Navigation Menu+

Personal Injury Attorney

Got Your Eye on a Short Sale? Watch Out for These Legal Pitfalls

Posted by on 12:02 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Got Your Eye on a Short Sale? Watch Out for These Legal Pitfalls

When a homeowner faces foreclosure, the lending institution who holds the lien on the home may choose to allow the owner to sell the home for less than what is currently owed on the house. If you’re in the market for a new home, a short sale can be a great way to purchase a house at a bargain price. However, they can pose some legal pitfalls if you don’t know what to watch out for. Following are some of the more common pitfalls associated with short sales.  Banks May Not Disclose More often than not, homes are sold “as is” in a short sale, which means that the bank will not make any repairs on the home before you take possession. Additionally, banks often do not have to disclose potential problems with the home the same way that a private seller would. If the home is in a flood plain, affected by termite damage, or otherwise damaged, you will not have any legal recourse to seek compensation after you take possession. Any problems with the home, such as non-permitted additions, will also become your responsibility. You may even have to pay fines for problems that you didn’t know existed.  Closing Can Take a Long Time It can take a long time for a bank to approve a short sale because it can take a while for them to investigate the proposal and make a decision. What’s more, banks may push back closing dates due to legal issues surrounding the property. They may even pull the plug on a deal at the last minute. The bottom line is that you can’t depend on a closing date when you purchase a home through a short sale.  Debt May Be Attached Debts, such as liens and back taxes, may be attached to a property when you purchase it via a short sale. And since you are purchasing the home for less than what is owed, there may be some unexpected creditors that come out of the woodwork looking for their money. For example, the holder of a second mortgage may seek payment from you once you take ownership of the home.  Since there is so much legal red tape involved with short sales, it’s vital that you hire a real estate attorney with experience in short sales. An attorney can help you uncover potential pitfalls before they become problems. An attorney can also research the property to make sure there aren’t any liens or debts attached to the...

read more

4 Things To Know About Car Accident Lawsuits In Michigan

Posted by on 1:31 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Things To Know About Car Accident Lawsuits In Michigan

If you live in Michigan and have been involved in a car accident, you need to understand how the state’s unique no-fault car insurance requirements affect your ability to sue the driver who was responsible for the accident.  #1 Your Insurance Covers Your Injuries In the state of Michigan, all drivers are required to carry no-fault car insurance. Essentially, no-fault car insurance means that you carry your own personal injury protection policy.  If you are involved in an auto accident, instead of relying on the other driver’s insurance to pay your medical bills, your auto insurance is obligated to pay your medical bills for you. They are also required to cover any lost wages that you suffer as a result of the accident. Your insurance is obligated to pay for all of your medical expenses up to the limits of your policy. #2 No Insurance? That’s Your Problem If you don’t have insurance, the other driver’s insurance company is not obligated to pay your medical bills. In fact, if you don’t have insurance and are involved in a car accident, you could find yourself facing a ticket or fine for breaking the law and failing to operate a vehicle without property insurance.  #3 Serious Injuries Are The Only Ones That Make It To Court Due to Michigan’s no-fault car insurance policy, if your insurance will pay for your medical bills and lost wages, you cannot pursue the at-fault driver through the court system. This policy was put in place so that small vehicular accident lawsuits would stop clogging up the court system. The only exception to this rule are serious injuries. If you sustained a serious injury that either caused permanent damage, serious disfigurement, or serious impairment, you can pursue the other driver in court of any and all expenses that exceed those covered under your no-fault insurance policy. #4 Statute Of Limitation Still Applies If you sustained serious injuries, it is important to note that there is a statute of limitations to your claim. If you sustained serious injuries, you have three years from the date of your accident to start your claim. That means your attorney would need to file the initial complaint as well as the summons within one year of the date of your accident.  If you were involved in a car accident in Michigan, more than likely your injuries will be covered through your own insurance policy and you will not need to sue the other driver for payment of your injuries. You can only sue the other driver if you sustained serious injuries that exceeded your no-fault insurance policy.  Consult with a company like Barton Smith & Barton LLP to learn more about your rights in situations like...

read more

Evidence Suppression When You’ve Been Accused Of A Crime

Posted by on 8:34 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Evidence Suppression When You’ve Been Accused Of A Crime

If you have been charged with a crime and you think the evidence against you is circumstantial at best, it’s time to consult with a qualified criminal law attorney to discuss your case. Depending on how the evidence was obtained, you may be able to get the evidence thrown out of court. This is done by filing a motion to suppress evidence, which allows the judge to take a hard look at the evidence against you, how the evidence was collected, and make a determination as to whether the evidence can be used in your case or not. Illegally Collected Evidence There are procedures that must be followed when collecting evidence. A skilled defense attorney will be well-versed in the ways in which evidence can be collected against you, and the ways officials will circumvent the system and collect evidence illegally. If you were part of an illegal search, this evidence is not admissible in court. Although there are exceptions, if evidence is collected during a routine traffic stop or at your home without a search warrant, this evidence is likely to be suppressed in court. If You Aren’t Read Your Rights Another reason evidence may be suppressed is if you were not read your Miranda Rights prior to being interrogated. These rights are simple, in that you must be told that anything you say can be used against you in a court of law. Any officer questioning you about a potential crime must read you your Miranda Rights before you answer any questions, or the evidence collected against you can’t be used in court. You have the right to not answer questions, or remain silent, and many people don’t exercise this right because they believe they have to fully cooperate with officials. You do not have to answer any questions, and you can request that an attorney be present during the questioning. The Evidence Has Broken the Chain of Custody If the evidence used against you can’t be accounted for at all times, the chain of custody may have broken. Evidence loses its credibility when the chain of custody breaks. For example, if your hair fibers were discovered at the scene of the crime, but the bag was mislabeled, the evidence is no longer useful to the prosecution. If you find yourself charged with a crime, it’s time to talk with a criminal law attorney that can help walk you through the process of evidence suppression....

read more

3 Reasons To Employ An Estate Attorney

Posted by on 8:50 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Reasons To Employ An Estate Attorney

The key to getting through life with greater ease simply involves taking the time to plan. If you own an estate, you will want to make the proper arrangements for your family when you die. This is the best way to avoid putting a burden on your family and can assist your case in getting through the court system faster. If you are an estate owner, you may be interested in the many reasons to rely on an estate attorney to assist you. Reason #1: Allocate your assets In order to avoid the state you live in determining the family member or person that will be awarded your assets, you should create a customized list of this in advance. For instance, do you want to leave your antique desk to a distant cousin or your cash balance to your spouse? If so, the key to doing this with greater ease is by deciding beforehand your demise how your assets will be divided. Reason #2: Create a trust One of the advantages of working with an estate attorney is being able to set up at the trust. Creating a trust will allow you to many benefits that are listed below: 1.    You can put specific conditions regarding cash or assets you leave to others. For instance, if you feel that your child won’t be responsible with money until the age of 21, you can ask this money not to be given until that time. 2.    You can have more protection from any creditors you may owe from filing a legal claim against your heirs. 3.    You will have the opportunity to choose a person that you trust explicitly to be the trustee of your estate. Reason #3: Avoid probate One of the challenges for any estate owner that doesn’t create this plan is the possibility of family members having to go through a long court battle. This is referred to as probate and may take a great deal of time before these individuals will receive the items you have left behind. Additionally, there are fees that are associated with probate, and these can be as steep as 7% of the estate’s worth.  It’s important to have the peace of mind that accompanies planning your estate. This will allow you to know in advance how the things you have worked for your entire life will be distributed. Be sure to rely on the expertise of an estate attorney to assist you with this important...

read more

Why You Should Hire A Patent Lawyer To Protect Your New Business

Posted by on 8:01 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why You Should Hire A Patent Lawyer To Protect Your New Business

If you are in the process of launching a start up and you have a new idea to introduce into the market, you are obviously going to be very interested in protecting that idea. Thankfully, filing a patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) can provide the legal protection you seek. That said, the process of filing a patent may be something you are not familiar with. This is where a patent lawyer can come in quite handy. Here are three reasons why you may want to hire a patent lawyer to help protect your new business. It Can Be Less Expensive Than You Think A leading reason why some business owners choose to try and file the paperwork for their patents themselves is because hiring an attorney obviously comes with additional costs and if you are a start up, every single dollar is precious. That said, patent lawyers are adept at dealing with new business owners and understanding that you may be strapped for cash. Many are often willing to work with you on a budget. If you limit the application process to just your most critical ideas, you can potentially limit the amount of time the lawyer spends on the application, saving you money in the process. Stop Yourself From Revealing Too Much Information Patent lawyers excel at helping people decide the precise amount of information about the new invention that needs to go into the patent. A common problem some business owners make when applying for their first patent is being too detailed in their descriptions. You could actually put yourself at a disadvantage by giving away too much info, some of which may be related to other inventions your company is working on and not focused on the main invention for the patent. An attorney can  help you streamline this process and protect key data about your inventions and your company. Help Point Out Key Differences from the Competition In order to get a patent, you must show how your idea works but you also must show that it is new. This means you will often have to demonstrate how it is different in some key way from other inventions already on the market. If the language you use makes your invention sound too similar to something already on the market, the patent application will likely get declined. A patent lawyer can help you review records, some of which may be over your head and help identify what makes your product or idea different from the competition. If you are thinking of taking an idea and turning it into a business, it makes sense to protect your invention with a patent. While a patent application can be filed without the help of an attorney, having a patent lawyer on your side can make a big difference. Patent lawyers can help you set your idea apart from others already on the market, prevent you from disclosing too much information to the competition and may actually be more affordable than you might think. Contact a local patent lawyer, like Kaufhold & Dix Patent Law, for more...

read more

Serving Divorce Papers: 4 Ways To Get It Done

Posted by on 10:16 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Serving Divorce Papers: 4 Ways To Get It Done

As the person asking for a divorce, you are known as the petitioner. The petitioner needs to inform the court that you want to file a petition for divorce. You must also notify your spouse. Although each state has its own set of requirements when it comes to serving divorce paperwork to a spouse, here are a few process service methods that you can consider and what it entails: 1. Personal Service This is when you have an adult that is (preferably) not related to you or your spouse serve the divorce paperwork to your spouse. Your spouse will then sign and date an acknowledgment document that he or she received the paperwork and accepts it. This document would then be filed with the court. 2. Personal Service with a Professional This is when the above process is performed, except this time it is a professional process server/company. There are people who make a living serving divorce papers and other paperwork to intended parties. This person will deliver the petition and attest that it was delivered and accepted. In some cases, these people can be very clever in delivering the paperwork, which is often necessary when your spouse isn’t wanting to cooperate. In some areas, a sheriff can serve the papers to your spouse. Either way, they’ll provide documentation that can be filed with the court – or may even file it for you.   3. First Class Mail with Reply With an acknowledgement form, your divorce papers can be mailed via First Class to your spouse. It’s easy and inexpensive on your part, but there is the chance that your spouse could say he or she didn’t receive the paperwork or just purposely not respond within the allotted time allowed. This delays the divorce process and requires that you find an alternative way of serving papers to your spouse. 4. Certified Mail with Receipt Although this method of mail service is more expensive, Certified Mail is often the best way to go if you want to try to serve the papers yourself. In order to receive a piece of Certified Mail, it must be signed for by the individual it is meant for. Therefore, your spouse can’t say that he or she didn’t receive the paperwork when he or she actually signed for it. You will have proof of this from the postal service, which can then be filed with the court. Before you can serve divorce papers to your spouse, you need to first understand the laws and regulations of your state and county. Consult with a divorce attorney like one from Eschbacher Law if you haven’t already, as you may find it beneficial to get help with the entire divorce process and not just the serving of the papers. After all, getting divorced can often be tricky...

read more

How To Ensure A Good Fit Between You And Your Family Law Attorney

Posted by on 12:24 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Ensure A Good Fit Between You And Your Family Law Attorney

Your divorce may have come and gone, but if you still have to deal with an angry, vengeful ex, then you need to keep a lawyer in your back pocket. You also need a family law attorney who is a good fit with you, your children and your expectations of what you want or hope to accomplish every time you return to court. If you do not have a lawyer that is passionate about his or her work, you may find that you are frequently frustrated with either a lack of results or the wrong results in your case. Here is how you can ensure the best fit between you and your family lawyer. A Lawyer That Listens If you meet with a new lawyer and you are constantly getting rebuffed, redirected or shut down, that lawyer is not listening to you. A lawyer that does not have the time or patience to listen to you during an initial consultation does not have the time or patience for you in court either. You absolutely need a lawyer that listens, no matter what your complaints or concerns are. When you find a lawyer that listens, you feel better about trials, hearings and even the small wins and gains you make in court. Thankfully, most lawyers are good listeners, and you may only run into a non-listening lawyer once in a while. A Lawyer That Has Complete Objectivity This is a harder one, because to be passionate about one’s work means that one will not always be completely objective. However, you do not want a lawyer that is so subjective that he or she has already made up his or her mind about you as a client. Instead, find a passionate lawyer who is completely objective about the facts in your case, and not any hearsay or false statements. This is a lawyer who can get things done for you. A Lawyer That Is Highly Organized and Efficient You want a lawyer that is always on top of things, and is prepared well in advance to your court date. When things come up that are out of your control, you want your lawyer’s advice or your lawyer’s ability to flex (within reason). Last minute motions need to be filed, preferably, the day before the hearing, so if you work with an organized and efficient lawyer, you will both be happy about what you are trying to accomplish together. To learn more, contact a law firm like Gearing Rackner Engel And McGrath...

read more

Breaking Up Is Easy To Do…Sometimes: 3 States And Their Weird Divorce Laws

Posted by on 6:59 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Breaking Up Is Easy To Do…Sometimes: 3 States And Their Weird Divorce Laws

States have been busy updating their family law rules, passing new legislation designed to make it easier for people to marry in the case of same sex couples, and passing other laws to help estranged spouses move on with life after separation and divorce. While most of these laws won’t affect you unless you live in one of these states, the new laws remind all couples to understand the legal aspects of marriage and divorce. Maryland changes waiting period for divorce. Until recently, couples had to be separated for a year in Maryland in order to be granted a divorce hearing. The calendar started from the moment one party moved out, but reset each time couples lived together, even if only for a short time. Not only did this put a strain on couples’ finances if they budgeted to live together until their divorces were final, but it also forced divorcing partners to testify against each other, since exceptions to the one year rule were only made in cases of adultery or abuse. Couples with children still must wait it out a year, but childless couples in Maryland may now be issued a divorce decree before they’re too old to enjoy it. This shortened waiting period in Maryland reminds all divorcing couples to check out their states’ definition of legal separation. An attorney in your state will know the answer to that question, and they can explain any waiting periods your state may enforce. Same-sex couples in Pennsylvania need plans. First, they need to do some serious estate planning, and they should revise any property deeds so that transferring joint-owned real estate will be easier if one spouse dies before the other. But they must also be prepared for marriages that don’t work out. If you’re in a same-sex marriage, and you’re divorcing in Pennsylvania, the courts may determine when the actual marriage began. The start date may be considered much earlier than your actual wedding date if you lived together as a committed couple prior to your marriage. Because alimony, insurance, and Social Security benefits are all dependent on the length of the marriage, courts and legislators will have to sort out how partnerships are measured. Until then, same sex couples who are divorcing should expect to be confused by the lack of clear and fast rules. A competent divorce attorney should be able to advise you on probable outcomes, however. New York State reformulates how temporary support is calculated. New York has changed its method of determining how much support partners must pay between separation and divorce finalization. The new rules have one calculation track for spouses who must also pay child support, and another set of formulas for spouses who do not pay or will receive child support. The new law also sets income caps and gives judges wide discretion to use the facts of the case to make support amount determinations. No matter where you live, if you plan to divorce your spouse, do some math and figure out how the two of you will handle support awards by the court until your divorce decree is granted. Every state makes up its own divorce laws, so if you have any further questions about marriage or divorce, consult a family law lawyer in your...

read more

Examples of Situations Where You Are Not Restricted to Workers Compensation for Injuries at Work

Posted by on 8:55 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Examples of Situations Where You Are Not Restricted to Workers Compensation for Injuries at Work

In the normal state of affairs, injuries at work are compensated by workers compensation benefits. However, there are exceptions to this exclusivity, and you may be allowed to file personal injury claims in addition or instead of a workers’ compensation claim. Here are three examples of such situations: Your Employer Causes You Intentional Injury You may succeed with a personal injury claim or lawsuit if you can prove that your employer intentionally caused your injury. For example, if your employer has anger management issues and stabs you with a sharp tool for arriving late at work, then you can sue him or her. In this case, you instigate an intentional tort against your employer, which covers both intentional physical and emotional injuries. This doesn’t apply in cases where your employer’s indifference leads to your injuries. For example, you cannot sue your employer if he or she accidentally gives you a defective tool to use in your line of work, and it ends injuring you. In normal situations, you can argue that your employer caused your injuries. In a legal context, this is negligence that will be compensated by workers’ compensation. Injuries Caused By Defective Products You can also file a personal injury claim if your work injury is caused by a defective product. For example, if a manufacturer sells defective welding goggles, and you end up with eye injuries while using the eyewear, then you may file a claim against the manufacturer. This may also apply in cases where a supplier of potentially dangerous machines doesn’t provide the relevant warnings for operating his or her products, and the lack of warning causes you injury. Injuries Caused By Third Parties Finally, you may also file a personal injury claim if you are injured at work, but the cause of your injury is not related to your work. This usually happens if your injury is caused by a third party who doesn’t have an employment relationship with your employer. Here are two examples of such cases: A delivery truck knocks you over while working in your company’s warehouse. A plumber, who is repairing your company’s drainage system, handles his or her tools carelessly and harms you. A personal guest to one of your colleagues knocks you down (with his or her car) in your company’s parking bay. Knowing when to file either claim may help you to maximize your benefits. As usual, consulting with a personal injury attorney like Boucher Law Firm may help clarify...

read more

Take The Breathalyzer Test Or Not? Which Is Better For You?

Posted by on 10:28 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Take The Breathalyzer Test Or Not? Which Is Better For You?

If you are ever stopped by a police officer and asked to submit to a field breathalyzer test, you have the right to refuse. You can also refuse to take a field sobriety test. However, there are pros and cons to refusing to abide with the officer’s request. Knowing the following information can help you decide the best course of action if you are ever stopped by a law enforcement officer after you have had a few drinks. Refusing the Breathalyzer Until you have been arrested or there is a warrant issued, you do not have to submit to a field breathalyzer test. Unfortunately, refusing the test will usually result in your license being suspended. Driving on public roads is a privilege, not a right. Any time you are using that privilege you are giving the state implied consent to test your ability to drive safely. In addition, not taking the test looks like you have something to hide. However, by not taking the test in the field, your DUI lawyer can argue there was no valid grounds for an arrest. The officer may say that you appeared to be intoxicated, but without proof, the court will have a hard time proving it. If your last drink was not right before you were pulled over, your blood alcohol level will decrease over time. This means any mandatory test you are given after being taken into the station or after a warrant has been issued, will give a lower result. Hopefully, this lower result will not be high enough to justify keeping you any longer. Taking the Breathalyzer Test in the Field If you know that you will fail the test, or if your last drink was close to the time you were pulled over, taking the test will provide the officer with a reason to arrest you. You will need to have someone post bail to get you released from jail. If, on the other hand, you are positive you will not fail the test, taking it will allow you to continue on your way and will not result in a license suspension. However, even if you do fail the test in the field, your DUI attorney can usually find a way to cast suspicion on the results. Your attorney may be able to show that the machine was not calibrated recently, increasing the odds that the reading was wrong. If the officer did not observe you for 20 minutes before giving you the test, your lawyer can say you did something that increased the reading, such as burping. In addition, if the officer did not observe you, it is hard to prove you were doing anything that warranted giving the test. It can be a tough decision to take or refuse an in-field breathalyzer test. When it comes down to it, cooperating with the police will look better in court. If the test proved you deserve a DUI, let an experienced attorney find a way to interpret the results for your best defense.  For more information, contact a firm like Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham,...

read more