances eliminated. For example, some individuals struggling with credit card debt choose to use a balance transfer to consolidate their debt into a single account. Doing so can make paying that account down more manageable than it is to juggle several card payments at once. Other individuals struggling with debt choose to enter into debt management plans supervised by nonprofit, accredited credit counseling agencies. Doing so helps to restructure debt. Those who are looking to have some of their outstanding balances eliminated outright (without paying a significant portion of their balances upfront) must generally turn to bankruptcy for true debt relief.

Bankruptcy – Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13 Discharge

Both Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy afford filers the opportunity to have eligible, unsecured debt balances “discharged.” A bankruptcy lawyer that the Memphis, Tennessee community trusts, such as one from Darrell Castle and Associates, PLLC, can tell you that in the bankruptcy context, a discharge order means that a debt is effectively eliminated. Once a debt is discharged, the debtor can never be held accountable for a failure to repay it and creditors can never again demand repayment of it. The primary difference between Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge procedure and Chapter 13 bankruptcy procedure is that, in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, filers are not required to repay ANY of their eligible balances before a discharge order can be successfully entered in regards to those balances. By contrast, Chapter 13 filers are required to make manageable installation payments on the whole of their debts for 3-5 years before any remaining eligible balances can be discharged by the court.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a far more generous debt relief option because it is only made available to the lowest wage earners in American society. The court reasons that these filers cannot be expected to repay their debts over time, whereas Chapter 13 filers can be expected to repay a reasonable, manageable portion of their debts before the remainder are discharged.

Legal Assistance Is Available

If you have not yet formally explored your debt relief options during a risk-free, no-obligation consultation appointment with our firm, please do so today. Speaking with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer will allow you to ask questions about the process and to receive feedback unique to your circumstances. Filing for bankruptcy isn’t the best option for everyone. However, this debt relief option has proven to be life-changing in the best possible ways for many people. In order to better ensure that your decision to either file for bankruptcy or to refrain from doing so is an informed one, schedule a confidential consultation with our firm today. We look forward to speaking with you.

5 Common Nursing Home Abuse Cases

Nursing home abuse often goes unnoticed or unreported. This form of abuse occurs when a caretaker neglects a patient, intentionally or unintentionally. Negligence is the failure to take proper care in doing a task. Nursing homes typically have strict rules and train their caretakers well, but neglect can still occur. 

While it’s hard to determine how many people in nursing homes are being abused, some studies indicate that 1 in 3 people in a nursing home have been victims to nursing home abuse. Studies also show that 53% of abuse cases get reported, and that as many as 85% of nursing homes have at least one case of abuse reported. 

What Are The 5 Elements of Negligence?

The five elements of negligence are often used during lawsuits to determine whether negligence was an issue. 

  1. Duty: the ability to prove you were owed care.
  2. Breach: the ability to prove there was a violation of standard care that resulted in injury.
  3. Cause in fact: the ability to prove a correlation between negligent action and the negative consequence suffered.
  4. Proximate cause: the ability to prove direct link between negligence and injury. 
  5. Harm: the ability to prove injuries, loss, or other expenses were suffered because of negligence. 

Understanding these five elements can help you defend your loved one in court. A nursing home abuse lawyer can further help you defend your loved one in court.  

What Types of Nursing Home Abuse Are There?

When you think of nursing home abuse, do you think of bedsores and other physical injuries? That’s just one type of abuse that people living in nursing homes may suffer. Overall, there are five general types of nursing home abuse, though these can be broken down into many minor categories. 

  • Physical abuse: when a staff member knowingly causes physical harm to residents, such as pushing, kicking or otherwise hitting them.
  • Emotional abuse: screaming at patients, taunting them, or isolating them from their friends or family. While this does not leave marks, it harms their mental state.
  • Nursing home neglect: this type of abuse is when a patient is left unattended, possibly putting them in danger. 
  • Sexual abuse: any form of unwanted sexual activity performed on a patient in a nursing home.
  • Financial abuse: this is when a resident of a nursing home has trouble managing their money and are exploited by employees of the nursing home. 

How Can Family Help?

Family members should watch for signs of abuse. These signs of abuse, often physical, are easy to recognize. However, not all signs of physical abuse truly indicate physical abuse. Elderly people have fragile bodies, and you should consult a lawyer, such as Davis & Brusca, LLC, if you suspect abuse. 

Some signs of abuse are:

  • Bed sores
  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Strange bruises
  • Restraint marks
  • Burn marks
  • Changes in emotional state
  • Recurrent infections
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Missing items
  • Missing money
  • Reluctant to speak around caretakers
  • Agitation

If you recognize any of these signs, please reach out to a lawyer and see if they can find proof of a case.

Documenting Your Injury Claim

If you have been in an accident, the first thing to do is to make sure that you and anyone else involved are safe and to seek medical attention immediately. However, it is also very important to document your accident for any future claims you may make. It is easy to forget when you are in the moment, but it is important to document any information about the injury and the responsible party when it comes time to file an insurance claim. Make sure to document the following if you are ever involved in an accident:

Pictures

One of the easiest ways that you can document your injury is to take pictures of everything! You can never have enough pictures of the scene of the accident or your injuries. Leave no stone unturned — or unphotographed.

If you were in a car accident, make sure to get pictures of every vehicle involved in the accident, including all of the damage from multiple angles and the license plates. If you can, take a picture of the other driver(s) as well. If the other driver(s) will let you, take a picture of their insurance cards and driver’s licenses.

If you are involved in a slip and fall or workplace accident, make sure to get photos of whatever caused your injury. Make sure to take photos of any other dangers or negligence nearby. If you can, take pictures of every employee you encounter including their name tags. If the property owner will let you, take a picture of any incident or accident reports that are completed. If it is a home, and if the homeowner will let you, take a photo of their homeowner’s insurance policy.

If you were attacked by an animal, make sure to get a picture of the animal that attacked you. Take several pictures of your surroundings showing where you were. If you can, take a picture of the animal’s home, including the street and house number if it is a pet. If the owner of the animal will let you, take a picture of their homeowner’s insurance policy and any paperwork they have for their animal.

For all cases, make sure to get photos of your injuries. Try to get photos of anyone else’s injuries if you can.

The best time to take pictures is immediately after your injury. Photos from right after the accident will be the most compelling. However, many people are not able to take pictures right away, especially if their injuries are severe or if their cell phone was damaged in the accident. If you are not able to take pictures, ask someone to take them for you, and send an email or text them to yourself. If you can, try to follow up soon after the injury and take your own photos. Do not trust that the responsible party will take good photos that will help your case.

Video

In some instances, your injury may have been caught on camera. In many situations, the video footage will belong to someone else. Don’t be shy about asking to have a copy of the footage, or to at least look at it for yourself — the worst they can do is say no!

If you are involved in a slip and fall or workplace accident, ask if the property owner will let you have a copy of the security footage, but don’t be surprised if they say no. You can also ask if they will let you view the footage — if they say yes, and if they let you, you can take of video of the footage yourself using your phone. If you were outside, there may be other cameras that caught the injury. Make sure to ask around at any other nearby homes or businesses that may have a camera that looks out onto the street and see if they will let you have a copy of the security footage.

If you were in a car accident, check to see if any of the cars have cameras. Nowadays, more cars have on-board cameras, and many drivers have dashboard cameras for recording accidents. If your car has an on-board camera, do everything you can to get the footage. Depending on where the accident happened, there may be other cameras that caught the accident, such as a nearby home or business. Ask around at any homes or businesses that may have a camera that looks out onto the street and see if they will let you have a copy of the security footage. Make sure to also check with the city to see if there were any public security cameras near the accident and ask if you can have a copy of the footage.

If you were attacked by an animal, check to see if there may have been a camera nearby that caught the attack. If it was at a home, ask the homeowner if they have any security cameras and if you can have a copy of the footage. If it was in a public space, ask around at any nearby homes or businesses that may have a camera that caught the attack and see if they will let you have a copy of the security footage. Make sure to also check with the city to see if there were any public security cameras near the accident and ask if you can have a copy of the footage.

Information about the Responsible Party

It is critical that you have as much information as possible about the responsible party — your attorney can’t sue anyone if they don’t know who is to blame! 

If you were in a car accident, make sure to get the name of the responsible driver and the name of their insurance carrier. Make sure to write down their license plate number as well. If they will let you, you should write down their driver’s license number, phone number, email address, home address, date of birth, auto insurance policy number, and vehicle’s VIN. Ask them if they own the vehicle, and if not, get as much information as you can about the vehicle’s owner.

If you were in a slip and fall or workplace accident, make sure to get the names and contact information for any employees you encounter, including any managers present. Make sure to ask for the property owner’s insurance information, including the name of their insurance carrier, a phone number, and their policy number. Make sure to get as much information as you can about whatever caused your injury. If they will let you, you should get a copy of any incident or accident reports that are completed.

If you were attacked by an animal, and you know who owns the animal, get as much information as you can from the owner. Make sure to get the owner’s name and home address, phone number, email address, and their homeowner’s insurance carrier and policy number. Get as much information as you can about the animal, including the animal’s name, breed, age, and vaccine status. Ask the owner if the animal has a history of aggression or if they have ever attacked anyone else, but don’t expect an honest answer.

Witnesses

If anyone witnessed the accident, make sure to get their contact information as well, including their name, phone number, email address, and home address. Ask them about what they saw and if they would be willing to testify about it if needed. If you can, get a recording or a written statement from any witnesses stating what they saw. 

Police 

If the police investigated the accident, make sure to get as much information from them as possible. Make sure to get the name and badge number of all officers that respond to the scene, as well as any incident or crash report numbers. If the responsible party won’t talk to you, ask the police if they can give you any information regarding the responsible party, such as their name, contact information, and insurance information. If a report was filed, make sure to follow up with the police to get a copy of the report.

So, to summarize:

  • Take pictures of everything
  • Get copies of any camera footage
  • Get contact information from the responsible party
  • Get the contact information for the responsible party’s insurance
  • Get contact information from all witnesses
  • Get copies of any incident reports or police reports

Follow up with an attorney
After you have completed documenting your accident, make sure to follow up with an attorney, like a personal injury lawyer from a law firm like Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC, who can review your documentation. Thoroughly documenting your accident will help your attorney to determine the best path forward for pursuing your claim.

Lawyer Fees and Other Legal Costs for a Personal Injury Claim

Personal Injury Lawyer

When faced with an injury, you want to do everything possible to obtain the compensation you deserve. Someone who was negligent and caused your injuries should be held responsible. As you look at your options, you might consider a personal injury lawsuit against the liable party. What is the cost to hire a lawyer to help you with that? Are there other costs associated with such a lawsuit? The following breaks down some of the basics you should know about lawyer fees and other legal costs.

Lawyer Fees

In many personal injury cases, a lawyer will work on something called a contingency fee basis. This means he or she gets a percentage of your settlement, and payment is contingent upon you winning the case. If you don’t win, you don’t have to pay any lawyer fees. There are other types of lawyer fees, such as hourly or by-the-case, but many who deal with personal injury use contingency fees.

The percentage of your settlement the attorney will take is varied based on your attorney and your case, but many will charge somewhere between 33% and 40%. If your settlement were to end up at $70,000, and the fee was 33%, your lawyer would take $23,100.

Other Legal Costs

There are a variety of other costs associated with personal injury lawsuits. These are separate from your lawyer fees, and are charged differently based on how your attorney works. For example, one attorney may throw all those costs into the contingency fee and charge a higher percentage. Another may require you pay the costs as they come up. The following are a few examples of legal costs you’ll typically be required to pay.

  • Administrative Costs – This could include postage, travel, research, copying and trial exhibits.
  • Court Costs – This includes the filing fee, juror stipends and serving costs.
  • Deposition Costs – This includes payment for the stenographer’s time and a copy of the deposition.
  • Expert Witness Costs – This includes payment for the witness’s time in reviewing the case, preparing a report and providing testimony.
  • Investigative Costs – This could include fees for obtaining police reports, hiring investigators and other means of gathering evidence.

Allowing a Lawyer to Explain Further

As you can see, there are a lot of things that go into how much it will cost to hire a lawyer and go through the process of a personal injury lawsuit. Your lawyer is better equipped to give you a closer estimate of how much you can expect to pay. Contact a personal injury lawyer, like from Davis & Brusca, today for further explanation.

Driving with a Suspended License

Having a suspended license can be a huge inconvenience no matter the cost for the suspension. And there are so many reasons that someone’s driver’s license could be suspended. There are many people that simply forget to pay something as small as a parking ticket, while there are others who have committed criminal offenses and lose their driving privileges. No matter the extent of the offense and why your license is expired Having a suspended license can be a huge inconvenience no matter the cost for the suspension. And there are so many reasons that someone’s driver’s license could be suspended. There are many people that simply forget to pay something as small as a parking ticket, while there are others who have committed criminal offenses and lost their driving privileges. No matter the extent of the offense and why your license is suspended, this can be frustrating. While you should not drive with a suspended license, some of us still do. Therefore some of us may need to speak with an attorney about what legal options they have should they be stopped by law-enforcement. 

There have been cases when an individual had no idea their license was suspended, unfortunately it is the police officers choice to give you a citation, or in some cases they may have to arrest you. This will also lead to your vehicle being impounded. A slew of inconveniences can come from simply driving with a suspended license. While you may see this offense is very simple and small the law and those that enforce the law may not see it as small as you do. 

There have been cases when an individual had no idea their license was suspended, unfortunately it is the police officers choice to give you a citation, or in some cases they may have to arrest you. This will also lead to your vehicle being impounded. A slew of inconveniences can come from simply driving with a suspended license. While you may see this offense is very simple and small the law and those that enforce the law may not see it as small as you do. 

They are sometimes when an individual is arrested for driving with a suspended license and there are sometimes when an individual is simply cited. The issue here is you were behind the wheel, your driver’s license was suspended, and you were aware of this suspension. These facts can lead to trouble, speak to a criminal defense attorney, like from The Lynch Law Group.

Types of Spousal Support

Personal Injury Lawyer

In many divorce cases, the court may award spousal support, which is also called alimony, to spouses. Marital misconduct is not a factor in determining whether someone is entitled to alimony or in calculating the actual payment amount. Courts instead focus on each spouse’s financial needs and future earning capacity, among other factors, to determine whether maintenance is appropriate in a particular situation. Then, they apply a specific formula to set the amount and duration of payments.

State law explains the three different types of alimony that are available in most states:

Temporary maintenance: A spouse might be entitled to temporary support while the divorce is pending. You can petition for support when the divorce petition is filed and provide a financial affidavit that explains why this support is necessary. Any award of temporary maintenance ends when the divorce is finalized.

Fixed-term maintenance: As part of a divorce judgment, the court may award alimony for a specific period of time. After that time period ends, the court may consider whether to extend support for another fixed term or to extend it indefinitely. The court could also decide to terminate the alimony award at the end of the fixed term. In fact, if the marriage lasted less than 10 years, the court may designate the conclusion of the fixed term as a permanent termination of maintenance.

Permanent maintenance: The court may also decide that the spouse’s situation warrants permanent maintenance.

In both fixed-term and permanent, there are usually stipulations outlined that would cause the spousal support to end. Examples of these types of circumstances include if the receiving spouse should remarry or if the paying spouse retires. Events like these are considered events that will change the financial situation of at least one of the parties and warrant the end of the support.

Factors that Courts Consider in Determining Whether Alimony Is Appropriate

Aside from each spouse’s financial needs and earning capacity (both present and future), other factors that courts consider in determining whether alimony is appropriate include:

  • The duration of the marriage.
  • Each spouse’s income and property, including marital property distributed during the divorce, nonmarital property, and retirement income
  • Whether the party seeking maintenance needs to go back to school or receive additional training to become self-supporting, the time it will take for the spouse to do that, and the support the spouse needs to make that happen
  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • Each spouse’s age, health, and occupation
  • Each spouse’s contribution to the marriage and to the other spouse’s career, including education and training
  • The tax consequences that marital property division has on both spouses;
  • Any prenuptial, postnuptial, or other valid agreement between the spouses
  • Other equitable factors

An experienced divorce attorney can help collect the evidence you need to establish your alimony needs.

Let a Lawyer Help You with Your Case

If you are considering filing for divorce, contact a dedicated divorce attorney. A lawyer can help secure spousal support to cover your financial needs, as well handle other areas of divorce negotiations.

What You Can Do Following a Construction Site Injury

Personal Injury Lawyer

Each type of personal injury case will take on some unique measures. A construction site injury is no different. There are unique factors at play regarding construction site injuries, and you should have a lawyer by your side to ensure you are properly taken care of. The following are some things you can do following a construction site injury.

Get Medical Assistance

Taking care of yourself is the most important thing you can do. If you’re not around to fight your personal injury case, that would be devastating to a host of individuals. If your injury results in emergency care, take a ride in an ambulance, visit the emergency room and receive that emergency medical assistance you need. Your injuries might require surgery, prescription medication and ongoing care, and it’s important you never miss an appointment or a medication dose.

Seek Workers’ Compensation

If you were an employee at the construction site where you were injured, you may be able to seek workers’ compensation. You should report the injury to your employer so the process can begin as soon as possible.

If you were on the construction site as an outside party, but still there during the course of employment, you might still be entitled to workers’ compensation. For example, you might work for an electrician who was hired by the contractor. You might be delivering a contract to the site when you were injured there. You could possibly seek workers’ compensation through the electrical company you work for because you were performing your job at the time of your injury.

Consult With an Attorney

There could be other factors at play that you don’t realize could have an impact on your situation. For example, you might feel the injury was your own fault, so you don’t plan to seek compensation. Perhaps you were off the clock when the injury occurred so you feel you are undeserved of compensation. Your lawyer can help you understand how the process works so you can recover what you are legally owed.

If you were on the construction site illegally, your attorney can represent you against a lawsuit the construction company might file against you. Your personal health insurance may step in to cover the costs of your injuries in such a situation, so be sure to speak with your insurer.

Getting Started Today

There are a lot of issues at play when it comes to construction site injuries. If you’re wondering what you can do, set up a consultation with a personal injury lawyer, like the offices of Johnston | Martineau PLLP, get answers to questions about your case.