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How to Prepare for Trial as a Personal Injury Plaintiff

Benjamin Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

When it comes to a court trial, you can never be too prepared. Assuming you can sit back and let your attorney handle everything is not a wise plan. The way you present yourself, and how prepared you are, sends a message to members of the courtroom about your character and can help or hurt your case.

If you’ve been unable to get a fair settlement for your personal injury case, it may be time to go to trial. Even if you receive pre settlement funding to help pay your expenses while your case is being settled, it’s important to put your best foot forward in order to win your case.

If you can afford to have an attorney represent you, or if you can secure an attorney to work on a contingency basis, this is your best option. Whether you are preparing for trial for a medical malpractice claim, a worker’s compensation claim, or a motor vehicle accident, here is what you need to know.

Before Going to Court

  • Read your court papers thoroughly and understand what you are required to provide or bring to court.
  • Reveal any “skeletons in your closet” upfront with your attorney. Don’t let something come out in the middle of your trial that could weaken your case.
  • Gather photos and other evidence that will strengthen your case. If you had a slip and fall accident, for example, take a photo and/or video of the accident scene and gather evidence wherever possible, such as any objects that caused your fall.

The Day of Court 

The popular saying “You never get a second chance to make a first impression holds true, whether fair or not. It’s important that you do everything within your power to appear professional, calm, and collected in court.

We’ve collected a few things to keep in mind for your court day below. 

  • Dress appropriately- A conservative men’s suit, pantsuit, or skirt suit is appropriate. Do not wear casual or revealing clothing.
  • Avoid excessive jewelry- Bangles, bracelets, necklaces, large cufflinks, and big rings are distracting to the jury. Keep jewelry at a minimum, and avoid displaying religious symbols, which could consciously or subconsciously sway jurors.
  • Avoid dark glasses- Do not wear eyeglasses or sunglasses that mask your eyes.
  • Arrive early- You never know what obstacles you might run into on the way to court, so leave extra early. Being late will reflect negatively on you before you even set foot in the courtroom.
  • Bring all of your documents and evidence- Make sure to bring anything your attorney says you will need in court.
  • Be polite to the attorneys on both sides, and remember that you are being watched closely by the entire courtroom.

In the Courtroom

  • Never interrupt the judge or speak over him/her, and answer all of the judge’s questions completely.
  • Draw diagrams before court- If you are required to draw a diagram to illustrate something, such as how an accident occurred, make every effort to do it before court and bring it with you. Check it for accuracy and make sure your attorney reviews it before you present it in court.
  • When explaining a diagram, stand next to it, not in front of it, so that the judge, jury, and attorneys can see it clearly.
  • Always face others when speaking- Make sure you don’t speak with your back turned to the judge or jury, so they can hear you clearly.
  • Address members of the courtroom respectfully- Always address the judge as “Your Honor” the bailiff as “Mr./Ms. Bailiff,” etc.
  • Be aware of your body language- Never cross your arms in the courtroom; this is considered negative body language that makes you appear closed off or as if you could be hiding something.
  • Keep your hands folded in your lap when you’re not using them to gesture while on the witness stand.
  • Be alert and aware- Remember that someone is watching you all the time. Be aware of your body language and maintain a professional demeanor at all times, both in and around the courtroom.

Handling the Defense Attorney 

Defense attorneys can be tough, and it’s important to understand that when you file a lawsuit you will lose some of your privacy.

Depending on the size and severity of your case, be prepared for the defense attorney to ask intrusive questions and demand that you provide a lot of information, even if it doesn’t seem relevant to your case. A defense attorney may ask you about things like:

  • Jobs you’ve held in the past
  • Your personal and romantic relationships
  • Any lawsuits or worker’s compensation claims you’ve filed in the past
  • Doctors you’ve seen going back 10 years or more

Defense attorneys ask these probing questions in order to find something, anything, to weaken your case. It’s important to keep your cool and answer questions calmly and professionally, even when you’re asked questions that feel insulting or intrusive. If the defense attorney goes too far, your attorney will step in and object on your behalf.

In some cases, an insurance company involved in the case may even hire a private investigator to follow and digitally record you in an attempt to catch you doing something that is inconsistent with your claim. Prepare yourself mentally for all of these possibilities, and always keep your cool.

Consider Pre Settlement Funding to Help with Bills

Cases can sometimes take months or years to resolve. This is where pre settlement funding and lawsuit loans can be a huge help. You’ll get the money you need to keep your finances in check before your case is settled.

When it comes to preparing for a trial, remember these sage words: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” –Benjamin Franklin

Sources:

  1. http://www.courts.ca.gov/1094.htm
Categories : Personal Injury

Money-Saving Tips for When You’re Waiting for a Settlement

Like an old man puttering down the street at 30 MPH under the speed limit, the legal system moves slowly, and when you’re a plaintiff in a civil case who’s waiting for a settlement, it may seem like you’ll never get to your destination. For many people who turn to the courts for justice, staying financially stable while awaiting a settlement is a pressing concern, and it can be especially difficult in personal-injury cases where the plaintiff has been rendered incapable of holding a job. Global Injury Funding has provided a lifeline to many people in this situation. Our pre-settlement funding program supplies qualified applicants with the resources they need to sustain themselves during their arduous court cases. But it’s also a wise idea for plaintiffs to exercise fiscal responsibility during this trying time in their lives. With that in mind, we’ll explore some simple yet effective tricks to save money and cut down on expenses. While this is hardly a comprehensive program for straightening out one’s finances, keep in mind that a little monetary prudence can go a long way.

Use Compact Fluorescent Lights

Also known as CFLs, compact fluorescent lights (or lamps) last longer than conventional incandescent kinds, while also using only a fraction of the energy—it’s an easy way to lower your utility bills. Look for the “ENERGY STAR” label when shopping for bulbs; this means that the product passes the EPA’s standards for performance and energy consumption.

Try a Little Car Maintenance

You’ll probably wish to leave the heavy-duty repairs to the professionals, but there are a few ways to cut back on your car-related expenses. Keeping your air filter clean will boost your gas mileage by a small but significant amount. Also, maintaining proper tire pressure can also enhance your car’s fuel efficiency—many people fail to grasp that insufficiently inflated tires essentially cause your automobile to waste gas.

Sell Your Old Junk

We’re not talking about taking the family heirloom to the pawn shop. Almost everyone has a plethora of random stuff that they have accumulated over the years. Old board games, VHS movies, CDs, clothes, books—all of these items have monetary value. This is as good a time as any to sell them off for some extra money. You could hold a yard sale or sell the items individually on eBay, to mention just a few options. If you’d rather not be bothered with selling these items, you could give them to the Salvation Army or a similar charitable organization in exchange for a tax deduction.

Stop Eating at Restaurants

It’s no big secret that people tend to waste a lot of money by eating out when they could prepare their own meals at home. Now is the time to take that advice to heart. Cutting out soft drinks and other flavored beverages will allow you to save money while improving your health. Plain old water can satisfy your body’s hydration requirements at considerably less expense.

Make a Grocery List Before You Shop

Impulse buying routinely causes people to spend more money at the store than they intended. Curb this temptation by making a list beforehand of the things you need. This will also help you to calculate in advance how much money you’ll spend.

Need litigation funding help? Global Injury Funding is in your corner. Call us today at (800) 980-2278.

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Categories : Pre Settlement

Frequently Asked Questions about Pre-Settlement Funding

As you prepare to take your case to court, you will want to discuss all of your options with your attorney. When a lawsuit has been filed, it is important for you to know and understand all of the steps in the process. According to Common Good, there are 15 million civil cases filed in the United States each year and plaintiffs win 55 percent of the time. Rather than rushing to a settlement, consider how pre-settlement funding can give you the leverage you need to pursue your case and get the best possible result.

What is Pre-Settlement Funding?

Pre-settlement funding, also known as a pre-settlement loan or lawsuit loan, is a type of funding provided for plaintiffs in a lawsuit before a case is resolved either by a court decision or settlement. Pre-settlement funding allows a plaintiff to cover day-to-day expenses while their case is unfolding. A main goal of this type of funding is to give a plaintiff much-needed support in order to reject an unfavorable settlement and progress the case through the legal system. This is an attractive option for plaintiffs facing high medical bills, rising legal fees, and other costs. Pre-settlement funding gives relief for the time being until a settlement or decision can be secured.

What Types of Cases Qualify for Pre-Settlement Funding?

Pre-settlement funding is most often found in personal injury cases where a plaintiff sues an individual or company for negligence and damages. Breaking down the category even further, lawsuit funding can be given to plaintiffs in cases involving motor vehicle accidents, civil rights violations, worker compensation, wrongful death, product liability claims, slip & fall accidents and most any personal injury claim. If you are involved in one of these types of cases or any personal injury claim, consider researching your options for pre-settlement funding so you can get the assistance you need while you await a decision.

How Does Pre-Settlement Funding Work?

Pre-settlement funding works by giving plaintiffs financial assistance without a long delay. Typically within a day you will be able to get an advance against your claim forwarded to you before your case settles. This type of funding is what is known as nonrecourse, meaning that the plaintiff does not owe any money back until a case has been won and you will not need to repay the advance if you lose your case.  A four-step process is used to get you the funds you need to improve your financial situation while dealing with the courts.

  1. Application Phase – Talk with a potential funder that specializes in pre-settlement funding and complete an application for evaluation.
  2. Evaluation Phase – Your funder will research your case and determine whether or not your claim qualifies you for a cash advance. As is the case with nonrecourse loans, your lender will make the ultimate decision on your application as a calculated risk based on their belief that you will win your case.
  3. Sign the Agreement – Once your application has been approved, both you and your attorney will need to sign the agreement.
  4. Receive Your Funding – Most applicants receive their funding within 24 hours after signing the agreement.

Is Pre-Settlement Funding Like a Loan?

No. Pre-settlement funding is unlike a loan because of its nonrecourse nature. A traditional loan requires the borrower to make regular payments on the principal of the loan plus interest. Pre-settlement funding, on the other hand does not require you to pay anything back until your settlement or decision has been reached. If you do not win your case or reach a settlement, you owe nothing back.

Does a Lawsuit Need to Be Filed Prior to Applying for Pre-Settlement Funding?

A lawsuit does not need to have already been filed in order to apply for pre-settlement funding. If you have already filed or plan to file a personal injury or other type of lawsuit, you will be able to get the process started so you can get the cash advance you need for your day-to-day obligations. If you have not already filed, you and your attorney will still provide details on the status of your case so your eligibility can be determined.

Is Pre-Settlement Funding Legal?

Absolutely. The practice of pre-settlement funding has been growing for around the last 15 years or so. Since so many plaintiffs were accepting less than adequate settlements due to their declining financial situation, organizations were founded to assist. Plaintiffs now have less financial burden and pressure when it comes to seeing their case through to the finish and getting the result they deserve.

Source

  1. Infographic: Lawsuits in America,” Common Good, 17 July 2012, Web, 29 June 2014.

Decorative Scales of Justice in the Courtroom

Categories : Uncategorized

Taking Proper Safety Precautions at Home and in the Workplace

At Global Injury Funding, our experience with legal funding has made us aware that there are many ways in which people can become seriously hurt, sometimes with life-changing consequences. In a lot of cases the victim bears no responsibility at all for the incident. But, in other instances, the injured party would have saved themselves some trouble by exercising caution in a potentially dangerous situation—even if the blame (and legal liability) for the accident falls predominantly on another person’s shoulders.

Whether you’re interested in staying harm-free, or looking for tips to avoid aggravating an existing injury, it’s a sound idea to keep a handful of basic safety guidelines in mind wherever you go—at home, at work, or anywhere else. We don’t have the space here to delve into the topic in great detail, but here are some simple ideas for staying safe:

AT HOME:

Keep a flashlight by your bed. Many people have hurt themselves while stumbling around in the dark after a power outage. Having a flashlight handy can prevent a potentially harmful accident. (Just remember to check the batteries every once in a while!)

Install nightlights around your home. These little devices should be placed in locations with little light and/or those where people might wander around late at night. Similarly, glow-in-the-dark light switches can help people easily find them in the darkness.

Place labels on glass doors. Visitors at your home could walk right into a clear glass sliding door—and suffer a painful injury—if it isn’t properly marked. We’re not talking about a Post-it note; you can purchase an attractively designed window cling that will incidentally provide a suitable visual warning when placed at eye level. It’s also a good idea to ensure that the flooring immediately around your glass door is not slippery.

Use ladders to retrieve hard-to-reach items. Using chairs and other materials to assemble makeshift ladders has led to a lot of broken bones over the years. Don’t take shortcuts like this—you need a real ladder for changing light bulbs and grabbing those plates in the back of the cabinet.

AT WORK:

Safety signs and similar labeling are essential. Any area that may pose hazards to personnel should be marked in such a way as to inform those in the area about the nature of the danger involved. This could be as simple as a “Slippery When Wet” sign, or it could involve a labeling system to warn of heavy mobile machinery in the vicinity.

Be educated about safety issues in the workplace. Ideally, any place of employment should, as part of its orientation and ongoing training processes, provide warnings about any hazardous areas in the workplace. As part of this, employees should be aware of all emergency exits, and these areas should remain unobstructed at all times.

Lift heavy objects with your legs, not your back. Bending at the knees while keeping the back straight is standard advice for lifting heavy boxes and similar bulky materials, but, nonetheless, it goes unheeded by many. You may wish to prod the object with your foot to get a sense of its weight before attempting to lift it. Any heavy object should be lifted slowly and steadily while using both hands as grips, making sure to keep the object close to the body. If you have to carry the object from one area to another, you should avoid holding it in a way that blocks your vision.

Safety issues should be immediately reported to a supervisor. Whether it’s a cluttered area that poses a tripping hazard, a sink that leaks water, a machine that has been left unattended, or another issue, any potential safety problem should be conveyed to the appropriate personnel as soon as possible.

Global Injury Funding provides lawsuit loans to persons who have turned to the courts to seek compensation for accidents caused by negligent parties. Call us at (800) 980-2278 for a free evaluation.  

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Categories : Pre Settlement

What Are the Different Types of Compensation Available in Injury Cases?

“How much is my injury claim worth?” It’s a natural question to ask if you’re filing a lawsuit to pursue monetary compensation for damages or injuries sustained at the hands of another party. There’s no simple answer to the query, however, as every case is different, each featuring a multitude of unique factors. But it may be helpful to take a look at the different kinds of damages that a plaintiff in an injury case could be awarded. This can give you a rough idea of the amount that you may reasonably expect to win.

In general, damages are classified in three broad categories. Economic damages refer to loss of physical property, loss of income, and other losses that can be objectively quantified. Non-economic damages include “emotional distress” and other intangible inflictions that can’t be so easily assigned a dollar value. The final category is punitive damages; these are intended primarily to punish the offending party for unusually flagrant behavior. Punitive awards can be very large, but keep in mind that this type of compensation is relatively uncommon.

Let’s now examine the specific kinds of damages frequently awarded by the courts:

For obvious reasons, medical expenses are a very common feature of injury claims. Compensation for medical costs can include a wide variety of expenses, from ambulance rides to prescription drugs. In many cases, the plaintiff will also be compensated for estimated future medical expenses.

Pain and suffering awards are also commonly granted to defendants in injury cases. There is no simple formula for calculating these types of non-economic damages, but plaintiffs are most likely to come away with a substantial sum if they can demonstrate that their injuries have significantly compromised their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

Loss of property damages often come up in cases involving automobile accidents, but nearly any type of material possession can be included. If your car, home, or other valuable property was ruined due to another party’s actions, you can expect to be compensated for all repair or replacement costs.

Loss of consortium damages are also possible if it can be shown that the plaintiff’s injuries have harmed their relationship with their spouse and/or children.

Loss of income awards compensate the victim for wages lost due to injuries sustained. This includes cases where the plaintiff was forced to miss work for a certain period of time, as well as cases where the plaintiff is no longer able to continue in the same line of employment.

Emotional distress awards are sometimes granted to plaintiffs who have suffered psychological trauma as a result of their injuries. In a lot of cases, this does not constitute a separate damages classification, but forms a portion of the “pain and suffering” calculations.

Wrongful death damages are those awarded to the family of someone who has died as a result of another’s negligence, recklessness, or malice. This often includes compensation for funeral expenses, loss of income, and emotional distress.

If you need immediate funds while you await the conclusion of your personal injury case, contact the litigation financing pros at Global Injury Funding.  We can be reached at (800) 980-2278. Free case evaluations are available.

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Categories : Pre Settlement

Common Types of Injury Cases

Just about everybody can expect to suffer some kind of significant bodily injury at one time or another. Most of the time, the effects are only temporary—they may have to wear a cast for a little while, or make a trip to the hospital for a few stitches. But what happens when the injury in question can’t be dealt with so easily? What if the victim has, in fact, sustained a major, even a crippling injury that makes it impossible to resume the lifestyle to which they had become accustomed? If the injury was caused by the recklessness, negligence, or malice of another party, then it’s possible—in fact, often the best option—to file a lawsuit against the person or organization responsible. Pursuing this avenue may net a settlement or judgment that will at least partly compensate the plaintiff for their injury. Global Injury Funding specializes in providing litigation financing that allows plaintiffs to continue paying the bills while they wait for their much-deserved money. There are many types of injury cases that qualify for pre-settlement funding; let’s take a look at some of the more common ones below.

Slip and fall accidents are often associated with scammers who attempt to feign injury for money, but this is unfair, as a lot of people have suffered quite real harm as a result of falling in a poorly maintained environment. These types of falls can occur in all sorts of venues—shopping malls, oil change shops, corporate offices, and much more. If a person was seriously hurt in a fall due to someone else’s negligence, then it’s possible to win substantial amounts of money by pursuing a legal claim.

Motor vehicle accidents are another common source of injury claims—literally millions of incidents occur on the roads every year. It’s no secret that these types of accidents can be extremely serious, even fatal. For those who have been victimized by a reckless driving incident, it’s often wise to turn to the courts for relief.

Another common type of injury claim arises from accidents in the workplace. Many people suffer long-lasting injury as a result of dangerous work environments. Some occupations are more dangerous than others—construction sites tend to be more hazardous than your typical air-conditioned office—but people can be injured at virtually any place of employment.

Medical malpractice claims are also fairly common. It’s an unfortunate reality that a lot of people have been irreparably harmed by surgical mishaps and inadequate medical counsel. In fact, tens of thousands die every year due to medical error, with an even larger number suffering major non-fatal harm. Medical malpractice cases fall under the umbrella of personal injury claims, and we provide lawsuit funding for these as well.

Product liability claims form yet another type of injury case. Inadequately designed consumer products have harmed many, and this is another area where the courts can impose justice. Product liability claims usually revolve around design flaws, manufacturing defects, or “failure to warn” negligence where the company does not properly inform consumers about possible hazards.

This is not a comprehensive list of injury claims that plaintiffs may pursue. We provide legal funding for many types of injury cases; contact us at (800) 980-2278 so we can get started on your claim.

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What Is Pre Settlement Funding?

Anyone who has ever been involved with a lawsuit is aware of one unavoidable truth:  The legal system is expensive. For persons pursuing a claim against another party in a court of law, the associated expenses may be prohibitively high, preventing them from winning the judgment or settlement that they deserve. The problem is only compounded by the painfully slow pace with which these suits typically proceed through the system, which often forces plaintiffs to wait an unreasonably long time before receiving their settlement. In cases where a private individual is pressing a claim against a large, well-funded organization, the disparity in resources tends to give the latter an unfair advantage. Inadequate legal funding has derailed many worthy lawsuits.

Matters can be even more unbalanced in personal injury claims that involve a plaintiff who has been too badly hurt to continue working. Unable to generate an income to sustain day-to-day living, they’re sometimes forced by financial necessity to accept a quick settlement that adds up to far less than they would have earned if the proceedings had been allowed to continue to a proper conclusion.

In recent years a practice has arisen that has given many plaintiffs the money they need to continue fighting:  pre-settlement funding. What is this? It’s simply a process where a plaintiff obtains a cash advance from an organization that specializes in this type of funding. This is an increasingly popular option for litigants who need money fast, and when the funds are obtained through a reputable company there are few downsides for the applicant.

In general, the procedure involved with applying for pre-settlement funding is quite simple. The applicant fills out some paperwork, which will include all relevant details relating to the court case. The funding company examines the facts and makes a determination whether to advance the requested money to the plaintiff. It’s worth pointing out that in making its decision the funding company normally does not consult the applicant’s credit history. The plaintiff’s credit score is an irrelevant consideration; what matters is the likelihood that they’ll emerge victorious in court.

The idea behind this kind of litigation funding is to give people the money they need, now, so they can continue to fight for the significantly larger amount that they should earn at the conclusion of their court case. Once the plaintiff finally receives their settlement or judgment, they will pay back the money plus any associated fees. But what happens if the plaintiff comes away empty-handed? Because these cash advances are classified as “non-recourse” in nature, the plaintiff has no legal obligation to repay the money if they lose their case. In this worst-case scenario, they owe nothing.

Pre-settlement funding has attracted criticism from a few commentators who view the practice as exploiting persons who suffer from urgent cash-flow problems. Yet this type of cash advance is legal, and many experts have argued that the practice promotes a fairer legal system by helping lower-income plaintiffs avoid being “outspent” by wealthier defendants. The simple fact is that this type of cash advance has aided many people in their time of need.

Contacting a reputable litigation financing company like Global Injury Funding can make the difference between success and failure in one’s journey through the courts. To get started, call us today at (800) 980-2278.

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Categories : Pre Settlement

Things To Look For When Hiring An Attorney

After you’ve been in a car accident or have another event occur that requires you to hire an attorney, it is important that you make the right choice. You don’t want to find yourself in a bad situation with rising insurance costs, or legal issues, just because you didn’t do your homework when finding an attorney to represent you. By keeping a few tips in mind in the beginning of the process, you will be able to find a lawyer to provide the best defense or support as your case continues to advance.

The first key point to keep in mind is to not settle for the first attorney you meet. Make a list of local attorneys and try to call or meet with each one. This will help you narrow down your list to the one with the best qualifications, and who you feel will do the best job. It is important to remember that initial consultations are only a few minutes in length and may require a fee. Be sure to ask prospective attorneys about their experience in cases relative to your case and write down everything they say so that you can reference it when making your decision.

After you meet with an attorney and before you decide to hire the best suited attorney, you will want to ask yourself a few questions. First of all, will you be comfortable working with the lawyer? Are you able to pay their fee? Do you and the attorney agree on the goals of the case moving forward? In the end, you want to hire an attorney that will provide you with the best representation. Do your research so that you don’t have to go through the next steps of your case unprepared.

Take a look at some tips to consider when hiring a new attorney

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Categories : Uncategorized

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