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Mark M. Bello

Mark Bello’s Answers

67 total


  • Workers compensation in the state of IN

    I was injuried at work on July 23 2006. I fell hitting my left knee on a dividerwall. Sence this time I've had 2 surgeries, and 2 spinal blocks. the Specialist has desided that I've developed RSD, and they've determed that my over-all PPI is 17 0/...

    Mark’s Answer

    I know that this is not what you want to hear, but your question does not provide enough information to make a "reasonable settlement" determination. I strongly recommend that you consult with an experience workers compensation plaintiff's attorney in your area. If you don't know one, contact the Indiana Association for Justice or the State Bar and ask them for a referral

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  • What does the term "covered for life" mean, regarding personal injury?

    I received surgeries for my injuries and also permanencies were set. As part of the settlement, I was told that those parts of the body were "covered for life"...What does that mean exactly? And if I have an accident, stemming from the effects of ...

    Mark’s Answer

    "Covered for life" should mean exactly that. The condition that you were awarded benefits for should be covered for the rest of your life. Remember, though, you are dealing with insurance companies and insurance companies will try and find reasons to not pay you. The situation you mention in your question is an excellent example. If the subsequent fall occurred because of the original injury and aggravates the injury, it would (or should) be covered. If it didn't, it wouldn't. The insurance company will certainly try to make the case for it being a "new" event and a "new" injury. You, with the assistance of a good NY attorney should not let them get away with it.

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  • I sold a 4-wheeler ATV to friend who is not paying the balance, can I get the police give it back to me if i report it stolen

    I sold a 4-wheeler ATV to a friend for $650 12 months ago.I told him i would hold the title and he had 6 months to pay me.Well he paid me $400 but has not paid anything for 7 months.I talked to a repo company and it would cost more than what he ow...

    Mark’s Answer

    I wouldn't recommend that. The ATV wasn't "stolen" and he has substantially paid for it. I would file an action in small claims court for the $200 he owes you (or repossession) and associated court costs. If you do it your way, you could be committing a crime in your state (false police report-not sure of MS law in that regard, but it is not worth it).

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  • If I settle a lawsuit, do I have to use the funds to immediately pay back student loans?

    An MVA possibly will be settled shortly and because of the medical problems associated with the MVA, I returned to school by taking out multiple student loans. I was wondering if, when I settle the lawsuit, will I have to use my share of the funds...

    Mark’s Answer

    What you must do is governed by the terms of your loan agreement. Most of the student loan agreements I have seen would not require you to "immediately pay back" a student loan. As long as you remain current with your payment obligations, in other words, as long as you are not in default, you should not be required to prioritize your student loan over any other obligation. There are reasons you may or may not want to pay your student loan or any other obligation with the money; your question does not say how much you are getting. If you are in substantial debt, and paying signficant interest to many companies (usually, a student loan is a low interest loan), you may want to use the money to pay down debt. If you are the benevolent sort who thinks that money you don't need should be paid back and made available to those who need student loans, you could pay it back for that reason, alone. However, I know of no provision in any student loan agreement that I have seen, that would make you pay back the money out of any lump sum settlement, lottery win or other windfall you receive.

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  • Do I need a personal injury lawyer?

    My son fell out of a shopping cart. He hit his head and we have accumulated some debt due to ER visits and a CT scan.

    Mark’s Answer

    You should, absolutely, contact a personal injury attorney in your area. You can find one using this Avvo website. Questions of whether the child had a safety belt that didn't lock properly, whether the cart has a safety belt of any kind, whether you neglected to put the belt on the child are all important questions that are not answered by your post. The child certainly has suffered damages; whether those damages were caused by the store's negligence or yours (or a combination of both) will determine whether there is a case and what value it has. Good luck to you and your unfortunate son.

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  • I was hit on head with bottle in a bar 6 yrs ago. Do lawyers typically ask for money upfront? or take a % of settlement?

    This was a"dram shop" case. Do lawyers always require to be paid first? I paid him upfront $3000. He has obviously dragged this out. He has none done anything in 18 months. Can I get my money back? Can I go after this lawyer for my money?

    Mark’s Answer

    A lawyer would, typically, handle a dramshop case on a contingency. Whether one would do so depends upon his/her perception of case quality. If the attorney feels that recovery is possible, but very "iffy", he/she may wish to collect a cost retainer up front. If you think you have a case worth pursuing, and he is not impressed, if makes sense for you to share some of the risk, doesn't it? Collecting an up front retainer and charging the rest on a contingency is not uncommon. In your situation, the lawyer has three options (and you can decide what terms you wish to agree to): 1. Charge a straight contingency with nothing up front, 2. Charge a retainer and handle the rest on a contingency, or 3. Charge by the hour and take a retainer against future hours. If you don't like the option he chooses, you can try to find an attorney who will do it the way you want him to, but be careful; he may not be as good as the attorney who wouldn't do it your way.

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  • Can I fire my personal injury lawyer?

    Can I fire my personal injury lawyer?

    Mark’s Answer

    In the attorney-client relationship, you are the employer and the attorney is the employee. Therefore, yes, absolutely, you may terminate his services or "fire" him, as you put it. However, you cannot hire an employee and terminate him without paying him for his services. This is true of an attorney, just as it is with any other employee. If the attorney is on a contingency fee arrangement and is terminated, in most jurisdictions, he may tabulate his hours, present a bill, and place a lien on the prospective recovery for services rendered. Thus, even if you terminate him, you will still have to pay for his time. Your question does not indicate why you wish to terminate him; in fact, you need no reason, but, you should examine why you wish to do this. If you had an disagreement, try to see if you can find common ground. If he disappointed you in some way, arrange a meeting and see if you can get an adequate explanation, especially if he has been on the case for a long time. You may lose valuable time, and, possibly, money, by trying to integrate a new attorney into a very mature case. You owe to yourself to pause, take a breath, and make sure you are making a sound decision in terminating an attorney.

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  • If a person injured in an auto accident sues my employer and I, could I be personally liable for her damages

    i was in an accident while at work i drive a dump truck and a lady hit the trailer on the truck as i was making a u-turn their was no sign stateing you could not make one. she hit the end of the trailer. and was severaly injured she is suing for 2...

    Mark’s Answer

    Just because she is suing you doesn't make you personally responsible for paying any judgment she receives. The final award would have to exceed all insurance coverages. Your employer probably has substantial insurance on the dump truck and other owned vehicles; your personal insurance would kick in next. From the story your are telling, there may some liability problems for her, as well. I would make an appointment to see the attorney who is defending the case for your employer and ask him what the likelihood is that you will have to pay any money, personally. I suspect that he will ease your concerns

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  • If i was driving a semi truck for someone and got in an accident can the people i hit sue me

    if i was driving a semi for someone and got in a accident can the people i hit sue me?

    Mark’s Answer

    Yes, they can sue you; the better question is can they collect from you, personally. The answer is, probably not. First they have to exhaust the commercial policy available to your employer; it is, most likely, in the millions of dollars. I presume you owned a vehicle and had private auto insurance coverage on that vehicle. If you did, that insurance policy might cover you in the unlikely event that any award or settlement exceeded the insurance limits of the employer. I don't think you have much to worry about in terms of any money coming out of your pocket. For additional assurance, though, I would schedule a meeting with the attorney handling the defense of the case and have a frank conversation with him about whether you should be concerned about your personal assets. I suspect that he will put you at ease.

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  • Can I seek medical special damages that arose out of an auto accident in North Carolina

    I was involved in a car wreck in Jacksonville, NC. Was not my fault, the other guy got the ticket. Well my hand was in pain, my shoulder is still sore, and my lower back now has pain here and there. I went to the hospital and every pain is docu...

    Mark’s Answer

    Before you accept any settlement, you must make Nationwide prove that they only covered collision for the at fault party. If the at fault party had a liability insurance policy, you may be entitled to pursue damages for your injuries. DO NOT ASSUME THAT NATIONWIDE IS TELLING YOU THE TRUTH! Retain a North Carolina attorney and have him/her pursue the truth. A fractured hand is certainly worth pursuing. If Nationwide does not have a liability policy for the at fault driver, you may carry, in your insurance coverage, what is called "Uninsured Motorist" coverage. If you do, your own insurance company is responsible for the amount (up to the limits of your policy) that the at fault driver would have had to pay if he had insurance or was collectable.

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