Boating Accidents

Personal Injury Lawyer

Boating is a fun, relaxing hobby that millions of Americans enjoy every year. In southern states like Florida, residents and tourists spend much of their time on the water fishing, sailing, exploring local hot spots or riding jet skis.  

Like any other hobby or pastime, accidents do happen. Many people underestimate the dangers of a watercraft and because in most states, licenses are not required to operate watercraft, so boat operators are often inexperienced and uneducated. Being unfamiliar with local waters, traveling too fast, and ignoring bad weather are a few factors that can contribute to a boating accident. When an accident does occur, injuries vary dramatically and can be mild or severe. Slip and falls, drowning, broken bones, head injuries, respiratory infections and spinal injuries are among a few of the potential injuries a person can face in a boating accident. If you are injured on a boat, you should know your rights and options to recover damages from the liable party.

Like many personal injury claims, to recover damages related to an injury, there has to be proof that the injury resulted from someone else’s negligence. It is important to always consult with a personal injury lawyer who can help build a case to prove that someone failed to act with reasonable care. Aboard a boat, some example of negligence can include collision with another boat, hitting another boat’s wake, hitting a wave, or hitting a submerged object.  

When two boats collide, usually both boat operators are somewhat at fault for the collision. If you are injured due to a collision, there is the potential to have a case against one or both of the boat operators. Boating laws and rules like right of way and whether a boat was under sail or under power will play a role in determining which party will be held liable. Boat collisions can be deadly, and it is important that the operator of the boat is always driving the boat safely.

When injured due to hitting another boat’s wake, hitting a large wave, or hitting a submerged object like a rock or sandbar, fault isn’t as clear cut as in a boat collision. Sometimes accidents happen even when the boat operator is acting with reasonable care. Federal and state boating laws dictate that a boat operator must keep proper look out for safety hazards. Factors that contribute to proving whether or not the boat operator was acting negligently will include the size of the wake or wave, the speed of the boat, other traffic in the area, if boating charts display the submerged object or sandbar, and if the boat operator gave their passengers warning of a big wake or wave.

To help protect themselves against a potential lawsuit, boat operators can take steps to ensure the safety of their passengers. Carrying and maintaining all federal and state required safety equipment like life jackets, navigation lights fire extinguishers could save a boat operator from being found negligent. A boat operator should stay hydrated, refrain from drinking alcohol, and not operate the boat while fatigued.

Many states, like Florida, do not require boaters to carry an insurance policy. This poses a problem for a person injured on a boat and looking to recover damages for their injuries. A boating accident could result in medical bills, property damage, lost wages, loss of earning capacity and pain and suffering. Often, the claim ends up being against an individual person rather than an insurance company which can limit compensation for damages.  

If you are injured in a boating accident, it is important to consult an experienced boating accident lawyer Delray Beach, FL trusts to help you recover the damages you deserve. Lawsuits involving watercraft can be complicated and an attorney will know how to effectively guide you through the process.

 


 

Thank you to our friends and contributors at The Law Office of Eric H. Luckman, P.A. for their insight into boating accidents and injuries.

Dog Bite Injury

Personal Injury Lawyer

Everyone loves dogs! Dogs are a man’s best friends, women included. However, this does not mean that dogs are not capable of vicious acts. Every year there are hundreds of instances where someone, woman, man, child, or elder, has been attacked or bitten by a dog. There are several injury types that can stem from dog bites; this is why it is important to understand what needs to be done immediately following an attack from a dog, especially a bite.

There are legal steps that may need to be taken if the dog is not your own, however, no matter whose dog, seek medical attention as soon as possible if bitten. Certain steps include:

  • Seeking medical attention. Like any other puncture wound, if you suffer a dog bite you are prone to infection. Be as careful as possible to not leave the wound open, but do be sure to take photos immediately so that a record of the damage is properly kept.
  • If any one saw the incident occur, ask for their contact information so if you decide to take legal action you have as much proof as possible to prove your case and help you receive the compensation you are seeking.
  • The owner of the dog, or whoever is responsible for the dog should provide you their information also. This helps when corroborating the dog’s vaccinations with your injuries and also keeping in touch regarding insurance.
  • If a random stray dog attacked you, contact animal control immediately. When you file a report with animal control, they are able to pick the dog up and this will help with avoiding an attack on another person.

When building a case for a potential personal injury lawsuit it is best to document everything as it pertains to the dog bite. This means keeping all medical records and bills, writing down a log of the day, explaining what happened right before you were bit and shortly thereafter. Take photographs of your injury from day one, and throughout its healing process. Keep a journal how your injuries have affected your day-to-day life, and do such with as much detail as possible. The more documentation you have regarding your dog bite, the better for your case and possible compensation.

If you or someone you know has been attacked or bitten by a dog, be sure to speak with a personal injury attorney Dekalb County, GA trusts that will be able to gather the facts of your case and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.

 


 

Thank you to our friends and contributors at Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into personal injury and dog bite claims.

What Procedure Should I follow if a Family Member is a Victim of Medical Malpractice?

Personal Injury Lawyer

Every individual should know what they can do to protect themselves in the unfortunate event of medical negligence. If you or a family member has been a victim of medical malpractice, then we have a few guidelines that will help uncomplicated the process of filing a malpractice lawsuit.

Here we detail a few key areas that you need to be aware of if you decide to file a lawsuit against a medical practitioner or hospital for negligence. There is a statute of limitations, a cap for non-economic damages, and a good deal of paperwork involved in the procedure. We hope that the breakdown of the procedure will give you more confidence and clarity when it comes to protecting your rights.

The Statute of Limitation for West Virginia

In West Virginia, if you decide to file a medical malpractice lawsuit for injury or even wrongful death, you need to file the suit within two years of the event occurring. If the result of medical negligence was only discovered at a later date, then the case needs to be filed within two years of the discovery. However, there is a ten year limit from the time of the perceived malpractice after which a lawsuit cannot be filed.

If you feel that you or a family member is a victim of medical malpractice and you would like to file a lawsuit you should contact a lawyer to guide you through the process. Your lawyer will be able to tell you if you are within the statute of limitations, especially if the negligence was only discovered sometime after the treatment was received.

Paperwork involved

Don’t be intimidated by the amount of paperwork involved when filing a medical malpractice lawsuit – your lawyer is there to help you with the details. Here are the some of documents you will require as part of the procedure, in West Virginia:

  • 30 days before you file a lawsuit you need to send a formal notice of claim and a screening certificate of merit to the hospital or doctor/doctors who are being sued. The notice along with the screening certificate have to be sent by certified mail. There are specific details that need to be included in the notice of claim and the screening certificate, and your lawyer will keep you informed about that. Without these prerequisite documents, you will not be able to proceed with your case.
  • You will also need a copy of all medical record pertaining to the case. Your medical malpractice attorney West Virginia trusts should also receive a copy of the medical records.
  • And finally, there is the actual filing of the lawsuit. It is absolutely necessary to have a lawyer do this for you to avoid any problems later.

Cap on damages

In West Virginia, there is a cap on non-economic damages that can be claimed. The amount is set at $250,000/- and can be increased to $500,000/- for more catastrophic injuries and for medical malpractice injuries that result in a wrongful death. There is no cap on economic damages like loss of income or costs of past and future medical care.

 


 

Thank you to our friends and contributors at the Adams Legal Group, PLLC for their insight medical malpractice and personal injury cases.

FAQs About Suing My Child’s School

Personal Injury Lawyer

Was your child injured, bullied or harmed in some way at school? You may be wondering if you can sue the school, teacher, staff or parents of another child. If you’re like most people, you don’t have a lawyer on retainer. So our experienced team of lawyers created this document to answer some of the most frequently asked questions parents may have if their child has sustained injury at school.

A lot can happen on the playground, and kids can get hurt. It’s normal and to be expected. That’s why many states have laws prohibiting lawsuits against schools for student injury. But when does it become a matter of negligence or intentional harm?

Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we receive from new clients:

  • Can I sue if my child was accidentally injured at school? Possibly, if you can prove negligence on the part of the school or school officials caused the harm to your child.
  • Can I sue if my child was emotionally injured at school? Did a teacher or school official shame your child or make an unfair example of your child? Was a school employee verbally abusive to your child? Has there been sexual harassment? Did the school allow your child to be bullied by another student or students? Can you prove this abuse caused academic problems for your child?  These kinds of cases can be difficult to prove, but not impossible.
  • Can I sue another child’s parents if their child harms my child? It is unlikely you will be successful in suing another child or their parents. Young children typically are not held legally responsible for their conduct. Exceptions do exist, such as in the case of older, teenage children, sexual harassment or especially egregious situations.
  • Can I be sued if my child harms another child? See the above answer. Again, it is unlikely, but not impossible.
  • Can I still sue for negligence if I signed a liability waiver? In some cases, yes. Even if you sign a liability waiver for school sports or a field trip, the school can still be held responsible if they acted negligently.
  • Can I sue a private school? In many cases, yes. Private schools are not under the same laws and mandates as publicly funded schools.
  • What kinds of damages can I recover? Damages can be difficult to prove. There are three main types of recoverable damages in a personal injury case: compensatory, general and punitive damages.

Every situation is unique. It is imperative that you consult with the best personal injury law firm in Philadelphia to discuss the specifics of your child’s potential case. Laws vary widely between different states and counties. If you can prove negligence and suffered documented damages, you may have a case.

 


 

Thank you to our friends and contributors at Wieand Law Firm, LLC for their insight into school injuries and personal injury cases.

Why You Need an Attorney During Estate Litigation After a Loved One Passes

Estate Planning Lawyer Memphis, TN

Estate litigation often involves disagreements between family members of the testator regarding legitimacy, or what is included in the will. An attorney understands just how painful this can be, especially when family members are trying to grieve the loss of their loved one. They will do what they can to answer any questions you have, and represent you during the case if needed.

Here are just a few examples of the types of questions estate planning attorneys hear during consultations with clients regarding estate litigation:

What does it mean for someone to have the mental capacity to write a will?

A person who creates a will must be aware of the extent of their assets and be able to identify beneficiaries. A family member that believes the testator was not of sound mind when he or she wrote the will, may come forward to request estate litigation.

If the testator had a mental illness, is that the same as mental incapacity?

If a person has a mental illness, this does not necessarily mean they are not able to make sound decisions. A testator that has been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, paranoia or another type of mental illness, may still have the ability to write a valid will to carry on their legacy to loved ones.

Why may the validity of a will be questioned?

Estate litigation may happen for multiple reasons. A relative of the deceased who thought they would receive a portion of the estate, but came to find out he or she did not after all, may contest a will out of pure spite of being left out. The will may be questioned if there were no witnesses present when the document was signed, or if a family member worries that coercion may have been a factor.

What does it mean if a testator was coerced in regards to their will?

The testator may have been pressured by another party to write certain things into the will, so that the coercer can receive a portion of the assets they desire. Those who are particularly susceptible to coercion are those of elderly age, are easily manipulated, or have a disability.

What if the will executor is not following the wishes of the testator?

Beneficiaries and loved ones of the deceased may come forward to report that the appointed executor has been negligent with the estate. The executor may be failing to abide by the testator’s written wishes, withholding rightful assets designated to certain beneficiaries, or otherwise acting in a manner that is for one’s own benefit.

Please reach out to Wiseman Bray, PLLC today to book your consultation with an estate planning lawyer Memphis, TN trusts so that they can assist during your healing process to make estate litigation a little bit easier.

Estate Planning with a Personal Injury Settlement

Memphis Estate Planning Lawyer

Winning a personal injury lawsuit or receiving a personal injury settlement is great. Whatever your accident and injuries, the lawsuit or settlement will greatly help you in your recovery process.

But it can impact your estate planning in many ways.

Medical Expenses

Depending on the severity of your injury, your current and future medical expenses could be costly. Your settlement will help with those costs. You need to be certain your settlement properly accounts for your medical expenses or your settlement funds could be improperly categorized as income to you. Not only will this decrease the amount of money you’ll have for your medical expenses, it will also increase the amount of tax you owe as your income will be greater. This is where the skill of an experienced estate planning attorney can greatly assist you.

Taxes

As discussed above, the size of your settlement could increase your taxes. This is important to consider when creating your estate plan so you minimize your tax liability. Your personal injury settlement is there for your recovery and your medical expenses – not to pay your increase in taxes.

Using the services of a law firm will help you to ensure your taxes are minimized and your settlement is used for the purpose it was intended – your recovery and your medical expenses.

Succession Planning

In a perfect world, your settlement funds will exceed your need for them. This doesn’t mean you have to give them back. But you should plan for having leftover money at your disposal.

This is important to consider in your estate planning because you want to make sure your heirs are taken care of after you’re gone. By setting up a trust to not only care for yourself during your lifetime, you are able to ensure your heirs are cared for after you’re gone. You have the ability to set up a trust for your benefit to manage the settlement proceeds and pay your medical and recovery expenses.

In addition, you have the ability to be your own trustee during your lifetime. The benefit to this approach is that you don’t have to give up control of your assets. Another major benefit is that you can have greater control over what happens to your assets after you’re gone. Finally, setting up a trust ensures you can make your money work for you. While you are not using funds, you can invest them. Even if your settlement proceeds are only put in a savings account, you can still earn interest on this money, ensuring that you make your money work for you.

Contact a trusted estate planning attorney

Your ability to plan for your future is limited only by the skill and experience of your Memphis estate planning lawyer. Choosing your estate planning attorney from Wiseman Bray, PLLC to guide you through the protection of your settlement funds and planning for your future is an incredibly important step.

Tennessee Awards of Alimony in Divorce

Alimony is a legal obligation to pay a spouse or former spouse support. A court may require payments of alimony or spousal support on a temporary or permanent basis, during a divorce proceeding or after the divorce is granted. In addition to the monthly amount and length of term of payments, the type of alimony is very important. There are four types of alimony in Tennessee: alimony in futuro (also called periodic alimony), transitional alimony, rehabilitative alimony, and alimony in solido (also called lump-sum alimony). The type of alimony dictates whether the award may be modified after the divorce and under what circumstances the alimony obligation terminates.

Alimony in futuro (aka periodic alimony)

As a general rule, alimony in futuro (or periodic alimony) is a long-term alimony award when there is a significant disparity in earnings and wealth, and when rehabilitation is not possible. Tennessee law says that alimony in futuro will be owed when the person receiving support cannot expect to have a standard of living comparable to that enjoyed during the marriage.

Alimony in futuro can be modified by the court upon a showing of a change of circumstances. If the supported spouse cohabitates with a third-party, then the court may consider that the support may no longer be needed. Alimony in futuro automatically terminates upon the death of the receiving party or upon the recipient’s remarriage.

Alimony in solido (aka lump-sum alimony)

Alimony in solido, is also a form of long-term support. Alimony in solido is a unique form of alimony used most often to balance out a lop-sided property division, usually caused by a large indivisible asset going to one spouse (for instance, the marital home). Courts may also order attorney fees incurred by one spouse be paid by the other spouse using an award of alimony in solido. Depending on the circumstances, Courts may prefer awarding alimony in solido over an award of alimony in futuro.

Most often though, a party will receive an award of alimony in solido when parties settle in mediation and seek to avoid the risks of trial. The payments are either a single lump-sum or a series of payments over time. Alimony in solido is not modifiable. Furthermore, the obligation does not terminate upon the death of the recipient or payor.

Transitional alimony

Transitional alimony, is appropriate when a court finds that rehabilitation is not required but that the economically disadvantaged spouse needs financial assistance in adjusting to the economic consequences of the divorce.  Simply put, this type of alimony aids the person in the transition to the status of a single person. Transitional alimony lasts only for a certain period of time and generally terminates upon the death of the recipient or payor, unless otherwise specifically stated in the divorce decree. Transitional alimony cannot be modified, unless the parties agree to make it modifiable at the time of the initial order of divorce. For many, transitional alimony will be an attractive option because of its certainty and predictability.

Rehabilitative alimony

Rehabilitative alimony helps a former spouse obtain additional education, training, or experience to rejoin the workforce. This way the former spouse will be able to earn an income to achieve a standard of living comparable to that enjoyed during the marriage. In application, most judges will find self-sufficiency is more the goal than equal standards of living after divorce.

Rehabilitative alimony may be modified by the courts upon a showing of changed circumstances. Additionally, the length of the alimony award can be extended if it is shown that the recipient spouse did make a reasonable effort at rehabilitation, but that effort was unsuccessful. Rehabilitative alimony will terminate upon the death of the payor or recipient.

Tennessee’s alimony factors

In considering a divorce case and whether alimony should be awarded, and if so, the type of alimony to be awarded, including the amount and duration, Court are to consider the following factors:

  • The relative earning capacity, obligations, needs, and financial resources of each party, including income from pension, profit-sharing or retirement plans and all other sources;
  • The relative education and training of each party, the ability and opportunity of each party to secure such education and training, and the necessity of a party to secure further education and training to improve such party’s earning capacity to a reasonable level;
  • The duration of the marriage;
  • The age and mental condition of each party;
  • The physical condition of each party, including, but not limited to, physical disability or incapacity due to a chronic, debilitating disease;
  • The extent to which it would be undesirable for a party to seek employment outside the home because such party will be custodian of a minor child of the marriage;
  • The separate assets of each party, both real and personal, tangible and intangible;
  • The marital property division;
  • The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage;
  • The extent to which each party has made such tangible and intangible contributions to the marriage as monetary and homemaker contributions, and tangible and intangible contributions by a party to the education, training or increased earning power of the other party;
  • The relative fault of the parties (who is more to blame) in cases where the court, in its discretion, deems it appropriate to do so; and
  • Such other factors, including the tax consequences to each party, as are necessary to consider the equities between the parties.

Basically everything is considered in determining an award of alimony. Need and ability to pay are often the two most important considerations.

Truck Driver Sentence for Horrific VA Crash

Auto Accident Lawyer

A food truck driver has been sentenced to 11.5 years in prison for his role in a Virginia crash that took the life of a local woman, reports NBC Washington.

On September 8, 2017, Tony Dane was driving a school bus that had been converted under the banner of his business, Dane’s Great American Hamburger, in Leesburg, Virginia. At close to 5:00 pm, Dane ran a stop sign and hit an Audi station wagon that was being driven by 39-year-old Erin Kaplan. She was killed, and her passengers – her mother, her teenage son and her two daughters – were also injured in the accident.

According to first responders, the family’s Audi was trapped underneath the ten-ton school bus. A wrecker had to be brought in to get the bus off of the car. It took emergency workers three hours to free the family from the twisted frame of their automobile, but unfortunately, Erin Kaplan was pronounced dead at the accident site. Given the devastating scene, Kaplan’s family members were lucky to survive.

Dane was injured in the crash, spending close to two months in the hospital before being transferred to a rehab facility. His grandmother and sisters, who were in his truck at the time of accident, also had brief stays in the hospital with crash-related injuries.

The 11.5-year sentence was the jury’s recommendation, and the judge rejected Dane’s request for leniency in the sentencing. According to the prosecution, the food truck operator drove with a complete disregard for public safety, with no insurance, no inspection and faulty brakes at the time of the accident. The judge apparently agreed and went with the maximum sentences.

The food business the truck belonged to was started by Dane and based in Winchester, Virginia. According to its website, Dane bought the bus and converted it into a food truck so he was able to travel with his family. Since the accident, the website has been taken down.

The tragic accident and the death of Kaplan shocked the local community, which raised thousands of dollars to help the family cover the medical costs related to the crash. The teenage victim of the accident, Ben Kaplan, added that he was very grateful for all the support the family has received.

After the incident, the state’s transportation department made improvements for safety at the intersection where the crash occurred, and a local county sheriff’s office stepped up enforcement in the area.

Running a stop sign may seem like an innocent mistake, but as this devastating crash shows, people can be seriously injured or lose their lives when a driver doesn’t stop at the designated sign or light. Reckless driving endangers everyone else on the road, and the actions of just one person can cause injuries to countless others.

If you or someone you care about has been hurt in an accident with a careless or reckless driver, contact an auto accident lawyer Denver, CO trusts about your rights and your case today. You may be entitled to receive compensation for your suffering, pain and losses stemming from your accident.

 


 

Thank you to our friends and contributors at Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into truck accident claims.

Workers Compensation and Back Injuries

If you suffered a back injury while on the job, you’re already aware that back injuries can be extremely painful. They can also make it impossible to perform even simply tasks such as tying one’s shoes or cooking. It can also make it impractical to return to work. A workers compensation lawyer is very familiar with this scenario, and it is one that is all too common. If you sustained a serious injury at work, a lawyer may be able to help you get a settlement which can replace your lost income and pay for all of your injury-related costs.

Workers Compensation Benefits

In a perfect world, every worker who sustains any kind of injury receives sufficient benefits from workers compensation to pay for all of their lost wages and accident costs such as medical care. However, that rarely happens. In fact, workers compensation does not pay you your full wages, even if you are unable to work because of a work injury for which you were not at fault. This can be unfair, and if you are denied any benefits for one or more reasons, you may be unable to afford proper medical care to treat your condition. If your personal health insurance does not cover your injury related costs, you may have to seek less than acceptable medical care and insufficient or no medications. As a result, you may not heal as fast or as fully as you might otherwise. For these reasons, it’s important to contact a workers compensation lawyer as soon as possible.

The Nature of Back Injuries

Many back injuries are mild and do not require significant care or recovery time. In those cases, the worker’s physician may recommend that the employee stays home from work for a minimal period of time and take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication. However, more serious back injuries can require significant recovery time and necessitate staying home for an extended period. If this describes you, workers compensation benefits may not be enough to pay for your injury treatment and everyday bills because you’re not able to generate your normal level of income. You may have options available to you in lieu of workers compensation.

Personal Injury Claims

A workers compensation lawyer New York trusts can help you get the compensation they deserve after suffering a terrible injury while on the job. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may qualify for a settlement as a result of a successful personal injury claim. In lieu of workers compensation, you may be better off filing a claim against the party responsible for your injury. Very often such a settlement is far greater than what you might hope to receive from workers compensation benefits. It requires an experienced workers compensation lawyer to analyze the details of your case and make this determination.

 


 

Thank you to our friends and contributors at Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, PC for their insight into workers compensation.

Workers Compensation Lawyer

Being injured at work can cause anxiety, stress, and confusion. You might wonder what will happen while you recover from your injuries? How will you cover your medical bills and expenses? What about your job; will you be fired?

As a workers compensation attorney, we understand your concerns and would like to explain your legal rights and options to you during a free and confidential consultation. Lawyers help injured workers get maximum compensation for claims including:

  • Temporary disability
  • Total permanent disability
  • Loss of limb
  • Loss of eyesight
  • Loss of hearing
  • Neck, spine, or back injuries
  • Head injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Torn muscles and ligaments
  • Lacerations
  • Burns
  • Wrongful death
  • + More

We know that your job and injury could have you anxious, and you’re scared about what the future holds. Rest assured as a workers compensation lawyer, we will work tenaciously to ensure your claim gets approved and you receive compensation that covers your living and medical expenses.

Workers Compensation Benefits

Every state has workers compensation laws that allow workers who have been injured on the job to recover a certain amount of compensation regardless of who is at fault. This protects both the employer and employee. While on workers compensation, a workers can receive medical care, treatment, and rehabilitation. He or she is also compensated, up to a certain percentage, of their salary. In turn, the employer is protected from a lawsuit being filed against them. Benefits that may be available include:

Medical Care – Including surgery, hospital visits, doctors visits, medication, lab work, rehabilitation, etc.

Disability – Coverage for workers who are no longer able to work, or have been partially disabled.

Permanent Loss – Including loss of limb or one of the five senses.

Death – Benefits are paid to the surviving family members when a worker loses his or her life.

Not every employee will be able to claim workers compensation. For example independent contractors are generally not covered by these benefits. A workers compensation lawyer can discuss the qualification requirements in further detail.

Let a Workers Compensation Lawyer Review Your Case

The workers compensation process is not as straightforward as it might seem. It is very common for claims to be denied at first which not only delays you in getting the money you need, but also requires you to go through a tedious appeals process.

Furthermore, you have limited windows of time to initiate the process. If you miss this short deadline, you can be barred from collecting workers compensation. Finally, there is a chance that by filing workers compensation on your own, you could lose out on money that you need and deserve. For this reason you should ask a workers compensation lawyer to help you with the process. A St. Lucie County work injury lawyer can ensure all documentation is correctly completed and filed in a timely manner. He or she can also maintain communication with your employer and their insurance company; thereby, protect your legal rights to the fullest.

 


 

Thank you to our friends and contributors at the Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt for their insight into workers compensation benefits.