Are legal settlements and awards taxable?

Are legal settlements and awards taxable? Do I have to pay taxes on personal injury awards, workers compensation benefits or social security disability benefits? This is a question we get all the time. The answer depends on the kind of case you have. Is my personal injury award taxable? The short answer is no. If… Read More

Legalese Defined: Deposition

Deposition – Legal Definition A deposition is an interview conducted by an attorney outside of court during the discovery phase of a lawsuit. At deposition, a person is sworn in—so they must tell the truth, just like in court—and answers questions in front of a stenographer who writes down everything they say. The person being… Read More

Legalese Defined: Personal Injury – Discovery

Discovery Process. Discovery is the broad term used for the stage of a lawsuit where each side collects evidence from the other. Discovery is conducted by sending written requests for information to each side for information and by conducting interviews of each party and any witnesses. This discovery process can take anywhere from six months… Read More

Legalese Defined: Defendant and Plaintiff

Plaintiff The Plaintiff is the person bringing a lawsuit. For instance, say you are rear-ended at a light and break your leg. You then bring a lawsuit against the other driver. In that case, you would be the plaintiff. The plaintiff files the first complaint with the court. Personal injury attorneys or accident lawyers can… Read More

Legalese Defined: Personal Injury- Complaint

The complaint is the legal pleading that starts a lawsuit. The complaint briefly states who the plaintiff and defendant are; what happened; and what legal claims are being made. The rest of the lawsuit will be based on the claims made in this document.

Case Update: Dog Owner Liability

As we’ve previously discussed in this blog, in order to find an animal owner liable for the actions of that animal, as in the case of a dog bite, the animal must have “vicious propensities,” meaning a history of biting or aggression.  However, a recent case from the New York City creates a new exception… Read More

Bit by a dog? Can I sue the owner?

Animal bites can be serious, painful injuries that can leave lasting scars.  We all love our pets, but sometimes pets can do mean, vicious things.  The most common kind of animal bite comes from a dog.  The law in New York is relatively clear with regards to dog bite cases: You can only bring a… Read More

I could have Died! Can I sue for almost being injured?

In general, you must suffer an actual injury in order to bring a personal injury lawsuit.  “Almost” being injured is not an injury in and of itself.   However, if you suffer mental anguish after experiencing a “close call” you may be able to bring a suit, but only under very narrow conditions. There are two… Read More

That McDonald’s Lady Got A Million Dollars! Myths and Facts of “The McDonald’s Hot Coffee Case”

Here at Segar & Sciortino we frequently talk to our clients (and potential clients) about case value.  We try to explain that valuing a personal injury case is as much an art as it is a science, and a lot of factors go into making that determination.  These include The nature and extent of the… Read More

What is “Assumption of Risk?”

We live in a world full of risks.  Despite these risks, we continue to live our lives: we drive cars even though they sometimes crash; we go skiing even though we may fall; we shave even though we may be cut.  Every day we encounter risks, weigh our options and choose whether the risk is… Read More