What are the family’s rights in a wrongful death lawsuit?

If you lost a loved one because a person or company acted recklessly or negligently, your family may have the legal right to seek compensation as a form of justice. With the help of a wrongful death lawyer, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the party who caused your family member’s death. Schedule a free consultation with our wrongful death lawyer to discuss your legal options. Below is a general overview of the laws involving litigation for a wrongful death.

What is a wrongful death?

Wrongful death statutes allow for a representative of a deceased victim or their estate to file a lawsuit for civil damages. Depending on the circumstances, damages might include grief for the loss of the loved one, medical costs associated with treating the victim’s fatal injury, and more. When a family works with an experienced wrongful death lawyer, the family’s damages will be itemized and detailed as part of the lawsuit.

Recovering Damages

As mentioned, damages associated with the loss of a loved one will be submitted to the judge and jury as part of a wrongful death lawsuit. It’s an unfortunate fact that no matter how large a settlement might be, nothing will reverse events and bring back the family’s loved one. However, a fair settlement offers the family the opportunity to pay for the financial damages so that they are not burdened with the cost of paying for the funeral and other costs. In many cases, the guilty party is additionally punished with having to pay punitive damages. This can bring some sense of closure to a family because punitive damages send a clear message that such abhorrent behavior is not acceptable.

Eligibility for Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The laws surrounding wrongful death lawsuits limit the plaintiffs to a narrow group of people. A wrongful death lawyer can provide additional clarity but as a general rule, the person who files the lawsuit must have been financially dependent in some way on the deceased. Usually, a court will rule that persons related to the deceased in the following order are eligible to pursue legal action against the at-fault party:

  1. Spouse, common law spouse, etc.
  2. Financially dependent children.
  3. Financially dependent siblings.
  4. Parents of a deceased fetus. (This is not always applicable so be sure to consult a wrongful death lawyer in your state.)

Possible Defendants in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Depending on the circumstances of how your loved one passed away, your wrongful death lawyer may identify one or more defendants in a lawsuit. The person or entity might include any of the following:

  • An individual
  • A company or corporation.
  • An employee or staff member.
  • A government agency.

Discover Your Legal Rights

Your family may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the person or entity responsible for your loved one’s death. Talk to an experienced wrongful death lawyer to learn what legal rights you have and if a lawsuit is a possibility.

 


 

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Cannon, Hadfield, Stieben & Doutt for their insight into wrongful death cases.

Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer

No one expects to need a personal injury lawyer.  Individuals who find themselves injured due to someone else’s negligence are often faced with the need for representation and counsel, but don’t know where to turn.   It can be difficult to know who to trust with personal injury case. The question becomes, how do you select the right counsel to meet your needs? Consider the following criteria when interviewing a personal injury lawyer.

 

Track record of success

One of the most important criteria in hiring a personal injury lawyer to ensure they have a track record of success.  Ask your personal injury lawyer about his experience in similar cases and the settlement amounts attained. Personal injury cases that involve lost work time and pain and suffering should have settlements that reflect the significant losses that the client sustained.   You may want to ask the personal injury attorney about the number of years they have practiced and the number of cases similar to yours that they have represented. It’s important to ask if your personal injury attorney has successful trial experience; while most personal injury claims end in settlement, it’s a good idea to hire an attorney who has successfully represented clients at trial, in case a pre-trial settlement is not able to be reached.

 

Client reviews

Client reviews often provide telling feedback about an experience working with a personal injury lawyer.  These insights can be helpful in providing a direct insight into the experience of working with a particular attorney.   Feedback often includes details about communication, satisfaction with settlements obtained, and customer service. Client testimonials on a lawyer’s website can be helpful; however, most have been hand-picked by the law firm for their positive feedback.  Google reviews are an additional option for seeking client feedback regarding their experience with a personal injury lawyer.

 

Fee Schedule

It’s important to inquire about the fee schedule for a personal injury lawyer.  Almost all personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee. This means that there are no out of pocket costs, and the payment is a percentage of the compensation that is obtained.   Most contingency fees range from between 33-40% of the settlement obtained, and can be as high as 60%. The fee is related to the amount of risk involved for the law firm and anticipated time and expense associated with the case. If a settlement is reached prior to initiating a lawsuit, the costs will be lower than if a lawsuit is initiated. Expenses related to the case are deducted from the client’s portion of the settlement.  These costs may include medical records, police reports, expert witness fees and court filing fees.

If you have been hurt due to someone else’s negligence, it’s important that you take the first step and hire a personal injury lawyer to pursue fair compensation for your physical injuries, pain, and suffering.

 


 

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Wieand Law Firm for their insight into hiring a personal injury

 

Disclaimer:  This article is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice.

FAQ: Managing a Construction Accident

If you were injured while working on a construction site, you may be suffering from serious injuries. You may be uncertain of the best approach for managing the most appropriate course action while focusing on recovering from your injuries. Most likely, you will have a number of questions regarding what the process might look like should you decided to take legal action:

I don’t have health insurance. Will my employer cover my medical expenses?

In most cases yes. Through workers’ compensation you may be able to have your medical expenses covered by your employer. However, if your employer or property owner was liable for the accident, it may be in your best interest to take legal action in the form of a lawsuit. It’s important to be aware that by taking this step, you waive your ability to collect workers’ compensation down the road. You will first want to carefully consider the details surrounding your accident prior to making a decision. Contacting an attorney should be your first priority.

If there were hazards or the construction site was unsafe, should I file a report with OSHA?

If you are concerned around the condition of the construction site, you may want to file a report with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Taking action not only may be good evidence for your case, it may also help prevent other employees or bystanders from obtaining injury. When someone speaks up, and files a report with OSHA, they are protected from retaliation in the workplace. It will be important to file a complaint with OSHA in a timely manner as they are only able to investigate violations that are no older than 6 months.  

Should I accept workers’ compensation?

Workers’ compensation is a benefit that is offered to employees if they are injured on the job. In most cases, it makes sense to accept workers’ compensation when you are faced with an injury. Workers’ compensation can cover your medical expenses and provide you with a portion of your salary in the event that you are unable to work due to your injuries. There are some benefits for employees should you accept workers’ compensation. Most importantly, in most cases, you will not longer have the ability to sue should you accept workers’ compensation. Because workers’ compensation can offer mutual benefits to both you and your employer, consulting with an attorney may not be such a bad idea.

Will this impact a future lawsuit?

By accepting workers’ compensation, you waive your ability to file a lawsuit at a later date. There are exceptions to this, for example:

  • Although rare, you may file a lawsuit if your employer does not have workers’ comp insurance. In the majority of states, workers’ comp insurance is a requirement meaning, you employer may have broken the law.
  • You were hurt intentionally by your employer

This can become rather complex, as a result, you most certainly will want to speak with an construction accident lawyer Rockville Centre residents rely on.

Seeking the advice of an attorney may be in your best interest if you were injured on a construction site. Regardless of how you choose to proceed, they can at least review your case and give you guidance regarding whether taking action is the best way to proceed.

 


 

Thank you to our friends and contributors at Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C. for their insight into work injuries and construction accidents.

How do I get compensation for medical malpractice?

When you go to the hospital for treatment, you go in with a certain amount of trust for the care you will receive and you are hoping that you will feel better. You certainly do not think that you could feel worse or receive negligent treatment. In the event that you were wrongfully treated, you may have a case for medical malpractice. However, you would be remiss if you do not seek the help of a malpractice attorney. Going up against someone in the medical profession or a hospital with an entire legal team and their insurance companies can be a tremendous undertaking. You are better off with legal representation from someone who knows the state regulations and all of the necessary components for a malpractice case. The following information highlights the important factors around a medical malpractice case.

Common medical errors that may be considered malpractice:

  • Misdiagnosing the patient or a delayed diagnosis
  • Unnecessary surgery
  • Child birth injury
  • Improper medication dosage
  • Surgical errors such as operating on the wrong part of the body or leaving a surgical sponge in the patient
  • Misinterpreting test results
  • Failure to conduct a thorough medical history

How do you determine if it is medical malpractice?

Each state has its own set of rules and regulations for medical malpractice procedure. Medical malpractice lawsuits are time-consuming and expensive, therefore, some states require you to present your case to a board or a medical panel while other states require a notice of the malpractice to the accused party in hopes that it can be resolved out of court. Although it depends on the state that your suit is being filed in, most states agree that the following must be established in order for there to be a case:

  • Prove a relationship existed between the patient and the doctor. There must be a concrete relationship where the doctor is unequivocally treating the patient. This does not apply to consultations or casually seeking advice from a doctor that you know.
  • Prove negligence on the part of the doctor. You must be able to prove who is responsible for the negligent act.
  • Medical expert to support claim that the doctor was negligent in the treatment. The purpose of the medical expert is to establish reasonable treatment in that area of medical expertise.
  • Multiple other medical experts may be necessary to support the belief that the condition was caused by negligence.

What type of compensation could you receive?

  • Medical bills- depending on the case, your compensation may include past and future medical bills.
  • Lost wages- if you are unable to work due to recovery or the medical issue itself, you may be entitled to all lost wages.
  • Pain and suffering- a legal term that describes financial compensation for the injury and emotional impact the injury has on the person.

As you can imagine medical malpractice cases are highly regulated and the state rules and procedures vary. These cases can be incredibly complicated and require specific expert testimony. It would behoove you to find an experienced medical malpractice lawyer New York, NY trusts who understands malpractice law and can help you with your case.

 


 

Thank you to our friends and contributors at Okun, Oddo & Babat, P.C. for their insight into medical malpractice cases.

Am I entitled to pain and suffering after my car accident?

Have you recently been in a car accident? Did you sustain injury? If so, you may be entitled to compensation. The amount of compensation depends on your insurance coverage and the extent of your damages and injuries.  The legal term for this is compensatory damages which is further broken down into two categories. The first category has to do with specific financial loss due to medical bills, lost wages and property loss. The second has more to do with the impact the accident had on the person such as “pain and suffering” and emotional stress. Pain and suffering refers to the physical injury sustained in the accident and the emotional impact that injury has on the person. If you are involved in a car accident that left you injured and you were not at fault then yes, you may be entitled to compensatory damages including pain and suffering.

How much you are entitled to may depend on the circumstances surrounding the accident and the damages that occurred as a result. The following questions will help shed some light on what shapes compensation.

What kind of insurance policy do you have? When you call your insurance company after an accident, the first thing they will do is pull up your policy for review. There are many different variations in policies and very few companies cover 100% of the damages caused by a car accident.

Who is at fault? Liability can be a tricky thing. Very few accidents are due to one person’s actions. Very often, multiple people contributed to the situation. Your insurance company will likely ask you to explain what happened and will request the police report. In the aftermath, it may come down to eye witness accounts to determine fault. It is always advised to take photos of the scene, write down the names and contact information for any eye witnesses and write down any details of the accident when they are fresh in your mind.

Fault or No-fault State? Your state also has laws to determine fault in accidents. If the accident occurred in a “no-fault state”, your insurance company is responsible to pay for your injuries (i.e., lost wages and medical bills) regardless of who was at fault. There are a handful of no-fault states and their laws vary. At fault states, which includes the majority of the states, require the individual, who caused the accident, or the individual’s insurance company, to pay for all damages to the other driver. This may include pain and suffering.

If you were involved in an accident and you have sustained injuries as a result, you should seek the help of a personal injury attorney. Dealing with insurance companies can be frustrating and confusing. The legal terminology is overwhelming and intimidating. You have already been through a traumatic ordeal that has left you with physical challenges that likely require therapy and time to heal. You also may be feeling the emotional toll of this experience. Allow yourself the best chance to recovery and compensation by contacting the most experienced Charlottesville, VA auto accident lawyers today.

 


 

Thank you to our friends and contributors at MartinWren, P.C. for their insight into personal injury and car accidents.

Common Causes of Boating Accidents

Cruising around on a boat on a hot summer day can be a blast. However, a fun day can turn into a nightmare if there is an accident. Boating accidents can occur quite frequently during the summer months and cause many types of injuries, including broken bones, lacerations and traumatic brain injuries.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the common causes of boating accidents:

Inexperience

Operating a boat is quite different than operating a vehicle. Just because a person knows how to drive a car, does not mean he or she can operate a boat safely. It takes time and practice to acquire skills to operate a boat. An experienced operator may not always navigate the boat correctly or does not know how to recognize dangerous water conditions, which can increase the risk of accidents.

Speeding

Speeding in the water can be just as dangerous as speeding on the road. If an operator drives a boat at a high speed, he or she might not have any time to react if something unexpected happens. The operator might not be able to stop in time to avoid colliding with a boat or another object in the water. Boat operators should always follow the speed limit to avoid accidents.

Crowded Waters

In the summertime, there will likely be many water crafts, including speed boats, canoes and fishing boats, on the waterways. The more crowded these waters are, the more likely there are to be accidents.

Distractions

More and more boat accidents these days are caused by distractions. If boat operators are busy texting on their smartphones or talking to their passengers, they won’t be able to focus on navigating the boat. They may be more likely to collide with other boats or veer off course, putting their passengers in danger. It is important for boat operators to keep their eyes and attention on the waters ahead to reduce the risk of accidents.

Bad Weather

It is extremely dangerous to go out on a boat when there are bad weather conditions ahead. If there is a big storm, the operator may have trouble controlling the boat and may not be able to see ahead. It’s important for boat operators to recognize when storms are approaching so that they can get to land as soon as possible.

Consulting with a Personal Injury Lawyer

If you were recently injured in a boating accident, you may want to speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer. If the accident was caused by a boat operator’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. That compensation can be used to pay for your medical bills, lost wages and other damages that resulted from the accident. You deserve justice for what happened.

Most personal injury lawyers offer free initial consultations, so there is no risk to talking to one. Schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer Longwood, FL trusts today to get your case moving in the right direction.

 


 

Thank you to our friends and contributors at David & Philpot, P.L. for their insight into personal injury cases.

National Origin Discrimination Regulations in California

California’s Fair Employment and Housing Council has released new regulations that will go into effect on July 1, 2018 that deal with employment discrimination based on national origin. Broadly, it offers clarification of definitions for “national origin”; what kinds of policies are allowed pertaining to language restrictions at work; what types of inquiries can be made about immigration status by employers; and the viability of height and weight requirements for work.

Definition of National Origin

Under the new regulations, “national origin” refers to an individual’s actual or perceived characteristics associated with a national origin group; marriage or association with people of a national origin group; tribal affiliation; membership in an organization that promotes the interests of a national origin group; attendance at institutions used by people of a national origin group (e.g. schools or mosques); and name associated with a national origin group. Examples of illegal activities include harassing an employee because they are married to someone from Afghanistan, not promoting someone because he goes to a mosque, or calling someone “Taliban” or “Arab” who is actually from India.

Employer Language Restrictions

The new law increases the requirements placed on employers when they have policies that restrict languages allowed in the workplace, as an employment lawyer Atlanta, GA trusts can explain. Specifically, the employer now has to meet another burden, and show that the restriction is “narrowly tailored,” which basically means they have to go beyond just a business convenience or customer or worker preference. Moreover, the law is geared especially toward “English-only rules.” These “rules” are presumed to be illegal, now, unless the employer can show that it is a business necessity that is narrowly tailored and was explained to the employees.

Employers Cannot Inquire About Employee’s Immigration Status (Unless Necessary to Comply with Federal Immigration Law)

Under the regulations, employers generally cannot ask about an employee’s immigration status. The only reason they can is when there is clear and convincing evidence that it is necessary to comply with federal immigration laws. An employer, further, cannot retaliate against an employee based on immigration status.

Height and Weight

Height and weight requirements for a job can be unlawful because they function as a proxy for national origin discrimination. The reason for this rule is that there can be a disparate impact that correlates with national origin. The employer must show that the height or weight requirement is justified as a business necessity.

Employers Should Adopt Practices to Comply, and Employees Should Note Violations

Both employees and employers should remain abreast of such laws, in California and in other states, as laws designed to protect workers come into play during a context of heightened federal focus on workers who are or appear to be recent immigrants and could be subject to discrimination based on actual or perceived national origin.

 


 

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Barrett & Farahany for their insight into national origin discrimination.

Wrongful Death Claim Filed Against LA’s 911 System

The surviving family of 11-year-old Ashley Flores, who died from an asthma attack the day before Christmas, has filed a wrongful death claim against LA Sheriff Jim McDonnell and Los Angeles County after multiple 911 calls for help were mistakenly misrouted, reports NBC Los Angeles.

On December 24, 2017, the young girl was having trouble breathing around midday. Her 16-year-old sister made numerous calls to 911 asking for help. According to the claim, those calls were put on hold and then transferred to an empty fire hall and never answered. Other members of the Flores family also called, and after five attempts, they finally were able to reach a fire dispatcher. The family asserts this caused a delay of at least 15 minutes when it came to reaching paramedics, and this ultimately played a pivotal role in the young girl’s death. A doctor at nearby St. Francis Medical Center reportedly told the Flores family that Ashley may have survived if she had gotten help faster.

Allegedly, the deputy sheriff on the 911 system at the time was not trained well enough to do that job and had been told to forward those calls to the fire hall instead of the proper procedure, which is to transfer them to a fire dispatcher, who would then locate and contact the closest ambulance possible to respond to the address.

The spokesperson for the sheriff’s office declined to comment when contacted by local news outlets about the filing because of the pending litigation, but they did refer to a statement they had issued previously. In that statement, the office extended its condolences to the Flores family and said that an investigation has been opened into the incident to determine what happened.

According to a representative of the Flores family, Century Station’s desk operations, which handle incoming calls from 911 and handled the calls from the family that day, have been failing internal inspections for the past three years. The rep also said the sheriff’s department is not being transparent and has yet to turn over any documents to the Flores family or their legal representation. Another representative for the family also questioned whether they would have received help faster if they lived in a more affluent area, such as Beverly Hills or West Los Angeles.

The member of the Flores family, including her 16-year-old sister, said they are filming the claim to prevent other tragedies like this and to get a better explanation of what happened in Ashley’s case. Dulce Flores, who watched her sister fight for her life as her 911 calls went nowhere, said that she does not want anyone else to go through what happened to her family.

When a person or entity fails to live up to basic obligations or behaves negligently and someone dies as a result, there should be consequences. If you’ve lost someone you care about because of the harmful actions or negligence of another person or organization, contact an attorney, like a wrongful death lawyer Denver, CO trusts, about your case today.

 


 

 

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into wrongful death.

What is Service in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

The Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at Wieand Law Firm represent people who have suffered catastrophic injuries because of another person’s neglect. If you were injured due to medical malpractice, a car accident, or by a defective product we can help.

In this article, the Wieand Law Firm discusses what it means to serve a Complaint. By way of background, some personal injury cases are able to be settled with the negligent person’s insurance company before filing a lawsuit. However, more and more frequently, insurance companies have decided to deny even the most meritorious claims in an effort to deter others from making a claim. When an insurance company won’t negotiation to settle your claim in good faith, your attorney will need to file a lawsuit.

Filing a lawsuit is only the first step of the litigation process. Before the case can officially begin, the Complaint must be served on the defendant.

Service of the complaint is the legal process of delivering the Complaint to a defendant. This must be done in a fashion permitted by the rules of civil procedure, as well as the local rules in your county.

Service may be effectuated differently depending on who is being served. For instance, in some cases, businesses can be served by delivering a copy of the Complaint via certified mail. For individuals, the complaint may be required to be served by an adult over 18 years of age, or in some counties, a sheriff. In instances when a person cannot be found despite a good faith attempt by the Plaintiff, the court may order alternative service. This is often done by placing a legal notice in the newspaper to advise the defendant that a lawsuit has been filed against him or her. Regardless of how service of the Complaint is made, it must be done before the lawsuit can officially begin.

Although service may sound simple, it must be done according to court rules. Failure to follow the rules may result in a judgment against the defendant being opened on a later date for failure to provide provide proper notice of suit. For this reason, it is always wise to consult an experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyer who can make sure that service is properly effectuated on the defendant.

 


 

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Wieand Law Firm, LLC for their insight into personal injury cases.

Disclaimer: The above article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

When someone gets a DWI after injuring me will they go to jail?

Accidents tend to be very stressful for most people, and when they’re injured as a result, it’s that much worse. Not every accident is preventable, but when it’s caused by a DWI driver, any damages caused by that driver may be recoverable by the victims. Personal injury lawyers St. Paul, MN trusts may be able to help you get compensation from the DWI driver. We have helped thousands of victims receive a fair settlement for their damages. Call us today and we can arrange a no-obligation, no-cost consultation with a DWI lawyer from our firm.

What is a DWI?

When someone is charged with driving while impaired (DWI) by a law enforcement officer, it is a criminal charge. In most states, it’s even more serious than a driving while under the influence (DUI) and a conviction can result in a longer prison term and higher fines. When a law enforcement officer has a reason to believe that a driver may be DWI, they have cause to pull them over and request a field test of the driver.

  • Laws vary by state as to whether or not the driver is required to submit to the field test, and what the repercussions will be if they refuse.
  • In some states, if the driver refuses, they will automatically be deemed guilty of a DWI or DUI.
  • A DWI lawyer can clarify how the laws of your state will affect the driver who injured you if they were DWI. Usually, the repercussions of a conviction will greatly depend on the driver’s criminal history, whether this is their first DWI, and if they seriously injured someone as a result of DWI.

Proof of DWI

Though you may be absolutely certain that a driver who caused an accident with you was DWI, the legal system demands proof in order to convict them of DWI. This process usually begins at the scene of the accident. The responding law enforcement officer must make a determination as to whether or not any of the drivers involved were impaired by drugs or alcohol. Factors that may lead to raising their suspicion include:

  • The odor of alcohol or drugs on the driver’s person.
  • Physiological symptoms such as glassy eyes or large pupils, poor coordination, etc.
  • Slurring words or not making sense when talking, or talking overly rapidly.
  • “Nodding off” are acting unnaturally sleepy.
  • Drug paraphernalia located on the person or in their vehicle which is visible to the officer without having to conduct a search.

Personal Injury Claim

The good news is that whether or not the at-fault driver is charged and convicted of a DWI, if they were responsible for the accident which subsequently hurt you, you have legal recourse. With the help of a DWI lawyer, you can file a personal injury claim with the driver’s insurance company. The claim should include all of your accident related damages, which may even include future medical treatment and lost wages.

 


 

Thank you to our friends and contributors at JOHNSTON | MARTINEAU, PLLP for their knowledge about car accidents and personal injuries.