Understanding The Legal Process

Time To Call It Quits? 4 Steps To Successful Divorce Settlement Talks

Posted by on Jul 19th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Time To Call It Quits? 4 Steps To Successful Divorce Settlement Talks

If you and your spouse have agreed to a divorce, it’s time to negotiate the settlement. If you’ve decided to try to proceed without legal representation, you’re going to need some help getting through the negotiations. Before you sit down with your spouse to work out the details of your final settlement agreement, make sure you’re prepared for the process. Here are four tips that will help make the negotiations less painful.

Find a Starting Place

When it comes to negotiating a divorce settlement, the hardest part can be finding a place to start. This is particularly true if you both have unresolved issues. Instead of choosing a hot button topic – one that is a touchy subject for both of you – start with something that you know you can both agree on. Once you have that one item that you can both agree on, it will be easier to proceed to the next item. To keep the process running smoothly, try to deal with the hot button issues towards the end of the negotiations. This will give you both enough time to overcome any animosity that might be interfering with the process.

Don’t Make Decisions When You’re Emotional

The last thing you want to do is make decisions about your future when your emotions are getting in the way. Being emotional during the negotiations can interfere with your ability to make decisions that are best for you in the long run. Emotions can create a situation where you agree to concessions that will benefit your spouse, but will be detrimental to your future.

For instance, if the divorce was your idea, and you’re feeling guilty about how your decision is impacting your spouse, you might agree to forego your right to alimony. While that decision might benefit your spouse, it’s not necessarily the best decision for you.  If you feel yourself being guided by emotions rather than logic, it’s okay to take a break.

Be Gracious with Compromises

When it comes to compromise, be willing to see both sides. For instance, if your spouse makes a compromise that you weren’t expecting, take the time to acknowledge it. It might create a situation where your spouse is willing to compromise on other items as well. Likewise, it’s important for you to be willing to compromise along the way.

Know When It’s Time to Hire an Attorney

There might come a time when negotiations shut down. If you and your spouse are no longer communicating, it might be time to seek legal advice. This is particularly true if you’re being met with hostility from your spouse.

If you’re trying to go-it-alone with your divorce, use the information provided above to navigate the settlement negotiations. If you run into trouble along the way, be sure to speak to an attorney such as Moore Robert G Attorney at Law as soon as possible.

3 Tips For Your Personal Injury Case

Posted by on Jun 15th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips For Your Personal Injury Case

Going through a personal injury situation can be a hectic time, because you are hurt and need the best representation possible from a personal injury lawyer who can take your case. In order to make this process go by as smoothly as possible, you will need to understand the importance of a settlement, find the best personal injury lawyer for the job and have an understanding of how much a personal injury attorney will cost you. To delve further into these tips, read on and consider the points below.

Understanding The Importance Of A Settlement

You may be picturing doing battle in court, but in the vast majority of personal injury cases, this is not what happens. Statistics show that between 95 and 96% of personal injury cases are settled without reaching the courtroom. Because of this, any personal injury lawyer that you hire should be adept at the art of the settlement. This will give you the best case scenario and make it so that you receive fair payments for your injury, pain and suffering, medical care and any other ongoing financial obligations.

Hiring The Right Personal Injury Lawyer For Your Case

When you need your personal injury case to be a successful one, this will boil down to the quality of attorney that you hire. The first and most important consideration to delve into is their experience. Find out not only how long they have been in business, but get examples of cases they have tried. You should also ask for a ratio of how successful they are in getting a settlement or court judgment as opposed to losing their cases. Seek references from others who have hired them for personal injury cases and also touch base with your local Bar Association in order to get quality referrals.

Factor In The Cost

Hiring a personal injury attorney does not cost you money up front, but in most cases will consist of a contingency fee. The contingency fee is the percentage that the lawyer will receive out of your judgment or settlement for winning your case. These fees usually range anywhere between 33% and 40%. In most situations, if your case is settled and not tried in court, this contingency fee will not reach more than 33%. Get your personal injury lawyer’s fees in writing and make sure you shop around before hiring the lawyer you want to represent you.

Contact a group like GSJones Law Group, P.S. for more information.

3 Mistakes To Avoid With Vendor Contracts

Posted by on Mar 23rd, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Mistakes To Avoid With Vendor Contracts

Owning a business comes with a lot of responsibilities. One of those responsibilities is making sure you have enough employees on hand to handle the demands of your business. You also have to make sure you have adequate supplies available to produce your end product. However, there are a lot of other things that you have to take into consideration when dealing with vendors. If you are looking into what you should or shouldn’t be doing with your vendors, avoid making one of these three mistakes with your vendor contracts.

Not knowing what your contract entails.

One of the worst things you can do is to sign a contract with a vendor without knowing all of the specifics involved with it. You could end up signing something that you cannot adhere to, which is going to end up hurting you in the end. If you are drawing up a contract, you need to have an attorney look it over and make sure there is nothing in there that could come back to haunt you. This way if there is something that isn’t in your best interest, they can change it and make sure it is going to work for all parties involved.

Not having a contract in the first place.

One of the worst things you can do when dealing with multiple vendors is to forgo having a contract in place. Contracts are designed to help protect you and your dealings with the vendor. They outline what your responsibilities are and what the vendor’s responsibilities are to you. By not having a contract in place, you have no recourse to be able to go after the vendor for not fulfilling their end of the deal.

Forgoing the out clause.

Every contract should have an out clause. While you don’t expect any deal to go bad, things can happen that are out of your control. If you end up not liking the terms of the deal with the vendor or you have a disagreement with them and cannot seem to come to terms that are going to work for both of you, there needs to be a way to walk away from the situation and find someone different to work with. This is why an out clause is so pivotal to any contract in the business world.

By not making one of the above mistakes in your vendor contract, you can make sure you get what you need for quite some time. Speak to professionals like Caldwell Kennedy & Porter for more help. 

Thinking About A Divorce? Here Are Some Things You Should Do First

Posted by on Feb 7th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Thinking About A Divorce? Here Are Some Things You Should Do First

If you’ve spent years in an unhappy marriage, you may be finally thinking about dissolving it. However, before you take the plunge and get in touch with a divorce attorney, it is wise to do the following things first.

Seek Out a Therapist

You might have tried to get your spouse to go with you to therapy for years and they refused. However, you can still seek out a therapist on your own, and there are some reasons you should.

For one thing, a good therapist can help you determine whether you simply want changes to be made in your marriage or whether you want your marriage to be completely over. You might be surprised to discover that you do want to stay with your spouse or that you may be able to feel more confident that a divorce is the only solution.

Your therapist can also help you handle any feelings of stress, anxiety or depression you might be feeling as a result of your marriage. Working through these feelings can help you feel better about your life and can give you the guidance you need to proceed with a divorce, if that’s what you ultimately choose.

Start Thinking about Your Future Budget

If you do go through with a divorce, you might already be thinking about the ways your financial life might change. You may need to spend money on a place to live, and you might need to think seriously about how you’ll pay a multitude of bills without your spouse’s income. Instead of waiting for a battle with your spouse over assets and any alimony or child support, it is smart to detail what a future budget would look like. 

Start looking for apartments in a neighborhood you might live in. Start paying attention to how much money you spend on food and fuel. Get a clear idea of how much your expenses will be and how you might pay for those expenses if your divorce leaves you with less money than you expect. This will help you to avoid surprises that may put you in financial trouble later.

The end of your marriage may be inevitable. However, if you are able to do the things suggested above, you may very well be able to take steps that can help you handle your divorce in a better way. When you are finally really to contact divorce lawyers like Nichols, Speidel, & Nichols, you will be able to do so with a plan and a clear conscience.

Social Security Or Veterans Disability? It Depends On The Evidence

Posted by on Nov 18th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Social Security Or Veterans Disability? It Depends On The Evidence

Many veterans are confused about what benefits they may be entitled to. There are a lot of compensation systems out there for injured people, ranging from workers compensation to social security and even disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Each system has specific benefits and restrictions that may or may not work with each other. As a veteran, consider the Veterans Affairs (VA) disability compensation system and the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) disability for their ability to help you maintain your lifestyle after disability.

Not All Veterans Qualify For Disability

If you’re a veteran with a disability, it’s reasonable to believe that the VA should be there to help you. The VA provides monetary compensation and medical assistance for veterans who qualify according to the service-connection test.

A service-connected disability is any condition that was caused during military service. Service-connection also covers pre-existing conditions that were made significantly worse due to military service, but such situations may be difficult to prove without direct, documented evidence that was recorded while you were in the military.

Documented evidence during military service is probably the most important weapon in pushing through the VA system. Approval requires the participation in multiple offices as your medical record, current medical examinations and claimed conditions are compared against each other. 

If your condition had nothing to do with the military, the VA isn’t going to give you disability. An injury that takes place after your civilian time begins needs to be taken to other relevant systems, such as workers compensation for job-related issues or to a personal injury lawyer for many other situations not related to official duty or employment.

If you’re not sure about the condition, put in a claim with the VA anyway. There is no cost, and it’s perfectly reasonable to look to the VA as a veteran if you have a mystery condition that doesn’t have an obvious cause. Even if you’re denied, there’s nothing wrong with filing an appeal–although it’s wise to have a legal professional at your side to make the process work a bit faster.

Social Security Can Fill The Gaps

The cause of your disability may be in question, but you need to make sure that you’re actually considered to be disabled. This may seem silly or insulting to those who are in terrible pain, unable to perform at their best (or even their average), but it’s all about documentation.

Consider social security as you look at VA benefits and other support services. You don’t have to wait for an answer from other systems before applying for social security services, but you will need to report any income from other successful claims.

VA disability is not affected by income except for in a few specific circumstances with high disability payments. Social security has a wide range of employment exceptions that may allow you to hold a basic job and a certain level of income, but you’ll need to gain approval first.

Contact a social security disability attorney to discuss your options with both systems and to find the right way to get the compensation you deserve.

How Fudging Your Resume Can Get You Fired (Or Sent To Prison)

Posted by on Nov 4th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How Fudging Your Resume Can Get You Fired (Or Sent To Prison)

Given that 70% of college students admit that they’d lie to get a job, it seems like a lot of people don’t see anything wrong with a little bit of “revisionist history” when it comes to what they put down on their resume. Most people think that the worst thing that will happen if they get caught down the line is that they’ll lose the job, but sometimes the consequences are far more severe. When can a lie on your resume get you fired and when can it land you in jail instead?

The Resume Game Has Changed

The days of just exaggerating a little on a resume (calling yourself a “supervisor” when what you were actually a “crew leader” with only one other person in the crew) have been replaced by increasingly sophisticated frauds:

  • diploma mills that will sell you a degree and a transcript from an online “university” based on your self-reported “life experiences”
  • companies that will verify your fictitious employment history, pretending that you worked for them in whatever capacity you claimed, and give you an excellent reference
  • hackers that will add your name to legitimate university record systems, along with a record of the classes you supposedly took and the major you supposedly earned

Today’s elaborate system of cheats and deceptions is being met by an equally strong response among both employers and lawmakers. What used to be the cause for a quiet dismissal if you were eventually caught can do more than just lose you the job and your reputation. It can have serious legal consequences as well.

Resume Lies Can Destroy Your Life

If you figure that you won’t be one to get caught, think again. Studies indicate that over 50% of employers have caught lies on resumes, and they’re increasingly aware of the problems with resume mills and frauds.

Employers don’t want to expose sensitive material — the company’s or the employee’s — to someone that isn’t who they pretend to be. If they hire people who require professional licenses, like nurses or therapists, they have an invested interest in checking backgrounds carefully. If they don’t, they could be opening themselves up to lawsuits from patients and clients. A contractor doesn’t want to let an electrician who doesn’t really have his certification work on a house — that opens the contractor up to charges of negligence.

To protect themselves, employers are fact checking resumes — even those of long-term employees. Lawmakers are passing laws that criminalize resume fraud. In New Jersey, for example, if you use a fraudulent degree you can be fined $1,000 for each offense. In Texas, the fine is $2,000 and 6 months in prison. If you sent your resume (or other bogus documents) in by mail or fax, you could be facing charges of mail or wire fraud as well (because attempting to trick somebody into hiring you for a position for which you aren’t qualified is an attempt to take their money illegally).

In a spectacular recent case, a commentator for a major news channel, Wayne Simmons, was fired and arrested on federal charges for claiming that he’d worked for the CIA for almost 30 years. He was charged with multiple counts of fraud and making false statements to the U.S. government. The publicity has no doubt encouraged even more employers to check references very carefully.

If you’re thinking of padding your resume or adding a few embellishments, don’t. And don’t even think about using a fake diploma or diploma mill to get a job. If you’ve already done something like that, talk to a criminal defense attorney like Ewbank & Kramer right away so that you can try to minimize the damage to your life and keep from compounding your problems.

Dealing With A Hit And Run Accident Claim

Posted by on Oct 9th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Dealing With A Hit And Run Accident Claim

In an ideal world, every motorist would stop and exchange information (contact and insurance) after an accident. However, some drivers who believe they can get away with their actions do not always stop. This makes it difficult for victims of hit and run accidents to make claims and get appropriate compensation. However, this shouldn’t stop you from pursuing a claim if you are such an accident. Here are some steps to help you get compensation:

Try Looking For the Driver

Try looking for the hit and run motorist. Don’t assume that he or she cannot be found just because he or she fled the scene after the accident. The first thing is to report the issue to the police so that they can launch investigations. You can also make inquiries from witnesses who may have noted registration plates of the car; even without the plates, getting the make, model, and color of the car.

It’s always advisable to note details of an accident scene, but this is even more necessary if the other motorist has fled. Note the time, weather, location, and any other details. Depending on the severity of the accident, you may even engage the services of a private detective.

Fleeing the scene of an accident is a criminal offense. Thus, if you (or the police) manage to locate the driver, then the state may instigate criminal proceedings against him or her. A criminal conviction may strengthen your civil case and increase your chances of getting a sizable injury claim.

Make a No-fault Claim

If you live in a no-fault state, then you can make a claim with your insurer. In such states, your insurer pays for some of your medical bills and lost earnings regardless of who caused the accident. Note that in a no-fault insurance claim, you won’t get pain and suffering damages, so your total compensation is likely to be less than what you would get from other states.

Make an Uninsured Motorist Claim

Another option is to make a claim under your uninsured motorist coverage. This is similar to the claim you would make if you get injured in an accident, and it turns out that the liable party isn’t insured.

The main problem with this approach is that your insurer is likely to negotiate for the lowest payment possible. Also, most motorists do not take this coverage seriously, and opt for the minimum limit allowed by the state. The combination of these two things means that you are likely to walk away with relatively low compensation. If you can’t agree on a figure, then the next step is arbitration (in front of a neutral judge) to help you and the insurance company come to an agreement.

For professional legal help, contact a company such as The Walker Firm.

Calculating Your Estate: 3 Mistakes That People Make When Valuing Their Estate

Posted by on Oct 8th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Calculating Your Estate: 3 Mistakes That People Make When Valuing Their Estate

One of the first things you have to do when you’re planning your estate is to figure out your net worth, which will help you determine the value of your estate. While the process seems pretty straight forward at first — add up all of your assets and deduct all of your debts and liabilities — it is very easy to make mistakes. Undervaluing or overvaluing assets are among the most common mistakes that people make along with failing to include obscure or unusual assets. Following are a few mistakes that people make when valuing their estate. 

Fair Market Value

The value of many assets, such as vehicles and real estate, may increase or decrease over time. For this reason, you should always use the current fair market value for these items. Do not think about how much you paid for the item. Instead, list the value of each item as the amount you would expect to get if you were to sell it now. Always rely on an expert valuation when calculating an asset’s worth. For example, only a certified real-estate appraiser can give you an accurate idea of how much your home is worth currently. 

Intangible Items

When listing your assets, it’s easy to forget about intangible items, such as intellectual property and electronic products. However, all of these add to the value of your estate, and your survivors will have to pay estate taxes for them.

Keep in mind that property that is held jointly remains with the co-owner until their death. While you can add half of the value of these items to your estate, your heirs will not receive any of the money nor will they have to pay any taxes on these items until the joint owner passes away. 

Death Payments

Any life insurance payments or death benefits payments that your heirs will receive upon your death are also part of your estate and should be calculated accordingly. Although these items will not have to go through the court-administered probate process, they will be taxed as part of your estate. It should be mentioned, however, that your heirs can deduct certain final expenses from the value of these items before paying taxes on them. Deductible expenses include the funeral, estate administration fees and debt payments. 

Estate planning can be tricky, so it’s always a good idea to talk to a financial planner, a consultant or an estate lawyer to make sure all your ducks are in a row and accounted for.

Did Your Infant Die During Childbirth? Get Legal Help Fast

Posted by on Oct 7th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Did Your Infant Die During Childbirth? Get Legal Help Fast

If you were in labor for hours and your obstetrician didn’t take you in for a C-section, and you think this resulted in your infant’s death, call a lawyer right away. If your baby died because they were trapped or because of other complications and you think that it could have been avoided, there are some things you need to know. 

You need to keep your thoughts to yourself and not talk about the case without consulting with a lawyer, and with the other parent of the child. Here are some things you want to take with you to the lawyer, and some things to consider.

Don’t Sign Anything

The legal professionals that represent the hospital or your medical professional may try to have you sign something at the hospital that says you aren’t going to press charges. Don’t sign anything at all, and have them send all documents to your lawyer for approval. You could mistake something as a discharge papers, and really it’s something else.

Write Down all Explanations

When the doctors start to tell you why things happened and what went wrong, make sure that you’re keeping accurate notes about what the explanation is. If you start to get different explanations, have each medical professional make a statement for you, or ask them to put everything in writing for you.

You should have it written down when you started to go into labor, at what point you asked or suggested a C-section may be better, and when you noticed something was wrong.

Copy All Medical Bills and Other Expenses

Make sure you have copies of all your medical bills and other expenses, so you can determine how much this cost you. You can’t get a life back, but you can get compensation for all of the medical bills you have in front of you, along with burial costs and compensation for all the grieving. The lawyer can help you get an amount for the case.

There is nothing easy about grieving the loss of a child, or experiencing a problem during childbirth, but you shouldn’t have to suffer because your doctor didn’t make the best decision with your care. If you feel you have evidence to prove that the labor and delivery process was mishandled, don’t wait to get a wrongful death attorney to help with the case. Money is something you shouldn’t have to worry about when you have to deal with the loss.

Three Things To Do Before Suing Your Neighbor For Encroaching On Your Property

Posted by on Oct 7th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Things To Do Before Suing Your Neighbor For Encroaching On Your Property

A property dispute with a neighbor can be an unsavory affair, but you can’t just back down if you believe that he or she is enriching on your property. The good news is that real estate laws can help you get legal redress. However, you shouldn’t rush into filing a lawsuit without taking these three actions first:

Arm Yourself with the Right Information

Arguing from a point of ignorance will only make the situation worse. Therefore, the first thing is to get the correct information on your respective properties. Use these three processes to get the information you need:

  • Property survey – This determines your property’s boundary lines and creates a permanent record for it. It determines where your parcel of land starts and ends.
  • Property appraisal – This determines the current value of the disputed property. That way you get to know, in terms of dollars, how much is at stake.
  • Title search – This determines the legal owner of the property in question; the one whose name is on the title.

Talk With Your Neighbor

It’s also advisable to talk to your neighbor and see if you can resolve the dispute amicably. This may be possible if the three processes above have clearly revealed who owns the disputed property. Who knows, you might just be lucky enough to realize that your dispute was based on a misunderstanding that you can resolve. For example, it may be that the previous owner of your property claimed to have granted an easement to your neighbor, but without following the right channels and rendering, the easement is nonbinding. You may also involve other parties, such as your local community organization, in trying to settle the dispute.

Consult an Attorney

Consulting an attorney isn’t synonymous with instigating a lawsuit. It’s just that a real estate lawyer is more likely to have a good understanding of your state’s property laws than you or your neighbor. Therefore, take your concerns to the lawyer so that he or she can gauge whether your claims are valid. You don’t have to mention this to your neighbor because the information may aggravate the situation.

Filing a lawsuit should be the last thing you do when you have a dispute with your neighbor. However, you may proceed with it if both you and your attorney are convinced that you are right, but your neighbor is still obstinate about his or her position. In such a case, your lawyer may instigate official communications with your neighbor (or his or her lawyer) before taking any further action.

For more information, contact Schulze Howard & Cox or a similar firm.