If you are struggling to meet financial obligations, either in your business or personal life, there are options to get back on track. While it should not be the first choice, filing bankruptcy is an option — but the filling can be complicated and you may want to have a bankruptcy lawyer help you work through the process. What are the types and options of bankruptcy? Here’s a look.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
This filing is basically a liquidation of all assets to repay creditors. A trustee is assigned to the case, and they will determine the value of the assets and then start the process of liquidating them. Once the assets are liquidated, the remaining debt is discharged.
Most businesses will avoid filing Chapter 7 because their capital to operate is gone and if they somehow generate income after the filing is closed, the creditor can attack it as it was not part of the filing. You can file Chapter 7 as in individual as well, but it will leave you with few assets, including houses, cars, and other valuable items.
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
This is perhaps the most common filing as it allows for the company to retain assets and continue to function during the process. The business will typically reorganize, which often includes workforce reductions and cost cutting measures to try and get back on track. The filing is complicated, though, so a bankruptcy lawyer is a must here. If the company is very large, the potential for an entire team of lawyers to be necessary is high. The filing has to be handled precisely, or the company may not recover and continue to operate after the suit is settled.
If you are a business owner considering Chapter 11, get a lawyer with a good reputation for precise work and attention to detail. You do not want to miss anything when filing Chapter 11.
Chapter 12 Bankruptcy
This one is a little different as it is intended for farm owners, specifically. A failing farm may have no choice but to consider filing Chapter 12, but under this filing, the farm owner will continue to own the property and equipment on the farm. The intention is to allow the farm to continue to operate and allow the owner time to recover from the financial losses they might have. The farmer will have to work out a repayment plan, but will be able to continue working and making money to try and make the farm profitable again.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Without question, this is a big one. It is common for individuals and is hard to work through. You will want to retain a lawyer and have them guide you through this process. Like Chapter 11, in a Chapter 13 filing, the debtor will retain ownership of the assets they own and the repayments to creditors are typically stretched over 5 years. The judge may order something different, but typically 3 to 5 years is the term. The upside here is that you can keep your house and assets, but you may be ordered to pay a pretty steep payment to the court for several years to come.Learn More
You never know when an accident is going to occur while you’re at work. Whether it’s a trip and fall accident that leaves you with a sore hip or a more serious accident that leaves you with debilitating injuries, an accident on the job can interfere with every aspect of your life. In 2015, there were 2.9 million non-fatal workplace injuries. Worker’s compensation insurance is designed to provide medical care for your work-related injuries as well as financial compensation while you’re unable to work. If you’ve been injured on the job, here are four steps you should take to ensure that you receive the care and compensation you’re entitled to.
Don’t Wait to Report the Incident
If you’ve been injured at work, the worst thing you can do is delay filing a report. The longer you wait, the harder it will be for you to receive worker’s compensation benefits. In fact, in some states there are mandatory time limits you need to file a report by. In California, you only have 30 days from the date of your accident to report it to your employer. However, you have from one to five years to file an official claim for worker’s compensation benefits. Don’t risk your benefits. Notify your employer immediately.
Go to the Doctor Your Employer Provides
Once you’ve reported the incident to your employer, you’ll need to seek medical care. It’s important that you go to the doctor that your employer provides. While it’s fine for you to see your personal physician, your actual care will need to be from an authorized worker’s compensation physician. If you’ve listed your physician as your emergency-care physician on employment paperwork, they’ll be designated as your worker’s compensation physician. If you’re not sure whether you’ve done that, be sure to speak to your human-resource manager before making your appointment.
Keep a Journal
If you’ve been injured on the job, start keeping a detailed journal. You’ll want to document everything that pertains to your accident and injuries, including the date and time of your accident. You should also complete daily entries about how your injuries are interfering with your daily life, such as if you’re unable to work or if your pain levels prevent you from interacting with your family. These details will help you obtain the care and compensation you deserve.
Seek Legal Advice
If you’ve suffered workplace injuries, you need to seek legal advice as soon as possible. In most cases, you’ll receive the care you need without problems. However, it’s important to remember that worker’s compensation is an insurance policy, and that means there will be an insurance company involved in the process. Unfortunately, insurance companies are in the business of saving their customers money. Your attorney will ensure that you receive the treatment and the compensation you’re entitled to as an injured worker.
Don’t take chances with your health or your future. If you’ve been injured on the job, use the tips provided above to ensure you receive the benefits you deserve. If you have questions about your benefits, be sure to talk to an attorney such as one from Thompson Legal Services.Learn More
If you were recently involved in a car accident and suffered personal injuries as well as injuries to your vehicle and personal property, you are going to be offered a settlement from your insurance company. It is vitally important that you get the money that you deserve so you can cover all of your bills and other accident-related expenses. Here are three tricks that will help you get the settlement that you deserve.
#1 Detail Financial Impact Of Accident
The first thing that you need to do is craft a document that shows the financial impact that the accident had on your life. This document should include all the medical bills that you incurred, down to any prescriptions that you had to fill. Next, this document should include a breakdown of all the days of work that you had to take off due to the accident as well as the amount of money, before taxes, that you would have expected to bring in if you had been able to work on those days. Then, the document should include all car related expenses, such as body work, mechanical work, and rental car costs.
It is important that you sit down and figure out all the of the figures above so that you are able to realize the financial impact that the accident has had on your life. Having this detailed information will also help you understand what is a good offer and what is a poor settlement offer from your insurance company.
#2 Write A Formal Demand Letter
Second, you need to write a formal demand letter to your insurance company. This demand letter should include the basic details of your accident, basic details of the injuries that you suffered and detailed written description of the impact that the accident has had on your life.
At the end of the letter, you need to state your specific compensation demand that you want to receive for your injuries. This is the first major step with the insurance company towards getting the settlement that you deserve.
#3 Ask For More Than You Want To Settle For
When you make your settlement demand in your demand letter, it is vital that you write down a larger amount than you actually want to get because your insurance company is almost guaranteed to want to negotiate and go back and forth over the numbers with you. For example, if you calculated that your accident related expenses were $20,000, you should ask for at least $30,000 in your demand letter. Always ask for more so that you will not have to settle for less.
#4 Don’t Go With The First Offer
Finally, after you submit your demand letter and get a settlement back from your insurance company, don’t feel like you have to go with the first offer that your insurance company offers you. If they offer you the amount you asked for, then it is okay to take the settlement. However, if your insurance company offers you $15,000 when you asked for $30,000, counter their offer and ask for $23,000 and include additional information from your financial impact calculations that you figured out in step one. Hopefully, you will get a counter-offer closer to the $20,000 that you actually want.
Remember that getting the settlement that you deserve is a multi-step process and if you want to ensure that you get a fair amount, you need to be actively involved in the process. For more information, contact a personal injury attorney.Learn More
While most people associate work related injuries with sudden accidents in industrial settings, there is another category of injury that is somewhat slower to show up. Any action done over and over again, day to day, can result in a repetitive stress or strain injury. If allowed time to heal, these affected muscles, tendons, joints, and ligaments can spring back to health, but for those whose jobs depend on making the repetitive motions, healing never happens. These injuries often begin to become more apparent over time, and by the time you notice the pain the injury is already serious. If you are suffering from a repetitive stress or strain injury, you should know that you are just as entitled to workers’ comp benefits as anyone, so read on to learn more.
Common Repetitive Stress or Strain Conditions
Most everyone has heard of carpal tunnel syndrome, but there are many medical conditions that can be classified under the repetitive stress or strain injury umbrella. Some of the most common conditions are:
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Many people may be surprised to learn that the word “tunnel” in the name of the condition refers to an actual tunnel in the wrist. This important nerve passageway can get compressed with constant use, and result in swelling, numbness, and pain in the hand, fingers, and wrist areas. People who use their hands a lot at work are more susceptible to this disorder, including computer keyboard users and small assembly line workers.
Bursitis – If your joints actually make noise when you move them, you may have this disorder. Elbows and knees seem to be especially vulnerable to bursitis, and the audible crunching and crackling sounds are usually accompanied by pain and tenderness.
Tendinitis – The name of this disorder is a dead giveaway to the location of the impact, your tendons. Tendons form the attachment between muscles and joints, so you can only imagine how painful and widespread the inflammation can be. Often, symptoms start with a feeling of unusual warmth and then progress to sharp pains and immobility. This condition often affects those who use their arms and legs repetitively, such as heavy equipment drivers.
Getting Approved for Workers’ Comp
1. Seek medical attention as soon as you notice pain or other symptoms that don’t go away. Many repetitive stress injuries worsen over time and without treatment, and you may end up with permanent damage if you don’t act quickly enough. Make it a point to let the doctor know that your injury is likely related to the repetitive motions required by your job.
2. As soon as you know that your injury is work-related, inform your supervisor and ensure that a workers’ comp or accident report is filed (the exact procedure can vary by state, but your supervisor is responsible for taking action).
3. Stay in treatment. Your doctor will very likely prescribe analgesics and, most importantly, resting the affected area. Your workers’ comp will pay you a portion of your salary, so stay home to prevent further damage to the affected area. Failure to abide by the doctor’s orders, to seek medical care or to stay in treatment can make it appear that your injury is not serious enough for workers’ comp benefits.
If you feel that your claim is not being taken seriously, speak to a workers’ comp attorney as soon as possible. Click here for more info on this topic.Learn More
If you’ve recently been diagnosed with a disability that will prevent you from working, you’re probably worried about how you’ll support yourself. That’s where Social Security disability benefits come in. Even if you’re not old enough to retire, you may still be eligible for benefits through the Social Security Administration. The disability program is designed specifically for individuals who’ve paid into the system, but aren’t old enough to retire. In addition to receiving benefits for yourself, you may also be able to receive benefits for certain family members. Here are the eligibility requirements for you and your family members.
If you’ve been paying into the Social Security system, you may have earned enough credits to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. For each $1260 you earn each year, you’re allotted one Social Security work credit. If you’re disabled and your disability is expected to last at one year, you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits.
If you’re married at the time you become disabled, your spouse may be able to collect Social Security disability benefits as a result of your inability to work. There are two eligibility requirements that your spouse will need to meet. First, your spouse must be the caregiver for children under the age of 16 – or a disabled child of any age – or be at least 62 years of age. If your spouse meets one of those requirements, you should apply for spousal benefits as well.
If you’re unable to work due to a disability, your children may also qualify for Social Security disability benefits. In order to qualify for benefits, your children must meet the following eligibility requirements.
If your children are under the age of 18, attending school full-time and living at home, they may qualify for dependent benefits under your disability claim. It’s important to note that they must also be unmarried.
Under certain circumstances, children may continue receiving dependent benefits even after they turn 18 years of age. If you have a child who has not turned 19 years of age and has not graduated from high school yet, they may still qualify for dependent benefits.
If you have a child who suffers from a disability, they may be eligible for dependent benefits until they turn 22 years of age.
If you have a disability that prevents you from working, make sure that you have the benefits you need to provide for yourself and your family. If you’re not sure how to apply for Social Security benefits or you’ve had your application denied, be sure to speak to a Social Security attorney as soon as possible.Learn More
A trademark registration is the heart and soul of any business. It’s safe to say that it’s what legally protects your brand and services. When your trademark is in jeopardy, so are your profits. However, even with this understanding, a number of small businesses unknowingly put their brands at risk every day. Make sure you know what mistakes to avoid.
Failure To Keep Information Current
Once your initial application has been approved, you receive a legal trademark for your organization. However, don’t at all think you are automatically locked in to keep this trademark registration forever. It is imperative that you keep all of your registration details up to date in order to ensure this. Even the slightest error can cause your trademark registration to be cancelled, leaving you vulnerable.
One example of this is a business description that is no longer representative of the services or goods you offer. To put this in perspective, consider an HVAC company. When their business began, they only sold units to consumers who could then have the unit installed by the contractor of their choice. However, now their business model involves selling, installing, and maintaining units. This change in operational practices must be reflected in their trademark registration file or it could be in jeopardy due to inaccurate information.
Disregarding The Competition
A particularly common problem among smaller businesses is the practice of disregarding the competition. There is often the idea that because their business is so small, surely there isn’t a competitor who would even try to infringe on their trademark. This is a real mistake. If you have a product or service that is profitable, you are at risk for infringement, regardless of the size of your organization. Always keep your eye out for possible infractions.
While your competitors aren’t the enemy, the motto to keep your friends close but your enemies even closer, should be applied in this instance. Make it a point to frequently review the product line for any competitors. Whether it’s a blatant infringement, such as using the name of your product, or something subtler like using similar marketing colors, keep your eyes open so that you can take swift action to protect your brand.
Protecting your business’s trademark should begin and end with you. However, from the initial application process to registration updates to handling infringements, let an attorney work with you to protect your businesses and everything you’ve worked for. You can contact a trademark attorney at a firm like Mohajerian A Professional Law Corporation.Learn More
If you were involved in a car accident, and you have decided to go after the driver of the other vehicle via the court system in order to obtain compensation, you need to make sure that you obtain your police report. Here are three ways that your police report can influence a personal-injury case.
#1: The Scene
When the police respond at the scene of an accident, they will act as a neutral observer to what happened. In their police report, they will write down and detail what they observed when they arrived at the scene of the accident. More than likely, they will create a diagram that shows where each vehicle was located when they arrived and will note any property damage or skid marks on the road as well.
The police report should also contain details that the drivers may have overlooked or failed to note the day of the accident, such as what the weather was like, what the visibility was like, and what the lighting was like on the road that the drivers drove on. All of these details can help paint a clearer picture of what happened and who is responsible.
The polices observations can help establish the scene and back up your version of events.
#2: Witness Statements
When the police arrive, they will also gather statements from everyone involved in the accident. The police will write down as close as they can what the other people involved in the accident say word for word when they interview them. The information that the police obtain may help you establish your case.
Additionally, the police may interview other witnesses that you are not aware of. You can use these witness statements to build your case. Your attorney can even contact these other witnesses and see if they are willing to testify if your case goes to court or if they have additional statements to add or any video or photographic evidence from the scene of the accident.
#3: Tickets Issued
The police are responsible for determining if anyone broke in law in the course of the traffic accident. If they determine that you or the other drive broke the law, tickets will be issued at the scene of the accident or after an investigation if the scene of the accident was particularly complex.
Any tickets issued should be detailed in the report. If the other driver was issued a ticket and you were not, that can strengthen your claim that you were not at fault for the accident.
If you are pursuing a personal-injury case due to a vehicle accident, make sure that you obtain the police report from the department that responded to your accident. The information in the report could strengthen your case and improve your chances of winning a settlement.
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