Friday, June 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney

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Every year thousands of people die as a result of accidents, while many millions more sustain various degrees of injury. These accidents come with huge social costs, running into billions of dollars. These huge sums of money are paid out as damages to the victims or their families.

Damages are awarded to compensate victims for injuries. The following factors influence the number of damages awarded to a victim:
·         The level of pain and suffering
·         Loss of amenity
·         The severity of the injury itself
·         Loss of income/earnings
·         The basis of assessment etc.

Obviously, obtaining adequate compensation for your injuries is not an easy feat. To be entitled to any compensation, the victims will be expected to prove a series of facts. This is where the lawyer’s services come in handy, With the assistance of a qualified personal injury attorney, you can pursue your claim and get justice.

How to spot a professional injury attorney.
A good injury lawyer knows the law and possesses the requisite experience to represent the interest of clients. KFB Law is a good example of a reputable law firm; the injury attorneys in KFB Law are experienced in helping clients get justice.

But before you hire any personal injury lawyer, ensure that he or she is experienced in defending victims of accidents and injuries. One good way to measure, the level of experience is through asking the right questions.

In this article, we shall explore the seven most important questions every client must ask the injury attorney they intend to hire.

1.       How Much Are Your Fees
Some jurisdictions provide a scale of charges for lawyers. Even then, many lawyers prefer to charge based on the agreement they have with their clients.

Knowing the fees early on helps you plan better. While some lawyers prefer upfront payments, many others will be happy to be paid a percentage of the compensations recovered at the end of the day.
2.      Do I have any liability if I lose the claim?
Find out from your lawyer if you are liable to any charges apart from the agreed fee. Some lawyer will in addition to the agreed contingency fees, also charge for other related costs which you did not contemplate.

3.      Can you refer me to some past clients?
Past clients are the best source of information for the services they received from a lawyer. A lawyer who knows his onions will be willing to refer you to past clients for review, and verification. Be wary of attorneys who are reluctant to refer you to past clients.

4.      Have you handled similar cases in the past?
To increase your chances of winning your case, hire an attorney who has experience in similar cases. Always hire a personal injury attorney who knows exactly what to do and what to avoid.

5.      How many other cases are you handling now?
Your injury must have cost you a lot of time and resources. You wouldn’t want to waste more time by hiring an injury attorney who will abandon your claim for other matters.

6.      From experience, how long does it take to resolve cases of this nature?
Knowing how long you are going to spend resolving your personal injury case will help know whether the whole process is worth the effort. Although it is impossible to accurately predict the length of time a claim will last, an experienced lawyer can hazard a guess as to how long the case will last.
7.      Will my case be settled at the pre-trial stage or will it go to trial?

While it may be a good thing to have an experienced lawyer in the settlement, get another injury lawyer who is disposed to go to court if settlement fails.

Go out of your way to learn how to hire a good personal injury attorney can either make or mar your case. When making the decision of who to hire, ensure that you ask the right questions. 

Picture credit:  Bill Oxford on Unsplash


Self-Employed Loans: 5 Easy Ways To Increase Your Chances Of Getting Them

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Self-employment comes with certain privileges and advantages. But it also has its fair share of risks and challenges. Most entrepreneurs struggle in the areas of business management, finance management and loans acquisition.

For workers in regular, traditional employment, getting a loan is very easy. Self-employed business owners aren’t so lucky. Lending institutions are especially wary of granting loans to the minority of workers who defy their descriptions of the ‘trustworthy borrower’. Lending is even more complicated for entrepreneurs who have no records of having a steady income. 

“Financial experts are typically trained to be risk-averse,” says Gilbert Dudley, finance experts and author of five business and finance books. “The self-employed businessperson might genuinely need that loan for a mortgage, car or business expansion project, banks and lenders will refuse to approve their loan applications, except the applicants, prove themselves.”

Even with all the hiccups and bureaucratic bottlenecks that exist in financial institutions, many succeed in getting self-employed loans all the time. Journals and forums are filled with the reviews and success stories of entrepreneurs who received loans from decent lending institutions such as The Associates Home Loan of Florida, Thrift bank and Federal Home Loan Bank.

What did these people do differently and how did they succeed?  To save you the trouble, we have compiled a list of the 5 most effective things you can do to increase your chances of getting that self-employed loan.

1.      Become Debt-free

Although this might seem like a tall order, it is a very important step in ensuring that your loan applications are approved. 

“When an application for a self-employed loan reaches my desk, I first check to see if the applicant has any outstanding loans,” says Gilbert Dudley. “It is incredibly risky to lend an incorrigible debtor more money.”

Pay off outstanding business loans, if you want a business loan. If, however, your interest is in a personal loan, ensure that you have no outstanding personal debts. A pile of outstanding loans indicates that you’re an unreliable borrower.

2.      Better still, apply while you still have a traditional 9-to-5 job.

Many banks and lenders seem to distrust self-employed business owners, so aspiring entrepreneurs submit their loan applications before they quit their traditional day-jobs.  This makes perfect sense especially when you consider that the application process is easier and more straightforward for nine-to-fivers.

“As a financial expert, I tell aspiring entrepreneurs to save some money before they quit their day job. The business world can be very unpredictable,” says Gilbert Dudley. “Self-employed business owners often don’t qualify for loans before their business crosses the two-year mark. “Applying for that loan while you’re traditionally employed will save you a lot of financial trouble when you venture out into the world of business.”

Don’t wait until things get complicated as a self-employed business person. Contact your preferred lender about refinancing your credit card, getting a mortgage or getting a student loan. Apply now while you still have that stable, traditional job.

3.      Make room for higher interest rates

Let’s face it. Borrowers aren’t treated equally. Non-traditional borrowers (the category self-employed business owners are classed under) are expected to pay slightly higher rates.

“When entrepreneurs hear this, they complain about unfairness and injustice, but the truth is that non-traditional borrowers are high-risk. Banks and lenders feel entitled to a higher interest rate on their money because they are taking a big risk with you,” explains Gilbert Dudley.

4.      If your business hasn’t been in existence for a minimum of two years, desist from sending that loan application.

One study revealed that one out of two businesses fails within their first year. And many more businesses are likely to fail in their second year. The assumption is that only a healthy business is likely to survive past its second year.

“Another secret to getting business loans is this: wait until your business has existed for at least two years, else, no lender will listen to you,” advises Gilbert Dudley. “Longevity is a determining factor in deciding which businesses are worth pumping money into and which aren’t.”

If your business has survived for two years or more, congratulations. There is a high chance your loan application will be approved.

“Occasionally, lenders make exceptions for businesses that have a stellar track record and impressive business growth,” says Gilbert Dudley. “If you are desperate and have no other alternatives, you can apply for a business loan provided you’re able to show impressive business growth and productivity regularly.”

5.      Improve your credit score.

Before you apply for that self-employed personal loan, make sure you have a high credit score. The same goes for entrepreneurs who are aspiring to get a self-employed business loan/ Your business credit score has to be impressive too.

Before you commence the application process, go through your credit score. Scrutinize the reports to ensure that there aren’t discrepancies you’d like to correct. Feel free to take as much time as you’d need to maximize your credit score.

Final thoughts on getting self-employed loans

Getting a self-employed loan requires a great deal of introspection and research. If you can afford it, consult a financial expert. 

Choose the best lender for your needs. According to some financial experts, self-employed business people fare better when they get loans from reliable banks and loaning institutions.

The planning and preparation process can make or mar your loan application too, so you want to spend adequate time and effort in the planning and preparation phase. 
Have you ever applied for a self-employed loan, what made all the difference for you?

Picture credit: Alexander Mils on Unsplash