Do I Have To Dress Up For Jury Duty?

One of the questions that I’m asked is “do I have to dress up for jury duty?” The answer is: no.

When we interact with jurors we are completely interested in what a prospective juror is telling us. What someone is wearing never factors into the equation.

Wear jeans. Answer questions honestly.

Here’s the official guidance from the Judicial Branch:
Decorum is maintained in the courthouse and jurors should dress accordingly. Shorts, t-shirts, or clothing containing offensive language or imagery are not permitted.

And whatever you are wearing, understand that the lawyers, judges, and court staff are very grateful for your service.

Very grateful.

Injured Playing Sports. Can I Sue?

Last week at the Olympics the USA women’s national team won the silver medal.

In Connecticut, events on the pitch have made it to our high court –  with a friendly between Jaworski and Kiernan.

On May 16, 1993, during a game,  Kiernan made contact with  Jaworski during a recreational soccer game while Jaworski was shielding the soccer ball from the opposition so that the goalie on her team could retrieve the ball. As a result of this incident,  Jaworski suffered an injury to her left anterior cruciate ligament, which caused a 15 percent permanent partial disability of her left knee.

Jaworski then sued Kiernan for her injuries claiming among other things that Kiernan should be found liable for negligence because his actions were in violation of league rules.

The Supreme Court disagreed and offered this analysis of the game of soccer:

Soccer while not as violent a sport as football,  is nevertheless replete with occasions when the participants make contact with one another during the normal course of the game. When two soccer players vie for control of the ball, the lower limbs are especially vulnerable to injury. If a player seeks to challenge another player who has possession of the ball or seeks to prevent another player from gaining possession of the ball, the resulting contact could reasonably be foreseen to result in injury to either player.

The Court went on to find that the defendant could not be held liable for negligence only deliberate, wilful, or reckless conduct:

A final public policy concern that influences our decision is our desire to stem the possible flood of litigation that might result from adopting simple negligence as the standard of care to be utilized in athletic contests. If simple negligence were adopted as the standard of care, every punter with whom contact is made, every midfielder high sticked, every basketball player fouled,  every batter struck by a pitch, and every hockey player tripped would have the ingredients for a lawsuit if injury resulted. When the number of athletic events taking place in Connecticut over the course of a year is considered, there exists the potential for a surfeit of lawsuits when it becomes known that simple negligence, based on an inadvertent violation of a contest rule, will suffice as a ground for recovery for an athletic injury. This should not be encouraged.

If you have been injured playing sports whether or not you can sue depends on how your injury occurred. Every situation is unique. If you would like your claim reviewed by an attorney, free of charge, contact us:

Driver Who Caused Accident Has No Insurance

Yesterday, I wrote about what happens when a driver has a low insurance policy.

The only worse than a low insurance policy is when the person who hits you has no insurance. You are driving along. Following the rules of the road. And then BAM. Through no fault of your own your life has changed on a dime. It’s not right.

Joe Biden’s car?

What are you going to do?

Your only option is likely to make a claim against your own policy. This is known as an underinsured motorist claim. Your insurance acts as if it was the person’s who hit you. Your liability limits are the amount of coverage available to you.

Do I need a lawyer?

Most likely. Insurance companies have thousands of lawyers. They act to protect their money at all costs. And at the time you were in the accident you went from their customer to an adversary. They are going to try to pay you as little as possible.

What will your lawyer do? Your lawyer will make a claim against your insurance policy the exact same way a claim would have been made against the person who hit you.  Your lawyer will also evaluate a claim to see if the person who hits you has any assets that you can recover. Mostly people without insurance have nothing to attach. But your lawyer needs to explore this.

If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, contact me. I’m happy to answer your questions.

Lowest CT Auto Insurance Policies

One of the worst conversations that I have with someone who has been severely injured is telling them the person who harmed them has a minimum policy.  I wish lawmakers had to tell folks with tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars that the most they’ll receive from the person who wronged them is $20,000. And all of that money will go to repay medical bills.

Here are the lowest CT Auto Insurance Policies:

1. $20,000 for injury to or death of a person,

2. $40,000 for injury to or death of more than one person in any accident, and

3. $10,000 for property damage (CGS §§ 38a-335 and 14-112(a)).

It’s just wrong. In today’s world a single ER trip can cost $20,000. The legislature should raise the minimum policy to at least $50,000/$100,000.

If you have been in a car wreck and have questions please do not hesitate to call Attorney Ryan McKeen (860) 471-8333.

Injured? 3 Insurance Company Dirty Tricks

When you are hurt by someone who violates safety rules – big money of insurance companies start acting against you immediately.

I was having lunch with a lawyer who had just wrapped up trial in a serious truck wreck case. A truck driver wasn’t following the safety rules of the road and caused a car wreck. Who does the company call to the scene? Their lawyer. 

If you have been injured here are 3 dirty tricks insurance companies may play:

  1. Getting You To Make A Statement To Them: You have the right to remain silent when the other party’s insurance company contacts you. Anything you say can and will be held against you.  When they call you and ask “how are you today” they are not asking because they care. The only thing insurance companies care about is their bottom lines. They are asking the question hoping you will be polite and say “fine” or “good”.  Then they hope to use that statement against you.
  2. Tricking You Into Signing A Medical Release: Insurance companies often demand all sorts of things they are not entitled to. Specifically they often request your medical records or a release to go fishing in your records. You do not have to give it to them. We only turn over your records when we’re ready – on our terms.
  3. Offering You Quick Money: Clients often come to me with insurance companies having offered them a tiny fraction of what their claim is worth. They may tell you not to go to an attorney because then you’ll get less. They don’t want you to have anyone on your side looking out for your interests.

If you are injured and have questions please do not hesitate to contact me (860) 471-8333 or ryan@cttrialfirm.com . We’re happy to turn the tables and stop their dirty tricks in their tracks.

Law Suits Against Heritage Cremation And Direct Cremation Services

 

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Losing a loved one is hard. Terrible.

Losing a loved one and being mistreated by a funeral services provider is unconscionable.

We believe no family should suffer needlessly after suffering loss.

If you believe you may have a claim against direct cremation providers, please contact us immediately. (860) 471-8333. We are currently investigating claims and potential law suits against Heritage Cremation.

 

Dog Bite Verdict

 

CDC Dog Bite Prevention

On August 26, 2015, Ryan McKeen secured a dog bite verdict of $125,000 for a client who was bitten in the face by a dog. The verdict came after a one witness trial that lasted under an hour. The verdict was in Hartford Superior Court. Prior to trial, the pretrial judge believed the value of the case to be approximately $20,000. The client had 4 doctor’s visits and suffered facial scarring.

If you or someone you love was bitten by a dog, please contact Ryan McKeen at (860) 471-8333. We can help. Tell us your story.

Did My Lawyer Commit Dram Shop Notice Malpractice?

Did my lawyer commit dram shop notice malpractice?

Far too many folks are injured as a result of drunk drivers. Many of these drivers are visibily intoxicated when they are being served alchohol at a bar. In that case a person may be able to recover money for harms and losses against both the bar and the driver. This is known as a dram shop claim. 

A person must  to file a notice of a dram shop claim within 120 days of the date of the injury.

Notice must be given within a 180 days if the person is dead or incapacitated.

Failing to file notice means a claim cannot be made against a dram shop for damages.

If notice is properly filed then a person has one year from the date of an injury to bring a claim.

In an initial consultation, an attorney must make inquiry into whether or not a dram shop claim exists. If an attorney fails to do so or does and fails to file notice to a bar and you are harmed as a result, you are likely the victim of legal malpractice. Your lawyer may have cost you up to $250,000 in recovery (the statutory limit on a dram shop claim).

In order to protect your rights, you should immediately speak with a Connecticut Legal Malpractice attorney.

Know your dram shop law legal malpractice rights.

At McKeen Law Firm, LLC we are presently handling such a case. We can help. Call Attorney Ryan McKeen at (860) 471-8333 for a free consultation.

What Makes A Successful Lawyer?

“We are measuring success wrong. We measure by verdict size, not contribution, not impact. A truly successful lawyer is one who has laid it all out for an insignificant case, risked everything because it was the right thing to do. Measure by what kind of justice was given. Give the message that you care! A successful lawyer is a lawyer who honors real people.” – Gerry Spence

Few lawyers, by any measure, have been more successful than Spence. We are grateful for Spence’s commitment to educating trial lawyers.

Reading everything Spence has written is a prerequisite for this list. 

I Was Injured In A Car Accident. Will An Attorney Take A Fee On The Property Damage Settlement?

We can’t answer for what other attorneys may do.

At McKeen Law Firm, LLC we never take a fee on a property damage settlement for a car wreck.

When folks get hurt by someone choosing to violate safety rules, our job is to help get them back on their feet as soon as possible. For many folks, a car is a lifeline to get to their jobs and school.

When a car is totaled, folks need a new vehicle as soon as possible.  We’re here to help make sure the insurance company promptly pays you full value for your loss. And when we do so, we hand the whole check over to you.

When your car needs to be fixed that money needs to go to fixing it.

Some other attorneys may see this differently and charge a fee. Not us. Not now. Not ever.

There is no charge for a consultation and never a fee unless we recover for you.

Injured in a car accident? Need Help. Contact Connecticut Attorneys at McKeen Law Firm, LLC. The CT Law Tribune’s Personal Injury Hall of Fame Recently Recognized McKeen Law Firm, LLC for its outstanding results. We can help. Call us (860) 471-8333 or contact us using the form below.