What Exactly Is a Personal Injury Settlement?
When you consult a personal injury lawyer near Tracy or Manteca, he or she may discuss the possibility of a settlement. Your lawyer can negotiate a favorable settlement on your behalf. If you accept the settlement offer, it means that you agree not to pursue litigation in exchange for a certain sum of money. You are not legally bound to accept a settlement. If you reject the settlement offer, your personal injury lawyer can take the other party to court.
For more information about personal injury settlements, watch this brief video and consult your injury lawyer. The professional featured here explains that a personal injury settlement can compensate injury victims for their medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Does Having a Trust Mean You Don’t Need a Will?
Since every person’s estate planning needs are a little different, it’s advisable to consult a lawyer in Tracy or Livermore. A trust is a helpful instrument for minimizing estate taxes, protecting your assets, and maintaining control over the distribution of your assets . However, most people who have trusts will also need to have a will.
Trusts often do not cover every asset that a person has. Drafting a will is a way of bridging the gap to ensure that each of your assets is handled according to your preferences. In other words, your will complements the functions of your trust to lay the framework for a comprehensive estate plan. As your lawyer can advise you, you can use your will to specify preferences beyond the distribution of your assets. Your will can designate a guardian for your minor children, which will go into effect in the event that you die before your children reach the age of majority. You can also use your will to provide for your pets and to name an executor for your estate.
Examining the Roles of Contributory & Comparative Negligence
Personal injury cases rest on the concept of negligence. When you hire a personal injury lawyer, he or she will consider the role of negligence in your case, including whether the negligence rests solely with the other party or if you contributed to the accident in any way. If you can be proven to have a role in causing the accident, your lawyer in Tracy may adjust the kind of compensation he or she pursues on your behalf. These concepts are known as contributory and comparative negligence, depending on the laws in your state. Here is what you need to know.
Contributory negligence is a system used in only a handful of states: Maryland, Alabama, Virginia, North Carolina, and Washington, D.C. Under this system, accident victims who were responsible for any part of an accident can be prevented receiving any compensation at all for their injuries. Even if the role of victims was very small and their injuries are severe, the contributory negligence system means that they may be full responsible for all of their own damages, including long-term financial problems caused on ongoing medical bills or the inability to work. The all-or-nothing nature of contributory negligence is the reason it is only used in a small number of states. Other states have decided that contributory negligence is too extreme and instead rely on comparative negligence.
The comparative negligence system lets defendants in personal injury cases mount a partial defense, in which they argue that the victim has some degree of responsibility for the accident, so they should only be eligible to receive a reduced amount of compensation. Usually, this is expressed as a percentage, and the assigned percentage of responsibility is the percentage of available compensation the victim receives. In some states, including California, there is a pure comparative negligence system, in which victims can receive compensation even if they were more negligent than the defendant. In modified comparative negligence states, accident victims must be less negligent than defendants to receive damages in a personal injury case.
Emotional Suffering Cases: Understanding Your Rights
If you were injured as a result of the negligent or reckless actions of another person, you may have the grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. Consider talking to a personal injury lawyer near Tracy or Manteca about your legal rights and options. Depending on the circumstances of your case, your personal injury lawyer might pursue compensation on your behalf for your actual losses and your pain and suffering, which may be referred to as your emotional injuries.
Examples of Emotional Injury Cases
Emotional distress can arise from many different types of personal injury cases. It may be an element in auto accident cases in which the victim has suffered mental anxiety along with physical injuries. Emotional damages can be associated with intentional torts, in which the defendant intentionally assaulted the victim. Emotional injuries may also arise from dog bite cases or slip and fall accidents.
Elements of Emotional Injuries
When determining whether to pursue compensation for emotional injuries, your personal injury lawyer will consider whether certain elements are present in your case. Under California case law, the defendant must be shown to have acted in an extreme manner that is outside of the scope of exercising reasonable care. The defendant must have acted in a way that showed reckless disregard for the victim’s safety or the defendant must have intentionally acted in this way. Additionally, the plaintiff must be shown to have suffered from severe emotional distress. The defendant’s actions must be a substantial factor in causing this extreme emotional distress.
Proof of Emotional Injuries
Emotional injuries are often difficult to prove, but there are ways that your injury lawyer can demonstrate your emotional distress. After an incident occurs, it’s important to keep careful track of all problems that stem from the incident. Perhaps your emotional distress was severe enough to cause you to miss work or even to get fired. Perhaps you had to work with a psychologist or other mental health counselor. Document the specific symptoms and other challenges you experience from day to day and describe the way in which these problems interfered with your daily life. Your account of your emotional distress should be supported by documents or testimony from your doctor or mental health professional.
Advice for Choosing a Trustee
If you have your lawyer establish a trust , then the trustee is responsible for administering the trust in accordance with your wishes after your death. In Tracy and Livermore, trust administration is a significant responsibility and often requires in-depth knowledge of estate planning matters. The trustee you choose can receive assistance from a law firm, but it’s still important to select a trustee who is capable of handling this responsibility.
Selecting a Family Member
It’s common to select a family member as a trustee or two select two family members to serve as co-trustees. If this is an option for you, then be sure to choose a family member who has solid business sense and good judgment. Your trustee should be expected to outlive you. Before settling on a relative, carefully consider whether family dynamics or family conflicts might interfere with the trustee’s ability to administer the trust in an appropriate manner. Even when a family trustee has the best of intentions at heart, he or she might be influenced to make an emotional decision. If you do decide to use a family trustee, make sure that person is willing to carry out these duties after your death.
Choosing a Professional Trustee
Many people choose a professional or corporate trustee. This option may be right for you if you do not have a family member whom you trust to faithfully administer the trust or if none of your relatives are willing to assume this role. Bear in mind that a corporate trustee will charge a fee, which might be a problem for trusts that are modestly funded. However, the advantage of choosing a corporate trustee is that he or she won’t be swayed by family dynamics or conflicts.
Authorizing a Relative and an Independent Advisor
It is possible to find a middle ground between choosing a family trustee versus a corporate trustee. You might decide to select a trustworthy family member to serve as a trustee, but then to also hire an independent investment advisor. This advisor could provide guidance to the trustee without charging the same high fee that would be typical of a corporate co-trustee.
Can a Parent File a Personal Injury Claim for a Child?
Parents of children who have been injured as a possible result of someone else’s negligent or reckless actions should consult a personal injury lawyer in Tracy or Manteca. A personal injury lawyer will review the case to decide if it is appropriate to pursue damages. Since the rules of statutes of limitations are different when applied to children, it is possible for the child to wait until the 18 th birthday before filing a lawsuit on his or her own behalf. However, a guardian ad litem can also file a lawsuit on behalf of a minor child prior to the 18 th birthday. Usually, the appointed guardian ad litem is the natural parent of the child.
Many lawsuits resolve with settlement arrangements. If the personal injury lawyer negotiates a settlement on behalf of the minor child, then the court must approve this settlement before it can be finalized. The injury lawyer will file the minor’s compromise petition with the court to seek a court order approving the settlement.
When Is a Restaurant Liable for Your Slip and Fall Injury?
Restaurants are prone to spills and chaotic conditions, which means they are also prone to hazards that cause people to slip and fall. When you’re hurt in a fall in a restaurant, how do you know if the restaurant is to blame? Personal injury lawyers in Tracy can evaluate your case and let you know where you stand. This information will also help.
To prove that a restaurant is responsible for your slip and fall injury, your personal injury lawyer must demonstrate that the fall occurred because the restaurant was negligent in some way and that you did not do anything to contribute to the fall. For instance, your lawyer must show that there was a spill on the floor that the restaurant was negligent in not cleaning up and that you did not ignore any wet floor signs before slipping in the spill. When your injury lawyer successfully makes this case, then the restaurant may have to pay for your medical costs and compensate you for any pain and suffering that occurred because of your injury.
How Can Your Personal Injury Lawyer Prove Negligence?
For legal purposes, negligence refers to a person’s actions or failure to act in accordance with a duty owed to another person. If you intend on having a personal injury lawyer file a claim on your behalf, it is not sufficient to simply state that the defendant acted negligently in some way. There are four elements of negligence for every personal injury claim. A personal injury lawyer building a case in Tracy or Livermore must demonstrate that each element is present.
Duty of Care
This first element is often the easiest to prove. The personal injury lawyer must demonstrate that the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff. In auto accident cases, for example, this means that the defendant owed a duty of care to drive in a reasonably safe manner, such as by obeying traffic signals. In some cases; however, proving that a duty of care existed can become more complicated. For instance, in dog bite cases, a dog’s owner may not owe a duty of care to a trespasser on private property who is bitten by the dog.
Breach of Duty
The second element of a personal injury case involves proving that the defendant somehow breached the duty of care. In an auto accident case, this may be accomplished by using the police report to prove that the defendant ran a red light.
Causation of Injury
Thirdly, the injury lawyer must prove that the breach of duty of care directly led to the plaintiff’s injuries. For instance, if the defendant ran a red light and immediately struck the plaintiff’s car, then it’s usually clear that the plaintiff’s injuries were caused by the defendant’s actions. However, if the defendant ran a red light and did not strike the plaintiff’s car until he or she had traveled several miles, these two actions may not necessarily have a causal relationship.
Causation of Damages
Finally, personal injury lawyers must prove that the plaintiff has incurred losses as a result of the injuries. This is typically accomplished with medical bills. Future damages may also be calculated, such as the loss of future wages if the plaintiff’s injuries prevent him or her from working.
Working with a Trust Administration Attorney
Have you been chosen to administer a trust near Tracy and Manteca? If so, you need an attorney who is experienced in estate planning.
Being appointed to administer a trust may seem daunting, and there are many tasks you will need to perform. It is your responsibility to work with a lawyer to ensure your loved one’s last wishes are exactly fulfilled. Remember, estate administration is a legal matter, and estate law can be complex in this area. Administering an estate after a loved one’s death requires the assistance of an estate planning attorney. Your lawyer can provide as much or as little guidance as you need to make sure you fulfill your duties. For example, many people have little or no experience with trust administration. If the deceased’s assets are complex, or if you have personality issues with the noted beneficiaries, you may need additional help. An attorney can play a neutral role. Most importantly, your lawyer will make sure that you do not make a mistake and cannot be held liable during the trust administration process.
Wrongful Death Law in the News: The Paul Walker Case
If a loved one has died in an accident, you have the right to consult a personal injury lawyer near Tracy and Livermore to discuss whether you have the basis to file a wrongful death lawsuit . Meadow Rain Walker, the daughter of the late actor Paul Walker, did just that following the 2013 crash that claimed her father’s life. The young woman’s personal injury lawyer is demanding compensation on her behalf from the defendant automaker, Porsche. In her complaint, her attorneys have alleged that had it not been for certain design defects, Paul Walker may have survived the crash.
You can watch this video to learn more about this wrongful death lawsuit or consult an accident attorney to discuss filing your own lawsuit. This news clip explains that Meadow Walker’s lawyer alleges the model of Porsche that Paul’s friend had been driving trapped Paul in the passenger seat. Otherwise, Paul may have been able to escape the car, which quickly became engulfed in flames.
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