Is there a time limit on when I can sue regarding my injury?
Yes, there are time limits on when you can sue, and depending on who the party is, you may have to give notice to the party of the injury within as little as 90 days of the incident or be precluded from suing. The notice requirement is usually when the injury was caused by a local, state or city government and/or its employees or agencies. Call our office to find out in your case when you must take action by.
What can I be compensated for when I am injured?
In most cases, you can be compensated for all damages, including economic damages such as lost wages and medical expenses and non-economic damages such as pain, suffering, disability, loss of normal life and disfigurement. There are some cases such as workers’ compensation claims in which you would not be entitled to non-economic damages. There are some cases such as medical malpractice where non-economic damages are capped to be no greater than a certain amount. Call our office to find out what damages you are entitled to in your case.
Do I need to pay an attorney fee if I do not recover in my injury case?
No, you do not. Our office takes your injury case on a contingency basis. We recover an attorney fee only if you recover money damages in your case.
If I sue will the person who I sue for negligence suffer financial loss?
Not usually. Most types of negligence claims are covered by insurance. The insurance carrier provides a free attorney and pays the claim for the negligent party. The negligent party does not usually have to pay out-of-pocket for your damages. An attorney will be able to find out if there is insurance coverage or not for your claim.
I was injured in an auto accident but it was my fault. Am I entitled to benefits?
Yes, if you had no-fault insurance on your vehicle, you are entitled to what is called first party benefits. If you have full benefits, your insurance carrier must pay all of your reasonable medical expenses, replacement services for up to three years at $20 a day to hire someone to do those things you could normally do, attendant care for someone to provide assistance such as help bathing, walking, taking medication, etc.... and up to three years for lost wages to a certain maximum amount.
I have a Will. Does that avoid my beneficiaries having to probate my estate?
No. A Will only directs who is in charge of your estate (the Personal Representative) and who your property goes to. Your Personal Representative will have to file a petition in probate court to probate the estate and obtain authority to act on behalf of the estate. Usually your personal representative will have to hire an attorney to do so. There will be filing fees, publication fees and an inventory fee to pay based on the size of your estate. With proper estate planning, you can avoid probate court and these fees.
After my death, I do not want my children to receive their property until a certain age or circumstance occurs. Can I do this?
Yes. With a Trust you can assure that your wishes occur. You name a Successor Trustee to be in charge of your property to be distributed according to your wishes after your death.
Can my spouse handle all of my financial affairs if I am unable to because of injury or illness?
No. There are certain things like cashing your checks, making decisions regarding your retirement account investments and selling your marital home or refinancing it that your spouse could not do. A Power of Attorney for finances would allow your spouse to do so. Otherwise your spouse would have to petition the probate court to be appointed your conservator over your financial assets.
Will my beneficiaries have to pay income taxes after I die on their share received of my estate?
Generally, not in most estates of modest size, except for tax deferred retirement type accounts, such as IRAs, 401(k)s and 403bs. Income tax will have to be paid on these accounts. How much and when will be dependent on how your beneficiary elects to treat this asset. If a beneficiary’s share appreciates from what it was worth at your death, he or she may have to pay income taxes on that appreciated value.
I want to sign a Quit Claim Deed giving my children ownership with me of my real estate. Is this a good idea?
Generally, no. If you sell your property, you will need your children to agree to sell it and may even need, in the case of a married son, his spouse’s approval. A creditor of your child may also try to make a claim to his or her interest in the property. There are better methods to avoid probate, such as placing the house in a Trust or in some cases signing a Ladybird Deed, which gives your children the real estate only after you die.
The police have asked me to speak to them at the police station. I am not sure what they want. Should I do it?
Absolutely not without first consulting an attorney who can call and find out what they want and advise you accordingly.
The police called me and said they want me to turn myself in, that there is a warrant for my arrest. I didn’t do anything wrong. Should I turn myself in and speak to them?
Absolutely not without first talking to an attorney. Tell the police you want to speak to an attorney. You will, after speaking to an attorney and through that attorney, have an opportunity to have your side heard if it is in your best interest to do so. You have a right not to incriminate yourself.
I am guilty and just want to plead guilty. Do I need an attorney?
Absolutely yes. Even though you may be guilty, the state must prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. You need to consult an attorney to determine whether first of all there is enough evidence to convict you and if convicted, what your consequence will be, including jail, house arrest, probation, license suspension, gun restrictions, alcohol and drug testing, anger management classes, deportation if an alien, loss of job, fines, costs and/or civil liability for damages. Only then can you make an informed decision to plead guilty. With the aid of an attorney you may be able to plead guilty to a lesser offense and lessen the sanctions and consequences on your life. In certain cases, you may even be able to get the case dismissed.
This is my first offense. Will the court be lenient?
In certain cases, if you are 17-20 years old, the court will dismiss the charges against you once you complete a probation period and the conditions of probation. There are also certain minor drug charges and misdemeanor domestic violence cases where dismissal is possible for a first offense after successfully completing a probationary period.