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Commonly Asked Questions About Personal Injury and Car Accidents

Car Accident Lawyer

Auto accidents are unfortunately all too common. If you have been injured in an auto accident, your life might feel as if it has flipped upside down. You may feel overwhelmed and confused, so here we answer some commonly asked questions about personal injury and auto accidents to bring clarity to you and your situation.

So I’ve Been In a Car Accident. What Do I Do Next?

Here’s a checklist of things to make sure you do in the moments after being in an auto accident.

  1. Never leave the scene of the accident
  2. Call 911 and make sure to get a copy of the police report when it is filed
  3. Exchange information with the other driver(s), including their insurance information, the make and model of their car, and their license plate number
  4. Take photos of your car while at the scene
  5. Take photos of the surrounding area; any skid marks, debris, traffic signs, and crosswalks
  6. If you have been injured, take pictures of your injuries while at the scene

What Do I Do If I Was Injured By Another Driver?

First and foremost, make sure you go to a doctor! Your health always comes first, and it is imperative you get adequate medical care as soon as you can. Plus, if you decide to file a personal injury claim down the road, waiting to go to a doctor can severely hinder the legitimacy of your case.

Secondly, make sure to contact a personal injury attorney. Not only will they give you their opinion on the future of your case, they can help you determine next steps and how to move forward.

What Should I Not Do After Being In An Auto Accident?

There are two things not to do after being involved in a car accident;  making any public statements and waiting too long to contact an attorney.

You should always wait to make any formal statements, from talking to the other drivers and cops at the scene of the accident to speaking to your insurance company. It is always wise to have an attorney speak as a legal advocate for you, no matter how small the situation may be.

Additionally, depending on your state, there may be statute of limitations for when you can file a personal injury lawsuit. To ensure you get the compensation you deserve, do not wait to talk to an attorney about what happened to you.

What If One of My Loved Ones Was a Victim of Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death damages can be awarded to the spouse, parent, and/or child of the deceased person. These damages can also be available for their estate. In the situation of a wrongful death, the survivors can sue the defendant for funeral expenses, loss of income, loss of companionship, and other losses.

If you have been a victim of personal injury due to an auto accident, you deserve to have your rights protected. Contact an AZ personal injury attorney for a consultation as soon as possible to get started on filing your claim.

Thank you to Kamper Estrada, LLP for their information and input on personal injury law.

Modifying Alimony Payments

Personal Injury Lawyer

After an alimony agreement is established, the intention is that the agreement will remain in place until its term is concluded. It may end when one former spouse remarries, or after a period of time has passed, or for another reason. However, as an alimony lawyer understands very well, the circumstances of one or both parties can change during the term of the agreement. Depending on the nature of the circumstances, it may or may not be a valid reason to modify the terms of the original arrangement. If you or your former spouse have grounds for changing the alimony terms, contact a law firm to speak with an alimony lawyer for a free consultation. It’s important to understand your rights in your current circumstances, and how a legal representative can protect your rights.

Common Reasons for Modifying Alimony Terms

It’s difficult, if not impossible, to anticipate any of the many reasons for why the terms of an alimony agreement need to be modified. Here are some of the most common scenarios in which an alimony lawyer has helped clients successfully petition the court to modify the original agreement:

·         A substantial drop in the payer’s income level. If the payer experiences a dramatic drop in income, they can petition for a reduction or elimination of alimony payments with the help of their alimony lawyer. However, there are caveats:

o   If the drop in income is because the payer quit their job and has not made an attempt to reenter the workforce, it will be difficult to convince a judge to modify the alimony agreement.

o   If the drop in income is temporary, it may be possible for your alimony lawyer to petition a judge to approve a temporary reprieve in your alimony payments. However, you may have to make that payment up after a pre-determined date.

o   If the drop in income is because the payer took a lesser paying job but is qualified to earn the original level of income, a judge may not agree to reducing the alimony payments.

·         A substantial increase in the recipient’s income level. If the payee now earns a substantially higher level of income as compared to when the alimony terms were negotiated, the payer can petition for a reduction or elimination of their alimony payments. Your alimony lawyer can review the financial details of your income and your former spouse’s past and current income to determine the likelihood of a judge approving the change in payments.

·         The alimony recipient remarries. Unless specified in the original alimony agreement, when the recipient remarries, it is very common for them to lose eligibility for alimony. However, though your former spouse may remarry, you must continue to make alimony payments until such time as a court approves their termination. If you cease making payments before then, you might be held in contempt of court for non-payment of alimony. If your former spouse is engaged, or has already remarried, contact a lawyer immediately. An alimony lawyer can provide you with the information you need as well as handle the legal necessities for terminating alimony payments.

If you have questions or concerns about alimony payments for any reason, contact a law firm to learn how a divorce lawyer in Flower Mound, TX can be of assistance to you.

Thanks to Scroggins Law Group for their insight into family law and modifying alimony payments.

Checklist: What You Need To Do After A Construction Accident

Construction Accident Lawyer

Construction has always been considered a sign of progress. But despite being such a vital part of maintaining and improving the American standard of living, working in construction is rife with numerous hazards, dangers, and threats to physical health.

And while most construction companies offer worker’s compensation, if you have reason to believe the accident was caused in part by the negligence of the company, one may want to consider filing a lawsuit either in court or through your respective worker’s compensation insurer if receiving benefits. Here are some things to gather and perform on your part to assist your attorney and help your case:

1.     Pictures of the accident site: These pictures are your hard proof that the accident did in fact, happen. Try to get the pictures as soon as possible as weather conditions, tidy and unaware coworkers, and other factors may alter the scene of the accident and diminish the evidence.

2.     Detailed accounts from coworkers: If any coworkers were around, get any details of the accident from their point of view. This is extremely valuable as it provides further insight into what happened as well as what could’ve led up to the accident. The more points of view, the more details you can give of what happened making for a stronger case.

3.     Report the incident to your employer and make sure an official report is filed by your supervisor/foreman: You are required by law to make a report not only to even begin the process of a personal injury claim, but also for the purpose of adding to statistics so the federal government will know what to examine and determine how the industry should be further regulated.  

4.     Seek medical attention immediately and regularly: This is the way to officially document your injury along with all the adverse effects it may have on your life and finances. You may have a seemingly minor injury that seems not worth a trip to the hospital, but over time it could get worse and your case could be weaker because it could be claimed that you didn’t consider the injury serious enough to seek medical help.

With the U.S. Department of Labor reporting that there were approximately 2.9 million non-fatal accidents and illnesses reported by private industry employers in 2017, one should be aware of what to do in the event of a life-changing construction accident.

A construction accident is a physically and mentally taxing event. And while worker’s compensation covers medical fines and wage loss, if there is negligence, you deserve all the benefits that can be obtained from a personal injury lawsuit.

 Thanks to our friends from Eric Roy Law Firm for their insight into construction accidents.

Criminal Law Post-Conviction Options

Car Accident Lawyer

After being convicted, there are a few options other than receiving and accepting the sentence that was initially given. These options  can reduce your sentence or clear you of the crime all together. 

An appeal can be made on the grounds that a lower court made an error that resulted in the defendant losing the trial, which can allow the defendant to retry his case at a higher level court. 

A certificate of rehabilitation can be obtained, which declares that someone who was once convicted is now being rehabilitated or seeking reformation. The purpose behind a certificate of rehabilitation is to reinstate rights to those who have proved themselves reformed enough to get them back. 

If a convicted person feels as though they have been unlawfully imprisoned, then they can petition for a writ of habeas corpus asking for freedom. You can also have your record expunged, which removes your conviction from your criminal record. Expungement means that during a basic background check, depending on how extensive your criminal record was, there can be nothing that ties you to a criminal offense. 

A person can receive a pardon after a conviction. A pardon is not indicative of innocence, a criminal record will not be sealed or destroyed, but it is used as post-conviction relief. It allows for the ownership of a firearm and the ability to be on a jury. There are also sentence modifications that can be made by the courts, which may allow for a reduction or some type of modification in relation to a probation sentence. This is similar to Prop 47 resentencing and it only applies to some convictions that are not considered too serious. It allows for another hearing where you will be represented by an attorney, and you can receive a change in your charge or a reduced sentence.

 Filing for a rule 37 petition, much like an appeal, gives you another chance at trying your case, depending on whether or not a circuit grants or denies the petition. Rule 37 applies to when there is a failure to preserve electronically stored information (ESI), which could have resulted in the defendant losing the case. 

The Innocence Project, is known to help exonerate innocent convicted people by finding exculpatory evidence through DNA testing. They also advocate or support reforms and policies that help toward the prevention of wrongful convictions. Since these post-conviction options have specific steps that need to be taken, it would be wise to acquire help from an experienced Arlington, TX criminal defense lawyer.

Thanks to Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC for their insight into criminal justice and post-conviction options. 

Consulting With Your Attorney

Personal Injury Lawyer

There are many pros to having a personal injury attorney after you or your loved one has suffered from injuries due to a motor vehicle or premises liability accident. One of the most important is being able to ask every question that may come to mind and get a reasonably legitimate answer. For many people recovering from accident-related injuries, they only need to know what questions they should ask their attorney during or should they wish to pursue a personal injury claim. 

There are a lot of details that transpire between the date of the personal injury accident and the day your case settles, so it is reasonable if you have a few questions, especially considering you aren’t a personal injury claims professional. When the accident occurs, you may suffer from all sorts of physical, mental and financial trauma. One of the few things you may think of is how you will be able to afford the medical expenses you have incurred, how can you take care of day to day expenses if you are out of work and going through recovery, and how can you get as close to your normal life as possible. The great thing is, with a personal injury attorney handling the bulk of your claim, you can focus on your road to recovery and your next step post-recovery. A personal injury attorney can assist you with finding the answer to your question and throughout this process, you should never be afraid to ask. The best thing to do is to keep a diary or daily log of what you experience. Any time you see a medical professional and questions come up, jot them down in your journal as well as details of your visit to the medical professional, so when you speak with your attorney, you are able to update them as accurately as possible. No matter how small or silly the concern may seem to you, write it down and speak to your personal injury attorney. 

It is smart to ask your attorney if your case is good enough to continue to pursue. You may see a doctor once and be told you injuries are minor based on the details of the event alone. Your personal injury attorney will be able to review the details of your case and help you determine if you should pursue a claim at all. Personal injury claims may stem from motor vehicle accidents, slip and falls, premises liability, and so many other incidents, and your attorney must get every detail you can recall to help you as best as they could. 

Make sure you avoid comparing your case to cases you saw on television or heard about, because every case is different and if your personal injury attorney did not represent the individuals you are comparing them to, there is not much they can inform you of. Try your best to keep all concerns documents and communicate with your personal injury attorney in Dekalb County, GA as much as possible, so that they can stay on track to ensure the best possible outcome on your behalf.

Thanks to Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into personal injury claims and consulting with an attorney.

The Time It Takes to Settle a Wrongful Death Case

When someone you love passes away, it’s a hard circumstance to take in. When you add to the situation the fact it could have been prevented, it becomes even harder to deal with. If your loved one passed away and you feel it was due to the negligence of another individual, you could take the case to court. Wondering how long a case like that would take? It depends on the details, but the following are some basics of a wrongful death timeline.

Strength of the Case

Some cases are extremely black and white when it comes to wrongful death. The facts all point to negligence, there are multiple professionals to back up the story and there are plenty of witnesses to what occurred, how it occurred and when it occurred. In that type of situation, you would probably have a strong case that could be won in just a short amount of time, possibly even just a few months.

If your case isn’t quite as clear, perhaps there are some things that can be reasonably argued by the other party, your case may not be as strong as you would like. Maybe there are professionals on both sides who feel they can prove a case, leaving it in the hands of a judge or jury. That situation would leave you with a little less strength to your case. It could take anywhere from two to four years to settle; sometimes more and sometimes less.

Should You File a Lawsuit?

Only you and your lawyer can decide whether filing a lawsuit will be worth it in the end. You should speak with your lawyer about the strength of the case, the estimated dollar amount you might win and all the legal fees associated with fighting the case. If it doesn’t add up to much in the end, you may choose to just settle outside of court for less, or not pursue it at all. If it does add up, and you feel it worth the time, your lawyer can help you move forward with it.

Contacting the Professionals

For answers to your questions, it’s important you contact a wrongful death lawyer. Only a professional can give you the right information you’re looking for. Whether you’re worried about the amount of time it will take to pursue a case or damages you could recover, speaking with a wrongful death lawyer in Des Moines, IA is typically the best first step to take. Contact your attorney today to get started.

Thanks to Johnston | Martineau, LLP for their insight into personal injury claims and the time it takes to settle a wrongful death case.

Protecting Your Startup Company’s Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property

If you are the owner of a startup company and you wish to protect your intellectual property, a lawyer can guide you through the process from start to finish. There are intellectual property laws in place that allow you to preserve and protect your unique copyright, trademark, patent, or trade secret. Though the legal methods vary from one type of intellectual property to the next, a lawyer from a law firm can ensure that all requirements are met and that the documentation is robust and fully compliant.

If you represent a company and require a transfer of intellectual property rights from an employee to the company, they can assist you with this as well. It is also not unusual for a startup company’s founders to have intellectual property that they developed and wish to transfer ownership of the intellectual property to the business entity for commercialization purposes.

Intellectual Property Assignment Agreements

An intellectual property assignment agreements may be referred to as an IP transfer agreement or a rights agreement. It is a contractual agreement to transfer intellectual property rights from one entity or individual (the assignor) to another entity or individual (the assignee). This can occur in many forms. Here are three common examples of how an intellectual property assignment agreement may come about:

·         An employee or an independent contractor in the course of their work for a company may have their rights to an intellectual property assigned to the company if they have discovered, created, or even came up with the idea for the intellectual property.

·         The founders of a startup company wish to use a contractual agreement to transfer intellectual property rights from an existing property to the new company.

·         A third party wishes to sell their rights to an intellectual property to a company in exchange for money or another type of consideration.

Provisions of an Intellectual Property Assignment Agreement

Intellectual property assignment agreements vary in content based on the circumstances involved and the deciding factors that dictate what must be included. A knowledgeable intellectual property lawyer from our firm can meet with you to determine what should be included in order to protect your best interests. Typically, part of the agreement includes the following:

·         Words of agreement. This identifies which parties are involved and the purpose for the intellectual property assignment agreement.

·         Assignment provision. This states that the owner of the intellectual property (the assignor) is transferring ownership of it to the assignee. There must be something of value or consideration paid to the assignor by the assignee as part of the exchange. It can be money, a job, real property, or something else. The assignment provision will acknowledge the payment and specify the details.

·         Definition of the intellectual property. This specifies the nature of the intellectual property. The intellectual property might be a trade secret, an invention, or something else.

·         Intellectual property rights. This specifies the rights of the assignor and the assignee in reference to the intellectual property.

To learn more about intellectual property rights and for assistance with transferring ownership, talk to a trademark attorney in Chicago, IL.

Thanks to The Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian for their insight into intellectual property law and protecting your startup company.

New Law for Smoking Age

Smoking Injuries

Smoking laws going as far back as the 1800s made the minimum age allowed to smoke 16, in the 1920s age restrictions on the sale of cigarettes were put in place and the minimum age was raised to 21. In the 1960s the age dropped to 18 since people believed that if you were old enough to serve your country, you were old enough to smoke. Due to Senate Bill 21 being passed, on September 1, 2019, the legal smoking age in Texas rose from age 18 to age 21, with the exception of members of the military, as well as Texans who turned 18 before the law went into effect.

    The reason for the passage of the bill was to keep cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, and tobacco substances out of schools. It also served a purpose to create a social gap between students who are old enough to buy cigarettes and students who are not. The main reason for the bill was to have kids graduate high school nicotine and tobacco free, and to remove the risk of addiction from highly susceptible people.

    This bill tries to focus on the sellers rather than the possessors. It was found that the majority of the people that become addicted to nicotine occur before the age of 21. Many people wanted punishment towards minors caught smoking to be eliminated completely. In the past underaged smokers were fined $250 when penalized, but the new law reduced it to $100 rather than giving no penalty at all. Minors who are also caught smoking will be able to expunge their records once they turn 21. Retailers are also fined $100 to $1000 if they are found to have sold cigarettes to underaged smokers, which has remained the same since the new law was passed. People who also attempt to buy cigarettes for minors will be fined up to $500, and promotions of the illegal substances such as coupons and samples cannot be given to people under the age limit.

The bill, however, does not have the funds to enforce its policy. The money allocated to the bill is primarily for prevention and education. A couple million dollars from the Texas Department of State Health Services will give money to law enforcement agencies in order for them to conduct sting operations as well as perform necessary actions to be taken towards retailers to make sure the policy is upheld. Signs will also be put up in retail stores, and forms will be sent to retail employees stating that they understand the new rules.

If you’ve been injured by cigarettes or smoking, don’t wait to speak with a personal injury lawyer in Arlington, TX about your claim.

Thanks to Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC for their insight into personal injury claims and smoking.

How Do I Keep My Divorce Process Affordable?

Affordable Divorce

One of the primary concerns many divorcing couples have involves the cost of the legal side of the divorce process. This is understandable, especially because the practical costs of divorce (including the division of a single household into two households) is inherently expensive. As a result, many couples wish to proactively keep their legally-related divorce costs low, but are unsure of how to do so. Thankfully, couples have a great deal of power over how expensive their divorce processes will ultimately become.

Keeping Divorce Process Costs “In Check”

Certainly, there are legal fees that couples have no control over associated with the divorce process. For example, each state requires that divorcing couples pay a filing fee that is non-negotiable. However, the extent of a couple’s legal fees beyond those that are non-negotiable are largely dependent on how each spouse chooses to approach the divorce process itself.

Practically speaking, traditional, contentious divorce processes that require significant judicial intervention are usually far more costly than collaborative approaches are. Why? It takes lawyers a great deal of time and resources to prepare for multiple trips to court and when lawyers spend time on a client’s case, they have to charge for the time they have spent working on that client’s behalf. By contrast, when spouses work with their attorneys (through mediation and/or attorney-led negotiation) to arrive at agreed-upon terms of a divorce settlement without significant judicial intervention, they tend to save a great deal of time and money. In a nutshell, working with your attorney and spouse to avoid courtroom “showdowns” is the surest way to keep your legal costs as low as they can be under the circumstances. But only you can truly know whether a collaborative approach is both possible and appropriate in your case.

Legal Guidance Is Available

If you have questions about the divorce process generally and/or ways to keep your divorce process affordable specifically, please consider scheduling a consultation with a lawyer today. No two divorce processes ever progress in exactly the same way, so it is not often easy for attorneys to quote an exact figure when preparing a divorce case. However, an experienced law firm should be able to give you a good idea of what kinds of legal costs your divorce process may entail once they better understand the complexities of your situation. It may be helpful for you to think carefully about whether or not a less expensive, collaborative approach may work for you and your spouse before you arrive at your consultation. That way, your lawyer will be able to advise you of your options with your broader vision for your process in mind. 

Source: Family Lawyer Arlington, Texas, Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC

A Successful Personal Injury Case

Personal Injury Case

So you were involved in a personal injury accident and are afraid to seek medical treatment because you lack health insurance and are afraid to incur several medical bills. This is very common when an individual is involved in motor vehicle accidents or similar personal injury incidents. The internet is a great source of information but it should not be the last stop when making a decision about what you should do following a motor vehicle accident.

In all actuality, if you happen to be a victim in a personal injury accident like a car accident or slip and fall (amongst several others), there are specific things you should do to increase your chances of being on the winning side of your situation. There are a few things that make a personal injury case more successful and it is best to understand these things before it is too late.

In order to have a personal injury case be even remotely close to being successful, you must be injured. This may seem obvious, but several people attempt to get paid for the inconvenience, and this is impossible. If you or your loved one does happen to be injured, seek medical attention. When you seek medical attention, these bills become the liable parties’ responsibility. This injury must be a result of that person’s negligence or some sort of foul play. If you are not injured due to someone else’s negligence, you have no personal injury case at all, so it is important to note these two details.

Once you seek medical attention, keep documentation of every visit to medical professionals. This documentation can be presented to the liable parties insurance company and the court if your case has to go that far. The same will go for any lost wages or out of pocket expenses due to the accident or injury. If you are able to present to an insurance company or court that you were injured because of someone else’s negligence and it had cost you time, money, and health, your chances of winning your case are extremely favorable.

In certain personal injury incidents, such as a motor vehicle accidents, it is good to photograph the damages done and the scene of the crash for evidence. To make your life a little easier during the process, speak with a personal injury attorney in Atlanta, GA. A personal injury attorney will handle the hard parts while you focus solely on your healing.

Thanks to Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into personal injury claims and how to have a successful case.