August 29, 2019

What Is a Trust?

 

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

How Long Do I Have To File a Claim?

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 – What Is It Worth?

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:

  • suffering
  • enduring hardship
  • constant pain
  • considerable loss of income
  • disability

Types of Damages

Three categories of damages can be paid to the victim or plaintiff in a medical malpractice case.

General Damages

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

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.

Punitive Damages

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.

Wrongful Death

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.

Mitigating Factors

Damage Caps

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.

Pre-existing Conditions

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.

Patient Negligence

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

Recovering for Pain and Suffering – Beyond  Worker’s Compensation Benefits

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

August 3, 2019

How Do You Determine Fault in a Pedestrian Accident in Georgia?

Personal Injury Lawyer

When a car collides with a pedestrian, the injured pedestrian is entitled to seek compensation from the driver. A successful insurance claim will require proof that the driver was negligent.

Drivers are negligent when they drive carelessly. Looking at a smartphone screen instead of watching for pedestrians in the road is an example of negligence. Disobedience of a traffic safely law (such as speeding or running a red light) is usually sufficient evidence that the driver was negligent.

Allocating Fault in a Georgia Pedestrian Accident

Georgia law allows an injured pedestrian to recover compensation from a negligent driver unless the pedestrian was more negligent than the driver. For example, a pedestrian who unexpectedly darted into a busy highway might be more negligent than a driver who failed to stop in time to avoid a collision.

Georgia’s comparative negligence law requires a jury to assess the fault of both the driver and the pedestrian. If the driver’s fault was greater than the pedestrian’s, the pedestrian recovers compensation in proportion to his or her share of fault. For example, if the jury finds an injured pedestrian to be 40% at fault, the court will award 40% of full compensation to the pedestrian.

Georgia pedestrian accident lawyers present evidence at trial to prove the driver’s fault. While the lawyer will conduct a thorough accident investigation, there are many things an injured pedestrian can do to gather or preserve the evidence that will be needed at trial.

Working with the Police to Determine Fault in a Georgia Pedestrian Accident

Injury victims who are not taken to an emergency room in an ambulance may be able to gather evidence at the scene of the accident. Hit-and-run victims should try to get the license plate number of the car that hit them. Calling the police immediately and describing the car while it is still fresh in the victim’s memory may enable officers to identify the negligent driver.

Even if the driver obeys the law and remains at the accident scene, it is important to call the police. Georgia law requires every accident that causes an injury to be reported. 

The officer who responds will conduct an initial investigation and will prepare a report. The injury victim and his or her lawyer will be able to obtain a copy of that report. It is important to review the report to make sure it is accurate. Most officers are willing to correct mistakes if it is clear that they made an error.

The accident report will contain important information, including the driver’s name, address, and insurance company. The officer might also draw a diagram of the accident scene. If witnesses observed the accident, the officer should include their names and telephone numbers in the report. 

The officer who investigates will probably provide a card with the accident number. Accident victims should give that card to their attorney as soon as possible. 

Obtaining Other Evidence to Prove Fault in a Georgia Pedestrian Accident

Since witnesses might not wait for the officer to arrive, it is helpful for the accident victim to ask them for their names and numbers before they have a chance to leave. Most witnesses are happy to provide that information to an injured pedestrian.

Before leaving the accident scene, try to pinpoint exactly where the collision occurred. If you have a smartphone or access to a camera, take a picture of that spot. Also take pictures of the vehicle that was involved in the collision, including dents or scratches that might indicate the part of the vehicle that struck your body.

Your pedestrian accident lawyer in Atlanta, GA will want to investigate the accident as quickly as possible. You can help that investigation by explaining the accident to your lawyer while the details are still fresh in your mind. Delay in contacting a lawyer may allow important evidence to be lost.


Thanks to Butler Law Firm for their insight into personal injury claims and determining fault for a pedestrian accident.

August 1, 2019

Working Out and Chiropractic Adjustments

Medical Malpractice

There are some individuals who refuse chiropractic adjustments because they regularly workout. Their thought process includes thinking a good workout is equal to getting adjusted, but that’s not exactly the case. Chiropractic adjustments and working out do go hand in hand, and one can have great success when implementing the two correctly. The important thing to keep in mind is chiropractics and workouts don’t replace each other. Instead, they work together in harmony for the health of your body.

Which Comes First?

Before you sign up for a workout class or schedule your adjustments, there are some things you should know about the order of things.

  1. Your muscles become relaxed when you are adjusted. A workout typically puts stress on the muscles to begin with. If you start with the chiropractor first and move on to the workout second, your body may not get so stressed out and the workout could actually be relaxing.
  2. Pain relieving chiropractic adjustments remove pressure on the nerves of the spine. Having misalignments corrected before a workout will help you avoid too much pain during the workout.
  3. Chiropractic adjustments restore the proper motion of the joints by realigning them. By doing this before a workout, your muscles will be balanced and your workout may not cause as much discomfort as it might have otherwise. This could also increase flexibility.

As you can see, there are some huge benefits of having your chiropractic adjustments done prior to working out. Of course, your body may need a chance to recover before you jump into a workout routine, so be sure to keep some distance between your activities.

Exceptions to the Rule

There seems to always be one or two exceptions to the rule, so it’s important you speak with your chiropractor and fitness coach. Each of them may have insight that the other doesn’t have, and because they’ve both worked with your body before, they may know best what it is you’ll need.

Getting Started

When you’re ready to get started with chiropractic adjustments that will improve your workouts, contact a chiropractor for help. He or she can answer any questions you might have regarding treatment, as well as help you determine when the best time will be for you to receive an adjustment. Whether you’re looking to give your muscles a break, increase flexibility, limit stress on the body or decrease discomfort, give your sports injury doctor in Gaithersburg, MD a call today!


Thanks to the Pain Arthritis Relief Center for their insight into chiropractic care and working out.

July 24, 2019

What’s Involved in Creating an Asset Protection Trust?

Intellectual Property Attorneys

What is involved in creating an asset protection trust, and who should consider taking this step? An asset protection trust serves a number of purposes, but as the name implies, its primary purpose is to protect the assets of an individual or family.

What Is an Asset Protection Trust?

An asset protection trust holds the assets of an individual or family and keeps these assets out of the reach of creditors. There is also usually a motivation of keeping the assets of a family from estate taxes. Very few states recognize asset protection trusts, and there are important limitations on what can be done with assets once they are placed into this trust. First of all, an asset protection trust must be irrevocable, which means that once it’s created it’s very difficult to change. Another typical limitation is a “spendthrift clause,” which limits the ability of family members to use the assets of the trust as security for investments or debts.

You should consult an estate planning lawyer if you are considering taking such a step. It can have far-reaching implications for your financial management.

Who Should Create an Asset Protection Trust?

Obviously, creating an asset protection trust is a complex set of transactions, and should not be undertaken lightly or for the wrong reasons. Here are some qualifying reasons to consider setting one up.

Exposure to adverse creditor action is one factor that might motivate you to set up an asset protection trust. If creditors are threatening to take your family assets, holding them in such a trust may give you more leverage in reaching a settlement with them. But since setting up this trust also involves considerable expense, the extent of these creditor’s claims should be carefully considered against this cost.

Concern about estate taxes is another reason to create an asset protection trust. But there is a degree of wealth that is subject to estate taxes even if an asset protection trust is created, so you need to consult an estate planning lawyer to understand what your options are.

Finally, it’s important to understand that such a trust is irrevocable. This may greatly limit your options should your situation change. It is incredibly difficult to change an irrevocable trust.

An asset protection trust is an appropriate vehicle for high wealth individuals who need to shield assets from creditors and/or estate taxes. They have important limitations and they don’t work for every situation. Talk to a Sacramento estate planning lawyer before counting on this as an option.


Thanks to the Yee Law Group for their insight into estate planning and asset protection trusts.

July 17, 2019

What if a Person Dies Before Bringing a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

 Personal Injury Lawyer

A personal injury lawsuit is often brought by someone who is negligently injured. If the injured person dies before a lawsuit is brought, what happens? The answer is, it depends.

When the Plaintiff Dies Before Filing a Lawsuit

If no legal action has been initiated, then you’ll have to look at the statute of limitations. Generally, a plaintiff has a certain amount of time to bring a personal action claim against a defendant. If the plaintiff dies before the statute of limitations has expired, the estate can bring the lawsuit against the defendant. At this point, the action may be a wrongful death claim, rather than personal injury case.

If the statute of limitations has expired, you are probably out of luck. The statute of limitations doesn’t start when the person dies, but rather when the injury occurred. However, there may be legal implications that changes the start date. If the case was being investigated for murder, the timeline begins when it was discovered that the death was due to murder. For product liability, the statute of limitations usually starts on the date of the injury, rather than discovering that the death was due to a product malfunction.

The legal implications are further complicated by varying laws around the country. For some types of cases, the statute of limitations might be one year, while for others, it could be three years. For children, the statute of limitations may be much different, too. It’s important to talk to a lawyer as soon as you can to preserve your right to sue.

What if the Plaintiff Dies While the Lawsuit Is Pending?

In a personal injury case, the lawsuit doesn’t just go away if the injured person dies. The executor of the estate or another personal representative of the estate can continue to pursue the claim. Once the claim is settled, any recovery is distributed to the heirs according to the will or laws of succession in the state.

What If the Defendant Passes Away During the Lawsuit?

If you filed a lawsuit against a person who dies before it’s settled, again, your case doesn’t go away. Your case simply proceeds against the person’s estate. It can complicate matters, because the estate has to go through probate. Because the defendant isn’t available, it does make the legal proceeding more difficult but not impossible.

Your Personal Injury Lawyer Can Address These Situations

A death of a plaintiff or defendant doesn’t make the case go away, but it certainly can make it more complex. Talk to a wrongful death attorney in Phoenix, AZ about your claim.


Thanks to Rispoli Law, PLLC for their insight into personal injury claims and wrongful death.

July 17, 2019

Car Accidents and Brain Injuries

Car Accident Lawyer

During a car accident, victims are at risk of suffering significant harm, including brain injuries. When the brain is injured during a vehicle collision or another traumatic event, it may result in permanent physical, mental, and emotional damage. Brain injury can affect an accident victim’s ability to live a healthy and functionally independent life.

Car accident victims who suffer brain injuries may incur significant bills from medical providers for treatment, rehabilitation, or the cost of long-term care or a caregiver. When combined with the issue of lost wages and earning potential while recovering, there may be a substantial financial strain on car accident victims and their loved ones. If you’ve suffered a brain injury or other types of injuries in a car accident, a car accident attorney can work to help you receive monetary compensation for lost wages, medical bills, pain, suffering, and more.

Types of Car Accidents That May Cause Brain Injuries

Both motorists and passengers are often at risk of suffering a brain injury in traffic accidents that involve multiple impacts. This can happen in various types of collisions, such as:

  • Head-on collisions 

When the front ends of two vehicles hit each other while headed in opposite directions, the impact may thrust a motorist’s head to forward into the dashboard or steering wheel. In some instances, the speed involved when the head and neck suddenly jerk forward is sufficient to cause brain injury if the brain strikes the inside of the skull.

  • Side-impact collisions 

When a car strikes the side of another one, the side impact (or “t-bone”) collision can cause a driver to lose control of the vehicle. Or, the t-bone impact may push the struck vehicle into other objects, such as a traffic sign, a tree, or a light pole. The vehicle may also be forced into another lane, causing it to be struck again by other cars.

  • Rear-end collisions 

When the vehicle traveling behind a vehicle collides with the back of it, this can also cause the head and neck to suddenly jerk forward, increasing the risk of brain injury. However, the impact of a collision can also cause loose objects in the vehicle to strike motorists in the head, which could cause a brain injury.

Any penetration of the skull by a foreign object or blow to the head has the potential to cause a significant brain injury. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible after the event. Unfortunately, a brain injury victim’s symptoms are misdiagnosed often, due to their inability to be distinguished from other injuries. It is essential that you seek competent help from a medical provider to help to diagnose and treat your brain injury, as brain issues can easily lead to long-term problems. 

Proving the Negligent or At-Fault Driver’s Liability for the Crash

If you’ve suffered a brain injury or other injuries in a car crash, your attorney must establish that the other driver is liable for your harm. The other driver’s insurance company will have attorneys who are prepared to prove that the accident wasn’t their client’s fault, so you will need a competent, experienced, qualified, and highly knowledgeable car accident lawyer in Minneapolis, MN on your side. Schedule a consultation with a car accident lawyer today.


Thanks to Johnston | Martineau, LLP for their insight into personal injury claims and car accidents involving brain injuries.

July 7, 2019

Truck Driver Charged in Fatal Truck-Motorcycle Crash

Trucking Accident Lawyer

The truck driver involved in a gruesome crash in New Hampshire that took the lives of seven motorcyclists and injured others has just been charged with seven counts of negligent homicide, reports USA Today (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/06/24/motorcycle-crash-truck-driver-charged-crash-killed-7-bikers/1547249001/).

Twenty-three-year-old truck driver Volodymyr Zhukovskyy was arrested in his Massachusetts home by that state’s fugitive apprehension unit for his role in the crash. Zhukovskyy was towing a trailer for hauling cars when he drove into a group of 10 motorcyclists who belonged to the Marine Jarheads MC, a New England motorcycle club composed of Marines and their spouses. According to police, the truck driver crossed a double-yellow line just before striking the motorcyclists.

Initially, new outlets discovered that the 23-year-old had a drunk driving charge just this past May in Connecticut and was also arrested for drunk driving back in 2013 in Massachusetts. However, more research has uncovered that Zhukovskyy’s driving history and criminal record are worse than first reported, leaving many people outraged that he still had a valid commercial drivers’ license at the time of the deadly crash. His license should have been revoked by Massachusetts last month in light of his drunk driving arrest, and since then, a top official with the state’s motor vehicle has resigned over the failure to revoke his license.

In addition to the two drunk driving incidents, Zhukovskyy was in a rollover crash with a truck in Texas. In the same state a few months earlier, he was arrested for having drug paraphernalia on him when police found he had a drug pipe.

His most recent arrest for drunk driving in Connecticut was troubling on multiple levels, with the responding officers reporting that he was jumping outside his vehicle and revving his engine at the time. He also displayed what police deemed as “extreme behavior” and made suicidal comments, which resulted in him being sent to a local hospital for treatment.

According to state officials in Massachusetts, Connecticut did not give them the information about Zhukovskyy’s May drunk driving charge via the correct channels as set out by the driver’s license system for federal commercial licenses. If Connecticut had done so, Massachusetts officials say the charges would have been automatically applied to Zhukovskyy’s license and would have resulted in the suspension of his commercial driver’s license.

Connecticut used the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators messaging system to notify Massachusetts of the charge at the end of May, which generated a notice for Massachusetts officials to carry out a manual review of the truck driver’s record. Since they had not done that review by the time of the crash, he was still legally licensed to drive.

The 23-year-old’s history of traffic violations goes back to 2012, when he was just 16 and was charged with driving without a license, speeding, and negligent motor vehicle operation in Massachusetts.

 Unfortunately, the system for commercial driving is not without its flaws, and it does allow drivers behind the wheel of a big truck who should never be there. If you’ve been in a truck accident, contact a trucking accident lawyer in Denver, CO for assistance.

Thanks to Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into personal injuries and truck accidents involving smaller cars or motorcycles.