March 17, 2020

Firm Operations to Continue | In Person Meetings on Hold

konrad sherinian logoClients are our top priority here at the Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian, LLC. As such, we are continuing firm operations during the COVID-19 crisis. All matters are being handled, and all deadlines (new and existing) are being met as normal.

In addition, you will still be able to reach us on the phone as normal, and, if we are actively handling matters on your behalf, we may reach out to you as we always do. However, given the advice from the CDC, we are discontinuing any client meetings until at least March 30.

You can continue to reach us by phone at 630-318-2606, as well as via email at info@sherinianlaw.net.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

We look forward to continuing to serve you through this crisis and beyond.

March 5, 2020

If You Prove That the Defendant Violated the Standard of Care, Do You Win Your Case?

A very common question that people who are considering filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is, “If I can prove that the defendant violated the standard of care, does that mean I win my case?” This is actually a common area of confusion. The answer to this question may surprise you. One final note, however, you should not try to represent yourself. It is beneficial to understand how your case will work, but leave it to a legal professional to argue your case for you.

The Standard of Care

Every physician is required to meet a certain level of care. This is called the standard of care. If a physician fails to fulfill this obligation, they have violated the standard of care. This is often called a breach of the standard of care as well.

That sounds pretty conclusive, doesn’t it? A physician failed to meet their obligations, so they should be held liable for their actions or inaction, right? Well, it turns out that proving medical negligence is a little more complicated than that. There are actually four components that must each be proven independently. A violation of the standard of care only makes up the first two components. To win your case, the third and fourth components must also be proven.

Negligence

The four components of negligence are:

  • Duty
  • Breach
  • Causation
  • Damage

As you can see, duty and breach refer to a violation of the standard of care. The physician’s duty is to provide a certain level of care and a breach of that duty is a violation of that level of care. The third and fourth components refer to your injury. Specifically, it must be proven that the injury was a result of the breach of duty, that the injury is real, and that the injury is significant. Only then has it been proven that the physician is liable.

So how can the first two components be proven, but not the second two? Consider an example. If a doctor accidentally diagnosed a patient wrong, that may be cause for a medical malpractice lawsuit. But if the medicine prescribed would have been the same for the correct diagnosis, then the misdiagnosis did not actually cause any harm. It is possible for the violation of the standard of care to be completely coincidental to the injury, which means it must be proven that this is not the case if you want to win your lawsuit. Again, you should leave this up to your medical malpractice lawyer in Orlando, as it is incredibly complicated to legally prove.

 

Thanks to Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. for their insight into medical malpractice claims and violations of the stands of care.

 

February 26, 2020

One Trustee vs. Co-Trustees – What is the best option?

Often clients of an estate planning lawyer in Rolling Meadows, IL will choose 2 or more children to act as co-trustees or co-executors because clients don’t want to “play favorites” and want every child to have a say in the estate or Trust administration. Although it may seem like a logical idea, it often turns into the worst decision for the family.

 

When we raise our children, we try to instill them with the same values and beliefs and teach them to be kind and respectful to one another. Then the children grow up, get married, have children, and lead very separate lives. During that time, each child has evolved as their own families grow. Two people with different backgrounds raise their own children and mix their cultures, beliefs and traditions. Then fast forward around 35 to 40 years, these same children who Mom and Dad raised exactly the same, who hopefully have the same values and beliefs originally instilled in them, have to come together, and make an inordinate amount of emotional and financial decisions about Mom and/or Dad while they are alive, and when they are gone.

 

This evolution of life is truly a recipe for potential disaster. Kids coming back together for Thanksgiving dinner or holiday brunch is common, and generally peaceful and happy occasions. Kids coming back for a Family Planning Meeting with a coordinator at a senior living facility, or at a funeral home, or at an attorney’s office to discuss estate planning, is emotional and very tense for everyone. Sometimes the adult children are very accommodating, respectful and generous when dealing with decisions for Mom and Dad. That unfortunately is the exception. Most times, there is at least one child in the family that will cause more issues when making tough decisions for Mom and Dad.

 

Is the answer NOT choosing 2 or more kids to act together as trustees or executors? No. The answer is to be honest with yourself and take stock of your family dynamics as they are today. Perhaps the kids were very close growing up. Perhaps parents wish them to be close today, but they are not. If that is the case, DO NOT make them act together to make important decisions with your finances and/or your health. Choose one person for each type of decision and tell the family that you have made your decisions. If you want to avoid conflict for your children when you die, talk to them while you are alive, about the decisions you made, and why you made them. This way no one is caught off guard. The goal is not only to keep them from fighting, but hopefully, the children can have Thanksgiving together in peace, even after Mom and Dad are gone.

 

Thanks to Bott & Associates, Ltd. for their insight into estate planning and litigation.

 

February 26, 2020

Things You Should Know About Car Accidents

No one looks forward to experiencing a car crash. The incident can do more than just ruin your day. An accident can leave you with an overwhelming amount of damage to both the vehicle and your body.

When it comes to paying for the resulting damage from a car accident, whether it be to property or person, you may find that the insurance company is dragging its feet. Depending on where you live, you may feel stuck by the laws governing how insurance companies deal with accidents. Before you decide to pass on finding help through the process in the form of an attorney, take a look at some of the actions you should take immediately following a collision, so that you may preserve your rights and set yourself up for getting the money you need to move forward.

 

Document the Scene

After a crash, the police may or may not respond. Some jurisdictions only have enough personnel to deal with accidents that involve major physical injuries, and as such, you and the other driver may be on your own. Regardless of whether law enforcement responds or not, you should document the scene of the accident. Take photos and video of the way the vehicles look after the incident before moving your cars out of the way, if possible. This gives an investigator a better understanding of how the events unfolded.

 

Find Witnesses

Third-party witnesses are a hot commodity when it comes to sorting out the facts of a crash. These are individuals who observe the events, either from another vehicle or from another vantage point. They do not know either driver, which makes it unlikely they are for or against one or the other. Some people are reluctant to share their personal information and get involved, so you may have some convincing to do. Ask them to please leave their name and best phone number or email so that they can help you in the event the insurance company doesn’t give you what you are owed.

 

Get Help 

You are able to enlist the help of a car accident lawyer if you choose. These attorneys are well-versed in the way the insurance companies handle car accident claims. You do not have to wait to get an attorney. If you do get representation or are considering it, you must let the respective insurance companies know. Having an attorney changes the approach these companies take when investigating and processing claims. You and the insurance adjuster will want your attorney to be a part of all discussions.

 

A car accident can change your life in many ways, often for the worse. There is nothing wrong with enlisting the assistance of a car accident lawyer, like a car accident lawyer in Milwaukee, WI, for your well-being.

 

Thanks to Hickey & Turim Attorneys at Law for their insight into some of the things you should know about filing a lawsuit after a car accident. 

February 25, 2020

Why Is It Important to Preserve Evidence After a Car Accident?

Juries decide whether to award compensation for car accidents by evaluating the evidence. When two drivers and other witnesses give differing accounts of how an accident occurred, juries study the physical evidence to help them decide which driver was more at fault for the collision.

 

Preserving physical evidence is important for two reasons. First, physical evidence can help injury victims prove that the driver they sued is responsible for their injuries. Second, a failure to preserve physical evidence may convince a jury that the injury victim has something to hide.

 

Using Physical Evidence to Prove Liability After a Car Accident

 

Physical evidence helps car accident lawyers reconstruct collisions. Gouges in the road can pinpoint where the accident occurred. That evidence is important when drivers disagree about which car crossed a centerline.

 

Skid marks shed light on whether a driver was braking before the collision occurred. The absence of skid marks may prove that a driver wasn’t paying attention to the road.

 

The location of crash damage on the colliding vehicles can prove which vehicle struck the other. The position of vehicles after the crash will help an accident reconstruction engineer determine how fast the vehicles were travelling when the collision occurred.

 

Nearly all cars manufactured after 2013, as well as many earlier models, have an event data recorder (“EDR”). Sometimes called a “black box,” an EDR maintains a record of critical data just before and after a crash, including vehicle speed, direction of steering, and brake application. Many disputes about liability can be resolved by analyzing EDR data from one or both of the vehicles involved in the crash.

 

The Importance of Preserving Physical Evidence After a Car Accident

 

Gathering and preserving physical evidence can be the key to winning a lawsuit. At the same time, an accident victim’s failure to preserve evidence can be viewed as proof that the victim was at fault. For example, if a car owner destroys the vehicle’s black box shortly after the accident occurs, a jury might view that act as proof that the owner had something to hide.

 

The law requires parties to a lawsuit to preserve evidence that might be important. It does not matter whether the evidence would help or harm the party, because whether the evidence is helpful or harmful cannot be known if the evidence has been lost or destroyed.

 

Violating the duty to preserve evidence is known as spoliation. When spoliation occurs, a judge can instruct the jury that it can presume the party destroyed the evidence because the party knew it would be harmful to the party’s case. In extreme cases, a judge might even dismiss a lawsuit because spoliation makes it impossible for the other party to have a fair trial.

 

How to Preserve Evidence After a Car Accident

 

Since spoliation of evidence can harm the party that has a duty to preserve it, every accident victim should take steps to preserve physical evidence that is within its control. While that duty does not apply to evidence over which the victim has no control, such as gouges and skid marks on a road surface, the accident victim will benefit from making a record of that evidence for later use in court.

 

Car owners should not junk a car that was involved in a lawsuit, should not have it repaired, and should not remove or tamper with a black box until receiving legal advice. The accident victim’s lawyer will probably want to photograph damage to the car. Whether the photographs are sufficient, or whether the car needs to be maintained in its post-accident condition, is a judgment call that a car accident attorney will need to make.

 

It is best to take photographs of both cars and the accident scene (including the road) before the vehicles are moved. The accident victim’s lawyer might also want an investigator to take professional photographs and to make measurements before evidence disappears. Contact a personal injury law firm in Atlanta, GA immediately after an accident is the best way to assure that evidence is preserved.

 

Thanks to Butler Law Firm for their insight into collecting evidence after a car accident.