Tag: Personal Injury Lawyer

Frequently Asked Questions About the Bankruptcy Process

Personal Injury Lawyer

Bankruptcy can be a useful tool if you’re struggling with large amounts of debt. Most Americans file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. To file for bankruptcy, you have to be eligible. When you choose to file for bankruptcy, it may feel overwhelming at first. No doubt you’ll have your share of questions to ask.

What Is the Means Test?

The means test has a couple of different parts. The first part of the test checks your household income. Gather as much documentation as you can about your income for the last six months. Also, make sure to include any changes to your income in the last six months. For instance, if you had a high-paying job for the last six months but recently lost your job, this is an important exception. If you now have a higher-paying job, this will also be considered.

If you have a lower income than the median income, you pass the means test. If you don’t, this doesn’t mean that you can’t file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. There is another part of the test that you can rely on.

To start the second part of the means test, you need to document all of the expenses you’ve had for the last six months. You need to list your medical costs, clothing costs, groceries and more. These are allowable expenses. If you have a low enough disposable income, this means that you can continue forward with the Chapter 7 process. If you do not pass the means test, then you still may be able to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Can You Keep Your Credit Cards?

When you file for bankruptcy, you have to list all of your debts. If you have any zero balances, then you do not have to list the card. However, once you file for bankruptcy, your creditor may cancel your card anyway. In some cases, the creditor may allow you to sign a new contract, but don’t expect to keep all of your old and current cards. If you owe debts on your card, you do have to list them in the bankruptcy documents.

If you are struggling with your debts, there is a good chance that you qualify for bankruptcy. The type of bankruptcy that you’re eligible for will depend on your circumstances. To figure out whether you’re eligible for bankruptcy, set up a consultation with a chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer, like the attorneys at Kamper & Estrada, PLLC as soon as possible.

What is a contingency fee?

Personal Injury Lawyer

Your personal injury case has been open for quite some time now and it’s finally the time to give out the checks to the medical facilities, to the medical professionals, to yourself, and last but not least, to your personal injury attorney. You sign a contract or get an agreement with your personal injury attorney when you first meet with them to work alongside with you. Their job is to do whatever that they can to pull through with their part in the agreement that you have with them, and in return, you don’t have to pay them with money upfront or by the hour. Contingency arrangements are usually common and are agreements that happen in most personal injury cases. Your personal injury attorney will wait until your case has come to an end until they will be able to be compensated. If your personal injury attorney meets the requirements in the agreement that you have both come to in the contract, they will be compensated with their contingency fees. A personal injury attorney will usually ask for a portion of what is paid to you, the client. Don’t confuse this with a job to repay your expenses to your personal injury attorney or the courts for filing, depositions for witnesses, or other things.

The personal injury attorney will pay money out-of-pocket on a contingency fee contract from any of the work that must be done to go forward with the lawsuit that’s going on. Your personal injury attorney will pay for a number of things such as postage of agreements, for all of the court documents that have been documented, for hiring court reporters, and for hiring people to investigate. They will typically pay anything that would help have your personal injury case result in a success.

Contingency fees are put in place to protect you from any more financial burdens than necessary. The right attorney will understand what this can mean for you and the outcome of your case and also offer this option to you. Contingency fees are more common than you think. So, should you or someone you know be involved in a personal injury incident, do not be afraid to speak with an attorney. While attorneys are typically very costly, the free consultations and contingency fees should put your mind at more ease. Contact a personal injury attorney, like from The Law Offices of Andrew R. Lynch, P.C., to discuss your options as soon as possible.

What if my trademark is refused or opposed by another party?

Personal Injury Lawyer

You’ve applied for a trademark, and you’re eagerly awaiting a response from the USPTO. You’re certain everything will be okay because you performed an extensive search for pre-existing marks that are the same or similar. You believe your mark is strong, unique, and overall perfect. Then, you get a reply that is not what you wanted. Rather than your application being met with little resistance, it came with challenges and hurdles that you are now trying to figure out how to overcome. 

When your trademark application has been denied, opposed, or met with some other obstacle in the way from getting you an approval, you should consult an intellectual property lawyer. 

Trademark Refusal and Appeals

If the USPTO refuses your trademark application, it is your right to appeal.This is done through a process that requires you to present your appeal to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Like other intellectual property procedures, appealing a trademark refusal is complicated. In general, you want an intellectual property lawyers’ assistance. Our firm has handled many appeals over the last few years. We can explain what is going on and help you to determine whether you should pursue an appeal. 

Opposition from Another Party

If your trademark is accepted, you must clear another hurdle. Each week, the USPTO will publish your trademark in their Official Gazette online. This is a notification to the public regarding your trademark. Once it is published, there is a 30 day period in which the public can object to your trademark. In general, an objection occurs when the mark is similar to another mark and could cause confusion. If this should occur, you would likely need to attend a proceeding with the Board to determine the fate of your trademark. 

Should the 30 day period pass, and there is no objection to it from the public, your trademark will become registered. However, it is possible for a third party to initiate a cancellation proceeding which is similar to an opposition. If you’re in either situation, you may want to ask an intellectual property lawyer for assistance. 

Maintaining Your Mark

Once your mark has been approved and registered, every few years you will need to file various documents with the USPTO. It is also possible, after so long, to ask the USPTO to make your trademark registration incontestable. This is a process that strengthens your mark.

Let an Attorney Help You

Whether you would like to apply for a trademark, file an appeal, or recieve a trademark audit, an intellectual property lawyer can help you. Their services are typically broad, and will include:

  • Trademark search
  • Filing for a trademark
  • Communicating with the USPTO
  • Appeal a trademark refusal
  • Fighting for trademark rights in the event of a dispute
  • Trademark litigation

A lawyer can help you with just about any task related to trademarks and intellectual property. To get started, call a trademark lawyer, like from The Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian, LLC

What Can I Do About My Debt?

Personal Injury Lawyer

There are a lot of steps you can take to manage and even eliminate your debt before filing for bankruptcy. 

Get Organized

Whether it’s a little bit of debt or a lot, it can be easy to just turn a blind eye rather than face real financial consequences. Do not do this! The best way to manage your debt is to be knowledgeable about it, so get organized. Know how much you owe and to whom. Make a spreadsheet and for each debt list the following:

  1. The creditor
  2. The total amount of debt
  3. The monthly payment
  4. The due date

If you are feeling overwhelmed by this task, just take a look at your credit report. It will do the majority of this work for you. Update your list every few months as the total amount of your debt fluctuates. 

Next, make a budget and pay your bills on time each month. Decide which debts to pay off first and make more than the minimum payment if possible. You can only pay as much on your debt as you can afford. If, after getting organized, you find it hard to pay all or some of your bills each month, consider debt relief.

Debt Relief

It goes by many names: debt relief, debt settlement, debt reduction, debt negotiation, debt resolution, etc. But debt relief applies only to unsecured debt, which is a debt that is not secured by collateral, like credit cards and certain types of loans.

Settlements are negotiated with the creditors in an attempt to lower the amount of debt due. Once an agreement is met, the terms of the debt relief are put into a contract. Often, the creditor will forgive a large part of the debt in return for a one lump-sum payment in exchange for the debt to be considered cancelled and the matter closed.

Bankruptcy

If you find yourself owing more money to creditors than you have, or can foreseeably earn, it may be time to consider bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 is the most commonly filed bankruptcy amongst individuals. The assets you own will be liquidated and used to pay off your debts. After that, the bankruptcy is usually dismissed. Chapter 7 is often referred to as a “fresh start.”

If you don’t qualify for a Chapter 7, you may be eligible for a Chapter 13, also known as the “wage earner” bankruptcy, because you must have a reliable source of income to file for it. Your finances are reorganized into a plan that allows you to pay back creditors over three to five years while maintaining control and ownership of your assets. 

Hire a Lawyer

Hiring a lawyer to assist you is one of the most important steps in successfully settling a debt, filing for bankruptcy, and avoiding legal consequences. If you are interested in learning more about debt relief, contact an experienced lawyer, like a Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer from Kamper & Estrada, PLLC, for a free initial consultation.

Toxic Mold Injuries

Personal Injury Lawyer

Toxic mold is a hazard, and according to new studies and claims, this is not going to change. Just because the toxic mold is a new type of hazard does not mean that it should not be taken seriously. Mold has the ability to advance by way of the moisture inside of your home, or simply any building. Mold can form in your basement, attic, or inside of your walls. There are several reasons why moisture may build up in your house. Moisture can build up in your home due to a matter regarding plumbing, or weather conditions can begin to affect your home. 

Mold in the Home

It’s imperative that renters and homeowners know that the mold is powerful enough to feed through the wallboard and other things in the house that make the air warmer. These things make the growth of the mold faster and more negatively impactful. Unfortunately, mold issues in the home can lead to health problems. These same health problems have the ability to stop people from going to work and make it difficult for a person to live a normal, healthy life if these problems aren’t treated medically and the mold issue is not resolved expeditiously.

Health Issues Caused By Mold

People who have been seriously exposed to the absorption of mold have been hurt, could have contracted a lung disease or a respiratory infection, and even put others such as guests in danger as well. In the event that you or someone you know has suffered a health issue due to mold exposure, you must find an attorney who will have a well-spoken way to their rights as a resident or a renter. Make sure the mold issue has been reported to a person who has a duty to fix it. In the event that the request has been ignored, he or she can be held responsible for your illness or injury. 

Contact an Attorney

In some cases, mold may damage furniture or items of clothing, and they will be responsible for replacing that as well. If a person is held accountable for breathing the mold toxins because of where they work or live, then there might have to be a civil suit to resolve the matter. If it is seen that the people who are in charge of the injuries due to mold acted carelessly, then those people will be the ones who are defendants in your lawsuit. Since the cases of mold are growing, talking with an attorney helps you make the situation clear that other people didn’t really care about it or take the mold seriously. Contact a lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer from the law office of Andrew R. Lynch, for more information today. 

Items You Should Bring with You at Your First Meeting with Your Personal Injury Attorney

Personal Injury Lawyer

Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a lawsuit-hungry person, there are times when pursuing legal action makes sense. In serious accidents, it may be in your best interests physically, emotionally, and financially to speak to an attorney about recovering damages for your accident. Before an initial meeting with your lawyer, make sure you’re prepared so you can get your case off on the right foot. There are certain items that you should have with you.

A List of Questions

Your personal injury lawsuit will have a long-term impact. This is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make, so you want to be sure you’re doing what is best for you and your family. Certainly, you will have a lot on your mind as you go to this meeting. Before the discussion, organize your thoughts and write down all the questions you have. This will help ensure that you don’t leave feeling confused or that you forgot to ask something pertinent.

Insurance Information

Part of your personal injury lawsuit will involve working with your auto or medical insurance provider. After you file a claim, you may encounter difficulties with the insurance denying it or being unresponsive to your inquiries. Your attorney has the skills and experience to work with insurance companies. An experienced lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer from The Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian, knows how to negotiate with providers. Bring paperwork regarding your policy, including information that explains your premiums, deductibles, coverage limits and exclusions, and other policy details.

Photos of Your Injuries and the Damage

Your lawyer can help you build a strong case if you’ve already done some of the leg work. Showing evidence of your injuries will increase the likelihood that the court will accept your damage claims and understand the seriousness of the harm you received. Don’t forget to take pictures of any other property damage you suffered. Provide the lawyer these pictures as well.

Medical Records

After an accident, you should get medical care as soon as possible. Before you meet with your lawyer, obtain copies of your medical records. These will show that a doctor examined you after your accident. The records will also include any diagnoses and treatments you had. If you take this step, it will save time as you start to build your case.

Bring these items to the first visit with your lawyer. Doing this will give your attorney a better understanding of what you’re facing and whether your case has merit.

Protection Against Personal Bankruptcy As a Business Owner

Personal Injury Lawyer

Owning a business comes with a host of financial risks you may not have experienced otherwise. If you’re worried because your business isn’t doing too well, you might be concerned about your personal finances. Is there a chance you would need to file for personal bankruptcy if your business has no money to pay off debt? It can get tricky, but there are some ways to protect your personal property.

The Legal Structure of Your Business

When determining the legal structure of your business, you should think about protection for your family and personal property. While a sole proprietorship might be a great option for someone just starting up a business, your personal property is in jeopardy if you have to file bankruptcy.

Setting up an LLC or a partnership is a better way to keep your personal assets and business assets separate. Creditors shouldn’t be able to seek personal assets if you run under these two structures.

Separating Business and Pleasure

The system isn’t airtight, and some creditors may try to rig it so they can go after your personal assets. The way to avoid this is by separating your business and personal lives completely. If you need a business loan, never put your personal vehicle up as collateral. Never sign a personal guarantee for a business loan. You should also have separate bank accounts. Your can pay yourself from your business account, but all your personal spending money should be kept separate.

Purchasing Property Separately

If you are married, you can purchase property separately from your spouse. Your name could be on everything associated with the business. Your spouse’s name could be on everything associated with your personal lives. Of course, the home would still technically belong to both of you, and you would be an insured driver on your vehicle, but to keep the finances separate and your personal property safe, this might be a good solution. The only trick to this is if there’s a divorce, your spouse could take the car, the home and any other large assets, but if you feel your marriage is secure, this could be a great course to take.

Calling a Bankruptcy Lawyer

As a business owner who also has a personal life, you want to do everything possible to keep your personal possessions safe from bankruptcy if your business faces financial trouble. To learn more about what you can do, call a bankruptcy lawyer, like a bankruptcy lawyer from Kamper & Estrada, PLLC, today.

Two Ways the Court Divides Property During Divorce

Personal Injury Lawyer

Splitting up with a spouse is a lot more complicated than simply moving out and on with your lives. Since you are legally married and have interests that are intertwined, a legal process is required to sever these ties before you can fully be regarded as single.

The steps required to getting a divorce may differ depending on the state in which you live. However, some elements are common across the board. One such issue is how the couple will split property between them. In most states, there are two ways that a court goes about doing it. Learn more about what this means and how it may impact you.

Community Property Split

If you live in a state that does community property split, there is a good chance that a court will divide property and assets evenly. In this type of action, property that was obtained jointly before or during the marriage is divided equally. This does not only include cash and property, but also investments and debts. For instance, if you and your spouse purchased two vehicles in the last year, and those are held jointly, each one of you may have the opportunity to keep your car if you take on the debt yourself.

Equitable Property Split

In some states, the courts look at splitting assets differently. Equitable distribution is a method used by almost half of the jurisdictions in the country. This method allows the court to decide the fairest way to divvy things up. This benefits those couples who had one spouse either unemployed to raise children or underemployed for one reason or the other. The judge takes each person’s financial and emotional contribution to the marriage into account before deciding on who gets what. Debt is divided similarly.

Premarital Property

In either situation, property and assets held by one spouse before marriage remain with that spouse. For instance, if you owned a home before you got married and you never added your spouse’s name to the deed, you will get to keep that free and clear regardless of how your combined affairs get divided. In equitable distribution states, the amount of premarital property held by one spouse or the other may sway how the judge splits the joint items. The only things obtained during a marriage that may stay with the spouse who got it was an inheritance or gifts.

Splitting things up after the end of a marriage may bring out the worst in some. It is a good idea to contact a family lawyer, like a family lawyer in Frisco, TX, as soon as you know the marriage is ending for guidance and assistance along the way.

 


 

Thanks to Scroggins Law Group for their insight into how the court divides property during a divorce. 

The Coronavirus, Its Impact On The Legal System, and Technology’s Role

Personal Injury Lawyer

The entire world is in the middle of a global crisis. This is a crisis that will be talked about in the history books of future generations. The coronavirus epidemic is being compared to the Spanish flu, an epidemic that killed millions of people. This comparison alone is frightening. 

Our economy has been significantly affected and unemployment is rising at a steep rate. Our legal system is also being impacted by the pandemic. The judicial branch is vital to our country’s success, and it is vital that we continue to keep it running during this scary time. Reality has started to sink in and people are realizing that there is no timetable for how long this is all going to last. One question remains — what does this new reality look like for our legal system?

In 2020 we are equipped with new technology and platforms that allow us to do things that people couldn’t or wouldn’t have dreamed of even as far back as ten years ago. Technology allows us to be able to video chat with large groups of people in our sweatpants! There are many professions that have adapted with technology, but the legal profession is not one of them. As a result, there are many courts that have been resistant to doing any non-emergency hearings of any kind. The problem with this mentality is that no one knows when this pandemic is going to end. People are hopeful this will be over within months, but it could go on for much longer. This means that both civil and criminal cases across the country will be put on hold until society opens back up. There is another solution, though.  

One way that courts in Texas have been holding hearings is via the technology platform, Zoom.  There is no federal or statewide mandate that a court has to hold hearings during the pandemic. As a result, many courts have stuck to the mentality that only emergency matters will be heard. There are some progressive courts that have decided that they will hear Zoom hearings on non-essential matters. Each week that goes by and every time a state pushes back their shelter in place order, the more the courts will realize that this isn’t a situation that we can put a bandaid on and hope we can wait the pandemic out. Technology allows us to do so without too much deviation from the status quo. We have to evolve and adapt. If you or someone you know needs legal advice during the pandemic, don’t hesitate to contact a family lawyer, like a family lawyer in Arlington, TX, to see how one can help you virtually today. 

 


 

Thanks to Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC for their insight into the way the coronavirus pandemic is affecting the court system in the United States and some good solutions to keeping them open. 

6 Don’ts of Social Media During a Divorce

Personal Injury Lawyer

Divorce is one of the most stressful life events that someone can encounter. There are so many things to think about, like the kids, the properties, the money, the list goes on, but what about social media? As our world becomes more connected through the use of social media, we must be aware of what we post, because those things can affect your negotiations. Here are some simple don’ts to keep in mind while getting your divorce: 

DON’T complain about your ex-spouse on social media. Any post is subject to be used during the trial or negotiation process, especially if what you are posting is untrue. It is just the best practice to avoid it altogether.

DON’T post about any of the divorce proceedings, including anything to do with your lawyer, filings, or anything the parties (including your ex) said/did in court. This extends to your friends and family, so it is probably best to discuss this with them early on.  

DON’T post photos depicting alcohol or drug use. This is especially true if there is arguments over child custody, as this can be spun to show you as an ‘unfit’ parent. 

DON’T post about your children doing anything your ex spouse would not approve of. This can also be used to show you are ‘unfit; or that you regularly do things against your ex’s wishes/knowledge.

DON’T post anything regarding your new romantic relationships. If there are allegations of infidelity, this can be used during the trial or negotiation process, even if the relationship begun after the filing. It can also be used during a custody dispute, as this is typically a new person in your child’s life, and the court does take this into consideration. 

DON’T post anything regarding big purchases or trips, especially if they were planned after the filing. Your ex-spouse could use these to show financial misconduct. Also, do not post about any influx or efflux or money, because these could be used to influence alimony or child custody agreements. 

Social media acts as a record and shows your short term feelings/actions about long term events. This means that it can also be used to prove infidelity or financial misconduct. To avoid anything coming back to affect the outcome of your divorce, take the general advice given to young people, to not post anything that any future employer would disapprove of. But, if you have any questions, the divorce lawyers in Arlington, TX would be more than happy to assist you in all your divorce needs. 

 


 

Thanks to Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC for their insight into family law and avoiding social media during divorce.