The animals you visit at horse farms and petting zoos are not legally considered to be wild or vicious animals. Donkeys, horses, goats, and mules are generally considered to be gentle enough for interaction with supervised children.
However, animals bite. And when provoked, any of these gentle animals could easily draw blood or remove a child’s finger. Luckily, these kinds of incidents are rare and most petting zoos carry sufficient insurance to cover any kind of unfortunate incident between your child and an animal.
If your child was injured at a horse farm or petting zoo, contact a lawyer to get help navigating the complexity of filing an insurance claim. Don’t let the insurance company talk you out of using a lawyer.
You can expect that your lawyer will get sufficient money to cover any medical expenses — including trauma treatment for your child. Because petting zoo animals are not considered to be dangerous or wild, it is unlikely that the animal will be destroyed. However, the animal is likely to be removed from the general population to deter further incidents.Read More
One simple email from a daycare provider can turn a parent’s household upside down. “A child that attends class with your son or daughter has been found to carry _____________.” That blank can be filled in with something as common as lice or as rare as pinworms. Regardless, that email fills a parent with dread, and indicates hours of household cleaning with bleach and multiple trips to the doctor.
Daycare centers walk a fine line when it comes to sharing medical information with parents. While they are legally required to inform parents of potential infections and diseases, daycare centers have to follow medical privacy laws.
If your child becomes sick or infected with a parasite from a daycare center, you might have a case of negligence. However, simple sickness does not mean you have a case. The daycare center must be neglectful in its cleanliness, maintenance, and responsiveness to problems. No daycare center is going to be perfectly clean. And if you want your children to run around in the sunshine, they can be exposed to dirt and standing water.
While you may not be an expert in daycare operations, as a parent you can request to spend a day at the daycare center observing the staff’s attentiveness, cleaning procedures, and hygiene practices. Discretely take notes. (Send text messages to yourself noting anything that needs improvement.) In addition, you can request a meeting with the center’s director and ask to see the operations handbook. Ask for more details about the infectious disease and ask what steps the daycare center took to avoid further exposure.
Once you have collected some information, consult a personal injury attorney. Present your findings to the lawyer. If the lawyer thinks you have a case of neglect, you might be able to collect damages for medical costs, lost wages for you, and pain and suffering for your child.
No daycare center is going to be perfect. However, spending some time observing the day-to-day activities will help you and your attorney decide if legal action is necessary.Read More
If you’ve been injured in a car accident or through a slip-and-fall, it’s critical that you start a detailed diary about your injury. Personal injury claims can take years to work through the legal system. By the time your lawyer is in final negotiations, you won’t be able to remember how much pain you were in at various points after the accident.
Start with a log of your physical pain. Rate your pain on a scale of one to ten. Write down the time and date you experienced physical pain. This will help your lawyer prove the extent of your on-going pain and suffering. These numbers will be translated into dollars for the court case or settlement.
Write down your lost wages. You will need to establish a base period of pay to show the lost wages. First, put a copy of your most recent tax records in a folder. Then, add as many current-year pay stubs (prior to the accident) as you can. Lawyers and judges want to see hard evidence.
Keep track of any out-of-pocket expenses. Medical co-pays, over-the-counter medications, and miles you drive for medical appointments should all be paid back to you as part of your case. The more details you can provide, the more money your lawyer can fight to get on your behalf. If the amounts seem small now, keep in mind your lawyer will fight for a settlement that includes current and future costs. If you multiply your out-of-pocket expenses by ten years, you will see a large amount of money due to you.
Find one spot where you can keep these records — and nothing else. An empty drawer or unused backpack is a good choice for storing papers. If you are like most people in pain, you won’t have the energy to organize these documents in a perfect way every day. Keep the receipts and the log books in one spot and organize everything when you have the energy.
You and your lawyer will appreciate it when you deposit the settlement check.Read More
Perhaps you are in-between jobs and you want to travel Europe by train for ten weeks. Maybe you’ve retired and you are going on an extended world cruise. Or you have fallen in love with someone from Brazil and you are going to spend three months in Rio.
Before you go, ask your lawyer to create a non-durable power of attorney. Even simple matters, like getting a replacement credit card, can be made easier when you have a power of attorney. More complicated issues, like long stay visa applications, are significantly easier when you have someone in the states able to act on your behalf.
Banks, credit card companies, and insurance companies will often only speak directly to you and only use the address on file for claims unless you have a power of attorney.
You may also want to include some contingency variations in case you get sick or become incapacitated while you are traveling. A car accident in Athens could wreak havoc on your personal finances if you are laid up in a Greek hospital for a month. Your power of attorney could step in and protect your credit and your assets until you are able to act on your own again.Read More
Pain and suffering can be part of the financial settlements for personal injury claims. There are a few different categories of “pain and suffering.” If you are experiencing any kind of physical or mental pain after an accident, you should immediately speak to a lawyer who will help you define the problem to make the right kind of claim.
“Pain and suffering” typically means the physical pain caused by the accident and the subsequent healing process. If you fall and break your leg, there is an assumed level of pain for a defined period of time. For that limited period of time, you might be eligible for financial compensation.
“Emotional distress” usually means an on-going problem like anxiety, fear, and loss of sleep. This can be included in the pain and suffering claim, or it can be determined to be an additional problem. For example, there is more emotional distress when you are the victim of a hold up compared to being the victim of a fall.
“Loss of enjoyment” is the term to describe the impact of the incident on your day-to-day life. If you broke your leg and it healed well, you don’t have any additional loss of enjoyment beyond the initial pain and suffering. If the break was severe and you can’t run as a hobby anymore, you may be eligible for a loss of enjoyment claim.
“Loss of consortium” is generally a euphemism for “can’t have sex.” However, some states include general family time. This is a claim that will sometimes pay you, the victim, or may pay your spouse or partner.
Each state has specific laws that define each category. If you are suffering, you don’t have to suffer alone. Call an attorney to help you find how the law can ease some of that pain.Read More
Claims adjusters are busy people, just like you. They have pressure from their bosses, just like you. Your car accident is just another file on their desk, and so, unlike you, they don’t have a personal stake in the outcome of their investigation.
Make no mistake, the claims adjuster is looking to minimize the cost of your accident for the insurance company. Every conversation is recorded. Every minute of the time you are on hold is not only recorded, but listened to, in order to get all information about the accident.
Whether the accident was your fault or not, if you sustained serious damage to your car or any physical injuries, you should hire a lawyer and let the lawyer speak to the claims adjuster.
If there is a lot of money at stake, your words will be picked apart and analyzed to find ways to spread around the financial costs. For example, if you were not at fault, but you have higher insurance levels, it behooves the other driver’s insurance adjuster to find a way to put more blame on you.
Look at these two similar sentences:
“I saw the crash and hit my brakes.”
“I hit my brakes and saw the crash.”
In a car accident with three or four drivers, these two sentences have different meanings for blame and responsibility. Your lawyer will help you work out the best words to describe what happened during the accident. A good claims adjuster knows the difference. You should too.Read More