What Steps Should You Take if You’re a Dog Bite Victim?
It’s often thought that only certain breeds of dogs have a tendency to bite. But in fact, any dog may attack in response to a perceived threat. If someone else’s dog has attacked you, a lawyer can help you secure compensation for your injuries. There are a few steps you should take before you visit the office of a personal injury lawyer in Tracy or Manteca. Gathering documentation of your injuries will substantiate a claim that your injury lawyer can file on your behalf.
Gather Important Information
It’s essential to determine the dog’s owner or other person who had control of the dog when the attack occurred. If possible, write down this individual’s full name and address. Write down the names and contact information of any witnesses who may have seen the attack. If you have your cellphone with you, take photographs of your injuries.
Get Medical Help
Getting a medical evaluation after a dog attack is always advisable. Dog bites can easily spread infections . A medical provider will need to disinfect and bandage the wound. You may need to take antibiotics and pain relievers, and you may need a series of rabies shots. Your medical records will help your lawyer prove your damages.
File a Report
Check with your municipal government to determine which agency is responsible for handling dog-related complaints. Then, file a report with the county or city authorities, even if you do not know who owns the dog.
Contact an Injury Lawyer
Once you’ve gotten medical help and filed a dog bite report, it’s time to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer. Schedule an initial consultation and compile a list of questions you may have about your case. When you go to the appointment, bring any documents that are relevant to your case, such as copies of your medical records and receipts, photographs of your wounds, and a copy of your filed report.
Keep Good Records
If you do file a claim against the owner of the dog, your lawyer will need to prove your damages. If you missed time at work because of your injuries, keep track of your lost wages. Document all of your medical expenses, including pharmacy co-pays. Make notes about any other way your injuries have affected you.
Understanding the Basics of Wrongful Death Claims
After the loss of a loved one, you may decide to visit a personal injury lawyer located in Tracy or Manteca. A personal injury lawyer may be able to file a lawsuit on behalf of your family if it is determined that your loved one may have died due to another person’s negligence. This type of lawsuit is known as a wrongful death claim. Attorneys can file wrongful death claims after any type of fatal accident that may be attributable to negligent or intentional reckless actions. These might include motor vehicle collisions, medical malpractice, and product liability cases.
If you have a lawyer file a lawsuit on your behalf, then you are the plaintiff in the case. A lawsuit can have multiple plaintiffs. However, state law sets restrictions on who may be the plaintiff in a wrongful death claim . Generally, the plaintiffs are the close surviving relatives of the decedent. In California, wrongful death claims may be filed by the decedent’s surviving children, spouse, domestic partner, or issue of deceased children. If the decedent has no surviving issue, then the plaintiff of a wrongful death claim may be anyone who would be entitled by intestate succession to receive the decedent’s property. Other individuals may also be eligible to file a wrongful death claim, including the decedent’s putative spouse and the children, stepchildren, or parents of the putative spouse. Since wrongful death law is complex, it’s best to consult an injury lawyer about whether you may be able to file a lawsuit.
A personal injury lawyer will determine the appropriate parties to name as defendants. If the decedent was killed in a car accident, the defendant may be the other driver. However, the manufacturer of a faulty car part might also be a defendant. If the defendant was killed as an alleged result of medical malpractice, then the defendants might be the attending healthcare staff and the hospital.
Under California law, the plaintiffs may be able to recover damages—or compensation—for their personal losses and for losses to the estate. Losses attributable to the estate may include funeral expenses, medical bills, and lost wages. Damages for the personal losses of the plaintiffs may include the loss of anticipated financial support, the value of household services, and the loss of love, affection, moral support, and guidance.
When Should You Start Planning Your Estate?
If you haven’t yet spoken with an estate planning lawyer in Tracy or Manteca, it may be time to make an appointment. Adults can consult attorneys about estate planning at any age. However, as you will learn when you watch this brief video, most individuals begin the estate planning process when they encounter major changes in their life circumstances.
These changes may include getting married, becoming pregnant, adopting a child, or launching a new business venture. Estate planning tools, such as a last will and testament and a trust can protect your financial interests and those of your surviving family members. Since life is unpredictable, it’s best not to wait too long before addressing estate planning issues.
What Happens to Your Estate Plan During a Divorce?
Estate planning for residents of Tracy and Livermore should involve periodic updates when life circumstances change. The birth of a child, the death of a family member, and the decision to divorce are all circumstances that warrant changing one’s estate plan. Because estate planning is an intricate area of the law, it’s strongly recommended that individuals who are divorcing consult lawyers who handle estate planning matters.
Create a New Will
Now that your marriage has ended, it’s doubtful that you would want to leave your assets to your ex-spouse. You’ll also likely want to change your executor, if you previously designated your ex-spouse as your executor. Visit a lawyer to draw up a new last will and testament. Be sure to revoke your old will, either by literally tearing it up or by including a statement in the new will that revokes all previous wills.
Designate Legal Guardians
If you have minor children, you will need to designate a legal guardian for them in the event that you die before they turn 18 years of age. Be aware that unless the other parent has also passed on, the court is likely to award full custody to him or her. However, it’s still advisable to name a legal guardian for your children just in case you and your ex-spouse die or your ex-spouse may be considered an unfit parent.
Create a Trust
Talk to your estate planning attorney about establishing a trust for your minor children. By setting up a trust, you can designate a trustee other than your ex-spouse to manage the funds until your children come of age. You can even set conditions on the distribution of money from the trust. For example, you may want your children to have access to money for college, but would prefer that they not have access to their full inheritance until they’re more mature. You can set up trust in accordance with these wishes.
Check Your Life Insurance Policy
If you previously named your ex-spouse as your beneficiary of your life insurance policy, you will need to change this information through the insurance company, not through your will. Call the life insurance carrier or visit its website for change of beneficiary forms.
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