A motorist with an Unsecured Load

Delaware Personal Injury Attorney Ben Schwartz explains to a viewer what could happen in a personal injury lawsuit involving a motorist with an unsecured load.

Hi, I’m Attorney Ben Schwartz,

Today we’re going to do a quick video on a motorist with an unsecured load. I got an email from Ted in Newport, Delaware and he says, “I was driving on I-95, there’s a truck in front of me with a toolbox and the tools are falling out all over the highway. I swerved to avoid them and the pickup truck kept on going. Is that a case?”

So, I guess the first question that I have, Ted, is was there an accident where you were injured? What happened? Did you just swerve to avoid the tools and you kept going and it scared you? Or is this a situation where you swerved to avoid them, you hit the guardrail, spun-out and broke your neck? What happened? What are your injuries? What are your damages as a result of this accident?

Once you move past that question, the driver who had the toolbox that was unsecured in the back of the truck just kept on going; he never stopped. So, the question comes up, how are you going to sue that guy if you don’t even know who he is? Who would you name in the lawsuit complaint? Maybe the police investigated and maybe that guy was identified or maybe another motorist followed him up the road and got a tag number or was able to pull him over and get his information, we don’t know.

But let’s assume that he drove up the road, never to be seen or heard from again. You have no idea who it is; nobody knows who it was. The guy just has gone now, what do you do? Well, Ted, that is what’s called an uninsured motorist claim. In Delaware, on your auto policy, if this happened in Delaware, if you are a Delaware resident, which I’m assuming you are, on your auto policy you probably carry what’s called uninsured motorist benefits. If there’s an accident caused by a driver who flees the scene and is never heard from again, your uninsured motorist insurance coverage will pay you whatever you would have gotten from that at-fault driver. If you’d been able to locate them, identify them, and file the lawsuit against them. So, this is sounding to me like an uninsured motorist or a UM case. I hope that proves helpful and I hope that you make a successful recovery with your UM case.

If you would like to have help in regard to a car accident personal injury case, an uninsured motorist case resulting from a car accident or any other personal injury case, please feel free to contact me. If you have an interesting question about some quirk in the personal injury law or criminal law in the Mid-Atlantic region, shoot me an email. If you have a question, chances are other people out there on the internet are trying to figure out the answer to the same exact question. We can do a video and we’ll learn more about the law together.

Thanks for watching, I appreciate you and send me an email and let me know what you think.

You can also visit our Delaware DUI Website at www.delawareduidefender.com.

Unsecured Load

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What’s the difference between a wrongful death lawsuit and a wrongful life lawsuit?

Personal Injury Attorney Ben Schwartz explains the difference in a wrongful life lawsuit and a wrongful death lawsuit.

Hi, I’m Attorney Ben Schwartz,

Today we’re going to answer a viewer question from Jen in Baltimore, Maryland. Jen wrote in and she said essentially, “What’s the difference between a wrongful death lawsuit and a wrongful life lawsuit?” I thought, boy that’s a really good question, that’s a really good topic to do a video on. So, Jen thank you for writing in and asking that question.

Here is what a wrongful death case is. If you have a family member and your family member was killed as a result of the negligence or the wrongdoing of another person or a corporation, then under the laws of the state where the incident occurred or the laws of the state that apply. You may have a right to bring a lawsuit for the wrongful death, for the death of your family member. In that lawsuit, you may be able to collect things like the cost of the support that that family member would have provided to you if he or she lived and continued working and continued generating income that would have been used to support you and your lifestyle. You may be able to collect a benefit for burial expenses for your family member. You may be able to collect an award of compensation for the anguish that you have had to deal with as a result of the loss of your family member due to that defendant’s negligence. That’s a wrongful death case.

Now the law is different from state to state. Every state in the United States is going to have a somewhat different law and it’s a matter of state law.

A wrongful life lawsuit is also a matter of state law. A wrongful life lawsuit is a case where parents bring a lawsuit say against the doctor or a child brings a lawsuit against the doctor and essentially they are saying that hey if you had acted reasonably, if you had not been negligent in the care that you rendered while the mother was pregnant, we would have discovered that the baby had some terrible defect and we would have terminated the pregnancy and because you didn’t catch the birth defect then the baby was carried to term. There are millions of dollars, potentially, in medical expenses that this child is going to have over the course of her or his lifetime. We think it’s the negligence of the doctor in letting you know, letting the fetus become an infant, become an individual become a person that caused all these damages.

You may agree or you may disagree with the question of whether people should be able to bring a wrongful life lawsuit. That’s something that I think a lot of people are gonna not be able to come together on. The reason I think that is because many state legislators can’t come together to make a determination whether this is the type of lawsuit that should be allowed to exist. In some states, you can bring a wrongful life lawsuit and in some states you can’t. In some state’s it’s something that is barred. In some states it’s something that is allowed. I think it’s one of these types of cases that I’ve never handled one and I don’t think I ever would. But it’s something that I think is interesting to be aware of.

If you are a citizen in the United States, you ought to be aware that not only is there such a thing as a wrongful death lawsuit, but in some states, there is such a thing as a wrongful life lawsuit.

Anyways, Jen in Baltimore, Maryland I think that’s a great question. I hope I answered your question. If you have a question for me, my name is Ben Schwartz. I’m always interested in insightful and interesting questions having to do with the law, personal injury litigation, wrongful death litigation, criminal defense, anything that you think would make for an interesting video, that would be informative and educational and maybe a little bit interesting too, send me an email below.

Thanks for watching!

What’s the difference between a wrongful death lawsuit and a wrongful life lawsuit?

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Dover, Delaware
(302) 678-8700
1140 & 1126 South State Street
Dover, Delaware 19901
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Bethany Beach, Delaware
(855) 847-8437
34026 Coastal Highway
Bethany Beach, DE 19930
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Dagsboro, Delaware
(855) 847-8437
30838 Vines Creek Road, Unit 3
Dagsboro, DE 19939
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Wilmington, Delaware
(302) 654-4930
1525 Delaware Ave.
Wilmington, Delaware 19806
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Havertown, Pennsylvania
(610) 853-4888
850 West Chester Pike Suite 205
Havertown, Pennsylvania 19083
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
(267) 675-7015
One Liberty Place
1650 Market Street
36th Floor
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103
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Baltimore, Maryland
(410) 385-5259
111 S. Calvert St.
27th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21202
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Salisbury, Maryland 21801
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What happens if the cops don’t read me my rights?

Do you know your constitutional rights?

I’m Attorney Ben Schwartz,

Today we’re going to answer a viewer question from Rhonda in Wilmington, Delaware. Rhonda wrote in, and she asked essentially, “In a criminal case, what happens if the cops don’t read me my rights?”

It’s a good question, and I have to tell you that it is a question that comes up very, very frequently in the context of criminal defense cases. People have been arrested. The police officers followed a procedure, but the person who was arrested questions whether it was the right procedure, or the proper procedure, or the constitutional procedure to follow. So, in criminal cases, we oftentimes are asked to evaluate, “Did the police officer does something wrong when they did not read me my rights?”

All right. Let’s back up and talk about Miranda versus Arizona. Miranda v. Arizona was a United States Supreme Court case, and basically what it said was that the police officer who arrests you, who has you in custodial interrogation, has to advise you of certain rights before you can be interrogated, if the material, if the stuff you say is going to be entered into evidence in a criminal trial against you. You, as a United States citizen, have the right to remain silent. You have the right not to talk to the cops at all. You have a right to an attorney, and you have other rights, constitutional rights, very important constitutional rights. What the United States
Supreme Court said was the police officer has to advise you of your rights, and you have to make a waiver, you have to waive your rights before you talk to the police, if the police are going to use that evidence, the statements that you make, the material that you say, if they’re going to use that evidence against you.

So, people oftentimes get arrested and the police do not read them their rights, but honestly, if the police don’t read you your rights and they don’t interrogate you, they don’t ask you any questions, they just arrest you without doing the interrogation, then what difference does it make? If you’re not trying to get a court to throw out your statements, if you’re not trying to get a court to suppress your confession, then what difference does it make if the police arrest you without reading you your rights?

This is a question in many cases, and it’s a question that if you’ve been arrested, and the police did not read you your rights, you need to have a conversation with your criminal defense attorney to see if it gives you anything, any grounds to stand on to defend the case or to file a motion to suppress.

Rhonda in Wilmington, Delaware, I’m speaking to you now. If it’s a situation in your case where you were brought in by the police, you were in custody, the police interrogate you, they ask you questions, and you make a statement implicating yourself in a crime, and that’s the basis for the arrest, then you do have the right to file a motion to suppress your statement, or to suppress your confession, meaning to get it out of evidence, so that the jury never hears it. If the police interrogated you before you gave that confession, before you gave that statement, then they did the right thing, and maybe you don’t have the right to file that motion. If it’s a situation where you were brought into custody by the police and they never asked you any questions, they already had the arrest warrant, they already have all the evidence they need, and they aren’t interrogating you, they don’t read you the Miranda Rights, then maybe it’s not a situation where it gives you anything to go on; maybe it doesn’t give you a defense.

But that’s the issue. The issue is, if you’re saying, “I was arrested and I was not read my rights,” the issue comes down to was it a custodial interrogation where you made a statement that needs to be excluded or suppressed so that the jury never hears it? If they didn’t read you your Miranda Rights, if they didn’t get a valid waiver of your rights, then maybe the question is yes. Yes, you can suppress it. Yes, they did something wrong. If they didn’t interrogate you and you didn’t make a statement and they didn’t read you your rights, then maybe you got nothing. It’s something that you have to look at on a case by case basis. If you’ve been arrested and charged with a crime, wherever you are, whatever jurisdiction you’re in, I would highly, highly suggest that you get yourself a Top Flight Criminal Defense Attorney and raise this issue with her or with him.

Rhonda, I appreciate you sending in that question. If you’re watching this video and you have questions for me about the law, about criminal defense, about personal injury or wrongful death cases, please send me an email.

Thanks for watching.

Can I Demand A Retraction?

Delaware Criminal Defense Attorney, Ben Schwartz, answers a viewer question. The viewer said, “I was in the newspaper when I was arrested, but when the charges were dropped, there was no news about that and can I demand a retraction?”

Hi, I’m attorney Ben Schwartz,

Today we’re going to answer a viewer question. This is from an anonymous viewer in Wilmington, Delaware. He wrote-in and he said, “I was in the newspaper when I was arrested, but when the charges were dropped, there was no news about that and can I demand a retraction?” So, here’s the deal. When you’re arrested, oftentimes it makes it into the paper. The way it makes it into the paper is that the police agency will publish a press release. They’ll send it to all the local newspapers and online news outlets and then your mugshot and a story about how you got arrested and what you got arrested for appears in the paper. That’s how everyone finds out.

One of the disconcerting things about this is that if you have a good result in the case, say the charges get dismissed, or you go to trial and you’re found not guilty, the paper doesn’t automatically print a follow-up news story to say, “Hey, you’re not a bad person. You were found not guilty. You’re innocent, and therefore people should take that into consideration.” It just doesn’t appear. But at the same time, what you have to realize is, unless you’re writing and sending out a press release to those news outlets, oftentimes you don’t have any reasonable expectation that they’re going to do a followup piece because nobody’s watching the case.

At news agencies these days, I can say across the board, things are pretty tight. It’s not like the olden days when there was a lot of reporters, maybe there would be a beat reporter in your town or city that covered court proceedings, that covered criminal trials. It’s not like that in most areas anymore. You’ve got to be your own advocate, or you’ve got to get your attorney to do a press release and send it out to the local news agencies so that they can print a follow-up story.

Now, the question was, “Can I demand a retraction?” A retraction is something when you say to a lawyer, “Hey, I want a retraction from the newspaper.” That’s a specific thing, that’s a specific legal term. A “retraction” is where the newspaper publishes a story that’s false and you contact the newspaper and you say, hey, I’m going to sue you for defamation of character and the newspaper will print a retraction to try and undo some of the damage that they caused with the defamatory story.

In the situation where you’re arrested and the newspaper publishes a piece about your arrest, that’s not necessarily going to be defamatory, I mean, it could be, you could have an attorney review it to determine if it’s defamatory. But what newspapers typically publish is not untruths, what they normally publish is the report of your arrest. If you were actually arrested, and they published a story saying you were arrested, that’s not false; it’s true, they’re reporting an actual thing that happened. So it’s not defamation if they’re printing the truth, so you would not ask for a retraction of truthful material.

What you would do is, you would do your own press release, or have your PR agent or your attorney do a press release for you saying that, “Hey, as a follow-up to that previous story reporting your arrest, there’s new news.” You went to court and you were found not guilty, or the prosecution determined that there was not sufficient evidence and they dismissed the case, or you had some other type of good result that shows that you’re not guilty of what you were originally arrested for. You send that to the news outlets and hopefully, they publish that. Therefore, people in the community can know that you did not get convicted of whatever you were arrested for.

So I hope that answers the question. It is something that I do have to say, I’ve handled an awful lot of criminal cases, serious criminal cases in my life, and it’s always bothered me that the newspapers are quick to publish a report that some prominent figure got arrested and charged with some crime, but they’re very slow when it comes to publishing the follow-up article to say what really happened, and what the outcome of the court case was. It’s always bothered me, but at the same time, the remedy for it is you do your own press release, you contact the reporters directly, you make friends with the reporters, and you give them the rest of the information so that they can do a follow-up story and inform the general public of what the truth is and what the outcome was.

I hope that answers the question, it’s a very, very good question. If you have a question for me, anything pertaining to the law, personal injury, litigation, medical malpractice, criminal defense, anything along those lines, please send me an email, I’d love to try and do a video about your question.

Thanks for watching!

Can I Demand A Retraction?

Office Locations - Personal Injury Lawyer

Click or Call 1-855-TIP-THE-SCALES

We have offices conveniently located to provide expert legal representation in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Dover, Delaware
(302) 678-8700
1140 & 1126 South State Street
Dover, Delaware 19901
Central Fax: (302) 678-8702
Directions & Map
Bethany Beach, Delaware
(855) 847-8437
34026 Coastal Highway
Bethany Beach, DE 19930
Central Fax: (302) 678-8702
Directions & Map
Dagsboro, Delaware
(855) 847-8437
30838 Vines Creek Road, Unit 3
Dagsboro, DE 19939
Central Fax: (302) 678-8702
Directions & Map
Wilmington, Delaware
(302) 654-4930
1525 Delaware Ave.
Wilmington, Delaware 19806
Central Fax: (302) 678-8702
Directions & Map
Havertown, Pennsylvania
(610) 853-4888
850 West Chester Pike Suite 205
Havertown, Pennsylvania 19083
Central Fax: (302) 678-8702
Directions & Map
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
(267) 675-7015
One Liberty Place
1650 Market Street
36th Floor
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103
Directions & Map
Baltimore, Maryland
(443) 759-3566
Legg Mason Tower
100 International Drive, 23rd Floor
Baltimore, MD 21202
Directions & Map
Salisbury, Maryland
(410) 546-6415
Suite 500-A, 100 East Main Street
Salisbury, Maryland 21801
Central Fax: (302) 678-8702
Directions & Map

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Should I get a lawsuit loan against my personal injury case?

Hey, I’m attorney Ben Schwartz. People ask me all the time in personal injury cases, “Should I get a lawsuit loan? Will you sign off if I get a lawsuit loan?”

It’s something that I really think needs to be discussed. It’s something where I really feel strongly like a lot of people are being taken advantage of, people who have already been taken advantage of because they’ve been in an accident. They’ve been injured. They’re having a hard time. The insurance companies aren’t dealing with them, aren’t being fair. They come to me for help, and then they say, “By the way, should I get a lawsuit loan against my personal injury case?” And it’s like, oh my god. It’s one more bad thing that’s going to happen to you if you take money from a lawsuit lender.

Normally, I try and educate my clients that there are alternatives. Ask friends, ask family for advances. See if you can get a loan from somebody that’s not a loan shark, that’s not going to break your kneecaps when you don’t pay them back in full like within a week. I had a case come to me in the last week and when the attorney sent me … I got the case from another attorney’s office, took it on referral from an out of state attorney. When the file came over, there is paperwork for a lawsuit loan in the client’s file. And I was looking at it, and it doesn’t say, “Here’s what the percentage interest is,” it gives a schedule. And what I did was I wrote down the schedule on a yellow pad and basically, it says, “The client borrowed $7,500. If she pays back the money before the end of month 12, she’s going to pay back $10,677. Before the end of month 24, she’s going to pay back $14,617,” and on and on. “Before the end of month 60, she’s going to pay $37,495.”

And I thought to myself, I mean, that’s just unbelievable. Unbelievable that anyone would loan 7,500 bucks and then expect to be paid back almost $40,000 on a five-year term. And so, what I wanted to do is shoot a video and I wanted you to see me annualize the interest, okay. Basically what I’m saying is, to figure out if the loan is a good deal, what you have to do is annualize the interest. Figure out what the annual interest is going to be if you take that money. What I did was, I took the chart and at the end of month 12, if she pays back the $7,500, she’s paying $10,677. The difference between $10,677 and $7,500 is $3,177, which means an annual percentage interest rate of 42.36%.

If you look, it gets higher and higher. Every year, the interest rate is higher. At the end of the second year, if she pays back the money, she’s going to end up paying 47.5%. At the end of the third year, 55.6%. At the end of the fifth year, 79.98%. That’s 80% annual interest of a $7,500 loan gets you to a repayment of $37,500 at the end of five years. If you don’t think that’s insane, let me just tell you that I have a 30-year loan on my house with 4% interest. Compare a 4% interest rate against an 80% interest rate. Do you think that the loan company is taking advantage of my client? Because I sure do.

So, if you’re watching this video and you’re thinking about, should I get a lawsuit loan? Should I get any kind of loan, a payday loan, a car loan, a cash advance, anything? What I’m telling you to do is annualize the interest. Figure out what is the interest that you would pay over one year, two years, what is it? What’s the annual interest rate? You do that by figuring out how much you have to pay back, subtract out what you got, figure the difference between what you got and what you have to pay back. That’s the interest. Divide it into the amount of the loan, it gives you a percentage. If that percentage is 7.5% or 10% or 12% or 15%, cool. That’s what you would be paying if you went out and got a credit card.

If it’s 80%, put a gun to your head before you take that loan. It doesn’t make any sense. You’re being taken advantage of. Do not let lenders take advantage of you. If you’re an attorney watching this video, do not let lenders take advantage of your clients. It’s absolutely ridiculous.

Folks, I’m attorney Ben Schwartz. Thanks for watching this video. If you have a friend or family member who has been injured in an accident and you notice they’re having trouble, they’re having trouble paying their bills, paying their car note, putting money, bringing money in or putting food on the table, feeding their kids, ask them how you can help them. Don’t let them get a lawsuit loan that’s going to derail their life, their future, and the viability of their personal injury case. If you have questions for me about personal injury cases or lawsuits or anything along these lines, please feel free to send me an email. My email address is ben.schwartz@schwartzandschwartz.com. Thanks for watching.