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Injured In A Haunted House Or Other Halloween Attraction? Learn How To Tell If You Might Have A Case

Posted by on 2:36 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Injured In A Haunted House Or Other Halloween Attraction? Learn How To Tell If You Might Have A Case

Halloween is here again, bringing pumpkins, mini-sized candy bars, monster-movie fests, and—naturally—haunted houses. That last ingredient to all the Halloween fun is also the cause of some Halloween lawsuits every year when patrons get something more than they expected. If you’re thinking about suing a haunted house or another haunted exhibit, like a barn, abandoned prison, or hayride, this is what you should know in advance. How much risk of injury did you voluntarily assume? One of the problems with filing a lawsuit against a haunted house or other scary Halloween attraction is that you are essentially alleging that the proprietors did their job exactly like they were supposed to do—you paid them to scare you and they did it. The odds are also very good that any haunted or scary attraction has warning signs all over the place telling people that they intend to scare them. There may even be additional warnings on you ticket stubs. Some horror-themed attractions even offer safe-words that will allow people to cut their experience short if it turns out to be more than they can handle. If the defendant is able to show that you were given adequate warnings and you still voluntarily assumed the risk that you’d end up feeling traumatized, that’s a valid defense to a lawsuit. Since many haunted horrors that pop up for the season actually boast of their traumatic nature, that’s a difficult defense to overcome. Did something happen that took the experience further than the warnings indicated? However, if something happened that goes well beyond what you were led to expect, you may still have a lawsuit despite any warnings or disclaimers. For example, a woman and several minor children were essentially assaulted outside the ticket window of an Illinois haunted house by clowns wielding sex toys, simulating sexual acts, and yelling sexually-based comments at them. They never even made it inside the haunted house. Something like that could result in a viable lawsuit because the employer of those clowns is responsible for the actions they take while supposedly trying to drum up business for the attraction. Did your injury have more to do with a safety issue than a scare? This is often what causes lawsuits against Halloween haunted houses and other attractions to ultimately succeed or fail. The proprietor of a place has a responsibility under premise liability laws to make sure that the establishment is reasonably safe for patrons. For example, a Michigan woman just settled a lawsuit against the Erebus Haunted Attraction for $125,000. She alleged that a moving wall in a poorly lit area knocked her down and she suffered a leg fracture, a back injury, and some additional problems as a result.  If you get injured in a Halloween haunted house or other horror attraction, don’t assume that you don’t have a valid case simply because you were warned that you might be scared. If there were other issues involved, like an employee who crossed the line or a failure to keep the attraction safe for the number of visitors it receives, you may still have a valid case. Talk to an accident attorney in your area for more...

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Need an Estimate from an Attorney for His or Her Services? Cost Can Be Difficult to Determine

Posted by on 11:00 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Need an Estimate from an Attorney for His or Her Services? Cost Can Be Difficult to Determine

Most people know that personal injury attorneys usually work on a contingency fee basis, but what about attorneys who handle other types of cases? Understanding how legal fees work can help you estimate your costs and make sure that you stay within your budget. This is what you should know. 1.) Some cases are easier than others to give an estimate for. If your prospective attorney doesn’t seem like he or she can give you an estimate, it isn’t because he or she is being shifty or trying to cheat you. Some cases are fairly easy to give an estimate on because they’re pretty routine and one case looks a lot like the next.  For example, an attorney who handles mayor’s court where speeding tickets and other traffic violations are heard may be able to offer you a flat fee. An attorney who handles a lot of “drunk and disorderly” charges, particularly in a town known for that sort of activity, like Las Vegas or Fort Lauderdale, can also probably tell you upfront what he or she will charge. However, many cases aren’t so simple, and an attorney doesn’t have any clear way of assessing how long the case is going to take, so he or she may not be able to give you a fee on the spot. 2.) A flat fee may not be to your advantage. Unlike other professions, attorneys can’t always predict how long a case is going to take to settle. A case that looks simple could turn out to be very complex and take up hours and hours of the attorney’s time. On the other hand, what looks complex could turn out to be much easier than anticipated and get resolved at the very first meeting. In that situation, a flat fee is to your disadvantage because the attorney will have charged you based on the time he or she anticipated spending on your case, instead of the time he or she actually spent. For example, your divorce attorney could charge you a flat fee of $10,000 based on what he or she expects to happen. If your spouse turns around and simply signs the paperwork and walks away without a fight, you’ll have spent unnecessary money on the legal fees. 3.) Your location and your attorney’s experience are part of the cost. Location and experience are two “soft” factors that influence how much your attorney is going to charge. An attorney in a big city, for example, is likely to charge more than an attorney in a small town. Smaller law firms generally are less expensive than larger firms because they have less overhead. A lawyer with 10 years worth of experience as a prosecutor who is now working criminal defense is going to cost more per hour than an attorney who barely has his or her foot out of law school.  4.) Attorneys try to make it as fair as possible to everyone. There are several different ways attorneys try to make their fees easier for clients to afford and fairer to everyone involved—including the attorney. Just like you don’t want to pay unnecessary money for services that aren’t ever used, the attorney doesn’t want to spend hours on a case for free. These are some common fee agreements: Billable hours: You...

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5 Signs That Your Loved One In A Nursing Home May Be Being Abused

Posted by on 10:16 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Signs That Your Loved One In A Nursing Home May Be Being Abused

If you have elderly loved ones, you’re undoubtedly doing everything in your power to ensure that they’re as happy, healthy, and safe as possible. You’ve probably heard all kinds of horror stories about senior citizens being abused and taken advantage of by in-home caregivers, but did you know that this sometimes occurs in nursing homes as well? If one of your loved ones is living in a nursing home, you should keep your eyes peeled for telltale signs that they may be a victim of abuse. Following are five signs that your loved one may be experiencing abuse in a nursing home.  Something Isn’t Quite Right Even though many people are reluctant to trust their instincts, you should always listen to them when dealing with people you know and love. If your intuition tells you that something is off, it’s very likely that it is. At the very least, a nagging feeling that something isn’t right in the nursing home environment should warrant some investigation on your part.  Denied or Delayed Visits  Being turned away when going to visit your loved one in a nursing home or being told you’ll have to wait for longer than a minute or two are other possible signs of abuse. This may indicate that something is going on that nursing home employees don’t want you to see.  Hair or Weight Loss Although illness may account for hair or weight loss in the elderly, these conditions can also signal that your loved one is under significant stress. Weight loss may also indicate that the person is not being fed a proper diet or even denied food, which is a form of abuse. Substandard Hygiene  Dirty clothing, uncombed hair, body odor, and dirt and grime on the skin should be taken as warning signs that your loved one is being neglected, if not outright abused. Also, be sure to periodically inspect the sleeping, living, and dining quarters in the nursing home to ensure their cleanliness standards are up to par.  Physical Signs  Bruises and wounds should be taken as serious signs that something is very wrong in the nursing home environment. Keep in mind that your senior loved one may not be forthcoming with information if he or she has experienced abuse in the nursing home — the perpetrator might have threatened them into keeping silent.  For more information on how you can keep your loved one safe from abuse in a nursing home, please feel free to contact a nursing home abuse attorney at your earliest convenience.   ...

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What Parents Should Know About Trampolines And Bounce House Injuries

Posted by on 9:30 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What Parents Should Know About Trampolines And Bounce House Injuries

With trampolines and bounce houses come an increased risk of injury. As a parent, it is important for you to understand how these toys can be dangerous for your children. Most Injured Are Under 15 The emergency rooms around the United States will see around 100,000 patients suffering bounce house and trampoline injuries, and the majority of those are children under 15. They have become so common that many pediatricians recommend not having trampolines anywhere for fun, and only in supervised gyms for training. Between 1995 and 2001 alone, the number of injuries rose by 1,500 percent. Most children are between the ages of six and 12. Breaks, Bumps, and Bruises Some injuries that occur are minor. They will just be bruises as children rough-house with each other. Bumps also occur as children fall off trampolines and bounce houses. Depending on how low down the trampolines are and the force that children hit the ground, many will just get right back up again. Not all injuries are minor. Breaks can happen. A child does not necessarily have to fall off the trampoline or bounce house to get injured. Sometimes material will get bunched up and legs are caught. As the rest of the body goes with the momentum, parts are snapped at wrong angles and break. Parents Leave Children Alone One of the reasons for accidents is due to children being left alone. Parents aren’t there to watch out for signs of an accident and prevent them. In one case, a child was caught under the matting and a father couldn’t even hear his screams. Fortunately, the father was checking on the child regularly. Otherwise, the situation could have been much worse. Children like to try out flips and tricks. They won’t necessarily know the dangers of them going wrong. Even professionals get injured when doing flips and tricks on trampolines. Insurance May Not Cover Accidents Due to the placing of these trampolines and bounce houses, not all insurance companies will cover accidents. It can mean claiming through over people’s coverage, as those organizing an event may be in the wrong. It is important to find out if your insurance company will cover any potential injuries, whether the bounce houses are in your home or at a third-party event. Looking after your children is more than just keeping an eye on them. You need to know the risks of certain toys and what to do if there is a problem. For more information, contact a personal injury...

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Contingencies That Home Buyers Should Include In A Purchase Contract

Posted by on 4:02 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Contingencies That Home Buyers Should Include In A Purchase Contract

According to, in 2015, there were 5,250,000 existing homes sold in the United States. When you are in the midst of the home buying process and you are ready to make an offer on a home that you are interested in, you will need to present a real estate purchase contract to the seller of the home. Part of the purchase contract are contingencies. The contingencies are requirements that need to be met before the sale is finalized. These requirements are intended to protect you – the potential buyer – from getting scammed. The question is: what contingencies should you include in your contract? Financing Contingency A financing contingency allows you a certain amount of time to secure financing in order to purchase the home. As the potential home buyer, you are responsible for setting the amount of time that you deem reasonable. Up until that time, you have the right to terminate the purchase contract if you are not able to secure financing. After that time, you then must waive the financial contingency, and you are then obligated to purchase the home, regardless of whether or not you have secured financing. Inspection Contingency An inspection contingency allows you a certain amount of time to have the home inspected. Home inspections are done by professional home inspectors and consists of tasks such as examining the inside and outside of the home thoroughly. Once the inspection is completed, you are provided a report that details any issues that the home inspector may have discovered during the inspection. You then have the right to accept the findings, negotiate repairs or cancel the contract. Appraisal Contingency An appraisal contingency provides you with protection so that you can be sure that the home you are interested in purchasing is worth the amount of money that the seller of the home is asking. With the appraisal contingency, you have the opportunity to renegotiate the asking price if the home is appraised for a lower amount than the asking price. You also have the opportunity to cancel the contract entirely. Title Contingency A title contingency helps to assure you that the seller of the home has a title to the home that is free and clear of things like disputes and liens. There are times when a seller may not have the legal right to sell the home, such as in the cases of divorce, tax liens or contested wills. A title contingency gives you the option to cancel the purchase contract in the event that there are unresolvable issues. A real estate purchase contract is an agreement that is legally binding. For more information, contact a real estate lawyer in your...

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Common Negligent Medical Mistakes That May Lead to Malpractice Claims

Posted by on 1:10 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Common Negligent Medical Mistakes That May Lead to Malpractice Claims

When people need medical attention, they expect doctors to look after them and act professionally. However, mistakes do occur, as doctors are people too. In some cases the mistakes couldn’t be helped, but in some cases mistakes do lead to malpractice claims. Here are the most common negligent medical mistakes you need to be aware of, some of which have caused harm to 1.5 million people in the United States, according to a study in 2006. Mixing Up the Patients Despite various checks to make sure doctors are treating the right patients, there are times when patients are mixed up despite the use of patient records and wristband systems to prevent mix-ups like this from happening. This is why it is not uncommon for medical staff to ask your name and birthday every time they enter the room. Misdiagnosing Conditions There are times that misdiagnosis is a genuine mistake, but sometimes a misdiagnosis is due to negligence. Doctors may not listen to all the patients’ symptoms or may have a diagnosis in mind and refuse to budge. Getting the wrong diagnoses can lead to unnecessary treatments and to the real condition getting worse. In some cases, the treatments can aggravate the real condition. Injuring Newborns Birth is a wonderful thing, but it also opens the mother and baby up to possible negligence from medical personnel. Women may have unnecessary c-sections or not get c-sections when necessary, and this puts babies and sometimes mothers at risk. Some negligence claims related to labor and delivery involve brain injuries and fractured bones in babies, dangerous bleeds in women, and failure to diagnosis and treat pre-eclampsia quickly enough. Leaving Objects After Surgery There are stories of people walking away with items in their bodies after surgery. In many cases, these items are found because they cause both rejection of the surgical procedure and infection. Statistics show surgeons leave objects inside of patients more than a dozen times a day. Losing Patients This is not about death during surgery or time in a hospital, but physically losing a patient. This is common with people with dementia or young, explorative children. People start to wander without alerting staff to their whereabouts. They can get into trouble, sometimes wandering into places of extreme temperatures or suffering from dehydration because they are not attached to drips. Medical negligence is a serious problem, and there are numerous malpractice claims in the United States every year. The above reasons are just some of the main reasons for malpractice claims from mistakes that you should be aware of.  For more information about filing claims about this type of personal injury, talk to a law firm such as Schlicter & Schonack...

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Suffer A Slip And Fall Accident? 3 Steps You Should Take To Protect Your Rights To Compensation

Posted by on 1:52 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Suffer A Slip And Fall Accident? 3 Steps You Should Take To Protect Your Rights To Compensation

If you suffered a slip and fall accident while shopping, you may be entitled to compensation. To make sure you don’t jeopardize your claim for compensation, you need to avoid making costly mistakes. Before you go any further, here are three things you should do to make sure you receive the benefits and compensation you’re entitled to. Get Proper Medical Attention If you’ve been injured in a place-of-business, it’s important that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. Whether you seek medical care through an emergency room, urgent care facility, or your own primary care physician, you need to have your injuries documented. Those initial medical records will be particularly important if the insurance company decides to fight the claim, or the store refuses to accept responsibility for your injuries. Not only that but a thorough physical following an accident will allow doctors to identify injuries that you might not realize you have. After an accident, your body will be producing an increased about of adrenaline, which can stop you from feeling pain for a while. Seek Legal Representation You might think that dealing with the insurance company on the own will save you money. Unfortunately, that’s not necessarily true. While going it alone will help you avoid paying for attorney’s fees, it may also prevent you from receiving the full compensation you’re entitled to. Before you decide to negotiate with the insurance company on your own, you need to sit down with an injury lawyer. They’ll answer any question you might have regarding your claim and they’ll help you understand the legal process. Document Your Injuries Your recovery might not go as quickly as you’d like it to. In fact, it might be a process of a few steps forward followed by more steps backwards. Keeping a journal will allow you to keep track of your recovery, including those days when you seem to be getting worse instead of better. This information will help during the settlement negotiations, especially if the insurance company tries to downplay how your injuries affected your day-to-day life. Here are a few of the things you should include in your journal. How your injuries interfere with your day-to-day activities Changes you’ve had to make as a result of the injuries How your injuries affect your family life If you’ve suffered injuries as a result of a slip and fall accident in a store, you need to protect your rights as an accident victim. The information provided above will help you get the compensation you’re entitled...

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3 Things You Should Not Do If You Are Going To File For Bankruptcy

Posted by on 12:11 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Things You Should Not Do If You Are Going To File For Bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy is often the last resort for individuals who just can’t handle their debt anymore. If you think you might fit into this category and are thinking about officially filing in bankruptcy court, you’ll want to plan your next moves carefully. Financial decisions you make in the last few months before officially filing could actually have an effect on your bankruptcy case itself. Here are three things you do not want to do if you are certain you are going to file for bankruptcy in the near future. Don’t Give Away Your Assets A common myth surrounding bankruptcy is that if an asset is not in your name, your creditors can’t go after it. But when you file for bankruptcy, you are often required to disclose all assets including any that you gave away within the last few years. The exact amount of time will vary by state but in general, if you try to dump your assets by gifting them to a relative right before filing, the court is not going to be happy about this and it could end up costing you.  Don’t Give In To Creditors At The Last Minute If a creditor of yours gets wind of the fact that you are about to file for bankruptcy, they may become more aggressive about making phone calls or even show up at your door to try and collect. But once you’ve made the decision to file, you need to stop all payments and let the court handle everything from here on out. Continuing to pay a debt at this point won’t help your case and does not guarantee you will still have a credit line after the bankruptcy is over. If a creditor is making specific threats, let your bankruptcy lawyer handle it for you. Don’t Take Money Out of Retirement If you’ve been especially desperate recently, you may have been taking some cash out of your 401K or other retirement assets. You’ll want to stop this immediately if filing for bankruptcy because retirement funds are generally not touchable by creditors in a bankruptcy. But once the money is out of your retirement fund and in your bank account, it will count as an asset that you need to report to the court. It’s understandable that you would to try and preserve as many assets as possible when you are considering bankruptcy. But it’s important not to do anything drastic like trying to put your assets under a relative’s name immediately before you file. If in doubt, the best solution would be to hire a bankruptcy lawyer and let him or her walk you through the process instead of trying to go it alone. Reach out to a bankruptcy attorney like Collins Toner & Rusen for more...

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Legal Services That Are Often Handled By A Paralegal: Why It May Be Helpful To Consult A Paralegal First

Posted by on 6:35 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Legal Services That Are Often Handled By A Paralegal: Why It May Be Helpful To Consult A Paralegal First

Paralegals are legal professionals that have less schooling than lawyers, but often handle many day-to-day operations in a law firm. If you schedule a meeting to speak with a law firm about your issues, you may find yourself meeting first with a paralegal. The paralegal may be able to provide you with some legal advice free of charge, as well as refer you to an appropriate lawyer in the firm. Here are some other legal services that are provided by a paralegal and why it may be helpful to consult a paralegal first. Organization of Your Documents When you bring paperwork into the office for your case, you may be handing it off to the paralegal. The paralegal will be the one who types everything up, makes it neat and tidy, and then hands it off to your lawyer the clerk of courts. The paralegal will also organize your documents for you so that if you are somewhat disorganized, you need not worry about how your paperwork looks. These services may be included in the fees your lawyer charges, or there may be a separate fee for these services. Typically, however, they are included. Research for Your Case If your case requires any research, typically the paralegal handles the research for you and your lawyer. The paralegal has enough legal knowledge about the laws in your county and state that he or she can look up any suspected infractions of the law for you (for example, is it breaking the law if you cross at a crosswalk but walk outside the white lines, thus causing an accident…). Additionally, if you cannot gain access to certain information or court documents that you need, the paralegal may have access to these sites and agencies and can get the information for you. If the lawyer acquires a subpoena for certain information, it may be the paralegal who peruses through the files or documents for the information needed to support your claims/story. Referrals to the Correct Branches of Law and Free Legal Advice Many times people do not know which type of lawyer they should hire or to whom they should take their case. A paralegal can help you find the appropriate legal branch of law and may even refer you to some of the best lawyers in their firm for that particular branch of law. Additionally, if you want or need a less expensive lawyer or free legal advice, many paralegals offer their services through free legal assistance clinics in the community (one such example is the free legal aid and reduced cost lawyers in Chicago). If you just need some legal advice about your issues, you might consult a paralegal through these community clinics. Contact legal services like that of Gregory J Hermiller for more...

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What To Expect At Your Trial Attorney Consultation

Posted by on 4:10 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What To Expect At Your Trial Attorney Consultation

If you have found yourself in a situation that requires a trial attorney, you may not know what to expect. You may know the basics of how this will work out and the courtroom proceedings. What you may not know is what to expect during the first consultation with your trial attorney. Here are a few things you should expect and a little information on how to prepare for this consultation. Paperwork The first thing you need to expect is paperwork. This stage will likely include you signing different contracts such as payment plans or legal documents related to hiring the attorney and your case. You may also be asked to provide certain paperwork. This may include copies of police reports, identification, and anything related to your case to prove your innocence or your side of the story. The best thing to do is to have all of the information you have on your case readily available for your attorney. This will save time and get straight to the point of what they may need beyond what you have. Going Over the Case This may seem like common knowledge, but telling your attorney your side of the story can be an issue for some people. This is the time you need to tell your attorney everything about your case. This means telling them things you may want to omit. For example, if you are dealing with a stalker you may want to omit how long you have known them or if anything was done on your part that would have lead the stalker on. You may also omit things you don’t think are important, but they can actually be very important to the case. For example, you may feel like a text message or phone call is meaningless, but it could mean a lot to the case because it shows a timeframe or an intent on the stalker’s part. Keep in mind even small details matter. Attorney Guidelines Every trial attorney, for that matter every attorney, has guidelines they want their clients to follow. This may be a particular method for missing an appointment, the people you should or should not talk to, and how to contact your attorney if you are contacted by the other party in the case. The key thing to remember during this stage of the consultation is to understand each guideline. Understand what they expect from you and, in turn, what will happen if you do not follow their guidelines. Remember, in some cases, if you don’t follow the guidelines you may have issues of missing court dates or having an issue scheduling future appointments with your attorney due to your time slot being given to clients who do follow the guidelines. These are just a few things to expect. Keep in mind, the first consultation is designed to get everything out in the open so you can find out where you stand with your case and how the trial may go. This is to give you options and help you decide which options may be best. For a trial attorney, contact a law firm such as Swartz & Swartz...

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