Veteran Owned Accident Firm Fights For Your Personal Injury Rights.
Free Phone Consultation. No Win - No Fee.
CALL (213) 596-9642

Month: May 2014

Safest Motorbikes for User Experience

Why Safety First Matters?

There are many types of motorcycles and motorbikes on the road today. Many consumers tend to choose them for their style, for their acceleration, and for their speed. However, the savvy rider will also consider the effects of the bike on their own safety. Only with proper research can a rider understand how the bike would fare in a crash.

This is where Ehline Law is here to help. We’ve scoured the internet and used our experience to compile a list of some of the safest bikes on America’s roads today.

Is There a List of Safest Motorcycle Models?

We have compiled a list of the safest bikes. For this list, we utilized some data from All Motor News, as well as from Cheat Sheet.

These types of safer motorcycles include:

  • The Victory Cross Roads 8-Ball, at a price of $16,000 the bike is not just a looker but also has one of the lowest seat heights in the class and allows riders to maintain control of the bike at low speeds.
  • The V Star 250 is attractively priced at just over $4,000 but also comes with many safety features. This Yamaha has a low seat height and front disc brakes.
  • The Indian Chief Dark Horse is not your classic Indian Chief Bike but is also more of an entry-level bike to break in heavy riders. This can reduce some of the costs while preserving safety.
  • The Victory Empulse TT is the second bike in our list from Victory. It comes with a smooth finish and is electric– powered by a permanent magnet AC inductor motor. Its six-speed gearbox offers increased options with 54 horsepower. The bike can travel up to 100 miles with its regenerative braking system.

These are just some of the bikes that offer increased safety and comfort on the road. Purchasing a bike is never an easy decision but choosing one that offers increased safety should be. For more information about riding safety check out the other articles on our site.

What is Tort Law?

a young lawyer is sitting at her desk in the office
a young lawyer is sitting at her desk in the office

First, let’s understand the nexus of tort claims. Annually there are millions of accidents of various types resulting in thousands of fatalities and millions of individuals injured. When an injury or death occurs during an accidental incident, it will fall under personal injury law. Consequently, personal injury law enables the injured victim or family who has lost a loved one in a wrongful death to get monetarily compensated for the damages and losses they have suffered. Personal injury attorneys are typically called upon to devise tactics.

Also, they are experts at strategies to maximize the compensation a tort victim can receive.


So what exactly is a tort?

The thing that to understand about tort law is that it does not involve criminal charges, only civil actions. If there has been a criminal violation during the incident that resulted in harm or death, these will be charged under criminal law and will not be a part of the civil case. In other words, the responsible party cannot be criminally charged or tried in civil court. The liable party if accused of a criminal violation will have that case heard in criminal court where they can get prosecuted.

Are Traffic Accidents are the Largest Percentage or Tort Law Cases?

There is a significant percentage of tort cases brought involving traffic accidents. Mostly, these includes negligence when the libel party’s actions were reckless or careless. Hence, they led to the incident. The next type of the main tort cases is those from slip and fall incidents that occur in a public place, business or property. Santa Monica personal injury lawyers are very familiar with these types of claims.

In these cases, the property owner has been careless and may be entirely responsible or partially liable. The other kinds of cases that involve tort law are medical malpractice claims, dog bite attack cases, and defective product claims. This type of code may also include cases such as defamation, but real applications are much more common in personal injury law.


What are the Fundamentals of Tort Law?

Tort law has different fundamentals that apply in personal injury cases, and some elements may differ from one state to another. The one common fact in this area of the law is in tort cases they will take place in the jurisdiction the incident occurred or the plaintiff’s location. The most common claims that may involve parties in different places or even different states where the jurisdiction would be an issue is product liability.

The product liability laws include defective products design, manufacturing defects; it may include distributors and retailers. One of the other parts of product liability law is the failure to warn of potential hazards, which can include instructions or directions for a product that can be dangerous if improperly used.

Also, product liability laws include defective products design, manufacturing defects; it may include distributors and retailers. One of the other parts of product liability law is the failure to warn of potential hazards. Consequently, this can include instructions or directions for a product that can be dangerous if improperly used.

How do You Bring a Legal Action Under Tort Law?

The plaintiff brings the legal action in tort law against the defendant who is the responsible party. Then the claim is either negotiated with the insurance company or litigated in civil court. In many cases the claim will be settled satisfactorily for the plaintiff before the case goes to court, resulting in a specific settlement amount. When a measure doesn’t get decided before going to court, a jury will hear the case and award the compensation to the plaintiff. Some lawsuits that are brought in civil court using tort law are class action claims, which mean there is more than one plaintiff.

So in some cases means there will be many plaintiffs’ who have suffered harm by the same cause. So this could be something such as a defective product, drug or automobile. In these cases, the jury award or negotiated settlement will be divided among the plaintiffs usually in a percentage for the degree of harm sustained. In tort cases, monetary damages are getting sought by the plaintiff for damages such as medical expenses. These can also include lost wages, future costs of permanent or temporary disabilities and emotional pain and suffering.

Is wrongful death also a Tort?

In wrongful death claims the damages will include other losses, such as loss of companionship, loss of earnings, funeral, and burial costs. The defendants in these cases will use a defense, or the insurance company will use tactics to lower the amount that the case will get settled or the jury award. Personal injury cases are the specialty of the tort law lawyer. Also, this is a legal expert who will be able to negotiate with the responsible party’s insurance company. Also, this jurist can litigate in court against the defense attorney’s case.

In these types of claims the damages, the Los Angeles, wrongful death attorneys will include other losses. So this could be things like loss of companionship, loss of earnings, funeral, and burial costs. The defendants in these cases will use a defense, or the insurance company will use tactics to lower the amount that the case will get settled or the jury award. Personal injury cases are the specialty of the tort law lawyer who will be able to negotiate with the responsible party’s insurance company or can litigate in court against the defense attorney’s case.

Personal Injury Settlements and Taxes

The word Taxes and Keep Your Money jumping over it on an arrow
The word Taxes and Keep Your Money jumping over it on an arrow

Most of us know that personal injuries are unplanned events. And usually, people would rather avoid being personally injured.  But when an incident does happen, the victim is often entitled to recover compensation to get their life back on track. When an individual obtains a personal injury settlement, it compensates them.

The agreement will cover them for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages. So this is a financial award to help in the healing process after an accident due to carelessness or recklessness. But this financial gain that is used to offset the costs related to an accident may also have an impact on personal income taxes.


Compensation—Loss and Non-Taxable Money

There will be no impact on federal income taxes due when a person is awarded compensation for medical expenses or pain and suffering. The reason that this is not taxable money is that it is to compensate the person who suffered harm losses. This financial gain is not considered as earned income under federal tax laws.

What about Lost Wages?

Compensation is awarded that may be considered taxable money when the claimant is awarded money for lost wages. So this would be considered income that would usually appear on the claimant’s W-2 federal tax form that the IRS would receive a copy of from the employer. Applicants who live in states where there are state income taxes will also be responsible for the taxes on the awarded compensation. And typically, it would be reported by the employer when it is for lost wages.

State Law and Personal Injury Settlements

In some states, the law will contradict federal law when it involves financial compensation or a personal injury. In these states, an individual may not be required to pay federal taxes on a significant portion of the personal injury settlement. In other states, the law includes terminology that requires the individual to pay on all of their earnings. And this will typically include a financial settlement.

Knowing that these laws can vary from one state to another, it is important for taxpayers to know the tax laws of the state in which he or she is domiciled in or resides. This can be done through research, consulting with a tax attorney, or a CPA. So do so before filing state or federal income tax returns.

Do Confidential Settlements have Tax Implications?

Many PI lawyers may not be aware of this. The sad truth is that the IRS will come after someone for taxes in a confidential PI settlement unless the agreement is structured correctly. You heard right. In these cases, confidentiality is being purchased to keep a party quiet. Examples could include cases where a child gets raped on a cruise ship, and both the parents and the cruise industry wants to keep this delicate matter “hush hush.”

Since this additional side deal for confidentiality has nothing to do with the actual injury, it is subject to tax consequences.  If it is not spelled out how much the silence was purchased for, the IRS will assess an amount.  Sometimes the tax assessment is so outrageous; no compensatory award remains for the injured party. To help alleviate this risk, the parties need to spell out the amount. Also, it must show who is bearing the burden of the tax consequences. Otherwise, do not engage in a confidential settlement at all!


What About Settlements more than Loss?

There are some compensation awards which generally will occur in a civil court setting. And these may be over the actual losses of the victim. This usually happens in personal injury cases where punitive damages are awarded. Under the federal tax laws, this financial gain over what the actual losses suffered are is taxable income. When a judge approves this type of award, the court records will show the amount of taxable compensation. This money can be reported as other income when filing a federal income tax return.

Other Resources:

“Confidentiality in Settlement Agreements Is Bad for Clients, Bad for Lawyers, Bad for Justice” (ABA): http://www.americanbar.org/publications/gp_solo/2012/november_december2012privacyandconfidentiality/confidentiality_settlement_agreements_is_bad_clients_lawyers_justice.html

“IRS Issues New Rules For Tax-Free Legal Settlements” (Forbes): http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertwood/2012/01/31/irs-issues-new-rules-for-tax-free-legal-settlements/

Getting Paid More By Hiring a Lawyer

Enjoying some time off from practicing law.
Attorney Michael Ehline in Marina del Rey with Gunnarr Ehline

Why should you hire an attorney at all? Many prospective clients ask one basic question: “Can I really get more money for my accident, even after paying my attorney his contingency fee?”  The answer is multi-faceted and resoundingly, yes.

Q: Why should I bother with a personal injury lawyer?

Answer: If you or a loved one was injured due to another party not acting properly for given conditions and circumstances, need for an attorney is paramount. Being able to discern a skilled attorney and not just one on the back of the phone-book is essential.

This type of skilled attorney will be able to guide you through every step towards the eventual conclusion of your case. The specialized attorneys at Ehline Law have settled hundreds of similar cases and understand the issues that you are going through and how to hold the responsible person liable. Advocates help with every aspect, including:

  • Maximizing your settlementt. They quickly establish the value of your injury and trauma to get you the most possible.
  • Experience with Insurance Companies. Experience with liability insurance companies extends to nearly every aspect of the business. Trained counsel are skilled in negotiation with these corporations and will take on any insurance company attorney or adjustor that is trying to devalue your insurance claims and force you into an unfair settlement.
  • No Recovery No Fee. PI Lawyers generally work on a contingency basis– if you don’t win, then we don’t win. We do our best to help you pay your legal and medical bills and build a foundation for the rest of your life.
  • Paperwork and Motions. The Ehline Law Firm’s experienced litigators are pros at bringing motions and legal paperwork needed for a successful court case. We do the heavy lifting so you can begin rebuilding your daily life.
  • Hire Private Investigators. We will do our best, working with private investigators and researchers to find out the background of the liable parties.
  • Objective Separation. We make sure that you and your case stay on track. We advise you from years of experience so that you don’t make rash decisions. We don’t allow your emotions to let you take a small claim. Also, we will work with you to never give in.
  • Other Forms of Claim Dispute Resolution (ADR). Our PI attorneys know from experience that lawsuits can eat much of the monetary award in fees and costs. We can help you choose if you want to arbitrate or mediate as another way to deal with dispute resolution.
  • A Coalition of Personal Big Case Experts. Our team of champions will use all the resources at our disposal to challenge the opposition until victory.
  • Qualified Case Value Evaluators. Ehline Law’s skilled attorneys have years of training and experience in cases just like this. We can estimate the value of your case, making ADR negotiations easier. This can help you determine how far to pursue the claim.
  • Top Jury Verdicts. Excellent help won’t take no for an answer. Driven counsel will help you both in and out of court. For example, Michael Ehline relishes the chance to assist you in front of a jury and make sure that you can convince them that the injuries, whether mental or physical are proportionate to the claim. Motivated representatives can convince jury pools that your emotional trauma has affected you greatly. Bodily injury, or tort lawsuits, and defamation torts can be vital portions of your case.

Reputable attorneys protect a claimants’ rights after being harmed in an accident. They can also go further than mere protection of individual rights. A great representative can also mean attracting media attention and social change. So that can lead to enforcement of personal accountability and even product recalls, for example. But for a victim, the main concern is usually getting a bigger piece of the pie from the gross settlement proceeds.

What Are Some Things Only a Great Attorney Does Well?

Doing certain things that only a trained lawyer can typically do, means the risks in proceeding with a defense of the claim to the insurer, can often spiral beyond the acceptable risks. A risk becomes more acceptable when a victim fails to gather evidence, secure witness statements, traffic investigation reports, and so forth. The legal advocate is precisely the person that will do the necessary things to gather and protect evidence.

He or she will fight to recover financial compensation on behalf of the client for their injuries, losses and future damages. The lawyers at Ehline will be able to handle the claim in a timely manner. After all, it could be delayed or denied by the insurance company of the at-fault party.

They do this by direct negotiations with the insurance adjustor, or when it is not possible to obtain a settlement amount that is deserved by the client, the lawyer will file a lawsuit in civil court. If a lawsuit is filed, then it will be up to a jury to determine the amount of financial award the injured plaintiff deserves. Accomplished attorneys have an intricate knowledge of negligence law, as well as the obfuscatory strategies that insurance claims adjustors use to keep settlement amounts low to benefit the insurer.

Claims adjusters do not look at what is in the best interest of the victim, it is their responsibility to protect their employer and corporate shareholders. The plaintiff’s “PI lawyer”, can ensure a fair and reasonable settlement is obtained whether through negotiations or litigation. The seasoned personal injury attorney who has a comprehensive understanding of the laws that apply, and who are well practiced in a variety of specialty areas.

Does Preparing the Case Properly Mean More Money?

When an accomplished practitioner represents a client in any of these situations, they build the case by gathering evidence and investigating all the pertinent elements of the incident. They will also determine all the negligent parties that can be held liable to make certain they recover the financial award the client deserves.

Fee Agreements Conditional

Most of the better lawyers will work on a Conditional Fee Agreement, or a CFA. If they don’t win the case for you, they don’t claim a fee. When they win, they will receive the standard fee plus an uplift, also known as a success fee.

A Trained Lawyer Knows that These types of claims allow for the victim to sue for financial compensation for their losses caused by others’ actions. These can include:

  • Medical Expenses. These can include medical expenses incurred due to the incident and estimated future treatment.
  • Lost Wages. This type of damage award can include past, present, and future lost wages. This is especially the case if the victim is disabled. This can also include lost pension or 401K benefits.
  • Pain and Suffering. This can include the long and difficult healing process and ongoing medical treatment.
  • Property Loss or Damage. The Plaintiff can request financial recovery for property damage or loss, including automobiles, belongings, houses, or other property. This is meant to repair or replace items damaged due to the negligence of another party.
  • Enjoyment. These can include cases where the victim is unable to enjoy their daily life, including time with their family, their hobbies, or their activities that they did before the incident.
  • Loss of Consortium: Consortium claims can be brought by the injury victim or spouse in a wrongful death claim. This is awarded to the eligible survivor(s) due to the loss of personal relationship in matrimony from the injury or death.

A trained advocate knows that there are cases in which punitive damages can be awarded, in addition to the compensatory damages awarded. This is usually the case when the liable party acted with blatant or exceptional recklessness leading to the accident. These punitive damages normally do not affect the amount of compensatory damages awarded and are often exceptionally large with the idea of punishing the liable party for their excessive negligence.

The injured party can also be compensated due to the consequences on their life. This can include a cricket or tennis player with wrist damage unable to play in the season. This changes lifestyle and is referred to as a loss of amenity, an award in part of the claim for pain, suffering, and loss of amenity. This can be due to the inability to work, known as the loss of congenial employment, often involving compensation above the amount for the initial injury.

In order to obtain decent compensation it takes a strong case built, and a strategy, and tactics for negotiating, as well as the ultimate litigation, if necessary, in order to be successful. Counsel will ensure the claim is filed within the statute of limitations, which is a time limit to file a suit, which begins to count down on the date of the incident. This time limit will depend on the state and the type of negligent party, with state and government entities having a shorter time limit than an individual.

If this is passed, then the claimant will be unable to fight the claim. There is one exception if the injured party was under 18 at the time of the injury. In this case, they have until the day before their 21st birthday to begin proceedings. Other exceptions can include courts’ discretion to extend or waive the time limits if considered equitable. This can also be the case if the cause of the accident or injury is not immediately known, including cases such as industrial deafness.

This period begins at the moment the victim knew that they known or should have known that they had a claim. Statutes of limitations between the states and federal courts vary and function differently. For example, in Oregon cases the claim must be filed within two years. With these varying set of circumstances, the clock could begin from the date of the injury, with cases such as rape having a longer statute of limitations or claims against a government agency being as little as six months.

Yes – Personal Injury Lawyers Can Get You More Money!

When preparing a case it will include investigating to gather evidence and it may include the use of expert witnesses and locating witnesses to the incident. In some cases, it may be necessary to use an accident reconstruction expert to recreate the scene or other technical and medical experts.  The years of experience the attorney has will be an advantage in the negotiation and litigation process, whether it is negotiations with the claims adjuster or litigation to prove to a jury the defendant is liable.

Hence, you will typically get more gross payout with a representative. In fact, even after you pay the expert his or her fee, you still may end up with more money than if you had gone it alone. This process, if followed properly, will result in a much higher potentially successful settlement or verdict award. Last, going unrepresented by competent counsel is almost always a bad idea.

Let’s work
together

Ehline Law Firm
Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC

633 W 5th St #2890
Los Angeles, CA 90071

Personal Injury News

Stay Informed