STARTING A BUSINESS
Q: I’m planning to form a new business and am wondering what business form is best for me?
A: We help our clients select the form of business that matches their needs. Often we work in conjunction with our clients’ accountants in order to maximize the benefits. Sometimes the accounting issues will determine what is best. The most common forms of business structure are the sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or limited liability company (LLC).
For fledgling businesses, our philosophy is to work with our clients to limit front-loaded expenses to the extent possible. For that reason, we encourage our clients to focus their budget process for a new and untested business on its physical plant, equipment, supplies and payroll rather than an excessively complicated legal structure. We work with our business clients in order to devise a structure which will protect the clients from liability, preserve accounting flexibility, and define their relationships with other parties. We develop long term relationships with our business clients that are cost effective yet offer the benefit of an in depth historical perspective on the business. We remain available to assist with the myriad complications which inevitably arise with business ventures and typically help grow the business with the client. Those aspects which we continue to assist may involve real estate needs, commercial contracts, warranties, labor law, discrimination claims or succession planning.
SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY CLAIMS
Q: I have a serious medical condition which prevents me from doing my job. Can you assist me in a Social Security disability claim?
A: We have over 45 years of combined experience in handling social security disability claims. We handle two kinds of SS claims. One is for persons who have worked for sufficient “quarters” and paid taxes into the system before they become disabled. That is called SSD, or Social Security Disability under Title II of the Social Security Law. Generally, the amount of money credited to that person’s account determines the amount of benefits. The other is for persons who have not had that work experience yet are unable to work due to a serious disabling injury. For both types of claims, the process is very similar. First of all the person files a claim with the Social Security Administration(SSA) and fills out a number of forms. After review, the SSA determines whether, in its view, the person meets the disability requirements which include a severe medical impairment and an inability to return to a person’s former job or any other job available which is available in substantial numbers throughout the country. A very significant number of applications are denied at this level. If the person still believes they are totally disabled, they should submit a timely “Request for Reconsideration” directly to the SSA on forms which it will provide. If the person is again denied after reconsideration(the 2nd denial), then the person should contact us for representation. We will arrange for a hearing which will take place in front of an Administrative Law Judge (AAJ).
Oftentimes, the most critical part of the case are letters from the client’s doctors describing the work limitations the person has.
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CLAIMS
Q: My workers’ compensation claim has been denied. Can a lawyer help?
A: Our firm has substantial experience helping injured workers get the benefits they deserve. Workers’ compensation insurance companies often deny claims based on erroneous information. We will obtain a hearing in front of a judge who will hear your testimony, that of any witnesses as well as review medical records. We frequently meet with our clients’ doctors and get any necessary reports. When an insurance company refuses to take responsibility for work related injuries, they compound the injured workers’ problems. Our firm strives to work with injured workers in order to help them navigate through those problems.
FAMILY LAW ISSUES
Q: I am facing a possible breakup of my marriage and I have limited resources and don’t know if I can afford an attorney. Can you help?
A: We realize that not everyone in this economy is financially able to obtain traditional legal representation in their dissolution of marriage or other family law matters. The Davis law firm is committed to assisting people to access the justice system even in such situations, and we can provide one-time consultations and do-it-yourself forms for those who simply need a little help in getting started.
PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS
Q: How do you determine if a client has a claim for personal injury?
A: Our goal is to recover a fair settlement for clients injured through the fault of another person such as a client’s injury due to someone running a red light or speeding. Examples of potential cases are too numerous to try to list. A person can still recover for injuries even if they were partially at fault so long as their fault is less than 50%.
Q: What is my case worth?
A: We consider many aspects of a claim in order to determine what is a fair settlement of our clients’ injury claims. Lost earnings up to time of trial or settlement and projected out into the future for permanent injuries are an important component. Past and expected future medical bills are a consideration. We also need to understand the limitations that any permanent injury will place on our clients’ future activities. Also considered is whether the injury will worsen or improve in the future. Only when our clients are finished with curative medical care can we fairly assess the value of a case and begin settlement discussions with the insurance company.
Q: Do we make the claim against the at fault person or the insurance company?
A: In the case of a careless driver, the insurance company for that driver is responsible to pay the claim. If the case is not settled a lawsuit may be filed against the driver but the insurance company hires a lawyer to defend their insured. The jury is not told that an insurance company is involved.
Q: What if the person responsible for the injury does not have insurance?
A: In motor vehicle collision cases insurance is almost always available to pay the claim. Liability and uninsured motorist coverage is required by law. Your own uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage is used to pay your claim if the person responsible does not have insurance or the person’s insurance is not adequate to fairly pay for your injuries.