Why Do So Many Cases Settle?

At The O’Brien Firm, over 98% of our cases settle before trial.  Many of our multimillion dollar cases have settled without a client ever appearing in a courtroom.  When people think about trials, they often view the opening statements, direct and cross examination, and closing arguments, as “litigation.”  This is part of litigation, however, this does not provide a complete picture of what constitutes litigation in a given case.  Below is a simplified version of how attorneys handle personal injury cases.

How Attorneys Evaluate Cases

When someone is injured in a crash, the first step is talking with an attorney experienced in personal injury cases.  When you meet with an attorney, they ask questions designed to determine how you were injured, when you were injured, why you were injured, what consequences you dealt with or continue to face, and who was responsible.  Next, your attorney will seek to gather information which may further inform them of the facts and circumstances of your case.

When an attorney determines there is a legal cause of action, they can file a complaint against the wrongdoer.  That party then answers the complaint.   Next, the parties engage in something called “discovery.”  In its simplest sense, discovery is the opportunity for the attorneys to obtain documentation in support of their claim.  This can include medical records, police reports, videos which may have recorded the accident, statements from witnesses, and other information that either supports the injured party’s claim, or detracts from the strength of their claim.

Once discovery is complete, the attorneys evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their respective cases.  Then the negotiation begins.  Attorneys consider past medical expenses, and past lost income, which are easy to calculate.  They also consider future medical expenses, which are not always as easy to calculate.  Depending on the nature of your injuries, attorneys consider other costs, such as loss of future income, and pain and suffering, both past and future.  In evaluating what a case might be worth, of course, attorneys must honestly evaluate any possible defenses asserted by the other side.

Case Negotiations

Once an attorney feels they have adequate information and have evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of the case, they will engage the other side in negotiations.  It is not uncommon for the attorneys to have several discussions over days or weeks, seeking to come up with a dollar amount that is satisfactory to both sides.

In New York, settlement conferences are mandatory in many personal injury cases.  During settlement conferences, the court requires the appearance of attorneys fully familiar with the action.  These attorneys must also have authorization to resolve the case.  This results in meaningful discussions of the strengths and weaknesses of each side’s case, which often results in resolution.

Why Settle?

There are any number of different reasons parties settle personal injury cases.  In some cases, due to the facts at hand, the insurance company makes an offer at the limits of the policy.  In other words, there may be no advantage to taking the case to trial because no additional recovery can occur from the insurance company.

Even in cases where a larger award is possible at trial, the opposite is also true.  Whenever you leave the question of the amount of the award to the jury, you run the risk the jury will award less than the amount offered.  The jury even has the option of coming back with no award at all.

Another reason cases often settle is the value of time.  Trial preparation and trials take time.  The parties attend the entire trial.  Additionally, they must work with their lawyer to prepare.  The parties testify and opposing counsel cross-examines the witness.  For the inexperienced, this can be quite stressful.  On balance, settling may be the better choice considering the following:

  • The amount offered;
  • The added time commitment required for trial prep and trial;
  • Stress;
  • The potential for a slightly higher award; and
  • The risk of no award.

Finally, settlements are agreements between the parties.  Jury awards, however, are not agreements.  Either side can file an appeal.  Appeals can challenge the decision of the jury.  Alternatively, appeals can challenge the rulings of the judge during or pre-trial.  Appeals can drag on for months or years.  Settling the case provides finality and certainty.

Injured?  Contact The O’Brien Firm

If you have been injured in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.  At The O’Brien Firm, we have a proven track record of successful litigation from pre-suit discovery through trial.  Contact us to discuss your case.

 

 

Big Trucks and Blind Spots

Understanding the “No Zone”

The United States Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) identifies large blind spots as one of several operating limitations of large trucks and buses, along with long stopping distances and making wide turns.  Big truck blind spots include 20 feet in front of the truck, 30 feet behind the truck, as well as blind spots to the right and the left of the vehicle.  As a simple rule of thumb, passing vehicles should presume they are in a truck driver’s blind spot unless they can see the truck driver’s face in the truck’s side mirror.

Safety Tips in Blind Spots

The FMCSA offers several suggestions for driving safely around large trucks and buses.

Be Aware of Your Position

Because truck driver blind spots are large, drivers are encouraged to stay out of “no zones” whenever possible.  Obviously, this isn’t always possible.  Drivers should bear blind spots in mind when passing a big truck, or merging next to a big truck.  Drivers should also watch for trucks turning, backing up, or changing lanes.

Passing Safely

When you pass a big truck, recall first the blind spot up to 30 feet behind the truck.  Make sure you are out of this blind zone.  Signal your turn before moving into the left lane.  Accelerate to pass the truck quickly and safely.  Do not linger in the blind spot on the side of the truck.  Make sure you can see the truck in your rearview mirror before you return to your own lane in front of the truck.

When a truck is passing your car, stay in the right lane and slow down slightly.  This gives the truck driver room to pass safely.  It also allows the driver to pass more quickly, getting you out of the blind spot faster.

Watch for Signals

Buses and trucks need more turning room.  Consequently, they may initiate turns from the middle lane, rather than the far right.  If a truck driver is signaling a turn, believe them, even if they don’t appear to you to be in a turning lane.  Never try to speed by a truck on the right when they are signaling a right – hand turn.  Recall, you are driving directly in a “no zone,” and the truck driver may not see you.  Similarly, when a truck comes onto the highway, merging from the right, bear in mind the driver’s extended blind spot.  If you can slow down, or change lanes further to the left, do so.

Big Truck Statistics

FMCSA offers some sobering facts about accidents with large trucks and buses.

  • 7 out of every 10 people killed in crashes with large trucks are occupants of other vehicles.
  • 30 % of all fatal crashes that occur in work zones involve one or more large trucks.
  • 61 % of all fatal crashes involving large trucks happen on rural roads.

If You Have Been Injured by a Big Truck or Tractor Trailer

If you are injured by a big truck, or if you have lost a loved one in a crash with a big truck, you may be entitled to compensation.  At The O’Brien Firm, we will come to you to discuss your case at no cost to you.  We only charge a fee if we recover for you.  Give us a call at 716-907-7777 today.

 

 

More Driving Accidents Happen In The Summer Months

Summer is here and along with the beautiful weather and sunny skies, there is also a greater risk of being in an automobile accident for drivers and their passengers on the road.

Many drivers think that they’re more likely to be in a driving accident during the winter months when it’s darker outside for more of the day, and when there’s bad weather conditions like snow and ice on the road.

Peak Months for Car Accidents

But according to data from car insurance companies as well as NHTSA (the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), the peak months for car accidents from year to year are typically July, August, and September.

While drivers tend to be more alert when it’s darker outside or when there are inclement weather conditions, clear skies on a bright summer day can lull some drivers into a sense of safety and complacency that leads to distracted driving.

NHTSA also points to the higher number of holiday travelers in the summer months, and the markedly higher number of drivers impaired by alcohol, causing almost twice the number of traffic fatalities in the summer months than during the rest of the year combined.

Teen Drivers and Distracted Driving

Traffic researchers have also found that teen drivers spend 44 percent more time on the road during the week in the summer months than they do during the school year, so the most inexperienced drivers, who are the most prone to distracted driving accidents, will be out in greater numbers for longer periods of time over the next few weeks.

In fact, the stretch of calendar from Memorial Day to Labor Day, which is summer vacation for most students, is called “The 100 Deadliest Days” for teen drivers, and nine out of the ten deadliest days in the year for young drivers on U.S. highways are between May and August.

The Deadliest Day of the Year for Car Accidents

The #1 deadliest day of the year for automobile accidents on America’s roads is right in the middle of “The 100 Deadliest Days.” A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that the Fourth of July holiday is the most dangerous time to drive all year, with more car accidents than New Year’s Eve, Saint Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, or Super Bowl Sunday.

Summer Roadway Hazards

Another reason for the increase in driving accidents during the summer months is the increase in equipment failure caused by the summer heat. Engines in older cars are more likely to overheat and worn tires are more likely to blowout, creating road hazards and increasing the chances of a car accident.

There are also more complicated and hazardous road conditions during the summer months, especially as roadway construction crews are at the peak of their activity all year, shutting down traffic lanes, increasing congestion, creating detours, and creating more chances for distracted driving to cause an accident.

Avoiding Automobile Accidents in The Summer Months

Rather than allowing the clear, sunny weather and the excitement of summer time lull you into a state of complacency and distraction, know that responsible, alert, defensive driving is more important now than at any time all year, and could save you from a damaged vehicle, a personal injury, even death in an automobile accident.

(Though you should make sure you are alert and drive responsibly every time you get behind the wheel, and know how to engage in the best driving practices referred to as “defensive driving” year-round.)

Best Practices While Driving

Never drive while impaired by alcohol, drugs, or medication, or if you are sleep deprived or in a state of extreme emotional distress. Leave your phone in your purse or pocket and keep your eyes on the road as you drive and each hand at the “ten” and “two” o’clock positions on the steering wheel.

Have a good awareness of the road around you, looking ahead to see what’s down the road, keeping your eye on what other drivers are doing in front of you, and to the left and right, and glancing occasionally at your rearview mirror to know what’s going on behind you.

What To Do If You Are in An Automobile Accident

Stay calm and remember safety first. Making sure you and everyone else is safe and unharmed, and calling 911 if anyone is injured should be your first priority.

Don’t take responsibility for the accident and don’t assign blame to the other driver either. Get their contact, vehicle, and insurance information, and take pictures of the accident. Document everything you can and look for any witnesses that might have seen what happened.

We highly recommend that before you make a statement to an insurance company, you call an experienced vehicle accident attorney to make sure your best interests are protected.

If you or a loved one has been in an automobile accident, contact The O’Brien Firm at (716)- 907-7777 if you have any questions about your rights.

Trucking Accidents and Increased Driver Safety

In 2015, nearly 4,000 mothers, children, fathers, brothers, and sisters lost their lives in large truck crashes. Though some of the victims were the truckers, themselves, the majority – 69% – were from passenger cars.

Despite these discouraging numbers, law enforcement is working to find an answer. Between creating teen safety driving courses that encourage safer driving around large trucks to implementing Operation Safe Driver Week, police, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance are leveraging education to curb the number of these devastating accidents.

To combat these disturbing statistics, Operation Safe Driver Weeks holds activities across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to increase commercial traffic enforcement, including safety belt and driver roadside inspections. It also hopes to improve driver regulatory compliance and commercial driver education while educating youth about sharing the road with larger trucks.

A few of the takeaways – for teen and adult drivers – is to avoid driving distractedly or when intoxicated, and steer clear of blind spots.

How Trucking Accidents Occur

While there’s hope that these educational incentives will change lives and prevent accidents in the future, there are many people who lost their lives in preventable situations. A few reasons accidents may happen involving trucks include:

  • Drowsy/Exhausted Driving. Sometimes, drivers are pushed to the limits by the companies they work for. Other times, they push themselves because of financial incentives. Either way, driving without rest is both dangerous and illegal.
  • Poorly Loaded Freight. When freight isn’t loaded correctly, it means the truck is off-balance and drivers can easily lose control, leading to accidents. Sometimes drivers load their own freight without proper training, leading to this imbalance. Sometimes, the people who load it for the company don’t take into consideration the importance of proper loading.
  • Poor Truck Maintenance. Whether a truck is driver-owned or company-owned, it must be properly maintained and inspected before hitting the highways at top-speed. A simple tire blow-out can lead to devastating consequences for other drivers on the road.

Trust O’Brien Firm with Your Case

At The O’Brien Firm, we seek justice for those who have been injured in trucking accidents. We never give up on our clients; we keep fighting until they get the compensation they deserve. To us, every case is personal. With The O’Brien Firm, you will never feel like a number. If your loved one died as a result of a trucking accident or you were injured, talk with our team. When you consult with one of our Buffalo personal injury lawyers, they will research your situation and develop a personalized and unique approach to your case.

 

At The O’Brien Firm, we consider not only our clients, but also their families and loved ones. Our mission is to ensure that when the lawsuit is over and the dust has settled, everyone is able to make a fresh start.

 

When you choose The O’Brien Firm to handle your case, you can focus on recovering from your large truck accident, knowing we will work hard to pursue the justice you deserve.

The Effects of Distracted Driving Accidents

The task of driving is a privilege, not a right. When you get behind the wheel of a vehicle, you are controlling, potentially, a deadly weapon. Sadly, many drivers do not take this responsibility seriously. They use driving time to multitask, engaging in dangerous habits such as texting, talking on the phone, eating and drinking, personal grooming, and chatting with passengers. In 2014, 3,179 people died in distracted driving crashes around the United States. Learn how distraction kills to better understand how to prevent these accidents.

 

Visual and Manual Distractions

 

Distracted driving is any activity that takes a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. For example, reading or typing a text message distracts for an average of five seconds. Five seconds may not seem like a lot of time to take your eyes off the road, but it’s the same amount of time it takes a vehicle traveling 55 miles per hour to cross an entire football field. Reading a text is the equivalent of traversing a football field blindfolded. Cell phone use is often a double whammy – a visual and manual distraction. Teens and young adults are the most likely to be distracted, due to higher rates of cell phone use.

 

On the road, distraction vastly increases the chance of injury or death. Around 8 people are killed and over 1100 are injured in crashes from distracted driving everyday within the United States. Young people are four times more likely to be involved in these accidents – five times more likely if there are two or more passengers along for the ride.

 

How to Prevent Distracted Driving

 

The easiest way to prevent distracted driving accidents is to not participate in distracted behaviors. Put your phone away and on silent before you begin to drive, and don’t read or send text messages, even when stopped at a red light. Avoid other manual distractions, such as eating or applying makeup while operating your vehicle. Don’t fiddle with buttons on the car’s radio or GPS, and avoid participating in emotional discussions with passengers. Whenever you’re riding passenger, be aware of the driver’s actions and do your best to prevent them from driving while distracted. Educating friends and families on the dangers of distraction while on the road can help save your life as well as the lives of other drivers.

 

A distracted mind cannot safely operate a motor vehicle. If you or a loved one have been involved in a distraction-related car accident in New York, contact The O’Brien Firm at (716)- 907- 7777. Our staff will thoroughly investigate the details of the accident to determine if distracted driving was a factor, so you can be best represented.

Trucking Accidents and Increased Driver Safety

In 2015, nearly 4,000 mothers, children, fathers, brothers, and sisters lost their lives in large truck crashes. Though some of the victims were the truckers, themselves, the majority – 69% – were from passenger cars.

Despite these discouraging numbers, law enforcement is working to find an answer. Between creating teen safety driving courses that encourage safer driving around large trucks to implementing Operation Safe Driver Week, police, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance are leveraging education to curb the number of these devastating accidents.

To combat these disturbing statistics, Operation Safe Driver Weeks holds activities across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to increase commercial traffic enforcement, including safety belt and driver roadside inspections. It also hopes to improve driver regulatory compliance and commercial driver education while educating youth about sharing the road with larger trucks.

A few of the takeaways – for teen and adult drivers – is to avoid driving distractedly or when intoxicated, and steer clear of blind spots.

How Trucking Accidents Occur

While there’s hope that these educational incentives will change lives and prevent accidents in the future, there are many people who lost their lives in preventable situations. A few reasons accidents may happen involving trucks include:

  • Drowsy/Exhausted Driving. Sometimes, drivers are pushed to the limits by the companies they work for. Other times, they push themselves because of financial incentives. Either way, driving without rest is both dangerous and illegal.
  • Poorly Loaded Freight. When freight isn’t loaded correctly, it means the truck is off-balance and drivers can easily lose control, leading to accidents. Sometimes drivers load their own freight without proper training, leading to this imbalance. Sometimes, the people who load it for the company don’t take into consideration the importance of proper loading.
  • Poor Truck Maintenance. Whether a truck is driver-owned or company-owned, it must be properly maintained and inspected before hitting the highways at top-speed. A simple tire blow-out can lead to devastating consequences for other drivers on the road.

Trust O’Brien Firm with Your Case

At The O’Brien Firm, we seek justice for those who have been injured in trucking accidents. We never give up on our clients; we keep fighting until they get the compensation they deserve. To us, every case is personal. With The O’Brien Firm, you will never feel like a number. If your loved one died as a result of a trucking accident or you were injured, talk with our team. When you consult with one of our Buffalo personal injury lawyers, they will research your situation and develop a personalized and unique approach to your case.

 

At The O’Brien Firm, we consider not only our clients, but also their families and loved ones. Our mission is to ensure that when the lawsuit is over and the dust has settled, everyone is able to make a fresh start.

 

When you choose The O’Brien Firm to handle your case, you can focus on recovering from your large truck accident, knowing we will work hard to pursue the justice you deserve.

Dog Bites In New York State – What To Do When It Happens

Spring is here and people can finally get out of their homes comfortably, even with their dogs.  Dogs can be a man’s best friend, but dogs can also present a set of dangers when interacting with humans – including dog bites.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur every year nationwide.  Dog bites can cause injury, nerve damage, and cause pain.  Additionally, one in five dog bites become infected.

The possibility of a dog bite is frightening, but few simple steps can reduce the possibility.

Protecting Yourself and Your Loved Ones from Dog Bites in Buffalo NY

First, know that dog bites most commonly occur among children aged 5 to 9 years old.  Second, men are more likely to be bitten by a dog than women.  Over half of dog bites occur in the home by dogs known by the victim.  As you might expect, when the number of dogs in the household increases, the likelihood of dog bites also increases.

Several actions reduce injury and likelihood of dog bites, including the following:

  • If approached by an unfamiliar dog, remain motionless.
  • During a dog attack, curl your body into a ball, tucking your head and placing your hands over your ears and neck.
  • Do not approach an unfamiliar dog.
  • Avoid panicking and running from a dog.
  • Do not bother a dog that is eating or sleeping.
  • Do not allow small children to play with a dog without supervision.

You should always report dog bites to the appropriate local authorities.  They determine how to treat the dog going forward, including monitoring the dog’s health for rabies or other disease.  The authorities typically issue a report.  You should obtain a copy of the report for any possible future litigation.

What Kind of Diseases Can you Get From A Dog Bite?

  • Rabies is one of the most serious diseases people can get from dog bites. …
  • Capnocytophaga spp. are bacteria that live in the mouths of humans, dogs, and cats. …
  • Pasteurella is a type of bacteria seen in over 50% of infected dog bite wounds.

Dog Bite Law In New York State

The state of New York operates under a “mixed liability” approach.  This means, if authorities have previously determined a dog is a “dangerous dog”, the dog owner is strictly liable for the victim’s medical and any veterinary costs.  Dogs can be considered dangerous if they have a history of biting or, if the dog has not actually bitten anyone but has a history of snapping, lunging or growling at people who come near.  A dog might be declared dangerous if it wears a muzzle, or the owner often tells people the dog is an attack dog.

For other damages, New York law mandates that the victim prove that the dog had a dangerous tendency to bite and the owner of the dog knew it.  In order for a victim to recover under general negligence or common-law negligence, the victim must prove the dog owner knew the dog had a vicious or dangerous temperament.  Bard v. Jahnke, 6 NY3rd 592 (N.Y. 2006), citing Collier v. Zambito, 1 NY d 444 (2004).

What to Do When Bitten by a Dog

First, seek medical attention immediately, even if you don’t think you need it.  Do not wait, and if necessary, call 911.  Obtain all medical records, take photos and obtain names and contact information of any witnesses.  This can be crucial if you must retain an attorney to collect damages in the future.

Once bitten, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible.  Time limits, also called a statute of limitations, restrict the amount of time an injured party can seek damages for any injuries sustained by a dog bite.

Find A Dog Bite Lawyer Near Me

Call The O’Brien Firm.  At The O’Brien Firm, we are happy to meet with you to discuss your case at no charge.  There is no fee unless we recover damages for you.  Our lawyers have extensive experience handling dog bite cases.  Contact us today at 716.907.7777.

The Importance of Trial Experience

One of the key traits that an effective lawyer must have is trial experience. In other words, you’ll need to check whether or not your prospective attorney has taken a number of cases to trial. But why is trial experience so important? Although most cases settle, having a lawyer with significant trial experience can still benefit you in a number of ways both during settlement and during trial.

During settlement

If you propose a settlement while represented by a lawyer with little to no trial experience, then chances are that you’ll end up with much less than you’d otherwise get while represented by an experienced trial attorney. The reason for this can be summed up by a simple ideology made popular by President Theodore Roosevelt – speak softly and carry a big stick. The proverb advises the use of caution and non-aggressive tactics, while still having the ability to resort to violence, if it becomes necessary.

Applying this ideology to matters of litigation, you should come to the table prepared to settle, but you should also show the other party that you’re ready to go to trial, if it becomes necessary. Oftentimes, having an experienced trial lawyer at your side will be enough to ensure that you get a fair deal from the settlement. In stark contrast, when you’re being represented by an inexperienced attorney, you probably won’t have the respect of the other party, who’s likely to think that you don’t have the experience and resources to see the case all the way through.

You need to understand the importance of negotiating from a position of strength. With an experienced trial lawyer, you’ll be able to do just that. It’s not just about being prepared for trial, it’s also showing the other party just how prepared you are.

During trial

On the other hand, if your case does fall within the minority that goes to trial, you’ll definitely want a lawyer that knows what to do when it gets there. You’ll want to pick a lawyer who has actually gone into court, convinced juries, and regularly gets wins for his clients.

There’s also a huge difference between a lawyer who prepares for trial from the very beginning and one who prepares only after negotiations break down. When you choose an experienced trial lawyer, you’re choosing someone who’s better able to envision how they can get the evidence before a jury and how they can put your case together from day one. If you start the case with an inexperienced trial lawyer and switch to an experienced one after the settlement falls through, you’ll significantly hurt your chances of winning since you’ve given your second lawyer less time to prepare.

The Erin Andrews Verdict: the Future of Hotel Safety

NASHVILLE, Tennessee, March 7 – After a two-week court battle, sportscaster Erin Andrews was awarded $55 million in a peepshow lawsuit against Michael David Barrett, a hotel management company, and its owner.

Whether or not she’s able to collect on the entire award, the not-so-paltry sum will no doubt leave a significant impression on the hotel industry and its prevailing practices for years to come. In fact, Andrews commented that the case would “hold accountable those whose job it is to protect everyone’s safety, security and privacy.”

Unsurprisingly, many legal experts agree with Andrews’ views. Chris O’Brien, a law professor at the University of Buffalo, associate director of the school’s advocacy institute, and prominent personal injury lawyer, believes the case to be a “tremendous victory for safety.” He goes on to say that, “It is a very strong argument for people’s privacy, and it tells hotels that you have to change the type of information that you give out.”

The Nashville jury’s award does not only take into consideration Andrews’ status as a TV celebrity, but also the fact that ordinary people invest a lot of trust in a hotel’s promise to respect and protect their privacy.

Since hotels are commonly treated as private spaces, it’s easy for ordinary people to understand Andrews’ experience and consider as a serious violation of one’s privacy. During her tearful testimony, Andrews accused the Nashville Marriot’s hotel management company and its owner of providing Barrett with her hotel room number and failing to inform her of the fact that he requested a room right next to hers. She continued to recount her shocking experience as she told the jury of how Barrett altered the room’s peephole and how he used it to take a nude video of her. Barrett later uploaded this video onto the internet. Since then, the video has been shared, downloaded, and viewed millions of times on different websites. Andrews tearfully claimed that the experience ruined her life, leaving her with intense feelings of depression and anxiety.

Barrett, a former insurance executive in Chicago, admitted to the crime and was sentenced to two and a half years of imprisonment. On the other hand, the hotel’s operator Windsor Capital Group, Inc. and its owner West End Hotel Partners LLC denied Andrews’ allegations. But as mentioned before, the jury ultimately ruled in favor of Andrews.

In most situations, the front desk isn’t supposed to say room numbers out loud, much less share them with strangers. Moreover, they aren’t supposed to grant requests for rooms near to or next to those of other guests. The hotel staff is instructed to respect and protect the privacy of each guest, as well as to honor only reasonable requests in line with aforementioned principle. Unfortunately, as the Andrews verdict has shown, some employees don’t follow these guidelines.

After the verdict, Windsor Management Services, the hotel’s former operator, issued an official apology for Andrews. It substantially states that the regrettable event serves to remind the hotel industry of the persistence of lawbreakers and the importance of ensuring the safety and privacy of their guests.

 

Read more:

http://www.innercircle.org/News/1288841/ErinAndrewsawarded55millionincivilcaseovernudevideo

http://www.buffalo.edu/news/ub-in-the-news/2016/03/022.html

http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/crime/2016/03/07/erin-andrews-awarded-55-million/81367588/

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-erin-andrews-verdict-hotels-20160308-story.html

http://abcnews.go.com/US/erin-andrews-end-full-55-million-payout-experts/story?id=37487797

http://www.danielperlmanlaw.com/blog/2016/03/erin-andrews-and-how-does-a-jury-award-55-million-dollars.shtml

What to Ask Your Personal Injury Lawyer

Once you setup an appointment with a prospective person injury lawyer, it’s time to prepare all the necessary documentation, records, and questions that you’ll want to ask. Always keep in mind that this is your case, so you’re allowed to ask whatever question that might strike you as important.

But before you fire off questions about the case itself, you should first determine whether or not you’ve got the perfect attorney for the job. To help you decide on this, here are a few questions that you might want to ask:

What field of law do you specialize in? Take the medical profession for example. Though a brain surgeon and gynecologist are both doctors, you wouldn’t want the former delivering your baby or the latter tinkering around with your brain. The same is true with the legal profession. Different attorneys specialize in different fields of law. So, to get the best and most reliable results, you’ll definitely want a lawyer that specializes in personal injury cases.

How many cases similar to this one have you handled before? How did they go? Assuming that your lawyer really does specialize in personal injury cases, this does not necessarily mean that he’s particularly skilled with them. While some may still be new to that specialization or only practice law on a part-time basis, others may simply be bad at what they do. Thus, it’s important to ask about past cases and their results whenever your jurisdiction allows lawyers to reveal that type of information.

Will a contingency fee be acceptable? If so, how much are you asking for? Most personal injury lawyers will not ask for a fee upfront. Instead, you’ll need to pay them on a contingency basis. This means that their fee will depend on whatever amount you receive should the case be settled or decided in your favor. For your information, these fees are often negotiable and may range from 25 to 40 percent.

Will the case go to trial? Cases that go to trial can potentially have a larger payout than cases that are simply settled. There are quite a few factors to analyze before choosing one option or another. However, just keep in mind that if your attorney seems too intent on a settlement, he may just be looking for an easy payout.