December 31, 2022
Wrongful Death Lawyers
A hearsay exception that would allow a party to use an out-of-court statement for the truth of the matter asserted is medical treatment. The statement has potential of admittance regardless of whether the declarant is available as a witness. Rule 803(4) governs the medical treatment exception for an out-of-court statement to use for the truth of the matter asserted.
The rule reads as follows: “The following are not excluded by the rule against hearsay, regardless of whether the declarant is available as a witness: statement that is made for- and is reasonably pertinent to- medical diagnosis or treatment; and describes medical history, past or present symptoms or sensations, or their inception or general cause.” The first portion of the real requires that the statement is either made for or is reasonably pertinent to a medical diagnosis or treatment. A statement made for medical diagnosis is relatively easier to spot, as it is based on a subjective standard. The reasonable pertinence of a statement for medical diagnosis is an objective standard. Read together, if a declarant subjectively makes statements for the purpose of getting a medical diagnosis or if they are objectively pertinent to a medical case, it would qualify under the exception.
The description of medical history, past or present symptoms or sensations, or the inception or general cause of the medical diagnosis requires knowledge about how the condition arose. Under the Federal Rules of Evidence, the knowledge standard equates to actual knowledge. Additionally, the rule excludes statements that blame a particular person or organization for the cause.
One important concept of the hearsay exception is that the statement does not need to be made by a medical professional. Any person can make the statement as long as the declarant made them for medical purposes. With that being said, almost any statement made by a patient that appears in a medical record is admissible. This would mean that psychological conditions are admissible as well. Lastly, the rule imposes no time limit.
November 26, 2022
When couples decide to part ways, they must go through the difficult process of dividing their assets. It can be a complicated and confusing process, especially if you are unfamiliar with the laws surrounding asset division. Learn what you need to know to make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible.
What Is an Asset?
Generally speaking, an asset is anything that has value or the potential to generate income. Examples of assets include real estate, personal property, vehicles, investments, retirement accounts, bank accounts, insurance policies, and even pets. Assets can also include businesses, debts, patents, intellectual property, and stock options.
Who Gets What Asset?
Equitable division means that the division of assets should be fair, though it does not necessarily mean an even split. Factors that courts consider when determining equitable division include:
- the length of the marriage
- the age and health of each spouse
- the financial condition of each party
- each party’s ability to support themselves
- each party’s contributions to the acquisition of the asset
- the custodial parent’s need for custody of the child
Generally speaking, divorcing couples have two options for dividing their assets: either through direct negotiations or through court intervention. Negotiating directly with each other is often preferred because it allows the couple to come to an agreement that works best for them and their family. However, if they cannot come to an agreement on their own, they can go through the court process.
How Are Assets Valued?
Generally, assets are valued at their fair market value, meaning the price that an asset would fetch if it were sold on the open market. When determining the fair market value of an asset, courts will consider factors such as the asset’s age, condition, location, and even comparable sales. When valuing real estate, for instance, appraisers may use the comparative sales approach. This involves finding properties with similar characteristics, such as location and size, that have recently sold in order to estimate the fair market value of a certain property. When it comes to financial assets, such as stocks and bonds, courts will generally rely on the most recent trading price on the day of the valuation. Similarly, personal items like furniture and jewelry will be valued at what an individual might expect to receive if they sold it on the open market.
How Are Debts Divided?
The court must first determine which debts are marital debts and which are separate debts. Marital debts are those that were incurred during the course of the marriage while separate debts are those that were acquired before or after the marriage. If a spouse incurred a debt solely in his or her own name, then the court will most likely consider it to be his or her own separate debt. Once the court has established what debts are marital and which are separate, it must decide how they should be divided. Generally, each party is responsible for his or her own separate debt and both parties must be equally responsible for the marital debt. The court will also consider any factors related to the couple’s financial situation and the fact that some debts may have been acquired for joint purposes.
How Can I Protect My Assets in a Divorce?
Protecting your assets very much depends on what you have — this could include transferring certain assets, such as real estate or stocks, into a trust or other entity that will not be subject to division in the divorce proceedings. Additionally, creating a prenuptial agreement before getting married can help protect your assets if a divorce occurs in the future.
November 21, 2022
No matter what your age or net worth, it’s important to have a proper estate plan in place. Then, you know that your final wishes will be carried out and your loved ones will be protected. However, you don’t want to unknowingly make an error that could hurt your plan.
Here are some common estate planning mistakes to avoid.
Thinking You’re Too Young to Have an Estate Plan
Some younger people don’t think it’s necessary to establish an estate plan yet. However, even if you’re young and don’t have children of your own yet, you may still want to create an estate plan. You may still have some assets that you want to pass on to certain people. You may also want to name a power of attorney who can make healthcare decision on your behalf if you become incapacitated.
Forgetting to Name a Guardian
If you have minor children, you’ll definitely want to appoint a guardian. After all, you want to make sure that they are taken care of if you should die suddenly. The guardian you choose should be financially stable, responsible and shares similar values on raising children. It’s a good idea to appoint one or two alternate guardians in case your first choice can’t fulfill the role anymore.
Not Meeting with an Experienced Estate Lawyer
There’s plenty of DIY software for estate plans. However, that doesn’t mean you should handle your estate plan all on your own. These plans can be quite complex, so you at least should talk to a skilled estate lawyer. A lawyer can educate you on the specific laws in your state, provide you with tax planning strategies and make sure that your plan is strong enough to stand up to possible legal challenges.
Forgetting to Update Your Estate Plan
An estate plan is rarely a one and done deal. Most people have to update their estate plans several times throughout their lives. Generally, whenever you experience a major life change, you should take another look at your estate plan. For instance, if you get divorced or have a child, you should get in touch with your estate lawyer.
Not Talking About Your Estate Plan with Your Family
It’s wise to discuss the details of your estate plan with your family members. Tell them about the decisions you’ve made and how you came to those decisions. If you talk about your estate plan ahead of time, you can clear up any confusion and avoid hurt feelings in the future.
Failing to Take Special Needs Into Account
If you want to leave property to a family member with special needs, you should let your estate lawyer know. Your family member may receive government benefits that may get taken away after he or she receives property. Your lawyer can help you structure the gift in a way that allows your family to still qualify for government benefits.
November 16, 2022
Criminal lawyers are an interesting sort in that they try to find a path where often there may appear to be none. But, the practice of criminal law is not built upon the premise of “if you’re caught then you’re guilty,” though sometimes it may certainly feel that way. However, if your rights have been violated prior to being found in possession of illegal drugs, then your lawyer may be able to suppress the stop or search and have your charges dismissed. Take a look at these issues so you can see just how a criminal defense lawyer can help you with drug charges.
A lot of criminal law focuses on the area of the vehicle stop. For example, a person is driving down the road and for some reason their vehicle is stopped. It could be window tint, bad tags, failing to stop at a red light, speeding, etc. When the officer comes to the car, the interaction typically involves a request for license and registration and then they head back to their vehicle. However, that isn’t always the case. Sometimes the interaction takes a turn where the officer says they smell an odor of marijuana or perhaps they see an open container in the car. But they may find neither of those things and merely ask if they can search the car. It could be a stop for speeding and then the officer, without any reason, wants to search and the person says no. Even if you have something illegal in your car, please do not give consent to search your vehicle. It will only hurt your case.
CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYERS
Say the officer says they’re going to search anyways without a little thing called “probable cause.” Well, without consent your lawyer can challenge the search because the officer did not have probable cause to do so. If your lawyer’s suppression motion is successful then the drugs they found in the car will be thrown out because anything that came after the point your lawyer suppressed is nullified. Drug cases are complex; there are a lot of opportunities with them and this is why it’s vital to speak with criminal lawyers prior to taking a plea or doing anything with your case. It is recommended that you consult with reputable Greensboro criminal lawyers from a law firm such as Garrett, Walker, Aycoth & Olson, Attorneys at Law, PLLC as soon as possible. You want a law firm that was created to help people when their rights have been violated.
October 15, 2022
In late July, a Florida man faced multiple charges, including aggravated child abuse, grand theft auto, and driving with a permanently revoked license. He was responsible for causing multiple car accidents. As a result, several people were sent to the hospital with injuries related to the accident. The accident left a path of destruction, leaving debris all over the roads that remained the next day. It was later found that the man’s reckless driving resulted from a domestic dispute while operating a motor vehicle. Although several people were hospitalized, all are expected to recover.
Accidents that have resulted from reckless driving are often difficult for victims to prevent. As a car accident lawyer Melbourne, FL trusts from Tuttle Law, P.A. will share that numerous actions can constitute as reckless driving, for example:
- Road Rage
- Unlawful Passing
- Driving While Under the Influence
- Driving at High Speeds
Because Florida is a no-fault state, victims of motor vehicle accidents must ensure they have personal injury protection (PIP); however, despite this, victims must still prove negligence to ensure they receive the compensation and benefits they deserve.
What Is A No-Fault State?
A no-fault state allows drivers and passengers to receive support for medical expenses and lost income regardless of who was at fault for the accident. Because of this, all drivers in no-fault states must procure what is known as personal injury protection (PIP). Personal injury protection is a form of insurance that drivers and their passengers turn to after an accident, regardless of fault. However, it’s important to note that there are policy limits for personal injury protection. Drivers and passengers are only eligible to receive up to $10,000 each should they experience an accident. There is a relatively short time frame for PIP claims, as they must be filed within 14 days of the accident. Once the injured party has exhausted their PIP coverage, they may pursue the process of filing a claim with the other party’s insurance company to cover damages like medical expenses, lost wages, and in some cases, pain and suffering. Navigating the legal complexities surrounding personal injury protection and exceeding policy limits can be challenging, especially when in the process of recovering from an injury. Because of this, it may be helpful to consult with a lawyer for guidance.
Overcoming Your Word Against Theirs
Sometimes, determining the party responsible for the accident may seem obvious. While parties may seem out of sorts at the accident scene and, in some cases, agreeable, things can quickly change following the aftermath. Victims of such accidents may soon learn that their case has become your word against theirs. This can be incredibly frustrating, especially when the responsible party is bending the truth. However, remember that these situations can be overcome with solid evidence that helps prove negligence. A lawyer plays a vital role in proving negligence in cases of this nature. Still, it’s essential to remember that before pursuing compensation from the responsible parties, victims must first recover damages from their personal injury protection (PIP) because Florida is a no-fault state. Because of this, victims can not pursue damages from the responsible party until they have exceeded the limits of their policy. Receiving total compensation for losses can become complicated, especially in no-fault states. A lawyer can play a significant role in holding the responsible party accountable.
October 1, 2022
Parenting children with your former spouse can be a challenging experience, especially when the divorce was contentious. The way your spouse wants to parent may differ from your ideal choices, and this can cause legal problems as one or both parents decide to operate outside of the court-ordered plan. However, there are steps that a parent can take to avoid disobeying court orders and still protect his or her children. Your Colorado divorce lawyer can help.
Can I ask the court to modify my child custody order?
Modifications to orders granting parenting time are possible, however, in most cases, the parents have to wait two years after the original order is entered before seeking modification. Certain exceptions do apply. In order to modify the parenting plan before the two years, the court must find that the child would be endangered mentally, physically, and emotionally under the current plan. If a parent has become unstable or abusive since parenting time was ordered, it would be possible to seek and be granted a modification to the parenting plan before the two years have passed because this kind of behavior may endanger the child.
What if the two years have passed?
After the two years have passed, modification may generally be possible if the parent seeking modification can show changed circumstances. Changed circumstances can include the parent’s failure to follow the parenting plan that was previously approved or the parent’s change in work hours or location requiring the parent to relocate.
Does my child have a say in any parenting time modification request?
As with most decisions involving children, the court is supposed to consider the child’s best interests in deciding whether or not to order modification. Depending on the age of the child, the child’s wishes may also be considered. Modification without changed circumstances is possible in some cases, such as when both parents agree to the modification – often through negotiation, the child has been parented under the proposed changes for at least six months before the petition for modification, or the proposed changes are minor in nature.
What happens if I take action regarding parenting time without the court’s permission?
Unless your child is at immediate risk of physical injury, it is always better to seek modification before taking matters into your own hands and refusing to let the other parent have their court-ordered time. Continuous failure to abide by the court’s order can affect your case if you or your former spouse seeks modification down the road. You can also be charged with a criminal offense for interfering with the other parent’s parenting time. If you believe your child is being physically harmed, you can contact the police for immediate assistance, seek an order of protection on your child’s behalf, and move for immediate modification of parenting time.
Do I need a lawyer for a parenting time modification?
Family law issues – especially when it comes to parenting time and child custody – are often complex. Although the law does not require an attorney, if your ex-spouse objects to your proposed changes, your chances of a successful outcome are much higher if you have a Colorado divorce lawyer advocating for you. Call Zweig Law, PC Attorneys at Law for details.
September 28, 2022
Each year, millions of people get into car accidents across the globe. And even though the creation of motor vehicles has resulted in immense progress for how we live our lives and get around, this means that serious collisions where people get hurt is possible. Whether you were part of a small fender bender or a more serious crash, you may be too shocked and shaken up to be thinking clearly, which is why it can help to educate yourself ahead of time. Here is what you can do at the scene and afterward to make your claim process easier.
#1 Assess if anyone is hurt.
Do not leave the scene of a car accident, even if it’s minor. Your first priority must be your health and safety. Gently check your body for possible injuries so when EMS arrives they can give you proper care on the spot. Check the others involved in the accident to see if they require medical attention as well. Common injuries for car accidents tend to include back and neck injury, wounds, whiplash, head injuries, burns, road rash, broken bones, and more. As your lawyer can review with you, like a car accident lawyer Glendale, CA residents trust from Glotzer & Leib, LLP, copies of medical documentation is going to be influential for how much you receive in compensation, so getting medical attention is strongly advised.
#2 Get yourself out of the way of danger.
If you were not critically injured and the accident was relatively minor, drive your vehicle off to the side of the road so that it doesn’t get in the way of traffic. If your car is left in the middle of a street or highway, more accidents could ensue. However, if the crash is more severe and there are people injured, leave the cars where they are, the traffic can wait. You may not think you are injured, but be careful when you exit your vehicle anyway. This is especially true if the collision occurred on a busy road, your injuries could cause you to not think logically or make misjudgments, potentially putting you in the way of harm.
#3 Call the police immediately.
It is important to get a report for the accident, but the police in certain areas may not respond to smaller collisions. If police do arrive, note the responding officer’s name, badge number, and form of contact. Be sure to provide them with your side of the story and only offer factual details. The few minutes following a car accident is not the time to place blame or make accusations, as that is something your insurance company and lawyer will help you with. You can ask for a copy of this police report in the days after at a local law enforcement officer, which can also be used as evidence to prove your story as to what happened.
September 25, 2022
Medicaid is an assistance program offered by the federal government that is then administered on a state level. It was created to help those who are financially eligible by paying for the cost of long-term care support, and enables access to other healthcare and medical benefits. Medicaid is distributed as a needs-based program, so that means there are unyielding financial requirements that have to be met for someone to become eligible for this type of assistance. If you aren’t sure whether now is the time to start your retirement planning, consider the information below.
A frequent misconception about Medicaid is that once a loved one is receiving these benefits, that all of their needs will be paid for. But this is not the case, as Medicaid may not cover basic needs such as clothing, television, radio, private living space, eye care, dentistry, social activities, entertainment, and more. Due to Medicaid not covering expenses like these, you must have a plan in place beforehand. It can provide relief to the senior person and their family members if there is a fund already set up to pay for costs that are not covered by the Medicaid program.
Keep in mind that Medicaid and retirement planning can be confusing areas of the law, according to a Montana elder law lawyer at Silverman Law Office, PLLC. Most lawyers will be generally informed about Medicaid basics, however, it is important to meet with a legal team that is experienced in handling this specific area of law. It is recommended that families meet with an elder law lawyer before submitting a Medicaid application. If the paperwork was sent without planning strategies and transfers having been done first, this can result in out-of-pocket money being wasted unnecessarily.
Consider the fact that around 2 out of every 3 people will need care in their senior years. Of course, no one wants to imagine that they will need this kind of added support, but the reality is that many of us will need it at one point or another. So if you or a relative is in their retirement years, then it’s a good idea to start estate planning if you have not already. Medicaid considers every gift and transfer made within five years of the application date. And since these programs can take time to process, you must begin planning early, much longer before you, your spouse, or another relative actually need the Medicaid assistance.
Planning for yours or your loved one’s senior years is not the most enjoyable task. But by taking steps now, it can prevent delays and other issues from arising in the future. With support from your lawyer, you can get all the advice you need and most pressing questions answered from a reliable source.
September 25, 2022
A parenting plan is a document created during a divorce by a child custody lawyer that is approved by the court and governs the relationship between parents and their minor children. A parenting plan will describe how parents will handle child custody and visitation.
In a perfect world, parents will work in good faith to reach an agreement on how parental responsibility and parenting time will be allocated between each spouse. In order to reduce the potential for disputes between you and your soon-to-be ex, it is helpful to work with a knowledgeable attorney. Utilizing some of the following tips can also help you create a successful parenting plan.
It is good to discuss your children’s school vacations ahead of time. They will typically have breaks in the winter, spring, and summer. Determining which parent is responsible for taking care of them when they are off school is a good starting point. This may help discussions and enable compromises in other areas of the parenting plan.
Inconsistency affects children more than many parents realize. Because both parents are not around at the same time, and your kids will be dividing time between two homes, it is even more important to try to maintain consistency wherever possible. This can include both parents following the same rules, methods of discipline, and expectations, and your parenting plan can specify how you and your ex will handle communication about these issues. For example, if your child is grounded and cannot watch TV because of something he or she did at your ex’s house, you should respect that punishment and not let them watch television at your home either.
Ask Your Kids for Their Opinion
Granted, this is only an option in certain situations, but if your kids are not too young, they may have input on what they want and need. For example, a teenager might want to stay in the same home during the week when they are attending school. If this is an option, it is important to recognize what your kids need and want too. This can help make the transition easier.
Plan for Future Dating
It is not likely that both parents will stay single forever, which means you will need to figure out how you will handle the introduction of new partners to your children. It is a good idea to discuss this with your ex and set some ground rules you can both agree on when it comes to new significant others.
Do not leave any important details out of your parenting plan. One of the biggest mistakes is drafting a plan that is too vague and leaves room for arguments and confusion.
Contact a Family Law Firm for Legal Assistance
If you have children and are going through a divorce, make sure your parental rights are protected. Call an experienced attorney, like a Kansas City, KS child custody lawyer from a law firm like The Law Office of Daniel E. Stuart, P.A.
September 22, 2022
Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one have suffered a personal injury due to an accident, it would greatly benefit you to contact a personal injury lawyer Chicago, IL clients trust to pursue legal action. Although a personal injury lawyer may share their wise counsel in many ways throughout the legal process of filing a claim, the following are a couple of the most common pieces of advice given.
Clients should seek out compensation for damages incurred if their injury was sustained by another’s negligence or ill-intent. Many victims of an accident do not feel entitled to or empowered to pursue justice for what happened to them, but would rather move on without gaining compensation. Although it may be difficult to go through the legal process of filing a personal injury claim, it is well worth it to gain compensation for a client’s damages. For example, if a person slips and falls on a wet floor that is unmarked and breaks their leg, this could have serious medical implications. Without filing a personal injury claim, that person is left to pay for their own medical care now and any future medical care needed due to the accident. Because of their broken leg, this may impact their ability to work, may cause emotional stress, and lower their quality of life. These are all considered damages that should be compensated for. By contacting a personal injury lawyer and discussing your situation, you can verify if you indeed have a case worth pursuing and formulate a strategy of legal action. Don’t let fear, confusion, or pain keep you from pursuing what you are legally entitled to. A wise personal injury lawyer such as those at Disparti Law Group work hard so that their clients can focus on what is truly important, their healing and overall health after an injury.
Most personal injury cases do not go to trial but are instead settled out of court. Some clients fear the court aspect of personal injury cases, however, your attorney will strive to settle with an insurance company and negotiate fair compensation for damages that all parties can agree upon. In the event that the insurance company is unresponsive or refuses to cooperate, taking the case to a judge in court may be in the best interest of the client. Every personal injury case is unique, and therefore is subject to its own outcome. A client should not compare their case to another personal injury case because there are many variables that determine a personal injury case and its compensation outcome. A trusted attorney will advise their client on what they believe to be the best course of action that benefits the client. As stated before, there are many variables that encompass a personal injury case such as substantial evidence, witnesses, medical evaluations, and other documents. The more evidence and proof a client has to validate their injury, the stronger the case and often higher the compensation will be. If you are in need of representation after an injury, reach out to a personal injury lawyer today!