It is the first and most obvious question to ask oneself if injured in an accident. Because of my prior work experience as an adjuster for an insurance company, I seem to be asked this question an awful lot. I have worked on both sides of an injury claim, previously for the insurance companies, and today for my injured clients. So knowing how insurance companies evaluate claims, the question is often raised to me - does an attorney make a difference? Do I need a lawyer?
The simple answer, no surprise, is yes. I do not give this answer simply to solicit business. A good lawyer (and I include myself in this grouping) takes a case with the expectation that it will have to go to trial. That said, evidence and all vital information is secured early, the theory of liability is well thought out, and the case is monitored from the onset to ensure that nothing goes wrong. In so doing, a good lawyer gains leverage over the insurance companies.
In addition to protecting the strength of the case, a lawyer is necessary to secure a fair value for the injury suffered. Adjusters are quick to say that they evaluate claims the same way whether a claimant has an attorney or not - and to some extent this is true. If an injury is a relatively minor one, the evaluation will be approximately the same with or without an attorney. If you have been seriously injured, however, you NEED an attorney to obtain fair value. Insurance companies will make sometimes embarrassingly low offers for fractures or scarring, for example, and an unsuspecting claimant might accept such a number thinking it is a good deal.
Therefore, if you have been seriously injured in any kind of accident, hire an attorney to protect your rights and ensure that you receive full value for the injury suffered. My office offers a free consultation and is open to discuss any questions you may have regarding the process.
It has been leaked by several news sources that President Obama is going to nominate Sonia Sotomayor to replace David Souter on the Supreme Court. Justice Sotomayor of the Second Circuit would join Justice Ginsburg as the second woman on the bench and would be the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice.
Though first nominated to the Federal Bench by a Republican, George Bush, her decisions have leaned largely to the left and she was nominated to the Second Circuit by President Clinton. She has had two Second Circuit decisions overturned by the Supreme Court because her opinions failed to gain the support of the conservative majority.
I applaud this decision by President Obama and am confident that Judge Sotomayor will pass through Congress to ultimately replace Judge Souter.
The RI Supreme Court has upheld a conviction even though the alleged victim changed her testimony. Acting Chief Justice Goldberg recognized that the Court was "confronted with yet another victim of domestic violence who, after her abuser was arrested and charged with a felony, changed her story and gave markedly different testimony at trial to protect her abuser."
The SC held that a jury could rightfully base their decision on prior testimony given at the time of the incident so long as there is other evidence to support a finding that a crime was committed.
Based on an understanding of human psychology, this is the proper decision. One could argue that the jury is hearing direct testimony from the alleged victim that is contrary to a finding that a crime occurred, and therefore should find the defendant not guilty. On the other hand, there are volumes of text showing that victims of domestic violence will often protect their accusers, and therefore, the trial testimony should not be given any credibility. If the jury decides, based on this latter point, that the testimony given to police on the night of the arrest is more credible than the testimony given at trial, then it is appropriate for the SC to uphold the conviction.
The Editor of Forbes Magazine, William Baldwin, has suggested that plaintiff lawyers help protect the quality of the Nation's food supply by bringing suits against companies who have slipped under the FDA radar. As he points out, food-borne illness sickens 76 million Americans per year, kills 5,000, and runs up $3 Billion in medical bills.
These statistics, coupled with numerous salmonella scares and constant questions about the quality of food products brought in from China, shows that the FDA is clearly overwhelmed and unable to protect our country from dangerous food products. A few high profile lawsuits with punitive damage awards, may be able to do what the FDA cannot.
As Mr. Baldwin points out, "genetic subtyping can make an unmistakable link from food to victim." Such certainty prevents frivilous lawsuits and eliminates doubt in the minds of victims who may or may not have been sickened by the food they ate.
Food-borne illness can range from mild stomach pain to death. If you feel that you or a loved one has been the victim of food poisoning, contact our office for a free consultation.