Over 43,000 lawsuits have been filed throughout the United States against Round Up manufacturer, Bayer AG (Bayer). The cases allege that Monsanto, which was purchased by Bayer AG in 2018, knew, or should have known,…
Over 43,000 lawsuits have been filed throughout the United States against Round Up manufacturer, Bayer AG (Bayer). The cases allege that Monsanto, which was purchased by Bayer AG in 2018, knew, or should have known, that the product, which has been in widespread use since the 1970’s, was defective and dangerous and that it has engaged in deceptive marketing practices to build and maintain sales of the multi-billion dollar product. The cases allege that Round Up with its active ingredient Glyphosate causes a form of cancer called Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL).
Trial results to date
Three jury trials have taken place so far in both state and federal courts and have found in favor of the plaintiffs and awarded huge punitive damage awards. The first trial concluded in in August 2018 found in favor of the plaintiffs and awarded $289 million. This verdict was later reduced to $78 million. The second trial concluded in March 2019 with the jury awarding $80 million to the plaintiff. This verdict was reduced by the judge to $28 million. The third trial took place in May 2019, with the jury awarding an astounding $2 billion in punitive damages to the plaintiff. The trial judge reduced this damage award to $78 million. In all three cases, Bayer has appealed the verdicts and is asking that the awards be overturned. The appeals are in process at this time and have been decided.
Worldwide concern about Round Up
In addition to lawsuits in the U.S., cities, counties, and countries around the world are taking action to either severely curtail or outright ban used of the product within their borders. The Netherlands, France and Germany have announced bans of glyphosate products to take effect by 2023. Other European countries including Austria are moving to ban use of the product. Thailand and Sri Lanka have both banned the product within those countries.
On the American continent, Mexico has blocked shipments and use of glyphosate within its borders. The city of Montreal has announced a ban on use of glyphosate products anywhere within the city.
Ongoing Legal Action in the U.S.
Cases against Monsanto/Bayer continue in the U.S. in both the federal and state court systems. At the federal level, over 2,500 cases have been consolidated into a Multi-District Litigation (MDL). One case has already settled at the federal level with several more bellwether cases scheduled to take place within the coming year. The next federal level lawsuit is scheduled begin in February 2020.
The federal judge overseeing the MDL, Hon. Vincent Chhabria, has ordered parties into mediation, which has been moving “slowly but steadily” according the federal mediator, Ken Feinberg. If it appears that mediation may produce a settlement, the federal cases may be settled through that process, however, cases in state courts will continue to trial. At the state level, where the bulk of the cases have been filed, cases are moving towards trial and it is expected that waves of cases will begin in January, and many will be decided during the remainder of the year.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) a division of the United Nations’ World Health Organization (WHO) declared glyphosate to be a “probable human carcinogen” in 2015. This is their second highest classification with “Known Carcinogen” being the highest. The IARC’s finding in 2015 led to much of the regulatory actions being taken around the world.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not changed their finding from the 1970’s that glyphosate is safe to use. Monsanto/Bayer continues to maintain that the product is safe and poses no threat to the environment.
The Richard Harris Law Firm represents those injured by use of Round Up
2020 may be a watershed year for Round Up litigation. To date, juries have found for the injured parties, and have supported the claims of the lawsuits that NHL was indeed caused by Round Up use, and has awarded huge sums to the aggrieved parties. If you have used Round Up or any other Glyphosate product in either an agricultural or personal environment and have later been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, you may be entitled to both compensatory and punitive damages for your claim. Call the Richard Harris Law Firm today to discuss your potential case at (702) 444-4444.
In the last couple of entries in this series we have covered some basics of the litigation process, and information regarding Alternate Resolutions Methods which may be employed in an effort to come to a…
In the last couple of entries in this series we have covered some basics of the litigation process, and information regarding Alternate Resolutions Methods which may be employed in an effort to come to a settlement. Assuming all those efforts have failed, your last arena in the resolution of your car accident dispute is civil court action.
Preparation for trial is an intense and tedious process, requiring many man-hours. where all records of your case and contacts with the defendant are copied indexed and bound in order to be retrieved quickly in court as needed. Exhibits will be prepared to show at your trial, such as the accident scene, your vehicle damage, your injuries, costs of treatment, and anything else which supports your case.
Your attorney will be discussing your case with other attorneys at our firm in order to develop a winning strategy for your case. Your attorney may even hold moot courts with other firm attorneys and practice runs of various presentations he will make in court to be prepared for any eventual question and outcome which may present itself in trial. It all comes down to this venue, and this court to decide the outcome of your claim with the insurance company.
You will need to appear each day your trial continues. As plaintiff, you will sit next to your attorney at the attorney table and should look the part. Dress well, as court is one of the few remaining formal activities in modern times, where everything including appearance count.
As opposed to Mediation and Arbitration where you are involved in the entire process, in court your attorney will take the lead, and you will only be required to speak at designated times as directed by your lawyer. Court is an adversarial atmosphere, where both sides put their all into the process to win for their particular side. The referee is the judge, making sure all participants conduct themselves with proper decorum and with respect to Rules of Civil Procedure.
The jury is who needs to be convinced. The jury has been selected with input from your attorney and the opposing attorney. They are the most important people in the room right now, and your lawyer’s opening statements will set the tone for your case, and hopefully win the jury over. The jury represents the “voice of the people” and their vote is what will grant your award or not.
Several things need to be established in court. First, the facts of the case will be presented. Second, liability of the parties will be determined. Lastly, the amount of damages will be decided.
It is possible to lose in court. If the jury is not convinced by your lawyer’s arguments, they can determine to pay little or nothing. On the other hand, they may decide to pay more than you’re asking in court if they so sympathized with your plight. The jury is your final and most important audience to your claims.
You may be called on to testify in court. As with all witnesses who testify, you will also be cross examined by the opposing lawyer. Your lawyer will work with you to prepare for potential questions which may be presented during your testimony. You will testify under oath, which means that your testimony will be subject to perjury if you don’t tell the truth.
At this conclusion of the trial, both lawyers will present their closing statements and the court will dismiss the jury to deliberate on the matter. The jury will return after they have considered the evidence and issue their ruling in the matter.
The court is the one body, who will not only come to a final decision on your case but has the legal authority to compel compliance with its decisions. The stakes are high in court, but with the guidance of a skilled attorney, you can prevail.
The Richard Harris Law Firm will take your case to trial
All of the litigation lawyers at the Richard Harris Law Firm are experienced in Personal Injury Law but are also court proficient. They’ve been through jury trials before and know how what to expect and how to argue their case in that venue. All of our litigation lawyers have won in that arena and have no hesitation in bringing their cases to court for resolution. If you’ve been injured in a Car Accident, and need legal help, call our office today at (702) 444-4444.
Your lawyer will let you know if they feel that use of Arbitration and Mediation may assist in bringing your dispute over a fair settlement to a conclusion in your favor. These two methods have been gaining greater traction over the last several years, and in some cases, they are required by the courts during the pre-trial phase. Since these methods are gaining in popularity, an understanding of why and under what circumstances they may be used to resolve disputes is probably in order.
Your dispute is, that you’ve been injured in an auto accident, you’ve completed your treatments, and been released from medical care, your lawyer has submitted a Demand to the Insurance Company which, for any number of reasons, has not resulted in a settlement. After negotiating with the insurance company, your lawyer has chosen to sue in order to obtain a fair settlement for you. In our last post, we discussed some of the preliminary activities included in the term litigation. Mediation and Arbitration are two of the alternate dispute resolution methods that we will look at next, so you can have some expectation of what these processes can accomplish and under what circumstances they are used.
Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR)
Mediation and Arbitration are very similar since they are alternatives to a court trial and can avoid trial completely if a resolution is reached. In both methods, a neutral third party is selected to oversee the proceedings. This person should be familiar with this and similar types of disputes and acts informally as the judge in the proceeding.
The advantages of settling a dispute by an alternate method include confidentiality. If the negotiations fail, the discussions of the mediation or arbitration will not be used in an eventual lawsuit as opposed to testimony in a court which is considered public record.
These methods are less expensive than going to court and resolve faster. The parties to the dispute determine the resolution, not the judge or jury, by directly communicating face to face, rather than through a lawyer in a courtroom.
Mediation v Arbitration: What’s the difference?
Both mediation and arbitration employ a third party to oversee the proceedings, and either method can be either binding or non-binding.
Mediation – is the less formal of the two methods. Usually a single mediator is employed who will attempt to help the two parties find common ground to settle the dispute. Under Mediation the mediator will not have the same powers as a court judge has but will facilitate discussion and attempt to help both parties settle. Typically, for our use, this less formal and non-binding form of dispute resolution is called Mediation.
Arbitration – may employ multiple Arbitrators, one of which is selected by each side, and the third selected by the existing Arbitrators. For our purposes, the term Arbitration will describe the more formal and more binding form of negotiation. In an arbitration, the findings of the arbitrator or panel of arbitrators, may be binding on both parties.
In both forms of conflict resolution, the facilitator(s) is chosen by the participants, while in a trial, you can neither choose the judge or the jury.
What to expect in a Mediation meeting?
A mediation meeting will probably take place in a conference room as determined by both side’s attorneys. A typical mediation session may be scheduled for either half a day or a full day. Mediation sessions provide confidentiality and discussions will not be used in a trial if negotiations fail. They cost less than a trial, resolution and settlement are faster,
The selected Mediator will take charge of the meeting and will explain rules and processes of the mediation. Both sides will be given an opportunity to make their statements and lay out facts which support that side’s position. You may be asked to speak at the session, at which time you should feel free to express yourself and the emotions you have dealt with due to the accident and the resultant dispute regarding settlement.
Once each side has made their initial statements, the mediator may ask questions of the two parties in order to gain greater insight into the details of the dispute. As the process unfolds, the Mediator may ask to have private meetings with the participants and will work to establish negotiations between the disputing parties.
If the mediation is successful, a written document may be drawn up for both parties to sign, which can be upheld in a court. The resolution, however, is accomplished by the disputing parties, not imposed by a judge or jury. It may take several mediation sessions to arrive at a full agreement between parties. If it becomes apparent that a resolution will not result from the sessions, both parties may agree to a binding arbitration, or court.
Arbitration Sessions are similar…
with the exception that the Arbitrator(s) have been given more power over the proceedings by the agreement to arbitrate, which will have been signed by both parties before the meeting begins. Binding arbitration means that the decisions of the arbitrator(s) are binding on both parties.
While this form of conflict resolution is more formal, it shares the advantage of having both parties to the dispute hammer out the resolution and settlement. It is less expensive than a trial and if successful will settle quicker. Depending on the complexity of the negotiations, it may take several sessions to arrive at a final agreement.
At the conclusion of the Arbitration Meeting(s) an Agreement will be drawn up to settle the case. You and the other party to the dispute will be required to accept the findings of the arbitrator(s) and settle on terms determined in the Arbitration.
The Richard Harris Law Firm employs Mediation and Arbitration to settle your case
Your lawyer will know when or whether alternate methods of resolution should or need to be employed to settle your case. These methods may or may not result in a settlement with which both parties feel comfortable. If these methods do not result in a settlement, the last resort is a civil trial before a judge and jury. We will cover that in our next installment. If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, through no fault of your own, call our firm to discuss your potential case at (702) 444-4444.
After an injury accident, and prior to hiring an attorney, the insurance company may make an offer of settlement. If you haven’t hired an attorney yet, and you were injured in the accident it is best not to accept such an offer. A quick offer of settlement after an injury accident is a leading indication that you have a significant chance of a larger settlement and the insurance company wants to take you off the street. Accepting a settlement comes with a release of all future claims, meaning that once you accept, that is the final and last action that can be taken in that case. If additional injuries manifest after such a quick settlement, the insurance company will not be obligated to cover the treatments.
Once you have hired an attorney and have substantially completed your medical treatments, your attorney will file a Demand with the insurance company. The insurance company will usually counter the Demand with a lowball offer to settle. As ethics rules dictate that lawyers communicate all offers to their clients, your attorney will inform you of the offer and if it doesn’t meet the value the attorney has placed on the claim, he will advise you not to take the offer.
After rejecting the offer, you lawyer will continue to negotiate, and the insurance company may make additional offers to settle the case. Your lawyer will advise you each time this occurs. Once your lawyer advises that you to accept you should do so. Your lawyer has considered all the factors of additional expense, costs, potential time to settlement and risks associated with litigating your case to make the decision to recommend accepting the settlement offer. While your lawyer can give you his best legal advice regarding an offer, only you can ultimately decide whether or not to do so. Your lawyer can advise you what the potential advantages and risks are associated with your decision.
How is my settlement distributed?
Once a settlement offer is accepted, either by direct negotiations in pre-trial, or after a successful litigation, the distribution is roughly the same.
First, all medical provider balances for treatment associated with the case will be paid.
Second, any liens against the case will be paid. Some medical services may have been provided via a lien, meaning that your medical provider agreed to treat on the promise of payment once the case settles. Other lien holders, if any, are also paid.
Third, costs which were advanced by the firm are paid. Costs are different than legal fees. Costs are hard expenses which the law firm paid on your behalf during the case. For example, a medical provider may charge a fee for copies of medical bills to be provided to the firm. Or court filing fees were paid by the firm. The firm advanced those fees and is now recovering the hard costs. In pre-litigation, costs are usually small, but can increase dramatically in litigation with payments to expert witnesses, court reporters, and other costs necessary to litigate your claim.
Fourth, legal fees are paid. Your attorney receives his fee based on the retainer agreement.
Your compensation is paid to you after all medical, legal costs and services, and all other claimants against your settlement are paid. Your pain and suffering, lost income, and other non-economic forms of compensation will be represented in your proceeds.
Finally, you will receive a full and transparent accounting of the distribution at the successful conclusion of your case.
The Richard Harris Law Firm will assist you to obtain the highest Settlement
Our lawyers have to experience and legal knowledge to pursue your case in order to obtain the highest settlement. Our firm has been helping our clients obtain fair settlements since 1982. Rely on our experience to help you with your injury claim. If you’ve been injured due to the negligence of others, call our firm today at (702) 444-4444.
Filed under: Auto Accident, Legal Information, Uncategorized
Your recovery from your accident will be under the direction of medical providers, and specialists, who will provide treatment and pos sibly prescribe medications to manage pain. As your accident claim progresses, your doctor may…
Your recovery from your accident will be under the direction of medical providers, and specialists, who will provide treatment and pos
sibly prescribe medications to manage pain. As your accident claim progresses, your doctor may disable you for a time. You may be referred to chiropractors and/or physical therapists to assist in the healing process for soft tissue injuries. You should follow their directions to the letter. Once your doctor finds that your recovery is essentially complete or at least has stabilized, he will notify you and your attorney.
At the appropriate point in the process of your claim, your lawyer will notify the at-fault party’s insurance company of their total liability for all items which require compensation, and also how the accident has affected your life in general to establish a value for pain and suffering. Your lawyer and case manager will gather all documentary evidence of your claim, including the police reports, witness statements, medical bills, ambulance bills (if any), time off from work and associated lost income with supporting statements from your employer, statements from other involved parties who were affected by the accident, and any other information that supports your claim. For significant injuries which may require long term care, your doctor may be requested to provide an estimate of future treatment.
Evaluation and Demand for Settlement Once documentary evidence is gathered, your lawyer will then evaluate your claim to set a value range for all claimed losses. The evaluation is a range from low to high of what we are willing to accept to settle the case. Since your attorney handles car accident claims on a daily basis, he or she has experience with similar claims and is equipped to assess what is a fair and equitable settlement for your claim.
Your attorney will prepare a Demand Letter to be forwarded to the liable parties to demand payment for all you have suffered as a result of the accident. A strong Demand is the basis of your claim and will set a starting point in the negotiation process with the adverse parties. The demand letter will contain a description of what happened, including dates times and locations of the accident, why the other driver was at fault, what injuries you suffered, and what compensation you and your lawyer believe is fair settlement of the claim. Attached to the demand letter will be documentary evidence of the claim.
Writing a strong demand which will survive the attempts by the insurance company to minimize their liability is perhaps one of the best reasons to hire an attorney to assist with a car accident claim. The demand will detail all suffered losses and will include language to minimize potential claims of comparative negligence by the insurance company, which may attempt to split responsibility for the accident between you and the responsible party and reduce your settlement.
Most accident victims do not know how to avoid the legal pitfalls which can limit their rights when dealing with adverse legal entity such as an insurance company, and will unwittingly add extraneous information which can damage their claim, or neglect to include important language which will protect their rights in this type of dispute. Furthermore, most people are unable to be completely objective when writing about themselves. The objective evaluation and support of a third party, especially someone who knows the law and how juries respond in such cases, is essential to obtaining the highest settlement for your claims. Correct medical descriptions of injuries and treatments are also critical to this process.
The Richard Harris Law Firm will Demand a Fair Settlement for your claims
Our lawyers handle auto accident claims on a regular basis. They know how to structure a demand which will establish the highest value for your claims and will protect your rights under the law. Once a Demand is filed with the insurance company, negotiations begin, and our next installment in this series will discuss the negotiation process of a car accident claim. If you’ve been in a car accident that was caused by a negligent driver, call our office today to discuss your case at (702) 444-4444.
Privacy is a word that gets thrown around a lot today. What can others find out about us in the internet age, that used to be considered private? The answer is a lot. Before the advent of the internet, about as much as anyone could find out about you, without hours of investigation, is your phone number and address in the phone book. Further information could be gathered, but from specialized sources which were either expensive to access, or difficult to find.
Today a determined individual can obtain comprehensive information about almost anyone by spending a few hours in front of a computer screen and searching publicly available internet sources. This ability to unveil people’s lives in shockingly extensive detail has been enhanced by the advent of social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, among others, where people share details of their lives with loved ones, and perhaps unintentionally, with others who they may not even know.
Credibility is the key to your claim
Part 6 of this series discussed the legal process of an accident claim. One of the first steps in a lawsuit is called Discovery, where both sides are free to develop evidence which will support their side or may impeach the other side. This information is shared before trial with both party’s lawyers.
It’s not uncommon for social media posts to inform others of a vacation just taken, or any other activity in which the poster has participated, with pictures and commentary. While these types of posts may seem innocuous to the poster, to a lawyer who is an adversary in a court proceeding, these posts can be gold, and can have a huge influence on the credibility of claims made by you, which can affect and sometimes negate your potential settlement.
Accident claim settlements usually consist of compensatory damages, or payments for actual expenses, such as medical bills, prescriptions, lost salary at works, travel expenses to the doctor, and other easily documented evidence; and punitive damages, which include pain and suffering and may not be so easily supported by documentary evidence. Settlements made in lawsuits regarding pain and suffering are usually determined by a jury who may be swayed if evidence presented by the opposing attorney can cause them to question your credibility. Seemingly Innocuous posts on social media may be construed by the adverse counsel to tell a story that you didn’t intend.
It is critical to your case that any information shared with others and especially posted on social media platforms present only items supporting your claim. For example, if during your recovery from your accident, you post pictures of having a nice day with kids or grandkids, which show or even suggest an activity which your claim suggests you should not have been able to do during that stage of recovery, can be construed in such a way by the opposing side to cause the jury to question that part of your claim, and your credibility in general.
Be careful using Social Media during your Accident Claim
During any lawsuit, but particularly during an accident claim, you should keep personal information, especially concerning activities in which you engage, closely held. Our website contains more information and an infographic which itemizes some do’s and don’ts with regard to social media. The steps cover privacy settings, considerations for posting photos, which friend requests to accept, which discussion groups you should avoid, among many other considerations during the period of your accident claim.
However, realize that even if you’ve done all the right steps and you believe your privacy settings will protect you, that during the discovery process, the defendant’s or their insurance company’s attorney can access your social media posts and profile via a subpoena. Its best during the period of your claim to minimize use of social media entirely. Follow your lawyer’s instructions during this time to minimize your exposure.
The Richard Harris Law Firm is committed to getting you the highest settlement for your claim
Using an attorney to represent you during an accident claim will allow you to receive the highest settlement for your injuries. The lawyers of the Richard Harris Law Firm have the experience and know the law and will give you the advice you need to maximize your settlement. If you’ve been injured in an Auto Accident, call our office today at (702) 444-4444.
Once you’ve retained an attorney for your Auto Accident Case, continue seeing your doctor and follow their instructions regarding treatments, taking your medications, visiting with specialists if needed, obtaining needed physical therapy, and concentrate on…
Once you’ve retained an attorney for your Auto Accident Case, continue seeing your doctor and follow their instructions regarding treatments, taking your medications, visiting with specialists if needed, obtaining needed physical therapy, and concentrate on the processes which will allow your body to heal. It’s important to your case, that all instructions from your doctor be followed to the letter.
Once you’ve retained our firm, your case will be entering the first phase of the legal process, with an Investigation of the accident, which may include requesting police reports, taking pictures of the scene, identifying and taking witness statements, verifying insurance coverages from all sources, performing defendant asset searches, and other critical investigative activities. During this process, your case manager or lawyer may need additional information from you and may reach out via phone or email. You may have questions regarding your case status, and you should feel free to reach out to your case manager or lawyer and ask questions as needed.
As your treatment progresses, your lawyer and case manager will be coordinating and obtaining progress reports from your medical provider(s) to begin the process of Documentation of your claim in order to build a presentation to the defendant’s insurance company. Included in this documentation will be medical bills, prescription drug receipts, receipts for travel to and from your medical providers, obtaining statements from employers regarding time off and potential lost wages, statements from other interested parties regarding other losses supporting any claim of pain and suffering, or loss of consortium which may become part of the claim.
Once you have been discharged from medical treatment, all documentation is assembled, and an Evaluation is done by your attorney to ascertain the value of your claim. This value is a range which will be used in the process of negotiating a settlement with the insurance company. Once all documentation is gathered, a Demand against the insurance company is compiled which represents your lawyer’s best judgement of a fair settlement of the accident claim, with all supporting documentation of expenses and losses connected to the accident.
The Demand will be forwarded to the insurance company and Negotiations will begin. Nearly 90% of our cases settle as part of this negotiation with the insurance company. Your lawyer will defend our demand against attempts by the insurance company to negate the claim. If negotiations succeed, there will be a fair Settlement of your claim and proceeds will be distributed between the lawyer, any liens against the case, such as unpaid medical bills, with the remaining proceeds distributed to you.
If on the other hand, your lawyer determines that the best settlement obtainable from the insurance company via out of court negotiations, will not represent a fair settlement, if questions of who is liable for the damages surface from the other party, or if neither side can arrive at an acceptable value for a settlement, then a lawsuit is filed, and litigation begins.
Litigation is a more formal continuation of the negotiations already begun, with increasing stakes for the participants. A settlement can occur anytime during pretrial proceedings and up to and including during trial. Pretrial steps differ from case to case, but the processes follow a pattern. During the Discovery phase of a lawsuit your lawyer and the adverse party’s lawyer will establish a framework for Coordination between both parties. This will involve setting deadlines for Production of case documents, and the obtaining of written answers to questions under oath, called Interrogatories.
Depositions may be required to establish the facts of a case, in which both parties can examine any party relevant to the case, to verbally give sworn testimony and answer questions under oath, with a court reporter recording the proceedings. This may include witnesses to the accident, police officers and other first responders involved, medical providers, who can testify in detail regarding injuries and treatment claims made in the lawsuit, and other involved parties. You will be called upon to testify in a deposition, as to how the accident has affected you in terms of the injuries, pain and suffering, lost earnings and other losses.
Parties to the case may ask for an Examination by neutral medical providers of their choice, in an attempt to establish the facts of injuries and treatments to date.
Arbitration Proceedings may take place during the Pretrial phase where both parties meet in an attempt to settle the case before appearing before a judge and jury. Mediation Proceedings may take place, in which both parties meet with a neutral Mediator who will assist in attempting to arrive at a fair settlement before trial. If all attempts fail to resolve the dispute, then Preparations for the jury trial will begin, and ultimately the trial itself.
Adjudication of the case by a jury trial will involve presenting the case before judge and jury by lawyers representing both parties in an adversarial format. Both parties will call witnesses to testify before judge and jury by questioning and cross-examining relevant witnesses and involved parties. Once both sides have called and questioned their witnesses, the jury will deliberate and attempt to assess liability and arrive at a fair settlement based on their understandings of the evidence obtained. The court will be the final forum to determine fair settlement of claims and has the legal authority to enforce its decisions upon the disputing parties to obtain a fair settlement for you, the client.
The Lawyers of the Richard Harris Law Firm will take your case to trial
If all attempts at resolution of your claim fail, our lawyers have no hesitation to prepare your case and present it before a judge and jury to obtain a fair settlement. Our lawyers have the knowledge and experience and trial results to pursue a just and fair settlement through all phases of the legal process. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, call us today at (702) 444-4444.
Nowadays, everyone is using social media. It’s great for updating your own information and checking out someone else… just about anyone you want to find information about. It’s also true anyone can search for information…
Nowadays, everyone is using social media. It’s great for updating your own information and checking out someone else… just about anyone you want to find information about. It’s also true anyone can search for information about YOU. And that’s just why it’s so important to protect yourself – especially if you have a personal injury case.
Don’t you think the insurance adjuster is going to Google you, check out your Facebook profile, and follow you on Twitter for anything possible to make you look bad, embarrass you or use against you to diminish the value of your case?
If you’re going to have your deposition taken, don’t you think the insurance defense attorney has checked you out in every possible way on the Internet, maybe through an investigator and even with video surveillance? When insurance attorneys are preparing deposition or trial questions for you, they’re likely to know everything about you posted on the Internet or found in public records.
After an injury, the best advice is Do Not Post on the Internet, especially on social media sites, until your case is concluded. While you probably won’t take down your social media sites altogether, if there’s no new information posted after your injury, there’s less to be used against you.
A personal injury insurance adjuster’s job is to pay as little as possible for your injury claim. If you provide comments or describe activities on your social media profile, inconsistent with the severity of your claimed injuries, it can be used to attack your credibility and devalue your claim.
Even if you have the most stringent privacy settings enabled, the defendant’s attorney and insurance company can access your information though the civil discovery process, or by a subpoena.
Who, Me? Consider These Examples…
If you injured your back in a car accident and are claiming you can’t perform heavy lifting, you’re constantly in pain and can’t engage in normal recreational activities, it wouldn’t be a good idea to post a video of you catching and holding a 100-pound tuna on a fishing trip in Mexico. The insurance adjuster on your personal injury claim will use this information against you to make you look like you’re lying or at least exaggerating your injuries.
Consider, for example, the difference between posting, “Dancing last night was great!” and “I had fun watching you guys dance.” If you went “skiing” with friends, but sat in the lodge and never actually skied, make that clear. If you went bowling, but sat out the last game because your back injury flared up, say so!
If your Facebook page mentions your love for street racing, and you’ve been injured in an auto accident, where you and the other driver blame each other for speeding and running a red light, don’t you think your online information will lessen the value of your claim?
Remember, the insurance adjuster and opposing attorney on your case will be searching for details regarding you and your claimed injuries. Ideally, it would be best to close down your social media sites during your case. This will ensure you and your friends don’t post any damaging information that will be used against you.
If you insist on using social media, here are a few simple rules you should follow.
Check your privacy settings and make your personal information and posts private.
Keep your case private. Don’t post any photos of your accident or give any information regarding recovering from your injuries, or activities which may be construed to be inconsistent with your claimed injuries. Ask your friends not to post about your injuries and activities. If you send a message, know who you’re sending it to.
For Facebook users, you can remove yourself from showing up in Google’s search results, too. Go to your privacy settings page and uncheck the box under Public Search Listing.
This is a must.
When uploading photos, be selective. Ask yourself, “Will this help or hurt my case?” Set up filters allowing only friends to see your photo albums. For Facebook users, select “Only Me” for people who can view your tagged photos.
Only accept friend requests from people you know personally. An insurance adjuster may send you a friend request hoping to gain access to your personal information.
Don’t join groups with names or discussions which could compromise your claim.
If possible, block all but certain people from viewing your profile. In Facebook, you can do this under the Settings. Additionally, you may want to remove yourself from the Facebook search results. You can do this by selecting “Only Friends” under search visibility.
The decision to hire a lawyer should be based on thorough research and a personal connection. Your lawyer should be someone with confidence and experience but also someone you can trust and build a mutually…
The decision to hire a lawyer should be based on thorough research and a personal connection. Your lawyer should be someone with confidence and experience but also someone you can trust and build a mutually respectful relationship with. Click below to read this blog and our suggested checklist of attorney-selection questions.
Also called a Dec Page, this is the disclosure which your insurance company should send you twice a year, when the policy is renewed, which declares what coverages you are carrying and what the limits of liability are for each coverage. The Dec Page is broken down into sections showing:
One of the most important things about your case is knowing whether or not you actually have one. It is particularly important to know this “before you leap.” Our team of legal experts can help you determine the strength of your case and so much more. Your lawyer can:
Sometimes we forget that our insurance companies aren't really OUR insurance companies. They are here to perform a valuable service and, typically, do so very well, however, when it comes to file a claim, we…
Sometimes we forget that our insurance companies aren’t really OUR insurance companies. They are here to perform a valuable service and, typically, do so very well, however, when it comes to file a claim, we often are reminded of the fact that we are not our insurance company’s top priority: they are.
Watch this helpful video from Richard Harris Law Firm to make sure you have everything you need to ensure you are not taken advantage of by your insurance company.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department announced starting Monday, March 3, they will no longer respond to non-injury auto accidents. The announcement created quite a buzz on social media sites and in the news. Many…
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department announced starting Monday, March 3, they will no longer respond to non-injury auto accidents. The announcement created quite a buzz on social media sites and in the news. Many consumers do not look forward to this change, since they will be required to deal with a potential adversary, without law enforcement present. Who decides who is injured – those involved in the accident, or the police? A broken bone, or skin laceration are serious injuries, but some injuries from a car accident are not immediately apparent. Soft-tissue damage to the neck and back muscles, ligaments and discs may not be felt at the accident scene. Symptoms often develop over a few hours as muscle spam and pain sets in. Neck and back injuries often require physical therapy, pain management and sometimes surgery.
"I was in an accident!" Here's what to do next and how Richard Harris Law Firm can help... Video Transcript: You've been in an accident. What happens next? Getting the names, addresses, and numbers of…
Never had to hire an attorney for a personal injury case and not sure how to approach it? Here are some guidelines on what to expect from the type of lawyer who can help make your case successful.
Communicating With Your Lawyer
• First and foremost, your attorney should always keep you informed about the progress of your case.
• Your attorney should discuss typical protocol for the case with you upfront so you know what to, realistically, expect. This includes an estimate of how long he or she expects the case to last and possible outcomes for the case.
"Delay only plays into the hand of the insurance company." If you've been an accident and are wondering how soon you should hire a lawyer, watch this video for advice from attorney, Richard Harris. Video…
No matter what happened, there is always a good procedure for what to do next…
Nerves are on edge, questions are looming, and the details of what is going to happen next are completely up in the air. After a car accident, your whole world can feel like it’s coming to an end. Here’s some advice to help you be prepared in advance and, thus, make handling the situation less stressful if it actually happens.
Three Tips for Supportive Actions You Can Take to Help Improve Your Attorney’s Chances for Success These days there is hardly any predictability in the world. So when it comes to ensuring you have all…
Three Tips for Supportive Actions You Can Take to Help Improve Your Attorney’s Chances for Success
These days there is hardly any predictability in the world. So when it comes to ensuring you have all the tools in place to maximize the work of your attorney in the pursuit of your legal victory, the best way to position yourself for success is to include all the right documentation.
Legal papers, documents supporting your case, witnesses, etc. all have the ability to strengthen your case and support your victory.
Here are some ways you can work with your attorney to provide the best, most effective information possible and, in turn, improve your chances for success:
Let’s face it, Las Vegas is a town made for parties. It’s pretty much the reason this oasis in the middle of the Mojave Desert exists. And we do it well. We have a lot of people who come here to party, in fact in 2012, Las Vegas had nearly 40 million visitors. That amounts to almost 110,000 visitors per day. Movies have been made about it, we’ve had advertising campaigns promoting that what happens here stays here, and regardless of where you live the in U.S., Las Vegas means party time, in pretty much any way that can be defined.