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The Various Types of Law

Was a Dog Park Trip Turn a Painful Experience? 3 Steps to Take if You Were Bitten by a Dog

Posted by on 4:55 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Was a Dog Park Trip Turn a Painful Experience? 3 Steps to Take if You Were Bitten by a Dog

When you go to the local dog park, you know that you’re going to encounter numerous unleashed dogs. However, you don’t expect to encounter a dangerous dog. If your last encounter resulted in a dog bite, don’t assume that you don’t have a cause of action, or the right to sue. Just because you were at the dog park, doesn’t mean you gave up your right to be protected against violent dogs. If you’ve been bitten by a dog while at a local dog park, here are some steps you should take right away. Seek Medical Care If you’ve been bitten by a dog, you need to seek medical attention as soon as possible—even if the bite seems superficial. Rabies, and other infectious diseases, can be transferred through superficial wounds and even scratches. This is because dogs lick their paws, which transfers the infected saliva to the paws. If the wound is minor, wash it with warm water and an antibacterial soap, and then seek medical care. If the wound is bleeding, cover the area with clean gauze and apply pressure until you can get to the emergency room. File a Report Once you’ve received medical care for the bite, you need to file a report. Filing a report will put the park on notice that you suffered a bite in the community dog park. It will also allow you to determine if there have been other complaints of dog bites at the same location. When you file your complaint with the animal control department, you’ll need to take a copy of the complaint to the city manager’s office. This will put them on notice that you’ve suffered any injury on city property. Talk to an Attorney If you’re not receiving the assistance you need from animal control, or city officials, you need to sit down with an attorney. If the city was aware of previous dog bites, or they have not been enforcing their own rules and regulations regarding their dog parks, an attorney can help you receive compensation for your injuries. When you sit down with your attorney, be sure to bring your medical records, as well as any documentation you have from the city, such as a copy of the complaint you filed, etc. If your recent trip to the local dog park resulted in a bite, you need to act quickly. Use the information provided here to help you get the care and compensation you deserve. For other questions and concerns regarding your injuries, be sure to speak to a personal injury...

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When Should You Hire an Attorney to Help with a Long-Term Disability Policy Application?

Posted by on 3:15 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on When Should You Hire an Attorney to Help with a Long-Term Disability Policy Application?

When should you hire an attorney to help with your employer-sponsored long-term disability policy? To many people, it seems like it would be premature to hire an attorney before they’ve encountered the first signs of trouble with their claim—but that’s only because they don’t understand that the rules governing long-term disability policies are stacked against them from the start. If you are about to file for long-term disability or have recently filed, this is why you should consider hiring an attorney now, instead of waiting. The rules governing long-term disability policies favor insurance companies, not the disabled. Long-term disability policies that are part of employee benefit packages are usually controlled by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), and ERISA allows the insurance company to interpret key definitions and terms within the plans. No two plans are exactly alike, and even the definition of “disability” may vary from plan to plan. In some cases, the plan may rely on a limited definition of disability (whether or not you’re capable of doing your own job) for a short period of time and then switch to a broader definition of disability (whether or not you’re capable of doing any type of work). That means that even if you’re initially approved, your benefits can be stopped once you cross the arbitrary time limit that uses the limited definition of disability—even though your condition is unchanged (or even worse). If you are denied benefits or your benefits are cut off, you have limited rights. If you’re denied benefits or your benefits are cut off, all ERISA plans require you to file a mandatory administrative appeal before you can file a lawsuit. This further delays your ability to get the benefits that you need to survive and puts the decision right back in the hands of the people who denied you once already. This is also where the worst trap for the unwary lies: not only do you have to submit a written appeal explaining why you believe the decision is wrong, you have to make sure that you supply the insurance company with all the supporting documentation that you need to prove your case. Anything you fail to submit cannot be considered later—if your claim is denied again and you’re allowed to proceed to a lawsuit, the judge is obligated to make the decision on your case based on what was in the file at the time the insurance company last reviewed it.  That means that you cannot correct incorrect information in the file, cannot submit new evidence, and cannot even add evidence that was somehow missing from the records.  An attorney can help prevent you from making mistakes that could cost you later. Waiting to involve an attorney in your long-term disability case until you take it to court is waiting too long. Because of the restrictions mentioned above, you absolutely need to make sure that your case is as strong as possible before it ever hits the lawsuit stage. While that might not prevent an unfair denial, it does offer you the best possible chance of successfully winning your case. For more information about how to handle a long-term disability claim, especially if you sense trouble, contact a disability attorney like Bruce K Billman in your...

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Appealing an Additional Tax Assessment Due to an IRS Audit

Posted by on 10:21 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Appealing an Additional Tax Assessment Due to an IRS Audit

All tax audits are not performed at a work desk. Many audits are conducted entirely through the mail. Regardless of how informal the audit might be, an additional tax assessment usually becomes a binding obligation. Tax filers who disagree with the outcome of a tax audit may request an administrative appeal to address the dispute rather than taking the issue directly to court. The U.S. Tax Court routinely hears a wide variety of cases surrounding tax law, many of which result from audit disputes. As an alternative to court proceedings, the Office of Appeals within the IRS hears audit appeals in a more informal manner. The first step in appealing an audit decision through the Office of Appeals is to respond to the initial letter received from the IRS after the completion of your audit. The 30-day letter A few weeks after an audit is complete, you will receive a letter summarizing the proposed changes to your original tax return. You have 30 days from the date of the letter to either accept the changes or appeal the audit result. If you decide to appeal the proposed changes, a written request must be sent to the IRS at the address included in the letter. Written appeal request The information required on an appeal request depends on the amount owed and the nature of the entity that was audited. If the amount of additional tax and penalties is over $25,000, your written request should cite the legal basis for your position and explain the facts that support your reasoning. Along with your legal argument, include your signature alongside a notation that the request is being signed under penalties of perjury. A request for an appeal of $25,000 or less is generally referred to as a small case request. Entities and individuals eligible for a small case request should indicate which proposed changes are disputed and the reason for the disagreement. The following four entity types are not eligible to submit a small case request, regardless of the size of the audit assessment. Tax-exempt organizations S corporations Partnerships Employee retirement plans The 90-day letter If your request for appeal is denied, you then have 90 days from the date of the denial letter to file a case with the U.S. Tax Court. The so-called 90-day letter is also sent out if an appeal request is granted but the subsequent appeal process is not successful. Although you can represent yourself, practice before the IRS is limited to attorneys, CPAs, and enrolled agents. Contact a tax preparation service for assistance in appealing a tax...

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Tips To Use When Deciding On A Temporary Custody Arrangement

Posted by on 10:13 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips To Use When Deciding On A Temporary Custody Arrangement

If you are in the middle of divorce proceedings, and you have a child with your soon-to-be ex, their well-being is most likely the focus of your concern during this process. Many who divorce have discrepancies regarding who will be the primary caregiver of a child or how many hours visitation they will be awarded. This usually leads to the necessity for a mediation session with a professional unbiased person listening to both parties regarding requested time allotment with the child. Here are some tips you can use to ensure a desirable outcome after a mediation session. Consider Bringing Your Attorney Along It is a good idea to have your attorney on the premises of the location where a mediation session will be held. If your spouse brings along their own attorney and you do not have yours present, it will be harder to negotiate without feeling overwhelmed or embarrassed during the process. While some people have successful outcomes when hashing out requests without a lawyer present, being sure about the legal aspect will put you at ease with the stipulations put into place. Your attorney (like those at Finocchio & English) can look over the proposed requirements regarding temporary custody and visitation and make recommendations on any changes they feel would be in your best interest. Be Aware The Result May Stick After The Divorce Is Final Do not back down from a proposed desired outcome merely to stop the procedure from continuing. If the mediator tries to convince you to settle for a custody arrangement you do not feel comfortable with, your attorney will continue to work in your behalf to alter the details to get you a better deal. In many cases, a temporary custody and visitation schedule will continue after the final custody hearing if it seems to be working for the child and the parents. Keep this in mind as you fight for the settlement you desire. Keep Your Child’s Best Interest In Mind Throughout the mediation process, it is very important to consider the wants and needs of your child as well as your own. If they are of school age, it is a good idea to ask them their thoughts regarding their living arrangements. Since they may be asked to speak up in a custody court session, they may indicate they were unhappy with the proposed temporary arrangement. It may be difficult to put your feelings on the matter on the back burner, however, if your child would fare better living with your spouse, it should be taken into consideration when deciding on living...

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Injured By Acetaminophen? You Aren’t Alone—Learn More About The Dangers Of This “Safe” Drug

Posted by on 10:00 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Injured By Acetaminophen? You Aren’t Alone—Learn More About The Dangers Of This “Safe” Drug

Acetaminophen, either in its generic form or in name-brand drugs like Tylenol, has long been a staple in many U.S. medicine cabinets, and it was once even regarded as a safe drug to give to women who were pregnant. However, recent information and lawsuits have brought to light several dangers associated with the drug. This is what you should know. Acetaminophen overdose can lead to liver failure. As little as 10 grams of acetaminophen can cause an injury to your liver—which is bad news for consumers. Many people take Tylenol and its generic counterparts regularly, simply because they don’t realize the dangers that they face. Their perception of the drug as being “safe” can lead to overdoses very easily, which might be why acetaminophen is the leading cause of toxic drug ingestion in the U.S., leading to around 100 deaths each year. This serious danger was only recently acknowledged. In 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration took the unusual step of asking pharmacists not to fill prescriptions for painkillers that contained more than 325 milligrams of acetaminophen. Even though the FDA had issued an earlier warning about the dangers, some doctors continued to prescribe high-dose acetaminophen products anyhow. Acetaminophen use during pregnancy can lead to behavior problems in your child. Recent studies indicate that the use of drugs containing acetaminophen during pregnancy can cause both attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or hyperkinetic disorder (HKD). Since more than half of pregnant women use acetaminophen to relieve discomfort, these findings could affect a huge number of children. According to the study, the children of women who used acetaminophen during pregnancy were 29% more likely to develop ADHD and 37% more likely to develop HKD by age seven than children whose mothers didn’t use the drug. Acetaminophen products can also contain impurities and incorrect dosages. There have also been a number of lawsuits in recent years related to manufacturing defects by the makers of Tylenol and other acetaminophen products. Bacterial contamination is blamed for at least one infant’s death in 2010. In another case, a toddler received a dose of Tylenol that had too high of a concentration of acetaminophen in it, leading to liver failure. You can file a lawsuit to recover for your injuries. If you believe that you or your child has been injured due to acetaminophen use, it may be possible to hold the manufacturer of the drug responsible. If the medication was prescribed by a physician after warnings were issued, the physician may also bear some responsibility for your injuries. Contact a personal injury attorney in your area to discuss your...

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It’s Time To Plan: 4 Steps Help You Divide Your Assets When Your Kids Can’t Get Along

Posted by on 12:12 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on It’s Time To Plan: 4 Steps Help You Divide Your Assets When Your Kids Can’t Get Along

It’s time to take care of your estate planning. If coming to a decision about how to divide your assets has you in a quandary, it might be time to take a step back. This is particularly true if you’re worried that sibling rivalry will lead to hurt feelings after you’re gone. With some careful planning, sibling rivalry can be avoided. Here are four suggestions for taking the rivalry out of the asset division after your gone. Sell it All If your kids can’t agree about anything, and you’re concerned about sibling rivalry during the division of your personal property, take the property out of the equation. Sell all of your property that you think your kids will fight over and place the proceeds from the sale in a trust fund. Once you’ve passed away, the trust can be divided evenly amongst your children. That way, they’ll each get exactly the same amount, which will eliminate the rivalry. Gift It Early If there are items that you know your children will want, gift those items early. Make the gifting special by scheduling dates with each of your kids. During the scheduled date, give your children the items you’ve chosen for them. Make each moment special by explaining the sentiment behind each gift. Your children will be left with a treasured item of yours, as well as a special moment that they were able to share with you. Let Them Choose If your kids have made it clear that there are certain items they want, but you’re not ready to let go of your belongings just yet, arrange to have your kids come by and mark the items they want. Place a small post-it note on the bottom of each item they choose. If an item receives multiple requests, place names in a hat and have a disinterested third-party individual draw names. Hire an Attorney If you need help planning your estate, sit down with an attorney. This is especially important if you know that your children aren’t going to come together amicably after you pass. An attorney will be able to help you create an estate plan that will ensure that your wishes are carried out after you’re gone. Planning for your passing can be difficult. Sibling rivalry among your children can make the process even more difficult. If you’re having a hard time planning your estate, use the simple tips provided above to help you alleviate some of the stress. For questions or concerns about your estate, be sure to consult with a family law attorney, like one from O’Brien and Dekker Attorneys at...

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3 Things That Might Delay Your Ability To File Bankruptcy

Posted by on 8:53 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Things That Might Delay Your Ability To File Bankruptcy

Filing bankruptcy is an option you have if you need help getting out of debt; however, there are certain things that might prevent you from being able to file right away. If you are considering this option to get out of debt, you should fully understand that the following three things might delay your ability to file. You Have Missing Tax Returns When you decide to visit a bankruptcy attorney to learn more about this process, the attorney will ask to see your last two income tax returns. These are typically needed to verify your income, and they are needed to file. If you have not filed your tax returns, you will not be able to file for bankruptcy right now. To file for bankruptcy, you will first need to get your tax returns prepared and filed, and you will need copies of these returns when you visit the bankruptcy lawyer again. You Got Rid Of Assets A second thing that could delay your ability to file for bankruptcy involves assets you recently got rid of. This could include selling the assets for money or giving them to your relatives. In either case, your bankruptcy case would be affected by this. If you gave away assets or sold them shortly before filing for bankruptcy, it can come across as fraud. If you fail to tell your attorney about these transactions, you could end up getting your bankruptcy case dismissed, or you might be responsible to pay money to your bankruptcy estate to cover the value of these assets. You Are Expecting A Large Sum Of Money The third thing that can delay filing for bankruptcy involves a large sum of money you are expecting to receive. This could be money from a lawsuit settlement or inheritance, and the money can affect your case. If you are expecting to receive money, you will need to tell the trustee, and the trustee may have the right to take this money from you. If this is the case, you may want to wait to file for bankruptcy for 180 days after receiving this money. At this point, the trustee can no longer come after the money, and it will be yours to keep. Timing for a bankruptcy case is vital if you want the best results from doing this. If you would like to learn more, contact a bankruptcy attorney today to schedule a consultation...

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Help! What Should You Do After Receiving Divorce Papers?

Posted by on 11:22 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Help! What Should You Do After Receiving Divorce Papers?

Divorce is a messy procedure for everyone involved. Naturally, you have several important things you must do once you have received the divorce papers. Unless you – or someone you know – has gone through the divorce process before, you may have no idea what you should be doing. Discover the Due Date for Response While it does vary slightly from one state to the next, you have roughly 30 days to respond to a divorce petition. If you do not respond within that time a default judgment can be made. The process will proceed and the judge will divide all of your property from the marriage equally. The divorce will be final, and there will be nothing you can do to change it. It is important to keep in mind, every step of the divorce proceeding involves paperwork which must be responded to. Read the Divorce Papers The papers should be carefully read so you will understand where the court action was filed, especially if you are unaware of the spouse’s location. The information will also be provided concerning whether the ex-spouse has hired an attorney. Some of the information included will be dedicated to the splitting up the property, support for you (the spouse) as well as issues relating to children if you have any within the marriage. Legal Representation Must Be Decided If your budget doesn’t provide you with financial means to hire an attorney for the entire proceeding, you can hire one for specific tasks only such as filing the initial response and writing the divorce papers. A decision should be made as quickly as possible after you receive the divorce papers, so you can hire an attorney if you believe it would be in your best interests. However, if the ex-spouse has an attorney, you may feel more comfortable if you can also hire legal counsel. Gather Documents You should gather your social security card, birth certificate, and marriage certificate when you visit with the attorney on the first visit. You should also locate bank and credit card statements as well as taxes. Revise Your Finances and Protect Your Assets It is advisable to create an individual savings and checking account if you don’t already have them. You also should consider a credit card in your name only. If your insurance plans including health and dental insurance benefits are provided by your spouse, you need to be sure you have all of that information. It is also essential to re-route your mail through the post office to ensure you receive all of your correspondence. These are the basics you will need after you receive the divorce papers. Each case is different, including whether you need an attorney throughout the process. To learn more, contact an attorney like Gilbert P...

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Do You Have Grounds To Sue A Hotel That Gave You Bed Bugs?

Posted by on 8:53 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Do You Have Grounds To Sue A Hotel That Gave You Bed Bugs?

When you stay in a hotel or similar establishment, you have a reasonable right to expect a room that is both safe and clean. The recent outbreaks of bed bugs around the country, however, have made staying in any unknown hotel a relatively risky proposition. If you have recently stayed in a hotel with an undeclared bed bug infestation, there are legal protections in place to protect you from the negligent hotel owners and recover any expenses you may have incurred as a result of your experience. Documenting Evidence of the Hotel’s Infestation Whenever you suspect that you have been the unwitting victim of hotel bed bugs, you should do as much as you can to document the problem as it occurs. This may include taking a photograph of characteristic bed bug droppings in your room or the bite marks they leave behind. You should also file a formal complaint with the hotel and ask for a copy of the report for your own records. Even if the bites do not appear for several days after, as they sometimes do, it is still important to then register your complaint with the hotel owner for legal purposes. Seeking Compensation for Medical Bills Bed bugs may provoke an allergic reaction in some individuals, but bites from a home colony are typically relatively harmless parasitism. Hotel bedbugs, on the other hand, may still be carrying the blood of prior guests, which may be transmitted to you as the creature bites and feeds. Because of this, you may need extensive testing and treatments for various possible blood-borne illnesses after staying in an infested hotel. Seeking coverage for these bills is typically the central part of a personal injury claim related to bed bugs, but it usually isn’t the only form of compensation requested. Demonstrating Pain and Suffering Even if you emerge from your experience unscathed, knowing that you have slept in a nest of bed bugs can be a deeply unsettling thought that is difficult to shake. You may find yourself itching and scratching or unable to sleep for weeks afterward. These less tangible damages are referred to as pain and suffering, though they can be more challenging to prove in court. In some cases, you will need the testimony of a mental health professional to lend your pain and suffering claim credibility. Listing Damages to Your Personal Property The other risk associated with bed bugs, of course, is that you may end up with a couple of hitchhikers in your clothing and suitcases. These unwanted guests will be only too happy to set up a new colony in your home, and they can be nearly impossible to eliminate once they are settled in. If you are forced to deal with a bed bug invasion that originated in the hotel in question, the hotel can be held liable for those expenses as well. With the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer, you can ensure that a single bad night at a hotel will not set back your finances, health and emotional well-being for years to...

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3 Signs You May Not Want To Accept A Personal Injury Settlement

Posted by on 10:29 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Signs You May Not Want To Accept A Personal Injury Settlement

If you have recently been involved in an injury that was due to someone else’s negligence, there’s a chance that the responsible party’s insurance company has offered you a settlement. It might be tempting to go ahead and take the settlement now so that you can have cash in your pocket — especially if you are struggling for cash due to an inability to work after your injury — but it isn’t always a good idea to do so. These are a few signs that you may want to say no to a settlement. 1. It’s Not Enough to Cover Your Medical Expenses The medical expenses that can come from an injury can be quite expensive when you factor in doctor’s bills, hospital bills, the cost of prescriptions and other associated expenses. You shouldn’t be stuck paying any of these expenses yourself, so think twice before you accept a settlement that will not cover your past, current and future injury-related medical bills. 2. It Doesn’t Cover Your Time Missed from Work Along with worrying about your medical bills, you also have to think about the other expenses that you have incurred and the other financial difficulties that you might have gone through since your injury occurred. You might be behind on your bills and could be facing other difficulties due to not being able to work since you were hurt, for example. Make sure that you consider these costs — and what it will take for you to get caught back up — before accepting a settlement. 3. You Haven’t Gone Over it With an Attorney In some cases, insurance companies try to take advantage of individuals who have been injured. They often know that injured individuals are going through tough financial situations and are facing a mountain of bills, and they sometimes try to take advantage of that by offering a quick settlement for much less than the person deserves. This is why it’s always smart to go over the settlement offer — and the details of your accident — with an attorney who has experience in personal injury law. Then, he or she can advise you as to whether or not the settlement is fair or whether you should pursue the case further. In some cases, accepting a settlement can be a good idea. In others, however, it might not be the best decision. If you are unsure, it’s always a good idea to work with a personal injury lawyer, like Dunnigan & Messier P.C., so that you can get professional legal advice that is tailored to your...

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