When To Hire A Personal Injury Lawyer

Oklahoma City Personal Injury Lawyer

If you are thinking “do I need a personal injury lawyer?” or know someone who has been injured due to negligence, an accident, or by a form of misconduct, then it is time to seek legal counsel. Below are some frequently asked questions and answers about personal injuries from the personal injury lawyer team at AMA Law.

When Should You File a Personal Injury Claim?
Unfortunately, there are strict deadlines for the amount of time an individual has to file a personal injury lawsuit. Every state has a law around the statute of limitations for various areas of practice which can range from 1 to 6 years, making it crucial for individuals to file their claims within the legal time frame. 

How Do I Know If My Case is Past the Statute of Limitations?
Depending on your type of personal injury case, the countdown typically begins the day the event occurred. The consequences of filing a lawsuit after the applicable deadline increases your chances of the court dismissing your case and losing any chance of getting compensated for your injury or loss.

A majority of personal injury lawyers do not charge for consultations, so there is little to no investment in seeing if you are within the statute of limitations for the type of case and state laws. Even if your deadline to file has passed, there are extenuating circumstances that can extend the amount of time you have.

How to File a Personal Injury Claim?
To prepare for your lawsuit, you will need to be able to explain the basis for your case to file a formal complaint, often called a “petition”. A lawyer will help draft the official complaint with the information in the caption on the plaintiff (the individual filing), the defendant (the individual(s) being filed against), and the court involved; along with the necessary signatures. 

How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?
Personal injury lawyers typically don’t charge you anything unless you win so that the client’s financial risk in hiring an attorney to represent them is minimized. If you win the settlement, the attorney will take a contingency fee which is a percentage of the recovered compensation. 

However there can be a few additional expenses to keep in mind outside of legal representation. Depending on the state you are filing in, they could require you to file a summons. A document notifying and explaining to the defendant why they are being sued as an official summons from the court, which can cost an average of $100 to $500. 

Associated costs are influenced by the court fees and area of practice for your case. Your legal counsel may be able to estimate the additional expenses that may occur. This price can vary based on the complexity, size, and type of case your personal injury lawsuit falls under.

If you or someone you love has been the victim of a personal injury, contact a good personal injury lawyer today.

Can You Fight A Traffic Ticket?

Have you recently been pulled over for speeding? Or running a stop sign? Or driving without a license? Regardless of the kind of traffic ticket that you have recently been cited, it is important to speak with an experienced traffic ticket attorney about whether it is worth mounting a defense to your alleged infraction. Depending on the unique circumstances that you’re facing, fighting your traffic ticket may be a good investment of your time and energy.

What Exactly Is a Traffic Ticket?

As an experienced traffic lawyer – including those who practice at The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt – can explain in greater detail, a traffic ticket is a citation handed out by law enforcement to motorists who have allegedly violated traffic laws. Traffic tickets can be written for relatively minor infractions (such as failing to signal before changing lanes), serious infractions (such as reckless driving), and all kinds of “gray area” infractions on the spectrum of traffic laws enforced in each state.

Sometimes, it isn’t worth a motorist’s time and energy to fight a very minor traffic ticket. However, failure to fight a significant traffic ticket could result in significant consequences.

The Pros and Cons of Fighting Traffic Tickets

The primary drawbacks to fighting a traffic ticket are fairly obvious. First, there is no guarantee that you’ll win. In the event of a loss, you will have spent your valuable time, energy, and effort only to thwart those investments. Second, if you invest in an attorney’s assistance and you lose, you’ll need to pay some modest legal fees even though your case didn’t turn out in the way that you had hoped it would.

Yet, the potential benefits of fighting a traffic ticket can be truly significant and worth the risk that you may invest some of your resources into this effort without a guarantee of outcome. First, your insurance premiums might go up as a result of your ticket. If this happens, it may seem like you would be saving money on legal fees by simply paying the cost of the ticket, but it may turn out that you’ll pay more to insurers over time than you would to a lawyer who could potentially get your ticket dismissed. Second, many traffic ticket infractions will cost you points on your license. If you incur too many points in too short a period of time, your license could be suspended. Safeguarding your points now could, therefore, ultimately benefit you later.

It is also worth noting that some traffic tickets may be tied to offenses that could be charged criminally or that someone could hold you liable for in civil court if your infraction caused them to get injured. In these instances, you’ll need to speak with a lawyer about your situation anyway, so fighting your traffic ticket may serve as a natural extension of the representation you’ll need to wage your other legal battle(s) anyway.

Pursuing Personal Injury Compensation - Decorative Scales of Justice in the Courtroom

Pursuing Personal Injury Compensation

Personal Injury Lawyer

Victims of personal injury in the United States can obtain compensation for their losses through the process of filing a personal injury claim. In most claims in or near Des Moines, victims employ the assistance of a personal injury lawyer Des Moines IA residents recommend, from Des Moines Injury Law. The attorney will work with the victim to establish the facts of their case, and determine if there is a valid claim. If the victim does indeed have a potentially valid claim, they can develop a claim, and set goals for compensation the victim will require to cover expenses. Victims of personal injury are often faced with a long and challenging path to recovery, and financial compensation takes some of the worry out of the process. Victims find comfort in knowing that they will be able to pay for loss of property, and pay for current and future medical expenses.

What can I be compensated for following a personal injury?

Obtaining compensation is a central goal of most personal injury cases. Damages can be pursued in any claim where there was damage to personal property or injury, regardless of the level of seriousness, as long as another party can be proved as liable. It is essential to take action as soon as possible following the injury if the victim wishes to pursue damages for their losses.

What does financial compensation usually include?

Compensation includes what you have been billed for already, as well as future expenses that are anticipated as being a direct result of the injury or condition post accident. For example, anticipated future medical issues that are a direct result of the accident. If an injury is sustained during an accident and consequently, physical therapy is required as a part of your recovery program, compensation can be collected from the responsible party to assist with associated PT expenses. 

In the case of personal injury cases, compensation is collected in the form of what are commonly referred to as economic or noneconomic damages. The compensatory damages are said to be economic when they are physical that can be quantified with a dollar amount. The value of economic damages does not change depending on opinions of those evaluating them.

Economic damages:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Past and future lost wages
  • Household services
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Property damages
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Medical expenses may also be included under economic damages. These damages are bills that arise out of the injuries that are caused by the accident.

Other medical expenses that compensation can be collected for:

  • Chronic physical health issues
  • Chronic mental health issues
  • Surgeries
  • Future treatments

Noneconomic damages:

  • Pain
  • Emotional anguish
  • Humiliation
  • Reputation damage
  • Loss of enjoyment of activities
  • Worsening of prior injuries

Common types of personal injury cases

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Wrongful death
  • Workplace accidents
  • Premises liability 
  • Product liability
  • Nursing home abuse
  • Brain injury
  • Dog bites
  • Spinal cord injury

Those who were injured due to the negligence of another party may be eligible to receive compensation for their losses. Victims are encouraged to contact an attorney who specializes in personal injury cases in the area or region where the injury occurred.

Determining Fault For A Car Accident

Suppose you’ve been injured in a car accident. In that case, the cause of your accident and the fault for your accident must be determined before you can accurately assess whether it is in your best interests to file legal action against others who may be responsible for the harm you’ve suffered. There is one notable exception to this general rule, which applies only in work-related car accident scenarios.

Work-Related Accidents

When work-related accidents cause injury, workers have different compensation opportunities available to them, depending upon whether they are eligible for workers’ comp benefits and depending upon the circumstances of their accident.

Suppose a worker is eligible for workers’ comp benefits (usually when a worker is classified as a part-time or full-time employee). In that case, they are generally entitled to a benefits award if they are injured while engaging in work-related activities. This eligibility applies on a no-fault basis, which means that benefits are awarded even in accident scenarios wherein the injured worker was at fault for the crash. The only exceptions to this rule apply when the worker in question was drunk or otherwise impaired at the time of the crash, the road rage of the worker caused the crash, or the worker was fraudulently trying to get hurt to benefit from a compensation award.

All Other Accident Types

An experienced car accident lawyer – including those who practice at Kreizer Law – can confirm that personal injury lawsuits are fault-based, which means that in order to file a personal injury lawsuit, an injury victim cannot have been totally at fault for their injurious circumstances. For a personal injury lawsuit to be successful, it must be proven that someone other than the injury victim was partially or totally at-fault for the circumstances that caused the victim’s injuries.

This is one of the reasons why it is so important for injury victims (workers and non-workers) to speak with an attorney in the wake of sustaining injury. A lawyer can conduct a thorough and objective investigation into the circumstances of a crash to better ensure that the cause(s) of a crash are accurately assessed and the fault for the accident is properly evaluated. In the event that someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or intentionally harmful conduct caused a victim’s injuries, that victim should be entitled to a personal injury damages award in their favor.

Hostile Work Environments

Hostile Work Environments

It is a sad fact of life that people tend to mistreat others with alarming regularity. Not all mistreatment is malicious, but it doesn’t need to be malicious to be hurtful and consequential in profound ways. In the workplace, individuals are protected from certain kinds of discrimination and harassment as a matter of law. Federal law, for example, protects against discrimination and harassment based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, disability, age, and genetics. State laws often extend well beyond the protections afforded by federal law. Yet, not all instances of discrimination and harassment give rise to a cause of legal action.

When Are Discrimination and Harassment in the Workplace Actionable?

Because people tend to mistreat each other—in ways large and small—so very often and in ways that cannot always be objectively classified as mistreatment, instances of discrimination and harassment must meet certain criteria in order to be considered legally actionable. Without these standards, the sheer volume of mistreatment that occurs in the workplace would overwhelm the courts and the economy.

Generally speaking, actionable workplace discrimination occurs when someone (an applicant or current worker) is treated unfavorably due to their inclusion in one of the protected classes noted above. By contrast, harassment occurs when someone is subjected to unwelcome verbal or physical conduct by virtue of their inclusion in a protected class. As an experienced sex discrimination lawyer – including those who practice at the law firm of Barry P. Goldberg – can explain in greater detail, harassment usually becomes actionable when the nature of the conduct involved is either so egregious or happens so often that it creates a hostile work environment. Various kinds of discriminatory conduct can also result in the establishment of a hostile work environment.

When Does a Hostile Work Environment Exist?

A hostile work environment is created when the discriminatory or harassing mistreatment that someone is experiencing is either so outrageous or pervasive that an objective person would perceive their work environment as intimidating, abusive, or hostile.

It isn’t always easy to know if the situation that a worker finds themselves in could be properly classified as an actionable hostile work environment or not. This is why it is a good idea to speak with an employment lawyer if you are being mistreated. They will be able to clarify your rights and options for you so that you can make decisions about your situation in a truly informed way.

Can Bankruptcy Halt Foreclosure?

Can Bankruptcy Halt Foreclosure?

The question of whether filing for bankruptcy can halt a foreclosure risk is a complex query. The answer to this question largely depends upon which kind of bankruptcy is being filed and how far along a homeowner has progressed along the path to foreclosure. For some homeowners, filing for bankruptcy is an effective way to halt the foreclosure process and to catch up on their outstanding payments. For others, filing for bankruptcy can provide many benefits but halting the foreclosure process isn’t one of them. It is for this reason that it is important to speak with an attorney about your rights and options before making any assumptions about whether filing for bankruptcy will help you to save your home.

The Automatic Stay

When someone files for bankruptcy, they immediately benefit from protections afforded by the automatic stay. As a foreclosure lawyer  – including those who practice at The Law Offices of Ronald I. Chorches – can explain in greater detail, the automatic stay halts almost all collection actions pending against the filer and keeps creditors from filing new collection actions for the duration of a bankruptcy case. As a result, filing for bankruptcy can, in almost all situations, keep a lender who has yet to formally foreclose against a homeowner from initiating such action while the filer’s bankruptcy case remains pending. The automatic stay protections apply regardless of whether filers opt for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief or Chapter 13 bankruptcy relief.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Due to the advantages of the automatic stay, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can delay the foreclosure process by a few weeks or a few months until a filer’s case is resolved. For those who just need a little bit of time to come into money that will allow them to catch up on their overdue payments, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be an effective safeguard against foreclosure. However, for most others, filing for this Chapter of bankruptcy only delays a lender’s foreclosure action and provides virtually no way to directly halt such actions outright moving forward.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy can provide an effective tool to halt a foreclosure. As the repayment plan for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition is 3-5 years, as long as a filer makes good on their repayment schedule, the benefits of the automatic stay will remain in place for the duration of that repayment. The length of repayment for Chapter 13 cases offers homeowners ample time to catch up on overdue payments.

Have You Been Injured in a Bus Accident?

Have You Been Injured in a Bus Accident?

Most of the public transportation that commuters use is run by either state or municipal governments. For example, the local school district usually owns school buses, and a city usually owns public buses. This often leaves the question when there is a bus accident, who is liable when a commuter is injured in a bus accident? A SEPTA accident lawyer can answer that question.

Sovereign Immunity

In the United States, governments – whether federal, state, county, or municipal – have special protections against lawsuits. This is legally referred to as sovereign immunity. Sovereign immunity legally prevents the government from being sued without its consent.

There is some legal debate on whether it is just the federal government that has sovereign immunity or if that immunity trickles down to other levels of government. The legal bottom line, however, is that when it comes to suing the government, there are different rules that must be adhered to compared to other types of personal injury lawsuits. Otherwise, the victim’s claim will be dismissed.

Tort Claims Act

Any injury claims against the government are filed under the Tort Claims Act. Each state has its own version of this law as the legal process to address any injury claims by a private citizen. Typically, these claims require documentation that needs to be filled out and submitted to the agency being sued by a certain deadline. If this deadline is missed, so too does the victim’s right to pursue an injury claim against the agency.

When a victim files a “notice of intent to file a claim” for a bus accident or any other type of accident, the correct form for that agency needs to be used. The form will likely require a description and details of the bus accident, including when it occurred, where it occurred, and details of how it occurred. The victim will also need to provide details about the damages they have suffered as a result of the crash, such as medical expenses, loss of income, and property damage. The victim must also include a statement as to their intent to seek financial compensation for the injuries and property damage they have suffered as a result of the bus accident.

Statute of Limitations 

In every personal injury case, each state has established a statute of limitations for how long the victim has to file their claim. Once the time has expired, the victim can no longer pursue their claim if they failed to file, regardless of the extent of their injuries. The statute of limitations for filing an injury claim against a government agency is different than state laws. In some cases, filing a claim for bus accident injuries can be as little as one to two months.

Contact a Personal Injury Law Firm Today

If you’ve been injured in a bus accident, contact a SEPTA bus accident lawyer from Wieand Law Firm, LLC to find out what legal recourse you may have for the losses you have suffered.

Nursing Homes Affiliated With Company Preferred Care Seek Bankruptcy Claim After Lawsuit

In 1987, Congress passed a series of amendments known as the Nursing Home Reform Law into the Social Security Act.  The Social Security Act is responsible for both Medicaid and Medicare.  As a result, nursing homes in the United States are regulated by both federal and state laws. As a nursing home lawyer from a firm like Brown Kiely, LLP can explain, the Nursing Home Reform Law requires “nursing homes and skilled nursing homes to provide certain services to their residents and to meet certain standards, in order to receive Medicaid or Medicare payments”.

In 1986, the Institute of Medicine conducted a report at the request of Congress on the living conditions of nursing homes across the United States.  The Institute concluded that “many nursing homes were of low quality, that stronger federal regulation was necessary because many states failed to adequately regulate nursing homes, and that many residents were dissatisfied with the care they received.  The Nursing Home Reform Law was created in response to the conclusory data acquired.  Unfortunately, nursing homes across the country still faces lawsuits due to issues of negligence and sometimes even personal injury.

One organization, Preferred Care Group, recently had thirty three of its nursing homes file for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy claim due to multiple personal injury lawsuits filed in Kentucky and New Mexico, adding up to millions in damages in total.  The nursing home service company claims that their files for bankruptcy is attribute to the 163 personal injury cases the company has spent money to defend against.  One of the lawsuits includes “a $28 million judgment in favor of the family of a man who was injured in one of [Preferred Care Group’s] nursing facilities in Kentucky.”  The filing and final judgment order was held by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Northern District of Texas.

The operators of each of Preferred Care Group’s nursing homes reasoned that the bankruptcy filings were legitimate approaches that would allow the care giving centers to continue their businesses, continue to pay their employees, continue to pay their vendors, and also care for the 2,900 residents living in the nursing home; all while allowing the homes to seek restructuring.

Following the Nursing Home Reform Law accordingly requires many elements to be checked off.  Nursing homes must: 

  • Have sufficient staff
  • Assess each resident’s particular needs
  • Develop comprehensive care plans for each resident, including proper hygiene, nutrition and diet, and medication
  • Ensure that residents are adequately supervised
  • Promote their residents’ quality of life
  • Maintain their residents’ dignity and respect
  • Keep accurate and complete medical records for each resident
  • Submit to unannounced inspections and allow resident interviews

As a result, it is no wonder why these nursing homes need to file for bankruptcy so that they can continue running these services for their elderly patients.  However, this also demonstrates the need for nursing homes to provide better care for their patients so as to avoid future injuries.

Help After Slipping and Falling at a Business

Personal Injury LawyerPersonal Injury Lawyer

Unless there is bad weather or you know you are going to an unsafe place, you are likely not going out and expecting to slip and fall. For most people, this kind of accident happens on someone else’s property if the property has not been properly maintained or if there was some sort of dangerous area that was not fixed right away. For example, if frozen food melted in the freezer aisle of your favorite grocery store and there were no signs indicating that there were puddles on the floor, you may be walking unsuspectingly to get your bag of frozen peas only to slip and injure yourself. On the other hand, you could be eating with your family at a restaurant and get up to use the restroom just to tumble down the steps because the handrail was broken and not fixed in enough time. Whatever your situation, it is important to speak with a lawyer quickly to determine if you have what you need to file a claim. 

What am I trying to show when I file a claim? 

For many people, it can sometimes be awkward to file a claim if you are doing so against your favorite restaurant or even if you were injured by slipping and falling at a friend’s house. However, it is important to try to separate your claim from the establishment. Remember, when you are invited or welcome on someone else’s property and they did not maintain that property, they are responsible for injuries you sustained. Therefore, a lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer from a law firm like Barry P. Goldberg, knows that you will need to show:  

  • The business or store was negligent in some way
  • This negligence specifically caused the accident to happen
  • The accident resulted in injuries and damages

These are extremely important to prove because simply having a few of these steps will not be enough to be successful with your claim. For example, slipping and falling in a store can be scary, but if you did not end up injuring yourself then there will be no damages to pay for. 

When you slip and fall, it will be important for you to document the circumstances under which you became injured. Write down notes or take pictures that show things like:

  • The floor was uneven
  • The handrail was broken
  • The floor was wet
  • There were no signs indicating a danger
  • A light was broken

All of these factors can help bolster your slip and fall claim. 

It is important to gather as much information as possible when you are working on your slip and fall claim so that you can provide evidence to your lawyer for the claim. Reach out to a law firm to start the consultation process today. 

The Benefits of a Personal Injury Lawyer

In situations where you have been injured in an accident, hiring a personal injury lawyer may be the last thing on your mind. However, this is one of the most important steps that you can take to ensure the best outcome for your case. Personal injury lawyers are trained in the laws that govern personal injuries, and will be able to help you figure out if you have a case and what your next steps should be. There are several benefits of having a personal injury lawyer on your side, including:

Taking Care of the Details

You want to get back to your life and your recovery as soon as possible. Unfortunately, there are always plenty of details that need to be taken care of following an accident. Your lawyer will handle all of these details for you so you can focus on getting better. You won’t have to think about how much paperwork you need or how many forms you have to fill out in order to file a claim. You can leave all of those worries behind when you hire a personal injury lawyer like Hickey & Turim, SC.

Negotiating With Insurance Companies

The insurance company is going to do everything they can to limit the amount they pay out on claims. They may even offer you a settlement that is less than what they think your case is worth in order to see if you’ll just take it and go away. A personal injury lawyer knows how much your case is worth and will negotiate with the insurance company for you in order to get the maximum amount for your claim.

They Are Professional

It is important that you work with a lawyer who has experience working on similar cases to yours. This way, they will have the knowledge that is necessary to help you get through yours. Personal injury lawyers understand both sides of the equation and will be able to work with insurance companies and other lawyers effectively.

They know what to expect

A personal injury lawyer is able to protect your rights and help you make choices about your case. This means that they will help you avoid making costly mistakes that could negatively impact your case. Because they specialize in these types of cases, they can also offer advice based on their knowledge of the law as it applies to different situations.

Better Compensation

The first benefit is that your attorney can help get better compensation for your injuries and damages. Your personal injury lawyer will be able to review the full extent of your injuries and determine what compensation you should receive. They can also negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to make sure they don’t try to lowball you or offer too little compensation for the extent of your injuries. Working with a personal injury lawyer will help make sure that your medical bills and other expenses are covered, allowing you to focus on recovery.