Articles by Scott Segal

Injured and Think You Can’t Afford a Lawyer? Read This First.

One of the very first questions you should ask a lawyer for a catastrophic injury or wrongful death case is ‘how will I pay for this?’ If your lawyer can’t give you a clear answer, get up and walk out.   At the Segal Law Firm, we use what’s called a ‘contingency fee contract.’ It’s a written document that tells our clients we only get paid if we win them money, whether by settlement or verdict. That’s how we get paid our attorney fee.   We are also allowed to advance all court costs; that includes the money it costs to file the lawsuit to and send the client to expert doctors. It includes deposition fees, expert witnesses, and costs for gathering life care plan information. All of these things are extremely expensive and your average person wouldn’t be able to afford them on their own.   Essentially, this evens the playing field. I think many folks are afraid they won’t be able to afford to fight the big coal companies or the insurance companies. But that’s where we come in. We can upfront those costs for you. And we only get paid back for those expenses if we win …

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The Benefit of Attorney-Client Privilege

One of the hallmarks of legal representation is attorney-client privilege. In order for a lawyer to help someone, he or she has to know the truth. It’s critical for an attorney-client relationship that the client knows whatever they tell a lawyer cannot be repeated without permission.   The attorney-client privilege basically says that what a client tells a lawyer in private cannot be repeated. For instance, if someone goes into a lawyer’s office and tells them they committed a crime, that lawyer cannot be required by a judge or a prosecutor to give them that information.   So how does that affect civil cases like the ones we do here at the Segal Law Firm? Well, we have to reveal a lot more information than in a criminal case, because the other side has to know a lot of information about you. But attorney-client privilege still applies and is relevant to what we do. Anything you say to me, from the first phone call to the last, stays completely private.   I’ve had folks call me up and tell me that their boss is putting them in dangerous situation. I give them my advice and sometimes they decide it’s not …

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What Constitutes a Catastrophic Injury?

When considering whether or not an injury is catastrophic, we’ve got to ask ‘how much will the victim’s life be altered and for how long?’   The most catastrophic injury is obviously one that kills you. Your family losses your source of income, and there is a major loss of emotional support and guidance. But lesser injuries can also be devastating and catastrophic to your future.   Severe Burns If you’ve suffered an accident that led to severe burns, that’s going to affect you for the rest of your life. It will most likely inhibit your ability to earn wages, and you’re going to need ongoing medical care. You’ll need a number of expensive adaptive devices just to live your life normally. This is all a part of your forecasted ‘life care plan.’   Paralysis and Amputation If you’re paralyzed anywhere on your body, you’re going to need a life care plan that protects you for all the mechanical devices you’ll need. Wheelchairs don’t last forever. The same thing applies with amputations. If a hunter loses his leg, he’s going to need more than one type of fake leg. On top of that, those legs will need to be replaced …

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Real Cases: Benzene Leaves a Widow

One of the best ways to get to know us and what we do at the Segal Law Firm is to go to our webpage and hear it straight from our past clients and their families. One of those clients is a widow whose husband suffered from leukemia caused by exposure to Benzene and other solvents.   This gentleman worked at chemical facilities where Benzene and other solvents were used. He and his wife came to us a bit bewildered because he had developed this very rare form of leukemia.  Using our expert witnesses, we were able to determine this his leukemia was in fact the kind that is caused by exposure to Benzene. We then went back through his work history to figure out exactly where and how he was exposed.   Our client was alive for most of his case. Unfortunately, his leukemia came out of remission and took his life before we finished it. But because of the information we got from him, we were able to accomplish a nice settlement for his wonderful wife. We promised him before he passed that we would take care of her and we were able to make good on that …

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Real Cases- Small Parts Matter in Aviation Case

Aviation cases are extremely intricate. We have to work along with the NTSB, the National Transportation Safety Board, and their investigators, as well as various manufacturers of component parts, and the airship itself.   We did a case at the Segal Law Firm dealing with a helicopter that was flying in the ‘dead man’s curve.’ If a pilot loses power to the helicopter in dead man’s curve, they can’t safely land it because it’s too close to the ground. I know that sounds counterintuitive, but the higher you are up, the more options the pilot has to safely land the aircraft.   Unfortunately, all the members on board that helicopter perished in the crash. I represented the youngest person on board. As it turns out, a spring about the size of one you’d find in a Bic pen was the cause of the accident that killed all those people. The NTSB did a test, and they were able to reproduce the crash with the actual jet engine. Every time they ran the test, the spring caused the helicopter to lose all fuel to the engine.   It was a tragic case. But because of our experience at the Segal Law …

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Real Cases- Baby Girl Taken Care of for Life

When you call us at the Segal Law Firm, it’s most likely because you’re experiencing one of the most challenging times of your life. You can ease a little bit of your fear and anxiety by visiting our website and meeting our past clients. One of those clients is an eleven year-old little girl who was the victim of medical negligence when she was just a few days old.   This little baby girl was born with perfectly healthy lungs. But as a result of a surgery on her second day of life, a feeding tube was placed directly into her healthy lung and stayed there for over fifty days. Every day she had at least two x-rays and still no one caught it. There were only three x-rays that were read correctly, and even with those, no one followed up with what the radiologist was telling them.   Luckily for her, she had two very caring parents that transferred her to another hospital where a surgery was performed to save her life. Unfortunately, she lost a lung during the process. Losing a lung can cause many, many problems throughout one’s life.  We had to assemble a team of medical …

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Real Cases- Digging Up a Mesothelioma Cause

Putting together a mesothelioma cases take a special kind of experience on the part of your law firm. We can’t take things at face value; we have to dig, dig, dig, until we find out exactly where, when and how you were exposed to the asbestos that caused you to fall victim to mesothelioma– no matter how unlikely it seems.   If you go to our webpage, you’ll find some of our past clients who were kind enough to share the experience they had with the Segal Law Firm. One of those clients is a woman whose husband, a college professor, was diagnosed with mesothelioma. She called us immediately following diagnosis.   I had to scratch my head. How in the world could a college professor develop a disease that, in most cases, is developed in chemical plants or other industrial fields? Luckily, she called us early on in his development of the disease, so I was able to sit down with them and start asking some questions. Was there asbestos used in the college labs? Was it in the burners or hot vessels he worked around? No and No.   But I kept digging. I finally thought to ask …

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Real Cases- A Hunting Accident

I’ve mentioned in many previous posts that one of the best ways to get to know us here at the Segal Law Firm is by visiting our website and meeting some of our past clients. These folks aren’t actors or actresses; they’re real people, with real stories to tell about how we’ve helped them return back to a quality of life they enjoyed previous to their accidents and injuries.   One of the people you’ll find there is a young man who was injured in a hunting accident. His case is one of the most fascinating we’ve had the honor of working on. He was working as a hunting guide in a very remote part of Utah. He took a shot at an elk, but didn’t down him on the first shot. He took several more shots and missed. During a reload, he turned and rammed the bolt into the newly loaded shell, which passed through his lower leg.   The young man was bleeding out from the injury and there was no way to get immediate help. He eventually alerted someone via cell phone and was picked up by a helicopter. Unfortunately, he was not able to save his …

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What Makes People Wait to Call The Segal Law Firm?

I say it time and time again: you must call us at The Segal Law Firm as soon as you possibly can after you or a loved one has been injured in an accident. Unfortunately, some people wait so long that the statute of limitations for the case runs, and there’s nothing we can do for them. It’s a downright sad situation, and I absolutely hate having to tell someone that his or her case cannot be filed. So why do people wait?   The Worst Time of Their Lives These accidents are complete tragedies. I’m talking life-altering injuries, many leading to death. The families are grieving and doing their best just to cope with their new reality. Many times, the last thing on their minds is talking to a lawyer on the phone. They don’t think to do it until it’s too late. Remember that I’ve been doing this for thirty years. I’ve talked to families beside hospital beds, and in living rooms. Don’t hesitate to call me right away.   Waiting for Reports Another reason people tend to let the statute run is because they are waiting for a report. You don’t need any type of report to …

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Can I Call The Segal Law Firm on Behalf of My Injured Loved One?

Many of our clients are completely incapacitated for weeks or even months after an accident, so there’s no way they themselves can call us at The Segal Law Firm. And you know from reading previous posts that my recommendation is to call an experienced law firm right away. That’s why we make it easy on the families by allowing any friend or loved one of the victims to call on his or her behalf.   Sometimes people in really serious accidents are in a coma and simply cannot communicate at all with us. But the family knows what happened to them and can get us involved sooner than later. We can answer their questions, explain to them what legal rights the person has, and, in many instances, the wife or husband can hire us to begin the legal proceedings and investigation immediately. We’ve got to make sure that evidence doesn’t disappear, as that tends to happen in accident cases.   When the accident victim does recover, they’ll be able to see what we’ve done and hire us to continue on with their case. If the injury leads to death, we can then explain to the family who can go to …

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