Product Liability Lawyer – The Best Advice in the Business

The market is flooded with products manufactured all over the world. Sometimes they are of high quality, but sometimes, manufacturers scrimp and save so that they make higher profits. When a product that you purchase is unsafe or when it endangers your life you can appeal for justice. All you need to do is turn to a Product Liability Lawyer. If a defective product causes injury, you can claim compensation by listening to your lawyer’s advice.

Any product that you encounter can result in what is known as a product-liability claim if it is found to be defective in design or manufacture and if it causes injury to you or your loved one. From the seat in your car to a toy you bought for your child, this law covers all products. Your Florida Liability Lawyer needs to thoroughly investigate the product and find what made it defective, so that you can determine which manufacturing department is responsible for the caused injury. Various parties can be held liable, such as the manufacturer, the assembling manufacturer, the packaging company, the parts manufacturer, the wholesaler or the retailer.

Your lawyer can file a negligence product liability claim, which must show that negligence caused the defect. A strict liability claim states that the product was defective from the start. When there is an implied or expressed warranty that is not fulfilled, a breach of warranty can be filed.

If you contact a Florida Product Liability Lawyer, he or she can advise you as to the nature of the defect by investigating it. He has sufficient expertise upon the nature of liability you must file for, so his advice must be taken seriously. Finally, he can tell you what degree of compensation you can demand in damages. Thus it is always advisable to contact a lawyer in case you need to file a product-liability claim.

Attorney Negligence: Did It Cost You Your Case?

Attorney Negligence: Did It Cost You Your Case?

Statistics show that legal malpractice claims have become more frequent for the last three decades. There are several instances where a client loses confidence in the abilities of his lawyer because the latter made matters worse instead of providing a resolution to the problem. If you suffered damages due to your lawyer’s wrongful conduct, may it be due to his negligence or intentional act, you may consider the option of bringing a legal malpractice action. However, proving a legal malpractice claim could be challenging as it often involves extensive search for appropriate arguments and corroborating evidence. Despite the existence of actual damages, there are other factors that need to be examined to determine whether a claim of legal malpractice should be filed.

Damages

If the client can prove that the attorney’s negligence or wrongful act resulted in damages, such damages could be recovered by filing a legal malpractice lawsuit. However, there are cases where damages are not easily ascertainable. In such cases, the California Supreme Court held that recovery of damages could still be awarded even if the existence and the cause of such damages are difficult to determine. On the most part, however, damages that are based on speculation or mere threat of future harm are usually not awarded by California courts.

Clients are likely to be more successful with the recovery of so-called “direct” damages. These are damages that have been the direct result of an attorney’s negligence or misconduct. For instance, in a case where an attorney wrongfully advises his client to file for bankruptcy and sell his home for a lower price than its market value, the court is likely to award the client damages to the extent of what he lost from the sale. In another case, a California court awarded damages to a physician due to the loss of his good reputation and the increase in premiums for his medical malpractice insurance due to his attorney’s negligence.

If the client can show clear and convincing evidence that the attorney can be held liable for fraud, malice or oppression, even punitive damages may be recovered, see California Civil Code § 3294. However, client-plaintiffs who have been denied the award of compensatory damages will not be entitled to punitive damages. In general, it is more difficult to prove the existence of punitive damages as courts usually require specific facts to prove that the attorney acted with oppression, fraud or malice. In one rare case, the court of appeals awarded punitive damages due to an attorney’s “conscious disregard of plaintiff’s safety”. In that case, the attorney, who was also a physician, advised his client to postpone the surgery in order to strengthen their medical malpractice lawsuit even though he knew about the urgency of a surgery.

Furthermore, if the client-plaintiff lost his claim for punitive damages in the underlying action, it is very unlikely that courts will award him punitive damages in a legal malpractice lawsuit. The California Supreme Court held that such damages are based on speculation and plaintiffs should not be entitled to damages that cannot be proven with certainty. Otherwise, lawyers would be exposed to more risks of liability, resulting in an increase in the cost of malpractice insurance.

Attorney Negligence

In a legal malpractice action based on the attorney’s negligence, the courts will look into four factors. First, the client-plaintiff needs to show that the attorney-defendant has the obligation to apply the skill, prudence and diligence required from his profession. Second, there has to be proof that the attorney failed to fulfill the above mentioned duty. Third, the client-plaintiff also needs to show that the attorney’s breach of his duty resulted in the damages he suffered. Lastly, as mentioned above, the client-plaintiff needs to present evidence of the existence of such damages and not just mere speculation. According to the California Supreme Court, client-plaintiffs who are facing criminal charges need to prove their actual innocence before they can bring an action against their attorneys. This way, the clients who have been found guilty by a criminal court would not be allowed to go after their attorneys and recover civil damages. An exception to this rule is a malpractice action that is not based on the quality of legal services provided by the attorney. For instance, a fee dispute between the client and the attorney can still be pursued in court even if the client was charged by a criminal court because such a dispute merely involves the attorney’s billing practices.

Typical Cases of Malpractice

The most common basis of malpractice action is the failure of an attorney to adhere to the deadlines set by the Code of Civil Procedure as well as other statutory filing deadlines. As mentioned above, attorneys are expected to apply the required skill, prudence and diligence in providing legal services. The failure to file a lawsuit, initiate a proceeding or bring an action within the so-called statutes of limitation could constitute a strong claim for legal malpractice.

An attorney can also be held liable if the court in the underlying case issues a default judgment against his client due to his failure to file a pleading, see California Code of Civil Procedure § 585. Furthermore, if he fails to relieve his client from the default by filing a motion in a timely manner, namely within six months after the issuance of the default judgment, the client would have another ground to file a malpractice lawsuit against him assuming that the motion could have been successful.

It is also possible to hold an attorney liable for not raising viable defenses in a legal action. In such cases, however, the client-plaintiff needs to show that the defenses that were not asserted can be proven in court and would have led to a more favorable result. In one case, for instance, a California court denied the award of damages to the plaintiff because the attorney decided to leave out weak defenses.

In general, attorneys have an obligation to adhere to their clients’ preferences particularly with regard to legal decisions involving their substantive rights. The failure to follow these instructions can be a basis for a malpractice action. In one case, for instance, a California court held an attorney liable for his failure to file a complaint despite of his client’s specific instructions to do so.

However, courts have held that an attorney can make decisions without his client’s consent if authority has been given in an agreement. Decisions involving procedural matters are also instances where attorneys can act independently. California courts have not yet drawn the line as to how to differentiate procedural matters and legal decisions. Thus, establishing a legal malpractice action based on the failure to adhere to clients’ instructions could pose several challenges. On the other hand, courts have consistently held that attorneys are not obliged to follow instructions that can result in an illegal or unethical conduct. Furthermore, an attorney can reject a case if he determines in good faith that the case lacks merit.

Another frequent basis for a legal malpractice action involves settlements. According to the California Rules of Professional Conduct, an attorney needs to provide his client specific information pertaining to the settlement such as the amount, and the terms and conditions of the offer, see California Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 3-510. To be successful with a malpractice action, a client-plaintiff needs to prove three things. First, there has to be evidence showing the attorney’s failure to inform the client about the settlement (or parts of the settlement). Second, the client-plaintiff needs to attest that he would have accepted the settlement offer if he had known about it (or had sufficient information about it). Last, evidence should be presented that the client would have benefited more from the settlement than the actual outcome of the case. The amount of damages in such a case will be determined by the difference between the actual outcome of the case and what the client-plaintiff would have received from the settlement offer.

Statutes of Limitation

In general, clients can file a legal malpractice lawsuit one year after the discovery of circumstances that support the malpractice claim or four years after the attorney’s act of misconduct, whichever comes first, see California Code Civil Procedure § 340.6(a). There are, however, exceptions to this general rule that could prolong the periods of limitation, giving plaintiffs more time to file a lawsuit. For instance, periods where the plaintiff is physically unable to bring a legal malpractice action against his attorney will be considered as tolled. The same applies to cases where the attorney-defendant is still representing the client-plaintiff in the same case where the attorney’s misconduct is at issue. In such cases, the time limit for bringing a legal malpractice action could be exceeded.

Seeking Legal Advice

The success of a legal malpractice lawsuit will mainly depend on the evidence and arguments which will support the claim that the attorney has been negligent in representing his client. Even procedural matters such as determining the applicable deadline could pose some challenges as well. Thus, in cases that involve complex issues, consulting a lawyer who is experienced in legal malpractice cases is inevitable in order to prevent the occurrence of further damages to the client.

Sources:
California Code of Civil Procedure
California Rules of Professional Conduct

For further reading:
George Lindahl J.D., California Torts, 2012
Suzan Herskowitz Singer, Attorney Responsibilities & Client Rights, 2003
Robert W. Schachner Esq., How & When to Sue Your Lawyer, What You Need to Know, 2005

Tips For Choosing The Best Accident Lawyer

If you are looking to claim compensation after an accident then it is always advisable to seek legal advice from a qualified accident lawyer. Anyone who has been through an accident which caused serious injuries will know how traumatic it can be, which is why hiring an experienced lawyer will ensure you not only get the compensation you deserve but that you are also give time to rest and recover.

Personal injury and accident claims are big business these days and as a result there are literally thousands of lawyers both nationally and locally who are looking to take on accident claims. The problem is not all law firms are the same and whilst some will take on every case that comes through the door, others will only accept claims for specific types of accident and personal injury. Therefore the first step for anyone looking to claim damages is to find the right lawyer for their needs.

It is important not to leave it too long after the accident before you begin looking for an accident lawyer. The longer you leave it the harder it will be for your lawyer to collect the necessary evidence to prove negligence by the other party. Claims are also time sensitive and need to be made within a statutory time period.

Any lawyer you hire to represent you needs to be experienced and qualified in their field. You need someone who has experience of dealing with your particular kind of injuries, is able to interpret medical and accident reports, deal with insurance companies and defense lawyers for the other side. It may also be advisable to hire someone who has trial experience should your claim go to court.

Personal recommendations are always the best way to find good, reputable lawyers so ask around your family and friends, especially if you know someone has recently made a claim for personal injuries. Recommendations like this should give you confidence that a particular is worth approaching and the more recommendations you can get the better.

The internet is another valuable resource when it comes to finding legal assistance. There are many legal directory websites which list lawyers by state or area and which can give plenty of information such as client testimonies, biographies of lawyers and further information on making a claim. Check out individual law firm websites too to get a better insight in to particular firms.

If you fail to get any personal recommendations or do not have internet access then you can ask at your local bar association for a referral. The bar association offers a lawyer referral service which will put you in touch with a lawyer that they feel best suits your needs. You are under no obligation to hire them but you may have to pay a referral fee. Alternatively you can ask at your local courthouse for a list of approved lawyers in your local area.

Once you think you have found a Maryland accident lawyer to represent you do arrange to meet with them in person. This initial consultation is usually free and will give you the chance to ask them more in depth questions about their experience, qualifications and fees.

Tips For Finding the Best Bankruptcy Lawyers

Most of us know how stressful it can be to get behind on a credit card payment or student loan. Even those of us who are fortunate enough not to have had these experiences can probably imagine how difficult it is for someone going through this. Although it should not be taken lightly, bankruptcy remains a viable option for those needing a fresh financial start. Picking the best bankruptcy lawyers possible is an important step in reaching a light at the end of your financial tunnel.

The first thing you should keep in mind when looking for a lawyer is that some attorneys specialize in bankruptcy law. In most cases it is recommended that you find a lawyer specializing in bankruptcy, since lawyers that have a more general practice may not have as much expertise in your field. The new bankruptcy law has made things more complex, and attorneys have to work diligently to keep up with the latest developments and court rulings.

It is unlikely that a lawyer who has a general practice would be able to keep up with these developments. That’s why bankruptcy law firms are highly recommended if you’re looking for solid advice on the bankruptcy process. But how can you be sure you’re getting the best advice possible?

Many bankruptcy lawyers offer you a free consultation to discuss your case. They look at the details of your situation and then recommend whether you should declare bankruptcy. The problem with this model, however, is that the lawyer will not get paid unless you end up declaring bankruptcy (so there may be a conflict of interest).

For this reason, you may want to consider paying for your initial consultation. You simply pay the lawyer the normal hourly fee in exchange for an honest review of your circumstances. This can make it more likely that you’ll receive objective advice instead of just encouraging you to file for bankruptcy.

The one thing you definitely don’t want to do is try to go through the process by yourself. Going through bankruptcy without a lawyer is a pretty foolish thing nowadays. The law has become more complex, and you simply need solid legal advice to help you through it. However, getting your financial documents in order and learning as much as possible about the process can make your legal consultation go more smoothly and end up costing less.

The Role Of a Reputable Accident Attorney

All accident attorneys are not created equal. Some attorneys may be very effective in general aspects of negligence claims, and have little experience with some specifics. Accident claims are all unique in case particulars and personal situations, with determination of punitive damages needing evaluation. Compensatory damages for property can be relatively simple, but personal injuries often include a “pain and suffering” component. Calculating an appropriate punitive remuneration amount can be complicated, so it is important to retain an accident attorney with a solid track record.

What is Reputable?

Obviously, a reputation can be established in multiple ways. Some attorneys will not take cases of a particular type, and states are reluctant to certify attorneys in specific areas of law. There are still a few indicators of attorney experience and effectiveness. Many attorneys rely largely on personal references from clients, and this may be the most effective method of advertising. Merely choosing an accident attorney based on a single advertisement may not be advisable.

Reputable attorneys will often be registered with state legal associations, such as Super Attorneys, and some state professional associations certify trial attorneys. Any professional certification indicates respect among their peers, and is always a positive. The Internet is an excellent source of information regarding solid attorneys provide: some sites provide a matching service between clients and attorneys, whilst other sites offer reviews from previous clients allowing you to make a more informed choice over who to hire. Always remember it is important to choose the right lawyer for your case who has your interests in mind and do a comprehensive analysis.

What Does An Accident Attorney Do?

Retaining the right attorney can make a big difference in the value of a case, especially if a specific attorney is willing and able to present case evidence in a method that maximizes the client’s financial benefit. Good accident attorneys leave no stone alone in an assessment of possible negligent parties in an accident. Claims are always assessed for compensatory and punitive damage amounts, and the courts will routinely assign percentages of fault in cases with multiple respondents.

An experienced attorney will file claims against all negligent parties, both physical injury and property, and use similar values to illustrate the request for reasonable remuneration. Many times a settlement is negotiated to prevent the insurance company or responsible party from admitting guilt, so negotiation skills are crucial. A solid attorney knows how to leverage this situation.

Negotiation Skills

All accident attorneys understand the basics of filing an injury claim, as some cases indicate clear lines of negligence and fault. The real skill for an attorney is in the negotiation process, especially if the primary responsible defendant has financial resources that may be attainable beyond insurance coverage. Insurance polices all have monetary caps, and their coverage responsibility stops at the cap. That is not necessarily true for individuals with additional resources in cases that calculated higher in damages. Furthermore, when multiple negligent respondents are involved, the total amount of the claim may be settled significantly higher with an attorney that is skilled in multiple and simultaneous negotiations.

Reputable attorneys clearly earn their reputation, regardless of what it may be. It is important for each claimant to choose an attorney that is right for the case, with a reasonable amount of research. Location of the case and the attorney’s familiarity with the local court system can be a good place to start, as this indicates that the attorneys may actually know the judges and local court policy.

Attorneys who maintain good working relationships with court management can be an advantage in cases that may require unique motions. Never hire an attorney on a hunch. Always get some solid information first.