Blog Blog Copyright by en Fri, 20 Sep 2019 16:57:31 -0400 Chapter 13 And You: A Journey Of Repayment Bankruptcy can be a difficult process to navigate, as it requires detailed actions in order to ensure a successful outcome. Filing for bankruptcy is best done with the help of a professional bankruptcy lawyer who is able to guide you as you decide if bankruptcy is right for you and then direct you through the individual requirements and conditions of the type of bankruptcy that you best qualify for.

Chapter 13 Or Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

There are several types of bankruptcy for individuals facing the overwhelming burden of debt.  Under Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, the debtor is makes consolidated payments for their total debt under a manageable repayment plan. Chapter 13 allows debtors to prevent the loss of personal property, avoid foreclosures, repossessions, or shut off of services as they work towards paying down their debt.

Another common type of bankruptcy for individuals is Chapter 7. Different from Chapter 13, Chapter 7 will result in loss of personal property for the debtor. Under Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, the assets and property of the debtor are liquidated, or sold, in order to pay off their debt.

In comparison, Chapter 7 provides a shorter solution as liquidation typically takes around 4 months. Chapter 13 repayment plans last three to five years depending on the person’s level on income.

The Process For Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

The first step in filing for bankruptcy, regardless of what type, is to speak to an experienced bankruptcy lawyer with a detailed understanding of bankruptcy law and the bankruptcy court system in your state. Filing for bankruptcy can be technical and complicated if you don’t understand the process and requirements. Failing to complete each aspect of the process correctly or on time can result in dismissal of your bankruptcy case.

Once you have retained an expert attorney, you will then be required to complete extensive and comprehensive paperwork. Be careful to fill out forms carefully so that you avoid any costly mistakes for your case. Before you can file your paperwork, however, you will likely be required to complete a pre-filing credit counseling course. The purpose of credit counseling is to verify that bankruptcy is the right step for your financial situation and ensure that understand what will be required of you going forward.

Once you have completed these obligations, you can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Once you have filed, an automatic stay will take effect prohibiting creditors and debt collectors from taking actions towards collecting the debt.

As part of the necessary paperwork, you will be required to submit a proposed repayment plan describing in detail how you will pay back your debt. Your bankruptcy lawyer and credit counselors can help you to put together a feasible plan that will satisfy the courts. A repayment plan must include all priority debts such as child support, alimony, or unpaid taxes. It must also include secured debts such as mortgages or vehicle loans, along with unsecured debts such as credit card balances or medical bills. You will be required to provide documentation for income sources, assets, and debts.

After your proposal has been submitted, the court will appoint a trustee who will be responsible for overseeing your case. The trustee will be responsible for reviewing your paperwork, evaluating your repayment plan, collecting payments, and distributing payment funds to creditors.

The length of repayment plan will be dependent on two primary factors: your total income and your total debt. Typically three-year plans are approved for those with household incomes about the median for the state, while five-year plan are approved for incomes about the median. During your designated repayment period, you will be required to make monthly payments that will be distributed to your creditors. After the completion of your repayment plan, remaining and eligible debts will discharged. Debts that will not be discharged include mortgage debt, student loans, child support, alimony, unpaid tax debt, and fees associated with your bankruptcy.

Fair Fee Legal Services offers the best Chapter 13 Bankruptcy value in Las Vegas, Nevada with professional service at just a down payment of $799. Simply call, text, or email today to learn more.

Uncategorized Editor Wed, 04 Sep 2019 16:53:09 -0400
Duties of drivers – What does it actually mean? In any car accident case, it is essential to establish the fault of the offending driver for causing the accident that led to injuries, and dhernandez car accident lawyer makes use of the legal theory of negligence to accomplish the task. They know exactly about what amounts to negligence from a legal perspective that becomes the strongest point for claiming compensation for injuries and damages suffered by the victim.  The onus of establishing the negligence of the other party rests on the victim or plaintiff for which he or she must also have some idea about what are the duties of a driver so that it is possible to point out the deviations to establish that the driver failed in discharging the responsibilities thus amply proving to be negligent.

Protecting pedestrians, other motorists, and passengers is the primary duty of drivers when they are driving on the road. Drivers must ensure safety to others on the road by performing some other duties too that are part of the primary duty of protecting others while driving.  They are responsible for driving at a reasonable speed and have good control over the vehicle besides maintaining the equipment to ensure its safe performance.

As you keep reading this article the meaning of general duty will become clearer so that you can quickly identify the deviations that happen from the stipulated practices and procedures that make it easy to build a case against drivers.

Driving at a reasonable speed

To ensure safe driving, the law clearly states that drivers must always drive at a reasonable speed so that they can control the vehicle better. However, you must not confuse the speed limit set at various stretches along the roads as reasonable speed, which can be even lower than the set limit depending on the situation prevailing at any point in time. For example, the reasonable speed when driving on a busy road can be much less than the recommended safe speeds because the situation demands it for ensuring safe driving. 

Maintaining the equipment

It is the responsibility of drivers to ensure that the vehicle they drive is in good condition to drive it safely on the road. They must conduct periodic inspection of the vehicle and make sure that it operates satisfactorily and remains completely in control. Moreover, drivers must look after all other aspects of vehicle safety, including vehicle emission, and keep it within the specified limit.

Alertness and agility

Drivers must have their eyes and ears wide open to observe everything that is going around them so that they are receptive about the environment and can respond to any situation promptly in the most befitting manner.  Mental alertness helps them to encounter effectively any potential hazards on the road that can arise suddenly due to the actions of other drivers and pedestrians.  If drivers lack in alertness, it becomes a vital point for the plaintiff’s lawyer to establish negligence.

Alert drivers have better reflexes that help to control of vehicles more confidently in all kinds of situations. Since they are attentive and alert, they respond positively during emergencies and can avert disaster.

Uncategorized Editor Fri, 30 Aug 2019 08:11:41 -0400
Find out why do you need to hire immigration law services? If you are scheduled to go through an immigration process, it is a wise move to avail the services of an immigration law firm. They will help you to avoid any hassles and make the process less cumbersome and time-consuming. Aside from the above, there are many other benefits the reason why individuals prefer availing the expertise of the legal immigration professionals.

In this article, the same will be the focus of the subject. We will discuss that in the paragraphs that follow. So, read on for more information.

Reasons for availing professional aid for immigration

Check out the following points-

  1. You can steer clear of committing any errors

Immigration means there is a lot of documentation to be done. And a layperson can't know the nuances of the paperwork. As such, an immigration lawyer can come to your aid. Hiring a professional means, you are in a better position to go through procedures involving work permits, citizenship, and above all, marriage licenses.

  1. Experience matters

Immigration involves a lengthy process, which is perhaps complex for some. However, hiring immigration law services will allow you to be sure that you are moving in the right direction. You will be in a better position to assess your chances of settlement and the duration it will take for the entire process.

That is because experienced lawyers do not offer umbrella solutions for their clients. The solutions are case-specific. And depending on the individual situation and circumstances, you will get the right set of suggestions and recommendations.

  1. Compliance and administrative requisites

Every immigration process requires extensive detailing not just about documentation but also abiding by the norms of the states and regulatory authorities. And chances are less than you would know every aspect of it thoroughly.

However, with the assistance of immigration law services, you can be sure that the process is strictly according to the norms. You can also be sure that you are adhering to them religiously. And this assessment is best done only by a legal expert.

  1. Explore your options

If you have the assistance of an immigration lawyer, you can explore a wide array of options, which you may not be aware of. Under such circumstances, your lawyer can be of immense help and help you to zero-in on the right solution that will suit your requirements.

  1. Explore legal employment opportunities

If you have a legal degree, you stand a better chance to explore employment opportunities in this sphere with the help of the immigration lawyer. And the best part is since he is into this profession and also knows the finer aspects of the right of an immigrant; he or she will be in a better position to guide you. 

Last but not least, even if you have to shell out a few hundred dollars more, it is worth the money you are spending. It will have a positive impact on your life in the years to come.

Uncategorized Editor Fri, 30 Aug 2019 08:10:03 -0400
What to do when the cops stop you for a DUI case? Getting stopped on the grounds of drunk driving can be a bewildering situation for you. The police can arrest and send you to lockup. When all these things are happening, you can still build a strong defense in your favor by being aware of your rights. Here are a few tips that can come in handy during those situations.

In this context, you should know that even the arresting officer has to follow some guidelines. They cannot arrest someone merely based on suspicion. They must have some reasonable or probable grounds for stopping you. Also, they cannot capture you without taking proper blood and breath test. Adhering to policies and regulations is a complete must from their end.

Stop your vehicle at a safe place

The police can ask you to stop based on specific observations that he may have made about you. He may think you are drunk or impaired. Although you cannot challenge it at this stage, his report can affect your criminal trial and hearings significantly. You may lose your driving license. So be careful. When he stops your car, you should drive it safely to a proper location. Any hastiness or unexpected behavior can solidify the cop's decision.

Don't do any such activity that can intensify their suspicion

The police generally come from behind as a tactical move so that they can avoid any sudden attack from the driver. So that's normal for them to do. But when this happens, you should stay behind your steering wheel until they come to your window and asks for your ID. Any attempt of turning or twisting of your body part to track their movement can be risky.

Talk to them politely

There can be a battery of questions the officers may ask you, such as how much you drank, when you ate your last meal, where you went, where you are heading, etc. You don't need to answer any of them. Don't even think of telling a lie. You can politely refuse to answer these questions by saying you cannot say anything in the absence of your attorney. Make sure you don't sound rude. Otherwise, they can impose some other charges on you and arrest you. So, when they ask you to get out of the car, oblige them in a friendly and cooperating way.

If they need your name, driving license, insurance and registration details, give them without showing any discomfort.

Remember that even after offering full cooperation, you can get arrested or lose your license. But that is still a better situation than facing jail.

Refuse to submit to a field alcohol and breathalyzer test

You cannot rely on the road-side sobriety and breath test. Hence, you can deny these tests. Go instead for a scientific and thorough examination to avoid any misreport or misinformation. If these tests take place at the police station, then you may say yes. Otherwise, it can become a case of resisting arrest.

Make a note of all the incidents around the arrest

Write down everything that you have a memory of about your arrest so that your lawyer can prepare a strong defense for you. The note can mention:

  • Where you went and why
  • What you drank and how much
  • The gap between the time of your drinking and the time you had to pull over for investigation
  • Officials' behavior and their instructions
  • And all the other minute yet critical details

The penalties can be severe if it's your repeat case. However, if this is the first time, then you can get some relief. Anyway, you would need the guidance of an experienced DUI lawyer Long Island to protect yourself.

Uncategorized Editor Fri, 30 Aug 2019 08:06:50 -0400
How Can A Criminal Defense Lawyer Help You? Significant fines, prison time, and felony convictions are severe penalties. If you are facing any of these due to a significant crime, you will want the services of a great No matter how smart you are, representing yourself in front of the prosecution is always a tough thing to do. Criminal defense attorneys are trained to unearth and find elements of cases that are unique. They usually look for factors and listen for arguments which can reduce the conviction of a falsely sentence.

The ways in which a criminal defense attorney can help you

The primary role of a criminal defense attorney is to organize and present the facts in such a manner which best supports a winning legal theory. Also, be mindful of the fact that there are numerous legal concepts at play during a trial which a layperson would be unaware of. For these reasons, you must know how an attorney can help you. 

Access to important resources

Usually, there are many cases which involve the testimony from witnesses in which statements and evidence must be collected. Witnesses are much more willing to speak with your attorney or their investigator about their future proof making it easier to build a case. Great criminal defense lawyers also have phenomenal experience in identifying and hiring investigators who can investigate the crime and the witnesses that the prosecution may call to the box. These investigators hired by an attorney could be a game-changer in your trial. They can also find or employ expert witnesses to combat scientific pieces of evidence by the prosecution.  

They have impeccable negotiation skills

A plea bargain to reduce your sentence may be the best option. But prosecutors usually take advantage of defendants who represent themselves. The prosecutor knows that going to trial against a novice would be much more comfortable than a hearing with an expert criminal defense attorney. Always note that seasoned criminal defense attorneys have many years of experience in skillful negotiations. They often make use of creative ideas that a layperson would not even know exists.

Avail professional advice for your specific case

When you hire an attorney to represent the case, they are usually working directly on your behalf. This usually implies that any action you think about taking outside of the case which is you are unsure of; then you will be able to consult with them. If you are wondering how your case will impact your ability to apply for jobs that are unclear at the time, your attorney will always be able to provide you with the correct details. While this may seem not a big deal to you, you will find that their advice and counsel throughout your case is irreplaceable.

Criminal lawyers can suggest a defense strategy

After careful assessment of the charges and witnesses, your criminal defense lawyer can recommend the best criminal defense strategy for your specific facts and whether to try and get the case dismissed. They will also help in the negotiation of charges or fight the allegations in a trial.  

Represent your case in the court where it is being represented

The local rules of court often apply in each legal jurisdiction. For instance, in many local courts, you may notice that only limited prosecutors are able to negotiate and authorize plea bargains. On the other hand, an experienced criminal defense attorney will go straight to the correct district lawyer the first time to fetch good results on your behalf. An experienced criminal lawyer is also aware of what the plea deal may be possible in your case. 

They can help you to stop charges even before they are filed

Many times, an excellent criminal justice attorney can meet with the district attorney or the federal prosecutor after an arrest, but before the filing of the charges. However, an excellent lawyer can present evidence and witness statements which would give the prosecutors with the whole picture, not just what the police or alleged victims have said. 

Thus, it is evident that a criminal defense attorney works in close collaboration with his or her client and develops a strategy which ultimately results in proving the innocence of the client. In case the client pleads guilty or found to be so, the attorney will try to minimize the sentence meted out to him.  

Uncategorized Editor Thu, 29 Aug 2019 05:14:49 -0400
Excellent Tips for Finding a Good Immigration Attorney in Cyprus

Outward migration from the United States is on the rise. A recent study by the Pew Research found that the number of Americans moving to other countries is rising at an increased rate. There are a few reasons for this such as the high cost of living in some states and the political upheaval in the country. One small country that many Americans are moving to is Cyprus.

Cyprus is a small country of slightly above 1 million people that is located in the Eastern side of the Mediterranean. The country is known for its relatively lower cost of living, high quality of life, quality beaches, friendly people, low taxes, and its close proximity to Europe, Africa, and Asia. It is also known for its friendly immigration standard. In this article, we will look at the key tips you need to use when finding a good immigration attorney in Cyprus.

Use Local Contacts

If you have been staying in Cyprus or if you have friends or associates in the country, we recommend that you use them to find a lawyer. This will help you reduce the time taken to find the attorney. It will also help you get an attorney who has a good reputation and a good pricing. If you have a friend who is a lawyer in the country, you can use them as well. Still, it is always important to ensure that the lawyer is registered by the Cypriot bar association.

Use the Internet

If you don’t have any law contacts in the country, we recommend that you use the internet to find a good lawyer. This is because most attorneys in the country have a website with their information. We recommend that you spend a lot of time looking at the reviews of the attorneys that you find. You can also try your best to find more information about them. For example, if they have written about their offices, you should perform a Google map search to see whether it’s a valid office address. Finally, you should get in touch with the attorneys and talk with them.

Sign an Agreement

A common mistake we see is where most people trust their attorneys completely. To prevent any issues, especially regarding payments, we recommend that you sign an agreement. This agreement should have the scope of the work, and the amount of money that they will charge. Some lawyers will charge you per hour while others will charge you for the entire work. You should use the latter. Further, you should ensure that you document everything that you do with the attorney. Also, ask a lot of questions. Some of the questions you might ask are about the Cypriot immigration passport, which gives you citizenship if you invest a certain amount of money. Finally, ensure that the lawyer keeps your documents safe.

Final Thoughts

Moving to Cyprus might be a good thing for you especially when you are doing business or when you reach your retirement age. It is a highly-developed country that is seeing impressive economic growth. To gain citizenship or residency or Cyprus passport by investment, the government requires you use the services of a lawyer, who will do due diligence for you. You can use the tips highlighted in the article as a starting point for you to find a good immigration attorney in Cyprus.

Uncategorized Editor Fri, 23 Aug 2019 06:48:04 -0400
6 Reasons Why You Need a Car Accident Personal Injury Attorney  A car accident can be devastating, more so when you are left with an injury. Not only do you have to worry about medical costs but also lost wages, a disability, a write-off, and mental distress. There are also a lot of questions that you may need to find answers to. For instance, what if the other driver is at fault and doesn’t own up? What if the car insurance company won’t pay? What if there are other types of losses or damages that you don’t know how to prove? Such questions can mess up your head and that’s why you should seek help. Since you may be too traumatized to file a traffic report, an insurance claim or a lawsuit, you should talk to a car accident personal injury attorney. Still in doubt whether or not to consult an accident attorney? Well, here are 6 reasons why you need to be represented:

Claim Filing

The first thing you need to do after seeking medical treatment for your auto accident personal injuries is to file an insurance claim. This is something you should do with precision and consistency. A car accident personal injury attorney can help you with it. You may also need to file a lawsuit if it ever gets to court. This requires a proper understanding of the law and its application. Again, a car accident attorney can help.

Proving Liability

The insurance may refuse to settle you if you don’t have enough proof. They are a business entity and their primary agenda is to make money. Whether you decide to face the insurance adjuster directly or to advance to court, you have to prove that the other driver is at fault. Some of the tricks that a car accident personal injury attorney will use to prove liability include:

  • Talk to witnesses
  • Examine the accident scene
  • Analyze the damaged car
  • Study the traffic report
  • Speak to your doctor

Damages Determination

After liability has been proven, the next thing is to establish the loss suffered. That'll help to know how much you should demand from the insurance. For example, you have to factor in the following:

  • Current and future medical costs
  • Current and future lost earnings
  • Physical damages
  • Mental damages

An expert auto accident attorney can help you do a proper evaluation of the damages as it forms the basis of negotiating for a settlement.

Settlement Negotiation

Insurance companies hire the best adjusters to negotiate the settlement amount on their behalf. Since they don’t want to pay, at least not the money you are asking for, the adjuster will look for loopholes. You need an expert auto accident attorney to help you avoid them. Since they don’t want you to proceed to court, the adjuster will try to convince you to agree to a certain figure. A personal injury attorney can help you decide if the out-of-court settlement is fair or not.

Court Advocacy

If the out-of-court settlement is not fair or if the insurance fails to pay, then you need to go to court. A court battle is never easy as great minds are involved. You may represent yourself but there’s no guarantee you’ll convince the jury. You need someone who understands the law to assist you. You can find such experts at Ali Awad Law, a personal injury law firm based in Atlanta.

General Advice

After sustaining a personal injury from an auto accident, so many questions are likely to arise. For example, you may ask:

  • Whose insurance will cover the costs? Yours or that of the other driver?
  • What will happen to your damaged car?
  • What are you entitled to?
  • What’s the next step?

Only a legal expert can answer these questions convincingly. Having such an expert on call allows you to understand everything related to your injury claim.

The post auto accident phase is never easy. There’s so much trauma and costs involved. You need someone who understands the law to represent your interests and guide you. This expert is a car accident personal attorney and you need to talk to him or her right away when you suffer personal injuries from an auto accident.

Uncategorized Editor Thu, 22 Aug 2019 16:56:51 -0400
What Are the Necessary Skills To Become a Medical Malpractice Lawyer? To a degree, we all learn as we go, whether we work in construction, farming, retail, finance, teaching, medicine or law. Even so, for some careers an inordinate amount of study is necessary just to be able to get a foot in the door. One of these professions is medical malpractice law. As my desire to be a medical malpractice attorney crystallized, I realized what a tremendous climb confronted me in terms of time, cost, and commitment.

Steps To Climb To Reach the Goal

In addition to being a good student, becoming a malpractice lawyer involves:

  • Earning a Bachelor’s degree -- often in English, history or political science
  • Taking the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) in order to be admitted to law school
  • Completing law school with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree
  • Completing an internship for on-the-job experience, preferably in the personal injury field
  • Preparing for and passing the bar exam in any state in which you intend to practice though you will be tested on federal as well as state law
  • Actually working in the field, preferably with a medical malpractice/personal injury firm
  • Becoming board-certified by The American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys

If you didn’t realize how much study and perseverance are required to become a medical malpractice lawyer, imagine how I felt. I admit that the process was daunting and difficult and that I had moments of thinking I would never meet my goal. In the end, though, I believe the struggles I went through made me a more empathic attorney.

What Medical Malpractice Lawyers Do

Medical malpractice lawyers represent clients who have been injured due to misdiagnosis or mistreatment by a doctor or other healthcare professional or by a hospital’s defective protocol or vetting process. As a medical malpractice attorney, I fight for the rights of clients who have suffered because of the incompetence, negligence, or even malice of medical professionals. I work diligently to win them the damages they deserve for such things as: medical and rehabilitation costs, lost income (present and future), pain and suffering, permanent disability, loss of consortium, and disfigurement.

As a medical malpractice attorney, I handle cases involving:

  • Misdiagnosis
  • Birth Injuries
  • Surgical errors
  • Anesthesia mistakes
  • Nursing home abuse
  • Prescription or medication errors
  • Wrongful birth
  • Wrongful death

Though the job of being a medical malpractice lawyer is intense and often stressful, I find great satisfaction in fighting for the rights of clients who come to me unjustly harmed by individuals they trusted with their lives, individuals who took an oath to “do no harm.”

Skills Medical Malpractice Lawyers Need

Pinpointing the skills needed for any occupation is as important for the person who wants to hire a qualified practitioner as for the individual seeking the job. This principle applies to medical malpractice law. If you are seeking an attorney to represent you or a member of your family in a case of medical malpractice, you should look for someone with a well-earned reputation for:

  • Compassion
  • Critical thinking and analytical skills
  • Strong research and writing abilities
  • Excellent public speaking skills
  • Power to debate aggressively, backing up statements with details
  • Familiarity with medical terminology and scientific information
  • Connections to experts in medical and related specialties

I deliberately put compassion at the top of this list because unless you find a legal representative who cares about you and your family, the process of suing for compensation can be anxiety- producing, adding stress instead of minimizing it. Your lawyer should have your back and lift your burdens at this terribly challenging period of your life. Besides, I have found that lawyers who are compassionate are typically honest and careful as well, dedicated to protecting those entrusted to their care.

What Contingency Fees Mean to You

While you’re confronting enormous medical costs and the bills keep arriving while you are unable to work, the last thing you need is exorbitant legal bills. Fortunately, legitimate personal injury attorneys typically work on a contingency basis. This means you will not owe any fee until your medical malpractice lawyer wins you the damages you are entitled to.

The Medical Malpractice Lawyer You Choose Can Make All the Difference

Make sure that you choose wisely when you pick an attorney to handle your medical malpractice case. Remember, the wheels of justice turn slowly, so you are likely to be dealing with this individual for some time, often a couple of years. Also, remember that you will not be charged a consultation fee so you can afford to shop a bit in order to settle on an attorney you’re comfortable with. The good news is that you will be able to assess many of the skills described here once you sit down for the initial consultation. Pick a medical malpractice lawyer who not only has the credentials and successful track record of a true professional, but who presents as committed to the well-being of you and your family.

 Author Bio

Brian Cummings has 20 years of litigation experience, including successfully handling and trying scores of medical malpractice and personal injury cases. Brian is Board-certified as a Medical Malpractice attorney by the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys. He is 1 of less than 20 attorneys in Tennessee who have earned this certification. Brian is licensed to practice law before the United States Supreme Court, and in Tennessee, Hawaii, California, Georgia, and Florida.

Uncategorized Editor Mon, 12 Aug 2019 17:23:24 -0400
Understanding the Purpose and Legal Implications of No Refusal Weekends in Texas Law enforcement in Texas actively patrol the state's roadways for drunk drivers every day of the week. However, on No Refusal Weekends, they ramp up their efforts to keep the roads clear of people who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Whether you live in Texas or plan on passing through on one of its No Refusal Weekends, you should understand the legal ramifications that driving under the influence can have for you.

What are No Refusal Weekends?

No Refusal Weekends are weekends that are specifically designated for deterring incidences of intoxicated driving. They typically occur during busier weekends of the year, such as during the Super Bowl or when college football playoffs are occurring. They also take place during holidays:

  • Memorial Day
  • Fourth of July
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas
  • New Years

During No Refusal Weekends in Texas, police and highway patrol officers can obtain quick warrants to draw blood from a person who is suspected of driving while intoxicated and refuses to give a blood or breath sample.

These weekends have wide support from prosecutors in the state because they are effective in reducing the number of DWI offenses. While the name of the activity suggests that you do not have the right to refuse to take a breathalyzer or provide a blood sample if you are pulled over for suspicion of DWI, you can in fact refuse to comply with a field sobriety test. However, you should be aware that the police officer will be able to get an expedited warrant during that weekend to obtain a sample from you.

How Do No Refusal Weekends Differ from Regular Weekends?

No Refusal Weekends differ from regular weekends in Texas in that police officers can get faster warrants to obtain blood or urine samples from people who are suspected of DWI. Law enforcement agencies around the state increase and pool their resources during these weekends to get warrants and blood samples faster.

Magistrates are readily available during No Refusal Weekends to review and sign the affidavits that police officers present to them. Most police officers will seek blood evidence from drivers if the drivers refuse to provide a sample after they are pulled over on suspicion of DWI.

During regular weekends in the state, police officers may not readily seek a warrant to get a sample from a suspected intoxicated driver. If they do need a warrant, the process for getting one can take longer than on No Refusal Weekends.

What Qualifies as Driving While Intoxicated in Texas?

Like most states, Texas defines driving while intoxicated as having a blood alcohol concentration or BAC of 0.08 or higher. If you drink alcohol before driving and have a BAC of 0.08 or higher in Texas, you can be charged with DWI.

Your BAC will depend on factors that vary from person to person, however. The level of your BAC will depend on:

  • Your gender
  • Your body weight
  • How many drinks you consumed
  • How much food you ate while or after drinking

These factors all will affect your body's ability to handle the alcohol that you consumed. Most people are above the legal limit if they consume two to three beers in an hour. Women, younger people, and people who are thin require less alcohol to reach the legal BAC limit.

What are the Consequences for DWI in Texas?

Texas metes out a variety of punishments for people who are convicted of DWI. First-time offenders can face fines of up to $2000 as well as 3 to 180 days in jail. Also, they can lose their driver's licenses for up to one year and pay an annual fee of $1000 to $2000 to keep their licenses if or when they get it back.

People who are convicted of a second DWI offense in Texas can pay a fine of up to $4000 and serve one month to one year in jail. Also, they can lose their licenses for up to two years and pay an annual fee of $1000, $1500, or $2000 to maintain their licenses afterwards.

People with three or more DWIs will pay a fine of up to $10,000 and serve between two to 10 years in state prison. They will lose their licenses for up to two years. When they get their licenses back, they will have to pay a yearly fee of up to $2000 to the state to keep their driving privileges.

What are Your Rights During No Refusal Weekends?

Just as during regular weekends, you have legal rights that you can access during No Refusal Weekends in Texas. You do not have to comply with the officer's request to provide a breath or blood sample after you are pulled over on suspicion of DWI. While the officer is obtaining a warrant to get a sample from you, you can contact an experienced DWI attorney in Texas to represent you.

Your lawyer will make sure that the law enforcement officer had reasonable cause to pull you over and ask you to submit to a field sobriety test. He or she can also make sure that your sample was obtained legally and that the warrant clearly stipulated why and for what purpose the sample was requested.

Your lawyer can also represent you in court and help you avoid the harshest penalties for DWI. You may have the charges against you dismissed depending on the circumstances of your case. You may also avoid jail time and instead pay a civil penalty.

No Refusal Weekends in Texas are designed to reduce the incidence of DWI. They allow law enforcement officers to get fast warrants to obtain blood samples from suspected DWI offenders in the state. You have rights that you can take advantage of, however, during No Refusal Weekends. You should contact an experienced DWI attorney if you are charged with driving while intoxicated in Texas.


Houston defense lawyer Greg Tsioros provides legal advice and aggressive representation for clients charged with misdemeanors and felonies at both the state and federal level. Mr. Tsioros handles criminal defense cases of any stature – from orders of non-disclosure and expunctions to more serious DWI and drug charges.

Uncategorized Editor Tue, 30 Jul 2019 17:46:08 -0400
Top 5 Types of Car Accidents Car accident! Just saying it out loud conjures images of shattering glass, crumpled metal and oftentimes, serious injuries. Driving a car is a serious responsibility and not one to ever be taken lightly. Chances are, if you haven’t already, you most likely will be involved in some kind of car accident in your lifetime. Just what kind can depend on a number of variables. Below is a list of the 5 most common types of car accidents and a bit of information about each type.

  1. Singe car accident-Maybe you swerved to miss hitting a squirrel and struck a guardrail. Or maybe you slid on some ice and your car left the road and hit a tree. These are just 2 of the many ways a single car accident may go down. These types of accidents are often the fault of the driver and can range from a minor incident involving a dented bumper, to the most serious kind resulting in death. Controlling speed, being mindful of the road, and wearing your seatbelt can certainly help reduce serious injuries when dealing with such an accident.
  2. Car rollover-these types of car accidents are usually single car accidents and they represent the most violent type, often resulting in serious injury or death. Cars leaving the roadway and rolling down an embankment or excessive speed are often found to be the cause of a car rollover.
  3. Side impacts-Often known as a T-Bone; these types of collisions occur when one car slams into the side of another. These car accidents often take place at intersections. Running red lights or stop signs are often the causes of these types of collisions.
  4. Rear end collision-If you are in the front of one of these, you will likely suffer from whiplash. If you are the one who rear ended the car in front of you, you may suffer this as well and you will LIKELY be at fault for the accident to boot. Rear end collisions are extremely common in high traffic situations, especially the dreaded STOP AND GO traffic jams we are all too familiar with. Rear end collisions are why we were told in driver’s ed to keep several car lengths between our vehicle and the one in front of us…but as we know, people rarely heed this advice when on the road.
  5. Head on collisions-These types of car accidents are the things of nightmares. One scenario involves a vehicle travelling down a highway, going 60 miles per hour or faster, and then coming up on someone who is travelling the WRONG WAY on the same stretch of road, resulting in the two vehicles slamming head on into each other. While this exact scenario is fairly rare, it does happen and oftentimes results in death. In this type of car accident, the impact is extremely intense, akin to one driving DIRECTLY into a brick wall…the vehicle stops immediately with the passengers thrust forward, and in some cases, the car can be thrown about, flipped over, or even crushed like a tin can. Other head on collisions can occur at much slower rates of speed, such as on slower driven back roads, or at intersections, but nonetheless, they often cause severe damage and, in many cases, serious injuries.

No, this article was not written to try to scare you into never driving again. BUT…being aware of your surroundings, always wearing your seatbelt, and keeping in mind the most common types of car accidents can possibly help to lessen the risk of your being in an accident in the future.

Uncategorized Editor Tue, 23 Jul 2019 22:37:06 -0400
Calculating Your Damages After a Car Collision Every car crash situation is different, and the injuries and damages sustained are unique to each individual. As a result, calculating your damages after a car accident in Pennsylvania is complicated and requires consideration of numerous factors. For you to get the settlement you deserve, it pays to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who understands the system, as well as the tactics insurance companies use to get you to accept the lowest settlement possible.

Cliff Rieders wrote the book on the financial responsibility law in Pennsylvania. The financial responsibility law governs auto collisions in Pennsylvania, which involves first-party benefits, property damage, peer review of medical care, limited and full tort, under and uninsured motorist coverage, and many other factors.

What Does Compensation Cover?

In Pennsylvania, damage compensation falls into two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages. 

  1. Economic damages – expenses which can be objectively calculated, such as property damage; medical and hospital bills, including future bills; therapy and rehabilitation costs; costs of equipment, such as wheelchairs; loss of income and future wage horizon; property damage; and funeral and burial costs, if death is involved.
  2. Non-economic damages – costs which are more subjective, including the loss of life’s pleasures; physical damages that include physical pain and suffering, scarring, disfigurement, and permanent disability; the loss of a marital relationship (consortium); emotional damages, such as stress, anxiety, and mental anguish; loss of life’s pleasures until the time of death.

Calculating Damages

Economic damages are relatively easy to calculate, since they can be measured in actual monetary figures and often have tangible evidence such as bills and receipts.

It is much more difficult to calculate non-economic damages, as each person will experience their injuries differently. Some insurance companies calculate damages by totaling economic damages and then assigning a “multiplier” (usually between 1.5 and 5) to the case, based on the severity of the accident or injury. Other insurance companies utilize various computer programs.

If a case goes to a jury, some factors used to calculate a dollar figure for non-economic damages include:

  • The type, extent, and severity of injuries
  • The interruption to daily life and activities
  • Whether you will be able to return to work and at what level
  • The effect on your marriage, family life and social interactions
  • The emotional trauma suffered, including stress, anguish, grief, pain, and anxiety
  • The length of time it takes to recover and whether multiple surgeries or difficult rehabilitation will be required
  • The degree of permanent injury, including scarring and disfigurement
  • Your doctor’s professional opinion and assessment of your injuries.  

Pennsylvania Car Accident Laws

The following are laws that affect vehicle crash damage settlements in Pennsylvania:

  • Limited versus full tort -- Pennsylvania has a “choice” car insurance system. If you choose “limited tort” car insurance when you purchase your plan, you typically need to file a claim under your own personal injury coverage for compensation for medical bills and other financial losses, regardless of who was at fault and caused the crash. However, if the crash resulted in "serious injury” and you are able to go beyond the no-fault limitation or if you have chosen “full tort” coverage, you can seek compensation against an at-fault driver. Whether the forms have been properly executed and therefore apply can be a complicated question. We always look at the underwriting file to see if the forms have been properly signed and executed.
  • Comparative fault -- Pennsylvania has a “modified comparative fault” rule. This means your total damages award is reduced by whatever percentage of the fault of the accident the courts determine is yours, in those cases where there is a right to sue. If you are found to be more than 50% at fault, you would receive no This rule binds Pennsylvania judges and juries, and it will also guide insurance companies evaluating your case.
  • Statute of limitations – This is the deadline by which you must file a car crash lawsuit. In Pennsylvania, the statute is two yearsafter the accident for filing a personal injury or property damage lawsuit. If you miss the two-year lawsuit filing deadline, the court may throw out your case. For an injury case, the date the clock starts running is the date of the accident. If a death is involved, this is figured from the date the victim died.  Pennsylvania has a tolling rule which applies in some unique circumstances. There is also a Minors Tolling Act in Pennsylvania.  Statute of limitations is one of the more arcane areas of law and the specific factual scenario is very important.

Get Help From an Experienced Attorney

Calculating damages after a car accident is complicated, and insurance companies will always try to get you the lowest settlement possible, so it makes sense to consult an experienced Pennsylvania auto crash attorney before you talk to an insurance company in order to protect your rights.

Your attorney knows how to present the best argument as to why you should receive the damages you seek, whether negotiating with insurance companies or going to trial. The goal is to recover the maximum possible compensation on your behalf.  

Uncategorized Editor Tue, 23 Jul 2019 00:44:37 -0400
Pennsylvania Car Crash Laws -101 Devastating car crashes occur far too often on Pennsylvania roads. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) reported around 15 crashes per hour in 2017, totaling 128,188. These crashes claimed the lives of 1,137 people and injured another 80,612 people, with at least three people dying each day. The economic loss due to traffic crashes was $1,414 to every Pennsylvania man, woman and child.

If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident in Pennsylvania, you should understand the laws of our state that could impact your options for getting compensated for your losses. Consider the following laws regarding vehicle accidents in Pennsylvania:

  • Statute of limitations – This is the deadline by which you must file a car crash lawsuit. In Pennsylvania, 42 Pennsylvania Code section 5524 says that "an action to recover damages for injuries to the person or for the death of an individual caused by the wrongful act or neglect or unlawful violence or negligence of another" must be brought within two years after the collision for filing a personal injury or property damage lawsuit. If you miss the two-year lawsuit filing deadline, the court will probably throw out your case, unless some rare exception applies to extend the deadline. There is a doctrine of tolling in Pennsylvania which means the statute of limitations may be tolled for circumstances such as the discovery rule.  There is also a Minor’s Tolling Act in Pennsylvania. These complex areas of the law are where an attorney should be consulted.
  • If a death is involved, this is figured from the date the victim died. If death is involved, the argument can be made that for both the wrongful death and survival action the statute of limitations is two years from the date of death; however, there is some law that for one of the actions, the statute of limitations may actually begin to run when the person was harmed, even though they may have died later. While there is recent Pennsylvania caselaw on the subject, we still like to use the earliest possible date.
  • Comparative fault -- Pennsylvania has a “modified comparative fault” rule. This means your total damages award is reduced by whatever percentage of the fault of the accident the courts determine is yours. Juries will calculate two things based on the evidence: the total dollar amount of damages and the percentage of fault that belongs to each party. Under the modified comparative fault rule, the plaintiff's damages award is reduced by a percentage equal to that person’s share of fault. If you are found to be more than 50% at fault, you would receive no Pennsylvania does not have a no-fault car insurance system. Pennsylvania does not have a no-fault car insurance law. However, first party benefits may be paid, to the extent that you purchase them, regardless of fault.
  • Fair Share -- Pennsylvania has a Fair Share Act that limits the ability of the injured party to recover damages in full from defendants who are only partially at fault. Plaintiffs can recover damages in full from defendants who are at least 60 percent responsible, but those less than 60 percent responsible can be held liable only for their actual share of the total damages. This law has been challenged in the Courts.
  • Damage caps -- Pennsylvania does not have damage caps in connection with automobile or truck collisions. Pennsylvania does have damage caps in connection with lawsuits against government entities and certain other areas. State laws limit, or “cap,” the amount of compensation you can recover when the defendant is a local or state government entity, such as a school district.

Proving liability

In proving fault and liability for a crash, these elements are considered:

  • Duty – Drivers have a duty to follow the laws and drive in a reasonable manner.
  • Breach of Duty – Drivers breach this duty by driving negligently.
  • Causation – The car collison is a factual cause of your harm.
  • Damages – You have suffered damages as a result.

What Does Compensation Cover?

In Pennsylvania, compensated costs and losses for car crashes fall into two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.  

  1. Economic damages – expenses which can be objectively calculated, such as medical, hospital, therapy, and rehabilitation costs, costs of equipment such as wheelchairs, lost income, future lost income, property damage, and funeral and burial costs if a death is involved.
  2. Non-economic damages – may include pain and suffering, the loss of life’s pleasures prior to death, disfigurement, and the loss of a marital relationship (consortium).

To make sure that you receive the most compensation possible under the law, it makes sense to consult an experienced Pennsylvania car collison personal injury attorney.

Uncategorized Editor Tue, 23 Jul 2019 00:43:33 -0400
Basic awareness about the Medicare Secondary Payer Act Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) act has been changing with time, and the current year is no exception. Introduction of new rules and stricter regulations demand close observation from enrollees as well as health policy professionals so that everyone can stay on top of their game. To help you traverse through all the recent changes, some fundamental facts about this act are being shared below.

What does MSP stand for?

Before the enforcement of MSP, Medicare used to pay for all the medical services and items on behalf of its beneficiaries, excluding those which fell under the realm of workers' compensation. Recipients received coverage from Medicare program despite having other sources that could cover their medical cost. As a consequence, the Medicare Trust Fund started to dwindle faster.  MSP act was brought into place to protect this situation by making it mandatory that Medicare will be the secondary payer if a person has subscribed to any other employer-sponsored health plan.

In the case where Medicare is not the primary or first payer, the individuals and Medicare program can benefit in different ways. For example, on billing a primary payer before Medicare and ensuring coordination, the healthcare providers can attract the right amount of reimbursement.

What is Section 111 - MSP (Medicare) Reporting and Liability?

Section 111 is sometimes used to indicate MMSEA (Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007). Under this act, new reporting requirements were imposed concerning Medicare beneficiaries who are covered by a group health plan (GHP), liability insurance, no-fault insurance plan, workers’ compensation, and others. It mandated that whatever awards, settlements, judgments, or other payments were made to the Medicare beneficiaries through any such plan should be reported by the “Responsible Reporting Entities” (RREs) or agents. In this case, an RRE is an applicable plan, such as liability insurance or workers' compensation, which has to follow the rules laid under Section 111. 

The reporting entities or agents have to send online quarterly data to Medicare regarding the latest judgments, awards, or settlements to let the authorities know about the current status of the claim made by an injured party. The report should mention how the claims of the injured parties, who are or were also Medicare beneficiaries, have been addressed or resolved and to what extent. Details of the payment obligation as well as the date of the reporting thresholds should also be incorporated in the report.

What is the penalty for non-compliance with Section 111?

On failing to report a claim within a particular time frame, an RRE may have to face a civil penalty of $1,000.00 per claim a day.

What is Medicare set-aside?

Medicare set-aside is a kind of trust, where settlement proceeds for future medical care for Medicare recipient’s personal injury are kept separately. The amount is paid after taking approval from the government and how much it should be paid is recommended by a specialized company after inspecting the medical care needs of an individual. It is post-settlement money that can be allocated to the Medicare beneficiary based on valid terms and conditions, for example, the proper use of the coverage amount received from the primary sources, etc.

The MSP act is complicated, and you need the guidance of a reputable attorney and health policy professional, such as TD&P Consulting Inc., to understand your standing in the matters of claims for medical coverage.

Uncategorized Editor Tue, 16 Jul 2019 08:55:29 -0400
Is Your Vehicle Accident Worth a Lawsuit? Here’s a Checklist to Find Out If you’ve been in a car accident, you naturally want compensation for your injuries and damage to your car and personal property. Most individuals don’t have thousands of dollars to pay out if they are at fault in a wreck, which is why we have insurance. But don’t assume that insurance companies have your best interests at heart. In fact, you can assume that they don’t. Insurers are for-profit entities whose top priority is hanging on to their money.

That’s why you need an experienced car accident lawyer as your advocate, whether you go to court or not. Accepting an insurer’s initial offer is a sure way to be low-balled. An attorney will be able to figure out how much your economic and non-economic losses are worth and make sure that’s how much you receive —through either settlement or a lawsuit. 

Going to Court Is a Last Resort

Settling a claim is the preferable outcome for everyone. For insurance companies, trials bring the risk of being on the hook for a massive payout and higher attorney and litigation costs. For you, the plaintiff, the decision to file a lawsuit should not be taken lightly. You will not see a penny until the trial is over, and your medical and other bills may be piling up. Your lawyer fees will be higher. Trials and juries are unpredictable — you may lose in the end. And lawsuits can drag on indefinitely, depriving you of the sense of closure you need to move on with your life.

When Should You Consider a Lawsuit?

While settling a car accident claim tends to be better for all sides, sometimes you just can’t come to an agreement over the negotiating table. If your situation meets the following criteria, it may be time to discuss with your lawyer the possibility of filing a lawsuit.

You’ve Been Injured in a Car Accident

If you’ve been hurt in a motor vehicle wreck and another driver is at fault, you deserve to receive compensation from that driver’s insurance company.

You’ve Suffered Economic or Non-Economic Damages

Damages, or compensation, are divided into two main categories in car accident and other personal injury cases. Economic damages include:

  • Medical and rehab bills, past, present and future
  • Lost earnings due to recovery
  • Compensation for diminished earning potential
  • Automobile repair bills
  • Repair or replacement costs for personal items damaged in the crash (laptop, phone, etc.).

Non-economic damages include:

  • Pain and suffering — physical, emotional, mental
  • Physical disfigurement and impairment
  • Development of mental problems like depression or PTSD
  • Lowered quality of life.

The Insurance Company Is Not Offering Enough

Any settlement with an insurance company should cover the entirety of your economic and non-economic damages. In most cases, you and the insurer will come to an agreement without a lawsuit's ever being filed. But sometimes, negotiations get bogged down and the insurance company refuses to offer what your lawyer thinks your case is worth. At that point, it’s time to consider the next step of taking it to court.

What if You Live in a No-Fault State?

Filing an insurance claim in a no-fault state is much simpler than in states with fault-based insurance systems. Who is responsible for the accident is irrelevant. You file your claim with your own insurance company, and they pay damages for the cost of your repairs and injuries. This streamlined process means claims are processed faster and more efficiently.

The downside to no-fault insurance is that you will not be reimbursed for pain and suffering, or non-economic losses.

The details vary by state, but generally no-fault states do allow you to sue the other driver if damages reach a certain threshold: either your expenses are higher than a certain dollar amount or your injuries are considered “serious” (as defined by the state).

When you’re involved in a motor vehicle collision, don’t accept the first settlement offer that comes along. If you’ve been injured in a crash, call a car accident lawyer to be your advocate during negotiations and in the courtroom.

Uncategorized Editor Fri, 12 Jul 2019 01:45:20 -0400
Know what to do when you are under arrest There can be different legal scenarios that can lead to arrest. It's natural to panic when such situation arises. But if you are conversant with the critical information around this, you can deal with it more efficiently. First of all, it's essential to note that a police officer can arrest you – 1) on the grounds of reasonable suspicion that you have done a crime, 2) the court has issued an arrest warrant for you, or, 3) you are involved in a crime or can commit one, etc. In case you get trapped in a situation like this, here are a few things that you should keep in mind.

At the time of the arrest

The police officer should tell you that you are under arrest and also why he is arresting you and what will happen if you don’t cooperate. Give them your name and home address if they ask you. However, avoid answering any other questions without first talking to your legal advisor.

As per law, a police officer can apply a reasonable amount of force to arrest a suspect. If you try to escape them, the officer can handcuff you. If you feel he used illegitimate physical strength or power, you can complain about it with the police customer assistance unit. The matter will go to a judge or magistrate for judgment.

However, make sure you don't give them trouble when they arrest you. Otherwise, you can face a charge for non-cooperation even if you were initially innocent.

Another thing is you can request the officer to allow you to speak to your lawyer. You can have a lawyer by your side when the police are questioning you.

At the time of questioning

Under the law, you can keep silence and not answer the questions a police officer asks. But if you were a part of a car accident, then you may have to reveal your name and details of the person who was driving the car.

Also, the police have to inform you beforehand that you don't have to answer all of their questions, and whatever you tell them in response can serve as evidence for them. They can record this entire question and answer session electronically. Hence, it's critical to remember that you only provide details like your name, date of birth, and home address, and nothing else. Give fingerprints and photographs when asked.  However, if they ask you to sign anything apart from a bail form, don't oblige. Refuse it politely. Make sure when all these happen, your lawyer is also present there at that time.

Time spent in custody

Generally, a police officer cannot detain you for more than four hours for the investigation. Nevertheless, they can seek an extension of an additional eight hours. But after that, they must release or file a charge against you. If you face a criminal charge, you can come out of the jail on bail. Sometimes, a court may deny bail to a suspect based on his past criminal records, the seriousness of the current offense committed by him, or his failure to abide by the terms and conditions of the bail. If that happens, you may have to appear before a court as soon as possible so that you can submit your bail plea once again.

If you hire a firm that specialises in Strategic Law Townsville, you don’t have to worry about bail application, representation in court, and police investigation. The lawyer will help you from end-to-end.

Uncategorized Editor Tue, 25 Jun 2019 10:25:17 -0400
5 Tips to Help You after a Car Accident

A vehicle accident can ultimately be among the scariest incidents one can ever go through in life.  After all, car accidents are among the leading causes of death globally.  Again, the emotional and physical trauma associated with car accidents can take a toll on life for many years.

While you might not be able to forget the car accident you had, you can luckily recover from this scary incident and live life as you used to before the accident occurred.  Moreover, recovering from a car accident is possible, only if you forget the unfortunate incidents that resulted in your car accident and instead focus more on recovery. Without further ado, here are 5 tips to help you after a car accident:

1. Get The Best Possible Medical Care

After sustaining injuries following a car accident, you obviously won’t have time to sit pretty and expect things to get any better. Unless you receive medical care urgently, your chances of reaching a full recovery are quite low. Seek the best possible medical care and start your journey to recovery after the car accident.

2. Get A Competent, Experienced Car Accident Lawyer

As much as your focus is on recovery and healing after the car accident, you should reach out to a competent car accident lawyer to help you seek compensation for your injuries.  Most insurance companies won’t compensate you immediately after the accident, and unless you have a lawyer to make the claim on your behalf, you might wait for months for full compensation.

An experienced lawyer from a recognized Baltimore Maryland car wreck firm will not just handle your compensation claim, but the attorney will also ensure your personal interests are protected. Again, an experienced car accident attorney will help increase the sum of money you get in compensation for your injuries.

One of the best ways of hiring a good car accident attorney is to do a background check on the attorney before signing the contract. Check past clients’ testimonials to ascertain whether or not he is worth what he or she claims to be.

3. Get Abundant Rest

Rest is a crucial aspect of recovery and healing. Without adequate rest after your car accident, your situation will inevitably become worse.  However, resting after a car accident doesn’t imply that the victim should lie in their bed all day. Slight movements are still required particularly in the initial stages of healing. Resting after a car accident simply means having ample time to recover from surgeries and injuries.

4. Listen To The Advice From Your Doctor

Recovery and healing after a car accident is a long process that you definitely can’t navigate alone.  Most car accident victims assume they have recovered and good to go after visiting a doctor a couple of times. Nevertheless, listening to the body won’t necessarily help you know when you have fully recovered. Therefore, you still need to visit your doctor from time to time to get your progress evaluated.

Most importantly, heed the recommendations and advice you get from your doctor. Never assume everything is fine and dismiss your doctor’s recommendations, for doing so will ultimately compromise on your recovery and healing process. Your doctor knows what is best for your recovery and will help recommend a suitable pace of recovery for you.

5. Go Back Into Driving

This isn’t easy for most car accident victims. The emotional and physical trauma linked to car accidents can make survivors loath driving for the rest of their life. In fact, most people who have previously been involved in road accidents develop symptoms of PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder). It takes longer to heal the symptoms associated with this mental condition than it takes to heal the actual injuries sustained after the car accident.

But going back into driving is a crucial part of recovering from emotional trauma. Once you go back into driving, keep away from any triggering circumstances to ensure your emotional wounds are fully healed.

Recovering from an accident can take longer depending on an individual as well as the severity of injuries sustained after the accident. Nevertheless, these 5 tips will put you on the right path to healing and recovering notwithstanding how serious your situation is.

Uncategorized Editor Tue, 25 Jun 2019 08:29:17 -0400
The Length of and Legal Use for Federal Statutes of Limitation The federal court system seeks to ensure that no proven crime prosecuted at its level goes unpunished. However, in many instances it can only punish crimes that are charged and tried within a timely manner. The statute of limitations for federal crimes varies and can in some cases mean that criminals are never charged or that they outright never see the inside of a courtroom for their offenses. 

What Is a Statute of Limitation?

A statute of limitation is the amount of time during which legal proceedings for an offense must occur. It serves as a time clock of sorts for lawyers and judges to take action to charge, prosecute, and find a defendant guilty of a crime for which he or she has been accused. 

It was designed to allow many crimes to be prosecuted promptly so evidence and memories of the offense remain fresh in the minds of everyone involved in the case. It also ensures that evidence is not tampered with or lost, which can jeopardize the constitutional rights of the accused.

The statute of limitations at every level including federal applies to numerous offenses like statutory rape, medical malpractice, and some types of theft or fraud. It may not apply to more serious crime or offenses that can lead to the death penalty, most notably:

  • Terrorism
  • Murder
  • Federal sex offenses

In some instances, the statute of limitations can be longer for select crimes including:

  • Arson 
  • Art theft
  • Crimes against financial institutions like banks
  • Immigration offenses

It can also be put on hold or suspended when the accused is a fugitive from the law or the offense in question involves child abuse, bankruptcy, wartime fraud of the government, or DNA evidence.

When Does the Statute of Limitation Begin?

The statute of limitation in most cases begins when the offense occurs. The amount of time that can lapse in between the event and prosecution or legal proceedings of it will depend on the case in question and whether it is a first, second, or subsequent offense. It also may depend on where the person involved in the case lives.

Federal offenses generally have longer statutes of limitation and in cases of serious crimes like murder or terrorism can be indefinite. However, for crimes like fraud or malpractice that have finite statutes of limitations, it is imperative that the filing of charges and prosecution take place promptly. If a person decides to wait until a day longer than the statute for the crime allows, he or she has no legal grounds for filing charges against the accused party.

Further, statutes of limitations can apply to debts, including those owed for medical or credit card bills and student loans. Some types of debts like student loans and back taxes have no statute of limitations during which a creditor can collect on what is owed. 

Other types of debt like credit card or medical bills have finite statutes of limitations. Once those expire, the creditor can no longer pursue collection activities against the debtor.

It does not mean, however, that the debtor no longer owes the debt. If he or she begins making payments after the statute of limitation expires, the time clock for collecting on the debt begins anew. The creditor is given a new statute of limitation during which it can pursue collection for the owed amount.

Debates Over Statutes of Limitation

Statutes of limitation have long been the subject of controversy. Debate about whether or not to continue them or suspend them entirely continues to ensue in courtrooms across the country. Both sides of the argument have strong opinions about their legalities and necessity.

Proponents for statutes of limitation say that they are necessary to protect the constitutional rights of defendants. Statutes of limitation ensure that evidence and eyewitness testimonies will be presented in court while they are fresh and untainted. They give the accused the best chance of a fair trial.

However, critics of statutes of limitation say that they take away from the victim’s right to justice. A victim may not be able to take action within the allowed statute of limitation because of factors like a lack of money to hire an attorney, fear of reprisal, or blocked or unclear memories of what happened during the offense.

Statutes of limitation apply to many crimes including those prosecuted in federal court. They are designed to protect the integrity and constitutionality of a case. However, they also are the subject of controversy because of their ability to limit alleged victims’ chances for justice.

Author bio

Brett A. Podolsky is a Criminal Legal Specialist certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is the former Assistant Criminal District Attorney for the State of Texas. As a criminal defense attorney in Houston, Texas, Mr. Podolsky dedicates his entire practice to litigation. He accepts a wide variety of cases, including drug charges, federal crimes, white-collar crimes, and sex crimes.

Uncategorized Editor Mon, 24 Jun 2019 23:55:17 -0400
How Much Does It Cost To Legally Change Your Name?

There is a myriad of reasons as to why a person may want or need to change their names. Changing of names is generally allowed for any reason expect to evade the law or commit fraud. Whichever your reason for wanting to change your name is, if you want to have a new name to appear on your legal documents; driver's license, social security card, passport, birth certificate, and bank accounts, you'll have to obtain a court order.

When it comes to the costs of legally changing your name, obtaining a court order is the most expensive process. Hiring a lawyer to offer assistance and guidance is always an option, however, it significantly raises the overall costs. If you have an understanding of the court process, it is a process you can handle on your own. An attorney helps you prepare name change documents and provides legal representation during the hearing or if someone objects your name change. After you have been issued with a court order certificate an attorney can help ensure that all your accounts and I.Ds have been updated.

If you are considering to have your name changed but may be wondering what it costs, then read on as this article delves into what a name change consists of and what it will cost you.

Depends On State

Different states have different sets of procedures and documentation requirements for changing names, hence, charge different fees. Depending on which state you are in, you will incur different charges as to what you'd incur in another state. You'll find that there are some charges that other states may not consider while they are considered on your state. State name change laws are executed through county courts and all the counties within a state are expected to charge the same amount of fees.

Depending on your state, the costs of filing for a legal name change and the issuance of a court order document may be from $150-$400, however, in some states, it may be as high as $500.

The turnaround time also varies from state to state due to the different sets of procedures and it may also be affected by other factors such as workload. The average time it takes most states to execute a name change court order is between 8-12 weeks. However, in some states such as California, it may take as long as 3 months. To get an estimate of the turnaround time of the city or county you are in, you should contact your county clerk.

After filing your name change petition there are other additional requirements that you'll have to consider in order to complete the name change process and in each, you will incur certain fees.

Publishing Notice Requirement

Once the judge has granted your name change request, some states require that you publish a notice of your name change in a newspaper. This is done in order to make your name change a public record. In most states, you are expected to publish the legal notice within 60 days after petition approval.

The publication of the notice can only be done through a designated list of newspapers. Your notice will be published under Legal Notices in the classified section. Different newspapers charge different fees for publishing in their classifieds section. In New York, for example, big time newspapers such as The New York Times charges upwards of $500 and The New York Post charges around $200 while other smaller local newspapers may charge an average of $45.

It is therefore essential to do some research in your area to find a newspaper that is favorable to your budget. It is worth noting that in most cities there are legal and business newspapers that offer legal notices publications at significantly lower prices than regular daily newspapers.

Changing Your Driver's Licence/State Identification Card

After filing and publishing your notice, the court will then hold a hearing on your name change. If everything is in order and the judge approves the name change, you will be issued with a court order. You will need a certified copy of this court order in order to update your driver's license or state identification card. In some states, there may be a fee while in others this process is completely free. However, in the states where they charge a fee, it is $20 on average. It is worth noting that updating your social security card is completely free.

Passport Renewal

For this process, you'll also need a certified copy of the court order. If you were issued with your passport within the past year, then you won't have to pay anything to update your passport. However, if it's been a year or more the fee to replace your passport is $30 for a card and $110 for a book. However, An important point to keep in mind is that Under TSA's Secure Flight Program, the name that you used to purchase a plane ticket should be exactly the same as the one on your photo I.D. Therefore, to avoid any inconveniences, you should avoid making any changes at the moment if you have already made travel plans and bought plane tickets.

Updating Your Birth Certificate

If you desire to change the name on your birth certificate, you need a certified copy of the court order and take it to the Bureau of vital records or the acting similar agency in the state where you were issued with your birth certificate. You will incur a fee in order to change your birth certificate. The fee is between $20-$30.

Changing your name after marriage, for example, taking your husband's name doesn't require filing a petition. You just need your marriage certificate.

If you wish to change your child's name after divorce, you'll have to file the petition yourself as the parent as people under the age of 18 years are not legally allowed to change their names. The process and costs incurred when changing a child's name are similar as for adults. However, there is an extra step which is serving the other parent with notice of name change petition.

If you want to do this yourself, you can, but it may be easier to go through a name change service like EZ Name Change that will take care of all the details for you for a nominal cost. Whatever your reasons for wanting to change your name, we wish you the best in your new identity!

Uncategorized Editor Fri, 14 Jun 2019 09:57:05 -0400
5 Effective Defense Strategies Every DUI Offender Should Know

The United States Department of Transportation reported that in every 48 minutes there were numbers of alcohol-impaired traffic fatalities across the country. The law enforcement agencies in each state are now aggressively disciplining the citizens more to decrease the number of accidents.

Consequently, sometimes, the police may immediately detain you for a small driving mistake or even nothing. Either way, ignorance is never bliss. You should be aware that there is no expanse on criminal defense that has more potential cases than DUI. Without further ado,  here are five strategies for an effective DUI defense.

Illegal Search and Seizure (4th Amendment)

In accordance to the Fourth Amendment, a police officer cannot pull you over without having any valid reasons like any reasonable claims that you are committing, about to engage, or had committed a DUI offense or other possible causes of traffic violations.

The good thing is there a few traffic violations that are excellent candidates for motions to suppress. For instance, a police officer will stop you for going over the yellow line once and will write a report that you fail to maintain a single lane. However, the police do not have other evidence that you badly affected the traffic when crossing the yellow line.

In Florida, violations, like turning with no signal stops and failing to maintain a single line, are not enough reasons for the police to legally stop a driver. Specifically, these violations should affect the traffic for one to be pulled over by the police; otherwise, a driver can challenge the stop.

If your DUI Attorney successfully defended you on a wrong stop, all the evidence, such as having slurred speech, watering eyes, bloodshot, an odor of alcohol or bad breath test result, that can prove you convicted a DUI offense can be possibly tossed out.

Coerced Compliance With Voluntary Tests

In many jurisdictions, it is not illegal to say no in taking field sobriety tests. Do not feel like you do not have any choice but to follow roadside exercises. Otherwise, you are helping the police to build his or her case instead. Always remember this: before the police can arrest you for convicting a DUI, he or she should have a probable cause of this suspicion.

If you are placed in a situation that you feel like you are “required” to take the test and it is considered involuntarily by the judge, the Court will disregard the evidence of the roadside tests, devastating the case of the State Attorney.

Unreasonable Length of Detention

Your driver’s constitutional right would be violated when police or patrolmen pulled you over for a specific traffic infraction, did the required police DUI arrest protocol, and then asked other cops to take over your DUI investigation, who arrived late and caused an unreasonable delay on your side.

The police cannot ask you to pull over and let you wait for one hour or so before he or she will start investigating.  If proven that the police unreasonably place you into detention even for a few minutes, the judge can potentially throw out all the evidence accumulated by the second police, which will destroy the state case.

No Probable Cause to Arrest

Assuming that a police officer had a legal basis to arrest you and undergo a DUI investigation on time. Then, he or she gathered adequate information to prove that you are guilty of a DUI conviction and detained you.

However, everything is based on what the police believed to be true, rather than the facts. For example, the Court can conclude that the police lacks probable cause after arresting you for having red shot watery eyes, empty cans of beer inside your car, and nothing else.

Suppress HGN Testimony From Non-Experts

During an early stage of a DUI investigation, many police officers will do horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test. In this test, the police officers will hold pointers—a penlight, pen, or finger—approximately 12 to 15 inches across a driver’s nose, test the drivers’ peripheral gaze in one given direction, and figure out whether a driver is influenced and impaired by alcohol or not.

HGN test is one of the standardized field sobriety tests that can serve as a testimony and can be presented to the jury. However, the officer should be an expert in horizontal gaze nystagmus. If not, the judge will get rid of any evidence, even relevant videos of the case.


Other defenses are related to non-compliance with administrative rules. For instance, if the breath test results are far apart, a test operator is not certified, or a machine is not maintained correctly, then the result may probably be excluded and suppressed. It is best to consult with a defense attorney for more professional advice.

Uncategorized Editor Tue, 11 Jun 2019 04:19:50 -0400
Green Card Through Employment Getting a green card through employment allows over 100,000 foreign-born persons and their spouses and unmarried minor children to immigrate to the United States each year.

Typically, an employer goes through the PERM process where they must advertise the job and demonstrate to the U.S. Department of Labor that no minimally qualified U.S. workers applied for the job.  The employer is required to pay the worker at the prevailing wage in the geographical area or the actual wage, whichever is higher.

However, the PERM process is not required for persons in the EB-1 Priority Worker category, for those who qualify as Persons of Exceptional Ability, for National Interest Waivers or for Registered Nurses and Physical Therapists.

Typically, getting a green card through employment is a 3-step process:

  • Approval of a PERM application;
  • Approval of an Employment-Based (EB) Visa Petition (Form I-140) which must be filed within 180 days of the approval of the PERM application; and
  • Approval of an application for Adjustment of Status (Form I-485) if the applicant is in the U.S. or an application for an Immigrant Visa abroad.

A green card through employment may be applied for in the following 3 categories:

  • EB-1 Green Cards for Priority Workers

This category is divided into 3 sub-categories:

  • Persons of Extraordinary Ability (Self-Petition is Permitted.)

This category is restricted to those who meet 3 of the following 10 criteria:

   -  Receipt of lesser nationally or internationally- recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor;

  -  Membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought, which require outstanding achievements of their members;

  - Published material about the person in professional or major trade publications or other major media, relating to the person’s work in the field for which classification is sought;

  - Participation as a judge of the work of others in the same or an allied field;

  - Original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business- related contributions of major significance;

  - Authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media;

  - Display of work at artistic exhibitions or showcases;

  - Performance in a leading or critical role for organizations or establishments that have a distinguished reputation;

  - A high salary or other significantly high remuneration for services; or

  - Commercial success in the performing arts.

  • Outstanding Professors and Researchers

This requires that the person have a tenure-track faculty position or a permanent offer of employment, and have a minimum of 3 years of teaching or research experience.

In addition, the person must satisfy at least 2 of the following 6 criteria:

  • Received major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement;
  • Be a member of associations that require outstanding achievement;
  • Published material (written by others) about your research;
  • Served as judge of the work of others in your field;
  • Contributed original work to your field; and/or,
  • Authored scholarly articles or publications.
  • Multinational Executives and Managers

Such persons are required to demonstrate that they were employed by a company affiliated with their current U.S. employer as a manager or executive outside the U.S. for at least 1 of the last 3 years before coming to the U.S.  To qualify as a manager, a person must manage either professionals or supervisors. 

  • EB-2 Advanced Degree Professionals

This category is for members of the professions holding an advanced degree or its equivalent.  The attainment of a Bachelor’s  degree  plus 5 years of professional experience is usually deemed to be the equivalent of an advanced degree.

Typically, their employers of EB-2 professionals must advertise the job and demonstrate to the U.S. Department of Labor that no minimally qualified U.S. worker applied for the job.  This is known as a PERM application.

However, the following are exceptions to the PERM requirement:

  • Persons of Exceptional Ability

The employee is required to meet at least 3 of the following criteria:

  • Official academic record showing that you have a degree from an institution of learning relating to your area of exceptional ability;
  • Letters documenting 10 years or more of experience in the occupation;
  • A license to practice your profession or certification for your profession or occupation;
  • Evidence that you have commanded a salary for services that demonstrates your exceptional ability;
  • Membership in a professional association(s);
  • Recognition for your achievements and significant contributions to your industry or field by your peers, government entities, professional or business organizations; or
  • Other comparable evidence of eligibility is also acceptable.
  • National Interest Waivers (Self-Petition is Permitted.)

A national interest waiver may be granted if the employee meets the following criteria:

              (1) The proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance;

(2) You are well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor; and

(3) It would be beneficial to the U.S. to waive the job offer and PERM requirements.

Physicians employed by the Veterans Administration or in a Medically-Underserved Area have their own unique requirements for qualifying for a National Interest Waiver.

  • EB-3 Professionals, Skilled and Unskilled Workers

For this category, the employer must follow the PERM wage and advertising requirements.  Only if no minimally qualified U.S. workers apply for the job will the Labor Department approve the PERM application.

It should be noted that Registered Nurses (RNs) and Physical Therapists (PTs) are both classified by the Labor Department as Schedule A Shortage Occupations.  As such, while employers are subject to wage requirements, they may sponsor RNs and PTs for green cards without having to undergo the PERM process.

Uncategorized Editor Mon, 10 Jun 2019 10:21:42 -0400