Sunday, June 21, 2015

A Complete overview on UK personal injury Law by Essex Solicitors

A Complete Overview of the UK Personal Injury Law written by Solicitors in Essex. Learn what you should do in case you are involved in an accident in UK.

It is true that we cannot change or avoid what is destined to happen, and accidents are among one of them. Accidents bring serious troubles for the victim, and sometimes for the family of the victim as well. Accidents are definitely associated with injuries, which can be minor and serious as well.

In some cases it even leads to the death of the victim. Therefore, it becomes necessary that we must act as a responsible citizen and file a case against the convict who has been the reason for our injuries. It not only provides us some financial relief, but makes us feel better and light as well.

What makes UK personal injury law firm necessary for us?

But, to file cases against the person who is responsible for the accident is definitely not an easy task. It takes a lot of experience and one has to put behind his/her entire knowledge related to the law. This is the reason why we need to hire a professional lawyer who can help us in this regard. Along with, taking into consideration the stress involved in the personal injury cases are simply overwhelming, and it makes almost impossible for the victim to get through the ruthless days.

Experience and niche counts
You might be thinking that your personal lawyer is capable enough to deal with the personal injury cases. But, if we take a closer look into this matter, we will find out that most of the personal lawyers are not enough capable of handling these kind of cases. It is true that it is easier to trust one’s personal lawyer. The victim may have complete faith on his/her personal lawyer, but technically your personal lawyer is not the perfect person to deal with such cases. Therefore, it is better to leave the job for the people who are qualified for it.

Handles the complexities as well
The prime reason behind the above mentioned fact is that during the cases involving personal injury, presence of big money makes the matter more complicated. If the victim is in critical condition or even dead, then the situation can get more difficult, as it will also bring in some serious offence.

Along with, the role of insurance policy companies make the matter more complex and out of control. But, a personal injury lawyer is well capable to handle this kind or worst situation, which can get quite difficult for your personal lawyer.

The most important part that makes it necessary to choose a professional lawyer specialized in Personal Injury is the experience gained by them during their entire professional life. The most critical part of a case is its “Verdict and Settlement”, and a Personal Injury lawyer is well equipped with the tools to get this part done in the perfect way, without any chances of failure.

This is the reason you will find that most of the law houses that deals in personal injury claims, prefer to maintain a memo of the important part “Verdict and Settlement”. And, it definitely helps the lawyers to get their client a well balanced compensation.

How to go for them?
It is true that using the memo is a good way to choose the appropriate personal injury attorney. You can compare the different memos to get a clear picture of the different NY personal injury law firms available. But, you should also keep in mind that this is just one of the different ways to select the personal injury law firm. You may find a certain criteria well and good in a particular firm, but, not all criteria are good enough. In such cases, you should look for some other firm.

Sometimes it may also happen that you will come across a personal injury law firm where the attorney or lawyer would demand for a few to evaluate the primary conditions, which is usually done for free. In such cases, it is better to look for some other option. Along with, you should never go for a firm where you find yourself dealing with the very junior staffs.

And, sometimes it may also happen that certain claimed put forward by you or your opinion is left unheard by the personal injury law attorney, it means that you should never go for such firms. So, these were some of the major and important points about the selection of a proper personal injury law firm.
It is also important that you must give your opponent a chance for out of court settlement. This is something which most of the experienced personal injury attorney or lawyer would suggest for. it will not only save your money, but will save you from the hassle as well.

Finally, during the battle you should never lose hope or bring in some negative thoughts in your mind. Never forget that NY personal injury law firms are always there at your help.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Questions You Should Ask Your Divorce Lawyer

Picking the lawyer that will represent you is one of the most important decisions that you will make in your divorce case. You should try to find a lawyer who is skilled, smart, and who regularly handles family law and divorce cases. You want someone who is responsive and willing to communicate with you throughout the divorce process. Ask for recommendations from your friends, family, and coworkers, but in the end, trust your own judgment and instincts. If you do not like the lawyer when you meet him or her, trust your instincts, you need to find someone who matches your style and needs well. You are not doing anyone any favors if you can’t stand your attorney or want their personality to be different than it already is.

Call to schedule a consultation appointment with the lawyer. This will give you an opportunity to evaluate how you are treated by the staff and will give you some time to interact with and interview the lawyer. After spending thirty minutes to one hour with the lawyer, you should have a good feel for whether he or she is the right lawyer for you. One factor that is often overlooked is whether a lawyer's personality compliments yours. Your divorce lawyer is someone with whom you will be sharing many intimate details of your life as well confidential financial information. He or she must be someone with whom you are comfortable and whom you trust. Many potential clients want to know if we offer a free consultation. Nope. My staff and I have no problem answering questions about my background, my philosophy, what types of cases do I handle, etc. but a “meet and greet” type meeting always turns into “my situation is this…what should I do?” I need the time to sit down with a potential client and talk about their case. My time and the potential client’s time is valuable.

During the initial consultation with the potential lawyer, you may consider asking her the following questions:

1. Do you specialize in family law? If you needed back surgery, would you go to a general practitioner? Likewise, there are many lawyers who are general practitioners that will handle a divorce case. In addition, they take business matters, bankruptcies, criminal cases, etc. That is not the type of lawyer you want handling your divorce case. Ask them what percentage of their practice is divorce and family law matters. If it is not at least 50%-75% of their practice, go elsewhere. I agree with this. Family law is such a weird and complicated type of law. I do not believe that clients serve themselves well to go to an attorney who is a generalist rather than someone who primarily handles family law cases.

2. What would be the fee arrangement for you to handle my divorce case? Divorce lawyers normally set fees in one of two ways: they either charge a fixed fee for the entire case, or they charge a retainer against which they bill an hourly fee. Make sure you completely understand how you will be billed. A good lawyer will want to make sure that you completely understand and are comfortable with the fee arrangement. If you have any questions, ask. Do not forget to ask what happens if you have a problem or question about your bill? Do you get billed for that too?

3. What other costs can I expect? In addition to lawyer's fees, there are other costs that are typically associated with your divorce case such as court costs, subpoenas, and sometimes such things as private investigator fees, depositions, etc. Ask the lawyer what types of costs are likely to be involved in your case and how much you can expect to pay for them. Understand the typical filing fees, how much a transcript of a hearing might cost and how much a typical process server costs.

4. Will you send me monthly itemized bills showing the time that you spent on my case and the expenses incurred? If you are being charged by the hour, the lawyer should systematically keep you updated with regard to your trust account balance. If you ever have a question about a charge on your bill, talk to the lawyer about it. Address it sooner rather than later. Your attorney should be sending you bills each and every month. You should also understand what the bill says. We have gone through two software programs trying to get a billing system that works well.

5. Do you have any resources that you can make available to me to help me reduce the pain and expense of divorce? Obviously, going through a divorce can be a very traumatic experience. A lawyer that is willing to educate you about the process and the law affecting your case will help remove some of the concerns that you may have. What websites, brochures, court forms, can you look at or use to reduce your fees?

6. Who else will be working on my case? Other lawyers, paralegals, and/or staff members will often perform work on your case. You want to be sure that the others work on your case are also competent and experienced. Also, find out at what hourly rate you will be charged for their working on your case, if at all. The hourly rate for less experienced attorneys and/or paralegals should be lower than that of the primary attorney on the case. I try to introduce clients to my assistant and our receptionist so they know who they are talking to.

7. What efforts will you make to try to settle my case? The vast majority of divorce cases settle. Some are settled before they ever get to the lawyer (that is to say that the parties have already reached an agreement and the divorce lawyer is only needed to draft the paperwork). Others settle on the day of the trial, in a room outside the courtroom, and still others settle at any stage in between. You want a lawyer who is willing to communicate with your spouse and/or your spouse's lawyer (if he or she has one), to try to settle the case. Many lawyers will not make a deliberate effort to settle your case, but rather will prepare the matter for trial and only settle it if the other side takes the initiative or if it happens to settle on the day of court. This type of lawyer can cost you thousands of dollars in unnecessary legal fees. Additionally, you should ask what the lawyer thinks about mediation. Mediation is becoming more prevalent in divorce cases. If you think that it may be helpful in your case, you should ask the lawyer to explain the costs and benefits associated with mediation. Make sure that you talk to your attorney about what settlement measures you are interested in and what they suggest.

8. What I can do to keep my costs down? By taking an active roll in your case, there are certain fact gathering steps that will reduce your legal fees. If a lawyer is charging you by the hour, you may be better off gathering many of the financial documents and other information rather than relying on the lawyer's office to do it. Man, I wish that clients would do this more. It is so cost inefficient for my staff and I to be running around the city trying to get documents when the client can arrange to order the documents or gather them.

9. Do you survey your clients to measure their satisfaction? You should not let a negative answer to this question preclude your allowing the lawyer to represent you. Because so few lawyers actually do survey their clients, there are many very good competent lawyers who don't do this. However, all other factors being equal, a lawyer that surveys his clients to determine their satisfaction, is likely to render better service to his clients as he is more at tuned to their feedback. As you ask the above questions and make a decision about hiring a lawyer, keep in mind that you have a right to expect your lawyer to do the following:

Explain the legal issues involved in your case and the possible outcomes under your fact situation.
Clearly explain his billing arrangement.
Copy you with all documents related to your case.
Provide you with accurate bills on a periodic basis.
Return your phone calls within 24 hours (often the lawyer may be involved in a trial and be in Court for several days, but he or she should at least make arrangements to have someone from his office call you if he is unavailable).
Make efforts to settle your case on terms that are fair to you and once it is determined that the case will not settle, competently and vigorously prepare your case and you for trial.
Once you have found a good lawyer, remember that he works for you. Do not be intimidated by him. Do not hand over control of your case without question. The lawyer should be willing to explain the decisions that need to be made during the process of your divorce as well as his recommendations. However, in the end, you are the one who makes the decisions. Ultimately, if you are not satisfied with the lawyer, remember that you have the absolute right to terminate your relationship with him at any time, for any reason. Be careful in doing so, however, if you have a Court date looming. This can cause unnecessary delays or, worse, result in you having to proceed without proper representation. It is true that terminating a lawyer’s relationship just before a big trial or hearing can seriously jeapardize your case. If you have concerns, talk to your lawyer about them or if you feel like you cannot – may be you should look for a new lawyer.

Monday, November 12, 2007

9 Ways to Reduce The Pain & Expense Of Your Divorce

  1. Choose a lawyer who is a skilled negotiator and a skilled trial attorney. Generally, it is best for both parties to settle their case as soon as possible. Remember only about 10% of divorce cases go to trial. When you settle soon, you and your spouse save time, money and emotional turmoil. So, you need a skilled negotiator who knows when to compromise and when to take a stand. If negotiations are not successful, you need someone with courtroom experience who will present your best case to the Judge for the best outcome possible. If your attorney is not taking cases to trial or hearing, your attorney's threat to "take it to Court" will not mean much. Frankly, in most towns, the lawyers know which attorneys settle everything and never see the inside of a courtroom and which ones are regularly going to Court.
  2. Help your lawyer get financial documents and information. Your lawyer can obtain the information through what is called the discovery process. However, if you can obtain it, you can avoid the expense involved by the lawyer handling this aspect of the case. Luckily, in Colorado, many of the Court's forms can be found on the Internet. Don't hesitate to ask your attorney if you can do the first draft of your documents or use a Court form to save time. 
  3. Don't seek revenge. This only confuses, inflames and delays everything. When both parties use the legal process to obtain retribution, no one wins - except, perhaps, the lawyers. I do not agree that the lawyers win, hey, we're human too, and it takes a toll on everyone, parties, kids, judges, lawyers, when people duke it out just because they want revenge.
  4. Communicate with your lawyer. Your lawyer must know all the facts to adequately represent you and protect your interests. Be honest with him. If you don't understand something, tell him so he can explain it to you. I hate, hate, going to trial and being surprised by something my client "forgot" to tell me. If you don't tell me, I can't help you! I would rather have my client tell me something that "they don't think matters" or they are embarrassed about. At least 1/2 the time, what the client did not think was important, was really important. 
  5. If possible, have both spouses and their lawyers commit to end the divorce quickly. This allows you to get on your feet without delay and not drag out the process. Plus, you save money that you can divide with your spouse, rather than giving it to the lawyers. Colorado also has the concept of collaborative law. In this process, everyone involved, lawyers included, agrees to manage the case outside of Court. So negotiation rather than Court is the tactic used. 
  6.  Look at your divorce as your opportunity to take control of a new chapter in your life. You are not losing your identity. Divorce is the process of handling the emotional, parenting and financial issues involved in two spouses legally parting. Get emotional support from friends and family, and seek professional counseling if appropriate.
  7. Aim for a fair settlement. Your goal should not be retribution. If it is, both you and your spouse will "lose" due to increased legal expenses, a drawn-out process, and additional emotional turmoil. On the other hand, don't "give away the farm" in an effort to try to win back your spouse or out of a sense of guilt. Your objective should be to protect your interests through a fair settlement. Make sure that you understand what the settlement means. 
  8. Consider the tax consequences of your property settlement. This is a mistake made all too often, even by some lawyers. Your property settlement often has many tax implications, such as the division of retirement accounts, capital gains resulting from the sale of a home, and the impact of children's dependency exemptions. Your lawyer should advise you about these issues, and you may also need to consult with an accountant.
  9.  If minor children are involved, don't use them for your selfish motivations. You should not use them to work out your marital difficulties. Nor should you put them in the middle between you and your spouse. Instead, focus on your children's needs and what is best for them. You will save money, time, energy and aggravation -- and you will help your kids.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

How to deal with a Court Appointed Mediator

In Colorado, most judicial districts require that parties attend mediation in divorce or allocation of parental responsibilities cases (unmarried parents) prior to the case being set for trial. What can you expect when the Court orders you to see a Court Appointed Mediator?

Typically the Court will enter an Order for Mediation. You may be given a certain amount of time (usually 7-10 days) to contact the local Office of Dispute Resolution mediators (these are the Court Appointed Mediators in most cases).Hopefully, the contact information for your local Office of Dispute Resolution (ODR) is listed on the Court’s Order.

You may also select a private mediator to mediate your case if both of the parties agree to the same mediator. Usually, the Court will specify that if you cannot decide on the same mediator, you must use the Office of Dispute Resolution. After your mediator is selected (or you use the ODR mediator), you will probably be required to complete an Intake Form. The mediator may ask questions about the parties’ contact information, their attorneys, the next Hearing date, and whether a Protective (Restraining) Order is in place. The mediator may give you a range of dates to choose from or they may assign you a date for mediation.Usually the mediation sessions are scheduled for two (2) hour blocks.

After the mediation is scheduled, you may receive additional documents from the Mediator to review before your mediation. You may receive a list of questions about your particular dispute (what issues are disputed? How do you think the issues can be resolved?, etc.) and answers to frequently asked questions about mediation.

When the mediation begins, the mediator usually explains that he or she is not your attorney and is not supposed to give you legal advice. The mediator will usually explain that whatever happens in mediation is confidential with two exceptions.If the mediator hears evidence of child abuse or that someone is going to hurt themselves, the mediator must report it to the police or authorities.The mediator may also explain that he or she cannot be called as a witness in a later hearing and you cannot subpoena (legally request) their notes or their case file.The mediator should also ask your permission to disclose something to the other side if you have discussed it in confidence.The mediator may also ask that you treat each other nicely in the mediation, as you would a professional colleague.You may be required to sign an Agreement to Mediate.

The mediator will usually require that you pay for the mediation session at the time of the session.You may need to ask whether you need to bring cash, check or credit card.The mediator may give you a receipt for your payment.If you do not pay for the mediation or your check bounces, the mediator may send you to collections.After the mediator goes over the preliminaries, the mediator may ask each side what the disputed issues are.It is helpful if you can come with a list of issues or at least have some notes.The mediator may ask each side how they see that each issue should be resolved.Be prepared to briefly discuss your position -- the mediator may not want to hear your life story right then.Think about what you want and why.For example, I want to pick up and drop off the children at 5PM at grandmother’s house because he/she always barges into the house without being invited.

During the discussions, the mediator may ask questions to understand what the problem is or discuss possible solutions.Try to be open to different ideas.The mediator may ask for some time alone with each party and their attorney.The mediator may use this time to figure out whether a settlement is possible or what one side is willing to accept.Remember that you do not have to come to an agreement and nothing is binding upon you until it is put in writing and signed off by the Court.

Some other helpful hints are:

During the mediation, you may experience some of the dynamics of the relationship.Try to stay focused and productive.Try not to get drawn into the old relationship issues, anger, “water under the bridge” etc.Now is not necessarily the time to start an argument and throw everything in except the kitchen sink.

Try to be patient. If you threaten to leave the mediation, that may not be helpful and may further break down your chances of getting further to trying to resolve the issues.

Now is the time to be creative. Sometimes it is helpful to look at what really is the issue for your spouse/partner.Are they fighting over the ATV etc. because they want it or because you do? Why are they demanding that the children be returned at a certain time? Be willing to look at ways to satisfy your partner’s/ spouse’s needs. Allow yourself the space to “brainstorm” over possible solutions. You need to pay attention to what is happening.

Do not be afraid to take notes. Issues at mediation can be hard to keep track of.

If you feel either unwanted pressure or tiredness, take a break.This mediation session may be your best chance to resolve the issues and you want to make sure that you are thinking clearly.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

What happens if I leave the family home/marital residence?

Clients often ask me what happens if they decide to move out before a divorce petition is filed or while the divorce is pending.

Abandonment. Some states have the concept of "abandonment." Clients worry sometimes that if they move out of the marital residence that it will appear that they are guilty of abandonment. Whether abandonment is physical or emotional, the concept does not affect a divorce in Colorado. Since Colorado is a no-fault divorce state, whether someone "abandoned" the marriage does not matter. Frankly, even if a party leaves the family home and begins a relationship with someone new, however unsavory that may be, it does not affect the divorce or the division of property. The only way it can affect things is if the new boyfriend/girlfriend is a danger to the children. Although someone may say you have "abandoned" the family, you should not worry about moving out affecting your divorce -- legally.

Children. Some clients are concerned if they move out of the house that they will not be able to get "primary custody" of the children. Colorado does not have "primary custody" only a division of decision making responsibilities and parenting time. If you do move out of the marital home, you want to be careful about what the parenting time schedule becomes. Having frequent parenting time with the children may become more difficult if you are not in the marital home. If you move out and happen to have less parenting time with the children as a result, that may be a disadvantage if you later want to increase your parenting time. At a temporary orders hearing, the Court may look at the "status quo" when trying to decide what parenting time arrangement would be best or less stressful for the children.

Domestic Violence. If domestic violence is an issue, for safety, you probably do not want to be living in the same house. If you are the victim of domestic violence, you want to make a safety plan with a domestic violence agency. Sometimes you see people attempt to get a restraining order to force someone out of the house without really having the level of danger that is needed with a protection order. It seems like the protection order forcing someone out of the house is done more as a strategic move. However, if mere annoyance or bad behavior is happening, you want to think carefully about whether to try to obtain a restraining order/protection order to force someone out and use as "leverage" regarding the children -- the Courts do not look on this fondly and it often backfires.
Finances. Some couples cannot afford to keep up two households until the marital property and debts are divided. You may be better off moving into the basement or a spare bedroom rather than incurring the responsibility and debt of a 2nd house or an apartment. You should think carefully about whether you can afford to move out right now.
The Mortgage. The other problem with moving out of the house is that it is harder to control whether the mortgage is being paid, and if the utilities are paid and kept on. While you can ask in a temporary orders hearing that certain monthly bills get paid, you may not find out whether they are being paid until too late. Until the mortgage is refinanced and the bills are placed only in one person's name, any joint debt is still joint debt. The mortgage company can still foreclose and ruin your credit even if your spouse is supposed to be paying the bills. Do not forget that the divorce court cannot affect the contract relationship that you have with the creditors. So even though a debt may be ordered to be the responsibility of one person, that does not mean that the creditor cannot come after you if your name is still on the debt. You may want to work out certain times that you can inspect the house (if your divorce is going to be pending for a long time) or just visit occasionally (assuming that your spouse was not given exclusive possession of the house). If one spouse has exclusive possession, you still can be invited over but I would caution you from just dropping by and using your spare key to snoop around.

Possession. One of the biggest problems in moving out of the house is what I call the "9/10ths rule" that possession is 9/10ths of the law. If you have moved out, the Court is less likely to order that you move back into the house while the divorce is pending if you have already moved out. Generally the Court likes to keep the status quo and is more likely to keep the parties in the locations that they are at the time that they come before the Court.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Divorce Preparation: Step 13 - Be Good

Well, we have finally reached the last step in this series of posts on practical steps to consider when you may be facing divorce. I will wrap up the series with two more posts to conclude and summarize the series. But, first, the final step which may seem a bit silly.

It is simply this: Be Good.

Here is the principle: you are about to be under a microscope. You are reading this blog, so I assume that you may be facing a divorce and you'd like to that unpleasant process to be as amicable as possible. Unfortunately, that is not always possible. Your spouse may not share that objective for some reason. They may be influenced by others (lawyers, friends, etc.) that convince them that what you are offering is not fair.

So, there is a chance that your case will end up going to trial no matter how diligent you and your lawyer are about trying to work the case out fairly and quickly. That being said, you should not put ammunition in the gun for your spouse to use against you.

That means no dating, no carousing, and no partying. If custody may be an issue it means making the children your number one priority (they should be that anyway, right?). Even things that are perfectly legal and harmless any other time can be twisted to look suspicious or worse in the hands of your spouse’s lawyer. I do not necessarily agree that people should not date during the divorce. Sometimes you meet someone who seems fabulous or you are finally open to meeting someone different. However, I would strongly advise against going on the date-tilt-a-whirl and trying to date as many people as possible. That behavior looks like you cannot put the needs of the children first. I would also be careful about dating someone who has a shady past. Now is not the time to start dating someone who just got out of prison, has domestic violence charges, is on parole or probation, has an alcohol or drug problem. You would be bringing that person around the children and it would only make things more complicated and less favorable to you.

Suppose for example that you go out for dinner and drinks with members of the office to celebrate a fellow employee’s birthday. This sounds harmless enough. But, in a custody case these questions may be asked: While you chose to go out drinking with your friends, your spouse was at home taking care of the children, correct? Are you having a romantic relationship with Joe/Jane who was also at the party? How many drinks did you have that night? This is something you routinely did during the marriage, isn’t it (i.e. choosing social events over your family)? You drove home that night under the influence of alcohol didn’t you? Etc.

You get the point. This is a silly example, but why even open yourself up to this line of questioning. Don’t put the judge in the position having to decide whether you are telling the truth that this was a harmless and isolated event.

Spend time with your kids, work, stay around the house, exercise, and attend to your spiritual life. Be above reproach. Be Good. Come to think of it, Its not bad advice whether you are facing divorce or not. I agree that now is the time to take care of yourself. Get therapy, go for a run, talk to friends, join a support group, play with your kids. Do whatever you need to do to keep yourself sane during this process.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Divorce Preparation: Step 12 - Consider a Private Investigator

We continue our series on practical steps to consider when you are facing an imminent divorce. We are now on to Step 12 - Consider hiring a private investigator.

Alabama law does consider “fault” when deciding how to divide property in a divorce. Additionally, depending on the facts, adultery can affect custody determinations. Colorado is a no-fault divorce state. The only grounds for divorce is irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Fault does not matter to the division of property, debts or parenting issues in Colorado.

If your spouse is committing adultery, then you are better off having proof of it then not. This is the case even where you fully intend to settle your case. In fact, often having proof of an affair is what gets the case settled at terms that are fair to you. Again, not the case in Colorado but if knowing your spouse is cheating makes it easier on you, investigate away!

It is not fun to find out your spouse has cheated, and you may be like many of my clients who have said they would rather not know. But, you should think carefully before making that decision. Talk to your lawyer. Assuming you’ve chosen a good one, listen to their advice. If you are going to get proof of it, now is the time. Your lawyer should be able to talk to you about the costs involved (it is not cheap) and how to improve your chances of making the surveillance effective, should you choose to go that route.

In family law and divorce cases, private investigators are used to observe bad or negative behavior that may affect one's parenting (alcohol abuse, drug use, late night partying, etc.). Investigators are also used to locate and interview witnesses and obtain information about abuse and neglect.