When you need a top rated accident, injury, family law or criminal defense attorney, you can find us in Upland, Rancho Cucamonga, Ontario, Montclair, La Verne and the surrounding areas of Southern California.
We would be happy to discuss your case with you and answer all of your legal questions. It's free. No Obligation. No Pressure. Just answers.
The Law Offices of Marc Grossman was named the "Client's Choice" by AVVO, the leader in attorney ratings and legal information provider. The Law Offices of Marc Grossman consistently ranks as one of the top law firms in Upland, Rancho Cucamonga, La Verne, Montclair, Claremont and Ontario and surrounding areas. In fact, AVVO rates Marc Grossman a perfect "10" or "Superb". Few law firms receive more recognition than the Law Offices of Marc Grossman.
Trusted By Clients
The Law Offices of Marc Grossman is rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau and has been since 2005. The Better Business Bureau is a seal you can trust and when a law firm is A+ rated you can trust them to provide you with the best possible representation and sound legal advice. Every year our attorneys receive awards for personal injury, family law and criminal defense from AVVO, Martindale-Hubbell, Lawyers.com and many local, regional and national publications.
Best Law Firm in US
No law firm is more highly regarded than the Law Offices of Marc Grossman. We treat every client with the care and respect they deserve. When we say "we fight for you" we mean it! That is one reason that Acquisition International named us the Best Parole Right Law Firm in America for 2015. So, when we say that we are one of the best law firms in America, it's not just our opinion. It is based on the opinions of hundreds of thousands of our peers and clients.
"Why hire our law firm?."
"Avoid these divorce mistakes."
"How much is my injury case worth?."
Trust. Integrity. Respect.
Since 1998, the attorneys of the Law Offices of Marc Grossman have served Upland, Montclair, La Verne, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga and the surrounding communities. Our "Core Values" of: Trust. Integrity. Respect., separate us from other law firms. Our Core Values combined with our commitment to excellence in legal representation has made us the "Client's Choice" among law firms according to AVVO.com. In fact, year after year, the Law Offices of Marc Grossman has received the "Client's Choice" award along with many other prestigious awards from our peers, our clients, professional organizations, local, regional and national publications. You can find a partial list of the awards and other recognition we have received in the "News" section of our website.
We believe that Core Values and winning record is the key to our success. Trust is something we earn from our clients. Our personal injury, family law, DUI and criminal defense clients will tell you that our attorneys provide competent legal advice, tough representation, excellent communication and achieve the best possible result for their case. Integrityis an important element that is necessary to establish trust. For our clients, integrity means that we say what we mean and deliver on our promises. When we say, "we fight for you," we will. That means that we won't let an insurance company push you around or let your spouse or their attorney bully you into submission or let you be forced into accepting a plea deal that isn't just. When we promise you the highest level dedication and commitment to your case, we mean that we will devote all available resources necessary to achieve the best result for you and resolve your matter in the shortest possible time. We will never allow your rights to be compromised or settle for less than everything that you are entitled to receive. Our Core Values and tough, smart legal representation earns us the Respect of our clients but our winning record and reputation for never settling for less than our clients deserve has earned the respect of other attorneys and insurance companies that have come up against us. We leverage this respect and tough reputation to work in favor of our clients, which helps to produce the best possible result for our clients.
Our success insures that the clients of the Law Offices of Marc Grossman have the same strength and resources of a big L.A. law firm only more affordable. We have experienced attorneys for any legal situation such as: Workers compensation attorneys, family law Attorneys, DUI defense lawyers, criminal defense attorneys, bankruptcy lawyers, personal injury attorney, among others. Call us today for free consultation.
Why You Need A Personal Injury Attorney
I need a personal injury attorney? Anyone who has ever had to deal with an insurance company will tell you that it is nearly impossible to get a fair settlement. That is why you need the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney. A minor collision involving only vehicle damage may not require a personal injury attorney. It is a different story in cases involving serious injury or even death. It is easy to get compensated for a scratched fender from an insurance company. It usually takes getting a few estimates and submitting them to the adjuster. It is far more complicated when serious injury or death is concerned. The insurance company will offer you a settlement that is good for them but it will most definitely short change you. That is unless you have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side.
A Personal Injury Attorney Can Get You The Settlement You Deserve!
Determining what is fair compensation for a spinal cord injury, head injury, broken bones or the death of a loved one is a daunting task. Insurance companies use many techniques to reduce or deny your claim. They may try to assign blame to you. They may not agree to pay all of you medical bills or future medical bills. In short, they will do everything possible to get the best deal for them.
Our expert personal injury attorney have more than 100 years of practice experience. Our experts will accurately determine the value of your case ("damages"). Damages in a personal injury case include: Medical bills, future medical treatment, lost wages, loss of future earnings, pain and suffering, property damage and many others. An experienced personal injury attorney from the Law Offices of Marc Grossman can get you the settlement you deserve.
Our personal injury attorneys use modern science and forensic investigation along with medical specialists, economists and other experts to maximize your claim. We unleash these resources on the insurance company if they won't agree to settle for what you deserve. The insurance company will usually make a more reasonable settlement offer when faced with the mountain of evidence uncovered by our experts.
What if they are unwilling to settle? We will use the courts to force them to pay what you deserve. Our personal injury attorneys have more trial experience that most law firms in the area. We are not afraid the take on the toughest insurance company lawyers. We know that if we are taking your case to trial, we have done everything possible to prove your case. that is how we have won hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients.
Anyone can hire the best personal injury attorney. We never charge any upfront fees for our personal injury clients. Our fees are factored into the settlement. This means you pay nothing out of your pocket to hire one of the best personal injury attorneys. So, no matter what your financial circumstances are, we can help.
"Our promise to you is that you will not pay us a dime unless we get you the settlement or verdict that you are entitled to."
Call us today for a free, no obligation consultation 1-855-LOMG-911 or use the contact form on this page to request a call or email from one of our personal injury experts.
Experienced Divorce Lawyers In Upland California
Law Offices of Marc Grossman
A Reputation of Trust and Respect
More than 100 years practicing family law, the Law Offices of Marc Grossman is one of the most experienced divorce lawyers in Upland, Ontario, Montclair, La Verne, Rancho Cucamonga and the surrounding areas of Southern California. Our caring and compassionate family law experts provide tough and effective representation in divorce or child custody cases. We know how to protect your rights and resolve your family law case quickly. We won’t let your divorce case drag on any longer than necessary which means lower overall all attorney’s fees and less emotional stress on you and your family.
”Call today to speak with one of our family law experts. We will answer all of your questions and explain how we can help 1-855-LOMG-911”
Why Our Experienced Divorce Lawyers are the Best Choice
The experienced divorce lawyers at the Law Offices of Marc Grossman are top rated family law attorneys who take each divorce or child custody case personally. We understand that family law cases are deeply personal and emotional. Family law cases can also be financially devastating as one household breaks into two. Attorney’s fees are a necessary part of a divorce to insure a fair outcome for everyone but these fees add to the stress of the situation. Our experience tells us that the key to recovering from a divorce both emotionally and financially is to achieve a fast, fair resolution. We leverage the strength of our law firm’s tough and effective reputation to push for a fast but fair settlement. Because your case won’t drag on any longer than necessary, you will spend less on attorney’s by hiring us over other smaller, less experienced law firms in Southern California.
Call today or use the contact form on this page to request a free consultation with one of our family law experts. 1-855-LOMG-911.
Acquisition International Magazine is a global publication dedicated to providing news and information to elite corporations and businesses worldwide. Each year they compile statistics and information on outstanding businesses in dozens of countries to determine the best in each industry and hundreds of subcategories. In addition to the gathering of statistical information, AI surveys its readers and professionals to determine the award winner for each respective category. This year, more than 630,000 attorneys and other legal professionals were surveyed across the United States and The Law Offices of Marc Grossman was the clear winner in the category of Parole Rights Attorneys.
This award recognizes the Law Offices of Marc Grossman’s efforts over the past many years advocating for prisoners who are often unlawfully denied the opportunity for parole despite having served the requisite time and having been a model prisoner. Few law firms can claim to have done more for prisoners or parole rights than the Law Offices of Marc Grossman.
If you or a loved has been refused the opportunity for parole, wrongfully denied parole or is currently on parole but has been harassed or violated unjustly, call the “Best Parole Rights Law Firm in America,” the Law Offices of Marc Grossman. Call Now 855-LOMG-911 (855-566-4911) or request a FREE consultation through one of the contact forms on this website.
The official announcement and other details will be available in AI’s December issue.
Attorney Marc Grossman Wins Freedom Of Convicted Murderer After 20 Years in Prison
After more than 20 years in prison and several failed attempts for parole, Attorney Marc Grossman of Upland, California was able free a victim of gay bashing convicted of murder in 1986. Despite many state and federal court decisions concluding that Robert Rosenkrantz’s constitutional rights of due process had been violated by California’s parole system by continuing to deny him parole after he had served more than the minimum length of his sentence, first Governor Grey Davis and then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger had repeatedly denied Rosenkrantz the opportunity for parole until attorney Marc Grossman was able to secure his release.
Gay Bashing Precipitated the Murder
Rosenkrantz was just out of highschool and barely 18 years old in 1985. It was a different time, when being gay was not an accepted social norm and coming out could expose you to bullying and other forms victimization especially if you were a high school student. One night in June 1985, Rosenkrantz was with a male companion in his parents’ beach house, when his younger brother Joey and a friend, Steven Redman, a classmate of Rosenkrantz, arrived to spy on him. Redman had suspected that Rosenkrantz was gay and now Redman knew first hand. Redman kicked in the door of the beach house and yelled, “Get the fuck out of here you faggots,” and then struck Rosenkrantz with the flashlight, breaking his nose. Joey, was carrying a stun gun and burned his brother’s hand while attempting to use it on him. Rosenkrantz ran out to his car and retrieved a BB gun. He used it to try to pin down Redman and Joey to prevent them from leaving the beach house. Joey and Redman called Rosenkrantz’s father and, when he arrived, they told him that they had seen Rosenkrantz with another man engaged in a sex act.
Rosenkrantz insisted to his father he was not gay and that the two were mistaken, but his father, angry, threw him out of the house. Rosenkrantz was distraught after having been outed in such a callous manner. He spent a few days living in his car, where he became more and more upset with the recent events. At some point he acquired an Uzi machine gun after which he confronted Redman and demanded that he take back what he had said to Rosenkrantz’s father. Redman refused and continued to taunt and ridicule Rosenkrantz calling him “faggot” and making other disparaging remarks. The teen was so angered by Redman’s actions that he shot him and killed him.
The Court Case
Prosecutors first sought a first degree murder, but understandably, the jury demonstrated empathy for Rosenkrantz, obviously recognizing that the teen was a victim of gay bashing. The result was that Rosenkrantz was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to 15 years to life, plus two years for using a firearm.
Time in Prison
Rosenkrantz proved to be a model prisoner, compiling a perfect record, and earning two college degrees and a number of vocational certificates. He also completed every available therapy and counseling program and received stellar recommendations from prison officials in support of his applications for parole once he had served his minimum time.
Yet each time he attempted to be released on parole, he was ultimately rejected buy two different governors. Rosenkrantz’s parole appeals became notorious in the California gay community, where many people came to understand the nature of the provocation and strain under which Rosenkrantz was operating at the young age of 18.
After a long and difficult battle, the state and federal courts both decided that by continuing to deny parole based entirely on the nature of the offense was depriving Rosenkrantz of his right to due process of law. The governing statutes provided that a convict who has served the minimum time required under his sentence is entitled to release if his rehabilitation results in him no longer being a danger to the community. No one in the prison system presented a single piece of evidence that indicated Rosenkrantz posed an ongoing threat to the public. In fact, Rosenkrantz’s own efforts to become college educated and to learn new trades demonstrated his ability to be a productive member of society and worthy of being released from prison. The court saw that Rosenkrantz had accepted responsibility for what he had done, understood and acknowledged that it was wrong, and transformed himself to become a useful, non-threatening member of society and, therefore, should be released on parole.
This lead to the federal court and the California Supreme Court ordering Rosenkrantz to be released. Less than a week after the courts ruled in Rosenkrantz’s favor, he was released on parole to his parents who had long ago come to accept that their son was gay. Upon his release he started a career in information technology.
There video related to this post is excerpted from a KCAL 9 interview with Criminal Defense Attorney shortly after the release of Rosenkrantz. Today being homosexual, gay, lesbian, bi or transgender is widely accepted. While the actions that Rosenkrantz took as a result of having been a victim of gay bashing were wrong, one must recognize that had the same events occurred today, the outcome would likely have been much different.
Attorney Marc Grossman is a supporter of gay rights and has represented many gay, lesbian and transgender people in actions to protect their rights, to assist them in divorces and to represent them in their unique criminal situation.
If you have been a victim of gay bashing or if you have been harassed by the police or government official because you are gay, lesbian or transgender the Law Offices of Marc Grossman can help. If you are contemplating divorce, the Law Offices of Marc Grossman is one of the few experts in same sex marriage and same sex divorce. We invite you to call us at 855-LOMG-911 or complete one of the many contact forms that you will find on our website, www.wefight4you.com. We are here to help.
The most basic concept underlying the lawyer-client relationship is that lawyer-client interactions are privileged, or private. This suggests that legal representatives cannot reveal a criminal clients’ oral or written statements (nor attorneys’ own statements to clients) to anybody, including prosecutors, companies, friends, or family members, without their client’s permission. It does not matter whether defendants admit their guilt or insist on their innocence; Attorney-client interactions are confidential. Both court-appointed legal representatives and private defense attorneys are similarly bound to preserve client confidences.
Beyond the attorney-client relationship, you can compromise the privilege or your “right to remain silent” by doing any of the following:
Speaking in a Public Location
Suppose you discuss your criminal case with your lawyer in a restaurant, loud enough for other diners to overhear the conversation. Can they testify to exactly what you stated? Yes. Lawyer-client communications are personal only if they are made in a context where it would be affordable to expect that they would remain confidential (Katz v. U.S., U.S. Sup. Ct. 1967). A defendant who speaks to an attorney in such a loud voice that others overhear exactly what is said has no reasonable expectation of personal privacy and hence waives (gives up) the opportunity. Likewise, individuals who discuss their cases on mobile phone in public locations run the risk of losing confidentiality.
Jailhouse Conversations by means of Phone
Jailhouse discussions between the accused and their criminal lawyers are thought about confidential, as long as the conversation takes place in a private area of the jail and the attorney and defendant do not speak so loudly that jailers or other prisoners can overhear exactly what is said.
Exactly what about phone conversations, either in person (speaking on phones, separated by a glass partition) or using a pay phone? Defendants must be really mindful not to allow jailers and even other criminal prisoners to overhear exactly what they say on the telephone. These people occasionally eavesdrop, in person or on the telephone, and after that declare that they had the ability to overhear incriminating info due to the fact that the accused spoke in a loud voice. (Criminal inmates often aim to curry favor with district attorneys through such techniques.) If a judge thinks them, the opportunity is lost and a jailer or other prisoner can testify to an offender’s remarks.
In some cases, jailers warn an alleged criminal that phone calls are or might be monitored. That warning alone might indicate that telephone call between prisoners and their legal representatives may not be privileged. If a jailer monitors a call and overhears a prisoner make a destructive admission to the prisoner’s legal representative, the jailer can most likely affirm to the offender’s statement in court. Losing Your Right to Confidentiality: Welcoming Others to be Present.
For completely reasonable factors, the accused criminal often desire their father and mothers, partners, or buddies to be present when they seek advice from their attorneys. Does that mean that the discussion will not be thought about private?
The legal representative can keep the benefit by encouraging a judge that it was necessary to include the unfamiliar person in the conversation. If the 3rd party can shed light on the case or otherwise assist the criminal lawyer establish a method, that person’s presence would not damage the privacy of the discussion.
Sharing the Conversation with Others Later on.
A blabbermouth criminal accused of a crime waive (give up) the confidentiality of lawyer-client interactions when they divulge those statements to somebody else (aside from a spouse, since a different benefit exists for spousal communications; most states also acknowledge a priest-penitent privilege). The accused have no expectation of privacy in discussions they reveal to others.
The Bottom Line.
The only person that you should discuss your criminal case with is your criminal attorney. You must also be mindful of your surroundings and circumstances so that you do not inadvertently divulge damaging information about your case to third parties. You should not tell your friends or family about your criminal case either.
California family court judges primarily look at two factors when calculating child support:
1. Each parent’s income
2. Time spent by each parent with the child/children
However, many other factors that can affect child support amounts including: child care expenses, mortgages, taxes, and other bills and obligation that affect the family’s financial situation.
Judges have very little discretion in setting child support amounts, they must all follow the same guidelines when calculating child support. This formula is complicated and the only practical way to calculate it is but use of court approve software. You and your spouse are required to provide accurate information from which the ultimate monthly amount will be determined. This information is subject to the judge’s approval as it is common for parents to distort their income or debt situation to tip the scale in their favor. However, an attorney from the Law Offices of Marc Grossman will fight to insure the correct information is obtained to determine your child support amount. With our help, the court will see through the charade and order a fair and reasonable amount of child support.
Whatever child support is ordered, it will continue until the child is 18. However, thing happen in life like the loss of job, your spouse starting a new job and other situation where you or spouse’s financial situation has changed. If something like that occurs, you should ask the Law Offices of Marc Grossman to assist you in modifying or re-calculating the child support amount. This can be done at almost anytime but should be done immediately if you are the one ordered to pay child support and your income drops or you cannot afford to pay the child support due to some change in your financial situation. This is because the child support amount continues to accrue at the last ordered rate until it is modified.
For many people, filing for bankruptcy can give them a fresh financial start. But if bankruptcy is right for you depends on many factors and consulting with an attorney from the Law Offices of Marc Grossman may be the best the way to find out.
Will Bankruptcy Help?
You should evaluate all of your options before deciding to file for bankruptcy. What types of debt do you have? What are you trying to achieve by filing for bankruptcy? Kepp in mind that a bankruptcy does not discharge all types of debt (priority creditors). If you are trying to get rid a priority creditor but you are otherwise OK financially, a bankruptcy may not do you any good. In other situations, creditors may be willing to work with you so that you can avoid bankruptcy altogether.
Can You Qualify for Bankruptcy?
The most common bankruptcies are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 and both have specific eligibility criteria. For a Chapter 7, you must be able to show that your income is below the means test threshold. For a Chapter 13, there are limits on the amount of debt, the amount of real property and your disposable income.
Are You Being Sued?
Creditors and other people may sue you to collect money that you owe them. If a you are being sued you should immediately contact the Law Offices of Marc Grossman. Bankruptcy will stop most lawsuits and stop garnishments and other levies and attachments but you must act quickly. Many times once your account has been levied it is a struggle to get it back. After filing for bankruptcy, an automatic stay goes into effect. The automatic stay will stop almost every collection action or lawsuit against you and eliminate the associated debt.
Are You Being Foreclose on or Repossess Your Property?
Secured debt like a house or car may be foreclosed on or repossessed if you fall behind on payments. However, in most cases filing for bankruptcy will stop all such actions at least temporarily. Your attorney from the Law Offices of Marc Grossman can often use this time to negotiate with your lender to save your home or car. Not every home or car can be saved but the sooner you call your lawyer, the better the chances are that you can save your property.
How Much Property Do You Own?
In most cases you will not lose any personal property by filing bankruptcy. However, there are limitations on the value of the property that you can retain. The law provides exemptions for many different categories of property. The Law Offices of Marc Grossman will discuss those exemptions with you and assist you in determining if your property exceeds the exemption. You may determine that filing for bankruptcy isn’t appropriate for you at this time.
10 Rules to Workout a Reasonable Child Custody Arrangement
You and your can’t get along well enough to stay married so how are you supposed to workout a reasonable child custody arrangement. These 10 rules won’t solve all of your problems but they may help ease some of the tension and help you workout a child custody arrangement that you both can live with.
Rule #1: Both parties have equal rights to child custody.
Not so long ago in California and most other states, child custody was almost always given to the mother with dad only receiving visitation, usually every other weekend. Well, times have changed. In the first three quarters of the 20th century, dads had a relatively modest role in child rearing. The feminist movement of the 60’s and 70’s brought about a major shift in the traditional parenting roles. Women began to work more and more outside of the home and so dads had to step up and assume some of the roles that mom had handled. At first the Ward Cleavers’ of the world resented their new family job assignments but, soon Ward Cleaver (Leave It to Beaver) became Mike Brady (Brady Bunch) became Jason Seaver (Growing Pains), who became Philip Banks (Uncle Phil, Fresh Prince), until today where we have Cameron Tucker and Mitchell Pritchett (Modern Family). Most modern dads embrace being a dad and enjoy their parenting time and mom and dad both work full-time. As times change and social norms with it, the child custody laws and judges’ dispositions have changed as well. Modern child custody laws in California give mom and dad a equal footing (at least in theory). Mom is no longer presumed to be the custodial parent. Dad, if he is able and willing, has as much right to custody as mom. Today 20-30% of all divorce cases have end with a near equal amount of custody being vested in both parents. Those dads who do not end up with a even split of custody time, usually end up with nearly 40% custody. What does that mean? It means mom should not assume that because she gave birth to her child that she can dictate the terms of custody and dad should expect to have a significant role in the child’s life. Coming to terms with these realities will help you arrive at a reasonable child custody arrangement that works for everyone.
Rule #2: Hold your tongue
Competitors in sports often “talk smack” in an effort to gain a psychological advantage over their opponents. Unfortunately, the same is true with divorcing parents. Its over, the end of the relationship has come and emotions are high but if both parents can resolve to be civil, the issue of child custody will be easier to address. Remaining cordial will make the divorce proceeding as a whole will go more smoothly, it will cost you much less in attorney’s fees and it will make it easier on your kids by not having to live with the drama. Being civil and cordial is a decision that you can make. Let your attorney do the fighting; you keep a pleasant smile and tone to your voice. Even if your spouse is acting like someone from the Exorcist, if you do not respond in kind, eventually your spouse will run out of steam and start behaving more rationally. Now, the most important part of this rule: LEAVE YOUR KIDS OUT OF IT. They are unwilling participants in your competition so using them as your messenger or saying hateful things about your spouse to them is nothing short of cruel. It may make you feel like you are getting even with your spouse but what you are really doing is almost guaranteeing your child will have issues in their relationships in the future but, more about that later.
Rule #3: It all about your kids.
The decision to get a divorce may have been yours but child custody is about what is objectively best for your kids. Your kids need o have significant and meaningful, regular contact with their parents. You may feel as though the kids are better off with you and, under some circumstance that may be true. However, if your spouse is not abusive, does not take your kids to a drug deal and does not drink and drive with the kids strapped to the roof, they have a right to see the kids often and, moreover, the kids have a right to see both parents often. Let your ego and hatred for you spouse go and think objectively and rationally about what is best for your kids. If your kids are old enough to understand and if they are emotionally capable of handling it, you can ask them what they want to do. Maybe some days it will be, “I want to see daddy” and some days it maybe, “I want to see mommy” but whatever it is, try to listen to them and respect their wishes whenever possible.
Rule #4: Know your limits and respect the limits of your spouse.
Divorcing parents often want to fight for as much time as they can get despite the fact they do not have the ability to care for the kids during that time. How silly is it when one parent says, “I am available at that time, I can take care of the kids,” and the other parent fights for the same time slot even though it means that the kids will go to a babysitter instead of the other parent. If you known it is unlikely that you will be able to care for the kids during a particular time and your ex is willing and able to do it, do yourself a favor and let your spouse take care of the kids.
Rule #5: Don’t over step your custodial time
Kids have nearly an unlimited list of activities in which they can participate. Some, like school, are not optional but, others, like karate or the chess team, are not mandated activities. What activities your child should participate in and when is not your decision alone. Before you sign your kid up for little league, you must discuss it with your spouse and workout the details. You do not have the unilateral right to sign the kids up for activities that infringe on your spouse’s custody time of their ability to see the kids without first consulting with them.
Rule #6: You may not like them but that doesn’t mean they are a bad parent
So your ex can’t remember to put the seat down or they can’t resist a shoe sale even if it makes them late for an important meeting, that does not make them a bad parent. The kids may come home from dad’s with a dirty face or mom may forget to send back the new jacket that you bought for them to wear but that does not make them bad parents. If your kids are safe, have a place to sleep, plenty to eat and receive lots of love from your ex, that is all that will matter in 10 years. Don’t judge your ex or try to make them measure up to your standards. You are getting divorced for those reasons. Let your ex and your kids love each other in their own way.
Rule #7: Communicate don’t escalate
Come to terms with the fact that you must deal with your ex on one level or another until your kids are at least 18 years old and probably long after. Come up with a system so that the two of your will have minimal contact at first until emotions have cooled. Share a calendar on Google or some other online calendar that is strictly for the kids. Use Google Drive or DropBox to save and share important documents like birth certificates, vaccination records, insurance cards, notices of from school and sporting events and even report cards. When you share documents using one of these tools, it will email your spouse notifying them that something new has posted or changed. This will keep you both informed will minimizing the chance for conflict and misunderstandings. Many divorced couples continue to use a system like this for years because it is easy and convenient.
Rule #8: Don’t fight over stupid things
Parenting is tough when you live together but the level of difficulty goes way up when the kids are with dad sometimes and mom others. It would be great if both parents had the same style and household rules but the reality is, that rarely happens. This gives rise to many conflicts but the vast majority of those conflicts are rooted in something completely unimportant. Take a breath and a step back and ask yourself if what you are upset about is going to matter in 10 years. If the answer is “no” then take two chill pills and let it go. Scream into your pillow or take up kickboxing to relieve the pent up hostility but to direct it at your spouse when the object of your vexation is of equal importance to squeezing the toothpaste from the bottom or if the toilet paper feed over or under the roll.
Rule #9: Listen to your kids when they are not talking.
We already talked about listening to your kids when they are talking about custody issues but it may be just as important to observe their behavior when they are not talking. They did not get a vote in your decision to get divorced and they will likely have very conflicted emotions over the it. When kids are under stress or dealing with the loss of their established family, kids may act out or become isolated. They may cry or act angry. These are all symptoms of emotional disturbances. It makes matters much worse if the kid feels like they are being made to choose. Start by seeking some counselling for them but also ask them if they would like to go see their other parent. It may help to relieve some stress if they know that they do not have to choose. Give them the emotional freedom to choose when they would like to see mom or dad. If it isn’t possible for them to see their other parent, a distant second to seeing them is to call or Skype with mom or dad.
Rule #10: Review and reassess your child custody agreement
As kids grow, things change. Different activities and obligations will dictate changes in your child custody arrangement. Use the above rules to work through adjustments in your custody agreement as needed. Be flexible and make your kid’s best interests the primary factor in every child custody agreement.
An estimated 95% of all divorces, including those that are simple, complex, friendly and contested, are settled without going to trial in California.
Good divorce lawyers will usually encourage their clients’ to come to a reasonable settlement rather than going to trial. This is not only because in most cases it is better for their clients to do so but also because California law encourages attorneys to do so. In fact, lawyers can be sanctioned if they make it more litigious.
There are three primary reasons that divorce cases settle:
1. Exhaustion –
Divorces are mentally, physically and emotionally taxings. People often end up throwing up their hands and surrendering out frustration and fatigue.
2. Expense –
Divorces often end when the parties run out of money. The more two individuals fight in court, the more it will cost. A single court appearance can run into several thousand dollars not to mention the time off from work to attend the hearing. If you cannot resolve your divorce disputes by a settlement, you will spend up to 10 times more than someone who settles.
3. Control –
If they can afford it, some couples will go all the way to the brink of trial before finally agreeing to settle. This is usually because their attorney finally convinced them that going to trial means giving up control. A judge, not the parties, will decide custody, support and property issues. The court has guidelines established by law that they adhere to whereas if you reach a reasonable settlement, you and spouse have much more flexibility.
Spouses may negotiate their settlements agreements through direct communication, indirectly through their attorneys, in mediation through the collaborative divorce process or during a court sponsored settlement conference.
Most California courts require settlement conferences before the parties to a divorce, legal separation or dissolution of a domestic partnership may schedule their case for trial.
Clearly divorcing parties should take advantage of settlement conferences as they provide the opportunity to save money, decrease stress, and spend less time entangled in divorce proceedings.
Here are 10 things to help you in a divorce settlement conference:
1.Know the real issues.
Primarily divorce issues fall into one of four categories in California divorces, legal separations and the dissolutions of domestic partnerships. They are child custody, child support, spousal support and property division. Sit down and consider these four categories before your settlement conference. It is a good idea to narrow things down to the really important issues, the lessor issues will tend to resolve themselves and wasting time on them at your settlement conference will only prolong it. You should know your bottom line on the important issues and consider how your spouse may respond to your demands. Make sure that you have communicated your important issues to your attorney and that your lawyer knows your bottom line.
2. Listen to your lawyer about the law.
After having communicated the important issues of your divorce, legal separation or same sex marriage dissolution, you should listen to what your family law attorney advises about your case. A good divorce lawyer will tell their clients how the law applies in their case. You may find your important issues are not in conformity with the law or that you are unlikely to prevail on a particular issue if the matter was to go before a judge.
3.Know what it will cost.
It is a good idea to ask you divorce, legal separation or same sex marriage dissolution for an estimate of how much it will cost to take your family law case to trial. Knowing how much more that you will need to pay before attending a settlement conference will help you to determine how flexible you may need to be. If you cannot afford a trial or do not wish to spend your money in such a way, you may soften your position on somethings at the settlement conference.
4.Almost anything is possible.
If you are able to reach a settlement at a settlement conference, you will not only save money but you may be able to work out an agreement that would be unlikely in court. A judge is limited by law but the parties can agree to almost any terms. This means that an agreement can be made where on paper it may seem imbalanced but the parties themselves want it to be so.
5. Hold your cards until the last minute.
Never go into a settlement conference prepared to lay out your bottom line demands from the start. It is best to go in with higher demands knowing that you will give in to many of them. If you go in with your bottom line demands then you will be left with no room for concession.
6. Hold firm to your resolve.
When you say “hold firm to your resolve” or “remain determined” to a party to a divorce, legal separation or same sex marriage dissolution, that person will usually take that to mean that they shouldn’t give in to their demands. But, in this context it means that you should remain determined to settle your matter at the settlement conference.
7. Give a little to get a little.
You must understand one basic premise of every divorce, legal separation or same sex marriage dissolution, which is that the two of you had things together that collectively added up to more than what either of you will receive from the divorce. What each party will receive at best is something less than one half of the community assets. Similarly, child custody may be divided up. You will not have the same property after the divorce as you did during the marriage and you will not see your kids as often as did during the marriage. Knowing this going in to your settlement conference may help you to prepare mentally to let some things go to your spouse so that you may in turn receive some concessions from them.
8. Give it time.
It is not uncommon for settlement conferences to take several hours or even several days to reach an agreement. Often settlement conferences end in a stalemate but, the attorneys will likely keep the discussion going. As long as the parties continue to communicate and try to stay reasonable, there is hope for a settlement.
If you are in a divorce or if you are considering a divorce, the Law Offices of Marc Grossman will give you clear, concise legal opinions for free. Simply complete one of the contact forms you will find on our website or call 855-LOMG-911 to speak to a family law specialist now.
In California, alimony is called “spousal support.” When a husband and wife or same sex couple divorce, the court may order the higher earning spouse to pay the lower earning spouse spousal support. The purpose of spousal support at first is to maintain the status quo of the marriage, so the lower earning spouse is able to support themselves during the divorce case. If the couple has been married for more than 10 years, the court may order the higher earning spouse to pay spousal support for the rest of the lower earning spouse’s life or until they remarry. However, California law sets the expectation that the lower earning spouse become self-supporting as soon as they are able. This generally means that spousal support is temporary even in long term marriages. to assist the lower earner in maintaining that lifestyle for at least some period of time. Support can also consist of a single lump-sum payment, monthly payments or any acceptable agreement that the divorcing parties may make.
There are several factors the court may consider in determining spousal support
Duration of California Spousal Support
The duration of spousal support in California is often tied to the length of the marriage. After a marriage of less than 10 years, a court will not usually order support for longer than half the length of the marriage. In a long term marriage, spousal support cannot be waived, both parties retain the right of spousal support until they die or remarry.
Calculation of Spousal Support
Unlike child support where there is a fixed guideline that the court must follow, the spousal support guideline is discretionary. A judge will normally take into consideration the amount of child support being paid, the various obligations of the parties and who is paying them, other factors such as health or disabilities. Of course the judge will also consider the length of marriage and then determine the appropriate amount to maintain the status quo of the marriage.
However the goal is for the spouse to become self-supporting to the greatest extent possible. The court will therefore consider the extent to which each spouse’s earning capacity is sufficient to maintain the marital standard of living, taking into account:
the marketable skills of the supported spouse,
the job market for those skills,
any time or expense the supported spouse requires to acquire education or training for employment or enhanced employability, and
the extent to which periods of unemployment due to domestic duties during the marriage have impaired the supported spouse’s present or future earning capacity.
The court may also consider other relevant factors including:
the extent to which the supported spouse contributed to the other spouse’s attainment of education, training, professional licensing or career advancement,
the ability of the supporting spouse to pay support, taking into account earning capacity, earned and unearned income, assets, and standard of living,
the needs of each party based on the marital standard of living,
each spouse’s obligations and assets, including separate property,
the duration of the marriage,
the ability of a spouse who is also a custodial parent to engage in gainful employment without unduly interfering with the interests of dependent children,
each spouse’s age and health,
any documented history of domestic violence by either spouse,
the immediate and specific tax consequences to each spouse,
the balance of the hardships to each spouse, and
the goal that the supported spouse will be self-supporting within a reasonable period of time—presumed to be one-half the length of a marriage unless the marriage was longer than 10 years.
A spouse’s conduct or who is to blame for the divorce is not a factor in determining the amount of spousal support.
Modification or Termination
Typically spousal support can be modified any time there is a significant change in circumstances with the parties. The court will set the duration of spousal support in most cases but, spousal support can be terminated or suspended if the proper showing of a change in circumstance is made. One example is if husband was ordered to pay spousal support to wife but a couple of years later, wife had won 10 million dollars in the lottery. Wife would no longer need the support and support would likely be terminated or suspended.
The spouse receiving spousal support will usually have to pay income tax on the amount paid. The court will consider the tax consequences of both parties when ordering spousal support. In some situations, the parties may agree to spousal support that creates a tax benefit for both parties. Providing the agreement conforms to California State law, the court will typically not interfere in such agreements.
Ten Steps to Prepare for Your Personal Injury Deposition
First things first…
What is a deposition?
A deposition is a question and answer session with the other side’s attorney under oath. The defense attorney will ask you questions and you will answer. A court reporter will take down everything that is said and occasionally they will be video taped.
Why do I have to do a deposition?
A deposition is part of the discovery process in personal injury litigation. Both the defendant and plaintiff have the right to discover what facts and evidence the other party may use in their case. You, as the plaintiff, have a duty to tell the defendant what you know and what evidence you have to support your case and vise versa.
What kinds of questions will they ask?
The defense attorney in a personal injury case will typically ask the Plaintiff many questions regarding the following areas:
General background information such as name, address, date of birth, who is in your family, education, work history, etc.
Information about your physical condition before the injury occurred. For example, in a slip and fall case where you broke your left arm, the defense lawyer is going to want to know if you are left handed or right handed, and he or she will want to know if you had any problems using that arm before the accident.
Information about the accident – how did it happen? Who were the witnesses? Did you talk to anyone after the accident? What did they say?
Information about your medical treatment and physical condition after the injury occurred. For example, What injuries did you sustain in the accident? Who treated you? Did you go to the hospital? Did you see your family doctor? What did the orthopedic doctor do? How long did you have to stay home from work after your surgery?
Information about the impact of the injuries on your life. What are you no longer able to do? What are you able to do but only with difficulty?
OK, now on to the 10 things…
1. The questioning at your deposition will be similar to the questioning in court.
Legal questioning is not something that most people are accustomed to and it can make you feel under attack or cause you to be confused. The important thing is that you try to maintain control. You can control the pace of the questioning by pausing to think about your response before you respond.
2. Make your responses concise.
You paused and considered your answer but before you open your mouth, reduce your response down to the most direct and concise answer possible. Your answer should be only a sentence or two and not a 10 minute dissertation.
3. Dress to impress.
The defense is going to be sizing you up to determine what kind of witness you will make. A confident plaintiff who is dressed appropriately will appear to be a better, more credible witness than one is shorts and flip-flops.
4. Give honest and accurate answers.
It is important that your answers be honest and accurate. Do not give the defense attorney the answer you think they are looking for or exaggerate your response. Doing so will work against you and may result in you being discredited as witness.
5. Eat, drink and use the restroom.
A deposition can cause all sorts of anxiety and nervousness. One way to combat these feelings is by making sure that you are comfortable and not fatigued or doing the “pee-pee” dance. If you need water, food or restroom ask for it or ask to take a break. If you you deposition goes on for several hours and you are feeling fatigued, ask if it can be continued to the follow day or another mutually agreeable day. The important thing to remember is that if you are fatigued or uncomfortable, you are more likely to provide inaccurate answers or get tripped up by the defense attorney.
6. It is OK to say “I don’t remember”.
Never guess, not even if it seems like you should know the answer. If you are not 100% sure and confident that you are providing accurate information, the best and only answer that you give is “I don’t remember.” You cannot be forced to answer a question that you do not know, so “I don’t remember” is a perfectly acceptable response. However, if you do know the answer but you feel as though your response may damage your case, do not say “I don’t know.” You are under oath and sworn under the penalty of perjury that you will tell the truth. Lying or withholding information under oath has legal consequences that you do not want to deal with and may ruin your case.
7. Its OK to say “I don’t understand.”
No one likes to admit that they didn’t understand a question but if you don’t speak up and say “I don’t understand” you are making a big mistake. Lawyers get paid a lot of money to use big words and confusing rhetoric in an attempt to get a witness to provide contradictory statements or other responses that may be used later to make them appear unreliable as a witness or to discredit them altogether. If you don’t have a clear understanding of the question, let the defense attorney know. He or she will reword the question or give you an explanation.
8. It is not always black and white or yes and no.
The defense attorney will try to pin you down and ask question in which they ask you to provide a yes or no answer when there is no yes or no answer. You cannot be forced to answer a question either yes or no if yes or no is not the way that you would answer. If you feel as though a question needs a more elaborative response than yes or no, you provide the best answer. You attorney will support you and make sure that you are not bullied into giving a response that pins you down to yes or no.
9. Ask to see records and reports.
Defense lawyers will often refer to a report or record when asking questions but they won’t always go out of their way to show you that record or report. But, if the defense attorney refers to any document, you have the absolute right to see that document and to review it before responding. Do not assume that you know the contents of the documents in question even if you have seen them before. Ask for the document and then take your time to read through it and know the contents before you answer. Do not provide opinion, just facts to your own knowledge. If the document cannot be produced or they attorney will not give you the opportunity to review it, you simply say, “I cannot answer that question until I have had the opportunity to review the document.”
10. Don’t let medical records be your undoing.
Be aware of what is in your medical records, particularly your medical records from before the accident. If you are making a claim for low back pain and a herniated lumbar disc from a car accident, you should know whether there are any documented complaints of low back pain in your medical records in the five or ten years before the accident. Your attorney should have most or all of your medical records. Ask to review the pre-accident records and talk to your attorney about any prior, similar complaints.
Millions of people each year suffer car accident injuries. The vast majority of injuries are what is called “soft tissue” injuries meaning that the injury you sustained was to muscle or other tissue that will typically heal without without much medical treatment.
Often car accident injuries or soft tissue injuries will resolve themselves within a few of days without any medical treatment at all. More serious injuries might become permanent and result in some level of physical disability.
The type and severity of injuries suffered in a car accident depend on several factors that including:
Was the person wearing a seat belt?
Did the person’s car get hit from the rear, side or front?
Was the occupant facing straight ahead in the seat? Or was the person’s head or body turned in a certain direction?
Was it a low-speed collision or a high-speed crash?
Did the car have airbags?
The general categories of car accident injuries are: (1) impact injuries (such as when your head hits the dash board), and (2) penetrating injuries (such as being cut by flying glass).
“whiplash” is a soft tissue injury to the neck and upper back. Whiplash injuries occur when muscles and ligaments are stretched due to extreme movements of the head and neck in the car accident collision. Similar injuries occur to the mid-back and lower back or even other parts of the body. The spinal injuries caused in an automobile accident can cause debilitating pain that lasts for months and even years. You may not feel the pain immediately after the accident. It is not uncommon to notice the pain the next day or even a few days later.
Scrapes and Cuts
In a auto accident, loose objects inside the car, broken glass and even objects outside of the vehicle turn into projectiles that can cause cuts and scrapes. Your airbag may cause injuries as well especially if you have something in your hands when it is triggered. Most often the cuts and scrapes can be cleaned and bandaged with no further treatment required. Occasionally, an car accident victim may require stitches, skin grafts or other medical treatment.
Head Injuries and Car Accidents
Head injuries come in many forms, from relatively minor to life threatening. They occur most often when a passenger’s or driver’s come into forcible contact with the dashboard, window or steering wheel. A concussion may not immediately be apparent. It could be hours or days later before you notice. The same is true with certain types of brain injuries. This is why it is vital to get checked out by a doctor right away if you have suffered any type of head injury, even if it seems minor. More severe collision impacts can cause a closed head injury. In that situation, the fluid and tissue inside the skull are damaged because of the sudden movement or impact of the head. Less severe closed head injuries often result in concussions, while the most severe impacts can cause brain damage.
Broken or bruised ribs, bruised lungs and other injuries to your chest are common in a car accident. The driver of the vehicle are most often the person to suffer a chest injury in an automobile accident. This is because the driver is often forced into the steering wheel on impact but passengers may also have chest injuries by slamming into the dashboard or other objects in a car accident. The seat belt and airbags may also cause chest injuries.
Arm and Leg Injuries
The same accident forces that throw a person’s head about in automobile collisions can do the same to arms and legs. Side impact accidents especially can cause injury to your arms and legs. Passengers often have very little leg room which can mean that legs become trapped or pinned in the vehicle. Depending on the nature of the collision, injuries to your arms and legs might be mere bruises or scrapes, but sprains and even breaks can occur.
A Final Note
Some injuries are not readily apparent following a car accident. Depending on the injury, it may take days, weeks, or even months for symptoms to appear. So if you are in a car accident, it is best to seek medical treatment for even the slightest discomfort or early indication of injury. It is also important to contact a personal injury attorney to help you deal with the insurance company and to make sure that you get the best medical treatment. You should not be charged for an initial consultation and a qualified personal injury attorney can tell you if you have a case without any cost to you.
10 Things Your Insurance Company Doesn’t Want You to Know.
Whether you will recover damages from an insurance company and how much you will recover often depends on your knowledge of your policy and how the insurance company administers your insurance claim.
Knowing these 10 principles will help you to take on your insurance company and maximize your claim.
1. An insurance company must act in utmost good faith in their dealings with a policy holder.
An insurance company cannot cause an unreasonable delay in settling your claim or put its financial interests ahead of yours. They cannot lowball your claim by paying less than its true value. Insurance companies cannot use deceptive tactics or trickery in sales or claims handling. In essence the insurance company must treat you fairly. If they don’t, they have breached their duty of good faith which the law imposes on insurance companies. It exposes the carrier to potentially significant damages.
2. If an insurance company breaches its duty or treats you unfairly they may be compelled to pay your attorney fees.
So your insurance company has unreasonably denied your claim or delayed settling it and you have had to hire an attorney to make them treat you fairly. Your attorney will go after them and force them to pay your attorney fees.
3. Your insurance agent misrepresented your policy coverages or other material fact or detail regarding your policy, the insurance company can be forced to honor what your agent had told you.
Insurance agents have been know to misrepresent exactly what a policy covers, the limits of coverage, the effective date of coverage and many other aspects of insurance policies. Sometimes this is intentional on the part of the agent. They exaggerate policy coverages or the benefits of the policy to make a sale. Other times, the misrepresentation is inadvertent. It can be caused by the agent being confused about which policy he/she is selling or that the agent is not familiar with the product or due to a change in policy that the agent was unaware of. In any event, in most cases, the insurance company is responsible for the representations that the agent makes. Your attorney may be able to compel the insurance company to honor the representations of agent.
4. If your insurance coverage is not sufficient to cover your injuries because your agent recommended a lesser amount of coverage, the insurance company may be forced to pay.
It is always a good idea to take notes when dealing with your insurance agent and to keep those notes in a file with your policy. You may also choose to communicate by email with him or her so that their is less deniability in what they recommended. Sometimes when you are shopping around for less expensive coverage, your current agent may recommend that you reduce your coverage amount to save on the premium. This is a tactic used to keep your business with a lower premium but it may not be in your best interest if the coverage is insufficient to cover your loss or medical expenses. If this occurs, your lawyer may force the insurance company to pay an amount that is sufficient to make you whole again.
5. Anything that is ambiguous in your policy must be resolved in your favor.
Anyone who has ever read an insurance policy knows it is pages and pages of legal terminology and rhetoric. It is often difficult for even attorneys to understand what it covers and what is excluded from coverage. Often times insurance companies will leave wiggle room in the policy that is not clear to anyone as to the coverage and limitations of a policy. These ambiguities will often be used by the insurance company to deny claims but, if you know the law, you can call the insurance company on this little trick of theirs and insist that the claim be resolved in your favor based on the ambiguous language of the policy. You will likely need to consult with an attorney to take on this issue with your insurance company.
6. The insurance company demonstrate why a claim is not covered.
Frequently this is misunderstood by policy holders. It is not a policy holder’s duty to prove that their claim is covered by their insurance policy but, rather, it is the insurance company’s duty to either pay the claim or demonstrate to you why the claim is not covered by the policy. The insurance company must use the facts and evidence of the claim and their investigation of the claim and then apply that to the specific coverages of the policy. Don’t let the insurance company bully you. Provide them whatever they may ask for but if they deny your claim without proper explanation for the denial, call your attorney. He or she may be able to force the insurance company to pay.
7. Your insurance company may have a duty to defend you against lawsuits.
Every business, homeowner, auto or similar insurance policy has a liability portion of the policy that protects you from lawsuits by others. This requires your insurance company to pay your legal defense costs and fees if you are sued. Often, an insurance company will refuse to honor their duty to defend you because you have been sued for something that is not specifically covered in the policy. But, it must defend you in any situation which potentially seeks covered damages in most situations. For example, if a complaint is filed against you do not see damages within the scope of your overage but is capable of being amended or modified to include such damages, your insurer must defend. Furthermore, if the insurance company learns of facts from any source which would trigger coverage (not just the complaint itself), it must also defend you. In addition, it must defend where the policyholder has a reasonable expectation that it will do so. You will likely need to seek out the assistance of a lawyer to demand that they insurance company pay for your representation.
8. Your insurance company may unlawfully try to cancel your coverage after you have made a claim based on a misrepresentation that you may have made.
Insurance policies can be extremely complicated and they are often drafted based on information that you have provided to your agent or in a questionnaire without having all of the information you needed to properly answer the questions. If you have provided the insurance company with incorrect information, whether you did so intentionally or inadvertently, an insurance company may try to deny you claim because of this misrepresentation. Insurance agents will also modify your information or lead you to answer a question in a certain way so that you won’t be denied coverage. But, whatever the reason, if you provide false information to the insurance company they may attempt to deny your claim. A qualified lawyer can however examine your case and use the prevailing law to force the insurance company to pay your claim.
9. Punitive damages are awardable against insurance companies for unreasonably refusing to cover a claim of a policy holder.
Knowing that the insurance company must do or not do the items above, you hold a powerful weapon in your arsenal. Using the threat of punitive damages for violating your coverage rights or breaching their duty of good-faith that they owe to you, an insurance company may think twice before denying your claim. In most cases however, you will need to contact an attorney to assist you before the insurance company will take you seriously.
10. Get free advice from an attorney before it is too late.
Most attorneys will give you free advice in cases where the insurance company has acted either in bad-faith or unreasonably denied your claim. Often they will take your case against the insurance company without any out of pocket cost to you. So, it is better to get a lawyer involved in your case sooner than later. In some cases you have a limited time to take action, so call today if you are experiencing this kind of problem.
Who Is at Fault When a Pedestrian is Hit by a Car Crossing the Street?
When a pedestrian is hit by a car crossing the street it is not always the driver who is at fault. Laws of negligence will usually determine who is at when a pedestrian is hit by a car crossing the street. Negligence usually rests on the question of reasonableness. This is to say, was the person crossing the street acting as a reasonable person would when he was hit by a car crossing the street. For example, it could be said that a reasonable person would not in the exercise of normal prudence, cross a four lane, busy road in the middle of the street at night but, instead, a reasonable person would have used the lighted crosswalk at the corner. Conversely, a driver of a motor vehicle has a duty to use reasonable care when operating his vehicle and to operate it in a manner so as not to endanger pedestrians. For example, a reasonable driver would not send text messages on a busy four lane road while his vehicle was in motion. Instead, a reasonable driver would not use a cell phone while driving. In many cases, both the driver and pedestrian can be partially at fault. So, you must analyze both parties behavior immediately before the accident occurred to determine fault when a pedestrian is struck crossing the street. It is not usually cut and dried. You will likely need the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney to help you determine fault if you are hit by a car crossing the street.
An experienced personal injury attorney will look at the same things that a judge will look at to determine who is at fault when a pedestrian is hit by a car crossing the street. The following are some of the things that may be examined to determine fault in a pedestrian vs. motor vehicle accident.
Police Reports and Insurance Company Findings
The police will take statements from the driver, pedestrian, and witnesses to determine who was at fault. They may make a conclusive finding on the spot or conduct a detailed investigation to make the finding later.
The police report will show which party the investigating officer determined to be at fault. However, the police findings are not conclusive and they are subject to being challenged by both the insurance companies and your attorney. Insurance adjusters conduct their own investigations and they may determine something far different than that of the police. This can place you in a odd position where your insurance company may conclude you are at fault and the police may determine that you were not or vise versa. Only an experienced personal injury lawyer can sort out these kinds of messes and insure that you both get compensated for damages and protect your rights against any charges or citations that the police may issue.
Insurance Coverage for Pedestrian Accidents
Injured pedestrians will typically be covered by their health and disability insurance policies, or worker’s compensation coverage, if the accident occurs on the job. They may also be covered under one or more auto insurance policies.
Payment Under Auto Liability Insurance
An injured pedestrian should typically file a claim against the driver’s or vehicle owner’s insurance policy. California requires all vehicle owners to carry liability insurance to cover personal injuries to third parties and damage to third parties’ property. However, if and how much you can recover depends on who’s at fault and the policy limits of the insured. It may be necessary for your personal injury attorney to file a lawsuit against the other party so that a judge can assist you to determine fault. If litigation becomes necessary, payment for your injuries will be delayed until after the litigation has been resolved.
Why You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer.
Insurance companies have teams of lawyers all dedicated to making sure you get the smallest possible award. If this isn’t enough to make you call a personal injury attorney consider this: if you do not agree to the settlement amount offered by the insurance company, you will need to file a lawsuit to get what you deserve. While the litigation is pending, you will still likely need medical treatment and transportation, your personal injury attorney can help to arrange this for you. Also consider that you will not only be taking on an insurance company but also the guy who hit you. Very few people have the knowledge and ability to successfully navigate a personal injury lawsuit without the assistance of a lawyer.
Many different factors go into determining how much your personal injury case is worth. The easiest way to get an estimate of how much your personal injury case is worth is to call an experienced personal injury attorney. However, if you are curious, the following will be of some assistance.
Compensatory Damages in Personal Injury Cases
“Compensatory,” damages are intended to compensate the injured plaintiff for their injuries and property damages. To determine the compensation amount, you must quantify your damages by assigning a dollar figure to your injuries. This includes physical injury, ongoing medical treatment, property damage and loss of income among others.
Here’s a rundown of the different types of compensatory damages that are common in many personal injury cases.
Medical treatment. A personal injury damages usually include the cost of all medical care that you required as a result of the accident as wells as an amount estimated for your future medical expenses.
Income. If you could not work or operate your business as a result of your injuries, you may be compensated for lost wages and other earnings. If you are no longer able to work at all, you may be compensated for loss of earning potential or loss of future earnings.
Property loss. Any property that is damaged or destroyed as a result of an accident, you may be entitled to compensation. This includes your car, contents of your car, clothing and anything else of value that you can show was damaged or destroyed in an accident.
Pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is a magical number that is sometimes difficult to determine but generally, the amount of pain and suffering compensation is approximately three times that of your medical damages.
Emotional distress. Emotional distress awards in personal injury cases are less common than other types of awards but they may occur in certain types of extreme cases where a plaintiff is left with lingering fear, anxiety or other emotional problems as a result of an accident.
Loss of enjoyment. If an injury as a result of an accident keeps you from enjoying day-to-day pursuits like hobbies, exercise, and other recreational activities, you may be entitled to receive “loss of enjoyment” damages.
Loss of consortium. “Loss of consortium” typically refers to the impact the injuries have on the plaintiff’s relationship with their spouse. If after an accident you are no longer capable of carrying on normal companionship or sexual relations with your spouse, you may be entitled to an additional award.
As you can see from the foregoing, you there are many factors that must be considered to determine how much your personal injury case is worth. You should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you determine how much your personal injury case is worth in realistic terms. It is generally a free consultation so you should make your call to an experienced personal injury attorney today.
Depending on the case, personal injury litigation can take many different forms. They are often to complicated to cover every possible situation in a single blog post but knowing these basic steps may help you better understand the process.
You are injured in an accident: Collect as much information about the accident as possible. Get the names, addresses and telephone numbers of everyone involved. Take photographs of the scene if before it changes. Most importantly, get medical attention as soon as possible.
Find a Personal Injury Lawyer: You will meet with them and provide as much information as you can. Your attorney will request medical records, police reports and other information need to move your case forward.
Collect and Demand: After your attorney has all of the information they need they will prepare a demand letter to submit to the insurance company and the other party. The demand letter will state all of your damages to date and the anticipated future damages that you may suffer. Your attorney will set a reasonable deadline for the insurance company t respond. If a response is not received by the deadline or if the demand is rejected, your attorney will begin preparing for the litigation process.
Filing a Complaint: The complaint starts the lawsuit and puts the other side on notice as to what they are being sued for and the general basis on which you seek to recover damages. After it is filed, the complaint must be served on the other side and they have 30 days to file a response.
Discovery: Discovery is a sort of fact-finding process in which they parties request and provide each other with information about your case. This may include written discovery, depositions and medical examinations amount other things.
Motions: Before you go to trial there is a potential for several rounds of motions and oppositions between the parties. These motions are necessary to sort out any number of issues before trial. Not every case requires pre-trial motions but it is not uncommon. Your attorney will advise you if pre-trial motions are necessary.
Settlement Negotiations: Typically, before you actually go to trial, your attorney will attempt to settle the matter with the insurance company and other parties. In fact, in California most courts require personal injury cases to go through some formal form of alternative dispute resolution. It could be private mediation or a mandatory settlement conference sponsored by the court. Settlement tends to be better for all concerned because it does not tie up courts and it doesn’t add the expense of a court trial. Another benefit to settling your personal injury case before trial is that the parties have more control over the outcome. If you go to trial a judge and jury will decide the outcome.
Trial: Formal trial involves the presentation of physical evidence as well as oral testimonies that serve to support or discredit the parties’ cases. The parties’ lawyers use the evidence to support their own arguments and legal theories. This stage also includes opening and closing arguments
Judgment Collections: If you were only up against an insurance company and that insurance company covered all of your claim there is usually no problem collecting your award. However, personal injury damages often go beyond the coverage of limits of the insurance policy. If that occurs, you will have to go after the assets of the person who caused your injuries to collect the rest.
Distribution: After the settlement or trial, the insurance company will usually write a check made payable to both you and your attorney. Your attorney will deposit the check into his or her trust account. Now, your attorney must settle all of your medical bills and pay off any other liens or obligations created on your behalf and deduct the cost of your legal representation and attorneys fees. After everything has been settled, the attorney will distribute the remaining money to you. People are sometimes surprised by the final amount of the distribution but, the reality is if you win $100,000 but, you have $99,999.99 in medical bills, there just isn’t that much left over to distribute. Thankfully, that is not usually the case and most clients will walk away tidy sum of money.
The above timeline can be broken in the three stages referred to in the related video and it should give you a general understanding of the personal injury case process.
How to Damage Your Personal Injury Case with Social Media
Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+ and dozens of other social media sharing sites offer us countless ways to share every moment of lives with the world. We have become so comfortable with Instagram, Snapchat and the others that we don’t think twice before posting a photo of ourselves rock climbing in Southern Utah while our attorney is in court arguing that your back injury has caused you to be permanently disabled. It may sound ridiculous but search for personal injury and social media and you will find dozens of cases where the plaintiff had their case dismissed because they posted a picture of themselves in a karate tournament, playing tennis, lifting heavy furniture or similar acts of physical prowess when they have alleged debilitating injuries in their lawsuit. Even a photo of yourself holding your child and laughing can be twisted into something that works against you especially if you are claiming that you have so much back pain that you cannot work.
Here are 10 specific ways that you can damage your personal injury case with social media.
1) Posting details about your accident.
This includes tweets but especially Instagram and Facebook. If you post pictures and details of your accident online you are inviting the insurance company to examine those posts to find defects in your case. Also, avoid chats and other forms of online communications with your friends. Not only does this open the door to other side to discredit you as a witness but also by sharing important details with people who are unrelated to your case you are turning your friends into potential witnesses. Imagine you were kidding around and said, “I am going to make millions off these losers for a couple of bumps and bruises.” Even if you were joking, written text does not translate in the same way as spoken word. That statement could damage your case and sour a jury against you.
2) Posting photos of yourself.
OK, we already mentioned this above but clearly people are not getting the message. If you have a personal injury case do not post pictures of yourself online. Let’s look at one case specific case where the plaintiff was run over on the freeway by a semi-truck while riding his motorcycle. He was seriously injured and confined to wheelchair while his broken pelvis healed. He went from very active to sitting in front of a computer posting pictures on Facebook all day. Unfortunately for him, he posted photo’s of himself doing “stunts” on his motorcycle just a couple of days before the accident. Even though when he was struck he was riding his motorcycle in a safe manner, at trial, the defense presented the photos of him performing stunts. You could see on the faces of the jury that they had turned against him. Ultimately, his award was far less than what it could have been.
3) Playing Online Video Games All Day.
If you think that online gaming is not a form of social media, you are wrong. Part of the online gaming experience is the various ways that you can interact with other people online. Chats, instant messages, profile messages and other exchanges in gaming systems on Steam and other like are just as much social media as Facebook. Your comments, posts and chats on gaming platforms is actually easier to get than comments, posts and chats on Facebook. A jury may not like the fact that you were playing video games 12 hours a day but trying to claim that you are too injured to return to your job as a bookkeeper where you only sit a computer for 8 hours per day.
4) Complaining about everything.
Perception is everything. Many counties in California are chocked full of lower income people, retirees and unemployed people right now and they frequently end up on juries. These are all fine, hard working people with good intentions. But imagine them reading post after post of you complaining about your job and how much you don’t want to go back to work, how small your house is and how you can’t wait until you get your millions in your settlement, how do you think you might be perceived by the jury? Not very well is the answer.
The Bottom line.
Take a break from social media. Pick up the phone or write a letter. There is still a possibility that those could be used against you but they tend to be a much more private form of communication that is not readily available to a defense attorney for the insurance company.
Emotions run high during a divorce and sometimes for many years after a final dissolution judgment has been entered. Often divorcing couples compound their problems by allowing emotions to cloud their judgment and influence their actions. It is understandable, child custody issues, child support and spousal support payments often foster resentment not to mention the dividing up your home, furniture, retirement and even your pets can create a lot of animosity between a man and wife or same-sex couple. When faced with the further prospect of long-term legal problems, child visitation issues or dealing with recurring, self-serving false allegations being made by your former spouse, a divorced person will often dig in and become entrenched in a legal battle that nobody wins.
Avoiding these 10 mistakes may help you avoid a long, contentious divorce and ease tension between you and your ex before it costs you thousands in legal fee.
1. Losing Your Temper
OK, everyone gets it, your ex is evil and they are making you crazy. They make false and misleading statements to influence the court, they tell your kids awful things about you in an attempt to turn them against you, they destroyed your baseball card collection or keyed your classic Thunderbird that you just had completely restored, posted naked pictures of you on the internet or hid rotten fish all over your house, in your briefcase and even in your desk at work. The fish isn’t the only thing that stinks. A breakup of a marriage sucks and it is really easy to lose control of your emotions and act out of anger but that is always a mistake. Losing your temper and saying or doing something to your ex when you are mad will only lead to more problems. It is best to leave the communication with your ex to your attorney. They have dealt with every situation imaginable so don’t be embarrassed to tell your lawyer about any difficult situation with former spouse. The family law specialists at the Law Offices of Marc Grossman know how to deal with even the most difficult situation. Our experienced family law attorneys will fight for your rights and defend you against your evil, fish toting former spouse so you don’t have to. Remember acting on anger will only hurt you so, before you say something you will regret or do something like damage property or physically lash out, put down the fish and pick up the phone. Our divorce lawyers are tough enough to handle any crazy ex-spouse. Remember the five “C’s”:
Calm – No matter how much your ex may try to push your buttons, stay calm.
Cordial – Avoid escalating the situation by remaining cordial in the face of craziness.
Communication – Limit your communication with your ex to only what is necessary.
Constitutionalize – It means to “take a walk for your health” and there is no better advice than to walk away before you say or do something regrettable.
Counsel – Seek counsel, go tell your attorney about the situation.
In most cases, the spouse that can approach his or her divorce in a calm, methodical manner will come out ahead. Eventually, reason will prevail and your cool head will minimize your attorney fees and bring your divorce to a faster conclusion.
2. Not Knowing What Assets You and Your Spouse Have
One of the most common mistakes that divorcing people make is not taking an inventory of the community assets (and debts in some cases). When you first meet with one of the trusted attorneys at the Law Offices of Marc Grossman, they will ask you about what property or other assets you and your spouse may own. Some people will say that they don’t have any assets but that is rarely true. The longer the marriage, the more likely it is that valuable community property assets exist but, even in a short marriage, a couple may buy a house or car, make investments from community income, contribute to a 401k or pension or buy a life insurance policy with a cash value. The earlier in a divorce that a reputable attorney, like you will find at the Law Offices of Marc Grossman, learns of your community assets, the sooner your lawyer can take action to protect your rights. You may not know that you are entitled to one half of the community property share of your husband’s pension or that you may have an interest in a house that was purchased by your wife prior to your marriage but paid for primarily from your income during the marriage. Our family law specialists will protect your rights and your property but, your attorney needs your help in identifying everything of value that you may have an interest in.
3. Thinking that a prenuptial agreement will protect you
When one or both spouses have significant premarital assets or income it is common to ask your family law specialist to draft a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. However, you are making a mistake if you rely solely on that agreement to protect you in contentious divorce. There are dozens of reasons why such an agreement may be invalid or illegal at the time of the divorce even if it was perfectly valid when it was drafted. One of our knowledgeable divorce lawyers can identify potential problems and prepare to take the necessary steps to protect your rights.
4. Not taking the time to heal or not letting go
It is a big mistake if you don’t take the time to recover emotionally after you split up but what may be even a bigger mistake not letting go. After a breakup and even before the divorce is final, spouses need to take some time to heal and mourn the loss of the relationship. No matter what anyone may say, a divorce is traumatic but when the relationship is over, then it is over. Stay away from your ex, don’t call them, don’t email them and definitely don’t drop by unannounced late at night. Take some time to breath and it is a good idea to see a therapist if you have unresolved feelings that you just can’t get past. The family law specialists at the Law Offices of Marc Grossman are caring and compassionate. Our attorneys understands your situation and they can often point you in the right direction to get help. Our divorce lawyers will also serve as a buffer between you and your former spouse to support and protect your rights while you are going through this difficult time.
5. Using social media as an outlet
Social media is everywhere these days and individuals going through a divorce will often turn to social media to express their feelings about their divorce or to show off all of the fun they are having being single again. The best advice here is DON’T. If you need to seek sympathy ear, do it offline. If you need to vent some anger or frustration, tell your friend or therapist. If you feel like verbally attacking your ex, write a letter to them and then burn it. None of these things are productive and if you do them you run the risk of alienating your friends, aggravating your spouse and making problems worse. There is nothing to be gained by making hurtful comments on social media. Take a break from it all, put your account on hold and reconnect with your friends face-to-face. Whatever you do, don’t post photo’s of yourself in drunk or in compromising positions on social media or make salacious remarks about your ex. Keep in mind that anything you post on social media can be used against you in your divorce. If your spouse launches an attack on you on social media, do not respond but do call you family law attorney at the Law Offices of Marc Grossman.
6. Allowing misunderstandings to interfere with child visitation
There are many circumstances where you must communicate with your spouse especially when children are involved. Child custody and temporary visitation schedules often lead to misunderstandings. You can avoid most misunderstandings by reviewing your child visitation schedule with one of the highly regarded family law lawyers from the Law Offices of Marc Grossman. Your experienced attorney will take the time to explain the exact time for you to exchange the kids with your spouse. If is not uncommon for the court to order the child visitation (custodial period) exchange to take place at a neutral location or for one party or the other to provide transportation to and from child visitation. In most cases a special holiday child visitation schedule will be a good idea. All of the forms, orders and other court documents can be confusing. Many attorneys don’t give their clients the personal attention that clients of the Law Offices of Marc Grossman receive. While our lawyers take the time to make sure that you understand all of the orders and related laws, your spouse’s attorney probably didn’t do the same. Unfortunately, misunderstandings over child custody and visitation usually result in unnecessary court hearings so that the family law judge can settle the dispute. Rather than argue with your spouse, follow the 5 “C’s”, walk away and call your family law specialist at the Law Offices of Marc Grossman. In most cases if you do so, your lawyer will be able to resolve the misunderstand with your ex, avoid unnecessary court hearings and save you money in attorney’s fees. You should always keep in mind that your children are at the center of these misunderstandings and they are the most affected. Using the assistance of a competent family law attorney to avoid misunderstandings and custody disputes will shield your children from the dispute and minimize the long term emotional impact on them.
7. You cannot be replaced
A common mistake divorcing couples is to take on a defensive posture with their ex-spouse’s new husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend or partner. Your animosity toward your ex’s new significant other is not productive. It may be natural for you to want to yell profanity at them or punch them in the face every time that you see them but, doing so has consequences that are contrary to your best interest. Accepting that the relationship is over and letting go means accepting that your ex will move on. As long as your ex’s new partner isn’t hostile toward you or harming your children then you should apply the 5 “C’s” to them as well. If your ex’s new spouse is acting aggressive or hostile toward you or you suspect that they are doing something inappropriate with your children, let the expert divorce and child custody attorneys of the Law Offices of Marc Grossman take immediate action to resolve the conflict and protect your rights and your children from harm. Remember, you will always be “mom” or “dad” and that isn’t going to change, you cannot be replaced.
8. Kids come first
Those little bundles of joy, no matter how big or small, are most divorced parent’s primary concern, as it should be. A mistake that is easy to make is letting yourself become so mired in emotions that you forget about what the kids are going through. No matter how much you shelter them or try to shield them from the situation, their is no way to hide the changes the occur. “Daddy moved out.” “Mommy has a new boyfriend.” “Mommy is always mad at daddy.” There is simply too much going on to sweep it under the rug and pretend that its not happening. Spend some time talking to your kids about what is going on. Reassure them that mommy and daddy still loves them. Develop a new routine so that they maintain some sense of stability. The biggest, most harmful mistake divorced people make with their kids is using them as a weapon to inflict hurt on your ex. When emotions are high, it is hard not to make this mistake but if you find yourself telling your child negative things about your ex, preventing the child from going with the other parent during scheduled visitation times or using the kids as your personal messenger service between yourself and your ex, you must summon the strength to do what is right for your kids and stop. Often, clients come to us with heartbreaking accounts of how his or her ex turned their children against them and spoiled the once close relationship. Our caring attorneys child custody attorneys are also loving parents and we take this kind of child abuse seriously. If your spouse is using the kids as a weapon against you, we know how to put a stop to it. The child custody lawyers at the Law Offices of Marc Grossman fight for the children of their clients. Each of our child custody attorneys fight passionately for the kids because we know the sooner their parents can resolve their differences, the sooner the family can begin to heal and the faster the dissolution action with children can be concluded.
9. Trying to avoid child support or alimony
The reality is that what was once one household is now two. The once combined income that made it easy to make ends meet is now two separate incomes with double the bills. This is why so many bankruptcies occur after a divorce, people just can’t make ends meet. This financial crisis is often a shocking revelation to a divorced couple and usually this revelation occurs while emotions are at their peak and both parties are struggling to reestablish themselves. The party who earns the least, may also be the one who has the kids most of time. Naturally, there is a growing resentment between the couple and it is typically at this stage when one of the parties asks the court for a order establishing child support and spousal support (also called alimony). No divorced person is happy to be hit with child support and alimony and usually the amount ordered is much more than they think it should be. Once hit with the “A” bomb, the person ordered to pay alimony or child support may resist paying. They “forget” to mail the check or they suddenly get laid off (but secretly work under the table) all in an effort to avoid paying support. The legislature has established almost draconian laws to force divorced people to keep their court ordered obligation. Those who don’t pay will have their credit ruined and can be found in contempt of court and made to serve jail time. They will lose their driver’s license and professional license, tax returns and most of their paychecks. However, enforcing a child support order or alimony is not an automatic process, especially when it is alimony. If your ex isn’t paying what they were ordered to pay or not at all, the tough, aggressive family law attorneys at the Law Offices of Marc Grossman are experts in child support and spousal support collection. Our lawyers know how to discover the hidden income sources of your ex and they are relentless is fighting to insure your ex pays what they owe.
10. Not hiring an experienced family law attorney
If you are not an electrician, it wouldn’t be wise to rewire your own house even if you were legally entitled to do so. If you are not a dentist, it wouldn’t be wise to fill your own cavities even if you were legally entitled to do so. The foreseeable result of rewiring your own house when you have no experience as an electrician is that your house will burn down and drilling into your own teeth when you are not a dentist will cause you a great deal of pain. Why is it then that many electricians, dentists, auto mechanics, housewives and mail carriers think that it is good idea to represent themselves in court? The law does give you the right to represent yourself but that doesn’t mean that it is wise especially in a divorce case. There is so much riding on the outcome of a divorce; your house, kids, retirement, saving even your dog are on the line. Some people think that it is too expensive to hire an attorney but, if it meant that you could lose it all, wouldn’t it be worth hiring an attorney? Well in some cases it does. If your ex has an attorney then it is even more important to have a reputable attorney on your side. Don’t let money be the reason you do not have proper legal representation. The Law Offices of Marc Grossman has many options that make hiring a top attorney possible for almost anyone. Our helpful divorce and child custody attorneys care and really want to help you through this time. Call us at 855-LOMG-911 or complete the contact form to request a free consultation.