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The Four Components of Negligence

Negligence If you are in the process of putting a personal injury lawsuit together, you will likely leave the legal stuff to your attorney. However, it can be beneficial when having discussions with your attorney to understand some of the biggest legal concepts. Most people do not understand the definition of negligence from a legal perspective. It is complicated, but not difficult to understand. This guide will make the concept as simple as possible. The Components of Negligence There are four things that must be true for an action to be considered negligent. If even one of these things is not true, then that action is not negligent and the person who took the action cannot be held legally or financially responsible. These four components are designed to build upon one another progressively. Keep in mind that there are several ways to prove that someone is at fault for an injury, and proving negligence is only one option. If your attorney decides to go for the negligence approach, then he or she will have to prove that all four of these components of the definition are true: Duty – The first component is the establishment of the defendant’s duty. Everyone has certain duties placed upon them to act a certain way. For example, it is the duty of every citizen to never drive while drunk. These are actions that a reasonable person expects.Breach – The second component is the establishment of a breach of the duty that has already been established. Even if you show that someone has a duty to act a certain way, it must be further proven that the defendant did not live up to his or her duty in some way.Causation – The third component is the establishment that the breach of duty directly caused the injury. Even if the defendant breached his or her duty, it was only a negligent action if the injury was directly related. If it would have happened with or without the breach of duty, then it was not negligent.Damage – The final component is the establishment of the damages that the victim suffered. If the defendant did not suffer at all, then the action was not negligent. The damage must also be significant enough to justify compensation in a personal injury lawsuit, rather than small claims court. Remember, you should always hire a lawyer, like a personal injury attorney...
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What Is Wrongful Death?

What Is Wrongful Death? If one of your loved ones recently died as a result of someone else’s actions, the last thing you are probably thinking about is taking legal action. It can feel like you are owed some compensation for your loss, and wrongful death lawsuits are designed specifically for helping individuals in your situation get this kind of compensation. What exactly is a wrongful death claim? This guide will explain everything you need to know before filing. What Is Wrongful Death? Wrongful death lawsuits are essentially personal injury lawsuits which are filed on behalf of the victim. Because the victim died, the loved ones of the victim must be the ones to file the lawsuit. It is possible to receive compensation for all the same types of damages that are possible in a personal injury lawsuit, alongside additional damages that the loved ones faced. This includes: Pain and suffering of the victimMedical billsLost wagesDamage to propertyLoss of companionshipLoss of financial supportFuneral costsBurial costsEmotional distress Losing a loved one is a terrible thing to experience, but every type of loss experienced can be fully compensated if the defendant in a wrongful death case is found to be liable. Can You File? The law does not allow just anyone to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The one who files must have the right kind of relationship with the deceased. This varies slightly from one state to the next, but there are three people who can always file regardless of state. These are the spouse of the victim, the parent of a victim who was a minor, and the minor children of a parent victim. In certain states, the adult children of the victim, parents of adult children, siblings of the victim, and extended family members can also file. The most common situations where a wrongful death lawsuit is appropriate, fall into three categories. The most common of these is death caused by an accident, such as a car collision. It is also possible to file a medical malpractice wrongful death claim against a physician of the victim. Finally, if someone intentionally and maliciously killed another, a wrongful death lawsuit is still an option. This kind of wrongful death claim will take place alongside the criminal investigation. The two court cases are independent of each other. If you think you have a wrongful death claim, the first thing you should...
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Equal or Equitable Distribution in Divorce?

Experienced Attorney Thoughts of your impending divorce may make your mind spin. There may be a whole lot of uncertainty with the process. The thing you do know is your life will not be the same once the divorce is final. Many state-specific rules govern how the courts handle elements of a divorce. A huge sticking point for couples is dividing up property. Some states subscribe to an equal split while others divide things equitably. Find out what the subtle differences are in each, so you are prepared for what your state’s policy is. Marital Property vs. Sole and Separate Property in a divorce includes cash, investments, assets, real estate and retirement accounts. However, not everything may count towards the marital pot. The first step in figuring out what is eligible is by adding up everything that the couple acquired together during the marriage. This is known as marital property, and it is what gets divided during the divorce. Sole and separate property is anything owned by the individuals before the marriage. It may also apply to property one party obtained while married if the other spouse either signed off on it or if it was part of an inheritance. Separate property does not get split between the parties and remains with the one who owns it. An Equal Divide 50/50  It may seem like the fairest thing to do is equally divide marital property down the middle. In some states, the court will order this type of division. The parties must then start negotiating who gets what until they each have an equal amount of the pot. In the case of real estate the is pending sale, the divorce decree may contain a provision about splitting the profits evenly after it is sold. Equitable Is Not Always Equal  In states with equitable division, the court takes other factors of the marriage into consideration. For example, each spouse’s contribution to the marriage is evaluated by the judge. A contribution is not only financial but also includes emotional support and care of children. If one spouse left employment to stay home with children, their economic contribution would not be much. However, their position in the marriage is still seen as valuable. Therefore, the judge makes the call on how the marital property is divided to give both spouses a fair share. Finding out from a divorce lawyer in Arlington, VA...
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What to Do If Your Ex Won’t Pay Alimony

Experienced Attorney Very few things are as frustrating as an ex who won’t pay alimony. You depend on the alimony to pay your bills and feel stressed that you’re not getting it on schedule. The good news is that court takes the payment of alimony very seriously. Those who fail to pay alimony may find themselves in financial and legal trouble. Here are the steps to take if your ex won’t pay alimony: Gather Proof of Non-Payment The first thing you need to do is gather evidence that your ex hasn’t been making alimony payments. If your ex usually pays be money order or check, pull records from your bank account that show that the alimony payments haven’t been deposited in your account.  Ask the Court for an Alimony Support Order The next step is to go get help from the court. If your ex hasn’t been paying spousal support, the court can hold him or her in contempt. If the judge declares that your ex is contempt, he or she will most likely order your ex to pay the overdue support and an additional fine. If your ex continues to disobey the order, the judge may put him or her in jail. Request an Income Withholding Order If you’re having trouble getting alimony payments from your ex, you can also ask the judge to issue an incoming withholding order. This order requires your ex’s employer to deduct a certain amount of money from your ex’s paychecks. This way, you will be guaranteed payments as long as your ex remains employed. However, if your ex is self-employed, it may be more difficult to get an incoming withholding order. Garnish Wages A garnishment of your ex’s wages involves garnishing money out of his or her bank account. However, you can only request this garnishment for future payments, not past due payments.  Request a Lien on Property If your ex doesn’t have any money available to garnish but does have real property, you can request for the court to put a lien on that property. This means that the property can’t be sold until your alimony is paid. Ask the Court to Put Your Ex in Jail If all other methods of obtaining alimony have paid, you can request for the court to put your spouse in jail. The court may keep your ex there until he or she agrees to...
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Examples of Personal Injury Cases

Personal Injury Cases Getting hurt while going about your day can take you by surprise. It can throw your entire day, week or even month off course. Medical care and loss of income while receiving care may leave you in debt. One way you can help yourself out is by filing a personal injury claim against the person who caused the injury. You must prove that the person — the defendant — was negligent leading up to the incident. Once you can prove this, you have a good case for recovering damages to offset the costs you’ve incurred. Familiarize yourself with some examples of personal injury cases so you can recognize them. Medical Malpractice Taking care of your medical needs is of the utmost importance. When you feel ill or get injured, the medical care you receive is crucial to your recovery. If a doctor or other medical practitioner makes a mistake, it could throw your future into a tailspin. Medical malpractice is a personal injury where a medical provider — either an individual or a facility — commits an avoidable error. If a chart is misread or diagnosis is delayed, you could wind up sicker. A doctor or facility is guilty of negligence if the standard of care was not followed properly. Car Accident Car accidents happen all the time, and if you are on the receiving end of a devastating crash, you could deal with some injuries and property damage. If the other driver is at fault for the wreck, you may be able to file a lawsuit against them. Depending on the laws where you live, the responsible driver may have to pay you above what their insurance wants to pay. One of the most severe examples of this is driving under the influence. If a person gets behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking, they are willfully breaking the law and responsible for any damage that results. Dog Bite A walk in the park should not result in an injury, but if you get bit by a dog, you may find yourself facing a series of painful shots and treatment. Sometimes the dog might not belong to anyone, and other times, the owner may be at fault for the dog’s behavior. An unleashed dog can become destructive at any time and harm you. If you can prove the dog’s owner did not act to...
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