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Think You Have a Case? Should You Sue? What Are the Costs of Litigation?

Posted on Friday, October 17th, 2014 at 1:28 pm    

Litigation DecisionsThe litigation costs are usually the primary factor to be considered when determining whether to pursue a lawsuit. Although some suits are pursued for other reasons than monetary gain, the reality is that if a judgment is unlikely to cover the legal costs, then it is not financially worthwhile to pursue the suit. On the other hand, if the judgment is likely to cover the costs of litigation (and then some), the probability that a settlement with the Defendant will be attained also.

So, litigation costs are very important, and should be calculated earlier on by both the party wishing to pursue a claim and the attorney whom is being asked to pursue the claim on that party’s behalf. These costs generally include court fees, expert fees, deposition fees, reports or other projects, legal research fees, private investigation fees, accident reconstruction fees, etc.

Who covers the expenses?

If the potential costs of litigation are too great for the party to cover, this might prevent that party from pursuing his claim. However, as is common with most Personal Injury attorneys/firms, the party can contract with his or her attorney to cover the expenses and, in some instances, reimburse those costs if the claim results in a settlement or judgment that is enough to cover such expenses. This type of arrangement is quite common in a contingency fee agreement. The Supreme Court Rules of Kentucky allow a firm or attorney to forward all litigation expenses and either require or not require repayment of said expenses.

In the event the attorney cannot cover the case expenses either, that attorney should generally refuse to take on the case, since accepting it would result in a disservice to the client and a disadvantage to the attorney.

Does the other party ever cover the costs of litigation?

The General Law in the United States is that the loser in a case will not be forced to pay for the other party’s costs of litigation, except under special circumstances. The two main circumstances are when the parties contractually agreed that the loser pay for these costs, and where there are specific statutes in place that allow for the recovery of litigation costs (e.g., where a party committed a malicious and willful wrong against the public good).

In contrast, Kentucky statute provides that a successful party in any action shall recover his costs unless otherwise provided by law. However, it goes on to state that “[s]uccessful defendants who are necessary nominal parties shall not recover their costs and each party will pay their own expenses, [while] successful defendants who are not necessary parties will be awarded their costs.” Furthermore, the court has the discretion to award costs in actions between partners, tenants-in-common, joint tenants, settling of estates and partnerships, and enforcing trusts. KRS 453.040.

In Kentucky, the costs to be awarded include filing fees, fees incident to service of process and summoning of witnesses, jury fees, warning order attorney and guardian ad litem fees, costs of the originals of depositions, fees for extraordinary services ordered by the court to be paid, and other such costs as are ordinarily recoverable by the successful party. C.R. 54.04. It is important to note that this does NOT include Attorneys Fees.

Balancing the risks of Litigation

The pursuit of a claim will always involve some risks due to the litigations costs. If you have a claim, and are unsure about whether the costs of litigation outweigh the potential of your claim, consult an attorney before making this determination on your own. A good attorney will be able to judge the risks and balance them against a successful outcome. If you are located in Northern Kentucky, contact an attorney at Lawrence & Associates for a free consultation.

If you have a case that you would like to possible litigate in Kentucky or Ohio, contact us for some advice.  Lawrence & Associates has a long record of success in personal injury litigation in Kentucky and Ohio.

Contact Us in Kentucky: (859.371.5997) or Ohio: (513.351.5997) for a Free Consultation

Hiring an Attorney: Tips On Getting the Best Lawyer For Your Personal Injury, Bankruptcy, or Workers’ Compensation Case

Posted on Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 at 3:58 pm    

finding an attorneyIf you’ve never worked with an attorney before, it can be intimidating to pick up the phone and call. As a layman, there’s no good way to compare one attorney’s services to another because each client’s case is unique and many variables (such as the random selection of a jury) can make similar approaches in similar cases yield wildly different results. Thus, choosing an attorney can feel like taking a complete shot in the dark. However, there are certain things you can do to ensure that you are choosing the attorney that is right for your unique situation.

See What the Bar Association Has to Say

In Kentucky, all attorneys are required to be members of the Kentucky Bar Association in order to practice law. Not all states have this requirement, but even states that lack it generally have local or regional bar associations. Attorney reprimands and disciplinary actions are matters of public record. Has the attorney you are interested in hiring ever had a bar complaint, or been reprimanded? Contact the Bar Association to find this out!

See What the Attorney’s Former Clients Have to Say

Confirming that your attorney has no black marks on his or her record only confirms competence. What about excellence? The internet is a referendum of public opinion on law firms just like other professions and business. While my experience has been that law firms typically have fewer online reviews than comparably sized businesses, reviews do still exist. Check out Avvo.com, which should have a profile on your attorney complete with peer endorsements and client reviews. Yellowpages.com and the various search engines’ local business listings are also good sources of information.

See What the Attorney Has to Say

Call the attorney and ask for a free consultation. Most attorneys will give one, depending on the area of practice. In personal injury, workers’ compensation, or bankruptcy, a free consultation is almost guaranteed. In other fields, like family law, you can usually get one but not always. Use the free consultation to gauge the attorney’s confidence and the depth of his or her knowledge. You should also feel free to bring up whatever concerns you have to the attorney and expect an answer that satisfies your concerns. If the attorney can’t give you that, you might want to keep looking.

See What Your Gut Has to Say

You’re an adult with plenty of experience in meeting new people and sizing them up. If you’re reading this article to prepare for a first meeting with an attorney, odds are you have a lot of common sense. Don’t leave that common sense at the attorney’s front door. If the attorney seems honest and feels like someone you can work with, use him or her. If not, move on. There are plenty of us out there.

Just like everyone else, attorneys have good days and bad days. Those of us that have been doing our jobs for a long time are sometimes guilty of going too fast and assuming new clients are more familiar with what we are saying than they really are. Occasionally, even the most seasoned attorney will get a curveball question during a consultation and have to say, “I don’t know, I’ll have to look that up for you.” But good attorneys are polite on their bad days, take the time with their clients to explain things fully, and follow up their “I don’t know” with “I’ve got that answer for you.”

If you’re looking for a lawyer in Kentucky or Ohio, Lawrence & Associates has a long record of success in personal injury, bankruptcy, and workers’ comp cases.

Contact Us in Kentucky: (859.371.5997) or Ohio: (513.351.997) for a Free Consultation

Fen-Phen Case: The Justice System May Not Be Fast, But It Generally Gets Things Right

Posted on Friday, September 19th, 2014 at 3:28 pm    

fen-phenRemember the Fen-Phen disaster? If you don’t remember it, way back around 2006 the Fen-Phen class action settlement became the biggest black eye the legal profession has seen in a long time because four attorneys conspired to keep millions of dollars from the settlement that should have gone to their clients. Then a judge rubber stamped the whole sordid mess. There was a public outcry (justified) that left a lot of people wondering if justice would ever be served (not justified).

Justice Has Been Served

All of the attorneys and the judge have been disbarred. Two of the attorneys are serving what amounts to life sentences in prison based on their age and health. A third attorney went through a criminal trial and was acquitted. And within the last month, the final attorney – Stan Chesley of Cincinnati, Ohio – was ordered to pay back $42 Million dollars to the Fen-Phen victims. If he fails or refuses to do so, he could be held in contempt of court and also see jail time. It wasn’t fast. It wasn’t pretty. But justice was served.

Policing It’s Own

I’m proud to work in a system that doesn’t just take care of its own (and I’m looking at American Medical Association here), but rather polices its own and makes sure victims get what they deserve. It’s your justice system. Fight to keep it strong.

Information About Product Liability Cases

When a poorly designed or manufactured product causes an injury, the victim can claim compensation for financial loses, pain and emotional suffering. The families of people killed by a dangerous product can also seek compensation. Product liability cases are often hard-fought and present numerous liability and technical challenges. You should seek out an attorney who has the experience, skills and resources needed to meet these challenges.

If you or someone you know has been hurt by a product in Kentucky or Ohio, you need an attorney. Lawrence & Associates has a long record of success in personal injury litigation in Kentucky and Ohio.

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation

Lawrence & Associates Help a Client Get a Settlement That Contains Extra Money For a Future Surgery

Posted on Friday, August 22nd, 2014 at 3:18 pm    

settlementAt the firm of Lawrence & Associates in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, we fight for the rights of people who have suffered serious injuries and the families of fatal accident victims. We work tirelessly to help our clients get compensation and deal with the medical, financial and emotional effects of serious accidents. We want to share with you the results of a case we oversaw in September of 2011. We will supply as many details as possible while still respecting our clients need for privacy.

The Situation

Our client was in a motor vehicle accident in September 2011 when another driver ran a stop sign and T-boned her vehicle.

The Injury

Our client suffered low back pain and her doctor recommended surgery that our client was unable to go through because of her work schedule. She went to physical therapy instead but knew she was going to need surgery at some point in the future. The insurance company wouldn’t pay for a surgery that hadn’t happened yet, and our client needed help.

The Result

Lawrence & Associates got our client a settlement that not only paid for the physical therapy medical bills, but also contained extra money to be used for the future surgery. The other driver’s carrier was forced to compensate our client without hiding behind frivolous defenses.

Contact Us at (513) 351-5997 for a Free Consultation

What to Do When You Have a Car Accident in Kentucky

Posted on Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 at 9:15 am    

auto accidentIf you’ve been in a car accident, it can be tough to know what to do. No two car wrecks are exactly the same, and in Kentucky you will often have questions that you don’t think of at the scene of the accident. Here are some tips to make sure you do everything necessary to get your car fixed, your medical bills paid, and your life back on track following a Kentucky car accident.

Call the Police

If you’re still at the scene of the wreck, call the police to take down all the information. If you only exchange information with the other driver you may find that the information you’ve been given is only as good as the paper it’s written on. Any Northern Kentucky police department can verify the driver’s license and insurance information at the scene! Further, in Kentucky it is required by law that you call the police if there are any injuries, no matter how minor. Finally, make a note of the make, model, color, and license plate number of the other vehicle.

Are There Witnesses?

If there are any witnesses that stopped by to help, be sure to get their names and contact information. Most disputes over automobile accidents in Northern Kentucky do not have a lot of information from eyewitnesses because no one thinks to get (or keep) the witnesses’ information. This is especially true on busy roadways such as I-71/I-75, US 42, Kentucky 18, Dixie Highway, and the AA Highway, because the volume of traffic causes many people to try to move away from the site of the accident as soon as possible.

Don’t Admit Fault or Assign Blame To Police or Medical Personnel

Communicate with the police and paramedics but don’t accuse others of fault or admit to fault yourself. That is something for the police and (if necessary) the Kentucky courts to decide. You want to give an honest account of the facts, but there’s no need to throw blame around when emotions are high. In Northern Kentucky, most fights following a car accident are started when one person has accused the other of fault.

Take Pictures

Pictures are worth a thousand words, and if you have to go to court over the damage to your car or over your own injuries, pictures can be invaluable. In Northern Kentucky courts, pictures can turn a “he said, she said” dispute into an easy victory for the person telling the truth. Take pictures of the car, your own injuries, the roadway, everything!

Notify Your Insurance Agent

In Kentucky, you have a duty to notify your insurance company about the wreck as soon as possible. In Northern Kentucky courts, insurance companies often try to get out of covering you due to a failure to communicate with them immediately after the accident, even if you’ve paid all your premiums! Although you have a duty to communicate with your own insurance company, that duty does not stretch to the other person’s insurance company. If the other driver’s insurance adjuster calls you, you should contact an attorney right away. Usually, this type of phone call is an attempt to get you to admit to fault.

Protect Your Rights With an Experienced Injury Attorney

By law, you have a limited amount of time to file a claim or a lawsuit against the other driver. Although no law says you have to see a doctor as soon as possible after the wreck, insurance companies will try to use any delay in seeking medical care against you. Insurance companies also routinely deny coverage by saying the injuries are not related to the automobile accident. If you hear these arguments from the insurance adjuster, get a qualified injury attorney immediately. Insurance is a confusing area of law, even to lawyers that don’t practice in the state where your accident occurred, because each state’s law is a little bit different on this subject. Kentucky law is unique, as is Ohio’s.

If you’ve been injured in a automobile accident in Kentucky or Ohio, you need an attorney. Lawrence & Associates has a long record of success in auto litigation in Kentucky and Ohio.

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation

Lawrence & Associates Help a Client Who Was Hurt on a Bus Trip Passing Through Northern Kentucky

Posted on Friday, July 25th, 2014 at 2:24 pm    

Bus WreckAt the firm of Lawrence & Associates in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, we fight for the rights of people who have suffered serious injuries and the families of fatal accident victims. We work tirelessly to help our clients get compensation and deal with the medical, financial and emotional effects of serious accidents. We want to share with you the results of a case we oversaw in July 2013. We will supply as many details as possible while still respecting our clients need for privacy.

The Situation

Our client was traveling from Miami to Chicago by bus when the bus he was on had to make a sudden stop and ran off the road in Northern Kentucky. Since the wreck happened in Northern Kentucky, our client was forced to file a claim in a Kentucky court as well. The bus company’s insurance carrier did not believe that our client was injured in the wreck.

The Injury

Our client had been asleep when the wreck happened and was thrown into the air. He landed on an armrest on his lower back, which caused his injuries, including a disc bulge in his spinal column.

The Result

Lawrence & Associates was able to prove the injury was related to the bus wreck and forced the company’s insurance carrier to pay our client for his medical treatment and pain and suffering without him ever having to return to Kentucky or file a lawsuit. Contact us at (513) 351-5997 to speak with an attorney.

Texting While Driving… Adults Are Worse Than Teens

Posted on Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 at 3:42 pm    

texting in the carIn a recent survey conducted by AT&T, 49% of American adult drivers admitted that they text while driving. [1] That’s a surprising statistic compared to only 43% of teens who admitted they too text, email, and check social networks while driving. While any licensed driver can partake in the act of texting while driving, as the AT&T study shows, adults are the worst offenders. Why can’t adults put the mobile phone down while behind the wheel? When asked why, respondents to the survey answered candidly that “it was a habit,” “it makes me more productive,” and “I like to stay connected.” A few years ago adults said they never did it, but in today’s fast paced world, texting while driving has become the new norm. While texting while driving may help someone stay more connected or be more productive, there can be very serious consequences of driving while texting.

Kentucky’s Texting Laws

To combat this phenomenon, Kentucky has stepped up and passed stricter laws banning texting while driving. In 2011, Kentucky created a new section of KRS Chapter 189, which prohibits text messaging while operating a motor vehicle. Punishments for a driver who is caught text messaging range from fines between $20 to $100 for each offense, excluding court costs, as well as adding on an additional 6 months onto the time a permit holder must wait before being allowed to get his or her driver’s license.

Texting Increases the Chances of You Getting Into an Auto Accident 

The reality is the repercussions of driving and texting can lead to increased chances of getting into an auto accident and even death. Researchers from Virginia Tech Transportation Institute reported that texting while driving creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted. When you text and drive, you are not only at risk for injury, but you are a liability to every driver around you.

If you have or know anyone who has been a victim of an auto accident involving a distracted driver who texted while driving, Lawrence & Associates can help!

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation

[1] http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/03/28/adults-worse-than-teens-about-texting-behind-wheel/2026331/

Lawrence & Associates Provided Free Legal Consultations on Weekends at the Richwood Flea Market This Summer

Posted on Friday, July 18th, 2014 at 3:32 pm    

The Attorneys of Lawrence & Associates provided free legal consultations at the Richwood Flea Market on Saturdays and Sundays between 9am – 5pm this summer. Thanks for meeting with us!

Richwood Flea Market

Kentuckys best and most loved Flea Market since 1980! Richwood Flea Market is your one stop shopping home for all things vintage and new. Whether you are looking for a bargain or looking for a home for your store, Richwood Flea Market is the place for you. Great family fun and food!
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Lawrence & Associates

Lawrence & Associates is a firm dedicated to helping accident victims and the families of fatal accident victims get the compensation and care they need to rebuild their lives. We also help people and their businesses obtain a fresh financial start through bankruptcy. Lawrence & Associates is located in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, and serves all of Northern Kentucky.

Tips On Dealing With Insurance Adjusters After an Accident

Posted on Thursday, July 10th, 2014 at 9:01 am    

Insurance AdjustersIn Northern Kentucky, a car accident occurs several times every hour on average. Often, following a car accident, injured Northern Kentucky drivers will receive a call from the other driver’s insurance company asking for a recorded statement about the injury. Below are tips that will ensure you get full and fair compensation for any injuries you receive in an accident.

You Must Cooperate With Your Insurance Company But You Don’t Have to Do it Directly

To some extent, your insurance company is on your side because they would prefer that the other driver’s insurance company pay for damages to the vehicle, and that will only happen if the other driver is responsible. However, your insurance company’s adjuster has far less “skin in the game” than you do, and you can’t expect that person to go out on a limb for you the way a retained attorney will. Your duty to cooperate with your own insurance company does not mean that you are required to deal with them directly, however. If you already have Northern Kentucky personal injury attorney retained, ask the insurance company to contact your attorney instead! That is what you pay the attorney for.

You Do Not Have to Cooperate With The Other Person’s Insurance Company

In Northern Kentucky, it is legal for the other driver’s insurance company to contact injured motorists, and even to tell the injured motorist that they have to give a recorded statement! That is not always a bad thing; in fact, if your injuries are minimal or non-existent and the police report places liability on the other driver, you may want to talk to the other driver’s adjuster to speed things along. However, if you are being treated by a doctor in Northern Kentucky for your auto related injuries and do not see any end to the treatment in sight; you should contact a Northern Kentucky personal injury lawyer first.

The Other Driver’s Insurance Company Adjuster Is Your Opponent!

It is important for injured Northern Kentucky drivers, if still being treated for injuries, to contact an attorney before speaking to the other driver’s insurance adjuster because the other driver’s insurance adjuster is looking for a way to reduce the amount that has to be paid to resolve the other driver’s liability for the accident. It is rare for the adjuster to offer you nothing, but it is not the adjuster’s job to offer you a fair amount. It is not the adjuster’s job to seek justice. And it is certainly not the adjuster’s job to maximize your recovery or advise you of all the kinds of damages that are available to you.

Your First Statements Can Affect Future Settlements

First impressions are critical. Do you understand what your injuries are? If you don’t, the adjuster will set aside a sum of money as a “reserve” on your claim that represents the minimum potential injury and perhaps refuse to go over that amount later on. Only giving a detailed and credible account of your injuries and future medical treatment will create a reserve that matches your need. Don’t try to make up potential future treatment, as the adjuster is trained to spot this! The experienced Northern Kentucky personal injury attorneys at Lawrence & Associates know how to account for medical costs so you get full and fair compensation.

The Insurance System is an Adversarial System That’s Is Best Handled by a Lawyer

Nearly everyone that is seriously injured in a car accident, in Northern Kentucky and elsewhere, winds up needing an attorney because the insurance system is an adversarial system, pitting you against a multi-billion dollar insurance company. Most Northern Kentucky citizens prefer not to deal with adjusters directly and do not know how to effectively negotiate a settlement. Most also prefer not to deal with the headaches and paperwork associated with an insurance claim.

If you or someone you know was hurt in an accident, please contact Lawrence & Associates today to get full and fair compensation for your injuries!

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation

Spotlight on Justin Lawrence: Partner at Lawrence and Associates Focusing on Personal Injury

Posted on Thursday, July 3rd, 2014 at 11:57 am    

Firm Founder Focusing on Personal Injury

I’ve been practicing law since October 2005 and I found Lawrence & Associates. I currently oversee all practice areas, including Personal Injury, Workers’ Compensation, and Bankruptcy. However, my hands-on work is mostly in Personal Injury litigation, particularly for products liability and admiralty cases.

Devoted to Helping People Get Back on Their Feet

I went to law school because I wanted to help people. No one needs help more than someone that’s had a traumatic life event. Whether you’ve been hurt and can’t pay medical bills, or lost your job and can’t pay your mortgage, I take a lot of pride in fact that my firm can help get you back on your feet.

I always wanted to represent people, not businesses. I would have to walk off the job the first time a business wanted me to sue a single mom, or something like that. Also, I worked at Children’s Hospital during law school and knew medical records pretty well. So I focused on an area of practice where I knew I’d be helping people and could put my medical based skills to good use. Lawrence & Associates started off practicing in personal injury and expanded from there.

The Future For Lawrence & Associates

Lawrence & Associates needs to continue to grow and sometimes it’s tough because there are a lot of cheap, gimmicky lawyers out there.  Most prospective clients have trouble telling the difference between good lawyers and bad. Getting past the static created by those silly commercials is a major challenge to my firm’s ability to represent those in need.

Lawrence & Associates wants to grow to become the premier legal representation for people in the Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati areas. We want to expand our ability to help people with personal injury, workers’ compensation and bankruptcy cases, as well as expand into other areas of practice such as estate planning and elder law.

Our Firm Sets Ourselves Apart Through Client Satisfaction

We are simply the best in client satisfaction, hands down. Most of our business comes from referrals, and a lot of those are from prior clients. We communicate well with our clients and get results. All our fees are up front and there are no hidden charges. We know good service leads to more business down the road than campy commercials or tired gimmicks.

Success is Helping Our Clients with Their Problems…And Winning!

I’ve had clients hug me in the courtroom when they realize we’ve accomplished whatever we set out to do. I’ve brought in millions of dollars for my clients, including two multi-million dollar cases so far in 2014. Both are forms of success to my firm and I. My firm and I like winning, and we win a lot.

Keys to my success are empathy, public speaking, persistence, and continual learning. My background working at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital gave me a unique perspective into medical treatment that helps benefit my clients. Also, I’m one of very few people who actually enjoys and looks forward to public speaking. This helps a great deal in the courtroom. In regard to education, I’ve spent the last nine years focusing on the personal injury, workers’ compensation, and bankruptcy areas of practice, and I’ve taken hundreds of hours of continuing education in those areas.

Giving Back to the Community

I focus on helping children with disabilities. I’m on the Board of Directors of Redwood and sponsor several of their events. Redwood is a school that helps children and adults with disabilities lead happy, enriching lives that are incorporated into the mainstream community wherever possible. I have also been appointed by the governor to sit on the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s Interagency Coordinating Council for Early Childhood Development, which focuses on helping children with disabilities meet their developmental goals from birth to age three.

Favorite Quote

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence.” – Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States

About Our Personal Injury Practice

Personal InjuryAt the firm of Lawrence & Associates in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, we fight for the rights of people who have suffered serious injuries and the families of fatal accident victims. We work tirelessly to help our clients get compensation and deal with the medical, financial and emotional effects of serious accidents. You will have the comfort of knowing that an experienced legal team is doing everything it can to help you deal with the challenges you face. Lawrence & Associates is located in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, and serves all of Northern Kentucky.

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation

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