8 Factors That Determine Recovery in a Pedestrian Accident Claim

Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

After being injured in an accident and deciding to sue, the next question often asked is about the value of your claim. While you may want that six-figure or more settlement, there is a lot that goes into determining the recovery amount. Therefore, to understand how much you can expect from your recovery, you need to understand the eight factors that go into determining value.

  1. Severity of Injuries

The first thing an insurer or court is going to consider is the severity of your injuries. Are you permanently disfigured? Have you undergone multiple surgeries? Likely, the more severe the damage, the higher the recovery.

  1. Recovery Time

Recovery time also plays a vital role in determining value. Similar to injuries, the worse the prognosis is, the higher your settlement or judgment will probably be.

  1. Medical Treatment

When determining compensatory damages, medical treatments are likely the first item on the list because they are the easiest to prove and put a value to. Therefore, the higher your medical expenses, and the risk of prolonged treatments, the more likely you will receive a more substantial judgment.

  1. Pain and Suffering

Another contributor to a higher settlement or recovery is the amount of pain and suffering you experienced. While it is hard to put a value on this abstract concept, your attorney will gather experts to describe how your injuries interfere with your daily life, including your relationships and self-esteem.

  1. Lost Opportunities

In addition to pain and suffering, if your injuries ruined any opportunities you had professionally or personally, then you may expect a higher recovery. For example, if you had a pre-paid vacation planned and you had to miss it, you might be able to recover your losses.

  1. Loss of Future Income

Career adjustments might also create an opportunity for higher settlement offers or judgments. For example, if you work a hard, skilled labor job that pays a substantial income, but your injuries make it impossible to perform your work, you might be able to recover lost future income or earnings.

  1. Current Lost Income

Also, after an accident, you will probably miss work to recover. If you are not already protected against lost wages, then you can likely recover those lost earnings.

  1. Fault

Last and likely the most important contributor to recovery value, fault. Depending on the state you live in, fault can be pure, contributory or comparative. In a contributory system, if you are found to be partially responsible for the accident, then you cannot recover any damages. In a comparative system, which exists in most states, you can only recover a percentage of the losses.

At least these eight factors contribute to claim value. However, for more specific information, contact a Canoga Park auto accident lawyer.

 


 

Thanks to Barry P. Goldberg for their insight into personal injury cases and recovering after a pedestrian accident.

What Happens After a DUI Arrest?

Criminal Defense Lawyer

An arrest for driving under the influence can be confusing and scary. You may feel overwhelmed by the testing you may have to undergo and the citation you receive to appear in court, and you may have an unclear idea what happens next. This article attempts to give you a more complete idea of what to expect by illuminating the filing process and the types of charges you may face.

Process of Filing Charges

It is not the responsibility of the police officer(s) who arrested you to file the charges against you. That responsibility falls to the office of the District Attorney. Therefore, there is often a delay in the process while the police department files the report to the D.A.’s office. The delay may be extended if there are many reports coming in at about the same time.

However, the district attorney cannot delay indefinitely in filing your DUI charge. There is a statute of limitations that applies to criminal charges. Depending on the specific offense, the time limit may be anywhere from one to three years. If the applicable statute of limitations elapses and the D.A. has not yet filed the charges, you will not face legal repercussions for that particular offense because the court no longer has your case within its jurisdiction.

Types of Offenses

Most DUI arrests are misdemeanor offenses. If this is the case, the statute of limitations may be on the short end of the scale, usually no more than a year. The consequences for a misdemeanor DUI, even if it is your first offense, can still be quite severe, however. You are likely to have your license suspended and pay a significant fine. Jail time is a possibility as well.

Repeat DUI arrests are more likely to incur felony charges. Additionally, you may also be charged with a felony if you are involved in an accident that injures or kills someone, or if you endanger a child by having him or her in the car with you as a passenger while you are impaired. If your DUI ends up being a felony, the district attorney has a longer statute of limitations in which to file, typically up to three years, although it depends on the specific charge.

Penalties of DUI Conviction

If you already have a history of DUI conviction in the past, the penalties may be more severe. Even for a first-time offense, however, many states have mandatory minimum penalties in place to act as a deterrent. Regardless, penalties for a conviction may include some or all of the following:

  • Community service
  • Fines
  • Jail time
  • Probation

You don’t need to wait until you receive notice that charges are filed against you to discuss your case with a DUI lawyer in Arlington, VA. On the contrary, it is a good idea to have an initial consultation as soon as possible after your arrest. Contact a law office for more information.

 


 

Thanks to May Law, LLP for their insight into criminal law and what happens after a DUI arrest.

Helping Your Kids Live Happily in Two Homes

Family Lawyer

If you and your ex-spouse have joint custody of your kids, they will have to live in two separate homes on a regular basis. The transition can be extremely tough on them in the beginning. They’re still trying to cope with the fact that their parents are divorced and may be nervous about living in two different places. However, if you make some adjustments, you can help make the transition easier. Child custody lawyers provide tips on how to help your kids live happily in two homes.

Establish a Routine in Each House

One way to make the transition easier is to establish a regular routine. If you schedule meals, playtime and other activities at the same time every day, it can help relieve some of the anxiety your kids are feeling. The routines don’t have to be exactly the same in each home.

Provide Your Kids With Their Own Space in Each House

Whether it’s their own separate bedroom or special drawers, it’s important to give each child their own space in each home. That way, they will feel included and welcome. Encourage them to decorate their space however they want.

Never Badmouth the Other Parent

Nothing will make your kids more uncomfortable than if you talk poorly about the other parent in front of them. No matter how angry you are with your ex, you should never badmouth him or her while your kids are in the room. Allow your children to tell you about the fun things they did with the other parent. 

Keep Duplicate Items in Each Home

It’s a good idea to have several duplicate items in both homes, like clothes, books, toys and shoes. This way, your kids won’t have to spend all that time packing every time they switch houses. 

Plan Fun Activities 

Make an effort to plan at least one or two fun activities every time your kids come over to your house. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. It could be something as simple as a movie night with popcorn or spending the day at the park. This will give your children something to look forward to and help reduce some of the anxiety they feel during this difficult time.

Encourage Your Kids to Express Their Feelings

Your children are going through a difficult time right now and they should be able to express their emotions comfortably. Let your kids know that you’re always there to talk to them about their feelings.

If you follow these tips, you should be able to help your kids transition comfortably in two homes. If you ever experience any child custody issues in the future, don’t hesitate to contact a family lawyer in Bloomington, IL for guidance.

 


 

Thanks to Pioletti, Pioletti & Nichols for their insight into family law and helping kids live in two homes.

A Family Lawyer for Adoption

Family Lawyer

Are you considering adopting a child, either from the US, or abroad? If so, you will likely need to have a family lawyer to guide you through the adoption process. By having a legal advocate on your side, you can ensure all documentation is completed in a timely, effective manner. If you would like to speak with a family lawyer about your adoption needs, please call a law firm today. 

The Adoption Process

Each state has their own regulations and rules for adopting a child; however, most are similar. Before you begin the adoption process, it will be a good idea to take time to understand what you may expect. Please know that the adoption process can be time consuming, costly, lengthy, complicated, and emotional. However, it should not prevent you from saving the life of a minor child. Furthermore, having an experienced family lawyer on your side can make the process easier. 

Consenting to Adoption – Before the adoption can be made legal, the biological parents of the child must agree, or consent, to the adoption. The exception to this rule is when the parents’ rights have been terminated or the court has found them to be unfit. Some states require the child to be born before the consent can be given. Other states allow their consent while the mother is pregnant. Bare in mind that some states also allow the biological parents to revoke their consent up unto a period of time – usually 3 months. As a family lawyer might explain to you, this period of time can be emotionally stressful for the adoptive parents. Even with the right lawyer, there is not much that can be done should this happen. For this reason, it is important to feel confident in the biological parent’s choice. If either parent seems to be mentally unstable, adopting their child, could be risky and should be fully thought through. 

The Home Study Investigation

Before you can adopt a child, you will go through an investigation which is overseen by a licensed agency or social worker. Frequent, even random, visits to the home will be made to examine your life, behaviors, routines, and so forth. Once the investigation is completed, a social worker will prepare a report for the court. After the court will make a final decision on whether or not the adoptive parents can proceed. The investigation may include:

  • The marital stability of the parents
  • The financial stability of the parents
  • Each parent’s lifestyle
  • Each parent’s habits
  • Obligations to a career
  • Whether there are other children
  • The health of all those living in the house
  • Whether each parent has any criminal history

The social worker or agency can also help the adoptive parents to prepare for the adoption by addressing questions and concerns, as well as, potential issues that may arise in the future. 

The Court Procedure

Whether the adoption has been overseen by an agency or done independently, the court must approve the adoption. This is when it is important to have a family lawyer on your side. 

Call a Family Lawyer to Learn More About Adopting a Child

Whether you are using an agency, adopting independently, are the foster parent of a child you would like to adopt, a step parent, or guardian, it is important to talk to a family law lawyer in Rockville, MD about the process, rules, and what to expect. 

 


 

Thanks to the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright for their insight into family law and adoption. 

Self Defense

Criminal Defense Attorney

Heated debates or arguments can lead to a lot of things. Heartbreak, stress, break-ups, and even lost sleep. While it is not uncommon for someone to get frustrated while in a heated debate, it is very common that these altercations lead to physical abuse of some sort. In these cases, self defense is often used as a defense strategy. Now, self defense may come in many forms. You may defend yourself in a situation with family, friends, or even a stranger. An example of self defense may be when someone approaches you in a bar. To get your attention, they may grab your arm. While this may seem innocent, when you pull away they get upset so they push you. You are unsure of what this person is capable of and are slightly fearful. When they push you, you strike them causing their nose or lip to bleed and walk away. If the cops were called and all factual details of the incident were shared, a law enforcement officer as well as any witnesses may simply say you were defending yourself, and therefore no arrest may be made on you. The more extreme the actions are, the trickier it may get to use self defense as a defense. You will need a criminal defense attorney that can dissect the details of the case and can clearly express who actually committed a crime and who was simply defending themselves.

There comes a time where calling the cops is just not enough. Some times, there are no police officers around to save the day, and unfortunately situation escalate and cause civilians to take matters into their own hands. This does not mean they must commit a crime, but if you wait too long you may seriously get hurt or even worse, killed. Do also keep in mind that just because someone started an altercation with you, does not mean every action you take in retaliation is justified and can be considered self defense. To use self defense as a defense in your criminal case their must almost always be an immediate threat to you or the person you. This means, if you or someone you know has been in an abusive relationship with their spouse for years and one night the argument was so intensive and physically painful that the victim decided to wait for a weak moment, maybe while the abuser was asleep or in the shower, to attack; this is not an example of self defense and unfortunately the individual that was once considered a victim will be seen as a suspect.

Self defense can be a very tricky defense used, but if you or someone you know feels they have acted in self defense and may be facing criminal charges because of it, speak with a skilled criminal defense attorney in Decatur, GA as soon as possible.

 


 

Thanks to Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into criminal defense and self defense.

What Should You Take Notes on After a Car Accident?

Personal Injury Lawyer

When you get into a car accident, you may be wondering what you should do so that you can have the information you need for a personal injury claim. Is it enough to go to a doctor and get a note after the accident happens? Can you simply call the other driver’s insurance company and submit your claim? Attorneys know car accidents can be devastating, but we encourage all  clients to do their best to take detailed notes after a car accident. You may be wondering, what good will taking notes be after an accident? Attorneys know that it is important to take notes right after the accident about the details leading up to the accident, what happened immediately following the accident, and your recovery process. For more information on what can help your personal injury claim after a car accident, please read the information below.

I want to get my personal injury claim over as soon as possible. Do I need to document my recovery?

There is no law that says you need to take any kind of notes after your car accident, but on many occasions, we have seen a victim in a car accident forget important details that could have helped their claim. If you aren’t sure whether it will help your personal injury claim or not, write it down. If you remember something you had not thought of earlier, write it down. You never know when something you think of might be the evidence you need.

What Your Notes Should Have

Two of the most important things you can write down in your notes are details about the accident and details about your injuries.

The Accident. The information leading up to the accident and after the accident is imperative. What did you see, hear, or feel immediately before the accident? Did you see the person who hit your car run through a red light? Did someone cut you off at an intersection? You should also take note of what the weather was like during your accident. Was the sun low and in your line of sight? Perhaps there was a sudden downpour making it hard to see the road. These are all important pieces of information for your accident claim.

Your Injuries. It is always important to take note of your injuries. If you go to the doctor’s office you may think you are off the hook for taking note of your injuries. However, not all injuries will present themselves immediately following your accident. Instead, track cuts, bruises, and headaches in the days following the accident. Your symptoms may get significantly worse than they were, even if you feel like your injuries are not as bad right after the accident.

Never downplay the importance of taking notes after an accident. The information you document could make a difference in the type and amount of compensation you get after your car accident. For more information on what you can take note of after your car accident and how a personal injury lawyer in New Haven County, CT can help, call a law firm now.

 


 

Thanks to The Moynahan Law Firm for their insight into personal injury claims and why to take notes after a car accident.

Chapter 11 Bankruptcy: What Is a Cramdown?

Business Dispute Lawyer

Once a company files a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition, they gain certain key rights and responsibilities. The filing company becomes responsible for offering a reorganization plan that assigns updated legal rights to the creditors. The reorganization plan will specify how much, and when, each class of creditor is to be paid. All impacted creditors will have an opportunity to vote to accept or reject this reorganization plan. However, in some cases the debtor company may be able to get their planned approved over the rejections of creditors. This is referred to as a cramdown. If you have questions about cramdowns, or Chapter 11 bankruptcy in general, please contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney for immediate legal help.

Cramdowns: The Requirements

The confirmation of Chapter 11 bankruptcy plans is governed by Section 1129 of the United States Code. As a baseline rule, reorganization plans must be approved by each class of affected creditor. However, the code includes a ‘cramdown’ provision, which provides an exception. However, this can only be done if the plan meets certain strict legal requirements. Specially, a cramdown can only occur if a reorganization plan:

  • Has at least one class of creditor voting in favor of it
  • Ensures that each objecting creditor class receives no less under the plan than they would if the company was liquidated
  • Is feasible, meaning that the likely result of the plan cannot be future liquidation or further necessary restructuring
  • Does not unfairly discriminate against any objecting creditor class

Finally, in addition to those requirements, a cramdown can only move forward if the reorganization plan treats each objecting class fairly and equitably.

Fair and Equitable Treatment: Absolute Priority Rule

Determining whether or not treatment is ‘fair and equitable’ is complicated in any legal case. For cramdowns, there is a two-part standard for assessing a reorganization plan’s fairness and equitability. The plan must ensure that no payment can be made in excess of the claim and that it conforms to the absolute priority rule.

The absolute priority rule states that all objecting creditors cannot be forced to accept partial payments, via a cramdown, if a lower priority level of creditor or equity holder is receiving any payment at all or is allowed to maintain their current interests. As a simple example of the application this rule: absolute priority guarantees that, when a cramdown occurs, unsecured creditors cannot get paid at all before objecting secured creditors are paid in full.

Contacta a Law Office Today

If your business is struggling with overwhelming debt obligations, a lawyer can help. If you have any questions about cramdowns, business bankruptcy or creditor’s rights, please contact a law office today. In any bankruptcy situation, you should consider speaking with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer in Tampa, FL who will evaluate your case, advise you of your liabilities and suggest the best course of action.

 


 

Thanks to The Law Office of Michael A. Ziegler, P.L. for their insight into bankruptcy law and cramdowns.

Can I Get Alimony if I Already Collect Child Support?

Family Lawyer

When you and your spouse decided it was time to file for divorce, it likely did not come as an easy decision. Separating the life you once shared can be complicated. This is especially true considering you will be responsible with deconstructing a marriage that you and your spouse have built. There will be a number of issues to contend with. In some situations, alimony may be an explorable option for a spouse who is not able to maintain their standard of living. 

Alimony/Spousal Support

In some cases, one spouse may be a higher earner than the other, making it difficult for them to keep up the standard of living they once knew. This may result in lengthy marriages, or situations where one person has stayed home to raise the children while the other has continued in the workforce. When this occurs, alimony may be an option to consider. Alimony can provide a spouse with financial assistance that is paid to them by the other party. While alimony may be provided over the long term, it’s important to note that in some situations, alimony may be temporary. The court will look to your specific situation to determine the amount and length by which alimony is paid. Considerations often made may include:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The time it may take for a person to re-enter the workforce
  • Whether job training is necessary
  • The standard of living
  • Whether the other party can support themselves and maintain spousal support

There is no guarantee as to whether alimony or spousal support may be granted. A family lawyer may provide you with the legal representation you need to understand your options and represent you during court proceedings. 

Child Support

Child support is a different type of benefit that occurs during a divorce. When children are involved, they often are residing in one home more frequently than the other. Child support ensures that both parents are providing financial support to the children that they share. In most cases, child support may be paid to the parent who has physical custody of the child. This is a specific amount that is paid to the other parent on a monthly basis. Child support sets out to assist the custodial parent with: 

  • Maintaining the child’s standard of living
  • Covering basic economic costs like:
    • Food
    • Shelter
    • Clothing
  • Education and Childcare
  • Extracurricular Activities

When two people choose to proceed with a divorce, they should work to ensure that the child experiences very little impact. Child support is one way of helping to maintain the child’s standard of living they had prior to divorce. 

The Impact One May Have on Another

Child custody and alimony are not one in the same. Alimony may be pursued in divorce situations where children were not involved. When children are involved, it may be possible to pursue both alimony and child support. However, it’s important to speak with a family lawyer when seeking these options. In some cases, child support payments may have an impact on the amount of alimony you may be able eligible for. Each situation may be different, and often, court decisions regarding alimony and child support may vary, making it important to acquire the legal representation of a family lawyer to help pursue your specific situation. 

When facing divorce, it’s always a good idea to consult with a family lawyer regarding your particular situation. Divorce can be an emotionally fueled and often challenging time. As you prepare for your life to drastically change, managing contentious court situations can make for a stressful process. A family lawyer in Bloomington, IL can represent you by advocating for your needs and helping you to have a clear understanding of alimony and child support. 

Thanks to Pioletti & Pioletti for their insight into family law and child support.

Wrongful Death Suits and the Tax Implications

Personal Injury Lawyer in Bronx, NY

Generally speaking, damages from a wrongful death suit are not taxable. This means that the defendant(s) ordered to pay cannot take a deduction on the damages. Due to a number of exceptions that may apply, a wrongful death award also has many tax implications for the plaintiffs who receive the damages.

Compensatory Versus Punitive Damages

With few exceptions, if you receive a wrongful death award that compensates you for your loss, these damages are not taxable. These include economic damages, such as lost income or loss of inheritance, but it also applies to noneconomic damages, such as loss of companionship or consortium.

Punitive damages, however, are an entirely different matter. These are intended as a punishment for the responsible party and a deterrent against future negligence or misconduct. Though you and your family may receive the benefit, it is not awarded to you as compensation for what you have lost. Therefore, you are generally required to pay income taxes on any punitive damages that you may receive as part of your wrongful death case. When you file your federal tax return, you will find a space on the form for you to enter the amount of your punitive damages award.

Income Versus Estate Taxes

Generally speaking, you are not required to pay income taxes on compensatory wrongful death damages. However, if the amount of compensatory damages you receive is enough to push the value of your loved one’s estate over the federal threshold, which amounts to multi-millions of dollars, the Internal Revenue Service may assess an estate tax. It will then be necessary for the executor or administrator of the estate to pay that tax, which in some cases may reduce the inheritance that the decedent’s heirs would otherwise receive. However, this depends somewhat upon the specific provisions of the will.

Other Exceptions

There is one more notable exception to the rule that compensatory damages in a wrongful death suit are not taxable. If the event that eventually caused your loved one’s death incurred medical bills and you took tax deductions on those expenses, you must report a commensurate amount of your compensatory damages as income on your tax return. However, this exception only applies if you itemized your deductions. It does not apply if you took the standard deduction.

The emotions provoked by a wrongful death make it easy to become confused and overwhelmed by the legal process of obtaining damages. Attorneys understand this and take great care to guide you gently through the process. Find out more about how we may be able to assist you by contacting a personal injury lawyer in Bronx, NY today.

Contact Okun, Oddo & Babat, P.C. for their insight into personal injury claims and tax implications for a wrongful death case.

4 Ways Trucking Accidents Differ From Car Wrecks

Personal Injury Lawyer

When car accidents occur and you suffer injuries and other types of loss, suing the individual responsible is usually the most effective means of receiving compensation. However, if your accident involved a commercial truck, such as an 18-wheeler, filing a claim may be more difficult. There are many federal rules and regulations that govern large transport companies and when a company’s vehicle or driver causes an accident, you may face several obstacles as you try to collect compensation.

1. Drivers Are Governed By Federal Rules

Unlike individual motorists who own their vehicles, most big rig drivers are under employment by large transport companies that are overseen by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This organization is responsible for load weights, how many hours drivers can spend behind the wheel and what type of cargo they can haul. If your vehicle is struck by one of these large trucks, federal laws may impede your court case because of their complexity and effect on the trucking industry.

2. Settlement Offers May Be Swift

Once a trucking accident occurs, the company that employs the driver may be fast to reach out and offer you a settlement. While this can seem beneficial, the amount offered might be much lower than what you can actually collect if you take the case to court. If the trucking company contacts you with a settlement offer, it is wise to speak to an attorney before accepting any compensation.

3. Injuries Are Likely to Be Grievous

Minor car accidents are not likely to cause serious injuries and, in most cases, the damage to your vehicle is likely to be worse than any physical harm to you as a result of a wreck. However, when an 18-wheeler collides with a car, the result can be devastating due to the sheer weight of the vehicle and its load. Broken bones, internal injuries and brain damage are all common in victims of wrecks like these.

4. Drivers May Be Shielded By Their Employers

Big rig drivers have a great deal of responsibility when it comes to sharing the road with smaller vehicles. However, bad weather, fatigue and distractions inside the cab can all cause accidents and when they occur, the company that employs drivers may try to steer blame away to avoid having to pay for property damage and injury. When this happens, you may have to consider filing a lawsuit to gain proper compensation.

Trucking accidents can cause severe injuries and proving negligence on the part of the truck driver might be difficult because of how transport companies are regulated. Talk to a truck accident attorney in Canoga Park, CA today to find out more about how to protect your rights after becoming involved in such an incident.

Thanks to Barry P. Goldberg for their insight into personal injury cases and how car and truck accidents are different.