The Law: My First True Love

Applying For Social Security Benefits? What You Should Know About Eligibility Requirements

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.

Your Spouse

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.

Your Children

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.

Educational Level

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. 

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Two Dangerous Trademark Mistakes Small Business Owners Make

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.

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3 Ways Your Police Report Can Influence Your Personal-Injury Case

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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Your Teen Driver Has Been in an Accident—Now What?

When your teenage child gets in an accident, and they were driving, it’s natural to be in some shock. However, once the shock passes, if your teenager was hurt, you might start to feel that an auto injury claim would be valid. Even though you weren’t present, you can help your teen to build a strong case. Here’s how.

Take Them to the Doctor

Your teen may say that they feel fine, even if they have sustained injuries, but it’s best to have a doctor look at them and confirm that they’re okay. Even if they don’t need to have a serious procedure, their being seen leaves a paper trail that proves that your child did seek medical attention for injuries. Not only that, but some injuries are not immediately recognizable by those who aren’t medical professionals; let a doctor rule out a hemorrhage, internal bleeding, or a concussion, for instance.

Have Them Write a Report

While the police might have been called to the scene of the accident and can provide an official report, it is also smart for your teenager to write a brief report of their own observations and actions. The report should include information about what was happening before the accident and details about the weather, the condition of the road, and anything else they might forget as time passes.

It’s important to remember that to avoid getting into trouble, teenagers might feel the urge to hide information or lie about certain details. They might not want you to know that they were with a friend you don’t like, for instance. You are likely to know your teen very well and know when they aren’t being truthful, so encourage them to be honest with everyone involved; you never know when a minor detail could be helpful to the case.

Monitor Their Social Media

Teenagers are big fans of social media and are often online talking to their friends and others online through their profiles. It is vital that your teen knows that they should not be mentioning anything about their case. Not only can rumors fly, but social-media posts and pictures could cause problems. Investigators from insurance companies are starting to research through the Internet more often; if they come across your teenager bragging or talking about how great they feel after their accident, that could be bad for their claim. If your teenager is posting pictures that make them look like an unsavory character, someone could claim that it’s reasonable to assume that your child was at fault.

While you might not want to shut down or deactivate their social-media profiles, tell them to only allow close personal friends to view what they are saying and remind them that what they’re saying and posting could be seen by everyone.

You can help your teen driver to behave wisely after they’ve been in an accident. Retain an auto injury lawyer, such as one from Knafo Law Offices, who can help your teenager’s claim to be successful.

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Do Grandparents Have Visitation Rights?

Whether it is through divorce, custody decisions, or arguments with the parents, grandparents sometimes find themselves with no access to their grandchildren. All they want to do is see their grandchildren growing up, before they have no time left. It leads to them wondering if they would have visitation rights. Here’s a look at the question, as it isn’t a straight yes or no answer.

It Depends on the Circumstances

There are certain circumstances where the grandparents won’t have any rights. One of those is in the case of adoption. The birth grandparents would lose their rights, just like the birth parents do. Grandparents may be able to strike deals with the adoptive parents, but there are no legal requirements.

Cases of abuse in the family may lead to grandparents losing all rights. This will usually be the parents of the abuser or someone the courts believe will put the child in danger.

In most other cases and most states, there are rights awarded to grandparents. Court-mandated visitation may be set if parents and grandparents can’t come to a decision.

Rights Unconstitutional

There are cases where the rights to grandparents have been deemed unconstitutional. This happened in 2000 by the United States Supreme Court. In the case of Troxel v. Granville, the Court ruled that Washington statute violated the parents’ rights, and rights of the grandparents cannot go against the parents’ rights to raise their own children.

Based on this, Washington and other states made changes to their statues. You’ll need to check the statutes for your specific state to find out the details of your visitation rights.

Considering the Needs of the Child

Like with all custody battles and visitation cases, the needs of the children will always be put first when it comes to grandparents. The court will look at whether grandparents and parents are able to offer the children everything needed or if there are dangers with the visits. Grandparents must convince the court that it is in the best interest of the child to allow visitation by showing that they are able and fit to take care of the children. This includes living arrangements, income, and psychological well-being.

Prior relationships with children tend to be considered in these circumstances. The mental state and age of the child may also be considered, as judges will not want to put unnecessary pressure on children by going through court cases.

There is no instant right to visitation for grandparents, the parents decide if the grandparents can see the child in most cases. However, there are instances where grandparents can go to court to fight for their rights to have or see their grandchildren.

To learn more, contact a law firm like Thomas & Associates, PC

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Two Defenses That May Help You Avoid Being Convicted Of DUI

Defending against a DUI charge can be challenging, especially if the prosecuting attorney has evidence that appears to support his or her case (e.g. breathalyzer readings). However, there are a number of defenses that can be employed to help you avoid being convicted of the crime or that may result in you being convicted of a lesser charge. Here are two DUI defenses that could possibly help your case.

Medical Condition

One defense that could help you avoid a DUI conviction is showing you have a medical condition that either only made it appear you were intoxicated or significantly skewed the results of any tests you were required to take to show how intoxicated you were. For instance, diabetes can cause a person to appear to be drunk due to the effects of low blood sugar levels and has been known to negatively influence breathalyzer readings because the person’s body produces acetone, which the breathalyzer records as alcohol.

Using this defense effectively involves producing medical records showing you were diagnosed with the condition and how it impacts your body. For instance, it can be difficult for people with COPD to blow into the breathalyzer machine properly due to reduced lung function. This can lead to a false reading. Producing a note from your doctor discussing your diagnosis may be enough to get the reading thrown out and the case dismissed, if that was the prosecutor’s strongest piece of evidence.

Extenuating Circumstances

Another possible defense to the DUI charge is to show there were extenuating circumstances in your case that essentially required you to drive while intoxicated. For instance, if you were about to be a victim of a crime and the only way to get out of the situation was to drive a vehicle, then the court may take that into consideration when determining whether to continue with the case or not.

With this type of defense, the circumstances would have to be pretty compelling. Additionally, you may be required to show proof of what occurred that led to you driving intoxicated even though you knew it was illegal. For example, regarding the previous example, you would need to produce a police report supporting your story. Even if you’re not able to avoid a conviction, the court may opt to reduce your sentence based on the nature of the extenuating circumstances.

For more information about possible DUI defenses or assistance with handling a case, contact a criminal law attorney.

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Who Is Liable For Prescription Drug Overdose Deaths?

The word “drug” has developed a negative connotation over the decades. Illegal substances typically leap to mind, but the term “Drug Store” can conjure images of relieving cold medicine and painkillers.

Legal or illegal, any drug can be deadly if taken in excess. When it comes to elicit and illegal drugs, blame is usually easy to assign. When it comes to prescription drugs, however, the question of who is liable becomes difficult to answer.

The Facts

Keep in mind the differences between over-the-counter and prescription drugs. Over-the-counter drugs are drugs that can be purchased like any item in a store, with no license or permission.

The issue with prescription drugs is that they require authorization from a doctor and distribution from a pharmacist. As with anything, the more parties involved, the more complicated things get.

The Issues

Doctors have a duty to protect their patients, which sometimes requires issuing a drug that can be dangerous if abused. There are a number of factors to consider; is the drug consistent with the patient’s medical condition, how much should be given, could the drug be used for illegitimate purposes, and so on.

The question of who is liable could very well depend on individual situations. For example, if a doctor knows that a patient has a history of addiction, yet issues something like OxyContin, the doctor will most likely be found guilty of negligence. However, if that same patient is legitimately suffering from severe pain and, even after consulting the family, the doctor prescribes the drug anyway, liability could shift.

The Truth

Unfortunately, the only certainty is that overdose from prescription drugs is becoming a more pressing issue in America as people drown in prescription drugs and the culprits could very well be Americans themselves. Arguably, this culture has become more and more fixated on having everything instantly, which includes cures.

At times, a patient may want a drug for a problem that was caused by another drug. Blaming big business has grown easy, and there are some who like to blame pharmaceutical companies due to the large kickback they get from sales. As Forbes contends, many blame the pharmaceutical industry for the current heroin epidemic in the United States.

If you or a loved one has suffered from an accident related to prescription drugs, the best thing you can do is consult with a lawyer. When the offender could be anyone from the doctor to the pharmacist to the patient themselves, professional advice is always recommended. Visit for more information.   

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