What is the difference between a wrongful death lawsuit and a survival action?

Wrongful Death Lawyer

Though a wrongful death lawsuit and a survival action have several aspects in common, they are two different legal actions. If a loved one of yours was killed in an event that was otherwise avoidable but the negligence of an individual or company played a part in causing it, you may have legal grounds for filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party. Talk to a wrongful death lawyer, like a wrongful death lawyer in Houston, TX, to learn what legal options are available to you as the survivor of the deceased. Though a successful wrongful death lawsuit will not make up for the loss of your loved one, it may result in a settlement that will enable your family to pay outstanding and paid bills related to their death. If you were financially dependent on your loved one, a settlement might also include the money you would have received until your loved one reached retirement age.

What is a wrongful death lawsuit?
A wrongful death lawsuit is filed on behalf of the decedent’s estate. If it is successful, the liable party must pay the estate compensation which will be awarded to the deceased’s beneficiaries. It is the estate that pursues the lawsuit.

What is a survival action?
Survival laws make it possible for a court to award the estate compensation equal to what the decedent would have earned from the time they were injured until they passed from the injury. Survival laws also enable the plaintiff to seek compensation for the decedent’s pain and suffering related to their fatal injury.

Who is eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit?
The plaintiffs are usually the decedent’s closest family member or members. Typically it is the surviving spouse or children. They must be the personal representative of the estate, otherwise known as the executor. If there is any dispute about who will be the representative, the probate court judge will rule on the matter and designate an individual.

Who is eligible to file the survival action?
The estate of the decedent is eligible to file the survival action. This is because a survival action is considered to be similar to a personal injury claim that may be filed by someone living. The amount of compensation the estate receives for survival damages will be less the amount awarded to the estate in a wrongful death lawsuit. 

Call Today for a Consultation with a Wrongful Death Lawyer
Civil court actions such as wrongful death lawsuits as well as estate law can be confusing. In the emotional aftermath of losing a loved one, the legalities may make even less sense. To learn what legal options are available to you and your family, contact a wrongful death lawyer to schedule a consultation with a seasoned wrongful death lawyer who can address your questions and concerns.

 

Thanks to John K. Zaid & Associates for their insight into the difference between a wrongful death lawsuit and a survival action. 

Frequently Asked Questions: Temporary Child Custody Orders During Divorce

Family Lawyer

The divorce process can take some time. When it comes to matters involving child custody, it doesn’t always make sense to wait until a resolution is reached to start implementing your child custody agreement. In some cases, it may even be challenging to sort out the details right away, especially when two people are in disagreement over how they will share custody of their children. Children can’t always wait for parents to sort out the details, which is where child custody orders come into play. You may need a child custody lawyer to help you negotiate agreements and help you to advocate for your needs. The following are answers to frequently asked questions regarding temporary child custody orders during divorce. 

What is a temporary child custody order?

Child custody issues can be litigious. You and your soon to be ex may have difficulty working out long term agreements. Children can’t wait. They need to know where they will be living and how their time will be shared, especially amidst the significant changes they will be facing when their parents are splitting up. Permanent agreements can be drawn out. Because of this, temporary agreements help establish a plan while a more long term agreement can be made. 

If my soon to be ex and I are having difficulty reaching an agreement, what will happen?

While some couples are able to reach agreements together on their own, you may need additional help to reach a temporary custody agreement. Your lawyer can help you by petitioning the court to establish temporary custody. When this occurs, the court will make decisions regarding temporary custody orders that are based upon the best interest of the child. 

When will a formal child custody agreement take effect?

Once a formal child custody agreement is reached, it will take the place of the temporary agreement that was once in place. Often, this may occur as your divorce reaches a resolution. However, it’s important to be aware that a child custody agreement can always be subject to change, especially as the needs of your child change over the years. 

Are there times aside from divorce that a temporary child custody order may take effect?

While temporary child custody orders may be granted while couples go through the divorce process, they can also take effect for other reasons. Examples of reasons one party may request a temporary child custody order include:

  • Military Deployment
  • Illness
  • The Child is at Risk

Before making any changes, it’s always in your best interest to speak to a child custody lawyer for their counsel. With their help, they can review your situation and ensure that you are making a decision that is in the best interest of both you and your children. 

Child custody matters are perhaps one of the most essential components to the divorce process. Your children are the most important people in your life. Make sure that you are able to reach an agreement with your ex that is fair and in your children’s best interest. For the help you deserve, contact a child custody lawyer from Plano, TX, as soon as possible. 

 


 

Thank you to the experts at Scroggins Law Group, PLLC., for their input into family law.

How Do I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident or in a mishap while away from home, you might be worried about how you’re going to pay your bills or fill your gas tank while you recover from your injuries.

The battle with insurance companies can be even more frustrating, since many work hard to encourage you to take the lowest settlement possible so they can close the books on your case.

It’s important, however, to make sure that if your injury was the result of another person’s negligence that you are properly compensated for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, and if that party’s insurance company fails to take responsibility, a personal injury lawsuit may be the only move you have available to you.

If you’re wondering what you need to do in order to file a personal injury case, we’ve got you covered.

Steps to take when filing

While it is possible to file a personal injury lawsuit without an attorney, you are better off with someone who understands the complexities of such cases. The right personal injury lawyer in Delray Beach, FL can help you get the compensation you deserve. Going it alone could leave you with nothing to cover the mounting costs associated with your injuries.

An attorney will review your case and any documentation, then let you know the legal options available to you. When you meet with your attorney for the first time you should have all your records available, including medical bills, accident reports, photographs, witness statements (or witness contact information) and notes you may have taken regarding your injuries and your recovery.

After meeting with an attorney, your next step is to file a claim with the insurance company of the party at fault. With the help of an attorney who will negotiate on your behalf, that insurance company may offer a settlement that adequately covers your expenses. If negotiations fall through and the insurance company refuses to pay a fair settlement, your attorney will file a personal injury lawsuit.

While some states allow less time and others allow more, in general, you have two years to file a personal injury case before the statute of limitations runs out. This time allows you and you attorney to gather evidence to better solidify your case.

After a lawsuit is officially filed, both sides will have an opportunity to examine evidence, which is called the discovery process. Knowing what evidence each side plans to present in court helps strengthen your case. This could include depositions of you, any witnesses, and the party at fault in the incident.

Afterwards, your attorney will again attempt to negotiate a settlement in order to avoid a trial, which is costly and time consuming. It also allows you to collect compensation much sooner than you would if you had to wait for a trial, which can sometimes take years to find a place on the court docket. 

If your case does go to trial, your attorney will use all the evidence gathered to present a solid case on your behalf. If the jury fails to award damages, you can file an appeal. If the jury does award damages, the other side can also appeal, although if your case is strong, the opposing party is likely to accept the verdict and pay the settlement.

How do attorneys get paid?

Attorneys generally work on a contingency fee, so that they are not paid unless you win your case.

If you win, you will not only pay an attorney’s fee, but also court costs including fees for expert witnesses, deposition costs, administrative expenses and other costs associated with your case.

Thanks to Luckman Law, P.A., for their insight into personal injury claims and how to file a claim.

Fractured Bone Injuries

Broken bones are a common type of personal injury, which can occur as the result of slips and falls or due to car accidents involving other motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. While painful, the regularity with which they occur often causes victims to underestimate their serious nature. Without proper medical treatment and ongoing follow up care, complications can arise that result in permanent disabilities.

Treatment for Broken Bones
According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), despite their rigid nature skeletal bones are generally somewhat flexible, and it can take significant force or impact for them to break completely in half. Even when they do, the edges may not line up together, or the brake may run vertically, rather than horizontally. With more severe impacts, the bone may actually splinter or shatter into multiple pieces, making it even more difficult to repair. Depending on the type of injury suffered, treatment for broken bones may include:

  • Functional brace: This allows for some flexibility in the body part, while providing the support bones need to heal.
  • Cast immobilization: A cast may be used to keep the bone sections firmly in place and to prevent them from being jarred by other body movements.
  • Traction: Elevating the injured area and using a steady, pulling action can help to align broken bones together.
  • External fixation: Through a surgical procedure, metal pins and screws are used to stabilize the bone, so it heals evenly.
  • Open reduction and internal fixation: In this procedure, a surgeon either removes or repositions pieces of the broken bone, using metal plates or rods to rebuild it into the proper shape.

Complications of Broken Bones
Whether a broken bone requires a cast or a more intensive surgical procedure, lining the bones together properly and monitoring the fracture regularly is crucial in preventing potentially permanent disabilities. Experts advise that in addition to bone deformities, complications that can result from a broken bone include:

  • Nerve and tissue damage
  • Wound infection
  • Fracture blisters
  • Vascular injuries, which put pressure on arteries and disrupt blood flow
  • Visceral injury due to bone fragments which cause damage to body organs near the fracture site

Other complications depend on where the break occurs and the age or health of the patient. For example, broken ribs can lead to an increased risk of pneumonia, while a broken hip in an older adult can result in a loss of mobility that hastens an overall more rapid decline.

Contact Our Firm for Help
Getting the proper treatment and taking the time you need is crucial in healing from a broken bone. A personal injury lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer in Chicago, IL, can provide the professional legal representation you need to get compensation for ongoing medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs you incur during your recovery. To discuss your case with our skilled personal injury attorneys, call our office and request a consultation today. 

Thank you to the experts at The Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian, for their input into personal injury law. 

Tips for Establishing a Visitation Schedule During Divorce

Tips for Establishing a Visitation Schedule During Divorce

Reaching an agreement with your ex may seem impossible, especially when it comes to your children. If you are embroiled in a high-conflict divorce, or one wrought with fighting, you may believe that reaching any mutual resolution is beyond the realm of possibility. However, there are ways that you could try to compromise an agreement on the child visitation front without the input of a judge. Take some time to think about these issues when trying to negotiate with your ex.

Consider the Current Ages of the Children

When you and your spouse decide to split, there are many elements of a divorce to consider. At the top of your list has to be your children. The court does not like to make decisions about how to split time between parents, but they will if no compromise can be reached. When contemplating a fair split, you must consider the ages of the kids and what their needs dictate. For example, when an infant is involved, the requirements are more significant than if you have teenagers. More time with one parent for smaller children may be the preference of the court.

Understand that the needs of the children will change as they get older. You must remain flexible and contemplate changes in the schedule set forth when you first divorce. You can account for possible changes in the document before filing it with the court.

Be Realistic With Your Schedule

You may want to spend as much time with your children as you can, especially knowing they will need your support now more than ever. However, this does not mean that you should contemplate a schedule that does not work for you. If you have a pretty rigid schedule at work that doesn’t have you out before 5:00 p.m., don’t sign a document that promises to pick the children up at 2:00 p.m. This will only open them up for heartache and result in conflict with your ex. Consider what you believe you can reasonably do, not what you would like to do.

Create a Neutral Meeting Place

School or daycare is an excellent place to drop off/pick up your children, and when you want to avoid interaction with your ex, this cuts that possibility off completely. There may be times when visitation ends on a Sunday evening, and if so, arrange to meet in a neutral area halfway between the houses. This will help you steer clear of run-ins.

In drafting a parenting agreement, your children’s needs must come first. A divorce lawyer, like a family lawyer in Collin County, TX, can help get you through establishing this blueprint for your post-divorce life and do what is best for your children.

 

Thank you to the experts at Scroggins Law Group, PLLC for their insight into family law. 

Who Pays Medical Bills in a Car Accident Claim?

After a car accident, you may have extensive medical treatments to undergo. This can lead to costly medical bills. If you were not at fault during the accident, who is responsible? If you are filing a claim against another driver, what happens with your bills in the meantime?

Should You Accept an Early Offer?

The medical bills are beginning to stack up and you feel like you may drown in them. This is what many people feel after a serious accident. Most do not have money to pay medical bills easily. If you have insurance, this can help you with the bills before you can reach a settlement. If the other insurer offers you a settlement right away, you need to think hard about it. Odds are, you should not accept it.

Early offers are tempting because you want the money as soon as possible. No one wants to have to go through a long trial process before receiving any compensation. This is why it is important that you hire a good personal injury attorney, like a personal injury attorney in Washington, DC, to talk to whenever an offer comes up. Your lawyer can calculate the appropriate settlement amount. If you accept a low amount, you may cover some of your initial medical bills and none of the treatments that you need later. You may receive far less than what you deserve.

Should Your Attorney Pay the Bills?

There is a misconception about medical bills during a car accident claim and these misconceptions involve the attorney paying your bills. Your lawyer does not pay your medical bills before you receive your settlement. When it comes to your bills, you are responsible for them initially. It does not matter if you are in the middle of a lawsuit with the other driver or not; the hospital still looks to you for payment. 

While you do not usually have to pay your lawyer until after you receive your settlement, it is not your lawyer that pays the bills in the meantime. You are responsible for your bills until you receive your settlement. Medical bills can stack up quickly and even with insurance coverage, you may feel like you are going into deep debt due to the bills. This is why it is important that you do not accept an offer right away. You need to make sure that you receive the compensation that you deserve to pay the medical bills off later. In the meantime, you may have to pay out of pocket or with insurance.

Thanks to The Lawfirm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C. for their insight into who pays the medical bills when someone is filing a car accident claim. 

What Is Virtual Child Visitation?

What Is Virtual Child Visitation?

Over the past few decades, the ways in which Americans communicate and connect with each other have changed dramatically. Emails and texting have generally replaced physical letters and short, informative phone calls. Nearly every adult in America has access to a cell phone, and the Internet connects individuals in ways that probably would have been perceived as science fiction only a few decades before it became widely available.

It is perhaps unsurprising, then, that child custody and visitation agreements are increasingly addressing the concept of virtual visitation or virtual parenting time. These arrangements provide whichever parent is not physically caring for their child at any given time access to them via virtual means. It does not matter if parents have joint custody or some other arrangement. Virtual parenting time essentially just helps parents and kids remain connected and involved in each other’s lives when they are not physically located under the same roof.

Creating Virtual Parenting Time Expectations

Virtual parenting time clauses contained within custody agreements are generally approved by the courts unless they interfere with a child’s best interests. For example, if both parents agree that the child uses Skype each evening to say a ten-minute “goodnight” to whichever parent is not present, this term would likely be considered reasonable. However, if one parent insisted that the call occurs at 10:30 pm in order to accommodate his or her social calendar, this term would be rejected in favor of the child’s best interests in getting a good night’s rest.

It is generally a good idea to set expectations that are both reasonable and flexible when need be. It is also important to take into account your child’s unique needs when setting virtual parenting time expectations. For example, if your child attends church services every Sunday morning, it will not make sense to schedule a call during this time. Having a set schedule can help your child to count on a consistent routine, but that schedule needs to make sense for him or her.

In addition to calls and virtual chats that allow you to see each other, you may want to think about whether email, social media, texting, and other forms of virtual connection will or will not serve your child’s best interests. Every family is different, so please consider your family’s unique needs carefully.

Child Custody and Visitation Guidance Is Available

If you have questions about child custody or visitation, please consider connecting with an experienced family law attorney, like a family law attorney in Plano, TX. Every family’s situation is unique, so it is always important to look at issues with a child’s best interests at heart. Arrangements that may serve one family perfectly well may not be ideal for another family. Similarly, simply because many families have the ability to physically see each other regularly does not mean that physical proximity is a luxury afforded to every parent-child relationship. Working with an experienced family law attorney will help to ensure that the resolutions to your child custody and visitation challenges reflect both your family’s unique needs and your child’s particular interests whenever possible.

Thanks to Scroggins Law Group for their insight into what virtual child visitation is and how it could benefit your family. 

Slip and Fall Hazards

Slipping and falling, especially in a public place, can be embarrassing. But even more so, a slip and fall can result in a painful injury for the victim, including injuries that can result in the need for medical treatment, lost wages, and more. If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident that occurred because of a negligent property or business owner, call a law firm to find out what legal options you have.

Slip and Fall Accident Statistics

According to national data, there are more than 30,000 people killed because of slip and fall accidents each year. These fatal accidents happen at businesses, homes, and work.

The most common places where slip and fall accidents occur are:

  •       Areas where spills occur frequently (i.e. fast food restaurant self-serve drink area)
  •       Doorways
  •       Hallways that have lots of clutter
  •       Heights that are unguarded
  •       Ladders
  •       Ramps
  •       Stairways
  •       Uneven walking surfaces
  •       Wet or icy areas

How to Prevent Slip and Fall Incidents

There are steps that people can take – both the property owner and the potential victim – that can help lower the risk of slip and fall accidents. These include the following:

  •       Clean up spills right away
  •       Use warning signs to alert people the walking area may be hazardous
  •       Wear shoes with non-slip soles
  •       Do not block walkways with boxes or furniture
  •       Install handrails on both sides of stairways and inspect periodically to make sure the railings are secure
  •       Periodically inspect stairways, including treads on stairs
  •       Periodically inspect walkways for any issues
  •       Make sure all indoor and outdoor lighting is adequate
  •       Make sure ladders are on a solid and firm surface

Damages for Slip and Fall Injuries

State law allows victims to sue the party or party responsible for their slip and fall injury losses. Some of the damages that a victim can be financially compensated for include:

  •       Any medical bills and expenses associated with the injuries. This also includes future bills
  •       Loss of income and benefits if the victim was unable to work while they recovered from the injuries
  •       Pain and suffering
  •       Scarring
  •       Disfigurement
  •       Permanent disability
  •       Emotional anguish

Contact an Injury Attorney

If you have sustained injuries from a slip and fall accident that was a result of a negligent business or property owner, call a law firm to find out what legal recourse you may have. They will schedule a free and confidential consultation with a slip and fall lawyer in Washington, DC who will evaluate your case and determine what type of damages you may be able to pursue. Keep in mind, however, that under state law, there is a statute of limitations in how long you have to file your claim. This timeframe may be even shorter if the responsible party is a government entity. Call today.

Thanks to The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C. for their insight into personal injury claims and slip and fall accident injuries.

Do I Get Any Privacy After Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

After you file a workers’ compensation claim, you are entitled to privacy just as you were before the claim, but that might start to look a little different for you. Before your accident, you never had to worry about someone keeping an eye on your life and your habits because there was no reason for anyone to do so. Now that the insurance company is trying to protect themselves against potential false claims, there may be someone watching your public interactions.

What an Insurance Company Can Do Legally

The workers’ compensation insurance company will want to look out for themselves to ensure your claim is legitimate. Every year they lose money to false claims, so it’s understandable they wish to do this. In most cases, once they determine your injuries and your claims are real, the surveillance will discontinue. Some tactics they can legally perform include the following.

  • Running a background check
  • Surveying your home
  • Searching your public social media posts and comments
  • Taking pictures and videos of you when you’re outdoors
  • Ordering medical evaluations of surveillance video of you
  • Following you to doctor appointments
  • Talking to coworkers and neighbors

Insurance company investigators are not allowed to do anything illegal. This includes trespassing on your private property, tracking your car, entering your home without permission and hacking into your email account. In some states, they are allowed to take photos of you while you’re in your own home, as long as it’s a clear view through a window from public property. This is illegal in other states.

What You Should Do

Because there are so many tactics the insurance company is allowed to employ, it’s important you understand the legal rights they have. If they do even one small thing that is against the law, it could make all of their evidence inadmissible in court. Any time you see the investigator or find out they’ve been snooping around, write down exactly when, where and what they were doing.

You should also be careful not to do anything beyond the recommendation of your doctor. Don’t do anything that could remotely look like you are. For example, if you are told not to lift anything above five pounds, but an investigator takes a picture of you carrying a large box into your home, it could be used against you. What the picture doesn’t show is the box was empty, but you may not have any way to prove that.

Contacting the Professionals for Assistance

Being in the middle of a workers’ compensation lawsuit is often made easier when you have the assistance of a qualified Fort Lauderdale work injury lawyer. Contact your lawyer today for help understanding your rights.

Thanks to the Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt for their insight into workers compensation and privacy.

Another Fatal Shooting at Country Squire Apartments

Violent crime isn’t limited to urban centers, or run-down properties. Areas in eastern Shelby County, including Cordova, TN are experiencing violent crime, often at what many people would consider to be luxury apartment complexes.

Earlier this morning another victim was shot and killed in the 200 block of Glen Park Drive at The View at Shelby Farm Apartments in Cordova, TN. This apartment complex was formerly called Country Squire Apartments, and this is not the first such incident that has occurred at this complex.

Shooting at Cordova Apartments

Another shooting at Country Squire Apartments

DID YOU KNOW THAT APARTMENT OWNERS MUST PROVIDE REASONABLE SECURITY?

In Tennessee, apartment owners are generally required to provide reasonable security measure to tenants and guests of the property. What is “reasonable?” It depends on the circumstances, such as the type of crime committed against a victim and the history of crime on the property and in the surrounding neighborhood.

Every single apartment shooting case is different. We can’t help but wonder if in the Appling Lakes and Country Squire shooting cases, security measures could have prevented the victims’ deaths and injuries.  We do not know enough yet about the cases to make an assessment.

CALL US. WE ARE LAWYERS FOR CRIME VICTIMS.

We are lawyers for apartment crime victims in Memphis, TN. If you are the victim of an apartment shooting or crime, please call us today at (901) 372-5003.

We have the experience, know-how, and financial resources to properly investigate and prosecute your case. If the apartment complex where you were injured did not provide reasonable security, you may be entitled to money damages to compensate you for your injuries and pain and suffering.   This is the case even if you weren’t a tenant and were just visiting.

We have helped others like you. Let us help you. Call (901) 372-5003 and ask to speak to the experienced apartment crime lawyers in Memphis, TN.