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Preparing For Your Initial Meeting With A Bankruptcy Attorney

Posted by on May 17, 2016 in Uncategorized |

When you make the decision to file for bankruptcy, you have likely found yourself in an emergency financial situation. Getting the process initiated as quickly as possible is important. Did you know that your ability to provide accurate information plays a pivotal role when it comes to just how swiftly your case progresses in bankruptcy law? Make certain you are properly prepared for your first meeting with your bankruptcy attorney. Collecting Financial Documents Gather important financial documents before your meeting, including pay stubs, bank statements, asset listings and current expenses. An inability to pay debts doesn’t automatically qualify you for bankruptcy. The circumstances in which you amassed the debt and the types of debts are also important factors. When you bring this information to your initial meeting, the attorney will quickly be able to determine if you have a chance of success. Even if you aren’t eligible for bankruptcy, the attorney can still work with you to devise a plan for paying off your debts. Either way, providing this information can get the ball rolling. Being An Open Book For most people, finances are a taboo subject. However, you’re going to have to allow your attorney to go deep into an area that you might not be very comfortable talking about. If you’re not prepared to be an open book, your attorney won’t just fail to get the information they need, but if you give inaccurate information, it can seriously jeopardize your case in the future. Even if it’s something you don’t want to admit to, such as spending feverishly, this is information that your attorney needs to know so that your case can be prepared accordingly. Be prepared to put everything on the table. Changing Bad Habits An attorney is only as good as their client. If your attorney is fighting on your behalf, but you’re still engaging in bad spending habits – you are only making matters worse. At your initial meeting, be ready to make a commitment to cease any bad financial habits that may have played a role in your current situation. Take someone that excessively uses their credit card, for instance. This type of individual would need to commit to stop using their card as it will be difficult for an attorney to explain their financial situation if they’re only accumulating more debt. For many people, bankruptcy is a path away from a financial catastrophe. The more effort you put into the process, the better the outcome, so make sure you are prepared from the very...

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Filing For Bankruptcy Doesn’t Rid You Of All Debt

Posted by on May 2, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you are looking at filing for bankruptcy, it’s important to look at the types of debt that you have before filing. Secured debt, back taxes, and back child support still must be paid back. This is a move that will have a big impact on your credit. If your debt is mainly secured debt, you’ll still have to pay it back. Filing for bankruptcy is useful when you have an abundance of credit card debt that you can’t pay back, or property that you can’t afford to pay for any longer such as a car.  Secured Debt Defined A secured debt is one in which you owe money, and there is an item used as collateral that can be taken back by the lender if you don’t pay the debt. In the case of a car or a home, if you don’t pay your car payments or mortgage, the lender can take the car or home back from you in default. In the end, you will be able to write off the money you owe to lender in a bankruptcy, but you will no longer have the collateral property. Debt That is Wiped Out with Bankruptcy The debt you owe to credit cards and other unsecured sources can be wiped out in a bankruptcy. With no lien on your property, or no collateral to take back, unsecured debt is why bankruptcy filings occur in the first place. Once the bankruptcy is finished, you will no longer owe money for your unsecured debt. Debt You Can’t Discharge in a Bankruptcy Back child support payments, alimony, most student loans and back income taxes all must be paid for, even after a bankruptcy. It is close to impossible to discharge any of this type of debt in a bankruptcy, unless you can prove immense hardship if you were to pay the money back. If you owe any fines for traffic violations, or criminal acts, you also can’t wipe out these debts in a bankruptcy. If you are being harassed by creditors and you have no way to pay back your debts, it’s time to sit down with a bankruptcy attorney to discuss your situation. If you live in a home that you are trying to keep, you might consider filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This type of bankruptcy can restructure your debt, allowing you to come up with a repayment plan to get your mortgage back up to date. For more information, contact Hoffman, Hamer & Associates, PLLC or a similar...

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DUI Facts Every Driver Needs To Know

Posted by on Mar 27, 2016 in Uncategorized |

It is no big secret that it is illegal to drink and drive, but what many drivers do not know is all of the details that this rule entails. As a driver, it is always a good idea to get familiar with the rules of the road from every aspect–even when it comes to the hows and whys of being charged with a DUI. There are several facts that you should know about DUIs as a regular driver. Here are a few that you should keep in mind to ensure you are never facing charges. 1. A DUI charge can originate from different things in different states. While almost all states recognize alcohol intoxication as a form of driving under the influence, there are differences in the law when it comes to marijuana and other drugs according to what state you are in. For example, in Colorado a DUI charge can mean that you were showing just minor signs of being intoxicated whether or not you had alcohol in your system. As another example, some states can charge you with a DUI even if you are just sitting in your car with the ignition turned off. 2. You can be charged with a DUI even if you seem to be driving just fine. If you are pulled over and have alcohol in your vehicle and were not showing signs in your driving behavior to indicate you were intoxicated, you could still be charged with a DUI in some cases. If your blood alcohol level is beyond the legal limit and you were driving fine, you could be slapped with what is commonly referred to as a DUI per se. Being charged with a DUI per se can mean the same outcome in court as a DUI in which you were found to be driving recklessly. 3. If you are under the age of 21, the same legal blood alcohol level may not apply. Even though the legal blood alcohol level in all 50 states is .08, if you are under the age of 21, these same rules may not apply. In some locations, you could be charged with a DUI even if there is hardly anything in your system at all when you are under the age of 21. Regulations are stricter when it comes to young drivers. Therefore, just a small amount of alcohol could easily be enough to land you with a DUI charge. Contact a DUI lawyer for more...

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High Tech Malfunctions In Your Vehicle And Car Accidents: Who Should You Sue?

Posted by on Mar 27, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Cars are fast becoming more high-tech, with dashboards that have digital readouts only the driver can read on his/her side of the windshield, dashboards operated by voice commands, built-in telephone and voice technology, GPS positioning and accurate, up-to-date road construction and detour maps. So, what happens when some of this technology fails and you get into a car accident because of it? Who do you sue? That depends on your type of car accident and exactly what lead you to be in the accident, as the following information will show. Failures in the Road Trip Mapping Tech Dashboard technology, specifically the road construction and detour maps, help you navigate around complex and inconvenient road construction sites. This technology automatically reroutes your travel plan to help you get to your destination without losing much time. If there is a failure in this technology and you are rerouted off the end of a bridge or an overpass that is under construction, or just end up in an accident attempting to follow the instructions provided by this tech in your vehicle, then you may want to have the program checked for failures. If there are glitches or failures in your road mapping and trip instruction, then you can sue the vehicle’s manufacturer. Failures in the Road Positioning Tech Road positioning technology alerts you to the closeness of other vehicles. It also alerts you to potential impact before it occurs in order to give you a chance to speed up out of harm’s way. When you receive no notice from your vehicle’s computer that another car or truck was too close or about to hit you, and then you get into an accident, you may have a split lawsuit. This means you can sue both the manufacturer of the vehicle for the failure of this technology as well as sue the other driver that hit you. Both the other driver and your vehicle’s manufacturer share a part in your vehicular misfortunes and medical bills, so they will both need to pony up to help you cover your vehicular repairs and medical costs. Trying to Prove the Tech Was Responsible Before you can launch into a lawsuit against any manufacturer, you will have to prove that the onboard computer, its programming, and/or something else defaulted and caused the tech failure linked to your accident. Since all known failures of vehicular components, including the new computerized systems, need to be reported to the manufacturer, the police and the public for safety precautions, you may be able to find other victims of faulty automotive tech and have them attest to the problems they had. If you cannot find adequate proof that there was a problem with the tech in your vehicle, you may only be able to pursue a standard lawsuit against other drivers involved (so long as it is clear that the other driver definitely has some liability in the case). Contact a car accident attorney for more...

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Can You Claim Disability For A Hearing Impairment?

Posted by on Mar 4, 2016 in Uncategorized |

A hearing impairment does not guarantee that you will be approved for Social Security disability benefits. In fact, the Social Security Administration, or SSA, believes that in some instances, a person can continue to still work even though they have profound hearing loss. If you have a hearing impairment and are applying for disability benefits, here is what you need to know.  What Determines Disability? The SSA has requirements that must be met to approve you for disability based on a hearing impairment. One of those is how profound your hearing loss is. There are several different assessments that are used to evaluate your hearing loss. Each test is performed without the assistance of hearing aids or any other devices you use to improve your hearing.  After your hearing is evaluated, the SSA will compare the results of the assessments to determine if you qualify for benefits.  If your assessments reveal that your air conduction hearing threshold, or the softest sound you can hear, is 90 decibels or higher, you can possibly qualify for benefits.  In this instance, the bone conduction threshold would also need to be 60 decibels or higher. The bone conduction threshold refers to the sensitivity of your inner ear.  There are other requirements that could help determine your eligibility, such as your word recognition score. You can review those requirements online or request a copy of the standards directly from the SSA.  What If You Do Not Qualify? If the results of your assessments do not meet the requirement standards of the SSA, there is one other possible method of proving you are deserving of benefits. You can rely on the residual functional capacity, or RFC, to help prove you are unable to work due to a hearing impairment.  The RFC basically measures your past work history, education, skills, and age to determine if there are other jobs within your abilities that you can perform despite the fact that you have a hearing impairment. If there are not, it is possible that you can qualify for benefits.  It is important to note that it can sometimes be difficult to receive approval for disability when your claim is based solely on hearing loss. Hearing loss is usually not seen as an impairment that totally prevents you from working. However, if you are unable to work, you should submit a claim and follow through with the process.  To better your chances of having a hearing impaired based claim for disability approved, work with an attorney like those at Crowley Ahlers & Roth Co...

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3 Questions To Ask A Car Accident Lawyer

Posted by on Feb 8, 2016 in Uncategorized |

No one can really plan for being in a car accident. As much as you might do your part on the open road, there is no way to know what the people around you are going to do. You could end up having someone cut you off, causing you to swerve, in mere seconds. Being in a car accident is stressful, overwhelming and frustrating. There are a lot of things that you get stuck having to figure out. To make sure you better understand the process involved with filing a claim against the other party, here are three things you need to ask your lawyer. What all can be included in the case? Many people overlook a lot of the different things that can be included in the case. Things like medical bills tend to be quite obvious, but many forget about mileage to and from medical appointments, prescriptions, lost wages, home care, special equipment or aids needed and more. All of these items can add up and further compound your case, making the total settlement amount even higher. What happens if the case isn’t successful? While you hope to win your case and get everything you deserve, you need to know what might happen in the event you don’t win. Are you going to be responsible for paying for the lawyer’s time and work on the case or do they take it as a loss? Most lawyers work on a contingency basis, but you need to make sure of that beforehand. You don’t want to get hit with a huge bill for their services when you lost your case. Is there anything special that needs to be done? Ask the lawyer if here is anything you need to do during the case. Are there documents that you need to gather? Do you need to get names, addresses and phone numbers of witnesses? You want to make sure that you are doing anything you can to help. Your lawyer will often advise you to attend all medical appointments and follow-up on treatment recommended by your doctor to aid in your recovery. By asking the three questions above, you can make sure that you are on the same page as your lawyer. The last thing you want to do is assume anything when it comes to a personal injury case. It is always better to ask first before making any assumptions. Contact a local attorney, like Robert M Kaner Attorney, to get...

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Warehouse Tips: Protect Your Eyes & Signs That You Need Medical Attention

Posted by on Jan 19, 2016 in Uncategorized |

You work in a fast-paced environment, and you have to keep up. Working in a warehouse may put you at risk of certain dangers, such as an eye-related injury. The following guide will show you how to protect yourself at work and what to do in case of an injury. Simple Eye Protection Tips Eye-related injuries are more common than you think; in fact, they occur about 2000 times a day in the United States. This is a good reason to pay attention to the following: Know The Eye Hazards The potential eye dangers will determine the kind of protection that you need. The following are just a few hazards: Dust, metal shards, wood dust, and other similar materials. Chemicals that could be hazardous, like oils. Pair Your Safety Gear Correctly Your employer should provide you with information about the kind of eye hazards that exist for your job. Your employer should also give you the right gear to protect your eyes. For example, you will need safety glasses with shields should there be projectile particles in the warehouse, like dust. Chemicals, since they are liquid, will require that you use goggles. You can talk to your employer about other materials that might be in the warehouse and how to protect yourself. And you might need to modify your safety gear to fit your prescription if you wear glasses or contacts. Check Or Prepare Work Area You and your employer should ensure that the area you are working in is checked for hazards. For example, dust, mop, or sweep an area if you know that there might be foreign objects, like chemicals, dust, and other eye hazards, there. Signs That You Need Immediate Eye Care You may want to keep working when you have a minor injury, but you should rethink that action. Watch out for the following, which should prompt you to seek immediate medical attention: Increased or persistent pain after the accident. Visual disturbances or a decrease in visual acuity. Your eye begins to look or feel abnormal. Be sure to report the accident as soon as you can so that the employer is aware of the situation. Reporting ensures that the incident is well documented should you need to visit the doctor or file for workers compensation. Do not forget to keep a copy of your medical report, as you might need that if you seek compensation. If you do need to seek compensation for a workplace-related eye injury, check out websites like for more information on hiring a workers’ compensation attorney. Now you have a few tips to protect your eyes at work and know when to seek immediate medical...

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When To Hire A Car Accident Attorney

Posted by on Jan 1, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Many auto accidents are terrible, but straightforward. The vehicle drivers may emerge unharmed, exchange information, and go on with their days. However, many other auto accidents are not as simple, and the consequences may extend far into the future. In instances like these, it’s wise to hire professional help. Here are some examples of when it is advised to consult with a car accident attorney. You Were Underinsured A few states don’t require drivers to carry commercial auto insurance. If you are involved in an accident in any other state, however, you could get into serious legal trouble if you don’t have active vehicle insurance. Depending on the circumstances of the charges against you, consider calling an auto accident attorney for legal advice on how best to proceed after an accident in which you were underinsured. You Are Being Sued Driving a car that is involved in an accident makes you susceptible to being named in a lawsuit. Whether or not you are at fault will ultimately be decided in a courtroom, but your need for legal representation is clear. If you are being sued as a result of a car accident, your personal freedom and/or financial stability may be at risk. Speak to a car accident attorney before speaking to anyone else. Someone Died as a Result of Your Driving It doesn’t take a horrific car accident such as a rollover for someone to be killed. Elderly persons, or those with a previous medical condition such as a heart problem may be traumatized by the accident and suffer fatal consequences. Even a freak accident may occur after a small fender bender. No matter the circumstances, if someone died as a result of your driving, consult with an attorney who specializes in car accidents. Remember that your auto insurance doesn’t protect you from criminal or negligent charges. You will need legal representation to ensure you receive justice. You Suspect You Were Profiled Profiling happens when prejudices regarding race, color or nationality are used to make assumptions about a person’s innocence or guilt. Unfortunately, profiling is common and rampant in certain regions. If you are in an auto accident and feel you were unfairly treated at the scene based on profiling by an official, you may lose your chance for a fair trial. Contact an auto accident attorney right away if you have any suspicions about the biased nature of how you were treated after an accident. Auto attorneys are legal experts in all different kinds of situations involving vehicle accidents. If you are involved in any of the above scenarios, call one...

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Catering To Your Guests In Good Spirits: Tips For Acquiring A Liquor License

Posted by on Dec 15, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If you have recently considered starting your own catering business, you must realize that catering services often go well beyond food service. Many caterers also provide beverages, which includes alcohol. The provision of food and alcohol comes with a great deal of responsibility. In order to legally and successfully provide wine, spirits, beer, and other alcoholic beverages to customers, you must acquire a liquor license. Fortunately, there are tips to help you along the way in obtaining one. Know What You’re Selling First and foremost, you need to determine the type of alcohol you want to provide for your customers. Are you simply looking to offer various beers or would you like to provide a wide range of options such as hard liquor, wine, champagne, and beer? Each and every state has its own Alcohol Beverage Control Agency or ABC. The ABC controls liquor licenses and liquor distribution. The steps and requirements for obtaining a liquor license often vary by state and may even vary by city depending upon certain state and local rules and regulations. In order to obtain a license to sell alcohol, you will need to inform to inform the ABC agency of exactly what type of alcohol beverages you plan to sell. The ABC agency may not approve your entire request. The agency has the right to enforce that a business only sells certain types of alcoholic beverages. Acquisition and Local Quotas Acquiring a liquor license is an important aspect for any catering business. As a caterer, you should expect to provide service for a variety of events ranging from birthdays to weddings and everything in between. In many situations, your guests will inquire about alcohol. For example, a bride and groom may specify that they want alcohol served during their wedding reception. If you do not have a liquor license and are unable to fulfill alcohol requests, you could lose potential customers. Visit your local ABC agency to determine what the requirements are for your area. In many areas, you have to determine if there is an available license quota. For example, in Indiana, it is stated that businesses will find that the available license quota has already reached 99% within city limits, meaning liquor licenses may be harder to obtain for some businesses. Make sure you inquire about the quota availability for your area before you set forth your plans to start your business. Licensing and Insurance Keep in mind that it could take several weeks for you to acquire a liquor license. After filling out your forms, there may be a fee involved in your application process. The fee can vary based on the type of business you run and the size of the city in which you operate. For example, in California, a restaurant that operates in a city with a population of approximately 40,000 can pay upwards of $12,000 for their liquor license. The agency can let you know what amount you will have to pay in order to acquire your license. They can also let you know how much you will have to pay for any renewal fees. In addition to acquiring a liquor license, you should also have some form of liability insurance for your business that covers you in the event of any accidents or damages while...

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Are You Eligible For Workers’ Compensation If You’re Injured While Incarcerated?

Posted by on Nov 27, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Jail and prisons sometimes provide inmates with opportunities to make money by performing work at the facilities or in the community as part of work-release programs. If you are injured while working for the private or state facility, are you eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits? It depends on the circumstances of the injury, the state where you live, and the terms of employment. Not All Injuries Are Covered For the most part, inmates generally enjoy the same benefits as other employees who are injured on the job. They can receive benefits for injuries that they suffered while performing work for the jail or prison whether or not they are at fault for the accident. However, there are a few instances in which they cannot recover compensation: The person intentionally injured him or herself The person was hurt as the result of an assault the individual initiated The injury was the result of horseplay (this only holds true if the employer prohibited horseplay and actively discouraged behavior in this area; otherwise, the person may still be able to get money for the injury) Terms Of Employment Only people who are recognized as being employed by the jail or prison are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. This generally means the facility must pay you a wage and direct your activities. Volunteers are not covered by workers’ compensation. Employers are also not required to cover independent contractors. This only comes into play, however, if you are actually doing work for a third party. For instance, if the prison or jail contracts its laundry service to another company but that company hires inmates to perform the work, then the jail facility would not be liable for paying workers’ comp benefits to you, since technically you are an independent contractor. That responsibility would actually fall on the third-party company who hired you. Workers’ compensation in your state may have additional requirements for coverage. For instance, one prisoner was denied coverage because the county he worked for didn’t have a contract that allowed the government to hire the person. It’s best to research the requirements in your area to ensure that your circumstances are covered. State Prohibitions While the majority of states allow prisoners to file workers’ compensation claims, many of them prohibit incarcerated persons from collecting the benefits while they are in jail. In many cases, you’ll have to wait until you are released before you can collect any money that you’re owed. For instance, the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation in Ohio won’t even attempt to settle a claim if the person is incarcerated. Making a jail or prison facility pay you for your injury if you’re hurt while working there can be challenging. It’s best to have your case handled by a workers’ compensation attorney to ensure that your rights are protected and to negotiate a fair payment for your injuries. For more information, check out the website at...

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Trucking Accident Personal Injury Cases: Q & A

Posted by on Nov 10, 2015 in Uncategorized |

The average weight of a mid-size car is 3,497 pounds. However, the typical weight of an 18-wheeler truck is about 80,000 pounds. Due to the vast difference in poundage, a trucking accident that involves a car and a large truck can be catastrophic for the people in the smaller vehicle. Victims can suffer serious, debilitating injuries or even death. If you or a loved one has been involved in a trucking accident, you may have questions about personal injury cases in which large 18-wheeler trucks are involved. Here are a few questions and answers about personal injury cases that are due to a truck accident: What types of serious physical injuries are typically involved in a trucking accident? Here are a few injuries that victims of trucking accidents may incur: Brain injuries Neck and back injuries Spinal injuries Burns Bone fractures Disfiguring scars What damages are usually compensated in a truck accident case? There are three categories of damages that are usually awarded in a personal injury case involving commercial trucks: Special Damages Special damages involve the expenses that are directly related to the accident, such as medical costs, lost wages and property repair or replacement. General General damages are not directly related to an expense. Instead, they involve retribution for things such as pain and suffering, emotional trauma and detrimental effects on your quality of life. Punitive Punitive damages are awarded as a punishment for the offending party’s gross negligence or malicious behavior. In a trucking accident, punitive damages may be sought if the defendant showed willful misconduct in the accident or obvious indifference to the victims.  Can compensation for a wrongful death be sought? If you have lost someone you love due to a trucking accident, you may be entitled to full compensation for an estimated value of your loved one’s life. No amount of money can repay you for your loss. However, seeking compensation can help discourage a similar trucking accident from happening to another person. How large is the typical upfront payment for legal fees? Most personal injury lawyers assume a trucking accident case based on contingency. As payment for their legal representation, they receive a percentage of your awarded compensation. Thus, they only receive reimbursement if you do, and no upfront payment is required. If you or someone you love has been injured in a trucking accident, contact a personal injury lawyer in your area today for a consultation. Consultations are usually free, and the attorney will be able to advise you of the validity of your case. For professional legal help, contact a law firm such as Barton Smith & Barton...

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