The Law: My First True Love

Don’t Sabotage Your Personal Injury Claim With These 3 Mistakes

Getting a financial settlement as result of a personal injury claim may seem like a straightforward process. However, if you have never sought a claim before, it is easy to make mistakes that could sabotage your case. Here are some things to avoid doing if you want to be successful with your claim.

Discussing Your Case without Your Lawyer Present

If you get a call from the insurance company, you may think nothing of answering questions about your claim. However, it can be a mistake to talk to the insurance company without your lawyer present for a number of reasons.

For one thing, when you discuss your claim without your lawyer, you may be inclined to take an offer from the insurance company that is too low. It is also possible that insurance company may use your words against you; having an attorney present or on the line when talking about your claim can ensure that you don’t share anything that could sabotage your claim.

Not Following the Orders of Your Physician

Although you might have seen your doctor after you were injured, you may have decided not to follow the treatment they laid out for you. For example, they may have told you to stay home from work for a while, but you decided to go to work because you could not afford to miss multiple days at your job. This can be a problem, because the insurance company may try to claim that your injuries were not as bad as you say they were, and refuse to offer you a settlement.

Therefore, if you have a good reason for not listening to your doctor, ensure you can prove why you did not. For example, you may have religious restrictions that do not allow certain treatments. Be sure to tell your attorney about such a situation and talk to your doctor about whether there are other treatments you may be eligible for.

Sharing Information on Social Media Sites

Sharing things on social media sites may be something that you’re used to doing everyday, but it is important that you avoid talking about your insurance claim. Insurance adjusters hire investigators who may look up your social media profiles to see what you are posting in an effort to build a case against you. To avoid this, make sure your profile settings are set to private; this way, only those you approve can see what you are talking about.

Now that you know what kind of behavior you should be avoiding when seeking a settlement for your personal injury claim, be sure to use the information above to make sure you are not sabotaging your own case. Work closely with your attorney (like those at Randall A. Wolff & Associates, Ltd) to ensure you are doing everything necessary to get a fair settlement.

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What To Do If Your Car Accident Injuries Appear Late

When you get into a car accident, many injuries show up right away, but others do not. In some cases, the injuries take longer to manifest, and you may need to file a claim later than you expected. Here is more information about injuries that show up late and how to handle them.

How Injuries Show Up Later On

While the more obvious injuries do make themselves known right after a car accident, others can take a little time. After an accident, you are likely running on adrenaline, so you don’t feel the extent your injuries.  After an accident, you are likely running on adrenaline, so you don’t feel the extent your injuries.. You may find that after a couple busy weeks, you start experiencing chronic pain and find out from your doctor that it was likely a result of the accident.

The Frequency of Soft Tissue Injuries

One of the more common injuries that tends to appear late is a soft-tissue injury. A soft tissue injury affects your muscles, tendons or ligaments, but not any bones. A bone break is usually distinguishable by the look of a break as well as the intense amount of pain. However, soft tissue issues are sometimes subtle and only cause mild discomfort until days or even weeks later.

This kind of injury could occur from knocking you shoulder against the car door window or experiencing a twisted ankle as a result of your body movement during the collision. Whiplash is also considered a soft tissue injury, which may not show symptoms until much later.

How to Report Your Injuries

If it has been a little while since your car accident and you are just now experiencing pain or signs of an injury, seek medical help, then call an attorney. It is important that you report your injuries, no matter how long it has been since your accident. Having medical records will be very helpful when trying to represent your case. Be sure to save all records, from receipts for any co-pays and prescriptions, to documents from your doctor, physical therapist, or chiropractor.

A personal injury attorney specializes in this type of case, so they are the best type of lawyer to see for late-appearing car accident injuries. They will look through your medical records and decide if they think you have a case. Also be sure you are within your statute of limitations for filing the claim.

For more information, contact a personal injury lawyer like those at Gibbs and Parnell.

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Child Custody And The Best Interest Of The Child: Five Considerations

When child custody is in dispute and left to the judge to decide, judges usually use a standard referred to as “best interest of the child”. This judgment may at first appear to be vague and ill-defined, but within the scope of this issue there are certain standards that judges use to help them to make that determination. If you are involved in a child custody dispute, read on for the five factors that are used to determine what the best interest of the child may be.

1.  The age of the child: In the past, judges would usually place babies and younger children with the mother automatically, unless there were obvious issues with the mother’s fitness. The so-called “tender age” rule no longer exists, but many judges do persist in giving custody to mothers, even when there may be no logical reason to do so. Nursing mothers are almost always given custody for practical reasons.

2.  The housing situation: The parent with the family home is often given preference when custody is decided. Judges reason, rightly so, that children will suffer less disruption to their routines if they are left in familiar surroundings. The parent without the family home who is seeking custody should take care when making their living arrangements. While it may be cheap and convenient to crash at a friend’s apartment, don’t expect the judge to be impressed with your bachelor pad living situation when it comes time to decide child custody.

3.  Your attitude about your spouse: Judges will look carefully at how the parents relate to one another and prefer to see a parent who is respectful towards the child’s other parent. A parent who bad-mouths, manipulates or causes drama will likely score very low on the judge’s scale for parental attitude, and custody with that parent may not be considered in the best interest of the child.

4.  The child’s desires: This issue varies widely from state to state. Some states refuse to involve the children in this decision entirely, and other states allow for children of a certain age, usually at least early teen-aged years, to have a hand in the decision. Some states use a separate professional, called a custody evaluator, to assist in evaluating the child’s preferences.

5.  Unfit parents: Obvious issues with one parent such as drug or alcohol abuse, other types of abuse, mental incapacitation, etc, if proven, will result in custody with the fit parent.

Child custody issues are contentious and stressful for all concerned. It is not enough to simply love your child and be certain that you are the best one to be awarded custody, you must prove to the judge that it is in the best interest of the child that you receive custody. Discuss your child custody situation with a divorce attorney from a firm like the Law Offices of Gordon Liebmann who can help you to prove your fitness as the custodial parent.

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Three Steps For A Successful Child Custody Process

Perhaps the most heart wrenching facets of divorce revolve around child custody disputes and arrangements. Because of this, you will need to remember some tips that will help you and your divorce attorney set forth the best plan possible. For that reason, take advantage of the information in this piece that will help you protect your rights and give you the child custody strategy that you need. 

Find Out The Laws Of Your Particular State

For your own knowledge and to make sure that you are equipped for court, it is vitally important that you learn the child custody laws set forth by your state. These laws vary greatly depending on where you live, so arming yourself with this information will be invaluable. For instance, in Virginia, the courts cater to the child’s interests, such as their age, relationship with each parent and the child’s wishes, when deciding who gets custody. Meanwhile, Nevada considers factors like the relationship with siblings and the amount of conflict that the parents have with one another, when considering the best custody situations. Understanding these variables fully and completely will give you the help that you need to build a solid case. 

Consider Hiring An Attorney For Your Child

One thing that many parents don’t know or don’t think about is that you are allowed to hire a lawyer for your child as well. If you and your spouse are afraid that your conflict is toxic to the point that it may cloud your intentions with the custody hearing, hiring a third attorney for the child might be the best course of action. This lets you keep the intentions pure, since the third attorney can’t be coerced by any agenda, and will always keep the child’s interest in mind. 

Take Advantage Of Mediation

Things don’t have to get ugly in the courtroom, because mediation is available. Mediation allows you and your spouse to have sessions with a third party, in order to foster communication, compromise and negotiation. With good mediation, you will be able to come out of those sessions with an agreement that will become binding with a judge’s signature. This not only fruitful in keeping the peace and making the best decisions, it also allows you to pay much less in court fees, while lowering your stress, since you reduce the amount of court hearings needed. 

Follow these three steps, so that your child custody process goes as smoothly as possible. 

To learn more, visit a website like

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Proving a Slip-and-Fall Accident Was Staged

If you own a small grocery or convenience store and you had noticed a patron walking around inside your establishment, looking rather shifty, and then they claim to have fallen down and gotten hurt, you may be the victim of a staged slip-and-fall accident. Unfortunately, some people pretend to get hurt inside a store or on a public walkway, falsifying information so they can collect benefits through insurance and their employer as a result. Here are some ways to prove that an accident that happened within your store was not because of negligence on your part.

Collect Witnesses

To find out who was present in the store at the time of the incident, go through credit card receipts to get a list of names of people who had made purchases. Use this information to make a list of addresses and phone numbers so you can contact the people to see if they can be a witness if the slip-and-fall incident goes to court. Ask your employees if there were any people in the store whom they personally knew so they can contact them for the same reason.

Check Footage

If you have surveillance cameras inside your store, pull the footage and look through it to see if there are any telltale signs that prove the person claiming to fall had pretended to get hurt. You may see the person lie down without falling at all. They might pull something off of a shelf and lay it in the aisle to use as a prop that caused them to trip. If you find any information on the tapes at all, your lawyer will be able to use it in court to show to the jury and judge, possibly clearing you of all charges.

Do Safety Checks

Call in a safety company to do an evaluation of the interior of your store to look for areas where things are not as safe as they can be. Use the report they give to you to prove that there was no reason for someone to fall in the area where the incident occurred. You can also use any negative information on the report to help make repairs to areas needing more work in keeping customers safe.

Hire a Detective

If you hire a private investigator to help you with your case, you will have the benefit in having surveillance done on the person who claimed to get hurt. If they are seen walking around as if they didn’t become injured at all, this information will come in handy in proving that they are fraudulently collecting insurance money when they didn’t sustain an injury necessitating payout.

Additionally, a lawyer like True Guarnieri Ayer LLP can help you with all aspects of your case.

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Dispelling 2 Myths About Estate Planning

Planning for your own death is not a pleasant task, but it is something that can help your family avoid confusion, arguments and stress. Sadly, there are many people that fail to appreciate the importance of this type of planning because they are ill-informed about the estate planning process. However, learning the realities behind the following two myths should help you to better appreciate the value of an estate plan and what you need to create one.  

Myth: Only Rich People Need An Estate Plan

There are many people that assume an estate plan is only for the wealthy. However, this is not always the case, and even those individuals with limited assets may benefit from this legal tool. An estate is essentially a collection of your assets, possessions and property, and you do not need to be rich to be able to pool your lifelong collection of wealth into this type of plan. 

In fact, one of the primary benefits of creating an estate plan is a greater ability to manage the burden that your survivors must pay on the assets you leave them and speed. Estates can use a variety of methods to distribute or offset taxes that your family members will be required to pay. For example, it is possible for this entity to be the beneficiary of a life insurance policy, and this is tax free income which can be used to offset any tax burdens that your loved one’s will incur. Also, an estate is able to fully bypass the court system, and this can help avoid your loved ones’ needing to spend weeks or months going through the required legal channels. 

Myth: Your Attorney Will Need Minimal Input When Preparing The Estate Plan Document

In order to create an effective estate plan, you will need the services of an professional attorney, like those at Wright & Wayment, PLLC, in this area of law. There are many different ways that an estate can be organized, and the option that is best for you will largely depend on the type and amount of assets that you will be leaving behind. 

As a result, you will need to provide your attorney with ample input during the process of making your estate plan. In particular, you will need to provide a copy of your complete financial records as well as an inventory list of any possessions that you are bequeathing to your survivors. Once they have been given this information, your attorney will be able to start work on the estate, and it will usually be completed in a matter of weeks. However, you may still be contacted by the attorney to answer questions about your wishes during this process.

Creating an estate plan does not have to be a daunting or confusing experience to go through. By learning the truth about some common estate planning myths, you can help remove much of the confusion and stress that comes from preparing these documents.

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3 Reasons To Have A Family Law Firm Assist With An Adoption

Going through the adoption process is a great and rewarding experience, but it can also be complicated and risky. Thankfully, a law firm that specializes in family law can make the process much simpler and less risky. A family law firm can assist you when it comes to dealing with international adoptions, private adoptions, and adoption agencies.

International Adoptions

One of the most complicated adoption processes that you can undergo is adopting a child from another country. However, many people still choose to attempt an international adoption because of the many children that are available to adopt, or because they want to help get many of these children out of harmful environments.

In addition to helping you with the primary adoption process, you will need to have a lawyer assist you with getting the child into the country. In that situation, a lawyer is vital because immigration law is involved, which adds a whole other layer of red tape and complications.

Adoption Agencies

A family law firm can also help you make sure that you are only dealing with reputable and legitimate agencies. This is done by informing your attorney about any agencies that you are considering so that he or she can research the agency’s background before you give the agency any money.

By allowing an attorney to research the agency for you, you lower the chances of being the victim of adoption fraud. Another way that the law firm can help you find legitimate agencies is by providing you with the contact information for agencies that they have dealt with over the years.

Private Adoptions

Private adoptions are adoptions that are typically performed without the involvement of an adoption agency. These adoptions are popular with many people because they can be cheaper than working with an adoption agency. In many cases, the adoption agreement will simply be for you to pay for the pregnant person’s medical expenses throughout the pregnancy in exchange for the child.

A possible risk in that scenario is that the pregnant individual can change her mind and choose to keep the child, thus resulting in a lot of lost money for you and your family. However, a family law firm can draw up a contract that can provide you with a means of getting a judge to order the pregnant person to repay you because she did not follow through with the adoption.

Speak to a family law firm such as Kalamarides & Lambert today in order to greatly simplify the adoption process. A law firm can make dealing with private adoptions, adoption agencies, and international adoption so much easier for you and your family.

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