Can I Hire an Attorney in a Different State Than Where I Reside/Accident Happened?

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Accidents can happen at any time and in any place. When one occurs in a different state than where you reside, it can complicate the claims process. The laws may be different than in your state, and you may want to hire an attorney who holds a license in the state where you are addressing the legal issue.

Protocol for Interstate Legal Problems

Jurisdiction laws typically require that you file a case in the state where the accident occurred. However, it is common for plaintiffs to want to hire a lawyer from their home state. In general, an attorney must have admittance to the state bar in the state in which he or she wishes to represent a client. This is true for any kind of case, whether you need an attorney to represent you in a personal injury suit or a real estate transaction. If you need an attorney to represent you in the state in which an accident happened, the attorney must have a license in that particular state.

However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. If you would prefer to use an attorney from your home state with whom you have worked before in a different state, find out if that state will grant your attorney a limited law license. States will grant this request in some situations, usually for public defenders or legal aid services. The attorney must have a license to practice law in another state for this option. Some states also allow an in-house counsel exception, in which a corporation hires an out-of-state attorney to represent them as in-house counsel.

In some cases, the state will allow an attorney from out of state to represent a client “for this one case,” or “pro hac vice.” The attorney must petition the court to represent the client and must have a license in another state. It is up to the court’s discretion whether to grant the petition, grant it with conditions, or deny the petition. A condition may be that the attorney must work with in-state counsel, for example.

Pro hac vice is only a good option if the attorney is familiar with local and state laws. An attorney can obtain state licensure without taking the bar exam in certain situations. If an attorney has practiced law in another state for a certain number of years, some states will grant faster admission to the bar. This is called reciprocity.

Should You Hire an Out-of-State Attorney?

Deciding whether to try to bring an out-of-state attorney to your case or to hire an attorney in an unfamiliar state depends greatly on the circumstances of your case. If you are the defendant in a case, for example, your insurance company will likely provide you with a personal injury lawyer. In this case, you would not have to worry about hiring an attorney at all. Since most personal injury cases get settled outside of court without litigation, your attorney only needs to be competent and knowledgeable enough to skillfully handle negotiations.

If you are the plaintiff, on the other hand, the state in which your personal injury attorney holds a license matters more. If you believe your case will go to court instead of reaching a settlement, it is wise to hire a personal injury attorney who lives near you. This makes it easier to communicate with them regularly about your case’s progress and work with them face-to-face. However, it is crucial that you hire an attorney with the proper skill set and expertise to obtain the best outcome for your case.

An out-of-state attorney may not have as deep a grasp of the state laws as a local attorney. Ask your desired attorney if petitioning the court to practice law in a different state is the best option for your case.

Posted by admin at 10:18 pm

What is a Bimalleolar Fracture?

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The medical term for a broken ankle is a bimalleolar fracture, or a break at the lower parts of the tibia and fibula. Bimalleolar fractures commonly occur due to falls, car accidents, and sports-related activities. A number of bones in the ankle can fracture in an accident, leading to severe pain and temporary disability. The displacement of bones in the ankle often requires surgery to treat. Post-surgery recovery generally takes several weeks of physical rehabilitation and home exercises. Bimalleolar fractures can cause great pain and suffering as well as financial losses. When someone else’s negligence results in a broken ankle, take action against the responsible party.

Types of Bimalleolar Fractures

Ankle fractures can be simple breaks in a single bone or can include several complex fractures and displaced bones. There are three main categories of bimalleolar fractures: unimalleolar, bimalleolar, and trimalleor. One-third of all ankle fractures are either bimalleolar or trimalleor. Ankle fractures often occur in traumas such as car crashes or trip and fall accidents. Depending on the severity of the fracture, the ligaments in the ankle can suffer damage as well.

Three main bones make up the ankle: the tibia, fibula, and talus. Each bone has different areas doctors use to classify the fracture. For example, if the end of the fibula fractures, it’s a lateral malleolus fracture. The ankle also has two main joints, the ankle join and the syndesmosis joint. Multiple ligaments hold these joints together, making the ankle stable. When an accident compromises the bones, joints, or ligaments, the victim may be unable to walk for 12 to 16 weeks during recovery.

Common Symptoms of a Bimalleolar Fracture

If your bimalleolar fracture isn’t severe enough that you can immediately identify you have a broken ankle, this is probably a good sign. However, every ankle fracture injury requires the attention of a physician. Common symptoms of a bimalleolar fracture include:

  • Severe and immediate ankle pain
  • Swelling of the fractured area
  • Bruising or hematoma
  • Painful to the touch
  • Inability to put weight on the injured foot
  • Physical deformity, in the case of joint dislocation

These symptoms can be very painful. Walking may also be labored and/or difficult for several months. The effects of a bimalleolar fracture can be severe, preventing a victim from returning to work during the recovery process. Lost wages and mounting medical bills can also put a strain on the victim’s finances.

Treatment for Bimalleolar Fractures

A physician will assess your fracture using an imaging test and will recommend treatment. The level of the fracture determines the type of treatment that’s best for your injury. If your ankle is stable and the bone is not dislocated, physicians most often recommend non-surgical treatment. Your doctor can prescribe several different non-surgical treatments, including a short leg cast or a high-top tennis shoe.

If your fracture makes the ankle unstable, you may need surgery to reconstruct the normal shape of the broken anklebone, decrease ligament damage, and accelerate recovery. During surgery, the surgeon will reposition the ankle and hold it in place with special screws or metal plates. After surgery, you will need a cast to keep the ankle in place while it heals. Your rate of recovery will vary depending on the severity of the bimalleolar fracture, but ankles can typically bear a complete weight load 12 to 16 weeks after treatment.

Complications are rare in bimalleolar fracture surgeries, and if there are complications, they typically relate directly to the surgery. Risks can involve complications due to infection, nerve damage, anesthesia, bleeding, or blood clots. However, the majority of bimalleolar fractures do not result in complications and do not require additional surgery to repair.

Posted by admin at 8:57 pm

What is Mobbing?

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

As residents of a populous metropolitan area, Dallas citizens face a variety of threats and dangers in day-to-day life. Among those threats is mobbing, a form of group bullying focused on harassing or treating a victim badly with the intent to demean and inflict psychological harm. Mobbing comes in several forms and can happen in school, at work, and online.

Elements of Mobbing

To classify as mobbing, two or more people acting as “bullies” must be involved. This group works together to collectively inflict a relentless assault of psychological and/or physical terror on a helpless target through a tirade of threats, insults, and offensive remarks. Victims of mobbing are typically people who differ from the norm in a social setting, either based on their religious beliefs, race, disability, or other traits. Thus, people engaged in mobbing are often practicing discrimination. Mobbing can involve:

  • Intimidation
  • Threats of harm or embarrassment
  • Blackmailing
  • Intense peer pressure
  • Offensive conduct
  • Harassment

By-standers and victims alike have reported recent incidents of mobbing on the internet, on social media, and in chat rooms. Cyberspace mobbing is especially dangerous to vulnerable children and teenagers and can lead to depression, self-harm, eating disorders, and even suicide.

Another example is mobbing in the workplace. When a group of employees wants a person to leave the company or job, either through voluntary or forced termination, it can trigger people to engage in mobbing. The workplace bullies inflict public ridicule and humiliation upon the fellow employee, creating an uncomfortable and sometimes volatile work environment for the victim. In some cases, a manager can support or participate in the mobbing, which creates a further strained working relationship for the target.

Targets of workplace bullies can suffer long-term emotional scarring. Financial damage is also a risk if victims are forced to take off work or quit a job to avoid the bullying attacks. Workplace mobbing has far-reaching effects that can result in damage to the victim’s career and professional reputation through loss of business opportunities and promotions.

Dangers of Mobbing

Mobbing has the same negative consequences as ordinary bullying but can be exponentially worse, depending on the number of bullies involved in the mob. Mobbing can have various effects on the victim, but psychological and emotional damage is most common. A victim can suffer extreme fear about going to school or work, which can trigger feelings of illness or nausea.

Victims may also experience nightmares and a fear of social settings. Mobbing can make a victim feel less-than, injuring self-confidence and leading to feelings of self-loathing or shame. The severe emotional trauma mobbing can inflict on a victim can last for years after the incident and often requires therapy or professional counseling to help overcome the damage.

A victim can also suffer physical damages if the mob becomes physically violent.

Can I File a Claim for Mobbing?

Mobbing often involves damaging and harmful conduct, inflicting long-lasting pain on the victims. In many cases, an employer or school official can dispel a mob if a victim reports what’s happening. In some cases, however, this is not enough to remedy the victim’s damages, especially in cases of actual injury or loss. Filing a claim against the perpetrators of mobbing can help a victim obtain financial compensation for medical bills, lost wages, mental anguish, and pain and suffering.

If you were or are the victim of mobbing, an attorney can help you file a legal claim against the group of bullies. You have rights in a mobbing situation, especially if the incident stems from discrimination. If you need to attend a meeting with an official to discuss the mobbing incident, an attorney can stand by your side and give you advice.

Posted by admin at 10:06 pm

How Do You Calculate Pain and Suffering in a Settlement?

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

A fair settlement can provide your family with compensation to pay for medical bills, make up for lost wages due to missed work, and other expenses associated with daily living. Many personal injury claims also include what’s known as “pain and suffering” costs. What are these, and how do personal injury attorneys calculate them?

Most personal injury claims hinge on the plaintiff providing evidence of negligence. Negligence is a term the legal system uses to describe actions in which one person fails to exercise reasonable care around another. When a person commits negligence, he or she may cause another person pain and suffering.

Pain and Suffering Defined

Lawyers use the term “general damages” to define any intangible losses, like pain and suffering, as part of an injury settlement. But how can you quantify your pain? It’s hard to pin a number on, but lawyers use a specific system to calculate the economic and general damages associated with a settlement. The two most common are the multiplier method and the per diem approach.

The Multiplier Method

The multiplier method refers to a process by which an actuary takes your economic damages (these are easy to calculate and include things like lost wages and medical bills) and multiples them by a number as small as 1.5 and as large as 5. An actuary might multiply the number by 5 in the case of gross negligence, for example, but will use a smaller number if the injuries are minor. Other factors that affect the multiplier are your likelihood for a speedy and complete recovery as well as the impact on your daily activities.

The multiplier method is the most common form of calculating general damages, as it’s the same process most insurance companies use. Often, the sticking point in the negotiation phase is the multiplier used to calculate general damages. An experienced law firm can help you maximize your settlement by fighting for a fair multiplier.

The “Per Diem” Calculation

Less common is the “per diem” method of calculating pain and suffering. This process gets its name from the Latin phrase meaning “each day.” It relies on demanding a certain dollar amount for every day you experience pain as a result of your accident.

This approach is less common because attorneys often disagree on the appropriate way to set a dollar amount for each day of suffering. If you miss a significant amount of work as the result of your accident, the best approach may be to use your daily earnings as a starting point.

Say, for example, you were involved in a car accident and experienced a fractured arm as a result. You wore a cast for six weeks and took pain pills each day to alleviate your suffering. Even after your cast is off, you continue to experience pain for another month, for a total of 75 days of suffering. Say you make $35,000 a year—approximately $95 per day. Your per diem settlement would be around $7,2000.

This method is fine for clear cut cases, but when it comes to long-term injuries, permanently disabling conditions, or lost earning capacity, this calculation falls apart. For this reason, the legal profession more commonly relies on the multiplier calculation.

Have You Been Injured in an Accident?

If you’ve been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be wondering about the recourse for the parties responsible or wondering how to pay for your medical bills. The Attorneys at Aaron Herbert are skilled at negotiating settlements that are fair, given the extent of your pain and suffering. To start your personal injury claim today, contact our office for a free case evaluation. We offer our services on a contingency-fee basis, so there’s no risk to you.

Posted by admin at 10:44 pm

What Can I Do if Someone Crashes a Drone into My House Or into Me?

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Technology and law have always made a strange pair. This is certainly true for unmanned drones, which have legislators and lawyers perplexed about everything from insurance claims to personal injury disputes. These devices are incredibly innovative and valuable, poised to improve disaster response, construction, real estate, and dozens of other industries. Regulations are slowly catching up, but the technology is not slowing down; the market for unmanned aircraft is expected to explode over the next decade.

Current Laws Governing Drone Use

Drones have sparked plenty of debate about personal injury law, property damage, privacy concerns, and many other legal areas. In fact, these gadgets have been a major concern for the FAA since their inception. The organization is predicting over 30,000 of these devices will be in use within five years, and specialists are setting aside billions of dollars to ensure their safe operation in tightly regulated commercial air space. Pending laws will govern:

  • Increased drone use
  • National and global operations
  • Airspace control
  • Safety and environmental concerns

The FAA and federal government must also take steps to regulate:

  • How individuals can protect their land from drones
  • Stalking and harassment issues
  • Piracy infringements

These problems may seem straightforward, but putting laws into place on this scale requires extensive state, federal (including multiple departments), and international cooperation. Some laws have already been drafted, including the Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act. This bill set up restrictions on private drone use, specifically outlining privacy standards and data collection regulations, how individuals can protect their rights, and the actions law enforcers can take to control drones.

Personal Injury and Property Damage Caused by Drones

Personal injury and property damage are two of the most pressing concerns lawmakers currently face. Insurers and legislators must consider where these aircraft operate (such as whether or not they fly over populated areas), their altitude, and their purpose. If a drone crashes into an individual, it would be covered under liability insurance, which also addresses privacy issues and property damage. Again, coverage varies based on several factors. For those working with or around drones, for example, workers’ compensation will need to be extended to cover drones’ use.

Pursing compensation would thus be similar to other liability claims; the company’s insurance would contact a plaintiff with a settlement price (if any). An individual can choose to accept that amount, which may cover the extent of his or her damages. If this is suitable, the matter can be settled out of court. However, for issues involving extensive damage, ongoing medical bills, or matters like wrongful death, working with an attorney may be the only way to receive the full amount a person is owed following damage caused by a wayward drone.

These laws will continue to evolve and so will the insurance policies written for drones. For example, if wrongful death claims increase as the industry grows, insurers will have to change the rates they charge for liability and other coverage options.

Reach Out to an Experienced Texas Attorney for More Information

The only way to protect your rights in such a dynamic time is to contact an attorney who has followed these laws and will continue to do so as they develop. Though this is a new area, many of the requirements for personal injury suits and property damage settlements are familiar to experienced legal teams.

The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C. has extensive experience recovering the damages our clients are owed following a personal injury. We stay up-to-date on all relevant laws to safeguard their best interests; this includes personal injury and property damage caused by a crashing drone. Reach out for more information about these developing regulations, and schedule a consultation if your privacy or property has been threatened by one of these devices.

Posted by admin at 10:57 pm