November 13, 2019
If you were recently involved in an accident that was caused by another driver, it is natural to desire compensation. Sometimes, it requires a lawsuit to get the compensation you are owed. If you find yourself in this situation, you probably have a lot of questions, such as what kinds of compensation can you receive? It is important to understand this before you file so you can be sure to get compensated for everything you can. Remember, the first thing you should do when a lawsuit seems likely is to hire an attorney. The sooner you have legal representation, the better.
Types of Compensation
There are three types of damages, which are essentially the forms compensation can take. The types of damages are:
- General compensatory damages
- Special compensatory damages
- Punitive Damages
Despite the name, special compensatory damages are actually the simplest. These damages correspond to financial losses. Essentially, if the accident resulted in you losing some amount of money, compensation for that loss will be special compensatory damages. These damages may include repairs to your vehicle, a hospital bill, damage to property inside the vehicle, missed paychecks due to an injury resulting from the accident, and other expenses.
General compensatory damages are the opposite of special compensatory damages. They correspond to non-financial losses. Any type of loss or suffering that you experienced as a result of the accident which does not have an exact dollar value falls into this category. General compensatory damages may include pain and suffering, emotional turmoil, and wrongful death. Because these types of losses do not have an exact monetary value, the judge will decide how much a fair amount for compensation is.
Finally, there are punitive damages, which are completely different from the other two categories of damages. Punitive damages are not meant to be forms of compensation, but rather a punishment for the defendant. These types of damages are rare in car accident cases. Usually, punitive damages are assigned when the defendant intentionally caused harm, but car accidents are almost always unintentional. However, if someone causes an accident by driving drunk, punitive damages are much more likely. Again, the judge will decide whether or not punitive damages should be assigned, and how much they should be.
It will largely be your attorney’s responsibility to correctly file all the claims for your losses in each category. Having an attorney, like a car accident lawyer in West Bend, WI, will help you with this matter will make it much easier to properly make your claims and avoid missing any losses.
Thank you to the experts at Hickey & Turim SC for their insight into types of compensation after a car accident.
August 29, 2019
According to national statistics, more than half of the adults in this country do not have an estate plan in place to address what should happen to their assets when they die. And the majority of those who do, only have wills. But as a trust attorney can explain, there are many estate planning tools that are available which can ensure your family’s future will be secure even when you are not longer here.
One such tool is a trust. There are several different types of trust, but many people stay away from using trusts as an estate planning tool because they are unsure of how trusts work or they are under the misconception that only the rich uses trusts and you have to be wealthy in order to set one up. The truth is that the majority of people can benefit in having some type of trust in place.
How Do Trusts Work?
When a person establishes a will, they give instructions on how their property should be distributed upon their death. A trust can do the same thing, but the process is different. The person creating the trust is referred to as the grantor or the testator. The person who receives the contents of the trust is called the beneficiary. The person who is in charge of managing the grantor’s assets and distributing them to the beneficiary is referred to as the trustee.
Often the grantor will appoint themselves as trustee and this way they maintain complete control over the assets of the trust. They then appoint a secondary trustee who will make sure the assets are distributed per the grantor’s instructions when the grantor passes away.
Trusts offer many more benefits over just having wills. As a grantor, you still have complete control over the assets in the trust. For example, if you plan on leaving all of your assets to your adult child but feel that they are not mature enough to handle receiving all of those funds at once, a trust allows you to set up stipulations as to how and when they will get funds from the trust.
Having a trust also means there is no probate for the assets that are held in the trust like there is for wills. This serves multiple purposes. Probated wills are available to the public, which means anyone will be able to find out how much money is in the estate and who the beneficiaries are. Trusts information are not available to the public. The probate process also takes approximately one year and involves legal expenses, as well.
Trusts also protect the beneficiary from any creditor or divorce actions that could result in seizure of the inherited assets.
Contact a Trust Attorney Today
If you would like to learn more about the different trusts available and how trusts can be used in your estate plans, contact a trust attorney in Sacramento, CA today to set up an initial consultation.
Thanks to the Yee Law Group for their insight into estate planning and what a trust is.
August 16, 2019
Car Accident Lawyer
If you are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit, there is an important aspect you need to understand. It is called the statute of limitations. This is essentially your time limit to file your lawsuit. If you wait too long, you will not be able to file, and if you try to file a lawsuit then it will be thrown out. If you want to successfully file a personal injury lawsuit, you need to know exactly how much time you have. This guide will go over everything you need to know, but it is also a good idea to speak with a personal injury lawyer in St. Paul, MN to learn more.
How Does the Statute of Limitations Work?
It is easy to understand the concept of a time limit on your lawsuit, but there are two aspects that many people do not fully understand. First, the statute of limitations begins counting down at the time of the injury. All the time you spend recovering from the injury is included in the statute of limitations. Luckily, it is always at least a year long, so you have plenty of time to recover.
Second, the statute of limitations is how much time you have to file your case. The lawsuit does not need to be finished within that time frame. It can take months for a lawsuit to conclude, so you do not need to worry about yours extending beyond the statute of limitations. However, it does take a few days to file a lawsuit, so do not think you can wait until the very last minute to file.
How Long Is the Statute of Limitations?
The exact length of the statute of limitations varies from one state to the next. For personal injury cases, the statute of limitations is:
- One year in three states
- Two years in 23 states
- Three years in 16 states
- Four years in four states
- Five years in one state
- Six years in three states
What Are the Exceptions?
Some states do have exceptions to the statute of limitations, which allow lawsuits to be filed after they are expired. The exceptions vary greatly from one state to the next, but the biggest exception is called the discovery rule. Essentially, in the unlikely event that it does not happen at the same time as when the injury is sustained, the statute of limitations does not begin counting down until the injury or responsible party are discovered. This is a bit of leniency to help in unusual cases.
Thanks to Johnston Martineau, PLLP for their insight into personal injury claims and how long you have to file.
August 7, 2019
Medical Malpractice Attorney Chicago, IL
No amount of money can reverse time. No amount of money can erase a memory or reality of pain. If only we could ask for a reversal of the circumstances instead of a monetary settlement. Unfortunately, that isn’t possible. Medical malpractice happens and it happens too often. In 2012, over $3 billion was paid out in medical malpractice settlements. With the rate of surgeries growing, it only makes sense that mistakes will also increase. If you or your family member has been injured from a medical procedure involving errors in diagnosis, treatment, aftercare or health management, there are a few factors that determine whether or not medical malpractice may be the cause: improper or insufficient standard of care, injury as a result of negligence and the considerable damage has been done. Considerable damage is:
- enduring hardship
- constant pain
- considerable loss of income
Types of Damages
Three categories of damages can be paid to the victim or plaintiff in a medical malpractice case.
General damages are meant to compensate the plaintiff for the patient’s loss and suffering, such as:
- loss of enjoyment of life
- physical and mental pain and suffering
- loss of future earning capacity
Frequently, this requires expert testimony to help determine the scope of damages, particularly in determining future earnings lost.
Special damages are to reimburse the victim for present and future medical bills and other expenses like home health care, durable medical equipment (DME) and physical therapy.
This category requires proof that the actions of the doctor or medical practitioner were willful and malicious or that they knew that their actions would cause injury.
These cases are filed by the family members of the deceased. Also known as survival action, damages cover loss of support, consortium, companionship and guidance.
In State Farm v. Campbell (2003), the court ruled that punitive damages cannot exceed damages awarded to compensate the plaintiff for their injuries by a nine to one ratio.
If the victim or plaintiff has a pre-existing medical condition that was made worse by the action of the physician, then it can reduce the amount of the award.
In the event that it is proven that the plaintiff failed to follow the doctor’s instructions, leading to the injury, then the damage award may be reduced.
If you or your family member has suffered injury or loss of life due to medical malpractice, contact a medical malpractice attorney in Chicago, IL at The Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian, LLC so that you know your rights and the damages that can be recovered.
August 6, 2019
Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve become sick or been injured because of something that happened on the job, the consequences may be more severe than just paying your medical bills and wages for lost time. Unfortunately, worker’s compensation is limited in what it pays for, and you may have to take additional steps to recover these expenses.
Why Doesn’t Worker’s Compensation Pay for Pain and Suffering?
Worker’s compensation laws are a trade-off. Employers have an obligation to pay for the costs of medical care and, in most cases, lost wages, regardless of liability. Even if an employee is responsible for their own sickness or injury, the employer still has to pay. In return, employer’s liability as to pain and suffering is waived.
Worker’s Compensation Does Pay for Permanent Disability
However, you may be entitled to compensation for permanent disabilities under worker’s compensation law. For example, if an injury caused you 20 percent loss of strength or dexterity in an arm, there is a formula to determine an award you would receive for future lost income potential. If you suspect that you might have any permanent disability due to an incident at work, you may want to consult an attorney to ensure that you are receiving just compensation.
What Are Your Options to Recover for Pain and Suffering?
Even though worker’s compensation doesn’t cover pain and suffering, this doesn’t mean your situation is hopeless. In many cases where there is a severe illness or injury, there are some additional circumstances that might allow you to recover that compensation.
- Your employer may have failed to secure adequate worker’s compensation. If the coverage is not adequate, you may be able to sue your employer for this reason.
- Your employer may have caused your illness or injury through gross negligence or intentionally. For example, if your employer knew that you were working with hazardous substances, but didn’t provide protective equipment, this situation might qualify as something you could bring an action for. If your employer struck you, this would also be a comparable situation.
- A third party may be responsible for your pain and suffering, even though the event happened on the job. If you were in a car accident while on company business and you were struck by a drunk driver, you could sue the driver for pain and suffering.
You should not assume that you are not entitled to other damages, nor should you take the word of insurance companies on this matter. Contact work injury lawyers in Milwaukee, WI if you feel you might be entitled to pain and suffering compensation.
Thanks to Hickey & Turim, SC for their insight into workers compensation and recovering from pain and suffering.