Archive for the ‘Playground Injuries’ Category

How to Work Effectively With Your Lawyer

It is important to work effectively with your lawyer so you can have a satisfying working relationship with one another. This is an excellent article about the subject, which we wanted to both share and elaborate upon.

It is a good idea to bring a copy of your own insurance documents (declaration page), when you first meet with your attorney. Your attorney’s office can also obtain this information if necessary, but as the article above mentions, the client can sometimes access this information quicker.

You should also bring with you other information your attorney may need to begin working on your file. For instance, for a personal injury matter, this may include the names and contact information for all your treating physicians, or copies of police accident reports. There are often key deadlines early on in a potential lawsuit, so the more information your attorney has on hand from the outset of your case, the better.

Keep all documentation, including letters and bills from doctors and insurance companies. Discuss with your attorney early on what types of documents they may want you to forward to their office, and be sure to do so in a timely fashion. This will help to ensure the attorney will always have up to date information in your file when they need it. Sometimes it is as simple as mailing (or e-mailing) it to the office when you receive it, or leaving it with the assistant or paralegal in charge of your file.

Keep a list of questions you would like to discuss with your attorney, as well as notes about what happened since the last time you spoke, which will help you make the most of your next appointment.

For a personal injury or medical malpractice case, it can be useful to keep a calendar documenting symptoms and keeping track of all your medical appointments.

Attorney Advertising

Valuing Your Case

As most clients will tell you, “It’s not about the money.”  A lawsuit helps people regain some sense of control at a time when they feel powerless.  An accident can destroy a person’s independence or livelihood.  So when our clients tell us that it’s not about the money, we understand what they mean.  But, ultimately, a positive result in a lawsuit does come down to a monetary value and having a ballpark figure about the value of your case can save you from making a costly mistake. Everyone knows about high profile verdicts like the one received by the woman in Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants who suffered third degree burns after spilling hot coffee on her lap. The jury awarded the plaintiff a judgment against McDonald’s for punitive damages in the amount of $2.7 million (the amount McDonalds made selling coffee in two days).  Verdicts like these tend to skew people’s expectations for settlements too high.  What people might not realize is that the judge reduced the award and McDonald’s appealed the decision.  The resulting settlement was less than $600,000.

A case’s worth is determined by several factors and I’d like to discuss them a bit here.  Please keep in mind that every case is different and that individual results will vary.

The most important determining factor in valuing a case is how much money is available either in the form of an insurance policy or a defendant’s assets.  Even if you receive a million dollar verdict at trial, if the defendant doesn’t have the money to pay you, you will not be getting a million dollars.

Another factor is the severity of your injuries and the amount of pain, suffering and expense they have caused you.  Are they permanent?  How long will you need to continue with treatment?  Generally speaking, breaking your toe is not worth as much as breaking your back.  If your injury will require future treatment, this added expense should be taken into account when discussing settlement.

A third thing to consider when valuing a case is how much income the plaintiff has lost or stands to lose.  If a highly trained neurosurgeon is left unable to return to her duties she will likely be losing more future salary than a truck driver.  This is not to say that a truck driver’s injuries are in any way less significant or disruptive than a neurosurgeon’s, it’s just something to keep in mind when you think of the value of your case.

Comparative negligence is also something to consider when valuing your case.  Did you contribute in any way to your injuries?  If a jury finds that you are 30% responsible for an accident, for instance by not looking before crossing a street, then any verdict received from them will be reduced by 30%.   A verdict of $100,000 would be reduced to $70,000. Going to trial is essentially a wild card.  A recent study of jury verdicts found the defense won 50 per cent of the time resulting in no recovery. Verdicts for the plaintiff in injury cases averaged under 30,000. This dispells the popular notion that juries commonly give million dollar verdicts. We live in a conservative area filled with working-class jurors.  They don’t hand out million dollar verdicts often.  This is a crucial fact to keep in mind when considering settlement offers.

If you’ve been hurt, please give us a call to talk to our knowledgeable, experienced attorneys.  At James Morris Law we always fight to achieve the best results for our clients.

Attorney Advertising.

Bullying: Harsh Words, Harsher Realities

                Upon entering secondary education, every child fears the worst; getting picked on. Images of being chosen last for dodge ball or being stuffed in a locker used to correspond with the word “bully.” Today however, bullying leaves a much more lasting effect on teenagers, causing serious emotional and physical issues. Bullying destroys lives long after the bullying stops.

                The modern bully is a lion, pouncing on its prey at the mere scent of weakness and attacking any flaw of character or lifestyle. The trouble with this lion is that it hunted its way out from the confines of the classroom jungle and into the open world of the internet.  While we’re all familiar with the tragic tale of Jamey Rodemeyer—a 14-year-old boy from Williamsville who cut his life short in the bloom of his youth due to years of psychological abuse both in person and online throughout middle and high school—his story is one fish in a sea of recent teen suicides at the hands (and words) of bullies. Even more disturbing is the account of Ashley Billasano. Huffington Post reported last week that Ashley, a victim of molestation and forced prostitution by her own family, tweeted 144 cries for help before killing herself, receiving not a single response from any of her 500 Twitter followers. And if you think it can’t get much worse than that, Huffington reported just days ago that 10-year-old Ashlynn Connor hung herself with a scarf in her closet after being called a “slut” by her elementary school classmates. Amidst these tragedies however, peeks a ray of sunlight.

                Parents are beginning to turn to the justice system to combat this incessant wave of bullying.  After their son suffered a traumatic brain injury, the parents of David Osama Hadaad pressed charges against Lake Central School in Indiana for not intervening while David was brutally attacked in the hallway due to his Middle Eastern descent.  According to the Huffington article that ran last week, the family has accused the school of not only failing to intervene, but of violating David’s civil rights as well.  None of the attackers faced punishment and David was suspended 10 days for the single defensive punch he threw.

                Don’t let your children be victims any longer. It’s time to stand up against bullying. Call the Law Offices of James Morris now, 716-855-1118.

Playground injuries plague New York playgrounds. Be prepared.

Playgrounds are great places to bring children on warm, summer days. Playgrounds can also be hazardous. Each year, emergency rooms treat more than 200,000 children under 14 years old for playground injuries across America, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In some severe cases, such injuries, like a head injury or bicycle accident, can even lead to death.

The most common type of non-fatal playground injuries and injuries in school include severe–fractures, internal injury, head injury, dislocations and amputations, according to the CDC. The vast majority of these types of injuries happen on public playgrounds at schools. Statistically, girls get injured more often than boys. And the age group most likely to be injured at a playground is children 5 to 9 years old.

Playground injury cases are complicated. In New York State, statute of limitation laws put restrictions on how long someone can seek compensation for such injuries to children. Confused? Scared? We can help. The Law Offices of James Morris know how to get results. We thoroughly understand the law and know how to aggressively fight to get you the justice you deserve.

Playground injuries are serious. Take action. Contact the Law Offices of James Morris today. We’re on your side to provide you with your rightful personal injury compensation.

The information contained in this communication is provided for informational purposes only and should not be constituted as legal advice on any subject matter.