FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS – GENERAL:
Where is the office of Cada Law located?
We are conveniently located at 1024 K Street in downtown, Lincoln, Nebraska. For additional information, please see our Contact Us page.
What areas of law does the law firm of Cada Law practice in?
II. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS – PERSONAL INJURY CASES:
After I have been injured, what should I do?
What if I haven’t been injured?
Who will pay for my medical bills if I have been hurt?
What if I have to miss work and lose some of my wages?
What should I do with the medical bills I receive after the collision?
Where should I take my car to get it repaired?
Should I contact an attorney?
Even if you are involved in a minor collision, it is important that you contact an attorney in order to get a competent legal opinion on your rights and responsibilities. In point of fact, an attorney may not be needed to handle your claim if it is small and uncomplicated. However, an experienced attorney will be able to tell you whether it is necessary to retain his or her services. Be aware that your legal rights can be adversely affected and that it is in your best interest to discuss the entire matter with an attorney. An experienced attorney will be able to evaluate your case, discuss medical treatment, assist you with any problems that you are having with the repairs to your vehicle, and ensure that you receive a fair and full settlement with the insurance company that takes into account the problems, pain, and suffering that you have endured as a result of the other party’s actions or inactions.
The other option is that you can attempt to resolve your claim by dealing with the insurance company’s claims adjuster. Be aware that the claims adjuster is highly trained and experienced in representing his or her company’s interest. The adjuster gets paid and promoted for keeping his company’s costs down. At Cada Law we aggressively represent your interests.
How much will this cost me?
Is it better to sue or to take the insurance company’s settlement offer?
How much can I expect to get for my car?
What can I expect to receive for my injuries?
How do I know how much I should receive for my claim?
Who needs a will?
Who should draft my will?
Can a will be changed?
Is joint tenancy a substitute for a will?
In some cases, and for certain kinds of property, joint tenancy is a useful legal device, but a number of problems may arise from its indiscriminate use. There are tax hazards in joint tenancy, which you may not be aware of, as well as other complications and expenses.
In any event you cannot escape inheritance tax or estate tax by owning property in joint tenancy. It is not an adequate substitute for a will.
What happens when you die without a will?
If you die without having made a will, the law (not you) provides for the disposition of your property, and that disposition may not be what you want.
Before an estate is distributed, debts and taxes must be paid. In addition, certain allowances are made to the surviving spouse so that he or she will have sufficient funds to use while the estate is being settled. These include Homestead Allowance, an Exempt Property Allowance, and a Family Allowance up to a reasonable amount. After these allowances, debts and taxes have been paid, the property is distributed as follows:
- If you leave a spouse, but no children and no parents, your spouse will receive all of your property.
- If you leave a spouse and no children, but you have a surviving parent or parents, your spouse will receive the first $50,000 of your estate plus one-half of your remaining property. Your parent or parents will receive the other half.
- If you leave a spouse and one or more children, and your spouse is the parent of all of the children, your spouse will receive the first $50,000 plus one-half of your remaining property. Your children will receive the other one-half divided equal shares.
- If your spouse is not the parent of all of your children, your spouse will receive one-half of your estate and your children will receive the other one-half in equal shares.
- If you leave no spouse, your children will receive all of your property in equal shares. If you leave no spouse or children, then your grandchildren will receive your property in equal shares. If you have no grandchildren, your parents will receive your property.
- If you leave no spouse, children, grandchildren, or parent, your estate would go to your next of kin, as defined in Nebraska law. The portion of your estate that a relative would receive would depend upon how closely he or she is related to you.
The law provides only a rigid formula, and makes no exceptions for those in unusual need. The failure to make a will could mean hardships and added expense for your immediate family, and benefit some relatives you may not even know.
The laws make no provisions for friends, business associates, charitable institutions, schools or churches, and they treat all types of property the same. There are no special provisions for family heirlooms or jewelry or a family business, for example. They also fail to consider the different needs of different beneficiaries, some of who may need protection against their own spending habits or the exorbitant demands of a husband or wife. The only way to handle these special situations is to through a carefully planned will.
Should I appoint a guardian for my children in my will?
You may designate in your will the person or persons you would like the court to appoint as guardians of your minor children. While this is not binding on the court, the wishes expressed in a will are usually followed, provided that the persons named are willing to serve as guardians, and that the court finds the appointment to be in the best interests of the children. If you die without a will, the court may appoint a guardian for your minor children without knowing your wishes.
What is a trust?
Simply put, a trust puts money or property in the name of one person for the benefit of another. The creator of the trust is the “Settlor” or the “Trustor.” The person who owns the property for another’s benefit is the “Trustee” or the “Fiduciary.” The person entitled to benefit from the trust is the “Beneficiary.” The Settlor instructs the Trustee to manage the trust assets for the benefit of the Beneficiary.
What is the difference between a living trust and a testamentary trust?
A living trust, on the other hand, can help avoid probate when properly used. A living trust exists outside of your will. Assets in the trust are not subject to probate.
Who should be my trustee?
Every trust has to have at least one trustee. Some factors to consider in choosing a trustee are the following:
- Honesty: While most trustees operate without much supervision, dishonesty among trustees can be devastating
- Age and Health
- Family Considerations
- Independence: The trustee should not be a beneficiary. If there are federal estate tax considerations, it may be essential to have a trustee who is independent of the family.
- Professional trustees (bank trust departments)
What is medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice (or medical negligence) occurs when a physician fails to properly treat a medical condition and the negligent act or omission is the cause of a new or aggravated injury to the patient. The physician, however, cannot be responsible for the original underlying medical problem. Negligence in medical malpractice cases occurs in a variety of situations including but not limited to:
- Delay or failure of diagnosing a disease
- During a surgical or anesthesia related mishap during an operative procedure
- Failure of a physician to gain the informed consent of the patient for an operation or surgical procedure
- Failure of a physician to properly treat a disease or illness (even if he or she had properly diagnosed such condition)
- Misuse of prescription drugs, medical devices, or implants.
If I think Medical Malpractice might have happened, but am not really sure, what should I do?
First, be aware of the statute of limitations. You may have a valid claim, but if you wait too long, the claim is lost even if it is valid. The general rule is that the claim must be filed within two years after the negligent act or if the negligent act is not discovered AND could not reasonably have been discovered within such two-year period, then the action may be commenced within one year of the date of such discovery from the date of discovery of facts which would reasonably lead to such discovery. However, in no event can an action be brought more than ten years after the negligent act.
Second, you need assistance to evaluate your claim. Usually, the decision-maker in medical malpractice cases is the doctor’s insurance carrier and the doctor’s attorney. These people are not paid to help you, but are paid to defeat your claim. You need an experienced professional to help you evaluate your claim. Without an attorney, the doctor’s attorney and insurance company may not take your claim seriously.
There is no charge for an initial evaluation of your case. We recognize that these cases are very different from other kinds of personal injury cases such as car accidents. Special rules and laws apply and special tactics and strategies are important. We offer you the opportunity to sit down and discuss your case, and explain your options, without charge. You may then make a full and informed decision about whether or not you want to go forward.
What must I prove?
Generally, in every malpractice case in Nebraska, you must be able to prove three things: 1) that the medical provider breached the standard of care; 2) that the breach caused the injury; and 3) that you suffered damages as a result of the medical provider’s mistake.
Breach of the Standard of Care: In any malpractice action, you will have to prove that the medical provider made a mistake which was one that a reasonable and prudent medical provider would not have made under the same circumstances. Generally, this requires an expert witness to state and testify that what the medical provider did was a mistake. As you can imagine, this can be a very difficult process as medical providers do not like to testify against one another. However, finding an expert witness is oftentimes the most critically important part of any malpractice case. The law office of Cada Law has had extensive experience locating and working with qualified medical experts to evaluate and assist in our client’s cases.
Causation: In addition to showing that the doctor made a mistake, you must prove that your injury resulted from this mistake. In other words, you have to show that if the medical provider had not made that mistake, the patient would have gotten better or would not have been injured in the same degree. Again, it is critically important to have an expert witness who is able to testify to this.
Damages: Finally, you will have to show what damages resulted from the medical provider’s mistakes. This could be anything from death to serious injury, but it may also include lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, mental anguish, or the loss of a loved one. Oftentimes an economist or other expert is necessary to calculate and present these damages in court.
What kind of injuries are covered by Workers’ Compensation?
How much is my Workers’ Compensation case worth?
As is the case in most areas of the law, that easy answer is: that depends. Each case has a different settlement value; however, factors such as age, wages earned, educational level, the type of job or position, the extent of injury and corresponding amount of treatment required can all impact the potential case value.