Author Archives: fl_litig8r

How Does a Settlement Affect Social Security Benefits?

Personal injury clients receiving SSI benefits (SSDI benefits aren’t affected at all by a settlement) need to be aware how the settlement money will affect those benefits before receiving any settlement money. The social security administration (SSA) has strict limits … Continue reading

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Why Lawyers Pressure Clients to Settle

Lawyers pressure clients to settle all the time. This is not necessarily a bad thing, nor is it necessarily wrong to do — sometimes it is, but more often than not the lawyer truly believes that the settlement he advocates … Continue reading

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Paying Back Medicare After a Lawsuit

Medicare recipients who file personal injury lawsuits need to be aware that by law they will have to pay Medicare back from their judgment or settlement. Unlike cases where private health insurers seek repayment, cases involving Medicare liens offer lawyers … Continue reading

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Suing an Attorney for Malpractice is Harder Than You Think

Legal malpractice cases are particularly difficult and expensive to pursue. Aside from the inherent difficulty in finding an attorney who accepts legal malpractice cases, the plaintiff essentially needs to prove two cases in order to win: (1) the malpractice case … Continue reading

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Lawyer Win/Loss Records — Why You Can’t Find Them

I’ve been asked on more than one occasion where plaintiffs can look up the win/loss records of lawyers. Usually this is in conjunction with them initially hiring a lawyer or thinking of switching lawyers, the thought being that this would … Continue reading

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What Happens If I Lose My Lawsuit?

When a plaintiff loses his lawsuit, whether by summary judgment, a directed verdict or a jury verdict for the defense, he or she is probably wondering “what happens next”? Can I get a new trial? Can I appeal? Will I … Continue reading

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Loss of Consortium Claim — Worth the Bother?

Loss of consortium claims are treated as an afterthought by most personal injury lawyers. While they are legitimate claims, their value usually pales in comparison to the primary plaintiff’s claim (and often add no real value, for reasons I’ll discuss … Continue reading

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When a Defendant Admits Fault, That’s Only Half the Battle

Don’t start celebrating a victory in your personal injury case just because the defendant admitted being at fault (admitted liability, in legalese) for your accident. Plenty of “admitted liability” cases still go to litigation, or even to trial. This is … Continue reading

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Can I Settle With Just One Defendant?

If you have sued more than one party in your personal injury case, you’re probably wondering whether you can settle with one of them and still proceed with the lawsuit against the other(s). Such an arrangement could let you have … Continue reading

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Weight Gain After An Injury

As if suffering an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence wasn’t bad enough, many plaintiffs also find themselves gaining weight due to restrictions on their activities, depression, or both. Statistically, two thirds of the U.S. population is already … Continue reading

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Want to Settle Your Own Accident Claim? Part 3 – The Demand

Having decided whether you should try to settle your own accident case (Part I) and gone through the preparations and document gathering needed to prepare your demand (Part 2), you should now be ready to draft your settlement demand letter. … Continue reading

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Want to Settle Your Own Accident Claim? Part 2 – Prep Work

For those of you who read Part I of this article (you did read Part I, right?) and decided that you still want to try to settle your own accident claim, here are some suggestions for how to proceed. Always … Continue reading

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Want to Settle Your Own Accident Claim? Part I – Should You?

Many people involved in accidents which give rise to personal injury claims wonder if they should try to settle their own case before hiring a lawyer. Will they personally recover more money by negotiating with the insurance company directly, thereby … Continue reading

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How to Answer Interrogatories

If your case goes to litigation, you will need to answer interrogatories, usually within the first few months after the lawsuit is filed (others can be served later in the case). Interrogatories are written questions from opposing counsel — part … Continue reading

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How To Testify At Trial

Even though most plaintiffs will never go to trial, the thought of having to testify in court can be a source of great anxiety. Even if you’ve given a deposition in your case, you will find testifying at a trial … Continue reading

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Can I Fire My Lawyer? Yes, But You May Still Have to Pay Him

Despite having a written contingency fee contract with your lawyer, you can fire him at any time. However, depending on your reasons for firing him, you may still owe him a fee. In most jurisdiction, though not all, if you … Continue reading

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Letter of Protection — Delay Medical Bills Until Settlement

Not every personal injury plaintiff has health insurance. Those who are involved in automobile accidents may have PIP or med pay coverage to pay medical bills, but these benefits are often not enough to cover all necessary medical treatment. These … Continue reading

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How to Choose a Lawyer – 2 Revealing Questions To Ask

Unless you receive a referral from someone you trust, choosing a lawyer for your personal injury case can be one big crap shoot. Fancy ads or a nice office tell you more about a lawyer’s business acumen than his competence … Continue reading

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Attorney Costs — Reviewing Your Own Lawyer’s Bill

Costs are the expenses your attorney incurs which are directly attributable to your specific case. Almost all personal injury attorney fee contracts require that these costs be reimbursed from your share of the recovery, i.e., the money left over after … Continue reading

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How to Give a Deposition — 5 Deposition Tips

Unless your case settles immediately, the odds are pretty high that at some point you will have to give a deposition. Depositions are not fun for anyone (even lawyers don’t like having their depositions taken), but there are some tips … Continue reading

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Jury Trial Crisis — Why So Few Cases are Going to Trial

The Florida Bar recently released the results (pdf warning) of its research into the declining number of jury trials in America. It is a phenomenon which is affecting both civil and criminal jury trials, for somewhat different reasons. I’m only … Continue reading

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Something You Can (and Should) Do That Your Lawyer Cannot

There are few things that you, as a plaintiff, can do that your lawyer cannot. One notable exception is directly communicating with a defendant who is represented by counsel. Your lawyer is prohibited from this form of communication by ethics … Continue reading

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Why Did the Defense Attorney Ask Me for That?

The discovery process can make you, as a plaintiff, feel like you are the one on trial. In a very real way, you are. When you file a personal injury lawsuit, you open yourself up to any questions and requests … Continue reading

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Why Won’t Any Lawyer Take My Case?

If you’ve called several lawyers about handling your personal injury case and you haven’t found one who’s interested, it’s usually due to one of three reasons. First, your case sucks. Second, you want to sue someone who local lawyers don’t … Continue reading

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Whose Depositions Should You Attend?

As a plaintiff, you know that you will be required to submit to a deposition by opposing counsel. If you are married, it is likely that you plan to attend your spouse’s deposition as well, as that is often scheduled … Continue reading

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