Accident law in Q&A

What should I do if I got into an accident or suffered an injury? Where should I call first?

Of course, first of all you should make a call to the police. It is desirable that the injured person capture in documents all injuries received. To do this contact the hospital. If possible, make detailed pictures of the crime scene or accident. Sometimes the accident cause may be a crack in the pavement, slippery floor in the store, open hatch and so on. After you got necessary help from the emergency services, call your lawyer.

How much time passes from the moment of contacting a lawyer to getting compensation?

Everything depends on the complexity of the case. In some cases, the person receives compensation within a few months, in other – waits for a few years. Courts are too overwhelmed, so sometimes affected people have to wait. If you are living in a big city with a developed infrastructure like New York, auto accidents, construction accidents and injuries, unfortunately, become commonplace here. Experience shows that New Yorkers could be affected in a completely anywhere: in your own home, on the street, in private and public transport, elevators, stores, at work, in public parks, etc…

An accident may happen everywhere, and no one is immune from it.

An accident may happen everywhere, and no one is immune from it.

Does a person who receives compensation for pain and suffering save government benefits (Medicare, Medicaid, Section Eight, SSI, etc.)?

This question can not be answered in unambiguous terms. The answer depends on a variety of factors, among them: the amount of compensation and types of benefits received.

What are the most common medical errors committed by doctors?

Every day in the country doctors made thousands of different medical errors, after which people either die or remain disabled for life. As practice shows, errors are done by doctors of various specialties. Also today childbirth errors are very common.

What factors influence the amount of compensation for the victims of personal injury?

A person guilty of causing injury (and, consequently, their representatives from an onsurance company) is obliged to compensate medical treatment costs and loss of income because of the incapacity for work caused by an accident. At the same time it does not matter whether the job was permanent or temporary, full-time or hourly, for another employer or as a freelance worker. In addition, the victim may receive money for physical pain, suffering, disability, damage caused to his family, social or educational future (college, planned vacation or remarkable dates), emotional damage (state of stress, depression, disorder in family relationships), failing to take care of children, stress caused by the consequences of the incident – for example, a stillborn child or sexual disorder. Finally, the amount of compensation includes damage of material property, usually as a result of car accidents.

How to estimate the damage?

It is easy to count the money spent on doctors or car repairs. It is more difficult to specify the figure expressing physical pain or lost job prospects. For this purpose damage assessment formula is used. At the beginning of the negotiations with the insurance company all the medical costs associated with an accident are summed up. This initial figure is the basis for both parties of the accidents (the victim and the perpetrator) to establish the final amount of compensation. For example, if the injury is not very serious, the amount of compensation will be 1.5-2 times greater than the initial figures, in the case of more serious injuries, it will increase to 4 or 5 times. Then, financial losses caused by the incapacity for work are added to the sum. If the opposite side bears full responsibility for the incident, the latter figure becomes final. If the victim is partially to blame for the incident, the amount of compensation will be reduced by this same share of the blame. For example, if it is proved that you acted negligently, which contributed 25% to the incident, you may qualify for compensation for the quarter smaller than if the blame is completely laid down on the opposite party.

Personal injury law: brain injuries

Brain injuries and their consequences are one of the most difficult unsettled problems of modern medicine. They are of paramount importance due to their prevalence and serious medical and social consequences. Typically, the number of people who suffered a head injury significantly increases in periods of wars and years around them. However, in peacetime, due to increasing the level of technical development, injury rates are quite high.

Types of head injuries

Brain injuries are mechanical damages of the brain and skull bones, varied in type and severity. Head injuries are divided into open and closed. When an injury is closed, the integrity of skull bones is not violated, but if it is, the injury is open. Open head injuries can be penetrating and non-penetrating. Penetrating injuries imply damaged brain substance and meninx; with non-penetrating injuries the brain and brain membranes remain intact.

Forensic medical investigation of brain injuries

Forensic psychiatric evaluation of persons in personal injury cases is ambiguous and depends on the stage and clinical implications of the disease. The most complex is expert assessment of the acuity of traumatic disease, because experts do not observe it personally. To assess the mental condition in retrospect, they use medical documentation of surgical hospitals, where the patient usually is sent immediately after getting a head injury, criminal case files and the patient’s description regarding their state in that period. In view of the retro- and anterograde amnesia the information reported by patients is extremely scarce. However, practice shows that in the acute period of traumatic disease serious illegal actions against the person, transport crimes are often committed. The expert evaluation of the victims becomes massively important.

Brain injuries may lead to serious consequences.

Brain injuries may lead to serious consequences.

Forensic psychiatric examination of the victims who sustained a head injury in a criminal situation has its peculiarities. In such case a set of issues is observed, such as
the ability of a person to perceive the facts of the case and to give testimony,
the ability to understand the character illegal acts committed against them,
the ability to participate in the judicial and investigative activities and exercise their right to protection (capacity to sue) regarding their mental state.
In respect of such persons comprehensive evaluation is carried out by the representative of forensics, who state the severity of injuries sustained in the result of the criminal situation in head injuries. If a person got minor injury, he or she can correctly perceive the circumstances of the incident and give testimony, as well as understand the nature and significance of action and to exercise their right to defense with the help of brain injury lawyer.

I need a lawyer: searching tips

Any person may get into a difficult life situation, which requires knowledge and understanding of the law. In such cases people ask for help a professional lawyer.
The search for a lawyer, as a rule, begins with asking relatives and friends if they know a sensible lawyer. If the answer is no, then we search for a lawyer in the Internet. And here comes up a problem: how to find a really competent expert in this ocean of advertisements. Here are some recommendations for those who want to find the best lawyer for themselves.

Specialization

If a lawyer position himself/herself as an expert in both criminal and civil cases, it must be a cause for concerns. You cannot be a jack of all trades when you deal with law, because it is impossible to square the circle, although experts of too narrow specialization is also not very efficient. It is difficult to be a qualified specialist in today’s highly comprehensive and rapidly changing legislation.
For example, civil lawyers specialize in general civil disputes (contract law, property law), disputes related to inheritance and housing.

Detailed advice

Your lawyer must explain in simple terms the adopted position in the present case, the line of defence, the course of the lawsuit. It is unacceptable to hear from a lawyer: “Don’t worry, now I am engaged in the case, and you do not understand anything in it anyway.”

No rash promises

A lawyer cannot say in advance that the solution of the case will be positive; the judge makes the decision, not the lawyer. It is understandable that the customer wants to know in advance the outcome of the case, but it is impossible. If everything was so simple and clear from the outset of the dispute, then there would be no disputes at all, as well as the courts to settle them.

High price for the services

The services of a qualified lawyer cannot be free or, even worse, cheap. All sorts of offers to provide services for free is nothing but a way to entice a client to paid services. Cheap services mean that the lawyer is not experienced, or is not going to handle your case up to the end.

Rationalism

The lawyer must not take on so many cases that it is impossible to digest them. Unfortunately sometimes we see in courts that an attorney begins to hastily read the materials of the case already before the trial, and as a result confuses names, facts, evidence, references to the laws.

A good lawyer must take every little detail of the case.

A good lawyer must take every little detail of the case.

Contact

It should be easy to contact with a lawyer. Often the clients complain that it is impossible to get a lawyer on the phone, and he/she never calls back. This is unacceptable.

Website

A lawyer or a legal firm should have a website. The site must contain at least information about the registration number of a lawyer, membership in a particular Bar Association, education, phone number, e-mail. You are lucky if you find a lawyer’s court practice, articles on the issue you are interested in. This means that the lawyer worked in this area of legal regulation and familiar with the problems of this nature.

Injury law: assault and battery

Offences against health appear in their two forms – assault and battery. Originally, these crimes come from English common law and retain its features in the basis. However, in America they have acquired some peculiarities. This is especially true when we are speaking about aggravations by assaults and batteries.

Difference

The distinction between these crimes is drawn by one of fundamental aspect – physical contact of the offender and the aggrieved person. If the accused, for example, waving his fist in front of the latter and threatening to hit him, it is an assault. If the threat turns to action, it is a battery.

According to the common law a slightest touch is enough to reclassify an assault into battery. An assault may be an attempt of a battery and (or) intimidation with causing a battery.

Assault

The criminal codes of different states set different approaches to defining the assault. In some, it is a crime defined as an attempt of battery, in others – as placing someone in the state of reasonable fear of suffering a battery, but more often the two definitions are used. Some of the criminal codes do not define an assault at all, while in many other such provisions either do not exist or an assault in them is delineated as a battery. In the last case, the responsibility for the assault as an attempted battery is considered according to the general provisions of attempted acts. As for the assaults in the form of intimidation, they are usually covered by liability rules for threats or intimidations.

Often the assault results in a battery. However, there are cases when a battery (personal injury) is inflicted without an assault, that is without foregoing threats.

Assault charges should be reasonable.

Assault charges should be reasonable.

Battery

It must be emphasized, that the two terms are rather conventional, especially the term “battery”, as it can mean a variety of actions and inaction as well.

There are some more or less common features of legislation concerning the liability for the battery.

Firstly, the battery are now generally understood in a different way than before according to the common law. For example, the modern statutes prescribe that one touch is not enough for a conviction of a battery. Usually it requires a bodily injury caused by the accused.

Secondly, only a few states have articles about battery in their criminal codes. These include, for example, Wisconsin and California. There are the states, which contain articles entitled “assault” which is a “battery” in fact, or rather, infliction of bodily injury (criminal code of New York). The refusal of many state legislators from using the term “battery” is positive phenomenon, as the term “assault” more accurately reflects the nature of the act.

Thirdly, the legislation of many states divide a battery into degrees, usually three, like in the criminal code of New York, but sometimes a larger number of degrees are described, such as in the criminal code of Kentucky (four).

Disability lawyers explained

The term ‘disability lawyer’ may have different meanings. It may be a disability attorney, who speaks on behalf of someone else in the court, who is disabled. The advocacy is carried out in order to obtain or retain the rights of the disabled, which may be represented, for example, as state benefit payments or modification of the learning environment. The benefits sought for depend on the particular person. Disability lawyers can specialize in a particular area of right protection and work only with those clients who are in need of specific things. Such lawyers can work for free or, more commonly, they can charge people for their services.

Help in obtaining social benefits

In countries such as the United States, there many professional lawyers who work with disabled people to help them navigate in complex procedure of application for the Medicare program, for example. They may be attorneys or other certified lawyers for disability protection that help if the applications have been denied. Many people feel that they will have a better chance of success in getting social benefits, if they engage a disability lawyer. In many cases lawyers can make a difference, but people have to pay for this service, and if they are disabled, it can be difficult to do, because such payments are quite high. You can work with disability advocates through charity organizations; they provide their services for free. In addition, the disabled may ask for assistance their friends or relatives, if they have enough competence in law issues. If the help is needed in drawing up applications for disability benefits, the services of representatives may come useful.

Disability lawyer will help to get necessary social benefits.

A disability lawyer will help to get necessary social benefits.

Special education lawyers

In the United States, there is other kind of disability lawyers working in the field of special education, and may be referred to as special education lawyers. These people are experts in the special education law or lawyers who specialize in this area. They help parents to advocate children who need individualized education plans or qualify for 504 Plan. Sometimes schools are not able to fulfill their obligations to provide proper accommodation and other facilities for children special needs. Disability lawyers can make such necessary changes be effected and accelerated or test. The work of such lawyers is usually paid, but sometimes parents can use the services of a teacher or other education specialist on a voluntary basis.

Do you really need a disability lawyer?

Successful disability advocates, as a rule, have a solid grasp on the laws and possess good communication skills so that they can advise clients. Nevertheless, sometimes one can go without their services and skills. Announcements of the lawyers and TV programs persuade us into believing that it is impossible to obtain legal services without the help of a disability lawyer. Often it is true, and people can do a lot being persistent enough and submitting applications. On the other hand, when you fail repeatedly, it may be worth it to hire a lawyer

Top 10 largest law firms

Many large legal firms have international status. Some of them have attracted so much attention of the media and colleagues that they became the world leaders by revenue. These companies represent the interests of the most powerful corporations, such as General Motors, Motorola and Siemens. And this is yet not a complete list of their names.

Baker & McKenzie (United Kingdom)

Baker & McKenzie was founded more than 60 years ago, its staff comprises 4,000 lawyers, and it works in 42 countries. Its customers are the most prestigious companies of the world.
When dealing with clients, the firm never forgets its high values and attaches great importance to consistency and responsibility. For three years it has been heading Sharplegal Global Elite Brand Index, a list of leading law firms of the world, carried out by by Acritas.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (USA)

Skadden is an international company, which traces its history since 1948. Its headquarters are located in the US. Forbes acknowledged Skadden as most powerful law firm on Wall Street. Since 2001, the magazine has been calling it the best in the country.

DLA Piper (United Kingdom)

The headquarters of DLA Piper are located in the United Kingdom. The company works in more than 30 countries and has 4200 lawyers. It has no equal to DLA Piper when we compare revenues.
In 2012, the company ranked fifth highest in Sharplegal Global Elite Brand Index for its exceptional services.

Allen & Overy (United Kingdom)

Spacious and modern Allen & Overy office

Spacious and modern Allen & Overy office.

Allen & Overy is another behemoth from the legal world. It has awards in such categories as “Best Law Firm of the Year,” “Labor Law Firm of the Year,” “Insurance Law Firm of the Year” and “International Firm of the Year”.
A&O has 42 offices in 29 countries. The number of its clients is more than 5000.

Linklaters (United Kingdom)

The history of Linklaters counts 175 years. The company is headquartered in the United Kingdom. It works in 20 countries. Currently Linklaters provides legal services in the areas of corporate, banking and tax law, as well as in real estate, crisis management, private equity, investment management and healthcare.

Clifford Chance (United Kingdom)

Name Clifford Chance is one of the best-known in the legal industry. This company operates in 25 countries.
Clifford Chance appeared in 1987 after a large merger. Since that time, it has been maintaining long-standing relationships with clients and offers them a wide range of legal services. Its activities include capital markets, litigation and dispute resolution.

Latham & Watkins (USA)

Latham & Watkins was founded in 1934 in Los Angeles and expanded rapidly in the international arena. Today Latham successfully represents the interests of well-known companies. In 2007 Latham & Watkins first American firm has earned more than $ 2 billion. It has numerous awards for example, “Law Firm of the Decade” and “The most respected company.”

Kirkland & Ellis (USA)

Kirkland & Ellis office in Chicago.

Kirkland & Ellis office in Chicago.

International Kirkland & Ellis Company operates in the field of commercial law and provides services related to litigation, taxes, corporate transactions and intellectual property rights.
Among the prominent clients are United Airlines, Intel, Samsung Electronics, Siemens, Motorola and General Motors.

Sidley Austin (USA)

Sidley Austin provides specialized services in the area of litigation in 19 cities around the world. One of the first customers of the company was Mary Todd Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln’s widow. 1700 lawyers work in Sidley Austin. The company has always been in the focus of the legal industry and has received many awards. In 2012, Sidley was recognized as the law firm of the year in the areas of litigation and the capital markets.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (United Kingdom)

The headquarters of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer are situated in London. This transnational corporation has 27 offices in 17 jurisdictions: European, Asian and Middle East as well as in the United States.
The company was founded in 1743, and since its beginning Freshfields has gained many awards, which helped it to get into the top 10 largest law firms according to SPEAR’S. The company is among the world leaders by revenues. In the 2012/2013 fiscal year, it amounted to 2.092 billion dollars.

The Basics of Lemon Law

Lemon Law is a law to protect the rights and interests of the buyer who bought attractive, but poor-quality goods. This law is rare in legal practice if we compare it with other law fields. Perhaps the reason for this is difficulty of the law, an attorney should work meticulously to apply it in practice.

Free services

Protection of your legal rights and interests in such cases is provided for free. Under any circumstances, do not pay a cent, even if your claim is not satisfied.

All you need is a warranty

The law will in the case if the goods were purchased with a warranty. For example, if you have a warranty on a car (new or second-hand) and you have constant problems with it: engine, operation board, air conditioning system, etc., then you have been handed a lemon. Lemon Law in this situation is that law that will provide partial compensation or replacement of the product with a new or different one, or full expense compensation.

Repair shops

How many times should to go to the repair shop to submit a claim to the manufacturer? Typically, four visits are enough when it comes to cars. In the case of household appliances, two visits will be enough. Turn your attention to the fact that you must retain all the documents that prove your repair history. By the way, the lost copies of checks (which can be restored in the repair shops) are also valid.

Keep all the documents of the repair history.

Keep all the documents of the repair history.

Timeline of lemon lawsuit

An average lemon law case takes from 1 to 3 months. However, it can extend to a year or more. It is impossible to know this in advance.

Paying attorney fees

As it was already mentioned, complainant does not pay a penny out of his own pocket. The losing side pays all the money. If the court does not sustain the complainant’s claim, he does not pay for legal costs and the lawyer’s service.

Kinds of “lemon” products

Apart from cars, any consumer goods may be subject to this law: refrigerators, washing and sewing machines, vacuum cleaners, computers, motor boats, yachts. There is a large list.

Recommendations for customers

Do not drag it out. If your car does not work right, do not wait until the trouble happens. The law works when something bad has already happened, but it does not refer to the potential threats to your health. In such cases other laws are functioning (for example, product liability laws). Do not use low-quality products if you have a warrant!

Where to find a lawyer

If once you face the problem that requires finding a lawyer, you start trying all the methods available for finding a right person to represent you in the court. Some people, who are used to turning to their friends for help, start asking all the familiar people whether they have ever been in such situation and if they can recommend an attorney. If you need attorney, it is right to find an attorney with a good reputation. There is a variety of the legal advice services that come for help. Such resources as www.lawyer.comoffer to find an attorney in a split second.

What is it for?

The web site lawyer.com offers to find a lawyer in every part of United States or Canada. You may also get a legal advice by pushing the button in the right corner of the home page and asking your question. There are over 75.000 lawyers in any area with whom you can get easily connected to get free lawyer consultation.

The legal advice can be given to any person with any kind of case. The goal of the attorney is to direct the client by informing him about his rights, and also by telling what he should do in his situation.

How to choose a DUI lawyer

Breaking rules hardly ever does any good, especially if it concerns driving under the influence (DUI). If you want to avoid long trials that may bring about a punishment, don’t drink before driving. However if it happens, you will need a professional dui attorney to find a way out of this situation. There are some steps to follow if you intend to start searching for a qualified specialist.

How to act

In our modern world where Internet has filled every single niche of our life, it does not take much effort to find any information about a particular specialist. Google some accident law firm, the respectful ones usually post information about their employees.

  1. The specialization. Law schools don’t usually produce Jacks of all trades, so you should choose a professional who specializes in exactly the needed sphere, not the estate or defense attorney.
  2. Years of experience. Lack of experience might lead to losing the case, so in order to avoid it, seek the specialist who has at least five years of experience.
  3. An awareness of all the aspects of your case. Usually dui attorneys are supposed to have some specific knowledge about what effects of alcohol are to be expected.
  4. Letters of complaints. Of course we have to admit that there are different clients with different situations. However the dwi attorney with a lot of complaint written on him is not a good option.

Making a decision

When you have found the potential candidates, it is time to meet all the attorneys to choose the best dui lawyer. The majority of lawyers agree to consult for the first time for free.

When you contact all the candidates, take a final decision according to your own idea who should represent you in the court.

How to choose a personal injury lawyer

When do you need a personal injury lawyer?

People turn to personal injury law firm when they need a specialist who is supposed to represent them in the court if they have been done certain damage, no matter physical or psychological. Choosing a right injury lawyer is necessary, for you need to feel that your attorney is the person whom you can trust. Right lawyer is not only a person with high professional skills, but also he is the attorney with whom you should feel nothing but comfort, so that you will be able to discuss what has happened to you.

Thesteps you should follow

Understand what kind of an attorney you need.Injury lawyers are not the same as the estate lawyers because they have other specifics. You lawyer has to be aware of what is involved in such cases as yours, and what is right to do in your situation.

  1. Injury attorney has to be experienced in the cases
  2. It is also necessary to understand the medical diagnosis engaged in your situation
  3. The understanding of the law basis

Decide what things are the most important for you in your attorney.
When you start to choose a personal injury attorney, it will be necessary to know what qualities a good lawyer should have.

  • The specifics. You cannot choose any lawyer with any kind of a license. Your lawyer has to be experienced in the injury cases.
  • It is a good idea to search for a lawyer among familiar people. Ask your friends for help, perhaps someone has already been in the same situation and knows an injury law firm with a good reputation.
  • Though this criteria seems to be quite obvious, it is often ignored. Look for the attorney who has been coping with such cases for years.
  • Check for the letters of complaint. Search some information about the lawyer in the Internet, so that you can form you first impression. There are lots of web sites that offer to make a quick search for the attorneys of different spheres, and where you can see the comments on the specialists.
  • Win or lose. Try to find a specialist who does not lose cases. It depends on a number of different factors that some attorneys win, and some of them don’t.Sometimes the personal injuWin or lose. Try to find a specialist who does not lose cases. It depends on a number of different factors that some attorneys win, and some of them don’t.Sometimes the personal injury lawyers may lose because they don’t pay enough attention to some aspects of their job or the case in general.

How to choose a personal injury lawyerMake a choiceand hire the lawyer.After you have weighed all the advantages and disadvantages, it is time to make a choice. Read your agreement carefully and sign it if all the conditions are fine for you.

How to Find a find a Lawyer

More than once have I seen people get arrested at LAX or the  Inter nation Airport for violating the law and more than once have I seen the panic printed on their faces as they search hysterically for an Airport Court Criminal lawyer. No one wants to be arrested, well not in an airport anyway. In spite of all the rules that airport personnel and the government impose on people to keep the peace and order in airports, there are still those who get arrested.

 

Take for instance when you get into a fight with one of the airport’s crew and then they found out that you’ve had a drink or two, you can get arrested for this because of disturbing the peace and order in the airport. This happens on a day-to-day basis, mind you. So when you’re caught up in a situation such as this, find a airport criminal lawyer immediately.