Insurance Law Attorneys Directory

Why You Want A Lawyer To Help Draft Your Last Will And Testiment

Posted by on 6:19 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why You Want A Lawyer To Help Draft Your Last Will And Testiment

If you are finally ready to get your final wishes legally documented, then you will want to consider hiring a lawyer to help you. To learn why a lawyer is important when it comes to establishing a last will and testament, you will want to continue reading. Helps You With The Proper Naming Of Guardians For Your Minor Children Should you happen to suddenly pass away while your children are still minors, you will need to name the people who will be responsible for them. If the children have a surviving parent, the custody of the children usually goes to him or her. However, if that is not possible because the parent is physically or mentally capable of raising the children, you will need to have a backup guardian named for the children. If you want, you can take it a step further and name yet another person to serve as guardian over the children should the previously mentioned people be incapable or unwilling to do so. Helps With The Description Of How Your Personal Belongings Should Be Distributed Whether your personal belongings are worth a lot of money or nothing more than some sentimental value for close friends and family, you want to make sure that you have everything documented when it comes to who gets what. It is vital that you are being very descriptive and accurately describing everything that should be given away. This will ensure that you will not have a bunch of family and friends fighting with each other over who they believe should get what. It will be clearly spelled out in your last will and testament and what you have decided is what they have to accept. Help Your Determine Who Would Be The Best Executor Of Your Estate The executor of your estate is a very important person because he or she will be in charge of making sure that everything is properly dispersed and well taken care of while your estate goes through the legal process of probate. Because of this, you need to make sure that you are selecting the best person for the job and if you are having trouble deciding between a couple of people, your lawyer may be able to help you decide. He or she will ask you to consider who is the most responsible and who is able to stand their ground, even if there are relatives trying to get something that they may not be entitled to just yet. Also, you will want to pick a secondary executor of your estate in case the first person named is unable or unwilling to do it. With all of those things in mind, it should be easy to see why it is so important to make sure that you are hiring a skilled lawyer to help prepare your last will and testament. To learn more, contact a company like McFarland & Masters...

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Ask These Questions When You Need To Hire A Social Security Lawyer

Posted by on 10:26 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Ask These Questions When You Need To Hire A Social Security Lawyer

When you’re getting ready to file a Social Security disability claim, you have the option of handling the paperwork and fighting for your rights on your own or hiring a legal representative to help you through the process. Unless you’re either experienced or extremely confident with the former scenario, it’s ideal to take steps to find a Social Security lawyer who can ease the burden for you. If you’re already going through a challenging time as a result of the disability issue, it can be a huge weight off your shoulders to hire someone who can guide you through this process. Here are some important questions to ask when you’re talking to prospective candidates.   Are You Willing To Fill Out The Paperwork On My Behalf? There are generally two important elements of filing a Social Security disability claim — making sure that you have all the paperwork correct and then dealing with the situation if your claim is denied. While your Social Security lawyer will be a valuable ally during the latter component, it’s ideal to hire someone who will also take a hands-on approach to the paperwork process. Some Social Security lawyers ask you to fill out your own documents but will help you if your claim is denied, while others will also spend time with you to make sure that your paperwork gives you the best chance of success — in many cases, this attorney is the one you want in your corner. If My Claim Is Denied, What Are The Chances Of A Successful Appeal? Any experienced Social Security lawyer has dealt with a multitude of claims, including some that likely share some similarities to your situation. This experience should ideally mean that the lawyer can provide you with an informed opinion of how your appeal process might go, including where your case is strong and where it isn’t. The lawyer might even be able to tell you how long you’ll need to wait for the appeal to be decided and what the financial value of the decision could be worth. How Easily Can I Reach You? It’s comforting to know that you can easily get your Social Security lawyer on the phone — or have him or her call you back promptly. Talk to the attorney (click to find out more here) about how he or she handles communicating with clients. While many lawyers use administrative staff to handle this work, others will happily speak to you directly, which can be ideal if you have an urgent question or concern that needs...

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Could Your Mental Health Be An Issue In A Discrimination Case?

Posted by on 1:36 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Could Your Mental Health Be An Issue In A Discrimination Case?

If you’re considering filing an employment discrimination lawsuit, with the help of a law office like Law Office of Faye Riva Cohen, P.C., there are two different ways that your mental state may come into play. Because of this, you want to have a very open and honest discussion with your attorney about any mental problems you’ve suffered, both past and present, as well as any therapy you’ve received. Before you proceed with a discrimination lawsuit, this is what you should know. Your Mental Health May Become An Issue  Under the right circumstances (like being unfairly discriminated against by your employer), almost anyone can expect to feel some emotional distress. However, where many people might feel distressed, others feel distraught or severely damaged in a psychological way. The severity of your distress can put your claim “in controversy.”  Another way in which your mental state may be placed “in controversy” is by the nature of the discrimination allegations that you’ve made. For example, if you allege that your employer fired you when he or she found out that you were having panic attacks, then you would be required to prove to the court that you do, in fact, suffer from a medical condition that is protected under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Your mental state is “in controversy” because you have to prove that you were diagnosed with a mental condition covered under the ADA in order to establish that your employer discriminated against you. You can be forced to submit to a mental examination. Once your mental state is “in controversy” due to the nature of your claim, the defense can request a Rule 35 examination. This is a court-ordered examination by a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist, chosen by the defense. It’s important to keep in mind that a Rule 35 mental exam is not designed to help you–it’s designed to see if you’re exaggerating your claims of emotional distress as a result of the discrimination that you suffered.  That means that you need to discuss any examination with your attorney ahead of time so that you can prepare for various tactics used to hunt out the “truth” (that the defense is hoping to hear). For example, an innocuous sounding, “How are you feeling?” could be the basis for the examiner’s declaration that you “felt fine,” (and weren’t particularly showing emotional distress). Your private psychological records may be exposed as well. Depending on the nature of your claim, your private psychological records can also be pulled into evidence. You cannot rely on the protection of doctor-patient confidentiality to keep mental health treatment records out of court if you are pressing a discrimination claim that is either based on an ADA violation over your mental condition or alleges extreme mental distress as a result of some form of discrimination.  This can be disturbing to a lot of people and cause them to reconsider their claims–which may be partially what the defense hopes to achieve. Keep in mind, however, that the questions the defense will be allowed to ask can’t go beyond the scope of the trial. If something in your mental health records doesn’t have anything to do with the case, it isn’t likely to be put into evidence. It’s also possible to ask the court to seal the...

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How Do You Negotiate Personal Injury Settlements?

Posted by on 8:33 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How Do You Negotiate Personal Injury Settlements?

If you were recently in a vehicle accident and are trying to get a settlement for your injuries, you may need to negotiate with your insurance company. This is done if your initial request for a settlement is denied or the company tries to offer less than you think you deserve. Here are some tips for negotiating the settlement. Calculate the Damages The first step of a personal injury case in terms of settlements should be to calculate the damages and decide what type of damages you are requesting the settlement for. To begin with, this often includes medical costs, such as the cost of riding in the ambulance, co-pays and deductibles, hospital charges, and prescription charges. Also include any money spent with a physical therapist, chiropractor, or mental health therapist. Keep in mind that special damages can also be included, such as missing work and putting your job in jeopardy, or dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the incident. Ask For More Than What You Calculated Part of negotiating a personal injury settlement is accepting a lower offer than what you first request. This is all part of the negotiation process. For this reason, take the amount you calculated and consider what you can reasonably get. Ask your lawyer if you aren’t sure about the exact amount. Now ask for a little more than that amount if you don’t like your first settlement offer from the insurance company. You are assuming you will go back and forth a few times, so if they go lower than what you request, it may, at least, be a little closer to the amount you hope to get from the incident. Do Not Accept the First Offer Even if you believe the first offer is pretty good, avoid accepting it right off the bat unless it exceeds what you expected to get in the first place. The insurance company often gives a lowball offer to start with and see if you will accept it. This doesn’t mean it is the most they are willing to give you. You should give back a counter-offer at least once and see what the returning offer is. If they still refuse to go any higher, then it might be a good idea to accept their next offer. Get a Good Attorney The attorney (clicking here will give you more information) you choose in your personal injury case can make all the difference. They know how to file a claim in order to get you the most from your settlement, and they are crucial in the negotiations process. Do not attempt to negotiate a settlement without proper legal...

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What You Are In For As A Lead Class Action Plaintiff

Posted by on 9:44 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What You Are In For As A Lead Class Action Plaintiff

Since a class action involves many plaintiffs, one plaintiff (called the lead plaintiff) usually represents the interests of the other members of the class and act on their behalf. If you happen to be the lead personal injury attorney, you need to know what the position requires of you before the lawsuit process commences. Here are three essential tasks you will be expected to accomplish: Hiring the Attorney Your first task as the lead plaintiff is to instigate the lawsuit by hiring an attorney. You need to get the right attorney just as you would when pursuing an individual personal injury case. This means choosing a lawyer with appropriate credentials, experience, reputation, focus, and objectivity. You may have to consult several lawyers before settling on one. This may not be difficult if you are the only lead plaintiff. However, it may be a bit complicated if the lead plaintiff is actually a small group of people, which sometimes happens if the class size is big (think thousands of plaintiffs). Getting several people to agree on the law firm to hire might require some work. Consulting With the Attorney As the lead plaintiff, you represent the members of the class since it’s usually not practical to gather all of them every time the attorney needs to consult with the people he or she represents. As such, it is your duty to consult with the class action lawyer, just as you would consult with your attorney in an individual lawsuit. Some of your consultative tasks include producing the necessary documents, making sworn testimonies, attending hearings, and being involved in court processes. As you can imagine, this is likely to take up a lot of your time. Agreeing to the Settlement Lastly, it’s also your duty to evaluate the settlement and accept or decline it. This is a difficult task because you are sealing the fate of many people. Members of a class action are usually prohibited from pursuing individual claims or lodging appeals if they are dissatisfied with the courts’ decisions. Therefore, you must look at the interests of the class at large, and not just your interest. For example, it’s your duty to reject a settlement that the majority of the class members feel is inadequate, even if you would be satisfied with your share. As you can see, it’s not easy to be a lead member of a class action. That’s why you need to choose a lawyer with a personality you can work with; after all, you will be dealing with him or her most of the time on behalf of the other members of the class. It would be best to decline the responsibility if you can’t perform it to the satisfaction of the class members....

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4 Primary Custody Options for Grandparents Raising Their Grandchildren

Posted by on 3:45 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Primary Custody Options for Grandparents Raising Their Grandchildren

If you are raising your grandchildren, or if you think it looks like that is a possibility in the near future, you need to understand the different custody options available to you as a grandparent. You also need to understand how your custody options affect both your rights and your grandchildren’s parents’ right. If you have any questions about your custody options, you need to consult with a family law attorney. Option #1: Physical Custody In this arrangement, your grandchildren are in your care because their parents have agreed to let them be with you. There is no court order that mandates that your grandchildren have to be in your custody.  In this arrangement, even though your grandchildren are living with you, you have no legal rights to make any decisions for your grandchildren, including school and medical decisions. If your grandchildren’s parents sign over power of attorney to you, your custody is strengthened and you are able to make some medical and school decisions for your grandchildren.  Your grandchildren’s parents still retain full legal rights over their children and have the power to terminate the power of attorney that they granted you. This arrangement works best if you have a positive relationship with your grandchildren’s parents and are in agreement about you raising them.  Option #2: Legal Custody Legal custody can be arranged and agreed upon between you and the parents of your grandchild and sanctioned through a legal agreement. The court system can also grant you legal custody, even without the consent of the parents, if they feel it is in the best interest of your grandchildren. In this arrangement, you will have some legal authority to make day-to-day care decisions for your grandchildren. You may still not be able to make medical decisions for them; those will either have to go through their parents or their court appointed advocate.  Your grandchildren’s parents will have the rights to visitations and may have to follow a formal visitation schedule, like in a divorce. In this arrangement, there is hope that the parents will eventually be in a position to regain custody of their children again at some point. They can even position the courts to regain custody in the future. Option #3: Guardianship This arrangement will grant you more rights over your grandchildren than a legal custody arrangement. You should be able to make most medical and school decisions for your grandchildren as well as day-to-day care decisions.  Once again, the parents of your grandchildren may be granted visitation rights and could potentially petition the court at some point to regain custody of their children. Guardianship is for grandparents who want long-term custody of their grandchildren and want to be sure they have the legal ground to make all decisions in relation to raising their grandchildren. Option #4: Adoption This is the most extreme of the custody arrangements you could have. If you choose to adopt your grandchildren, their parents are giving up all legal rights to their children, including visitation, and cannot ever petition for custody of their children again. In this case, you would in the eyes of the law become your grandchildren’s parents and would get to make all decisions related to their care, just like a normal parent would. If you want to ensure...

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How Speeding Tickets Affect Your Insurance Rates And How A Lawyer Can Help

Posted by on 2:44 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How Speeding Tickets Affect Your Insurance Rates And How A Lawyer Can Help

If you have never bought car insurance, and you are now just purchasing it for the first time because your state requires it, you may be surprised at what can affect your monthly costs. Take a look at how speeding tickets can affect your premiums and how a lawyer can help you out in a bind. The Number of Tickets You Have Can Cause Rising and Falling Premiums Most insurance companies expect that some people will have a traffic violation here and there. While it does affect your monthly rates by a few dollars, if you drive more carefully and avoid getting any more tickets in the next few months, your insurance costs could drop. The minute you add another speeding ticket, your rates will rise again as soon as your insurance company catches wind of the ticket. (Even if you do not tell the insurance company yourself, moving and traffic violations are public record, which is how many insurance companies learn of your tickets before you tell them.) What Happens When Excessive Speeding or a DWI is Involved? Another problem that can cause your insurance rates to reach new heights is excessive speeding. The more traffic tickets you have on record, the greater risk on paper you appear to be to the insurance company. After a certain number of tickets, some companies will refuse to insure you because you pose too much of a dangerous risk. If you throw DWIs in with the speeding tickets, you may be very hard-pressed to find an insurance company that will insure you at all. Click here for info about information regarding DWI tickets. If you hire a DWI and/or traffic lawyer, he or she can possibly get the charges dismissed. When the ticket and charges are dismissed, the record does not exist and/or is not accessible to the public or your insurance company. Additionally, if you can prove that you are not at fault for the traffic incident you are accused of, you may get the charges and ticket expunged from your record entirely. Your best bet is to avoid a DWI in the first place, especially if you know that you have “a lead foot” and tend to speed even when you do not intend to do so. You may also want to consider the possibility of suing an insurance company that drops you after you have incurred a couple of speeding tickets and/or a...

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Living Trusts: What They Can And Can’t Accomplish

Posted by on 3:50 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Living Trusts: What They Can And Can’t Accomplish

Older people with considerable assets need to start thinking about the best way to leave their property to their heirs. One popular tool for transferring assets after you die is known as a living trust, a type of estate trust. Property and other assets placed in the trust are distributed by a trustee to your heirs after you pass away. Living trusts allow you to achieve some goals but not others. Here is a closer look at what these legal instruments can and can’t accomplish.  Can Accomplish  For most people with a sizable estate, the primary reason for setting up a living trust is to avoid the probate process. Having your assets distributed through probate is often a long process. Many older people with significant estates prefer to avoid having their heirs wait a long time to inherit. In some cases, the wait might be as a long as a year. Also, legal expenses incurred during the process can be as much as 5 percent of your estate’s value.  With a living trust, you do not need to worry about control of any assets placed in the trust if you become incapacitated. The person you name in the trust document as the trustee will have control of your property and will conduct all necessary transactions concerning the assets. You can rest easy knowing that even if you become unable to manage your own affairs, a person in whom you have confidence will be in charge of your estate.  Can’t Accomplish  Although some types of trusts give you certain tax advantages, this is generally not the case with living trusts. You still have ultimate control over the assets in the trust, so your tax obligations are the same as if the assets were separate from the trust.  Living trusts also do not let you avoid obligations regarding debts. Creditors have the legal right to come after your estate assets in the trust. They can sue you in court and take property placed in the trust to satisfy a debt. If your main goal is to protect assets from creditors, you need to set up another kind of legal instrument, known as an irrevocable trust.  Although it’s legally permissible to set up a living trust by yourself, this is probably not a wise course of action because of the complexities involved. A better way is to consult with an estate planning attorney who has experience with these...

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Confused About VA Claim And Appeal Denials? You’re Not Alone

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Dealing with the Veterans Affairs (VA) claim and appeal system can be a major challenge. Many veterans struggle to tailor their claims paperwork to match the VA’s requirements, but disconnects in what the VA needs and what the veteran can prove may mean months of waiting, only to receive a denial or a request for better information. To understand why denials happen and to make your appeal more successful, take a look at the VA decision process and ways that a legal professional could help. Denied? But The Pain Is So Real For many veterans, the decision to seek disability doesn’t come lightly. Many veterans are fortunate to leave the military in one piece, but some mark their departure after a close call or when their body just can’t keep up anymore. Even though the military can sometimes have an aura of pushing forward, it also has a spirit of doing the right thing to avoid impacting the team and needlessly ruining yourself. The goal of getting disability from the Department of Veterans Affairs is actually fairly simple; prove that you were injured or otherwise afflicted during military service, and then prove that you still have a problem. This proof creates what is called a service connection. Your injury or condition must be connected to military service and verified by documentation to receive benefits. Although the goal is simple, getting that proof is tough. The best chances at getting claim approval is to either be severely or obviously injured in the military to the point of getting a medical discharge or to start working on your disability paperwork while you’re still in uniform. Some veterans are able to leave the military at a comfortable duty station with enough time to organize their paperwork. Other service-members may mark their last days in uniform by rushing from a ship, flying home from a remote location or flying to a debrief from a combat zone. If you didn’t have time to prepare your paperwork, there may be some disconnects in your proof. A Lawyer May Be Needed To Fill The Gaps Do you have a medical record that shows exactly how your condition started? If you’re dealing with a disease or complex condition, do you have supporting evidence that shows your exposure? Some veterans were exposed to harmful substances or hostile environments without an administrative building to thoroughly document the exposure. If you don’t have the documentation, you’ll need to make the documentation as fast as possible. The longer you wait, the more it may look like your condition was caused by civilian events, not military events. If you’re working on an appeal after years of military service and think that you’re missing vital information, contact a personal injury lawyer immediately. An injury lawyer can research parts of your military career and compare your situation against similar claimants. If there’s anyone who could have had the same exposure as you or some document that could verify your condition, a lawyer’s resources and information organization skills can craft an appeal that is airtight. You’ll have an easier time getting an approval or an increased rating if you have a legal professional on your side. Contact a personal injury lawyer to push for a more successful VA disability...

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Ways You Can Have Your Business Contract Cancelled

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After your company has entered a contract with another business, you may discover that you may not be able to meet the terms of the contract or you may realize that the contract is not in the best interests of your company. Fortunately, there are some ways you can get out of a contract without facing any penalties. Contact the Other Party Begin by contacting the company with whom you have the contract. Sometimes, in an effort to maintain a healthy business relationship, the other company may be willing to agree to have the contract nullified or may only charge you a small fee. The business may provide you with its own cancellation form or you may need to draft your own cancellation letter. The cancellation letter will include your name, contact information, the specific contract you would like to cancel and a clear statement that you are canceling the contract. Draft an Agreement You may then want to draft an agreement that both of you sign verifying that the contract has been nullified. Write an agreement that stipulates that both parties agree to have the contract canceled. Then, in the presence of a notary and your attorney, both you and other party should sign the contract. Make sure that your attorney looks over your contract before signing it. Have Your New Contract Cancelled Legally If you recently signed a contract, you may be able to get out of the contract depending on the state you live in. There is sometimes a cooling-off period. You will need to fill out forms and the state will then send a legal cancellation notice. Look for a Material Breach When the other party refuses to have the contract nullified and the penalties for canceling the contract are severe, you should consult with an attorney regarding how you can minimize the impact of the contract’s cancellation. By looking through the contract thoroughly, you may be able to identify a way in which there was a material breach. This is a violation that strikes at the heart of the contract. For instance, if you were promised several services, but you did not receive one of them, this would be considered a material breach. The material breach will allow you to choose to not uphold your end of the contract. If there is evidence of fraud or if the contract is found to be impossible to perform, this would also be grounds to have your contract nullified. You may also be able to seek damages. For more information, contact a law office like...

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