What are contingency fees, and why do they benefit legal clients?

Lawyers work on contingency fees in order to work for clients that cannot afford to pay lawyers at an hourly rate. In many areas of law such as personal injury, clients typically do not have the funds necessary to pay lawyers by the hour for their case. In order to serve these clients, attorneys draw up contingency fees that a client does have the means to accept. Contingency agreements present a couple different advantages for clients. Let’s take a look at the major benefits of hiring an attorney based on contingency fees.

Clients Are Not Affected by Case Length

When an attorney agrees to take a case and they’re working on contingency, they cannot charge more based on the length of the case. Typically, if a case ends up being more complicated than expected, it can take several months of work and have associated court fees. Normally, an attorney would charge their client more money if their case ended up taking longer than expected, but contingency agreements prevent this from happening, as attorneys will still only collect an agreed upon portion of the settlement.

Clients Cannot Lose Money

Contingency fees prevent attorneys from collecting money out of pocket. These fees are based on a percentage of the expected settlement. If your lawyer is unable to secure a settlement, your lawyer will collect no further fees from you. If your lawyer is only able to secure a settlement that does not cover court fees, it is not your responsibility to cover the difference out of pocket.

Lawyers Accept Contingency Arrangements on Simple Cases

Because of the benefits that contingency arrangements provide to clients, attorneys are put at risk when accepting them. When cases are overly-complicated or take longer than expected, attorneys made end up losing money. To prevent these sorts of situations, lawyers likely only accept cases that they think will be relatively quick or simple. Lawyers may adjust their contingency rates based on the predicted outcome as well. For very short and simple cases, lawyers may ask for a contingency fee of up to 50%. For a case of average length and complexity, fees range from 33% to 40%. If a lawyer wants to take on a case that may take a long time but will have a large payout, fees may drop to as low as 15%. However, every lawyer will evaluate and predict the outcome of a case differently.

Experienced Attorneys in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

While researching for this post, I came across some helpful information from the Law Office of William J. Luse. Attorneys at the Law Office of William J. Luse accept cases on based on contingency fees in a number of different practice areas. These include personal injury, employment law and civil litigation. The Law Office of William J. Luse also takes on criminal defense cases such as DUI and drug charges, but contingency fees are not available for these types of criminal cases. This is because criminal cases do not result in settlements the same way that other civil cases do.


What Happens in the Case of Insurance Bad Faith

Insurance is one of those necessary evils of our lives. We pay into it on a monthly, or yearly basis so that it will cover us when we need it most. Most of the time we don’t use our insurance (or hope that we don’t use it) because we’re healthy, haven’t gotten into an accident, etc. However, when we do need it, we hope that it will come through for us after everything we’ve paid into it. When it doesn’t, it leaves people with a real problem on their hands. Something they paid for isn’t doing its job, and they have a big bill they were banking on being paid for by their insurer.

Bad faith insurance is a huge punch in the face for those who are counting on it most. When an insurer delays or withholds payment of a policyholder’s insurance claim that it knows is reasonable and clear, the insurer may have acted in bad faith. The relationship between the insurer and the insured is an important one, and the insured relies heavily on the insurer in times of need. It doesn’t matter whether an earthquake hit and you lost your home or hail damage put dents in your car; you should be covered promptly. Texas law demands that insurance carriers deal with their policyholders in good faith in both common law and statutory law situations. Common law situations are those that arise from particular cases, while statutory law situations are those that are based in written, codified law.

Common law claims by policyholders usually occur due to insurance companies abusing their size, superior knowledge and wealth to benefit themselves at the expense of the policyholder. When insurance companies use this to their advantage over their policyholders, said policyholder might be able to bring forth a bad faith claim. For these claims, an attorney will be best utilized to help. Not all denied insurance claims are done in bad faith, and an attorney is well equipped to realize this, even while fighting for you. 

Conversely, an attorney will know just as well if an insurance company has acted in bad faith. They may be able to seek compensation based on the insurance claim and damages done due to lack of payment. It’s critical to hire an attorney when dealing with bad faith insurance claims, because the insurance company will rarely give their policyholders the benefit of the doubt, and will rarely be looking to fight in your favor. An aggressive, attentive attorney will be on the lookout for bad faith behavior in your insurance carrier’s correspondence with you and will make every effort to secure what you deserve. In cases where bad faith has been practiced, your attorney may be able to seek additional damages for the harmful behavior. We count on our insurance to cover us in times of need, and they shouldn’t be able to avoid that responsibility.

The Optimal Child Custody Agreement

An article published by Romper details new research conducted in Sweden about the best arrangement for child custody agreements. While divorce is often painful and rarely an easy transition, the new study suggests that complete joint custody is the best option for children following a split. Of course, this setup is not sustainable or practical for all couples, but allowing your child to maintain an active relationship with both parents turned out to be extremely important for their mental health.

Of the subjects used in the study, 3,369 were children in nuclear families, 79 lived primarily with one parent, 72 lived exclusively with one parent, and 136 were in a joint physical custody arrangement. The researchers then surveyed parents and teachers about the behavior of the children. In particular, the adult participants completed the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), a popular screening test used to measure emotional symptoms; conduct and peer relationship problems; and inattention. The results indicated no significant difference in SDQ scores between children in joint physical custody and those in a nuclear family, although the children in a nuclear family performed slightly better on average. Children in the custody of a single parent or mostly in the custody of a single parent showed more behavioral issues and emotional symptoms.

The results of the study are hardly surprising. Past research suggests that children fare better emotionally when they have a stronger relationship with both parents. When both parents are active in their child’s life, it leads to less stress for the child on average. Less stress, in turn, leads to fewer emotional problems and behavioral issues. Therefore, splitting time between parents and spending about an equal amount of time with both parents has some benefits.

However, the study is not without shortcomings. For one, researchers at Uppsala University, Karolinska Institutet, and the Centre for Health Equity Studies conducted the study. These are Swedish organizations, so the outcome of the study may not hold across cultures. While the results seemed clear for Swedish children, it is possible that the results are different for Americans. Second, the subjects in the study were very young children ranging from 3 to 5 years of age. Developmental changes are dramatic at that age, so what is true for a 3-year-old may not end up being true for an 8-year-old. Although it is certainly positive to decrease stress for your child, how that occurs can be complicated, and joint physical custody may not be an option for families.

According to the attorneys at https://www.bestafkalaw.com, the health of a child can be at stake in child custody proceedings, so it’s best to hire an attorney to keep proceedings short and amicable. With this new study, it may become easier for parents to agree that sharing custody of their child is the healthiest option for everyone involved—especially their child. Of course, as with all things, the study is a little flawed, but I think this is a great first step toward a future where fewer children “suffer” through a divorce, and merely experience one.

Injuries Caused By Motorcycle Accidents

Any auto accident has the potential to be serious, but often motorcyclists face more severe injuries than drivers of standard vehicles because they are exposed to roadway conditions and are more likely to be thrown from their motorcycle. Drivers of standard vehicles have a protective outer shell that motorcyclists do not have, protecting them in ways that motorcyclists cannot be protected. However, even if a motorcyclist is not thrown from his or her motorcycle in an accident, he or she might still sustain serious injuries depending on the circumstances of the accident.

Just like regular car accidents, motorcycle accidents can cause extremely serious injuries to anyone involved, typically the motorcyclist. Some of the most common injuries that are reported in association with motorcycle accidents include:

  • Broken bones / fractures
  • Neck / back injuries
  • Head / brain trauma
  • Blood loss
  • Abrasions / road rash

All of these injuries can have devastating results for an innocent motorcyclist, including not just physical difficulties, but financial ones as well, since many of these injuries require extensive and costly medical treatment.

While motorcyclists tend to get a bad reputation from other drivers for being reckless, the most common cause of motorcycle accidents is actually the erratic or dangerous behavior of other drivers. Many times, drivers don’t acknowledge that motorcyclists legally have the same rights as they do, and therefore treat them as lesser drivers. This misconception can lead to severe injuries and expenses for the motorcyclist.

Motorcyclists don’t necessarily have to take this treatment without help. In fact, if you or someone you know has been hurt on a motorcycle because of another driver’s actions, you could be eligible for financial compensation. Contact an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer today to discuss your accident and potentially gaining compensation. They will be able to guide you through this difficult time with compassion. In the midst of such a painful time, it’s important to have an experienced lawyer on your side to fight for you.

How The Amount Of Marijuana In Possession Affects Penalties

Marijuana use and distribution is common in the United States, but those who are accused of possessing marijuana can be facing serious legal penalties. The severity of such penalties largely depends on the amount of marijuana found in a person’s possession. The spectrum of penalties also can vary based on the person accused and their history. Texas has strict, but varying, laws regarding penalties for marijuana possession because the state acknowledges the obvious and essential difference between, for example, a teenager caught with marijuana one time and a long-time drug dealer who perpetually gets caught in possession of the drug. In both cases, penalties are imminent, but will almost certainly vary.

Understanding Differences of Possession

Many people who are accused of marijuana possession in Texas have only a small amount of the drug on them, and lawmakers in Texas want to distinguish between this kind of crime and one of greater import. Thus, the Texas laws regulate penalties for different levels of marijuana possession as follows:

  • Less than 2oz up to 2,000 in fines and up to 120 days in jail
  • 2 4 oz up to 4,000 in fines and up to 1 year in jail
  • 4oz 5 pounds (now a state felony level crime) up to 10,000 in fines and 180 days to 2 years in jail
  • 5 50 pounds up to 10,000 in fines and 2 to 10 years in prison
  • 50-2,000 pounds up to 10,000 in fines; 2-20 years in prison
  • more than 2,000 pounds up to 50,000 in fines and 5-99 years in prison

According to the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter website, regardless of what penalties a person finds themselves facing as a result, everyone deserves a fair trial and competent legal representation. These are rights that are reserved for everyone in the U.S. by the Constitution. These are rights that are unlawful to infringe upon. If this happens, and an individual is arrested and convicted of a crime as a result, the court decision can be thrown out or reversed.

Being arrested on charges of drug possession can be daunting and you might not know where to turn when you’re facing such harsh penalties. However, legal representation can be extremely helpful, potentially eliminating or at least reducing the charges or penalties you’re facing. This can help you move on with your life with as little derailment from drug possession accusations as possible.

Pedestrian Accidents

Both drivers and pedestrians are required to follow the traffic laws and ensure safe travel when sharing the road. While everyone is obligated to follow the law, there are some important distinctions to make between their different responsibilities. Drivers are shielded from harm by a sturdy metal frame, seat belts, and airbags in the event of a collision, whereas a
pedestrian has no such protection, especially on holidays like Halloween. Automotive vehicles are a danger to pedestrians because they are large, incredibly heavy, and travel at high speeds. Any accident is likely to result in severe, potentially fatal injuries for a pedestrian. Due to the hazards that pedestrians face in potential collisions, drivers are always required to give pedestrians the right of way in order to minimize the risk of traumatic injuries and fatalities.

Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

Many such accidents are the result of a drivers negligent behavior, where they fail to notice a pedestrian or are otherwise driving recklessly. Unfortunately, even when an innocent pedestrian is unexpectedly struck by a vehicle, they are far more likely than the negligent driver to suffer severe and long lasting consequences. Following are several common reasons that pedestrian accidents occur:

  • Driver speeds, reducing their control of the vehicle and reaction time
  • Distracted driving
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Failing to give a pedestrian the right of way

Victims of pedestrian accidents have a high probability of suffering devastating physical injuries that can have a lasting impact on their lives, likely requiring expensive medical treatments. They find it necessary to take legal action against the driver in order to alleviate the financial burdens associated with their hospital visits and other losses.

Legal Options

If you were injured by a reckless driver in a pedestrian accident, you should consider contacting a car accident attorney who can advise you on your legal options for pursuing the financial compensation that you may deserve.

Understanding How Surgical Errors May Occur with Da Vinci

The Da Vinci Surgical System by Intuitive Surgical Inc. is not really all that new. It was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in the US on July 11, 2000. While it made waves in the medical community when it was first made commercially available, it was only in the last three years that it became spotlighted for the general public. Unfortunately, it is because of the surgical errors and injuries that have become associated with the technology.

Under usual circumstances, liability for surgical errors is placed on the surgeon as medical malpractice. However, with the use of the Da Vinci which is considered a supervisory-controlled robotic surgery system, the problem may be in the tool itself rather than the wielder. To understand how this can happen, one must know how the system works.

The da Vinci is made up of the surgical arm unit which is placed near the patient and a console for the surgeon who will be viewing and controlling the arm unit from several feet away. The system is designed so that the surgeon is the one making all the moves, using a joystick to control the motions of the three or four arms the robot may have. Small incisions are made in the abdomen in which stainless steel rods are placed. One of the rods is equipped with two endoscopic cameras while the others have surgical tools attached. The surgeon is then provided with a 3D image of the patient’s insides without having to actually open up the patient or touch the instruments.

There are two ways that are immediately apparent that surgical errors may occur. One is based on the lack of physical contact between the surgeon and patient could affect how the surgeon intuits the condition of the patient, something that may be balanced out with proper training. The other is the use of electrical instrument which may malfunction at any time. Surgeons have reported numerous incidents of a system freeze or shutdown in the middle of a procedure, necessitating a switch to more traditional surgical methods. Some patients experience inadvertent electrical burns to internal organs. These may all be considered surgical errors leading to injury.

The Da Vinci system has its merits, but it has a long way to go before it can be all that it can be in surgery.

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