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How To Maximize Potential Compensation In Your Car Crash Case

Posted by on Nov 12, 2015 in Uncategorized |

After being injured in a car accident, you’ll have to negotiate with an adjuster for the insurance company that represents the person who’s at fault for your injuries. This negotiation process is never fun and games, as the adjuster is sure to work hard at minimizing any payments they’ll be responsible for providing you with. So if your case is potentially worth thousands of dollars, it’s essential to hire an experienced lawyer who focuses on personal injury cases and knows the laws inside and out. Here’s what you can do to help your lawyer maximize potential compensation in your car crash case: Take Photos It’s important to take photos that document the accident and help prove your point of view about what happened. If possible, go back to the accident scene and take photos of the ground, landmarks, and any other visual information in the area that is pertinent to your case. It’s also important to photograph your entire vehicle up close and in sufficient lighting so that damage from the accident can be clearly seen without glare. If you have been physically injured, take photos of your bodily injuries once a week throughout the proceedings of your case to help prove how long you’re having to deal with said injuries. Find Witnesses While you’re at the accident scene taking photos, take the time to talk to people living in the area who may have seen what happened. If you do find witnesses to the accident, ask them to fill out a simple form stating their names, contact information, and the specifics of what they saw when the accident happened. You may want to ask your lawyer to create your own personalized form and make copies of it before looking for witnesses to ensure that you get the information you want and need from each of them. This will ensure that nothing important, such as a license plate number, is overlooked when witnesses relay their accounts. Gain Some Written Insight It can be helpful to ask your friends and family to write accounts of their insight into the pain and suffering you’ve had to go through since being in an accident. The kind of pain they see you in while they’re in your presence, the loss of work you have experienced, and what you are doing with your time during recovery can all be recorded by loved ones and turned over to your lawyer, which will help to fill in the blanks. Like with getting witness information, you can have personalized forms created to have your loved ones fill out – but open letters that allow them to speak in their own words and in their own way may be more insightful to your lawyer and the courts if they have to get involved in your case. Record Your Progress Updates In addition to having your friends and family members provide insight into your healing progress, it’s important that you document your progress personally. Consider keeping a diary dedicated just to aspects of your life that involve the accident. Each morning or evening take the time to record how much pain medication you’ve had to take, whether or not you had to miss work and if so, how much money was lost, and what your overall mindset if like...

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3 Keys To Finding The Right Foreclosure Attorney

Posted by on Oct 13, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Many people’s biggest fear when filing for bankruptcy lies in the possibility of losing their home. In these situations, it’s important that you have a qualified foreclosure attorney who can fight your case on your behalf and help you to hold on to your property. However, choosing the right lawyer isn’t always easy. To help you make an informed decision, here are the three keys to finding the right foreclosure attorney: Find a Lawyer with Experience in Foreclosures Foreclosure is a very sensitive area of real estate law, and as such it’s important you find the right type of lawyer to represent you. While there are many lawyer who specialize entirely in foreclosure, you will typically come across many others with more general specializations such as real estate or bankruptcy. Whatever type of lawyer you choose, you must ensure they have a proven track record in handling complex foreclosure cases and delivering real results. When choosing a foreclosure lawyer, make sure you find out how many cases your potential attorney has filed. Rather than gauging each individual by their years in the field, choosing an attorney on the basis of successful defenses will ensure you have the legal help you require. When looking for an attorney, make sure you hold a number of one-to-one meetings to give yourself a chance to discuss your case before signing on the dotted line. Even if the first attorney you meet feels like a perfect fit, speak to a few others so that you can weigh up the pros and cons of each before coming to a decision. Calculate the Cost The cost of a foreclosure attorney depends entirely on your case. If you have filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you have a good chance of keeping your home, and so hiring a foreclosure attorney will be somewhat of a formality. However, if you have filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you face a lengthy legal battle to maintain possession of your property, and so your legal fees will be substantially higher. While it is difficult to calculate an exact figure for your legal fees, it is possible to narrow your costs down to a small range. Typically, foreclosure attorneys will charge their fees in one of two ways:   Flat fees As the name suggests, these are lump-sum costs that you pay in advance of your trial. Typical costs range from $1,500 to $4,000, depending on your situation and how much work the attorney is required to put into the case. Choosing a foreclosure attorney that charges a flat fee at the front end of the case is a good way to place a limit on your fees; however, the flipside of this is that you may end up paying a large amount for a little work. Therefore, it’s imperative that you analyze your situation in detail prior to hiring an attorney on a flat-fee basis. Hourly Rates If you would rather pay the exact amount for the legal service provided, consider hiring a foreclosure attorney who charges by the hour. Typical hourly rates for a foreclosure attorney ranges from $100 to several hundred dollars, although rates may be higher for particularly tricky cases or those with extremely tight deadlines. Hiring an attorney that charges by the hour can be a great way to...

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Bankruptcy Or Divorce: Which One Should You File First?

Posted by on Sep 18, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If you find yourself considering both bankruptcy and divorce around the same time, it’s easy to feel like your life is falling apart. But your position isn’t as unusual as you might believe. While bankruptcy and divorce don’t necessarily go hand in hand, they are often connected. Research indicates that debt is one of the most harmful relationship issues. And it’s well-known that legal separations and divorces have a negative impact on the finances of the couple. The court costs and lawyer’s fees are a big expense, and both spouses face bearing the full costs of maintaining a household on their own. Given the effects of finances on the strength of a marriage and the effects of divorce on one’s finances, it’s no surprise that a bankruptcy might be on the horizon before the divorce or become necessary immediately following the divorce. The question is, when you know that both a divorce and a bankruptcy are imminent, which should you file first? When to File Bankruptcy First It can be difficult to file for bankruptcy jointly if you’re not on amicable terms with your soon-to-be-ex spouse, so your ability to cooperate with each other for some length of time should be considered. It’s best not to attempt any joint bankruptcy if the relationship is highly contentious. If you’re considering filing bankruptcy first, your best bet is to file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which usually only takes about three or four months. A joint Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows both of you to wipe out your unsecured debts without the need to commit to a lengthy joint repayment plan. If one of the two of you is a stay-at-home spouse or is making only a minimal amount of money, filing for bankruptcy before the divorce can help the spouse that is making the majority of the money qualify for a Chapter 7, as opposed to a Chapter 13. Separately, the spouse making the majority of the money may have too many assets to qualify for a Chapter 13, but with the addition of a non-working or minimally-earning spouse, a Chapter 7 may be an option. Many people prefer the Chapter 7 because it doesn’t require you to repay your debts. Furthermore, if neither one of you can afford to pay off an underwater car loan or mortgage, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can wipe that out, which means that you and your spouse won’t need to worry about how to split that debt up. When to File for Divorce First If your combined incomes are too high for the two of you to file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, divorcing first may bring your income and asset levels down low enough to qualify for a Chapter 7. Basically, if you want or will have to have a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, filing for divorce first is a smart move. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan can last from 3-5 years. While you can certainly divorce while the repayment plan is in place,  you will still have to follow the repayment plan jointly, and one spouse’s failure to pay can affect the other’s status. In most cases, it’s best not to have your finances tangled up with someone that you intend to divorce. If only one of you wishes to file for bankruptcy,...

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Protecting Collectibles From An Acrimonious Divorce

Posted by on Aug 28, 2015 in Uncategorized |

A person can develop a lot of anger and bitterness while going through a divorce that may cause him or her to lash out at the soon-to-be ex-spouse. This can result in the loss of valuable or sentimental items that the person spent a lot of years and money acquiring. For example, a woman acquired her ex-husband’s video game collection in a divorce and sold it for much less than it was worth to get back at the man. If you want to avoid the same thing happening to your collectibles, use the following tips. Draw Up a Prenuptial Agreement A prenuptial agreement is a contract that details the terms of marriage prior to both parties going through with the union. While a prenuptial agreement can address almost any issue, the majority of contracts focus on the division of property and spousal support in the event the marriage ends in divorce. If you want to keep your spouse from being awarded your collectibles when you separate, drawing up a prenup agreement addressing the issue would be the first place to start. Even if you’re already married, you can still have this type of contract drawn up between you and your spouse. In this case, it would be called an postnuptial and may be a little more complex to implement depending on how long you’ve been married and whether the assets you want to protect are considered separate or marital property. In either case, it’s essential that you work with an attorney when drawing up the agreement to ensure it is legally binding. It’s not unusual for a judge to throw out a prenuptial agreement because it was worded poorly or addressed issues that can only be resolved by a court (e.g. child support payments, child custody). Do Not Buy Your Collectibles with Mixed Money Even if you don’t have a prenuptial agreement, you can still prevent your soon-to-be ex-spouse from getting your collectibles by maintaining the assets’ separate property classification. Separate property is assets that belong to one spouse, while community or marital property is assets that belong to both spouses. In general, any assets the spouse owned prior to getting married is considered separate property, while assets acquired after the marriage are considered community property. Unfortunately, if you’re not careful, your separate property can be ruled community property in a divorce. This can happen if you purchase items for your collection using comingled funds. For example, you buy video games with money from a joint checking account. Your ex-spouse could argue that since you used some of his or her money to enhance the collection, he or she has a claim to it. A judge may also award your ex-spouse a portion of the collection (or equivalent value) if he or she added to it in some way. For instance, your wife spends time searching for and buying snow globes to add to your collection of kitsch. This investment in time and money may entitle her to some of the equity in the asset, especially if she spent her own money and her contributions increased the overall value of the collection. To avoid either of these scenarios, only use your money to buy pieces for the collection. If your spouse is interested in contributing to it, then you’ll...

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When Is Your Employer Liable For Workplace Violence?

Posted by on Aug 6, 2015 in Uncategorized |

You may assume workers compensation coverage applies only injuries associated with slips, trips, and falls in the workplace. However, this insurance covers much more — and with recent increases in the rates of workplace violence, knowing when your employer is required to take steps to protect you and coworkers from potential physical danger can be crucial. Read on to learn more about the situations in which your employer may be liable for employee (or customer) actions that cause other employees injury, as well as what you should do if you find yourself on the mend from a debilitating injury deliberately caused by a customer, coworker, or supervisor. What injuries are covered by workers compensation? Workers compensation is a type of insurance coverage carried by employers and intended to compensate employees for any medical costs, lost wages, or other expenses associated with an on-the-job accident. Workers comp can cover injuries ranging the gamut from an infected papercut to a gunshot wound, as well as just about anything in between. If your injury didn’t take place at your work site, but while you were traveling for work (or to a new work site), it should still be covered. The only large swath of injuries excluded from workers comp coverage are those that take place during your normal morning or afternoon commute, unless you were traveling to a different location than your normal one. Are employers responsible for violent actions committed by employees or customers? Since 1970, the federal government has prescribed a number of health and safety regulations for employers through its Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA). These OSHA regulations primarily govern safety from mechanical issues or equipment failure — like ensuring that those who regularly work at or above certain heights have the requisite safety equipment, requiring hard hats and other protective equipment in areas with falling or flying objects, and other physical safety issues. However, some OSHA regulations are more broadly interpreted, and employers who ignore threats of violence or other potential red flags that indicate an employee or customer could pose a physical danger to other employees could be committing a violation. Many state governments have also implemented laws and regulations targeted toward reducing violence in the workplace. If your employer was (or should have been) aware of a danger and did nothing to prevent it, it may be responsible for not only workers comp coverage for your injuries, but also liable under personal injury or wrongful death law. What should you do if you’ve been injured by a violent customer, coworker or supervisor? Your first step should be to file a workers compensation claim with your employer. Your employer will then transmit your information to its workers comp carrier to open a claim. After this, you’ll be able to receive checks for any lost wages you’ve experienced while out of work. You should be able to have your medical bills forwarded to the workers comp carrier for direct payment. If you feel your employer could have easily prevented your accident, you may also want to file a personal injury lawsuit to help recover additional costs. Although personal injury lawsuits are often barred in cases where the claimant is receiving workers comp for the same injury, most states will allow this lawsuit to proceed if your employer...

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Workers’ Compensation: Could You Claim for Avian Flu?

Posted by on Jul 16, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Around 3.8 million Americans suffer work-related injuries or illnesses every year. While employers (and workers) must take precautions to keep the workplace safe, workers’ compensation insurance helps people deal with the financial implications of time away from work. Avian flu is a rare illness for American workers, but the disease could have serious consequences. Find out about the effects Avian flu can have, and learn more about the factors that could influence a workers’ compensation claim for this disease. About Avian flu Avian flu (commonly called bird flu) is a type A flu virus, which occurs naturally in aquatic birds. Scientists detect outbreaks in wild birds on a fairly regular basis, but the disease occasionally also spreads and infects humans. Only one serious pathogenic outbreak has occurred in the United States, when 7,000 chickens contracted the virus in Texas in 2004. In that case, doctors did not see any transmission to humans. A few rare cases of human bird flu infection have occurred in the United States, after people came in close contact with infected birds. People with the virus can experience many symptoms, including severe respiratory disease and problems with several major organs. To date, only 359 people throughout the world have died from Avian flu, but many more have become ill. Workers’ compensation requirements There are three key criteria you must meet to file a workers’ compensation claim. Employer insurance. State laws vary, but most American employers must hold workers’ compensation insurance. Some states do not force businesses that employ one or two people to have this insurance, so if you are the sole worker in a company, state law may not allow you to make a workers’ compensation claim. Also, some states don’t force charities to hold this insurance. Employment status. You can only file a claim for workers’ compensation if you are a company employee. Full-time and part-time workers are eligible, but independent contractors cannot file a claim.  Type of illness or injury. You must show that your illness is work-related. If you contracted the virus during working hours, then workers’ compensation laws should protect you. In all cases, you might need a workers’ compensation lawyer to help you prove your case. If you catch bird flu, you may find it harder to prove your case than you would expect. Objections an employer could make While an employer cannot argue his or insurance status, he or she may battle the second two criteria. Many employers describe workers as independent contractors, when they’re actually employees. Under Workers’ Compensation Law, the term employee normally includes borrowed employees, sub-contractors, leased employees and unpaid volunteers. When challenging this, a lawyer will consider many factors including who has the right to control what you do, the sort of work you do and how your employer pays your wages. People who work on poultry farms often work under temporary or flexible contracts, so an employer may deny liability for any illness (like bird flu) you contract. What’s more, it’s scientifically impossible to say when you caught a virus, so your employer may also argue against you. For example, if you came into contact with wild birds outside work, your employer’s lawyer could argue that you cannot categorically prove your illness was work-related. Your responsibilities When you file a workers’ compensation claim, a...

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Five Items You Can Easily Sacrifice During A Divorce

Posted by on Jul 2, 2015 in Uncategorized |

A key to getting through divorce is compromise. This can also be one of the toughest parts of a divorce. With a little compromise, you will have room to work out your agreements during mediation with divorce lawyers. The following five items may be seem important, but overtime, they can get replaced and will help you through divorce proceedings. Magazine Subscriptions Sharing a home with a spouse often involves shared delivery of items like magazines or newspapers. These subscriptions are often prepaid and will continue delivery even during a divorce. Instead of battling over subscription changes or remaining issues, it’s a good idea to just let that battle go. Magazines and newspapers can easily be replaced and sent to a new home. When getting new subscriptions, you may have the ability to find better rates and deals. It’s also a good time to consider what periodicals you actually still read. Movie & Book Collections The library of books and movies in your home can become another complicated battle during divorce proceedings. In the long run, it will feel frivolous if you’re feuding with your former spouse over a few forms of media. Used DVD and book sales can help you rebuild a collection and gather your favorites again. Streaming websites have also expanded your options for watching your favorite movies. Use resources to find all of your movies online and know that you can move on without the physical discs. By giving up the movies and books, you may have the ability to negotiate with lawyers on other items that have more importance to you. A lot of the movies and books are often items you will never watch or read again. Wedding Gifts Early on in divorce proceedings, the wedding gifts in your home may feel like important keepsakes. As you start over with a separate life from your spouse, it may be a good idea to permanently remove the reminders of your wedding. A variety of wedding gifts can be let go of. This includes wedding dishware, custom monogrammed items, or household items like appliances. Work with your lawyer to determine the value of these items as you work to split assets. Personal Gardens A big part of any divorce is relocating to a new home. While a lot of the items can be removed from the home, you may have to sacrifice some items that are harder to move. One of the hardest items to move is your personal garden. Gardens are a lot of work and hard to give up, but there are always ways to recreate the garden in a new home. Take pride in the work you’ve done with images and video clips. This will allow you to look back on your garden without digging up your lawn or debating with your spouse over the rights to the garden. Starting a fresh garden can be symbolic of your new path in life. It can also give you something to focus on as you get through the painful divorce process. Public Areas The public areas around your town or city may not come under any ownership battles, but sacrificing certain public areas will make it easier to cope and separate yourself from a spouse. Make things easier by giving up local grocery stores or...

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Can You Sack Somebody On Disability Leave?

Posted by on Jun 11, 2015 in Uncategorized |

According to the Social Security Administration, the number of applications for disabled worker benefits in the United States exceeded 2.5 million in 2014. As well as the financial cost to the U.S. Government, these claims cost American employers billions of dollars in lost working hours. American law protects disabled workers who cannot work, but this legislation does not mean you cannot take action in certain circumstances. Find out why. Applicable legislation In the United States, two federal laws protect employees on disability leave. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) aims to protect disabled people throughout their working and personal lives. The Act offers comprehensive protection in many areas, including the workplace. Under Title I, American employers cannot discriminate against their disabled employees from recruitment right through to termination. According to the ADA, you do not have to offer disability or medical-related leave, but you do have to make reasonable accommodations to help any disabled workers. In some cases, a court may rule that leave from work is a reasonable accommodation you have to make. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) applies to all employees. Under the Act, employees can (in certain circumstances) take up to 12 weeks unpaid leave each year. Applicable circumstances include disability, illness, injury recovery or taking care of a family member with a disability. Other legislation (like Workers’ Compensation laws) may also apply to workers on disability leave. In fact, multiple laws can simultaneously protect workers on disability leave, so you need to think carefully about any action you take. Disciplinary action against employees on disability leave According to these laws, you cannot take action against an employee because he or she is on disability leave, but you CAN take action for other reasons WHILE the worker is on leave. For example, if an employee has a problem with late attendance or other performance issue, employers can take action if he or she then takes disability or medical leave. Anti-discrimination laws protect employees from unfair treatment, but the law also recognizes that employers must operate efficiently and profitably. As such, if it is not unreasonable for an employee to attend work on time, you can take disciplinary action, even if he or she needs to take disability leave.  Some employees mistakenly believe that medical leave can protect them from any type of action from an employer, but this isn’t true. Indeed, if necessary, you can still sack somebody on disability leave, provided your reason for termination has nothing to do with the person’s disability. Disciplinary action related to an employee’s disability leave While you cannot take action against somebody because they are on disability leave, you can still tackle an employee who doesn’t follow an agreed company process. For example, the FMLA gives all employees up to 12 weeks unpaid leave each year, but if somebody does not return to work immediately after this (or exceeds this amount in one year), you can take action, even if the employee used the leave because of his or her disability. Similarly, you can ask employees to report their absence in a certain way. If the worker then fails to notify you, you can take disciplinary action. In extreme cases, this could mean that you sack somebody on disability leave. If you exhaust every attempt to speak...

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Passengers In Truck Accidents Have Multiple Ways To Collect

Posted by on May 19, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Colliding with a big rig is, perhaps, one of the scariest accidents a person can be involved in. If you are passenger in a vehicle, however, you may have an easier time collecting compensation for injuries and losses you sustain than if you were the driver, because you don’t have to prove liability for the accident; you just have to know who to sue. Here are the various avenues for recompense available, and what you need to do to collect. Suing the Driver of Your Vehicle If the person driving the vehicle you were in was responsible for the accident, then you can file a claim for damages against the individual’s insurance. You would essentially treat the situation like any other accident, and request the person’s insurance information and file a claim. However, there are two hiccups you may run into in this situation. If the driver of the vehicle doesn’t have sufficient insurance or any insurance at all, then you’ll have to file a claim under your own policy’s uninsured/underinsured coverage or sue the person directly for the damages if the individual has sufficient assets. Being closely related to the individual (e.g. spouse or child) and living in the same household will also present a problem. Typically, you may not be able to submit a claim against the insurance company because you may already be covered by the policy, and you cannot submit a liability claim against your own insurance company. You’ll only be able to use the same recourse for compensation as the driver of the vehicle. Suing the Other Driver If the driver of the other vehicle is liable, then you can tap his or her insurance policy for your damages. Like before, you would simply get the insurance information and submit a claim or take the person to court (if he or she doesn’t have insurance). If you live in a comparative negligence state, though, you’ll only be awarded the percentage amount the person was found liable. For instance, if the court or insurance company finds the person was only 60 percent liable for the accident, the individual will only have to pay 60 percent of your bill. The good news is, as a passenger of the vehicle, you can file claims against both drivers and recoup the full amount owed. So if the driver of your vehicle was found 40 percent liable, then that person would be liable for paying the 40 percent of your bills still owed. However, you cannot collect more than what’s due. If you are hit with $10,000 in medical bills, you cannot submit a $10,000 claim to both insurance companies and expect to get paid the full amount by both ($20,000). The insurance companies (or drivers) will only be jointly responsible for paying their share of the $10,000. Suing the Trucking Company You may have a lawsuit against the trucking company as well if the driver of the big rig was acting on behalf of his or her employer at the time the incident occurred. Employers can be held vicariously liable for employees’ acts if those acts occur while the employees are performing their job duties. For instance, if the truck driver was making deliveries for the company and caused the accident, you can hold the employer responsible for...

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What Happens If You’re Injured after Your Flight Is Grounded Due to a Natural Disaster?

Posted by on Apr 30, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The recent tragedy in Nepal has left thousands of travelers stranded, awaiting a route home as airlines and other carriers have focused on the evacuation of those most closely affected by the earthquake. If you’re injured after your flight has been re-routed due to a natural disaster, what are your options? What if your only “injury” is to your pocketbook–are you entitled to recover financial damages resulting from your unplanned layover?  Here is how some principles of personal injury law may apply if your flight has recently been re-routed, as well as the accommodations an airline is required to provide upon redirecting your flight. What must an airline provide upon re-routing your flight? If you’re traveling on a US carrier and your flight has been re-routed to an alternate airport (or even country), the airline is required to reimburse you for the unused value of your ticket. However, in many cases, you’ll also need to secure accommodations for an overnight stay before the next outgoing flight is available. In this situation, the airline may provide–however, depending upon the specific contract language contained on your ticket, you may be entitled only to a voucher for a reasonably priced hotel, rather than reimbursed for the full costs of the hotel you use.  If your airline carrier has exempted ‘”acts of God” from the situations for which it is required to reimburse passengers, you may even need to provide your own hotel room. Using this rationale, because the natural disaster was caused by unforeseen elements, rather than the airline’s action (or failure to act) the airline should bear no financial responsibility for any resulting inconvenience. However, in an effort to improve customer relations, an airline may still opt to cover some of these costs. Is the airline responsible for any injuries or financial damage you suffer as a result of a re-routed flight?  If you’re injured while stationed at an alternate location, or if you miss a once-in-a-lifetime event because your flight has been re-routed, you may have a legal claim against the airline–but only in certain situations.  In general, the airline will not be responsible for injuries (or financial damages) you’ve suffered if its course of conduct was deemed prudent and reasonable under the circumstances. For example, if your flight path took you through an earthquake-affected area and your plane needed to continue past the affected area to safely land, it’s likely this action will be deemed reasonable — and it’s unlikely you’ll be able to collect from the airline if you’re injured by a vehicle or suffer other injury while traveling to your temporary hotel.  If the airline instead chose to land in a dangerous area, against guidance or professional recommendations, this can establish the negligence or recklessness needed to succeed in a personal injury lawsuit.   What must you prove in able to recover damages from the airline? If you feel your injury was due to the airline’s negligence or recklessness, you’ll need to establish a few things in order to recover damages. First, you’ll have to show that the airline owed you a duty of care. The specific language governing the airline’s duties should be on your ticket (or in the documentation you received along with your ticket), and should state that the airline takes responsibility for transporting you...

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Negligence Laws Lets You Sue For Damages In No-Contact Motorcycle Accidents

Posted by on Apr 6, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Although you may drive your motorcycle in a responsible way, the same can’t be said for other people on the road. If you take action to avoid hitting another vehicle and get into an accident, you can still sue for damages even if the other person doesn’t hit you. Here’s what you need to know about recovering compensation for damages in no-contact accidents. Suing for Negligent Behavior People have a legal duty to be careful of other drivers and operate their cars, trucks, and motorcycles in a safe manner when on the roadways. If they fail to do so, they may be found to be negligent and held liable for any and all outcomes that result from their actions (or failure to act). To successfully sue for negligence in a no-contact accident, you must prove four elements: The person had a duty to exercise reasonable care The person failed to exercise said care Their actions caused harm The harm resulted in actual damages (e.g. physical injuries) For instance, a person drifts into your lane because he or she was texting and not paying attention to the road. You stomp on the brakes or swerve to avoid hitting them but end up crashing into a tree. The person can be held liable for the damages caused and made to pay you compensation for your losses provided you can prove those losses are the direct result of the crash. Challenges to Proving Your Case The first challenge you’ll face is proving the person acted negligently. If the driver of the other vehicle has a valid reason for taking the action he or she did while on the road, the individual may be able to escape liability. For instance, if the person swerved into your lane to avoid hitting a child, they may be able to successfully use the Sudden Emergency Doctrine as a defense against charges of driving negligently. The Sudden Emergency Doctrine removes the standard of care people must take in cases where they are suddenly faced with an emergency situation through no fault of their own. As long as the person can prove he or she acted the same as any other reasonable person would in similar circumstances, the individual typically won’t be held liable. Without that assignment of liability, it can be difficult for you to make a case that the person should be responsible for your losses. You may still have a case, though, if the person’s actions were caused by a third-party (e.g. the individual swerved to avoid an oncoming drunk driver). In this situation, you can go after the third-party for your losses. Another issue you’ll face is proving the events happened as you claimed. This will be particularly challenging if the other driver doesn’t stop and you don’t have any identifying information that could help you track down the perpetrator. Not only will it be difficult to sue the other person for compensation for damages, you may have a hard time convincing your insurance provider to pay your claim. In this situation, you’ll need to find witnesses who will corroborate your story. These witnesses can be: A passenger riding with you on the bike People who stop to help you on the road Video recordings taken by other drivers, security cameras, or traffic cameras...

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