The Debate That Changed My Life

The Debate That Changed My Life

When The Injury Is Severe: What To Know About Permanent Disability And Workers’ Comp

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For those so severely injured at work that a return to your previous position seems unlikely, you may be wondering what will happen now. If you are unable to return to the physical condition level you had before your injury, you may be deemed to be permanently disabled. The determination for permanent disability can be separated into four main steps, so read on to find out what is store for you. 1. Initial phase of injury. Your employer’s workers’ comp insurance company has already been paying your injury-related medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages while you try to recover. Your main focus during this time is make sure that you keep your medical appointments and comply with all treatments and tests. Life may become financially difficult, however, since most workers’ comp benefits will only pay a portion of your previous wages. 2. The independent medical exam. If you are still unable to return to work after several months of treatment, you will be asked to undergo an independent medical exam. Some injuries are expected to take longer to heal, but some are not expected to heal at all. For example, if you have suffered from a traumatic limb amputation, an independent medical exam would likely take place immediately. For those with muscle strains, back injuries and broken bones, the independent medical exam would be delayed until you have a chance to heal. Be sure to treat this important step in the process with due care. Be prepared to discuss your injury and how it has impacted your ability to work at your job. The doctor conducting this exam will be of the insurance company’s choosing, and you should be honest but polite in your behavior. You should know that you are entitled to have a doctor of your own choosing to conduct another independent medical exam if you prefer. Be sure to discuss this option with your workers’ comp attorney. 3. A determination of maximum medical improvement (MMI). Don’t be misled by this determination’s wording, this does not mean that your condition will never improve. MMI means that the doctor has examined you and decided that your condition is unlikely to improve enough for you to return to your previous job. 4. The settlement offer. Your month-to-month wage benefits will end upon the MMI determination, and you will be offered instead a settlement, either lump sum or monthly. If you have not retained a workers’ comp lawyer by now, you should understand that settlement negotiations can be stressful and difficult. You are bargaining for compensation that is expected to see you through your entire lifetime, so don’t go it alone. Contact a workers’ comp attorney to support you through this process and increase your chances for a fair settlement offer. For a workers compensation lawyer, contact a law firm such as Gilbert, Blaszcyk & Milburn...

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3 Facts You Should Know About Financial Aid For Adopting From Foster Care As A Single Parent

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If you are not married and are now financially, emotionally and physically ready to become an adoptive parent to an eligible child currently in foster care, you are in luck. In recent years, the numbers of single men and women who have chosen to become parents through adoption has grown dramatically. Excluding the adoption of special needs kids, about 5% of the adoptions that occur in the United States each year are accessed by single individuals. Therefore, it is crucial to become aware of the pertinent information and various forms of financial aid that could impact your decision to adopt from foster care. #1-Financial Aid For Legal Costs And On-going Expenses May Be Available One of the most common reasons for people who really want to adopt to not start the process is often financial. Fortunately, adopting a child from foster care is less expensive than private and international adoption, and there is frequently financial aid available for the costs of adding to your family. In some instances, on-going financial aid after the adoption has been finalized may also be available. Special needs kids in the foster care who are adopted are often eligible for that assistance; how or when that money is available will be decided by each state. #2-College May Be Free For Your Adopted Teen If you adopt a child who is 13 or older and has been in foster care at any point since their 13th birthday, they are likely to be eligible for financial aid. Specifically, their eligibility will not be based on your income; instead, they will be classified as an independent student. As a result, if you have hesitated to adopt a teenager because you do not feel that you could adequately  provide them with post-secondary education, those expenses are very rarely going to be yours. #3-Additional Options For Your Newly Adopted Older Teen If you did not finalize the adoption of your son or daughter until after their 16th birthday, they may be eligible for up to $5,000 a year from the government for vocational or technical training, as well as college classes. The program is known as Education and Training Voucher assistance or ETV. In addition, some colleges and universities provide special programs for adopted teenagers that were in foster care for at least part of their teen years. In conclusion, as a single adult, you could be in a position to grow your family by adopting through foster care. Given that the majority of states now permit unmarried adults to be considered as adoptive parents, your new son or daughter could be waiting to meet you, and financial aid is readily available to make your adoption dream a reality. Speak with professionals like Jeffrey T Bitzer for more...

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Arrested For DUI? 3 Legal Rights You’ll Want To Make Sure You Enforce On Your Behalf

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When you are arrested on the suspicion of drinking and driving, your legal rights will become very important to you. No matter what state in the U.S. You live in, you are protected by certain rights thanks to the United States Constitution. If you are being accused of a DUI, here are three constitutional amendments that you need to be aware of to protect yourself as best as you can until you can speak to legal counsel: The Fourth Amendment Right The Fourth Amendment protects you against any form of unreasonable search and seizure. So, when you are stopped in your vehicle by a police officer, the officer must have a reasonable suspicion that can be articulated to you and anyone else necessary that you have broken the law in some way prior to being able to conduct the stop. If probable cause cannot be demonstrated by the police officer, then any evidence that is obtained during that traffic stop could potentially be thrown out of court. This includes the results of a breathalyzer or the open beer bottles in your car. The Fifth Amendment Right The Fifth Amendment refers to the rights that any individual has if they are being accused of or charged with a crime. This includes the right to guard yourself against self-incrimination. With that being said, your right to remain silent comes into play here, which is the very first right that is said to you when you are read your Miranda rights. Police are not necessarily required to read you your Miranda rights, but if they fail to do so when they should have, the answers that you give to any questions that are asked of you during that time could be ruled inadmissible later on in court proceedings. Just remember that anything you say can and will likely be used as evidence against you because your Miranda rights don’t mean much until you are actually in the custody of the authorities. The Sixth Amendment Right The Sixth Amendment ensures that individuals who are being accused of or charged with a crime are provided with legal counsel. In other words, if you cannot afford to hire the services of a lawyer, one could be offered to you at no charge. These court-appointed lawyers are known as public defenders, and they are not always available. In some cases, it could depend on the severity of your DUI charge, the state in which you live and are being charged in, and various other factors. According to, if you could potentially go to jail for six months for the crime that you allegedly committed, the goverment is obligated to provide you legal counsel at the government’s expense. Something to keep in mind is that public defenders do not specialize in DUI defense, as they represent a wide range of clients who have been charged with an assortment of crimes. It may be in your best interest to seek out the help of a private DUI lawyer. To find out more about your constitutional rights as a U.S. Citizen during and after apprehension by police, consult with an attorney or visit

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Important Things You Need To Do When You’ve Been Involved In A Car Accident

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When you are involved in a car accident everything instantly becomes chaos as you try to figure out exactly what just happened. There are some important things that you need to do in order to protect yourself and make sure you have all the bases covered after the accident for insurance or any potential legal case. Here is a list of things that you need to do when you’ve been involved in an accident. Immediately Report It To The Police The police should be contacted immediately when an accident happens and you should always ask for a copy of the police report. The police will come and interview all those people that involved and the witnesses that saw exactly what happened. The police will also take the time to lay any legal charges against the driver responsible for the accident. The police report will be used to let the insurance company know exactly what happened and it can be used in a court of law as evidence against the guilty party. Take Photographs & Document Everything Pictures are a great way to illustrate exactly what happened and physically show the damage that was caused during the accident. Take photographs of everything from the damage to both vehicles, to the position of the vehicles in relation to stop signs or intersections. Make sure that you submit the pictures to your insurance company and that you have back-ups of the photos in the event that you ever have to go to court for the accident. Make sure that you also get copies of the other driver’s license, and insurance information including policy number and name of the company insuring the driver. Consult With A Car Accident Attorney Immediately As soon as you can, you should sit down with a car accident lawyer and go over the details of the accident. The attorney can then refer you to a doctor to deal with any lingering injuries that have not been dealt with and can figure out if there is any legal action that you should be taking. A professional car accident attorney like Klafter & Mason LLC can help you fight to protect your rights and work to get your medical expenses covered, or to recover lost wages. If you follow the steps outlined above, you will be able to navigate through the chaos that a car accident causes and protect yourself if you need to pursue legal...

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4 Reasons Why You Need Professional Estate Planning Help

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One of the great things about an estate planning attorney is that they help plan for your future. You could be new to creating an estate plan, or simply want your existing plan reevaluated. Hiring an attorney to plan your estate has several benefits you may not be aware of. If you had your doubts about using them, understand these 4 ways they can help you. Help You Make Choices Creating your initial estate plan can be very confusing. You need to have an understanding about what each legal document does and what your options are, which can be a lot to take in at one time. An attorney can help recommend a plan that will work best for you. Having somebody that can answer questions as they occur to you will make you feel comfortable with the entire process. If you try to do it all on your own, a question can be a roadblock that prevents you from moving forward. Create A Customized Plan There is not a single plan that works great for every person’s needs, which is why a customized plan is usually necessary. Your estate planning attorney will ask you questions to better understand your specific needs and planning goals. They will use their knowledge of the legal side of estate planning to determine the methods that will work best by you. Update An Existing Plan Chances are good that your estate planning needs will change as you get older. Starting a family, moving to a new state, or retiring can all require your plan to be reevaluated. For example, some states have different laws about inheritance taxes, with different thresholds for taxation applying based on how much money is left to a person. Your existing plan may need to be updated as your family grows. While an estate plan may have included your children, you may want to include grandchildren once you have them. Talk With Your Loved Ones There is a lot of communication that must happen with your loved ones regarding your estate plan. Estate planning can often lead to emotional conflicts between family and friends, and especially in situations where your estate goes through probate. An attorney can help provide mediation skills to help everyone get through the situation in the best emotional state possible. If you are thinking about planning your estate, schedule a consultation with a law firm, such as Price & Associates....

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Avoid These 3 Things In Your Divorce Case

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Marriage is supposed to be a sacred covenant between two people. You say your vows and expect to spend your lives together. Unfortunately, there may come a time when one of the spouses ends up straying and breaks that vow. While it doesn’t happen all the time, it happens more often than you think. Divorces are actually quite common today. Whether it be because of infidelity, money, or personal issues, a divorce case can be confusing and downright frustrating for the other party. To help you get through your case as quickly and painlessly as possible, avoid making one of these costly mistakes. Talking badly about the other person in front of the children. While you might be upset at the other person, you cannot go around discussing your adult affairs in front of the children. Your children need to know how much you care about them. They need to know that they are not the reason this whole thing started in the first place. It is up to you to make them feel loved and wanted, not stick them in the middle of your bitter divorce case. Adult matters should never be discussed in front of the children. Keep all of the negativity to yourself when the children are around. Attempting to hide assets from the court. While it might be natural to try and hide money from the other party to prevent them from robbing you blind and taking even more from you, you have to be honest about the assets that were acquired during the marriage. It is then up to the court to determine who is going to get what. Not knowing the value of the assets. Another thing you need to know is how much an asset is worth. Knowing how liquid an asset is can go a long way in making sure you get the settlement amount you should. It isn’t going to do you any good to get the house if you don’t have any other liquid assets that you can use to pay for it. Equal liquidity is important to making sure you both walk away with an equal share. By not making one of the errors above, you can get through your case and move on to other things that are more important and less stressful. Allowing your divorce attorney to work for you and get to the bottom of your case can help alleviate some of the frustration you might be...

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Three Keys for Understanding and Getting a Real Estate Lawyer

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As you either shop for or manage the transfer of real estate, whether residential or commercial, it is vitally important to hire the best representation. You’ll need to hire the help of a real estate lawyer who is able to help you mitigate legal pitfalls and put your best foot forward when closing a property. With this in mind, take the information in this article into account so that you can do your part in hiring a quality real estate lawyer.  Know How a Real Estate Lawyer Can Help You You may be in the middle of a real estate deal and wonder whether hiring a real estate lawyer is worth the expense or not. You can never go wrong hiring a professional attorney for these transactions because they bring with them a host of benefits. For one, you will have the peace of mind of knowing that your attorney is working hard to vouch for your legal rights through the entirety of the deal. They will be with you in the initial research phases and at the closing, protecting you every step of the way. Since they are not agents trying to get a commission, your attorney is purely an impartial party and only acts in the interest of legal matters. This lets you step outside of the fantasy and romanticism of purchasing a home and concentrate on strictly fact. Make Sure to Hire the Most Credible Real Estate Lawyer As you look to hire a real estate lawyer, there are some points that you should keep in mind. For one, be sure that they have been practicing real estate law for a number of years, and verify their credentials with the American Bar Association. Get specific examples of real estate cases that are similar to yours that they have tried. Working based on references gives you the opportunity to know exactly what kind of standing the real estate law firm has in the community so that you can act accordingly. Find Out the Fees Your Real Estate Lawyer Charges Make sure to get a breakdown and thorough list of every fee and service your attorney will provide you so that you are not in the dark on such issues. It is also vitally important that you know which attorney in the firm you will be speaking with on the case. Many firms staff a number of lawyers, so you may be seeing a different face for different matters. Knowing this ahead of time is crucial to the success of your case. Keep these tips in mind as you look to wade through your next real estate deal. Touch base with a real estate lawyer who can help you as soon as possible. Contact a firm like Colin W. Robinson Attorney...

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Bitten By A Loose Dog? Follow These Steps

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If you are out and about — such as taking a walk around the neighborhood — then the last thing that you should have to worry about is getting bitten by someone else’s loose dog. However, if this does happen, you are going to need to seek medical attention and potentially hire a personal injury lawyer to help you ensure that your costs are covered. It will be important to identify the owner of the dog, but this can be tricky if the dog is loose when you are bitten. Luckily, following these steps can help. Write Down a Physical Description To ensure that the right dog is blamed for the bite, take down a physical description of it. This should be done as soon as possible after the bite so that you don’t forget anything. Take down identifying markings, such as a white chest or a noticeable scar. This will help prevent the owner from later saying that it was someone else’s dog. Snap a Photograph If possible, snap a photograph of the dog. Make sure that you do so from a safe distance; it’s not worth it to put yourself at risk to gather evidence, but a photo can be helpful in proving which dog was to blame for the bite. Talk to Neighbors If you aren’t sure who the owner of the dog might be, you can always talk to the neighbors. There is a good chance that the neighbors will know who owns the dog and can give you contact information. Plus, it’s a good idea for the neighbors to be aware of the fact that there is a dangerous dog in the neighborhood. Call Animal Control It’s important to call animal control as soon as possible after the incident. This is important for a few reasons: Local animal control officers might know who the owner of the dog is, particularly if the animal has bitten other people or caused other problems in the past. Animal control can pick up the dog to ensure that it does not bite anyone else. The owner of the dog might contact animal control to look for the dog, which can allow you and your lawyer to find out how to proceed with your case. The dog can be tested for diseases, and its vaccination history can be verified. Being bitten by a loose dog can be a very scary thing. If you follow these steps afterward, you can help ensure that things go as well as possible. Contact a law office like Randall A. Wolff & Associates, Ltd to learn...

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Factors That Determine Whether You Can Keep Two Cars During Bankruptcy

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Keeping a car during bankruptcy is possible. Keeping two cars is also possible but harder than keeping one motor vehicle. Here are three factors that play a part in determining whether you can keep both vehicles: The Amount of Equity on Your Car Normally, motor vehicle exemption protects a certain amount of car equity from your trustee’s hands. Your car’s equity is the difference between its worth and what you still owe on it. For example, if your car is worth $7,000, and you still owe $5,000 on it, then its equity is $2,000. This figure is important because it determines how much money you need to pay into your Chapter 13 so that you get to keep both cars. When you file for bankruptcy, your estate property (any property that isn’t exempt) goes into paying attorney fees, settling debts, and other related costs. To keep your cars, you need to put an amount equivalent to their equity into the estate property pot. The higher the equity is, the more difficult this will be to do. Distribution of the Equity It is not just the amount of the equity that matters; even the manner of the distribution is important. It is easier to keep both cars if one is paid for than if you are still servicing both payments. Paying for two cars is difficult, and the trustee may feel that this will strain your finances and interfere with your commitment to the bankruptcy plan. Your Need For The Cars It’s not just a question of whether you can pay for the cars; it also matters whether you really need them. Anybody who is filing for bankruptcy has already admitted to a financial problem, so any unnecessary financial obligation must be nipped in the bud. For example, if you own two cars, then you need to prove that having only one car is detrimental to your success. For example, if you use one car to commute to work, and your spouse uses the other one for a side business, then you may be able to keep both. However, it will be difficult to hold onto both of them if you use one for work and reserve the other one for recreational use over the weekends. Most trustees will tell you that you don’t need the latter. It’s difficult to keep both cars, but it isn’t impossible. Early planning in collaboration with your bankruptcy attorney is necessary to boost your chances of success. Don’t forget to be brutally honest with the lawyer to help him or her help you best. For more information, speak directly with professionals like the Reppe Law...

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4 Signs It Is Time for a Divorce

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If you have been thinking about divorce for a while but haven’t quite made the decision, it can be hard knowing when it is time. There are some signs that might indicate now is the right time to see a lawyer and file for divorce, including the following. You Don’t Get Emotional about the Thought of Divorce You might have noticed that when you used to think about divorcing your spouse, you went through a series of emotions. You felt regret, sadness, and longing for the marriage you once had. While any divorce is an emotional and stressful experience, your emotions often change when you have accepted that this is the best course of action. You might still feel some sadness over no longer being with your spouse, but you notice all of your actions aren’t necessarily fueled by the same emotions that they once were. You Don’t Threaten Divorce during a Fight This might seem like you are headed in the opposite direction, but many people that threaten divorce during a fight don’t actually want a divorce. It is often said out of anger and frustration, and actions to file for divorce rarely follow the fight. Many people who truly are thinking about getting divorced will wait until the fighting is over and have a calm discussion about it with their spouse. They take action and think seriously about what they will do after filing. This is not the same thing as shouting something in anger. If you no longer threaten it but have seriously considered it and taken action, it might be time to speak to a lawyer. You Have Researched Divorce Lawyers A big sign that it might be time for a divorce is if you have actually begun taking actions, such as researching divorce layers. This is one of the first things you will do when you have made a decision to file. Even if you haven’t scheduled an appointment or spoken to one yet, the fact that you have researched them is a step toward dissolution of marriage. This doesn’t mean you can’t go back on your decision, but that you might be ready to take the next step and discuss it with your spouse. You Feel Like You Don’t Have Control If you feel that your spouse has control over your life, and you no longer do, it might be time for a divorce. This is a common reason why people file. You may feel as if your life belongs to someone else and that you want your life back. That you are not living it as fully as you could. You might also feel that the constant fighting and bickering is leaving you feel alone, even though you’re still married. These are all signs that you could be headed toward divorce. For more information, consult a divorce...

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