How Do I Prepare to Testify as an Expert Witness?

Corporate Court Reporting Services

Preparing to testify as an expert witness can be a daunting prospect. After all, the weight of expert testimony frequently helps to determine the outcome of a case. Whether you are testifying in a criminal case, a personal injury matter, a corporate dispute or a family legal situation, it is important to take your contribution to the proceedings seriously. Your sworn testimony may significantly alter the course of one life or many. It is therefore important to be prepared.

Understanding the Basics

You may be asked to testify in a trial setting or you may be asked to give a deposition in less formal surroundings. However, it is important to note that in either scenario your testimony will be given under the pains and penalties of perjury. Whether you are sitting in a courtroom witness box or simply sitting across the table from multiple attorneys, your testimony will be given under oath. It must be executed truthfully, completely and with appropriate acknowledgment of any context or nuance that will help to clarify your meaning.

In addition, your testimony will almost certainly be noted by a court reporter. A court reporter helps to ensure that every word spoken in a formal proceeding is taken down accurately and completely. This service helps to ensure a full record of each case and provides a reference for those involved. If a judge, attorney or juror has a question about what you said in response to a question, they will refer to the notes taken by the court reporter.

Being an Effective Witness

As an expert witness, your duty is not to take sides but to explain your credentials and answer questions to the best of your ability. Your expert testimony will be weighed in context by attorneys for both sides when they present their overall cases to a judge and/or jury.

One of the most challenging practical issues associated with being an expert witness involves answering questions in a specific way. In general, it is important to answer the question asked and to keep your answer relevant to that inquiry alone. In general, an attorney for the opposing side will speak up if he or she believes you are not being allowed to answer a question completely or in context, so you shouldn’t worry too much if a question does not seem “right” to you. However, it will help to speak with the attorney who has called you to testify before the hearing begins. Knowing what areas of your expertise are particularly relevant to the case at hand can be helpful when framing your answers.

Answers to Additional Questions

If you have questions about testifying as an expert witness, corporate court reporting services, testifying under oath or legal cases generally, please do not hesitate to connect with an experienced attorney. Consulting with an attorney will allow you the peace of mind that tends to accompany having your questions answered and having access to necessary legal support and experience. Sometimes it just makes good sense to connect with a professional who is intimately familiar with a situation you may be apprehensive about attempting to navigate.

Thanks to Veritext for their insight into court reporting and preparing to testify as an expert witness.

Examples of Workplace Injuries

Workers Comp Attorney

Workers compensation is a benefit most people have but few take advantage of. How do you know if you have workers compensation? Well, if the company you work for has more than five employees, then legally they have to provide you with workers compensation. And even though most people have access to workers compensation, many do not utilize it. This is for a variety of reasons, but one of the main reasons being that people are not sure if their injury classifies as an injury that would be covered by workers compensation. In this post, we’ll discuss what workers compensation is and what types of injuries or situations qualify.

What is workers compensation?

First, let’s define workers compensation. Workers compensation is a form of insurance that your employer purchases. This insurance covers any medical bills or lost wages experienced as a result of a workplace injury. A workplace injury is when an injury occurs while you are performing the functions of your job. This includes the physical location of your office or at an off-site company hosted event. As mentioned, legally speaking employers who have over five people working for them have to offer their employees workers compensation.

Example of workplace injuries

So now that we know what workers compensation is, let’s discuss some common examples of workplace injuries.

You work at a distribution center operating a forklift. One day, the forklift malfunctions and you end up breaking your leg. You are out of work for at least six weeks and are facing hospital bills. You are the breadwinner in your family so it’s extremely important for you to be able to bring home your paycheck every week.

In this example, your workers compensation claim would ensure that you do not miss any week of wages as well as cover the expensive trip to the emergency room.

You are walking into work one morning on a cold, winter day. An ice storm had passed through the night before leaving all the sidewalks and parking lots covered in a thin layer of ice. The maintenance crews at your office have salted as much as they could, but inevitably miss the spot that is right in front of where you parked your car. You slip on the ice and hit your head on the pavement. As a result, you go see the doctor, are diagnosed with a mild concussion and are forced to miss a week of work.

In this example, you would file a workers compensation claim in order to recover the cost of the medical bills, prescriptions and time off of work. As you can see, workers compensation claim do not just apply to “dangerous” jobs. They can also apply to someone who works at an office.

When in doubt, ask someone

If you are injured at work or at a workplace function and are not sure if your injury qualifies, be sure to ask a Nassau County workers comp attorney. They can help you file a claim and advise you on whether or not you need legal help to deal with your claim.

Thanks to Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C. for their insight into workers compensation and examples of work injuries.

DUI Law FAQ: Do I have the right to talk with a lawyer during field sobriety testing?

DWI Attorney

Have you been arrested and charged with a DUI? If so, you may want to talk with a DUI lawyer who can advise you of your legal rights and options. What you should understand right now is that these cases tend to be processed rather quickly through the court system. The longer you wait to retain the services of a private DUI lawyer, the more you might lose.

Can I call a DUI lawyer if I have been pulled over and am being asked to take a field sobriety test?

If you have been pulled over for any reason, and the police officer believes you could be under the influence, he or she may ask that you take a field sobriety test. This could include a one-leg stand test, walk and turn test, horizontal gaze nystagmus test, and a breathalyzer test.

Techincally you have the right to refuse participating in any of these tests. However, if you do refuse, there is a very good chance that you will be arrested and taken to the police station. Depending on the state you are in, if you refuse field sobriety testing, and the police officer believed you were under the influence, your denial might be enough to charge you with a DUI. In other states or situations, you may have to undergo a mandatory blood test. Only after you have been charged with a DUI can you call a DUI lawyer for help.

In between you being pulled over, questioned about field sobriety testing, and arrested you do not have the right to an attorney. That being said, you do have the right to remain silent. You don’t have to give any information to the police apart from your name.

If you are intoxicated, and you are being arrested under suspicion of a DUI, it may be in your best interest to remain silent and call a private DUI lawyer for help.

Call a Lawyer Today

DUIs are not an offense to take lightly. Thinking they are a “simple” offense or something you can ignore is not a good idea. Apart from the fines and fees, probation, jail time, loss of a license, and other penalties, the long term repercussions can affect your job, where you live, your ability take out a loan, your insurance, and more. Regardless of whether this is your first or fourth DUI, you should talk with a DWI attorney Washington, DC trusts as soon as possible.

Thanks to The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C. for their insight into criminal defense and field sobriety tests.

How to Get the Injury Care and Settlement You Deserve After an Auto Accident

Car Crash Treatment

An auto accident that resulted from another driver’s reckless actions can be anywhere from mildly annoying to all-out frustrating and overwhelming. If you’ve been an auto accident and were hit by another driver, you shouldn’t be responsible for paying for the damages that result from the crash or for any of the care needed in the aftermath of the accident.

If you suffered injuries that require acute or long-term treatment, those expenses shouldn’t be your financial responsibility. However, if you’re not careful, an insurance company could take advantage of you, and leave you to foot the bill for your injuries and damages.

You can optimize your chances of getting full compensation by following these recommendations.

Contact the Police and Get Documentation

No matter how minor or severe the accident, it is in your best interests to contact the police as soon as possible. Even if the driver that caused the wreck apologized, shared insurance information, and admitted fault, you need to have the authority’s documentation. An insurance company might be able to dispute who was responsible for the accident if there was no police report documenting the details.

A police report should have the details of the accident and the other driver’s personal and insurance information. Additionally, police officers on the scene may ticket the reckless driver. A ticket, along with the police report, will be solid proof that you were the victim or injured party in the crash.

You may also wish to do your own documentation, such as taking pictures with your phone. Photographic evidence of damages can provide further proof that you did not cause the accident. While you’re still at the accident scene, collect as much evidence as you can.

When you see a chiropractor for evaluation and treatment, talk with your insurance company, or hire a personal injury lawyer, this documentation can provide a foundation for building your case.

See a Chiropractor Immediately

Medical evaluation after a motor vehicle accident is essential. If your injuries are severe, you may need to go to the emergency room or be taken there by an ambulance. Injuries that are less severe can be handled by a doctor of chiropractic care.

Many chiropractors are experienced in evaluating and treating the injuries that happen as a result of an auto accident. Chiropractors treat injuries to the musculoskeletal system, the system of the body consisting of the skeleton and the musculature surrounding it.

Chiropractors use spinal adjustments to restore alignment and function to the spine so that your body functions optimally. They may also use other complementary treatments as part of a comprehensive plan.

Not only do chiropractic physicians and their team treat your pain symptoms and injuries, but they also keep detailed records of your treatment and progress. They also work with insurance companies and personal injury lawyers to make sure you get the financial compensation you deserve for your injuries and medical bills.

If you have been injured in an auto accident and need car crash treatment Baltimore, MD offers, call a chiropractor to set up an injury consultation.

Thank you to our friends and contributors at Mid Atlantic Spinal Rehab & Chiropractic for their insight into chiropractic care for auto accidents.

Bicyclist Safety: Is It Too Risky to Travel on Two Wheels?

Personal Injury Lawyer

Those who are interested in riding a bicycle as means of transportation, may wonder if the benefits are worth the potential risks. It is not uncommon to hear about a tragic accident that involved a car driver and bicyclist, where in most cases the rider sustained the very worst of the injuries. The fact is, when put up against the tough exterior of a car, the human body just doesn’t have much of a chance at coming out of that impact unscathed.

One of the major ways that bicyclists can feel more comfortable traveling on two wheels, is by practicing safety. Here is a list of ways that a bicyclist can help lessen their chances of being hit by a car driver when sharing the road:

  • The size of the bicycle should be appropriate in correlation to the rider’s size. Handlebars and seating must be adjusted as needed for easy maneuvering.
  • A helmet that is federally-approved for safety must be worn at all times. Those who not wear helmets are significantly more likely to endure head injuries that can turn fatal, compared to those who have head protection.
  • Bicyclists should learn how to use hand signals and move through traffic as if they were any other motorist. For example, bicyclists must also wait for a green light at an intersection, use their hand to signal, and halt at stop signs before moving through.
  • Regular maintenance should be done on the bicycle, and brakes or reflectors examined before each ride.
  • If possible, a bicyclist should opt to ride among residential areas instead of busy highways or city streets.
  • Bicyclists must create a safe distance between themselves and the vehicle ahead.
  • Refrain from wearing headphones or using a cell device that may distract from the road, honks, an ambulance, or other warnings. All bicyclists must maintain consistent focus and alertness to what is going on in their surroundings.
  • Bicyclists can use the entire lane, not the far side of the street, to help make themselves more visible to car drivers.
  • Being wary of trucks or buses as these types of vehicles have larger blind spots than passenger cars.

What To Do If An Accident Happens

Unfortunately, bicyclists are still at-risk for being hit by a car even if they take safety into consideration. This is because the one main variable which cannot be controlled, is how a car driver chooses to operate his or her vehicle. In the event of a bicyclist accident, call 911 for help and get evaluated by an ambulance team. Handle the scene just as if it was a car accident that happened, such as getting the driver’s information, requesting a police report, seeing a doctor, and then consulting with an attorney about your legal options.

A bicyclist can seek financial compensation for medical bills and damages from the car driver at-fault, through filing a civil lawsuit. The costs for injuries associated with bicycle accidents can be steep, so meeting with a personal injury lawyer Charlottesville, VA relies on for guidance is a pivotal step in recovering both physically and financially from the incident.

Thank you to our friends and contributors at MartinWren, P.C. for their insight into personal injury claims and the risks of riding a bicycle.

Tips for Finding a Top Product Liability Attorney

Personal Injury Lawyer

Sustaining an injury as the result of a defective product can leave you feeling completely lost. It can be difficult to determine where to turn or who to take action against. It’s likely that the product that caused you problems or injury was backed by a large company. To go up against a huge conglomerate can be stressful which is why it’s so important that plaintiffs access the services of an attorney with experience in this area of the law. Here are some tips for finding the right product liability attorney for you:

Tip #1

Carefully conduct your research before settling on an attorney. The last thing you want to end up with is an attorney who is not skilled in product liability law or who does not have the experience you require for the magnitude of your case.

Tip #2

Look for an attorney who has experience with product liability cases. Ask for referrals from clients, ask to see their track record. Any reputable attorney should be able to provide you with this information.

Tip #3

Carefully research prospective attorneys. You want to find the right one from the start. Changing cases in the middle of your legal entanglement can have a serious impact on your case. Conduct internet searches of attorneys you are interested in. Review their websites and search for online reviews.

Tip #4

Ask people you know for recommendations. Someone you know may have had experience in working with an attorney, because of this, they may have had a positive experience. Even if the attorney they worked with doesn’t practice product liability law, they may be able to refer you to an attorney who does.

Tip #5

Do you know people who work in the legal field? Often people who frequently interface with attorneys or legal cases may have vast knowledge of the reputations and skills of attorneys in your area. Ask them for advice on prospective attorneys, they may be able to help point you in the right direction.

Tip #6

Prepare yourself for your legal consultation. The consultation with prospective attorneys allows for them to assess your case and determine if they are willing to take you on as a client. However, it’s important to remember that it is also the time for you to determine if they have the skills and experience you are looking for. Prepare a list of questions to ask the attorney. It will also be important that you come prepared with key details to your case that allows them to weigh in regarding whether you have a strong enough case to take to court.

Tip #7

Always take advantage of the consultation offered by attorneys. This gives you the opportunity to not only ask questions but to determine if they feel like the right fit for you.

During a time that seems uncertain, the right Charlottesville, VA product defect lawyer can help you to understand each step to the process. Product liability cases can quickly become complicated, especially in the event that you are suing multiple parties for the role they played in the damages you face. Have an attorney by your side who is passionate, loyal and empathetic to your needs.

 


 

Thank you to our friends and contributors at MartinWren, P.C. for their insight into product liability and tips for finding an attorney.

Denial of Insurance Claims

Car Accident Lawyer

You were in an accident recently, and you are certain you were not at fault. But the other driver and their insurance company see things differently. Does this mean your case is going to go to trial?

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for the other driver’s insurance company to deny liability for the accident, even in what seems to be a clear-cut case. This article describes some of the key elements of a car accident claim where the insurance company for the other driver is contesting liability.

Reasons Why the Insurance Company May Deny Your Claim

There are many reasons the other insurance company will contest liability. Usually, these reasons are in two categories. The first is the insurance claims adjuster thinks the claim does not have merit or hopes that you will not pursue the claim. The adjuster could also have eyewitness testimony or think its client’s version of the accident is what occurred. The latter is common if there was no official police report.

Some of the other possible reasons the insurance company may contest liability are:

  • Policy exclusions: If an auto insurance policy excludes ‘acts of God’, the insurance company might argue that this is what caused the accident and not the negligence of their client.
  • Policy lapse: If the other driver did not pay their premium on time, the insurance company can claim there was no coverage when the accident happened.
  • Did not notify insurer on a timely basis: Policies usually state how soon a car accident needs to be reported for it to be cover. It is important for you to inform the other driver’s insurance company immediately after the accident.

What to Do If the Insurance Company Denies Liability

If they deny your claim, you will probably need to hire a personal injury attorney, if you want to fight the denial. This does not necessarily mean your personal injury claim will go to trial. Having an effective car accident attorney in your corner can nudge the insurance company towards offering a favorable settlement. A claim from an experienced attorney carries weight and will probably be taken more seriously than if it comes from you. But it is a possibility that, if all else fails, the case could go before a judge.

Your attorney may draft a demand letter. This is a more formal claim for monetary compensation that details your version of the accident, the amount of property damage and injuries you have incurred, and why the other driver was negligent. The insurer will usually feel compelled to offer a reason why liability is being denied, or it might even reverse its decision.

Does It Make Sense to File a Lawsuit?

If the insurance company for the other driver is denying liability, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the insurer. Whether it is worth it or not depends upon the extent of your injuries and the property damage you have. In minor accidents, the cost of a personal injury lawsuit could outweigh what you could receive in damages. But in more serious accidents, filing a lawsuit and even going to trial may be well worth it.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

An experienced car accident lawyer Milwaukee, WI offers is dedicated to helping injured clients when they most need it, such as when the other insurance company denies liability even in a clear-cut accident. Many of our clients are struggling emotionally and financially after a serious accident, and they need help. They take pride in assisting victims in getting as much compensation as they deserve. Contact a car accident attorney today for a free and confidential consultation.

Thank you to our friends and contributors at Hickey & Turim, SC for their insight into car accident cases and denied insurance claims.

Tips for Driving Safely Around a Tractor Trailer

Truck Accident Lawyer

Driving around tractor trailers can be nerve wracking and even a bit frustrating to say the least. In some cases, drivers may even lose sight of the importance of practicing safe driving when sharing the road with tractor trailers. A lawyer has provided you with the following tips for handling motor vehicles around tractor trailers:

Tip #1 Avoid Blind Spots

Tractor trailers come equipped with a significant number of blind spots. Because of this, truck drivers may make decisions to move the truck without having awareness that you may be in the way. Having an awareness of a tractor trailer’s blind spots can help drivers avoid the likelihood of an accident. When driving near a truck, always try to stay out of their blind spots. A good standard to keep in mind is that if you are unable to see the truck’s mirrors, they are likely unable to see you. Tips for avoiding blind spots include:

  • Stay 30 feet away from the rear of a truck
  • Try to pass on the left side whenever possible
  • Keep away from the truck’s side mirrors

Tip #2 Do Not Brake Suddenly

Whenever possible, try not to slam on your brakes in front of a tractor trailer. In some cases, braking in front of a tractor trailer may be necessary. However, it’s important to try to move out of the way should this occur. This could provide truck driver with the ability to stop the truck in time.

Tip #3 Move Fast When Passing

Because of the number of blind spots a tractor trailer may have, taking too long to pass a large truck can impact their ability to see you. Even though it may seem apparent that you are next to them, they may not be able to. If they are unable to see you in the lane next to them, they could suddenly change lanes. Should this occur, a collision with a tractor trailer could be imminent.

Tip #4 Do Not Pull Too Closely in Front of Them

Pulling in front of a truck can be dangerous for a variety of reasons. This is often a common behavior many drivers engage in. What many do not realize is how quickly this could cause a collision. Trucks do not have the ability to stop such an expansive truck so quickly, which could result in a driver being hit from behind.

Tip #5 Keep Your Distance

Following too closely behind a tractor trailer can be dangerous, especially when faced with a potential hazard. Following too closely inhibit the truck driver’s ability to see you. Additionally,  it can also reduce your ability to respond in time should a tractor trailer make an unexpected maneuver. Because trucks sit higher off the road, should you rear end a truck, the vehicle can be caught underneath the tractor trailer.  

Tip #6 Pay Attention

When driving behind the wheel of a car, it’s always important to pay attention to your surroundings. However, when sharing the road with tractor trailers, it’s especially important to pay close attention, carefully utilizing defensive driving skills. Having the ability to react when faced with a potential hazard at the hands of a tractor trailer driver can potentially help driver’s protect themselves when faced with a collision.

When approaching a tractor trailer, it’s important to always proceed with caution. While many tractor trailers have the ability to share the road with other drivers, the unexpected can occur. Sometimes, even the most responsible drivers stand to experience tractor trailer accidents. Contact a truck accident lawyer Silver Spring, MD offers today to schedule your complimentary consultation.

Thank you to our friends and contributors at Cohen & Cohen, P.C. for their insight into trucking accidents and tips for driving safely around trucks.

 

Who is at fault for slip and falls on public property?

Slip and Fall Lawyer

According to the National Floor Safety Institute, accidents resulting from falls are responsible for more than eight million visits to the emergency room every year. That’s roughly 21.3% of all visits to the emergency room, with slip and fall specific personal injuries accounting for 12% of those accidents. Victims of slip and falls are often inclined to downplay their injuries due to embarrassment, however, these are serious accidents that can result in significant injuries and financial compensation to cover resulting medical bills should be sought. Let’s take a look at who is at fault for slip and falls on public property.

Public Sidewalks

Negligence is a big contributing factor to slip and fall accidents. Falling as a result of broken or poorly-laid cement is often the result of negligence on the part of either the property owner or the individual who laid the sidewalks. Victims of this kind of slip and fall accidents should move quickly to assess their case and file a claim if they hope to receive compensation.

Government-Owned Property

Some property that is widely considered “public use” is actually land owned by the government at a local, state, or federal level. Falling on this kind of property has different implications than falling on a public sidewalk. Regardless of who owns the property, the same general rules that govern slip and fall personal injury cases should apply. Government-owned land that is open for use by the public must be carefully maintained in order to present visitors with a reasonably safe environment. With that said, the rules for suing the government are different from the rules that govern other public slip and fall cases.

Notice and Time Deadlines for Government-Owned Property

As mentioned above, there are different rules to keep in mind when an individual is injured on government-owned property. The amount of time victims have to file a notice and legal claim, for example, is often much shorter than it would be if the defendant was another entity or a private citizen. More specifically, victims are often required to file an official notice of injury. This usually needs to be done within 30 days from the date of the accident. It is only after this notice has been received by the government entity in question and is either formally denied or no action is taken, that a victim can file a lawsuit.

Personal injury cases on public property is a bit more complicated than personal injury cases that occur on privately-owned property. It’s important to have an experienced personal injury lawyer Brookhaven, GA offers on your side to ensure you have the best chance possible at recovering compensation.

 


 

Thank you to our friends and contributors at Butler | Tobin for their insight into personal injury cases and slip and fall accidents.

Understanding Structured Settlements

 

Structured settlements are a common type of settlement option for car accident victims. Because these types of settlements are paid out over the course of time, you will want to carefully review your specific situation with an attorney, like a personal injury lawyer in Phoenix, to determine if a structured settlement is in your best interest. Although structured settlements can be the right option for many accident victims, you may choose to negotiate a lump sum depending upon your case.

 

What is a structured settlement?

When a car accident victim is able to prove the person who injured them is liable for damages, you may be offered a structured settlement. A structured settlement is when compensation from a lawsuit is paid out over a series of installments. Timeframes for installment payments can vary. In some cases, you may choose to receive payments monthly or even yearly. In some cases, settlement payments may be received over the course of an accident victim’s lifetime. An accident attorney can work to negotiate the terms of a victim’s structure settlement. Such terms can include:

 

  • The length of time payments will be received
  • Payment frequency
  • Whether payments from a structured settlement will pass on to loved ones

 

An attorney can provide you with help in determining whether a structured settlement is right for you. In some cases, receiving a lump sum settlement can be more beneficial for those in need of immediate financial relief.

 

Should I accept a structured settlement?

If you receive a structured settlement offer, it will be important to review the offer with your accident attorney. In some cases, structured settlements can be an attractive option for the insurance company you are negotiating with. As a result, it may be possible to secure a higher settlement. In some cases, a structured settlement may be appropriate for an accident victim because it ensures that you will not spend the settlement too quickly.

 

What are the advantages to a structured settlement?
Structured settlement payments can be a viable option for many accident victims. They offer a number of advantages to those who have been harmed in an accident. Advantages can include:

 

  • Providing victims with tax benefits
  • Consistent and timely payments
  • Settlements have the ability to offer a combination of both lump sum and structured settlement payments
  • Can help in negotiating with insurance companies and may ultimately result in both parties reaching an agreement faster

 

How do I know my settlement offer is fair?

Regardless of whether you are pursuing a lump sum or structured settlement, you will need to know if the offer from the insurance company is fair. This is where an attorney can be critical to helping accident victims to weigh their options. No accident victim wants to walk away with a settlement offer that doesn’t help to recoup losses. An attorney can review, value and negotiate the claim so that you are able to retain the compensation you deserve.

 

Are you considering whether to pursue a structured settlement offer? If you have suffered a car accident, chances are you have withstood losses that have set you back considerably. A car accident attorney can help you to not only manage your case but to understand the difference between lump sum settlements and structured settlement offers. This can allow for you to make the best and most informed decision based on your situation.

 

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Rispoli Law PLLC for their insight into personal injury practice.