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3 Civil Claims Situations Where Hiring A Litigation Attorney Is A Smart Move

Posted by on Apr 11, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Civil Claims Situations Where Hiring A Litigation Attorney Is A Smart Move

As much as you may try to avoid a legal matter of any sort, there are always possibilities of finding yourself in the middle of a situation when you have no other choice but to file a civil claim. A civil claim is typically a lawsuit brought up by one party against another for some form of wrongdoing that has resulted in injury, expense, or cost of some form. In these cases, the claim will almost always go to court before they are settled, which is why having a litigation attorney on your side is a smart decision. Take a look at these three civil claims situations that should involve the professional expertise of a litigation attorney.  You are filing a civil claim against someone for personal injury.  You are injured on someone’s property, someone’s dog bites you, or you are injured in a car accident by a irresponsible driver–all of these are situations when you may have to file a civil lawsuit for your personal injuries just to get the money you deserve to cover your costs and time off of work. Hiring a litigation attorney that is skilled in these kinds of personal injury claims will help you because it will simplify the process.  You are filing a claim against a neighbor for property damages or infringement.  No matter how neighborly you try to be, you cannot always get the same fair treatment from the people that live near your property. If you ever have to file a claim against a neighbor, it could be for an array of reasons, including: damaging your property disturbing your peace of mind infringing on your property perimeter Civil suits between neighbors can get pretty ugly, because at the end of the day, you still have to live in close proximity to the other person. Having a litigation attorney on your side can help you do whatever it takes to document all ill-guided behavior and keep you and your property protected.  You are filing a civil claim against your ex for child custody.  Child custody cases are usually entrusted to family lawyers who have experience with this specialized field of law. However, it is always a good idea to make sure the family lawyer you choose to represent you during a child custody claim is also skilled with litigation. If or when your case goes before a judge, you need to know that the lawyer you have by your side is equipped for this form of...

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Don’t Let An Accident While On Vacation In Florida Ruin Your Vacation: Handle It This Way Instead

Posted by on Apr 7, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Don’t Let An Accident While On Vacation In Florida Ruin Your Vacation: Handle It This Way Instead

Getting into an accident while you’re on vacation in Florida can suck all the fun right out of your trip — and it can confuse you about what you’re supposed to be doing if you’re unfamiliar with how no-fault insurance works. Florida is one of only 12 states that has no-fault insurance, or “PIP” plans, which means the vast majority of vacationers are going to be from states that do things a little differently.   Here is what you should know. 1. Handle the initial stages of the situation just like you would an accident back home: Call 911 and report the accident right away. That will get emergency vehicles coming in your direction. Make sure everyone is safely out of the way of oncoming traffic if the accident is a fender-bender. If it’s more serious, try to set up a flair or other alert so that drivers know to go around. Exchange contact and insurance information, if you’re able, with the other driver. Get the contact information of anyone who was brave enough to stick around if they witnessed the accident. Try to get photos of the scene. If someone else is in better shape to take photos, give them your phone and ask them to take as many as possible. Get emergency medical treatment if you’re injured. 2. Understand how no-fault, personal injury protection, plans work. In states with PIP coverage, car accidents are treated like “no fault” claims. Your own insurance pays the tab for your medical bills, time off work, and property damage, minus your deductible. This does not mean that you cannot sue outside of the PIP coverage. While Florida’s PIP coverage goes up to a possible $10,000, 2012 reforms limit coverage for medical care to $2,500 unless you sought emergency treatment right after the accident. That makes it important to go to the ER from the scene of the accident even if you aren’t sure if you’re hurt or don’t think you’re hurt badly. You also only get 14 days to seek medical care — so don’t put off looking at that bruised knee or painful shoulder until after vacation is over. 3. You can still sue for damages in Florida. The whole point of the PIP plan in Florida is to keep minor injury claims out of the court. However, that would be unfair if everyone was prevented from suing. If your injuries turn out to be significant, you do still have the right to sue. That’s the good news. The “so-so” news is that Florida’s court uses a pure comparative fault system for personal injury claims. That means whatever you might be able to collect gets reduced according to how much of the accident was your fault. For example, if you rushed an intersection so you could get through in time to beat the yellow light and the other car entered the intersection the instant the green light hit without checking to make sure the intersection had cleared, the accident is technically the other driver’s fault. However, the jury may decide you were about 40% to blame for not being more patient yourself. If you suffered $100,000 worth of damage, you would lose 40% of that due to your share of the fault. The bad news is that — unless you and the other driver happen...

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Can You Sue The Hospital For Medical Malpractice After A Slip And Fall?

Posted by on Mar 14, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Can You Sue The Hospital For Medical Malpractice After A Slip And Fall?

When you are a patient, the hospital’s staff and contractors have the responsibility of ensuring you are safe on its grounds. However, accidents do happen, and it is possible that you can slip and fall. If you suffered a slip and fall while a patient at a hospital, here is what you need to know.   Is It Medical Malpractice? Although a slip and fall might seem like a standard personal injury case, it could be considered medical malpractice in some instances. In order for the injury to be considered medical malpractice, the accident had to occur as the result of care you are receiving.   For instance, if you were administered several medications and that caused you to be unstable, you could claim that the hospital is responsible. The argument for your case would be that the hospital staff should have known that an increased risk of falling was possible, and the staff failed to take action to prevent it from happening.   Another instance that could be considered medical malpractice is if you slipped and fell while being transferred. If the staff failed to take the proper precautions to ensure you were moved from the bed to a wheelchair, the hospital could be considered liable.  There are many other scenarios in which medical malpractice might be considered. Talk to your personal injury lawyer to see if one applies to your particular situation.  Who Can You Sue? If you are planning to sue for the injuries you experienced, determining the responsible party is a bit more complicated than just naming the hospital. It could be possible that more than one party is liable or that the hospital itself is not to blame.   If your injuries resulted from negligence from your doctor or another contractor for the hospital, the hospital might be off the hook. In that instance, you would probably have to pursue a claim against the doctor or contractor.   In the event that your injuries were caused by a hospital staff member, such as a nurse, the hospital could be held responsible. However, you will need to verify that the nurse or other staffer is considered an actual employee by the hospital and not just a contractor.   A slip and fall is not just an everyday occurrence at a hospital. The hospital has a responsibility to ensure you are safe, and if it fails, you have the right to take action. Talk to your attorney to find out what options are available to...

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Do You Really Need To Make A Will?

Posted by on Mar 14, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Do You Really Need To Make A Will?

It doesn’t matter how old you are or if you are in good health or are afflicted with an illness—you might have thought you need to have a will made. You might also think that maybe it’s not necessary to plan for your demise, as you don’t have kids or any assets. Do you really need to make a will? It is important to have that legal document, especially in certain cases. Property Assets It doesn’t matter if you have no children to leave your property to; if you don’t have a will made up ahead of your death, then the government will step in and divide your property up to your heirs. Your heirs are any living relative, such as a sibling, parents, or even aunts or uncles—anyone who might be entitled to your property. If you have specific people in mind and you want any property you own to go to them, then you must make a will stating that fact. You also need to express just how much ownership they will have in each property or asset you own. This is also important because if you want your spouse to inherit your home and you have children by a previous marriage, if you don’t have a will stating you want the property to go to your spouse, your children will inherit it instead. All Heirs Must Agree If you don’t have a will, then every relative that is eligible to inherit your assets must agree on what to do with each item they inherit. This means that if there is a house and you have several people who have inherited it, they all must agree if the property will be sold, rented out, or if one of the people who now own it will live there. They also must agree on how all assets are distributed among everyone involved. If everyone doesn’t agree on something, the matter must head to court to be decided on by a judge. This same issue is the same for any bills that must be paid on the property or any maintenance that needs to be done on buildings. Specific Items If you have items like a car or jewelry you wish certain people to have after you have passed on, then you must make a will stating so. If there is no will specifying who gets what property you leave behind, then the courts will simply either order the sale of the items and pass on the funds, or they will distribute each item in a fair monetary manner. If you would prefer one of your children to inherit more than the others, that must also be placed in the will, otherwise, all children will inherit an equal share of the property. For additional advice, contact a probate attorney in your...

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Four Things That Can Affect Child Custody And Which Parent Gets The Kids

Posted by on Mar 14, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Things That Can Affect Child Custody And Which Parent Gets The Kids

Child custody is a sensitive issue in the courts. The courts view children’s rights as the right to have both parents in their lives and have equal time with them unless there is a reason not to. The following four things can affect child custody and who gets physical and legal custody of the children. Safe Physical Space for the Children When parents divorce, one parent usually stays in the marital home or apartment while the other finds someplace else to live. It is very unusual for the divorcing couple to remain under the same roof, although some parents do have this kind of arrangement. The courts do expect that both parents have a safe physical space for the children when the children visit the other parent away from the custodial home. If that parent does not have housing, that is something that definitely impacts the court’s ruling on placement and custody. A Home That Is Free from Abuse and Neglect Both homes to which the children travel and live must be free from abuse and neglect. This means that not only are the children well-cared for, but the home itself is not a mess, dirty or otherwise an unhealthy environment for the kids. Both parents have to provide for all of the children’s needs, including food, clothes, a place to sleep, their own beds, clean bathrooms, regular bathing routines, clean dishes and a clean home. If anything is amiss, custody may be awarded to the other parent. This is often the most difficult aspect of child custody cases as one parent may regularly accuse the other of abuse and/or neglect and put the other parent under a microscope to obtain custody. Financial Stability Divorce can rock your world and turn it upside down. If you were a stay-at-home parent, divorce suddenly becomes the ultimate nightmare as you become the target of your ex. Since you are not working, the court will look at you as one with no financial stability to support yourself or the children, and then award custody to your ex. Thwart that plan by getting a job as soon as you can. Physical Presence and Psychological Stability Parents who frequently abandon their kids and leave them behind with their spouses only to return to the home whenever it suits them may be looked upon as unstable. Psychological stability may also come into question. While parents with mental illness are still allowed to be parents, the courts may require psychological evaluations before awarding custody of the children to parents who have frequently abandoned their parental posts and/or who have exhibited or been diagnosed with major psychological issues in the past. Consult with a divorce lawyer if you have any concerns regarding any of the above. Contact a firm like Kalasnik Law Office for more...

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Appealing A Divorce Due To Special Circumstances

Posted by on Mar 9, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Appealing A Divorce Due To Special Circumstances

Did you recently go through a divorce that you feel was unfair? This is a common feeling among a number of divorcees. It prompts many of them to wonder if there is anything that they legally do. Some people have even been known to try to take the law into their own hands, which can be devastating. A legal approach to contesting the outcome of a divorce proceeding is to appeal it. However, appealing the decisions made in the proceeding may not overturn them. The following are special circumstances that could aid in getting the outcome of a divorce proceeding amended. Discovery of Assets Some spouses elect to hide assets during divorce proceedings. If they are discovered at a later date, it is possible to appeal the assets awarded portion of the divorce. The basis would be on the premise that the other spouse was entitled to some of the hidden or undisclosed assets.  Discovery of Incorrect Legal Ruling Judges usually have many years of legal training. They are generally well versed when it comes to understanding the laws in their states as well as any federal laws. However, it is possible for judges to make mistakes. Some judges take long recesses to avoid such errors. They use the time to review unusual circumstances pertaining to difficult divorces. Even after reviewing law books, it is possible for them to rule incorrectly due to misunderstanding or if new legislation has been passed.  Discovery of Income Unreported income can also be used as a reason for an appeal. This is something that someone who has been ordered to pay alimony to their spouse might seek to prove if their spouse had an income that was not considered when the alimony award was entered. For example, a spouse might have had an income from selling products online, but the judge may have not have been aware of this and considered them as a homemaker.  Evidence Believed to Overlooked Perhaps you are feeling like the judge overlooked the information presented. This means that you may feel like you got the worse outcome of the divorce despite the evidence and facts. It is common for divorcees to feel this way. However, you have to get past the feeling and be able to provide legal proof to win an appeal.  It is ideal to use the divorce lawyer who represented you as a resource even you feel as though you do not want them to represent you in the appeals case. This is because there may be paperwork that they have to file on your behalf since they represented you in the original divorce proceedings. They will likely also want to forward information to your new legal counsel. Keep in mind that errors and unjust rulings will likely be the strongest factors for an appeal being...

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Social Security And Consultative Exams

Posted by on Mar 7, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Social Security And Consultative Exams

For those applying for Social Security disability benefits, the need to prove how your medical condition affects your ability to work at your job is very important. Often, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will ask that applicants undergo a special type of medical exam before they make their final determination of eligibility. Needless to say, the result of this exam could greatly impact your ability to get SSA benefits, so read on and know what to expect. Why do I need to have this exam? Your medical records are your main method of showing the SSA how serious your medical condition is, but often your records are incomplete. The SSA wants to see that you have been treated for your medical condition in a fairly consistent manner for a period of time and that you are continuing to get treatment on an on-going basis. If there are any questions at all about the validity of your medical condition claims, the SSA will want you to be examined by another doctor. It’s very important to understand that this request is not merely a formality or a suggestion but is instead a requirement for moving forward with your claim. What will happen at the exam? You have likely experienced many medical exams, but this one will be very different. You won’t be receiving any treatment or prescriptions at this exam, and the doctor works (under contract) for the SSA. There will be no charge for this exam or any of the diagnostic tests you may need to undergo, such as x-rays and lab tests. You can expect the doctor to focus primarily on the exact medical condition that you claim is preventing you from working at your job. What happens next? The doctor will prepare a report showing the findings of the exam, which will be passed on to the SSA. You can expect to hear from the SSA soon after the exam, since this is often the final step in determining your ability to get benefits. The report looks at the level of work you may still be able to do, or not able to do, with levels ranging from sedentary to very heavy. The work you most recently performed in your job is used to form the evaluation. If you are turned down. Many people are unsuccessful at their first attempt applying for benefits. If you receive a letter denying you benefits, you should never simply give up in your quest for benefits. You are entitled to appeal the denial ruling, and you should strongly consider using the services of a Social Security attorney to help you through the appeals...

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What Mistakes Could Lead To Your Will Being Contested?

Posted by on Mar 2, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What Mistakes Could Lead To Your Will Being Contested?

When there are legal mistakes made in a will, there is a possibility that a family member could successfully contest it. If you want your final wishes to be respected and honored, it is important that your will is legally sound. To help you avoid a situation in which the will is contested, here are some common will-making mistakes to avoid.   Failing to Research State Laws Some people mistakenly believe that they do not have to adhere to state laws when making a will. However, if a will fails to meet certain requirements, the will could be tossed during probate and the state would have the final say over how assets are divided.   When drafting your will, it is important that you take the time to review your state’s laws. The laws vary from state to state, so if you move, you will need to update your will to take into account your new state’s laws.   Forgetting to Consider Taxes Your will is a financial document that could have long-lasting tax implications for your estate and your heirs. During the drafting of the will, you need to factor those potential implications into your decision-making.   For instance, your executor will have to pay your final tax bill. If you failed to leave money for this, he or she will be faced with the tough decision of taking the funds for it out of the inheritances you left for your heirs.   Another consideration is how your attorney’s fees will be paid. The executor will have to rely on the help of an attorney to get your estate through probate and other legal situations.   Failing to Document Why Someone Is Excluded You already know that it is important to state the names of your heirs and what you intend to leave them in your will. It might seem that simply not naming someone that you do not want to leave an inheritance to is enough to ensure they are not awarded anything, but it might not be.   When you intentionally leave someone out of your will, you need to state that it was done intentionally. By doing this, you can potentially avoid a situation in which someone contests a will based on the belief that you did not intentionally leave him or her out. You can go a step further and include a letter that states why the person is left out of your will. Work with your attorney, someone from a place like the Legal Action Workshop, to prevent other mistakes that could lead to your will being contested in probate...

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Paying Your Lawyer: 3 Features To Consider When Coming To Terms With A Blended Contingency Fee Agreement

Posted by on Jan 9, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Paying Your Lawyer: 3 Features To Consider When Coming To Terms With A Blended Contingency Fee Agreement

Not all cases require you to pay legal fees upfront. Many lawyers are willing to take up cases based on contingency fees. This basically means that you won’t be responsible for paying the lawyer unless they win your case. In general, most lawyers charge a contingency fee percentage between 33% and 40% of the total compensation awarded. This amount is normally far more than what the lawyer would have earned if they billed you by the hour. If you’re interested in reducing the contingency fee percentage, you can opt for a blended contingency fee agreement, which is when you pay a portion of legal fees based on the hour and a portion through a contingency fee agreement. Here are 3 features to consider when negotiating the terms of the agreement. Portion of Billable Hours to Be Paid in Full In general, a blended contingency fee agreement will allow you to separate the billable hours based on percentage, so that you pay a certain amount of billable hours regardless of whether you win the case or not. Identifying which hours should be billed can be difficult. Some lawyers may charge you a percentage of the total hours spent on the case whereas others might bill you for the hours spent on certain tasks. This might include showing up in court or time spent with you in meetings. Understanding which hours are going to be billed can make a difference to your case. For example, if a lawyer will bill you only for hours spent on certain tasks, you want to make sure that they don’t spend a significant amount of time on those tasks. Take a look at the agreement to see whether there is a maximum amount of hours that the lawyer can bill you for. Stepped Agreements Based on Hours Spent on Case When paying the hourly rate, you’re usually given a steep discount, especially if the lawyer ends up winning your case. Another factor to consider when agreeing to a blended contingency fee agreement is the amount of discount you are getting, along with whether you’ll be charged a higher or lower premium depending on which stage the case is in. Some lawyers will give you great discounts at the later stages, as there is a higher likelihood that your case is going to settle in your favor. This means that the lawyer will end up getting their fair share through the contingency portion of the agreement. You should definitely make sure that you are paying less and less for each hour as the case goes on. If not, make sure you negotiate these term with your lawyer. Option to Opt Out and Opt In for Only Contingency Fees No one knows just how much compensation you may be awarded. Although your lawyer might have a rough idea based on the average amount of compensation that has been awarded to similar cases, the circumstances of your case might result in entirely different outcomes. Take a look at whether your blended contingency fee agreement is set in stone. In the event that you are awarded a lesser amount of compensation than expected, you might actually end up paying less if you were to opt out of a blended contingency fee agreement and opt in to one that is...

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5 Things To Do After A DUI Arrest

Posted by on Nov 30, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Things To Do After A DUI Arrest

You had a few drinks at a party and then decided you were okay to drive home anyway. Now the unthinkable has happened: you were pulled over for speeding or driving erratically, the police officer tested your sobriety, and you were arrested. You already know that this mistake will be a costly one- getting a DUI can affect you financially and legally for many months or even years after your arrest. Here is what you need to do to regain control of the situation after getting arrested for a DUI: Hire an Excellent DUI Attorney DUI offenses and their legal ramifications vary greatly by state and depending on your blood alcohol level at the time of your arrest. After you are released from jail you will be assigned an arraignment date. At your court date you may be assigned community service and alcohol classes, have your license revoked, be subject to fines, and even be given a jail sentence or be placed on probation. There are many intricacies involved and your best bet for minimizing the legal consequences of your DUI is to hire an experienced DUI attorney to navigate these various issues on your behalf. Visit a site like for more information.  Research Your Car Insurance Receiving a DUI will most likely have a negative effect on your car insurance and cause your rates to go up since you are now considered a higher risk. In most cases, you will be required to sign up for something called SR-22 insurance. If you are required to modify your car insurance in this way, you will receive a court order as part of your overall sentencing letting you know. The actual SR-22 form doesn’t cost much, but once you apply for it your premiums will likely increase and in some cases your current insurance company may no longer be able to provide you with coverage. It may be a good idea to hire an insurance agent or broker to help you find the most affordable insurance options after your DUI. Make Plans for Getting Around Your license may be revoked for a few days until your arraignment, or for many months if your offense was more serious. In the meantime, you still need to get to work, court dates, community service, and have a way to generally get around. Research public transportation in your city and make logistical changes to your lifestyle as needed, for example by moving closer to a train station or bus stop. Other options include cycling, carpooling with coworkers in exchange for gas money, and taking Uber or Lyft. Make Financial Arrangements A DUI is expensive and there’s no getting around this fact. Your attorney, legal fines, car insurance increase, and the money you spend on taxis or Uber rides will all add up quickly. This may be a good time to pick up a second job, start freelancing on the side, or ask your family for a loan if they are in a position to help you in this way. Take Care of Your Emotional Needs Getting arrested for a DUI can be a total shock to your system. You are likely experiencing a range of painful feelings including guilt, shame, and anxiety. Try to use this challenging time as an opportunity for emotional and...

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