Monthly Archives: September 2013

Why Do I Need A DUI Attorney?

Driving while under the influence of alcohol is one of the worst decisions that you can make. Once you are charged with a DUI, you face the potential of going to jail as well as being charged thousands in fines. With so much on the line, you need to have an experienced DUI attorney to help you with your case.

Not All DUI Cases Lead to Conviction

If you have been charged with a DUI, you or your attorney will be given the chance to question the officer who pulled you over. This is an important step in getting your charges reduced or thrown out completely. In the event that there are any issues with the results of your breathalyzer test, your case could be thrown out due to insufficient evidence. You or your attorney can also challenge the results of any blood test that was administered during or after the traffic stop.

Mouthwash Can Trigger A False Positive In Some Cases

Your attorney will walk you through the events that lead up to your DUI to find out if anything that you did before getting behind the wheel could have triggered a false positive. For example, if you ingested mouthwash, that could show up on a breathalyzer test as a .02. If you are a minor, that could be the difference between going to jail and getting off completely.

Judges Have Leeway In Most Cases

A good attorney will seek reduced charges in your case. He or she will know how to argue for a reduction of charges in a way that you may not be able to. If this is your first time appearing before a judge, you may not know enough about the law or be too nervous to speak up for yourself. Your lawyer will not be scared to speak up on your behalf. Those who have been charged with a DUI for the first time or were only slightly over the legal limit could see a significant reduction in fines and jail time.

You Need A Lawyer Versed In DUI Law

In most cases, you will have your attorney appointed for you. While this is the cheaper option, it also means that you are getting an attorney who may know nothing about DUI law. It is important that you get a lawyer who has specialized in drunk or impaired driving cases. Otherwise, you may be forced to take a bad plea deal or face the full burden of the law that you have broken. In some states, that could result in several months of jail time, several years without your license and fines that could go as high as $3,000 or more.

You never want to go to court without an experienced DUI attorney. Your attorney will help you prepare for your case, argue for a lenient sentence and present you to the court as a human being who suffered from a lapse in judgement. This will spare your bank account from being emptied completely as well as your driving record from points and other negative consequences.

Is drunk driving bound to a national or state law?

DUI refers to operating or being in control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. The potential for complexity in DUI cases may sometimes be great as there is a separate set of laws in federal and state cases, and determining which set of laws is applicable may be difficult and confusing for the average person.

Federal DUI
A federal DUI charge is raised when a person is accused of driving under the influence while on land that is owned by the federal government. National parks and military bases are examples. Federal DUI cases are prosecuted in federal court, and potential sentencing typically depends on an additional set of laws which may be applicable to certain situations in which federal DUIs may occur.

Federal DUI Arrests on National Parkland
Federal DUI arrests that are made in relation to national parks are governed by the Code of Federal Regulation (CFR), under which a person can be charged with a federal DUI if he or she is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol to the extent that he or she is incapable of operating a vehicle or if the person has a blood alcohol content of .10 grams per 100 milliliters of blood. A person can also be arrested and charged for federal DUI if he or she has .10 grams or more of alcohol per 200 liters of breath upon submitting to a breath analysis test. If the person is stopped for suspicion of DUI in a state that has stricter alcohol consumption limits than those outlined by the CFR, the state limit may also be applicable in determining whether or not the driver is over the legal limit for receiving a federal charge. Unlike state DUI cases, refusing to submit to alcohol testing may result in stiffer penalties in federal DUI cases.

Federal DUI Offenses on Other Property
According to the Assimilative Crimes Act, federal DUI offenses that occur on property other than national parks are governed by the laws of the state in which the offense occurs. Those who commit a DUI offense on federal property other than a national park may be subjected to both state and federal sentencing. People who are suspected of DUI on federal land that is not a national park are asked to submit to chemical testing upon arrest.

State DUI
With exception of DUI arrests that occur on federal property, each state has the power to set its own DUI laws. In some states, DUI is limited to cases in which the accused is actually operating the vehicle when in others simply being in control of a vehicle while intoxicated is prohibited. Some states have a DWI charge, which is generally the same as DUI, though there may be slight differences between the two terms. Each state has identified a blood or breath alcohol content thresh hold, which is used to determine whether or not a person is considered to be legally under the influence. Defendants are usually charged with two separate crimes, one for being over the alcohol limit and a second for operating a vehicle while impaired. There is typically a presumption of guilt if a defendant’s alcohol level reaches 0.08 percent or greater.

People who find themselves facing arrest for federal or state DUI should immediately consult a DUI drunk driving attorney. DUI attorneys are trained to assess the validity of all drunk driving charges and to help ensure the rights the accused are respected. A DUI attorney may also be able to determine appropriate legal defenses and help the accused argue his or her case in court if necessary.

Are mesothelioma lawsuits typically successful?

Mesothelioma is a type of lung cancer that is caused by long-term exposure to asbestos. It occurs in the lining of the chest cavity. Asbestos is a fibrous material that was once widely used in construction and is still in use in brake pad manufacturing and other industries. Mesothelioma can develop when a person breathes in asbestos fibers regularly over an extended period of time.

There are a few ways that someone could be exposed to asbestos and develop mesothelioma. The most common method of exposure happens to people who encounter asbestos during their work. Occupational exposure happens to people who work closely with asbestos, especially people in auto manufacturing and shipbuilding. Asbestos is no longer widely used in the construction industry, but people who were working while it was a common component in many structures have developed mesothelioma. Asbestos is still present in many older homes. However, when asbestos is intact and undamaged it is not harmful.

The second most common method of exposure to asbestos is natural exposure. Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral that was mined for much of the mid-20th century. Asbestos is no longer mined in the United States, but people who lived near asbestos mines when they were in use were exposed to the fibers in the air. Some of these people eventually developed mesothelioma. California is the state with the highest number of mesothelioma deaths. Many of these cases of mesothelioma developed after natural exposure. California has asbestos deposits in most of its counties.

Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that has a high mortality rate. This partly owes to the fact that it often goes undetected for many years. The prognosis for mesothelioma declines as the condition worsens.

Mesothelioma Lawsuits

Until the 1990s, many American workers in the construction, shipbuilding and automotive industries were constantly exposed to asbestos in their work. Most of these people did not know of the dangers of breathing in air contaminated with asbestos. However, the companies who employed these workers often did know of the risks of breathing in asbestos and that it could cause dangerous health complications to people who breathed in asbestos fibers, yet they did not warn their employees of the dangers and did not provide them with the proper safety equipment and training. As a result, thousands of people develop mesothelioma each year, years or even decades after they retired from the work that exposed them to asbestos.

Workers and their families began organizing to file mesothelioma lawsuits against their former employers to seek damages because of their negligence and disregard for the safety of their employees. Some of these lawsuits are still ongoing, with many workers and families of deceased workers claiming mesothelioma lawsuit settlements.

Is There a Statute of Limitations?

Most states’ personal injury or worker’s compensation laws have a statute of limitations of up to five years to file a claim. However, mesothelioma is slow to progress and can take between 10 and 40 years for a doctor to detect. In these cases, the statute of limitations on a mesothelioma claim begins after the diagnosis. For instance, California’s statute of limitations on mesothelioma claims extends to one year after the person discovers they have the condition.

Are Mesothelioma Cases Usually Successful?

If you can prove that your mesothelioma resulted from regular, prolonged exposure to asbestos at your place of work and that your employer was negligent and acted without regard to your health and safety, you will greatly strengthen your chances of victory in your mesothelioma lawsuit. You can solidify your case if you keep detailed records about your diagnosis and treatment and can prove that you worked at a site with a dangerously high level of airborne asbestos that caused your condition.

To determine whether you can secure a settlement for your medical bills and other expenses, you must contact an attorney to evaluate your case. The dedicated attorneys at mesothelioma law firms have experience in getting mesothelioma patients the compensation they deserve from employers and other negligent parties.

Many attorneys offer free initial consultations and evaluations. At this initial consultation, your lawyer will determine your eligibility for filing suit by asking you questions about your work history, your diagnosis and your treatments. If you are a family member filing after your loved one died from their condition, you will have to provide all of this information as well. Some mesothelioma attorneys work on a no-win, no-fee basis, which means that you only pay the attorney’s fee if you win your case.

If you have the documentation necessary to prove that your mesothelioma resulted from your work and that your employer was negligent in protecting workers’ health and safety, it may not be necessary for you to go to court. Many companies prefer to settle out of court when their responsibility in a person’s mesothelioma diagnosis is clear. Even if you do not have to go to court, you should hire a lawyer to represent you at all settlement hearings. It is likely that you do not have the knowledge of the law and your rights that an attorney does. During settlement meetings, companies almost always make an initial offer that is less than fair. An attorney knows how to stand firm and demand your right to just compensation for your or your loved one’s pain and suffering.

Mesothelioma Patients

If you develop mesothelioma, chances are your condition resulted from continual occupational or natural exposure to airborne asbestos. As soon as you are able to after your diagnosis, you should contact an attorney to explore your legal options. Personal injury law, including mesothelioma law, is complex, and the litigation process takes time. If you do not file suit before the statute of limitations on your case expires, you may never be eligible to file suit and receive payment from your employer. An attorney needs time to help walk you through the process of gathering documentation and contacting the parties responsible to begin settlement talks. Make sure that you and your family receive due compensation for your condition and contact a qualified, experienced mesothelioma attorney.

How Are Bankruptcy Lawyers Paid When I Have No Money?

Understandably, there is often confusion in how to pay for a bankruptcy lawyer when you are so financially strapped. You likely wonder if you cannot pay your bills, how can you possibly afford to pay the attorney. Many bankruptcy attorneys provide an easy payment plan to ensure that the individual or family can afford to pay for the bankruptcy process.

While it is possible to file for bankruptcy without the assistance of a lawyer, it is not typically a wise move. This is because bankruptcy code is extremely complex. Navigating through the entire process will require an extensive amount of expertise and knowledge of the law. Because of that, hiring a competent lawyer should be the first priority in taking the steps to file bankruptcy.

Once the decision has been made that bankruptcy is the best option you can set aside funds that were previously used to pay down debts toward your bankruptcy lawyer fees. Typically, a skilled attorney works with their clients to ensure they have all the necessary basics covered while still being able to afford their bankruptcy filing. Because filing bankruptcy is not a public service, it is not free.

The more important question should be focused on whether you could afford the consequences and outcome if you do not hire a competent bankruptcy lawyer. Even the beginning process of filing a petition involves complicated forms, rules and procedures. Emerging from the bankruptcy process debt-free will remove the heavy burden from your shoulders and provide you the financial peace of mind you likely have not experienced for a long time.

Without the proper guidance of a skilled attorney, it is extremely easy to make damaging mistakes that in the end could lead to your bankruptcy case being dismissed by the court system. To successfully navigate through the entire process, you will need the skills of a competent bankruptcy attorney.

The Costs Involved

Your attorney will charge you a pre-determined amount based on the type of bankruptcy you select. Generally, the process of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is usually significantly less than a Chapter 13. The costs involved are typically based on the amount of time your bankruptcy attorney will spend in court; along with the length of time they provide you legal representation. In addition, because a Chapter 13 bankruptcy has greater complexity in handling that successful outcome it is usually more expensive.

A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is designed to allow you to keep the majority of your assets by paying a reasonable amount based on a repayment schedule approved by the court system. The amount that an attorney will charge their client for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will vary greatly based on geographical location. Generally, the amount should be a few thousand dollars for the extensive amount of time the lawyer will be representing you.

Overall, most Chapter 13 bankruptcies require three to five years to complete. Even if the amount appears to be high due to your financial situation, most bankruptcy attorneys will not require payment of the full fee before your case is filed. Most will work their fees into your bankruptcy repayment plan. This way, the majority of attorney fees will be paid directly by the bankruptcy trustee after filing your case. The trustee will recognize the attorney fees as another debt you owe, similar to all of your other creditors on file.

However, many lawyers require money up front for the federal filing fee to begin the process of bankruptcy. Any attorney that is willing to accept their payment of their fees in the repayment plan works to your benefit. In fact, they are taking a risk by performing most of their work before ever receiving payment. This provides a strong incentive that the attorney will move mountains to ensure that your Chapter 13 bankruptcy case will be confirmed and finally discharged.

A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

There is a substantially less amount of work performed by the attorney in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Because less work is performed, the fees will be less. However, most attorneys expect to be paid in full before they file the case. This is because any unpaid fee that you owe your lawyer could be included in your Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This would leave your lawyer in a position where they would have no options for collecting their fee.

Like a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the costs involved for hiring Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers will vary based on locale. However, typical costs could top out under a few thousand dollars. The attorney’s fees will be based on the estimated time it will take to move the bankruptcy through the system.

Based on your specific circumstances, your attorney will need to anticipate the amount of time they will spend on the case to set a price. Some attorneys do offer payment plans, but will often require an affordable retainer from you upfront for their services. Even though the retainer will not start the process of filing your case, it can provide you immediate relief from harassing collection calls by referring them to the law offices of your bankruptcy attorney.

Once you have retain the legal services of a skilled Chapter 7 bankruptcy law firm you can stop making payments to creditors that will be included in your bankruptcy filing. This process will immediately free up some of your funds to either pay your attorney in full or enter into an established payment plan on the remaining balance of the attorney’s fees. Some attorneys offer payment plans that last upwards of six months, while they prepare the petition for filing. Generally, once you have paid all of the attorney fees and provided enough funds for the federal filing fee your case can be filed in federal bankruptcy court.

There are simple solutions for paying bankruptcy lawyers when you have no money due to your financial situations. Their efforts can help you avoid repossession, garnishment or foreclosure of your assets by representing you through the legal process.

Where Is the Best Criminal Lawyer Located?

A criminal defense attorney is available for any criminal charges or investigation procedures that may be occurring. A New York criminal lawyer is available for the jurisdiction in this region of the country. Criminal lawyer Miami can be reached through the available law firms representing this type of client. Denver criminal lawyer can assist in criminal matters within the Denver jurisdictional areas and within the state of Colorado.

A Criminal Investigation
The criminal investigation may be the result of any of several areas of misconduct or probable misconduct. A criminal defense lawyer has several challenges for each new case that is presented to a law firm. There may be certain impediments that need to be addressed for each probable cause. Challenges to each investigation or prolonged criminal procedure add to the complexity of each new case that is accepted by a criminal defense firm. The costs of engaging a lawyer for criminal investigation procedures or after an arrest may vary according to the severity of the potential charges. A criminal defense attorney usually requires an upfront retainer in order to assure that the criminal defense process is not impeded unnecessarily. A law firm retainer for criminal charges or for criminal questioning may begin at a few thousand dollars and can increase upward depending on the complexity or severity of the criminal charges. The type of procedure that is being defended may determine the cost of the criminal defense as well. Taking a plea deal is not as lengthy and may not cost as much as a completed trial procedure, for example.

Challenges and Procedural Impediments
Criminal defense attorneys have certain challenges and procedural impediments to address. This type of lawyer specializes in defending individuals and companies against certain probable criminal conduct. Conduct of this type may include a DUI charge, white collar crimes, finance crimes, theft, burglary, drug crimes, and other types of probable criminal conduct. These conduct activities are illegal according to the U.S. constitution. A criminal defense attorney has general procedures to follow that allow the defendant certain rights as well. Each defendant has a right to remain silent and not speak with anyone except their attorneys, for example. U.S. constitutional rights include certain procedures that may include a preliminary hearing and a final trial to determine the legality of the charges that have been alleged.

Engaging a Criminal Defense Lawyer
A criminal lawyer may be called after an arrest and while the individual is in custody. Most U.S. citizens are not in contact with criminal activities and may find that a criminal defense attorney is needed only for emergency reasons. The criminal defense lawyer may review the arresting documents, visit the defendant while in custody, and may perform an independent investigation of the alleged charges. Any Constitutional deficits can be determined at this time, and a defense attorney may be able to settle certain charges based on these Constitutional violations. A criminal case that is taken forward may include certain grand jury charges that allege probable cause about certain criminal conduct. There are certain other duties of a defense lawyer that include the following:

1. A defense strategy is planned for each new client. This may mean having further investigations performed using expert defense strategies.

2. A defense lawyer can work with the prosecutor and arranged lesser charges for the conduct alleged.

3. A defense team can propose a settlement agreement or plea deal that includes a lesser sentence.

4. A settlement with the opposing prosecutor may include both reduced charges and a lesser sentence.

Choosing the Right Attorney
Finding the right attorney during a custody situation may be difficult. This type of attorney engagement may be best determined ahead of time and on an as needed basis. Any complex legal matters that could arise in a continued criminal legal case can be managed by other adjunct members of a defense team. Most U.S. citizens are not involved in criminal activity, but having certain alleged charges may bring those areas of law to a sudden reality. Some criminal defense lawyers accept retainers for additional legal work and other matters that could arise. Having a good general practice lawyer may be worth the added expense if a criminal charge is purported against an otherwise law abiding U.S. citizen.

Process of Law
The process of law has certain steps that are almost always followed. Criminal charges may be alleged in one year, and the legal process may not be concluded until several years later. The complexity of the U.S. legal process can be overwhelming. There are certain questions that a potential client should ask of each retained criminal attorney, and these questions may include the following procedural areas:

1. The early stages of a criminal case usually include an arrest or a set of documents that have been mailed out to the individual or company. This is the stage to begin any questions about the charges. A document has been received, and this should be taken to an attorney for advice.

2. A criminal defendant who has already been arrested may have a more difficult time speaking with an attorney. The defense attorney needs to meet them at the jail, and certain restrictions may apply as far as gaining information for the attorney to use. Bail will need to be set in order for documents to be found for the defense attorney, for example.

3. The defense attorney may need to set a bail hearing if the defendant is not given bail or released on their own recognizance.

4. Certain defenses will need to be discussed, and questions should be asked about the consequences of each type of defense strategy.

5. Each defense strategy will have a certain potential sentence and sentencing issues as well. Questions should be asked at this stage of the defense.

A criminal defense lawyer is necessary for any alleged criminal allegations that are purported against any U.S. citizens. The alleged charges may take the form of documents mailed out that should be reviewed by a defense attorney. A criminal defense lawyer is needed after an arrest that does not provide bail. A defense attorney is needed after any type of arrest as well in order to address any subsequent legal procedure that follows. A retainer may be required to engage a private attorney.

What is the Difference Between a Birth Injury Lawyer and a Child Injury Lawyer?

Modern parents are more protective of their children than any other generation in history, and they have good reason to be. Children are injured, even killed, every day due to the carelessness or intentional actions of others, usually adults who are supposed to know and do better. Children are most commonly injured during birth, due to improper equipment and product safety or due to abuse from adults or caretakers. There are attorneys who specialize in handling children’s cases. Such an attorney is commonly called a birth injury lawyer or a child injury lawyer.

Key Differences

A birth injury attorney is a more specialized form of attorney that handles only cases related to birth defects or injuries during childbirth. As a result, these attorneys are most adept at handling cases against hospitals or doctors. A child injury attorney has a much broader scope. They usually handle product related cases or abuse cases. Some child injury attorneys also handle birth defects and childbirth lawsuits, creating overlap between the two fields of law. Since the majority of child injury cases are birth injury cases, a specialized attorney is usually a better bet. Such cases are usually very complicated.

What Constitutes a Birth Injury Case? What is Important to Keep in Mind?

A birth injury case is any sort of injury or disabling condition that can be linked to improper procedures during childbirth. Sometimes these injuries are obvious soon after birth, and a case can be made quickly. In other times, the disabling condition may not materialize or be properly diagnosed for months or years after birth. While a case can still be made, every day that passes from the date of birth makes the case that much harder to prove and argue. Such a lawsuit is usually brought against the overseeing physician that handled the birth, but depending on circumstance it can be brought also against any of the hospital staff or the hospital itself.

When considering a birth injury case it is important to know some basics that will be needed to make the case successful. The most important fact is that negligence on the part of the physician, staff or hospital must be proven. Basically, someone must have made a mistake or not done what procedure would normally dictate they do. There can be many natural problems that arise during birth or after birth that can result in disabling conditions. Giving birth to a disabled or injured child does not automatically mean a lawsuit is warranted or possible. Before parents look for someone to blame, they should seriously consider if the condition is truly the fault of hospital staff or if it is simply a terrible circumstance that could not be avoided. That can be a tricky question, and most parents would be wise to seek legal guidance in an attempt to answer that. A birth injury lawyer will be able to give a parent an educated appraisal as to whether there is actually evidence for a case or not.

It is important to keep all records, especially medical or therapy related records, for a birth injury case. Damages awarded in such a case must be quantifiable. The amount is awarded based on added costs of the injury or defect. The more money a parent can prove they spent due to the incident, the greater their damages are liable to be and the stronger the case will be. Some physicians will settle out of court and pay damages using their malpractice insurance. Others may take the family to court. If a case does go to court, solid preparation will be the key to winning the case.

What Constitutes a Child Injury Case? What is Important to Keep in Mind?

Child injury cases are much broader in scope than birth injury cases. A child injury case can be any case involving a minor who is under the age of 18, although most cases involve children under 13. While such a case could involve many injuries to a child, the most common are due to improper or defective equipment or to abuse by a an adult.

In a child injury case involving product liability, the child’s injury must be directly related to defect of a product or other negligence. It is important to remember that defect is not the same as product misuse. If a child is injured while playing on a play-structure, for example, that injury must have been caused due to some failure in the structure or improper design. Children often injure themselves on accident while playing, and this does not always constitute evidence for a lawsuit. If a qualified child injury lawyer does see possibilities for a case, then the lawsuit is usually brought against the product’s manufacturer, although cases can also be brought against the owners or installers of the structure, depending on the particulars of the case. It may be possible that the structure’s location was unsafe or that the structure was not built to manufacturer’s safety specifications, in which case those other parties would be more liable.

Abuse cases are one of the most difficult and emotionally charged child injury cases. Child sexual abuse is the current hot topic, but abuse can mean a much wider variety of actions. Many child abuse cases are physical or emotional. Physical abuse is usually the easiest to identify and track, but emotional abuse can be very subtle and manifest in ways that do not obviously relate to abuse. Victims of abuse often display moodiness, anger, mistrust or neediness that may not be a signal of abuse to most parents. Knowing the signs of abuse is the first step in the process. If abuse is suspected, a qualified attorney is always necessary to sort the facts of a case. Never attempt to confront or charge an abuser without legal support, as this can backfire and may result in further harm to the child or a lack of justice in the end.

As with birth injury cases, child injury cases reward damages based on quantifiable evidence. This can include medical related expenses or therapy expenses. Consultation with a qualified attorney is important in all cases to get the maximum possible damages awarded and justice for a child.



What questions should I ask when hiring a wrongful death attorney?

We’ve all turned on the TV and heard the ads; “If your loved one was fatally injured due to…” But what happens when you actually find yourself in this situation? Whatever the reason may be, if your family member has been fatally injured due to an accident or negligence, you may be considering the option of pursing legal advice. But there are so many wrongful death attorneys out there, how do you find the right one? It all starts with asking the right questions. During this tough time, you may find yourself not thinking clearly, so that’s why we have created this list of important questions to ask prospective lawyers.

First of all, what IS wrongful death?

This may sound like a silly question to ask, but the fact is, regardless of how clear cut your case may seem, there may be certain laws in place that make it more complex than you may realize. Depending on what state you live in, the laws surrounding wrongful death vary. It is important that the attorney you choose be knowledgeable in the law and can educate you on your rights.

Asking the attorney to clarify how the law defines wrongful death will give you a good indication of just how much he or she knows, and will tell you how well they are equipped to represent you. In general, the attorney should be able to explain requirements such as; eligibility, different types of wrongful death and what types of damages you can claim.

Do I really need an attorney?

Again, seemingly clear cut cases usually aren’t as straight forward as they seem. In some cases, you may have enough evidence to represent yourself. Having an attorney sit down with you, and fully explain your options is a good way to determine their honesty. Contrary to popular belief, there are honest lawyers out there, and it’s a good idea to ensure you picked the right one. After your consultation, if you feel confident that your attorney has proven to you, in an honest and valid manner, that you should seek legal assistance, you can probably rest assured that they are competent to handle your claim.

How much experience do you have, and how much of your practice is devoted to personal injury or wrongful death?

It is important to find out how much experience your lawyer really has. Even if they have been in practice for over 20 years, if a large percentage of their practice is not devoted to personal injury and wrongful death, they may not be the best fit. These types of cases can get very complex, very quickly. In a perfect situation, you want the attorney to admit that at least 90 percent of their practice is devoted to personal injury or wrongful death. It is okay if they don’t focus strictly on these cases; in fact, having knowledge outside this realm may be beneficial as it gives them expertise in all aspects of the law, which can work in your favor.

You also should ask how many times they have actually tried a case in court. As the majority of cases never sit before a judge and jury. Ask them what their results have been, and if they can provide you with the names of previous clients who are willing to discuss their experience with the firm.

Who will I be dealing with?

You may or may not know this already, but a lot of firms will hand off work to secretaries, paralegals, and new attorneys looking for experience. While some people may be okay with this, you probably don’t want your case to be a learning experience. Make sure you clearly understand who will be representing you. Upon your first consultation, you should be allowed to discuss your case directly with the attorney, not a secretary or paralegal. If you are advised that they are busy or unable to meet with you, take that as a sign that they will not have time to review your case.

If we can’t reach a settlement, are you willing to go to trial?
A huge majority of cases are settled long before they ever get presented before a judge. However, since there is always the chance that the settlement offered by the defendant may not be satisfactory, you need to know that your attorney has the experience and knowledge to proceed into trial.

The truth is no one really wants to see a case progress all the way to the court room. The defendant wants to settle for as little money as possible, the courts don’t want to be over loaded, your attorney has other cases to try, and you just want everything to be over and done with. There’s nothing wrong with accepting a reasonable settlement offer, but you have to know that your attorney is willing to continue representing you, should a settlement be unattainable.

What’s this going to cost me?

Attorneys bill their clients in different ways. The best option for you is a flat rate fee. A flat rate fee is where the attorney sets a percentage rate and sticks to that percentage throughout the entire process; regardless of how far your case goes. One huge advantage to this method is that if your case does not settle, and you do not win, you do not owe any fees to the attorney for their services. Some attorneys, however, use a method called increasing rate. This way of billing allows the attorney to increase their rate depending on how much detail goes into your case, they will give you a rate, and if the case goes to court, they may increase the rate. Furthermore, if the case goes in to appeal, the rate may increase again. Make sure you understand exactly how much you are expected to pay at the end of your trial, and ensure that you understand whether the rate will change or not.

Are you certified?

In law, certification means so much more than just a piece of paper. In order for an attorney to become certified, he or she has to prove themselves to judges and their peers. By earning the respect of others in the profession, they have proven that they are capable of handling even the most complex cases. Another advantage to this certification is the respect they gain from the insurance companies. Insurance companies keep records of which attorneys have the highest success rates, and are willing to offer higher settlements in an attempt to keep the case from progressing into court.

Dealing with a wrongful death case is never easy, there are many emotions involved, and even if you do win, monetary values will never replace the sorrow you feel. You may not think it’s very moralistic to pursue your case, knowing that success will still leave you feeling empty, but you have rights, and you owe it to yourself and loved one to seek out justice by discussing your case with a wrongful death attorney.

When Should I Consider Hiring a Bankruptcy Attorney?

Many individuals that are considering bankruptcy as their best option for their financial situation find it challenging to spend money by hiring a bankruptcy attorney. Many of them have the idea that they can simply fill out the paperwork alone, or hire someone at a reduced fee.

However, it is more financially advantageous to hire the experience of a bankruptcy lawyer as soon as the decision has been made. This is because they have assisted hundreds or thousands of clients when filing for bankruptcy. In addition, they are well versed in comprehensive bankruptcy law that can be used to reach a successful conclusion.

The process of bankruptcy can be significantly more complicated than how it might appear. While the testimony at a bankruptcy hearing might be over quickly, it is because the complicated details and extensive paperwork were all completed and filed before the hearing ever took place. When the hearing moves along smoothly, it is a result of having everything done correctly ahead of time.

In fact, bankruptcy involves more than just dealing with the bills that are owed. There might be specific assets that the individual owns that could or could not be exempt through the bankruptcy process. In fact, any item that is not disclosed could lose its protection and be lost as a result of non-disclosure. Additionally, any action that was taken months or years leading up to the filing a bankruptcy can have significant consequences. If not correctly handled, these improper financial actions can easily cause unintentional ramifications on the family.

Many individuals that file for bankruptcy on their own believe that the trustee that is assigned to their case is looking after their best interest. However, it is the trustee’s responsibility to protect the interest of every creditor that is owed money. Alternatively, a hired bankruptcy attorney looks after the best interest of their client, and not the creditor.

A lawyer skilled in bankruptcy law can determine exactly what debts should be paid off and which should be discharged. The experienced attorney can assist their client in protecting non-exempt assets using options provided by law. In addition, the attorney will work directly with the client to ensure that every asset is on the list to provide its full protection. The process provided by the lawyer will ensure that the bankruptcy provides the intended results – a new financial beginning.

Available Options

Consumers usually have the ability to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 options. According to bankruptcy law, Chapter 7 allows the individual to ask the court to discharge nearly all financial debts that are owed. As an exchange for obtaining the discharge, the trustee of the bankruptcy case has the ability to take any of the individual’s property that does not have an exemption to be used to pay off debt. To raise money, the trustee can sell the property, and distribute all of the acquired proceeds to pay off creditors.

Alternatively, by filing for Chapter 13, the individual can create a reasonable repayment plan and file it with the bankruptcy court. This will allow them to pay back a portion or all of the debt over time. The skillful attorney can help the individual in determining the amount that will need to be repaid. The amount is often determined on how much the individual earns and the type of debts that are owed along with the property the individual owns.

The Benefits of an Attorney

Many individuals believe that they simply cannot afford to hire a bankruptcy attorney to handle all the complex aspects of their case. However, most individuals will save significantly more money over time when hiring a skilled attorney before filing their case. The benefits of an attorney can provide include:

Creditor Harassment Protection

Most individuals believe that the moment they inform their creditors, including collection agencies, that they have hired legal counsel, the creditors are legally required to stop the harassing. However, by law the creditor still has the legal right to make contact. A solution for stopping the harassment from the creditor is to inform each one that an attorney has been hired and that all calls should be made to the lawyer’s office. This action will alleviate much of the stress that was caused when a creditor or collection agency called the house.

Navigating the Process

The complexities of a bankruptcy petition can be enormous. The court system requires proper documents to be filed in a timely manner. There are questions and answers asked by the trustee when reviewing the case. There are actions and paperwork to be filled out for every creditor. A simple solution for navigating through the process is to turn over the bankruptcy to a skilled attorney.

This way the individual can be assured that the attorney is making the right moves and filing the correct paperwork that will have a direct positive impact toward having the discharge of debts granted. The attorney will be skilled in how to proceed, saving the individual money and time.

Hiring Expertise

There are certain aspects of a bankruptcy filing that require extensive understanding of the law. This includes statutes of limitations on how long a debt can be remain active. A skilled attorney will know which creditors can make an active claim to receive repayment of their debt.

In addition, an experienced attorney will make sure that all of the paperwork has been filled out and filed correctly. Making a mistake at any time during the process can result in an unexpected dismissed case. Because bankruptcy laws continue to change in substantial ways, filling out the proper forms completely and accurately is essential to ensure that the individual makes claim to a successful petition. Any improperly filed documentation or mistake can easily have the case dismissed.

Because the lack of knowledge in bankruptcy law can create dire consequences, it is important to hire a skilled bankruptcy lawyer as soon as the decision for bankruptcy has been made. The attorney can protect the legal rights and interests of their client to allow them to regain peace of mind. Their efforts can help their client reestablish their financial health and begin the process of living an active debt-free life.

I didn’t file a police report for my car wreck, can an attorney still help?

If you’ve been involved in a car accident and the police didn’t come to the site, you haven’t lost your claim. You still have a case. A police report is most often used as a fact sheet that contains contact information, insurance information, description of the accident and the assigned fault. There’s also a reasonable summary of the damage done to both vehicles involved. It’s not necessary to have a police report in order to file a personal injury claim.

What’s Necessary After an Accident

The most important step that you have to take is exchanging information with the other driver. You have to get the full name, make, model and year of the vehicle. You also want to get the name of the insurance company and policy number. Without the policy number, you will have a hard time getting the insurance policy. Large insurance companies who have thousands of policy holders will not be able to help you.

The second most important step is to seek out medical attention for your injuries immediately. If you experience any type of pain, memory less, broken bone, cut, whiplash or other injury, you’ll need a medical record to show damages and pursue your claim.

What to Bring When Meeting an Attorney

After the accident, you’ll need to file a liability claim with an attorney if you suffered any injuries. If you did file an accident claim with your insurance and the other party’s insurance who hit you, you’ll have two claim numbers for the incident. This information is the most necessary when you meet with an attorney. If you haven’t started a claim yet, you’ll need the other party’s name, insurance company and policy number. An attorney can actually start the process for you and ensure that you get all the information.

As you see, a police report does help with all of the information, but you shouldn’t give up on a claim if you know that you can prove liability and suffered damages.

Proving Liability without Police Report

In order to win your case, you have to prove liability. There are multiple ways to prove liability without a police report. These include:

  • If the injured party was in a place he or she was supposed to be or allowed to be, and the other party hit that person or otherwise injured them with their vehicle would be liable because they should have expected to be more careful.
  • The employer may be responsible if a worker hits you while in a service vehicle.
  • If the other party was driving recklessly such as illegally turning, driving too fast or weaving in and out of lanes, they will be held liable.

In many cases, both parties are somewhat at fault, which means that liability may be reduced to a very small amount or nothing at all. The key point is to have a lawyer on your side who can determine whether liability can proven beyond a rational doubt. Once you can prove liability, then you will be able to collect some form of damages. While the police report is handy in determining fault, often it is inconclusive. It is up to research, witness accounts, photographs, insurance appraisal and videos to determine the fault of the drivers involved.

When States Require Police Reports

If the police weren’t called to the scene, you can always file a police report later. Some states require that if you have a lawsuit, you must file a police report as well. In most cases, you have to file a police report if there are over $500 in damages. However this doesn’t have to be done at the scene of the accident particularly if you required immediate medical attention.

It’s also important to note that many insurance companies will tell you that you need a police report, but this is the wrong advice. You can always pursue a case in court just by proving liability and damages. Again, by contacting car accident lawyers, you can get a consultation to assess the liability and really tell you whether you have a case or not. Most lawyers even provide a free consultation. The police report is inconsequential to your lawsuit if you have evidence of liability and medical records to show damages. Many people have made a case with much less and won.

How long does a wrongful death case last?

People who file wrongful death cases quickly find that each case takes its own trajectory. There’s not one set way that a case will play out, and its duration is largely based on the facts and the goals of the client. In Georgia, an Atlanta wrongful death attorney would have more success getting a case hurried through the courts. There, the civil courts are not nearly as overloaded as places like Los Angeles, where it can take two or three years before a case is set for trial. In order to know whether you want to file a wrongful death lawsuit, you should understand the process and how long it will take. The first stages of any case After a loved one has passed away, you can go about the process in many different ways. You’ll go through the grieving process, and you’ll have plenty of time to get in touch with a lawyer after that. For most types of wrongful death claims, you’ll have at least a couple of years to file the lawsuit before the statute of limitations bars your claim. The first real step is contacting an attorney, who will bring you in for a consultation quite quickly after that first phone call. After you meet with an attorney, he’ll give you a good idea of whether you have a case. Depending upon where the accident happened and who was responsible, you may then start filing claims with various insurance companies. This can happen very quickly, but chances are good that insurance companies will string you along. A good lawyer will then help you collect information on who was at fault. Before you can file a lawsuit, you’ll need the names and addresses of all known defendants. This process could take as little as a couple of weeks and as much as a few months depending upon the complexity of the case. Filing the lawsuit After a few weeks have passed, you’ll likely be ready to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Your attorney will likely file the case in state court, as it’s generally better for plaintiffs to go in front of state court juries in these types of cases. Your lawyer will have a short period of time in which he’ll have to serve the other party with notice of the lawsuit. From there, the other party will respond to your suit, and in most cases, they’ll issue a general denial of your claims. They’ll have a month or more to make this response, and they may request extra time to do so. In some instances, the defendant might try to get your lawsuit moved to federal court. This can happen when the amount you’re asking for is significant and the other party is from out of state. Federal courts also have jurisdiction over certain subject matter, so if there is a serious question of federal law that will be at the heart of your case, your lawyer may have to respond to a defendant’s request to have the case removed to federal court. Requests for discovery In any wrongful death lawsuit, discovery is going to be among the most important and most time consuming parts of the process. Your lawyer will file certain papers and requests, and he’ll ask the defendant to come in for a deposition in some cases. Witnesses will be interviewed, and if there’s any information that the defendant holds, your lawyer will try to get it. This can take a couple of months in some cases, as the other party may use delay tactics to drag out your case. Too often, defendants use the system to make life harder on you when you have a wrongful death claim. Filing a motion for summary judgment In almost all cases, the other party will try to have your case thrown out at the summary judgment stage. This is a process where a judge will decide whether there are genuine issues of fact that a jury will need to work through. Summary judgment is only granted when all of the relevant facts have been put into evidence and the only issue left is a matter of legal interpretation. It’s very difficult to have a case thrown out at this point in the process, but these hearings remain important when you file a claim. Settlement discussions in the interim Any good Atlanta wrongful death attorney can tell you that judges will encourage you to mediate the claim with the other party. While you’re preparing to go to trial, you may be asked to meet with the defendant to discuss a settlement. These talks can last months, and they usually begin a few months after you file your initial claim. They can run right up until the moment you go to trial, so you’ll have to be prepared for this. Setting the case for trial After all of the initial motions have been filed and you haven’t reached a settlement, the case will be set for trial. This will be a few months in the future, and it can be as much as a year after you file your lawsuit. A good lawyer can help speed the process up, but there is always a chance that the other party’s attorney or a judge’s schedule could present difficulty for you. If you’re in need of a quick trial process, your lawyer can argue this on your behalf to the presiding judge. Trials can be very short, lasting only a few days in some instances. In most cases, the entire ordeal will be finished within 15 months. A lot will depend upon how complicated your claim is and how much money you’re looking to recover. In almost every case, you will have some control over how long it lasts. Most defendants will look to settle if your case has any strength. Individuals looking to shorten the process always have the option of accepting a settlement to shorten the length of the process and get their hands on compensation.