We’ve all heard of the early-90s lawsuit filed by Stella Liebeck, who received $160,000 plus $2.7 million in punitive damages for spilling a cup of hot McDonald’s coffee on her lap.
While this is an example of how extreme and outrageous court cases can be, it’s an exception rather than the rule.
For the most part, lawyers see the same types of scenarios on a regular basis, each with different details but following the same general pattern.
Today, we’re exploring four common lawsuit examples that are as routine in the courtroom as the gavel itself.
Ready to learn more? Let’s go!
1. Worker’s Compensation Claims
It’s your employer’s legal obligation to provide employees with a safe and secure workplace. So, if you’re hurt on the job, you have certain rights. From slips and falls to equipment malfunction and chemical exposure, there are myriad dangers that lurk.
If you’re injured at work, your lawyer can help you win worker’s compensation coverage, which you can use to help cover your medical bills, hospital stays, and related expenses. Since 2015, insurance companies have written an annual average of more than $45 million per year in net premiums to cover worker’s compensation claims.
2. Car Accident Lawsuits
Car accidents are behind most personal injury lawsuits. Not only do drivers and passengers have physical injuries to contend with, but there are repair costs, as well. Both of these can lead to a major financial burden, which a settlement can help offset.
From one-on-one car accidents to those that occur on public transportation, these lawsuits vary in size and scale. When it comes to the latter, Jeffrey Preszler from www.preszlerlaw.com says that most of the time, the governmental subdivision that operates the subway will be liable for any injuries that occur.
3. Product Liability Cases
Defective toys, appliances, vehicle components, clothing and more can cause serious harm, which can entitle you to a lawsuit.
Regardless of when in the manufacturing or delivery process the defect occurred, a product liability lawyer can help you recoup your losses so you can focus on getting better.
4. Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
Medical malpractice is the legal term used to describe an instance of illness or death that occurs as a direct result of a medical professional’s negligence.
If you or someone you love becomes a victim of medical malpractice, you can file a lawsuit to dig further into the matter and claim your rightful payout. A lawyer will have to provide evidence that supports the following claims:
- The medical professional breached the standard of care
- That breach increased the risk of injury or death
- Negligence took place
These cases can be challenging to put together, so it pays to have a qualified medical malpractice lawyer on your side.
Learn From These Lawsuit Examples
While this list is far from exhaustive, these lawsuit examples prove that there are many reasons why someone may bring a case to a judge.
If you’re in need of legal representation, it’s always smart to have a reputable and experienced lawyer by your side to help you make the most of your day in court.
For more legal news, be sure to keep reading our blog!
Hiring a new employee is an expensive and time-intensive task for any business, but especially so for small businesses. You might have to take several hours out of your work day to write up a job description, advertise your listing online, and search through the dozens of applications you receive. Time is money, as they say. And because so much valuable time is spent during the hiring process, many business owners don’t want to spend more money on an employment lawyer.
But there are several ways in which you can get into legal trouble when you’re hiring new staff, and that’s why it’s important to have an employment lawyer on-hand during the hiring process. Here are 5 specific reasons why.
1. Administrative Tasks
When you hire a new employee, there are a fair amount of administrative tasks to be done, including:
- Obtaining a federal employment identification number from the IRS
- Registering the new employee with their state’s employment department
- Acquiring worker’s compensation insurance for new employee(s)
- Creating an Illness and Prevention Plan (for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration)
That’s a lot of work to get done. And it doesn’t help that government processes are oftentimes long and convoluted, and there’s little help you’ll get if you have legal questions or inquiries about documents and procedures. It’s nice to have an employment lawyer on your side who knows how employee onboarding works on the legal side of things, and who can help you with menial tasks like getting the right documentation.
That’s not to say that your employment lawyer will spend long hours on Microsoft Office doing HR work for your company. But if you have any questions about what you need to do or what documentation you need to get your new hire legally employed by the business, then your employment lawyer will be able to point you in the right direction.
If you’re going to be hiring someone who is not a citizen of the United States, your employment lawyer might be able to help you understand immigration laws that pertain to the hire.
Arguably the most important reason to hire an employment lawyer when you’re hiring is to avoid accusations of discrimination. As you may or may not know, when you hire a new employee you can’t discriminate on the basis of age, race, sex, disability, sexual orientation, and other things.
Most of the time, employers are accused of discrimination because they ask certain questions in the job interview that are inappropriate. Some of these questions include, but are not limited to:
- Marital status of applicant
- Applicant’s race
- Applicant’s religion
- Applicant’s sexual preference
- Applicant’s age
- Whether applicant suffers from a disability
- Applicant’s citizenship status
- Questions about drug or alcohol usage
An employment lawyer will help you avoid asking certain questions or from exhibiting attitudes that may open you up to a discrimination complaint.
3. Dealing with Criminal Histories
Before you give an offer letter to a job candidate, you should always run a criminal background check for employment. A background check will tell you whether or not the applicant has a criminal record.
If you choose not to hire a job applicant because of something revealed in their background check, you’re legally required to inform the applicant that they aren’t being hired for that reason. Failure to inform the applicant of a background check decision could put you in legal trouble. Use an employment lawyer to help you navigate those pitfalls.
4. Avoiding Implied Contracts
You might have to negotiate compensation with an applicant you’re going to hire. Some of the compensation items on the table could include:
- Stock options
- Health benefits
- Company perks
Compensation negotiations can turn messy if you’re not very careful about how you document agreements. Many employers make the mistake of making “verbal agreements” (also known as “implied contracts”) with employees that aren’t stipulated in writing, and this can become a source of dispute later on if the employee feels you aren’t giving them what you promised. Litigation can be long and financially taxing. That’s why you should always consult an employment lawyer when you’re negotiating compensation. An employment lawyer will help you document all agreed-upon salaries and benefits, and they’ll let you know when any of the provisions needs to be more clearly stipulated.
When you’re onboarding a new employee, you’ll have to collect some of their personal information, like their:
- Contact information
- Social Security Number
This is all very sensitive information, and if any of their information gets breached in any way then you might be liable for not properly protecting valuable documents. An employment lawyer can give you invaluable advice on how to protect the personal information of your staff so you don’t get sued.
Before you post your job listing online, you should really consider enlisting an employment lawyer to help you avoid litigation from things that happen during the hiring process. An employment lawyer just might be able to save your business a huge amount of money should any hiring go bad.
If you’re in the market for real estate, it’s essential to have the right professionals by your side.
For a successful closing, hiring a real estate attorney is part of the key to a smooth process.
So, how do you know what to look for when choosing an attorney? Read on to discover some qualities that every good real estate attorney should have and how to choose one for your needs.
Start Your Search Early
Although it might feel like the closing day is eons away, it’s a good idea to look for a real estate attorney as soon as possible. This will give you time to do some research and ask the questions that are most important to you.
If you’ve had success with a particular attorney in the past, reach out to them for help again. If not, ask family and friends who they’ve used so you have a good point of reference.
Check online and read reviews of several attorneys in your area. You can also call your local bar association or get a listing online. Just be sure that the real estate attorney you’re interested in is available for your chosen timeframe.
When you look at reviews, make sure the attorney has happy customers and that they have a solid track record. By doing your homework early, you can weed out the attorneys you’re not interested in. Make a thorough list of those you want to pursue further, then narrow your list down from there.
Questions for a Real Estate Attorney
Since buying real estate is likely the biggest investment you’ll ever make, you need to make sure all your bases are covered. In your search, make a list of essential questions that you should ask everyone you talk to.
These questions should include:
How long have you been practicing?
Find out how long the attorney has been working in your area. For residential closings, a few years should suffice. For bigger transactions like commercial real estate or investment property, you want an attorney who’s much more experienced.
How do you handle closings?
Tell the prospective attorneys about your particular situation. Then, ask them what they would do and what their typical procedures are. Knowing how they would plan to deal with things in advance will give you confidence and peace of mind.
What about fees and billing?
Some attorneys require a retainer up front and then bill you the balance later. Ask them what their rates are, and how much they think your individual situation would cost. With so many fees involved in real estate transactions, you need a firm price so you can add the attorney to your budget.
Will there be others working with us?
Some law firms rely on other attorneys and paralegals to work on their cases behind the scenes. Ask if other people will be involved in the transaction or if you can expect to simply deal with one attorney directly.
By asking these simple questions, you’ll have a much clearer picture of what to expect. When you find out about cost and experience, it will make it much easier to narrow your choices even further.
Knowledge is Power
There are several important things that every good real estate attorney should know. Read more about that so you’ll be aware of the intricacies involved in a real estate closing.
Some attorneys work only with sellers, some only with brokers or real estate agents, and some work with anyone involved in the transaction. Decide which type of attorney is most important to you so that you’re getting the expertise you require.
Working knowledge of current real estate law is key to a successful, smooth closing. Quality real estate attorneys keep up with the latest changes so there are no surprises when you get to the closing table.
In addition to a deep understanding of the real estate world, your attorney should be a good communicator. If problems or questions arise, they should contact you as soon possible so you can clear the air before closing day.
A lot of research is involved in real estate transactions, so your attorney should be able to handle the workload. Things like a clear title, issues with commissions, and various legal terms should be looked into and clarified.
The attorney should be able to draft all the paperwork needed for your closing. They should also have staff available at all times who can assist them in this process.
Your real estate attorney needs to be familiar with your area and the people who work there. In most cases, they’re likely already familiar with your title company, your lender, and maybe even your real estate agent.
The job of an attorney is to provide their clients with legal guidance. Make sure you select an attorney who will be by your side throughout the process, and who’s easily accessible whenever you need them.
Attorneys and Your Success
Once you’ve done the legwork, you should have no problems finding a reliable, quality real estate attorney who can help with the closing process. Be sure to check reviews and ask the right questions so your transaction will be a success.
Find out about the attorney or law firm’s experience and their track record in advance. This will ensure that your closing goes as smoothly as possible and that all bases are covered.
For all your legal and litigation needs with proven results, contact us today.
Every year, hospitals and healthcare facilities spend more than $3 billion in medical malpractice payouts. That works out to them delivering a payout approximately once every 43 minutes.
Clearly, a lot of people file medical malpractice lawsuits each year. It’s not always easy to tell if you have a malpractice case on your hands, though.
If you’re not sure if your situation warrants a malpractice lawsuit, keep reading. Explained below is some important information you ought to know about this type of lawsuit.
What is Medical Malpractice?
In the event that a hospital, doctor, or another health care worker causes an injury to a patient because of negligence or an act of omission, medical malpractice has occurred.
There are lots of different ways in which a physician or other professional could injury a patient.
They might cause a physical injury or illness, for example, or they could make an incorrect diagnosis or administer ineffective or dangerous treatment because they overlooked an important aspect of their patient’s case.
When to File a Malpractice Lawsuit
It’s not always clear when it makes sense to file a malpractice lawsuit. In order for a case to be considered malpractice, it has to meet some specific criteria, including the following:
Violates the Standard of Care
A medical professional must meet certain standards when providing care to a patient.
If you believe that your physician (or another medical professional) did not meet these basic standards, then you may have a case of negligence and malpractice on your hands.
An Injury Occurred Because of Negligence
You’ll also need to be able to prove that an injury occurred because of the medical professional’s negligence.
It’s not enough for a negative outcome to have taken place. You also have to prove that the negligence caused the negative outcome.
The Injury Caused Significant Damage
For you to have a viable case, you to show that the damaged caused by the injury and the medical professional’s negligence are significant.
If the cost of pursuing the case is greater than the cost of treating the injuries, it likely won’t be in your best interest to pursue a lawsuit.
In addition to meeting these basic criteria, there are some other requirements your case may need to meet depending on your state. Some common requirements include the following:
Statute of Limitations
Potential medical malpractice cases need to be brought up as soon as possible. The longer you wait before taking action, the less likely you are to have your case taken seriously.
Most states also have limits on how long you can wait before you make a claim. Usually, you have to make your claim with six months to two years of the injury.
In many states, you have to submit your claim to a medical malpractice review panel first. They will hear arguments, review evidence, and decide whether malpractice actually occurred.
Often, as a patient, you have to give the medical professional against whom you’re filing the lawsuit notice. You’ll have to do this before you file your claim.
In most cases, a testimony from a medical expert is required. They’ll help verify your claims and prove that malpractice did occur.
Limits on Damage
There are often limits on the money that a healthcare facility can award to you. Each state has a different cap that they place on damage payments.
What to Do if You’re a Victim of Malpractice
If you believe that your case meets these requirements and constitutes medical malpractice, it’s important for you to take action right away. The following are some specific steps you ought to take if you’re a victim of medical malpractice:
Seek Treatment from Another Doctor
If you’re a victim of medical malpractice, your health ought to be your first priority. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself and getting the help you need. Reach out to another doctor or health care professional and seek treatment for your injury or illness before doing anything else.
Request Medical Records
Once your health is stable, be sure to request all medical records related to your injury or illness. This includes records from your current doctor and the doctor who caused the original issue.
Keep Your Own Records
It’s a good idea to keep your own records, too. Take pictures of your injuries and keep a journal. In your journal, write down how you’re feeling, the specific symptoms you’re experiencing, and whether things are getting better or worse.
Hire a Good Malpractice Lawyer
Be sure to hire a good medical malpractice lawyer, too.
It’s important to have someone on your side who knows a lot about the law and has a history of handling cases like yours. Look for someone who has worked on (and won) a lot of malpractice cases and sit down with them to talk about your case.
During the meeting (many lawyers offer a free initial consultation so you can get to know them), talk to the lawyer about your chances of winning the case and whether they recommend you proceed with pursuing it.
If they do, get more information on their fee schedule, others who might also work on your case, and what they need you to do moving forward.
Don’t Contact Other Parties
Be sure to avoid talking to the other parties involved in the case if you decide to pursue a lawsuit.
Your lawyer should communicate on your behalf when you’re talking to representatives from insurance companies, other lawyers, and anyone else who may be involved.
Find a Malpractice Lawyer Today
Now that you know more about medical malpractice and ins and outs of a medical malpractice lawsuit, do you think it’s in your best interests to file one?
If you’re still on the fence, it might be a good idea to talk to a malpractice lawyer anyway and find out what they think.
If you need help finding a malpractice lawyer, start by keeping the tips listed above in mind as you begin your search.
Be sure to use our free search tool, too. It’ll make it easier than ever for you to find qualified malpractice lawyers who practice in your area.
If you’ve been thinking about immigrating to Canada, then you’ll want to make sure you understand what needs to be done. Immigration laws are actually quite complicated and most people are going to be a bit confused about the requirements. Take a look at the following five important things that you need to know about Canadian immigration laws. It just might help you to understand why hiring an immigration lawyer is such a good idea.
1. Being Married to a Canadian Doesn’t Automatically Get You in
One thing that people wind up being confused about is whether or not having a spouse that lives in Canada can get you into the country. The immigration laws simply don’t work that way in Canada. If your spouse lives in Canada, then you’ll still need to apply for spousal sponsorship to immigrate to the country. This process takes time and it isn’t going to be a guarantee.
Due to the fact that the immigration laws in Canada are different from those in America, people tend to get confused by this. It’s actually not overly difficult to understand, but it might still be beneficial to enlist the help of an immigration lawyer. They can help things to go smoothly and guide you through the process. Lawyers explain what is required of you and they do a lot of the work themselves.
2. The Difference Between Outland Sponsorship and Inland Sponsorship
There are two different types of sponsorship that you can make use of when you have a spouse in Canada. These sponsorships are known as outland sponsorship and inland sponsorship. The difference between the two can be hard to grasp at first glance. It isn’t too complicated when you dig into the details, though.
An inland sponsorship can grant someone an open work permit. This is going to allow them to live in Canada and they’ll also be able to work. An outland sponsorship is usually going to be the faster option, but it doesn’t come with that convenient open work permit. Consider which option is best for your situation before moving forward.
3. A Job Offer Isn’t Necessary to Immigrate to Canada
You should also remember that you don’t necessarily need to have a job offer to immigrate to Canada. It can help the process, but immigrating to the country isn’t contingent on whether you have a job offer. There are other factors to consider and the majority of immigration applicants don’t have a job offer when they finally do get their Canadian Permanent Residence.
4. You Usually Need a Job Offer to Obtain a Canadian Work Permit
Getting a Canadian work permit isn’t as simple as you might like it to be. This is one of the reasons why people enlist the help of lawyers so that they can be helped through the process. Typically, you’re going to need a job offer to get a Canadian work permit. There are exceptions, but you’ll definitely want to have a solid job offer to make things easy.
5. Job Offers Need to Be Validated
If you do get a job offer from a Canadian business, then things will need to be validated. Only serious job offers will really help you to get into Canada faster. This assessment process is known as a labour market impact assessment. Things will be assessed and then you’ll be able to see if it helped your chances or not.
The Canadian immigration process might feel a bit daunting at first. Even so, you’ll be able to get things in order by contacting a lawyer. You shouldn’t hesitate to reach out to a legal professional if you want things to go smoothly. They’ll be able to consult with you and they can handle a lot of things on your behalf.
The men and women of our armed services put their lives on the line to protect our country. They put themselves in harm’s way to protect the rest of us, and they deserve the best equipment and gear to help protect them.
Unfortunately, many of our soldiers didn’t get adequate hearing protection during training and combat. This has lead to hearing damage and loss for thousands. The manufacturers of these earplugs, 3M, are being sued for providing these earplugs to the military. This is because they were aware of their defects and inadequate performance.
While the details of the 3M earplug lawsuit are complicated, it is important that soldiers and their families understand this lawsuit and how it may apply to them.
3M Earplug Lawsuit: The Basics
To understand this lawsuit, you need to understand the facts of the case and the story behind it. In 2003, Aearo Technologies received an exclusive government contract to provide the military with their dual-sided Combat Arms earplugs. In 2008, 3M bought Aearo Technologies and took over their contract to supply earplugs to the military.
These earplugs were supplied to the military starting in 2003 and were used by the military until 2015. This means that anyone who served between 2003 and 2015 may have been affected by these defective earplugs.
The dual-sided earplugs were designed with a yellow-colored side and an olive-colored side, each with their own function. The olive-colored side was designed to provide complete hearing protection, blocking out all the noise of the battlefield. The yellow-colored side was designed to provide hearing protection that allowed soldiers to hear spoken orders and enemies moving around near them.
These earplugs were standard issue across many branches of the military, including the Army and the Marines. Their defective nature caused hearing difficulties and loss for thousands of soldiers and put even more at risk for hearing loss.
3M knew about the defective nature of these earplugs through testing. They supplied the military with them anyway, using misleading and inaccurate test results to secure the sale.
Moldex-Metric, Inc. filed the lawsuit against 3M and Aearo Technologies under the whistleblower provisions that are part of the False Claims Act. The act allows people or private parties to sue a company on behalf of the government if the company made false claims to get government funding. The act also allows the plaintiff to share in the settlement.
While 3M has admitted to doing nothing wrong, they have agreed to pay $9.1 million to settle the lawsuit. Luckily, a favorable judge was recently chosen to hear more cases against 3M in Florida, which you can learn about here.
The injury claims in the case exclusively deal with injuries related to hearing loss and damage. While most of the claims have to do with things like tinnitus, some of the plaintiffs also suffer from balance issues from the damage caused to their inner ear.
Tinnitus is a condition that causes a ringing in the ear, which can be deafening and constant. This is the result of serious hearing damage and can result in further hearing loss. Hearing loss is considered to be a significant disability for soldiers because it reduces their operational effectiveness, readiness, and impacts their quality of life.
Each branch of the military conducts hearing tests on their service members and keeps the results for comparison to other tests. This means that plaintiffs in this court case will likely have evidence of hearing loss from their time in the service.
Design Flaws and Fraudulent Test Results
The basis of this lawsuit rests on two different facts: that 3M knew about the design flaws of their product and falsified test results to disguise the defect.
Design Flaw of Combat Arms Earplugs
The design flaw of the dual-sided Combat Arms earplugs relates to the length of the earplugs. The length of the stem of the earplugs wasn’t long enough. This meant that soldiers couldn’t get the plugs deep enough in the ear canal to get a good fit. As the soldiers wore the earplugs they would come loose without the knowledge of the soldier or others.
This meant that the ear canal was not completely sealed off and led to inadequate hearing protection. Unfortunately, Aearo Technologies was aware of this defect as early at 2000, over three years before they received the government contract.
They did not report the defect of the earplugs to the military. They knowingly provided these earplugs to the military with the defect. This led to lifelong injuries for many of the soldiers who used these earplugs during training and combat.
Fraudulent Testing Results
3M and Aearo Technologies got the government contract based on the test results they provided. 3M and Aearo didn’t commission an independent lab to test the earplugs and verify their results. This was in direct violation of federal law and the military’s approval process.
The first step in their testing process was to test the olive-colored side of the earplugs. During tests, they found that the olive-colored side only produced a noise reduction rating (NRR) of 10.9, which was well below the requirements. When they tested the yellow-colored side of the earplugs, they got an NRR of -2. With a rating of -2, the earplugs actually amplified sound rather than reducing it.
During these tests, 3M realized that they got better results by changing the use of the earplugs. By folding up the flanges on the opposite side, the user could get a better fit in their ear. When they folded up the flanges, they got an NRR of 22 with olive-colored side and an NRR of 0 on the yellow-colored side.
They used the second set of results as their official results. They also put these results on their marketing materials. They did not instruct the military to use the earplugs this way and did not inform them of the actual results.
File Your Claim Today
Now that you know more about the 3M earplug lawsuit, you can take steps to find out if you have a claim. Make sure to do more research online about this case and speak to a lawyer if you believe you have a claim.
If you have any more questions about this lawsuit or need help finding a lawyer, please check out the rest of our blog.
Try to imagine your law firm operating without a cohesive computer network. Can you picture it? Most people today probably can’t. The computer network you use is the powerhouse of your firm, taking in information, delivering information, scheduling, keeping records and more. If it isn’t working well and predictably, your firm will suffer.
Why Do We Need IT?
Sometimes, the biggest IT challenge faced by a law firm is the period before it gets IT services. During that time, some firms will operate with no IT at all. They will call in a consultant or repair person if they believe there is a problem. And, have you ever heard that a guy is coming in to fix the system because he’s the brother of a friend and “knows a lot about computers?” There are plenty of small businesses that operate that way for a while until the demands of the computer network get too big for the current solution. That’s when firms realize that with IT services, they can keep the network running smoothly and keep it safe from hackers. Businesses of every size and description need IT personnel to monitor their computers systems and identify any problems quickly.
Attorney-Client Privilege and IT
You know how attorney-client privilege works, and you know how important it is to keep your clients’ information private. It’s part of your reputation and your livelihood. Hackers try harder than ever to steal data because it can be lucrative for the thieves. Today, hackers are targeting law firms in particular because they are known to keep so much private information about their clients. Getting malware into your system can get the names, social security numbers and even banking information that they can use to drain your clients dry. One of your biggest obstacles in the hackers’ path is your IT service. It monitors for any hacks, for malware and for unauthorized use of your system to act quickly before data is lost.
We’ve all heard about viruses that can infect computers and ruin the data being held there. However, there are many more types of malware used y today’s hackers. One of the most popular of these is ransomware. All it takes is clicking a bad link, and your system may be closed down and held hostage until you pay the ransom to get it back. Because this type of attack is so lucrative, it’s gaining steam like never before. This year, a business will be hacked by ransomware every 14 seconds in the U.S. There are also keystroke trackers that can easily steal passwords and get into all of the websites you use, including financial accounts. Billions are spent every year to pay ransoms, and that doesn’t include the cost of fixing hacked computers, getting rid of viruses and losing clients after a hack.
Privacy and Security
So, you want to have IT services to help keep your system running and to protect it from hackers. How do you know the IT personnel will understand privileged information? This is why it’s so important to choose an IT provider who has experience with doing IT for law firms. This experience makes them fully aware of how sensitive some of the information on your network is and how important it is to keep it from any prying eyes. By using high-level encryption, regular maintenance and fixes when needed, your IT personnel can add many layers of security over your data so that it isn’t an easy target for thieves.
One of the worst things that can happen to your firm is having a long list of clients that you have to contact to tell them that their data has been stolen from your computer network. It’s bad for your reputation, it’s bad for overall morale, and it can cost the firm dearly when it has to make restitution to all of the victims. If you never want to make those calls, make sure you have IT services in place to prevent thieves from coming and taking whatever they want.
Most of the personal injuries in the United States are due to car crashes. If you, god forbid, suffer from personal injuries, you deserve fair compensation.
But no one is willing to pay the right compensation. It is an unfortunate reality that defense lawyers and insurance adjusters always search for mistakes. And, in case they find one, the immediately pounce on that to take advantage of settling for less.
This blog lists 13 mistakes that people usually make in personal injury lawsuits. Dig deep into the page for details.
1. Not Choosing the Right Attorney
The first thing is that you must hire someone who is licensed to practice in the locality. If you are in Los Angeles, you should only consult someone with a proven track record, such as WestCoastTrialLawyers about personal injury law.
Choose a Los Angeles trial attorney with long exposure in this specialized field of law. Also, make inquiries about their track record and how busy they are. This is because an extremely overloaded lawyer may not be the ideal selection. Read here for more.
2. Suppressing the Facts
Personal injury lawsuits have good and bad points. Never hide anything from your attorney. You must tell your attorney every detail; repeat every detail, about the case.
Your attorney represents you and works to win the case. So, never suppress anything, however trivial you think that to be. Also, do not give any false or fabricated information. This can entail disastrous results.
3. Talking About the Lawsuit
Many people may contact you to talk about the case and settlement. They could be anyone from insurance adjusters, risk managers, and defense lawyers.
But you should never talk with the people hired by the driver at fault. The most prudent advice is not to talk to anyone except your personal injury lawyer. Ask them to approach your attorney. This will keep you safe.
4. Discussing the Case on Social Media
People have a very strong presence on social media now. They have a habit of sharing everything on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social platforms.
Remember, that the other side is looking for facts against you. For this, they are likely to access your social media accounts. They play this dirty game to shake off their responsibility or at least to settle for less.
So never discuss the case or post anything concerning the accident in the social media. They may go against you.
5. Not Keeping the Key Evidence
Most of the people never treat the spot of the accident as a murder scene. But you must do so without fail. If possible, take many photos and videos using your Smartphone. Otherwise, get a professional photographer. For car accidents, take photos of the cars immediately after the crash.
Note down every detail of the spot. This must include if the street lights are on and if there is anything obscuring the view, and like that. Also, note down the direction of the sun. Moreover, speak to the eyewitnesses because they are not likely to help you after a lapse of a few months.
6. Signing Documents Without Consultation
Never, never, and never sign any document without consulting your personal injury lawyer. Forms related to personal injury case may have questions that trap you into giving contradictory information.
Moreover, a simple looking form may also contain declarations on waiving rights in fine prints. So, you must check with your attorney before signing any document related to the personal injury case.
7. Settling the Claim Too Early
The ideal scenario is to settle the claim after full physical and mental recovery. Make sure that medical diagnosis and the expected recovery time is final. Because chances are that you may have to continue treatment beyond this period. Remember, once you settle, you cannot ask for more.
In case this happens due to bad professional advice you may file a professional negligence case for recovery.
8. Not Telling the Pre-existing Injuries and Medical Conditions
Doctors inquire about the medical history for treatment. Disclose if you have a pre-existing injury and medical condition to the doctor. While these will not kill your lawsuit, acting otherwise will do.
Tracking your medical history is easy through social security numbers and insurance database. Disclosing these will make your case favorable.
9. No Regular Communication With the Attorney
Don’t think that your personal injury lawyer has your lawsuit in mind. This is practically impossible as he handles many lawsuits together. So, you must interact with him regularly. Often, speaking to the lawyer over the phone resolves many issues.
10. Not Asking Questions
When you involve in personal injury claim proceedings, many questions are likely to rise in the mind. Don’t think that it will be stupid to ask these to your attorney. After all, it is your claim and you have a right to know. Who knows that it will not open a new point in favor of the claim!
11. Missing Medical Appointments
Never miss a medical appointment. You should also follow their instructions. Failing to go on the day of appointment may raise questions about your injury. But attending the appointment means that you are working hard to recover. Inform the attorney if you are referred to another doctor.
12. Applying Too Late
Every state has its own personal injury law statute that gives a deadline. You can settle the claim or file a lawsuit within this specific period. As such, you should consult a personal injury attorney as early as possible after the injury to avoid delay.
13. Mistakes in No-fault Forms
Submission of these forms is necessary to get reimbursement for the service provided. You must fill this up very carefully. A simple and innocent mistake in the form can be critical and you may lose these benefits.
You must keep the above mistakes in mind. They have the power to throw your lawsuit out of the court. Some of these may seem to be unnecessary. Still, we suggest you be cautious about them. Mind, that remaining safe is always better than to be sorry afterwards.
As of 2019, there are over 1.35 million lawyers in the US. With so many available, it may be hard to choose one.
Just because they’ve passed the bar doesn’t mean they’re going to be good attorneys. Below are 6 signs of a bad lawyer so you know when to end their services.
1. They Don’t Communicate with You
Yes, lawyer’s offices do get busy, but their clients should always come first. It’s understandable that they can’t always answer your calls, but they should promptly return them.
If you feel like you’re always left in the dark and it seems like your attorney isn’t paying your case much attention, that’s a red flag.
2. They’re Unprofessional
As with any job in all industries, professionals are expected to show commitment and good conduct. There may be personal issues that arise, which may affect a person’s ability to work. But other times, it may be a lack of caring.
For instance, if your lawyer never shows up on time or returns your calls, plus files the wrong paperwork, it’s time to look for a more dedicated attorney.
3. They Lie to You
Your attorney has to be transparent with you. They shouldn’t tell you your case is going well if it isn’t. Also, they should inform you if they’ve missed an important deadline.
If they attempt to cover up any negative aspects of your case, your lawyer isn’t to be trusted. Look elsewhere for legal counsel.
4. They’re Not Compassionate
The most important thing is you have a lawyer who can handle your case competently. But another vital factor is how compassionate they are.
Depending on your legal issues, you may need an understanding attorney to lean on. Having someone abrasive and cold can make your suffering even worse.
5. They Don’t Understand Your Case Thoroughly
If you have something such as possession with intent to deliver penalty, it’s a serious and complex crime. You can get anywhere from 1 year to life in prison.
The attorney you have can literally mean the difference between freedom and life in prison. If it seems like your lawyer doesn’t really understand your case, you need to hire someone who can keep you out of prison confidently.
6. They’re Unethical
Have you received a bill and been surprised at some of the hidden expenses that have popped up? Or have they done something illegal while working on your case?
Should you have a bad feeling about your attorney’s behaviors, you should discontinue service with them. Chances are, they have unscrupulous behavior that could get both themselves and you in trouble for perjury with defense.
Don’t Ignore Signs of a Bad Lawyer
Any legal issue can be difficult to go through, so make sure it goes as smoothly as possible by knowing the signs of a bad lawyer. Once you recognize those signs, you can find a much better one that’s willing to fight hard for you.
If you’re looking for an excellent lawyer, use our search function now.
It worth noting that just most of the personal injury lawsuits in the United States rarely go to court with only 4% to 5% making it to trial. It is such cases that have drastic outcomes which could mean a significant settlement or nothing at all.
These top personal injury settlements are a clear indication that with the right legal representation in your lawsuit, you have higher chances of winning big.
Below are 5 of the most startling lawsuit settlements of all time.
1. The $206 Billion Tobacco
At the moment, it is clear that tobacco smoking is harmful to one’s health. Nevertheless, in the past, this knowledge was unknown because the top tobacco corporations hid such information from the public. This was done through misleading advertising practices.
In 1998, 46 states came together and formed a class action suit against RJ Reynolds, Phillip Morris, and two other tobacco companies. The lawsuit aimed at helping recover all medical expenses for smoke-related diseases.
This was a massive case that took the country by storm, and most people were on edge waiting for the final court verdict. The jury decided to punish the tobacco companies for its lousy business malpractices, and they were to pay $206 billion in 25 years. The money was used in the care of ill smokers, and part of it used in founding an anti-smoking foundation.
2. Robert Middleton, $150 billion
In 1998, the eight-year-old man was sexually assaulted and burned with gasoline by 13-Year-old Don Collins. Robert suffered 99% burns on his body, and in 2010 he eventually died from skin cancer.
Robert’s family, armed with a personal injury attorney argued that the burns caused their relative was responsible for his cancer and his untimely death. In the verdict, Don Collins was charged as an adult and sentenced to jail for the wrongful death of Robert and a sum of $150 billion was awarded to Robert Middleton’s family.
3. Anderson Family & General Motors, $4.9B
In 1993, six individuals (two adults and four kids) from the Anderson family were burnt when their car (a Chevy Malibu) got hit by a drunk driver causing a big explosion.
The family pursued a lawsuit against General Motors. The company vigorously fought back.
At first, the court settlement instructed General Motors to pay Anderson Family $4.9 billion. The sum of $107.6 million was awarded to the plaintiff as compensatory damages. The remaining 4.8 billion was for punitive damages.
However, General Motors appealed the case, and the settlement was reduced to $1.2 billion.
4. Central Park Five, $41M
Perhaps, you have heard about this personal injury case as it is one of the most publicized in recent times. This is because it is a typical case that highlights the plight of racial profiling and coercive interrogation.
Five men (four black and a Latino), were wrongfully imprisoned for pounding and raping a lady jogger in Central Park in 1989. In 2002, a serial rapist offender confessed to the crime while in jail.
As a result, the five men sued the authorities for not conducting a thorough investigation and were awarded a compensatory settlement of $41 million.
5. Gloria Aguilar, $27.5 million
This is a symbolic personal injury claim where the plaintiff, Gloria Aguilar, lost her leg after she was hit by a bus in 2005, just a few blocks from her apartment in New York.
Gloria sued the bus company for compensatory damages, and after four long and tormenting years on trial, the court decided to award the victim and her family a sum of $27.5 million.
Even though some of the lawsuit settlements explained above are rare, it is evident that having a skillful personal injury lawyer by your side is your best bet.
If you or someone you know has suffered an injury or died due negligence of another, contact us today for assistance.