Managing Money Received From A Lawsuit Settlement

No win no fee, personal injury

No win no fee lawyers

Lawsuit settlements often mean money will come to you in an unexpected manner. Of course, the other way too is a possibility. Either way you will know the settlement amount beforehand, but actually receiving the money that the court decides might result in you making sudden decisions, which in the long run might be bad for you. There are various factors to consider on spending the money wisely and it is possible that you might not have that much money after paying attorneys fee, which especially considering the fact that some of them work on a “no win no fee” basis, which can be quite high if you win.

Paying due bills

It is highly probable that you will have medical bills to pay for if you have won a lawsuit settlement for whatever reason. In the case of personal injuries, you may need to take some extended period of time off from work, which means you will have to pay for the living expenses without any means of income. In such situations too, these money settlements will be of great help to you.

Lawyer fee

You attorney will have to be paid following a lawsuit settlement. Some of the attorneys work in a “no win no fee” basis, which means, you will only have to pay the lawyer’s fee if there is a successful money settlement. Make sure that when you hire the attorney, you agree upon the method of payment and also clearly state the same in the retainer agreement. Some attorneys receive payments as a percentage of the settlement amount and it may be calculated based on the gross settlement amount or on the net amount.

Tax payments

You will have to pay taxes on the money you receive as settlement amount, as any amount received as lawsuit settlements will be

No win no fee, personal injury

attorney’s fees on no win no fee basis

considered as if it were income. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Tax Code section 61 makes it very clear that any income you receive is taxable, unless it is excluded by the IRS. There is an exemption, however, though as any income received from lawsuit settlements for personal injury or illness are excluded from taxes (Section 104(a) (2)).

Investing the money received from lawsuit settlements is another way of managing the money you receive. Managing money received from lawsuit settlements is by no means a difficult job, but if you meddle with it without any careful planning, you might end up regretting your decision.

How To Claim Punitive Damages Among Other Damages

what is punitive damages

what is punitive damages and claims

We are living at a time when anyone can sue anyone else for anything. The notion expressed here may not be of ruthless, unlawful claims but to the contrary, it could be one if the end does not justify the means. In order to be claiming for just reasons, ensure whether the following elements are present in your claim.

  • Know what a small claim is and if yours fall under the category, sue for the small amount which is well within the ceiling for small claim. It is suggested that you check with your state laws on this as the cause varies from state to state as you will be representing yourself without an attorney.
  • The claims usually addressed by small claims courts involve filling out forms and paying relevant fees. Here the case is represented without an attorney and hence does not involve attorney fees. 
  • If you find that you are not in a position to defend yourself, you may appoint a small claims attorney to defend you or approach a free legal services body. 
  • Collect all relevant data that justify your claim including proof that the financial loss you have suffered on the premise of the damage or inconvenience caused to you by the defendant. When a claim is against anyone for anything, you may include all financial losses and punitive damages. But before suing for punitive damages, know what is punitive damages.
  • Let the claim include compensatory damages and damages for pain and suffering. Make your claim appear big, for you are the one to judge what loss you have had to suffer.
  • Include the element of negligence- the boon in disguise to claimants of damages. Demonstrate that the action of the defendant was nothing short of sheer negligence besides being intentional. This way you get damages and he, a few good lessons! This is not very easy to prove though as there are many

    compensatory damages

    what is punitive damages in civil law

  • If your cause is not substantiated suitably by evidence or argument, the court may find the cause of action unfit for a claim and may summarily reject same in which case you must be prepared to pay for your cost as well as your opponent’s. Your suit may be found frivolous and for wrongful gains. The court may condemn you for wasting the time of the court and the other party.

Courts work on the basis of evidence provided and proved. Making up evidence is tantamount to a criminal act. So, stay within the facts to be safe.

What Do You Mean By Punitive Damages?

What is punitive damages

                              Auto accident cases

Are you wondering how punitive damages are different form the usual compensatory damages? Then read on. You might find this article an interesting read.

So what is punitive damages? As the name implies, punitive damages, sometimes also known as exemplary damages are the punishments that are meted out to an individual held guilty. The main purpose of punishing the individual is to lay an example so as to discourage others from committing similar wrongdoings in the future. For this reason, the amount that is awarded as punitive damages is often much greater than the measurable valuable of the injury caused or the losses incurred. At times punitive damages could also take the form of time in prison.

In the case of auto accidents, punitive damages may be awarded if it can be proved that the defendant was drunk or under the influence of harmful drugs at the time of the accident. Such a person can be charged for committing manslaughter. Such a person need only be proved as being drunk, negligent in following traffic rules or gross disregard to human life and property.

Medical professionals too can be sued for negligence. Indeed more number of such professionals is brought before the court by grieving families than any other person. This is because they feel that hospital deaths could have been prevented if such person had shown concern towards the victim and had acted differently. However, the law, as it stands today, requires medics to prove that they had exercised reasonable care while treating their patients. The law recognizes the difficulty of being in the medical industry and that such professionals would not on purpose cause the death of one of their patients. The court also recognizes the grieving family and gives a chance to both sides to clarify their stand.

The amount that can be awarded as punitive damages will depend on the particulars of each case. If it can be shown that defendant acted with pure malicious intent then enormous amounts can be awarded as compensation. Previous cases of punitive damages will also be huge deciding factor. Also,

Exemplary damages

             Discourage individuals from doing wrong

unlike the compensatory damage considerations, the defendant’s net worth will also be taken into consideration while deciding on the amount to be awarded as punitive damages.

Now you know what is punitive damages. As the amount awarded is way higher than plaintiff’s provable injuries, not all personal injury lawsuits are awarded the punitive damages. The court must have substantial evidence proving that the defendant behaved in a reckless and outrageous manner which is not as easy it seems.

Expenses In Hiring A No-Win-No-Fee Lawyer

No win no fee

                              Payment of fee

Solicitors who work on the basis of a conditional agreement are the ones who receive the maximum number of clients in a year. Their efficient serviceability, high record and the small investments that they work on are the primary reasons for their immense popularity. No win no fee solicitors are even more popular because of their high success record and hence. For the common man who is not very familiar with the clauses on which these lawyers operate on, the payment terms often turn out to be quite perplexing. Be it a CFA agreement or a no win no fee policy, if the case is won, there are some mandatory payments on the part of the clients. Given below are some of the expenses that will customarily be included in the bill of a successful no win no fee lawyer.

Basics:

If the case has been won, there is a basic fee to be paid to the lawyer. For an exceptionally good lawyer, a high basic cost is not surprising. In such cases, the winning party can pay a part of this amount and ask the other party to pay the rest as compensation claims. Sometimes, one can ask the lawyer to accept a certain percentage of the winnings.

Success charges:

Hard work in any guild should be recognized as well as rewarded. The reward as a payoff for their efforts in this case comes in the form of the success fee that a CFA lawyer charges when the case is won. Usually, such charges are going to be greater than the usual fees charged by other professional lawyers.

Mediator’s cost:

Good lawyer

                                       Final bill on a win

In the instance where a case can be resolved outside the court, then besides a lawyer you will also require a mediator to participate in the negotiations. As the arrangement of an out-of-the-court settlement is not a formal one, an unbiased legal representative is necessary to witness the settlement.

Others:

Your list of expenses does not end here as there is various other incidental charges included as well. Some of these include expenses incurred for travelling, faxing, printing, Xeroxing and more important costs like official charges, court fess, accident report charges, etc.

These are some of the expenses that will invariably be included in your final bill. All these expenses together can add up to astronomical figures but if you win the case, it would be worth every cent!

Lawsuits For Accident Settlements

no win no fee

: hire a lawyer in a no win no fee basis

Accidents are something that can happen to anyone of us at any point of time in our life, no matter if we happen to be driving or not. It is precisely why being aware of accident claim settlements is one thing that all of us should be aware of. The settlement claims and the procedures for the claim may vary depending upon the state you encountered the accident. Your lawyer is someone who can help you with filing a settlement lawsuit and helping you win it in your favor. Lawyers for accident settlements can be hired on a no win no fee basis, or better known as contingency fee basis. Here is how all these actually work.

Accident settlement procedures

  • The first step in filing an accident settlement claim is to hire a lawyer or someone with a good know-how of the legal procedures involved in filing an accident settlement. This person can help you organizing your claim and verify the documents required to file the claim.

    settlement claims

    A lawyer can help you estimate the settlement fee

  • Remember to acquire all the necessary documents required to file the settlement lawsuit. Also, remember to have a rough estimate of the amount that you intend to claim. Your lawyer can help you reach this estimate. Remember that each and every claim is unique in its own way. So, consult with your lawyer in order to form an estimate of your claim amount, which would depend on the damages that you incurred due to the accident.
  • In case the damages incurred includes physical damages along with damage to property or assets, it is always ideal to hire a lawyer on a no win no fee basis. This would ensure that your lawyer would pursue every possible option to help you win the claim. The contingency fee of the lawyer in most cases is a percentage of the amount that you win as settlement. So, it ultimately becomes the need of the lawyer too, that you win the settlement.
  • If the accident occurred largely due to fault of your own, your lawyer might still be able to win a settlement in your favor. If a third party is responsible for the accident, you have an even bigger chance of emerging a winner in the settlement dispute.

Everything said and done, remember to be ready to wait for longer periods than expected for the dispute to end. Remember that patience is the key to win a settlement as the legal procedures and its documentation, can take an eternity at times to be completed.

More On Punitive Damages

What is punitive damages

What do you understand by punitive damages

In a lawsuit, generally there will be two parties involved namely, plaintiff and defendant. Plaintiff is the one who files the case or charges in the court against the defendant. If the defendant fails to pay the penalty declared by the court after having been found guilty, the plaintiff has got the option to go ahead with other legal formalities and proceed with the an acquisition order.

What is punitive damages judgment?

If the court announces punitive damages judgment, it means the defendant is required to pay the penalty to the plaintiff. The court declares punitive damages only if the plaintiff succeeds in proving that the defendant was voluntarily intoxicated, reckless, willful or malicious in his actions.

Enforcing the judgment

Let’s consider that you are the defendant. Assume that the plaintiff has obtained a judgment in his favor. If you fail to pay the penalty, the plaintiff can go ahead with judgment enforcement meaning he can take legal steps to force that judgment. This may include wage garnishment, seizure of your bank account and property acquisition, including home foreclosure. But before he can follow up on such a judgment, plaintiff should first file a supplementary proceeding in court. You will receive a notice about this and you have the opportunity to defend against it too.

Execution of the judgment

As per the law, as long as the plaintiff holds the judgment on property, he can try to execute it. State law gives permission to the plaintiff to demand the defendant to appear in court and can make him reveal his assets. Doing this allows the plaintiff to work out a strategy for the acquisition of such the assets. These assets include the defendants’ home too.

Filing bankruptcy

Punitive damages judgment

How to determine punitive damages

But you have one option to defend your property or home from this punitive damages judgment. That is to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy which can help you to stay the judgment. But then there are certain conditions to be met in order for it to stay the judgment. If you were found to be voluntarily intoxicated, reckless, willful or malicious, Chapter 7 bankruptcy won’t hold in favor of you.

Now you have some idea on what is punitive damages judgment. Students of law and indeed, well-established lawyers must keep themselves abreast of the latest judgments that deal with these sorts of damages. Each judgment will enlighten a citizen on how a law can be applied in certain cases.

How To Find The Best Attorney For Your Case

legal issue

no win no fee attorneys

As you know, the term No win No fee means that, if the case does not win, you need not pay any legal fees, as simple as that. Sounds interesting? But then, there are certain factors that need to be considered before thinking of hiring such an attorney.

Experience – Look for the experience of the lawyer and the number of cases he has handled. However, a good number of years as experience may not account for his standing in the profession. There are websites which detail out the experience of lawyers in a particular state.

Specialization – You may have reached out to a lawyer who is experienced enough to handle civil or criminal cases but if he has not had enough experience handling the type of case you are to entrust him, then it implies that the lawyer may not be the right one to argue your case. There are law firms that advertise as specialists in personal injury cases, but in reality only a meager percentage of the attorneys would be dealing with cases involving personal injury. In any case, it is always advisable to entrust your case to the firm that does the work as priority.

No Win No Fee Lawyers

No win, no fee lawyers work with the advertisement that they don’t claim fees if they don’t win the case that they argue. This emphasizes that they are confident about their win. Identifying a reputed lawyer here is important too. What matters here is not your willingness to entrust your case to them but their willingness to accept your case. Seek an appointment with the lawyer to discuss the case and to find out his/her willingness to accept your case. The final decision in this case rests pertinently with the attorney in all cases.

legal issue

no win no fee cases

Finding the right attorney these days to represent your case can be very difficult. A lawyer who is good at auto accident claims may not be right one for you if your case involves assault. Appointing a lawyer is purely discretionary. Online searches may help but not reliable all the time. If the case involves any complex legal issue or if it is related to serious medical conditions, then the search has to be extended until you find the right one specialized in that particular type of case. In any instance, the fundamental principle to apply would be to look for experience and specialization before you employ the service of the attorney.

How Damages Can Be Calculated In An Employment Litigation

what is punitive damages

punitive damages in Employment Litigation

If you find yourself part of an employment litigation lawsuit, whether as the employee or the employer, it’s vital that you have some basic knowledge over the potential “damages” that is being sued for. Armed with such knowledge, like what is punitive damages, you can predict much more accurately as to what the jury will award, and if the case is settled outside the courtroom, the damages that will likely be paid. This can help you plan better.

Calculating the   damages

  • Sum up the wages that was lost, and add to that the other actual losses. The sum that you arrive at is called compensatory damages, and is intended to compensate the employee for any monetary loss that he incurred due to the employer’s behavior. In case the employee had to job hunt for five months after he was let go illegally, then he is entitled to lost wages for the same amount of time.  If he did find a job, but it didn’t pay as well as the one he was illegally fired from, then he can claim the difference in wages over the same period. If the litigation deals not with wrongful termination but the wrongful passing over for a promotion, then he is eligible to receive the difference in wages between what he would have gotten if he had received the promotion, and what he was actually paid.

    damages for pain and suffering

    punitive damages faced by employees

  • Figure out an approximate amount for pain and suffering. The damages for pain and suffering can be availed in cases where the victim had to go through emotional distress due to the illegal actions from the employer’s part. For instance, if the employee underwent harassment at work, or was forced to endure a hostile environment that he couldn’t cope with, the stress and pain that resulted would make him eligible for compensation.
  • Then there are punitive damages. What is punitive damages? They’re damages pursued with the sole purpose of punishing the defendant, and are not always awarded.  The only cases where the punitive damages are awarded are where the employer has acted in a shocking manner. In general, punitive damages cannot go over two to three times the actual compensatory damages.
  • Also add to the above, the legal fees that is owed to the attorney. If the employer has violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, then he must pay for the employee’s legal fees and court costs as well.

These are just a few “damages” that can be sued for while engaged in an employment-related litigation. Further information can be availed from legal resources online.

Sexual Harassment Of Women Employees In Workplace

harassment in workplace

How to employ Los Angeles sexual harassment attorneys

A topic widely discussed and confronted in today’s scenario is sexual harassment in the workplace. If for any reason, a person in the workplace, school or home harasses you sexually in words, deeds or gestures and you are not sure of whom to confide to for a legal clarification on the confrontation and if you happen to live in Los Angeles, the messiahs of your rescue would be none other than the Los Angeles sexual harassment attorneys for all cases and instances of sexual harassment.

Harassment in Workplace

It is not uncommon that men and women are subject to harassments sexually irrespective of the work profile. In the case of sexual harassment, large business enterprises such as entertainment media, big industries and even government enterprises are no different from low wage work places when it comes to instilling that feeling of insecurity in women. Instances of harassments of such nature to women include,

(i) An uncomfortable feeling arising out of inappropriate gestures or behavior

(ii) Getting fired from workplace for not accompanying your boss on a date

(iii) Unsolicited and improper physical touching

(iv) Being stalked physically and otherwise

(v) Being subject to sexual advances and so on

If you have been sexually harassed or feel that you cannot resist but succumb either on your own account or instigated by someone, do not get victimized by such powerless thoughts. There are rights and laws to protect you from such harassment, and Los Angeles sexual harassment attorneys help you in securing the same. The Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and various State laws confers strong rights for you to deal with the instances of sexual harassment in work and other places.

How do I proceed If I am sexually harassed in the Company

harassment in workplace

Los Angeles sexual harassment attorneys are the best

Even if there is the slightest indication of sexual harassment in the workplace, prepare a detailed report of the same in writing, detailing anything and everything you found questionable in terms of acts or words. Now it is for your attorney to address to the issue and aid you in filing a sexual harassment claim against the person or company as the case may be.

Knowing your right is the first step in seeking relief. If you ever get into such grave situations, do not show least hesitation in calling the sexual harassment attorney for advice and immediate action.

 

 

The Exceptions Of The Exclusionary Rule

Probable Cause

what is the exclusionary rule impact

The Exclusionary Rule set forth by the Fourth amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures without an appropriate warrant. It is for the issuing court to find under given facts and circumstances of the case, whether the authority has established reasonable cause for issuing the warrant. The court looks into whether such reasons stated by the authority are tenable under the rule of the law. Understanding the need for such shrewdness of action needed in the preventing crimes, the Supreme Court may even dispense with warrants in certain cases of searches and seizures.

What is Probable Cause Standard?

It is for the officer to establish that the search is strictly in adherence to the established law and satisfies the reasonable or probable cause standard whereby he is in a position to establish that the rationale behind the search is not objectionable in any manner. It is for the deciding court to adjudge whether the standard of reasonable or probable cause employed is justified.

What is the exclusionary rule with reasonable suspicion?

In a ruling by the Supreme Court, the term reasonable suspicion was used to circumvent the conditions put into place by the Fourth Amendment that established the grounds for Exclusionary Rule. It implies that the officer should have exercised minimal reasonable suspicion that if he did not stop the defendant, a serious crime or offence would have been executed and this should be sufficient to constitute reasonable suspicion.

Exceptions

Probable Cause

what is the exclusionary rule condition

If any evidence searched and seized without application of reasonable suspicion or probable cause is brought to the court, exclusionary rule will render such evidence invalid. But there are instances when courts may accept such evidence as exceptions to the exclusionary rule. The evidence to qualify for this exceptional consideration should have been seized from a source which is independent of the questionable seizure and exclusionary rule applications or that the evidence in question was as second evidence that was discovered without the taint of the original evidence.

You may now have a fair idea on what is the exclusionary rule. There are many more subtle laws that govern this very important rule and students are advised to read more on the same. The courts have often pulled up investigating authorities for not complying to the restrictions imposed by the fourth amendment on search and seizure of evidences.