LawyerForYou: Blog LawyerForYou: Blog Copyright by LawyerForYou en LawyerForYou Sat, 04 Apr 2020 08:45:04 -0400 Failure to Pay Child Support may lead to Jail in Chicago, Illinois It may take a while, but it is definitely possible for failure to pay child support in Chicago.

When the gavel comes down and the judge has ordered child support, much like any other order from a judge, failure to abide by the order can put you in jail.  Even more so, failure to pay the ordered amount can land you in jail as well.

One of two instances usually occur.  This is how it generally happens….

1 - The co-parent

The parent who receives child support may file a petition stating that they have not received child support and request the court hold the child support payor in contempt.  Meaning, the person obligated to pay child support would likely be held in contempt and may end up in jail for failure to pay.  Even more, the child support payor may remain in jail until the balance or a determined portion is paid. This is called “the purge,” and is discussed further down in the reading. The co-parent seeking the petition must prove that they are “innocent.”  This is the “rule to show cause,” where the co-parent must prove they have been acting in accordance with any orders and not prohibiting the payment of child support in any fashion.

2 - The County Attorney

The county may seek a petition on behalf of the co-parent.  This is especially true if the child is receiving any form of aid from the state, such as KidCare.  KidCare is a state provided health care plan for children in the state of Illinois.  In essence, the Cook County State Attorney can request that you be put in jail for failure to pay child support.

Either way, whether it’s the co-parent or the State, failure to pay child support can land someone in jail.  Once a petition is filed a court date is set and the parent obligated to pay child support must prove that they have not violated the court order to pay child support.  If the co-parent can not show that they have not violated a court order they will likely be found to be in contempt.

Being Held In Contempt

When the rule is issued after a prima facie showing that the order was violated the alleged violator, the co-parent who failed to pay child support, must prepare for a hearing on the petition for rule to show cause. Prima facie simply means that there is proof a missed or missing payments.    

The non-paying co-parent must show that their failure to pay was not “willful or contumasciously.”  This simply means that the failure to pay was not done on purpose.

For example, proving that you could not pay the child support because you were out of work and not able to find work is enough to keep you from being held in contempt of court for not paying child support.

If you find yourself not able to pay the entire amount per the court order, an attempt to pay something will look better for you.  It shows that you are willing and not trying to abide by the court’s orders. For example, if you owe $ 500 and you paid $ 100, it looks like you are not simply refusing to pay child support.

On the other side of the coin, if a judge finds that you willfully and contumasciously violated the child support order you will be held in contempt of court.

Contempt of Court

“Every finding or adjudication of contempt shall be by written order and shall contain specific findings of fact. In cases involving child support arrears, the order shall state the precise amount of any arrearage found to be due and owing. Upon every finding of contempt that results in incarceration, a form order of commitment provided by the court shall be used.” Cook County Court Rule 13.8(a)(vi)

While you are held in contempt, and likely in jail, the Chicago court will assess exactly how much the arrearage is.  This is a determination of how much child support is owed from the missed payments.  In an attempt to show that a co-parent is not trying to willfully neglect the court order, the co-parent may ask for an accounting review from the Illinois Division of Child Support Services.  The co-parent would need to admit to owing money, but they simply need clarification on how much.  A review usually takes at least 90 days so this gives the co-parent time to catch up and avoid getting into more trouble.

Once you are held in contempt of court, you are stuck in a state of contempt until you have “purged” the contempt.  Purge means you must do something to remedy the problem.  This means either pay the balance of what is due (the amount of money needed to catch up).  While the court may order that 20% of what is owed be paid for the contempt order to be lifted, the amount due is generally left up to the judge. 

Don’t or Can’t Pay the amount owed?

You’re going to jail until you pay the purge, and will remain there until you can show the judge you are paying or have a way to pay the purge.  Once in jail, you will have regular court visits for the judge to assess your progress on payment

If you’re not in court for the Cook County Sheriff to take you into custody, the court will issue a “body attachment” which is essentially a warrant for your arrest instructing the Cook County Sheriff to go looking for you and take you into custody.

Again, judges often have a change of heart if you pay at least some of the purge.  A payment is better than no payment at all.  For example, if the amount owed is $2,000 and you come to court with $ 1000, a judge is likely give you more time to pay the balance.  Always make it a point to bring money with you to your court hearing to show that you are willing to pay.

The Cook County Sheriff Can’t Arrest Me If I’m Not in Cook County, Right?

If a body attachment has been issued to the Cook County Sheriff for your arrest, the Cook County Sheriff is responsible for taking you into custody.  Evading an arrest warrant will not favor too kindly for you.  Even more so, the Cook County Sheriff will simply ask the county you’re in to take you into custody.

Additionally, body attachments are enforced by States outside of Illinois as all states have adopted the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act.  You may be arrested pursuant to the warrant in any state.  Even more so, if there is a balance over $2,000, you run the risk of your passport being revoked prohibiting you from traveling in and out of the country.

Is Not Paying Child Support A Crime In Illinois?

While 99% of non-payment of child support cases are resolved in the civil divorce courts via the petition for rule to show cause, failure to pay child support is a crime in Illinois.

“A person commits the offense of failure to support when he or she:

willfully, without any lawful excuse, refuses to provide for the support or maintenance of his or her spouse, with the knowledge that the spouse is in need of such support or maintenance, or, without lawful excuse, deserts or willfully refuses to provide for the support or maintenance of his or her child or children in need of support or maintenance and the person has the ability to provide the support…A person convicted of a first offense under subdivision (a)(1) or (a)(2) is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. “ 750 ILCS 16/15”

This is real and it happens.  This has never happened to one of my clients, but it is a real possibility. The point is try and avoid this from happening at all costs.  Hiring an attorney can help.

Not Paying Child Support Is A Federal Misdemeanor And/Or Felony

If you live in one state and the child lives in another, the federal government can get involved and they are even more strict than Illinois.

A parent is subject to federal prosecution if he or she willfully fails to pay child support that has been ordered by a court for a child who lives in another state, if the child support payment is past due for longer than 1 year or exceeds the amount of $5,000. A violation of this law is a criminal misdemeanor, and convicted offender face fines and up to 6 months in prison (See 18 U.S.C. § 228(a)(1)).

If the child support payment is overdue for more than 2 years or the amount is in excess of $10,000 it is a federal criminal felony, and convicted offenders face fines and up to 2 years in prison (See 18 U.S.C.§ 228(a)(3)).

How Do I Avoid Going To Jail For Failure To Pay Child Support?

The easiest way to not be in violation of an order is to simply change the order.  If a co-parent finds themselves unable to pay, they can file for a motion for modification of child support.

Child support is based off of both parents’ incomes and the needs of the child(ren). So, if there has been any change in either parents’ income or in the needs of the child(ren) then a substantial change of circumstances has occurred.

A motion to modify child support is favored in an Illinois courts because it shows that the co-parent is being proactive instead of building up a massive child support arrearage which will have to be dealt with later.  Jail is not the answer – for anyone.  For you, the co-parent or the child.  Requesting a change is the best and easiest way to keep the peace and avoid jail.

Other Penalties for Nonpayment of Child Support Besides Jail

“Deadbeats most wanted list.
(a) The Director may disclose a “deadbeats most wanted list” of individuals who are in arrears in their child support obligations under an Illinois court order” 305 ILCS 5/12-12.1

No one wants to be on the internet or in the paper for anything negative.  However, the State of Illinois will publish your name as a “deadbeat parent” on their website. They’ll even include a photo of you. This will definitely come up in any google search of your name.  No one wants this.  It will likely have lasting ripple effects, namely for employment.

In addition, the Secretary of Illinois can suspend a driver’s license if they receive a report that a parent is more than 90 days delinquent. In this situation, the solution is to just admit to the arrearage and put the arrearage amount on a payment plan. The Secretary of state perceives this as being current for the purposes of reinstating a driver’s license.

To learn more about child support enforcement contact my Chicago, Illinois law firm today to speak to an experienced Illinois family law attorney.

Uncategorized Editor Sun, 15 Mar 2020 23:52:46 -0400
Uber Insurance Coverage Periods Explained There are millions of people hiring Ubers and Lyfts instead of taxis or limousines. Fares are more inexpensive, and these kinds of rides are a lot more convenient than more traditional forms of transportation.

Because there are more Uber and Lyfts on the road, have you ever wondered what could happen if you become injured in an Uber or Lyft accident? You might be walking across the street or waiting in traffic – what if a rideshare hits you or your vehicle? What happens if you have to initiate a lawsuit?

Here are some explanations of Uber's insurance coverage periods:

Uber and Lyft drivers should have a commercial car insurance policy or a rideshare-friendly policy for their personal car insurance. These are insurances that cover drivers while they are working.

It should be known that Uber's insurance does not cover drivers when the app is closed on their phones. When the Uber app is closed, or if there is any question of coverage, these are times when a driver will need to have their own personal auto policy.

Uber's insurance coverage applies under certain circumstances when the app is open; otherwise, the driver's rideshare-friendly policy should apply.

According to insurers, there are three different insurance coverage periods:

Period 1: This period is when the driver is waiting to be matched with a rider, and the Uber app is open. This period is ambiguous as it related to liability.

Period 2: This is the time when the driver is matched up with a rider, and they are driving to that area to pick them up.

Period 3: The rider is safely in the car. This time period ends when the rider has exited the vehicle.

The reality is that the more drivers are out on the road offering rideshares, the more chances there are for an accident to occur. It is essential to know which insurance company will be covering the liability.

Uber Insurance Coverage

While Uber offers insurance liability coverage to its drivers, this coverage will vary depending upon if the driver has a rider in the vehicle. It can be questionable as to whether Uber covers collision and comprehensive. The driver's injuries are not covered unless the accident is the fault of another driver. Uber and Lyft do require that their drivers carry their own insurance.

Period 1 insurance coverage under Uber has low liability limits without collision or comprehensive coverage. They cover $50,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person, $100,000 in bodily injury liability per accident, and $30,000 in property damage liability per accident. There is also $200,000 in additional liability coverage per accident.

Uber provides liability coverage equivalent to contingent or required coverage in most states. There are different requirements for Maine and California. The driver will need to file a claim with their own insurance first, and if the claim is denied, then Uber's insurance will take over.

Uber does not provide any collision or comprehensive insurance, so drivers will need this coverage on their personal policy to repair their vehicle if it has been in an accident. It's wise to have this insurance so that drivers can get their car repaired regardless of who is at fault for the accident.

Uber also does not provide any kind of uninsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage should be selected on the driver's personal car insurance policy just in case the driver is injured by another driver on the road who does not have insurance.

For periods 2 and 3, liability is covered by Uber under their $1 million policy. They also offer contingent collision and comprehensive insurance. If the driver's insurance company denies the accident claim, Uber's insurance should apply, and the policy carries a $1,000 deductible, which needs to be met before the payment will be made. They also include the uninsured motorist coverage under the $1 million policy.

Rideshare drivers should consider having liability, collision and comprehensive, uninsured motorist, gap coverage, and medical payments with their personal insurance policies to protect them fully in situations where Uber's insurance may not apply.

Liability insurance is required throughout every state and is in place to cover injuries to others and property damage. Collision and comprehensive pay to repair or replace the driver's vehicle if it has been damaged or totaled in an accident. Uninsured motorist coverage will help if the other driver is at fault for the accident, and they are uninsured or underinsured.

Gap coverage will cover the difference from the amount you owe on your vehicle if it is financed and the amount the insurance company pays if the car is totaled. Medical payments will cover medical expenses due to a car accident. This coverage is good to have if the driver does not have health insurance coverage.

Rideshare drivers should make it a priority to have the best personal car insurance policies to protect their riders, themselves, and the investment they have made in their vehicles. This will allow them to continue working safely and confidently. 

Uncategorized Editor Wed, 26 Feb 2020 21:38:09 -0500
Medicare appeal - what you need to know Medicare approves 95% of the claims that are sent to them. However, due to various reasons, Medicare may deny your claim. If Medicare denies one of your claims, you may be able to appeal the decision.

The process of Medicare appeals can vary depending on the coverage type denied. For example, Original Medicare appeals are different than Medicare Advantage appeals or Part D appeals. However, your Medicare plan is required to inform you about how to file an appeal in writing, so you won’t have to guess how the process works.

Regardless of the type of appeal or which coverage type you have, before filing your appeal, make sure you have all the necessary documents to plead your case. This may include doctor’s notes, supplier information, and medical bills.

Appealing Original Medicare decisions

Original Medicare is your Part A and Part B coverage. If you have a Medicare supplement plan or just Part A and Part B alone, you will submit appeals in the following way for Part A and Part B services.

Each quarter, Medicare will send you a Medicare Summary Notice. This notice isn’t a bill, but instead a list of services that were submitted to Medicare on your behalf within those three months. The notice also includes what Medicare paid as well as the amount you are responsible for.

If you see a service on your Medicare Summary Notice that Medicare didn’t cover that you believe should have been covered, you can file an appeal. An appeal for Original Medicare must be submitted within 120 days from the date marked on your Medicare Summary Notice. The first of potentially five levels of the appeal process is the Medicare Redetermination Request Form (CMS Form 20027). Most people only go through one to two levels of the appeal process. People rarely move onto the higher, court-level stages.

Along with this form, send any relevant documents that might help your case, as well as a written letter explaining why you think the service(s) should be covered. The address you send this information to can be found on your Medicare Summary Notice in the appeals section. You should receive a Medicare Redetermination Notice within 60 days of the date Medicare receives your appeal.

Appealing Medicare Advantage plan decisions

Medicare Advantage plans take over Original Medicare’s responsibility in coverage decisions. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan and a service is denied, that decision was solely made by your plan, not Original Medicare. Therefore, your appeal must be filed through your plan, not Medicare.

Your Medicare Advantage plan should send you some form of denial. Once you receive that notice, you will have 60 days to submit your appeal request to your plan. While each plan may have its own process for appeals, generally, you can submit a written request that includes your personal information, such as your Medicare ID number, the services or items you wish to appeal, and relative documentation to help your case. Depending on the urgency of your request, your plan may have anywhere from 72 hours to 60 days to respond.

Appealing Medicare Part D decisions

Like appealing Medicare Advantage plan decisions, Part D appeals will be handled through your Part D plan, not Medicare. A common Part D appeal is a formulary exception. When you file a formulary exception, you are requesting your Part D plan to cover a specific drug that isn’t on the formulary.

Technically, you can file this request before or after you pay for your prescription. However, filing the appeal beforehand can save you time and money if your request is approved. Whether you’re filing an exception or appealing a coverage determination, you will need to submit a Model Coverage Determination Request form to your plan as well as a letter pleading your case.

However, if you are filing an exception, you will also need to include written documentation from your doctor explaining why this non-covered drug is medically needed and why a covered drug isn’t a viable option. Depending on if you’ve purchased the drug yet or not, your plan may have 24 hours to 14 days to provide you with a decision.


As you can tell, appeals can be tricky, and it very much depends on the type of coverage you have. But the important thing to remember is that the people who make the decisions on your appeals are real, live humans with feelings. Sometimes, being kind and patient gets you better results than being angry or rude.

Danielle K. Roberts is a Medicare insurance expert and co-founder at Boomer Benefits, where her team of experts help baby boomers with their Medicare decisions nationwide.

Uncategorized Editor Fri, 14 Feb 2020 08:20:21 -0500
How To Choose The Right Personal Injury Attorney? If you are hurt in an accident, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries. That said, winning such a reward occurs only after partaking in a legal process in which specific legal tenets are demonstrated.

Therefore, one of the most important actions an injured party can execute is to choose the right personal injury attorney. We invite you to read the following brief blog providing an overview of the personal injury process and attributes to look for when retaining the services of a personal injury attorney.

Personal Injury Law Overview

Personal injury lawsuits comprise a form of civil litigation in which injured parties, which in legal terms are categorized as plaintiffs, seek compensation from individuals or entities they believe committed some form of negligence or malfeasance that led to the incident in question and subsequently contributed to their injuries.

Specific Types Of Personal Injury Cases

There are many types of personal injury cases that occur on a relatively regular basis including but certainly not limited to:

Workplace Accidents

Individuals injured on the job due to perceived dangerous or negligent conditions created by the employer.

Premises Liability

Persons injured inside a residential or commercial location because of hazardous conditions.

Wrongful Death

Common types of this personal injury category include a surgeon committing a perceived error during a medical procedure, the administration of too much or too little medication or some malfeasant act by any type of entity that precipitated someone's untimely demise.

Automobile Accidents

The negligent or malfeasant actions of a motorist leads to an accident that causes the plaintiff injuries.

Product Liability

The designers, manufacturers or sellers of a product readily available for public consumption fail to detect a flaw within a said item that precipitates injuries.

Proving A Personal Injury Claim

All personal injury cases are predicated on you and your attorney's ability to demonstrate that the accused party or parties bared a certain degree, if not all the blame for the precipitating incident. To accomplish this task, your attorney must clearly prove several specific legal tenets including that a negligent or malfeasant act occurred, said incident lead to the incident in question, the accident was directly attributable to the plaintiff's injuries and the damages sought correlate to those injuries and no other physical, mental or biological condition.

Identifying The Right Personal Injury Lawyer

Proving these theories is a significant challenge. Ergo, hiring the right personal injury lawyer is paramount if you have designs on being awarded compensation from an adjudicating body or settling out of court. Industry professionals urge you to consider the following factors by executing such an important decision:

Personal Referrals

When formulating your short list of potential candidates, choosing legal professionals with a long list of satisfied clients should be an important consideration. It is also advisable to pay attention to referrals given by other attorneys. Achieving respect amongst former clients is important. However, respect displayed by colleagues often carries even greater weight.

Experience Handling Your Specific Case

Your specific case category is also crucial when considering personal injury lawyers. For example, if you are initiating a premises liability suit, you are advised to work in tandem with an attorney who has significant experience handling such cases and yielding favorable results in such proceedings.

Flexible Payment Options

Legal fees can be expensive over time. This is particularly true if the case is complicated or has the potential to be argued over many months or possibly years. Some personal injury lawyers agree to not collect payment unless you are awarded compensation. However, this is not always the case. Ergo, the legal professional in question should display a certain degree of flexibility when discussing their compensation.

Ability To Communicate

There are several issues you should pay attention to when assessing a prospective lawyer's communication abilities. First, can the said professional make complex subjects more understandable? Many legal proceedings contain jargon that someone not employed in the legal profession might not understand. That said, a reputable lawyer will break down such concepts so you can understand both what is taking place and the reasons such events are occurring.

Furthermore, most successful attorneys will have a clear and open line of communication with their clients. For example, if you call, they will respond in a timely fashion. Moreover, said professionals will always be honest and upfront.

Comfort Level

Arguably, the most important factor to consider is your personal comfort level. It must be reiterated that you will be placing complete trust in said professional to yield a result that could make or break your future. At the very least, the attorney whose services you retain should be someone you feel completely comfortable working with.

Uncategorized Editor Fri, 24 Jan 2020 22:53:28 -0500
What To Do When Under Investigation For The Following Crimes Being investigated or questioned in relation to a crime of some kind can be extremely overwhelming. Talking to the police simply because you did not do anything does not work out for everyone. The police already think you know something or were involved if they are reaching out to question you. Finding an attorney can be important depending on the crime being discussed like if it is grand larceny or conspiracy to commit mass identity fraud. The following are common crimes that you might be charged and convicted of if you do not respond appropriately.


Being arrested for a DUI happens to people that do not feel like they are impaired on a regular basis. Having a BAC of anything can lead to a DUI in some states if the officer on scene believes you are impaired. There are experts on the subject that can be called to the scene to affirm that you are drunk or high. Blowing into the breathalyzer is a great option if you have not been drinking at all that day. Otherwise it can be a risk as your results often times are the best piece of proof to convict for a DUI. Do not speak besides answering basic questions as anything else can be incriminating.

Drug Possession

Drug possession can be a sign of dependence on narcotics as well as other substance abuse-related issues. Judges can be sympathetic in certain cases if you find a program to help curb your reliance on drugs or alcohol. The right attorney will help you find these programs where if completed the charges will be completely dropped. For those that repeatedly have been arrested it is important to get a great attorney as this can help you immensely when you get to the sentencing stage. The attorney could discuss with the prosecutor to give you a deal so you do not have to risk trial.

Assault Due to Self-Defense

Understanding the laws in your state is imperative as in some states you can be arrested for mutual combat. In other states you can stand your ground and fight someone that you feel is putting you or your family in danger. The comprehension of these laws is something that is important as you do not want to admit to anything. Self-defense can be a claim and witnesses could back this up. In other cases, friends of the person you engaged in a fight with could blame you for the altercation. Call for a criminal defense attorney like those at as this situation could get out of control without a legal pro.


Theft can be nearly impossible to prove in some cases without video evidence or the suspect having possession of an item. Dealing in stolen property is a common charge for those that frequently buy/sell stolen items for profit. Retail theft can be tricky as many stores cannot legally hold you in the store until the police arrive. Offering to pay for the item due to your mistake can help in some situations, but not in all. Honest mistakes do happen so if you didn’t scan something at the self-checkout that was in the bottom of your cart, you might get a free pass.

As you can see it is important to know your rights and understand you do not have to answer questions police are asking you. Being arrested is one thing but providing evidence or reasonable doubt of being guilty is far worse!

Uncategorized Editor Thu, 16 Jan 2020 22:06:28 -0500
Your Personal Injury Questions, Answered Sustaining an injury in a preventable accident can be a traumatic experience, and victims are likely to have several questions. In the material below, we answer some of the most common questions we hear from clients who come to us for help after suffering injuries because of someone else’s carelessness or negligence. For more information or to discuss the details of your case with an experienced personal injury attorney, call one in your area.

How Common are Accidental Injuries?

Accidental injuries affect unsuspecting victims every day. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 39.5 million accidental injuries leading to doctor's visits each year and 29.2 million that lead to emergency department visits.

What Accidents Lead to Personal Injury Claims?

Virtually any type of accident can lead to a personal injury claim. Victims are typically entitled to compensation when their accident is the result of the negligence of another person. Negligence is the legal term for a person failing to use the degree of care that would ordinarily be used by a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstances. Some of the more common accidents that lead to personal injury claims include:

  • Car accidents
  • Commercial truck accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Inadequate security
  • Dangerous products
  • Medical malpractice
  • Slip and falls
  • Nursing home neglect

What Should You do after Sustaining an Injury?

It is extremely important for accident victims to take steps to protect their rights after an injury caused by the negligence of someone else. Some of the most important include:

  • Call 911 as soon as you can
  • Seek medical treatment, even if you do not think you are seriously injured
  • Document the accident and your injuries with photos and notes
  • Follow all treatment orders
  • Call an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible

What Damages are Available?

Under state law, you can recover for both your economic and non-economic accident-related losses. Some of the most common losses sought in personal injury claims include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Future medical costs for ongoing treatment
  • Lost income
  • Future lost earnings
  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering
  • Permanent disabilities
  • Permanent disfigurement

As an accident victim, it’s important to be aware of the fact that the insurance company is actively trying to minimize the amount it pays out. For this reason, it’s critical to document all of your losses and retain a personal injury lawyer familiar with representing accident victims.

How Much is Your Claim Worth?

If you have recently suffered injuries in an accident, it’s only natural that you want to know how much compensation you will likely receive. There are many factors that will determine the value of your claim. Some of the most important include:

  • The severity of your injuries
  • The extent of your medical treatment and bills
  • Whether you missed work
  • Whether you can return to your previous employment
  • The extent of the pain you experienced
  • Whether your injuries prevented you from engaging in certain activities
  • Your emotional and psychological injuries
  • Whether you will suffer long-term impairments or disabilities
  • Whether the at-fault party’s conduct was particularly egregious

What is the Personal Injury Process?

The process of obtaining compensation can be complicated, and it's in your best interest to retain a personal injury attorney as soon as you can. Some of the steps involved in obtaining compensation include meeting with a lawyer, calculating your losses, filing an insurance claim, attempting to negotiate a settlement, filing a lawsuit in the appropriate court, and conducting a trial. 

Uncategorized Editor Tue, 07 Jan 2020 22:03:51 -0500
3 Things to Do Following a Motor Vehicle Accident Statistics show that within a five-year period, 25% of all drivers could be involved in a car accident. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, there are certain things you should always do. Other actions you take will depend upon who was at fault, whether the damage was minor or extreme, and whether or not anyone was injured. You will need to assess the situation and proceed wisely.

The average number of car accidents in the U.S. every year is six million. If you think it cannot happen to you, then you simply are not being cautious enough. Car accidents happen when you least expect them, as with many misfortunes. Take note of these pointers now so you can be more prepared when and if you ever get into an accident.

First, Take Care of Injuries and Damages

Never leave the scene of an accident. The first thing you need to do is to stay calm and make sure no one was hurt, regardless of who was at fault. If someone was injured, you need to call 911 immediately to get them medical attention. Never try to move a person who has been injured, unless their life is in immediate danger. Otherwise, you could make their injuries worse.

Three million people in the U.S. are injured every year in car accidents.

If any vehicles involved in the accident suffered severe damage, you should call the police. Do not try to move the damaged vehicles. The police will need to file an accident report, which will be required by your insurance company. The police report will also serve as the official report of the accident and the events that occurred directly after the accident. Typically, people involved in an accident who try to convince you not to call the police could be trying to hide something, such as the fact that they do not have car insurance.

Next, Stay Calm and Keep a Clear Head

Never engage in a dispute or shouting match, and do not admit fault to anyone. Whether you are at fault or the other party is at fault, you need to stay calm and keep a clear head. Arguing and fighting will cause a conflict where someone could get hurt, or you could say something that could be used against you later. 

The best accident lawyers always advise you not to lie about your part in the accident. If the accident was your fault, you should make it a point not to say anything that could later be used against you. And, of course, never lie about your role in the incident. Not only will this cause you severe stress, as you wonder whether you will be found out, but there could also be consequences for you trying to avoid blame. Let the insurance companies and other authorities sort out what happened. That's their job; let them do it. They will talk to everyone involved and get down to the facts.

Lastly, Gather and Exchange Information

Insurance information will need to be exchanged by everyone involved in the accident, even if it wasn't your fault. If any of the other parties are reluctant to exchange insurance information, there's a good chance they are uninsured. The good news is that the police will take the same information in case there is a dispute later on.

It's always best to gather as much information from the scene of the accident as possible, especially if any of the other parties are uninsured. You will need to record:

  • Everyone's name
  • Addresses
  • Phone numbers
  • Driver's license numbers
  • License plate numbers
  • Year, make, and model of the other vehicle
  • VIN, if possible

Once you tell all of the information about the accident to your insurance company, your provider and the other driver’s should work it out together, without requiring much from you other than further testimony about what happened.


Because every accident is different, you should seek advice from professionals, including mechanics, doctors, and lawyers. Always continue all medical treatments recommended by your doctor.

Vehicle accidents create legal situations that need to be handled cautiously. Consult your lawyer, do not miss the deadline for filing a lawsuit, and get a motor vehicle accident legal team in place immediately. Protect yourself, protect your rights.

Uncategorized Editor Thu, 02 Jan 2020 22:08:31 -0500
3 Things to Know about Statutes of Limitations in Malpractice Cases The issue of medical malpractice is complex. Medical malpractice or liability may have occurred if a medical practitioner causes injury or death to a patient through omission or an act of negligence. 

Believing you or a member of your family is a victim of a medical treatment gone wrong can be intimidating as well as frightening. However, if you or a loved one faces that situation, there are things you should know about statutes of limitations when it comes to filing a lawsuit. Medical malpractice lawyers can guide you, but here are a few basics.

The Standard Deadline

How much time people have to file a medical malpractice suit varies from state to state. In fact, it can range from one to ten years, including limits based on when a problem is discovered.

There is a standard deadline that is different depending on where you live, usually from one to four years. It is vital to know what the timeline is for your state. Sometimes statutes of limitation may differ based on the type of injury that has taken place because each state establishes its own regulations.

Discovery Rule

The second aspect of medical malpractice lawsuits you should understand is what is known as the discovery rule. In other words, how long you have to pursue a lawsuit may be different based on when the injury was discovered.

For example, a case where a sponge or surgical implement is left behind following surgery. The patient may know nothing about it until it begins to cause problems, which could be years later. In many states, the statute of limitations begins once the mistake is discovered, not when it occurred. In North Carolina, for example, individuals have ten years to pursue litigation in cases where an object is left inside a patient, such as during a surgery.

More than twenty states have exceptions built into their statutes of limitations regarding foreign objects left inside a patient.

Exceptions for Minors

Another piece of the statute of limitations in malpractice cases is the exceptions that apply to minors. Again, how the law is applied varies from state to state. Still, in general, the limitations may be broader when applied to minors.

For example, in Virginia, if a child is under eight years of age when an incident occurs, the law allows the filing of a suit until the child's tenth birthday. Some states don't set limitations until after the child has reached the age of eighteen.

Experts say it is crucial to pay attention to the statutes of limitation where you reside because filing a lawsuit after the fact could potentially limit your ability to file any other type of civil suit. Many states set constraints on the amount of non-monetary losses you can receive. These would be losses based on such things as pain and suffering versus actual medical bills and lost income from an inability to perform your job. The best bet if you believe you are the victim of medical malpractice is to consult an attorney.

Uncategorized Editor Thu, 02 Jan 2020 22:07:42 -0500
Insurance and Divorce People get married for lots of reasons: love, the desire to have children, the societal and familial expectations that they simply are of the right age to get married.  Lots of people, if not most, get married for a long-term reason: financial stability. 

When you get divorced, your heart isn’t just broken and your world turned upside down, your financial life becomes much more unstable.

Beyond just the division of your assets and debts there is the matter of support which is either arbitrarily set based on needs and ability to pay or a standardized statutory formula.  These division of asset and support orders do not provide for absolute stability, however.  Things can happen outside of the bounds of the court order:  You could lose your job; Your ex-spouse could get sick;  A horrible accident could happen to either of you. 

For these reasons, certain types of insurance are required or encouraged when finalizing your divorce.  These insurances are necessary for the same reasons they were necessary during the marriage: accidents happen. 

Health Insurance and Divorce.

During the pendency of a divorce whatever health insurance policies that were in place before the divorce filing must stay in place until further order of court.  Typically, the divorce court judge will have issued a standing order instructing exactly this policy.

If a spouse removes a soon-to-be-ex-spouse from their insurance, the removed spouse has the right to file an emergency petition asking to be reinstated on the insurance. If the removed spouse incurs any medical expenses that would have been covered by insurance had the spouse not been removed from insurance, those medical expenses will likely be ordered reimbursed by the spouse that removed the medical insurance. 

Out-of-pocket medical expenses, including premiums, can be split between the parties during the pendency of the divorce via a motion for contribution. The theory here is that all legitimate expenses are marital until the divorce is finalized.

Children’s health insurance can be another matter. In many jurisdictions, a child’s health insurance expense will be covered by one parent and 50% of the expense will be allocated to the other parent in the form of an increased or decreased child support payment.

Life Insurance and Divorce.

Divorces often involve support orders in either the form of alimony (also called maintenance in some jurisdictions) or child support.  These support orders are usually in effect for a specific period of time (either a set number of years in the case of alimony or until the child turns 18 and/or graduates from high school). 

What happens if the alimony/child support payor dies before that period of support paying is complete?  The divorce courts will often order that a party have a life insurance policy that will cover the presumed owed support. 

The divorce courts will also order that the surviving spouse be named the beneficiary of this life insurance policy…not the children. Most of a child’s expenses are in non-direct forms such as rent, heat and food that the child does not purchase themselves.

Child support receiving spouses must know that if they request the child support paying spouse to get life insurance that they, in turn, will also be required to get a life insurance policy.  If the parent that cares for the children passes away, the other parent will now require child care or have to cut back on their hours at work.  Therefore, a life insurance policy may be necessary for both spouses, no matter what their incomes. 

Renters Insurance and Divorce.

The parties to a divorce will usually live in a marital home that both parties own.  That home will either be sold by both parties or one party will keep the home in exchange for an equal valued asset or assets.  The party without homeownership will then move into a rental for the time being while they re-evaluate their life.

While in the rental home, the divorced party will not enjoy the mandatory insurance required that a homeowners’ insurance policy requires.  For this reason, the renting divorced spouse should consider rental insurance to insure the assets within the rental home. 

Russell Knight is a Divorce Attorney in Naples, Florida

Uncategorized Editor Sun, 20 Oct 2019 23:07:13 -0400
Injured on a Bounce House Bounce House Injuries Are More Common Than You Think

Bounce houses are popular features at kids parties these days, and they look like harmless fun. After all, these huge inflatables offer kids a chance to jump and flip and bounce around on a soft surface. What could go wrong?

Unfortunately, bounce house injuries are actually quite common, and a lot of the time the injuries are caused by improper use (and inadequate supervision).

If a couple of small children are playing together, supervised, on a bounce house, then it should be quite safe. However, what often happens is that older children and young children play together. This can lead to injuries because older children are bigger, stronger, heavier, and are more likely to be doing dangerous stunts.

If an older child is climbing up the "neck of the giraffe" or the "castle spire" and jumping off, there's the risk that they might land on a smaller child. The same is true if they're doing flips or other stunts, or decide to be "playful" and throw a smaller child around.

Knocks and Bumps Can be Amplified on a Bounce House

When two kids bump heads while they're running and playing in a field, the result might be tears and a bit of a fright, but they'll be back playing again in no time. When two kids bump heads on a bounce house, the damage can be more serious because the kids are not in control of their movements. The 'bounciness' of the bounce house means that their weight is flying around at uncontrolled angles and with more speed than they normally would.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission says that in the five years between 2008 and 2013, there were 82,203 injuries associated with inflatables. Of those 90 percent were caused by bounce house use. This figure includes only injuries which were serious enough to require an ER visit. Any scrapes, sprains or bruises that were treated at home aren't counted.  Two-thirds of the reported injuries were to the arms and legs, while fifteen percent were to the head or face.  The Pediatrics journal reports that in 2010, there were so many injuries on bounce houses that it works out to one child getting hurt every 46 minutes.

Improper Set Up and Supervision Makes Injuries More Likely

A lot of injuries occur either because the bounce house was not secured properly, so the house gets 'blown away' in the wind, with people still in them. Injuries can also occur if the bounce house operator allows too many people on at the same time, allows people on to the bounce house while wearing sharp objects or shoes, or allows adults or older children onto a bounce house with smaller children.

What Should You Do if Your Child Was Injured?

If your child has been injured while playing on a bounce house, you may have a case against the people who were in charge of it. There are law firms that have a lot of experience in dealing with bounce house negligence cases, and it is a good idea to consult one of those so that you can make sure that your case is dealt with properly.

Be sure to document everything about the injury. What happened, who else was on the bounce house, how general safety was handled and how many people were allowed on at once, as well as how first aid was handled at the time. If you are the owner of the bounce house and you felt that it was poorly made or that a defect led to the injury, then take photos and save any correspondence. Explain your concerns to the law firm, they will most likely have encountered similar issues before and will be able to tell you if you have a case.

Uncategorized Editor Tue, 10 Sep 2019 17:25:36 -0400
A Solution to Troubles At Home

Life does not always have a happy ending. Things do not always go the way we want them to, and it does not always end up the way we plan it out. There absolutely no problem with that because that is just the way life goes. But sometimes, no matter how happy our relationships may be, it may end on a sour note with both parties not able to agree on a compromise. When this happens, especially if you have the custody of your children at stake, it is best to actually consult with family law solicitors to be able to help you in dealing with your ordeal. These family law solicitors would be able to help you to reach a compromise so that you would not have to deal with unwanted stress, even after dealing with problems within the family. It is a reality that a lot of people are faced with, and though it may be difficult to go through, you do not have to do everything on your own as you could easily get and seek for legal advice that would help show you the way to a more amicable ending. So, when exactly would you have to seek for the services of family law solicitors?

If You Are Going Through a Divorce

There are a lot of legalities to tackle when a couple is going through a divorce or even separation. A lot of factors will affect the lives of each spouse, and one spouse could benefit more from the other when this happens. To avoid disadvantages, meeting with family law solicitors would help you as a couple to decide on neutral ground for you to be able to reach a compromise that may be beneficial for each spouse. This is most important if you already have a family with children. Deciding who gets the custody of the children is a tough decision to make alone. That is why it is important and advisable to decide with a solicitor present so that both parties are aware of their legal rights when it comes to their children. You would not want to give your children a harder time with their parents already going through a divorce or separation and still could not decide on what will happen even after going each other’s ways. You could easily avoid conflicts like this should you choose to hire a solicitor to help you with your divorce or separation.

Even after the divorce, especially if you have children and they are in your custody, it is the responsibility and the obligation of your spouse to actually provide financial support to your children up to the age of 18. If you are having trouble getting that financial support from your spouse, you have the legal right to pursue a case against your spouse and demand for financial claims. This is something that you are legally entitled to, especially your children, so do not think twice about seeking legal counsel from family law solicitors to help you get what you deserve.

If You are Experiencing Being Abused

You can save yourself from domestic violence and abuse if you seek the help of family law solicitors. If you are being abused by your spouse, you should get legal help so that you could get away from your toxic relationship and get claims that you are entitled to for what you have gone through. There are laws in place to protect you from experiencing such maltreatments and it is your right to exercise those laws if you are in such a situation. No one should put up with any form of domestic abuse whether it is physically or emotionally. After your family law solicitor helps you with charging your spouse for domestic abuse, he or she could also be of legal assistance to you to file for a divorce or separation should the need arise.

If you Want to Have Pre-nuptial or Cohabitation Agreements

Cohabitation and marriage is not an easy decision to make, and it is not always a smooth-sailing path to go through. If you want to have legal agreements covering your marriage and cohabitation, most especially a pre-nuptial agreement, then getting the help of a family law solicitor is your best bet. This way, both the interests of each spouse will be taken into consideration and no one will be put at a disadvantage. It is also a good idea to put it into an agreement so that when conflicts and disagreements arise, you each have a document to look back on so that you know how to deal with the misunderstandings legally. These agreements will give both parties a liable and accountable person should conflicts arise and put one spouse at a disadvantage.

Uncategorized Editor Mon, 02 Sep 2019 08:03:53 -0400
Rebuilding Your Credit Post Bankruptcy The Right Way If you’ve filed for bankruptcy or are in the middle of this process, you’ve already gone through a very difficult season in your financial life. You may be wondering just how to move on, but you may also be confused as to how to do that when your credit has been beaten up so badly by the ordeal of bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 bankruptcies wipe your financial slate completely clean, but it also stays on your credit report for 10 years and can send your credit score plummeting hundreds of points. In the future, you’ll need decent credit in order to rent an apartment, buy or lease a car, and much more. In general, you’ll need decent credit so you can move on with your financial life.

Consider a few of the following tips to help you get back on your feet after a bankruptcy.

Create a budget

At Scura Bankruptcy Law Firm, as a first step, we recommend creating a well-outlined and detailed budget. It’s important that you know exactly where all of your money is coming from and going to. It would be a good idea to limit the extras you used to spend money on so you can focus on getting back on track and stay in control of your spending.

Start saving for emergencies

Instead of spending money on things you don’t need and can’t afford, put your discretionary income into a savings account reserved just for emergencies instead. It’s a good goal to save up three to six months expenses, but even $1,000 in the bank kept only for serious situations can give you peace of mind and assurance that you’ll be able to afford minor setbacks without any issue.

Create a plan

In order to build your credit the right way, you need to know where you’re at currently. Check your credit report and credit score for free online and get an idea of where you are, and where you want to be. Take note of any discrepancies or inaccuracies in your credit report, as correcting these can make a huge, positive impact on your financial future.

Ways to prove that you are reliable to borrowers

There are a number of methods you can use to prove to lenders that you’re a reliable borrower that can be trusted to pay in full and on time. Set up a secured loan with a credit union or community bank. You may also be able to set up a secured credit card to help boost your credit score. The cards you may be eligible for may have high interest rates and annual fees but remember that this is just a starting point to get your credit back up to where you want it to be.

Pay on time, every time

The key to boosting your credit score is paying loan or credit card payments on time, every single month. This proves to lenders that you can be trusted to pay back money you owe and therefore are a low risk borrower. Keep your balances on the low end and make paying off your loans and credit cards on time a priority.

There are several tried and true ways to repair your credit score after you declare bankruptcy; it just takes some focused planning and intentional saving.

Written by John J Scura III, Esq.                                                                                                         
Partner, Scura, Wigfield, Heyer, Stevens & Cammarota, LLP

John has been Certified by The Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Civil Trial Attorney.  Whether it is a personal injury case, bankruptcy case, litigation case or other type of matter, John wants his clients to participate in the decision making process toward solving their problem in the best way possible.

Uncategorized Editor Tue, 27 Aug 2019 16:31:37 -0400
Is it Worth Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney?

Life is full of unpredictable events and accidents are one of them. Sadly, some accidents are so severe to cause personal injuries. When you suffer a personal injury, the reasonable thing to do is to seek medical help. What happens when you have an expensive medical bill that you can’t pay and neither can your insurance company? What about if there’s an offender who can’t own up and refuses to pay?

At such times, you should turn to the law for help. But since you are not a legal expert, you may find it helpful to hire a personal injury attorney. You probably are wondering if it’s worth it to give such experts a shot or it’s just a waste of resources and time. Well, the answer is yes, it’s worth it and here are the reasons why:

They Are Familiar with the Law

Whether it’s insurance law, medical malpractice, workers compensation or civil rights, there’s no better person to advise you than a personal injury attorney. Laws vary from one place to another and it can be hard for an average person to know what to do in some situations. Personal injury attorneys have the background training and experience to apply different statutes depending on the personal injury claim at hand.

You Don’t Have to Pay for Consultation

There are so many experienced personal injury attorneys out there who offer free consultations. They work on a contingency basis, which means that you only pay after you are compensated. You can visit for a free consultation and legal advice if you are from Georgia, Washington or Arizona. The law firm has representatives in these three places.

Can Help with Evidence Collection

Personal injury attorneys have an eye for detail. They can identify pieces of evidence that you would ordinarily ignore. They know how to use such proofs to strengthen your claim. Even if you don’t go to court, they can use the evidence collected to convince the other party to agree to an out-of-court settlement.

Can Assist with Establishing Reasonable Compensation

Whether it’s inside or outside a courtroom, the other party will try to argue that you deserve a lower amount than what you believe is reasonable. Besides, there can be other consequences, especially if you suffer serious injury. For instance, there could be lost wagesbecause of inability to work because of injuries sustained or psychological toll caused by pain from the injuries.  A personal injury attorney will apply the law correctly and use the evidence collected to negotiate for better compensation.

Can Represent You in Court

If you decide to take matters to court because the other party can’t agree to an out-of-court settlement, a personal injury attorney can represent you. Though you can be allowed to represent yourself, it’s not the same when you have an expert speaking on your behalf. They know what to say or not to say to improve your chances of winning.

Negotiation is their Area of Expertise

Negotiation is a skill that very few people have. One of such people is a personal injury attorney. The other party is likely to be represented by a capable negotiator and so should you. Your injury attorney will call things in the middle to guarantee you fair compensation in the long run.

No Mental Stress of Dealing with the Other Party

Personal injury cases can be complicated, more so when the other party doesn’t want to pay. They’ll do everything to try to slow down the case to frustrate you. So, going all alone can be mentally draining. A personal injury attorney comes in to make sure that things are hastened and you don’t suffer any mental stress. They are the ones to take on the other party and not you.

Situations involving personal injury and insurance claims can be so complex that it makes little sense to try and navigate or handle everything on your won. So, without a doubt, it’s worth every effort to hire a personal injury attorney. The attorney works towards granting you justice, which translates to fair settlement. So, you don’t have to think about it – just give a personal injury attorney a call and he or she will pick your case from there.

Uncategorized Editor Fri, 23 Aug 2019 06:32:09 -0400
Tips for a Successful Road Trip Taking a road trip is something everyone should experience at least once.  Whether it’s going from New York to South Beach for Spring break or moving from Chicago to California to pursue your acting career, travelling across state lines along with some friends or family will leave you with memories you’ll never forget.  The drive may be long and tedious at times, but road tripping is a great way to see the country.  We want to help make sure you’re well prepared for the adventure ahead, so here are a few pro tips for having a successful, safe, fun, and happy road trip experience.

Plan Ahead

Make sure that you’ve planned out your route and stops along the way to make the most efficient use of your time.  This will help you stay on track throughout the drive.  Sure, being spontaneous is great, and we do suggest you embrace that, but having the basics, such as gas stations, tolls, rest stops, hotels, and must see attractions planned ahead of time will help you avoid unnecessary delays.  Be sure you’re ready for unexpected delays, such as traffic or surprise detours.  Most importantly, plan to have a great experience.  Sometimes, the journey is just as incredible as the destination.


One of the best parts about a road trip is actually being on the road.  It’s a great time to bond with your friends or family in the car, play games, get close, and of course, indulge in limitless snacks!  Be sure to stock up before you head out.  Don’t get too carried away, though, try to throw in a couple of healthy options.  Pack a cooler with drinks so they stay cold and ready to drink (hot soda is the worst, isn’t it?).  Don’t go for perishables because you might not get to them before they go bad.  Stock up on easy to grab snacks like pretzels, chips, and maybe even some fruit!  This will help minimize spend and also keep you on the road without having to make too many additional stops. 

Know Your Driving Limitations and Consider Weather Conditions

Don’t rush to cover more distance than you can comfortably.  This is where accidents happen.  Know how long you can drive comfortably before you start feeling tired.  Don’t push yourself to go further than your limit.  Switch drivers or stop for a rest.  Driving when tired is a major cause of accidents during road trips.  Check the weather beforehand so you have an idea of what to expect and if conditions get bad, plan for a stop rather than pushing through and driving in unsafe conditions. 

Check Your Car Regularly

This is especially important when driving long distances.  You want to make sure that your car is in good condition so there’s no surprise breakdowns in the middle of nowhere.  Check tire pressure regularly and pay attention to any warning signs your vehicle may be giving.  Long trips put an extra strain on vehicles and safety comes first.  It doesn’t hurt to regularly monitor your car’s condition.   

Before going on your road trip, it’s important that you make sure your insurance covers damage in a different state.  When you get into an accident in a different state, there may be extra hoops to jump through for service and coverage.  Avoid unpleasant surprises and be prepared for any situation.  Have a safe and happy road trip, all!

Uncategorized Editor Wed, 24 Jul 2019 22:44:23 -0400
5 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Car Accident Attorney

If you have recently been involved in a car accident, you’ll definitely want a car accident attorney to represent you so that you can focus on your recovery. However, with so many car accident attorneys, how do you choose the best attorney who can represent you well and get the maximum compensation for your injuries?

Before helping you figure out, you need to understand that a good car accident attorney should be able to ensure that all the paperwork are filled, offer a general legal advice, give you a settlement estimate, and collect the necessary evidence to strengthen your case, negotiate with your insurance providers, and represent you in court when necessary.

The only challenge is that all car accident attorneys claim to provide high-quality legal representation with close to 100% success rate! Accordingly, making the right selection can really be a challenge, especially if you are doing it for the first time.

As a guide, here are the top 5 essential factors that you need to consider when selecting a car accident attorney in Baltimore:

1. Specialty

The most critical factor to consider when looking for a car accident attorney to handle your case is whether their main area of practice is personal injury law. This is the only guarantee that they understand the ins and outs of car accident injury cases. What’s more, an attorney specializing in personal injury law has definitely gained integrity among Baltimore insurance companies and consequently has less to prove in a bid to achieve a positive resolution for his or her clients.

2. Fee Structure

Filing a car accident lawsuit can take time and be costly for many injured clients. Common fee structures that you’ll find in Baltimore include hourly, flat rate, contingency basis, and a mixture of hourly and contingency structures. To ensure that you don’t spend much, opt for lawyers who offer contingency payment plans. This implies that you don’t pay anything unless your attorney recovers for you some money in the form of settlements. However, it is still critical to understand the percentage that you will owe your attorney and how the attorney’s fees are calculated.

3. Reputation

Like any other professional service out there, not all car accident attorneys in Baltimore have good reputations, especially among the clients that they have served before. Accordingly, ensure that you check whether the attorney you plan to hire has a good name among his or her past clients. You can check this on their websites or third party review sites.

4. Is attorney ready to take your case to trial?

This is another crucial factor that you should consider when looking for a good Baltimore car accident attorney such as Well, not every case need to go to trial; in fact, a bigger percentage of car accident cases will settle. However, an attorney who is not prepared for trial may encourage you to accept a settlement proposal that is way less than what your case is really worth.

5. Clear Communication

Lastly, go for an attorney who is ready to let you know how they plan to handle your case. They should provide a succinct guideline on the litigation process, the fees, and values among other things. If you have any question about the case, they should give you plausible and direct answers. If they cannot provide clear insights during your initial appointment, there are high chances that they may not be a good fit.

Final Verdict

There you have it; 5 practical factors that you should keep in mind when choosing a car accident attorney in Baltimore. Now, when you finally get a good attorney, remember to give him or her enough space to handle your case. Sometimes, it may take time to get full compensation, so be patient. You should only remind him or her to update you on the progress regularly.

Uncategorized Editor Wed, 29 May 2019 03:36:19 -0400
Making Child Arrangements In Court

If you are currently getting divorced from your long term partner, then the most sensitive and complicated issue that you are going to have to deal with is the impact that it is going to have on your children. In most cases of separation, the majority of parents will make their own arrangements and tackle the many questions that may arise about their children. However, should parents disagree about the future of their children then legal proceedings become necessary to formally come to a decision. In this scenario, children law solicitors will be assigned to each parent and represent them in a court of law. During the legal proceedings, the court will have the power to grant a range of different orders of which we are going to cover in this article. Together with breaking down the many stages that are involved in such cases.

A children arrangements order will be made by a family court that will state which parent the children will live with taking into consideration multiple factors that include -

  • The condition of each parent's accommodation.
  • The children's age.
  • The number of children that are involved in the case.
  • The impact that the court's decision will have the children's schooling and education.
  • The geographical distance between both parent's homes.
  • Whether the children take part in extracurricular activities.
  • If there has been a past of abuse or child neglect by either parent.
  • The mental and physical health of both parents.
  • The Children’s preference (if they have one).
  • The parents wishes.
  • The financial position of both parents.
  • Whether there was abuse or violence between the parent during the relationship.

First Hearing Dispute Resolution Appointment

A First Hearing Dispute Resolution Appointment is the first hearing that kicks off the legal proceedings after an application has been made and accepted by a court of law. It is held to identify the issues that have been made by both parties, and to see if an arrangement can be made before moving onto the next stage of hearings. A judge and childrens law solicitors will attempt to help both parties to come to an agreement. In some cases, there will also be a mediator present who will also assist in this situation to boost the chances of an agreement being made. If mediation doesn't work, then the court will order a case, and the court proceedings will commence.

Review Hearing

This hearing is normally where the case is reviewed. It is needed to determine the severity of the case and to review whether there is enough information for formal proceedings to take place. Review hearings can also take place once a final hearing has taken place. This typically happens when a judge decides to leave a case open for a couple of months. However, this isn't a common occurrence. What it does mean for parents though is that they will be able to return to court without having to pay additional fees.

Information Hearing

This stage of the legal proceedings is where evidence is heard and cross-examined by the 2 parties. This includes any allegations that are made by either parent if any incidents occurred during their time together. After hearing all of the evidence, the judge will then decide whether the incidents actually took place or not. The most common allegations that are made in these type of court cases are violence, emotional and physical harm and neglect. When it comes to making a decision, the judge will consider the allegations that have been made by either side.

The Final Hearing

During the final court hearing, the judge will consider all of the evidence that has been presented throughout the entire case. This information will be used in conjunction with a welfare checklist in order to come to a formal decision that primarily focuses on the welfare of the children involved.

Uncategorized Editor Thu, 16 May 2019 11:07:56 -0400
Things to Consider When Choosing a Conveyancing Solicitor

When moving home and during the process of a property transaction, you are going to deal with multiple different professionals along the way. Your mortgage adviser or broker is going to arrange the finance for you, and your estate agent is going to deal with the sale of the property. And, to take care of all the legal requirements, you are going to need to appoint a conveyancing solicitor. But, how exactly should you choose one and what are the things should you consider? This short guide will give you an insight into everything you need to know about choosing a conveyancing solicitor for your big move.


Buying a property can often be a stressful and somewhat confusing process, especially if you are taking your first step onto the property ladder. A conveyancing solicitor that communicates with you as the property business process unfolds is without a doubt one that you should choose. In a lot of cases, those moving properties have to deal with the unwanted stress of chasing their solicitors for information and updates. Whereas a good conveyancing solicitor will be with you every step of the way. Choosing the right one to act on your behalf is one of the most important things that you do as part of the home buying journey. A highly skilled and well-qualified conveyancing solicitor can help relieve you of any additional stress and complication which means you can focus on the other things that are associated with moving home.


An easy, but effective way of evaluating a conveyancing solicitor is to find out what their previous clients have said about their experience with them. If a conveyancing solicitor has impressive reviews from the people they have helped in the past, then its highly likely that you will be in safe hands.

Ask for Your Family and Friend’s Opinions

It is more than likely that at some point a family member or close friend have been through the process of moving home. A personal recommendation can be a great way of deciding whether to choose a conveyancing solicitor or not. And, if they have had a bad experience with one, then you know that you can remove them from your shortlist.

Ask for a Breakdown of Fees

Conveyancing solicitors’ fees can often range depending on location and reputation. However, it is vital to keep in mind that the cheapest conveyancing solicitor is not going to be the best one so be cautious if their fees are a lot lower than you first expected. Conveyancing solicitors’ fees can generally range from, £500 and go all the way up to £2000, but this depends on the cost of your property. Also, bear in mind that this fee is based on whether you are just buying a property or selling one and buying another. It's important to always do your research and get a few different quotes before you choose to go with a specific solicitor. Make that you always ask a full breakdown of their fee and get a list of everything that is included in their total charge.

Don’t Use a Conveyancing Solicitor That Has Been Recommended by Your Estate Agent

Some estate agents will pressure their clients into using a particular conveyancing solicitor. And, the only reason they do this is because they receive commission for doing so. However, no matter what your estate agent say you, you are not obliged in any means to use their recommendation.

Experience and Accreditations

Make sure that you find out whether a conveyancing solicitor has significant experience and is a member of Law Society's Conveyancing Quality Scheme. The accreditations basics means that they can provide a particularly high standard of quality in their conveyancing work. After all, you are going to want to know that the person you are trusting to deal with the legal side of the move can do their job effectively to allow you focus on the other things.

Uncategorized Editor Mon, 15 Apr 2019 08:54:02 -0400
Should We Stay Together for the Kids or Divorce? This is an age old question without a clear cut answer. The truth is that all marriages are different. So you need to find out whether the kids would actually be better off living in a home where mum and dad are in constant conflict or where they are happy but not living together. You need to answer a few questions before you take your final decision.

Are there any risks involved in staying together?

Kids can pick up negative habits: Some family therapists believe that a major drawback to keeping kids in a home with frequent conflicts, anger and frustration, is that they pick up negative parenting habits. These bad parenting skills will eventually be transferred to the coming generation. Children will ultimately model their behavior after their parents whether it is good or bad.

Kids may suffer neglect: Additionally, some kids may be neglected by their parents when they are not able to deal with their marital problems. This could result in children not eating healthy food or they may abandon their parenting duties all together. One parent may also try to prevent the child from relating well with the other parent.

What are the perceived benefits of staying together?

Kids are better off with both parents: From research, children are usually better raised in a family with both parents, even if there's no physical intimacy between them. If the two parents can avoid undue arguments and anger, and they work together to train their kids, the kids are more likely going to do well. However, even if the parents can't avoid fighting in front of their kids, living in a home for more than a decade without enjoying the fulfilment of a happy marriage could be a herculean task.

Divorce experts have discovered that when parents go through the divorce process, the impact on children can be very devastating. That is why as long as the parents can cope, when the welfare and future of kids is in view, staying together is better than a well-managed divorce.

How to Make a Final Decision

So now that you know some of the pros and cons of living together and of divorce with respect to children, how do you make up your mind about what to do?

Check for abuse: Most family experts say that kids should not be raised in a family where there is abuse. That means divorce is acceptable if a child is being abused physically, emotionally or sexually. Although abusive behaviour may be corrected through the right therapy, these changes seldom occur. So it is better to protect the kids from continuous abuse. When a parent can receive professional help and change the abusive behavior, a separation may be preferred to a divorce.

Can parents work together? A major issue here is whether each parent will agree to set aside their personal satisfaction for the sake of their kids. So if parents are mature enough to put their kids first, and put down their individual differences for their kids, then they will do their children a great service by staying together. On the other hand, if their marital satisfaction is so dear to them, the kids may be better off when their parents live apart.

Can peace be restored to the home? As a couple, you should seek help from a reputable family therapist, spiritual leaders, legal experts and other sources. Try to follow the advice you are given and allow some time for our marriage to be repaired. If there has been infidelity, efforts should be made to restore trust. Before going through the legal process and stress of divorce, it is better to explore all possible avenues to restore the marriage. Strive to invest the time and effort to build a stronger bond with your spouse. This will create a good environment where your children can develop the right attitude and family values.

What to do if there must be a divorce

Some researchers have revealed that 4 out of 5 kids raised by divorced parents end up happy if co-parenting is handled properly after divorce. So if the two of you choose to get a divorce, you should still do your best to work together to raise successful children. Make a commitment to put your kids interest above yours and help your kids to enjoy a happy future.

Uncategorized Editor Fri, 29 Mar 2019 02:42:22 -0400
Different Credit Laws That Governs A Loan When you are in need of money and wish to apply for a loan to any bank or a financial institution it is not that you fill up the form online and offline and expect the money to be in your bank account the next morning. The lenders have to abide by the different credit laws that are designed and implemented by both state and federal governments. These laws actually oversee the entire lending process as well as govern other important areas of lending that involves:

  • Rate of interest
  • Finance charges
  • Processing fees
  • Cash advances
  • Late fees
  • Charges for extension of credit over and above the pre-established limits
  • Delinquency charges
  • Premiums on credit life, accident and health insurance
  • Annual fees and several other charges and fees.

It is mandatory for a business, a bank or any private money lending source such as and even an individual to some extent to grant loans to customers by complying with the state and federal laws of lending or face serious consequences and legal obligations for non-compliance.

Ideally the federal credit laws include different segments of the law such as:

  • The Truth in Lending Act or TILA
  • The Fair Credit Billing Act or FCBA
  • The Equal Credit Opportunity Act or ECOA
  • The Fair Credit Reporting Act or FCRA and
  • The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or FDCPA.

The federal laws usually affect the credit sales to the consumers and on the other hand the state laws are applicable in whichever jurisdiction the lender is operating.

The Truth in Lending Act

Just as the name signifies this act allows the customers to know what they are entering into while signing a loan agreement. According to this Act the business is required to disclose all their credit terms and conditions exactly as it is and should be. This Act also regulates how the creditors can advertise and need to disclose:

  • Monthly finance charges
  • Payment due dates
  • Annual interest rates
  • Total sale prices and
  • The late charges assessment process.

The Fair Credit Billing Act

This is another federal law that governs any billing errors that may be on any credit account. The law requires:

  • The customer to notify about such errors to the credit provider within 60 days
  • The credit provider must respond within 30 days
  • The creditor must also conduct a proper investigation within 90 days of getting the notice from the customer
  • The creditor must explain the reason for such error and
  • Rectify it at the earliest.

Failure to comply by the creditor will result in a fine of $50 toward the disputed amount. This will be applied even if the bill is correct but the creditor failed to report about the disputed amount to the credit agencies till the disagreement is fixed.

The Equal Credit Opportunity Act

According to this special law the credit company is prohibited from discriminating any of their customers and denying granting of loans on the basis of one or more of the following:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Age
  • Sex
  • National origin or
  • Marital status.

However, the credit company can only deny granting a loan to any customer when the financial status such as earnings and savings of the applicant does not allow it or the customer has a very poor credit score and credit history. Apart from that a creditor can deny a loan to anyone who is underage though there is prohibition about such discrimination.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act

This federal law is primarily related to the credit reporting agencies. This law protects the consumers from having their credit harmed due to erroneous, incomplete or misleading information. According to the law the consumers have the legal right to obtain a copy of the credit report and dispute any inaccurate information entered in it.

The reporting agency must change or delete this inaccurate information after being informed the consumer can complain with a 100-word statement explaining the story.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Any abusive methods followed by any third party collection agency or even by the actual creditor is governed and prohibited by this special federal law. According to the law it can create liability for:

  • Any harassment or abusive practices
  • Threatening with life or legal consequences
  • Causing physical or even mental harm to the debtors or their family members
  • Contacting friends, relatives, neighbors or employers of the debtors and mentioning it is for collection purposes
  • Speaking to any other people on the road or within the vicinity of the debtors regarding the obligation
  • Calling the debtors repeatedly
  • Calling before or after the scheduled time as per the law if there is no permission from your end
  • Trying to collect any amount that is not due
  • Misrepresentation of facts and debt details intentionally
  • Calling at any number or visiting any place that you have specifically mentioned not to
  • Reporting inaccurate amounts to the credit reporting agencies
  • Calling you even after you have asked them not to as the matter is with the lawyer and you are thing of debt settlement
  • Posing as a law enforcement
  • Using any name of a lawyer and pretending to be there to collect the judgment and so forth.

The debtor can make formal complaints in writing of the collection agency fails to comply with the FDCPA requirements and provisions.

Summing it up

All of the above laws are very important to protect the rights and privacy of the consumers. These laws are to be followed by banks as well as private lenders and you as a borrower always have the right to complain against one who does not.

Failure to comply with these rules will result in penalties and these punishments are very swift and painful as well, especially when a creditor fails to comply with the ECOA. Punishments may come in different forms such as actual damages, equitable relief, attorney’s fees, and even punitive damages as high as $10,000.00.

Ideally, for a creditor defenses are limited if they are sued. It is therefore better to know your right so that creditors and collectors cannot take you for granted.

Uncategorized Editor Tue, 26 Feb 2019 07:46:48 -0500
Follow The Laws And Stay Within It To Repay Your Debts The law allows you to take on a loan for any purpose whether it is for any personal reason or to buy a consumer durable, to fund your child’s education or marriage, arrange capital for your business and even pay off your medical bills.

The law also puts a responsibility on you to repay the amount borrowed to the creditor along with an interest. Failing to repay will fetch legal obligations and punitive penalties and even a lawsuit filed by your creditors.

However, the law allows you to arrange for money if you find it difficult to repay the debts you have.

If you want to know about these alternative sources and the consequences of each it is better that you contact a debt advisor, counselor or an attorney. The expert professional will enable to guide you through the route to pay off your debts which may not be clear-cut and easy for all types of debts.

Specific debts will have more room for negotiating for a debt settlement while others may not be so easy and you may risk losing on something else such as your collateral in the process. Therefore, it is prudent that you take a look at all your options closely so that you do not take on one by judging by its face value only.

Taking a smart approach to pay off your debts will help you to avoid being delinquent and hurt your credit report. For this you will have to consider the following:

  • The payment plan
  • The unsecured and secured credit options
  • Availability of any hardship plan and relief options by checking at com and
  • Negotiating on the debts on your own or through a debt settlement company.

When work with a service provider you must be very clear, specific and upfront about your affordability to repay your debt. Also consider your insurance options because if you do not have any then according to the law you may be charged more than somebody who does. Remember, if there is a price disparity it can give you a lot of leverage.

What the law allows

According to the law you can follow specific strategies to repay your debt. All these debt relief options are legal and binding by the law.

Payment plan: To manage your debts properly you must have a specific payment plan. You can work out such a plan by yourself but to make it more effective and easy you can once again consult a professional. They will ensure that you repay the debt easily which you may find repaying in one payment difficult especially a medical bill. The process involves:

  • Breaking the outstanding amount into multiple equal payments and
  • Paying it over a few months so that the total amount is covered.

However, you must clarify whether there are any fees and billing charges that may affect your payment plan as well as your affordability.

Credit cards: You can also use your credit card according to the law to repay a specific debt such as medical debt. However, you must be very careful about using a credit card as these carry the highest rate of interest and the lowest time to repay. Therefore, do your math well to find whether or not you will be able to repay it off within that period along with the high interest because failing it will result in legal actions from the credit card issuing company.

Unsecured credit options: You can choose from a variety of unsecured credit options as well to repay your current debts.

  • You can take a personal loan to consolidate multiple debts including medical debts into one single monthly payment. However, you will need to have excellent credit score to qualify for low rate of interest or else it will be an expensive option. Therefore, take a personal loan when all options are exhausted and make sure that you shop around to compare the fees, rates, and repayment terms.
  • You can also transfer the balance in a 0% interest credit card but you will need to qualify for it first with an excellent credit score. You will also have to make sure that you have enough resource arranged beforehand to pay off the balance before the expiry of the promotional interest period or the high interest rate will kick in.

Hardship plan: Another opportunity the law provides to the consumers is to avail an income driven hardship plan if they face any difficulty in repaying their debts and fall within the low income category. The features of these plans are:

  • These are much similar to any standard payment plan
  • It breaks up the total amount owed into simpler and more manageable payments.

If you can negotiate with your creditors successfully you may even reduce the total amount outstanding. If you want to avail such a plan to repay your medical bill you will however have to apply for Medicaid as per the requirement of the law to be eligible.

Negotiate the costs: For any type of debt you want to take on, you have the legal right to negotiate on the cost to bring it down. However, the law also allows the creditors the liberty to either accept or reject your request.

  • However, if you loan account is with the collections it means that they have bought it for ‘pennies on the dollar’ literally. This fact provides you with a good leverage when you negotiate.
  • Nevertheless there will be a lot of haggling during negotiation and therefore if you think that you cannot handle thin on your own you should hire an advocate or counselor who are experts in negotiating and can spot any opportunities that may result in a successful negotiation.

Just make sure that you agree with only what you can afford because there will be no new negotiation on an already settled account.

Lastly, keep in mind you should not rush any decision as that may deprive you from a better option that you could have qualified for and helped your financial situation to regain its health faster.  

Uncategorized Editor Tue, 26 Feb 2019 07:45:52 -0500