Category: Uncategorized

How to Make an Estate Plan When You’re Elderly

Head Injury Lawyer

There are many reasons someone may put off estate planning until they are elderly. They may believe that it is not important or even that they have nothing they could give their surviving relatives and friends. However, even if you have not accumulated a great deal of wealth in your life you likely still have important heirlooms you could give to loved ones. It is also important to write in bigger ticket items like any property you may own. Creating a will can even get other affairs into order. If you are interested in estate planning and would like to speak with trusted estate planning lawyers about your estate, please contact a law office now. 

What are the important things to keep in mind while planning my estate?

There are certain things you should remember as you plan your estate. 

  • Creating Durable Powers of Attorney. This is not a comfortable thing to think about but it is very important. You can create a living will or durable powers of attorney in case something happens to you, whether you are physically or mentally incapacitated in some way. If you are no longer able to handle daily decisions (like your finances or healthcare), you should consider durable powers of attorney. When it comes to personal matters like your health, you want the government to stay out of it. When you create a living will, you can use this to detail the exact kind of care you wish to receive at the end of your life. 
  • Creating a Simple Will. A will does not need many frills or fancy items on it. Whether you have expensive property or a few items you want to go to specific people, creating a simple will can ensure your items go where they need to. Additionally, any children you have under 18 may not go to someone you trust if you do not detail their guardians in your will. 
  • Creating a Living Trust. On the other hand, you may choose to create a living trust. This is a great option if you do not want your items to go through the probate process after you pass away. Not only is this time-consuming for the people you are gifting items to but it can even be costly. At any point, you can revoke a living trust (until your passing or incapacitation) and your successor trustee would take over. 

Creating an estate plan is no simple task and doing so without a lawyer may end up costing you and your loved ones more in the long-run. If you are interested in seeing how an estate lawyer in Phoenix, AZ can help you with your estate planning needs, please give a law office a call.

 


 

Thanks to Kamper Estrada, LLP for their insight into estate planning and where to start if you’re elderly.

What to Do if You Are in a Car Accident

There are countless websites and so much information floating around on what to do if you are involved in a car accident. We have often heard from friends and family on what they did and whether or not it worked for them. It can get confusing and some information out there may be inaccurate. An accident, no matter how minor, can be life changing. They often come at the most unexpected time and can turn your life upside down. Imagine driving down the road and suddenly getting hit by someone who failed to follow the rules of the road. Now your car is damaged and you may even be hurt. What’s next?

File a Claim

Most counties in Texas will not even send the police to the scene of an accident unless someone is injured. In fact, even when the police do arrive, they often do not write a police report. If a police report is drafted for your accident, you are in luck. Make sure you know what county the accident occured in so that you can pull up the police report. It will contain the other driver’s information including their name and insurance company. The police report will generally take 3 to 5 days to be ready, and you can get your own copy for a few dollars. The insurance company of the driver at fault will be listed. You should call them immediately and report the accident to set up a claim. 

Collect Information from the Accident 

If the police do not come out to the scene of the accident, it is vital that you gather all the necessary information on your own. Be sure to ask for the person’s name, address, insurance, and even their driver’s license. There have been cases where drivers refuse to give out information or limit the information they give out. Take a picture of the other car including the license plate, accident scene, your car, and even of the other driver. Get their phone number and be sure to get their insurance information.     

Accidents are unexpected and can cause a lot of stress. It is worse when you get hurt and have to deal with both a damaged car and injuries. Make sure you have the correct coverage in your own policy to  protect yourself from other drivers who might not have insurance. 

Most of all, call a skilled personal injury attorney, such as a motor vehicle accident attorney in Arlington, TX, right away. They can minimize the stress and help you with the other driver’s insurance company and make sure you are compensated for your damages.

Thanks to Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC for their insight into what to do after a car accident.

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.

Preventing the Entry of a Divorce Decree

Personal Injury Lawyer

Divorces can be complicated enough when considering the combination of jointly owned assets, children, and emotions. Once a divorce decree is entered into record by the court, there is generally no turning back. But can one of you stop the actual entry of the divorce decree? While there can be delays determining a settlement and the arrangements for what you both want after the divorce, there is really no stopping a divorce from coming to completion if one of you wants it.

If for example your spouse began the divorce and then changes their mind part way through, they of course have the option to stop the proceedings. Then it’s up to you whether to continue or not.

Divorce Decree

The divorce decree states all the terms decided previously and is the finalization of the marriage termination, completed in a final court ruling where everything is summarized, and the rights and duties of each spouse are laid out regarding things like property division, child support and custody. Any settlements are also submitted or spoken into record at this time. Once the judge or court signs your decree, this is a legally binding order that officially ends your divorce and both you and your ex will receive a copy.

Modifications

Before the court finalizes the decree is the best time to make sure it is composed of the best decisions for both you and your spouse. For most items, modifications cannot be made, but there are some exceptions. Asset division usually cannot be changed unless the changes are requested within a reasonable amount of time or if there are extreme circumstances. Other things such as child and spousal support can be changed using the proper paperwork. These types of changes may require both of you to appear in court.

Enforcements

This type of contract is legally binding and cannot be modified or violated without punishment. If your ex violates one of the requirements, you have the right to bring the problem to the judge. If your ex continues to violate the same requirement, the judge may decide to make a modification, such as when a child is involved, to ensure the best interests of the child.

Consult a Family Lawyer

The divorce process can be long and complicated, especially if you and your spouse have a lot of disagreements. Be sure to have an experienced divorce attorney in Collin County, TX on your team so you can have peace of mind that your case is being handled in the best way possible for your future.

 


 

Thanks to Scroggins Law Group for their insight into family law and divorce decrees.

Were You Injured at a Sporting Event?

Personal Injury Lawyer

 

Going out to watch a sporting event in person is supposed to be fun; unfortunately, it sometimes results in a serious personal injury. Some public stadiums have signs that warn of the possibility of injury. A similar warning may be printed on the back of your ticket. If you are hit by a foul baseball or a wayward hockey puck and it results in an injury accompanied by medical bills, do you have legal recourse? Quite possibly. It’s important to have a personal injury attorney review the circumstances of your accident to verify if you are eligible to file a claim or lawsuit. If you or a family member sustained a serious injury while at a sporting event, it’s possible that more than one party may be held accountable for your damages. 

 

Who is liable for injuries at a public sports arena or park?

As mentioned, the circumstances of your accident will determine if you have legal recourse, and who might be responsible for paying for your damages. Usually, the defendant is a single individual or entity, but it could be one or more of the following parties:

 

  1. The venue owner or operator. For example, if you were injured at a ballpark by a foul ball behind home plate, your personal injury attorney may be able to prove that the protective netting behind home plate was inadequate to prevent injuries. Or, maybe the park’s design didn’t include safety measures which led to your injury. Perhaps the steep stairs were not designed to code, which led to your slip and fall. In these examples, the park’s owner should have made an effort to safeguard the safety of the guests.
  2. The venue’s management company. If you experienced a slip and fall accident because the facility was not cleaned or properly maintained, the company in charge might be liable. If they were responsible for hiring, training, and managing the cleaning crew and repair staff, but failed in their duty of care to visitors, they may be liable for your injury costs.
  3. The person who injured you. If the person who caused your injury did so intentionally, a judge or jury may deem them responsible for your injury costs. They may also be subject to criminal charges if a law enforcement agency determines the person assaulted you. A personal injury attorney can file a civil lawsuit even if the at-fault party was not charged with a crime.

 

If you were injured while at a sports event, you should notify the venue’s owner as soon as possible. In addition, don’t delay in seeking professional medical help. You should also consider contacting a personal injury lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer in Naperville, IL, right away. 

 

Thanks to The Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian for their insight into who is to blame when you get injured at a sporting event.  

Motor Vehicle Accidents with Drunk Drivers

Drunk Driving Accidents

When you were first taught to drive you may have been told to be careful not only for yourself, but also for everyone else on the road. Unfortunately, driving under the influence is very common and not something you can prevent other people from doing, even though it puts everyone on the road at risk. There are signs that you should take notice of even if you are just a passenger in a vehicle. Due to so many drivers on the road being under the influence of alcohol or another substance, there are motor vehicle accidents caused by intoxicated drivers.

Drunk driving leads to traumatic accidents that cause major injuries, or even death. These are particularly devastating accidents because they are so preventable. Ridesharing is a great way to eliminate accidents from drunk driving, but not everyone is responsible enough to take advantage of that. You should always be alert and on the lookout for drunk drivers while on the road.

Drunk driving can occur at any time of the day. It is important for other drivers to be aware of these signs while they are on the road:

  • A drivers’ failure to stay in their own lane. This is a clear indication of their inability to drive safely, and that the driver may be drunk.
  • Driving well over or under the speed limit, and driving recklessly.
  • A complete disregard of traffic lights, stop signs, or any other traffic regulations.

Driving under the influence is against the law, and for your own protection, you should be alert at all times. If you happen to notice a vehicle that indicates any of the signs listed above, pull over to a safe place to avoid possibly being struck by them, and contact the police. Once you describe their actions and the vehicle, the police will follow up on the vehicle to make sure they are driving safely and not endangering the lives of others. Doing this could possibly save you and others from motor vehicle accidents leading to injury.

Should you or someone you know become involved in a motor vehicle accident, be sure to contact the police immediately and seek medical attention as soon as possible. Your safety is very important, and should you be a victim of someone else’s negligence, speak with a skilled personal injury attorney, like a personal injury attorney in Dekalb, GA, to discuss what options you have regarding being compensated for your pain and suffering. The right attorney will be able to review the details and build a case for you.

Thanks to the law office of Andrew R. Lynch for their insight into being compensated for a drunk driving accident. 

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.