Important Questions to ask a Personal Injury Attorney before hiring

Personal Injury Attorney

If you have found yourself the victim of an accident that resulted in you being injured through no fault of your own, chances are you will consider filing a personal injury lawsuit to gain compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. However, when trying to decide which lawyer to hire for your case, the process can be difficult. Rather than picking the first lawyer you find online or in the phone book, it’s best to hire a lawyer experienced in your particular case. To ensure you select the best personal injury lawyer NYC has to offer, here are some key questions you should always ask before hiring an attorney.

Do You Specialize in Personal Injury Cases?

Before hiring an attorney, always make sure they specialize in personal injury cases, since experience and knowledge in this area will be vital to developing a winning strategy.

What Types of Results Have You Had in Cases You’ve Handled?

If a lawyer is hesitant to tell you results of previous cases or brags about winning case after case, it’s probably best to look elsewhere.

How Long Will it Take to Resolve My Case?

When you ask this question, even the best injury lawyers in NYC know the results can vary greatly. While some cases may be settled in less than a month, other cases that are more complex can take several months or perhaps a year or more to resolve.

How Will We Communicate About My Case?

If your lawyer communicates with you infrequently or always has a paralegal speaking with you, it’s a bad sign, since it probably indicates your lawyer isn’t working very hard on your case.

If I Don’t Like the Insurance Company’s Offer, Will You Take the Case to Trial?

When in need of a personal injury lawyer New York residents should always make sure their attorney will take their case to trial if the insurance company tries to give them an offer that’s much lower than a judgment they could receive if the case went to trial.

Will You Provide References from Past Clients?

If a personal injury attorney has a solid track record in handling cases similar to yours, they will not hesitate to provide you with references from past clients. However, if they refuse to do so for any reason, it’s likely they are exaggerating their claims of success or have had problems with previous clients.

What Is Your Fee?

Since most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, you probably won’t have to pay any money upfront. However, if you win your case, the attorney will take a percentage of the winnings as their fee. Therefore, before hiring any lawyer for your case, make sure you know exactly what their contingency fee will be, since this can vary greatly from lawyer to lawyer.

By asking these questions well in advance, you’ll be able to avoid any unexpected surprises that will hinder your chances of getting the full and fair compensation you deserve.

Why You Need Legal Advice When Setting Up a Business?

For anyone who has dreamed of setting up a business, they often think only of the profits they hope to make and the freedom of being their own boss. However, there are also a number of details that must be taken care of to have a successful business. Because of this, it’s crucial to seek legal advice before, during, and after the business is set up, which will greatly increase your chances of success.

Determining Your Business Structure

Depending on the type and size of business you start, you’ll need to decide on your business structure. If you’re starting a small business with only yourself, a sole proprietorship may be best. However, if you’re in business with a partner or others, forming a legal partnership or a corporation may be best. Whatever structure is chosen, an attorney can guide you to the proper state agency with which you will need to file the appropriate paperwork.

Understanding Business Taxes

No matter what type of business you start, you’ll have a number of tax obligations. Between federal, state, and local taxes, your business will have plenty of laws to keep up with. However, by working with an attorney who specializes in business and tax law, you will be able to navigate this complex process. And along with this, your attorney can advise you as to how the business structure you choose will impact the types of taxes you will need to pay, which can vary substantially.

Obtaining Licenses and Permits

With various types of business licenses, zoning permits, and much more to obtain, this is one area of business where you will need much legal advice. This can be of particular importance if any questions arise while obtaining the licenses and permits, especially if a zoning issue or concerns from nearby residents or other businesses slow down the process. But by using a skilled business law attorney, chances are you will be able to resolve any problems and be able to complete the licensing process.

State and Federal Employer Requirements

Perhaps the most complex part of starting a business, knowing and understanding the various state and federal employer requirements for hiring, safety, and labor can be a real challenge. Whether it’s overtime laws, compliance with OSHA regulations, employment discrimination laws, or other aspects of these laws, relying on the guidance of an experienced business law attorney can give you a better understanding of these important laws and regulations. It’s important to remember that if your business is found to be in violation of any of these laws or regulations, you could be facing fines or potential lawsuits. Therefore, the knowledge of an attorney can keep your business in full compliance with all government employer requirements.

Since starting a business of any kind requires a tremendous amount of time and in many cases money, retaining the services of a knowledgeable and experienced business law attorney can be viewed as not only a necessity, but also a smart investment in your future business success.

Choosing a Personal Injury Lawyer – Be Careful!

personal Injury

If you’ve found yourself injured due to an automobile accident, workplace accident, or other situation caused by the negligence of others, your life will be turned upside down in an instant. Medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages from being unable to work, and emotional distress are just some of the aspects that will become part of your life. Because of this, you’ll need the services of a personal injury attorney to help you gain the compensation you need to pay your bills and allow you to get your life back to normal. However, since there are numerous personal injury lawyers vying for your services, choosing the right one can be difficult. To ensure you make the best decision, here are some points to keep in mind when selecting your lawyer.

Look at Your State Bar’s Website

If you have a lawyer in mind, the first thing to do is take a look at your State Bar’s website. By doing so, you’ll be able to look up the lawyer to see if they have any pending problems regarding ethics or other violations, and also see if they have had past problems with clients. This is important, since numerous clients across the country report being victimized by their lawyers, which usually involves receiving little or no money after a settlement has been reached.

Read Online Reviews

In today’s world, there are online reviews for everything and everybody, including lawyers. By looking at such sites as Yelp and Avvo, you’ll be able to get a good idea of the level of service your prospective lawyer will give you. If you find numerous negative reviews on independent sites such as these, it’s best to find another attorney. And be wary of positive reviews on a lawyer’s own website, since you’ll be unable to verify it they are real or written by the attorney or their staff.

Have a Face-to-Face Meeting

Never choose a personal injury attorney on the basis of a phone conversation or what’s on their website. Instead, always insist on a face-to-face meeting. If they are reputable, they will be glad to offer you a free consultation in person, where they will allow you plenty of time to discuss your case.

Don’t Rely on Promises

If a personal injury attorney guarantees you they will win your case and that you will get a certain amount of money as a settlement, don’t believe it. Since no two personal injury cases are exactly the same, no reputable lawyer will ever guarantee the outcome.

While unfortunately millions of dollars have been paid out to clients over the years from funds established to help those whose money has been stolen by unscrupulous lawyers, don’t let this happen to you. By following the above-mentioned steps and remembering that if it sounds too good to be true it probably is, you’ll be able to hire a reputable personal injury lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you get the results you seek for your case.

Understanding Car Accident Laws, Duties, Damages, and Defenses

car accident

Since there are more and more motorists on the road today, that unfortunately means there are more accidents occurring. In many cases, the accidents result in serious injuries to drivers, passengers, and even others who may be nearby. Because of this, it’s very possible criminal charges and even personal injury lawsuits may be filed in these situations. A driver should know about how to avoid and deal with accident lawsuit mistakes. To learn more about the duties of care that are expected of drivers, as well as various laws, damages, and defenses common to these situations, here are some of the most important legal aspects of these areas.

Duty of Care

When it comes to a driver’s duty of care, negligence is a big factor. With negligence being defined as a “careless or willful act that results in the injury of another person,” this is the critical factor in any personal injury case. If you are filing a lawsuit, be prepared to show the other driver acted recklessly, and that your injuries were the result of their recklessness. Examples of negligence can include talking on a cell phone, reading a map, or speeding.

Judges and Juries

To convince a judge or jury to rule in your favor, you’ll need to prove the other driver was negligent. This can be done by using police reports, video from surveillance cameras, or the testimony of witnesses. In addition, you must prove the negligence led to your injuries. For example, if a surveillance camera or witnesses prove you were stopped at a red light when hit, and you suffered whiplash or other injuries afterwards, chances are good the judge or jury will rule in your favor.

What Damages are Awarded?

If you file a lawsuit and get a ruling in your favor, various types of damages can be awarded to you. These can include money for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, property damages, expenses associated with rehabilitation of your injuries, and other punitive damages the judge or jury may deem necessary.

What If I’m Being Sued?

If, however, the shoe is on the other foot and you find yourself being sued by the other driver, that doesn’t mean you have to panic. By working with an attorney who has experience and knowledge of these cases, there are a variety of defenses you can use to prove your case.

Contributory Negligence

A common defense used in these cases, this one will benefit you greatly if you can show the plaintiff displayed risky behavior that resulted in their being injured. For example, if they ran a stop sign because they were talking on a cell phone and you struck them, contributory negligence may work in your favor.

Statute of Limitations

In most states, plaintiffs only have a certain period of time to file personal injury lawsuits. Therefore, if a lawsuit is filed against you after this period, it will not be heard.

Since there are many factors involved in these cases, it’s best to consult an experienced attorney, whether you are the plaintiff or defendant in the lawsuit.

How to Obtain Tax-Exempt Status for a Nonprofit Organization

tax return

When forming a nonprofit organization, many steps must be followed. Along with incorporating the organization, one of the most important steps involves obtaining tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(3) group. By doing so, numerous benefits will follow, including access to grant money, tax-deductible donations, and other exemptions for property and income tax. Along with being an important step, it can also be complex, with a variety of tax and legal hurdles to clear. To better understand this process, here is an overview of what you should expect.

Don’t Delay Filing

For best results, make sure you file IRS Form 1023 no later than 27 months from the date upon which you filed your articles of incorporation. By filing within this time frame, your organization’s tax-exempt status begins on the date your articles of incorporation were filed. This is very important, since any donations received from the date of incorporation will be tax-deductible. If you wait and file beyond this date, your tax-exempt status won’t begin until the postmark date on your Form 1023 envelope.

Small Nonprofits

If your group is rather small, you may be able to streamline the process by filing Form 1023-EZ. A short, simple application that can be completed online in a matter of minutes, it allows small nonprofits to gain their tax-exempt status much quicker.

Organizational Structure

If your group is larger and is required to fill out the longer version of Form 1023, you’ll need to include not only copies of your articles of incorporation and bylaws, but also declare your organizational structure. In most cases nonprofits are corporations, but occasionally they may choose to be an LLC, nonprofit trust, or unincorporated association. In these cases, it’s best to seek the help of an attorney experienced in nonprofit law. To avoid any mistakes while choosing an attorney, you should know what kind of attonery will be the best for your business.

Description of Activities

A very important step to obtaining tax-exempt status, this section of Form 1023 requires a detailed description of your organization’s activities. For each activity, you must include what it is, a percentage of time your group will devote to it, when it started, how it will be funded, and other pertinent facts. One crucial point to remember is that when you state how activities will be funded, the projections used for this must match the financial information given later on in the application.

Compensation and Finances

Meant to ensure a nonprofit cannot be formed strictly to benefit its founder or major contributors, this section of the form must detail all financial compensation and arrangements with directors, officers, trustees, top-paid employees earning in excess of $50,000 annually, and any independent contractors also being paid more than $50,000 per year.

What’s Next?

After filing, the IRS usually does one of three things. While you may be granted tax-exempt status, it’s possible they may request additional information to help them make a decision, or they may deny the request. If this happens and you want to appeal, consult an attorney.

By carefully following these and other steps, your chances of gaining tax-exempt status greatly increase.

Top Auto Accident Lawsuit Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

top accident

When an auto accident occurs, there are numerous issues that must be dealt with immediately. Along with making sure you are not seriously injured, there are the tasks of dealing with insurance companies, trying to get back to work, dealing with a constant stream of medical bills, and much more. As a result, auto accident claims can be some of the most stressful situations victims can find themselves dealing with on a daily basis. Because of this, many auto accident victims make mistakes when filing an auto accident lawsuit. To ensure you don’t create needless problems for yourself and jeopardize your auto accident claim, here are the top auto accident lawsuit mistakes and how you can avoid them.

Don’t Lie

Always Be Truthful With Your Auto Accident Lawyer: If there is one thing that will doom your lawsuit from the start, it’s lying about the circumstances surrounding it to your attorney. Therefore, it’s crucial that when the accident happens, take as many photos and notes as possible, along with getting the necessary contact information from other drivers and witnesses. In doing so, you won’t have to rely on your memory alone to recount critical details, reducing the chances you may embellish the story when discussing it with your attorney.

Beware of Social Media

The Downfall of Auto Accident Claims: While many people see social media posts as harmless, they can be anything but that to an auto accident victim. All it takes is one photo on Facebook showing your injuries to not be as serious as you have claimed, and chances are the defendant’s lawyers and insurance company will know about it in no time. To keep from making this mistake, always remember the following:

– Do not reveal confidential information about the lawsuit online

– Never threaten anyone with online posts

– Remember that one photo will be seen by potentially thousands of people

Even though it may feel like you are doing nothing wrong by discussing your accident with online friends, the fact is the defendant’s attorney and their insurance company are looking for anything they can use against you. By acting recklessly with social media, you’re almost sure to lose your case.

Remember the Statute of Limitations

Time Limits to File Your Auto Accident Lawsuit: As with virtually any legal case, there is a statute of limitations regarding how long you’ll have to file a claim. While these vary from state to state, in general you’ll have between two and five years to file your claim. Therefore, it’s important to not delay getting your case started, since you may find out that by waiting an extra day or two, you’re too late.

Contact an Attorney

If you have been involved in an auto accident, don’t hesitate to contact an auto accident attorney like Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C.  as soon as possible to discuss your case. By doing so, you’ll be sure to have an attorney who is experienced and knowledgeable about these cases, ensuring your case will be handled in a professional and responsible manner.


What Does a DUI Lawyer Cost in Washington, DC

What Does a DUI Lawyer Cost in Washington, DC

Since lawyers have years of education and training, they command higher fees than many professions. This is especially true when it comes to attorneys who specialize in DUI cases, since these cases can sometimes be extremely complex and involve many facets of law. However, since most attorneys do not post their fees online or in their advertising, potential clients usually have no idea how much representation from these lawyers will cost. If you are in need of a Washington, DC DUI lawyer and require information regarding fees and costs, here are some general guidelines.

Training and Experience

Since DUI cases can be complex due to changing regulations and laws, most attorneys who specialize in this area participate in additional training once they complete law school, and in many cases even after they have been practicing attorneys for several years. In general, attorneys receive 25-40 hours of instruction from the National Highway Safety Administration, as well as additional training from other organizations.

Office Costs and Additional Overhead

Along with the specialized training in DUI law, most attorneys also have office costs and additional overhead that must be factored into their costs for the client. This can include paying salaries of secretaries, legal assistants, and investigators, as well as rent for office space and other expenses.

Your First Offense

If this is your first offense for DUI, most attorneys in DC will charge clients a minimum of $2000-$3000. While this may sound high to some, this money buys you a lawyer who will investigate the case thoroughly, consult with experts, and prepare a case for trial. If you try to go cheap and spend $1000 or less for legal representation in these cases, chances are you’re only going to get a lawyer who will have you plead guilty, just to get the case over with as soon as possible.

Second, Third, and Additional Defenses

If you find yourself facing a second or third DUI arrest, be prepared to see your legal bills increase substantially. In these cases, you’ll be spending anywhere from $4000-$6000 or even more, depending upon the circumstances surrounding your case.

Expert Fees

In complex DUI cases, your lawyer may consult with expert witnesses and even have them testify at trial if necessary. The typical cost for these experts varies from $300-$500, and all of these costs are passed on to the client. However, be wary if you are using a lawyer who is guaranteeing results because they are using expert witnesses since in any legal case no reputable lawyer will guarantee a win.

Even though you may have to pay thousands of dollars to get a quality DUI lawyer in Washington, DC, it’s usually money well-spent. By working with a lawyer who has years of experience and knowledge handling these cases, you’ll have a much better chance of coming out on top. Whether they need to bring in expert witnesses or spend hours pouring over police reports, doing so can lead to a much better outcome.

How To Avoid Mistakes When Choosing a Lawyer

How To Avoid Mistakes When Choosing a Lawyer

In today’s world, it seems as if one lawyer after another is advertising their services, trying harder than ever to get your business. Whether it’s a criminal defense attorney or personal injury attorney, everyone seems to consider themselves the best person to handle your case. However, with so much information coming at them, most people have a difficult time deciding which lawyer would work best for their circumstances. As a result, mistakes are often made in the selection process, and these mistakes can prove costly both inside and outside the courtroom. If you’re in the process of hiring a lawyer, here are some common mistakes you should avoid.

Don’t Always Hire the Biggest Firm

While many people assume working with a large law firm will yield positive results, that’s not always the case. In fact, working with a small or medium-sized law firm usually leads to increased personal attention and easier access to your attorney, which can prove crucial in an important case.

Cheaper May Not Be Better

While cost may be a factor in deciding which lawyer you hire, don’t let that alone be the deciding factor. If you find a lawyer who has the knowledge and experience you want for your case, schedule a consultation with them and discuss your needs, including financial. In many cases, lawyers are more than willing to work with clients regarding payment for services, so try hard to get your first choice of attorneys.

Check References

While virtually all advertising for a law firm makes them sound wonderful and knowledgeable, it’s always a good idea to do some checking around before signing on the dotted line. If possible, ask the lawyer for references, and then contact them so you can ask questions. Along with this, make a quick check of your state’s Bar Association, just to make sure your lawyer of choice is not under investigation for anything improper.

Get Everything In Writing

While you naturally should trust the lawyer that will be handling your case, it’s still very important to get everything in writing before forging ahead. In the contract, make sure the responsibilities of all parties are clearly spelled out. This is especially important regarding fee agreements since this is often the most disputed issue between clients and their lawyers.

Always Ask Questions

In many situations, clients may feel intimidated and not ask certain questions of their attorney. Needless to say, this is a huge mistake. After all, since the lawyer is working for you, they should be more than willing to answer any questions you may have. Therefore, never be afraid to ask a question along the way, since it could prove crucial to your ability to win your case.

By making sure you avoid many of these common mistakes, you will not only have a much better working relationship with your attorney but also increase your chances of finding success with your case. No matter what legal situation you may be facing, being proactive can make all the difference.
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What Business Owners Can Expect From Their Lawyer

What Business Owners Can Expect From Their Lawyer

In today’s business world, business owners have many issues to deal with each day. As a result, the last thing they need to deal with is a legal issue that could not only damage their reputation but also cost them thousands of dollars or potentially their livelihood. From customer complaints about products or services to employees alleging sexual harassment or other issues, business owners need to be prepared to deal with anything that comes their way. To ensure this is the case, here are some key points as to what business owners can expect from their lawyer.

Don’t Let a Problem Fester

As a business owner, seek legal advice at the first hint of a potential problem. Rather than hope, the issue goes away on its own, speak with an attorney to plan out a legal strategy from the beginning.

Always Have a Lawyer at the Ready

Instead of scrambling to find a lawyer when issues arise, make sure you have a lawyer or even multiple lawyers ready to help when needed. Depending on the size and scope of your business, you may need lawyers skilled in such topics as employment law, tax law, and intellectual property law.

Know What to Expect

If a dispute arises, know what to expect. To do so, hire an attorney you not only can trust and respect but is experienced and knowledgeable as well. By asking fellow business owners or even family and friends, you should be able to find the perfect lawyer for your business.

You Get What You Pay For

Unfortunately, the least expensive lawyer isn’t necessarily the best lawyer. By keeping this in mind and being willing to pay for knowledge and experience, you’ll get much better advice and results.

An Ounce of Prevention

To keep legal issues from occurring, try to prevent problems from the beginning. Make sure contracts are properly worded, ensure trademark applications are properly filed, and always respond to legal correspondence promptly.

Know the Meaning of Going to Court

When most people think of going to court, they assume that means a trial is imminent. However, almost 90 percent of cases settle before trial. Therefore, have an attorney who is experienced in mediating and settling cases before trial, since this can save you thousands or millions of dollars.

Understand Litigation

While agreeing to a settlement may sometimes feel like an admission of guilt on your part, it’s actually much smarter and far less risky than going to trial. As any good lawyer knows, once a case goes to trial the outcome could go either way. By reaching a settlement, you are able to maintain a level of control over the outcome.

Make Your Lawyer’s Job Easy

By being a good client, you make your lawyer’s job easy. This can involve providing all documents your lawyer needs, accepting your case will have weaknesses, and taking your lawyer’s recommendations seriously.

By following these tips, you and your lawyer should be able to weather any storm that comes your way.