Stay Informed And Protect Your Interests – Questions For Your Personal Injury Lawyer

Finding yourself in a situation where you need the services of a personal injury lawyer can be one of the most stressful and difficult times of your life. A large part of this stress comes from feeling overwhelmed by new information. Many times, you may even feel like you don’t know the right questions to ask to make sure you get the information you need.

Below, you’ll find a guide to some questions you should ask your personal injury lawyer. Having the answers to these questions will decrease a large amount of your stress, make you feel more confident about the potential outcomes, and guarantee that you feel like an active and involved participant in one of your life’s most pivotal moments.

Ask About Costs

Often times, a personal injury case is necessary if your ability to work and provide your family is at risk. This can create a large financial strain, and for many people, the threat of that strain will prevent them from seeking out the justice that they deserve.

Your attorney, however, will be able to walk you through a cost structure that will work for you. Many times, your lawyer will be willing to accept your case on a contingency basis, allowing he or she to be paid as a percentage of your settlement. This allows you to have cost certainty while also protecting your family’s future.

Ask About Outside Experts

While your lawyer will be experienced in navigating the legal issues surrounding your case, there will likely be other aspects that he or she requires assistance with. Personal injury settlements are based on medical conditions, and as such, an outside opinion can go a long way to finding the outcome you deserve.

Your lawyer will be able to walk you through the process of engaging potential outside experts. These individuals will be able to fully explain to the court the extent of your injuries, and their findings can also strongly increase the likelihood of a settlement.

Ask About Communication

When going through a personal injury lawsuit, it can feel like the world has stopped until your case reaches its conclusion. This can create frustration if you feel as though your attorney is insufficiently communicating with you or being responsive to your needs. As such, you should work out a consistent communication schedule. This will guarantee a smooth relationship for you and your lawyer while also providing for sufficient time for the wheels of the justice system to turn.

Learn More

3 Reasons To Not Buy, Sell, Or Lease Commerical Property Without A Real Estate Lawyer

Many people wonder when the appropriate time is to hire a real estate lawyer. In many cases you can buy residential property on your own, without consulting a lawyer, however talking to a lawyer is never a bad idea. However, whenever you purchase or lease commercial property you should talk to a real estate lawyer.

Here are 3 reasons why you should never buy, sell, or lease real estate properties without a lawyer.

1. Unique Contracts

Generally speaking there are no standard contracts for commercial property. Instead, when you negotiate commercial real estate you will talk to the other party and come up with your own agreements on the contract. This means that if you don’t understand all of the contract, but sign it anyway you could be in a great deal of trouble.

A lawyer can help you look through the entire contract to make sure that it is fair to you and that you are signing what is right for you. They can help to negotiate the terms so that you are not stuck with a problem that you cannot correct.

2. Binding Contracts

The courts are very strict about commercial property contracts. Once you sign a contract to buy, sell or lease a property you will be expected to follow through on that contract. With residential real estate there is some wiggle room, however with commercial real estate there is not as much forgiveness. This means once you sign that contract you are bound.

If you do try to dispute the contract it could be very expensive. You will have to hire an attorney and you could potentially pay a great deal in litigation fees. That is why it is so much better to consult an attorney before you buy, sell or lease, commercial real estate.

3. A Lawyer Can Help To Act As A Broker

Although you might use a real estate agent to help find the property, they cannot offer legal advice. The lawyer can help to broker the deal so that you are getting exactly what you want and are sure that your money in protected. A real estate lawyer will have experience in brokering large commercial property deals and should be able to get you the best deal possible.

If you are thinking of buying, selling, or leasing any commercial property you need to talk to a real estate lawyer. If you don’t you will very likely regret it down the road.  

Learn More

Is It Time To Get Out Of Your Marriage? Know The Signs Of Abuse

Are you in an abusive relationship? If you are, you need to get help. Divorce can be difficult, but if you’re being abused, you shouldn’t try to save your marriage. You should save yourself, instead. If you aren’t sure whether you’re in an abusive relationship, here are some warning signs. If any of these signs relate to you, it’s important that you seek help as soon as possible.

Intimidation

Does your spouse use intimidation to control you or your actions? For instance, if you’re in public do you know what facial expressions mean that you’ve done something wrong? Intimidation can take on many different forms, including specific words, or body language designed to make you fear retaliation.

Isolation

Have you had to distance yourself from all of your friends and family? Does your spouse decide who you’re allowed to spend time with? If you’re kept away from your friends and family, or you’re only allowed to associate with your spouse’s friends, you need to get help. Abusers often isolate their victims out of fear that they will be found out.

Verbal Attacks

Does your spouse call you names or attack you verbally? Do the verbal attacks leave you feeling battered? Just because the verbal attacks don’t include physical attacks against you, doesn’t mean that it isn’t abuse. Verbal and emotional abuse involves the use of words and other emotional attacks designed to make you feel isolated and alone.

Threats Of Violence

Has your spouse threatened harm to either you or your family members? Has your spouse threatened suicide or other forms of self-harm if you try to leave? These threats of violence may be used to prevent you from getting the help you need. If you’re being threatened with acts of violence, you need to leave.

Reversal Of Blame

Are you being blamed for the abuse? Perhaps you’ve been told that it’s your fault your spouse got angry. You might have even been told that you wouldn’t be abused if you didn’t do things to irritate your spouse. Don’t let your spouse blame you for the abuse that you’re enduring.

If any of the previous signs are familiar, you need to get help. Don’t wait until you can afford to leave, or hope that your spouse will change. Help is available to you. Contact a family law attorney, such as Dunsmuir Ridler, as soon as possible. Your attorney will be able to help you get the protection you need, including restraining orders.

     

Learn More

3 Things You Should Do If You Have Been A Victim Of Domestic Violence

If you are in a domestically violent relationship it is important that you take steps to protect yourself. Unfortunately, both men and women can be victims of domestic violence. Even though it may seem impossible, you can get help and relief from a domestically violent relationship. Here are a couple things that you should do if you are in a violent situation.

1. Seek Medical Attention After The Incident

If you choose to press charges at some point, having a medical record of the abusive episode will be very important. If possible, you should get to a hospital or doctor as soon as possible after the incident. This is the case for both physical and sexual assault. The doctor should be able to tell by the nature of the wound if you were assaulted. The record that they keep of the visit will be one of the best things to prove in court that you are in danger.

It is important to recognize that your medical records and your conversation with your doctor is privileged information. This means that it is all private, unless you choose to use it to help your case. So don’t be afraid to talk to the doctor or to seek medical treatment.

2. Confide In Someone You Trust

Unfortunately one of the most common tactics that abusers use is isolation. They will try to keep their victim from talking to others, or having relationships with other people. However, it is important that you confide in someone that you trust about your situation for two reasons. First, this person can help you to get in a safe situation. And second, this person can be called upon in court, if you choose to press charges. It will help to have another person to testify that you are in danger.

3. File A Restraining Order

After an abusive incident you can file a restraining order. This means that you abuser cannot come near you, or else they will be punished by the law. Depending on the nature of the restraining order, the person could even go to jail for violating the order.

This restraining order will be what keeps you safe while the police investigate the person, and while you wait for sentencing. This means that you don’t have to wait until the person has been found guilty. If you feel unsafe, you can file for a restraining order right away.

If at any time you feel unsafe or in danger, talk to the police, or a safe house. They can get you the help you need. In order to find out more about getting the law on your side, you should also contact a lawyer who can help navigate your case in court. 

Learn More

3 Things To Put On Your Checklist When Divorcing

Ending a marriage can create a number of hardships. These can range from financial to emotional hardships for the divorcing spouses. If you are in this situation, it is important to prepare as much as possible for a divorce. Keeping a checklist of things that should be done and marking these off when completed will allow you to end the marriage with less stress.

Prepare Financially

Being alone means you will be required to pay all of the bills without any assistance. Consider setting some money aside as soon as you see a divorce is on the horizon. Listed below are things you will need to be prepared for financially:

1. Securing a loan for a home or paying rent for a place to live.

2. All of your insurance needs that will include your home, health, and car insurance.

3. A budgeted amount for food each month.

4. Your car payment and credit card payments that must be paid monthly.

5. Gasoline cost to get you to and from work each day.

By being as detailed as possible when creating a list for living alone, this will better prepare you when you’re in this situation.

Prepare Emotionally

Going through a divorce can take a toll on your mental health. In order to get through this stage of your life as easily as possible, make a list of ways and resources to help you cope well. Listed below are some ways to do so:

1. Join a support group of other divorcees who have gone through the same thing.

2. Have a list of friends and family you can turn to and call when needed.

3. Keep a journal to record your thoughts in each day and help you progress.

4. Prepare yourself in advance by spending time alone and focusing your energy on getting to know yourself better.

Prepare Socially

One of the advantages of being married is having another person to talk to at all times. If you don’t have children, the end of your marriage could make you feel lonely. Consider working on your social calendar to avoid this as much as possible. You can schedule dates with friends of yours and simply go out and see a movie or have dinner without the desire for a romantic relationship. Finally, going through a divorce can be a trying time. It’s important to create a checklist to follow to help you ease through this period. Consider asking for additional advice from your divorce lawyers to help you get through this trying time.

Learn More

Before You Rent: What You Should Know About The Lease And Property Inspection

If you’re about to rent a place to live for the first time, there are some important things that you need to do in order to protect yourself from any unpleasant legal problems if you get into a dispute with your landlord. Read more to learn some essential things that you should do before you rent.

Get All Agreements In Writing

Your lease should always be in writing. If you have a conflict with your landlord some time in the future, your lease is the best evidence that you can have of any agreements that were made between you.

If you have roommates, and you are all entering into the lease together, you want to have each roommate sign the lease as well, if the landlord will agree to that. 

Be aware, however, that some landlords prefer to rent to only one individual, who then has to take responsibility for any problems, including unpaid rent or damages to the property.

If you decided to enter a rental agreement that way, you want to make sure that you get a separate agreement from each of your roommates, detailing their responsibilities, including how much rent they have to pay, and what share of the utilities they owe each month.

Then, if one of your roommates moves out without paying the rent, you can use the agreement that you made to recover the money later, in court, if your ex-roommate won’t pay the bill. (Keep in mind the fact that you will still have to pay the landlord the money that’s due, on time, and worry about getting the money back from your ex-roommate later.)

Important Things That You Should Include In The Lease

Your lease should always include the date that your lease starts, and the date each month that the rent is due, and the amount of any security deposit that you have to pay. But it should also include other information that can be very important, including:

  • the exact date that your landlord says that it’s okay to move in, if you are allowed to move in before the first official date of your lease.
  • who pays for the utilities, including trash removal.
  • who is responsible for shoveling snow, or maintaining any yard.
  • whether or not you’re allowed to have access to a garage, a storage shed, or any other additional buildings near or on the property.
  • whether or not smoking is allowed.
  • whether or not pets are allowed, and if so, what kind of pets. Some landlords might allow cat or dogs, but not allow pet snakes, for example.
  • if having a pet costs extra each month, or requires a special one-time fee (or both).
  • if there are several rental units together, like an apartment, whether or not there are special rules you have to follow in order to live in the building, such as “quiet hours.”
  • how much you will be charged if you lose a key. (You should know that losing a key can be very expensive, because some landlords will want to replace the locks on a rental immediately.)
  • whether or not you are required to have tenant’s insurance, and if so, how much coverage you have to have.
  • the landlord’s emergency contact numbers.
  • who is expected to handle small repairs (such as burned out light bulbs).
  • how you are expected to request any repairs (by phone call, email, or letter) that need to be done to the property.

Having a very clear understanding of what is expected can prevent a lot of problems.

Make Sure That You Inspect The Property

The law requires your landlord to inspect the property within a week of the date you move in. Your landlord will give you a written report when the inspection has been finished.

This inspection protects you, because it lets you and your landlord come to an agreement about what kind of shape the property is in before you rent it. You don’t want to end up being held financially liable for damage you didn’t do.

There are important things to keep in mind about the inspections:

  • Be present. Never let a landlord do the inspection without your presence.
  • Do the inspection in the daylight, so it is easier to see problems.
  • Don’t move in until the inspection is completed.
  • Open drawers, look under sinks, examine visible plumbing.
  • Turn on faucets and check to see if heating and cooling units work.
  • Check to see if the refrigerator and stove are clean and operating.
  • Take pictures with your phone or camera of any obvious stains and tears in carpet, or damaged walls.
  • Examine door frames, locks, and windows.

Renting a new place, especially if it’s the first time you’ve ever lived on your own, can be exciting and fun. Most of the time, everything goes right. If something does go wrong, and you can’t resolve the conflict with your landlord without help, the best thing that you can do is contact a lawyer and ask for assistance, but having the lease and inspection reports clearly in evidence can help protect you from any negative financial consequences (including damaged credit).

Learn More

Alternatives To A Will

According to BBC News, over half of all people die without a will. If you die without a will, the probate court decides who inherits your property and distributes your assets to your heirs based on local laws. While a will gives you the power to make your wishes known and makes sure they are carried out, you do have some other alternatives to make sure your property is given away as you intended. Some may even do a better job of meeting your estate goal plans. 

Wealth-Building Tools

Insurance policies, IRAs, and employee benefit plans are often considered tools to build money for retirement, but you can also use them as estate-planning tools. Each of these can provide a regular income to whomever you name as the beneficiary after you die. Some plans and policies allow you to name more than one beneficiary, so this allows you to split the income between individuals if you want. 

Inter Vivos Gifts

If you’d like to begin giving away money to family before you die, consider making inter vivos gifts. This is just a fancy term that means gift giving while you are still alive. There are a few benefits associated with this gift giving option:

  • The pleasure of watching your beneficiaries enjoy and use your gift
  • You can use the gift to help reduce the size of your taxable estate
  • A big enough gift can bring your estate value down low enough to avoid paying estate taxes

Inter vivos gifts must meet certain criteria. It must be a complete and irrevocable gift, which means you cannot benefit from it financially or control the funds in any way. You cannot take the gift back once it is given nor share it. There may be limits on how much you can give away each year, so you need to discuss this with a lawyer to decide if this is a good option for you. 

A Trust

A trust can be a good alternative to a will, depending on the value of your estate and your estate-planning goals. When you set up a trust, you are creating a legal entity to hold your assets for the beneficiary of the trust. There are some things that a trust must include:

  • The purpose of the trust
  • beneficiary names
  • Names of the trustee and substitute trustee
  • Trustee responsibilities and rights
  • When the trustee should give full control of the trust to the named beneficiary
  • Conditions for dispersing income

Trusts and other alternatives to wills can be complicated, depending on your situation, so you should get help from an estate attorney, like Housecall Wills & Estates probate lawyer calgary. He or she can help you decide if a will or one of the alternatives would be best for you. 

Learn More