How a Personal Injury Award May Affect Your Child Support Agreement

If a recent injury accident resulted in you receiving a settlement for your damages, you may be wondering how that compensation might affect the amount of money you pay in child support. After all, child support is based largely on the amount of earned income of the parent. In consideration of the child’s needs (including school costs, food, medical care, clothing, and housing), any income that the support-paying parent receives, may trigger the court to increase the amount of payments. That said, not all additional income is subject to this. You may find the information you need by consulting a family lawyer, like from Scroggins Law Group, PLLC, to know where you stand in regard to child support obligations.

How a Judge may View the Personal Injury Award You Received

It’s important to understand that the award or settlement is not considered as one lump sum by the family court judge. Because settlements include monies for damages such as medical treatment, the portion of the award that reflects the medical bills of the injured party is not considered income. In fact, much of the settlement may not be seen as additional income. However, if there is a portion of the settlement that is intended to replace the wages that were unearned because of the individual’s injury, then that will probably be counted as regular income. For example, if the settlement was for $100,000, and $25,000 of it was to replace the wages that the person would have earned if not injured, and the rest of the award was for medical bills, pain and suffering, only the $25,000 would be counted as income. Therefore, the total amount of income considered by the judge when determining the amount of child support might not be any higher than if the individual had not been injured. Because every case is different, it is important to consult a family law attorney to be certain.

Evaluating the Needs of the Child

Of primary consideration to the family law court judge is the welfare of the child. It is the judge’s responsibility to ensure that the child’s needs are prioritized above the parents’ when making any rulings such as on child support agreements. Therefore, if you receive income via a personal injury award, your lawyer may advise you that it must be reported to the court. Not doing so could put you at risk for breaking various laws and could result in serious penalties.

Additional Considerations

It’s important to seek insight from a family law attorney about how your child support payments may be affected, because there are many factors that could impact the judge’s decision. For example, you may receive a settlement for a personal injury lawyer but at the same time you may have agreed to care for your child during recovery because you’re not able to work. This may save the other parent daycare fees and enable them to work additional hours. The judge may then hold back less of the wage portion of your injury settlement. With a family law attorney by your side to advocate on your behalf, you can ensure that your child is appropriately considered without getting taken advantage of by your former spouse.

How Long Will My Divorce Take?

Divorce Lawyer

If you’re itching to get out of your marriage, you might start to wonder how long the divorce process will take. Perhaps you’ve been in a bad situation for too long and you’ve finally got the courage to get yourself out of an abusive environment. Maybe your spouse cheated on you and divorce can’t come soon enough. Maybe your spouse is incarcerated and you can’t live with his or her guilt. In any case, there are some factors that will help determine how long the process takes, as an attorney, like a Collin County, TX, divorce lawyer from a law firm like Scroggins Law Group can explain.

The State Where You Live
Each state has a mandatory waiting period the couple must abide by before the divorce can be final. It’s different in every state, so you should understand your time period so you don’t get discouraged. For example, in Alabama, you have to wait 30 days after you file the paperwork before the divorce can be finalized. In Louisiana, it depends on the circumstances surrounding your divorce. If you have children, you would have to wait anywhere from 180 to 365 days for the divorce to be final.

Contesting the Divorce
Regardless of whether it’s you or your spouse that contests the divorce, contesting could make the entire process last a lot longer. If you can’t decide on a custody agreement for the kids, it might take longer. If you are having a hard time letting go of some assets, you might go back and forth a little longer than usual. If the divorce is uncontested, you might be able to get away with simply waiting the mandatory waiting period in your state.

Your Home
If part of the divorce arrangement has to do with selling your home, that could add some time to the finality of the divorce. It’s possible it will take some time for your house to sell, so you might have to make some adjustments until it does. The judge might grant one spouse to live in the house during this time, or both spouses could be ordered to move out.

Mediation or Counseling
Some courts will require a couple attend counseling or go through mediation before a divorce will be granted. In some cases, this might be done in an effort to allow the couple to see the error of their ways, but many times it is so they can come to terms with what is happening. This is especially important if children are involved. Counseling also gives the couple a chance to really look at what they’re doing to determine if it’s really the right step.

Contacting Your Divorce Lawyer
A divorce could take a significant amount of time if it gets ugly, but you could also get it over with in a month, depending on where you live. If you’re ready to get the process started, contact a divorce lawyer today.

Can Self Driving Cars Mitigate Accidents?

Car Accident Lawyer

According to crash data released by the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) in 2016, some 94% of all severe accidents were due to human error during vehicle operation. Drivers can face a number of situations that may result in making the wrong decision when behind the wheel of a vehicle. While there are a number of complications that still need to be sorted out before drivers allow their cars to fully take over; there have been many technological advancements that might help reduce the risk of an accident. If you have been the unfortunate victim of a car accident at the hands of a driver who may be held responsible, contact an attorney for their assessment of your case and guidance should legal action need to be taken. 

Human Errors That Cause Accidents

Humans are flawed. There are various factors that may result in an accident. However, only a small percentage of these factors do not involve the person driving the car, as a car accident lawyer in Houston, TX, from a law firm like John K. Zaid & Associates can explain. A high percentage of accidents are the result of human errors such as:

  • Distracted Driving (cell phone use, choosing music, operating navigation, eating, reaching for something)
  • Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
  • Misjudgement of Spatial Surroundings
  • Breaking Driving Laws
  • Failure to Perform Necessary Vehicle Maintenance

If you have fallen victim to an accident at the hands of another driver, you may want to speak with an attorney. You may be able to hold the other driver liable for the damages you have suffered as a result. 

Advancement in Motor Vehicle Technology

Advancements in car technologies may actually help to reduce the risk of an accident occurring. Many vehicles come equipped with safety features and technology that help drivers from succumbing to common errors made:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Automatic Collision Brake Systems
  • Lane Assist
  • Park Assist
  • Steering Assist

Although cars on the market today are not fully automated, they do offer a variety of options that can take some of the pressure off of driving. Driving a car equipped with this type of technology helps drivers to avoid accidents, and they can take some of the stress out of driving. 

Flaws in Autonomous Vehicles

Many of us looking to the future may imagine getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle and letting the car do the driving. This may be further away than some might think. Self driving or fully autonomous vehicles pose a number of problems, according to tech sources. One of the most significant barriers involves the ability to keep up with the many software updates that may be needed. Look at the number of updates that are required for a cell phone. It just may be too unrealistic to expect a self driving car to be able to predict all of the unpredictabilities that come up when driving a car. 

Sometimes, the unexpected can occur, especially when behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. Poor driving conditions, unpredictable drivers and many other factors make it difficult to produce an autonomous vehicle that can respond when faced with the number of unknowns on the road. Although a driver may never be able to sit back and allow a car to completely take control of the driving, some motor vehicle advancements may be able to help reduce the risk faced by drivers. If you have fallen victim to a car accident, the aftermath can be completely devastating. Contact a car accident lawyer to learn more about how they may be able to help you should legal action be necessary. 

If You’re Working Remotely, Can You Still Make a Claim?

Personal Injury Attorney

With the pandemic ravaging the country, one major shift in the societal infrastructure is that it has become more common to see people work remotely. The idea is that if a job can be done online from home, a company will mandate that position be done remotely. This way, essential work can continue while satisfying quarantine measures and guidelines. Some jobs are completely online, while others are a hybrid of online work and physical work, requiring a level of manual labor. Suppose that you are injured during work at home while doing your job. Since this isn’t a typical office setting and is in fact the privacy of your own home, is it still possible to make a personal injury claim? You can, but only under the right conditions.

Conditions: Your claim must first be valid, and for it to be valid it would need to actually be related to your job. For example, stubbing your toe on your bedpost on your way to your desk isn’t a valid claim. So consider these questions before making a personal injury claim: Was the action that caused your injury approved by your employer? Was it beneficial to your employer? Did the job require this action be performed? If you answered yes to any of these questions, your claim will likely be valid, because it wouldn’t make a difference if the action was performed at the office/workplace or at home since it was part of the job. The potential of injury would always have been there, regardless of the location.

Does your company have workers’ compensation? Just about any place that has positions involving manual labor has a form of worker’s comp. If your company does, you likely signed a contract protecting them from lawsuits while giving you the benefit of a guaranteed payout for your injury. If you’re under contract, there are still ways to make a claim, but the conditions will be different. Say, for instance, for you to have a valid claim, your employer needed to have performed an intentional act that injured you.

Awareness: As a general condition, while working remotely you need to maintain regular communication with your employer. Just because you’re not in the same building anymore doesn’t mean that you can just do whatever you want to do and the courts will look favorably on this. If your employer is unaware that you are performing the action that caused your injury and the action didn’t serve to benefit your employer or the position, then you are culpable for committing this act and you can’t make a claim. 

Before you move forward, you may want to consider contacting a personal injury attorney in Las Vegas, NV, or an attorney at Eric Roy Law Firm.

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.

 

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. 

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.

Should Amazon Be Liable for Defective Products?

Amazon remains the world’s favorite “get anything from us” service. Amazon is a place where you can get anything from the glamorous and luxurious to the useless and mundane. Since you can truly get anything from Amazon, this also means that thrown into their enormous inventory are fake products. These are subpar reproductions of the item the buyer actually wants, like luxury shoes or purses.

Some are merely phony, while others are more dangerous because they are made with materials and substances that are harmful to people. More serious cases come from electronics where items are made in this way and when used, can combust into flames, often leaving the injured scarred for life. The injured’s first reaction is to sue Amazon; after all that’s where they bought the item. Most courts have maintained that Amazon is not a “seller,” though. 

The Manufacturer Is Liable
Since Amazon didn’t manufacture the product and are only “hosting” the sale of a third party’s product on their platform, they are not liable for any defects of said product. Many defective products have come from China, where it’s pretty much impossible to successfully sue a manufacturer for a defective product. This means both the manufacturer and Amazon have been able to get off scot-free, and it’s always been that way — until now.

New Rulings on Liability
The California Court of Appeal has made a decision regarding third-party products sold through Amazon. It was ruled that “Amazon plays a pivotal role in delivering the products to the consumer, whether it acts as a retailer, distributor, or facilitator.” As stated in the ruling:

[“As a factual and legal matter, Amazon placed itself between Lenoge and Bolger in the chain of distribution of the product at issue here. Amazon accepted possession of the product from Lenoge, stored it in an Amazon warehouse, attracted Bolger to the Amazon website, provided her with a product listing for Lenoge’s product, received her payment for the product, and shipped the product in Amazon packaging to her. Amazon set the terms of its relationship with Lenoge, controlled the conditions of Lenoge’s offer for sale on Amazon, limited Lenoge’s access to Amazon’s customer information, forced Lenoge to communicate with customers through Amazon, and demanded indemnification as well as substantial fees on each purchase.”]

Ultimately, under the established principles of strict liability, Amazon is still liable for product defects even if there is no malicious intent involved in the accidents.

The plaintiff in the ruling of this case was a woman who bought a replacement battery for her laptop from Lenoge Technology HK Ltd, a Hong Kong manufacturer operating under the name “E-Life.” The battery exploded into flames on her lap resulting in severe burns. 

Contact an Attorney
If you or someone you know has been injured by a defective product, contact an attorney, like a personal injury attorney in Las Vegas, NV from Eric Roy Law Firm, to schedule a consultation to see if you have a case today.

Double Trouble: Two Firms That Can’t Share the Same Name

It was said a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet, but it’s also a fact that two different flowers that just so happen to have the same name will smell very differently. While they might be allowed to hold the same name for a certain time, eventually someone will attempt to rename one of them and some people might even be frustrated that they were allowed to hold the same name for so long in the first place.

This kind of scenario played out recently in Colorado where Gilbert Law recently lost an appeal case against Gilbert Law. In the case, casually referred to as “The tale of two Gilberts;” Christopher Gilbert claims to have owned the gilbert-law.com domain name since 2003 having practiced under the Gilbert Law Firm name in Texas. After moving to Colorado, he registered his previous branding with the state when he eventually opened his own office.

The problem was that there was already another Gilbert Law Firm owned by a James Gilbert who was not too happy about the duplicate name. Given that there were two Gilbert Law Firms, confusion between the attorneys and clients both current and potential ensued.

“I’ve worked hard to build up a reputation locally and nationally, said James. When someone starts to create confusion with people who want to use your services, you can’t allow that to happen. We’ve had at least three separate instances where consumers were confused about those similarities.”

A settlement agreement was made where both firms would avoid using the stand alone Gilbert Law  name while Christopher’s firm would put up a disclaimer discounting any affiliation with James’ firm also  putting up a link to his site to differentiate them.

James however sued Christopher again when he felt aspects of that agreement were violated given that Christopher continued to use the gilbert-law.com domain. Appealing the decision, the court ruled in the favor of James. Currently being of The Gilbert Law Group, it was originally known as James L. Gilbert and Associated when founded in 1981; then in 2011, it took on its current name.

Appeals Court Judge Steven Bernard didn’t feel that the hyphen distinguished the domain name significantly enough from Gilbert Law as it was just one punctuation away from being just that.

It was stated that, “The defendant shall have 30 days from the date of this order to change his domain name to sufficiently avoid non-compliance and to ultimately move his email and other content to the new domain.”

Other than that, James’ law group was awarded damages of $1.

If you feel that a legal agreement you’re involved with has not been honored, it may be beneficial to speak with a personal injury attorney, like from Eric Roy Law Firm, about your legal options and next steps. 

Yellow Cab Accident Damages: 4 Questions for Your Attorney

Being involved in a car accident can raise many questions, especially if you are facing injuries or property damage. While this situation is usually stressful, you may find yourself with more questions than usual if you were injured in a wreck with a Yellow Cab. Unlike accidents with other private motorists, your avenues for collecting damages may be unique. Asking your attorney a few questions about the wreck may offer you peace of mind as you move forward with your lawsuit.

  1. What If I Was a Taxi Passenger? 

If you were injured while riding in a taxi, your means of collecting damage may not be that much different than if you were riding in a private vehicle. As a passenger, you have a reduced burden of proof and can file suit against the insurance company of both drivers. As the drivers, they must sort out the question of liability.

  1. What Responsibilities Does the Taxi Company Have? 

When you are injured by a taxicab, the taxi company has several responsibilities they must fulfill both before and after the incident. For example, all drivers must carry insurance and are subject to background checks before being hired. After the accident, if the wreck was the fault of the taxi driver, the cab company is liable for any injuries you may have incurred. However, if another motorist caused the accident, you will have to hold that driver liable. If an at-fault taxi driver causes a wreck and is not qualified to operate such a vehicle, you may be able to collect additional or punitive damages.

  1. What If the Insurance Company Denies My Claim? 

If your taxi driver is found to be 100% liable for the accident, then you may have little trouble collecting damages. However, if the other driver was even slightly at fault, Yellow Cab’s insurance company may deny your claim or offer you a reduced award. Should this occur, your attorney can advise you about how to proceed with filing a lawsuit for the entire amount and how to challenge liability claims.

  1. What If the Insurance Exceeds My Damages? 

If the taxi accident includes more than one victim, the total damages may exceed the cab company’s commercial insurance coverage. In this case, you might have to sue the driver of the cab as an individual. However, this can be challenging and may not net you as much as you require to pay your medical bills.

Getting injured in a Yellow Cab accident can turn your world upside down, but you do not have to face the future alone. Contact a car accident lawyer, like from John K. Zaid & Associates, today for further advice and information.