District Court: Calendar Call Explained

In courtrooms across the nation, a system is used by the Prosecution to determine how each of their cases will be handled that day: that system is known as the ‘Calendar Call.’ Though this article contains an overview of the Calendar Call system, it is not meant to provide advice on how one should answer up for their individual case. Receiving the advice of a local Criminal Defense Attorney will ensure your case has the best opportunity for a good outcome. Additionally, though a Defendant has the right to represent themselves in court, a better resolution is normally possible by hiring, or being appointed, a Criminal Attorney to represent the Defendant.

One of the most frightening and frustrating things that occurs for someone who comes to court for the first time is the ‘Calendar Call.’ This is the process which occurs at the start of that Court’s session, whereby each Defendant’s name is called and they are to answer up in one of several ways. In District Court, the Prosecutors work off of what is known as the ‘Calender.’ The Calender is a list of the Defendant’s names and charges which consists of all the cases that are to be heard that day, in that courtroom. This is what the Prosecutor will use to work through all of the cases of the day. Before the Prosecutor performs the Calender Call, the Defendants are given instructions which explain that they are to answer up upon hearing their name in one of five ways (this may vary a little per Jurisdiction):
1. Guilty,
2. Not Guilty,
3. Continuance (or sometimes ‘Motion’),
4. Court Appointed Attorney, or
5. Private Attorney (sometimes they ask for the name of your Attorney).

Some Prosecutors include a little explanation about what these five responses will mean, others do not. Even with the explanation, this can be an intimidating experience because Defendants are scared of answering incorrectly and not having their case resolved as they had intended. In order to clarify this process, I have included an explanation of the five responses the Defendants are provided.

Guilty – Though this is admitting responsibility for the crime charged, in most instances it is not necessarily the final disposition of your case. Those who answered “guilty” will be called up to the bench. When there, the Defendant should speak with the Prosecutor to determine whether a reduction of the charge is possible. If, when the Defendant speaks with the Prosecutor, the Defendant decides against pleading guilty, they need only tell the Prosecutor they wish to change their plea and the Prosecutor should permit them that opportunity.

Not Guilty – Pleas of Not Guilty indicate to the Prosecutor that the Defendant wishes to have a trial on their charges. If this is the Defendant’s first court date, the Prosecutor will most likely continue the case in order to gather more information in anticipation of the trial. In most Jurisdictions, the Court will permit several continuances for both the Prosecutor and Defendant.

Continuance (or Motion) – This is requesting the Court to set a new court date for the case. As explained above, normally each side is given several continuances. Therefore if this is the Defendant’s first court date, the court will likely grant their continuance request.

Court Appointed Attorney – This is requesting that the court appoint the Defendant their own attorney. There are three things that should be understood about requesting a Court Appointed Attorney:
1. some charges are not severe enough to qualify for the Court to appoint the Defendant an Attorney (namely, any offense for which a jail sentence is not possible),
2. Court Appointed Attorneys are not free, rather if the Defendant pleads guilty or is found guilty, they will have to reimburse the State for the Attorney’s cost,
3. Lastly, only those with limited financial means will qualify to receive a Court Appointed Attorney.

The Defendant is required to submit an affidavit to the Judge indicating what financial resources they have available. Based on the affidavit, the Judge will make a determination as to whether the Defendant qualifies to have an attorney appointed to them by the court. If the Defendant is appointed an Attorney, the case will be continued and the Defendant will be given contact information for their Attorney.

Attorney If the Defendant has already hired an Attorney (or had one appointed to them), then they will simply answer up “Attorney” or their Attorney’s name. The reason for this is, once the Defendant has legal representation, the Prosecutor is prohibited from discuss the case with the Defendant without their attorney present. Therefore by responding with “attorney” this puts the Prosecutor on notice that they cannot speak directly with the Defendant. The Defendant will have to wait in court until their Attorney resolves the case with the Prosecutor.

Though this is a summation of the Calendar Call System in District Court. If facing court, it is always best to speak with a local attorney familiar with the rules of that particular jurisdiction.

As a Raleigh Criminal Attorney and Raleigh DWI Attorney, I have had many and varied experiences in the world of Criminal Justice. I have experience on both sides of the ‘isle,’ as I have been both a Criminal Defense Attorney as well as an Assistant District Attorney.

Early in my days at North Carolina Central University School of Law, I developed an interest in Criminal Law. Specifically, how the system relies on the majority of the public not having a well-rounded understanding of the laws and the Justice System used to enforce them. For that reason, I have pursued my interest into a career as a Criminal Defense Attorney working out of Raleigh, North Carolina. I opened my own law firm, Matheson Law Office, with the intention of being one of Raleigh’s top Criminal Defense Attorneys.

Franchise Disclosure Laws Give Upper Hand to Attorneys

In today’s franchising industry franchisors are forced to have excessive disclosure documents. Franchise Attorneys will collect this data to try to sue you. Every one knows you should never trust an Attorney; that also goes for any Franchise Attorney also. If you are in franchising you will of course need a few of these extorsionists to protect you from other suing franchise lawyers. Franchising Lawyers; 88% are incompetent, so be careful and do you home work. Many hardly know their rear ends from a hole in the ground. Be sure to read the study on the Franchise Attorney, Franchising Lawyer and problems in franchising law.

We need a complete overhaul in the industry with regards to franchise attorneys. While participating on the ABA Forum on Franchising for about 4 years, I have been noticing a problem with the aptitude and experience level of those who purport to practicing in the area of franchise law. Several quote “Franchising Attorneys” often ask questions of other attorneys of the group which are things they should inherently know if they claim to be “Franchising Attorneys”. The ABA Forum on franchising, godbless their souls, claims that lawyers from all different experience levels come to the board and ask questions.

Well a recent question was asked by a practicing attorney in CA who claims to be a Business and Franchising Attorney on his web site, business cards and advertising asked the question about what disclosure was needed if any if a franchisor gave a franchisee a commission for sending him a buyer. Now many out there may not be too familiar with this, but then again you are not holding yourself out to well versed enough to charge $150-300 per hour for advice on such franchising subjects. This particular question totally infuriates me as a Franchisor, because I am to pay good money for these attorneys who block information from the public domain so they can sell it to me for the price described above. Yet these same people do not know the answer to the questions you ask, they instead call on other attorneys to answer such questions. Then may I ask why we pay them at all? And if you call them on it, and complain about their lack of knowledge they claim you are unprofessional.

Well if unprofessional means calling things the way they are then these two-faced attorneys are correct. In my opinion they are thieves, cowards and liars. They should shot and Caesar was correct in his statements as I am here today in this period. Entrepreneurs when they make mistakes pay for those mistakes in the market place. Attorneys wing it and hire paralegals to do all their work for peanuts and then bill you maximum rate. In franchising I would say the number of attorneys who purport such expert status to bill such high fees are generally morons.

Given that some are actually knowledgeable on their subject matter. Still the fees are way to high. But there are about 12% who know their stuff. The others need a Jerry Springer T-Shirt or a Jeff Foxworthy “Here’s Your Sign”. The answer to the above question is of course it is required for disclosure, my answer to this CA moron attorney (opinion) is “No, Keep it a Secret, don’t disclose it?” DAH? It is a violation in my opinion and it is false and misleading to purport that you are an attorney specializing in some area of law and then not know the answers to fundamental questions in that area. For someone to put on a business card that they specialize in an area of law and hold themselves out to the public to be well versed and knowledgeable on the subject matter and to ask stupid questions that they should know the answer to is evidence in the need for on-going education, testing, and licensing of that area of law.

Attorneys seem to slip out of the categories in which other professionals such as Brokers, Accountants and Medical professionals must play in. Attorneys are therefore the most self-serving group of people on the Planet. Talk about calling the kettle black, these people sue franchisors and franchisees that are making a living by producing while these parasites steal your money and sit behind law books they have never read or use. They hire paralegals to do the work, they figure that if they do not know something they can find it, yet hide the information so you cannot find it, meaning you have to pay them to file paperwork. These attorneys file complaints and make up stuff in order to sue you and I and people who produce goods and services to this great nation. They often exaggerate issues and create barriers between parties where everyone loses, but alas, they get a G-Damn Fee. Fee for what, they are stupid well all but 12%. Now then we have many young Americans going back to school to get degrees in law? Oh great add more fuel to the fires and add more liars (lawyers).

The funniest part of this issue is that these morons cannot even argue the point, calling such observations of the system run a muck as unprofessional. Well when you are professional about it they cloud the issues with rhetoric and these word smiths sit around all day trying to figure out how to screw us all, so they can get theirs without working. Without knowledge, without ever having to produce one thing for America, except and invoice, which if you do not pay they will sue you? Whatever. The problem being that they hide behind a desk, never learning to the best of their ability the subject matter. Next time you are at a party and someone tells you they are a lawyer; tell them to go to hell. They deserve no respect, no professionalism and none of your time. Tell them to their face. Whether they are a politician, regulator, litigator or judge.

They system, regulations, sue happy lawyers are the reason the economy is in shambles. These lawyers reward laziness, lead in that regard by example, perpetually lie to clients, customers and the public in general using false and misleading advertising, could care less about right and wrong and should for the most part be hung or burned at the stake. You know this true. Look around folks; High insurance, medical, franchise fees, etc. Why do you think this is? Guess. Is it unprofessional to call an ace and ace and a spade a spade? Not where I come from.

I call and demand a complete revamping of franchise law, category of law where franchising is its own deal not mixed in with securities law; a crushing of duplication amongst states and the federal government. Re-education for all franchise attorneys mandatory, if they cannot learn what they should already know, they cannot practice franchise law. No Grandfather clauses, because in this area of law there are too many incompetent folks holding themselves out to be attorneys and do not understand the model or the dynamics. They (except for the 12%) are scoundrels, crooks, fraudsters, incompetent, and wannabes. (CYA-opinion). Recently when I wrote this attorney in CA and called him into check, He copied my email into the ABA Forum for other attorneys. Many stuck up for his views that it is okay to ask dumb questions (not the 12%, they simply kept quite, understood or agreed with my comments), although the real issue is that only incompetent people ask questions which are so fundamental that they ought to know by heart if they are to practice in this area of law.

During Franchising Week and we are to promote franchising, what a better way to promote franchising which delivers 1/3 of every consumer dollar spent then by deleting or calling into question the parasites the 88% of attorneys which plague our industry like a virus against humanity that threatens the economic stability of our nation worse than any potential international terrorist. By threatening to sue, when we should be working together to build a stronger unity and building small businesses through franchising for the betterment of the future of America and the laid off individuals which were forced out of work by lawyers in other fields suing and raising costs into oblivion. Today we have our troops being attacked and some occasionally killed to restore order in Iraq, yet in the US we have a worse threat than that, here, we have attorneys causing the crumble of America, for personal financial gain, without regard for the well being of the American people, these lawyers are the worst of all Terrorists, they are preventing America from getting back to work, they are immune to Patriot’s Act know your client rules, they will take a check form anyone. They will defend guilty parties, they will file bogus claims against the hard working class of Americans, small business owners and franchisors who have delivered to all Americans, lower prices, competitive choices and smooth distribution, not to mention employing 38.44% of all Americans.

You want to keep America back to work? Hold those Lawyers responsible and if they cannot be responsible, SHOOT THEM, shovel them and shut up; stop listening to this rhetoric and playing with words. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out right and wrong, but all the lawyers in the world could not get themselves into agreement. The system of law, truth and justice is flawed because the lawyers have run a muck, are not held accountable, don’t care (88% of them), stir controversy, avoid intent. It is obvious that the lawyers in the Franchising Field yield a huge chokehold on our society; from every aspect of franchise law. When someone asks these 88% what type of law they practice, typically they will smile and say, “well what is your problem?” Then they simply say yes we can help you with that here is the fee schedule and then quickly they get online to find the answer or pay someone else to look it up. Is that really fair to America. Franchising is a huge system of distribution and rivals Wal-Mart in efficiency.

If franchising were to leave tomorrow, you could not see a ball game, buy a car, eat out, buy gasoline, etc. And because this distribution system is so powerful America is so powerful. We have regulators who are lawyers who have no experience making a paycheck, little if any in franchise law, clogging the system. We have OSHA, EPA, Workmen’s Comp, ADA, etc all areas with more lawyers. Franchises often involve real estate, the average re-finance paper work or real estate listing use to be 3-5 pages, today sixty. Franchise UFOCs with attachments usually 180 plus pages. Use to be 13 for UFOC and about 10-15 pages of various attachments. Lease agreements and Sub lease agreements use to be 5 pages not 55 pages. OSHA standards are 47 stories high are stacked on top of each other. Come on people, THINK. Think about it, what is the problem here. It is not that American Companies cannot compete in free markets; we are the ones, which refined them, used them to become victorious in two World Wars. If anyone knows free markets like Milton Friedman it is we, we practically created the modern free market and folks the biggest single factor and driving force of that modern force today is franchising. Not bunches of two-bit, fake it tell you make it, Boilerplate bandits, self-serving, three-piece suit parasites. Yet today we have Blood sucking giant mosquitoes, Lawyers, sucking us dry in swarms and then infecting us with the virus they call professionalism and law.

Societies exist because the human species is innately social by nature, not simply because of law. What we need to do is Genetically modify these lawyers to work for solutions, not create pages of What-ifs and case law based on arbitrary decision making of other lawyers who have graduated as the best ten gallon hat bull slingers into status as judges (again 88%). America can be fixed tomorrow and everyone can go back to work when the lawyers 88% of them get educated, terminate, die or get a life. Then there will be plenty of jobs for all Americans and the Lawyers, can work on the automated garbage trucks so they do not get their hands dirty. The whole world laughs at us, and the culprits are laughing too. But hey; they are very PROFESSIONAL, just ask them. I say so what, if someone is lying to your face and you are not allowed to call them on it, do you really care if they are lying professionally? I sure as hell don’t. The hypocrisy has gone to far.

I am unconcerned what the Harvard Law School or these schools churning out 1000’s of lawyers per year have to say about that, the fact is it is true. They are running the country and we must fight this now before we end up another has been on the list of great civilizations, which inhabited the Earth during the short history of modern homosapiens. I would rather not be part of a footnote in the evolutionary chain, which was unable to adapt and whose branch went no further. It is time to take control of the bull (pun intended) and wrestle this beast to the ground once and for all. Lets start with franchising, put America back to work, get this economy flying again and then we can weed out the other areas of law where parasitic lawyers abound. Care to comment on my opinion. Afraid too, chicken? Too unprofessional for you; Deal with it. Lawyers do not deserve our time, money or common courtesy. The time to stop playing games has fallen upon us, it is time to act decisively. Fight on Entrepreneurs; do not take anymore of this BS. This country was built on blood, sweat and tears, we have come to far to turn it over rhetoric of bunch of professional Lawyers. In my opinion they are scum of the Earth and you know I am right, why are you so afraid to say it? Might get sued? Think about it.

How To Choose An Attorney – Looking Beyond the Advertisements

At some point in your life you will probably need legal advice. Whether it’s to write a will or business contract, representation in a lawsuit or divorce, you will need to hire an attorney. How do you choose one? Some people think, “I’ll choose the one with the most ads. ” Basing your choice strictly on advertising is not a good idea because ads only show that the attorney has money for marketing. Perhaps you ask for recommendations from people you know. That is a better option, but still not complete. The best way is three-fold: 1) Ask for referrals, 2) Determine your personal preferences, and 3) Interview attorneys.

Ask for Referrals

Ask friends, family, and colleagues for referrals. Tell them your circumstance as to why you need an attorney so they can refer you to a lawyer who practices in the appropriate legal field. A family law attorney deals with divorce and child custody cases. A personal injury attorney helps accident and other injury victims. If you aren’t sure what type of attorney you need, you can contact your local bar association. In addition to this information, they may also have a list of attorneys who charge on a sliding scale. It is best to gather names of 5-7 attorneys.

Personal Preferences

While you’re gathering your pool of attorneys, determine your personal preferences. The easiest way to do this is ask yourself some questions. Get out a sheet of paper and answer the following:

*Do I feel more comfortable with a man or a woman? I have met tough women attorneys and gentle male attorneys. There is no hard and fast rule for gender.

*Do I prefer a younger or older attorney? Some people prefer someone just out of law school; others prefer a seasoned veteran.

*How far am I willing to travel for appointments? Take travel time and cost of gas into account, especially if you have a lawsuit. Your case may drag on for years. Will you still be willing to drive 30 minutes to an appointment?

*How do I prefer to correspond – phone, e-mail, text or in person? You want to find an attorney who has similar communication preferences.

*Do I prefer a casual or more formal style? This refers to how they dress and their language, not their knowledge of law.

*How involved do I want to be in my case? For estate planning (i.e. wills, trusts) or business contracts, involvement is usually confined to giving the lawyer your information, reviewing draft documents and signing the final version. However, if you are involved in a lawsuit there are many ways you can assist. It has been my experience that smaller firms and sole practitioners are more open to client involvement.

Now that you have your preferences determined and a pool of attorneys to choose from, it’s time for the initial telephone interview. What do you say when you call an attorney for the first time? The first thing they will ask you is the reason for your call. Have that information ready so you can tell them in as few words as possible. It’s a good idea to have it written down. Give them the general description without going into too much detail. For instance, say, “I was in a car accident and have several injuries. The insurance company doesn’t want to pay” instead of “I was hit by John Doe. I have head injuries, a broken leg that isn’t mending correctly and ABC Insurance doesn’t want to pay.” When you give succinct answers, you come across as: 1) being in control, 2) professional, and, 3) possibly a more desirable client.

You will find out quickly that attorneys love to talk. Many attorneys (or their staff) will ask many, many questions in that first phone call. You may feel intimidated into answering. However, the purpose of this first phone call is to satisfy your needs and determine if they are the right fit for you. So after telling them the purpose of your call, tell them you have questions you would like to ask first before they start peppering you with questions. This saves everyone time. This can be done in a very simple way. Merely tell them, “I want to find an attorney who is right for my needs and I have some questions I would like to ask. Thank you.”

Then start in with your questions. Write down their answers so you can review them later. Here are some sample questions. You may think of others while on the phone with them.

1. Do you have experience with my type of case? Have they handled dozens of cases, hundreds or just a couple?

2. What is your field of expertise? Even though an attorney may have worked on your type of case, it does not mean they are an expert. Their expertise may be in another field but for various reasons (help a friend, need more income, required by firm to accept it) took a case.

3. Do you have time to devote to my case? You want to know if they have a large caseload which already overextends them.

4. How do you prefer to communicate – phone calls, letters, text, e-mails?

5. How promptly do you return calls and e-mails? You want to hear “within 24 hours”. This includes response from either the attorney or staff, depending on what is needed.

6. Will you keep me regularly informed of actions taken in my case? How often? You want these answer to be “Yes” and “as soon as possible”.

7. What is your attorney registration number? Searching the state bar records with attorney registration number tells you whether the attorney has had a grievance filed against him/her. If they have had a grievance, remove them from your list.

8. How do you charge – flat fee, hourly or contingency fee?

Review the answers and pick a couple of attorneys who fit your criteria. If none of them are good candidates, start over with some new names. Once you have decided on a couple of lawyers, you need to interview them in person. That’s a whole other set of rules to follow and questions to ask. These answers, and much more, are covered in How To Train A Lawyer. Find it at http://www.howtotrainalawyer.com.

Ellen Hughes wrote How To Train A Lawyer by drawing on her 20 years of experience in the legal field, her own lawsuit and lawsuit experiences of others. How To Train A Lawyer levels the playing field for any client. It gives you specific steps to take to deal with attorneys. These steps, in turn, will help boost your confidence so you won’t be easily intimidated or afraid to speak up. You will learn how to tame and train them and use his or her expertise to your optimum advantage. You will learn how to find a good lawyer and how to spot a bad one before it’s too late. You will become an Attorney Whisperer, rather than a victim of an incompetent or bad barrister.

Rhode Island Divorce Tips – The Problem With Cluster Calling!

Most clients can be fairly level headed when it comes to their divorce. Yet there are a few that roll off the apple cart every now and then and rather than chalk it up to a bumpy road, they’d rather shoot the poor guy who is trying to navigate the apple cart around the bumps in the road.

The intention of this article is to help those who’d rather shoot the poor guy to do something a bit more productive, namely, to see the forest for the trees.

Yet let me be more direct for the sake of time. One complaint clients have is that their attorney costs too much or that their divorce was far more costly than it needed to be.

One problem that I ran into with a client was what I call “Cluster Calling”. This client would call me at least every other day with an average of two to three calls per pay. Each call averaged perhaps about 15 minutes. This lasted for 6 1/2 months (including weekends).

Now I understand that some people want information faster and don’t want to wait for a letter and a stamp. Further I understand that some clients want to hear from their attorney personally rather than by an impersonal letter and therefore they are constantly calling to get updates, to tell of new developments, and to give other details which may not be pertinent to the case at all even though the client thinks they do.

Yet Cluster Calling has had two effects that I’ve witnessed in practice. First, the more telephone contact you have with your Rhode Island Attorney, the more you see him or her as a “friend” and not as your hired counselor. Therefore the time you are on the phone with your “friend” is seen as de-valued in the eyes of the client.

Second, because the Rhode Island Attorney is perhaps sitting in a chair in his office or driving in his car and is only using his or her voice to speak with the client, he may be be seen as not really practicing law and therefore again the attorneys’ time is de-valued in the client’s eyes.

This leads to a clear issue and sometimes a confrontation between client and attorney that really does not need to happen. When the client gets the bill, there may be outrage at all the charges for the phone calls and time spent talking to the attorney.

Two things can help prevent this. (1) It can be reasonably explained to the client that the attorneys services are his or her time and that the client gets the benefit of those services on whatever the issue is, whenever the client calls and that the attorney has no control over how indepth the call is or whether the client is just calling to “vent”. Hopefully, the client will understand that it wasn’t the attorney’s desire to raise the bill, but that it was what occurred when the client continued to call the attorney on his or her case. Most clients will agree that it would not be reasonable for the attorney’s clients to take the position that the attorney can’t bill for phone calls made and received. (2) The attorney can make it clear at the time he or she was retained that phone calls are something that is billed to the client. Specifically, the attorney can explain that if the client calls frequently the bill will rise more quickly but if the matters to be discussed are not urgent, perhaps it might be best to wait until the client has multiple reasons to call before calling the attorney. Most clients will see this in a positive light and appreciate that you are trying to keep their costs down.

What Is Tort Law Exactly?

Have you ever done something that was against the rules? Well, torts are something like that; but much more serious. Torts are civil wrong-doings; immoral behaviors and actions against civilians. The law identifies a tort as immoral, and approves it as grounds for a lawsuit. Most often, torts come with severe consequences, like serious injuries and death. These consequences establish a civilian’s right to file a personal injury claim against a wrongful party.

Torts that result in serious injury or death can be punishable by imprisonment; however, the objective of tort law is to acquire compensation for damages incurred by victims and families of victims. In addition, and equally important, intent is to prevent similar wrongdoings from occurring in the future. In fact, victims of tort can take legal action for an injunction in order to inhibit further torturous conduct of the opposing party.

Explaining Torts and Tort Law

Victims of tort can pursue fair compensation for damages incurred as a result of the offence. Exemplary damages include everything from pain and suffering to loss of companionship, and much more; such as lost wages, hospital bills, medical expenses, scarring or disfigurement, funeral expenses, prolonged rehabilitation, permanent disabilities, and much more. Injured victims can also pursue compensation for damages like diminished quality of life and loss of benefits from loved one’s death. Tort law is established to protect injured victims that were wrongfully hurt by a negligent party. Negligent parties can include people, companies, individuals, organizations, products, and much more.

Categories of Tort

There are several individual capacities of tort law that all depend on the type of injury or accident that harms a person. Types of tort include motor vehicle accidents, product liability, assault and battery, sexual harassment, drunk driving accidents, wrongful death, slip and falls, head or brain injuries, dog bites, nursing home neglect, motorcycle accidents, and several other types of deliberate inflictions of emotional or physical trauma.

Every type of tort can be grouped into three separate categories of tort law; these categories are Intentional Torts, Negligent Torts, and Strict Liability Torts. Intentional torts are deliberate, premeditated, and purposeful. Assault and battery, sexual misconducts, and nursing home neglect are some examples of intentional tort. Negligent tort occurs as a result of carelessness and disregard. Disobeying traffic signals and causing an accident that harms another person is an example of negligent tort. Other examples include pedestrian accidents, hit-and-run accidents, medical malpractice, legal malpractice, and slip and fall accidents. Strict liability torts, on the other hand, occur when a particular action causes harm or damage to another person; such as liability for making and selling defective products that are hazardous.

If you are a victim of tort, or was recently injured in an accident caused by the negligence or misconduct of another party, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. Contact a licensed personal injury law firm for professional guidance and counsel. It is important to take immediate action following a serious injury before the State’s statutes of limitation runs out. An experienced tort lawyer will substantially increase your chances and likelihood of winning your personal injury claim recovering compensation for your damages.

Posted in Law

Common Benefits Received From Workers’ Compensation

It is common for people who are injured on the job to collect workers’ compensation benefits. The amount of compensation and degree of benefits received by injured workers largely depends on the extent of their injuries or damages. Damages can include but are not limited to pain, suffering, prolonged rehabilitation or illness, diminished quality of life, lost wages, medical expenses, hospital bills, mental trauma, PTSD, and much more.

It is wise to hire a personal injury attorney that specializes in workers’ compensation law to recover the full and fair recompense deserved. Continue reading to learn what type of benefits to expect, or that is possible, to receive after being injured while on the clock.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Not all workers’ compensation claims are for physical injuries. Although most involve some sort of bodily harm, mental anguish or trauma can be just as damaging. Sometimes, personal injury cases can involve sexual harassment, discrimination, assault or battery, contracting a work-related illness or disease, experiencing an armed robbery, and more. Either way, the common coverages and benefits received from workers’ compensation claims are as follows:

Paid Hospital Bills, Medical Expenses, Physical Therapy, Medical and Vocational Rehabilitation, Doctor Visits, Counseling, Prescriptions, Etc.

Paid Weekly Earnings for Time Off Work Longer than One Week (2/3 of Average Weekly Pay-400 Week Maximum)

Benefits for Dependents in the Case of a Wrongful Death at Work

Punitive Damages in Cases of Malicious Intent or Blatant Disregard

Compensation for Excessive Pain, Suffering, Loss of Companionship, Mental Anguish, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Diminished Quality of Life, Etc.

Travel Expenses (If Applicable)

There are several other types of benefits available to those injured on the job, however, they vary depending on the company’s policies, insurance coverage, the extent of injury, and much more. It is strongly encouraged to discuss your recent work injury with a licensed Indianapolis workers’ compensation lawyer for accurate case assessment and legal guidance. They retain the proper resources, experience, and knowledge to navigate your workers’ compensation claim.

In order to recover the full and fair remuneration deserved to an injured victim and their family, a personal injury lawyer is the path to take. Be sure your personal injury law firm employs attorneys with extensive trial and litigation experience in workers’ compensation cases. This will further ensure you are choosing a lawyer that can successfully navigate your claim and have a better chance of recovering for your damages and losses.

Posted in Law

Who’s Liable for Injuries Sustained in Public Transportation Accidents?

Public transportation is a wonderful asset for thousands of Americans all across the country. Buses, trains, subways, limousines, metros, taxi cabs, and more are just a few examples of the variety we have to choose from when it comes to public transport. As customers and clients, we generally trust that these choices are safe and reliable; but sometimes unexpected accidents happen.

If someone is injured while using public transportation, who is at-fault for their damages? There can be several outcomes when determining who is liable for accidents such as these. Continue reading to understand all the possible parties that might be liable, under law, for injuries sustained to public transient customers.

Public Transportation Traffic Accidents

When it comes to public transportation, buses are one of the most popular. Tickets are inexpensive, and some buses are complementary to individuals in the community. School buses are also widely used for public school transportation. With the rising popularity of public buses, more and more are on the roads every day. As a result, the number of bus accidents continue to increase each year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 300 bus accidents happen every year, all of which resulting in fatalities.

Bus crashes, and other public transport cases, are complicated to litigate. Determining the at-fault party is a bus crash can be tricky because it may be more than one, or none at all. It requires the professional litigation skills and trial experience of a licensed car accident attorney to effectively pursue a bus accident injury lawsuit or claim. If you or someone you loved has recently been injured in a public transportation accident, like buses or taxis, contact a local personal injury lawyer to learn your rights.

Possible At-Fault Parties:

  • The Driver
  • Management Company
  • Other Negligent Vehicles
  • Government Entities (If Public)
  • Equipment Manufacturers
  • City Traffic Management (If Defective Light or Sign)

Common Causes:

  • Drunk Driving
  • Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
  • Defective Stop Light or Traffic Sign
  • Hazardous Weather Conditions
  • Reckless or Careless Driving
  • Poor Equipment Maintenance
  • Treacherous Roads
  • Defective Equipment
  • Obstruction of Views
  • Other Negligent Vehicles on the Road

Traffic accidents, public or not, can happen very suddenly, and usually result in serious injuries and damages to innocent bystanders and drivers. If a person is injured using public transportation as a result of another carelessness or negligence, they are entitled to legal compensation for their pain, suffering, lost wages, medical bills, and more. 

Posted in Law

A Myth Regarding Personal Injury Protection

I often get told by my clients that they “do not want to make any claims on their own insurance policy” because “it will raise their rates.” Like many things, this is an insurance tactic meant to scare people from claiming what is rightfully theirs. Let me elaborate further.

Under Texas law, every person in the State must carry Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) coverage on their auto insurance policy, unless you expressly sign a rejection or “opt-out” of this coverage. The State minimum requirement is $2,500, although many people carry $5,000 or $10,000 in coverage (or sometimes even more, depending on what their auto insurance carrier offers). Importantly, under the Texas Insurance Code, it is illegal for your insurance company to raise your insurance rates, drop your coverage, affect your credit, etc. for making these claims. Therefore, if you have this coverage, you always want to use it.

PIP coverage is meant to reimburse you for two things: (1) medical bills you have already incurred or (2) lost wages (although it will only cover 80% of your lost wages). Additionally, Texas allows “stacking” of insurance benefits. For example, let’s say you get into an accident and you are taken to the emergency room where you incur a $10,000.00 bill. Let’s also say that you have the standard $2,500 PIP policy through your insurance company. After you are finished treating, we send that same $10,000 bill to both the Defendant’s insurance company and to your own. We get you paid $10,000 from this insurance company plus $2,500 from your own PIP coverage for a total reimbursement of $12,500. That’s right, you get paid $12,500 for a bill that was originally $10,000.

I always tell my clients the same thing: If you pay for this coverage every month in your premium, and if your insurance company cannot raise your rates for using it, then why wouldn’t you use it? It is free money falling out of the sky. However, because it’s free money falling out of the sky, many insurance companies (and their agents) will deliberately try to convince you that you do not need it because “it cost more.” Again, this cannot be further from the truth. The cost of this coverage is literally pennies on the dollar for what you get in return should you need to use it. Further, the best part is that this coverage is no-fault, meaning you are entitled to these benefits whether you caused the accident or if someone else hit you.

For these reasons, it is a no-brainer not only to have this coverage, but also to use it once you need it.

Posted in Law

How to Complete a Self-Health Assessment Following a Car Accident

As soon as you are involved in a car accident, the first priority is to have your health and over-all condition assessed by a professional emergency medical technician on-site or at the hospital. For less serious car accidents, it is still important to assess your own health to be sure you are not suffering from a head, spine, or neck injury. The issue with these kinds of injuries is that they can become evident or worse as time passes. So you might seem fine after a car wreck, but can then start to develop symptoms later on that point toward neck and back injuries.

There are signs and symptoms to look for, as well as, tips to learn how to identify the difference between vague soreness and tenderness of muscles, and an actual serious injury. Continue reading for a post-accident health assessment guide and information about filing a car accident injury claim for injuries and damages sustained in a serious collision.

Checking On Your Health

Once you have been involved in a car accident, whether it was your own fault or not, is to seek immediate medical attention. As a car accidents happens, authorities are usually alerted almost immediately; either by someone involved in the wreck or a bystander. Police will ask if you or your passengers need to go to the hospital if it is not obvious or evident that someone is hurt. You can make this assessment yourself, or you can simply have an EMT check you out at the scene of the accident or at the hospital.

You can choose to ride in an ambulance for a faster commute to the hospital for emergencies, but for less serious and less evident injuries, you may choose to take yourself or have a loved one drive you. In other cases, you might feel like you are not injured enough for professional medical care, and pass up the opportunity to go to the hospital altogether. Once you are familiar with how to assess your own condition after an accident, you will be able to responsibly make the choice of seeking further medical assistance, or to care for yourself.

Here are some symptoms to look for immediately after, as well as, the days following a motor vehicle accident:

  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Soreness or Tenderness of Neck
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Mental Confusion
  • Pain or Tenderness in Lower Back
  • Pain in Neck or Spine
  • Difficulty Standing
  • Pain When in the Seated Position
  • Swelling of Neck, Back, or Head
  • Redness or Abrasions on Body
  • Nausea or Dizziness
  • Blurred Vision
  • Slurred Speech
  • Bleeding
  • Broken Bones
  • Immobility

Any of these symptoms could be a sign of a more serious injury or internal damage. If you are experiencing more than three of the above symptoms, it is strongly encouraged to go to the hospital or to request an EMT at the sight of an accident. Concussions are one of the most common and overlooked head injuries that results from car accidents. And the problem with this type of injury is that a person can seem fine at first, only to later suffer serious consequences and health decline as a result of a neglected head, brain, or spine injury.

Filing a Car Accident Injury Claim
Contact a licensed personal injury lawyer for information about filing a car accident injury claim against a negligent party that caused you or a loved one serious harm following a traffic accident or collision. You may be entitled to compensation.
Posted in Law

Personal Injury Should Be Well Taken Care Of

If there is ever a situation where a person is suffering terribly from an injury, disability or in worse case scenarios, even death, mostly due to a careless negligence of an individual, in such cases, the personal injury law covers these instances and extends its hand for help.

A severe injury can cost an individual to shell out a lot of money, sometimes an amount that the individual might not even be capable of paying, if you opt for a personal injury claim in such desperate moments then you are eligible to seek some compensation for the injury you have faced and the payment gets taken care of because of the claim.

Mostly this law covers all the kinds of injury that can possibly take place, these injuries can be of any type. It can either be something that can cause a lot of harm to your body or it can make you face some kind of emotional trauma as well. It can be anything and at anytime and having a claim especially for these kinds of injuries will help you in emergencies.

Be alert and be careful of every step you take.

Let us have a look at some of the tips that can help you get this claim:

• DO NOT DELAY TO GET SOME MEDICAL ATTENTION

The first and foremost step that you need to take when you get an injury is to seek out for medical help immediately and instantly. Do not under any circumstances delay that step because the more you delay it, the more serious it can get, therefore seek out for some medical help as soon as you find yourself in such a situation.

• BE CAREFUL OF THE STATEMENTS YOU MAKE

Be absolutely confident and clear in what you say in the accident scene. Do not say anything that might make the situation much more complicated than it already is or give rise to some kind of a conflict. Be clear in what you have to say and keep it straight when asked about it. This will help in dealing with the process much quickly.

• KEEP A CHECK ON ALL THE EXPENSES

This would include all the bills in the hospital. Be it expense bills; diagnose bills, medical bills or any other tests that you might have undergone. Have a record of all the expenses because it might be asked for when you go to claim for compensation. You can also keep a record of some lost wages that you might have faced due to missing work. Keep a track of everything.

Posted in Law