Defective Roadways

While motor vehicle accidents are very common reasons to pursue personal injury claims, there are also other ways individuals have vehicles that are damaged outside of motor vehicle collisions. Potholes are a great example. We try our best to avoid them, but sometimes it is impossible. Running into a pothole can lead to serious tire and wheel damage to your vehicle. To make matters worse, this wheel and tire damage could lead to losing control of your vehicle and getting into an accident. Potholes are common everywhere from small towns to major cities. One thing that is also common is roads needing repairs. There are several reasons roads may crack or break up and lead to potholes. If you are extremely unlucky, these potholes can be large enough to bend the rim of your tire, cause your vehicle to need a wheel alignment, and lead to a motor vehicle accident.

 Who Is Responsible?

The question then becomes, “Who is responsible for my property damage?” Due to the roadway’s poor maintenance, there may be someone responsible for the damages to your vehicle. However, this depends on a few things. First and foremost, laws vary from state to state, so it is important to know and understand the rules and laws of your state. Because potholes occur so frequently, states have laws in place that can hurt your property damage case. That’s why it is important to have an attorney.

 Hire a Lawyer

An attorney will be able to investigate the location of the accident or where the damage occurred and determine if the state was aware of this pothole or defective road, and if they can somehow be held liable. In the event that your attorney investigates and finds there is liability, you are good to go.

The attorney will then draft and file the proper documents that are required to request funds from the appropriate entity. This may be on private property, municipalities, or be the state’s responsibility. While all of this is uncertain when the incident occurs, an attorney will help figure out the viable information. If damages of this nature are not covered by your car insurance, it can be an extreme hassle. Should you or someone you know be the victim of property damage or motor vehicle accidents due to potholes or defective roads, contact an attorney, like a personal injury attorney from Andrew R. Lynch, P.C., as soon as possible.

 

Bicycle Accident FAQs

Personal Injury Lawyer

Biking in cities has been on the rise over the past few years with the introduction of Citi bikes and the popularity of delivery services like Grubhub or Postmates. While biking is a convenient way to get around the city, it can also be quite dangerous. Motorists rarely respect bikers’ rights to share the road, leading to life-altering accidents. If you recently suffered injuries in a biking accident, you likely have many questions about next steps, potential damages and lawsuit claims. Here are some answers to a few frequently asked questions.

What Should You Do After You Are Injured in a Bike Accident?

As soon as you are injured in a bicycle accident, you should immediately seek medical attention, even if you aren’t completely sure of the severity of your injuries. Then, if you are physically able, you should file a police report and take photos at the scene of the accident. This information will be imperative if you choose to file a personal injury lawsuit. Make sure to write down everything you recall about the accident and speak to the driver and any witnesses to record additional relevant information. The police will keep a copy of this report on file and you can access it if needed.

Can I Sue the Driver Who Caused My Accident?

If your accident was caused by the negligence of the driver, then you can file a personal injury claim. There are many different kinds of damages that a victim may be able to claim, as an attorney, like a personal injury lawyer from a firm like the Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, can explain. Once you have your written report and any pertinent information from the scene of the accident, reach out to a personal injury attorney to discuss the next steps in filing this claim.

How Can I Prove Liability?

In order to receive damages from your personal injury claim, you and your attorney must prove that the driver was legally liable for your injuries. The best way to prove this is with a strong combination of a written report, witness testimonies and photos from the scene of the accident. If you don’t have these on hand, contact the police and have them provide a report of the accident.

Can I Receive Damages for My Accident? 

If you win your personal injury case, you can receive damages for your accident. Depending on your specific accident, these could cover:

  • Bicycle repairs
  • Medical bills 
  • Lost wages or income
  • Emotional suffering 

How Long Will the Case Take to Settle? 

There is no set timeline for your personal injury case because it depends on medical care, attornies, insurance providers, and at-fault parties. The full process can take anywhere from a few months to a few years.

How Do You Know if You Have a Personal Injury Case?

Personal Injury Lawyer

If you’ve been injured in an accident, you might be wondering if you have a personal injury claim. Not all accidents rise to the legal requirements of a personal injury claim. It depends on the situation and the laws in your state. Here are some things to keep in mind.

What Is Required For a Personal Injury Claim? 

To receive monetary compensation in a personal injury case, you’ll need show three different things:

  1. You have to show that the responsible party was careless or negligent. For example, in a driving accident, this could be driving under the influence or running a stop sign and causing an accident.
  2. You have to show that the negligence led to harm. Essentially, this means that the accident was caused by the negligence of the other person. In the above example, the driver ran the stop sign and ran into your car, which caused the accident.
  3. You have to show that your injuries are compensable, which is a fancy way of saying that you lost money because of the accident. If your injuries were mild, you wouldn’t have a strong claim.

Proving Fault Can Be Difficult 

Most personal injury cases revolve around who was at fault for the accident. If you file a claim, you are responsible to prove that the other party was at fault. It gets even more complicated in states that use comparative or contributory negligence laws. In comparative negligence, you may be partially to blame for the accident or damages. For example, if you weren’t wearing your seatbelt, the defendant could argue that they shouldn’t have to pay for all your injuries. In states with contributory negligence laws, if you play any part in the cause of the accident, you can’t sue for damages. A personal injury lawyer who understands the type of case you’re dealing with can help you sort through the laws in your state to take the right steps.

Don’t Discount Your Case Based on Laymen’s Knowledge 

Your neighbor or best friend who isn’t a lawyer should not be advising you about your chances of getting a settlement. You should always go to a lawyer to get a full assessment of your personal injury claim. The law is complex. There are a lot of exceptions that could apply to your case. To find out if you have a case, contact a personal injury lawyer, like the office of The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C.

Why You Should Hire a Personal Injury Attorney

Personal Injury Lawyer

While recovering from your injuries, have you considered filing a claim against the liable insurer? Do you plan on reaching out to an attorney? Too many people mistakenly think that a personal injury claim is easy and can be handled without the additional expense of an attorney, but that is not exactly accurate. Lawyers help ensure that you get a fair judgment or settlement. However, there are several other reasons to hire a lawyer.

  1. No Money UpFront

Most personal injury lawyers work on contingency, which means that you do not pay them anything upfront. A contingency agreement also means that the only way you have to pay for attorney fees is if you win your claim. Unfortunately, while the payment arrangement is lovely, keep in mind that attorney fees range from 30 to 40%, depending on the difficulty of the claim.

  1. Protection Against Unfair Allegations

There is a fairly standard rule when it comes to lawsuits: say nothing. Insurance companies will send adjusters to your home, and sometimes your hospital room to talk to you about your claim. Most of these representatives will seem friendly-enough, but they will most likely ask to record your conversation. Insurance agents do not care about your injuries or recovery. They are only out to protect the interests of their employer. Hiring an attorney can protect you from these shady meetings because you can just explain that the representative can talk to your attorney. Your lawyer knows how to phrase answers to protect your interests and claim.

  1. Help Finding and Getting Treatment

Your attorney is more than a legal professional; they are your advocate. Sometimes it is difficult to find or afford the treatments necessary for your recovery. Most personal injury attorneys have relationships with hospitals and medical professionals, allowing them to negotiate on your behalf. Also, if you are struggling financially, your attorney can make arrangements for recovery expenses to come out of your settlement.

  1. Greater Odds

If your objective is to receive the most money possible through your claim, then hiring an attorney is the only way to go. A lawyer dramatically increases your odds of a successful filing. Also, an attorney will more than likely be able to reach a settlement agreement, avoiding the lengthy and costly court process.

While you may be tempted to file your personal injury claim without legal representation, consider the benefits and advantages of hiring a professional. To find out how to pursue your injury case, consult with a personal injury lawyer, like the offices of The Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian, LLC as soon as possible.

The 27th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America© Recognizes Attorneys Chris Patterson and Austin Rainey

Wiseman Bray PLLC is pleased to announce that attorneys Chris Patterson and Austin Rainey were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in the 27th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America©.

shooting victim attorneyChris Patterson was recognized for his high caliber of work in the practice areas of Commercial Litigation and Municipal Law.

 

 

AUSTIN T. RAINEYAustin Rainey was recognized for his high caliber of work in the practice area of Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs.

 

 

For more than three decades, Best Lawyers has been regarded – by both lawyers and the public – as the most credible measure of legal integrity and distinction in the United States. As such, Chris and Austin’s recognition by Best Lawyers symbolizes excellence in practice.

Inclusion in Best Lawyers is based on a rigorous peer-review survey comprising more than 9.4 million confidential evaluations by top attorneys. Best Lawyers’ founding principle remains unchanged and forms the basis of their methodology: The best lawyers know who the best lawyers are, and attorneys do not pay to participate or be recognized. Best Lawyers lists are published in top-tier business and legal publications such as The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times.

For more information, check out the Best Lawyers website, and Mr. Austin Rainey’s profile.

When Could a College Be Liable if a Student Is Murdered?

Personal Injury Lawyer

Colleges around the world work diligently to provide a positive learning experience for students. These institutions should also emphasize safety and ensure that everyone can pursue their studies without worrying about their well-being. Unfortunately, tragedies can strike on campuses, resulting in terrible crimes such as murder. While the fault of many of these incidents rest solely on the shoulders of the perpetrator, there could be times when the school is held liable. If a loved one was killed on a college campus, you may wonder whether to pursue a wrongful death suit against the school.

Security Lapses

In a campus murder, attorneys in a wrongful death case may start by examining what type of security the school had. Many colleges have their own police forces, while others rely on private security. Some colleges use both. A college murder case may at least partially be due to a lack of security measures to prevent the incident. For example, lawyers may find that the campus has an insufficient number of officers. Or, an attorney may deem that the officers were not properly trained to provide a safe environment. Another issue could be that campus police or security failed to follow up on leads or warnings that could have prevented the crime.

Ignoring the Signs

A campus may be liable for a student murder if administrators and other leaders failed to seriously investigate claims of threats or violence. The victim may have previously complained to an instructor or to other authorities on campus about other students or people in the area. The murdered student may have spoken about fearing for his or her life. If these cries went unheard, a lawyer may find that the school was negligent. Another example could be if the murdered student had complained that a fellow student was threatening him or her but the school failed to speak to the alleged perpetrator. Or, perhaps the school knew about a student who had a criminal record or who had a violent history but did nothing in response.

Lack of Resources 

Campuses should have safety measures should as panic call boxes, plenty of lighting along paths and student organizations to protect and comfort students. If these measures don’t exist, and the school knows they should but did not act, a wrongful death suit could be warranted.

Review these issues with a personal injury lawyer, like from Darrell Castle & Associates, today. Find some peace of mind in the wake of your loved one’s murder.

Can You Remove Your Spouse from Your Home?

Family Lawyer

While going through the process of divorce, your marital property is still shared between you and your spouse. If both of you refuse to leave the family home before finalizing the divorce, it can lead to some awkward situations. This is particularly true if the divorce is hostile or contested. Is there a way for you to keep your spouse out of the family home before you finalize the divorce?

Are You Both on the Title?

If the two of you share the title of the home, then you legally cannot bar your spouse from entering the premises in most circumstances. He or she may have every right to be there. While most couples work out an arrangement, you cannot kick your spouse out of the home without taking the proper legal measures under serious circumstances. Even then, if your spouse pays any of the bills or utilities, he or she may have a case to enter the home.

Is Your Spouse Abusive?

If there is a history of domestic violence or if you do not feel safe with your spouse in the home, then you can file for an order of protection. While a judge will have to review your petition, your spouse will not be present. This is to protect you. Based on the petition, you may be able to receive a temporary protective order, with a hearing within 15 days.

When you have a protective order, your spouse cannot approach you. He or she will have to stay out of the home. At the full hearing, you may need to show evidence and have witness testimony about your spouse’s abuse. If the judge orders an extension on the order of protection, then your spouse will still have to stay away from you. If he or she violates the order or shows up at the house, you may call the police.

If you want your home to yourself during a divorce, you should always discuss your options with a lawyer. It is not always clear cut how you should keep him or her out. While some lawyers may suggest that you change the locks on the home, there are circumstances where you may not be able to. Likewise, you may still need to figure out who will pay the bills or if you should continue to share them. 

Why Is There a Statute of Limitations on Motorcycle Accidents?

If you are thinking about filing a personal injury lawsuit for your recent motorcycle accident, you may have heard that there is a statute of limitations. Since you may not know the extent of your injuries, it’s normal to wonder why there is a deadline. Here is why the statute of limitations is important and why there is one.

Protection for the Case

To wait too long to file your claim can put a dent in your ability to win. After years, there may be less evidence. If you had witnesses that saw the accident, who could back up your claim that the other driver was at fault, you may not be able to use them after waiting too long. While you may have a clear memory of what happened that day, the witnesses may not. Memories fade and change over time. You may find that there are more discrepancies in their statements. The witnesses may not even agree on the circumstances of the accident.

The more time that you wait to file your claim, the harder your case is going to be to fight. You don’t want to go through the pain of gathering evidence years after the accident occurred. The sooner that you can access police reports, witness statements and file an insurance claim, the better. Also, insurance companies may have a statute of limitations themselves. It is better for you if you file early.

Protection for the Defendant

No one wants to be served with a civil lawsuit years after an event happened. While the main point of the statute of limitations is to make sure that the evidence is still valid and that it hasn’t deteriorated, the statute does serve as a protection against defendants. For instance, if you live in South Carolina, your statute of limitations is three years. You cannot file a lawsuit against someone five years after the accident. They may not have a fair shot in arguing the case, because they didn’t think you were going to sue. It’s fair for both sides to have the statute in place.

No matter the civil lawsuit, any claim has a statute of limitations. While there are exceptions if your injuries due to the accident manifest later, for the most part, you have a deadline on when you can file. To find out more about the statute of limitations, contact a motorcycle accident lawyer, like from John K. Zaid & Associates, as soon as possible. 

How Do I Know If I Should Request Alimony From My Ex?

Family Lawyer

Spouses who have decided to get divorced will probably need to have several emotional and tense discussions. One of these conversations is likely to be about whether alimony is needed. The intention of alimony is to eliminate unfair financial impacts that result from the divorce, particularly if one spouse made significantly more than the other or one didn’t earn any wage at all. Most divorcing couples will have to agree to some degree of alimony, even if it is only temporary while one gets on their feet financially. 

What are the considerations when applying for alimony?

Some questions you may want to ask yourself include things like whether you really need the support, if you are more concerned about being able to support your children, and if you are being fair in how much you want from your ex. Sometimes, former spouses can get resentful towards the other and want to find ways to seek revenge for the heartache. It is best to view alimony with a factual eye and realistically evaluate whether you need the support in order to have a reasonably similar lifestyle that you had during the marriage.

How do alimony amounts get calculated?

If possible, you and your former spouse can establish alimony terms amongst yourselves or through mediation. Then, you can submit it to the courts for final approval. However, if you aren’t able to reach an agreement regarding alimony then a family court judge will decide for you. While each state may have specific laws pertaining to alimony, in general, these are the factors the court considers when calculating alimony amounts: 

  • The age and health of each spouse (physical condition, diagnosis, disabilities, mental health struggles, etc.)
  • Whether one spouse needs further training or education to obtain employment
  • How long the couple was married (the less time you were married, the less money may need to be paid in alimony)
  • The ability of the paying spouse to financially support the one requesting alimony (the paying spouse must still be able to support themselves too)
  • The standard of living when they were married, since the courts don’t want to see one spouse suffer greatly financially while the other rebounds right away

What if my former spouse has refused to pay alimony?

If the court has established an alimony order, then your former spouse is required to abide by its terms. If he or she doesn’t, then you can notify the court of the failure to make payments, so they can contact the paying spouse and enforce repercussions if needed. If you have an amicable relationship with your ex, you may want to contact them and ask about the missed payments. If your former spouse has been paying on time and suddenly stops, it is possible that he or she had a sudden job change, has gotten injured, or has faced another setback. Otherwise, the court can use various measures such as suspending a license or garnishing money from your ex’s wages to get you your alimony payments. 

 

Does a Birth Injury Qualify for a Personal Injury Claim?

Having a baby can be one of the most beautiful events of your life, but if your child is born with an injury, it can become a devastating event in a matter of moments. Some injuries you may be prepared for, while others you may not be. Whether the injury was a birth defect, the fault of the doctor or the fault of the hospital, you may wonder if there’s a personal injury claim in there somewhere. The following gives a brief explanation.

Birth Defect or Birth Injury?

One of the biggest issues that will determine whether you have a case is if the injury is a birth defect or an actual birth injury. Birth defects are typically caused by genetics, and can also be caused by random events during development and pregnancy. The actions of the mother could also result in birth defects. For example, a mother who drank alcohol while pregnant could have a baby with serious defects.

Birth injuries, on the other hand, are typically caused by the negligence of another person or entity. They generally happen at the time of labor and delivery. A birth injury could be the result of improper use of medical tools, an improper technique for delivery, an inattentive doctor or nurse, and a wide range of other situations.

If your baby’s injury is a birth defect, you typically don’t have a personal injury claim. If the injury is a true birth injury and someone is directly responsible for it, you could have a case.

How Do You Prove Negligence?

In order for you to have a case, you’ll need to prove negligence on the part of the individual who caused the injury. While doctors, nurses and other hospital staff are just as human as you are, you trusted those individuals to care for your most precious possession: your child. To prove negligence, there are a few facts you’ll need to secure, including:

  • A doctor-patient relationship existed, which means the doctor owed you and your baby a certain duty of care.
  • The doctor failed to provide a level of care that any other doctor in that same situation would have provided.
  • Your baby was injured because of the doctor’s failure to provide proper care.
  • The injuries have caused harm to you, your baby, your financial situation, your emotional state, etc.

Getting Questions Answered

As you face life with a child who has been injured, you don’t have to deal with everything on your own. To get your legal questions answered, contact a personal injury lawyer in DC, like from The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, today.