What To Do With Your Estate After You Win A Lawsuit

All right, great: you just won a big lawsuit or snagged a decent settlement, and you’re content to be swimming in a sea of cash for the rest of your life. But with great money comes great responsibility, and you’ll need help determining how to organize your affairs, both in life and in death. If you received enough cash, then it’s important to know that you could be looking at a sizable estate tax from your good friend Uncle Sam. Either way, you’ll want to speak with an estate planning lawyer and a financial advisor to determine the best next steps for you and your family.

Here are just a few things to think about, including actions you can take right now in order to prepare yourself for what happens when you receive an influx of wealth.

Estate planning after winning a lawsuit can be a headache, but it doesn’t have to be any worse than it already is. First and most importantly, discuss with your lawyer the gross worth of your assets. If you hold real estate, then have the total worth of those properties on hand. If you don’t know, then have the properties appraised as soon as possible. This will help your trusted advisors calculate the base tax on your estate. The benefit in doing this as soon as possible is that there are ways of avoiding some of the tax burden. The benefit is nicely complemented by the fact that it’ll relieve your beneficiaries of some financial burden and the added pressures of trying to negotiate your estate’s affairs on their own.

If you’ve got the money to do so, then eliminate your debt immediately. Hire a financial advisor to help you determine the best course in distributing your assets through investment. Now that you’ve got a bit of wealth, you’ll want to accumulate more. A lot of people who receive settlement cash or lottery winnings have a difficult time adjusting to the new wealth, and don’t control their spending. Be careful, and take some time adjusting to the new numbers in your bank account.

Don’t forget that any donations you make to charity organizations can be deducted from your taxes. If you’re a supporter of a cause, then feel free to give some of the new cash away.

If you have children of your own, or would like to support the children of other friends or loved ones, then consider opening trusts in the names of potential beneficiaries. Investing in someone else’s future can be rewarding, and knowing that your kids won’t be in debt if they decide to get into higher education is a fulfilling exchange.

Your estate planning lawyer will also help you draw up a will, or amend one that you already have. You’ll know exactly where your assets will end up when you pass away, and exactly how the transition will take place. This knowledge will relieve a burden you never knew existed.

After you’re done putting the finishing touches on concrete plans for your future, it’s time to have fun. Start traveling to the places you’ve always wanted to see, and doing the things you’ve always want to do. Take some time off of work–but don’t quit until normal retirement age, because you’ll live longer. Spend some time with family. You know yourself, and you should do what’s best for you.

Can You Sue A Store Over An Ice-Related Slip And Fall Accident?

Slip and fall accident victims often wonder if they are entitled to compensation. There are some serious accidents that happen, and plaintiffs have for sure been awarded settlements. Do slip and fall accidents have to occur inside a store in order for you to have a case? The short answer is no. If you were indeed to slip and fall on ice outside a store and injure yourself, you could be entitled to a cash settlement. There are certain stipulations when it comes to personal injury law in regards to these types of cases, so let’s take a look.

First and foremost, it must be proven that the store should have taken action to clear conditions in order to prevent customers from having a slip and fall accident. Whether they had notice of conditions that could cause a slip and fall is only part of the equation. It has to be determined whether they should have had notice. There are naturally many types of accidents that fall into this category, so to get a clearer picture of whether or not you have a case regarding a slip and fall on ice outside a store, check out identical cases to yours. You will find overviews of similar cases, and they can give you an idea of what to expect.

Of course the best proactive stance is to get in touch with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney to see what he or she has to say. Remember, the point is it must be proven that the store knew or should have known about the ice and conditions and failed to take reasonable action in a timely manner. When you think about what has happened to you and consider the legal guidelines, what is your opinion about your case? If you feel that you have a case, reach out to a personal injury lawyer.


Uber, the pioneering rideshare firm, has exploded as a transit option in major metropolitan areas. Ridesharing provides services that are convenient, reasonably priced and make for easy arrangements from an app on a mobile device at mere minutes’ notice. These can be the kinds of qualities that make ridesharing in some ways superior to taxicabs and public transportation.

As a natural progression develops, where more and more Uber and other rideshare drivers hit the roads around the country, there becomes a bigger risk that one of these vehicles will get involved in a car accident, regardless whether the Uber driver is at fault or not.

An accident that involves an Uber driver or a vehicle with an Uber fare aboard, can have a more complex liability equation than a simple carpool or other passenger driving situation. After all, an Uber vehicle is kind of a hybrid between a taxi service that collects fares, and a carpool situation where a person shares his or her vehicle with others.

As accidents involving Uber drivers are becoming more common, the calculus of liability is a bit complicated; while Uber vehicles are similar to taxicabs, here are different regulations and policies governing the two different types of transit options.

If the unfortunate occasion happens that you are an Uber fare caught up in an accident, the liability insurance will be necessary to know in case a claim needs to be filed.

Uber knows it might rain, so it has an umbrella.

What this means is that Uber requires all its drivers to have at least a state-required minimum amount of liability coverage for the vehicle that will be used for Uber fares. If an insurance claim is filed, the Uber driver’s personal liability insurance is used first to pay the claim, then Uber’s umbrella coverage kicks in after an additional deductible is paid above the personal vehicle liability limit. The umbrella policy is in force while an Uber driver is using the app, either going toward or carrying a fare. The coverage ends when the passenger is dropped off and is away from the vehicle a safe distance.

Uber claims that it does a background check on all potential drivers, but when it comes to a driver’s driving record, Uber can only vet the last seven years. That could be problematic if the driver’s record is actually longer than that. Should there be an accident involving an Uber driver, getting a full driving record of the driver may be valuable information should a claim be filed.

So let’s assume that an Uber driver has a clean record (as far as Uber knows), and there is an accident involving an Uber driver who was actively transporting a fare. How does the liability for that accident shake out?

States have different laws and regulations governing rideshare companies that operate in those states, and state courts have had wide-ranging interpretations about liability in a car accident. What seems to be in common among all the court decisions is that the driver is the first line of liability in an accident and should be considered such first and foremost.

It’s possible, however, that Uber may have some liability, especially based on answers to these vital questions, which should come up ina good accident investigation:

  1. Is the driver covered at the state-mandated minimum liability coverage?
  2. Was the driver active on the app when the incident occurred?
  3. What does the driver’s full driving record reveal (past the most recent seven-year window)?

Liability for an accident involving an Uber driver can be a little more complicated than a normal driving situation, so ti’s important to get as much information as possible at the scene and get a police report. From there, get sound legal advice, especially from an attorney who specializes in rideshare laws, to determine the feasibility of a claim and to make sure the right entities are held to account for what happened.


Whether you ride a subway, railroad, trolley car, bus or any other public-transit or mass-transit system, any accident that occurs which involves one of these vehicles can cause multiple serious injuries and perhaps more than one death, depending on the severity.

Public transit, or mass transit, involves a small or large group of people on a single vehicle, which means any accident will impact more than a couple people – and the more people involved, the higher the cost of the accident may be to families and insurance companies, not to mention the municipality or third-party contractor that is operating the mass transit system.

A mass-transit accident is very rarely simple when it comes to determining liability for the accident and the subsequent injuries or casualties. Take a bus, for example. Sure, the driver of the bus could be held liable for the accident, but what if the brakes went out so the driver couldn’t stop? What if the intial accident cause only minor injuries, but then the gas tank of the bus exploded, killing a couple people and putting firefighters at risk? The driver can’t be the only one liable in these situations.

What if there was an altercation between passengers on the bus that caused the driver to get distracted and lose control of the bus? Or perhaps a passenger was not seated and was too far forward on the bus and the crash caused the passenger to go through the front windshield and smash it, causing additional injuries?

Very few of these accidents are “clean” and uncomplicated. As you can see from a hypothetical, this kind of accident is not all that far-fetched or rare. There can be so many moving parts in terms of what causes an accident and what causes the majority of the injuries. Liability may not necessarily rest on a single person or entity, so it’s vitally important to let law-enforcement and your legal representative do their due diligence in investigating the accident and gathering all the pertinent information about the accident, as well as before and after timelines, to paint an entire picture of what happened and the full result of the dominoes that fell.

If you are injured in a mass-transit vehicle accident, filing a legal claim with a mass transit lawyer NYC may involve suing several different entities, depending on the facts of the case. No matter who you claim is liable, you as the victim will have to prove that each defendant acted negligently in order to win a case. You can win against one defendant even if you have three or four, and that one defendant may be forced to pay compensatory damages, but negligence has to be proven against each defendant individually.

Many states have “common carrier” laws on the books, which are laws that are directed at mass-transit and other public transportation systems. While a petitioner still has to prove negligence, the “common carrier laws state that these public or mass-transit systems have a duty to achieve a higher level of care and due diligence in order to meet the standard of a reasonable expectation of safe transport for all persons on the vehicle while it is in operation.

“Common carrier“ laws can be the “secret sauce” In winning a case against a public-transportation operator, vehicle manufacturer or any other entity involved in a mass-transit accident liability. That higher standard essentially lowers the bar for proving negligence, but again it takes a thorough investigation to ensure that all the defendants which may have liability are included in any claim. Otherwise, there may be an opportunity missed.

These Are The Most Common Brain Injuries

Not only are brain injuries some of the most devastating and life-threatening that you can possibly endure, but they are also some of the scariest. No one wants to think that their mental faculties could be placed in jeopardy following an accident or because of some rare disease, and recovery can be painful or sometimes impossible. So what are some of the most common brain injuries? It probably won’t come as too big a surprise that getting hit in the head tops the list!

Concussions are perhaps the most common head injury, and they occur when an impact causes blood vessels to stretch or prevent nerves from carrying out their normal functions. Most often they’re caused by a blow to the head, but firearms can also result in similar cranial consequences. Concussions can be difficult to diagnose if symptoms aren’t obvious. It’s possible that someone who suffers a concussion might lose consciousness for a brief period of time. Even if you stay awake, you might feel dizzy or confused. Be sure to seek medical evaluation when you might have had a blow to the head.

Impacts can also result in contusions, which is simply bleeding in the brain. These don’t always require surgery, but larger ones need to be removed.

More serious, yet still common, brain injuries are caused by kinetic, mechanical impacts, such as when you are involved in a vehicular collision. A closed brain injury happens if your head undergoes a massive rush of moving forward or backward and then slows quickly. Think of whiplash. When you experience a closed brain injury, the brain tissue itself is smashed and stretched, which causes torn nerve tissue. These injuries can result in a wide array of symptoms depending on how bad the damage is and where it occurred in the brain.

Anoxic injuries occur when your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen. This may cause cell death to occur and symptoms vary. It can be caused by spending too much time underwater without access to air, drugs, chemicals, electric shock, or kidney failure.

Those are some of the most common, but “locked in syndrome” is one of the rarest conditions someone may have the misfortune to experience. It’s basically just what it sounds like: the person with the syndrome is conscious, but cannot move any part of the body outside of the eyes. Although this makes communication difficult, eye movements make it possible.

Because brain injuries can result in such grave injury, it’s important to be aware of the consequences to these injuries and know how best to avoid them depending on what you do day-to-day. Be careful to wear a seatbelt while in any vehicle, and wear a helmet during activities that should require one. Anything else is not worth the risk.

Who Is Held Liable In A Building Fire?

In some cases regarding building fires, particular cases of arson, determining liability depends solely on finding the culprit who intentionally started the fire. However, many building fires aren’t necessarily the result of malice or even any agenda whatsoever. So, determining liability can generally be a bit trickier than simply finding someone who committed a crime.

Typically, building fires can start in a number of ways, many of which are very easy to come about as accidents or lapses in judgment. Some examples include unattended ovens or candles, improperly installed electrical equipment or wiring, faulty fire management equipment such as sprinklers or fire alarms, or even weather-related events such as lightning strikes. Any of these events could have a profound impact on who might be held liable in the event that a fire breaks out as a result.

Often is the case when someone might be in the process of cooking a meal using the oven and then ends up having to leave for a brief while to tend to something else. Or a candle could be lit anywhere in the vicinity when someone takes leave of it, be it to go elsewhere in the house, become preoccupied with another activity such as a bath or falling asleep, or sometimes even leaving the residence altogether for whatever reason. While it might be just as easy to turn the oven off or blow the candle out and take safeguards against the possibility of a random occurrence, there are some who err with the intention of only being away a brief moment. That moment turns to several minutes (sometimes even longer) and, without even realizing it, the risk of a fire becomes unfortunately great. And while it may not have been your intention at all to start a house fire, the sad reality is that you would be held liable for such negligence. As home owners or renters, there are some obvious responsibilities and precautions we need to take to avoid such disasters. Keeping your fire safety devices up to date is a good one, but better yet is simply never leaving such a risk up to chance. While you may be away for just a couple of minutes, a couple of minutes may be all it takes for something to happen. It is not time to check the calendar

In the case of electrical failures, unless you were the one to install the wiring yourself, such events would likely fall to the ones responsible for the installation and its subsequent failure. Depending on the circumstances that led to the failure, one of the several different possibilities exist for who might be the defendant in this case:

  • The company that supplies power to the building
  • The individual or company that installed the wiring
  • The landlord or owner themselves
  • The tenant who occupies the space in which the fire originated
  • The entity who failed to inspect the building properly or take steps to assure fire hazards were accounted for
  • The manufacturer of the faulty machinery

As well as many others, depending on the root cause of the fire. However, in the case of a natural disaster that might start a fire (a lightning strike, for example), it is difficult to hold anyone accountable – as you might imagine – for a natural disaster. Most of the time, fire damage as the result of a lightning strike, in particular, is covered by home owner’s insurance (or by renter’s insurance if that is applicable in your case).

Regardless of what you might surmise to be the root cause of a fire outbreak in your home, it is almost always in your best interest to consult the expertise of someone specialized in fire litigation in order to get the best results possible for your situation.

Who Is Held Liable In An SUV Rollover Accident?

Automobile accidents, in general, can be quite a terrifying and tragic event, regardless of the circumstances leading up to them. However, in many cases, vehicles tend to remain upright due to low centers of gravity for many sedans, which tends to play a factor in fatality statistics. This unfortunate truth also yields the very real situation of rollover accidents that are quite prominent throughout the United States, particularly in designs such as SUVs and vans that have a higher center of gravity and are therefore more prone to rollover. Despite higher safety standards in many SUV models, rollover accidents are still a leading cause of automobile accident fatalities in the country. Over 280,000 cases of rollover accidents are reported each year, resulting in about 10,000 fatalities – a statistic that accounts for almost one-third of all passenger deaths from vehicular accidents.

So, who is to blame in the case of a rollover accident? Who is held liable in the event that any vehicle suffers a rollover accident, let alone an SUV? There are a number of factors that can go toward determining this:

  • Road conditions leading up to the accident
  • How uneven the terrain might be
  • Manual errors on part of the driver, such as overcorrecting or excessive cornering
  • The possibility of carrying too much weight on part of the driver and passengers within the vehicle
  • Manufacturing defects within the vehicle itself

Due not only to their higher center of gravity but also to a statistically more narrow wheel base, SUV’s are particularly susceptible to a rollover accident, especially under conditions that involve quick handling or sudden changes to the driving conditions or operation in general. However, despite the accountability of human error that is taken into consideration, many SUV’s are found to suffer rollover accidents as a result of vehicle design and manufacturing flaws. With a full investigation of the vehicle’s ability to perform, many attorneys can more easily determine liability and whether the fault lies with the driver or with the manufacturer of the vehicle. However, statistics suggest that due to modern manufacturing procedures leading to higher safety ratings and the fact that many rollover accidents tend to involve only one vehicle (the vehicle that ends up rolling over), it is more often the case nowadays that fault lies with the operator of the vehicle. With distractions as great as ever (texting while operating a vehicle, operating equipment within the vehicle while it is in motion, etc.), the liability of a single-car accident is most likely to fall into the lap of the driver despite any sort of vehicular design on part of the manufacturer.

In order to prove liability on part of the manufacturer, several things need to be taken into account. The SUV must show to have some sort of unreasonable defect in its design that caused the accident or another injury to the driver and/or any passengers within the vehicle. Next, it must be proven that the vehicle was being operated as intended and within normal parameters expected of a safe driver. Finally, it must be shown that the vehicle had not been dramatically altered in any way prior to the accident that might have had a hand in contributing toward the accident itself.

Obviously, in the event of any sort of vehicular accident, consulting a lawyer after any injuries have been attended by a medical professional is an adequate method of determining liability and gives you as the injured party the greatest chance at compensation.

These Are The Most Common Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries can cause drastic damage to your ability to function day-to-day, but luckily it takes a huge impact to do that kind of damage to this body part. These injuries most frequently occur after a sudden, very strong impact. Many vehicular accidents resulting in spinal cord injuries due to the high speeds of either colliding vehicle or failing to wear a seatbelt.

Most spinal cord injuries are caused by situations that we can work to avoid, but some result from cancer, osteoporosis, arthritis and general inflammation from infection or unknown sources.

Sadly, alcohol use results in about twenty-five percent of all spinal cord injuries. When consuming alcohol, staying in control of your faculties is extremely important. When you lose the ability to function as you would normally, decision-making suffers as well and you may not be able to adequately respond as life-threatening situations arise.

About a tenth of all spinal cord injuries is caused by athletic activity such as contact sports. This subset of common injuries includes those who were injured after making a dive into water that was too shallow.

Another fifteen percent of these injuries occur after violent conflict. Although weapons are often at play, this isn’t always the case. Any violent confrontation can lead to unexpected injury. It’s important to keep your head clear when under social stress and learn to avoid these kinds of situations.

For the elderly, most spinal cord injuries are caused by falling–more than twenty-five percent.

An unfortunate side effect of spinal cord trauma often doesn’t occur until weeks after the initial accident. Internal bleeding can compromise functionality, as can inflammation, fluid accumulation, and swelling around the spinal cord. These conditions can be difficult to treat and often require surgery to repair if such a thing is possible at all.

After suffering a spinal cord injury, you might notice that your reaction time is slower in certain extremities or appendages. That because the nerve fibers that connect muscles and nerves may not work properly after the accident. Injuries at varying levels of the spinal cord can result in varying levels of function after an accident. You might lose the ability to sense or control your legs, bowel, bladder, torso, and sexual functionality. If the injury is higher along the vertebra, you might suffer from the immobility of your arms. In the worst case, you may have trouble breathing.

Spinal cord injuries are far from the most common, but they do occur and it’s best to learn about how to avoid them during your daily routine–especially if you have kids involved in contact sports or help care for the elderly or infirm, who need to be watched at all times.


What Are Some Of The Common Causes Of Truck Accidents?

There are a lot of ways that truck accidents happen. How do you know what they are so you can do your best to avoid them? Here are some of the causes so you don’t have to wonder about them any longer.

Truck drivers get tired and cause accidents on a regular basis. A lot of them work long hours, but legally they have to take breaks at certain times. That doesn’t, however, stop a lot of companies from pushing the limits and even going over them from time to time. If you are in an accident with a sleepy driver, you may end up being able to sue the company they work for. It may seem like common sense to get rest, but if your job depends on how much work you can do without sleeping it can be hard to rest enough.

Poor training is a cause for a lot of accidents. When someone is trying to get a job, they may be able to scrape by and not retain a lot of what they learned. That may lead to them not knowing how to control the truck or to know what the space is like around it they need to think about. This may also lead to them speeding or doing other things they are not supposed to do. An inexperienced trucker going through cities or down highways is dangerous for anyone to have to drive around.

If someone doesn’t take care of their truck, you can expect it to fail on them eventually. Sometimes poor truck maintenance leads to it not starting or something else while it’s stopped, but sometimes it leads to serious problems while they are on the road. That’s why it’s so important for truckers to stay on top of what they are doing at all times. Another reason someone may not take care of a truck is the cost of doing so. Problems are expensive, but the problem with being cheap is that the issues cost more as time goes on because they worsen.

The ways that a truck accident can happen are varied, but they all end in damages and/or injuries. If you want to avoid them, be a safer driver. Even then, you can’t control other people so always wear your seat-belt and be prepared for the worst when driving in any situation and contact a disability lawyer.

Checking For The Warning Signs of Nursing Abuse and Neglect

When our loved ones require medical care, we want them to be safe. No one wants to consider the idea that their loved ones may be suffering abuse at the hands of their nurse. Yet millions of people staying in nursing homes and hospitals throughout the United States suffer from abuse and neglect at the hands of their nurses.

In order to spot these problems before they get severe enough to cause long-term harm, it’s important to know the warning signs of nursing abuse and neglect.

The Difference Between Abuse and Neglect

While abuse and neglect both cause long-term damage, they’re not the same thing. Abuse is active harm caused with intent. Neglect is passive and causes harm without any particular intention to do so.

As an example, it’s occasionally necessary to restrain a patient. There are laws involving how this is to be done, and breaking those laws is considered abuse. This is because it’s a direct action that causes immediate harm, either through physical damage from the restraints or the use of sedation that hasn’t been approved by a doctor.

However, if a nurse was to simply leave a patient alone in their room, it could be neglect. It’s not necessarily neglect, depending on the mobility of the patient. However, if the patient has mobility problems and is simply left alone, then they are being neglected and will have health and wellness issues over time.

Looking For Signs

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to notice the warning signs. The most immediate sign is failing health or regular injuries. Patients will sometimes get injured through the course of proper care. Sometimes it’s necessary to restrain them more forcefully, or some days their mobility may not be as stable as it is on other days.

But regular signs of injury, and injuries not consistent with the information given, is often a sign of abuse.

In addition, major personality changes can often be a sign of inappropriate medications. Hospitals and nursing homes will often sedate patients when necessary, but it becomes abuse when it’s done outside of strict regulations.

Lastly, if you have a hard time getting information that you should legally be allowed to have, that’s often a warning sign. Sometimes this is simply a matter of bureaucracy or training. However, if it happens consistently then you should begin asking more questions and going over people’s heads.

In a general sense, the warning signs of nursing abuse and neglect are the same as any other style of abuse and neglect. Document any situation that makes you worry, writing down the exact thing that made you question, the date and time you asked about it, and what resolution was reached. That way, if you notice your loved ones being poorly treated you’re able to do something about it.