How to Handle the Unexpected Death of a Loved One

When something unexpected happens to a loved one, a car accident, for instance, you are left with a hole in your life that will take time to heal.  On top of this terrible emotional burden, you are also left with the financial responsibilities that come along with the death of a loved one and most people are completely unprepared for this.  While it may be hard to see through the emotions, if your loss was caused by the actions of someone else, you really should speak with an attorney to see what your rights may be.

 

Death is Expensive

 

The practical realities of a death can be almost as overwhelming as the loss itself.  Making arrangements for your loved one’s final resting place will be expensive, often costing thousands of dollars.  Depending on the situation, there may also be financial obligations that your loved one was handling and which the responsibility for these obligations may shift your way.  These extra burdens can only make things harder, so if you are able to pursue some help through legal remedies, why not pursue that avenue?

 

Financial Restitution

 

Losing a loved one unexpectedly is generally the fault of an accident that your loved one may have had no hand in or any way to avoid.  If this is the case, or even if you suspect that this is the case, you need to reach out to an attorney to discuss your rights.  Talking to an attorney may be the last thing that you want to do but the fact is that evidence can be lost over time and witnesses’ memories fade, so it is important that you consider legal representation as quickly as possible.

 

If you have ever been in this situation where you lost a loved one, you know that it can knock the wind right out of you.  However, as hard as it may be to believe, life does move one.  It is important that you continue moving forward and take care of yourself as best you can, even if that means hiring an attorney to make sure your rights are protected.

Personal Injury 101 From a Lawyer’s Point of View

No matter how many precautions you might take to safeguard yourself and your loved ones, you can never predict the actions of those around you.  Things happen and when they do, you want to make sure that you have a good attorney to protect your rights.  Before making the decision to contact an attorney, however, you will want to consider your case from an attorney’s point of view.

 

The Injuries

 

There have been plenty of cases won in which the lawsuit resulted from a minor injury.  However, there are almost as many appeals filed and won against these frivolous lawsuits.  An attorney does not like to have his representation or ethics called into question, so before accepting your case, your attorney will want to make sure that the injuries warrant the suit.  If you stubbed your toe while walking on the sidewalk, for instance, your attorney is not likely to pursue a million dollar lawsuit against the City.  If you don’t feel that your injuries warrant a lawsuit, your attorney is likely to agree with you.

 

The Facts of the Case

 

The facts surrounding a case may be as important, if not more important, than the statutes that are being called on to present your case.  If you were injured but were intoxicated at the time, there may be more of a question as to the validity of your claim, for instance.  If the injury happened late at night after you had a long day at work, again, your case may not be as open and shut as you think.  If you were hurt, your attorney will want to review all of the facts of the case before making the commitment to represent you; their reputation may depend on those facts.

 

Not every attorney is going to jump at every personal injury case.  There are those out there that are looking for a quick buck but for the most part, attorneys like to win, and won’t take a case that has no merit.  So, think before you call that first attorney and ask yourself if you think you should pursue it.

Can You Start a Lawsuit While Still in the Hospital?

If you were recently injured, and badly, you are likely wondering what your rights regarding restitution may be.  As a matter of fact, some people are already looking for a good attorney right after making the necessary calls to their loved ones and this is the right frame of mind.  Medical bills can add up quickly and lost time from work can really make your rebound tough, especially if you have to do it all on your own.  The fact is that when you are injured, you want to act quickly, so that memories are still fresh, and evidence is still lingering.  So, if you are able, you should call an attorney straight from your hospital bed.

 

Time Makes Things Muddy

 

If you were injured, there will be plenty of evidence pointing to the cause of your injuries.  Whether you were in a car accident, fell from a ladder at work, or even if you slipped and fell at a grocery store, you want to make sure that every piece of evidence is secured and recorded in order to prove your case later.  As time passes, people will walk through the scene of the injury, destroying evidence that may be crucial to your case.  Even if the scene is not in a public place, it could be left open to the elements, contaminating the scene to the point that all evidence is virtually gone.  You will also have to rely on witness testimony, in order to prove your case and as time goes by, people tend to forget the small details that could be the deciding point in your case.  No matter how much someone pays attention to the details, they are still bound to forget things over time.

 

Your Injuries

 

While medical records will tell the story of your injuries, there really is no better selling point as to the extent of those injuries as pictures will be directly following the injury.  By retaining an attorney as quickly as possible, you will be able to provide compelling evidence of your injury and your attorney will know the best pictures to take under the circumstances.  The more you heal, the more your bruises will fade, and if the matter ever goes to trial, your jury may not be quite as sympathetic if they cannot visually attest to the extent of those injuries.

 

If you feel your injuries were not your fault and that there is another party involved, you will definitely want to retain an attorney as soon as possible.  The fast a lawsuit is filed, the more quickly the process can begin.  Call your attorney from your hospital bed the moment you are able, and get that lawsuit rolling.

Do You Have a Case if You Did Something Wrong?

If you have ever been served with a lawsuit, you know the immediate feeling of dread that accompanies that complaint.  Sometimes, these lawsuits may be frivolous and you may feel that not only have you done nothing wrong, but that you may even want to counter sue, because you feel you were the one wronged in the situation.  Other times, however, you are served with a valid lawsuit, on a matter in which you are fully aware that you were in the wrong.  Honestly, those lawsuits are the most stressful to receive and you may not even attend your first hearing for fear of the outcome.  This shouldn’t be the case!  Even if you feel you were in the wrong, your attorney has a duty and obligation to provide you with the best defense possible.

 

You Are Not an Attorney

 

Lawsuits are not won on personal feelings or on morality; they are won based on the facts of the law.  In other words, just because you may feel that you are in the wrong, it doesn’t mean that the law agrees.  Attorneys will go to school for years so that they can be well versed in the law and, in the case of defense attorneys, much of their focus is on how to use the law to benefit their clients when their clients may be guilty.  This expertise will come in handy in cases that are more difficult to defend and, in fact, some attorneys just love the challenge.

 

Best Representation Possible

 

Your attorney has a legal responsibility to provide you with the best defense possible and that is exactly what you will get.  Your attorney will find cases that are similar to yours to research the best strategies and avoid the pitfalls that some other attorneys in their position may have fallen into.  Your attorney will find statutes that can deflect any accusations hurled at your by the opposing side.  Your attorney will walk you through the process step by step and will do everything in his or her power to make sure that you have a case.  Considering all that they are willing to do for you, it’s surprising that they still have such a bad reputation.

 

Whether or not you feel you are in the wrong in a particular situation, the law may see it differently.  Even if the law says you are in the wrong, a good attorney may be able to make the law see differently.  A great defense attorney can be your best friend in a case like this as long as you always remember that it is your obligation to put up a fight, even when you think you may be in the wrong.

Dealing with a Stressful Lawsuit

When you are facing any situation where the outcome is unknown, you are bound to feel a bit of stress.  Depending on the situation itself, you may be under quite a bit of stress.  When it comes to lawsuits, even the most iron clad representation cannot guarantee the outcome of a case.  The money, time and energy spent on a lengthy lawsuit can make some people just give it up before seeing it through to the end.  Well, if the matter was important enough to file a lawsuit, chances are that it is important enough to stick it out to the end.  You simply have to find a better way of coping with the stress than just giving up.

 

No Guaranteed Winner

 

Lawsuits are absolutely unpredictable affairs.  If you are the plaintiff in the case, you likely filed the lawsuit based on your understanding of the law and your rights.  However, just because you understood the law to mean a certain thing, don’t assume that a judge will agree with your interpretation.  Still, when you begin feeling that stress tighten around your chest, just remember, you filed this lawsuit for the right reasons, no matter what the outcome.  If you are the defendant in the case, you do have a bit more to be stressed about, since it is your actions that are being called into question.  Even if you feel you have done nothing wrong to warrant this lawsuit, there is always the chance that the judge will agree with the Plaintiff.  When you begin to feel some stress as a defendant, remember the burden of proof is on the Plaintiff, so all you have to do is be honest and defend yourself.

 

You Are Prepared

 

You and your attorney will spend hours perfecting your legal strategy.  You will go over every fine detail of your case many times over, you will practice your cross examination until you are prepared for any curve ball the other side can throw are you, and your attorney will know each statute that he will be using for your defense almost verbatim.  In other words, you are ready for this.  Yes, it will still be a bit stressful but anytime you start feeling some panic, just remember you have done all that you can.

 

All lawsuits are stressful.  The outcome is uncertain and preparation itself can leave you drained.  Just remember, you are as prepared as you can ever possibly be and you are here because you believe your actions were the best actions, in a particular situation.  If you give off a sense of confidence to your opposing party, they may be the one who winds up feeling the pressure of the stress.

Questions to Ask Your Lawyer

Anytime you have a legal issue, you are going to have plenty of questions and there is no one more qualified to answer those questions than your attorney.  Finding yourself in a situation in which you are involved in a lawsuit is stressful enough without constantly worrying about the next steps.  Depending on the reason for the lawsuit, your case could drag on for years.  So, instead of worrying and trying to figure out what your next move is going to be, bend your attorney’s ear for a bit and feel free to ask as many questions as possible.

 

Statutes

 

If you have ever seen a book of statutes, you know that they can be thick volumes full of legalese that most laypeople don’t understand.  The fact is that your attorney went to school for years in order to learn how to read and interpret these laws and your attorney will have a firm understanding of what they are reading.  That is why it is important that you ask your attorney about the statutes and case law upon which he is depending on to build the backbone of your defense.  You need to understand these laws and how they affect you and your case.

 

Legal Process

 

The legal process is a slow moving machine full of holes that sometimes lead nowhere.  Our court system is so clogged with lawsuits that it can take years before your case is even heard by a jury.  Sometimes this can get a bit frustrating and your patience will wear thin.  However, if you discuss the process with your attorney before the suit gets underway, you will be better prepared to expect the delays that can come along with the process.  Not only that, your attorney can even explain the legal process that your case will go through step by step, just to make sure that there are no surprises waiting for you.

 

Your attorney wants to provide you with the best defense possible.  This is a much tougher job when a client is confused about what the situation actually is or does not have a clear understanding of the laws that will help them win their case.  By keeping in constant contact with your attorney and asking him any questions that come to mind, you can truly be a part of your own defense.  Considering lawsuits generally play with large stakes, you want to win.

How Long Do Injury Lawsuits Last?

If you were badly injured in an accident and have spent some time in the hospital, your medical bills are likely beginning to stack up.  Even with insurance, your medical care can eventually run you into bankruptcy, if the injuries are substantial enough.  So, if you are waiting on your personal injury lawsuit to pay the bills, time may be of the essence.  If you are in this situation, unfortunately, you may be in for a bit of a wait.

 

The System Moves Slowly

 

Our justice system is crowded with lawsuits that are filed every day and many of those lawsuits are going to be injury suits, much like yours.  Unfortunately, this means that it is going to take a bit of time, before your case goes before a judge.  Between deadlines that may be months in the future and extensions to those deadlines, that wait can be even longer, if the other side files the right motions.  Your attorney will do everything that they can in order to get your case moving as quickly as possible, but it is important to remember that “as quickly as possible” is a relative term.

 

Settling

 

If your financial situation simply will not allow you to wait for the process to take its course, you may want to speak with your attorney about the possibility of settling the lawsuit.  When you settle a lawsuit, you will not receive the full compensation you are requesting in your lawsuit, but if you do not have the choice, it may be your best option.  Most times, the other side will be open to settlement as long as it is beneficial to their client.  As a matter of fact, most cases never even make it to trial, being settled long before the trial date.

 

Your injury lawsuit is going to take some time.  If you have the time to allow the system to work for you, you may wind up waiting for years.  Sometimes it is absolutely worth it!  However, if you are beginning to get a bit antsy, talk to your attorney to find your next step.

What to Expect on Your First Attorney Visit

If you are visiting an attorney for the first time, you may be a bit nervous about the meeting.  Considering the reputation that attorneys have, it’s no wonder that you would be nervous.  However, when you retain an attorney, they are accepting the task of representing you to the absolute best of their abilities.  So, instead of being nervous, try to be as prepared as possible for your first meeting.

 

The First Time is the Hardest

 

When you are meeting with an attorney for the first time, it is a bit like going on a blind date.  The attorney will likely have just the basic facts surrounding your case and you will likely have just the basic facts about the attorney.  So, much of your first meeting will be the two of you determining whether or not this is the right attorney for you and if you are the right client for the attorney.  For the most part, your first meeting with your attorney will be a simple fact finding consultation but you will want to have as much information about your case as possible, because there will be plenty of questions to answer.  Don’t worry, though, after the initial visit, it does get easier.

 

It’s Not an Interrogation

 

Sometimes, your first meeting with your attorney will sound a bit more like an interrogation than a meeting.  The attorney will ask you questions about your case that you may have never considered and ask you for any evidence that you have to back up your side of the case.  For the most part, attorneys will always do their best to be compassionate and understanding, and most do have a wonderful court side manner.  However, most people simply aren’t used to being questioned as much as you may be questioned by your attorney, so it may be a bit intimidating.  Just remember that they are just people whose only job is to be their best for you.

 

Not every attorney is going to be compatible with every client.  Personalities may clash, your attorney may not feel the case is strong enough to accept, even costs and rates can be an issue that you divide on.  If you want to win your case, you do need an attorney that you can trust, before that first retainer check is even written.  After the first meeting, you will know if this is your new attorney.

Hurting Yourself At A Public Place

No one likes to get injured.  Besides the pain, injuries can be inconvenient and get in the way of your everyday life.  If you are visiting a public place, you expect to be safe from injury, and generally assume that the caretakers of the place would do everything in their power to make that happen.  In most cases, this is absolutely correct.  However, from time to time, injuries do occur in public places, and when they do, it is a good idea to speak to an attorney.

 

Attorneys Are There to Help

 

Attorneys really have a bad reputation.  Chances are that you know at least a dozen attorney jokes and have probably heard twice that amount.  However, the fact is that an attorney is there to fight in your corner and provide you with the best representation possible.  As a matter of fact, their license may depend on providing this quality representation to each and every one of their clients.  So, if you are injured in a public place, an attorney should be the first person you speak with.  You will want to speak with an attorney not only to find out exactly what your rights in the situation are but also to see if restitution is possible.

 

Don’t Be Frivolous

 

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of frivolous law suits filed every single day, in this country.  It seems that we have become a very litigious society and if we stub our toe when we aren’t watching where we are going, many people immediately start thinking of how they can turn the injury into a profit.  The justice system is absolutely clogged with these law suits that, ultimately, are likely to go nowhere at all.  If you happen to injure yourself in a public place, please do not add to the problem.  If you get a splinter at a park or pinch your finger between some weights at the gym, your first thought should probably not be law suit.  However, in the case that you are truly injured, you definitely will want to speak with an attorney.

 

For the most part, when people are injured, they can brush themselves off and walk away.  Unfortunately, sometimes it isn’t that easy and you may need medical attention.  Considering the high cost of medical attention, it can’t hurt to speak with an attorney just to make sure that your rights are protected.

Be Prepared When Attending an Appointment with Your Lawyer

If you have ever met an attorney, or are one yourself, you know that they have very little patience for wasting time.  This is ironic, considering most are paid by the hour, but the fact is that attorneys like to get right to the point and when they have a question, they expect a quick answer.  It isn’t that they are rude, they simply want the facts as quickly as possible, because they are constantly considering your strategy.  If you are getting ready for a meeting with your attorney, it is important that you come prepared.

 

Just the Facts

 

Lawsuits are won based on the facts at hand, not opinions.  While your attorney may occasionally ask your feelings at the time of certain incidents, generally speaking they are much more concerned with the facts of a case.  There may be information that you don’t find important enough to keep readily available, but make no mistake, the smallest details can be the determining factor in a case, and your attorney will know just what to look for.  So, it is important that you have all of the information necessary regarding your case at the ready and as organized as possible.

 

Staying Organized

 

Since attorneys do not like having their time wasted, it is important that you be as organized and thorough as possible.  Since you are the attorney’s client, they may accept your disorganization for a little while, especially if you are the victim in the lawsuit, but it’s best not to test that patience.  Using file folders to keep your paperwork organized is a great start.  Another good idea is to write down everything on a legal pad.  After the initial visit, your attorney’s paralegal will take care of keeping it organized but the more organized you are at the outset, the better.

 

Attorneys are intelligent people that are there to work for you.  They know much better than you, when it comes to what is important in a case.  Be prepared with everything your attorney asks to bring and more, and you see the beginning of a great attorney/client relationship.