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Laptop fingerprint with Identity Theft text
Understanding a Common Crime
By: Accident attorney Michael P. Ehline, Esq. After Google Places had merged our business law firm listing with a competitor about 40 miles away, we started researching identity theft. Hence, we created this pretty comprehensive treatise.
Definition of Identity Theft:
Identity theft occurs when another person assumes an individual’s identity. Here, the thief knows how to access financial resources. So they obtain credit and other benefits, using the person’s name.
Identity theft makes a victim of the individual. So it is he or she who suffers the adverse consequences of the thief using their credit. Sadly, victims are forced to pay all these costs. Plus, the name, Social Security number, credit card, or bank account number are all exposed without permission. Criminals do this to commit crimes or fraud.
Understanding The History of Identity Theft
The term identity theft has been used since 1964. Yes, it's not possible to steal a person’s true identity. But the criminal can impersonate or assume their financial identity to commit fraud. Identity theft and data breaches can be challenging to recognize. After all, in most cases, the victim does not know that anyone else has their personal or financial information.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, when there has been a breach, victims often don't know how their information was stolen. But they also found that identity fraud was not always a consequence of identity theft. After all, it is possible for someone to steal or misappropriate personal information without committing fraud.
What is a Major Breach?
And this can occur when there is a significant data breach. According to a U.S. Government Accountability Office study most data breaches did not result in detected occurrences of identity theft. But the report did state that the full extent data breaches are unknown.
An unpublished study by Carnegie Mellon University reported that most cases of identity theft are unknown. But the probability of becoming a victim of date breach identity theft is approximately 2%. One of the most significant data breaches consisted of about 4 million records. And according to the association of consumer information companies; it resulted in approximately 1800 instances of identity theft.
An article entitled “Cyber Crime Made Easy,” discussed the level that hackers are using malicious software. Security specialist Gunter Ollmann asked: are you “Interested in credit card theft? There is an app for that.” What he was alluding to is the ease that hackers are accessing information online.
One of the newer programs that are infecting computers is called Zeus, which is hacker friendly. And this makes it easy to use even for a new hacker. It might be easy to use, but it is devastating for the computer user it affects.
The article said that programs like Zeus could be used to steal credit card information and relevant documents, even those necessary for homeland security use. Hackers gaining this information could not only use it for identity theft but possible terrorist attacks.
What are Some Types of ID Theft?
The non-profit Identity Resource Center has divided identity theft into five categories, as follows:
Criminal Identity Theft: This is posing as another person for financial or personal gain, which is a crime.
Financial Identity Theft: This is the use of someone else’s identity to obtain goods, services, and credit.
Child Identity Theft: This is the use of a child’s information to obtain credit, services, and goods or assume their identity.
Medical Identity Theft: This is the use of another person’s identity to obtain medical care or drugs.
Identity Cloning Theft: This is the use of someone else’s identity to assuming their status in life. It means using the person’s name in meeting people, employment, and other activities.
Other crimes are funded with ID theft.
Also, identity cloning can be used to attack payment systems. Examples include online credit card processing and medical insurance.
Criminal Identity Theft Explained
In fact, this occurs when an identity thief impersonates another human to conceal their real identity. People that do this could be a person hiding from creditors or other persons. It could be an illegal immigrant or another who wants to become anonymous for personal reasons. Another type of euphemism for this is a "poser."
A poser is a person that uses another's photos and information on social networking sites, and they further relay credible stories. And many involve friends of a real person they are attempting to imitate. One of the other things this type of ID thief does is to acquire false credentials that will pass authentication in daily life. And this can continue indefinitely, without detection.
What is Identity Cloning?
So this is a great question. This theft happens when a thief assumes another's name to conceal their real identity. So, for example, this is their form of the witness protection program. So let's say they want to avoid being found by an ex-spouse or partner. And now this can continue for an indefinite amount of time. And this remains especially true if the person can obtain false credentials in the assumed name that appear authentic.
Synthetic Identity Theft
This is a type of identity theft that has become familiar, with the use of characters that are either partially or wholly fictitious. Commonly the way this is done is by using a real social security number, with a birth date and name that is not attached to this person. The stolen social security number will create adverse credit effects. And this holds concerning any creditor who issues a credit to the thief.
It's hard to track this type of identity fraud since it does not usually show on the real person’s credit report directly. And this could even show as a new file at the credit bureau or as a sub-file on the victim’s credit record.
What is Medical Identity Theft?
This is a type of identity theft that a person uses an individual’s name and some of their information to obtain medical care, services, or drugs. The data they may use can include insurance information. The victim has no clue their name or other information is being used.
When this type of event occurs, it can cause the real owner of the insurance to receive improper medical care. Plus, this can lead to a potentially life-threatening medical decision since there has been incorrect information placed in their medical records.
What is Child Identity Theft?
This is identity theft of a minor child’s social security number that is used to gain credit. And it also increases other personal advantages. Of particular interest, the child has no credit history. So this makes this social security number very valuable to the theft that wants to steal it. They can obtain credit, get a driver’s license, and make large purchases, like buying a house, all under the guise that the social security number is their own.
So here, a family member or friend can be the culprit. But it can be done by a stranger that targets children. The fraud can continue undetected for years. After all, the victim is a minor who will not be using their number for years.
According to Carnegie Mellon Cylab, Richard Power, using data from All Clear ID, it was discovered that approximately 10.2 percent of children were identity theft victims. So about 40,000 children had information exposed.
How Do ID Thieves Get Your Personal Information?
These criminals need to obtain personal information to use another person’s identity to appear authentic. Some of the methods they use people are aware of. But other methods exist.
Digging in dumpsters or garbage cans for personal information is one way they get stuff.
I am using public records to gain personal information.
Skimming credit card or bank card information with hand-held card readers in the general retail location helps make clone cards.
Using contactless credit card readers to obtain data from RFID-passports wirelessly.
Mail theft, breaking into homes or pick-pocketing checks, bank cards, credit cards, passports, and identification cards are all potential problems.
Theft of checks to obtain account numbers and routing numbers.
Gaining personal and banking information with malware. Trojan horse keystroke logging programs, spyware, and breaches in browser security are examples.
They hack computer networks, databases, and systems to gain access to large amounts of personal data.
Acting fraudulently as customer service representatives or help desk employees to con individuals into disclosing personal information, login information, or changing the password access.
Account verification and compromise questions, like: “What is Your Mother’s Maiden Name?”
Use of social media sites to befriend individuals and gain trust to get their personal information.
Social media photos are clickable and downloaded, which have low security and privacy protection.
They use information gained from an individual typing login and other personal information at public IT equipment locations. The term shoulder surfing describes this conduct.
Use of breaches that result in the publication of personal information, which may include name, address, credit card numbers, and social security number.
Impersonation of a trusted organization in emails, telephone calls, SMS text messages, or other forms of communication to have an individual provide personal information or login information. Most of us know this form of data collection as phishing. Because of this, many corporations will never ask for this type of data on the phone or their website.
You are browsing social network sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, or MySpace for personal information that users have published.
Attacking weak passwords and reset password questions.
They divert email or a post to gain personal information, credit card numbers, banking or credit statements, and other personal data. And this can delay you knowing there is a compromised account.
What About Personal Identity Protection?
The person is often unaware of how naïve they are. So they are careless with their personal information or login information. Identity thieves count on this. And they can steal information like:
Bank statements and other things from a person’s vehicle, office, snatched purse, or home.
The US Federal Trade Commission, websites and the Canadian Phone Busters organizations address identity theft. And they and offer recommendations on how to prevent personal information from reaching another person’s hands.
You can partially eliminate identity theft by not using identifying information unnecessarily. IT systems and organizations should not require an excessive amount of personal information for identification and authentication purposes.
The requirement and data storage of personally identifying information such as social security numbers, driver’s license number, credit card, national identification number, and other information, will increase the risk of identity theft. This theft will keep happening unless adequately stored all the time.
Tips to Avoid Hijacking
Hacking and phishing: So we all know that electronic identity theft or using malware is common today. Hence, you must often update computer security. Keeping the operating system and browser secure, patched and running antivirus software can help avoid unwanted theft. The individual should be cautious about their IT use.
In some cases, the thieves use obituaries, gravestones, and other sources to rip off the identity of a deceased person. They do so between their passing and the closing of their accounts. So this is a combination of a grieving family lacking concentration. And it's also the credit checking process. This crime can continue for an undetermined amount of time. And it won't stop until a family member or credit company notices the events.
Commercial identity theft protection services are available in many countries. For example, they offer protection from for an annual or monthly membership fee. How it works is the service will typically set fraud alerts on your credit files. Also, each of the three major credit bureaus gets alerted. These heavily advertised services are helpful. But the actual value of them has been questioned.
What are the Identity Protection Organizations?
The Federal Trade Commission testified in May of 1998 in front of the United States Senate. There, representatives discussed the sale and use of personal identifiers and Social Security numbers, by data miners and credit raters. They agreed to self-regulating by the industry to restrict access to information on credit reports.
The industry restrictions vary according to the category of the customer. This variance exists because credit bureaus gather, disclose personal and credit information on a wide business range. Inadequate security by organizations holding personal data results in unauthorized access. So this places victims at risk of ID theft.
According to Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, they have documented more than 900 data breaches, since January 2005 by U.S. government agencies and companies. This breach has involved over 200 million records that contained sensitive personal information. The data included many that had social security numbers.
When a company has poor security standards, it can include:
Failing to have adequate network security.
They are failing to shred confidential documents before putting them in dumpsters.
Brokering personal information to another business, without the assurance of the other company maintaining security.
Government failure in registering sole proprietorships, corporations, and partnerships to determine the article of incorporations officers are who they claim to be. This failure can result in criminals having access to personal information through credit ratings and data mining services.
Credit card numbers stolen by people like call center agents means there is access to the recorded calls.
Laptop computer or portable media theft or carried out of the location. Typically, it that contains personal information. Also, using encrypted devices reduces data exposure risks.
What is the Nationwide Impact of ID Theft?
Most of all, there was a decrease in the number of victims in the United States between 2003 and 2006. This decreased the dollar amount of identity fraud from $47 billion in 2003 to $15.6 billion in 2006. This resulted in the personal losses of $4789 in 2003 to $1882 in 2006.
According to the Identity Theft Resource Center in a 2003 survey:
Approximately 73% of those surveyed said the crime involved the thief gaining access to a credit card.
15% of known ID theft remains business related. And in those cases, it took the victims about 330 hours to resolve.
Victim of identity fraud Michelle Brown testified in a U.S. Senate Committee Hearing. She said that between January 1998 and July 1999, a person used her identity to acquire more than $50,000 in goods and services. Brown said not only did the hacker damage her credit but escalated in crimes, including drug trafficking. This resulted in a warrant for Brown’s arrest; she had an erroneous arrest record and prison record. Here, the woman was booked into the Chicago Federal Prison under her name.
Also, fraud costs are estimated at £1.2 billion annually in the UK. But experts believe the figure is much higher. For example, privacy groups do not think the numbers to be correct. Mostly, they argue the statistics are a bargaining chip to hearken the introduction of national ID cards.
Microsoft Research claimed in 2001 that fraud remains widely exaggerated. And they say the surveys are compromised and biased. So they argue the findings are no good. But Australia estimated ID theft at between $1 billion and $4 billion in 2001.
The United States Legal Answers
In the United States, the increase in this crime has led to the enacting of the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act. In other words, the Federal Trade Commission appeared before the U.S. Senate to discuss FTC crimes. And that meeting happened after the mass exploitation of consumer credit.
How the Exploited Data Was Used:
Lines of credit
Credit card fraud, along with commodities and services fraud.
The Identity Theft Deterrence Act amended U.S. Code Title 18, § 1028. This statute says it is a federal crime to steal an ID. But it's tricky because the perp must use an ID document issued by the United States. So you have to show the thief intended to defraud the United States. All this gets tried on a federal level if it exists. Get it?
30 Years in Prison?
Yes, it's true. This sentence is outlined in 18 U.S.C. § 1028 and can carry a 5, 15, 20 or 30-year prison sentence in federal prison. Also, § 1028 (aggravated identity theft), permits consecutive sentencing. Of particular interest, this act provided the Federal Trade Commission with authority to track incidences and dollar losses.
Their body mainly focuses on consumer financial crimes. And it does not include the full range of all identification crimes. Charges brought by states or local law enforcement agencies will have different penalties than criminal charges on a federal level. It will depend on the state laws, which each state can differ in their punishments.
Office of Privacy Protection
California and Wisconsin have created the Office of Privacy Protection. This department helps citizens avoid issues with theft and identity theft recovery. Other states have followed the California mandatory data breach notification laws. And this has resulted in all companies reporting data breaches to their customers.
Of particular interest, the IRS created the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit. Now taxpayer victims of federal tax-related identity theft have recourse. The taxpayer was required to submit Form 14039, which is their Identity Theft Affidavit.
Michael Ehline is putting rounds down range.
It should be a no-brainer here. Marines are America's most elite fighting force. Because of this, it attracts men and women who want to get in the fight. So you know if you join the Corps., it is likely you will see combat. So even if your primary M.O.S. is "Food Service Specialist," you may fight.
Also, the people there are younger and more testosterone-filled than the other branches. Of course, our sister services have SEALS, Rangers, and Berets, etc. But those are special units. Also, they are older than the average 19-year-old freshly graduated "Devildog" private.
Because of this, when young male Marines hit Oceanside, near Camp Pen, or get weekend liberty in Okinawa, they want sex. Most of all, they are looking for female attention. Furthermore, the fact he just barely started puberty makes this even truer.
Some people suggest that Marines could get hit with sexual assault charges easily. And we have seen this happen time and time again in Okinawa. So now we hear calls for Marines with the high libido to get prostitutes. But these calls are not from Marines; they are from the Mayor of Okinawa!
Legalities of Paid Sex Under the UCMJ
It seems like we need to address the legalities under the UCMJ of a Marine seeking out paid sex. After all, most women don't just give it up unless there is a relationship that lasts longer than a port call.
According to reports at the Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan, the mayor of Osaka said something shocking on Monday.
He said U.S. service members should consider controlling their sexual energies by soliciting prostitutes.
The mayor’s suggestion did not impress a Marine commander in Okinawa. Toru Hashimoto, the co-leader of the Japan Restoration Party, visited the Marine Corps Air Station’s commander last month. Hashimoto told the commander that Marines should utilize Japan’s legalized sex industry. During the
Monday press video conference held in Osaka, he said in Japan there are places to release their energy legally. Hashimoto called the service members “wild Marines.” He said without using these facilities; it will be difficult to control the sexual energies of the Marines.
So, For Now, Brothels are Off Limits.
Hashimoto told reporters that the commander had a bitter smile and said that brothels are off-limits to U.S. service members. In Japan Hashimoto is known for making controversial statements and told reporters that service members have a lot of energy since their missions place them in life-threatening situations. He said the service members need to think of a way to release the energy.
The Marine Corps officials were not available to comment on the issue at that time. Hashimoto made remarks about World War II and Japan’s use of “comfort women.”
He said the Japanese military used Chinese, Korean’s, and other women for sex, which stymied international relations between Japan and other Asian countries.
The current right-wing leadership of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party is in discussions about if they should amend a 20-year-old government apology about forced prostitution. And that resulted in protests earlier in the year in both China and Korea. Monday Hashimoto said it was necessary at the time to have the comfort women system to maintain “discipline in the Japanese military, even if the women were forced to submit.
The Recreation and Amusement Association for U.S. troops was created after the end of World War II for service members to engage in prostitution. In 1946, after four months General Douglas MacArthur, who was in charge during the post-war Japan occupation ended the association.
Is It Illegal for Marines to Solicit Prostitutes?
The answer is yes! The Uniform Code of Military Justice makes service members subject to court-martial for the patronizing of prostitutes. The prostitutes were created post-war in a way that was within the law and found in “Soapland,” massage parlors, and hostess bars.
In the Honcho neighborhood approximately 40 miles south of Tokyo at the Yokosuka Naval Base, multiple massage parlors are off-limits to service members. Also, they offer more than back rubs. Hidden within the neighborhood, are brothels occasionally are raided by the police.
But then they later show up in new locations. In some instances, military customers at massage parlors can become personal injury victims. And they have little official recourse. Two sailors told Stars and Stripes recently they were using massage parlors. These were located in the vicinity of Yokosuka Naval Base. Both these men had money stolen from their debit cards.
Under the guise of anonymity, one of the sailors stated one of the women removed his pants and his wallet with them. He said after returning from a months-long ship deployment he had $6,000 stolen from his debit card. Further, the sailor provided his military ID card to confirm his identity. But he wished to remain anonymous.
The sailor said it was an issue he would need to work out on his own since he is nearing retirement. Upon arriving in Japan at orientation briefings, U.S. service members are told that massage parlors and similar businesses are off-limits.
This message was repeated as a reminder in a Stars and Stripes query by Commander Naval Forces Japan spokesman Jon Nylander:
“The Navy does not condone patronizing prostitutes, massage parlors, Soaplands and any other manner of establishment that offers sexual services, as this is entirely against our core values of respect for persons, moral integrity and human dignity.”
According to the director of Polaris Project Japan Shihoko Fujiwara, a Toyko-based group, many of the women working within these businesses are victims of human trafficking. The team works with victims. Also, it runs a hotline for anyone seeking help.
Problems of Sex Trafficking.
Fujiwara said it's a common misconception that all women in prostitution want to sell their bodies. He said it is not a victimless crime. Fujiwara went on to state he understands what Hashimoto is saying. Also, human sex traffickers are smart and adapt.
So when trafficking women from Southeast Asia, they often use student and spousal visas. In the past they relied on visas for entertainers, Fujiwara said. Polaris has worked with victims. And they said you might get treated decently in the beginning.
But Fujiwara said these things change after the women get beaten and forced into sexual submission. Fujiwara said that the victim might be smiling. Also, they appear to be providing sexual service voluntarily. So the customer seeking sexual services thinks it's ok. But he said the women have no choice, but to bring money in or they will be homeless, beaten, or dead.
Potential Rape Charges and the Brig
So as seen above, Marines may need sex. But paying for a hooker pays for an underground sex slave industry. Also, it opens Marines up to assaults and theft at the brothel. Last, it opens up Marines to potential rape charges, not to mention STD's. So I don't know what the answer is. But Marine Corps Lore says Chesty Puller wanted dedicated beer machines and hookers for each barracks.
Ignoring that young warriors need sexual release could make things worse in the long run. Chesty seems to have realized this. When I had been stationed at Camp Pendleton, the drinking age on base was 17. So there are things soccer moms and left-wing politicians need to understand. Furthermore, this is the only reason they are free. Because of these Marines, rough men stand ready to do violence on behalf of the weak.
In fact, this is the age of allowing men to marry men and men confused about their gender using female restrooms. So isn't it time we let Marines pay for hookers? In particular, why not look at ways to sexually satisfy young people who could get killed in combat. After all, they are defending these new freedoms, right? Sound off.
Interview with Rexford Early [9/30/2008] - Veteran's History Project (Source.)
The 45 Most Badass Lines Ever Uttered in Real Life - Pinterest (Source.)
Osaka mayor: ‘Wild Marines’ should consider using prostitutes - Stars and Stripes (Source.)
Prostitution Illegal Under Pending UCMJ Changes - CWA (Source.)
A lawsuit settlement check with the words Your Name Here, indicating that you could be eligible for a big payout on a legal suit
Most of us know that personal injuries are unplanned events. Most people would rather avoid injuries. But when an incident does happen, victims may recover compensation to get their life back on track. A personal injury settlement helps avoid court. Most of all, it compensates them.
The agreement will cover them for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. So this is a financial award to help in the healing process after an accident due to carelessness or recklessness. But "hush-hush" confidentiality arrangements are becoming more and more popular.
Publicly reported settlements remain common. And some people don't want that for various reasons. (a minor involved, a large company doesn't want more claims from copycats, etc.) But if you're not careful, this type of contract can impact your personal income taxes.
Compensation—Loss and Non-Taxable Money
Normally, compensation for medical expenses or pain and suffering has no impact on owed federal income taxes. Compensating the person who suffered physical harm losses remains the object. That's why normally this isn't taxable money. Why? Because federally, it's not earned income.
What about Lost Wages?
Compensation is awarded that may be considered taxable money when the claimant is awarded money for lost wages. So this would be regarded as income that would usually appear on the claimant's W-2 federal tax form. The IRS would receive a copy of from the employer. Applicants who live in states where there are state income taxes are responsible for the taxes on the awarded compensation. And typically, it would be reported by the employer when it is for lost wages.
State Law and Personal Injury Settlements
In some states, the law will contradict federal law when it involves financial compensation or a personal injury. Major portions of injuries claims are not subject to federal taxes. But certain states require individuals to pay taxes on all of their award. And this includes a financial settlement.
Knowing that these laws can vary from one state to another, it is essential for taxpayers to see the tax laws of the state in which he or she is domiciled in or resides. Consulting with a tax attorney, or a CPA is the best way to learn. So do so before filing state or federal income tax returns or even settling for that matter.
Do Confidential Settlements have Tax Implications?
Many PI lawyers may not be aware of this. If you do a confidential PI settlement, the IRS will come after both parties for taxes. But tax avoidance remains possible with a proper settlement contract.
You heard right. Remaining quiet. The exchange is for confidentiality. Examples could include cases where a child gets raped on a cruise ship. Both the parents and the cruise industry wants to keep this delicate matter "hush-hush."
Since this additional side deal for confidentiality has nothing to do with the actual injury, it is subject to tax consequences. The IRS will assess a reasonable amount for the "silence." So spelling out the cost of silence purchased makes sense. Sometimes the tax assessment is so outrageous; no compensatory award remains for the injured party. To help alleviate this risk, the parties need to spell out the amount. Also, it must show who is bearing the burden of the tax consequences. Otherwise, do not engage in a confidential settlement at all!
What About Settlements more than Loss?
There are some compensation awards which generally will occur in a civil court setting. And these may be over the actual losses of the victim. Punitive damages raise the issue of tax liability. The extraordinary portion of the verdict or settlement remains taxable.
Under the federal tax laws, this financial gain over what the actual losses suffered are is taxable income. When a judge approves this type of award, the court records will show the amount of taxable compensation. Other income is typically how your accountant classifies the amounts when filing your return.
"Confidentiality in Settlement Agreements Is Bad for Clients, Bad for Lawyers, Bad for Justice" (ABA): https://www.americanbar.org/publications/gp_solo/2012/november_december2012privacyandconfidentiality/confidentiality_settlement_agreements_is_bad_clients_lawyers_justice.html
"IRS Issues New Rules For Tax-Free Legal Settlements" (Forbes): https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertwood/2012/01/31/irs-issues-new-rules-for-tax-free-legal-settlements/
Injury lawyer Michael Ehline of Ehline Law Firm.
Understanding the Root of the Problem
During the year 2012 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says 33,561 people died in the USA who were in traffic accidents. (Source.). Out of this number, an estimated that 10,322 deaths related to drunk driving crashes.
So this equals 31% of the traffic deaths for 2012. The number of roadway fatalities involving drunk driving declined steadily since 1982. But even with the number declining, deaths occur every 53 minutes in a DUI accident.
The risk of drivers under the influence is a certainty, and during holidays the number of DUI drivers increase. The CHP, along with other police and sheriff departments are on the lookout for impaired drivers. The CHP tabulates the number of fatalities statewide after the holiday period accidents have been reported.
Southern California Ehline Law Firm sees the emotional and physical damage caused by drivers operating vehicles while under the influence. The law firm believes providing this information about driving under the influence of alcohol is essential for the public to be informed.
What are the Driving While Intoxicated Dangers?
The dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol increases the likelihood of motor vehicle accidents resulting in injuries and death. Judgment, muscle coordination, and vision are some of the impairments consumption of alcohol can cause, along with other issues that are essential for driving a vehicle competently and safely.
Any deaths due to DUI are too many.
The statistics are disturbing even though the numbers of crashes have dropped during recent decades. The roadways are a testament to this fact, with numerous victims every year.
What is the DUI Statistical Information?
The legal limit for DUI in all 50 states is having a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level of 0.08% or higher. A driver can still be found to be an impaired driver with a lower BAC. In addition, it is illegal for any person to operate a motor vehicle with a level higher than the legal limit.
Other information to know about BAC and drivers under the influence includes:
Drivers who have a BAC of .10 are seven times more likely to be involved in a crash resulting in fatalities, than a driver who has not consumed alcohol.
Drivers with a BAC of 0.15 are twenty-five times more likely involved in a collision than a sober driver.
Fatally injured drunk drivers the average BAC level is .16%.
Furthermore, drivers with a high blood alcohol content are young male drivers who also have prior DUI convictions.
Drivers in the age group between 21 and 24 years of age are responsible for approximately 34% of alcohol-related deaths.
Drivers in the age group between 25 and 35 years of age are responsible for about 30% of alcohol-related fatalities.
Motorists in single-vehicle crashes with a high BAC is 385x likelier than a driver who has not consumed alcohol.
Male drivers under the influence are approximately 707x likelier to be in a single vehicle crash than unimpaired drivers.
Playing a Public Role
Police departments nationwide are putting forth many resources to arrest offenders who are driving under the influence of alcohol. Our car accident attorneys believe one of the ways to battle this problem is through education.
That way we can assist people in making the right choice. We want you to think twice about getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after consuming alcohol. Even with public awareness increased by educational programs, stricter penalties for violation of DUI laws and law enforcement agencies being more vigilant in monitoring roadways, people drive while under the influence.
Anyone who consumes alcohol must keep in mind a bottle or glass of beer, glass of wine or liquor takes time for the body to metabolize. When enough time is not taken between drinking alcoholic beverages and getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, the results of a breathalyzer test may show the driver is over the legal limit to operate a car.
Tips to Help Safety Awareness
When consuming alcohol, some tips can be helpful to prevent being illegally intoxicated if operating a motor vehicle. Or at least you can be aware of the effects that alcohol may have on you.
Alcohol Limits and Intoxication. It is essential to know the amount of alcohol that can be consumed before intoxication. But this should not be tested if you intend to operate a motor vehicle. Body weight and food consumption also are factors in how alcohol will affect you. It is important to remember some alcoholic beverages have an appealing flavor. So this may make it seem like the beverage does not contain as much alcohol as another less attractive drink.
Consuming Alcohol. Drinking alcohol when sipped can have a different effect on the body, as compared with gulping or chugging the drink. The person drinking may feel pressured to consume more than they can have a non-alcoholic drink or refuse the beverage.
BAC and Drinks. One of the ways an individual can keep BAC level lowered is to drink a non-alcoholic drink between beverages containing alcohol. Limit alcoholic drinks to one per hour.
• Activity. People who are active when consuming alcoholic beverages on average consume less alcohol than sitting individuals. Being active will also allow the individual to be more aware of any effects the juice may have, such as slurring, vision or mobility issues.
Eating. Consuming food while drinking, exceptionally high protein foods like meat or cheese will slow the absorption of alcohol.
Understanding Alcohol's Role
Designated Drivers or Transportation. When drinking at a location other than home it is essential for safety and to avoid violating DUI laws to appoint a designated driver. This is a driver who will not be consuming alcoholic beverages, or take public transportation, or a taxi cab. If an individual is in a private home and becomes intoxicated, arrange other means of transportation. Another option is remaining at the residence until no longer intoxicated. Even if this means taking the keys to a guest it is safer for them and other motorists.
Unfamiliar Alcoholic Beverages. Exercise caution in consuming different spirits, such as mixed drinks with deceiving amounts of alcohol they contain. Never leave drinks unattended in a public place due to spiking risk. Replace a standing glass. So don't continue to consume the drink.
Alcohol and Medications. When taking any medication, even over the counter drugs, herbal medicines or prescription medication remember they can increase the drowsiness of the booze. In some cases, it can be dangerous to your life when combined. It is essential to consult your physician before consuming alcohol if taking any medication.
Drunk Drivers and the Law
Driving while intoxicated is a violation of the law. DUI drivers who cause an accident can be held criminally liable. In the state of California, the person harmed by a drunk driver has the legal right to bring a civil claim against the DUI driver.
The Dram Shop Act also makes it possible for the bar, club or another establishment over serving the individual. This occurs if the driver, then operates a motor vehicle, who can be held liable in some states.
The Act outlines the establishment’s responsibility while intoxicated.
The person hurt due to a drunk driver deserves legal representation by an accomplished Southern California auto accident attorney. The experienced lawyer is here as soon as possible to protect your rights.
In most cases, the DUI driver will be legally considered negligent since they consumed alcohol that impaired their judgment and ability to safely operate a vehicle. In choosing to drive while intoxicated, the driver has endangered the health and lives of others.
The civil case will not have a ruling of intoxication; it will be negligence. The driver even though intoxicated was negligent in the act of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Driving while intoxicated impairs the driver, ultimately resulting in a collision. This occurs whether they run a red light or swerve into another lane of traffic making them negligent in their actions.
When bringing a claim against a DUI driver, it is essential especially if liability is in question to obtain proof of the actions of the driver.
Police reports can provide evidence involving the drunk driver’s actions under a section entitled
The police officer at the scene will make a note of the at-fault driver's actions and how it relates to the cause of the collision. There are some other helpful ways to establish liability involving a DUI driver:
When the police arrive at the scene of the crash if you smelled alcohol on the at-fault driver, tell the cops officers.
The officers can administer a field sobriety test, even if the negligent driver has used breath spray or gum to cover the odor.
Tell police if you have observed the person driving switch seats with someone else in the vehicle.
Tell the police if the driver or passengers in the vehicle have attempted to dispose of beer cans, alcoholic beverage bottles or drugs.
The at-fault driver may use eye drops in a bid to conceal bloodshot eyes.
If you alert police, they can question the driver and determine if a field sobriety test should be administered.
Finding the Right Law Firm
Showing a driver was intoxicated during the crash is a unique challenge and with representation by the accomplished attorneys at the Ehline Law Firm. They have the resources necessary to build a winning case. The law firm works in close collaboration with toxicology experts and others. They assess the evidence to prove liability by the negligence of the drunk driver.
Contact our seasoned lawyers as soon as possible. If you have been the unfortunate victim of this accident call toll-free at 888-400-9721.
A woman in a car crash in Los Angeles talks on a cell phone.
On average throughout a person’s lifetime, they can become involved in one or two injury lawsuits. It is usually difficult for the average person to assess the credentials of a personal injury lawyer. So it's hard to make a sound decision. Typically, a person will hire the very first advertisement or yellow pages lawyer. There is a better method for making a much wiser hiring decision.
Below you will find seven questions that have been compiled to help establish a conversation with a potential lawyer. The answers to these questions will provide vital information about a prospective attorney. And the process they use to handle tort, or "negligence" cases will be better understood. This can help ensure you hire the right attorney.
1. What are litigation Costs and Interest?
Any costs the lawyer may have incurred in pursuing your case will have to be paid before receiving a settlement. Same goes for the lawyer’s fees. The way a case is handled can vary significantly from one representative to the next. So you will want to find out what expenses the expert thinks will be incurred. This figure must be factored into the amount recovered on the case.
2. Of all the cases they handle, what percentage remain personal injury cases?
It requires a specific set of skills for an attorney to manage an individual injury case adequately. And many general practitioners do not have the skills necessary. Many lawyers may include personal injury cases in their advertisements. But not many of them handle these types of cases on a regular basis. So it remains essential to find out the percentage of your potential attorney’s docket includes involving personal injuries.
3. Will you handle my case yourself or will it be referred out?
The reason a lot of lawyers advertise that they handle cases involving personal injury when they do not control the cases themselves is because they can be precious. It is vital that you make sure the lawyer you hire will be the one handling the case. You don't want one passing it to another attorney and collecting a fee for doing so.
4. What can I expect the contingency fee percentage to be?
A majority of all personal injury lawyers practice on arrangements of contingency fees. The usual rate for a contingency fee is somewhere between 33% and 50%. And as the case develops, the percentage usually gets higher according to the tiered system they have in place. Although a majority of lawyers will typically not negotiate this percentage rate, it gives you the chance to compare lawyers. If you hire someone who takes a lower fee, beware. After all, they may have to take on more cases, to make up for any losses. This situation means you may get less attention to your position and a lower settlement. So decide what you want. Do you need an excellent, aggressive law firm? Or are you more concerned about getting a higher percentage of less of overall yield?
5. In the last few years have you first-chair tried a case to a jury verdict? What were the results of the trial, and DOES IT EVEN MATTER?
Because a large number of cases settle, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing when a lawyer has not represented a case throughout a trial to the verdict in the last few years. A lawyer can still even be just as prepared to take on your case if he has lost a few cases he has taken, as opposed to having won them. "Defense attorneys don't let cases get to trial that they can lose," is what you will hear many an insurance adjustor say.
In many cases, a great lawyer forces a settlement that favors the client, by prosecuting the case and being a better tactician, thereby avoiding an expensive trial with a potentially hostile jury. So try and take a look at motions they have filed, or won, by going to the www.ehlinelaw.com website, for example. Then we'll try and see what kind of work the lawyer your considering does for you. Did they ever clerk for a judge or justice? Have they successfully won appeals or petitions for writ? Look at some of their verdicts and settlements to see what kinds of awards they get with or without trial.
The status as lead attorney is important, because it is not uncommon for lawyers to enter into associations with other. Here, other lawyers all have specific tasks. For example, there may be one or two litigators. Their job is to deal with law and motion, make appearances to argue them, take depositions, and work the case up. These are the backbone of the situation.
These are the people who win the case to avoid a trial, and who make it strong for trial. There may be a trial lawyer who is typically preparing for, or in the trial as well. In recent years, Plaintiff's lawyers have divided up their fees. And this helps to put more hands on a file and at the same time, avoiding having to pay a salaried employee. In PI law, it is feast or famine. So don't be that caught up in how much trial experience one attorney has over another. An appellate lawyer doesn't go to trial.
But they are outstanding at protecting the record for appeals and writs, as well as oral argument. I would prefer someone who can do it all good. But in the end, it is near impossible to do an entire work up on a case by yourself and still do an excellent job. So a vast reservoir of associates and friends can build the value of your potential claim. Also, nowadays, LA Courts require the parties to pay for their court reporter and other fees that are off the charts. And the courts are still broke. Cases have to settle. If not, the costs and waiting period to get a courtroom are unsustainable for most victims. Same goes for insurance companies.
6. How long is the average time it typically takes to resolve cases similar to mine?
The amount of time it takes personal injury attorneys to resolve a case can vary a great deal. A shorter period isn’t always the best. You, the Plaintiff, will often receive more money when you hold out longer. However, there is a big difference between actively working on a personal injury case. But some lawyers choose to hold out and doing nothing. Some will just sit on a client’s file.
You will want to find out when the representative expects to file the case. Also, you need to know when the first depositions are expected to take place, etc. This deadline will provide you with a good idea on whether he or she has plans to begin working on the case immediately. Now you can see for yourself if it will sit around for six months while nothing gets done.
7. What is the value range for a trial and a settlement for my case?
It is not uncommon for members of the bar to hesitate in supplying case value estimations. The reason for this is that there are several factors at play. A lawyer cannot go off half cooked and throw around numbers that determine the substantial value. However, when it comes to an estimated value, they should at least be able to explain the best and worst case scenario.
The ethical rules mandate an attorney not express the value of a case, so don't think your lawyer is a jerk.
Question the potentially retained counsel on any underlying assumptions that exist as a basis for the estimates they do provide. This particular issue can give you two things. Not only will it supply you with a good idea of the worth of your case.
But the precise manner and details the lawyer uses to explain this can give you an idea on the amount of skill and knowledge he has for handling cases involving personal injury. You get a chance to size them up. Get it? If you want to learn more, you can contact me for a free legal consultation at (213) 596-9642.
Knowing the difference between a referral attorney and a handling attorney is essential. And four main ways exist to tell the difference. The referral lawyer is a lawyer that remains outside your lead counsel. Generally, the litigator or trial attorney advances litigation. So a referral lawyer can play various roles, from rainmaking, getting the contact information from the client. Of interest here, is that the duties of litigation get passed to another lawyer.
So if the referral attorney plays a secondary role, they might gather records. Or they help deal with client meetings to free the leading advocate to work on the case file.
Why Should You Care if the Attorney is a Referral Lawyer or Handling Attorney?
No clear-cut answers reveal themselves if a client should have a referral counsel involved. The secondary rep can help assist. Also, they help you communicate. And they can assist in selecting a handling firm qualified to handle the type of case. They can also act as legal counsel to discuss your potential matter.
Why a client might be concerned if the attorney is a referring lawyer or a handling attorney, which includes:
Trust and Relationships: Selecting an attorney means you want to trust their ability to handle your case. And if the attorney is a referral, rather than the handling lawyer, then confidence is misplaced. So it wouldn't be unusual never to meet the attorney managing your case.
Divided Fees: This refers to the attorney taking a portion of any recovery in a case. Signing up with the referral attorney can mean that they will receive a part of the recovery. And the handling lawyer shares the fee. So the handling attorney will determine if your case is worth their time. And if it is a borderline damage or liability claim, they reject it. Having a referring attorney involved in your case could make the difference. The sending lawyer can convince a handling lawyer to take the case.
Asking Questions: Before signing up with an agent, you may have questions dealing with their performance, their case evaluation, and their credentials. Questioning how they will pursue your lawsuit is another line of common questions. The handling attorney is in the position to determine how the case will get handled or litigated. Referral people usually can't give anything, but their opinion of what might happen. They usually will have no standing in the case.
The client should know whether they are dealing with a referring attorney or a handling lawyer, and four easy steps can be used to determine which expert is hired.
Four Steps to Separate the Referring Lawyer from the Handling Attorney.
Cases Referred Out: one of the ways to determine which type of representative you are discussing your case with, is by the percentage of cases that they refer out to others. One example of this is a medical malpractice attorney that refers out all of his claims. Only ask him or her the percentage of his overall cases that are referred out. Also, a wise move would be to ask what percentage of files they see out similar to yours.
Current Active Breakdown of the Attorney's Docket: Attorneys list different types of cases in their advertising. And this can be very misleading. Some attorneys have a docket made of one or two kinds of situations. But they may refuse to handle every single type of case they advertise. So it gets based upon the marketplace of accidents. Sometimes it's nice to have several firms assisting your attorney in the case. You are ok so long as they split the fee among themselves, and your fee remains the same.
Ask: Asking the attorney if they intend to refer your case out is one way to find out. Most of all, they have an ethical obligation to avoid misleading potential clients. Most lawyers are honest and would answer the question truthfully. Assuming the attorney admits they won't refer your case out, they are likely reliable.
Get it in Writing and Read the Fine Print: In the usual attorney contract, a clause that permits them to bring in co-counsel will be present. And they have the right to refer a case out if they decide. But clients can modify contracts. So if you decide against the other attorney handling your case, ask to cancel the contract. Also, you should demand the lawyer forfeit the right to any fees, if the case is referred out. Also, stories abound of attorneys who claim the cost is 15% or 25%. But usually, a hook remains, or possibly a bait and switch sales tactic. So if you suspect an attorney is using a bait and switch fee, contact the California State Bar.
This fee is a decision that should be yours. And never leave this up to the "suits" unless you agree in advance. California public policy favors paying a referral fee. And this exists for many reasons. One of these members of the bar has inside connections into the legal fraternity. He or she can help you find the most qualified representative. And they will still stay involved in the case, and get a fee. So no downside exists to getting a referral.
It is in the newspaper headlines all around the world. Daily, awards of substantial verdicts and settlements occur. Does it seem like people are getting rich to you? Well, in a most personal injury case that's false. Below is an example of a possible settlement of $100,000.00.
Legal agreements memorialize the fee between the client and their lawyer. Let's take a look at a hypothetical settlement distribution.
Hypothetical Fee Distribution
Legal Fees –The $100,000.00 is first divided up to pay outstanding attorney's fees. Attorney's fees can vary. But you can expect prices of 40 to 45% of the settlement amount. Usually, payment of the personal injury attorneys comes from contingency fee contracts. This covers their legal expertise. Also, they pay their own money up front for other cases. And they also pay members of their staff to hammer away at your case. Also, sometimes your fee gets split between several firms. And this remains the case where there is a referring attorney involved. So here, let's assume your legal fees will be cut in half. Here, the two law firms had a contract to divide a 40% contingent fee. So $20,000 will go to Firm A, and $20,000 will go to Firm B.
Legal Expenses –(At this point there is $60,000 of the $100,000.00 remaining). Your attorney will incur certain expenses. A few examples of legal examples would include deposition costs, expert fees, and costs for traveling. In some situations, it can wind up costing several thousands of dollars to cover the expenses of a case. For this example, we’ll say the costs are $18,000.
Liens and Medical Expenses – (At this point there is $42,000 of the $100,000.00 remaining). Outstanding medical liens and expenses must finally be paid out. The federal government and most states require you to pay physicians, government agencies, and hospitals from settlements. So we still have to pay the $33 grand.
The Client’s Part – There is only $9,000 left from the beginning amount of $100,000.00. And this covers lost wages, pain, and suffering, the time used to file the lawsuit. Also, in many cases, it covers lost relationships with a significant other.
So plaintiffs don't always file a suit to get rich. Sometimes these lessons make sure no-one else ends up going through what they had to go through. So it is not only about the settlement amount. Communities are safer when plaintiffs stand their ground against law breakers.
Popular applications by an Apple on a computer display. Include: Apple store, iBooks, Podcasts, iTunes and other
Smartphones have completely reconfigured how people act in day to day life. The modern smartphone can do just about anything-- from simple calls to texts to apps that allow you to fit an office in your pocket. All of these different tools play important roles in effective work ethic and just plain wasting time.
The iPhone is the Swiss Army Knife of Technologies for Auto Operators.
It's like a Swiss Army knife. If you catch a splinter, it has tweezers. And it even has a magnifying glass to get it quickly. So too, your modern smartphones, not just Apple ones, can do many things to help piece together what happened after an accident, and even notify authorities.
Fortunately, many apps have a beneficial purpose and can be used to make your life much more comfortable. Such is the case after a car accident. Heck, you can take pictures of the scene for any potential future litigation. You can take even notes on your phone, so you don't forget.
You can use the recorder to interview witnesses to determine what exactly happened. However, what many iPhone users don't realize is that the phone can be used to establish where accident victims could be.
Geo Locating Car Accident Victims Made Easy With Smart Phone App
The popular Find My iPhone app has been used for many things. For example, finding a lost phone. However, around San Jose, California, the app saved a woman's life. Her car crashed down a ravine and rescuers needed the apps' help.
Using the app, as reported by ABC 7, the woman was found and rescued. This rescue happened even though her car's OnStar system couldn't track down her location. And this was after the vehicle crashed down a 500-foot ravine. Such cases may seem extraordinary, but with the advances with technology, driving in many ways has become safer.
Bad Weather and Bad Drivers Mean Apps Are a Good Idea to Upload
Unfortunately, with poor weather, bad drivers, or technical issues, the chance of a crash is still out there. When involved in such an accident, it is essential to find the best medical and legal care possible to help get you to a positive solution. For more information or a free consultation, please call or email Ehline Law today. Our legal experts stand ready to answer your call or email 24/7.
The Griffin logo of Ehline injury attorneys
While many different things stop a person from getting legal help in personal injury cases, fear of significant expenses remains the most prominent one. However, to ensure that everyone who has been carelessly and undeservingly hurt by someone gets justice, lawyers started charging on a contingency basis.
This particular method of receiving the fees from the people in trouble allows them to take help from an experienced lawyer without always worrying about how much money they have left in their pocket.
Let’s understand the contingency fee structure and see how it will affect your legal actions in a particular case.
What’s a Contingency Fee Structure?
When a lawyer says that he will charge you contingency fee what he means is that he is not going to cost you anything upfront. He will take up your case, review it and contact the offending party to see if a settlement can become reached before filing a lawsuit, i.e., taking the situation inside the court.
When and if the case gets settled, the lawyer will take his fees from this settled amount.
In addition to his fees, he will also make sure to deduct any expenses he had to take from his pocket while pursuing a settlement.
Contingency Fee In Detail
In most injury cases today, you will meet lawyers who will charge to take care of your situation on a contingency fee basis. It is important to note here that some states have put a limit on the percentage of the amount that a lawyer can take.
Some states feel that they should scrutinize contingency fees more.
After all, the lawyer takes a fee from the final settlement. They want the client to get something after costs and expenses, etc.
Usually, California does not interfere with the retainer contract unless a compelling state interest lies in your case.
Are Protected People, Like Minors' and Incompetents' Settlements Universally Scrutinized?
Yes. Absolutely. This scrutiny is a case where there is a compelling state interest in protecting a class incapable of defending themselves.
Examples, where an earned fee could be reduced or limited in California, include:
So these are highly scrutinized contingency fee contracts in California and other states. In California, for example, you will need to set up a trust, and conservatorship in most cases. This protective scheme is all very complicated, time-consuming and expensive.
So What is the Typical Contingency Fee Amount in a Personal Injury Case?
Mostly, you will be looking at contingency fees in the range of 35% and 40% of the gross amount you will receive as part of the settlement.
Another familiar figure is the one-third. Here, your lawyer takes 33.33% of the total settlement amount.
What is a Shifting of Limits Attorneys' Fee?
Another term you might come across as you go in the details of contingency fee structure is “shifting of limits.” What this means is that your lawyer can charge you a different contingency fee based on the condition of the case it is in when the agent picks it up.
After analyzing the situation, your condition, your damages, etc., the contingency fee lawyer dispatches a letter to the offending party. Here your lawyer lets them know of the demand for the final settlement. So if the offending party agrees to pay this amount the agreement, the case never enters the court.
This demand is an easy way to reach the end of a case, and so you won’t have to pay more than 33.33% to the lawyer as his contingency fee in this scenario. However, things can change if the offending party doesn’t agree to pay the compensation amount or completely disagrees to take the blame for the personal injury.
Now, in this particular scenario, the case goes to court for an eventual trial. This court filing process starts by filing a lawsuit. In this given situation where the case ends up in the court, your lawyer receives a higher percentage of the final settlement amount – a 40% fee in most cases.
Contingency Fees Might Not Be The Only Deductions
Furthermore, contingency fees are not the only thing that needs deducted from the final settlement amount when a case closes, but that’s not the case every time. The lawyer is handling the case will collect the evidence and investigate the incident to strengthen the situation.
All of this requires him to collect reports, hire people to perform various tasks, etc. The lawyer can choose to pay for these expenses either from his pocket or ask you straight away to pay for these expenses.
If your lawyer has asked you to pay for these extra legal fees, then your final settlement will be the amount less the attorney’s fee. However, if the agent has been making these expenses from his pocket, then the sum of these expenditures will be taken from your final settlement check.
In this case, if you don’t have the money to pay these fees, the fact will come to a stop.
The many areas where the money is spent while handling a personal injury case include:
The longer the situation lasts, the higher expenses are and the higher the amount deducted from your final settlement. In some scenarios, the percentage that comes as the victim is 45% to 50% only.
Benefits Of Contingency Fee Structure
There are several benefits of choosing lawyers that work with contingency fee structure. People who don’t have enough money in their pockets to start pursuing compensation in a personal injury case seek without paying up front.
Another huge benefit is that the lawyer's interest ties to winning your case. If the lawyer takes his fees up front, then there are higher chances of work without required passion. Because of this, his interests and motivation have died in such a scenario.
How Is a Contingency Fee Taken?
The settlement check from the offending party will be sent to the lawyer in your case. The draft gets deposited into the attorney-client trust account. This ensures that your line holder and lawyer get paid their fees. In addition, any other extra-contractual expenses before the proceeds you are owed go into your personal bank account.
Also, it remains the responsibility of your lawyer to inform you as soon as he has received the settlement check. He should give you complete details on how much money he’s going to take the form the settlement check. And your lawyer should also explain the expenses in detail.
To make things even better, today the lawyers encourage their clients pursuing their injury cases with a free first consultation with the contingency fee plan. Ehline Law Firm based in Los Angeles, California is one such reputable firm, handling personal injury cases on a contingency for years (learn more.)
Ehline Law Firm Personal Injury Attorney, APLC
633 West 5th Street #2890
Los Angeles, CA
Phone: (213) 596-9642.
Neglect Care Switch Showing Neglecting Or Caring
Refusal of medical treatment after being in an automotive accident is a colossal mistake. First, there is harm that may not be immediately apparent. Also, in some instances, it may take hours, days, or weeks until symptoms are present. Secondly, refusing medical care can impact a legal claim. So the value of the personal injury case can get knocked down.
The fact is, refusing medical examination and treatment reduces the ability to win. You can quickly lose or blow out a lawsuit or settlement by not acting swiftly. The defense will use this as leverage to prove their case. Also, without medical documentation, it will be difficult if not impossible, to determine damages. So forget about money for harm suffered.
Insurance companies will also use this as a way to offer a low settlement or deny a claim. In conclusion, there should be no delay in seeking medical care. After getting involved in an accident, you must go directly to the emergency room. Also, this must get done to maintain the value of the claim against a negligent party.
What are The Interworkings of Insurance Company Claims?
Insurance companies are not on the side of the injured person. Also, they are likely to negotiate or offer a more substantial settlement amount with documentation. Almost always, this shows the damage was accident related.
A hospital emergency room medical professional provided the diagnosis. That care provider was the one that tended the treatment for the harm suffered during the mishap.
When Your Doctor is Not A Member of Mainstream Medicine, You Have a Problem.
There is one issue that may impact a new insurance claim. When the medical profession is not a member of mainstream medicine claims, get reduced. Examples include acupuncturists, pressure therapists, and holistic healers.
Shamans and witch doctors are also not considered real doctors. Caveat emptor, the insurance company, may use this as a reason to lower the offered settlement or validity. They will often claim the diagnoses or treatment was invalid.
The best choice is a physician who practices within the mainstream medical community. Still better is when he or she has an affiliation with hospitals. Another issue that determines the value of insurance company offers is the length of treatment. So along with the pain and suffering, this gets factored into the settlement amount.
Furthermore, the insurance company often looks at care provided by chiropractors and physical therapists. Sometimes defendants say the victim extended treatment beyond what may be necessary. They will claim this was to increase the settlement amount.
The claimant who can show they were under the care of their primary physician is in a better position. The more qualified the doctor ordering this, the more valid it will be to a court. So this type of treatment for the amount of time the care consisted of, will show a more convincing argument.
The insurance company will take a claim more seriously too. So when immediate medical treatment happens, the payouts are higher. In some cases, diagnosis and treatment are dependent upon testing. But that can be expensive. And it is to confirm or rule out particular harm, especially in traumatic head injuries.
Why are Scans and Tests are So Vital?
These tests may include CT scans, MRI’s, and x-rays. These will show if individuals have a traumatic brain injury. So this could consist of concussion or another type of head injury. Testing of this kind can be a significant portion of the medical expenses in an insurance claim. But alas, if the proper steps don't get taken from the start, testing reimbursement gets denied.
Delaying Medical Care is a Major No No?
Yes, it is! The medical professional’s documentation and testing results can mean obtaining a higher settlement. Conversely, delaying medical care will provide insurance companies with reasons something else hurt you. They will then refuse to pay for testing and treatment. Or they will outright lower or deny the claim.
When medical treatment is immediate, the insurance company will be more cooperative. Also, they become more agreeable to the initial expenses for surgery. The fight may be stronger with diagnostic tests or lengthy therapy treatments involved. However, insurance companies are apt to pay the initial costs when treatment is immediate.
What Other Things that Can Damage an Accident Claim?
The most damaging issue in personal injury claims is refusing medical treatment. Failure to do so at the crash scene or lying is often fatal to your case. Each can cause damage to the allegation. Most of all, they provide the defense with ammunition.
They will argue against the plaintiff or the validity of the claim. So not getting medical treatment right away lets defendants question if it was accident related. Almost always they say it was a later injury in some other incident. So it may get wondered whether the damages are fake. Hence there needs to be a post-accident medical record.
Also, another defense is that extra costs could have gotten avoided with timely care. Particularly relevant here, law schools teach this as "mitigation of damages." So a plaintiff who fails to stabilize him or herself is not allowed to argue exacerbation of the injury later.
Create a Causal Connection With the Injury and the Incident With Medical Records.
When symptoms appear later, first medical care evidence connects conditions to the accident. Also, with a medical professional reviewing/validating the documents, it helps eliminate the defense’s arguments.
Namely, it strips them from arguing the validity of the injury and claim. Every issue discussed will affect the chance of obtaining your deserved settlement. The goal here is winning a lawsuit for the value of your case. It is easier for the court to rule in the plaintiff’s favor with validated evidence.
So to recover what a claim is worth, physicians need to review medical records. Specifically, they need to focus on diagnosis and treatment. If it's related to the accident, it is recoverable in court. Independent examination and review will enhance the validity of the claim. Also, it helps to avoid problems with injuries, not immediately understandable.
How Do Attorneys Determine Worth in Personal Injury Claims?
The personal injury attorney will review the medical treatment undergone. This lawyer will examine the duration of treatment and the type of injuries sustained. Most lawyers will use experts to determine the worth of the overall claim.
So in seeking damages, the attorney will rely on medical specialists and economists. Then they will assess the expenses involved in the initial losses and future damages if any. The experts that review the claim will provide testimony to support the case.
Evidence helps recover the compensation the injured victim deserves.
If you or a loved one has gotten injured, you need legal advice. Contact Ehline Law Firm. Get a free consultation today. Do this by calling our negligence law attorney’s toll-free at (213) 596-9642. Our lawyers will never ask for upfront legal fees. And if we don’t recover compensation in your case, you won’t pay attorney fees.
Liberals love burning our flag
In the first place, anyone that watched this election cycle saw something strange. In fact, they saw a new level of vitriol. The 2016 election appears the most divisive in modern memory. In truth, the problem continues to increase. But some consisted of hoax attacks. And victims claimed that they faced attack by Trump supporters. So instead, in most cases, the reports proved false.
In fact, there are plenty of documented cases of violence. All of that happened during this last election. But the force has been aimed at Trump supporters, though. The Daily Caller reported on a student protest. First of all this incident happened in Maryland. So, to explain four people beat a pro-Trump youth. In fact out of four people, by the same token one got arrested. As a result, the assaulted student went to the hospital.
The Daily Wire covered another similar, disturbing turn of events. A mob in Chicago beats a Trump supporter. But in fact, no sympathy came from the left. So on CNN, a Clinton backer said the following.
"We can't call for people to be peaceful when the rhetoric is not friendly. And people don't feel calm in their home." At another point, the Democrat said, "Oh my goodness, poor white people." But the comment was made a sarcastic manner by the individual.
A Trump supporter got attacked by two people in Meriden, CT. The supporter holding a Trump sign faced an assault, according to the Boston Globe. According to the paper, the two assailants arrested. They were both from the same city as the beating. "Wilson Echevarria, a 32-year-old resident. His charges included third-degree assault. And Anthony Hobdy, a 36-year-old resident, charged with third-degree assault. But also they included heroin possession and other charges."
Is Ignorance Bliss?
We cannot wish away the wave of violence. In truth, this isn't something we can do. Many Clinton supporters draw from a well of anger. So, they're using it in violent methods. Hate groups like ANTIFA use it against the Trump supporters. In truth, this type of violence needs to stop. But the Clinton campaign isn't helping the situation.
The recount effort was triggered by violence and vitriol as well. For this reason, the recounts include the states of WI, PA, and MI. So in fact, this is going to deepen the divisions.
Also, it appears that the DNC is either directly or indirectly funding these leftist agitators. In fact, the DNC has funded the leftist agitators causing these problems. But the victims may be able to sue. So as a result, the defendant could be the DNC.
The Democrat Party may be liable for intentional torts. In truth, they could bring personal injury claims. This suit would be brought under the doctrine of Respondeat Superior.
Injury lawyer Michael Ehline of Ehline Law Firm.
Ok. This difference in this distinction is a question few people don’t ask since they seem to mean the same thing. But are they? Most people think it's teh same. But there are differences that could affect your interactions with the courts.
As a consumer, you need to protect yourself, even when you are seeking the help of someone to champion your legal interests.
You have to make sure they even have the legal authority to represent you at all!
Sometimes differences could seem minute. But they could make a significant difference in your case. Having an unqualified advocate is clearly against your best interest.
Those trained in the field of law are often called "lawyers." People trained in the law include paralegals. But they are not normally people who have read for the law, or attended law school. So it is doubtful they could call themselves lawyers absent that special education. In any event, I think it is pretty clear that a paralegal is NOT a lawyer.
A lawyer, defined below as:
A person learned in the law; as an attorney, counsel, or solicitor. Any person who, for fee or reward, prosecutes or defends causes in courts of record or other judicial tribunals of the United States, or of any of the states, or whose business it is to give legal advice in relation to any cause or matter whatever. Act of July 13, 1800. (See Infra.)
At the other end of the spectrum is the “attorney.” This legal beagle is someone licensed by the state bar to practice law and represent their clients. Attorneys have higher standard than lawyers. So they must have all of the prerequisite training and expertise needed to handle many types of cases.
Attorney usually denotes an agent or substitute appointed and authorized to act in the place or stead of another. In re Ricker, 60 N. H. 207, 29 Atl. 559, 24 L. R. A. 740; Eichelberger v. Sifford, 27 Md. 320. It is “an ancient English word, and signifies one that is set in the turn, stead, or place of another; and of these some be private * * * and some be [public], as attorneys at law.” Co. Litt. 516, 128a; Britt 2856. . . (See Infra.)
What is an Esquire?
Esquire often follows an attorney's name as a title. Esquire in the United States most often means that an attorney has passed the bar of that particular state, but not always. Of course, our founders looked upon titles of nobility as a potentially dangerous thing.
In the United Kingdom the "Esq" may be used for other educational titles. So in the UK, attorneys are called barristers or solicitors. In any event, knowing whether or not the person that you are contacting is prepared for the job remains vital.
If you think that these distinctions do not make a difference, it could lead you in the wrong direction. Making sure your advocate has the correct level of legal training is vital. After all, it could make all the difference in and out of court, or in negotiations. Don't cut any corners. Never allow an unqualified individual to take on your case. The wrong choice could affect you for the rest of your life. When in doubt, contact a real attorney with a name in good standing with the state bar.
Black's Law Dictionary - "Attorney" defined Here.
Black's Law Dictionary - "Lawyer," defined Here.
Most of us have seen the movie Rainmaker with Danny DeVito. If not, I included a scene that comes to mind when a lot of people attempt to describe their vision of the venerable negligence attorney. (See below) Of course, most of us have surely heard the ad hominem jokes and slurs about personal injury lawyers.
Many pundits call us ambulance chasers, thieves with suits on, and so on and so forth. You name it, if it's derogatory, it has probably been attributed to the infamous "PI" lawyer at some point in time.
As you can see above, the new attorney, Matt Damon, is not too thrilled about chasing "ambulances." But DeVito made it clear he, Damon, would starve if he did not hustle. Yes, they were walking through a hospital trying to sign up injury cases, which is hilarious.
Of course, capping at a hospital is a practice that is prohibited in California and most states. But DeVito would argue that he was there on other business and just happened to strike up a conversation.
Either way, ethical decision making in the real world could mean the difference between staying in practice or going under with your story in the back of the attorney discipline section of the Daily Journal. It certainly has happened to a lot of newbie lawyers, and it will probably continue to happen. Your job is not to be that guy.
Making sure that you make the most ethical decisions should be an easy statement to agree with. However, properly weighing different factors is important. You must ensure that you act in a manner that is potentially beneficial to yourself and those around you with minimal negative repercussions.
Below you can see some general guidelines to guide you towards what might be the correct decision.
1. How Do I Determine the Moral Parameters?
By seeing whether or not such a situation has a moral side, you will be able to get into the correct state of mind to make a decision. There is a large difference in how to approach such a problem if there is a moral or ethical decision involved.
2. Who is Involved?
By determining who is directly involved in such a decision, it will be easier to see their motives and background. This way, you can put yourself in the shoes of the other person. Now you can determine if ethical causes do not motivate their interests. Determine how these people interact with each other, yourself, and society. Now you can determine if this changes your perspective on how they should be treated.
3. What are Moral Concepts at Play?
What ideas or concepts may be at conflict or risk in such a circumstance?
4. What Can You Do?
By thoroughly thinking out a series of potential outcomes, you will be able to weigh the possible results. These will allow you to see what may happen to the other parties. So now you can see how it may affect them in the short and long run. And this helps you merge ideas into a better result for all sides involved.
5. How Would Action Affect the Parties?
Seeing all of these options will also determine the adverse effects or benefits to the parties involved. In any event, weighing the harm or upside should allow for an easier decision.
6. Precedent Can be Key
You can quickly assess your current situation by looking at similar past cases. Also, by determining the actions of other parties and their analogs in other cases, you can get a better feel for what action you should take.
7. Talk it Out!
Speak to those involved and those with experience or insight. That will also make a significant difference. Speaking to those that have been in similar situations helps shed light on the situation. After that, you will develop a wider perspective to make a rational decision.
8. Is it Legal? Is it True to Form?
Weighing your choice next to laws and rules of organizations also helps. After all, people must obey certain laws. These laws include those regulating doctors or attorneys. Making sure that what you do is legal, honest, and consistent with these regulations is vital.
Could I Make Such a Decision?
So if you are the arbiter, you must ask yourself if you are comfortable making such a decision and live with the consequences. Is this something you can carry with you (publicly if needed) for years? Also, does it serve as a good example for others?
But expunging the vision of ambulance chaser from the minds of most consumers is probably not possible. So in your practice, you simply have to make the right decision every time.
Michael P. Ehline, Esq's injury attorney legal dictionary most used terms.
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Ehline Law Firm has brought this free Ehline Online Legal Dictionary to help the consumer and lawyer understand general legal definitions as they are commonly understood in the California legal community. Your experts at the Ehline law firm have gained recognition as being among the best. Our reputation stands on its own. This dictionary is just one of the reasons why. Please read on in our free, easy-to-access document.
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Understanding the Terms
These definitions shouldn't be construed as legal advice. Furthermore, we encourage you to conduct further research. In some cases, retain an attorney if you intend on relying upon any legal definitions provided herein. Because legal definitions can change based upon what courts and lawmakers decide, Ehline expressly disclaims any liability for anyone's reliance upon the Ehline Online Legal Dictionary. Find more info on other pages of our site. Our number one goal is to make the law understandable for you. Please read below for more info.
This directory is free and is updated from time to time, but our law offices are not an official case reporting service. Always read the CACI Jury Instructions for acceptable California court jargon and legal terminology. In any event, these terms and explanations were helpful in Michael Ehline's becoming an attorney with no law degree. Read the previous article for more info. Our attorneys are on standby to assist if you have any questions. Contact us today for more info.
A B C D E F G H I J L M N O P Q R S T U V W
Abatement: to remove, diminish, or reduce;
Abrogate: violate, cancel out, destroy, revoke, void out;
Abscond: used when vanishing away, to travel covertly in secret. Hence, out of the court's jurisdiction to improperly leave steal property and run away;
Abstention: when one court won't exercise jurisdiction and instead defers to a different court. Therefore, taking under submission pending what is determined by the lower court;
Abuse of Discretion: legal standard applied by courts of appeal to review whether or not the discretion of agencies. Most noteworthy, the trial court, administrative agencies, and other entities exceeded the power the trial court had when it ruled;
Abuse of Process: the improper use of the legal process for an improper purpose
Acceleration: to quicken, speed up, to hasten
Accord: legal word for an agreement between two or more parties
Accrue: to build up, or to accumulate, collect up, come into being. Such as a legal right or cause of action coming into existence as a court-enforceable legal right of claim
Action (At Law): a legal right whereby one party prosecutes another for a wrong
Actionable: giving rise to a cause of action
Actionable Tort: the failure to perform a legal duty created by statute or common law. Hence, owed by one party to another which such failure results in injury
Acts of God: forces of nature which are impossible to predict
Actual Damages: losses which are proven to have incurred as a result of the wrongful act of another
Ad Damnum: (lat.) the amount of damages demanded normally in the context of a lawsuit
Additur: an increase by the court in the amount of damages awarded by the jury
Adjourn: to suspend; to delay a court proceeding through recess
Adjudication: a determination of the controversy and a pronouncement of a judgment based on the evidence presented
Ad Litem: (lat.) for the lawsuit
Admiralty and Maritime Jurisdiction: jurisdiction over actions related to events occurring on navigable waters
Admission: a voluntary acknowledgment that certain facts do exist or are true
Alienation of Affections: a tort based upon willful, malicious or intentional interference of a marriage relation by a third party
Alter Ego: (lat.) the other self. Under this legal doctrine, the law will disregard the personal liability an individual has as a result of the existence a corporate entity. Will regard an act as the act of the individual rather than solely the act of the corporation
American Bar Association (A.B.A.): a national organization of lawyers and law students
Amicus Curiae: (lat.) a friend of the court
Annotation: citing a particular case of the statute
Annuity: a contract that provides for the payment of a fixed sum usually over some time. Furthermore, often utilized to fund a structured settlement
Annul: to make void, to do away with (Think a marriage annulment. Sort of like a thing that was not a meeting of the minds and thus, invalid.)
Answer: the court papers filed on behalf of the defendant in response to plaintiff's complaint BACK TO TOP
Bailiff: a court attendant
Barrister: in England, one of two classes of legal practitioners; an English trial lawyer
Battery: an intentional or unlawful application of force to the person of another; an unlawful touching
Bench Trial: a trial in which the court determines the facts without a jury; trial by judge
Best Evidence Rule: the rule of law of evidence requiring the original writing, recording, or photograph
The burden of Proof: the burden that rests with each party to the litigation to convince the jury in a jury trial or the judge in a bench trial of that party's case BACK TO TOP
Casualty Loss: a loss of property due to fire, storm, or other casualties
Cause of Action: the existence of particular facts and law that create a right sufficient to merit judicial action
Cautionary Instruction: judge's charge to a jury telling them not to allow any outside matter to influence their verdict
Caveat: (lat.) warning or caution
Cease and Desist Order: a court order prohibiting the person or entity to which is directed from undertaking or continuing a particular activity or course of conduct
Circuit Court: one of several courts in a given jurisdiction; a part of a system of courts
Circumstantial Evidence: indirect evidence of a fact; evidence that indirectly y suggests proof of a fact
Citation: a reference to a book or other source of legal authority
Civil Action: a judicial proceeding brought to protect a civil right created by common law or statute
Civil Law: law concerned with non-criminal matters
Liability, Civil: liability for actions seeking enforcement of personal rights
Class Action: a lawsuit brought by a representative member on behalf of a large group of persons or members of the group
Clayton Act: prohibits price fixing and other types of discrimination
Clean Hands: the doctrine that requires that a person who seeks equitable relief must not himself have committed any impropriety concerning the transaction
Clear and Convincing: standard of proof; evidence greater than a mere preponderance
Common Law: the system of jurisprudence which is based on judicial precedent. As a result, rather than statutory laws and comprises the most substantial body of law in the United States
Comparative Negligence: the comparing of responsibility between the plaintiff and the defendant or defendants
Complaint: in a civil lawsuit, the first papers filed by the plaintiff setting out the facts on which the claim for relief is based
Compos Mentis: (lat.) mentally competent
The conclusion of Fact: the conclusion reached through the use of facts and reasoning, without resort to rules of law
Conclusion of Law: conclusion reached through application of provisions of law
Conclusive Evidence: irrefutable evidence
Conflict of Interest: a situation where the tending of one duty leads to disregard of another
Conflict of Laws: applicable law of one state court which differs with the applicable law of another state jurisdiction which also has an interest in the outcome
Consanguinity: the familial relationship of persons united by one or more common ancestors
Consent, Informed: see INFORMED CONSENT
Consent Judgment: an agreement of the parties which is placed on record with the court having jurisdiction
Consortium: the loss of services of society of another
Contempt of Court: willful disobedience of a court order or intentional interference with the administration of justice
Contingent Fee: a charge made by an attorney dependent upon the outcome of the case; the amount is usually a percentage of the party's recovery
Continuance: a postponement
Contribution: a legal right of a party who is responsible to the victim for reimbursement from another person
Contributory Negligence: the negligence of the injured party which is recognized as conduct which contributed to the loss
Costs: court-recognized expenses of the legal proceedings for which the successful party is entitled to reimbursement from the other party
Criminal Negligence: an act of negligence that is a violation of the law and constitutes a crime BACK TO TOP
Damages: money compensation awarded to a person who has been injured by another; see ACTUAL DAMAGES, CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, LIQUIDATED DAMAGES, NOMINAL DAMAGES, PUNITIVE DAMAGES
Damnum Absque Injuria: (lat.) harm without injury
Declaratory Judgment: a review and determination by the court, sometimes with the assistance of a jury. This is of a matter to determine the rights of the parties or express the opinion of the court on a question of law or interpretation
Decree: a decision or order of a court, usually in equity; a final decree disposes of all matters before the court; an interlocutory decree disposes of only part of the lawsuit and often may not be appealed until the conclusion of the entire case
Default Judgment: a judgment entered against a party for that party's failure to answer or comply as required by procedure laws. Most often occurs when a defendant fails to explain the court papers filed by the plaintiff charging the defendant with wrongdoing
Defense: the defendant's statement or reasons why he should not be liable to the plaintiff for the allegations made
De Jure: (lat.) by right; lawful
Delayed Discover Rule: The delayed discovery rule was created to protect negligence claims from the statute of limitations, which could have expired before the plaintiff knowing that he or she had a legal claim. Read More.
Deliberation: the juror's process of pondering and weighing of facts, applying the law, and coming to a verdict
Demand: the amount of money requested by the plaintiff
Demonstrative Evidence: evidence which aids by its ability to demonstrate; object or thing which can be viewed by the trier of fact
De Novo: (lat.) from the very beginning; anew
Depose: to give evidence or testimony under oath on the record
Deposition: the taking statements before trial where all parties attorneys are asked to be present for the asking of questions of parties or witnesses while the proceedings are recorded by some approved method
Derogation: to repeal or abolish a law
Directed Verdict: a verdict entered in a jury trial by the judge before the jury is allowed to consider the merits of the case
Discovery: a procedure utilized by the attorneys to the litigation to acquire information in preparation for trial
Discretion: the exercise of an official prerogative to act in an official capacity
District Court: court having jurisdiction over a territorial district
Due Care: a theory of tort law to explain the standard of care or the legal duty one owes to others; what a reasonable person would do under like circumstances
Duty: obligation owed by a person to another person BACK TO TOP
Election of Remedies: a choice of possible remedies sanctioned by law for a particular injury or wrong
En Banc: (lat., fr.) by the full court
Enlargement: the allowance of additional time to do a required act under the rules of civil procedure
En Ventre Sa Mere: (lat., fr.) in gestation; in the womb of one's mother
Equitable: due consideration for what is fair under particular circumstances
Erroneous: about a mistake
Estoppel: precluding from asserting
Exemplar: a replica of the actual item involved
Exhaustion of Remedies: a judicial policy or statutory requirement that specific administrative steps taken before the court considering the controversy
Exhibit: an item of evidence presented to the court for consideration
Ex Parte: an application made by one party to the proceeding without the presence of the opposing party
Expert Witness: a witness having particular knowledge of the subject about which he is called upon to testify; permitted to aid the jury in understanding information outside of their collective knowledge BACK TO TOP
Fact-Finder: a person or persons that has the responsibility determining the facts in question
Failure to Prosecute: procedural inability in a matter in litigation expected by the court; a failure to pursue
Federal Courts: the courts of the United States
First Impression: first discussion or consideration of a particular matter
Foreperson of Jury: the jury selected
Forensic: the branch of science that employs scientific technology assisting the determination of facts in the courts of law
Foreseeability: a tort law requires that the consequences of a parties action or inaction could reasonably result in the injury
Forum Non-Conveniens: (lat.) an inconvenient place to proceed BACK TO TOP
Gag Order: an order by the court restricting comment on, or the release of information about the proceedings
Garnishment: a procedure to take control over a person's assets or income judicially determined to be owed or belonging to another person. For example, used in both government and civil cases.
Good Cause: significant or legally adequate reason for the doing of some act
Reasonable Faith: a properly intended deed free from improper motive
Governmental Immunity: a legal precept of the sovereignty of the government rendering it exempt from liability for its acts or failures. Often used by state, federal, and local governments.
Grand Jury: a group of individuals designated by law to determine whether enough evidence exists to merit a charge against the criminally accused. No parallel in civil law although many states require a review and certification prior a patient bringing of an action against a doctor or other person or entity providing medical services
Gross Negligence: conduct worse or more serious than a simple departure from reasonable care. However, less than a complete disregard of any concern owed others
Guardian: one who legally has supervision and responsibility for a person
Guardian ad Litem: Individual protector appointed by a court to oversee the legal rights of an individual incompetent under the law. (In addition: Read more.)
Guilty: the determination by a jury that the accused has committed a crime. However, the term is not relevant to civil law matters BACK TO TOP
Harmless Error: error which is not sufficiently prejudicial to require reversal of the previous finding or outcome
Hearsay Rule: a rule of evidence that requires the declarant be subject to cross-examination at the hearing; many exceptions to the rule exist
Hidden Defect: a defect or condition which is not observable by a reasonable inspection; see LATENT DEFECT
Hung Jury: a jury whose members cannot agree in sufficient numbers to reach a verdict. Unanimous in criminal cases, federal civil claims and three-quarters in some other states civil cases BACK TO TOP
Immaterial: a rule of evidence that requires that the evidence must have a sufficient relationship to the issue in question
Immunity: a grant of freedom from responsibility
Impact Rule: a requirement of some states tort law. Whereby a physical contact with the person must occur in the order of damages for emotional distress to be recoverable
Impanel: to bring together in the courtroom the people selected to serve as the jury
Impleader: a rule of procedure whereby a third party enters an existing lawsuit
Implied Consent: a consent drawn from the facts of the surrounding circumstances
Implied Contract: a contract not expressly agreed upon in written terms but one created by the conduct of the parties
Imputed Liability: liability for the acts of another person which arises out of the operation of law
In Absentia: (lat.) in absence
In Camera: (lat.) in chambers
Indemnity: to wholly or partially responsible for the loss that has been sustained by another
In Forma Pauperis: (lat.) as would be a pauper. Usually refers to the right granted by the court to allow a party to proceed without the payment of costs due to financial inability
Informed Consent: consent obtained after full disclosure of the facts and risks involved; sometimes an allegation in medical negligence cases
Inherent Defect: a defect that exists and is natural to the item
Injunction: an order of the court which requires a person or entity to refrain from pursuing a particular course of conduct or activity
Injuria Absque Damno: (lat.) wrong or insult without damage; see DAMAGE ABSQUE INJURIA
Injuria Non-Excusat Injuriam: (lat.) one wrong does not justify another injury any damage or injury inflicted upon another
In Limine: (lat.) at the beginning
Loco Parentis, In: (lat.) in the place of the parent
In Personam: (lat.) against the person
In Re: in the matters of
Rem, Im: (lat.) an action against a thing, as opposed to a lawsuit against a person
Instruction: the law as given by the court to the jury before their deliberations which states the applicable law to the issues in the case
Inter Alia: (lat.) among other things
Interim Order: a temporary order
Interlocutory Order: an order or ruling that determines an intermediate issue, but does not dispose of the case in chief
Interpleader: a rule of procedure that allows a person who has a thing or money not belonging to him, and who is not certain to whom among several claimants it rightfully belongs. May give the thing or money to the court to decide who gets the thing or money
Interrogatories: in civil actions, a pretrial discovery tool in which written questions are sent by one party and are to be answered under oath by the other party
Intervention: a proceeding permitting a person to enter into a lawsuit already in progress
Inter Vivos: (lat.) between the living
Invasion of Privacy: the wrongful intrusion into a person's private life
Invitee: one who comes upon the land of another by invitation of the owner
Ipsa Dixit: (lat.) he said it himself
Irreparable Injury: a loss for which no remedy at law would be enough, and therefore a court sitting in equity may order a special relief other than money damages
Issue: the item of fact or law in dispute
Issue Preclusion: an issue decided in previous litigation that after that precluded from re-litigation BACK TO TOP
J. D.: Juris Doctor; the degree that is bestowed after graduation from law school. Furthermore, the degree was formerly designated LL. B.
Joinder: uniting of parties to single case or litigation
Joint and Several: sharing of right or liability between parties individually as well as jointly
Enterprise, Joint: an agreement of two or more parties to take on a particular goal or project
Liability, Joint: a doctrine of liability making all parties who are responsible for a loss to each share full responsibility
Joint Venture: a business undertaking by two or more parties in which profits, losses, and control are shared
Jones Act: a federal law that grants a seaman who suffers an injury to his or her person during employment a right to damages
Judge-Made Law: the law that is decided by judicial interpretation as opposes to legislative enactment and is often termed common law
Judgment: judicial determination of a matter
Judicial Notice: a rule of legal convenience that negates the need for proof of the matter
Jurisdiction: the authority of a court to hear and determine a thing
Jurisdictional Amount: an amount of money in controversy required for a court to have the power to hear and decide a matter
Jurisprudence: the topical area of the science of law and societal order
Jurist: a legal scholar
Juror: an individual empaneled as a member of a jury
Jury: the group of individuals empaneled to decide on the facts involved in the trial
Jury Trial: the determination of a case by a jury, the jury decides the facts and the court instructs the jury of the law to be applied to the facts
Justiciable: a matter that is capable of being determined by a court of law or equity with or without the aid of a jury BACK TO TOP
Laches: neglecting to assert a right or claim which taken together with a lapse of time and other circumstances, causes prejudice to an adverse party, thereby operating as a bar in a court of equity
Latent Defect: a defect not discoverable by the exercise of an ordinary inspection, see HIDDEN DEFECT
Law Office Study Program: A program offered by a few states that allow one to become a lawyer with no law school or undergrad. (Source.)
Law of the Case: a legal principle which states that a determination of law by a higher court is considered as correct during all subsequent hearings in the proceedings unless the question is being heard by a court more elevated than the court that made the ruling
Lay Witness: a witness that is testifying as a witness to a fact or an opinion as opposed to a notice given by an expert about a matter beyond the expected comprehension of the jury
Leave of Court: a request to the court to obtain permission to do something that otherwise would not be permissible
Lex Loci Delicti: (lat.) the place where the wrong took place
Liability: responsibility or accountability for one's breach of duty owed to another
Licensee: one of the classes of persons entering upon the lands of another whereby the individual has not been invited upon the area but is tolerated
Limine: see MOTION IN LIMINE
Liquidated Damages: a sum of money agreed upon by the parties to a contract paid as damages if a breach of the contract
Lis Pendens: (lat.) a pending suit
Long Arm Statues: statutory laws empowering a court to obtain jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant
Lord Campbell's Act: the English rule that first recognized the right of the family of a decedent to bring an action for damages against the person who was responsible for the death of their family member
Lump-Sum Payment: an amount of money paid in one payment as opposed to a structured settlement which is paid out over some time in several payments BACK TO TOP
Magistrate: in the federal court system, a person appointed to serve as a representative of the court. Often given many responsibilities that would otherwise be performed by the federal judge
Malfeasance: the doing of an act in an improper, wrongful, or unlawful manner
Malice: a spiteful state of mind
Malpractice: a failure of a professional to act by the acceptable course of conduct, negligence of a member of a profession in a professional capacity
Maritime Law: the body of law that governs navigation and other activity in navigable waters
Mens Rea: a guilty mind
Misfeasance: the improper performance of a required act
Mistrial: an action taken by a court which terminates a trial in progress
Mitigation of Damages: a duty owed by the party who sustained an injury to his person or property to minimize the loss by acting in a reasonably prudent manner
Money Judgment: a judgment granting to one party the right to receive money from another party
Moot Case: a case that is fictional and based upon a factor which is not recognizable or already resolved (aka it no longer exists.)
Motion: a written or oral request to the court order to allow or prohibit some item or to ask the court to take particular action about the litigation
Motion in Limine: a request made by a party requesting the court to prevent the discussion or other presentation of a specific matter to the jury
Municipal Court: a court that hears and determines issues concerning its laws and other matters within its jurisdiction as provided by law BACK TO TOP
Negligence: failure to exercise that degree of care which an ordinarily prudent person would use under the same or similar circumstances
Negligence Per Se: an act or failure to act that is considered unreasonable conduct as a matter of law without the need to consider surrounding circumstances
Next Friend: a person who acts on behalf of a party who for some reason of incapacity is not able to proceed and has not had a court-appointed guardian appointed to work in a representative capacity
No-Fault Insurance: an insurance scheme wherein every person injured in an automobile accident is compensated irrespective of who was at fault
Nonfeasance: the failure to perform a duty owed to another
Nominal Damages: a minute sum awarded, often only a penny or a dollar
Nonsuit: a judgment ordered by the court against a plaintiff who fails to proceed to trial
Nuisance: the hindrance or interference with the interests of others BACK TO TOP
On All Fours: an expression used to characterize a case where facts and law are similar to another's
Demand, On: as soon as requested
On the Merits: a decision or ruling that deals with the underlying basis of the case rather than a rule of procedure BACK TO TOP
Parental Liability: a statutory law that obligates parents for certain wrongful acts committed by their children before achieving adulthood
Pecuniary Damage: financial losses incurred
Per Diem: (lat.) course of a day
Personal Injury Attorney: A lawyer practicing tort law (learn more.)
Piercing the Corporate Veil: a legal doctrine that lifts a shareholder's shield of immunity for wrongful corporate activity under special circumstances
Plaintiff: the party who first initiates litigation
Pleadings: papers required to be filed by each party with the court which alleges the facts, claims, and defenses involved in the case
Prayer: the relief sought by the plaintiff in the lawsuit as stated in his pleading to the court
Precedent: a deviation in a prior case which established a right or reasoning of law which must be followed in the present case
Pre-Emption: a judicial principle which states that certain federal laws apply over specific state laws
Preponderance of the Evidence: the standard of proof in civil cases, more likely than not
Presumption: a rule of law which allows the finding of one fact from the presentation of another fact shown. An irrefutable presumption requires a finding of the presumed fact
Prevailing Party: the winning party in the matter
Prima Facie Case: the existence of some evidence on each required point of a case
Privity: a sufficient relationship between parties to the same rights or property
Product Liability: the principle of statutory and/or common law that holds a manufacturer responsible without regard for negligence if the product is defective
Proffer (of evidence): to present to the record in a trial what evidence a party has on a given point after the court has refused its admission into evidence. So that a reviewing court can know what was excluded at the original proceeding
Pro Hac Vice: (lat.) for this one particular occasion
Pro Se: (lat.) for himself; in law, it refers to a person who represents himself without a lawyer
Punitive Damages: an award of money to punish the wrongdoer and to discourage all from similar wrongdoing BACK TO TOP
Quantum Meruit: as much as it is worth
Quash: to annul or abandon by judicial decision
Question of Fact: the existence of a controversy as to the facts of a case which must be determined by the trier of fact. For example, jury in a jury trial; the judge in a bench trial BACK TO TOP
Reasonable Care: the amount of care expected of an ordinarily prudent person under the same or similar circumstances
Rebuttal: evidence disproving other evidence previously given
Reckless Disregard: behavior or demeanor which evidences a lack of concern for consequences
Remand: to send back
Remittitur: (lat.) to reduce, generally, in law, it describes a reduction of the jury's verdict made by the judge
Removal: the right of a defendant in a civil lawsuit to have a case moved from state court to a federal court within 30 days of the service of the complaint if jurisdiction also exists in the federal court
Rescission: the cancellation of a contract
Res Ipsa Loquitur: (lat.) the thing speaks for itself. In a negligence lawsuit, the plaintiff generally has the burden to prove that the defendant was negligent. The doctrine of res ipsa loquitur is a rule of evidence which has the effect of requiring the defendant to prove that he was not negligent in certain circumstances
Res Judicata: (lat.) the thing, decided
Respondeat Superior: (lat.) let the superior reply. A legal principle whereby the master is responsible for the acts or omissions of his/her servant
Restitution: to make good the loss for injury or damage
Reversible Error: error in a trial which is significantly sufficient causing the entire trial reversed or a new trial. Hence, granted by a reviewing appellate court
Risk of Non-Persuasion: see BURDEN OF PROOF
Routine Vacatur: a procedure where a defendant settles an unfavorable determination which occurred in the trial court while the case is on appeal and has the appellate court vacate the determination below BACK TO TOP
Scienter: (lat.) knowledge, prior knowledge
Scintilla: a very minute amount of evidence
Sequester: to separate, in law, refers to the isolation of the jury from the world outside the courtroom so they will not be influenced by events and information not presented in the trial
Seventh Amendment: the amendment to the U.S. Constitution, entitles every individual to the right to have his/her civil case heard by a jury if the amount in controversy exceeds twenty dollars
Show Cause Order: a command from the court to appear and explain why something should not be done
Side-Bar: an area of the courtroom where the judge and attorneys can converse outside of the jury's hearing
Sixth Amendment: the amendment to the U.S. Constitution entitling the accused in a criminal trial the right to a speedy trial by a jury. Furthermore, SEE SEVENTH AMENDMENT for civil matters
Sovereign Immunity: a doctrine granting immunity to the sovereign unless the sovereign consents to a suit; see GOVERNMENTAL IMMUNITY
Specific Performance: a remedy requiring a person who has breached a contract to perform specifically what was agreed upon and is available only when money damages would not suffice
Standing: the legal right of a person or entity bringing a lawsuit
Stare Decisis: (lat.) to stand by that which was decided; the legal principle that a lower court will follow that which has already been determined by a previous case
State Bar Association: A state bar association assists and directs specific requirements of the attorneys practicing law in a particular U.S. state or territory. (Source.)
Statute of Limitations: the statutory law establishing the time a plaintiff sues or be forever barred
Stipulation: an agreement by the attorneys on both sides about some aspect of the case
Strict Liability: liability without a showing of negligence
Sub Judice: (lat.) before the court
Subrogation: a right of repayment to a payor if another is found to be responsible for the payee's loss
Summary Judgment: a finding and entry of judgment by the court after a hearing and review of the claims and the evidence of the parties. Before a trial, the court determines that there is no genuine issue or dispute as to any material fact available for presentation. In that case, the evidence, as a matter of law, is insufficient to allow such claim to continue and renders judgment in favor of one party
Subrogate Parent: one who is not a child's parent, but who stands in the place of the parent
Survival Statute: statutory law creating a right on behalf of the estate of a deceased person to maintain a lawsuit for any cause of action that would have existed had the decedent not died
Syllabus: a summary paragraph usually prepared by the court preceding the body of a reported case which in some jurisdictions is the black-letter law of the jurisdiction BACK TO TOP
Tort: a civil wrong which causes injury as a result of a breach of a legal duty owed to another
Tort Claims Act: a statutory law enacted by the U.S. Congress and many state legislatures waiving all or some part of the government's immunity from tort liability
Trial: a proceeding or hearing of evidence in a court having jurisdiction over persons, entities, and subject matter for a determination of all issues between the parties based upon applicable substantive law
Trial de Novo: a new trial
BACK TO TOP
Ultra hazard Activity: conduct or any activity that involves such a great potential for harm or injury that the person or entity performing such activity will be held strictly liable for the outcome BACK TO TOP
Vacate: to set aside or to render void
Verdict: the conclusion of the court or jury which becomes the basis for the judgment
Vicarious Liability: the imputation of liability upon one person or entity for the acts or failure to act of another person or entity
Voire Dire: (fr.) to see to speak; in law, it is that portion of the trial where the potential jurors are asked questions by the attorneys. Or the court asks to determine their qualifications and suitability to sit as jurors in the particular case
Volenti Non-Fit Injuria: (lat.) a volunteer suffers no wrong; a person who consents to legal wrong has no legal right BACK TO TOP
Wanton: a heedless disregard for the outcome of one's actions
Weight of the Evidence: an expression stating an evaluation of the balance of the evidence for each side of the controversy after the conclusion of the controversy
Willful: a knowing disregard for the consequences of one's actions
Witness: a person sworn at a trial, providing evidence in a case
Work Product: the work done by an attorney in the process of representing a client. Ordinarily privileged an not subject to discovery
Wrongful Death Statutes: statutory law that creates a right to bring an action by the personal representative of an estate of the deceased for the wrongful loss of the decedent's life, also see LORD CAMPBELL'S ACT
For More Info
Ehline Online Dictionary Borrowed from Misc, Publicly Available Resources and Michael Ehline's Own Terms He Created to Study for the California Bar Exam. All rights reserved. Not intended as specific legal advice. For more info, contact the Ehline Law Firm APLC. A legal guide by Michael Ehline of the Ehline Law Firm. Do not copy without written permission. Not intended to replace legal advice. Always speak to an attorney for more info.
For more info on other cases, please consult our site's archive. We have hundreds of articles that include these terms. In addition, our site also uses recent case law, further explaining your rights. If you are unsure, contact us today. Contact us 24/7 and we will be in touch. Let our reputation speak for itself. Call or email us for more info. Furthermore, our lawyers are injury experts.
A lawsuit settlement check with the words "Your Name Here."
A liability insurance claim gets initiated after most accidents. So the insurance company will pay out a sum of money to the innocent claimant.
But with large settlements, insurers may want to pay the total amount over a period, rather than paying it all at one time.
In personal injury law, this is referred to as a "structured settlement."
When the injured person has medical bills and other immediate needs for a significant amount of money, the structured settlement may not be workable.
In this case, the claimant can obtain most of the full settlement amount from a third party buyer. So this will mean that rather than having steady settlement income, they will receive a lump sum.
Of special interest, there will be some financial loss on the part of the claimant. But they will have a full settlement, instead of drawn out and divided payments. And this can be an attractive advantage for some injury victims who need cash now. Structured settlement laws vary from state to state.
Is the Lump Sum Fair?
The critical issue is whether or not the third party buyer is offering a fair value. So the structured settlement recipient should consult a personal injury legal professional. But they need one experienced in contract law.
Structured Settlements and Third-Party Buyers.
Information necessary for a third party buyer structured settlement includes:
Basic information about the agreement consists of the name of the insurance company. Also included will be the total amount of the compensation, and the payment plan.
The third party buyer will review the total settlement amount. Then they can determine if they will take over the structured settlement plan.
A reasonable offer to the injured victim claimant provides specific settlement documents.
A signed contract will memorialize the transaction.
Once the deal materializes, the contract will be submitted to the court to be approved legally. Most of all, this makes it a binding agreement for both parties.
The court will render a ruling within a few weeks, either approving or denying the contract agreement. Upon approval by the court, then the transaction of the lump sum will take place within a short period.
Southern California residents may consult Ehline Law Firm when considering a third-party structured settlement lump sum. The law firm can be reached at (213) 596-9642. Calling may help determine if the lump sum agreement is in your best interest.
Hindert, Daniel (1986). Structured Settlements and Periodic Payment Judgements. New York, NY: Law Journal Press. pp. 1–36. ISBN 1-58852-037-4.
"What a Life Contingent Payment Is" - https://einsteinstructuredsettlements.com/what-a-life-contingent-payment-is.html
"The Smart Way to Pay Off Debt" - https://www.oprah.com/money/Advice-for-Cashing-Out-a-Structured-Settlement-Suze-Orman-Financial
"Success of JG Wentworth Get Cash Now Campaign" -https://video.foxbusiness.com/v/2838693615001/jg-wentworth-ceo-on-success-of-the-get-cash-now-campaign/#sp=show-clips
Don't Tell Me Show Me Concept
The determination of fault in civil tort claims is of the utmost importance to a severely wounded victim. This determination applies in particular when the evidence is not immediately apparent. But it remains essential to determine who is at fault and to put them on notice.
Before contacting your insurance company, many PI lawyers insist you know the facts of the incident, your injuries, and your intention of filing a claim.
Different accidents have different ways of determining who could have caused the funds to pay you. When involved in a car crash, the obvious potential responsible party is the other driver or drivers. Next step is to write them a letter documenting the accident and your injuries.
And it tells people you are going to file a claim. You will need to demand that the potential defendants preserve all documents. So you will specify that they must maintain papers, and things, like time sheets, pictures, cell phone and dispatch records, and so forth.
"Viewed With Distrust"
After demanding preservation, you seek a jury instruction regarding destroyed evidence. Now any evidence later produced by a defendant "shall" be viewed with distrust. In fact, it can even be disregarded. (See also Evidence Code Section 412.).
You will also notify the driver's company, if possible, and your insurance company. But not all cases remain cut and dry. For example, workplace injuries will have different lines of determining who may be at fault. And some are relatively straightforward. But others need the expertise of a skilled attorney.
Why Make Sure and Keep Copies?
When you have figured who you believe to be at fault, you must craft the letter to send to them. Make sure that you keep copies of the letter for your records, and if possible, get it notarized. By submitting such a note, the parties will be on notice. Your message will 'state the facts' and not blame any party for the incident.
Your evidence or their admission will do that for you. Sending the letter registered, or certified mail, return receipt requested is a good idea, even though the "Mailbox Rule" applies. In the crucial hours and days after an accident, it is essential not to dawdle. Don't miss any statutes of limitations of insurance filing deadlines.
Send out the preservation of evidence letters within several weeks of the accident. And make sure to reach out to an attorney with experience in these claims. While you may not file a complaint in court, later on, an attorney can help guide you to know your legal rights in these cases.
Name the Boring Machine
SpaceX founder Elon Musk provided the world with a unique opportunity. He wants help naming his mysterious new tunnel machine. Musk's been pretty close to the vest about his new venture.
The public doesn't know much apart from his intention to start a new project. Considering his recent talks with President Trump and cryptic tweets, he's up to something.
Apparently, his project is in California. In addition, he is seeking public support. The Huffington Post reported on his recent tweet. He asked for help naming the new machine. Tweeters sent a flurry of responses. They included serious and not so serious replies.
What is Musk's Tunnel Project?
Not much else is known about the potential project. Musk wants it in Southern California. It may be related to his Hyperloop idea. Musk asked state and local authorities about permitting. Wired had a few photos of the project online.
The photos don't show a lot but give an insight into the scale of the project. Each one of these clues points to something bigger. See below for a photo of one of the machines involved. Whoever put up the picture also deleted it right after.
There's been a lot of talk regarding the application of such a project. It is unclear whether it serves a densely populated area, although that seems likely. The cost is also a mystery. Each part of this project has a certain feel about it, which Musk intends. This follows a number of other initiatives, including a planned trip to the moon.
We watch these types of stories closely at Ehline Law. We're really interested in Musks' ventures and space travel. Hopefully, this project will benefit all of the countries, but especially here in SoCal. Keep it here for more info as it happens. We'll watch the story closely.
Musk's Boring Machine
Settlement or Trial? What is Better?
There are more and more lawsuits these days that people are settling before the case even makes it to court. While it may be the right thing to do in some situations, lots of clients question whether or not it is the right move to make.
Clients can benefit from several advantages when they opt to settle their case before it goes to trial. This benefit is precisely why many lawyers suggest resolving some cases out of court. A personal injury attorney will often recommend a settlement.
Predicting a jury decision remains impossible. And avoiding unpredictable jury decisions remains one of the most significant advantages of agreeing to a settlement.
The experiences of each juror frequently play a significant role in their decision. Many juries feel there are way too many lawsuits today. Because of this, proving up cases remains difficult. So this means that strong cases face the possibility of getting absolutely nothing at trial.
Appearing in court for mediation, depositions, and the trial remains the client's burden. But there is a reduced burden if there is an early settlement. Intervention is an advantage because that saves time. And this also minimizes the clients’ having to relive the situation that caused a suit.
Some people find it is challenging when they have to speak about the details of the event. After all, it can be emotionally challenging. Settling the lawsuit before trial means less worry for clients. Now testifying on the witness stand is off the table.
The certainty of Collecting Judgments
It is one thing to collect a cash settlement, but raising money for a trial judgment is entirely different. It can be tough to collect a judgment from doctors, lawyers, orthodontists, or other individual professional or owner of a small business. In many situations, people will hide assets and declare bankruptcy to dodge having to pay a trial judgment.
Decreased Lawyer Costs and Fees
Lower attorney’s costs and fees is another big advantage of settling on a case out of court. When a case goes to trial, lawyers commonly charge fees that are higher than those cases resolved out of court. There are also other costs that increase when cases go to trial.
In some situations, it is a requirement of the law for expert witnesses to be retained so they can testify, and this frequently involves expensive hourly fees. There are also many other costs that can easily be avoided by settling. A few of these include copying charges, filing fees, travel expenses, and lodging.
Lawyers often suggest their clients settle before trial if it's fair. Usually, clients benefit from the advantages of an appropriate resolution. But clients must weigh the possibility of a more significant jury award before settling. Fees and costs of a trial can cause a no sum gain, even if you win.
Ehline Law Offices and Staff
Fraud is a shifty, slimy part of our culture. This skulduggery is especially the case with false injury claims. Fake Worker's Comp, Disability, and Unemployment claims cost the taxpayers millions each year. This is an issue in California, with its relatively lax enforcement.
Altogether, companies and taxpayers are both on the hook. This scheme hurts honest workers putting in their own claims. It's a loss all around.
This dishonesty is when useful investigative work prevents many of these issues early. However, you need the right firm to carry out such a strategy. This is where the Ehline Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC comes into play. Our firm has decades of experience with Worker's Comp issues and more. If you want it done right-- and once, call Ehline Law.
What is a Subrosa?
Subrosa derives from an old Latin term meaning under the rose. The idea is that private surveillance might be able to determine the cause of such a false claim. In some cases, it can be done through secret filming or audio recording.
It also distinguishes between several significant differences in the discussion. One can be whether or not a person is bothered by performing a task or cannot do it at all. A variety of evidence makes it clear to the court or other attorneys whether or not the claimant lied.
The attorney often works with a private investigator, collecting information on the claimant. This investigation involves digging up info on their daily routine, hobbies, and other work. All of this can add up in bills but is a precious tool.
For more information on how to conduct such an investigation or past results, contact Ehline Law today. Our firm has experience in investigations. This experience includes working with law enforcement and PIs. We stand ready to help you and your clients. Call or email us today.
An expert witness is wearing blue surgical gloves examining the evidence with tweezers and red label.
The aftermath of a severe accident can be one of the most difficult a person must deal with. There are so many factors at play that can be difficult to manage, especially without legal help. A person alone can feel overwhelmed and vulnerable. And in some cases, people can get taken advantage of. Hence, the need for protection and assistance is paramount.
And this can make sure that the injury victim manages this period with their head held high. But they must do so along with the resources necessary to get their old lifestyle and quality of life back.
Why is Swift Attention Needed to Build Your Injury Lawsuit Claims?
In the aftermath of a severe car wreck, falling accident, or injury at work, the victim needs swift medical care. Many injury victims fear that they will not be able to get the care that they need. Worse, many have no means to pay for it.
Therefore, in most cases, such a victim is in need of a legal guardian. So you victims need a professional to assist you in handling this situation.
A legal expert can help track down quality care and the means to pay for it-- sometimes up front. These medical bills and expert witness fees become staggering and can mount very swiftly, requiring a quick response before you go BK.
How We Liaise With Your Life Care Planner to Maximize Your Case Value
An attorney specialized in personal injuries, such as Michael Ehline, can assist you in rebuilding your life. He will be able to use his team of experienced professionals and outside experts to ensure that you have the care and attention you need. Ehline will be able to work with a life care planner to help determine what you need to get your life back.
You may need such a planner to help make your house, or apartment handicapped accessible, find the right doctors, or assist you in planning for future expenses. But all of these decisions are complex and require only the best help.
How Can Help We You With Your Legal Injury Case?
Ehline Law has handled hundreds of similar cases. We have helped many people get their lives back. Our team is caring and compassionate and ready to help at a moment's notice. We are available 24/7. And we will come to you anywhere in California to give you a free consultation. Remember that our team works on contingency. So we are not asking for any money unless we recover for you. Please call or email us today at (213) 596-9642.
https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/personal-injury-claim Nolo.com Personal Injury Claims & Injury Compensation:
https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/injury/index.htm Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Injury Data and Resources
Pain in back. Young man holding hand on his back and expressing negativity while leaning at the cardboard box
In the turmoil of a severe car or work accident, many victims attempt to rebuild the shattered pieces of their lives. They do this on their own for medical and legal solutions.
However, many find out the hard way how the legal system works. The odds are stacked against the unrepresented victims almost always. Plus, injuries and cost of rehabilitation can create a financial hardship.
The insurance companies don't want to pay out on their own policies either. Also, the parties that caused the mishap may come to a similar decision and clam up. They don't want to the right the situation. To clarify, many victims find at the latest time they need legal counsel.
But since a lawyer needs evidence to win the case, it may be too late to save your case unless you know what you're doing.
Representing Yourself is Not for Everyone
A lawyer specializing in personal injury law is the best protector for injured victims. This lawyers also ends these self-representation errors. Also, this is true, even if it is a "smaller case." (Source.) Ehline Law has years of injury experience in dealing with claims.
They handle various types of mishaps from auto wrecks and workplace disasters. This experience lends valuable expertise to the victim that needs it the most. Some of the most common errors that we see include the following:
1. Not Knowing Where to Start
Many times the hurt victims are unsure of the first step to take. In facing the aftermath of an accident, they're without insight. Victims aren't sure if they should contact a personal injury attorney. At times the person hurt will attempt to sort through the information alone.
They also make common mistakes in talks with the insurer. These mistakes could include statements made construed into admittance of guilt. Also, it may be as simple as unwitting acceptance of an offer. This "confession" can happen without the knowledge of the true extent of your injuries. Plus what the company can or should offer.
2. Thinking You Know Medicine
To obtain a financial award can be a lengthy and costly process. Many victims don't realize the depths of this process. If you don't have adequate health insurance to cover treatment, it comes out of your pocket. In other cases, years of rehabilitation can bankrupt families.
So if you're asking for a moderate amount, the insurance company might accept the settlement it. But this will also leave your family high and dry in the process. If you ask for a significant amount of money, they could deny the claim altogether. If the request isn't based on careful thought of what's needed, it could get your application thrown out.
This rejection can happen before knowing the sheer scope of the harm sustained. Some of the damage and its symptoms don't show up right away. They manifest in the weeks or months past the incident. Later noticed pain and injury could mean it's unknown how your long-term prognosis will play out. So your ability to work and enjoy your life can all hang in the balance.
3. Lack of Organization
Lack of organizational skills is a frequent problem that remains greater than many people know. Injury attorneys train for years to learn how to present a case in and out of court. The training is, so lawyer gets the most out of the responsible party's claim. Also the nuances of injury law and the courtroom a lawyer knows. Put it another way procedure that the ordinary person will be unaware. Filing a claim wrong or past the time limit may doom it right out of the gate.
4. Lack of Negotiating Skills
Courtroom procedure and out of court isn't the same as Law and Order. The average injured victim balances many aspects of recovery At the same time as dealing with the claim. Many insurers and reckless drivers give their "final" offer. That is way below what can and should become offered to you. Because they're desperate, too many victims jump on the proposal. They believe that they won't have a better offer.
In the negotiating process victims may believe:
You have documentation of the insurer or defendant. And you might think that alone admits guilt for the event. However, at times you don't collect the right evidence of such misconduct. Instead, you think it will stand in court on its own. At this point, the insurer's legal team can tear apart these claims.
What is The Key Factor in All of These Mistakes?
Also all of the above may have the same common problem. The lack of hiring an attorney to handle your case can mean a loss. You can lose the case if you haven't hired an expert hand that has seen all of the tricks. Please understand that the insurer's legal team will try to devalue your claim.
The insurers use tricks that can sink a complaint. Having experience is vital to understand each piece of your insurance claim puzzle. If you require an injury a lawyer, please contact Ehline Law. Michael Ehline and his team are ready to help you if you're a harmed person.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8486444 - "Evaluating rehabilitation for personal injury claimants."
The Griffin logo of Ehline Law Firm Los Angeles.
When you are facing a personal injury case, you get help from a lawyer immediately if you were the victim. Your lawyer will do his best to get you the compensation for all the damages as soon as possible. He will take all the needed steps to ensure that the defending party agrees to pay the claimed amount.
In short, it is always the highest priority for the lawyer to settle the case outside the court. In many cases, the lawyer can achieve this target.
Some cases remain too complicated to prove in a short time with layman's evidence. Or the defending party may remain adamant he or she didn't commit any negligent act.
After all the attempts to settle the case outside the court go without any results, the next step is court
Then the case finally enters the court. And that’s where the real battle begins. Court cases involve logic, theories, tests, experiences, professionalism, etc. The court puts everything to the test. The plaintiff then attempts to prove the negligence of the party at fault. And the at-fault party defends its position by claiming otherwise.
When Do I Need Experts?
Now it has become clear that the defendant is going to defend its position to the last breath. Then experts become necessary to untie the knots in the case. These experts use the experience of their fields to prove or disprove the causes and after-effects of the event. They use their knowledge to estimate what might have happened.
They will put forward their findings of the case to find or reject the relation between the occurrence of the event and the damages. Along with harm caused in that event as claimed by the plaintiff, they try and establish a defense or a prosecution.
Here are the common types of experts used by both sides in courts to perform the job mentioned above.
What are Medical Experts And Examiners?
Bodily injuries are the most critical aspects in deciding the compensation received in your injury case. The medical costs to fix the damages can be extremely high. But this depends on the severity of the injuries. So it wouldn't be wrong to say that most of the injury case revolves around bodily harm. And this comes with the costs to treat the physical harm.
In an injury case, the defendant will be most adamant at trying to prove they weren't the result of the mishap. The defense will claim fraud, saying these were pre-existing injuries or exaggerated. Or the at-fault party might also try to prove that the injuries were caused later, not by the event in which the defendant was involved.
The defense will argue that money spent or estimated to be for treatment is more than needed.
That’s where the medical examiner comes in.
The defense medical examiner is called an "independent medical examiner." But in such a case we could easily call it a misnomer. After all, this examiner is bought and paid for by the defendant.
What is the Defense Medical Examination?
The process goes like this. The defendant makes a demand to have the plaintiff medically examined. The examiner would then form an opinion on behalf of the defendant who is paying him. They do so by saying that the harm suffered by the plaintiff happened either from a different source or event. But the expert may say the money spent on the treatment is unnecessarily costly.
Some of the harm might even get blamed on the age of the driver. This expert wouldn't pay much attention to the injuries. He'd instead pass his "hired gun" opinion within less than half an hour of meeting with and examining the plaintiff. Most plaintiff's lawyers and victims consider these so-called "experts" to be biased against the injury victims.
What Are Biomechanical Engineers And Reconstructionists?
The defending party in the case also hires engineers and reconstructionists. The purpose of the defense hiring these experts is to prove that the accident caused by the defendant and its after-effects get exaggerated. The engineer will examine the speeds of the car at the time of the collision, for example. Then say that the mishap couldn't have the severity enough to cause the harm associated with the event by the plaintiff.
Calculations of changes in velocity can prove the impact was less severe than stated. There's a mark set for human beings as to how severe of an impact they can take without suffering any serious harm. Some results cause no injuries at all according to them.
But this mark has become set after many tests. According to this standard target, a human body will not sustain any serious damages or will tolerate an impact at a speed of 5mph.
How Does Your Lawyer Overcome the Biased Defense "Expert?"
The defendant’s expert will try to prove that the severity of the impact in your case was less than it was. However, this is not where it all ends. Now your lawyer takes care of it from here. Your legal counsel will find the flaws that exist in this method of calculating the change in velocity.
The data and evidence used to collect information and reach these results are often weak, unreliable, or easily deniable. Defendant’s biomechanical expert often uses guesswork, and this weakens their testimony altogether.
What Are Life Care Experts And Planners?
There are cases in which the results in catastrophic injuries to the victim. In this scenario, the victim might have to rely on permanent or long-term medical treatment and care. In this case, both sides bring in their own life care planner as an expert. Their job would is to prove that the costs of future care and medical treatment require a significant sum of money for life or not.
The life planner will use his/her knowledge to bring to place a dollar figure on your care for life. A number much smaller than the value demanded by the victim’s lawyer is what the defense attorney wants. So both sides bring in their experts to chip away at each other. Expertise and credibility persuade most jurors.
What is Your Plan Of Action?
Regardless of whether your case looks easy or difficult to prove, contact the right law firm to represent you in your injury case. Only an experienced lawyer can estimate and analyze your situation properly.
A seasoned attorney will ensure that your compensation is received through an outside court settlement. But if the case enters the premises of the court, he will apply all his knowledge to get you the financial award you deserve.
For the injuries incurred, expenses made and time and efforts to fight the case. If you or your loved one has a personal injury case in Los Angeles, get in touch with Ehline Law Firm. A free evaluation done for your case is a phone call away.
https://www.jurispro.com/category/personal-injury-s-30 Personal Injury Expert Witnesses:: JurisPro:: Accident Reconstruction & Safety Experts & Consultants -Personal Injury Expert Witnesses
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicular_accident_reconstruction Wikipedia--Vehicular accident reconstruction
Attorney Michael Ehline. The Motorcycle Rider's friend.
The legal world set ablaze with the news that two of the most prominent law giants on the east coast are at war. The New York Post noted this is not new at all. The two fought for over a year up until this point.
WGRZ has the text of the case. Ross Cellino Jr. and Stephen Barnes are known for their easy to remember number and jingle. Now, they're known for their knock out, drag out fight. The case is in front of the Buffalo, NY Supreme Court.
The two seem to disagree on nearly every part of their business. This failure to agree included how to market the firm, attracting their clients, and more. One of the final straws seems to be that Barnes refused to hire Cellino's daughter Jeanna. Cellino aims to break up the firm. However, Barnes strongly opposes this.
Many personal injury attorneys were surprised when the New York attorneys started to market and franchise their name in California several years ago. We began seeing offices pop up everywhere, along with web pages, television and radio ads. Their market focus appears to be Los Angeles, the most competitive market in California for injury lawyers. So one could see why it would be hard to spend that much getting cases and not have disagreements.
What Happens to the Cases?
There are many possibilities here. In a smaller firm, there may be a simple separation. However, in such a large, known firm the case changes. Furthermore, media scrutiny makes it more interesting.
The Buffalo News reported that mediation attempts failed. Also, the firm employs 300 people. Their jobs are up in the air. One New York attorney said that a judge might need to hire a broker or auctioneer to sell off the firm's assets.
Furthermore, this could take a long time and money. It could also destroy each one of the attorney's reputations. In most cases, compromises are made. However, in some, the two go to war.
The two attorneys should probably also consider their employees. They likely don't want to displace anyone. They don't see eye to eye. Furthermore, the acrimonious fight between the two serves as a negative precedent for other firms' dissolution. The battle may have damaged their brand's marketing in California and their home state of New York. Maybe not though.
I have personally seen a bump in their web traffic since the announcement. Sometimes there is no such thing as bad press, as they say. Each one understands the stakes.
Also, the client base could become shattered through a loss of faith. What client stays under these circumstances? What injury victim risks their family's well being? It appears that the California attorneys the New York-based firm hires to sign up and manage their California cases have agreements which prevent the local case handlers from taking the clients.
So this could be causing some people to stay. Or maybe the clients will just hire a resident California firm to handle their California cases? Only time will tell.
Regardless of how it all shakes out, it will certainly be interesting. Ehline Law covers the ongoing situation right here. In conclusion, keep this page bookmarked for updates.
Negligence per se is an inference of negligence by a violation of a statute or code. This breach of law creates a rebuttable presumption of negligence in California courts. Some California judges reference this theory of law, as "statutory negligence," but in law schools, it is "per se."
What is the Presumption of Negligence in Car Accident Cases?
Car accidents don't happen in a vacuum. There are many potential causes of such crashes and how they could occur. It is essential to weigh all of these factors when trying to piece together the whole picture. While independent research and police reports may undoubtedly help, usually the keystone to understanding it all is a skilled attorney.
Expert Los Angeles area personal injury attorney, Michael Ehline, explains how certain factors can affect why accidents can happen and how the law deals with them. Strict liability and presumption of negligence are two vital areas of law that must be considered in such cases.
Also, a vehicle with bad tires, brakes, and perhaps a faulty clutch, could get into an accident. And when a vehicle owner knows such risks yet does nothing, they can be held liable.
What is the Difference Between Strict Liability?
Strict liability states that the party responsible for a tort, in this case, a car accident, can be held liable if they were the guilty party.
In this case, there is no need to prove malice or negligence. In a presumption of liability, as I wrote last year:
"Negligence can be inferred by a violation of a statute or code. This breach of law creates a rebut-able presumption of negligence in California courts. Negligence per se is what this is called. Some California judges reference this theory of law, as "statutory negligence," but in law schools, it is "per se."
Where is An Example of a Negligence Per Se Car Accident Claim?
A good example to help you understand what negligence per se includes, would be the following hypothetical about a car wreck on a California interstate. The negligent wrongdoer was in contravention of a Vehicle Code Section, or Statute. The transgression was the proximate cause and actual cause of the mental and physical suffering and other damages. Was the victim in a protected class? Was the statute or code created to prevent the type of harm? If so, this is called negligence, per se.
Can This Per Se Jury Instruction Create Leverage in Your Potential Suit?
Getting victim leverage by creating a presumption of negligence in the eyes of the insurance adjustor and later defense team(s), is always a good thing for a person seeking a monetary payout for bad injuries. There is always a very strong possibility that the at-fault factor is subject to a negligence per se instruction.
So this is a legal theory that puts the burden on the accused party to "prove "they were not at fault. This burden can turn the tables by forcing the accused to rebut that the violation of the statute. A defendant can say it had nothing to do with the purpose of the law. But once the bell is rung, this becomes a hard burden to rebut.
Does Your Lawyer Even Plead This Theory?
While many excellent PI attorneys understand the doctrine, many newbies, or lazy ones don't know how to plead this theory, and some people possibly don't even care. Usually, the party asserting the claim has the burden of proof. So naturally, this can be a useful tool to help a victim gain leverage in an accident case. Perhaps the guy who hit you ran a red light? This violation is negligent, but it is also a statutory violation of the CVC. But you certainly have a stronger case if all the elements remain present.
Negligence Per Se is Not Just for Car Accident Cases?
But other statutes exist besides the Vehicle Code. There are Building Codes, City Codes, Health and Safety Code, the violations of which could bring this theory into play. Examples include injuries like those from a trip, slip, and fall on a public or private sidewalk. Or it could even be a violation of the California elder abuse statutes against an innocent senior citizen.
If the statutes fit the elements, protected person, harm, type of damage and injury caused, that's negligence per se! Many issues are at play here, and all of them require the help of a skilled attorney.
Ehline Law's experience assisting in hundreds of cases has rebuilt many lives after auto accidents. Let a lawyer help you know what exactly negligence per se is and why it matters.
Ehline Law Firm lead counsel for Dana Point Car accidents law firm.
One of the things that people think of when they think of personal injury mediation is recovering money for a seriously hurt or dead victim. Typically a traffic accident is what led to the negotiation in the first place. But now the parties are there; it affords each side to size each other up not just talk about money.
And it is not a clear-cut process what the first offer will be. So too, rarely will the defense know what the plaintiff deserves or should settle for? But instead, it is a starting point. A floor and not a ceiling.
In some cases, if it is not handled correctly, one party or the other can come away feeling insulted. Also, in some instances, they may even respond by saying they will not even entertain answering to a cheap offer. Further, the party may feel that they are bidding against themselves. So to them, it is a waste of their time since others are failing to act in good faith. Their issue is to have the other party make the first offer. Or they need to send them a dangerous message.
Is Mediation All About Money?
It is true that mediation in civil court litigation claims is generally about money. This mediation will discuss the facts, liability, and bargaining, with the mediator bringing the numbers to each of the parties. At the same time, the mediator will attempt to keep the parties at ease and confident that they will be able to reach an equitable settlement through negotiations.
In some cases, before reaching the bottom line one or both parties can become frustrated, tired and angry. So this results in them ending the negotiations. Mediation is not a fun or relaxing process. And the only real relief felt by either party is when a settlement is reached that is agreeable to both sides.
"How to Mediate Insurance Claims and Other Monetary Disputes by J. Anderson Little" and published by the American Bar Association in 2007 is an exciting read. In fact, any legal professional and mediator should read it since it focuses on how parties communicate in negotiations about money. In his book, Little discusses how individuals interact. And it tells the form of communication going back and forth between the parties.
Poker face is the name of the game here. The goal is to show the range at which a settlement can be reached. So communication in mediation is indirect, Little says. And this means that neither side is going to tell the other side exactly what they will settle for. Also, this can result in each party being inadvertently being misled.
But deception is also how the frustration and anger can start during this process. So rather than the negotiations moving forward, it tells how they fall apart. The book was initially written for mediators. But it shows great insight for other legal experts who find themselves and their clients in the mediation process. Having a mediator who is insightful and resourceful is an advantage to all.
Plaintiff Starting Too High Kills Negotiations?
One scenario in Little’s book is when a plaintiff's case has been evaluated between $35,000 and $50,000. So $35,000 is the bottom line that the plaintiff should expect to settle for in mediation. And $50,000 would be the top range that would be a settlement amount or court award.
So if the plaintiff goes into mediation starting high at $100,000, using the theory that unless they start high, they would not be able to settle for the amount they deserve. This process will usually not work as thought. After all, the other party that will feel this is a ridiculous demand. So they will counter exceptionally low with a figure such as a couple a thousand dollars. That will enrage most plaintiffs who will counter with a number that is a bit lower, such as $98,000.
This is not an uncommon situation during the negotiation process when money is involved. And it is also common for a plaintiff to ask for much more than their case supports when analyzed. When this happens, the defendant either feels they cannot afford this amount or will not settle the case at the increased amount.
Each party preparing to go into mediation will need to evaluate their case to get a rough idea of what they'll think is fair. That way they can determine a strategy for the negotiation process. Now they will be able to communicate with the other party. Then they can reach the range where it will be fair for both the plaintiff and the defendant.
How is the Evaluation Done?
Evaluation of the case is essential and starts by using the facts from the plaintiff’s side of the case and the defendant’s side. This evaluation includes using the laws of discovery. But it is up to each team to decide what other facts they should release to be evaluated by the other side. As Little explains, this information will need to be provided during mediation to prove out the legitimacy of the claim.
The information is prepared in a way that will be persuasive in the negotiations and applies the law. This evidence will allow the determination of what parts of the case have its weaknesses and strengths. And that will enable the value of the case to be determined.
But it isn’t possible to know what offers to accept or the amount to counter, without knowing the value of the case.
So going into negotiations, you need this number.
Little also discusses that the evaluation of the facts and the amount settle for is up to the parties involved and not up to the mediator.
But the mediator can be extremely helpful during the offers and counter amounts.
The one question that can be pondered when determining the value of a case is what it would settle for if the case went to trial instead of mediation.
What would the cost of trial be, and what would the possible outcome be? These are ways that can help the plaintiff and the defendant to be prepared for the case. Now they can go into mediation and have success without going to trial. But rather than reach a reasonable settlement they can arrive at a great one. I will be writing more on this subject, as I become more experienced in personal injury mediation.