Legal Tips

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Getting Into a Class Action Lawsuit

A class action lawsuit is a lawsuit that includes multiple persons acting as a plaintiff group. Class action lawsuit attorneys handle the logistics of contacting persons with a common interest in such a lawsuit. They represent an individual or small group of individuals who file the lawsuit on behalf of themselves and for all others with identical interests who could be included. The class action lawsuit attorneys will contact targeted persons who then must respond to be included within the class action lawsuit.

A few examples include class action lawsuits against the tobacco industry, the Agent Orange class action lawsuit filed by Vietnam War veterans, and similar lawsuits for product defects like separating tire tread and faulty plastic manifolds.

Failure to respond in a timely manner to a notification means that a person who may be eligible to join in a class action lawsuit would be excluded from such action and any settlement awards. Settlement awards can range from a few dollars to significant sums. The individual or small group of persons who initiated the class action lawsuit normally receive much more money for their claim than would the large number of other participants. Any award is shared among participants who do respond to a notification. The most important thing to do in case of a notification is to respond prior to the response deadline.


Give Your Lawyer Time to Work the Case!

Medical malpractice lawsuits take time. They require medical malpractice lawyers to review and study not only the facts of the case that the client has supplied, but in some cases, medical experts are called upon to give their opinion as to the merit of the case. This can be a long and tedious process.

Medical malpractice lawsuits are usually complicated and present medical malpractice lawyers with a complex series of challenges in order to bring the case to a satisfying conclusion for a client.

Medical malpractice lawyers sometimes schedule office meetings to make sure the defendant understands what is happening with the case and what the client can expect until the case is settled.

Medical malpractice lawyers sympathize with the client concerning the timing of a case. They know that the client is anxious for a quick conclusion as well as a satisfactory monetary settlement of the case.

There is nothing wrong with a client checking on the status of a case, as long as the timing of the calls is reasonable. A client who is constantly calling the law firm for status on the case is only acting as a detriment to the impending settlement. Give the lawyer the time he needs; his attention now will make for a better settlement later.


Why a Lawsuit Settlement is Good

A lawsuit settlement is good and is the outcome in about 95% of all personal injury lawsuits. There are excellent reasons for this high percentage of settlements. A settlement ends the lawsuit when both an agreement and payments are made. This stops legal actions that sometimes take years to complete, as the wheels of justice turn slowly. It could take years to get a personal injury lawsuit into a court trial. This can be wearying to everyone involved.

A person may opt for accepting a settlement offer because they are tired of the long process. A defendant may want to work out a settlement agreement because they feel if the case goes to a court and jury trial, they will be slapped with a very large award to pay to the plaintiff.

Another reason to get a settlement agreement in place is that a defendant is more likely to be able to pay that amount. If the case goes to court and a jury awards a significant sum, the defendant may be unable to pay that amount, and the plaintiff could end up with nothing. A lawsuit settlement is good for most plaintiffs and defendants. It's the old "bird in hand versus bird in the bush" reasoning. The goal in settlement negotiations is to create a win-win situation.


Options For Lawsuit Financing

When waiting on a settlement from a lawsuit, sometimes it can take years to go through the court system and get a ruling. Unfortunately, your personal bills do not wait to be paid. If you are unable to work due to personal injuries sustained, there are options to assist you in paying your bills until you receive your settlement.

There are lawsuit financing services available. These are better than personal loans. You receive your money upfront and can use it how you see fit. So you can retain a lawyer and pay bills.

Most companies that offer the lawsuit settlement funding services do not even request any payments on the loan until after you have been awarded your settlement. There are others that do not ask for repayment if you do not receive any money. So it is important to shop around for the best lawsuit financing service for you.

The service will ask you to fill out paperwork. They will make a decision if you are approved and for how much money you are eligible to receive.

They use the type of lawsuit that you are filing, your damages and potential award of monies into consideration when making their decision.

These services do not verify employment, do credit checks or charge application fees unlike banks or other private lenders.


Lawsuit Financing Options

Most people are aware that the cost of hiring legal representation can be rather steep. Charges accrue by the tenth of the minute in most law firms, and quickly reach hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars or more. When the news gives an account of a spectacular lawsuit settlement in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, a common comment may be that the lawyers get most of it. In fact, most lawyers and law firms will get a substantial portion of an award or settlement. Typical costs might be in the 40% to 60% range for a personal injury lawsuit.

For the client, lawsuit financing options are available, including the following:

1. Consignment basis - legal fees, other than some small out-of-pocket costs, are only paid if and when the case is won and when an award or settlement money is received by the client.

2. Payment plan - client pays a small amount in advance, and makes regular payments during the course of the action.

3. Lawsuit funding companies - these are companies who operate similar to a cash advance company to provide advance funding to persons who are involved in a lawsuit that requires up front payment.

4. Free legal help from local Legal Aid office or Law School - investigate this possibility if you have no financial resources.


Preventing personal injury at work; who's responsible?

Preventing personal injury at work is an employer’s responsibility mandated by the 1970 Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA); a federal law that requires employers to provide a safe working environment for its employees. In addition to OSHA, employers in 47 states are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to guarantee that employees who experience personal injury at work are financially covered for any costs associated with their injuries.

Employees injured during the course of their employment are eligible for benefits under their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation benefits for employees who withstand personal injury at work cover: total disability; impairment benefits, benefits for temporary or permanent partial disability based on duration of the impairment (Gomez-Mejia, Balkin & Cardy, 2010); survivor benefits and benefits to cover medical expenses.

Employees beware, increasing workers’ compensation claims have made it necessary for employers to do more to not only prevent personal injury at work but to investigate claims from employees to validate they are legitimate.

Workers’ compensation is considered a ‘no fault’ system, meaning that it is not always necessary for employees to prove that the personal injury at work was a result of the employer’s negligence. And in most cases even the employees own negligence does not remove employer liability.

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