How do you charge?
There is no charge for an initial consultation. We are a contingent fee law firm, which means we only get paid if we recover for you. In other words, you pay nothing unless we win your case.
How long does it typically take to resolve an injury claim?
There is no “normal” or “typical” time frame by which an injury claim is resolved. Once your medical treatment is either complete or stabilized to the point where we know what type of future medical care you will need, we order your medical records, medical bills and other supporting documentation. This process typically takes four to six weeks. Once the appropriate supporting documentation is received, we create a settlement demand package or “Audit” to send to the insurance company for its review. The insurance companies are obligated to conduct a “prompt” and “reasonable” review of the claims submission. In most claims, the insurance carrier will take approximately 30 days to review the information before being prepared to make a settlement offer. Sometimes a lawsuit is necessary. The amount of time it takes to resolve a claim once a lawsuit is filed varies depending on the court, jurisdiction and the particulars of your individual circumstances.
What is my case worth?
Many variables go into the evaluation of a claim. In most scenarios, your claim is comprised of two primary categories of damages: economic and non-economic. Economic damages include your medical bills, lost wages and future medical costs. Non-economic damages are commonly referred to as “pain and suffering.” These damages include your loss of enjoyment of life, the aggravation associated with the claim and your daily pain/discomfort. Because other cases are the best indicator of a case value, an attorney who specializes in personal injury work will be best suited to provide you with a reasonable claim value.
What type of cases do you accept?
Typically, the lawyers at Karp Steiger accept cases serving clients in the greater Cleveland, Ohio area such as car accidents, nursing home abuse, medical malpractice, bicycle accidents, boating accidents, motorcycle accidents, product liability, slip and fall, truck accidents, workers’ compensation, dog bites and animal attacks, wrongful death, bus accidents, pedestrian accidents, construction accidents. Additionally, the attorneys also fight in cases of injury such as brain injury, workplace injury, dangerous conditions, personal injury, birth injury, catastrophic injury, child injury, bone breaks and fractures, traumatic amputation, back injury, knee injury, and neck injury.
What should I do at the crash scene?
If you are involved in a car crash, the first rule of thumb is to try and stay calm. After your nerves settle, check on your passengers. Next, call 911. Ask for an ambulance if you or any of your passengers are injured.
If you are injured, stay in your vehicle until the police arrive. Upon arrival, the police will take control of the scene and assist in the exchange of information. It is always helpful to obtain the name and badge number of any responding officers as well as the police report number. Even if you can’t get this information, your attorney can secure a copy of the crash report.
If for any reason the police do not obtain information from the involved parties at the accident scene, you should make sure you do so before leaving the area. It is absolutely critical that you get the name, phone number, driver’s license number, and insurance information of all parties involved. You should also write down the make, model, color and license plate number of all vehicles associated with the crash.
We suggest you utilize your cell phone to take some pictures of all vehicles involved in the accident so that they can be identified later. You should also write down the names of all passengers in each car, as well as any witnesses. In obtaining witness information, please be sure to gather the witness’ phone number and address.
When talking to the driver of the other vehicle, you should be cordial and cooperative. Try to relax. You do not want emotions to escalate.
What if the other driver is not telling the truth?
Sadly, disputes arise as to who might be at fault. The best evidence for determining responsibility comes from the police and the information obtained at the accident scene. Photographs are always useful. Also, check for witnesses. If you locate a witness, get his or her name and phone number. If it comes to a “he said, she said” situation, this information will be extremely helpful.
If problems continue, you should contact a lawyer. Our attorneys here at Karp Steiger will not charge you a fee for the initial consultation. At the end of the day, when there is a dispute as to who was at fault, you will need someone with experience in handling these types of matters to sort through the evidence to establish liability. Let our attorneys help you through this difficult process.
What if I was involved in a hit and run?
Victims of hit and run accidents should know they can pursue personal injury claims even if they did not get the other persons information. Remember that anyone involved in these types of accidents, whether in an automobile, as a pedestrian (pedestrians can be considered anyone walking, running, on roller skates, or on a skateboard, moving or standing still), on a bicycle, motorcycle, etc., can receive assistance.
Just like at any crash scene, you should contact the police right away. Make sure you tell the police officers exactly what happened. Cooperate with the police. Take any information down from the police officer that he can provide.
Our personal injury attorneys have decades of experience helping victims of hit and run accidents. We will help you through the insurance claims process. We will make sure you receive the maximum amount of compensation you deserve for all of your economic losses and your pain and suffering. If you are a victim of any hit and run accident, let our personal injury team help guide you through these difficult circumstances.
Who should I contact in the event of an accident?
When you are involved in an automobile accident, you should always contact your automobile insurance company. Indeed, you have an obligation to notify your insurance carrier of an accident, because if you don’t, you may not be entitled to certain benefits.
If the accident was not your fault, you should consider contacting an attorney. Otherwise, the claims adjuster will usually contact you and want a recorded statement. Anything you say to the claims adjuster can be used against you at a later time.
You should also contact the wrongdoer’s insurance company. If you hire our attorneys here at Karp Steiger, we specialize in personal injury and can help guide you through this process and communicate with the insurance company for you. Always remember, if the car accident was not your fault, consider hiring one of our personal injury attorneys here at Karp Steiger.
What is subrogation?
Subrogation is a fancy legal term that generally means a right of recovery. It provides an insurance company or governmental agency such as Medicare, Medicaid or the Veterans Association the right to recover the amount it paid for medical treatment related to the loss. Below are two typical examples of subrogation in the context of personal injury claims.
– Health Insurance Subrogation
Health insurance subrogation is controlled in contract. In other words, the health insurance plan is what controls the health insurer’s right of subrogation and recovery. For example, if you are injured in an automobile accident and your health insurance company pays your medical bills, your health insurance company will likely seek to be reimbursed at the conclusion of your case. Based upon the terms of most health insurance plans, you will have an obligation to reimburse your health insurance company for the medical expenses it paid out on your behalf when you recover from the wrongdoer. In most circumstances, your attorney will be able to negotiate the amount of money that will need to be paid back to your health insurance company out of your recovery.
– Subrogation for Medical Expenses Paid by a Governmental Entity
Medical expenses that are paid by a governmental agency such as Medicare, Medicaid or the VA have what is commonly referred to as a “super lien.” Unlike health insurance plans where a contract governs subrogation (i.e., the health insurance plan), a governmental agency’s right of subrogation or reimbursement is controlled by statute (i.e., the law). For example, if you are a Medicare recipient and Medicare pays your accident-related medical expenses, you have an obligation to reimburse Medicare at the conclusion of your claim. A failure to reimburse Medicare can result in civil penalties. Because statute controls subrogation for payments made by governmental sources, we recommend you consult with an attorney to navigate the process.
What if I don’t like my lawyer and want to make a change of counsel?
You have a right to hire a lawyer of your choice, and there are many great lawyers to choose from in Ohio. Your choice of who to hire as your lawyer should be based upon the best fit for you, rather than an ad you saw on the side of a bus, a tv commercial, or a billboard along the highway. Because you have the right to hire whoever you choose, you have the right to change counsel should you elect to do so.
How do lawyers evaluate an injury claim?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions we receive. Generally, the method to evaluate an injury claim requires a 3-prong analysis.
First, was the Defendant or wrongdoer “negligent?” Negligence is nothing more than a failure to use reasonable or ordinary care to avoid injuring another person or another’s property. Reasonable or ordinary care is the care that a reasonably careful person would use under the same or similar circumstances. A failure to use reasonable or ordinary care is negligence.
Second, was the Defendant’s negligence a direct or “proximate cause” of the harm? In Ohio, a party who seeks to recover for injuries or death must prove not only that the other party was negligent, but that such negligence was a direct or “proximate” cause of the harm. Proximate cause is defined as an act or failure to act that in the natural and continuous sequence directly produced the injury or death and without which the injury or death would not have occurred.
Third, if an injured plaintiff can prove liability and proximate cause, what are the plaintiff’s damages? Damages are defined as the amount of money that will reasonably compensate the plaintiff for the actual injury or loss that was proximately and directly caused by the wrongdoer’s misconduct. There are two broad categories of damages in an injury claim: (1) “economic loss” and (2) “noneconomic loss.” “Economic loss” includes such things as wages, salaries, medical expenses and the cost for future medical care. “Noneconomic loss” means harm other than economic loss that results from the plaintiff’s injury or loss, including, but not limited to, pain and suffering, loss of society, consortium, companionship, care, assistance, attention, protection, advice, guidance, counsel, instruction, training, or education, disfigurement, mental anguish, and any other intangible loss.
In some cases, the injured party also claims that the injury or loss is permanent. Future losses must be proven within a reasonable degree of certainty. In other words, future losses cannot be speculative.
There is no “cap” or “limit” on economic damages. However, Ohio Revised Code 2315.18 places a limit of $250,000 on the amount of non-economic damages that may be recovered in a tort action. This limit may be exceeded only when the jury finds permanent and substantial physical deformity, loss of use of a limb, or loss of a bodily organ system; or physical functional injury that permanently prevents the plaintiff from being able to independently care for himself/herself and perform life-sustaining activities.
Since every case is different, the analysis of negligence, proximate cause and damages is done on a case-by-case basis. We are happy to evaluate your case for free. Give us a call.
What if I have pre-existing medical conditions?
Different people will react differently when involved in motor vehicle accidents. Someone with pre-existing medical problems may be more susceptible to injury during a car accident. It is worth noting that having a pre-existing medical condition does not disqualify you for compensation under Ohio law.
In situations where a pre-existing condition is aggravated due to a car accident, it is important to distinguish between your pre-accident state versus your post-accident state of health. This can become a tricky situation.
We typically recommend you consult with the medical provider who has been treating you for your pre-existing medical condition first since he or she is in the best position to confirm whether your pre-existing medical condition has worsened as a result of the accident.
You will also want an attorney to compare your pre-accident condition to your post-accident condition.
Let our personal injury attorneys here at Karp Steiger assist in this process for you.
What is the process?
For an in depth explanation of our approach, click here.
1.) Telephone Consultation: We begin with a conversation over the phone. During the initial phone call, we will gather general background information to determine if it makes sense to meet in person for a more in-depth consultation.
2.) Initial Consultation: During the initial consultation, either by phone or in person, you will speak to one of our attorneys in confidence. We will conduct a thorough interview to gather the facts. We will explain our fees and scope of service in writing in a written Professional Employment Agreement. We are happy to meet with you at our main office in Beachwood or at our second office in downtown Cleveland. There is ample free parking at both locations. If you would prefer, we are more than willing to meet you at your house, the hospital, or another location of your choosing.
3.) Establish the Claim: Once retained, we will immediately place the insurance company, Employer and/or the wrongdoer on notice of our representation. We will instruct the insurance adjuster, Employer representative and/or wrongdoer to communicate only with us, so that you can focus on getting better.
4.) Manage the Claim: Every case is different, and every client is unique. We are not a factory or mill. We get to know our clients. During the claims management phase, we advise our clients and advocate on their behalf.
5.) Prepare a Settlement Demand Packet: In most cases, but not all, we will attempt to resolve your claim without the filing of a lawsuit. Therefore, once your medial treatment is complete, or you have reached maximum medical improvement, we order all your medical records and bills. Once the records and bills are received, we decide if additional information is required, such as expert reports. We compile your records and bills, along with any wage loss or other economic losses into an “Audit.” We will then send the “Audit” and other supporting documentation to the insurance adjuster with a demand for settlement.
6.) Settlement Negotiations: We utilize our experience, resources, and team approach to develop a recommended settlement range. We discuss our recommendations with you before making any settlement demand. Once we have your authority, we attempt to negotiate a settlement of your claim. We will keep you informed of every settlement offer and settlement demand.
7.) Litigation: We are trial lawyers. We are not afraid of a courtroom. If we are unable to settle your case, we will file a lawsuit to protect your interests.
What happens when you file a lawsuit?
So your case could not be settled and we have to file a lawsuit, what should you expect?
1. The Beginning. In the beginning of a lawsuit, your attorney will file court documents stating the facts that support your claims and who you are suing. In Ohio, these documents are called a “complaint.” The court will send that complaint to the defendants along with a “summons”, which is a notice to the defendant about your lawsuit against them. The defendant typically has a limited time in which to respond to the complaint. When responding the defendant will usually file what is known as an “answer.”
2. The Discovery Phase. The “discovery” process begins after the complaint and answer is filed. Discovery is a term used to describe written requests for information that may be helpful to the case. Such requests include written questions (interrogatories), requests for production of documents and requests for admissions. Each party will respond to these requests with written answers and supporting documentation. Depositions could also be held, which are interviews of the plaintiff, the defendant and witnesses. These depositions are documented by a court reporter and involve an attorney asking the witness a series of questions.
Can I still settle my case before trial?
Most legal claims are often resolved before trial through a negotiated settlement process. When this happens, the plaintiff agrees not to pursue any further legal action in exchange for a payment from the defendant or insurance company. In many instances, both parties may agree to mediate the case prior to the case going to trial. In a mediation, both parties present evidence that supports their claims while a neutral party – a mediator – tries to get the two sides to try and agree on a settlement amount. If the parties do not agree, the case often then proceeds to trial.
My case did not settle and I have to go to trial, now what?
What does going to trial mean, exactly? If you are involved in a personal injury case, for example, a trial provides the opportunity for the plaintiff to argue his or her case so that the judge or jury can examine the evidence, decide what really happened and rule on whether to find the defendant liable or responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries.
Typically, a personal injury trial consists of choosing a jury, opening statements by the lawyers for each side, witness testimony and cross-examination, closing arguments by each side, jury instructions given by the court, and deliberation – that is consideration of all the facts and the law that applies – by the jurors. Once the jurors have made their decision, a verdict will be issued by the court.
After jury selection, each side has a chance to make its case in opening statements. The witness testimony and cross-examination stage is the main part of the trial. The plaintiff works to convince the jury that the defendant is liable for the damages or harm caused to the plaintiff. Witnesses and experts are called to testify, in which they take an oath to be truthful and answer questions asked by each side’s attorneys.
Once both sides present their case, closing arguments offer a last chance for each side to convince the jury before deliberations begin. The judge provides specific instructions to the jury to help them make their decision and then the jurors consider the case as a group. Once the jury has made a decision, the judge announces the verdict. Our personal injury attorneys have lots of experience in this regard. Our legal team has been litigation for many years with lots of positive results. See how our personal injury lawyers can work for you and help you get the results you deserve.
What if I don't speak English well?
Navigating the legal landscape is difficult for anyone, whether for personal injury, work injuries, or other matters, but it is especially hard for immigrants who may struggle with language barriers or cultural divides. Regardless of the challenges, we at Karp Steiger make it our mission to talk to our clients, regardless of their background, so that we can properly communicate their losses to the insurance companies and juries.
In the Greater Cleveland area and Cuyahoga County, the Russian, Hispanic and Latino communities are larger than you might expect.
Regardless of the cultural divide or any language barriers, we are here to help. Thus, if you or a loved one were injured, please do not hesitate to call. Our attorneys here at Karp Steiger are available 27-7 and we offer free consultations. For more information, please see: Diversity.
What are my options if the insurance company is not treating me fairly?
It sadly happens all too often when an insurance company treats people unfairly. While your options are limited, the best option is to contact an attorney who will work on your behalf to get the compensation you deserve. Contact one of our qualified personal injury lawyers today at 216-358-OHIO if you feel the wrongdoer’s insurance company is not giving you the proper response you deserve. We help anyone from Cleveland, Toledo, Youngstown and many cities in between. Contact us
What is a statute of limitations?
A statute of limitations is a law passed to set a maximum time after an event within which legal proceedings may be initiated. Because there is a statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits, it's important to get a lawyer involved as soon as possible.
Is there a statute of limitations for filing personal injury lawsuits in Ohio?
Yes, and the time limit depends on the nature of the claim. For negligence cases, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of injury. For medical claims, the time limit is only one year. Limitations periods can be straightforward, but malpractice cases often involve a complex analysis. An attorney can advise as to the type of claim you have, the applicable limitations period, and how to comply with the statute. Involving an attorney early is how you can best avoid unintentional waiver of claims based on time limitations. Contact us
What is Loss of Consortium?
Unlike other types of car accident claims, loss of consortium is brought by a close family member of the accident victim (a spouse, parent or child). Although most loss of consortium cases involve a spouse of the injured party, they can also apply to a relationship between parents and children in some cases.
Loss of consortium (also called “loss of affection” and “loss of companionship”) refers to the deprivation of the benefits of married life or parenting, such as the ability to show affection, after an accident or injury. The injured party must have sustained serious injuries or died as the result of a car accident. If the injured party can no longer provide the same love, affection, companionship, parenting, care, or sexual relationship, his or her spouse, child or parent can recover damages for the loss of consortium.
When these roles can no longer be carried out, the uninjured party suffers, too.
How to Prove Loss of Consortium?
Loss of consortium is a form of noneconomic damages (also called general damages), which refers to intangible damages that are difficult to calculate in monetary values. There are no clear rules for calculating noneconomic damages. However, if the spouse of a car accident victim is claiming loss of consortium, the court will likely consider the following factors:
– Whether the marriage involved a stable, loving relationship
– The spouses’ living arrangements
– How much care and companionship the spouse received
– The spouses’ individual life expectancy
Here in Ohio, there are damages caps on loss of consortium claims. Noneconomic damages filed in the state top out at $350,000 or the amount of economic damages tripled, whichever sum is more.
Should you file a loss of consortium claim? Let our personal injury attorneys advise you of your rights under the law when filing a claim for loss of consortium. Contact us
Who will cover my medical expenses?
There are various sources to pay medical bills following a motor vehicle accident. However, many people erroneously assume that if the other driver was at fault, the wrongdoer’s insurance company will pay the medical expenses. On the contrary, you are responsible for your own medical costs.
The primary source of payment for your medical bills should be your health insurance. We recommend you go with your private health insurance so that you can get the benefit of the reduced rates. For example, if a doctor typically charges $100 for an office visit, your health insurance company may pay a reduced amount of $50 for that same visit. Because you have elected to go through your health insurance company, you get the benefit of the reduced provider rate. Please keep in mind, however, that your health insurance carrier will typically want to be reimbursed from any proceeds you may recover from the wrongdoer’s insurance company at the conclusion of your case.
Other sources of payment for medical expenses include governmental assistance such as Medicare and Medicaid. With Medicare or Medicaid, you have an obligation to reimburse the government when your case resolves. This is because the government has what is commonly referred to as a “super lien.” In other words, the government has priority over any proceeds collected at the resolution of your case. It is crucial that if you process any of your medical bills through Medicare or Medicaid, you notify the government immediately that your medical bills are accident-related. Notifying Medicare or Medicaid can be time consuming and confusing. Let our lawyers help you through this portion, so you can focus on getting better.
An additional source of recovery is commonly referred to as “MedPay.” MedPay is short for Medical Payments coverage. This coverage exists in your automobile insurance policy. People are often reluctant to go through their automobile insurance for payment of medical expenses when the accident was not their fault. However, MedPay is a reliable option when it comes to the payment of medical bills.
Finally, some medical providers will accept a letter of protection. A letter of protection is a contract that provides that any reasonable and related medical expenses will be reimbursed to the medical care provider out of the settlement or resolution of your case.
Let our personal injury attorneys advise you when you need help paying your medical bills after an accident. Contact us
What type of compensatory damages will be awarded for my personal injury claim?
We are all bound by the law to take reasonable steps to protect one another from harm. The thoughtless or careless conduct of others infringes on our right to be protected from harm. When you or a loved one have been involved in any type of incident that have caused us harm, it's important to get a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer who can prove the losses you sustained as a result of the incident. Our attorneys are well equipped to help you recoup both economic and non-economic damages.
A personal injury settlement generally has two types of compensatory damages that are awarded: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages represent the following: medical treatment, both immediately after the accident and recommended future care; loss of earning capacity, if your injuries limit your ability to work, find a job or keep a job; and, property loss, which covers replacement or repair of vehicles, clothing or other items damaged in the accident.
To receive payment for non-economic damages it's important to have an attorney help show what you have gone through. Our attorneys here at Karp Steiger have access to the best experts to help in this process. Non-economic damages include things such as: pain and suffering, both during and after the accident; emotional distress-which can include things such as loss of sleep, anxiety and fear; loss of employment, which acknowledges the inability to pursue daily activities such as exercise and recreational activities; and loss of consortium, which recognizes the impact the accident had on your family.
Let our personal injury attorneys advise you when you need help after being involved in a personal injury. Contact us
What truly caused your construction accident injuries?
A construction accident is frequently one of the worst types of personal injuries/workers compensation claims, because it usually involves heavy equipment or working in precarious situations. When you are injured in these situations, it is important to call an attorney right away. Here at Karp Steiger we handle both the workers compensation as well as the personal injury side of the claims for you. Medical bills can become very expensive due to your injuries. You could also face many challenges when finding evidence to back up your claims. Here at Karp Steiger, our lawyers have helped many people through these difficult circumstances related to construction accident injuries on a regular basis.
Common Causes of Construction Injuries include scaffolding and ladder falls; roadway accidents while doing construction work; heavy objects falling on you could cause catastrophic injuries and could even prove to be fatal, just to name a few.
Let our personal injury attorneys and our workers compensation lawyers advise you regarding any potential construction related accident that you may have received. Contact us
What steps can you take if you were involved in a construction accident?
Unfortunately, working in the construction industry comes with its share of risks. Even if you are extremely careful, it is likely that you will experience an accident at one time or another. Being prepared and knowing what to do after an accident can help keep you, your co-workers, and any other people in the area as safe as possible.
Five steps to take after a construction accident:
Immediately following a construction accident, the scene can be extremely chaotic. In order to stay calm, it is best to follow these steps, which will help you protect the project and make it easier for an investigation to take place.
Call for emergency medical attention immediately. Those who are injured should avoid moving unless they are in a dangerous location. Bystanders should be moved to a safe location away from the accident.
FILE A REPORT
Report the accident to the proper organizations. For example, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will need to be notified that an accident has occurred. Insurance companies will also need to be informed of the accident. There may also be additional entities that require notification, like manufacturers or suppliers.
IDENTIFY THE EMPLOYEES
Interview the employees who were present during the accident. There is a possibility that these employees will become a part of the claim process even if they were not injured. Looking at the possible claims that may be filed or that your employees may defend is an important step.
Preserve evidence as quickly as possible, which will help to ensure that the investigation runs smoothly and that no questions come up later in regard to this evidence. Some of the items that you may need to gather are emails, security videos, witness lists, and photographs.
DEVELOP A CHAIN OF COMMAND
Determine who will be the spokesperson for the investigation. This person will be the one who will deal directly with the investigators, lawyers, and insurance companies. Laying this chain of command out can help avoid confusion later down the road.
CONTACT AN ATTORNEY
If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of a construction accident, contact our workers compensation and personal injury attorneys today at 216-358-6446. Our lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us
What are birth injuries?
Birth injuries refer to the health complications that children are born with, and which the liable parties could have prevented had they not been negligent. Some of these injuries can affect the victim for a short period, while others affect them for the rest of their lives. Below are some birth injuries:
– Erb’s palsy – This is one of the temporary injuries correctable by surgery or physical therapy. It is an injury that affects the nerves. When a child suffers from Erb’s palsy, they lose motion in their arms.
– Cerebral palsy – This is associated with infections, oxygen deprivation, and infant stroke. It can cause several cognitive issues.
– Caput succedaneum – This is when an infant’s scalp swells due to pressure exerted on the head during delivery.
– Brachial plexus injury – This injury affects a child’s upper arm. A child suffering from this injury is unable to use some arm muscles.
What qualifies as a medical malpractice in a birth injury case?
Some of the actions that cause birth injuries and which are associated with negligence include failure to;
– adequately shield a child and their mother from harm
– maintain accurate records
– follow doctors’ orders (in the case of a nurse)
– use the correct medical procedure during labor and delivery stage
– conduct much-needed clinical tests
Depending on different situations, medical malpractice in birth injury could involve other actions apart from the ones stated above. Therefore, you should speak to a qualified attorney here at Karp Steiger so that we can inform you of the different actions that fall under malpractice in case what caused your child’s injury is not listed here. Birth Injury contact us
What part does social media play in my case?
Social media is a wonderful tool, a fun gift that was given to us to enjoy over and over again, whether alone or with some friends and family. Unfortunately, while social media can help us, it can hurt us if used in the wrong way.
By posting things about your case on social media it could adversely affect the outcome of a settlement that you rightly deserve. How so?
By posting on social media about your case, you should presume that every online communication will be entered into evidence – this includes emails and text messages. You do not want to send text messages, Facebook status updates, or e-mail in a moment of anger.
Make your friends aware. Remember it doesn’t have to be you posting – Being tagged or included in photographs can be enough to get you in trouble.
Posts you consider harmless could be interpreted by the opposing counsel to mean something you never intended. This is why we often advise clients to take a break from social media entirely during their legal battle.
Do not accept any new friend or follow requests unless you know the person well.
Sit down with your attorney to learn about the laws in your state and how your use of social media can adversely affect you.
Remember, once something is shared online, it can be hard to make it go away forever even if you delete it. Screenshots are forever and experts can be hired to track down old posts.
At Karp Steiger, we appreciate how important social media is to our clients, but it’s also our job to protect our clients. If you have a legal problem and would like to discuss a potential case with an experienced legal expert, please book your free consultation with our attorneys here at Karp Steiger today.
What is a Settlement Loan?
Personal injury cases are known to take a long time to resolve. Even the simplest case can sometimes drag on for months and even years. If you are injured and its hard to work and receive compensation, you may struggle to pay bills and cover living expenses. The lawsuit settlement may be something you desperately need. Often, our attorneys here at Karp Steiger often get asked if pre-settlement loans, settlement loans or lawsuit loans are a viable option. We always caution our clients that these loans are unattractive due to high interest rates, but sadly, some have no choice.
What is pre-settlement funding?
This is a loan that acts as an advance on a potential settlement for a Plaintiff in certain types of cases. 1) Personal injury; 2) Medical malpractice; 3)Wrongful death; 4) Motor vehicle accidents; 5) Product liability; 6) Premises liability.
To know whether a settlement loan can be issued your case will need to be evaluated by the lender to determine the merits of your case and the potential amount of the settlement award. Once this all reviewed, the lender will determine by their own calculations what settlement advance you will be offered.
OF NOTE: these loans must be paid back out of any settlement along with your attorneys fees and expenses. The rest would be paid to the Plaintiff.
What are the Pros and Cons?
Pros: 1) you do not need to have good credit; 2) often within just a few days you could receive a loan; and 3) as the loan recipient you are allowed to decide how to use your loan that is best for you.
Cons: 1) High interest rates which can range anywhere between 20% – 60%, which can seriously impact how much you will receive from your lawsuit; 2) there are sometimes hidden fees which some companies have hidden in small print which can cause much confusion; 3) as the case progresses, the longer the higher the interest rates become; and 4) a settlement loan can create a great pressure to settle your case sooner than later. Attorneys agree, to reach the highest value settlement takes a lot of patience and strategy. Often a case has a higher value as the case progresses and the loans can cause great stress and pressure for the client as well as the attorneys.
While settlement loans can cause immediate relief, between the high interest rates and hidden fees, it may be a better financial option to seek loans through the means of another financial institution. Please note that if you do choose to take out a pre-settlement loan for your lawsuit, always discuss with your attorney first. Your attorney can always review the paperwork for you to help you understand what you will be signing.
Here at Karp Steiger our attorneys can advise you as to how your loan could affect your case. Contact our attorneys today at Karp Steiger to help you with your potential case.