Category: General

What Happens if this Case Settles after Client Passes Away?

Steve Harrelson, a personal injury lawyer Little Rock, AR trusts, discusses the procedure of resolving an open suit in the event a client passes away prior to settlement.  Lawyers, let’s say you represent a woman for a bodily injury claim in connection with a car accident.  The claim won’t resolve itself, so you file suit in a court of competent jurisdiction, serve the Defendant, and begin the discovery process.

At some point prior to trial, your client passes away due to unrelated causes.  However, her husband and three children come into your office subsequent to her death, and the five of you reach a settlement with the insurer.

Probate and Personal Injury Lawyer Little Rock, AR

How do you resolve the case and distribute the settlement proceeds?  The good news is that most jurisdictions won’t require you to substitute the party in the civil case, nor will the court require you to even ask for a stay of proceedings or leave of court to resolve probate issues.  However, you will need some expertise in probate matters in order to move forward.

Since the check cannot be made out to the decedent, you will need to initiate probate proceedings to have a special or personal representative appointed, and then you will have to have the settlement approved by both the civil court and the probate court.  If your client’s husband and all three children are in agreement with the settlement, prepare a Waiver of Notice and Consent to Settlement for each of them to sign and file of record in the probate matter.  If the decedent’s home is a probate asset, you will need full probate administration in most states.

Yes, you will need to prepare the family that this is a process, and that it will require some additional filing fees and hearings, and it may even require you bringing on a probate attorney if you don’t feel comfortable in the realm of decedent’s estates.  However, this will be the only way you can fully resolve this for your client’s family and close out the open civil case.  And, of course, if your client passes away prior to trial, nothing prevents you from having a personal representative appointed, substituting in the estate for the Plaintiff, and going to trial.

For these reasons, it is always smart to associate a veteran litigator and experienced trial lawyer who has been involved in these particular issues in personal injury and probate cases.  Steve Harrelson, a personal injury lawyer Little Rock AR trusts, has successfully resolved cases of personal injury all over Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas.  If you or a loved one has been injured or killed due to someone else’s negligence, the lawyers at the Harrelson Law Firm in Little Rock, Shreveport, and Texarkana stand ready to help.

hlf9-e1472636764722 Thanks to Steve Harrelson and our friends and co-contributors from Harrelson Law Firm, P.A. for their added insight into potential probate issues in personal injury cases.

Workers’ Compensation vs. Social Security Disability Benefits

As New York workers’ compensation attorneys handling workers’ compensation or on the job injury claims, we are very often asked about eligibility for Social Security Disability.  There is often confusion between the different types of disability and who is entitled to what benefits.  This article should help clear up the confusion

Workers’ compensation is paid when there is an on the job injury that prevents you from working.  It serves as a wage replacement system.   In contrast, if an off the job injury prevents you from working you may be entitled to temporary disability.  These are exclusive, opposite remedies and you are only entitled to one of them.

If you suffer from an injury or illness that is expected to keep you out of work for a year or more you may qualify for Social Security disability, regardless of whether the injury or illness was the result of your work.  While New York State workers’ compensation only covers you for a disability that is directly attributable an on-the-job injury, Social Security looks at your overall condition to determine if you are entitled to benefits.  You can receive both workers’ compensation and Social Security at the same time, with Social Security being offset for workers’ compensation.

So if, for example, you have a work injury to your back and you also suffer from high blood pressure, you can receive your workers’ compensation benefits for your back injury and Social Security for both the back and high blood pressure.  Even if the injuries from your work injury would not rise to the level of severity needed to win a claim in workers’ compensation,  you may  have other injuries or medical conditions, not related to the underlying accident, the totality of which could result in being approved for Social Security.

If you have been out of work due to an on the job injury for more than 6 months you should apply for Social Security Disability.  The benefits you receive from workers’ compensation can be supplemented by your Social Security.  While you can get Social Security and workers’ compensation at the same time, in most circumstances, the maximum combined amount is about 80% of what your earnings were before you were injured.   It is very important to keep Social Security advised of the money you are receiving from your workers’ compensation case.  If your workers’ compensation benefits are lowered, your Social Security may go up as the reduction may bring you below the level of the original offset.

Obtaining workers’ compensation and Social Security can be very challenging and it can be very important that you speak to attorneys who specialize in these areas to get the legal advice you need to protect your rights and your benefits.

pasted-image-0 Thanks to our friends and blog authors at Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C. for their insight into workers’ compensation and Social Security benefits.

California Now Allows Transfer-on-Death Deeds

Beginning January 1, 2016, California joined many other states across the country in allowing transfer-on-death deeds. In years past, people who wanted to pass real property to another person without the necessity of probate typically used joint tenancy deeds. For example, a parent might add an adult child’s name as a joint tenant to a real estate deed to make sure the child inherited the property once the parent passed away. Continue reading “California Now Allows Transfer-on-Death Deeds”

Is Your Business Internet-Savvy?

If you are running a business today, you need a business lawyer who also understands what it means to do business online. In today’s marketplace, the average American spends an incredible 11 hours each day using some form of digital media. There is no question the internet plays a vital role in the success (or failure) of a business.

In years past, doing business online meant registering a domain and putting up a website. Now, it’s not enough to simply maintain an online presence. Today, business owners must work closely with seasoned business lawyers who understand the laws and regulations that govern both cyberspace and the brick and mortar companies that do business there.

Why Understanding the Internet Is Important

Most modern businesses exist in the real world and online. With an online business comes a host of issues you may not have seen coming. For example, does your website use stock images without the proper licensing rights? Are you collecting visitor data without disclosing it in a privacy policy on your site? Even one innocent mass email can violate the CAN-SPAM Act. This is where the help and advice of a knowledgeable business lawyer is invaluable.

Although the laws governing the internet are constantly changing, there are several statutes that frequently coming into play. For example, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act aims to stop website owners from infringing on a copyright owner’s property. The Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy helps individuals and entities involved in disputes over domain names.

Don’t Wait to Speak to a Business Lawyer

Running a business takes a lot of time and money. Many business owners delay contacting a lawyer until they absolutely need one, such as when they receive notice of a lawsuit in the mail or from the hands of a process server. This approach may save you money in the short-term, but it is likely to cost you down the road. By working with an attorney now, you can safeguard your business against potentially costly disputes involving intellectual property, domains, and rules governing commerce conducted online.

California Business Lawyers

Whether your business is new or well-established, it’s never too late to protect what you have worked to build. Safeguard your time and your investment by working with experienced California business lawyers. Call Yee Law Group, PC, PC today at (916) 599-7297 to speak to a knowledgeable business lawyer about the next steps for your business.

Data Security Breaches Are Costing Businesses

In recent years, cyber-theft and data loss have dominated business news headlines. Giant retailers like Target have paid out millions in settlement dollars after network security breaches resulted in the loss of credit card and other sensitive information for customers across the country. In Target’s case, experts estimate about 40 million consumers had their credit cards hacked by cyber-criminals. Verizon has become one of the latest causalities in the cyber-crime arena. A flaw in the company’s systems allowed a hacker to steal the contact information of as many as 1.5 million customers. Continue reading “Data Security Breaches Are Costing Businesses”

Should I Use a Partnership for My New Business?

When it comes to starting a business, choosing an entity type is one of the first (and most important) decisions you must make. Will your business be a sole proprietorship, or a limited liability company? What about a corporation? These are all popular choices for new businesses. Another popular choice is a partnership. Many of the largest companies in the world – including Google and Microsoft – began as partnerships. Continue reading “Should I Use a Partnership for My New Business?”