How to Get the Legal Help You Need Now

How To Prevent A Denied SSI Application

Posted by on 10:14 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Prevent A Denied SSI Application

Have you suffered a disability that will prevent you from going back to work? If so, you should apply for SSI benefits. These benefits are provided to those who are no longer able to make a living due to a debilitating illness or injury. However, it can be very hard to win an initial SSI claim. Many initial cases are denied and will require an attorney to push for your benefits. There are some things you can attempt to do on your initial application that may prevent a denied claim: Use of Drugs and Alcohol Your SSI application will have a section asking about any uses of drugs or alcohol. You should always be honest in this section, but be careful how you fill it out. You can initially be denied due to drug and alcohol abuse, particularly if it had a prominent role in your disability. The Social Security Administration can say that had you not been irresponsibly using these substances, you would have been able to prevent your disability. If you are asked to have a physician make a statement about your drug and alcohol abuse, be sure to be truthful in your answers. If you are suffering from liver disease, and you are not honest about drinking alcohol, the SSA may think you are being dishonest. Always provide accurate records regarding your disability if they are requested. Marriage Getting married is a major milestone, but it can have a negative role when it comes to your SSI case. The SSA has very strict income limits. If you get married to someone who makes a good income, it can reduce your odds for winning your initial case. The SSI system is based on providing benefits to those who are the most in need first. If you get married, you can risk having your application being denied or at the very least delayed because it appears that you have access to enough cash to meet your daily living expenses. Unemployment Benefits You may also be receiving unemployment benefits for a period after your disability. This is seen as income in the eyes of the SSA. There are some instances in which the unemployment benefits will not have an impact on your SSI application. If you were disabled after you left your job, it should not have an impact on your application. In addition, if you have a disability that keeps you from doing your prior job but you can do other forms of work with additional training, the SSI should not penalize you for that. Getting a positive outcome from a Social Security disability case can be very hard. However, working with a great attorney can greatly help your chances for getting access to the money you need to live your life. For more information, contact Bruce K Billman or a similar legal...

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3 Divorce Related Financial Mistakes To Avoid

Posted by on 5:56 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Divorce Related Financial Mistakes To Avoid

It’s only natural to be stressed and emotionally fragile during your divorce, but keeping your head clear when it comes to making financial decisions could make a positive impact for some time to come. You can take some steps right now, while you and your spouse are still negotiating your divorce agreement. Be sure to take some time to consider the impact that making these 3 mistakes could have on you and your childrens’ future. Read on to learn more about the 3 financial mistakes to avoid during your divorce. 1. Not making a realistic budget. Many married couples prepare a budget, but that particular piece of work is likely now useless. Not only must you make a new budget, but you should do it as soon as possible. Your living situation may be in a state of flux, but you should create a workable plan that not only helps you ensure that you have adequate income for each month, but for the future. While you are working with your financial issues, take a few extra minutes to complete a statement of net worth. A net worth statement probably sounds a lot more intimidating than it really is. It’s just a list of your assets, which is any real estate, vehicles, personal property, bank and investment accounts, and a list of your debts, which include loan balances, credit card balances, etc. The debts are deducted from the assets, creating your net worth. Knowing what you own and what you owe is vital all the time, but especially before you begin making financial decisions during your divorce. 2. Automatically asking for the family home. With divorce being a time of great upheaval, knowing that you, and your children, can stay in a familiar and secure home is a natural desire. While you may think getting awarded the home is a good thing, it may not necessarily be so. If you fail to take into account the financial ramifications of being a single parent homeowner, you may be in for some unpleasant surprises when it comes time to replace that roof, pay the home owner’s insurance, or ensure that the property taxes are paid. Being awarded the family home could mean being responsible for a large mortgage payment each month, so take into consideration all costs associated with that responsibility before you automatically ask for it. 3. Not taking advantage of the financial benefit of a QDRO (Qualified Domestic Relations Order). If your spouse has a retirement retirement plan, taking money from that fund can really impact the net amount available. Retirement funds, like a 401(k), are only meant to provide withdrawals (prior to retirement age) for true emergencies and the penalties charged for early withdrawals are often steep and punishing. During a divorce, however, the funds added during the marriage are considered marital property and are available for withdrawal without penalty. You, as the alternative payee, must still pay any taxes owed on the funds, unless you deposit the funds into a new qualifying account.  Talk to your divorce attorney about more ways to help you have a better financial future after your...

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Buying Your First Home? 3 Reasons Why You Need A Real Estate Attorney On Your Team

Posted by on 5:37 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Buying Your First Home? 3 Reasons Why You Need A Real Estate Attorney On Your Team

If you’re in the process of purchasing your first home, you’re going to need a strong support team. A good team will help you avoid costly mistakes along the way. An important member of this team that you might not have considered yet is the real estate attorney. Trying to negotiate a real estate transaction without legal assistance can lead to some serious complications, especially when it’s your first time through the process. Here are just three of the reasons you should add a real estate attorney to your team before you purchase your first home. Provide Assistance with the Negotiations When you’re trying to purchase a home, you might experience some hurdles along the way. Some of those hurdles will come from other buyers who are trying to outbid you, while other hurdles will come from sellers who want to increase the asking price beyond the actual value of the home. If this is your first time purchasing a home, you might not have the experience you’ll need to successfully navigate those hurdles. That’s where a real estate attorney comes in. An attorney like John M. Ogden can help you negotiate a fair offer from the home you wish to purchase and answer any other questions along the way. Ensure Inspections Are Done Properly When you purchase a home, there are several inspections and surveys that will need to be completed before the transaction can be finalized. If those surveys and inspections aren’t done properly, you can end up with serious problems when it comes time to close escrow. Your real estate attorney will coordinate the inspections to ensure that they’re all taken care of in the way that they should be. Conduct a Thorough Review of the Documents When it comes to purchasing a home, there are a lot of documents involved in the process. You might feel like you’re signing papers every day. Those documents are a crucial part of the home-buying process. If this is your first home purchase, most of the documents will be completely foreign to you. Unfortunately, that can make it difficult for you to fully understand what you’re signing. A real estate attorney will look over all the documents and make sure they’re in order for you. If you don’t understand something, your attorney will explain it to you. Buying a home is exciting. If this is your first home, don’t take chances. Create a team that will help your dream of buying a home become a reality.  The information provided above explains why you need a real estate attorney on your home-buying...

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Three Things You Need To Do That Could Help You Win Your Auto Accident Claim

Posted by on 11:45 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Things You Need To Do That Could Help You Win Your Auto Accident Claim

Every person that files a personal injury claim after an automobile accident hopes that they will win the case. Unfortunately, it is possible for an auto accident claim to be drastically underpaid or be denied. You need to do your part to ensure the success of your claim. Fortunately, there are three simple things that you can do after you’ve been involved in an auto accident to make your case a lot easier to win. Gather Pertinent Information If you haven’t been injured severely in the auto accident, you should use the time immediately after the wreck to gather important information from the scene of the accident. Your car accident attorney will need the other driver’s contact information, as well as contact information for any people that witnessed the wreck. You also need to collect the other driver’s car insurance information, including the insurance company and policy number. Also, take the time to file a formal police report, and make sure you get a copy to give to your attorney. Additionally, if possible, take pictures of the accident scene. Make sure you take pictures of the following: The entire accident scene from several different angles. Current road and weather conditions. Any damage to your car, as well as damage to the other driver’s car. Any other factors that may have contributed to the accident, such as a blocked stop sign or a street light that isn’t working. Follow Through with Recommended Medical Treatment If you want your auto accident claim to be a success, you need to have documentation that shows the insurance companies and the court the severity of your injuries, as well as how the injuries have impacted your day-to-day life. If you don’t complete any medical treatment that your doctor suggests, including taking medication, going to physical therapy, and going to your follow-up visits,  it might be difficult for your lawyer to prove that your injuries were severe enough to warrant a larger settlement. So, it’s important to keep documentation of all of your medical appointments, the recommended treatment, and all of your medical bills. Refer Calls About Your Claim to Your Lawyer Even if you hire a car accident attorney to help you file a claim, the insurance company might still call you. In fact, there’s a good chance that both your insurance company and the insurance company the other driver uses will contact you several times. If this happens, or you happen to get any other phone calls related to your claim, you should always refer the caller to your attorney. You don’t want to make any statements that could jeopardize your case. While collecting information, referring calls to your lawyer, and following through with all of your medical treatment doesn’t guarantee you’ll win your auto accident case, it does help. Just remember, if you’re unsure about how to handle a specific situation regarding an auto accident, you should consider contacting an auto accident lawyer as soon as possible. Click here to find out...

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Arrested For A DUI? Why You Should Hire An Attorney

Posted by on 3:12 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Arrested For A DUI? Why You Should Hire An Attorney

If you’ve recently been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), you’re probably experiencing many different emotions.  Even if you’ve received traffic citations in the past, a DUI may be more serious since it often carries stiffer penalties that can be life changing in some cases.  That’s why it’s vital for you to hire a lawyer after being arrested for a DUI.  A DUI attorney can be a powerful ally who helps to make the DUI journey much easier to handle.  Use this information to learn more about why should hire a DUI attorney as soon as possible. A DUI Attorney May Help To Get Your Sentence Reduced One of the most critical ways that a DUI lawyer can be of assistance to you is by getting your sentence reduced.  You would be amazed at the negotiation techniques that a skilled attorney may be able to use in order to get a serious DUI sentence lightened up. When you hire a DUI attorney, they will likely ask you a battery of questions to determine which course of action can get your sentenced reduced.  For example, if you’re the sole breadwinner for your family, the attorney may request a sentence reduction on the basis that you just can’t spend time in jail because you must make money for your partner or children.  If there are prior convictions that make the judge hesitant to reduce your sentence, your lawyer may campaign for weekend stints in jail for a substantial amount of time so that you can work during the week, and fulfill your penalties on the weekend. A DUI Attorney Can Get Evidence Removed Another reason why it’s such a good idea to hire a DUI attorney is because there may be evidence presented in your case that is inadmissible in court.  Unless you have an extensive background in legal matters, you may not understand that the items being presented to prove your guilt should not be seen at all. Your lawyer will go to work to see whether or not the arresting officer was qualified to issue a field sobriety test.  If not, the judge may move to throw out the test results.  This act alone could be enough to have your entire case dismissed. Don’t let anxiety about your DUI case disrupt your peace of mind.  After you’ve been arrested for a DUI, keep these tips in mind so you’ll know the right course of action to...

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Why You Should Carefully Choose Your Lawyer For A Personal Injury Case

Posted by on 3:29 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why You Should Carefully Choose Your Lawyer For A Personal Injury Case

If you were injured in a car accident and are considering suing the other party, you should hire a personal injury lawyer to represent you. As you begin looking for one to hire, one of your biggest challenges may be knowing which is the best one for you. Here are several factors to consider as you look for the right one, along with the reasons you should make sure you select a good one right from the start. Qualities to look for There are a lot of really good personal injury lawyers around, and you can compare them by looking at the following qualities: Length of experience – Length of experience does not always matter, but it can be helpful in most personal injury cases. Area of expertise – There is no point in hiring a lawyer that specializes in product liability if you suffered injuries from a car accident. Stick with a lawyer that knows car accident laws for the best results. Percentage of cases won – A lawyer with a 100% win rate might be rare, but this is the type of lawyer that may be good to look for. Rates they charge – Personal injury lawyer fees are typically in terms of percentages, and these can range from 33% to 40%. The best way to find the right lawyer for you is to look for one that is highly experienced handling and winning car accident cases. Reasons you need a good lawyer Finding a good lawyer is important for several reasons: Better chances of winning – By looking at a lawyer’s percentages of wins to losses, you will be able to choose one that may help improve your odds at winning the case. Replacing your lawyer may cost you – Personal injury lawyers work on contingency in most cases, which means you only pay if you win; however, if you fire your lawyer halfway through the case, you may end up owing that lawyer money. In addition, you will also owe money to the next lawyer you hire if you win the case. You should also be aware that if you fail to pay your original lawyer for the fees owed after firing him or her, the lawyer may have the right to withhold your paperwork from your new lawyer. If you are ready to learn more about how a personal injury lawsuit could help you recover money for damages and injuries, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer...

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Can A Nursing Home Sue You For Your Parent’s End-Of-Life Care?

Posted by on 11:10 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Can A Nursing Home Sue You For Your Parent’s End-Of-Life Care?

Do you have an elderly parent who is receiving end-of-life care at a nursing home? Have you just received a certified letter that the nursing home is suing you for the cost of your parent’s care? If so, here’s a crash course on filial laws and whether or not they apply to you. What Are Filial Laws? Filial laws are laws that state that adult children are responsible for the care of their parents if the parents cannot care for themselves or afford their own third-party care. Such care includes shelter, clothing, food, and all medical costs, including end-of-life care. Do These Laws Apply To You? If you live in one of the 29 states with filial laws, then there is a good chance that you will, indeed, be responsible for paying back the nursing home for the care they provided to your parent. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. If you can prove that your parent was neglectful or abusive to you while you were growing up, or if they were absent from your childhood, then the court may waive your duty to compensate the nursing home for their care. The state may also waive your responsibility to pay for elder care if you are not financially sound enough to do so without damaging your own quality of life.  What If You Refuse To Pay? If the court deems you financially able to pay for your parent’s end-of-life care and you haven’t had the responsibility waived due to a history of parental abuse or absenteeism, there could be some very severe consequences including fines and jail time. In Pennsylvania, for example, a person who has deliberately refused payment after being ruled to do so in a filial support trial can be found in contempt of court and sentenced to 6 months in prison. What If You Don’t Live In The Same State? It doesn’t matter what state you live in — you will be held responsible for your parent’s care if the state in which they received the care has and enforces filial support laws. This holds true even if your parent was a resident of a non-filial support state but received care in a state that enforces filial law. What Should You Do? If you’ve just received notice that you’re being sued for your parent’s end-of-life care expenses, contact a lawyer who specializes in elder law. Your lawyer can help you build a case to prove to the court that you either shouldn’t have to pay these expenses or can’t afford to pay...

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Modifying Your Child Support Order

Posted by on 5:58 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Modifying Your Child Support Order

The amount of your child support payments typically remain in effect until your child turns 18 or the support order is modified. You can have the agreement modified to fit your current financial needs — as long as the changes are reasonable and abide by your state laws. In fact, you can even have the child support order changed on a temporary basis to get you through times of financial hardship. Learn more about altering a child support order so that you know what to do if your financial situation changes. Work with Your Ex to Modify the Support Order If you and your ex agree to modified your support agreement, a judge will likely honor the agreement as long as it abides by the state’s laws. So, your first step should be to discuss the issue with your ex. If you both agree to the changes, put the changes in writing and take the written agreement to the court to have the judge modify your current child support order. Ask the Court to Modify Your Child Support Order If you and your ex can’t agree on new child support terms, you do have the option to ask the court to modify your child support payments. However, you typically have to have a reason for requesting the modification before filing for the change. Some reasons that the court could increase or decrease child support payments temporarily include: The paying parent is temporarily unable to make payments. The parent receiving support payments has a temporary medical or financial issue that drastically lowered his or her income temporarily. The child has a medical emergency. Some reasons that the court might lower or raise child support payments permanently include: Either parent loses his or her job. Either parent switches jobs, which results in a drastic change in income. Either parent remarries and the new spouse’s income increases the household income significantly. Either parent becomes disabled. The child’s needs drastically change. Cost of living increases. To comply with changes in child support laws. Cost of Living Increases It’s possible to have a Cost of Living clause added to your child support agreement. This way, your child support payments automatically increase annually based on annual cost per living increases. If you don’t have a clause in your current child support order, you should consider adding it to the new order. This way, you don’t have to ask the court for a child support modification solely do to an increase in your cost of living. While you can’t have your child support order modified without reason, if something happens that affects your financial situation, you should consider having the order modified — at least on a temporary basis. If you can’t agree with your spouse to change your child support order, you should consider contacting a lawyer that specializes in family law as soon as...

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Questions To Ask When Considering A Dog Bite Lawsuit In Delaware

Posted by on 2:05 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Questions To Ask When Considering A Dog Bite Lawsuit In Delaware

If you were bitten by a dog, then a lawsuit is one of your primary tools for securing compensation. Unfortunately, these lawsuits can vary quite a bit between states. It’s important that you understand the laws in your specific state, since those will be the guidelines for your lawsuit going forward. Here are some of the most important legal questions that you need to ask when it comes to filing a dog bite lawsuits in Delaware: How long ago did the bite happen? Your biggest immediate concern is determining exactly when the bite happened. If the bite happened too long ago, then you may have exceeded the statute of limitations. In that case, your lawsuit will be much more difficult to win. In Delaware, the time frame that you need to know is 2 years. This limit applies to personal injury cases in general as well, so it’s a good number to know for future reference. What is the one bite rule and does it apply to your case? Many states use the one bite rule to determine liability in dog bite cases. The general idea is that the owner is not liable for a dog bite if the dog had not acted aggressively in the past and had not bit anyone. In states that do not practice the one bite rule, the owner can be liable even if they had no reason to suspect that their dog was capable of such violence. Delaware falls into the second category and has some very specific laws on the books regarding exactly how liability is handled in dog bite cases. As long as you were injured by a dog and were not trespassing or provoking the dog, then there is a good chance that the owner is liable for the injury. What kind of injuries qualify? Delaware is somewhat unique in that it doesn’t restrict such lawsuits to dog bites. If a dog knocked you over or caused you some other form of injury, then you can potentially win a lawsuit. Other states are much more strict and won’t allow you to file a dog bite lawsuit unless you were clearly bitten. Were you trespassing at the time? If you were trespassing, then your chances of winning the lawsuit will drop significantly. If the defense can prove that you were trespassing, then you won’t be given any money at all. If you are still intent on filing a lawsuit, then you should be absolutely certain that the defense cannot prove that you were trespassing at the time of the injury. Did you provoke the dog? If you antagonized the dog in some way before you were bitten, then you won’t be able to win any money. In such an event, the owner can’t be held liable for damages because you are mostly to blame for your own injuries. However, this does assume that the court finds that you provoked the dog, which will require evidence on the side of the defense. If that evidence doesn’t exist or is not presented, then you don’t have much to worry about. Provocation can also get a bit murky since there isn’t a clear definition for what actions exactly constitute provocation. If you shouted at the dog and hit the dog, then you obviously provoked...

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Be Smart And Stay Safe Behind The Wheel Of Your Car

Posted by on 10:55 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Be Smart And Stay Safe Behind The Wheel Of Your Car

Although you can never predict when an accident will occur, there are some practical steps that you can take to reduce your risk of being involved in one when driving.  Pay attention to these pragmatic practices behind-the-wheel, and potentially avoid an auto accident: Take a good look at what you are driving. Driving a sub-par vehicle or one that has some issues can increase your risk of an accident. Be sure to check tire pressure periodically, and check your warning lights and sensors before putting the vehicle in gear to go. Don’t tail-gate. Depending on who you ask, there is a two-second rule that commands how closely you should follow the car in front of you when driving. It is approximated that you should follow two seconds (or three seconds when using the ‘three second rule’) behind any vehicle in front of you. Look for vehicles with safety features. Invest in a vehicle with an advanced safety system, which is reported to cut down on auto accident fatalities by around half. Augments to the front-end with these systems can help avoid a collision, or at least reduce the impact and severity of the accident. Watch your speed. It is estimated that there are around 13,000 fatalities each year due to speeding, and is the third leading contributor to auto crashes. Speeding is involved in approximately one-third of fatal car accidents. Slow down. Know your blind spots. Every car has some blind spots, and the key to avoiding an accident is to know where they are. Adjust mirrors to best compensate for the blind spots, and to decrease the risk of side-swiping another vehicle. Don’t allow distractions to interfere with driving. It is reported that over 1.6 million accidents every year are due to drivers that are distracted by cell phones. Furthermore, one out of every four accidents is due to texting and driving. Don’t risk a ticket, an accident, or even death by using your phones or devices when driving. Remember to use your turn-signal. Failure to use turn signals is a common cause of a collision. Give drivers ample warning of your intent by using these each time you turn. Don’t drink and drive. Though this is common-sense, it bears repeating. Don’t drink and drive; don’t ride with drivers that have been drinking. There are other advantages to making efforts to avoid accidents, including reduced insurance premiums with a clean driving record. Avoid risk of injury by paying attention to these practical tips for avoiding a car accident. In the event that you do find yourself involved in an accident, speak with a car accident attorney (such as Loughlin Fitzgerald P C) for guidance and to review your legal...

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