• What Happens When Personal Injury Victims Have Pre-Existing Conditions?

    Accident attorneys serving Tracy and Livermore typically handle cases in which a plaintiff sustains injuries and financial losses as a result of someone else’s negligent or intentional actions. For instance, a drunk driver might run through a red light and strike the victim’s car, causing brain injuries, fractures, and lacerations. Cases such as this are fairly straightforward, but not all plaintiffs were in good overall health prior to the accident. This can make litigation more complicated, although an attorney can still help the plaintiffs receive the compensation they’re entitled to.

    Disclosing Pre-Existing Conditions

    In order for an injury lawyer to represent a plaintiff’s best interests, he or she needs to be fully informed of the circumstances of the accident and how the plaintiff’s health was affected. It probably isn’t necessary for plaintiffs to disclose every detail about their medical history. However, they should discuss pre-existing medical conditions that might have been affected by the accident, such as orthopedic impairments or mental health disorders. It’s best to be upfront about these issues in court, so that the attorney for the defendant cannot argue that the plaintiff attempted to conceal information.

    Identifying Pre-Existing Medical Conditions

    In some cases, plaintiffs might not realize that they had a pre-existing health problem before the accident. For example, a car crash won’t cause osteoporosis, but it can cause weakened bones to easily break. This means that the defendant won’t be on the hook for paying for the plaintiff’s bone health medications, although he or she should be liable for the cost of medical care for the fractures. Another pre-existing condition that might not have been previously diagnosed is degenerative disc disease. This occurs when the discs in the spine become weakened and compressed, and more vulnerable to physical trauma. A car crash can cause a disc to rupture. It’s the responsibility of the physician to determine which conditions were pre-existing, and which were directly caused by the crash.

    Finding Evidence of Worsening Health

    Personal injury lawyers can help their clients secure compensation for damages stemming from the worsening or aggravation of pre-existing health conditions. The plaintiff’s medical records will be invaluable in proving exactly how the accident caused additional harm. The lawyer may also hire an expert witness to testify about the exact way the accident worsened the pre-existing condition.

  • Why Don’t More Americans Have an Estate Plan?

    Millions of American adults don’t have an estate plan , despite it being the only way to ensure one’s wishes are carried out after death. One of the primary reasons why so many adults are in this situation is because it’s assumed that one must be wealthy in order to visit an estate planning attorney in Tracy or Livermore. If you’re one of these millions of American adults, it’s worth your time to explore the many benefits of estate planning.

    Estate attorneys do much more than just draft wills. They can create trusts, offer guidance on advance directives, and minimize estate taxes. With the help of your lawyer, you can make arrangements to manage your property during your life and after your death, and you can put a plan in place just in case you become incapacitated. If you have minor children, you can designate a legal guardian for them in the event that you die before they reach the age of majority. A comprehensive estate plan can make arrangements for family businesses, and provide for special needs dependents. In short, nearly every adult can benefit from visiting an estate planning lawyer to discuss future arrangements.

  • How Can I Amend My Will?

    There may come a time when you need to amend your last will and testament. Perhaps you would like to leave inheritances to the newest generation of family members, or you need to eliminate someone from the will after a divorce. To make legally recognized amendments to your will , visit a lawyer serving Tracy or Manteca.

    You can also watch this video for a general overview. It explains that you can either have a completely new will drafted or you can attach a codicil to the original will. A codicil amends specific parts of the will. You must sign the codicil in the presence of two witnesses in order for it to be legally valid. If the instructions in the codicil contradict those in the will, the codicil’s instructions will be carried out instead of the will.

  • The Basics of Beneficiaries

    One of your periodic estate planning tasks may be to update your beneficiaries. A designated beneficiary is someone to whom you leave certain assets. You can learn more about designating beneficiaries by watching this featured video and consulting a lawyer serving Tracy and Manteca.

    The certified financial planner featured here explains that a beneficiary designation supersedes the information contained in your will. For example, your last will and testament may leave everything you own to your spouse. If your life insurance policy still lists your ex-spouse as the beneficiary, those benefits will go to your ex. This is why attorneys urge their clients to update their estate plans as life circumstances change.