Be Careful What You Post To Social Media After a Car Accident

Today, social media is a major part of most of our lives. We love to post updates to let our friends know what is going on in our world. It seems many people are not aware of the actual legal issues that social media can create for them. When major events such as a car accident occur in our lives, we want to post that we are okay and let our friends and family know what happened. However, if you aren’t careful these posts could harm any future personal injury claims.

Our social media accounts are clear records that simply never go away. Anything you post will be up for the long haul, and this can create very real problems if you post something that conflicts with the claims of your case. Every bit of the statements and pictures that can be found on your Facebook page can be used against you in court. For example, any admission of guilt, or anything sound like an admission of guilt, in a Facebook post letting your friends know you were in an accident can stop a personal injury claim dead in its tracks.

It isn’t only admissions of guilt that can harm your claim though. If you are attempting to ask for compensation for pain and suffering as a result of the accident, the defendant will pull anything they can to disprove you. If you have dozens of pictures on various social media sites of a ski trip you took since the accident, this can be used by the defendant to show that you are not suffering.

Of course, we cannot realistically list everything you can do on social media that may hurt your personal injury claim after an accident. To protect yourself, you need to retain a skilled lawyer, like car accident attorney Dekalb County GA trusts, in your area and communicate with them regularly. If you ever consider any post or picture might hurt your case, speak with your attorney first. Your attorney will know the intricacies of your case, and be able to predict the arguments that the other side could present. If it is too late, and you are concerned you may have posted something already that might be damaging, make sure that your attorney is aware of it so that you can start preparing for any opposition built on the post.

It is always a good idea to be careful what you post on social media, but please remember that this advice is tenfold when you have an active legal battle underway.

Andrew R. Lynch, P.C.Thanks to our friends and contributors from Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into social media after a car accident.

5 Things You Have to Prove to Qualify for SSDI

Too often, the very people who need Social Security Disability (SSDI) don’t know if they qualify or why they might not be approved. They enter the process confused about how it works. And as a result, the SSA denies their application.

As a disability lawyer Memphis TN has trusted for years with their SSDI cases, I know the system inside and out. I’ve seen how frustrating and complicated it can get. But these 5 factors will help you understand why you might or might not qualify for disability benefits:

  1. Work History

The “I” in SSDI stands for “insurance.” SSDI works like any other insurance policy. Every time you receive a paycheck, you and your employer pay into the system through a tax. Those payments earn you work credits. And you need to have a certain minimum of work credits within a certain amount of years to earn disability coverage through the SSDI program.

  1. Your Age

Along with your work history, the SSA takes your age into account. They understand a 21-year-old likely hasn’t been able to earn the work credits that a 53-year-old might have earned over their lifetime. Younger applicants often need fewer years of work credits earned up. That said, you can never have too many work credits. The more you have, the more it will help your case.

  1. Your Condition

Certain conditions are considered so severe that they automatically qualify for SSDI. These include conditions like pancreatic cancer, ALS, and inflammatory breast cancer. Other conditions commonly receive benefits but may require a little more information to help make your case. And some conditions need a lot of evidence to show the SSA how debilitating they might be.

  1. Your Ability to Work

When applying for SSDI, you have to show your condition has impaired your ability to do the work you used to do. SSDI exists for people whose physical limitations prevent them from the level of gainful employment they might otherwise have. You also need to show you can’t get other related work. Age and work experience play a role in this, along with your physical and mental condition. For example, the SSA assumes younger applicants would generally have an easier time training into another area of work than someone in their late 50s.

  1. Your Income

Some people apply for disability and also earn a small amount of income on the side. Perhaps you might not be able to work full-time, but you can sell the occasional item on eBay. The SSA looks at this income to determine your eligibility. Your income needs to fall beneath a certain maximum in order to be eligible. That exact amount changes year-to-year.

When applying for disability insurance, you should speak with an attorney, and the sooner the better. An attorney only receives a small portion of your past-due benefits, so the sooner you get approved, the more you save. SSDI lawyers help you navigate the very complicated application process. The vast majority of applications get denied the first time around, but that estimate changes for the better when you have a lawyer. So it’s within everyone’s best interest that you not go it alone.

 Darrell Castle & Associates, PLLCThanks to our friends and contributors from Darrell Castle & Associates, PLLC for their insight into the SSDI application process.

Supreme Court Restricts Lawsuits Against Companies

In May of 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court placed location limits on personal injury lawsuits, effectively limiting the locations where companies can be sued. In many respects, this is a victory for corporations and a loss for the ability of plaintiffs to bring legal claims in state courts that have laws that favor plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits.

What follows are the facts of this influential case and the legal takeaway points to keep in mind for personal injury law.

BNSF Railway Co. v. Tyrrell

The plaintiffs in this case sued a Texas-based railway company for separate and unrelated injuries. One plaintiff was injured on the job in Washington state, and the other plaintiff was injured in Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota. Both plaintiffs sued according to the Federal Employers’ Liability Act, which is a federal statute enacted in 1908 that permits railroad employees to sue their employer for compensation if they are injured at work.

The Washington plaintiff alleged a slip-and-fall accident caused his injuries, whereas the other plaintiff alleged that her husband developed kidney cancer after being exposed to carcinogenic chemicals while working on the job in the three aforementioned states.

Both plaintiffs sued in Montana, the state where the railway company does most of its business. Traditionally, this has not been a problem since plaintiffs have typically been able to file suit against a company where they do a significant amount of business, are based or incorporated. Using this traditional reasoning, the lower court allowed the plaintiffs to sue the company in Montana.

The Supreme Court reversed the lower court’s ruling in an 8-1 decision, holding that state courts do not have jurisdiction to hear a plaintiff’s claims against companies if the company is not based in the state or the injuries did not occur in the state where the plaintiffs file suit.

Legal Significance of the Supreme Court’s Decision

With this case, it seems clear the Supreme Court is determined to put an end to so-called “forum shopping”, where plaintiffs try to find the most friendly court for their personal injury lawsuit. In light of this decision, it appears that corporations emerge as clear winners from this case.

Corporations in opposition to a plaintiff’s forum shopping will likely be able to prevent a plaintiff from filing suit in a state if the injuries did not occur there and the corporation does not do a significant amount of business in that state.

Justice Sotomayor was the lone dissenter, and she worries that corporations will no longer be subject to general jurisdiction anywhere “other than their principal places of business or incorporation.” It remains to be seen whether Justice Sotomayor will be proven correct in the years ahead, but in the interim it seems that plaintiffs have had their lawsuit location options narrowed significantly in the aftermath of this important Supreme Court decision.

If you are concerned about how this Supreme Court case could affect your personal injury lawsuit, contact a lawyer Tampa FL relies on today.

McKinney Law Group Thanks to our friends and contributors from McKinney Law Group for their insight into supreme court restrictions against companies.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Slip and Fall Accidents?

Most slip and fall accidents in residential homes involve tripping or slipping on carpets, rugs, or the floor; slipping or tripping on stairs; or slipping or tripping on ice, snow, or sidewalks. While in most cases a homeowner may be held liable for an accident that happened on his property, there are exceptions where he is not held accountable. For instance, if a person loses his balance randomly and falls, the homeowner is not liable.

As a homeowner, you’re not always responsible for every slippery or other unsafe conditions on your property. Simply because someone fell on your property and got hurt doesn’t mean that you were negligent. The condition that caused the accident has to be unreasonably unsafe in order for you to compensate the claimant. Keep reading to learn more about the nature of slip and fall claims.

When Does Your Homeowner’s Insurance Cover a Slip and Fall Accident?

If someone is injured on your property, your insurer should cover any injury claim filed if found legitimate. Homeowner’s insurance policy generally has two separate types of coverages, namely liability coverage and medical payment coverage. The liability coverage takes care of all losses associated with the injury, while the medpay coverage pays for the medical bill.

Remember that there must have been some negligence on your part as a homeowner in order for liability coverage to kick in. Your insurer may start taking actions if the slip and fall accident was a result of one of the following:

  • Wet floors
  • Leaking ceilings
  • Carpets with holes in them
  • Stairs with a foreign substance
  • Stairs with shallow steps
  • Carpets with frayed edges
  • Stairs without handrails or are poorly designed
  • Risers of varying heights or wrong height
  • Poorly placed rugs or carpets on the stairs

As a homeowner, you must act reasonably to keep your property in a reasonable state of repair.

What To Do If a Slip and Fall Claim Is Filed Against You

If someone slips and falls on your property and files a claim through your insurance company, then the first action that you should take is to cooperate with your insurer’s adjusters as they investigate the case. Be sure to as honest as you can and provide accurate information as to what condition caused the accident, how and where the mishap occurred, if or when you became aware of the accident, and so on.

After it has been determined that injuries sustained were a result of your negligence, the adjuster will go ahead to determine whether your homeowner’s insurance can cover those injury claims.

Your insurer should be able to cover you as much as your intention wasn’t malicious, or you didn’t purposely cause the slip and fall accident. Where the slip and fall case seem to go in favor of the plaintiff, your insurance company may try to pursue an outside-the-court settlement. However, if the case proceeds to court, your insurer should be able to pay for all expenses that you’ll incur, including the settlement determined by the court for a lost case.

If your insurance company is dragging its heels on your case, or it’s trying to deny coverage for legitimate slip and fall call claims, it may be time to hire a slip and fall lawyer Charlottesville VA trusts. A reputable law firm may be able to help you get what is rightfully yours.

MartinWren P.C.Thanks to our friends and contributors from MartinWren P.C. for their insight into slip and fall cases.

Common Work-Related Eye Injuries

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, reports that workplace eye injuries cost an estimated $300 million annually in lost employee productivity, medical treatment and expenses, and workers’ compensation payments of different types. Here are a few of the most common injuries.

1. Projectiles or Flying Objects: In the case of a manufacturing or industrial occupation, oftentimes equipment — if malfunctioning or improperly used — can cause objects to become airborne. In many situations, the force with which these tools give way to an object can cause extreme — possibly even life-threatening — damage.

2. Chemical Contact: Businesses that manufacture, transport, or interact with large quantities of dangerous chemicals are obviously a concern here, but did you know almost all jobs have chemicals on site that may result in eye injuries — even cleaning supplies can be dangerous to your eyes, if improperly used. If one of these chemicals end up in a person’s eye, severe damage will likely result. Indeed, permanent damage is a possibility in some instances.

3. Loose Particles: Particles in the air may cause eye injuries in the workplace as well. Particles can end up in the work environment in a number of ways. Without proper ventilation, these particles may accumulate in the air in the workplace, ultimately coming into contact with with a worker’s eyes. While they may seem like a slight irritation, these particles have the potential to cause irrevocable damage like scarring or scratches to the iris, cornea, and all other parts of a worker’s eye.

4. Occupational Tools: Tools of different types represent another common cause of eye injuries in the workplace. More often than not, when a tool causes an eye injury it is because the piece is not being used properly. However, there are some tools that are inherently dangerous themselves and pose a threat to a worker even if used properly.

5. Fatigue: With technology like computer, tablet and phone screens becoming ubiquitous in many workplaces, over-strained and over exposed eye injuries are becoming more and more common. This kind of injury many not be as immediate as a traumatic encounter with some of the above listed hazards, but can cause vision loss and impairment overtime in the same way.

Workers’ Compensation Claim

Injury to the eyes on the job is very serious — especially if it keeps your from executing your occupational responsibilities. If you’ve suffered an injury as a result of exposure to any one of the above hazards, you may be able to file a workers compensation claim with the help of a competent Palm Beach County workers compensation lawyer. These claims may be vital if you’re no longer able to work as a result of your injury.

FRANKS, KOENIG & NEUWELTThanks to our colleagues from The Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt for their insight into workers compensation claims.

Medical Malpractice Practice

Medical errors kill more Americans annually than motor vehicle accidents, firearms and suicide combined, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.  Despite this, hospitals and medical providers are doing very little to determine how to prevent them from happening. Between 210,000 and 440,000 patients suffer from some type of preventable harm that contributes to their death each year after going to the hospital for care, according to 2014 Journal of Patient Safety. Medical errors are now the third-leading cause of death in America, behind heart disease and cancer.

This estimate is based on a review of medical files that identified preventable harm suffered by patients known as “adverse events,” using use a screening method called the Global Trigger Tool, which guides reviewers through medical records, searching for signs of infection, injury or error. Medical records flagged during the initial screening are reviewed by a doctor, who determines the extent of the harm. In the studies, which examined records of more than 4,200 patients hospitalized between 2002 and 2008, researchers found serious adverse events in as many as 21% of cases reviewed and rates of lethal adverse events as high as 1.4 percent of cases.  By combining the findings and extrapolating across 34 million hospitalizations in 2007, preventable errors contribute to the deaths of 210,000 hospital patients annually.  However, that is the baseline. The actual number more than doubles because the trigger tool does not catch errors in which treatment should have been provided but wasn’t because medical records are missing some evidence of harm and because diagnostic errors are not captured.

An estimate of 440,000 deaths from care in hospitals is roughly one-sixth of all deaths that occur in the United States each year. The study also cited other research that’s shown hospital reporting systems and peer-review capture only a fraction of patient harm or negligent care.

These studies demonstrate the importance of obtaining a second opinion before undergoing invasive tests and procedures, as a medical malpractice lawyer Baltimore MD trusts can attest.  Many patients do not seek another opinion from a second because it may be time-consuming or they do not want to offend their physician.  However, second opinions can be an invaluable tool to prevent unnecessary tests and procedures.  In cases of elective surgeries, for example, studies have found 30% of patients receive different opinions from a second physician.  Additionally, obtaining a second opinion helps ensure that the most qualified physician performs the recommended procedure.

Medical malpractice actions prevent hospitals and medical providers from sweeping medical errors under the rug.  When a patient files suit over a medical error, the information is made public.  Medical providers who would not normally have been informed of the medical mistake will know about the medical error and will have an opportunity to learn from it. The legal process plays an important role in holding hospitals and medical providers accountable for medical mistakes when they do occur and in preventing future medical mistakes from happening.

Greenberg Law OfficesThanks to our friends and contributors from Greenberg Law Offices for their insight into medical malpractice practice.

When a Divorce and a Personal Injury Lawsuit Overlap

As a couple going through a divorce trial, you may be wondering if the court will allocate the personal injury finances equitably between you and your spouse or apply the community-property law.

How does a couple pursuing a personal injury award and a divorce case at the same time divide the marital property and the personal injury settlement?

Your personal injury and divorce case might resemble one of the following scenarios:

  • A couple would like to end their 10-year old marriage. The wife was out of work for a long period of time while healing from a medical malpractice accident. During that time, the husband was solely responsible for all of their bills and paying for the children’s education. The malpractice suit against the doctor is still in process even as the divorce suit concludes. How will the medical malpractice money be shared?
  • The husband suffers serious injuries in a car crash. The family lawyer Arizona relies on files a motor vehicle accident compensation claim against the drunk driver who caused the accident.
  • The husband and wife decide to divorce before the conclusion of the personal injury case. Does the wife get a share of the personal injury proceeds?

Divorce and Sharing of Personal Injury Awards

Personal injury and family laws vary by state. If faced with a scenario of overlapping divorce and a personal injury lawsuit, it’s best to consult a lawyer who can consider the unique details of your situation. However, as a general rule, the personal injury award sharing formula depends on several factors:

  • If the divorcing couple live in an equitable distribution state or community state.
  • The date of the accident, workplace injury, medical malpractice, or unlawful dismissal.
  • The date of separation or divorce.
  • The fine particulars of the divorce case.

Community and Equitable Distribution Approaches

A knowledgeable family law or personal injury lawyer should understand how different states handle a combined divorce and personal injury case. The state in which you live can affect the division of your marital property in divorce. In Arizona, Idaho, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Louisiana, California, Washington, and Texas, the court may divide the marital property equally, so your personal injury could go to the husband and wife on a 50/50 basis. The other U.S states will often do a case analysis before a divorce settlement. Consult with an attorney in your state to find out how the laws will affect your case.

Equitable Distribution of Personal Injury Benefits

Most U.S states apply the equitable marital property distribution when it comes to dividing assets of divorcing spouses. However, laws vary from state to state when it comes to distributing personal injury awards. The courts may treat at least part of the personal injury settlement as marital property if the accident occurred during the marriage. It’s best to verify with a personal injury or divorce attorney who can review the unique details of your case, but generally speaking, the court will likely consider the following circumstances:

  • The assets that were acquired from the beginning of your marriage up to the time of divorce.
  • The prenuptial agreement on the way to divide property in case of divorce.
  • The nature of the injury to determine if the damage is individual or involving the two spouses.

The court will have to determine the percentage of the personal injury award each spouse will get. An experienced personal injury lawyer or divorce attorney can provide you with legal guidance as to how much you may be entitled to receive.

Hildebrand Law, PCThanks to our friends and contributors from Hildebrand Law for their insight into personal injury and divorce practice.

What Is Business Law?

Understanding legal aspects of business is the first step to success for any company. Business law refers to the regulations governing many aspects of running a company including these areas:

  • Sales
  • Taxes
  • Employment
  • Succession
  • Business operations
  • Bankruptcy


Hiring an attorney to help you with the transactional work is a good way to avoid possible litigation by complying with applicable business laws. While business regulations may differ from one state to another or from one country to another, here are some common universal business laws that will apply to your business:


  • Employment and Labor Law

Employees may be a critical component of your business. Labor laws require you to comply with minimum salaries and wages, overtime rules, child labor bans, and maintaining personnel records.

  • Workplace Safety and Health Law

Providing a safe work space free from hazards is not only a right for your employees, but it is essential for business success. We can help you access competent business attorneys who will help you develop company policies to meet compliance.

  • Finance Law

Finance is the heart of business. Financial laws are meant to protect your business, customers, and investors should your business be forced to file for bankruptcy.

  • Privacy Law

The law requires that any business that collects sensitive information about their customers should ensure confidentiality by putting in place a sound security plan. Privacy laws can also affect employee-employer relationships as well. If an issue about privacy or the legalities surrounding this area, seek the trusted guidance of an business law attorney.

  • Intellectual Property Law

Protecting the intellectual property of your business is essential. Left unprotected you leave your company vulnerable to competitors and unscrupulous parties. Do you have a great product or idea? File for a patent to protect it. You can also apply for a trademark to protect your company’s business name, symbols, and logos. A business law attorney can draw up and file the necessary paperwork on your behalf.

  • Advertising and Marketing Law

Effective advertising and marketing is key for any successful business. However, commercial companies are expected to provide “truth in advertising.” A business is legally required to be truthful in advertising and marketing claims.

  • Online Business Law

The internet provides enormous opportunities for your business to make sales and generate revenue. There are also laws which regulate this space, some of which are in flux. When meeting with a business lawyer Sacramento relies on, discuss which laws that focus on online Internet sales might affect your company.


Understanding business law is important for every company but not everyone has a mind for the complexities of law. However, even mistakenly breaking a law still leaves an individual or a company vulnerable to repercussions. This can include fines or even jail time. There many benefits that can be obtained by seeking the appropriate legal counsel. If you need help, feel free to reach out to our business law firm today.

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Yee Law Group for their insight into business law.

Hit and Run Cases

Whenever cars are packed tightly together, human error is bound to lead to mistakes. Because of this, parking lot accidents happen every day, but it isn’t always clear what to do when you come back from shopping to find that someone hit your car and left. With the potential for expensive repairs for any damage to your car, this can be a nerve wracking and stressful discovery.

The most important thing to do is always to stay calm. Look around to make sure that the car who hit you is not still in the parking lot. It is possible that the driver will be looking for you in order to give you their insurance information. If you cannot find them, check your car to see if they left a note with contact information on it. Unfortunately, many people will simply drive away after striking a parked car, and there may be no immediate way to find them.

It is important to take detailed pictures of the damage to your car, which is easy to do now that we are in an age where everyone has a camera on the smartphone in their pocket. These pictures will be used later to show the damage to the insurance company.

It is usually a good idea to call the police. When the police arrive, they will also document the damage and will produce a police report which will also be useful when dealing with the insurance company. The police will also be able to review any security cameras in the parking lot to see if the culprit can be tracked down. Driving away after striking a parked car is, after all, a crime.

If the culprit cannot be found, then you will be forced to contact your own insurance company in order to repair the damage to your car. However, before accepting any settlement from an insurance company, you should always contact a skilled auto accident lawyer Dekalb County GA trusts to make sure that you are receiving a fair deal. Insurance companies are not in the business of giving you money, but rather of taking your money. For that reason, an insurance company will often try to settle for as little as they will get away with. If you don’t have an attorney making sure that you get every dime you deserve, the insurance company will often times abuse that. So take the headache out of insurance negotiations, and allow an experienced professional to protect you.

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Andrew R. Lynch P.C. for their insight into hit and run cases.

Drunk Driving Accidents and Punitive Damages

Drunk driving, driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated – all terms used to describe the act of driving while over the legal blood alcohol level – can have life changing and potentially deadly consequences.  Not only does the intoxicated driver place their own life at risk, they also endanger passengers and fellow motorists on the road given their impaired state and slowed reaction times.  Society and the law recognize that this act is one of extreme disregard for life and safety.  As such, special penalties are available for drunk driving cases which seek to reflect the seriousness of the offense, and penalize perpetrators.

What are Punitive Damages?

When suing someone for a personal injury, such as that suffered in an auto accident related to drunk driving, a monetary award is typically determined according to the damages you suffered.  Medical expenses, damage to your car or personal property, even lost wages or the assessed value of your pain and suffering, all figure into the amount you will receive at trial.

Punitive damages go above your damages you have personally suffered and are awarded as a form of punishment to reflect the seriousness of the act – hence the name punitive.  While compensatory damages are typically awarded in any case that involves harm, punitive damages are authorized by statute (aka law) and are typically reserved for more egregious and reckless offenses.

Punitive Damages in Drunk Driving Cases

Punitive damages are typically awarded for cases that involve reckless behavior or an extreme disregard for the health and safety of others.  Drunk driving has been determined by many states to be just such an act.  In order to receive punitive damages in your personal injury case involving a drunk driver you will typically be required to prove that the driver had been drinking and was intoxicated above the legal limit.  This will mean that you will need to obtain a copy of the police report, DUI conviction (if any) and proof of any blood samples or breath sobriety tests.

Punitive Damages and Insurance Policies

Similarly to compensatory awards that make up for costs and damage that you have incurred as a result of someone else’s actions, punitive damages may be able to be recovered out of the drunk driver’s auto insurance policy.  Any damage award in excess of the policy may be able to be recovered from the drunk driver.

If you have been involved in an auto-accident as a result of someone driving under the influence you should consult with a qualified lawyer to discuss your options for recovery.  A lawyer with experience dealing with drunk driving cases will be able to advise you on methods for effective recovery, such as suing for the limits of the insurance policy, or seeking to settle the case before trial.  If you have questions about your case, speak to a personal injury lawyer Brookhaven GA trusts today to ensure justice is done for you and your family.

BTThanks to our friends and contributors from Butler Tobin for their insight into drunk driving accidents and punitive damages.