A Credit Counselor Versus a Bankruptcy Attorney

Methods You Can Use To Thank Your Attorney For Representing You

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When you’ve been injured and have hired a personal injury attorney to guide you through the legal process, it can be easy to develop a bond or camaraderie with this legal professional that you’ll often speak to regularly. When your case wraps up, either via the acceptance of a settlement or a court ruling, your dealings with the attorney will quickly come to and end – which can seem strange. Regardless of the specific details of the case’s resolution, it’s polite to express your thanks to the personal injury attorney in a variety of different ways. After all, this person might have just helped you get a life-changing amount of money. Here are some ideas that the attorney will appreciate. Write An Actual Note Of Thanks It’s easy in today’s technological age to send a quick email or text message expressing your thanks for the legal representation. To stand out among the attorney’s clients and show your etiquette, take the time to write and send an actual handwritten note. Buy a blank card and share a few words of appreciation. Generally, the key to an effective note expressing your thanks is to offer specific details to reinforce your gratitude. For example, you could write how you appreciate the attorney advising you to decline the initial settlement and hold out for a larger sum. Offer To Write A Testimonial Many personal injury attorneys will appreciate the offer of writing a testimonial, as these encouraging words can often help the attorney gain future clients. This testimonial may be used on the law firm’s website, so make sure you’re comfortable with your name being used or ask to have your initials used. Put together a few thoughts about how you appreciated the legal assistance and how it has made a major difference in your life. Send A Small Gift There’s no reason that you can’t send a gift to the attorney – and you might even wish to make it something that the legal assistances and administrative staff who helped you can also enjoy. A gift basket of assorted snacks is a simple idea, as they can be easily divided among the staff at the office. If you wish to strictly thank the attorney with a gift, a gift card to a local restaurant or supermarket are ideal considerations that are likely to be appreciated. If you get to know your attorney to the point that you know his or her interests – such as golf – a gift card to an appropriate retailer is another idea to consider.  ...

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Do’s And Don’ts For Getting Your SSDI Claim Approved By The SSA

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If your doctor has recommended that you file for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA), then it is vital you understand that there are specific things you can do to help you claim to be approved in the shortest period of time possible. Follow these do’s and don’ts to ensure the success of your future SSDI claim: Do some preliminary research online about the SSDI claims process. By understanding each aspect of the process and reading about other people’s experiences, you can better stay on top of your case and anticipate future problems and make plans to actively avoid the most common pitfalls in the process. Don’t over-estimate your chances of success and a quick payment from the SSA for your SSDI claim. Many claims are denied outright on their first attempt and you should expect that yours may be one of them. If you expect a denial, then it will help you to stay sane during the process. Do be honest and complete when you fill out all of the paperwork that the SSA requires for you to file a claim for SSDI benefits. Look at each form or questionnaire as a potential excuse or the SSA to deny your claim. You can be proactive and avoid this fate by ensuring that all of the information that you provide is complete and accurate. Don’t neglect to obtain copies of all of your medical records and provide them to the SSA with all of the other information that you can use to support your disability claim. When it comes to dealing with the SSA, it is always better to provide as much proof of your disabling condition as possible. Do continue to see your doctors and closely follow their advice during your application process period. Make sure that you mention all of your symptoms and issues to your physician at each visit so that they will mark them in your medical records. Also, make sure that you attend any physical therapy appointments and fill prescription medications that you are given. If you fail to do these things, then your claim could be denied by the SSA because you are not following medical advice that is being given to you by a physician. Don’t fail to seek the help of an SSDI attorney early in the process of applying for SSDI benefits. By seeking legal assistance early, you will greatly improve your chances of being awarded the SSDI benefits that you deserve in a much more timely fashion. To learn more, contact someone like Michael P...

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3 Things You Should Avoid When Filing A Personal Injury Lawsuit

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Personal injury lawsuits are incredibly common. Many people choose to resolve their disputes through the legal system because it is effective and can give you the compensation you desire for your losses. However, many people make mistakes when preparing for their personal injury suit. Here are some things you should avoid so that you can get the best outcome possible. 1. Don’t Delay Filing The Suit What many people don’t understand is that there is actually a limitation on how long you can wait before you file the suit. Once the incident happens, you only have short amount of time to take the suit to court. If you wait too long, you will lose that chance, even if the guilty party was obviously negligent and you could have been awarded some damages. In most cases, you have about 2 years to file the suit, although the number varies from state to state. This doesn’t mean that on the 2 year anniversary, you should talk to an attorney. It means that the suit needs to be filed in 2 years, so talk to an attorney early enough so that you can get the suit filed in time. 2. Don’t Expect Punitive Damages If you watch a lot of legal TV shows, you might be tempted to think that all personal injury lawsuits are awarded a lot of money through punitive damages. This is simply not true. In most cases, the only kinds of damages that are awarded are compensatory damages. These are damages that compensate for the individual’s pain and suffering and can be proven through documentation, or through professional testimony. Punitive damages are only awarded in the most rare of cases when the guilty party was grossly reckless, negligent, or meant to harm the individual. These damages are usually set in place to punish the guilty party. Thus, when you file your suit, be realistic about the amount of money you will get from it. Don’t assume you will get a ton of money from punitive damages. 3. Don’t Expect To Go To Court When you file the lawsuit, there is a good chance that you will never see a courtroom. The majority of civil cases settle outside of court, and this is for a good reason. It is expensive to go to court, it will take a lot more time, and there is always a chance that you will walk away with nothing. This is why it is better to go into the lawsuit with the expectation that you will settle and compromise on a...

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About The Benefits Of Hiring A Reputable Lawyer For Your DUI Case

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Are you in legal trouble for the third time for driving under the influence of alcohol? If you are in deeper trouble this time because you have already committed multiple DUI offenses in the past, you will find that hiring a reputable lawyer will be beneficial for your defense. This article will help you understand why hiring a lawyer is in your best interest when you are facing jail due to your history of drunk driving. Your Defense Will Be Stronger When you take the time to find a reputable lawyer to represent your DUI case, you will have a better chance of getting a satisfactory sentence. The lawyer will gather as much evidence as possible to prove that you deserve a chance to improve your ways, especially if you are an alcoholic. He or she will try to convince the judge that your drinking habits are out of your control, but you are willing to seek treatment. It is also possible that your lawyer will ask you to join an alcohol treatment program, as it will show that you are actively working towards correcting your bad habit. Your Sentence Might Be Served in an Alternative Way If you are facing time in jail, a lawyer will do everything in his or her power to help you avoid having to go. He or she will speak to the judge about how going to jail will not necessarily solve the crime that you committed. If you are not already in an alcohol treatment program, the lawyer may suggest to the judge that sentencing you to such a program will be the most effective type of punishment. The lawyer may also suggest other types of alternative punishment along with alcohol treatment, such as: A curfew Probation Community service Wearing a tracking device on your ankle Your Character Will Look Better in Court It is wise for you to hire a lawyer who is able to make your character look good in court. Good character can go a long way in a criminal defense case when it is presented the right way. A lawyer will ask some of the people you know to speak on behalf of your character in court. For instance, if you have ever done any charitable work, the lawyer will contact staff from that organization to ask if someone can explain to the court what you did out of goodwill. Talk to a DUI lawyer from a firm like Jack Weatherill Law Offices to get the legal assistance that you...

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Questions To Ask Yourself Before Filing A Personal Injury Lawsuit In Montana

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If you are going to file a personal injury lawsuit in the near future, then you want to make sure that your case is as close to bulletproof as possible. In order to ensure that, you will want to familiarize yourself with some key laws in your state. These laws can have a massive impact on your lawsuit, potentially even undermining it completely. To make sure that your case is as successful as possible, here are some key questions that you will want to ask yourself, particularly when filing in Montana: When did the incident happen? Your first concern should be figuring out exactly when the injury happened. The main reason for this is that you will need to make sure that you fall within the statute of limitations, which dictates the lifespan of a criminal or civil matter. In Montana, the personal injury statute of limitations is 3 years, which fairly average when compared to other states. This provides you with a decent window of opportunity to plan out your case and gather evidence. If you are outside that 3 year limit, then you don’t need to abandon hope quite yet, since there are some exceptional circumstances that you might qualify for. Were you a minor at the time? If you were below legal age at the time of the accident, then you can usually get an extension for your lawsuit. In other words, the statute of limitations will be temporarily suspended until you can legally file your lawsuit. You will have 3 years to file your lawsuit from the date that you legally become an adult. Did you discover your injuries long after the incident? The other major exception is when the injuries weren’t actually discovered until long after the accident actually happened. In these cases, you can usually file relative to the date of discovery rather than the date of the original injury. Were you partially responsible for your injuries? You also need to think about whether you were partially responsible for your injuries. If that’s the case, then your damages will likely be reduced proportionally to your level of responsibility. If you were 1/3 responsible for your injuries, then you will only get 2/3 of the money that you are asking for. The big curveball comes out when you are found to have more than half the responsibility. If that does happen, then your compensation will be reduced to 0. In other words, you won’t get any money and your lawsuit will have been effectively wasted, at least as far as compensation is concerned. To learn more, contact a personal injury attorney. ...

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Avoid Being Scammed With The Investment Of A Dash Cam

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Most people have watched television programs that show police officers making traffic stops recorded by the police car’s dash cam. The footage recorded by a dash cam can become a valuable piece of evidence should the traffic stop turn into a criminal situation. Anyone that has ever been involved in a car accident with someone that is an accident scammer would tell you they would have appreciated having footage of what happened when they went to court. Learn more about the benefits of having a dashboard video recorder in your vehicle. Video Footage Can Help Solve Disputes About Accident Events When in court, the person that hit you may say statements that are not true. This type of scamming can be particularly damaging to your case if there are no witnesses to back you up about your claim to what happened. Bear in mind that many car accident scammers are pros and often have other people working with them to serve as witnesses for their claim. Cam Footage Does Not Suffer Brain Injuries In the event you are in an accident and suffer head trauma, you may not be able to remember exactly what happened. If you have a dash cam, the footage recorded can be your voice, an especially important tool if you are not at fault for the accident. While some insurance companies have yet to accept video footage as evidence, most legal professionals do and can use it to your advantage when it comes to dealing with stubborn insurance companies. To get the most from your dashboard footage, especially if you have suffered serious injuries like head or brain trauma, hiring a lawyer to handle the case for you is the best way to go. Vital Information In A Hit And Run Accident If you are in a car accident and the other driver runs, your dash cam may capture information like a tag number in addition to the make and model of the car. If you are parked and out of your vehicle, having a cam recording can be helpful if someone hits your car and leaves the scene because you are not there to stop them. The benefits of installing a dash cam in your vehicle are great, especially when it comes to being hit on purpose by a scam artist. If you have been in a car accident and you have a dash cam, discuss with your lawyer about using the recorded footage as evidence in your case. To learn more, contact a law firm like Rolsch Law...

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Getting Debts Under Control: How A Bankruptcy Lawyer Can Assist You

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Are you trying to figure out how to go about paying off the debts that are owed to creditors? You might find it helpful to speak to a bankruptcy lawyer about your financial situation in case filing for bankruptcy is the best way to handle your past due debts. Below, discover what kind of bankruptcy options a lawyer might discuss with you based on the amount of debts that you owe to creditors. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy for Debt Forgiveness A lawyer can help you get debt forgiveness for the debts that you owe if you are qualified for it. The way to qualify is by passing a means test and getting bankruptcy approved by a judge. Basically, a lawyer will conduct a means test by calculating your monthly income to determine if it is below the median income level (which varies depending on your state). If your income surpasses the median income level, the lawyer will need to know how much of the money is spent on debts, as being left with a small amount of extra money each month may still qualify you for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be suggested by your lawyer if it is possible for you to pay off your debts. Paying Back Debts Via Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Chapter 13 bankruptcy might be the best way to settle your debts if you have a decent income and don’t owe a large amount of creditors money. If approved for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will have up to five years to pay your creditors back what they are owed. You will have to draft up a repayment plan, and it is likely to get approved by the judge if you allow a lawyer to help. He or she will base the repayment plan on your monthly income, residence and debts that are owed. Your living expenses will also be taken into consideration when the repayment plan is created. Hiring a Bankruptcy Lawyer for Assistance When you hire a bankruptcy lawyer to assist with your debt situation, you will have to first have a consultation (which might not cost anything). Expect to pay a set fee that varies between lawyers if you are charged for the consultation. If you opt for filing bankruptcy, the fee might be a flat rate if your situation is not complex, but an hourly rate of at least $100 or more per hour might be charged for a complex case. Get in touch with a bankruptcy lawyer as soon as you can to improve your debt situation! Click here for more info on bankruptcy...

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What Should You Do If A Home Sale Is Delaying Probate?

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If your last surviving parent has recently passed away, you and your siblings may be in the midst of the probate process — gathering assets and debts and using your parent’s will (or the intestate distribution laws of your state) to divide property among all eligible heirs. However, if your parent’s home is in an area with a soft housing market, or if one of your siblings is dragging his or her feet on approving a listing price, you may fear that you’ll never get this home sold and be able to collect your inheritance. Read on to learn more about the steps you can take when it seems the sale of your parent’s home will keep probate pending indefinitely. What happens when probate is closed? During the probate process, the decedent’s assets are liquidated and used to pay off debts of the estate (like funeral costs, property taxes, or certain types of loans). Any funds remaining will be divided among named heirs under the terms set forth by the decedent’s will. Some physical assets (like jewelry, family heirlooms, and even real estate in some situations) may be divided among heirs without having to be liquidated first. In order to close probate and make a final distribution to all heirs, all estate property must be accounted for and in a form that can be divided among heirs. This can mean getting appraisals of non-cash or securities items to ensure their accurate value is being used in calculations and selling any items or property that will need to be liquidated — including a home. Unless the decedent’s home was held in a trust that allowed it to pass outside of probate or was directly willed to a specific heir, it’s likely the home will need to be sold before probate can be closed and checks can be issued to those who inherit. What should you do if the closing of probate is being delayed due to a home sale? There are a few steps you and your siblings may be able to agree to take if you’re anxious to get your parent’s home sold and probate closed. The first is to calculate the probable sales price and determine whether one heir may simply “buy out” the others by taking the home as an inheritance. For example, if you and three siblings each get 25 percent of your parent’s estate, with cash balances valued at $300,000 and a home valued at $100,000, one sibling may be able to accept this home as their inheritance and allow the remaining siblings to equally split the $300,000. This can be a particularly good option if one sibling has an emotional attachment to the home or is dragging his or her feet when it comes to selling the home. If your parent’s estate isn’t insolvent, you and your siblings may also be able to agree to accept a lower-than-market price for your parent’s home simply to get it off the market. Doing this can help speed up the process even in a down market, and the convenience of having a probate check issued quickly can make up for any potentially higher price this home may have fetched in the future. For more information, contact a probate attorney like David R Webb...

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Proving You Deserve Workers’ Compensation Benefits

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If you were hurt while working, you may have filed for workers’ compensation benefits to get reimbursed for medical expenses and loss of wages. Many people will find that their first attempt at filing for benefits will be denied. If you have obtained letter verification that you are not being awarded benefits, you can make an appeal to have the decision overturned. Here are some tips to use when proving to a court that you are deserving of workers’ compensation benefits in an attempt to have a successful appeal. File Paperwork Promptly When you receive a letter denying you workers’ compensation benefits, you will need to act fast in filing appeal paperwork. There is a statue of limitation in filing, making it important to be aware of this date so you do not miss an opportunity to have the ruling overturned. Each state has different stipulations regarding the amount of time you have to make an appeal. The appeal information will be listed on your letter of rejection or you can contact your state’s workers’ compensation officials for the information needed to file the appropriate paperwork. Retain An Attorney When appealing a rejected workers’ compensation claim, most people will retain a lawyer to speak in their behalf in court. This is best as they may be able to find a reason why you should be awarded benefits that you did not think about on your own. They will know about past cases and use them to your advantage when speaking about your specific situation. To learn more about hiring an attorney, contact a law firm like Hardee and Hardee LLP.  See Your Doctor Regularly It is extremely important to follow all your doctor’s order when waiting to receive workers’ compensation benefits. If you fail to heed medical advice, it will look unfavorable on your part, possibly causing the workers’ compensation board to keep your claim in a denied state. Fill prescriptions and go to follow-up appointments to make sure you are not well enough to return to work. Have your doctor give you documentation about your medical status each time you go for an appointment. This information will be analyzed in detail by the workers’ compensation board and the judge you will see in court. Get Help From Fellow Employees If your former employer is falsifying information about your injury claim, it can stop you from retaining benefits. If you have friends who had worked with you at the time of your injury who still work for the company, ask them to help you get information to prove you had become injured due to company negligence. This can be done anonymously by taking pictures of the area where you had gotten injured, proving the area is still a...

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Contested Custody And Child Custody Evaluations: What You Need To Know

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For divorcing parents with minor children, the best case scenario would be two parents who are able to agree on issues like custody, visitation and child support. Unfortunately, all too often these contentious issues cannot be worked out by the parents, and a family court judge must make the custody decisions. Judges are increasingly relying on child custody evaluations that are performed by a specific type of mental health expert to help them make these important rulings. If you are facing an upcoming child custody evaluation, read on for what you need to know. Who Does The Evaluation? Normally, the evaluations are completed by mental health professionals, such as psychologists, social workers or mental health counselors. Some states use the term “guardian ad litem” to describe these evaluators. Regardless of their title, these mental health professionals usually have advanced training for the task of interviewing children and parents and rendering a decision for the judge. Though it varies by state, the judge will often assign an evaluator to the case or provide you and your spouse a list from which to choose. An important point to note here is that the parents are responsible for paying for the services of this evaluator and the fees can run from $2,000 to $6,000, depending on your location. Knowing that, the considerable cost involved may motivate you and your spouse to reconsider working out your custody arrangements yourself. What Happens At An Evaluation? Usually, the evaluation process involves several interview sessions with your child, you, your spouse, and an observation session to see how you and your spouse interact with your child. The evaluator often will interview your child’s school personnel, such as the teachers and councilors; your pediatrician; other mental health professionals; and relatives who interact frequently with your child. The evaluator may conduct psychological testing on you, your spouse and your child. Psychological testing is a mental health specialty area, so sometimes an additional evaluation team member must be added for this task. What Should You Do? 1.  Being evaluated on your parenting skills can be an extremely stressful and intimidating process. You may know you are a good parent, but proving it to a virtual stranger can be difficult and scary. Try to keep a calm demeanor and take good care of your self during this process. 2.  Stay in close contact with your divorce attorney during the evaluation process and contact them immediately if you notice anything amiss, such as the evaluator showing obvious bias towards your spouse. Your attorney may be able to request that another evaluator complete the evaluation, but don’t wait until the evaluator has already sent the report to the judge to take action. Your attorney can be a wealth of advice about how to get through custody evaluations and prove that you are a fit and competent parent for custody...

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