Blog Blog Copyright by en Mon, 19 Aug 2019 13:08:01 -0400 What Are the Necessary Skills To Become a Medical Malpractice Lawyer? To a degree, we all learn as we go, whether we work in construction, farming, retail, finance, teaching, medicine or law. Even so, for some careers an inordinate amount of study is necessary just to be able to get a foot in the door. One of these professions is medical malpractice law. As my desire to be a medical malpractice attorney crystallized, I realized what a tremendous climb confronted me in terms of time, cost, and commitment.

Steps To Climb To Reach the Goal

In addition to being a good student, becoming a malpractice lawyer involves:

  • Earning a Bachelor’s degree -- often in English, history or political science
  • Taking the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) in order to be admitted to law school
  • Completing law school with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree
  • Completing an internship for on-the-job experience, preferably in the personal injury field
  • Preparing for and passing the bar exam in any state in which you intend to practice though you will be tested on federal as well as state law
  • Actually working in the field, preferably with a medical malpractice/personal injury firm
  • Becoming board-certified by The American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys

If you didn’t realize how much study and perseverance are required to become a medical malpractice lawyer, imagine how I felt. I admit that the process was daunting and difficult and that I had moments of thinking I would never meet my goal. In the end, though, I believe the struggles I went through made me a more empathic attorney.

What Medical Malpractice Lawyers Do

Medical malpractice lawyers represent clients who have been injured due to misdiagnosis or mistreatment by a doctor or other healthcare professional or by a hospital’s defective protocol or vetting process. As a medical malpractice attorney, I fight for the rights of clients who have suffered because of the incompetence, negligence, or even malice of medical professionals. I work diligently to win them the damages they deserve for such things as: medical and rehabilitation costs, lost income (present and future), pain and suffering, permanent disability, loss of consortium, and disfigurement.

As a medical malpractice attorney, I handle cases involving:

  • Misdiagnosis
  • Birth Injuries
  • Surgical errors
  • Anesthesia mistakes
  • Nursing home abuse
  • Prescription or medication errors
  • Wrongful birth
  • Wrongful death

Though the job of being a medical malpractice lawyer is intense and often stressful, I find great satisfaction in fighting for the rights of clients who come to me unjustly harmed by individuals they trusted with their lives, individuals who took an oath to “do no harm.”

Skills Medical Malpractice Lawyers Need

Pinpointing the skills needed for any occupation is as important for the person who wants to hire a qualified practitioner as for the individual seeking the job. This principle applies to medical malpractice law. If you are seeking an attorney to represent you or a member of your family in a case of medical malpractice, you should look for someone with a well-earned reputation for:

  • Compassion
  • Critical thinking and analytical skills
  • Strong research and writing abilities
  • Excellent public speaking skills
  • Power to debate aggressively, backing up statements with details
  • Familiarity with medical terminology and scientific information
  • Connections to experts in medical and related specialties

I deliberately put compassion at the top of this list because unless you find a legal representative who cares about you and your family, the process of suing for compensation can be anxiety- producing, adding stress instead of minimizing it. Your lawyer should have your back and lift your burdens at this terribly challenging period of your life. Besides, I have found that lawyers who are compassionate are typically honest and careful as well, dedicated to protecting those entrusted to their care.

What Contingency Fees Mean to You

While you’re confronting enormous medical costs and the bills keep arriving while you are unable to work, the last thing you need is exorbitant legal bills. Fortunately, legitimate personal injury attorneys typically work on a contingency basis. This means you will not owe any fee until your medical malpractice lawyer wins you the damages you are entitled to.

The Medical Malpractice Lawyer You Choose Can Make All the Difference

Make sure that you choose wisely when you pick an attorney to handle your medical malpractice case. Remember, the wheels of justice turn slowly, so you are likely to be dealing with this individual for some time, often a couple of years. Also, remember that you will not be charged a consultation fee so you can afford to shop a bit in order to settle on an attorney you’re comfortable with. The good news is that you will be able to assess many of the skills described here once you sit down for the initial consultation. Pick a medical malpractice lawyer who not only has the credentials and successful track record of a true professional, but who presents as committed to the well-being of you and your family.

 Author Bio

Brian Cummings has 20 years of litigation experience, including successfully handling and trying scores of medical malpractice and personal injury cases. Brian is Board-certified as a Medical Malpractice attorney by the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys. He is 1 of less than 20 attorneys in Tennessee who have earned this certification. Brian is licensed to practice law before the United States Supreme Court, and in Tennessee, Hawaii, California, Georgia, and Florida.

Uncategorized Editor Mon, 12 Aug 2019 17:23:24 -0400
Understanding the Purpose and Legal Implications of No Refusal Weekends in Texas Law enforcement in Texas actively patrol the state's roadways for drunk drivers every day of the week. However, on No Refusal Weekends, they ramp up their efforts to keep the roads clear of people who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Whether you live in Texas or plan on passing through on one of its No Refusal Weekends, you should understand the legal ramifications that driving under the influence can have for you.

What are No Refusal Weekends?

No Refusal Weekends are weekends that are specifically designated for deterring incidences of intoxicated driving. They typically occur during busier weekends of the year, such as during the Super Bowl or when college football playoffs are occurring. They also take place during holidays:

  • Memorial Day
  • Fourth of July
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas
  • New Years

During No Refusal Weekends in Texas, police and highway patrol officers can obtain quick warrants to draw blood from a person who is suspected of driving while intoxicated and refuses to give a blood or breath sample.

These weekends have wide support from prosecutors in the state because they are effective in reducing the number of DWI offenses. While the name of the activity suggests that you do not have the right to refuse to take a breathalyzer or provide a blood sample if you are pulled over for suspicion of DWI, you can in fact refuse to comply with a field sobriety test. However, you should be aware that the police officer will be able to get an expedited warrant during that weekend to obtain a sample from you.

How Do No Refusal Weekends Differ from Regular Weekends?

No Refusal Weekends differ from regular weekends in Texas in that police officers can get faster warrants to obtain blood or urine samples from people who are suspected of DWI. Law enforcement agencies around the state increase and pool their resources during these weekends to get warrants and blood samples faster.

Magistrates are readily available during No Refusal Weekends to review and sign the affidavits that police officers present to them. Most police officers will seek blood evidence from drivers if the drivers refuse to provide a sample after they are pulled over on suspicion of DWI.

During regular weekends in the state, police officers may not readily seek a warrant to get a sample from a suspected intoxicated driver. If they do need a warrant, the process for getting one can take longer than on No Refusal Weekends.

What Qualifies as Driving While Intoxicated in Texas?

Like most states, Texas defines driving while intoxicated as having a blood alcohol concentration or BAC of 0.08 or higher. If you drink alcohol before driving and have a BAC of 0.08 or higher in Texas, you can be charged with DWI.

Your BAC will depend on factors that vary from person to person, however. The level of your BAC will depend on:

  • Your gender
  • Your body weight
  • How many drinks you consumed
  • How much food you ate while or after drinking

These factors all will affect your body's ability to handle the alcohol that you consumed. Most people are above the legal limit if they consume two to three beers in an hour. Women, younger people, and people who are thin require less alcohol to reach the legal BAC limit.

What are the Consequences for DWI in Texas?

Texas metes out a variety of punishments for people who are convicted of DWI. First-time offenders can face fines of up to $2000 as well as 3 to 180 days in jail. Also, they can lose their driver's licenses for up to one year and pay an annual fee of $1000 to $2000 to keep their licenses if or when they get it back.

People who are convicted of a second DWI offense in Texas can pay a fine of up to $4000 and serve one month to one year in jail. Also, they can lose their licenses for up to two years and pay an annual fee of $1000, $1500, or $2000 to maintain their licenses afterwards.

People with three or more DWIs will pay a fine of up to $10,000 and serve between two to 10 years in state prison. They will lose their licenses for up to two years. When they get their licenses back, they will have to pay a yearly fee of up to $2000 to the state to keep their driving privileges.

What are Your Rights During No Refusal Weekends?

Just as during regular weekends, you have legal rights that you can access during No Refusal Weekends in Texas. You do not have to comply with the officer's request to provide a breath or blood sample after you are pulled over on suspicion of DWI. While the officer is obtaining a warrant to get a sample from you, you can contact an experienced DWI attorney in Texas to represent you.

Your lawyer will make sure that the law enforcement officer had reasonable cause to pull you over and ask you to submit to a field sobriety test. He or she can also make sure that your sample was obtained legally and that the warrant clearly stipulated why and for what purpose the sample was requested.

Your lawyer can also represent you in court and help you avoid the harshest penalties for DWI. You may have the charges against you dismissed depending on the circumstances of your case. You may also avoid jail time and instead pay a civil penalty.

No Refusal Weekends in Texas are designed to reduce the incidence of DWI. They allow law enforcement officers to get fast warrants to obtain blood samples from suspected DWI offenders in the state. You have rights that you can take advantage of, however, during No Refusal Weekends. You should contact an experienced DWI attorney if you are charged with driving while intoxicated in Texas.


Houston defense lawyer Greg Tsioros provides legal advice and aggressive representation for clients charged with misdemeanors and felonies at both the state and federal level. Mr. Tsioros handles criminal defense cases of any stature – from orders of non-disclosure and expunctions to more serious DWI and drug charges.

Uncategorized Editor Tue, 30 Jul 2019 17:46:08 -0400
Top 5 Types of Car Accidents Car accident! Just saying it out loud conjures images of shattering glass, crumpled metal and oftentimes, serious injuries. Driving a car is a serious responsibility and not one to ever be taken lightly. Chances are, if you haven’t already, you most likely will be involved in some kind of car accident in your lifetime. Just what kind can depend on a number of variables. Below is a list of the 5 most common types of car accidents and a bit of information about each type.

  1. Singe car accident-Maybe you swerved to miss hitting a squirrel and struck a guardrail. Or maybe you slid on some ice and your car left the road and hit a tree. These are just 2 of the many ways a single car accident may go down. These types of accidents are often the fault of the driver and can range from a minor incident involving a dented bumper, to the most serious kind resulting in death. Controlling speed, being mindful of the road, and wearing your seatbelt can certainly help reduce serious injuries when dealing with such an accident.
  2. Car rollover-these types of car accidents are usually single car accidents and they represent the most violent type, often resulting in serious injury or death. Cars leaving the roadway and rolling down an embankment or excessive speed are often found to be the cause of a car rollover.
  3. Side impacts-Often known as a T-Bone; these types of collisions occur when one car slams into the side of another. These car accidents often take place at intersections. Running red lights or stop signs are often the causes of these types of collisions.
  4. Rear end collision-If you are in the front of one of these, you will likely suffer from whiplash. If you are the one who rear ended the car in front of you, you may suffer this as well and you will LIKELY be at fault for the accident to boot. Rear end collisions are extremely common in high traffic situations, especially the dreaded STOP AND GO traffic jams we are all too familiar with. Rear end collisions are why we were told in driver’s ed to keep several car lengths between our vehicle and the one in front of us…but as we know, people rarely heed this advice when on the road.
  5. Head on collisions-These types of car accidents are the things of nightmares. One scenario involves a vehicle travelling down a highway, going 60 miles per hour or faster, and then coming up on someone who is travelling the WRONG WAY on the same stretch of road, resulting in the two vehicles slamming head on into each other. While this exact scenario is fairly rare, it does happen and oftentimes results in death. In this type of car accident, the impact is extremely intense, akin to one driving DIRECTLY into a brick wall…the vehicle stops immediately with the passengers thrust forward, and in some cases, the car can be thrown about, flipped over, or even crushed like a tin can. Other head on collisions can occur at much slower rates of speed, such as on slower driven back roads, or at intersections, but nonetheless, they often cause severe damage and, in many cases, serious injuries.

No, this article was not written to try to scare you into never driving again. BUT…being aware of your surroundings, always wearing your seatbelt, and keeping in mind the most common types of car accidents can possibly help to lessen the risk of your being in an accident in the future.

Uncategorized Editor Tue, 23 Jul 2019 22:37:06 -0400
Calculating Your Damages After a Car Collision Every car crash situation is different, and the injuries and damages sustained are unique to each individual. As a result, calculating your damages after a car accident in Pennsylvania is complicated and requires consideration of numerous factors. For you to get the settlement you deserve, it pays to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who understands the system, as well as the tactics insurance companies use to get you to accept the lowest settlement possible.

Cliff Rieders wrote the book on the financial responsibility law in Pennsylvania. The financial responsibility law governs auto collisions in Pennsylvania, which involves first-party benefits, property damage, peer review of medical care, limited and full tort, under and uninsured motorist coverage, and many other factors.

What Does Compensation Cover?

In Pennsylvania, damage compensation falls into two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages. 

  1. Economic damages – expenses which can be objectively calculated, such as property damage; medical and hospital bills, including future bills; therapy and rehabilitation costs; costs of equipment, such as wheelchairs; loss of income and future wage horizon; property damage; and funeral and burial costs, if death is involved.
  2. Non-economic damages – costs which are more subjective, including the loss of life’s pleasures; physical damages that include physical pain and suffering, scarring, disfigurement, and permanent disability; the loss of a marital relationship (consortium); emotional damages, such as stress, anxiety, and mental anguish; loss of life’s pleasures until the time of death.

Calculating Damages

Economic damages are relatively easy to calculate, since they can be measured in actual monetary figures and often have tangible evidence such as bills and receipts.

It is much more difficult to calculate non-economic damages, as each person will experience their injuries differently. Some insurance companies calculate damages by totaling economic damages and then assigning a “multiplier” (usually between 1.5 and 5) to the case, based on the severity of the accident or injury. Other insurance companies utilize various computer programs.

If a case goes to a jury, some factors used to calculate a dollar figure for non-economic damages include:

  • The type, extent, and severity of injuries
  • The interruption to daily life and activities
  • Whether you will be able to return to work and at what level
  • The effect on your marriage, family life and social interactions
  • The emotional trauma suffered, including stress, anguish, grief, pain, and anxiety
  • The length of time it takes to recover and whether multiple surgeries or difficult rehabilitation will be required
  • The degree of permanent injury, including scarring and disfigurement
  • Your doctor’s professional opinion and assessment of your injuries.  

Pennsylvania Car Accident Laws

The following are laws that affect vehicle crash damage settlements in Pennsylvania:

  • Limited versus full tort -- Pennsylvania has a “choice” car insurance system. If you choose “limited tort” car insurance when you purchase your plan, you typically need to file a claim under your own personal injury coverage for compensation for medical bills and other financial losses, regardless of who was at fault and caused the crash. However, if the crash resulted in "serious injury” and you are able to go beyond the no-fault limitation or if you have chosen “full tort” coverage, you can seek compensation against an at-fault driver. Whether the forms have been properly executed and therefore apply can be a complicated question. We always look at the underwriting file to see if the forms have been properly signed and executed.
  • Comparative fault -- Pennsylvania has a “modified comparative fault” rule. This means your total damages award is reduced by whatever percentage of the fault of the accident the courts determine is yours, in those cases where there is a right to sue. If you are found to be more than 50% at fault, you would receive no This rule binds Pennsylvania judges and juries, and it will also guide insurance companies evaluating your case.
  • Statute of limitations – This is the deadline by which you must file a car crash lawsuit. In Pennsylvania, the statute is two yearsafter the accident for filing a personal injury or property damage lawsuit. If you miss the two-year lawsuit filing deadline, the court may throw out your case. For an injury case, the date the clock starts running is the date of the accident. If a death is involved, this is figured from the date the victim died.  Pennsylvania has a tolling rule which applies in some unique circumstances. There is also a Minors Tolling Act in Pennsylvania.  Statute of limitations is one of the more arcane areas of law and the specific factual scenario is very important.

Get Help From an Experienced Attorney

Calculating damages after a car accident is complicated, and insurance companies will always try to get you the lowest settlement possible, so it makes sense to consult an experienced Pennsylvania auto crash attorney before you talk to an insurance company in order to protect your rights.

Your attorney knows how to present the best argument as to why you should receive the damages you seek, whether negotiating with insurance companies or going to trial. The goal is to recover the maximum possible compensation on your behalf.  

Uncategorized Editor Tue, 23 Jul 2019 00:44:37 -0400
Pennsylvania Car Crash Laws -101 Devastating car crashes occur far too often on Pennsylvania roads. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) reported around 15 crashes per hour in 2017, totaling 128,188. These crashes claimed the lives of 1,137 people and injured another 80,612 people, with at least three people dying each day. The economic loss due to traffic crashes was $1,414 to every Pennsylvania man, woman and child.

If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident in Pennsylvania, you should understand the laws of our state that could impact your options for getting compensated for your losses. Consider the following laws regarding vehicle accidents in Pennsylvania:

  • Statute of limitations – This is the deadline by which you must file a car crash lawsuit. In Pennsylvania, 42 Pennsylvania Code section 5524 says that "an action to recover damages for injuries to the person or for the death of an individual caused by the wrongful act or neglect or unlawful violence or negligence of another" must be brought within two years after the collision for filing a personal injury or property damage lawsuit. If you miss the two-year lawsuit filing deadline, the court will probably throw out your case, unless some rare exception applies to extend the deadline. There is a doctrine of tolling in Pennsylvania which means the statute of limitations may be tolled for circumstances such as the discovery rule.  There is also a Minor’s Tolling Act in Pennsylvania. These complex areas of the law are where an attorney should be consulted.
  • If a death is involved, this is figured from the date the victim died. If death is involved, the argument can be made that for both the wrongful death and survival action the statute of limitations is two years from the date of death; however, there is some law that for one of the actions, the statute of limitations may actually begin to run when the person was harmed, even though they may have died later. While there is recent Pennsylvania caselaw on the subject, we still like to use the earliest possible date.
  • Comparative fault -- Pennsylvania has a “modified comparative fault” rule. This means your total damages award is reduced by whatever percentage of the fault of the accident the courts determine is yours. Juries will calculate two things based on the evidence: the total dollar amount of damages and the percentage of fault that belongs to each party. Under the modified comparative fault rule, the plaintiff's damages award is reduced by a percentage equal to that person’s share of fault. If you are found to be more than 50% at fault, you would receive no Pennsylvania does not have a no-fault car insurance system. Pennsylvania does not have a no-fault car insurance law. However, first party benefits may be paid, to the extent that you purchase them, regardless of fault.
  • Fair Share -- Pennsylvania has a Fair Share Act that limits the ability of the injured party to recover damages in full from defendants who are only partially at fault. Plaintiffs can recover damages in full from defendants who are at least 60 percent responsible, but those less than 60 percent responsible can be held liable only for their actual share of the total damages. This law has been challenged in the Courts.
  • Damage caps -- Pennsylvania does not have damage caps in connection with automobile or truck collisions. Pennsylvania does have damage caps in connection with lawsuits against government entities and certain other areas. State laws limit, or “cap,” the amount of compensation you can recover when the defendant is a local or state government entity, such as a school district.

Proving liability

In proving fault and liability for a crash, these elements are considered:

  • Duty – Drivers have a duty to follow the laws and drive in a reasonable manner.
  • Breach of Duty – Drivers breach this duty by driving negligently.
  • Causation – The car collison is a factual cause of your harm.
  • Damages – You have suffered damages as a result.

What Does Compensation Cover?

In Pennsylvania, compensated costs and losses for car crashes fall into two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.  

  1. Economic damages – expenses which can be objectively calculated, such as medical, hospital, therapy, and rehabilitation costs, costs of equipment such as wheelchairs, lost income, future lost income, property damage, and funeral and burial costs if a death is involved.
  2. Non-economic damages – may include pain and suffering, the loss of life’s pleasures prior to death, disfigurement, and the loss of a marital relationship (consortium).

To make sure that you receive the most compensation possible under the law, it makes sense to consult an experienced Pennsylvania car collison personal injury attorney.

Uncategorized Editor Tue, 23 Jul 2019 00:43:33 -0400
Basic awareness about the Medicare Secondary Payer Act Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) act has been changing with time, and the current year is no exception. Introduction of new rules and stricter regulations demand close observation from enrollees as well as health policy professionals so that everyone can stay on top of their game. To help you traverse through all the recent changes, some fundamental facts about this act are being shared below.

What does MSP stand for?

Before the enforcement of MSP, Medicare used to pay for all the medical services and items on behalf of its beneficiaries, excluding those which fell under the realm of workers' compensation. Recipients received coverage from Medicare program despite having other sources that could cover their medical cost. As a consequence, the Medicare Trust Fund started to dwindle faster.  MSP act was brought into place to protect this situation by making it mandatory that Medicare will be the secondary payer if a person has subscribed to any other employer-sponsored health plan.

In the case where Medicare is not the primary or first payer, the individuals and Medicare program can benefit in different ways. For example, on billing a primary payer before Medicare and ensuring coordination, the healthcare providers can attract the right amount of reimbursement.

What is Section 111 - MSP (Medicare) Reporting and Liability?

Section 111 is sometimes used to indicate MMSEA (Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007). Under this act, new reporting requirements were imposed concerning Medicare beneficiaries who are covered by a group health plan (GHP), liability insurance, no-fault insurance plan, workers’ compensation, and others. It mandated that whatever awards, settlements, judgments, or other payments were made to the Medicare beneficiaries through any such plan should be reported by the “Responsible Reporting Entities” (RREs) or agents. In this case, an RRE is an applicable plan, such as liability insurance or workers' compensation, which has to follow the rules laid under Section 111. 

The reporting entities or agents have to send online quarterly data to Medicare regarding the latest judgments, awards, or settlements to let the authorities know about the current status of the claim made by an injured party. The report should mention how the claims of the injured parties, who are or were also Medicare beneficiaries, have been addressed or resolved and to what extent. Details of the payment obligation as well as the date of the reporting thresholds should also be incorporated in the report.

What is the penalty for non-compliance with Section 111?

On failing to report a claim within a particular time frame, an RRE may have to face a civil penalty of $1,000.00 per claim a day.

What is Medicare set-aside?

Medicare set-aside is a kind of trust, where settlement proceeds for future medical care for Medicare recipient’s personal injury are kept separately. The amount is paid after taking approval from the government and how much it should be paid is recommended by a specialized company after inspecting the medical care needs of an individual. It is post-settlement money that can be allocated to the Medicare beneficiary based on valid terms and conditions, for example, the proper use of the coverage amount received from the primary sources, etc.

The MSP act is complicated, and you need the guidance of a reputable attorney and health policy professional, such as TD&P Consulting Inc., to understand your standing in the matters of claims for medical coverage.

Uncategorized Editor Tue, 16 Jul 2019 08:55:29 -0400
Is Your Vehicle Accident Worth a Lawsuit? Here’s a Checklist to Find Out If you’ve been in a car accident, you naturally want compensation for your injuries and damage to your car and personal property. Most individuals don’t have thousands of dollars to pay out if they are at fault in a wreck, which is why we have insurance. But don’t assume that insurance companies have your best interests at heart. In fact, you can assume that they don’t. Insurers are for-profit entities whose top priority is hanging on to their money.

That’s why you need an experienced car accident lawyer as your advocate, whether you go to court or not. Accepting an insurer’s initial offer is a sure way to be low-balled. An attorney will be able to figure out how much your economic and non-economic losses are worth and make sure that’s how much you receive —through either settlement or a lawsuit. 

Going to Court Is a Last Resort

Settling a claim is the preferable outcome for everyone. For insurance companies, trials bring the risk of being on the hook for a massive payout and higher attorney and litigation costs. For you, the plaintiff, the decision to file a lawsuit should not be taken lightly. You will not see a penny until the trial is over, and your medical and other bills may be piling up. Your lawyer fees will be higher. Trials and juries are unpredictable — you may lose in the end. And lawsuits can drag on indefinitely, depriving you of the sense of closure you need to move on with your life.

When Should You Consider a Lawsuit?

While settling a car accident claim tends to be better for all sides, sometimes you just can’t come to an agreement over the negotiating table. If your situation meets the following criteria, it may be time to discuss with your lawyer the possibility of filing a lawsuit.

You’ve Been Injured in a Car Accident

If you’ve been hurt in a motor vehicle wreck and another driver is at fault, you deserve to receive compensation from that driver’s insurance company.

You’ve Suffered Economic or Non-Economic Damages

Damages, or compensation, are divided into two main categories in car accident and other personal injury cases. Economic damages include:

  • Medical and rehab bills, past, present and future
  • Lost earnings due to recovery
  • Compensation for diminished earning potential
  • Automobile repair bills
  • Repair or replacement costs for personal items damaged in the crash (laptop, phone, etc.).

Non-economic damages include:

  • Pain and suffering — physical, emotional, mental
  • Physical disfigurement and impairment
  • Development of mental problems like depression or PTSD
  • Lowered quality of life.

The Insurance Company Is Not Offering Enough

Any settlement with an insurance company should cover the entirety of your economic and non-economic damages. In most cases, you and the insurer will come to an agreement without a lawsuit's ever being filed. But sometimes, negotiations get bogged down and the insurance company refuses to offer what your lawyer thinks your case is worth. At that point, it’s time to consider the next step of taking it to court.

What if You Live in a No-Fault State?

Filing an insurance claim in a no-fault state is much simpler than in states with fault-based insurance systems. Who is responsible for the accident is irrelevant. You file your claim with your own insurance company, and they pay damages for the cost of your repairs and injuries. This streamlined process means claims are processed faster and more efficiently.

The downside to no-fault insurance is that you will not be reimbursed for pain and suffering, or non-economic losses.

The details vary by state, but generally no-fault states do allow you to sue the other driver if damages reach a certain threshold: either your expenses are higher than a certain dollar amount or your injuries are considered “serious” (as defined by the state).

When you’re involved in a motor vehicle collision, don’t accept the first settlement offer that comes along. If you’ve been injured in a crash, call a car accident lawyer to be your advocate during negotiations and in the courtroom.

Uncategorized Editor Fri, 12 Jul 2019 01:45:20 -0400
Know what to do when you are under arrest There can be different legal scenarios that can lead to arrest. It's natural to panic when such situation arises. But if you are conversant with the critical information around this, you can deal with it more efficiently. First of all, it's essential to note that a police officer can arrest you – 1) on the grounds of reasonable suspicion that you have done a crime, 2) the court has issued an arrest warrant for you, or, 3) you are involved in a crime or can commit one, etc. In case you get trapped in a situation like this, here are a few things that you should keep in mind.

At the time of the arrest

The police officer should tell you that you are under arrest and also why he is arresting you and what will happen if you don’t cooperate. Give them your name and home address if they ask you. However, avoid answering any other questions without first talking to your legal advisor.

As per law, a police officer can apply a reasonable amount of force to arrest a suspect. If you try to escape them, the officer can handcuff you. If you feel he used illegitimate physical strength or power, you can complain about it with the police customer assistance unit. The matter will go to a judge or magistrate for judgment.

However, make sure you don't give them trouble when they arrest you. Otherwise, you can face a charge for non-cooperation even if you were initially innocent.

Another thing is you can request the officer to allow you to speak to your lawyer. You can have a lawyer by your side when the police are questioning you.

At the time of questioning

Under the law, you can keep silence and not answer the questions a police officer asks. But if you were a part of a car accident, then you may have to reveal your name and details of the person who was driving the car.

Also, the police have to inform you beforehand that you don't have to answer all of their questions, and whatever you tell them in response can serve as evidence for them. They can record this entire question and answer session electronically. Hence, it's critical to remember that you only provide details like your name, date of birth, and home address, and nothing else. Give fingerprints and photographs when asked.  However, if they ask you to sign anything apart from a bail form, don't oblige. Refuse it politely. Make sure when all these happen, your lawyer is also present there at that time.

Time spent in custody

Generally, a police officer cannot detain you for more than four hours for the investigation. Nevertheless, they can seek an extension of an additional eight hours. But after that, they must release or file a charge against you. If you face a criminal charge, you can come out of the jail on bail. Sometimes, a court may deny bail to a suspect based on his past criminal records, the seriousness of the current offense committed by him, or his failure to abide by the terms and conditions of the bail. If that happens, you may have to appear before a court as soon as possible so that you can submit your bail plea once again.

If you hire a firm that specialises in Strategic Law Townsville, you don’t have to worry about bail application, representation in court, and police investigation. The lawyer will help you from end-to-end.

Uncategorized Editor Tue, 25 Jun 2019 10:25:17 -0400
5 Tips to Help You after a Car Accident

A vehicle accident can ultimately be among the scariest incidents one can ever go through in life.  After all, car accidents are among the leading causes of death globally.  Again, the emotional and physical trauma associated with car accidents can take a toll on life for many years.

While you might not be able to forget the car accident you had, you can luckily recover from this scary incident and live life as you used to before the accident occurred.  Moreover, recovering from a car accident is possible, only if you forget the unfortunate incidents that resulted in your car accident and instead focus more on recovery. Without further ado, here are 5 tips to help you after a car accident:

1. Get The Best Possible Medical Care

After sustaining injuries following a car accident, you obviously won’t have time to sit pretty and expect things to get any better. Unless you receive medical care urgently, your chances of reaching a full recovery are quite low. Seek the best possible medical care and start your journey to recovery after the car accident.

2. Get A Competent, Experienced Car Accident Lawyer

As much as your focus is on recovery and healing after the car accident, you should reach out to a competent car accident lawyer to help you seek compensation for your injuries.  Most insurance companies won’t compensate you immediately after the accident, and unless you have a lawyer to make the claim on your behalf, you might wait for months for full compensation.

An experienced lawyer from a recognized Baltimore Maryland car wreck firm will not just handle your compensation claim, but the attorney will also ensure your personal interests are protected. Again, an experienced car accident attorney will help increase the sum of money you get in compensation for your injuries.

One of the best ways of hiring a good car accident attorney is to do a background check on the attorney before signing the contract. Check past clients’ testimonials to ascertain whether or not he is worth what he or she claims to be.

3. Get Abundant Rest

Rest is a crucial aspect of recovery and healing. Without adequate rest after your car accident, your situation will inevitably become worse.  However, resting after a car accident doesn’t imply that the victim should lie in their bed all day. Slight movements are still required particularly in the initial stages of healing. Resting after a car accident simply means having ample time to recover from surgeries and injuries.

4. Listen To The Advice From Your Doctor

Recovery and healing after a car accident is a long process that you definitely can’t navigate alone.  Most car accident victims assume they have recovered and good to go after visiting a doctor a couple of times. Nevertheless, listening to the body won’t necessarily help you know when you have fully recovered. Therefore, you still need to visit your doctor from time to time to get your progress evaluated.

Most importantly, heed the recommendations and advice you get from your doctor. Never assume everything is fine and dismiss your doctor’s recommendations, for doing so will ultimately compromise on your recovery and healing process. Your doctor knows what is best for your recovery and will help recommend a suitable pace of recovery for you.

5. Go Back Into Driving

This isn’t easy for most car accident victims. The emotional and physical trauma linked to car accidents can make survivors loath driving for the rest of their life. In fact, most people who have previously been involved in road accidents develop symptoms of PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder). It takes longer to heal the symptoms associated with this mental condition than it takes to heal the actual injuries sustained after the car accident.

But going back into driving is a crucial part of recovering from emotional trauma. Once you go back into driving, keep away from any triggering circumstances to ensure your emotional wounds are fully healed.

Recovering from an accident can take longer depending on an individual as well as the severity of injuries sustained after the accident. Nevertheless, these 5 tips will put you on the right path to healing and recovering notwithstanding how serious your situation is.

Uncategorized Editor Tue, 25 Jun 2019 08:29:17 -0400
The Length of and Legal Use for Federal Statutes of Limitation The federal court system seeks to ensure that no proven crime prosecuted at its level goes unpunished. However, in many instances it can only punish crimes that are charged and tried within a timely manner. The statute of limitations for federal crimes varies and can in some cases mean that criminals are never charged or that they outright never see the inside of a courtroom for their offenses. 

What Is a Statute of Limitation?

A statute of limitation is the amount of time during which legal proceedings for an offense must occur. It serves as a time clock of sorts for lawyers and judges to take action to charge, prosecute, and find a defendant guilty of a crime for which he or she has been accused. 

It was designed to allow many crimes to be prosecuted promptly so evidence and memories of the offense remain fresh in the minds of everyone involved in the case. It also ensures that evidence is not tampered with or lost, which can jeopardize the constitutional rights of the accused.

The statute of limitations at every level including federal applies to numerous offenses like statutory rape, medical malpractice, and some types of theft or fraud. It may not apply to more serious crime or offenses that can lead to the death penalty, most notably:

  • Terrorism
  • Murder
  • Federal sex offenses

In some instances, the statute of limitations can be longer for select crimes including:

  • Arson 
  • Art theft
  • Crimes against financial institutions like banks
  • Immigration offenses

It can also be put on hold or suspended when the accused is a fugitive from the law or the offense in question involves child abuse, bankruptcy, wartime fraud of the government, or DNA evidence.

When Does the Statute of Limitation Begin?

The statute of limitation in most cases begins when the offense occurs. The amount of time that can lapse in between the event and prosecution or legal proceedings of it will depend on the case in question and whether it is a first, second, or subsequent offense. It also may depend on where the person involved in the case lives.

Federal offenses generally have longer statutes of limitation and in cases of serious crimes like murder or terrorism can be indefinite. However, for crimes like fraud or malpractice that have finite statutes of limitations, it is imperative that the filing of charges and prosecution take place promptly. If a person decides to wait until a day longer than the statute for the crime allows, he or she has no legal grounds for filing charges against the accused party.

Further, statutes of limitations can apply to debts, including those owed for medical or credit card bills and student loans. Some types of debts like student loans and back taxes have no statute of limitations during which a creditor can collect on what is owed. 

Other types of debt like credit card or medical bills have finite statutes of limitations. Once those expire, the creditor can no longer pursue collection activities against the debtor.

It does not mean, however, that the debtor no longer owes the debt. If he or she begins making payments after the statute of limitation expires, the time clock for collecting on the debt begins anew. The creditor is given a new statute of limitation during which it can pursue collection for the owed amount.

Debates Over Statutes of Limitation

Statutes of limitation have long been the subject of controversy. Debate about whether or not to continue them or suspend them entirely continues to ensue in courtrooms across the country. Both sides of the argument have strong opinions about their legalities and necessity.

Proponents for statutes of limitation say that they are necessary to protect the constitutional rights of defendants. Statutes of limitation ensure that evidence and eyewitness testimonies will be presented in court while they are fresh and untainted. They give the accused the best chance of a fair trial.

However, critics of statutes of limitation say that they take away from the victim’s right to justice. A victim may not be able to take action within the allowed statute of limitation because of factors like a lack of money to hire an attorney, fear of reprisal, or blocked or unclear memories of what happened during the offense.

Statutes of limitation apply to many crimes including those prosecuted in federal court. They are designed to protect the integrity and constitutionality of a case. However, they also are the subject of controversy because of their ability to limit alleged victims’ chances for justice.

Author bio

Brett A. Podolsky is a Criminal Legal Specialist certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is the former Assistant Criminal District Attorney for the State of Texas. As a criminal defense attorney in Houston, Texas, Mr. Podolsky dedicates his entire practice to litigation. He accepts a wide variety of cases, including drug charges, federal crimes, white-collar crimes, and sex crimes.

Uncategorized Editor Mon, 24 Jun 2019 23:55:17 -0400
How Much Does It Cost To Legally Change Your Name?

There is a myriad of reasons as to why a person may want or need to change their names. Changing of names is generally allowed for any reason expect to evade the law or commit fraud. Whichever your reason for wanting to change your name is, if you want to have a new name to appear on your legal documents; driver's license, social security card, passport, birth certificate, and bank accounts, you'll have to obtain a court order.

When it comes to the costs of legally changing your name, obtaining a court order is the most expensive process. Hiring a lawyer to offer assistance and guidance is always an option, however, it significantly raises the overall costs. If you have an understanding of the court process, it is a process you can handle on your own. An attorney helps you prepare name change documents and provides legal representation during the hearing or if someone objects your name change. After you have been issued with a court order certificate an attorney can help ensure that all your accounts and I.Ds have been updated.

If you are considering to have your name changed but may be wondering what it costs, then read on as this article delves into what a name change consists of and what it will cost you.

Depends On State

Different states have different sets of procedures and documentation requirements for changing names, hence, charge different fees. Depending on which state you are in, you will incur different charges as to what you'd incur in another state. You'll find that there are some charges that other states may not consider while they are considered on your state. State name change laws are executed through county courts and all the counties within a state are expected to charge the same amount of fees.

Depending on your state, the costs of filing for a legal name change and the issuance of a court order document may be from $150-$400, however, in some states, it may be as high as $500.

The turnaround time also varies from state to state due to the different sets of procedures and it may also be affected by other factors such as workload. The average time it takes most states to execute a name change court order is between 8-12 weeks. However, in some states such as California, it may take as long as 3 months. To get an estimate of the turnaround time of the city or county you are in, you should contact your county clerk.

After filing your name change petition there are other additional requirements that you'll have to consider in order to complete the name change process and in each, you will incur certain fees.

Publishing Notice Requirement

Once the judge has granted your name change request, some states require that you publish a notice of your name change in a newspaper. This is done in order to make your name change a public record. In most states, you are expected to publish the legal notice within 60 days after petition approval.

The publication of the notice can only be done through a designated list of newspapers. Your notice will be published under Legal Notices in the classified section. Different newspapers charge different fees for publishing in their classifieds section. In New York, for example, big time newspapers such as The New York Times charges upwards of $500 and The New York Post charges around $200 while other smaller local newspapers may charge an average of $45.

It is therefore essential to do some research in your area to find a newspaper that is favorable to your budget. It is worth noting that in most cities there are legal and business newspapers that offer legal notices publications at significantly lower prices than regular daily newspapers.

Changing Your Driver's Licence/State Identification Card

After filing and publishing your notice, the court will then hold a hearing on your name change. If everything is in order and the judge approves the name change, you will be issued with a court order. You will need a certified copy of this court order in order to update your driver's license or state identification card. In some states, there may be a fee while in others this process is completely free. However, in the states where they charge a fee, it is $20 on average. It is worth noting that updating your social security card is completely free.

Passport Renewal

For this process, you'll also need a certified copy of the court order. If you were issued with your passport within the past year, then you won't have to pay anything to update your passport. However, if it's been a year or more the fee to replace your passport is $30 for a card and $110 for a book. However, An important point to keep in mind is that Under TSA's Secure Flight Program, the name that you used to purchase a plane ticket should be exactly the same as the one on your photo I.D. Therefore, to avoid any inconveniences, you should avoid making any changes at the moment if you have already made travel plans and bought plane tickets.

Updating Your Birth Certificate

If you desire to change the name on your birth certificate, you need a certified copy of the court order and take it to the Bureau of vital records or the acting similar agency in the state where you were issued with your birth certificate. You will incur a fee in order to change your birth certificate. The fee is between $20-$30.

Changing your name after marriage, for example, taking your husband's name doesn't require filing a petition. You just need your marriage certificate.

If you wish to change your child's name after divorce, you'll have to file the petition yourself as the parent as people under the age of 18 years are not legally allowed to change their names. The process and costs incurred when changing a child's name are similar as for adults. However, there is an extra step which is serving the other parent with notice of name change petition.

If you want to do this yourself, you can, but it may be easier to go through a name change service like EZ Name Change that will take care of all the details for you for a nominal cost. Whatever your reasons for wanting to change your name, we wish you the best in your new identity!

Uncategorized Editor Fri, 14 Jun 2019 09:57:05 -0400
5 Effective Defense Strategies Every DUI Offender Should Know

The United States Department of Transportation reported that in every 48 minutes there were numbers of alcohol-impaired traffic fatalities across the country. The law enforcement agencies in each state are now aggressively disciplining the citizens more to decrease the number of accidents.

Consequently, sometimes, the police may immediately detain you for a small driving mistake or even nothing. Either way, ignorance is never bliss. You should be aware that there is no expanse on criminal defense that has more potential cases than DUI. Without further ado,  here are five strategies for an effective DUI defense.

Illegal Search and Seizure (4th Amendment)

In accordance to the Fourth Amendment, a police officer cannot pull you over without having any valid reasons like any reasonable claims that you are committing, about to engage, or had committed a DUI offense or other possible causes of traffic violations.

The good thing is there a few traffic violations that are excellent candidates for motions to suppress. For instance, a police officer will stop you for going over the yellow line once and will write a report that you fail to maintain a single lane. However, the police do not have other evidence that you badly affected the traffic when crossing the yellow line.

In Florida, violations, like turning with no signal stops and failing to maintain a single line, are not enough reasons for the police to legally stop a driver. Specifically, these violations should affect the traffic for one to be pulled over by the police; otherwise, a driver can challenge the stop.

If your DUI Attorney successfully defended you on a wrong stop, all the evidence, such as having slurred speech, watering eyes, bloodshot, an odor of alcohol or bad breath test result, that can prove you convicted a DUI offense can be possibly tossed out.

Coerced Compliance With Voluntary Tests

In many jurisdictions, it is not illegal to say no in taking field sobriety tests. Do not feel like you do not have any choice but to follow roadside exercises. Otherwise, you are helping the police to build his or her case instead. Always remember this: before the police can arrest you for convicting a DUI, he or she should have a probable cause of this suspicion.

If you are placed in a situation that you feel like you are “required” to take the test and it is considered involuntarily by the judge, the Court will disregard the evidence of the roadside tests, devastating the case of the State Attorney.

Unreasonable Length of Detention

Your driver’s constitutional right would be violated when police or patrolmen pulled you over for a specific traffic infraction, did the required police DUI arrest protocol, and then asked other cops to take over your DUI investigation, who arrived late and caused an unreasonable delay on your side.

The police cannot ask you to pull over and let you wait for one hour or so before he or she will start investigating.  If proven that the police unreasonably place you into detention even for a few minutes, the judge can potentially throw out all the evidence accumulated by the second police, which will destroy the state case.

No Probable Cause to Arrest

Assuming that a police officer had a legal basis to arrest you and undergo a DUI investigation on time. Then, he or she gathered adequate information to prove that you are guilty of a DUI conviction and detained you.

However, everything is based on what the police believed to be true, rather than the facts. For example, the Court can conclude that the police lacks probable cause after arresting you for having red shot watery eyes, empty cans of beer inside your car, and nothing else.

Suppress HGN Testimony From Non-Experts

During an early stage of a DUI investigation, many police officers will do horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test. In this test, the police officers will hold pointers—a penlight, pen, or finger—approximately 12 to 15 inches across a driver’s nose, test the drivers’ peripheral gaze in one given direction, and figure out whether a driver is influenced and impaired by alcohol or not.

HGN test is one of the standardized field sobriety tests that can serve as a testimony and can be presented to the jury. However, the officer should be an expert in horizontal gaze nystagmus. If not, the judge will get rid of any evidence, even relevant videos of the case.


Other defenses are related to non-compliance with administrative rules. For instance, if the breath test results are far apart, a test operator is not certified, or a machine is not maintained correctly, then the result may probably be excluded and suppressed. It is best to consult with a defense attorney for more professional advice.

Uncategorized Editor Tue, 11 Jun 2019 04:19:50 -0400
Green Card Through Employment Getting a green card through employment allows over 100,000 foreign-born persons and their spouses and unmarried minor children to immigrate to the United States each year.

Typically, an employer goes through the PERM process where they must advertise the job and demonstrate to the U.S. Department of Labor that no minimally qualified U.S. workers applied for the job.  The employer is required to pay the worker at the prevailing wage in the geographical area or the actual wage, whichever is higher.

However, the PERM process is not required for persons in the EB-1 Priority Worker category, for those who qualify as Persons of Exceptional Ability, for National Interest Waivers or for Registered Nurses and Physical Therapists.

Typically, getting a green card through employment is a 3-step process:

  • Approval of a PERM application;
  • Approval of an Employment-Based (EB) Visa Petition (Form I-140) which must be filed within 180 days of the approval of the PERM application; and
  • Approval of an application for Adjustment of Status (Form I-485) if the applicant is in the U.S. or an application for an Immigrant Visa abroad.

A green card through employment may be applied for in the following 3 categories:

  • EB-1 Green Cards for Priority Workers

This category is divided into 3 sub-categories:

  • Persons of Extraordinary Ability (Self-Petition is Permitted.)

This category is restricted to those who meet 3 of the following 10 criteria:

   -  Receipt of lesser nationally or internationally- recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor;

  -  Membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought, which require outstanding achievements of their members;

  - Published material about the person in professional or major trade publications or other major media, relating to the person’s work in the field for which classification is sought;

  - Participation as a judge of the work of others in the same or an allied field;

  - Original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business- related contributions of major significance;

  - Authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media;

  - Display of work at artistic exhibitions or showcases;

  - Performance in a leading or critical role for organizations or establishments that have a distinguished reputation;

  - A high salary or other significantly high remuneration for services; or

  - Commercial success in the performing arts.

  • Outstanding Professors and Researchers

This requires that the person have a tenure-track faculty position or a permanent offer of employment, and have a minimum of 3 years of teaching or research experience.

In addition, the person must satisfy at least 2 of the following 6 criteria:

  • Received major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement;
  • Be a member of associations that require outstanding achievement;
  • Published material (written by others) about your research;
  • Served as judge of the work of others in your field;
  • Contributed original work to your field; and/or,
  • Authored scholarly articles or publications.
  • Multinational Executives and Managers

Such persons are required to demonstrate that they were employed by a company affiliated with their current U.S. employer as a manager or executive outside the U.S. for at least 1 of the last 3 years before coming to the U.S.  To qualify as a manager, a person must manage either professionals or supervisors. 

  • EB-2 Advanced Degree Professionals

This category is for members of the professions holding an advanced degree or its equivalent.  The attainment of a Bachelor’s  degree  plus 5 years of professional experience is usually deemed to be the equivalent of an advanced degree.

Typically, their employers of EB-2 professionals must advertise the job and demonstrate to the U.S. Department of Labor that no minimally qualified U.S. worker applied for the job.  This is known as a PERM application.

However, the following are exceptions to the PERM requirement:

  • Persons of Exceptional Ability

The employee is required to meet at least 3 of the following criteria:

  • Official academic record showing that you have a degree from an institution of learning relating to your area of exceptional ability;
  • Letters documenting 10 years or more of experience in the occupation;
  • A license to practice your profession or certification for your profession or occupation;
  • Evidence that you have commanded a salary for services that demonstrates your exceptional ability;
  • Membership in a professional association(s);
  • Recognition for your achievements and significant contributions to your industry or field by your peers, government entities, professional or business organizations; or
  • Other comparable evidence of eligibility is also acceptable.
  • National Interest Waivers (Self-Petition is Permitted.)

A national interest waiver may be granted if the employee meets the following criteria:

              (1) The proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance;

(2) You are well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor; and

(3) It would be beneficial to the U.S. to waive the job offer and PERM requirements.

Physicians employed by the Veterans Administration or in a Medically-Underserved Area have their own unique requirements for qualifying for a National Interest Waiver.

  • EB-3 Professionals, Skilled and Unskilled Workers

For this category, the employer must follow the PERM wage and advertising requirements.  Only if no minimally qualified U.S. workers apply for the job will the Labor Department approve the PERM application.

It should be noted that Registered Nurses (RNs) and Physical Therapists (PTs) are both classified by the Labor Department as Schedule A Shortage Occupations.  As such, while employers are subject to wage requirements, they may sponsor RNs and PTs for green cards without having to undergo the PERM process.

Uncategorized Editor Mon, 10 Jun 2019 10:21:42 -0400
How Does Unemployment Work in NY? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 378,557 unemployed NY residents as of April 2019. Those who have met a specific set of qualifications designated by the NY labor unemployment board are collecting unemployment benefits funded by NY labor unemployment taxes. The qualification, application, and collection processes associated with obtaining wage compensation benefits can be quite detailed, which is why having an adequate understanding surrounding each process is key.

Step One: Qualification

In order to be deemed eligible for N.Y.S unemployment insurance benefits, one must meet three specific criteria. The first part of this criteria is the accumulation of time in which you have worked, and wages that you've received prior to applying. The prior employee must have worked two calendar quarters, which is equal to a six month time span. These quarters do not have to be consecutive, but they do have to be in three month increments. The individual must also have received least $1,900 in one quarter alone. The entire payment over exactly four quarters (one year) must be calculated at the amount of 1.5 times more than what they were paid in their highest-paying quarter.

The second criteria developed NY labor unemployment board, is that the applicant must have been terminated due to a reason that they are not at fault for. The most common reason for this type of termination is when one's position is no longer necessary. Those who are responsible for their own termination for reasons such as misconduct or voluntary quitting are not considered eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. Those who are facing medical conditions that have prevented them from maintaining employment are also ineligible for N.Y.S. unemployment insurance benefits in most situations. They could, however, qualify for worker's compensation benefits instead.

The third criteria that needs to be met in order to receive N.Y.S. unemployment insurance benefits is the willingness and availability to work. Unemployed NY residents will have to provide proof that they are actively searching for open positions. Those who are found refusing legitimate work could face losing their N.Y.S. unemployment insurance eligibility altogether.

Step Two: Application

It is imperative that an applicant gathers all of the correct proofs before they submit an unemployment claim, as failure to do so could result in ineligibility or an extensive waiting period. Claimants will need general information such as their social security number, contact information, and alien registration status if applicable. The NY labor unemployment office will also need applicants to provide their employment history over the past eighteen months. Certain forms such as an SF8, SF50, and DD14 may also be required. Once you've acquired all of the appropriate proofs, you can complete the application process over the phone or online through New York's Department of Labor website. Be sure to start the process within exactly one week of officially becoming an unemployed NY resident for maximum compensation.

Step Three: Collection and Reconsideration

If approved, your benefits will start to be paid out three-to-six weeks after your initial application was submitted. This is after an unpaid period of one week as passed. Those who receive N.Y.S. unemployment insurance benefits are required to refile claims on a weekly basis. Each week's payment will be disbursed through direct deposit, so it is important to have your bank's routing information readily available.

If your claim was denied due to lack of proof, a contesting employer, or other determining factors, an explanation will be given in your Notice of Determination sent out by the NY labor unemployment board. This ruling can be appealed by requesting a reconsideration, which is a written appeal filed within thirty days of receiving the initial notice. These appeals allow the unemployed NY resident to present their case before an administrative judge for reconsideration. Having adequate representation at this hearing with the support of a qualified attorney in NY can help strengthen your case and chances of receiving unemployment benefits as a result.

Successfully collecting wage compensation benefits by the NY labor unemployment office may seem like an overwhelming endeavor, but having advanced knowledge on the topic will make the process much more manageable overall. If you've been terminated due to circumstances that were beyond your control, it is imperative that you receive the benefits that are rightfully yours. Having adequate legal representation through a team of experienced attorneys can make each of these processes as accessible and hassle-free as possible.

Uncategorized Editor Fri, 07 Jun 2019 10:43:21 -0400
What to Do After Being Sexually Assaulted in the Workplace

No matter the nature of the organization, every employee has the right to a safe and secure workplace. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always eventuate. If things aren’t handled correctly, the workplace can become a place of unwanted interactions that lead to sexual discrimination, harassment, and even sexual assault.

Fortunately, recent movements have helped raise awareness and increased the visibility of sexual assault as an issue. As a result, more and more victims are coming forward in their fight for both justice and closure. This article will cover what constitutes sexual assault and what victims can do after being sexually assaulted in the workplace.

Differences Between Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault

The difference between sexual harassment and sexual assault is really somewhat of a gray area. There is a lot of confusion between the terms, which can often lead to some people dismissing sexual harassment as an issue.

These two terms have a considerable amount of overlap and sexual harassment can definitely lead to sexual assault if the same behavior patterns continue. This section will break down these two terms so that you can understand their similarities and differences.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment involves illegal sex discrimination under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. This law defines sexual harassment as unwelcome verbal, visual, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, or based on someone’s sex, that is severe or pervasive and affects working conditions or creates a hostile work environment.

Verbal or Written

Verbal or written sexual harassment is the most common form in the modern workplace. This generally manifests itself in making fun of a person’s body, clothing, sexual orientation, or relationships. There are several other examples of verbal or written sexual assault; including:

  • Making unwanted sexual advances and requesting sexual favors
  • Threatening someone for refusing or rejecting sexual advances
  • Spreading rumors about someone’s personal or sexual life


While verbal and written harassment will garner most of the attention, non-verbal sexual harassment can be just as damaging to the victim. Here are a few ways that this can occur:

  • Making derogatory gestures and expressions of a sexual nature
  • Stalking or repeatedly following someone around
  • Looking someone’s body up and down


Physical sexual harassment can definitely be the most damaging of all. Here are a few common examples:

  • Inappropriate physical contact
  • Impeding someone’s movement
  • Touching someone without their consent
  • Unwelcomed stroking, patting, hugging, or kissing


While it does have some differences to the other types listed, visual harassment has the same underlying intention. This most commonly manifests itself in the sharing of pictures, messages, posters, and drawings of sexual context.

Affects working conditions’ and ‘creates a hostile working environment’ are also key parts of this definition. This could result in something like getting terminated, demoted, getting a bad evaluation or being refused a promotion. If any of these actions were taken because you refused a sexual advance, this harassment has had a very real impact on your working conditions.

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault has been defined by the U.S. Department of Justice as “any non-consensual sexual act proscribed by Federal, tribal, or State law, including when the victim lacks the capacity to consent”. This is considered a criminal offense, while sexual harassment is seen as a form of employee discrimination.

If any of this conduct interferes with your work performance or creates an intimidating and hostile environment, you have a claim on your hands.

What to Do After Being Sexually Assaulted in the Workplace

If you’ve undergone the misfortune of being sexually assaulted in the workplace, there are a few clear steps you should take. Reporting the issue to your employer is a logical first step. This will give you the option to continue with your company’s legal processes or to settle the matter in court.

Before you opt for court, it’s important to consult an attorney who is experienced in dealing with sexual assault cases. Attorneys who help sexual assault victims can help guide you through the process and improve your chances of getting a fair result. Here are several things you can do after being sexually assaulted in the workplace.

Say ‘No’ Very Clearly

Although it isn’t a proper excuse, some people just won’t understand that their actions are making you uncomfortable unless you tell them directly. They may not be able to properly gauge your body language or facial expressions. As such, you need to directly tell them that their actions are offending you and that you’d like them to stop immediately.

After you’ve done this, most people will get the message and stop. If this still doesn’t stop the behavior, the next option is to tell them to stop via written communication, which you should keep a copy of. E-Mail is one of the better ways to do this as it allows you to easily keep a record of communication.

Report the Behavior

The last thing most organizations want to be dealing with is a sexual assault case involving their employees. Most organizations will allocate substantial resources to dealing with something like this, including a dedicated human resources team. As soon as this behavior occurs, you should promptly let your supervisor or HR representative know.

These people are usually well-trained to handle such situations and have proper systems in place to deal with them. Where possible, you should ideally look to put this in writing and keep a saved copy. If nothing ends up being done about the situation, at least you’ll have this as a saved record.

Document Everything that Has Happened

Any time you experience sexual harassment or assault in the workplace, the best practice is to write down everything that happened. Document what happens and where it occurs, listing any witnesses where possible. Especially if some of your co-workers also see what is happening, get them to write it down as well.

Ideally, you should also look to keep a record of anything that occurs at home or outside of the workplace. If you’ve got these things written down, it’ll be much easier to make a case to your supervisor or HR representative.

Follow Your Employer’s Complaint Procedures

Individual organizations tend to have their own procedures to deal with complaints of this nature. Ideally, they’ll have an employee manual with written policies on how sexual assault complaints will be handled. By following these procedures, you’ll likely be able to resolve this issue as efficiently as you can.

It also shows your employer that you trust them to resolve things in-house without getting an outside arbitrator involved. This makes them likely to take this very seriously and look for a fair resolution as quickly as possible.

Keep a Record of Your Own Actions

Any time you make a report to your employer, it is best practice to do it in writing and to keep a copy. This allows you to create a written record of your own actions and your employer’s response to them. If things aren’t handled in a satisfactory manner, these records could prove very useful down the line.

Don’t Hesitate to File a Report

As soon as an incident of sexual assault occurs, don’t hesitate to report it to your employer. Far too many people are very hesitant to make these reports, which ultimately means the behavior carries on for too long. If your employer is unable to help and you’ve waited too long, you may be unable to file a report at all.

The EEOC requires that all sexual assault reports are submitted within 300 days, while some states have limits of just 180 days. Moral of the story, as soon as any instance of sexual assault occurs, you need to file a report as soon as possible.

Use Your Union

If you’re part of a union, don’t be afraid to leverage them to help navigate the grievance process. They’ll typically allow you to file a formal grievance and have one of the officials help you through the process. Especially if you’re unsure of how to proceed, they can be a very valuable resource.

File a Complaint with a Government Agency

Before you can file a lawsuit in state or federal court, you will need to file a formal charge with either the EEOC or the fair employment agency in your state. As such, this is one of the first steps you should take if things can’t be resolved in-house.

After you’ve filed this formal complaint, you may decide that it’s time to file a lawsuit for sexual assault. You can seek financial compensation, getting your job back (if you’ve been terminated as a result) and require that your employer changes their policies on sexual assault.

If you think filing a lawsuit is the best course of action, hiring a reliable solicitor is of the utmost importance. Apolinsky & Associates specialize in handling sexual assault cases involving unwanted physical touching.

To have a reliable and experienced legal team help you get the outcome you deserve, feel free to contact us today.

Uncategorized Editor Fri, 17 May 2019 23:09:38 -0400
Is It Legal to Hide My IP Address Using a VPN?

It goes without saying that the internet has changed the way we live, allowing us to shop, communicate and entertain ourselves with ease. However, it also makes us and our computers face a variety of security threats. To protect their computers and the information stored in them, many Internet users have begun to use strategies that allow them to surf the internet with less visibility. One way to do this is to hide your IP address.

This has led some to ask the inevitable question: is it legal to hide your IP address?

What's IP Address?

It might be helpful to define the term "IP address" before answering the question. There is no doubt that you have heard these words before, but you may not know how the Internet protocol address is associated with your Internet access and computer identity. The Internet Protocol address is similar to a mail address because it acts as a location identifier for a computer network. IP represents an Internet protocol, and the address is a series of numbers that a remote computer can use to communicate with your computer.

This communication is necessary for you to use the Internet because it tells the remote computer where to send the information when you load the Web page. Because it provides identifying information about your computer, your IP address may be used in a number of ways, which can adversely affect your or your ability to use the Internet. For example, hackers can use an Internet protocol address to install a Trojan horse or otherwise hijack your computer. It can also be a way for others to determine where you are in a geographic location. Someone can maliciously use your Internet protocol address to send spam or pretend to be you, fundamentally stealing your identity.

Companies can also record IP addresses when you visit their websites, resulting in annoying pop-ups and intrusion into privacy for data collection. For all these reasons, many people decide to hide their IP addresses while surfing the web. This can be done in a number of ways. Perhaps the most common method is to use a VPN.

What's VPN?

This works by connecting to a VPN server that receives your requests, and then sends them to a remote computer, acts as an intermediary, and pretends to be your Internet protocol address.

VPN has been used for many other purposes as well. For example, in countries such as China, many websites such as Google, Twitter, Facebook etc. are blocked. People in China often uses VPNs to bypass this kind of internet blocking.

There are also many packages that hide your Internet protocol address. A lot of people have raised the question:

Is it legal to hide your IP address using tools such as VPN?

The answer is yes, as long as you are not trying to help you engage in illegal activities. Your Internet protocol address is private personal information and you have the right to disguise it as a eavesdropping person who may be using it. In many cases, websites that warn you to hide the illegality of your Internet protocol address may try to use your IP address for your own purposes.


In today's Internet threat World, you should not hesitate to take preventive measures such as hiding IP addresses.

Uncategorized Editor Mon, 13 May 2019 02:57:44 -0400
Eliminating Liability Resulting From a Foreclosure When an individual purchases a home by utilizing a secured lender, they are signing both a promissory note and a mortgage instrument. The promissory note creates the monetary obligation for the borrower to repay the loan amount to the lender, while the mortgage instrument is what grants the lender the right to foreclose on the property if the obligation is not repaid. Often, when facing foreclosure, the focus is on the lender taking ownership of the property. However, this blog will explore the liability implications that come with a foreclosure and how it can be addressed through a chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy case as well as address some questions related to bankruptcy.


When a property is sold at a sheriff sale for less than the amount of the outstanding mortgage loan, the lender has the right to pursue a deficiency judgment against the borrower. A deficiency judgment is a monetary judgment for the difference between what was owed to the lender and what the property was sold for at the sheriff sale. In New Jersey, the lender must bring an action to seek a deficiency judgment within three months of the sheriff sale pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:50-2. The easiest way for someone to determine if a complaint is a foreclosure complaint or a complaint seeking a deficiency judgment is to look at the docket. If the docket number begins with an F, then it is a foreclosure complaint seeking possession of the property. On the other hand, the docket number will begin with an L if a lender is seeking a deficiency judgment.

Once three months from the foreclosure sale passes, then the lender will be barred from pursuing a deficiency judgment against the borrower. However, even if this deadline passes, the borrower may still receive a form 1099-C from the lender. Pursuant to the IRS Code, forgiven debt is taxable income. Therefore, the deficiency amount that a lender chooses not to pursue in the form of a deficiency judgment, can become taxable income to the borrower.


One option that an individual has to eliminate the possibility of a deficiency judgment or a tax penalty stemming from the foreclosure for forgiven debt is to file a chapter 7 bankruptcy case. An individual chapter 7 bankruptcy is the liquidation chapter of bankruptcy where the individual is seeking to have his or her debt discharged without proposing to make any monthly payments to creditors. A bankruptcy discharge erases any individual monetary obligation that an individual has to a creditor. Any liability for a deficiency judgment to the lender stemming from the foreclosure whether the bankruptcy is filed prior to the sheriff sale or after a deficiency judgment is entered can be discharged in a chapter 7 bankruptcy case. Additionally, one of the benefits of a bankruptcy discharge is that discharged debt is not taxable income pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 108(a)(1)(A). Therefore, while it is irrelevant for purposes of discharging personal liability on the deficiency judgment, it is very important to file the bankruptcy case prior to being issued a 1099-C from the lender to eliminate any potential income tax implications stemming from the foreclosure.


Bankruptcy is not a one size fits all procedure in that an individual’s situation must be closely analyzed before deciding which chapter of bankruptcy is right for that individual. Some individuals will not qualify for a chapter 7 bankruptcy due to their income or a chapter 7 would not be right for them due to having significant assets that would be sold by a chapter 7 trustee. In that case, if faced with a foreclosure, then a chapter 13 bankruptcy proceeding is an option for discharging any potential liability for a deficiency judgment and eliminating the potential for tax liability resulting from the foreclosure.

Chapter 13 is the individual reorganization chapter of bankruptcy, which is done through a chapter 13 plan. In the chapter 13 plan, the individual can seek to surrender a real property to the mortgage holder. Choosing this option will allow the debtor to be discharged of his or her debt to the lender upon completion of the plan.

A common misconception of surrendering a property in a chapter 13 plan is that the real property must then be immediately turned over to the secured creditor. However, this is not the case. Surrendering a property through a chapter 13 plan simply means that the debtor is not seeking to retain the property through their individual reorganization and that the lender will be granted relief from the automatic stay upon confirmation of the chapter 13 plan by the Bankruptcy Court. The automatic stay is the mechanism within the Bankruptcy Code that prevents creditor collection actions from going forward while the bankruptcy case is pending. Therefore, upon confirmation of a chapter 13 plan that seeks to surrender real property, the secured creditor will be free to resume its foreclosure proceeding to take ownership of the real property in state court.

Written by David E. Sklar, Esq.

Bankruptcy Attorney, Scura, Wigfield, Heyer, Stevens & Cammarota, LLP. Prior to joining Scura, Wigfield, Heyer & Stevens, LLP, Mr. Sklar graduated from Rutgers University-Newark School of Law with a J.D., Cum Laude. Mr. Sklar represents individuals in bankruptcy and civil litigation.

Uncategorized Editor Mon, 06 May 2019 21:20:46 -0400
4 Essential Tips for Opening Your Own Law Firm You graduated from law school and went straight into working for a big firm. Within a few years, you see how it's run and decide you could certainly do that yourself if you had the capital and the clients. Before long, you have your capital raised and are ready to go for it. However, you're a little worried about branching out on your own and confused to boot. With that in mind, read on below for a few essential tips you might want to consider when opening your own law firm.

Choose a Field of Specialty

While you may think it would be great to practice general law, it can quickly become too much to handle and make you regret your decision to branch out on your own. If you started out with a firm of Midtown New York Personal Injury Lawyers, for example, perhaps that is where your specialization should lie. It's always best to specialize and help a select group of clients and do it well than to try to do it all and fail.

Don't Forget the Little Stuff

In the middle of all the setup, marketing, choosing a field to specialize in, and trying to drum up clients, it's important not to forget the little stuff that keeps a brick and mortar business going. Stuff like security for the office and even reputable pest control are extremely important. After all, you don't want your offices broken into and you certainly don't want a bug crawling across a client's shoe during a consultation, now do you. The little stuff is just as important as the big stuff when you're opening your own office.

Make Sure You Start With the Right Tools

As with any other career out there, you're going to need to spend money to make money. While you need to carefully consider how you spend the money you have to open your firm, skimping on the essentials can be a mistake. For example, you need to budget quite a bit for marketing, as that is going to be where your clients come from.

Be Smart About Leaving Your Current Firm

One area that lawyers starting their own firm run into problems with is leaving the firm they are currently working for. You want to do it in a way that is professional, ethical, and won't create legal problems, especially when it comes to taking your clients with you. Doing things the right way and leaving in good standing with your current firm is the best, and smartest, way to do business. You never know when you might need that firm in the future and it's better not to burn your bridges as you go.

These are just a few tips to help you start your own law firm and break away from the firm you are currently with. Make sure to do things the smart way and success is sure to follow.

Uncategorized Editor Wed, 06 Mar 2019 21:37:28 -0500
Why is a personal attorney most reliable for accident cases? Before hiring a personal attorney then one has to consider a lot of important things.  For effective results, one should always check, does my injury qualify or not for the case. If you want compensation, then one has to analyze lots of important things. You should check the budget because most of the lawyers are charging thousands of dollars in each case. Before making a final decision, you should ask important questions related to life and other cases carefully. To win the case then one has to do lots of important things and in this the attorney can assist you. You need to hire someone who can do the work for you competently.

Nothing is better than personal attorney because he will able to handle every case with ease.  Personal injury lawyers are known as tort law. They specialize in a particular area such as private or wrong injuries and other nonmonetary damages. Let's discuss the role of the role of a personal injury attorney.

  • What are the duties of personal attorney?

Personal injury lawyers have thousands of responsibilities. All these duties are associated with ethical and professional codes. To get rid of hassles and other problems then one should always consider a certified lawyer because he will able to handle every case with ease. Firstly, he will prepare the file, and then he can file the particular complaint in the court. A professional always prepare the file with legal documents and will offer genuine advice to the victim.  He will always make a decision wisely. If possible, then professional attorney makes a settlement with the other party. You don't have to visit the court again and again because criminal will give you compensation to you.

  • Strict rules and regulations

When it comes to the personal attorney, one has always to consider a professional one only. As per professionals, an expert lawyer will always follow strict principles and other important rules. He can make a settlement with clients with ease. To avoid the additional charges then it would be better to consider a professional lawyer only. They will able to protect your rights. You don’t have to give a fee in advance. The fee depends on the case; if you win the case, then you have to pay 20% of the compensation.  Before choosing a personal attorney, one has to pay close attention to the certificate and training. Most of the lawyers are handling the case without getting proper training.  Most of the people are choosing Zehl 18 Wheeler Accident Attorneys because they will able to handle every case with ease. Make sure that you are choosing an experienced and skilled lawyer only.

  • Specific area

If you are giving the right information about the case, then you can easily win it.  He will always focus on the specific area of the case. Make sure that you are choosing a skilled lawyer only.

Moving further, a professional personal lawyer always analyzes the case carefully. As per professionals, a personal attorney always gives right suggestions to you.

Uncategorized Editor Sat, 09 Feb 2019 07:48:44 -0500
Things you need to know before filing an IVC Filter lawsuit Technological advancements have had a positive impact on the medical field. Today, there are advanced medical devices designed to enhance the human life condition. However, sometimes these devices can be more deadly than one can imagine. A case in example is the IVC (Internal Vena Cava) Filters. Initially, this equipment was designed to prevent blood clots right at the source, which could be helpful in saving many lives. However, in the recent past, it has also led to some fatal injuries because of defects and malfunctioning.

Today, many such medical mishaps of vena cava filters and their complications are reported to the FDA. And many patients and their families have also filed IVC Filter lawsuits. If you are also planning to file a lawsuit, here are a few essential points that you need to be aware of.

  1. The injury risks

IVC filters got designed with the objective of helping people overcome a particular physical issue. There are removable filters that must be removed after some time of one or two months, after the implant. If you wait longer than that, the chances of a severe injury increase. However, this is not known to take place in maximum cases. The ace lawyers who know that such an injury can happen. However, if the filter is still not removed, then you stand a good chance in filing a lawsuit against the healthcare provider.

  1. An improper device

In the recent times lawsuits for sudden death because of IVC Filter malfunctioning are increasing in number. If there's a faulty device that has resulted in over 24 deaths, then it is essential to file a lawsuit. It will warn people who are planning to opt in for an IVC filter and help them act in an informed manner.

  1. Chances of serious injuries

It is essential to know that many people have contacted the FDA informing about severe injuries due to IVC filter implants. You must understand that this equipment can cause a tear in your body. It means there can be small pieces of this device that can move to the lungs and the heart. It will result in chronic perforation. Furthermore, if the condition is severe, it would be even more challenging to take away the filter from the body. If you or someone you know has witnessed such a chronic injury, by all means, you need to file a lawsuit.

Do IVC Filters bring any good outcome?

Keeping in mind all the data available today, IVC filters efficiency is questionable today. Many people have claimed that the after effects of this device are not as promising as it appears in the beginning.  Hence, if you find that your doctor is unsure about the risks associated with this device, it makes sense that you get in touch with a lawyer who would help you address the situation legally.

Today, medical breakthroughs are continually happening! However, if you find yourself to be a victim of faulty and malfunctioning medical equipment, for instance, an IVC Filter, it is essential to reach out to an ace attorney.

Uncategorized Editor Thu, 31 Jan 2019 03:12:25 -0500