Filing a Suit After a Roof Collapse in a Rental

Don’t Be Bullied By An Insurance Company, Hire A Car Accident Attorney

Posted by on Aug 11, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Don’t Be Bullied By An Insurance Company, Hire A Car Accident Attorney

Just because you were not at fault in a car accident does not mean that the insurance company of the other driver is going to automatically pay for all your injuries and damages. In fact, since you are not their customer, and they do not receive any money from you, they will try to find excuses for not paying you everything you deserve. An experienced car accident lawyer has heard all the excuses they will tell you to get you to sign a settlement agreement. Here are just a few things that may come up during the course of your case.     The Injuries You Claim Were Pre-existing If the insurance company can find any evidence of a previous injury or complaint, they will say the accident was not the cause for your pain and suffering. They will tell you that the accident merely exacerbated the condition. However, an attorney will pull all your old medical records. While it could be true you did suffer from a similar injury, if it has healed and you have not recent complaints, the car accident is at fault. Statute of Limitations If you have not been able to reach a settlement with the insurance company, and there have been no court proceedings for a period of time, the insurance company will try to “close your file.” However, there are laws regarding the period for filing a claim and resolving it. Each state has its own regulations regarding this and even then, there may be circumstances of the accident that extend this. Not only will an experienced attorney know what the statute of limitations are for  your accident, he or she will be sure to have all claims and documents filed long before the time is up. You Told the Responding Police Officer You Were Not Hurt Just because you did not feel any pain immediately after the accident does not mean you were not injured. It is common to not notice a problem for a day, or even longer, after an accident. Your lawyer will work with medical personnel to establish how the injury occurred and why you may not have noticed it for a few days. When you talk with an insurance adjuster who is a professional in the field of damage and injuries, you may feel overwhelmed. You may not have an answer to his or her question or know how to respond to an allegation. Car accident lawyers are not only used to dealing with insurance adjusters, they are professionals in the field too. When it comes to talking to insurance companies, the best stand to take is to have everything go through your attorney. This will reduce your stress over the situation, allowing you to heal quicker, and will ensure you get the settlement you...

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Negotiating Tips for Auto Accident Settlements

Posted by on Jul 6, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Negotiating Tips for Auto Accident Settlements

If you have been injured in an auto accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. At some point in the process you might need to take action and trigger a settlement offer from the at-fault party’s insurance company. A demand letter and negotiations are your next steps toward a successful resolution. Here is how to proceed with these two important actions. The Demand Letter This letter details the reasons and facts behind your claim and asks for a settlement amount. You can find a sample demand letter here. Your demand letter should be factual, polite, and to-the-point, and include these points: Why the other party is at fault. How the accident has affected you: physically and emotionally, and the effects it’s had your family. What medical treatments were required as a result of your injuries and the costs. How much income loss you have suffered. What evidence you have: police reports, medical records, photographs, videos, etc. How much you are asking for. Make this figure a little higher than needed to allow for negotiations. Tips on Negotiating Be prepared to negotiate over the phone by having your paperwork in front of you. Don’t leap at the first offer. It will likely be a low-ball amount just to test your desperation. The insurance adjuster will likely offer you a figure below what you asked for in your demand letter; counter that offer with a figure higher than the first offer and slightly less than your demand letter figure. Show him that you are reasonable, but be firm and have a bottom-line amount that you are unwilling to go below. If the adjuster seems unwilling to go any higher, have him explain his reasoning. You may consider his reasons and adjust your bottom-line figure if needed. Be prepared to nudge the adjuster in your favor by reminding the adjuster of the emotional impact the accident has had on you and your family. For example, mention how your child has suffered because of you not being able to care for her properly as a result of your injuries. Don’t be afraid to end the call if negotiations stall; you can always arrange for another session later. Make sure that any offer you agree to is followed-up with a letter or email, from you, confirming the exact figures. If the insurance company is not cooperating with you, you may need the assistance of a personal injury attorney like Marquard & Associates. Many times, having legal representation alone will trigger a fair settlement offer. The sooner you have an attorney on your side, the sooner you will be able to put this incident behind you and move...

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Take Charge Of Your Criminal Defense Case With These Simple Actions

Posted by on Jun 19, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Take Charge Of Your Criminal Defense Case With These Simple Actions

While it’s never suggested that those being charged with a criminal offense represent themselves, working with an attorney doesn’t mean sitting idly by. There are a number of ways that you can help to strengthen your case and take charge of your defense. Below are three of the simplest things you can do to further your defense. Be Respectful and Cooperative It’s important to remember that everyone you’re interacting with during the course of your case—from the arresting officers to the judge to the prosecutor—are simply doing their jobs. Your cooperation with the investigation can go a long way in showing you’re a moral person, but it’s important to remember that cooperation doesn’t mean confessing. You have every right to have your attorney present during all interviews and shouldn’t feel as if asking for your attorney is admitting guilt. Be Honest Openness with your attorney is key because it can help them to develop a defense strategy that will be the most effective. As soon as possible after the alleged crime or arrest, write down all of the details you can remember. Who was present? This can give your attorney possible witness statements. To the best of your knowledge, what occurred? If you weren’t present for the crime you’re being charged with, provide your attorney with possible reasons you may be suspected of it. This can help them to find holes in the prosecutor’s case against you, or even prove bias on the part of the accuser or arresting officer. Be Prepared Your attorney will handle the legal side of your case—your job is to simply show up and do as your attorney asks. Preparation on your part usually involves disclosing all information to your attorney, showing up to your consultations with them, and showing up to court on time and ready to prove your innocence. Preparation for cross examinations may mean going over your initial statements and finding potential gaps in it—your attorney will help you to know what prosecution will likely ask, and how you can best answer.   While your criminal defense attorney will do all of the legal legwork on your behalf, you have a huge part to play in your own defense. To best present your innocence, be respectful and cooperative with all authorities involved, be forthcoming with your attorney, and be prepared. To learn more about how you can help with your case, speak with your attorney (or go to...

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Important Information To Have Ready For Personal Injury Lawyers

Posted by on Jun 10, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Important Information To Have Ready For Personal Injury Lawyers

If you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault, seeking restitution is something that you might be interested in. However, before you consult with a personal injury lawyer such as Burke Schultz Harman & Jenkinson Attorneys at Law, you want to make sure that you have everything in order. Time is of the essence, so here are things all lawyers are going to require to consider your case properly. Information on the Accident Obviously the most important information you can provide a lawyer is your notes that cover everything possible on the accident. In your notes, you want to make sure you go beyond when the accident happened, where it took place, and what happened. You also need to make sure you document what the weather was like, what you were doing before the accident occurred, any witnesses who were present, and any conversations that took place. If possible, take pictures of your surroundings and your injuries. Finally, while you are still in the moment, write down what you are feeling immediately following the accident, as well as a few hours after the accident took place. Incident Report Regardless of how severe you feel the accident was, you should have an incident report filed. If you are on the job, it is often required by your employer. However, if you are on someone else’s property, you will need to ask for a copy of the report. If you are unable to get the report, let the lawyer know when you go to the consultation, so they can obtain the incident report. Finally, if police were called, getting the full report will offer more information on the incident and help with the pieces you are unable to recall. Proof of Money Lost In addition to any medical records that show what your injuries were and costs, you need to make sure you have proof of any other money you have lost. This includes bringing in proof of income so the lawyer can assess how much of your wages you will be out due to the injuries and recovery time. Finally, bring in estimates to have any property damage repaired. Pictures As mentioned above, pictures will help your lawyer settle the case. Attempt to take a panoramic shot of the accident area, giving your lawyer the ability to visualize where everything was and how it happened. This can be vital if your case goes to court and will rely on a judge to decide. Insurance Cards Finally, you want to make sure that you bring your health and auto insurance cards to your consultation. Your lawyer will double-check the amount of care your insurance will cover, but also how much you will have to pay out of pocket to have that care covered. The more prepared you are for the consultation, the better your lawyer can assess your case. This will allow you to receive a better idea of how much you can expect with a settlement, but also if you are  able to seek...

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Drowning In Student Loan Debt? Learn How Bankruptcy Courts Handle Student Loans

Posted by on May 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Drowning In Student Loan Debt? Learn How Bankruptcy Courts Handle Student Loans

It’s estimated that as many as 40 million Americans have debt resulting from student loans. Paying back this debt is challenging for many, particularly for those individuals who are adding student loans to an already high level of other personal debts. There’s a common misconception that it’s impossible to include student loan debt in bankruptcy cases; this isn’t true. If you’re filing for bankruptcy and struggling with this debt, while challenging, it’s not impossible to have this debt included. Most often, this factor is decided based on a Brunner test.  Bruner Test The Brunner test is a process that is used by bankruptcy courts to determine if paying back your student loan debt will cause financial hardship. The test is divided into three parts. Poverty. During the first part of the test, the courts will examine your expenses and income. This information is then used to determine whether or not paying back the required payment amount on the loan will force you or anyone you support into poverty. Keep in mind that you will be required to provide proof if you are providing financial support to anyone outside your home. Persistence. This part of the process examines whether or not your financial hardship is temporary or if this will be a long-term issue. Typically, you can only meet this requirement if the court establishes that your current financial standing will be the same throughout a large portion of the student loan repayment period. Good faith. This is a part of the test that many people overlook. In addition to your current financial standings, the court wants to review whether or not you have made any good faith efforts in the past. For example, the court will look over the loan payment history to see whether or not you at least tried to pay off your loans when you were financially able. Consult with an Attorney As evident, student loan debt acceptance into a bankruptcy proceeding is handled on a case-by-case status. Having an idea how the courts in your local jurisdiction have handled this matter in the past can help you prepare your case for the greatest chance of success. An attorney can offer tremendous assistance with this step by helping you prepare your case and ensuring you have the necessary information to prove your hardship. If you’re drowning in student loan debt with no way out, there is help. Don’t hesitate to let an attorney help you sort through this matter. Check out websites like for more...

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3 Misconceptions That Shouldn’t Stop You From Filing A Personal Injury Claim

Posted by on May 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Misconceptions That Shouldn’t Stop You From Filing A Personal Injury Claim

Have you been wrongfully injured on the job or involved in a car accident in which you weren’t at fault? Have you hired legal representation to handle you case? If your answers are “yes” and “no” respectively, then you are probably being sidetracked by three common misconceptions about personal injury cases. Here are the facts about personal injury cases that you need to know: You Were The Only One Injured Thanks to Hollywood, many honest citizens never get the compensation they deserve because they are viewing movies as literal interpretations of real life. Movies are almost always exaggerated for drama and action; real life rarely works out that way. You do not have to find a group of people like you to put in a claim or sue a company in a personal injury case. Most real-life cases involve the circumstances of one or two individuals, not a class action lawsuit involving hundreds or thousands. Your Injury Wasn’t A Big Deal So, you experienced a minor injury at the fault of another. Regardless of the severity of an injury, you are entitled to seek reimbursement for medical bills, etc. Insurance companies may attempt to pay out less than is necessary to account for your medical needs in ‘minor injuries’. Yet, a seemingly minor accident can have lifelong repercussions on your health and ability to function in the future. A personal injury or accident attorney can work to see that you receive a fair settlement.  You Don’t Think It’s Worth The Hassle (Or The Time!) Many victims of personal injury cases think that it may be years before they will be compensated for their case. This is not always the case at all. In fact, many companies are more than willing to pay for damages once evidence has been brought forward to support your case.  Don’t mistakenly miss out on compensation because you fear you’ll spend months or years in court. Not all personal injury cases are long, drawn-out legal battles. As you can see, all of these misconceptions have a common root cause: you have been ill-informed. It’s okay—few people encounter personal injury cases until they are smack in the middle of them. But don’t allow your lack of knowledge or fear to keep you from filing a claim and taking your case to court. Keep in mind that many incidents have a statute of limitations that may vary from state to state. If you go beyond this deadline, you may not be able to get the compensation you deserve. Contact a personal injury or accident attorney like Modesitt Law Offices PC to learn how he or she can represent your case...

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How To Get The Medical Help You Need While Pursing A Personal Injury Case

Posted by on May 20, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Get The Medical Help You Need While Pursing A Personal Injury Case

If you are in the middle of a personal injury lawsuit, one of the most important aspects of your case is defining the injuries you sustained and getting the medical care that you need. Here are the top three ways to ensure you can obtain the medical care you need while pursuing your case: Personal Health Insurance If you have personal health insurance, it should cover all of your treatments. You will be responsible for paying your deductibles, but your insurance should cover the remainder of your medical bills. All you need to do is present your insurance card, just like you normally would do. Additionally, you will want to obtain copies of all your bills as well as the doctor’s notes after each visit so you can give this information to your personal injury attorney who can use it to build your lawsuit.  Personal Injury Protection If you received your injuries due to a car accident, and you pay for personal injury protection (PIP) on your auto insurance policy, your PIP can be used to cover your medical bills. You will need to provide your medical team with the information to bill your car insurance company after each treatment. You’ll need to keep close track of the cost of your treatments if you have to use your personal injury protection policy. Most PIP policies only cover medical care up to a certain amount. For example, if your PIP covers up to $150,000 in medical care, you would be expected to pay for any treatments that exceed that amount. Letter Of Protection If you do not have personal health insurance, and you also don’t have or have exceeded your personal injury protection policy, your third option is letter of protection, or LOP.  An LOP will not pay your medical bills. Rather, it will allow you to get the medical treatment you need while you are pursuing your personal injury case.  An LOP is essentially a legal agreement between you and your medical provider that your lawyer can draft up for you. The letter will allow you to continue to seek the treatments you need while you are pursuing your case. Your medical provider will then agree to not send your bills to collection with the understanding that you will pay your medical bills directly out of your settlement.  It is important that you get a correct medical diagnosis and that you get the medical care you need while you are pursuing a personal injury case. You can use your personal health insurance or your personal injury protection policy to cover your bills. If you don’t have either of those options available to you, your lawyer can help you draft a LOP so you can get the care you...

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Injured While At A Friend’s Home? Let A Personal Injury Lawyer Deal With The Insurance Company

Posted by on May 19, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Injured While At A Friend’s Home? Let A Personal Injury Lawyer Deal With The Insurance Company

If you have sustained an injury while at a friend’s house that requires medical attention and/or causes you to miss work, you have the right to expect to be compensated for your financial loss. However, telling a friend that you are taking them to court is not something you want to do. There is no need to worry about this. The first thing you need to do, after being treated by medical personnel, is contact a personal injury lawyer to handle everything for you. He or she knows how to go about dealing with the appropriate insurance company to keep your friend out of things as much as possible. Homeowner’s Insurance If your friend owns, or is buying the property, he or she will have homeowner’s insurance. While most people think of this as a policy to protect their home in case of fire, or other damage, it also protects anyone that is on the property with permission of the owner. It doesn’t matter if the injury was sustained because a piece of the roof collapsed on you or while you were repairing a car in the garage. A personal injury lawyer will gather all proof of the injury and your medical condition. He or she will then make file with the insurance company for you to receive compensation for the medical expenses and any lost wages.  Renter’s Insurance When your friend is renting the property, things can get a bit trickier. Hopefully your friend has renter’s insurance that will protect him or her from any liability for your injuries. This would come into play if your friend’s dog bit you, or you were injured using a piece of his or her personal belongings.  Your lawyer will seek restitution from the renter’s insurance policy so you do not have to try to get the money from your friend. If the injury occurred because there was something wrong with the house itself, such as tripping on uneven flooring or having part of the ceiling falling onto you, the lawyer will work with the homeowner’s insurance company. The important thing when having to deal with a personal injury case that involves a friend’s property is to talk with your friend about it. Remind him or her that it is nothing personal, you are not suing him or her but are going after the insurance company to pay for the injury. Having a personal injury lawyer can make the case much less personal between you and your friend. An attorney like James Lee Katz, can even explain things to your friend so he or she will will understand and be willing to help your case by providing evidence on your behalf.While you want to be compensated, you certainly don’t want to lose a good...

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Wrongful Death And Murder Or Manslaughter

Posted by on May 18, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Wrongful Death And Murder Or Manslaughter

If you lost a loved one due to murder or manslaughter, you can pursue a wrongful death civil suit against the perpetrator. There are factors you should be aware of when initiating a suit against various entities and persons, and there are some real-life cases to illustrate these. Working with Civil Trial Standards The most famous case of someone being civilly sued for murder was that of O.J. Simpson for the deaths of Ron Goldman and Nicole Simpson. Even though O.J. was acquitted for the murders, the families prevailed in civil court and won a $25 million judgment. The Goldman family was awarded $8.5 million in compensatory damages as well. In civil trials, the standard to prevail is lower than in criminal court, and from a “preponderance of the evidence” the jury may find it more likely than not that the defendant is responsible. Jurors did not believe that O,J.’s testimony was credible and they thought the evidence against him was sufficient to award damages to the plaintiffs. Also, evidence that would be inadmissible in criminal court, may be allowed in civil court, which can affect either side of the case. Though a jury must hand down a unanimous decision in a criminal case, a majority of jurors in agreement will meet the preponderance standard. In O.J.’s civil trial, the verdict for the Goldman’s compensatory damages was unanimous, but for the big award, the jury was split 10/2. Considering the Financial Means of Defendants  The parents of the teenager Trayvon Martin sued the homeowners association of the sub-division where their son was killed, and this resulted in an undisclosed settlement that is rumored to be $1 million or more. The family intended to sue George Zimmerman, (the shooter who claimed self defense) but there is no online record of them doing so. They may have decided against it due to Zimmerman’s financial standing. While this may sound like the plaintiffs are ‘only in it for the money’, this is a valid concern of both plaintiffs and attorneys because civil lawsuits can be expensive to present due to attorney hours spent on case, court fees, administrative fees, and additional expenses. The fees of just one expert witness can range be $351 to $488 an hour or more, plus evidence in the form of computer animations and other displays can also be costly. Overcoming Bias For Police Defendants Suing the police presents several problems for families of a slain citizen. Families often feel intimidated by the police and the system that protects them. The second is that the court system favors the testimony of the police over private citizens, making it difficult to prevail. However, there have been cases where plaintiffs did win. In fact, as difficult as it is to sue, they are more likely to get a settlement from a government entity than they are to see the officer severely disciplined, discharged, or charged with a criminal offence. In Nevada, a woman named Deshiral Selimaj was killed by police while holding a knife, but witnesses felt she posed no immediate threat to them. Her family sued the Henderson county police department and won $700,000. In another case, unarmed Lamar Kiles was shot and permanently disabled by an officer. It is felt he prevailed in his lawsuit ($3 million settlement) because...

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3 Options For Handling A Denied Disability Claim

Posted by on May 18, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Options For Handling A Denied Disability Claim

After you file a claim for Social Security disability benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will determine if you are eligible for assistance. If your claim is denied, you have three options for dealing with the situation. How you choose to handle the denial is up to you.  1. File an Appeal The appeals process for disability benefits has four different levels. The first is known as the request for reconsideration. In this step, you can complete a form that asks that your case is reviewed by the SSA. You must submit the request within 60 days of receiving the denial letter. If you are still denied benefits, you can ask for a hearing.  The hearing occurs before an administrative law judge. The judge will hear evidence from you and the SSA and make a determination. The hearing is usually informal, but it is a good idea to have an attorney on your side. The judge will make a determination and notify you by mail whether or not you are approved. If denied, you can for an appeal through the Appeals Council.  The council does not have to hear your case. It can decide not to and side with the judge from the hearing. However, if the council does hear your case, it can side with you and award you the benefits you requested. The council also has the option of sending your case back to a judge and having him or her review its merits.  Your final option for appealing a denied claim is at the federal appeals court. Your attorney would submit a brief explaining why you should receive benefits and detailing why the previous decisions in your case were incorrect. Based on the rules of Social Security, the court will make a decision. If the court agrees with you, you will receive your benefits.  2. Reopen Your Claim You also have the option of not taking any action right now and reopening the case at a later date. In order to reopen a case, your request for benefits has to be related to the initial claim. You cannot simply amend the case to claim a different disability. If you have a new disability that is impacting your ability to work, you will need to open an entirely new case.  3. Drop the Claim You always have the option of simply dropping your bid for disability benefits and returning to work. If you become unable to work again in the future, you can file a new claim with the SSA. Talk to an experienced attorney to fully explore all of the options you have for your particular denied disability request. The attorney can not only help you understand what actions you can take, but help you through the process.  To learn more, contact a law firm like Law Offices Of Russell J....

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