When the Proceedings Didn’t Go as Planned

Do You Really Need To Hire An Injury Attorney?

Posted by on 4:48 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Do You Really Need To Hire An Injury Attorney?

Turn on the TV on any day and you’ll see ad after ad asking if you need a personal injury lawyer to represent you. These ads create the impression that anyone who has been hurt needs counsel and will get big money. Attorneys, however, take a sizeable chunk of most injury cases. The accepted industry norm is for a law firm to assess a fee of around 33% of the final settlement or verdict. That means you need to get a lot of bang for your buck in order to justify hiring a personal injury attorney, so it’s good to know when you may really need to retain counsel. Complex Cases The most obvious instance when you may need to hire a lawyer is when you have a case that’s legally complex. If you’re in a situation where a number of parties may be responsible for your injuries, it can be beneficial to have an attorney represent you. For example, cases involving fleet operators or store chains can lead to many individuals being held liable. A lawyer can advise you regarding who to pursue damages against and how to approach your case. A Small Case In some instances, a case is too simple and small to justify hiring a lawyer. Many practices won’t approach a case unless it passes a certain threshold in size, and others will expect a larger fee. If you’re anticipating receiving $7,000 for a claim, it’s hard to picture parting with half of that amount in order to have counsel. If the other party’s insurance company is comfortable settling a smaller claim, you may want to forgo bringing in counsel. A Sizable Expected Settlement or Judgment If you’re expecting to receive a large amount of compensation, an attorney can help you in a couple ways. First, a lawyer can fight to ensure that you get the maximum amount possible. Second, an attorney can help you structure the settlement in fashion that ensures your needs are taken care of well into the future. Trial As a rule of thumb, 95% of injury claims are expected to be settled without ever going to trial. Unfortunately, your claim may fall in the remaining 5% of cases that do go to court. If you’re facing a responsible party that either refuses to pay or expects to pay dramatically less than you’re seeking, it’ll likely be wise to ask a personal injury attorney like Dunnigan & Messier P.C. to be present as you go through the process of litigating the...

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3 Little-Known Steps In Filing For Bankruptcy

Posted by on 11:03 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Little-Known Steps In Filing For Bankruptcy

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, you must be aware that there is more to it than just filing and receiving court approval. There are many other steps that can make filing for bankruptcy overwhelming, which is why you should hire a bankruptcy attorney to help you with the process. Here are three little-known steps in filing for bankruptcy: You Need Bankruptcy Credit Counseling:  Before you even file for bankruptcy, you must go through bankruptcy credit counseling. This is required by law and must be done by an approved credit counseling agency in order for you to move forward with the process. The reason for this is that, during this time in counseling, you may discover that filing bankruptcy is not your best option. However, if you do, they will guide you into what chapter of bankruptcy you must file under. Keep in mind that if you don’t have time to complete credit counseling in person, you can always sign up for online counseling. Just be sure that it’s through an approved agency, which your bankruptcy attorney can help you to find.  You Have to Pay Certain Fees:  To file for bankruptcy and to go through credit counseling, you will have to pay certain fees. These fees can be waived if you meet certain income requirements. Your bankruptcy attorney can help you file the correct paperwork to have these fees waived if you are eligible to do so. Your attorney will also ensure that you do this before the deadline. If you wait too long, paperwork cannot be processed and you won’t receive compensation. You Need to Take a Debtor Education Course: Once you have finished with the process of filing for bankruptcy, you are going to need to go through a debtor education course. Once this is done, the process can be finalized. This is important because it gives you the information that you need to know about how to handle life after bankruptcy and how to avoid filing for bankruptcy again in the future. Be sure to complete this course before the deadline to ensure that your bankruptcy case can be finalized. Otherwise, the case can possibly be dropped and you will need to start over. When you know these little known steps in filing for bankruptcy, you can be better prepared for the process. It might take a bit longer than you thought, but with an attorney from a company like Wiesner & Frackowiak, LC by your side, you can be sure that everything is done before the deadlines so you don’t run into complications in the...

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Exercises To Prepare For Your Criminal Defense Testimony

Posted by on 10:59 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Exercises To Prepare For Your Criminal Defense Testimony

Testifying in your own criminal defense case is a risky strategic move that can pay off in many cases. If you are able to let the jury see a side of you that doesn’t come out in other witnesses’ testimonies, then it can humanize your case and also give the jury new, positive information to work with. But before you step onto the witness stand, you must do some work to polish your testimony. Here are some exercises to help you prepare.  Write Out All the Details You and your criminal defense lawyer can sit down and write a thorough list of your case’s details. Write down everything that comes to mind naturally. Then tell the story of what happened to your lawyer, and write down any new details that come up. Have your lawyer ask you questions about parts of the story they want to know more about, and again, write down new details that emerge. When you think you have everything written out, highlight the parts that are most important in one color. Highlight the details that you didn’t mention spontaneously in another color. It’s helpful to have this visual representation to draw from when you’re practicing giving your testimony, especially since it shows where the natural gaps in your story are.  Work on the Gaps If there are any questions that you couldn’t answer from your lawyer’s questioning, then you will need to work on an honest answer that still puts you in a positive light. For instance, your lawyer may ask you specific details surrounding part of the story that seems unbelievable. You may need to work on developing the rationale for things you did that seem unnatural or unreasonable. You may also have acted in a morally ambiguous way, so work on coming up with reasonable explanations for your actions that the jury can identify with. If you are well prepared to deal with these sorts of questions, you won’t be put on the spot as much when they are asked to you by the prosecutor.  Get Comfortable Telling Your Story It’s entirely possible that you know what happened and you know that you’re innocent, but your testimony puts your case in a worse position because you aren’t ready to give your testimony. Being in front of so many people who are evaluating your innocence can be very stressful. Practice delivering the testimony to different people before you get in front of the...

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How Wage Garnishments Are Handled In Bankruptcy

Posted by on 12:49 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How Wage Garnishments Are Handled In Bankruptcy

One of the worst things that can happen to your paychecks is something called wage garnishment. Unfortunately, though, this is a tool that creditors can use if you owe money and will not willingly pay it. A wage garnishment will typically continue until the debt is paid in full, but there is one way you could put a stop to it early. Filing for bankruptcy is the tool you can use to stop a wage garnishment, and here are a couple things to know about this. Filing instantly puts a freeze on wage garnishment No matter what the wage garnishment is for, filing for bankruptcy will instantly force the garnishment to stop. This is called an automatic stay, and this feature of bankruptcy stops all creditors from coming after debts a person owes. An automatic stay not only forces garnishments to stop, but it also prohibits creditors from contacting the person in any way. The type of debt determines if the wage garnishment will continue The benefit this offers is that you will get a break from paying your debt once the court issues the automatic stay. The other benefit is that you may never have to repay the debt you owed. The downside is that the court will factor in two things when determining if you have to repay the debt that was being paid through a wage garnishment. The first factor is the branch of bankruptcy you file, and the second factor is whether the debt is considered a priority debt or a nonpriority debt. If the debt is classified as a priority debt, you will have to pay it in full in most cases, and it doesn’t matter which branch of bankruptcy you filed. If this is the case, the creditor could petition to the court to reinstate the wage garnishment. If the court agrees, your wages will soon be garnished once again. If the debt is a nonpriority debt and you filed Chapter 7, there is a good chance the debt will be discharged through the bankruptcy proceedings. If this is the situation, that particular wage garnishment will never happen again. Stopping a wage garnishment might only be possible by filing for bankruptcy; however, bankruptcy is a big event in life and there are a lot of factors you should consider before you rush into it. To find out if bankruptcy is right for you, schedule a consultation appointment with a family law attorney like one from Nelson, McPherson Summers & Santos...

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Faqs About A Disability Insurance Claim Denial

Posted by on 2:58 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Faqs About A Disability Insurance Claim Denial

A denial of your disability insurance claim does not necessarily mean the end of the road. You can file an appeal to request a review of the decision. Before filing an appeal, here is what you need to know.  Why Was Your Claim Denied? A claim denial can occur for several reasons. For instance, some claims are denied because there is a lack of medical evidence. Lack of medical evidence could mean that the insurance company did not receive enough medical records from your medical care providers to make a decision.  It could also mean that you did not receive regular medical treatment that is consistent with your disability claims. For instance, if you were supposed to attend physical therapy but did not, the insurance company could argue that your injuries were not serious enough for you to follow the doctor’s orders. As a result, you are not entitled to receive benefits.  Denials can also result from simple mistakes, such as failing to follow the deadlines set by the insurance provider. Whatever the reasoning, the insurance company has to include it in the denial letter that you receive. You can use the reasoning to help shape your appeal.  How Can You Appeal? If you are planning to appeal, make date on the denial notice. You must file your appeal within a certain number of days following the date on the denial notice. If not, you could possibly forfeit your right to appeal and will have to start the process over again. The number of days can vary based on the type of disability insurance you have. How long you have is included on the notice.  If the insurance company denied your claim based on a lack of evidence, you need to work on building up the amount of evidence you have. For instance, you can ask your doctor to write a statement that details your impairment and states that you are physically unable to work. You can also see a specialist if you have a condition that requires more specialized care. For instance, if you have a heart condition, a cardiologist’s report could help build your case.  If you made a mistake, such as missing the deadline, you need to contact the insurance provider and find out whether or not you can continue with the claim. If so, the provider can explain what you need to do to correct your mistake. If not, you might have to start the process again.  Appealing a denial from and insurance company can be challenging, so working with an experienced attorney could be the best decision....

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Fight Gym Owners Must Embody Good Oversight And Keep A Calm Learning Environment

Posted by on 6:27 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Fight Gym Owners Must Embody Good Oversight And Keep A Calm Learning Environment

Gyms offering boxing, kickboxing, and ultimate fighting programs draw in members serious about training. Due to the physical nature of the training, gym owners must be vigilant to keep a facility safe from avoidable accidents and injuries. Those new to owning a fight gym may have a lot of experience with combat sports, but very little experience running a safe training environment. The specter of civil suits loom when gym owners embody the wrong attitude, maintain lax rules, or are outright inattentive to the behavior of members. Poor gym management sometimes leads to hazardous decisions or lax oversight that includes the following: Promoting a Hostile Environment Gym owners who suggest it is fine for members to be rough with beginners are contributing to possible blow ups. Constantly teasing students who do not do well in sparring or attempting to goad rivalries between members leads to tensions building up. Fights and skirmishes can break out when gym managers encourage unhealthy rivalries. Injuries are possible and the gym may be held liable after allowing attitudes in the gym to reach hostile levels. Avoiding the Duty of Proper Supervision Gyms that are poorly supervised are not environments in which fights are easily prevented or broken up quickly. Fights don’t usually break out without a preceding verbal altercation. Heated arguments and, maybe, shoving serve as precursors to a full-blown fight. What was the gym owner or employees doing when an altercation initially started?. Did someone step in to cool things down? A lack of effective supervision keeps things from being kept under control and is a form of negligence. Allowing Third-Party Interactions Parents, guardians, friends, and training partners should not be allowed to interfere with a class or instruct from the sidelines. Someone throwing insults or rude comments towards students who are sparring runs the risk of inflaming tensions. Not having clear rules in place to limit inappropriate interactions or not telling bystanders to curtail such behavior puts a level of liability on the shoulders of the gym’s management if an incident occurs. Laughing Off Incidents To laugh off or joke about an incident sets the that precedent brawls and scuffles between students are acceptable. Failure to respond to gym fights in a professional manner could be deemed legally negligent behavior. Gym management has to make it known fighting is never acceptable. Those prone to this type of antisocial behavior should be asked to leave the gym permanently. Running a fight gym has to involve maintaining a good sense of order. Otherwise, being served by a personal injury lawyer, like one at Roberts Miceli LLP, may happen in the...

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Does Social Security Disability Cover The HIV Virus?

Posted by on 12:09 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Does Social Security Disability Cover The HIV Virus?

If you can no longer work at your job because of having AIDS/HIV, your may be entitled to monthly benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA considers this to be a serious illness with symptoms that can make it difficult, if not impossible, to work. Read on to learn more about how the SSA evaluates your ability to work at your job. Your Job and HIV Even the very early signs of HIV, like fever, shortness of breath, weight loss, and diarrhea, can make doing your job difficult. As this disease progresses, you may experience not only an increase in the severity of those symptoms, but also a loss of feeling in your extremities, making it even more difficult to do your job. Your Job and AIDS If your disease progresses to AIDS, you will notice more and more infections due to your compromised immune system. It is not uncommon for sufferers to develop Pneumonia, which is a severe and debilitating condition requiring rest and sometimes hospitalization. More and more, medications have become available to treat this disease and its symptoms, but ironically the side effects of these helpful medications can make it nearly impossible to work. The Residual Functioning Capacity Assessment (RFC) After you have submitted your application to Social Security Disability, you will likely be asked to undergo an RFC. This evaluation is performed by an SSA-contracted medical consultant. Along with a claims examiner, you will be evaluated on how your disease has affected your ability to do your job using three main categories: physical, mental, and sensory capacity. 1. Physical: Often, HIV/AIDS sufferers experience debilitating and overwhelming fatigue. Additionally, pain, muscle weakness, and the side-effects from medications, such as sleepiness, make it impossible to work. 2. Mental: Depression, confusion, anxiety, and lack of concentration plague sufferers of this disorder. Additionally, you will be evaluated on your problem-solving skills, memory, and cognitive ability. 3. Sensory: This evaluation tests your five senses for issues: smell, vision, speech, touch, and hearing. Often, medications can cause photo-sensitivity, meaning those whose work involves being outdoors cannot work at all. This disease involves a devastating host of problems that can make just getting through a day, let alone working, a challenge. If your application for Social Security Disability benefits has been denied, contact a Social Security attorney from a company like Prediletto, Halpin, Scharnikow & Nelson, P.S. for help to get your claim approved on an appeal. You deserve these benefits, so count on your lawyer to ensure that you get...

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Court Reporters Are An Important Part Of The Legal System

Posted by on 8:43 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Court Reporters Are An Important Part Of The Legal System

Any legal proceeding needs to have a good record kept of it. That record does many things. One thing it does is that it makes sure that everyone knows exactly what the judge said. If there is any questions in the future about any orders the judge made in a lawsuit or custody hearing, the information is easily available in the record. The record can be searched to find out the exact wording of the order. Another reason is that the jury can use the record in their deliberations. If the jury isn’t sure as to what a witness said, or just wants to hear it again, the court record can be read out to the jury to resolve their questions. The issue is making sure that the record is correct. Each lawyer can write down their notes, the judge can make notes, but they aren’t going to be complete, and they may not be unbiased. There is one person who can make sure that there is a complete, unbiased record of what is said by all the lawyers, the judge, and any witnesses. That’s the court reporter.  The Court Reporter The court reporter is a court official. Their job is to make sure everyone’s words are transcribed fully and completely. The court reporter can also add in things like head nods or shakes, as well as tears, and descriptions as to where a witness may be pointing. Once the court reporter enters the words or actions into their record, it’s part of the official record, and can be very difficult, if not impossible, to change.  Transcription Tools There are several things that a court reporter can use to transcribe the proceedings. It used to be that the reporters had to use shorthand and write everything down by hand. Then machines that looked like typewriters were used. These transcription machines weren’t exactly like typewriters, they didn’t have all the letters on them. Instead, the machines typed in symbols similar to shorthand. Using a combination of buttons, the reporter was able to take down everything that was said in the court room. These days, court reporters may actually record the proceedings and then go back to their office and transcribe the recording, so there is both an audio and written record of what was said. The court reporter would also take notes as to what is happening as well as making sure that the recording is accurate.  Court reporters are a necessary part of the legal system. Without them, there would be no accurate record of what is said in...

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Three Issues To Be Aware Of If You’re Being Threatened With Harm

Posted by on 1:21 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Issues To Be Aware Of If You’re Being Threatened With Harm

If you’ve been threatened with harm by someone and are not sure what to do if you encounter the person later on, you’re right to be very cautious about how you react. While self-defense is a legitimate cause for fighting back, you have to be aware of the fine line between defending yourself and becoming the aggressor. It is always better to walk away if you can, but if you find you can’t, you have to make a judgment call about how to act so that you aren’t harmed in the process. Here are three things to be aware of if you think a situation is escalating to where you might need to do something. They Don’t Have to Hit First People often think that hitting first makes you the aggressor. However, if someone corners you and you feel like you are in imminent danger of being hurt, killed, sexually assaulted, or otherwise harmed by the person, even if the person is not currently touching you, you generally can use physical force to free yourself from the situation. But this is important: The point of the force must be to free yourself, to get away, and to remain unharmed. It is not to teach anyone a lesson, to give people a taste of their own medicine, or any other cliche you can think of. And it still may not prevent charges from being filed against you initially. You Can’t Use Excessive Force Related to that is the fact that you really can’t use obviously excessive force. If someone is threatening to hit you and raises his or her fist as if he or she were going to hit you, hitting that person to prevent them from hitting you might be justified. Hitting the person and then stabbing him or her repeatedly even though they backed off after the first hit would most likely be considered unduly excessive. Each case does vary, so there is always the off-chance that something like that could turn out to be justified, but you should not use excessive force while thinking that your case will be that exception. Threats Must Be Immediate In addition to controlling your response, you also have to determine that the threat is immediate. Someone cornering you and threatening to hit you if they ever see you again — but obviously also letting you go if you just leave the area — might not be the imminent threat you think him or her to be. In that same example, if you’re walking along and spot that person across the street, you really shouldn’t go up and hit the person to prevent him or her from hitting you. If that person is across the street, that’s not imminent. If he or she runs up to you, though, and makes motions to hit you, that could be a different story. If you have encountered similar situations, hit the person, and have been charged with assault, talk to a criminal defense or felony lawyer. The lawyer will help you break down the situation to see if self-defense is a viable defense claim for...

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Defending Yourself From Lawsuits For Dog Bites On Your Property

Posted by on 2:22 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Defending Yourself From Lawsuits For Dog Bites On Your Property

If you’re a homeowner who keeps a dog for protection, then you may need to know how to protect yourself if your dog bites someone on your property. Though you may think that if your dog bites someone on your property then you are not liable, but it’s really not that simple. Even someone whom you consider to be trespassing may be able to sue and win. Here are some common dog bite scenarios and how to defend against them. Was the person truly trespassing? Generally, a trespasser is someone who is on your property without permission. However, a person doesn’t have to have your explicit permission to enter onto your property. Some people may have implied consent to be on your property. For example, people who are coming to visit your home or do business with you may have implied consent if there is no sign or warning that says they’re not welcome. An example of a warning sign would be one that said “no soliciting” or “beware of dog” near the main entry. Implied consent may also hold true for service personnel such as meter readers and mail carriers. Was the dog provoked? Another defense you may have is if you can prove that your dog was provoked into attacking. Provoking usually means doing something to hurt or irritate the dog either on purpose or accidentally. If the situation involves a young child, you may want to check with a lawyer as children under a certain age are often absolved of being able to provoke a dog in some states and you may still be liable. Was the dog restrained or controlled? If you can prove that your dog was properly controlled or restrained at the time of the attack, it may improve your defense. For example, if you kept your dog in your front yard, but your yard was not fenced, and your dog ran out onto the sidewalk and attacked a passerby, you may be at fault. The same goes for visitors inside your home. If you restrained your dog in a separate room and one of your guests went into that room knowing there was a dog in there, then the guest had to assume to risk and you may not be liable. The same goes for people who ignore warning signs and entering an area where they knew there was a dog. Knowing the law and taking precautions with your dog will save a lot of time and worry. Different states have variations on certain dog bite liabilities, so check with an attorney before assuming you are not liable. If you are being sued, or you want to know more about protecting yourself from being sued, then talk to an attorney for more information. Contact a law firm, such as Holth & Kollman LLC, for more...

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