Fighting for Child Custody

Personal Injury Lawyer

Fighting for custody of your child can be stressful, especially if you are worried that the other parent will try to get sole physical and legal custody. Parents who want help preparing for mediation or a court hearing regarding child custody, can visit with an attorney in their area for more information.

How is child custody determined?

The court decides which parent gets physical and legal custody of the child. One parent may have sole custody, or the court may award them to share custody evenly. The court will want what is best for the child, and is likely to enforce an arrangement in which the child can still maintain a relationship with each parent. 

What does physical custody entail?

Physical custody is where the child shall live, so either the child will live with one parent or have time split between two homes. In most cases, if one parent gets sole physical custody, then the other gets visitation rights. Legal custody is when the parent has a right to make decisions that affect the child’s wellbeing, such as medical care, education, and religion. Unless there is concern about abuse or neglect, the courts usually award joint legal custody to both parents so they can each continue to have a say in the child’s upbringing. 

What does best interest of the child mean?

Ultimately, the court will determine a child custody arrangement that they believe will benefit the child the most. The court may consider factors like the parent’s mental and physical health, ability to care for basic needs, work, and lifestyle. The court also focuses on the educational, social, and emotional needs of the child. 

What can I do to increase my chances of getting custody?

Many parents who are seeking custody of their children, turn to an attorney for advice and representation during court hearings. Since the child’s best interest is the primary influence of custody determinations, showing how you are able to provide a caring, stable, and supportive home is crucial. Any history of mistreatment, or drug/alcohol abuse, can greatly hinder a parent’s chances at receiving custody. 

Can I move out of state if I have custody?

If you were awarded sole physical and legal custody, then you may be permitted to move out of state. However, each state has laws that pertain to what parents can and cannot do when relocating. Depending on the judgement during your divorce, you may be forbidden from leaving a specific geographical area. Parents who want to move, or prevent the other parent from moving out of state, may want to talk with a child custody lawyer in Austin, TX about what to do next.

What about visitation?

Visitation is often a component of a parenting plan. Parents can create a visitation schedule together through mediation, but they may still have to submit it to the court for final approval. In situations where the parents aren’t able to collaborate together, the court may establish the visitation schedule for them instead. Parents who were not awarded custody, are commonly ordered a reasonable amount of visitation. 

 


 

Thanks to Gray & Becker, P.C. for their insight into family law and fighting for child custody.

Benefits of Having a Living Trust

Personal Injury Lawyer

A living trust is an estate planning document that holds your assets in a trust during your lifetime. When you die, these assets will be transferred to the beneficiaries of your choosing. While living trusts are a little more expensive to establish than wills, they may have more benefits in the long run.

Here are some of the benefits of having a living trust.

Avoid Probate

Probate is a legal process in which a will is proved to be valid. It can be a long and tedious process. If an issue arises, it could potentially take months for your beneficiaries to receive their inheritances. If you put your assets in a living trust, you can help your beneficiaries avoid the probate process. Instead of waiting for months to receive their inheritances, they may receive them in merely weeks.

Increase Privacy

If you’re a private person, you’ll appreciate living trusts even more. Because a living trust doesn’t have to go through the probate process, it doesn’t become part of public record. This means that no one will be able to search public records for information about your estate.

Protect Minor Children

If you have minor children, you certainly want to leave them something if you die unexpectedly. However, young children aren’t mature enough to handle large amounts of money by themselves. If you put their inheritances in a living trust, it will hold the money until they are old enough and responsible enough to handle it on their own.

Reduce Estate Taxes

If you have a standard will in place, your loved ones may have to pay hefty estate taxes after you die. A living trust, on the other hand, can help them save money on estate taxes so that they can use more of their inheritance money on themselves.

Protect Yourself

A living trust also comes in handy if you become physically or mentally incapacitated. The person you select as successor trustee will step in and manage your affairs, including your own medical care, without the intervention of a court.

Protect Adult Kids

If you have adult children who are bad at handling money due to a drug problem or other issue, it makes sense to put their inheritance in a trust. The person you choose as the successor trustee can hold the money in trust and distribute to your child as needed.

If you’re considering establishing a trust, you should consult with an experienced estate planning lawyer in Rolling Meadows, IL. Trusts are very complex legal documents and you don’t want to risk making a mistake. They have helped hundreds of individuals create living trusts and are more than happy to assist you. We encourage you to call today to set up a consultation. 

 


 

Thanks to Bott & Associates, Ltd. for their insight into estate planning and benefits of having a living trust.

Types of Compensation for a Car Accident Lawsuit

Car Accident Lawyer

If you were involved in a car accident that was caused by the other driver, it is very natural to desire compensation for your financial losses. In most cases, the other driver’s insurance should cover your losses. Law requires all drivers to have enough insurance to cover the other people involved in an accident, but not everyone follows this law. If you find yourself in a situation where not all your losses are covered, your main option is to file a lawsuit against that individual. This guide will go over the types of compensation you can receive from a lawsuit.

Types of Damages

In a lawsuit, the compensation is called damages. There are three types of damages that can be received after a car accident lawsuit. These are:

  • Special compensatory damages
  • General compensatory damages
  • Punitive damages

Special compensatory damages are the simplest and the most common. They are essentially compensation for anything with a fixed monetary value. For example, a $1,000 medical bill falls into this category because it has an exact value: $1,000. Special compensatory damage can cover medical bills, damage to your vehicle, lost wages due to an injury, and more. If its monetary value is objective, then it is special compensatory damages and can be recovered in a lawsuit.

General compensatory damages refer to all losses without a fixed value. Most of the time, pain and suffering are the primary types of damages in this category. Suffering physical or emotional pain can still qualify for compensation. In fact, you may even be able to be compensated if the accident somehow caused a divorce. Any type of non-financial loss can qualify. The judge will decide exactly how much losses of this type are worth monetarily.

Punitive damages refer to payment that is assigned to the responsible driver as punishment. Punitive damages are not meant to compensate the victim. After a car accident, punitive damages are usually only assigned if the other driver was drunk. They are meant to punish extremely irresponsible behavior. If the collision was unintentional and both drivers were sober, it is very unlikely that punitive damages will be assigned.

Remember, if you hope to file a lawsuit to receive compensation for your car accident, the very first thing you should do is speak with a car crash lawyer in Indianapolis. Filing a lawsuit may not be necessary, but you will only be able to learn the alternatives by speaking with a legal professional.

 


 

Thanks to Ward & Ward Law Firm for their insight into personal injury claims and types of compensation for a car accident.

What to Do in the Aftermath of an Accident When Pregnant

Car Accident Lawyer

While any car accident might be traumatic, that level of fear and anxiety rise to astronomical levels when you are pregnant. For most expectant mothers, it is impossible to go even a second without thinking about the tiny human growing inside, and that does not change when in a collision. If anything, the sense of awareness and urgency is heightened. Therefore, what should an expectant mother do when she is involved in a car crash?

  1. Stay Calm and Asses Your Injuries

The first and most important thing you can do for yourself and your baby is to breathe and stay calm. You need to assess your injuries, and the only way to do that thoroughly is to calm your immediate fight-or-flight response. When you can, check for bleeding and note any harm to your abdomen.

  1. Call 911

Now, find your phone and call 911. The operator will want to know what the situation is and what your potential injuries are. At this time, inform them you are pregnant and request a paramedic.

  1. Check on Others

After calling 911, if you can do so without risking further injury, check on the well-being of your passengers. You can also, if you are well enough, get out of your vehicle and check on the other driver and their passengers.

  1. Get to Safety

Once you have assessed your situation and helped those you could, you need to move to a safer place. This does not need to be anywhere far away. You can walk to a median or the side of the road. Mainly, you want to be out of the way of traffic and your vehicle to avoid the risk of further injury.

  1. Document the Scene

Next, get the contact information of the other driver and any potential witnesses. Also, you can take this time to photograph or make a video of the scene, recording the damage to your vehicle and your injuries.

  1. Wait for the Police and Ambulance

Then, you wait. While it may seem like forever, police and paramedics should arrive on the scene relatively quickly.

  1. Go to the Hospital

If you have experienced any injury, it is a good idea to go to the hospital with the paramedics to ensure your baby is safe. However, if you decide not to ride in the ambulance, then you should schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.

Car accidents are traumatic events, but when you’re pregnant, the trauma is magnified. For that reason, after an accident, you should contact an auto accident lawyer in Deer Park, TX to discuss a potential claim for your injuries.

 


 

Thanks to John K. Zaid & Associates for their insight into personal injury claims and what to do when pregnant and in a car accident.

Birth Injuries: When Doctors and Nurses are Negligent or Make a Mistake

Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Birth injuries can happen, and are often a result of lack of care by the hospital staff and doctors. Medical professionals must always uphold a reasonably high quality of care, and if they fail to do so, then mother and infant can suffer. Parents who have a baby that suffered from a birth injury, must meet with a lawyer for a case evaluation, to see if they are eligible to receive compensation for what happened. 

How frequently do birth injuries occur?

It is estimated that around 5-7 out of every 1,000 babies are born with some degree of birth injury. There are several causes of birth injuries, that can put both mother and newborn at risk for harm. For instance, the baby could be deprived of oxygen, delivery tools could be used too aggressively, or the c-section may be unnecessarily delayed. When doctors and medical staff fail to offer proper medical care and attention, birth injuries can result. 

What are the most common injuries in the newborn?

If a birth injury occurs, the most common injuries are fractures to the collarbone or arms, bruises on the body, skin irritations, umbilical cord problems, nerve trauma, soft tissue injuries, facial paralysis, spinal cord damage, and internal damage that causes conditions like cerebral palsy. Despite advances in medical care, mothers and infants can get hurt before, during, or in the moments just after delivery. 

Is a birth defect and birth injury the same thing?

No, birth injuries are typically caused as a result of something having gone wrong during delivery. Birth defects generally involve harm that was caused to the baby before birth, stemming from infection, genetics, or some kind of accident. Parents who are told by their doctor that their baby has a birth defect and not a birth injury, are encouraged to meet with a lawyer to find out if their doctor may be lying to them. Doctors may blame a birth injury on a genetic birth defect, as a way to elude responsibility for a mistake. 

Is a birth injury viewed as a medical malpractice case?

Yes, parents can sue the doctors, nurses, and/or hospital for a birth injury and it would be considered a medical malpractice case. Doctors and medical professionals must provide the same level of medical care that anyone else in their field would give in similar circumstances. It is also the duty of doctors to identify problems in the baby during pregnancy and notify parents immediately. Parents may be entitled to financial compensation from the facility for errors made by medical staff. 

What types of mistakes could happen in the delivery room?

Mistakes that can cause birth injuries include administering the wrong medication to the mother, incorrectly giving epidural, miscalculating contractions, not taking vital signs, or neglecting to observe abnormalities in the other or fetus. For example, failing to monitor the fetus and noticing fetal distress may result in a delayed c-section. An investigation of pre-delivery care can be assessed by a personal injury lawyer in Deer Park, TX to determine whether a doctor or nurse had overlooked a crucial detail that led to the baby sustaining a birth injury. 

 


 

Thanks to John K. Zaid & Associates for their insight into personal injury claims and negligence that leads to birth injuries.

3 Roles a Debt Collection Attorney Can Fill During a Legal Battle

Legal cases that involve finances, asset protection and debt collection can be difficult to endure for all involved. However, choosing a lawyer that has experience in these matters, such as a debt collection attorney, can help you feel more confident about facing your legal woes. These lawyers often take on more than one role in a debt collection case, and understanding the importance of each may help you better understand why their presence might benefit you.

  1. Debt Collector 

If you are being sued over an outstanding debt, you may meet debt collection attorneys during your time in court. They may be called to testify about debt collection attempts on behalf of their client or they may represent their client in all matters of a specific case. It is not uncommon for large debtors, such as credit card companies, to hire these attorneys for debt collection purposes, especially when other avenues have been exhausted.

  1. Financial Arbitrator 

Some financial matters can be solved out of the court with the use of an arbitrator. A debt collection lawyer can fill such a role and work to arrive at a solution that is agreeable to both parties. For example, if you are in debt and being sued over an outstanding balance, your debt collection arbitrator can use his or her experience to gauge the best course of action, such as building a debt reorganization plan as opposed to a court case.

  1. Debtor Representation 

When large credit companies want to collect on what is owed, they employ debt collectors to send out letters, make phone calls and attempt to recoup losses on past-due accounts. Private citizens do not have this advantage when they want to collect what they are owed; however, a debt collection attorney may be able to fulfill a similar role.

For instance, if you are being sued by a major credit card company, you can employ a debt attorney to represent you both in and out of court. He or she can work for your best interest, advise you on how to proceed with your case and keep you updated on any new facts or circumstances that could impact your case. Having legal representation in a bankruptcy hearing or other legal proceedings connected with debt may help you feel more confident about the outcome.

Financial issues can happen to anyone at almost any time, but having a bankruptcy lawyer in Melbourne, FL on your side can help you resolve problems with your creditors and get you back on track. Contact one today for more information about debt relief, as it is never too late to reorganize and repair your finances.

 

Thanks to the Law Offices of Arcadier, Biggie & Wood for their insight into bankruptcy law and the role of a debt collection lawyer.

FAQs for Insurance Litigation

 When a person suffers a major loss because of theft, fire, or some other disaster, they usually will file a claim with their homeowner’s insurance company. In most cases, the person filing the claim does not know a lot about insurance and usually depends on their insurance company to do the right thing and pay them the financial compensation their policy stipulates.

Unfortunately, it is a rare insurance company that actually has their customer’s best interest at heart. Insurance companies are in business to make profits and any time they have to pay money out, that cuts into their profit. This means that they will do their best to avoid paying out customers the amount they deserve.

If you find yourself in a battle with your insurance company because they are refusing to honor the policy you have with them, contact a law firm to speak with an insurance litigation attorney. They can help get you the funds you are entitled to. In the meantime, the following are some of the questions our clients often ask.

How do I know I need an attorney?

If you have been corresponding with your insurance company in person and in writing and are not getting any satisfaction or results, it may be time to contact an attorney. An attorney can deal with the insurance company directly and negotiate on your behalf. If your state is one that allows public adjusters to represent clients in these situations, you may want to consider that option, as well.

Once you do hire an attorney or public adjuster, it is best to let them do all the communicating with the insurance company. And many times, once the insurance company discovers that there is an attorney in the picture, they are often more likely to be open to fair and just negotiations.

What type of attorney should I hire?

The best type of attorney to hire is one who specializes in insurance litigation. There are many rules and regulations that are attached to insurance laws other attorneys who do not have the expertise in insurance laws may not know. If you had a heart problem, you would go to a cardiologist, not a dermatologist. The same principle should apply to the specialty of law. If you have an insurance issue, do not go to an attorney who specializes in family law or estate planning issues.

Contact an Insurance Litigation Attorney

If you have filed a claim with your insurance company and they refuse to honor your policy, it is crucial to your case to find an insurance claim lawyer in Chicago, IL who is not only is a skilled negotiator but is also an experienced and aggressive litigator who will take your case to trial if the insurance company fails to negotiate in good faith. Call a law office today to schedule a free case evaluation with an insurance litigation attorney.

Thanks to Childress, Loucks & Plunkett for their insight into private insurance law and common questions about insurance litigation.

 

 

 

Resolving a Nursing Home Injury Lawsuit: a Timeline

 

Making the decision to move a loved one into a nursing home can be difficult, especially when your understanding of such places is limited. There are many different kinds of nursing homes, from assisted living to full-time adult care facilities, but what happens when your loved one is injured or abused while residing in one? You may want to file a lawsuit against the people or place responsible, and knowing what to expect may help you feel more confident about moving forward with your case.

 

The Initial Consultation

Before an attorney agrees to take your nursing home negligence case, he or she will require some basic information. Depending on which lawyer you choose, your initial consultation may be free of charge. The attorney may ask you to provide an array of data that could include:

  • The date and time of the injury
  • Who was present
  • The result and nature of the injury (broken bones, brain injury, etc.)

 

If the lawyer decides to take your case, it will then move into the planning stage.

 

Litigation and Representation 

Once you commit to filing a lawsuit, your attorney may want to discuss the particulars of who will represent the injured party. You will likely have several different options; for example, your attorney can represent your family or your loved one. If the injured person is too infirm or weak to appear as a litigant, your attorney can represent his or her interests. You will probably be asked to sign notarized directive documents if you want your lawyer to act on your behalf at any time during the lawsuit.

 

Data Gathering and Investigation 

This phase of the lawsuit is usually the most time-consuming. Paperwork and medical records are gathered, witness statements are taken and those who were in the vicinity when the injury happened may be questioned. Your attorney may work with a medical expert who can examine x-rays and written reports and then give his or her expert opinion to the court.

 

Sending Notice of Litigation 

The defendants involved in your claim will likely be notified of your intent to sue once supportable evidence is discovered. In most states, claims must be sent out at least three months preceding the filing of the lawsuit. This Notice of Claim letter is to inform the defendants of their rights and why they are being sued.

 

Arbitration or Court 

You may be able to solve your nursing home injury case in arbitration, where an objective 3d party listens to both sides and then grants or refuses a claim based on what was heard. If this type of mediation is not successful, then the case will likely go to court. Overall, the completion of this kind of case could take up to two years to resolve.

 

When your loved one is hurt in a case of nursing home neglect, the path to receiving compensation can be puzzling. Speak with nursing home malpractice lawyers in Phoenix, AZ today and feel confident about your options.

 

Thanks to Rispoli Law, PLLC for their insight into nursing home law and the timeline for an injury lawsuit.

 

 

Medication Errors

 When you are suffering from back or leg pain – whether from an accident injury or a medical condition – you depend on your physician and other medical staff to provide not only effective treatment but safe treatment. But all too often, the medication patients are given cause terrible side effects that can cause permanent damage – sometimes even worse than the original condition the patient was being treated for.

One of the most common treatments for back and leg pain – medically referred to as spinal stenosis – is steroid spinal injections. However, evidence has shown that this form of treatment may actually have little benefit to those patients receiving the medication.

Steroid Injection Effectiveness

Millions of dollars are spent every year on the hundreds of thousands of patients who are treated with steroids. The cost of an injection can be anywhere from $500 to $2,000 apiece.

One study, conducted by researchers from the University of Washington, was the biggest randomized research on steroid injections that has been done to date. Researchers examined the 400 patients from 16 different medical facilities. The steroid that was injected in all the patients in the study was glucocorticoid, one of the most common medications used in this type of treatment.

Some of the patients were given injections of the glucocorticoid and lidocaine, which is a local anesthetic. Other patients were given injections of just the lidocaine. The patients were evaluated three weeks after the injections, and then again at six weeks.

Within three weeks of the injection, the group of patients that had received the steroid with the anesthetic reported better results than the anesthetic-only group. However, six weeks later, that result had changed. Researchers concluded, “In the treatment of lumbar spinal stenosis, epidural injection of glucocorticoids plus lidocaine offered minimal or no short-term benefit as compared with epidural injection of lidocaine alone.”

There is concern about the use of steroid injections that may not offer significant relief for patients, but may be exposing those patients to serious side-effects. The most common side-effects associated with their use are headaches, sleeplessness and increase risk of infection. However, three years ago, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning that steroids may also cause strokes, paralysis, blindness or even death. The FDA has never approved steroid injections for treatment of back pain and reminded patients of that in their warning, stating,

 “ . . .however, the effectiveness and safety of the drugs for this use have not been established, and FDA has not approved corticosteroids for such use.”

Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney Today

Are you a victim of medication error? If you were given a medication or treatment and suffered adverse side effects, you may be entitled to financial damages, as well as damages for other pain and loss.

Injury law allows victims to pursue financial compensation for the losses they have suffered due to the actions of medical staff. Malpractice attorneys understand the overwhelming stress these types of mistakes can have on families and work diligently to obtain financial compensation because of the harm victims suffered when medical staff failed to provide the necessary medical treatment.

A medical malpractice lawyer in Indianapolis, IN represents many clients and their families who suffered serious injury or illness because of the negligence or carelessness of a doctor or other medical staff. Call a law office to schedule a free case evaluation and to find out how they can help.

Thanks to Ward & Ward Law Firm for their insight into medical malpractice and medication errors.

 

What Are My Legal Options if My Ex Is Interfering with Visitation or Custody?

 

When a court signed off on your child’s custody orders, that action was empowered with the force of the law. Practically speaking, this means that if these arrangements are significantly compromised or violated, you have the power to bring an enforcement action against the person who violated them. Because child custody orders are enforceable under the law, they cannot generally be significantly compromised without the express permission of a family court judge. Violating these orders means violating the law itself.

 

With that said, not all violations of child custody orders are created equal. If your child’s other parent interferes with your custody or visitation rights in a relatively insignificant way, seeking enforcement of those orders in court would likely not benefit you or your child much and could even harm your standing with the court itself. For example, if your child’s other parent has decided that your child has so much homework that he or she cannot join you for the weeknight dinner date you enjoy as a result of your custody and/or visitation orders, you should probably avoid bringing an enforcement action. Family law courts are busy institutions tasked with a truly serious purpose. Judges do not look kindly upon parents who seem to be bringing legal action simply out of frustration with any given child’s other parent. Enforcement actions should generally be reserved for more serious infractions or interferences.

 

With that said, if your child’s other parent is interfering with your weeknight dinner date (for example) on a regular basis, this pattern of behavior may justify an enforcement action. Family law courts take their orders seriously, so repeated and/or egregious interference with a parent’s custody and/or visitation rights may warrant judicial action.

 

It is important to understand that every family’s situation is unique. If your child’s other parent is interfering with your custody and/or visitation rights, an experienced attorney will be best suited to advise you in regards to your unique situation. If the situation is not yet serious enough to warrant an enforcement action, an attorney may be able to help you sort out your differences with your child’s other parent out of court. Less formal negotiations, requests to honor existing orders, etc. may provide you with the legal path you need in order to maintain proper access to your child while avoiding a potentially lengthy and expensive court-related action.

 

Legal Assistance Is Available

 

If you have concerns related to visitation or child custody, please do not hesitate to speak with an experienced family law attorney. Scheduling a consultation does not obligate you to take any legal action whatsoever. However, speaking with an attorney will allow you to make sure that whatever decisions you make related to your child’s visitation or custody are informed.

 

Interference with visitation or custody is a serious matter. Even if you are not yet in a position to take legal action or do not yet desire to do so, consulting with an LGBTQ child custody lawyer in Austin, TX will better help to ensure that your parental rights remain respected if and when you decide to seek enforcement of your child’s custody and/or visitation orders.

 

Thanks to Gray & Becker, P.C. for their insight into family law and child visitation interference.