Long Branch NJ Municipal Court Lawyers

Long Branch NJ Municipal Court Lawyers

Tips for Getting Through Your Court Date

Long Branch NJ municipal court lawyers go over everything a client might expect at court; however, the client still might feel stressed, scared, or anxious. Whether you are pursuing damages in a personal injury case or acting as a witness, the situation may seem overwhelming. This might be even more true if this is your first time in a courtroom. To further compound these emotions, the courtroom itself can be slightly intimidating.

Yet while these emotions are being evoked, it is important you maintain calmness and professionalism. This is why you should take time to prepare yourself beyond what your lawyer has helped you to understand. These tips can assist you in getting through your court date or even help you to avoid one altogether.

Don’t Seek Revenge in Court

As angry as you might feel, seeking revenge in a courtroom is not a good idea. This does not only mean you should avoid physical altercations with another person in the courtroom, but also taking someone to court based on a claim that lacks merit. In other words, if there are any malicious reasons behind your case, you should think twice about going to court. Talk with your lawyer to learn more about this.

Try Mediation Before Litigation

Mediation can be a very effective way to solve a problem. It is done in a comfortable, less intimidating environment and overseen by a lawyer. The goal of mediation is to find a middle ground where both parties can feel satisfied with the outcome. There is no winning or losing.

Rather, the only goal is to solve the problem through compromise. Mediation is also much more affordable and requires less time. On the other hand, litigation is costly, time consuming, stressful, and structured. It is not something you should take lightly. When you do require litigation, it is prudent clients have seasoned municipal court lawyers in Long Branch NJ by their side.

Remember You Could Lose on Your Court Date

Litigation is a gamble. Until everything has come to an end, you won’t know whether or not you will win or lose your case. Before you decide to take your case into a courtroom, make sure you talk seriously with your lawyer about what is at stake. It is always possible that a “surefire winner” will walk out on the losing side and have to pay enormous legal fees, damages, and monetary compensation.

This Is Your Lawsuit

Good municipal court lawyers Long Branch NJ clients trust will understand that communication is pivotal in a lawsuit. Don’t forget that this is your lawsuit, and you have retained a lawyer to work on your case. If your case loses, your lawyer doesn’t actually lose. However, you could be in serious trouble.

Before your court date, talk with your lawyer about the goals and expectations you have. You may also want to tell him or her that you want to be fully engaged in the courtroom and be filled in on what is going on. If at any time you feel your lawyer is not doing their job or beginning to control your case for their own benefit, you may want to put a stop to this or call another lawyer for advice.

The Cost of Litigation

Litigation is not free. There will be fees for expert witness testimony and other professionals who could benefit your case. Generally, you will want to talk with your lawyer beforehand about the expensive and less expensive options. He or she might also explain the benefits of paying for a more costly expert witness as it could garner you more compensation. For example, if you might win an extra $10,000 by having an expert witness testify at court, and their fee is $5,000, you could be $5,000 ahead if you win.

Think Before You Represent Yourself

You have the right to represent yourself; however, it is not uncommon for court staff and even the judge, to look down upon pro se litigants. You might be advised over and over to retain a lawyer but if you are still adamant about self-representation, bear in mind the courtroom procedures, rules, and etiquette. If you don’t understand something, ask politely for clarification. The judge, clerk, and other workers may be more willing to help you when you appear to be humble and show an interest in learning the proper procedure.

Stay Upbeat and Don’t Be Afraid to Laugh

Court can be tense, but there may be times when something funny happens. In these moments, it’s okay to laugh. This can improve the mood of the courtroom, lighten things up, and assist in your confidence.

Seek Long Branch NJ Municipal Court Lawyers Legal Opinions First

If you think you have a lawsuit or everyone around you is telling you that you have one, before jumping into things, talk with a lawyer. Ask Long Branch NJ municipal court lawyers for their honest opinions. It may be helpful to ask two or three prior to initiating the process.

Make Sure It’s Worth It

All too often, a person who wins their lawsuit does not get the amount they wanted. Furthermore, court and lawyer fees may take a large part of the settlement. Even if you do win something big, you might not necessarily be able to collect the full amount. This is common in car accident lawsuits that involve an uninsured driver. If they don’t have any way to pay for your losses, there could be an issue. Good Long Branch NJ municipal court lawyers should let you know what you might reasonably expect.

To talk with one of the Long Branch NJ municipal court lawyers from Rispoli & Borneo, PC about a lawsuit or going to court, please call 908-768-3884 today.

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Municipal Court Lawyers Long Branch NJ

People of the Courtroom

Municipal Court Lawyers Long Branch NJMunicipal court lawyers Long Branch NJ residents turn to know that going to court as a defendant or plaintiff can involve copious amounts of anxiety and other emotions. Your lawyer will likely take time to explain the process and give you some idea of who you might expect to meet in a courtroom. While this is not mandatory, it can be useful in putting your mind at ease. The following is a brief guide explaining people of the courtroom. If you have any further questions, please talk with one of our Long Branch municipal court lawyers.

The Parties

These are the people or entities who are involved in the lawsuit. One party will be called the plaintiff and the other the defendant. The parties may be seated at the counsel tables with their lawyers. In civil cases, parties do have the right to sit at their trial, but it is not very common. Often it will be their municipal court lawyers in Long Branch NJ who attends and represents them.

The Witnesses

Witnesses provide testimony regarding issues or facts in a case. They will be asked to take the witness stand in the courtroom and generally testify for one party against the other.

The Lawyers

In a courtroom, there will be two legal counsel tables; one on each side. At these tables will sit the municipal court lawyers Long Branch NJ provides for the respective party. The lawyer’s task is to present facts about his or her client in a favorable manner, but while abiding by legal standards and laws. When a case involves criminal charges, the government will be involved. The government’s lawyer is known as a prosecutor or assistant district attorney (in state cases). In federal cases, it will be an assistant U.S. attorney. Criminal defendants may have privately hired municipal court lawyers Long Branch NJ families depend on to represent them or a court appointed lawyer.

The Judge

A judge presides in a court proceeding from the bench at the center of the room. His or her tasks will include:

  • To preside over the proceeding
  • To ensure order is maintained throughout the case
  • To determine whether or not any presented evidence is improper or illegal
  • Give the jury instructions about laws that apply to a case (*in jury trials)
  • Explain to the jury standards that should be used in making a decision (*in jury trials)
  • Review and determine the facts of a case (*in bench trials, those that have no jury), and decide the case
  • Sentence a defendant who has been convicted of a crime
  • Maintain communication with the Long Branch municipal court lawyers

The Jury

The jury consists of a group of people, not necessarily 12, who are seated in a section on the side of the courtroom. The jury’s role is to listen to the case, decide the facts, apply laws, and reach a verdict. Jurors have an enormous responsibility, particularly when a large scale criminal case is involved.

Court Reporter

Seated near the witness stand is the court reporter. This person will recorded everything said during the trial. It will either be typed on a special machine or sound recorded. What is recorded becomes the official trial record, and can be accessed through a transcript.

Court Interpreter

When a party or witness of the courtroom does not understand or speak English, a court interpreter may be called in to translate, verbatim, everything that is said by and to this individual. The court interpreter must translate exactly what is said, and not comment on any of it, even if they believe the person is not telling the truth.

Courtroom Clerk

Also known as the courtroom deputy, this person often sits near the judge. He or she may administer oaths to interpreters, witnesses, or other people. They might also handle the records, evidence, and exhibits. The courtroom clerk monitors the time of proceedings, prepares different forms, and usually assists the judge in anything that allows for a smooth running trial.

Would You Like to Speak with Municipal Court Lawyers Long Branch NJ Clients Trust about Your Case?

To talk with a knowledgeable municipal court lawyers Long Branch NJ locals rely on from Rispoli & Borneo, P.C., please call 908.353.0800.

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Criminal Defense Legal Terminology

In order to understand the legal maze when facing criminal charges, it is important you understand the meaning of the terms you will encounter while going through the process.


These definitions are a general overview. Your lawyer, like a Rockville criminal defense lawyer lawyer, will clarify any questions you will undoubtedly have concerning your case.



  • Accessory — Someone who purposely assists another person commit a felony. This person is not necessarily at the scene of the crime. An example of an accessory is someone giving opinions or ideas before the crime or helping to hide evidence or the person who commits the crime.


    1. Accomplice –This person is usually with the perpetrator at the time of the crime, helping the person commit the crime. An accomplice can be found guilty of the same crime and most likely will receive the same penalty as the perpetrator.
    2. Accused — A person that has not been tried but has been accused of a crime.
    3. Alibi – An alternative explanation of where the defendant was when the crime was committed. If the alibi can be validated, it can prove it was not possible for them to commit the crime.
    4. Acquittal —  A decision made to the judge or jury that states the accused is not guilty of the charge for which they were being tried.


  • Entrapment — A government agency influences the actions of an individual to commit a crime they may or may not have committed without the agency’s actions. In most states, someone can use an entrapment defense successfully if they have shown no prior behavior or intent to commit the crime in question.


    1. Aggravated Assault — Purposely or knowingly causing serious bodily injury to someone else, or attempting to hurt someone with a deadly weapon.
    2. Jury Nullification — This happens when a jury agrees that the defendant did commit the crime in question, but they do not want to convict the defendant because they feel the laws are unjust or wrong. This option is available to all juries but the defense attorneys were discouraged from persuading juries to come back with this decision. Instances where jury nullification has come into play occurs where the defendant is facing a mandatory life sentence because of the Three-Strike laws for what may be considered a minor offense.


  • Concurrent Sentence — A person is serving time at the same time for conviction of more than one crime.
  • Declaration under Penalty of Perjury  A signed statement that the signer swears to be true that if found to be untrue, the signer can be found guilty of perjury.
  • Discovery — Gathering information and facts relevant to the case that help prepare the party for the upcoming trial.
  • Grand Jury — A group of people assembled to hear and review evidence of a case to see if there is enough information to take the case to trial. The grand jury can accuse but cannot try cases.
  • Immunity — In exchange for providing the court with criminal evidence about the case, the court grants the provider of the information will not be persecuted.



These are just a few of the terms you will come across during criminal proceedings. Your attorney will explain any items that need clarification so you fully understand the court proceedings.

Thanks to our friends and contributors from the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright for their insight into guardianship.

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Two Pedestrian Deaths in Two Days Highlight Dangerous NJ Road

North Jersey is reporting that Valley Road in the Town of Wayne, New Jersey, was a concern for area police long before two pedestrians died there in two separate accidents over just one week.

A woman and a six-year-old child were struck on the busy road while trying to cross, resulting in the woman’s death and serious injuries to the child. Just the day before that, an elderly woman who was trying to cross was struck and killed.

Former area traffic officer Captain Dan Daly said that the dangerous road cannot have crosswalks added mid-block because it lies outside of national standards and guidelines for uniform traffic control devices. This road has been the location of many serious accidents in the past, but the town has limited options because it’s a county road and there are constraints from that designation and the uniform traffic control devices guidelines.

Both sides of the four-lane Valley Road have sidewalks, but there are very few crosswalks, and there were no street lights in the area where the child and woman were struck. This is a heavily-traveled road where cars have been clocked driving as fast as 70 miles per hour. The posted speed limit for many parts of the road is 40 miles per hour.

Nearby resident Dana Burns, who takes a transit bus on Valley Road regularly, said the area is downright scary, and it can be difficult to see with all the headlights at night. She was near the accident involving the woman and child just minutes after it happened and saw the victim lying in the street as first responders attempted to save her.


Pedestrians in increasing danger

As reported by The Washington Post, pedestrian fatalities have been creeping up over the past few years across the nation. The most recent year for which full data was compiled is 2016, and the statistics showed that close to 6,000 pedestrians died in crashes that year. In 2009, that figure was down to just over 4,100.

The actual cause behind the increase in pedestrian deaths is unknown, with increasing cellphone use by both drivers and walkers, substance abuse and faster speeds on the roadways all put forward by experts as potential contributors. There have also been changes in the use of neighborhoods but no corresponding changes in layouts. Many areas were designed in the 1950s to accommodate as much traffic as possible, but these neighborhoods now have more pedestrians in them, and the street designs don’t reflect that shift. The same applies to localities that have become more congested traffic-wise over the years. Many community groups in areas with a lot of pedestrian accidents have been pushing for more walker-friendly designs and roadway improvements.

A pedestrian accident often has serious consequences for the victim because of the differences in size, weight and speed between a person on foot and someone in a vehicle. If you were in a pedestrian accident, speak to an experienced attorney, like a pedestrian accident lawyer Denver CO trusts, about your case and your rights.

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into pedestrian accident cases.


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Workers’ Compensation Basics

Purpose of Workers’ Compensation And Workers’ Comp Insurance

Most employers will have some form of workers’ compensation insurance in the case that an employee receives an injury on the job. This ensures that the employee cannot file a lawsuit against the employer for personal injuries, and it also provides employees with comfort knowing that medical expenses will be covered by their employer if they do happen to get hurt on the job. Workers’ compensation benefits are awarded to employee for a variety of reasons, but each state has its own set of laws regarding what benefits may be given to employees. The federal government does have a few laws that deal with workers’ compensation, but it is legislated mostly by the state in which the employer is operating.

Lawsuits Against Third Parties That Caused Workplace Injuries

If an employee is injured on the job by a third party, then they have the right to file a lawsuit against the party. For example, if an employee is injured by faulty equipment that is used while on the job, then the manufacturer of the equipment may be sued. An injury caused by a third party is handled in civil court, and the employer or workers’ compensation insurance company may become involved so they may recover any amounts of money lost due to the injury of the employee. Again, these laws vary by state and only some will allow the employer or insurance company to become a party in the lawsuit against the third party.

What Is Generally Covered By Workers’ Compensation

Common injuries that award workers’ compensation benefits to employees include:

  • If a pre-existing condition is worsened by working conditions, the medical expenses that are incurred may be covered by workers’ comp.
  • Any injuries sustained during lunch breaks, company events, or any situation where the employee is being paid by the employer (i.e. an employee that is injured at a conference for work) are generally covered by workers’ comp benefits.
  • Diseases contracted as a direct result from work environments.
  • Psychological or mental conditions that are incurred due to a workplace trauma.

Can An Employee File A Lawsuit Against The Employer For A Personal Injury?

In most circumstances, an employee cannot file a lawsuit against their employer for a personal injury. If the employer has workers’ compensation insurance, it protects them from any lawsuits. Workers’ comp benefits are given in the case of a workplace accident, and will generally cover any medical expenses that follow a personal injury at work. An employee may only file a lawsuit for personal injury under certain circumstances such as intentional employer’s torts, third party injuries, or if workers’ comp benefits are denied or terminated.

When To Hire An Attorney For Issues With Workers’ Compensation

If you have sustained an injury that was a direct result of a work-related incident, and workers’ compensation will not cover medical expenses, it is advised to consult with an attorney experienced in workers’ compensation cases. Many cases involving long-term diseases or psychological conditions may be more difficult to prove to workers’ compensation insurance companies, so consulting with an experienced lawyer may improve your chances of recovering compensation deserved. Contact workers compensation lawyer Memphis TN today if you have any specific questions.

Thank you to Darrell Castle and Associates, PLLC for providing the insight and knowledge on workers’ compensation.

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Slip and Fall – Entering or Leaving Work

As a personal injury attorney Dekalb County GA residents can rely on can attest, slip and falls are common in the grocery store, restaurants, even your place of business.  Because this is your place of work, there is an expectation of a clean workplace with little to no puddles, standing water, or obstructions in your path, especially if you work indoors.  If you have been injured in a slip-and-fall-type injury at your place of business and you were headed in or headed out, there are some things that you need to do in order to find out if you can be compensated for any damages you have suffered.  Because you were either headed into or out of the building, you will need to speak with a legal professional to find out who, if anyone at your place of employment may be negligent for any harm experienced.

As you read about slip-and-fall-type claims, you may be confused by the similar-sounding terms or all the legal speak that is necessary, but still difficult to understand. In order to clarify what a slip-and-fall is, the various types, you should be aware of to avoid injury, pain and suffering, loss wages, and physical or emotional distress.


  •     Tripping on boxes or trash askew in a main walk way
  •     Getting entangled in electrical plugs and wires
  •     Raised carpet on stairs
  •     Poorly lit high traffic area
  •     Shifted pavement that has been forced up by underground interference
  •     Wet floors
  •     Lack of handrails
  •     Holes in flooring
  •     Poorly placed fixtures
  •     No warning signage of impending danger
  •     Old or worn carpet
  •     Food or drink spils
  •     Broken floor tiles

Because serious injuries can occur due to the way the human body falls and the unexpected and surprising nature of the accident, often, it is the suddenness of the incident that allows so much room for injury, since the body has little time to prepare itself.  If you or someone you know has been injured due to a fall at work, they should speak with attorney to find out their rights. Because you are likely not an attorney, it would be wise to find an impartial third party who will listen to the circumstances of your case and advise you on what the next step is or should be.  By contacting an attorney you are allowing yourself an opportunity to possibly get compensation for lost wages or pain and suffering.

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into finding an attorney.


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When You Should File for Bankruptcy Before a Divorce

Financial issues are one of the top reasons for divorce in the United States. If you are headed towards filing for bankruptcy and divorce, you may be wondering which to begin with. Financial pressures don’t always resolve when you get divorced, it is likely that you may be in a worse financial situation after a divorce. If you are going to endure both processes, then it may be better for you to file for bankruptcy first, before continuing with divorce proceedings.

Reasons to Pursue Bankruptcy Before Divorce

1. Save Money by Filing Jointly
If you are still married, you may file for bankruptcy together, this is a joint case. The advantage to this is that you will only be charged one fee for filing paperwork, one copy of necessary documents and court schedules, one creditors meeting and one fee for attorney’s services (if you only have one attorney representing both of you). Generally an attorney will not charge extra for a joint case than separate individual cases, though they may charge a fee to pay for the added work involved.

2. Free Yourself From Joint Debt Liability
When you file before your divorce, you are free from the liability to pay your debts. If you divorce prior to filing, it may harm you because part of a divorce settlement is an agreement to pay off some of the joint debt accrued during the marriage. If you file after the divorce, you will be free of your debt, but not the promise you made in the settlement to cover your ex spouse’s liability. If you file before the divorce, you are not liable for that debt and you will not be forced to pay it in the divorce agreement.  

3. Don’t get Stuck With All of Your Debt When Your Spouse Files
You will be stuck with all of the debt if your spouse files for bankruptcy either before or in conjunction with divorce proceedings and you decide not to. Your spouse likely has filed for bankruptcy to discharge their liability on joint debts. Now you are stuck with the liability for the joint debt.

4. Increase Exemptions When Filing Jointly
You may keep an amount of property in order to begin your life again if you file for bankruptcy. That property is called “exemptions”. There is usually a cap on exemption amounts. In a few states, you and your spouse will be awarded a complete set of exemptions each.

5. Save Time, Together!
In cases that aren’t so amicable, one spouse may try to file for bankruptcy during the divorce process in order to gain an advantage. This causes a delay in the divorce because the judge has to decide if the divorce case may go on simultaneously with a bankruptcy case. It may also cause issues because the bankruptcy judge may take over property settlements which will cause a delay in both cases.

Filing jointly before the divorce will discharge most of your debt including personal loans, medical costs, and credit cards. This, in turn, makes the divorce process much easier because it will ease the process of property division and debt negotiation.  

Consult a Professional

Divorce is almost never easy, but if you and your spouse are facing financial troubles along with marital ones, it could be beneficial to care for the financial issues to make the divorce less painful. If you are considering pursuing bankruptcy, before, after or during a divorce, it is best to consult an experienced bankruptcy attorney such as the bankruptcy lawyer Bloomington IL local turn to. They may help you decide when it is right for you,, and if it is right for you to file based on your unique circumstances.

Thanks to authors at Pioletti&Pioletti for their insight into Family Law.

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Does workers compensation include pain and suffering?

Serious workplace injuries can result in painful physical injuries, and it can also cause a great degree of pain and suffering. If this describes your circumstances, you might be wondering if your workers compensation claim can include pain and suffering as damages. After all, in a personal injury claim outside the workplace, a victim can include them if appropriate. However, workers compensation works differently. Because there are exceptions to nearly every rule, contact a workers compensation lawyer to confirm how the laws may or may not apply in your case.

Workers Compensation Benefits as They Apply to Pain and Suffering

Workers compensation is intended to reimburse employees who were injured on the job. It usually does not fully compensate them for their salary or wages they’re losing by not being able to work. However, an injured worker can reasonably expect the benefits to cover medical bills, physical rehabilitation, and other costs directly related to their injury. In return, the worker cannot sue their employer. In addition, when it comes to the pain and suffering they may be experiencing due to their injury, they cannot include them as damages. If they also experience depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder, they are also not covered by workers compensation benefits. This is very different than personal injury claims.

When a Third Party Causes Pain and Suffering

One of the primary exceptions to the rule that an injured worker can’t sue their employer or receive compensation for pain and suffering is when a third party is at fault for the accident. A workers compensation lawyer will need to review the details of your case to confirm, but if a third party caused your injury, they might be held liable. If that’s the case, you may have the legal leeway to sue them and/or include pain and suffering if in fact those are among your damages. If you’re not clear what a third party is in this context, an example would be a delivery driver who runs their truck over you while you are working at a construction zone. The driver, and possibly also their employer, might be held liable for your injury. Depending on the circumstances, your employer might also be held liable, though only partly. Using this same scenario for an example, you might file for workers compensation benefits with your employer, but sue the delivery driver for additional injury costs, including pain and suffering. The potential complexity of such a case demands the legal expertise of a seasoned workers compensation lawyer.

Proof of Pain and Suffering

If you are allowed to pursue compensation for pain and suffering, you will need to prove you suffered them, or are still suffering from them. This is true whether you’re pursuing them from a third party, or as an exception to the rule for workers compensation. When you work with a workers compensation lawyer, you can gain a better understanding of what is considered adequate proof from a legal standpoint.\

If you were injured at work and would like to benefit from the guidance of a knowledgeable attorney such as the workers compensation lawyer Memphis TN locals trust.

Thanks to authors at Darrell Castle & Associates PLLC for insight into Workers’ Compensation Law.

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Falling Object’s Workplace Injuries

Injuries are not restricted to auto accidents or just walking along a sidewalk, the workforce today is open to countless injuries annually.  Because countless people are employed in warehouses, factors, offices etc., and any place where an item is placed above your head, there could be a falling object incident.  We’ve all heard stories where a friend, family member, or even you have been involved in such an incident.  A falling object can cause harm to any appendage to include, the chest, shoulders, arms, hands, neck, and upper or lower back; these injuries are also one of the most costly injuries to companies. It would be safe to assume that these injuries tend to cause the work absences that cut into a company’s profits. While this may sound like a worker’s compensation matter, places like construction companies have subcontractor, parties subject to civil liabilities.

        Because there are certain jobs where this occurrence may happen more so than in others, the fact remains that it is likely in any workplace with a ceiling, ceiling tiles, etc. To avoid a possibly costly situation with employees being plagued by falling objects injuries, the following precautions can be taken:

  •      Keeping an eye out for possible safety hazards
  •      Placing signs out to make patrons, employees, etc, aware to look out for possible falling objects
  •      Place heavy objects on the floor out of walkways
  •      Being careful when removing items from above your head
  •      Using a ladder if you cannot see the contents of the shelf
  •      Getting someone to watch or assist when retrieving items from shelves
  •      Place items on the floor in storage closets

Despite all of the necessary care being taken to ensure that your job is done as accurately and efficiently as possible, care must be taken in the workplace.  While precautions are taken, there is always a possibility of an incident.  If you or someone you know has been affected by a falling object injury you need to seek medical assistance and speak with an attorney, like a personal injury lawyer Dekalb County GA relies on, to find out the circumstances needed to move forward.  In the event you or someone you know has been the victim of circumstances similar to the ones previously mentioned, please contact an attorney to get assistance.  There is nothing wrong with taking the time out to speak with a trained professional who can better articulate the next step, if any.


Thanks to our friends and contributors from Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into workplace injuries.

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Workers compensation settlements and divorce

Is my spouse entitled to my workers compensation settlement if we divorce?

People worried about their workers compensation settlements and divorce are concerned whether their spouse will be entitled to their workers compensation settlement in a divorce. Courts in different cities and states have their own approach to entitlements to workers compensation settlements of a spouse in divorce. Your divorce lawyer can explain whether your court will likely apply the Analytic Approach, Mechanistic Approach or Unitary Approach to characterize workers compensation settlement in divorce.

If you are about to file a worker’s compensation case or are in the middle of your claim, tell the attorney, like a divorce attorney Collin County TX trusts, for your claim if you have a divorce case. If you have not yet filed for divorce, or your divorce is ongoing, the classification and division of marital property could be affected by your workers compensation case.

Analytic Approach

A majority of states take an analytic approach to separate portions of a settlement to be classified as separate or divisible community property. The court first identifies how much of the settlement represents pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is considered separate property not to be divided in the divorce. Your spouse may be entitled to their equitable share of the amount of the settlement that represents lost wages. It is important that your settlement order and judgment identify how much of a settlement is for pain and suffering and what may be for wages and reimbursed medical expenses.

Mechanistic Approach

A minority of states use the mechanistic approach and classify the entire settlement as marital property. Next, divorce courts in mechanistic states will make decisions about the distribution of the settlement based on their individual family laws and statutes that apply to workers compensation settlements and marital property.

Unitary Approach

The most infrequently used method to categorize workers compensation settlement money is the unitary approach which characterizes the entire settlement amount as separate property not subject to division in the divorce.


Thanks to our friends and contributors from Scroggins Legal for their insight into workers compensation settlement

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