We absolutely know that what you’re going through right now is not easy.
Handling your legal issue on your own or hoping for the best is not a strategy anyone would recommend. If you have been injured, the insurance company is going to do everything they can to minimize your claim. If you are struggling to get the benefits you deserve or need guidance with your estate planning, you’re going to have to deal with a government office that doesn’t see you as a priority and will take forever to get things done.
I am so glad that I chose Pickford Law Firm to handle my accident case. Their service and professionalism definitely exceeded my expectations. I have used another firm before and Pickford Law Firm by far has the best client-attorney rapport and compassion.
Pickford Law Firm,LLC was the best any questions I had they were answer. They had patience with doing the process of my case. Their firm absolutely went above and beyond in helping me win my case. I will refer anyone who needs assistance in case. Thank you Pickford!!!
I had the pleasure of working on a case with the Pickford Law Team. They worked very hard for our mutual client and I am hoping for a positive result. I would strongly recommend this firm for someone who is injured in a car wreck or slip and fall!
I must say, hands down to the Pickford Law Firm! They are amazing! If you’re looking for a law firm that’s professional, empathetic, responsive, hardworking and dedicated to making sure all of your needs are meet, Pickford Law is the firm to call. Thank you Pickford Law Firm.
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Shalondra Grandberry Pickford is the founding attorney and owner of Pickford Law. Her practice focuses on Social Security disability, Veterans’ disability and Car and Trucking accidents. Prior to founding Pickford Law, Shalondra worked as an Associate Attorney at Memphis’ most prominent Social Security disability firm. She later joined a personal injury firm where she oversaw the Social Security practice area and handled personal injury claims until hanging out her own…
Attorney Jayniece Higgins Harris’ practice areas include criminal defense (including juvenile delinquency) and personal injury. She also handles orders of protection and matters arising out of environmental court.
Jayniece graduated from the University of Memphis, Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law and has always had one focus: “Make sure that your clients are treated the way you want your family to be treated.” From then on, she has made sure she has fought for others that may not have any one else to fight for them…
Chiara joined the Pickford Law team in 2021. She has had an interest in the law since 1998. She previously worked for the Memphis Police Department and Shelby County Sheriff’s Department. She wanted to help people on a more personal level, so she began a different journey within a law office as a medical records clerk…
If you have ever been involved in a car or 18-wheeler accident and filed a claim against the at-fault party, you know it can be a lengthy process. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you navigate that process by assisting you in getting the compensation you deserve. A personal injury attorney knows all the ins and outs of the games and tricks insurance companies and adjusters play to try to get you to settle at less than what your claim is worth. You should NOT be handling your claim alone.
Yes, you will have to testify in court. You will want to tell your version of how the accident occurred and how it has affected your life.
A deposition is considered part of discovery mentioned above. Basically, a deposition is a sworn out-of-court question-and-answer session to gather information and facts from parties and witnesses. Information gathered in hopes to help a client’s position in a case or hurt the adversary’s position.
Again, deposition questions may help to reveal relevant documents or other evidence, called “discovery.” There are very few limits on what types of questions may be asked at a deposition. However, the process can either promote a settlement, so the case never goes to trial, or narrow down the issues that should be brought out in court. So, depositions can be a turning point in litigation.
Discovery is the formal process of exchanging information between the parties in a civil lawsuit Discovery allows the parties to find out information or legal evidence and facts about the case from the opposing party or parties and witnesses before trial. It enables the parties to know before the trial begins what evidence may be presented. Discovery includes interrogatories (or written questions and answers sent to the other side), requests for documents (such as photographs or medical records), and depositions (session where lawyers ask questions of the parties involved in the accident, witnesses, treating doctors, etc).
A statute of limitations is a law that sets the maximum amount of time that parties involved in a car or 18-wheeler accident have to file a lawsuit. Basically, you have only so long to make a claim after being involved in the accident.
A lawsuit can be a lengthy process in and of itself. Again, you go through the discovery phase, which can take some time. You may mediate the case and it does not resolve. Your attorney will then consult with the other attorney and judge to get the actual trial placed on the docket at a date and time that is agreeable to all involved. The actual trial may last one or two days. Depending on the seriousness of the accident, however, a trial could last much longer. The trial itself is usually not the time-consuming part of the case. A decision in the case should come relatively quickly after the trial has concluded.
Once a lawsuit is filed, the case goes into the discovery phase. Discovery is where each party exchanges information to discover evidence or facts about the case (See more under “What is discovery?”). After the exchange of information phase is complete, the parties usually try and resolve the matter through mediation prior to the start of trial.
Mediation is a dispute resolution process where a neutral party promotes the voluntary settlement of the case before trial. That neutral party, the mediator, will facilitate a meaningful discussion between the parties, however the mediator has no power to order a settlement. Fortunately, most lawsuits headed to trial resolve during a mediation.
In the event mediation is unsuccessful, the case will proceed to trial. At trial the injured person pretty much has the burden of proving that the other driver was negligent. After you, the defendant, witnesses, police officers, doctors, and any other witnesses testify, the jury is required to deliberate. After the jury reaches its decision, the results are announced in court.
If we are unable to settle your claim, then we file a lawsuit. Settlements are often more preferable than going to trial for several reasons. Settlements guarantee you receive money, and you are able to access it sooner. Going to trial is a lengthy process. Going to trial often yields unpredictable outcomes. On the other hand, there may be several reasons why you don’t accept a settlement offer and must go to trial. It is ultimately up to you whether you want to settle your claim or want to file a lawsuit.
First and foremost, you should never rush the process. Although you may be tempted to accept a settlement offer early on, you will want to take into consideration whether or not the settlement offer covers your necessary medical expenses, is an unreasonably low settlement offer, whether the settlement offer provides for future costs if needed, or if the settlement offer is a better option than a lengthy trial process.
Please keep in mind that while settling a case may be right for one person, it may not be the option for another. The insurance company and defendant ultimately control your settlement options. Either they will make a meaningful offer or refuse to do so, and you may end up in court.
Well, it depends! Every case is different. Here are a few factors that contribute to the value of your case.
There is no average time for a car accident settlement. There are many factors that come into play when valuing an accident claim because every car accident is different. The amount of time it takes to resolve a car accident case varies based on the details and facts of the case.
It may take anywhere from a couple of months to several years for a car accident claim to settle. Depending on the severity of the accident such as bodily injuries and property damage, the settlement process could be rather lengthy.
If you stop treatment early on, you may be jeopardizing your accident claim. Insurance companies are always finding reasons to deny or devalue injury claims. If you refused medical treatment after your accident claim or even stopped the treatment recommended by the doctor, this may give the insurance company the reason they’re looking for to deny or devalue your claim.
The insurance adjuster’s assessment of your injuries is based almost entirely on your medical records. Gaps in treatment may cause the adjuster to “devalue” your claim. It is best to complete all treatment recommended by the doctor, especially to maximize your settlement.
Damages are the amount of compensation that the plaintiff will receive from the defendant after settling an accident claim or following a lawsuit. Damages may be economic and non-economic.
Economic damages refer to compensation for verifiable monetary losses such as past and future medical expenses (medical bills and estimates for surgery), loss of past and future earnings (days missed from work because of the accident), loss of use of property, costs of repair or replacement, the economic value of domestic services, and loss of employment or business opportunities.
Noneconomic damages may include pain and suffering as well as scarring and disfigurement, mental trauma, emotional distress and loss of enjoyment of life. In addition, the spouse of an accident victim may bring a claim for loss of society and companionship.
CALL THE POLICE. Whether an accident is considered a minor fender-bender or a major collision, calling the police is important. The officer will prepare a police report in connection with the crash. Make sure to get the name and badge number of the officer and the police agency that the officer represents so you can get a copy of the accident report after it’s written. Also get the report number if it’s available. Speak only with the officer about the specifics of your accident. Provide the information that the officer requests but be careful what you say even to the officer. Remember, any statement you make could end up in the police report.
TAKE PHOTOS OF THE CRASH. Taking photos to document your car accident can help protect your rights and provide crucial evidence to support your car accident claim. Take photos of the damage that your own vehicle sustained. Take close-up and away photos to get better detail. Also, take photos of the other vehicle(s) involved in the accident and the damage. Take photos of any skid marks on the road as these can indicate when a person applied the brakes, as well as the approximate speed he or she was traveling.
SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION. It’s best to seek medical attention immediately after being involved in a car accident. If you are unable to seek immediate medical attention, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Even if you feel only minor pain after an accident, you should still seek medical attention.
If you don’t seek medical attention after the accident, the insurance company may try to use this to their advantage and claim that you did not actually sustain injuries in the accident.
Estate planning involves making arrangements for the management and distribution of your assets and affairs after you pass away or become incapacitated. It’s important to ensure your assets are distributed according to your wishes and to protect your loved ones from unnecessary legal hassles.
A comprehensive estate plan may include a will, various types of trusts, powers of attorney for financial and healthcare matters, and advanced healthcare directives.
Yes, estate planning is essential for everyone, regardless of the size of your estate. It allows you to dictate who receives your assets and helps minimize the burden on your loved ones during difficult times.
A will outlines the distribution of your assets after your death, while a trust can manage your assets during your lifetime and provide for their distribution upon your death. Trusts can also offer privacy and potential tax advantages.
Estate tax planning strategies may include setting up trusts, gifting assets, and taking advantage of tax exemptions and deductions. Consult with an estate planning professional for personalized guidance.
If you die without a valid will or estate plan, your assets will be distributed according to state intestacy laws, which may not align with your wishes. Having an estate plan ensures your assets are distributed as you desire.
It’s advisable to review and update your estate plan whenever significant life events occur, such as marriage, divorce, births, deaths, or substantial changes in your financial situation.
Yes, you can and should make updates to your estate plan as circumstances change. It’s essential to keep your plan current to reflect your wishes accurately.
A power of attorney is a legal document that designates someone to make financial or healthcare decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so. It’s a vital component of estate planning to ensure your affairs are managed according to your preferences.
You can ensure your healthcare preferences are honored by creating advance healthcare directives, such as a living will and healthcare proxy. These documents specify your medical treatment preferences and designate someone to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to communicate your wishes.
If your social security disability application is denied by the SSA, you should request an appeal immediately, within the 60-day deadline. In some cases, you should do this yourself personally even if you plan to hire legal representation.
If you do not appeal your decision timely, you may lose out on your backpay or retro disability payments and you may lose the year of time that passed that would have counted toward your entitlement to Medicare benefits.
Yes, if you are awarded SSDI benefits, your payments can be garnished to pay back taxes, child support and alimony as well as student loans. Additionally, SSDI payments can be garnished to pay court-ordered restitution to a crime victim and non-tax debt owed to a federal agency, such as some federally funded home loans.
SSI cannot be garnished for federal loans, alimony or child support, back taxes or for any other private, public or federal loan.
These are benefits payable to disabled widows’ or widowers’ of a fully insured spouse at the time of death. Eligibility requirements for disabled widows’ or widowers’ benefits are:
These are benefits payable to a disabled adult child based on your qualifying parent’s Social Security earnings. You may be eligible for disabled adult child (DAC) benefits if you meet the following criteria:
If you qualify as a disabled adult child, you will be eligible to receive monthly payments through the Social Security Disability Insurance program (SSDI). Even though you must be over the age of 18 to qualify, the SSA will consider you a disabled adult “child” because you will be collecting SSDI based on your qualifying parent’s Social Security earnings. (Social Security benefits that are based on a parent’s earnings record are called auxiliary benefits, or dependents benefits.)
Yes, you can receive both Workers’ Compensation and your SSDI benefits. However, if both are received for the same disability, the amount of workers’ compensation can reduce your SSDI benefits. That’s true whether you are getting workers’ comp in installments or as a lump-sum settlement.
Your monthly SSDI benefits, including benefits payable to your family members, are added together with your workers’ compensation. If the total amount of these benefits exceeds 80% of your average current earnings, the excess amount is deducted from your Social Security benefit.
If you are approved for SSDI, you must wait five months before you can receive your first SSDI benefit payment. The purpose of the waiting period is to ensure that you have a long-term disability before SSA begins paying any benefits to you. This means, you would receive your first payment in the sixth full month after the date SSA finds you disabled.
Date Last Insured means the date your Social Security Disability insurance lapsed.
SSDI works like an insurance plan. When you stop paying your premiums, your insurance lapses. When you stop working, your Social Security Disability insurance lapses.
To meet the insured status, you must have:
Social Security lawyers are typically paid $6,000.00 or 25% of your backpay, whichever is less. If Social Security approves the fee agreement, it will pay your attorney for you directly out of your backpay. The limit on fees is a part of Social Security law, and in most cases, an attorney cannot charge more than the amount above.
Unfortunately, the wait can be on average, about 1 to 2 months, sometimes longer to receive your first disability check after your social security disability claim is approved. Backpay or retro benefit payments, usually arrive much later. SSI payments, on the other hand, can begin right away.
In order to be found disabled according to SSA:
SSDI is a program for workers whereby benefits are paid out of the Social Security trust fund for those who are no longer able to work or engage in SGA because of any medical condition, whether physical and/or mental.
SSI is a needs-based program for the disabled, blind, and aged (or those over age 65). To meet all the requirements to receive SSI, you must
The Social Security Administration’s (SSA) definition of “disability” is the inability to do any work or more specifically, engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA), because of any medical condition, whether physical and/or mental, which can be expected to last for a continuous period of 12 months or longer or can be expected to result in death.
A VA disability rating is given to veterans with a service-related disability based on how severe their injuries or disabilities are. This rating is then used to determine how much they can earn as compensation for the conditions connected with their service. The rating is on a scale from 0 to 100%. The more serious your condition is, the higher your rating will be.
If you have a 0% rating, you won’t receive monthly compensation, but you may be eligible for other types of benefits. Meanwhile, a 100% rating typically means you’ll earn maximum compensation for each month.
The VA claims process typically takes a long time. This is due to various reasons, mainly because the system is often overwhelmed with applications. Each case is different, but it can take several months for VA to view your case and make a decision.
Some factors that affect how long it takes include the type of claim you filed, the number of disabilities you claimed, and the location of the field office where you filed your claim. You can potentially expedite your claim if you have a terminal illness, are 77 or older, or if you are homeless.
In most scenarios, you should appeal your denied claim. The reality is that many valid claims often get denied, so don’t be discouraged if your claim is rejected. Appealing your claim allows you to receive benefits even if your application is denied.
The VA has specific appeal deadlines, so it’s crucial that you follow their regulations. If you miss a deadline, for example, your appeal will be denied. A VA disability lawyer can help you navigate the appeals process, which can increase your chances of being approved. Don’t give up on your claim. You deserve compensation for your disabilities.
The VA disability claims process is long and complicated. If you make one simple mistake, your claim could be denied, resulting in you not receiving compensation. A VA disability lawyer will help you apply for disability. They will answer your questions and ensure your application is filled out correctly.
If your claim is denied, a lawyer can also help you navigate the appeal process, which is a complex system with plenty of room for error. Another reason to hire a VA disability lawyer is that they can help you increase your VA disability rating if you think it’s too low.