May 2, 2021
After a car accident, you might not feel injured. You may not even realize you need medical treatment for a few days afterwards. If you wait to make a claim, how much time do you have? The answer is that it depends.
Making a Claim With An Insurance Company
Your insurance company may require you to make a claim within a certain time frame of an accident. The longer you wait, it can be harder to gather evidence. The insurance company may also be suspicious of delayed claims. You should report an accident to your insurance company as quickly as possible. Each state has laws on how quickly you should report to the insurance company, from immediately to up to 6 months. If you call the police at the time of the accident, you are typically in line with reporting laws. Call your insurance company as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the insurance company may not settle quickly.
Filing a Lawsuit After an Auto Accident
Most states have laws that govern how quickly you must bring a lawsuit after a personal injury or auto accident. It’s called the statute of limitations. If you do decide that a lawsuit is required to get the insurance company to fully compensate you for your injuries, you’ll be faced with another timeline. This statute of limitations varies greatly, depending on where you live, from 1 to 5 years or even longer. In some cases, the timeline might be shorter, such as when you’re filing against a government entity.
Talking to a Lawyer Helps You Understand Your Rights
In car accidents with serious injuries, you may not know the complexity of the issues for weeks or even months after the accident. Talking to a lawyer can give you information to help you know how much time you have to file a claim. You don’t have to make a decision right away when you know your time frame. Your local car accident lawyer such as Barry P. Goldberg may be able to help negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company to keep you out of court.
You may want to wait to file a lawsuit, to find out all the damages. The problem is that if you wait too long, you might miss your window of opportunity. Make an appointment with a car accident lawyer who can advise you of your rights and responsibilities to protect yourself. Weigh the pros and cons of filing a lawsuit and take the right steps for your situation.
April 30, 2021
Contrary to popular belief, fault does not always have to be proven for a couple to obtain a divorce decree. In fact, many marriages have ended peacefully, with neither spouse feeling the need to accuse the other of misconduct. Check out this list of six different kinds of divorce:
During fault divorce proceedings, the party who filed for divorce must prove that the other party engaged in activities that led to the breakdown of the marriage. Such activities include adultery, domestic violence, desertion, imprisonment, long-term estrangement, and drunkenness. Fault divorces are amongst the most common kinds of divorces.
In a no-fault divorce, each spouse concedes that they took part in activities that led to the dissolution of their marriage. Neither party has to showcase one another’s wrongdoings. However, they do have to establish that they have been voluntarily separated for 12 months or more or involuntarily separated for at least two years.
There is essentially no fighting during an uncontested divorce. Both parties agree on all matters. Oftentimes, people who get uncontested divorces do not have much to fight over. They usually do not have any children nor do they share a substantial amount of assets. Uncontested divorces are relatively inexpensive compared to other types of divorces.
Contested divorces are filled with disagreements and battles. Couples who file for such divorces usually cannot agree on anything. They argue over assets division, debt allocation, spousal support, child support, and child custody arrangements. Contested divorces are usually more time-consuming and expensive than uncontested ones.
Collaborative divorces begin with both parties signing a form that states that they will work together to achieve a mutually beneficial agreement. Attorneys, divorce coaches, financial specialists, and child specialists will work together to help the couple amicably split. Collaborative divorces are ideal for parents who do not want their children to experience a great deal of trauma during their divorce.
Default divorces are uncommon. They occur when one party does not respond to the other’s petition for divorce after 30 days or more of being served. They also occur when the other party cannot be contacted nor found. A judge will interpret the missing party’s absence and lack of communication as justification for a default divorce. Courts recognize a variety of divorces. Contact a family lawyer today, such as a family lawyer from the Winfrey Law Firm PLLC, to gain a better understanding of the legal processes involved in obtaining a divorce.
April 21, 2021
Wrongful Death Lawyer
Losing a loved one is never easy, especially when you are losing your loved one due to somebody else’s negligence, rather than old age or natural causes. You and your family are going to struggle emotionally, and may struggle financially. It may not be easy to win a wrongful death case, either, especially not by yourself. Because of this, you might need to hire a wrongful death lawyer in Arlington, TX to help you get justice.
Texas Statutes section 71.001 state that an action for wrongful death may be brought to the courts if “the wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default” of one party causes the conditions under which the other party dies. The children, spouse or parents of the decedent may file the wrongful death lawsuit. They may also file jointly, or individually. Should the decedents family not file a wrongful death lawsuit within three months of the death, the manager of the estate may file the claim instead; barring a family member requesting the wrongful death claim is not filed.
Furthermore, in Texas, an adult child may file a wrongful death claim on their parents, or adoptive parents may file a claim on their adoptive child should the child die under negligence circumstances. An adopted child may also file a claim involving their adoptive parent, if they were fully and legally adopted. However, a child who is adopted may not file a claim on their biological parents.
The lawyers at Brandy Austin Law Firm PLLC can help guide you and answer any questions you have involving wrongful death cases in Texas. There is a statute of limitations on wrongful death cases, and you must file your claim and suit within this limitary statute. In Texas this limitation is two years from the date of the victim’s death, though there are some limited exceptions that may allow you to file a claim at a later date once the two years have run out.
Your wrongful death lawyer is going to understand the legal process far better than you could. Lawyers that specialize in wrongful death cases are going to have a detailed knowledge of the processes that are involved in these claims. Your lawyer is more or less an expert at what they do. They will know Texas laws surrounding wrongful death claims, and will be able to ensure all paperwork is filled out and submitted at the correct time.
Hiring a wrongful death lawyer is important because you have a lot of deadlines to meet so that your case will continue to be considered active. Not only can your wrongful death lawyer in Arlington, TX save you time and money, they can ensure you have the time to grieve the loss of your loved one. This means that you are not facing everything alone, and you can take time away from the court case to grieve and process the death of someone you care for.
There are many deadlines, many processes, and documents to be filed. Trust your wrongful death lawyer today.
April 17, 2021
Truck Accident Lawyer
Truck accidents are some of the most devastating types of vehicle accidents due to their size, weight and difficulty to control. Many commercial truck accidents occur on New York roads each year, injuring and killing many people. Accident victims can hire a lawyer to help them file a claim against the truck driver or company responsible for the accident. One question you may be wondering is who is exactly liable after a truck accident?
How Is Liability Determined?
Determining liability is often difficult because of the number of parties that may be involved in commercial truck accident cases. When you talk with a lawyer, they will gather evidence such as police accident reports and records from the carrier, truck company. A lawyer will review information such as who was working at the time and a summary of the truck’s maintenance report.
Which Parties can Be Held Liable?
A truck accident lawyer in Yonkers, NY, like one from Greenspan & Greenspan P.C. can tell you that one or several parties could be held liable for an accident. In addition to the truck driver and the company that employs them, there are also third-party vendors and cargo owners who work with them. In many cases, it is the truck driver or carrier who is held liable, but it could also be the truck manufacturer, party who owns the cargo, or the government.
Here are some parties that a lawyer may consider as they determine who is liable:
- Truck driver. A truck driver may be pursued for negligence by engaging in behavior such as reckless driving, speeding, and driving under the influence.
- Carrier or trucking company. Truck companies, also known as carriers, must ensure the safety of their drivers. Lack of safety measures and improper training of drivers are some of the reasons that they can be held liable in an accident.
- Truck manufacturer. Truck manufacturers sometimes produce defective parts that lead to cracks, brake failures, or loose objects which can cause an accident.
- Cargo owner. Any issues that occur in the shipping and handling of cargo can be traced back to the cargo owner, who can be held liable.
- Local government. Construction issues or poor freeway designs can result in a serious truck accident.
Contact a Lawyer for Legal Assistance
If you have been involved in a truck accident, work with a lawyer so that you can recover your losses. They will be there for you through every step of the process and ensure that the responsible parties are pursued to the fullest extent. Request a consultation with a skilled truck accident lawyer now.
April 16, 2021
Two Types Of Divorce Cases.
What Is Divorce?
Typically speaking, there are two kinds of divorce. One is called “divorce from bed and board,” which is readily available in some states. At its core, this enables couples to legally different, and is typically used by partners who wish to live their own lives but, for whatever reason, do not want to officially end their marital relationship. Divorce from bed and board is infrequently seen nowadays.
The more typical kind of divorce is an “outright divorce” which dissolves the marriage. A legal tidy break, so to speak. It’s this principle that this short article will focus on.
There are numerous approaches available to reach the objective of having a judge problem a judgment of absolute divorce. For the sake of benefit, it’s become standard practice in the law to identify each of these techniques as a separate kind of divorce, which is how we’ll explain them listed below.
In lots of states, an expedited divorce treatment is readily available to couples who have not been married for very long (generally 5 years or less), don’t own much property, don’t have children, and do not have substantial joint financial obligations. Both partners need to agree to the divorce, and need to file court papers jointly.
A summary (sometimes called “streamlined”) divorce includes a lot less documents than other types of divorce– a couple of forms are typically all it takes. For this reason, summary divorces are easy to do without the help of a legal representative. You can normally get the types you need from your state court’s main website, or from the regional family court clerk’s office.
In regards to handling the court procedure, the path that typically produces the least quantity of tension is an uncontested divorce. That’s one in which you and your spouse settle up-front all your differences on issues such as custody and visitation (parenting time), kid assistance, spousal support, and department of property. You’ll then integrate the terms of your settlement in a written “home settlement agreement” (often called a “separation agreement”).
Once your case is settled, you can declare divorce with the court. Courts almost invariably fast-track these types of cases, so you can get divorced in a fairly brief period of time. In some states, you do not even need to make a court appearance, however rather can submit an affidavit (sworn statement) with the notary.
April 12, 2021
When problems arise in a marriage it can lead to separation or divorce if the couple isn’t able to work through it. But for some, separation and divorce may come out of the blue, or at least it may feel like it.
When a marriage ends, does the reason matter? Is it enough to tell the court that it wasn’t working anymore? In some instances, the reasons behind the breakup may impact how the proceedings go. Find out more about when the why behind a failed marriage may make a difference in a divorce.
What Is a No-Fault Divorce State?
Some state laws are written so that the reason for a breakup is not required. This is considered a no-fault law because the court does not care who caused what. Most states fall into this category. It means when a person files a divorce petition, the reason for the action may be vague, such as that the union is irretrievably broken. This tells the court that the two parties share in the demise and end of the relationship.
What Are Grounds for Divorce?
There is an alternative route to divorce in some no-fault divorce states that includes citing the reasons behind the breakup. This allows a spouse filing for divorce to either say the marriage is broken or give another ground for the divorce. Some of the most common grounds for divorce include:
- Psychiatric instability
- Verifiable domestic abuse
- Absence or abandonment
Is It Beneficial to Give a Reason for the Divorce?
Is there a reason to give the grounds for divorce? In most cases, doing this provides no benefit except dragging the process on. However, there are some situations when a spouse may want to use a reason to gain the upper hand. Adultery is one of the most common reasons why marriages end. If a spouse alleges the other cheated, they need to have verifiable and irrefutable proof of the affair for the court to consider it. If they do, some courts will look at this and decide to award higher spousal support or property.
The divorce process may prove tricky to get through unless one is familiar with how the legal system in the state works. For this reason, a divorce lawyer is a valuable asset when it comes to the divorce process. This legal practitioner can move throughout family court with relative ease and give people a fair shot at coming out of a breakup on steady ground. Call a local divorce lawyer today for more help.
February 24, 2021
So, you got a letter or notice in the mail. It mentions “subrogation,” and you are left scratching your head, wondering what’s this all about? Am I in trouble? Do I need a lawyer?
Maybe. But it would help if you understood subrogation and considered how it applies in your particular circumstances.
First, let’s look at the word itself. It is defined as follows:
Subrogation (səb-rə-gay-shən) n. (15c) 1. The substitution of one party for another whose debt the party pays, entitling the paying party to rights, remedies, or securities that would otherwise belong to the debtor…. Subrogation most commonly arises in relation to insurance policies. 2. The equitable remedy by which such a substitution takes place. 3. The principle under which an insurer that has paid a loss under an insurance policy is entitled to all the rights and remedies belonging to the insured against a third party with respect to any loss covered by the policy.
SUBROGATION, Black’s Law Dictionary (11th ed. 2019).
This definition is too technical for most people, but the idea is this: If someone else, usually an insurance company, has paid a debt that you owe, that company usually has a right to get back what it paid on your behalf if someone else is legally obligated to compensate you.
Still confused? I don’t blame you. Let me use a couple of examples to explain.
Suppose you were in an auto accident and you were injured. Your health insurance company has paid your medical bills. The health insurer may be writing to you in order to find out about the circumstances of your accident.
Why does it care? Because, if the other driver is legally responsible for your injuries, your health insurer has a legal right to collect what it paid for you from that driver (or the driver’s liability insurance company).
How are you involved? First, the insurance company needs to understand the facts to evaluate the claim. Second, if it has a claim, that claim arises from your legal right to recover your damages from that other driver. So the health insurer may be trying to find out whether you intend to pursue your claim yourself. If you do, your health insurer will likely wait for you to do that and then demand that you pay back what it paid on your behalf, less a share of your costs of recovery.
If you don’t plan to take steps to recover your damages from the other driver, your health insurer may choose to sue in your name!
Should you talk to a lawyer about such a notice? Probably. If your health insurer thinks you have a right to recover your damages, maybe you should pursue them on your own. You may have broader damages – such as for pain and suffering — than your health insurer would. You might want to think about pursuing the claim yourself.
There are other, similar situations where an insurance company might have a right to pursue a claim based on what it has paid for your benefit, such as for damage to your car. It works the same way.
If you were injured, you can probably find a lawyer who will meet with you to discuss the situation without charging you a fee. Most personal injury lawyers don’t charge for initial consultations.
Another common situation in which you might hear the term “subrogation,” is if the shoe is on the other foot. That is to say, if it is alleged that you caused damage. The other party’s insurance company may be threatening to sue you to recover for benefits because of that damage. Or it may actually be suing you for such damages.
In that situation, if you have liability insurance, you should notify your insurance carrier right away. If you don’t have insurance, you’ll almost certainly have to hire a lawyer, unless you are prepared to pay the claim. If you get sued and a judgment is awarded against you, it will harm your credit rating, your wages may be garnished, and in some states, your driver’s license may be suspended until you pay the judgement off.
Of course, there are other situations where subrogation comes into play. But hopefully, thanks to Rich Cassidy Law, you now understand the basics.
July 17, 2020
In many contested divorces the contest involves issues of custody of children. Frequently these battles involve two parents who are both capable and competent care givers. Typically both parents love their children. Unfortunately, parents who are getting divorced have to learn how to share their children. In most cases, if the parents were good at sharing and cooperating together they probably would not be getting divorced.
Each person has their own reason for fighting for custody. For some people it is ego. For some, it is a desire to hurt their spouse. For others it is money. Some people have a genuine belief that the children are better with them than with the spouse.
Some people fight over custody because child support is tied to the issue of custody. If a parent doesn’t want to pay child support then he or she needs to obtain primary custody of the child. If primary custody is not available then shared custody with each parent having parenting time for one half of the time available is a goal. Even 50 / 50 custody can result in lower child support payments. Of course, the parent with the lower income may fight for custody only to get child support payments or higher child support payments.
Courts approach custody from the point of view of what is best for the child. The name for this concept is “the best interests of the child standard.” This simple statement gives a judge broad discretion in making a custody judgment. This standard can be difficult to translate into presenting evidence so attorney Alan J. Pransky would tell you to consider the following:
1.) What was the custody arrangement when the couple was together? Custody trials tend to have a lot of contradictory evidence. Each spouse tends to exaggerate the other spouses flaws and minimize their own. Start with the question of who was the primary custodial parent when the couple were together. Most couples have an allocation of responsibilities within the marriage. One spouse tends to be the primary wage earner and the other tends to be the primary housekeeper and child custodian. When the wage earner testifies how dangerous the other spouse is and how that spouse poses a threat to the child, ask “How did you go to work each day leaving the children in the care of this person you claim is a threat?” When day after day a parent is left alone with the children it is hard to believe that they are a danger to the children.
2) Which parent has the strongest bonds with the child? While children may love both of their parents, they usually choose one parent over another for comfort and security. When a child is injured, which parent do they seek for comfort and protection? As children get older, which parent do they feel more comfortable talking to? Children may indicate that they can’t imagine living separate from one parent but can easily imagine living separate from the other.
3) Each parent’s plan for taking care of the children. In order to argue for custody, a parent must provide care for a child 24 hours a day, every day that the child is with the parent. This means that the parent must have an appropriate physical setting. Do both parents have separate bedrooms or is a parent proposing to share a bed with the child? Where will the child be going to school? How will the child get to school? If a parent proposes 50 / 50 custody but lives an hour away from the other parent then the child will be subjected to unreasonable commuting to get to and from school. How will the parent provide care to the child when working? How will a parent care for a sick child that can’t go to school? Will the child live in the same home as prior to the divorce and be able to continue to play with the same friends? Judges may call this evidence “stability and continuity in the child’s life” but once can tend to think of it as having a better parenting plan.
4) For many judges, the ultimate measure of the best interests of the child is the success the child achieves in school. This means that each parenting plan should be considered in terms of how it encourages success in school. A judge should consider how each parent deals with the child’s homework and school preparation. Are the parents consistent on bedtimes on school nights? How have the parents interacted with teachers in the past?
5) A court will also consider living arrangements and lifestyles of each parent andhow such circumstances may affect the child. The mere fact that a parent intends to live with a new romantic partner should not determine child custody. While some states consider such a living arrangement to be morally harmful to the child, most states don’t consider such moral evidence. Instead, courts should consider how the new love interest treats the children. Any live in partners will have to be involved in care giving for the children. A Court should view cohabitation from the viewpoint of benefits and disadvantages to the way the children are treated.
6) Increasingly courts are considering the manner in which each parent interacts with the children about the other parent. Parents should protect the child’s relationship with both parents. No derogatory comments about the other parent. No excessive questioning the child about activities with the other parent. No blaming the spouse for the termination of the marriage. Potential or actual parental alienation should be considered by a judge in a custody decision. Most experts advocate that children need quality time with both parents. There is a current trend to give both parents significant time with the child.
Contested child custody cases can be very difficult. If you can’t agree with your spouse about custody of your children you should consult a child custody lawyer for advice and assistance.
June 1, 2020
The COVID-19 Pandemic is clearly unprecedented in the course of human history, impacting daily life like no event ever before. If you are divorced or contemplating a divorce, here are some important things to know about how COVID-19 will affect your life:
- Courts Are Open – While many non-essential businesses are closed, courts technically remain open. Even a pandemic does not prevent the public’s right to access the justice system. It is supremely important to parties of divorce and custody cases for courts to continue to function because of the ever-evolving nature of family law disputes. Many divorce courts are using tele-video conference (e.g., Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams) to conduct status conferences, hearings on contested motions, and even trials. There is no reason to wait until the pandemic is over or for the country to “reopen”; the courts are functioning.
- Child Support Modification – Most child support laws allow a modification if there is a substantial change in circumstances, which can include the significant increase or decrease in income by one of the parents. The Coronavirus Pandemic has caused an economic calamity, with unemployment at historic levels. Once the Paycheck Protection Program runs out, and people stop receiving full unemployment benefits, income levels will drop. If you lost your job, or your business has experienced a downturn, this would be a substantial change in circumstances that you can use as a basis for modifying your child support obligation. You have to act fast, however, as a child support obligation is extremely difficult if not impossible to get out of without paying, and you can be subject to interest and penalties.
- Spousal Support Abatement – Much like child support, spousal support (known as “alimony” or “maintenance”) can also be modifiable depending on the circumstances. The economic downturn of the COVD-19 pandemic is cause to seek a modification of support, or even an abatement. An “abatement” is a legal term meaning to stay or pause the support obligation. If you are paying spousal support, you may be able to abate your payments until you recover economically.
- Parenting Time – The pandemic is not a reason to interfere with the other parent’s visitation time with their child. Despite being a health disaster, many family law Courts have issued orders and guidelines stating that parenting time and visitation must continue as agreed or ordered in the era of social distancing. Many parents are expressing serious concern that the other parent is not adhering to social distancing guidelines. While a judge might ultimately agree that a parent is not doing enough to protect themselves, it should be brought to the court’s attention instead of simply refusing to exchange the children.
Thanks to our friends from Hecht Schondorf LLC for their insight into family law during the pandemic.