Tag Archives: structured settlement tips

Difficult Roads often lead to…

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Do You Have the Jury on Your Side? Here are the facts about Burden of Proof!

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The reality is, it is extremely difficult for a plaintiff to prevail at trial. Your attorney will likely tell you, that, as a plaintiff, you have the burden of proving three elements in order for a jury to even consider awarding you damages. Think of it as a three-legged stool. If any one of the legs fail, the stool falls over and your case will most certainly fail. Those three elements are as follows:

Liability: The plaintiff must prove that the defendant was negligent or operated below a reasonable standard of care or otherwise committed wrongful behavior leading to plaintiff’s injuries.

Damages: Even once the plaintiff has proved the defendant was negligent, the plaintiff must also prove she has suffered injuries, damages or losses. For example, if a plaintiff were to say that a driver was negligently swerving all over the road and came within inches of striking the pedestrian plaintiff, there would rightfully be no case, because the plaintiff escaped injury and suffered no damages, despite the extreme negligence of the defendant.

Causation: Let’s assume you have proved liability and damages. Simply stated, causation is the link the plaintiff must prove connecting liability to damages. For example, if the plaintiff were to claim she suffered chronic back pain following an injury caused by the negligence of the defendant, but the plaintiff’s medical history indicated repeated complaints and treatment for chronic back pain before this incident, the defense would have a good argument that the plaintiff failed to meet her burden of proof regarding causation. This is not an automatic game loser for the plaintiff, but it does make her case more difficult for obvious reasons.

 


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Before You Post, Here is What You Need to Know about Your Litigation

Millions of us use some type of social media – whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or even a combination of the three. We are living in a time where you can access anyone with the touch of your finger tips. Some of us are more weary than others of what we share on social networks. But how do your public posts play a role in your personal injury litigation?

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I was actually very lucky that I did not have a social media before/during my personal injury litigation. After the case settled, it came to my attention that the defense team had combed the internet searching for information that they could use, but were unable to find any social media footprint. Trust me when I tell you that tan entire case can be lost with thoughtless statements on social media.

Takeaway #27

Stay off social media websites. Assume any statement or picture you add to your Facebook page or Twitter account will be examined by opposing counsel and introduced at trial. Also,  social media is an excellent aura for defense counsel to identify witnesses regarding your post-injury activities, which, if taken out of context, may prejudice a jury.


Whether its a minor fender bender, critical injury or fatality – “Plaintiff 101” is the go-to little black book full of tips, checklists and advice from my personal injury litigation that occurred after my car accident that left me with a traumatic brain injury.


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Are You Being Followed?

After my attorney told me to expect to be followed and videotaped, I never got used to the feeling that overtime I left my home, someone would be watching me with a video camera.I went about my business but it was a weird feeling thinking someone was possibly recording my every movement. Ultimately I just tried to put it out of my mind. But during these four years and two months in my case, I did stay home more than if I weren’t under such scrutiny.

With that being said, today I am sharing a Takeaway from my book, Plaintiff 101, that should help you understand why and how the defense will use surveillance tapes against you and how you need to handle it!

Takeaway #35

If the defense does produce surveillance videotapes, have your attorney’s office meet with your medical providers and experts, with tapes and monitor in hand to show them the actual activities. By doing so, you have taken away any element of surprise the defense attorney hopes to have during his examination of your medical treaters and other experts in deposition or trial. Physicians are independent by nature and will not appreciate defense investigators conducting surveillance on their patients. Even if they don’t like testifying at trial, this kind of stunt will usually energize a treating physician, motivating him to be an excellent advocate at trial or in deposition. Jurors do not love this form of investigation either. If the activities can be explained and justified by your treating physicians and experts, it will do serious harm to the defense’s case.

 


For those who are interested in owning Amazon’s Best Seller, “Plaintiff 101” as a valuable resource:

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Here’s What You Should be telling your Lawyer

Once  you’ve hired an attorney, it’s important for you to communicate with them fully. There may be some aspects of the case or your background that you have concerns about. DO NOT assume the defense will not find them.

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Takeaway #8 —

Do not keep any secrets from your lawyer. If something in your past may hurt your case, tell your lawyer first. In all probability, it’s not as bad as you think. Remember the lessons of history. It wasn’t the break-in that led to Richard Nixon’s downfall. It was the cover-up.

A lawsuit is a team effort between you and your law firm. To achieve a successful result, you must meet your responsibilities with your best efforts. Be open, honest and flexible throughout your case.


For those who are interested in owning Amazon’s Best Seller, “Plaintiff 101” as a valuable resource:

Click here to >>ORDER<< your copy TODAY!

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Buy a Book, Save A Life

Despite sustaining a traumatic brain injury from my accident, I am the founder and president of Fulfill Your Destiny, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to helping people whose careers have been altered by injury or other unforeseen circumstances. Inspiring stories of people who have been helped can be found at www.fulfillyourdestiny.org under the Who We’ve Helped tab.

The  proceeds from the sale of this book are directly donated to Fulfill Your Destiny.  We hope you find the information contained within these pages of our book very insightful.  Please know that your donation for this book is used to help others through Fulfill Your Destiny.

Our Mission

Fulfill Your Destiny helps people whose careers have been altered by injury or other unforeseen circumstances.  Special consideration is given to survivors living with a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Our Vision

To create the H.E.R.O. – ‘Hands Eagerly Reach Out’ movement. When we dare to care, our hands eagerly reach out to help others in need.

Imagine how strong every community could become if hands eagerly reach out to help others when and where needed.

Our Signature Program

Fulfill Your Destiny’s signature program awards ‘Business Builder Grants’ to proven entrepreneurs who have experienced life changing events to take their business to the next level.

Our Objectives

1) Keep People Working:  To provide financial support to individuals whose careers have been altered due to permanent injuries or unforeseen circumstances, including, but not limited to traumatic brain injuries for the purpose of obtaining vocational counseling, educational or occupational retraining.

2) Inspire and Motivate:  To educate others about those personal challenges facing any of us suffering injuries that permanently changes our lives. How we confront our challenges is the key to the core motto of Fulfill Your Destiny: Character Drives Destiny. We teach people that we are all defined by our character, which compels us to pick up the pieces and carry on when confronted with tremendous obstacles.

3) Build Awareness and Educate:  To offer assistance – educational, financial, volunteer time and/or in-kind services directly to individuals and other non-profit corporations, to increase awareness of traumatic brain injuries and to support those who have experienced TBIs.

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Looking for a New Read? Check out this Amazon Best Seller!

Looking for a new great read this Spring? Interested in how to handle a personal injury litigation and how to become a valuable partner to your attorney? Jump on Amazon and add “Plaintiff 101” to your cart! Here are some words from Karen Mertes on her book,

“After my four year long litigation battle, my attorney husband and I  decided to write, “Plaintiff 101” to help other personal injury victims. Being involved in a life-changing car accident is devastating. You deserve to get your life back to normal, yet the justice system is not an easy one to navigate.  That’s what this book is for. To give you inside information and what your lawyer will want you to know in order to have a wining case.

Despite sustaining a traumatic brain injury from my accident, I am the founder and president of Fulfill Your Destiny, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to helping people whose careers have been altered by injury or other unforeseen circumstances. Inspiring stories of people who have been helped can be found at www.fulfillyourdestiny.org under the Who We’ve Helped tab.”

“Plaintiff 101” won #1 Amazon Best Seller Award at Richter Publishing’s 3rd Annual Author Award Ceremony & Book Gala on October 20th, 2016. Making “Plaintiff 101” a #1 Best Seller in audio, paperback & digital formats

The  proceeds from the sale of this book are directly donated to Fulfill Your Destiny.  We hope you find the information contained within these pages of our book very insightful.  Please know that your donation for this book is used to help others through Fulfill Your Destiny.

Get your copy of “Plaintiff 101” by Karen Mertes here!

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