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3 Basic Elements of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Declaring bankruptcy is not something you should take lightly. You need to consider it as a last resort to getting out from under the crushing bills you can no longer afford to pay. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is one avenue you may choose to pursue, especially since you have some investments that you can cash out. While you are nervous about how it will all happen, you should feel like you are at least doing something to free up your cash flow and make future payments on time. 

Here are three of the essential elements that make up a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, so that you know what you to expect before the process begins:

  1. You Are Assigned a Trustee

Once you file for bankruptcy, a neutral trustee is appointed. This person is to meet with you and go over all of your finances including your debts, payment history, assets, and cash reserves. Once that is done, the trustee will start to make decisions like what items you can keep and what you need to return to creditors. In some situations, you may be able to hold on to things like a home and a car. Depending on the laws where you live, you may end up giving away both of these and starting completely fresh. If a life change has put you in this situation, like divorce or illness, your trustee will consider what is a reasonable expectation for payment and devise a plan.

  1. The Creditors Meeting

The trustee will notify all creditors of your intent to declare under Chapter 7 protection laws. Creditors will then get put in a line from highest to lowest, secured to unsecured. The difference between secured and unsecured debts is simple. If the debt has collateral attached, like a home or vehicle, then it is given priority. If there is nothing that a company can take, like debt from a credit card, the creditors are put further down the line for payment.

  1. Liquidation of Assets

Once a plan is devised, the trustee will begin liquidating unnecessary assets to pay back creditors. Some secured debts, like cars, may be returned. In instances where you don’t owe much but the car is valued higher than the debt, the creditor may have to pay you the difference. The extra money is then put back into paying other creditors. When all assets have been paid to the best of your ability, the proceedings end. If you didn’t have enough to pay everything off, the court should discharge the excess, giving you the chance to have a clean slate.

Choosing what bankruptcy to file for may come down to how much you can afford to give up. A bankruptcy lawyer, like a bankruptcy lawyer in Memphis, TN, can help you choose what sacrifices to make in order to better your financial future.

Thanks to Darrell Castle and Associates, PLLC for their insight into the basic elements of Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

4 Ways Witnesses Can Help Support Your Truck Crash Lawsuit

Being involved in an accident with a semi or other large truck can result in catastrophic damage. Because of their massive size, these trucks usually leave drivers and passengers in vehicles they collide with massive injuries or cause their deaths. If you or a loved one was hurt in a crash with a semi, gathering witnesses may help to support your case and win compensation for your pain, medical bills, lost wages, and suffering.

  1. Witnesses Can Offer an Objective View
    When an accident happens with a large truck, it can be difficult for you as a driver or passenger to recall the details that caused it. If you were riding in the back seat, you may have been looking elsewhere, and if you were driving, the accident might have happened so quickly that you did not have time to register what was happening. A witness can provide details that you missed, such as what caused the truck driver to lose control or from which direction the truck driver came.
  2. Multiple Witnesses Can Support Facts
    When there are multiple witnesses to your accident, their similar accounts of what they saw could help support your court case. For example, if a semi swerved into your lane and sideswiped you, causing your vehicle to crash or roll, multiple witnesses can attest to that in court. The more individuals who can give matching testimony, the stronger your case will be.
  3. Visual or Audible Testimony
    There are several ways witnesses can help you prove your truck accident case, including what they saw and heard. The screeching of brakes, the sound of impact, and the sight of a truck running a stop sign may all be taken into account during witness testimony. You may want to ask your witnesses to bring any photos or videos they have of the accident as well.
  4. Written Testimony
    Some witnesses to your accident who cannot appear in court may offer written testimony to help support your case. You may want to have your attorney review local laws regarding written witness statements, as some courts require their signature to be observed by one or more witnesses or to be notarized. If you plan to submit any written statements, it is wise to have them prepared as quickly as possible so your attorney can submit them to the court along with the rest of your evidence.

Having credible witnesses to your large truck accident can help support your case and prove negligence on the part of the truck or semi driver. Contact a trucking accident lawyer, like a Woodland Hills trucking accident lawyer, for more information.

Thanks to Barry P. Goldberg, A Professional Law Corporation for their insight into how witnesses can offer great evidence in a truck accident lawsuit.

How Long Do Nursing Home Cases Take?

How Long Do Nursing Home Cases Take?

If you have a loved one who was injured while they were a resident in a nursing home, you deserve justice and compensation. When it comes to filing claims, no one wants to wait a long time. This is particularly difficult if you have medical costs or other fees that you need to pay. Unfortunately, nursing home claims can take time before they settle. Here is what you need to know about nursing home cases. 

How Long Can the Case Take?

Sometimes nursing home suits can take anywhere between 18 to 24 months before they reach the end of the process. This is because the cases are complicated. There has to be a thorough investigation into the claims that you made and the court has to determine exactly what happened to cause the patient’s injuries. Then it’s time to find out who is liable.

Proof to Back Your Case

You may need to gather a lot of different documents and information to back up your case. For instance, you will need medical records, subsequent medical visits, examples of failed care from the staff, and much more. Every case will be different. While a lawyer may have a background in nursing home abuse or negligence, he or she has to focus on the circumstances of your case. Medical lawsuits are always complicated.

From the moment that you speak to a lawyer and hire one for the case, you can get the ball rolling. It is important to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible if you want to resolve the case. If you already have some of the documents, this can help speed it along. The sooner you speak to an attorney, the more likely he or she will be able to move quickly through the process. Your attorney will usually come up with the value of compensation you deserve and propose it to the organization or insurance company. If negotiations do not work, then the case has to be tried before a judge and jury, which can take quite a bit of time.

Your nursing home claim is heavily dependent on the complexity of the case and if the nursing home is willing to settle for a fair price. In most cases, organizations do not settle quickly. They would rather negotiate and try to pay as little as possible. This is why it’s crucial to have a nursing home lawyer, like a nursing home abuse lawyer in Houston, TX, at your side to ensure that you do not accept low compensation. For more information on nursing home claims, contact a nursing home lawyer for a consultation.

Thanks to John K. Zaid & Associates for their insight into how long nursing home cases typically take. 

Personal Injury Lawsuits and Insurance Policies

Personal Injury Lawsuits

If you find yourself involved in a personal injury lawsuit, you probably have a lot of questions. This is a very rare thing for most people, which means chances are very high that you have never experienced anything like it before. Many of the questions people have do not actually have anything to do with the case itself. For example, do you know how your lawsuit will affect your insurance policy? This guide will focus entirely on this question.

Your Insurance Rates

The answer is that your insurance policy will be completely unaffected unless you choose to report your injury to your insurance company. If you choose to report the injury and collect compensation through your insurance, then your rates will go up. Then, if you win your case, a portion of the winnings will be used to pay the insurance company back. It is almost a guarantee that this will not lower your insurance rates back to where they were originally, although technically this is up to the insurance company’s discretion.

It is important to note that the court winnings will likely be higher than what you have to repay your insurance company. You may receive compensation for pain and suffering, which is not something insurance policies include. Additionally, insurance companies often get discounts from hospitals for expensive medical procedures and tests. The defendant is responsible for paying the full price, rather than the discount you receive through your insurance policy.

The Pros and Cons of Using Your Insurance

The big question you have to ask yourself is whether or not you should accept payment from your insurance policy. There is no right answer, so you need to evaluate the situation yourself.

The pros of going through your insurance are:

  • Avoid risk – If you lose your court case, it will likely be too late to file an insurance claim, which means you cannot receive compensation from either source.
  • Cover initial costs – Many people simply do not have enough money to pay for medical treatment in the event they are injured. While waiting for your lawsuit to conclude, you will need to pay your medical bills somehow.
  • Faster compensation – Personal injury lawsuits are slow. They usually take months to conclude, or it could even be longer than a full year.

There is really only one con of going through your insurance, but it is a big one. Your rates increasing can put a major strain on many people’s finances. You can discuss the matter with a personal injury lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer in St. Paul, MN.

Thanks to Johnston & Martineau, PLLP for their insight into insurance policies and personal injury lawsuits.

US Diplomat’s Wife Flees UK after Auto-Motorcycle Crash

Motorcycle Crash

CBS News is reporting that the wife of a US diplomat has fled the UK after causing a fatal accident (

19-year-old Harry Dunn of the UK died when he was hit and killed while riding his motorcycle by 42-year-old Anne Sacoolas, who is the wife of US diplomat Jonathan Sacoolas. At the time of the crash, Sacoolas was driving on the wrong side of the road in the UK Town of Croughton. The young man was rushed to a hospital in Oxford, but ultimately died due to the injuries he sustained in the crash.

After the fatal accident, Sacoolas left the UK and returned to the US. The US Embassy in London says she is claiming her diplomatic immunity in connection with the incident. Her husband, Jonathan Sacoolas, works in an Air Force communication station base in the Royal Air Force in Croughton.

Dunn’s family is devastated by the loss of their child and wants Sacoolas to return to the UK and cooperate with the police investigating the case there. UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has reportedly spoken to President Donald Trump about the extradition of the diplomat’s wife, but so far his efforts have been unsuccessful.

Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the UK party opposing Johnson’s, said that the use of diplomatic immunity in this case is completely unacceptable. Corbyn also publicly raised the idea of taking legal action against the US in the face of their refusal to extradite Sacoolas.

Family members of the victim met with Dominic Raab, the UK Foreign Secretary, but they expressed disappointment with both the US and UK governments in the wake of this tragic accident. According to reports, Tim Dunn, the victim’s father, was upset that the respective governments seemed to think it was “okay” for a person to kill someone and just walk away without facing any consequences.

The UK police are still working on the case and have announced that they will expedite getting all the relevant information to the prosecutor there. According to Sarah Johnson, the Northamptonshire Superintendent, all normal procedures were followed immediately after the crash. Johnson said the police engaged with Sacoolas following the accident, and she told them that she did not have any plans to leave the UK.

Unfortunately for the Dunn family, the involvement of diplomatic immunity and red tape between the two countries may mean that they will not be able to get justice for their young son. Currently, the Dunn family is appealing to the media to shine a spotlight on their case in hopes to receive some sort of resolution, but it’s too early to tell if their efforts will have any impact.

If you have been involved in a serious accident caused by someone else, you have the right to seek compensation for your pain, suffering, and losses stemming from the accident. This includes your time away from work, medical bills, and other losses due to your injuries. Speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer, like a motorcycle accident lawyer in Denver, CO, about what happened to you as soon as you can.

Thanks to the Law Office of Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into what can be asked for in regards to compensation from a car or motorcycle accident.

Heart Attacks and Malpractice

Medical Malpractice Lawyer Salt Lake City, UT

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that the leading cause of death for women is heart disease, killing one out of every four women each year. Even more frightening is that 65 percent of women who die from the disease had no prior symptoms prior to their death.

Heart disease is recognized as the number one killer of men, but most people, including 46 percent of women, are unaware of how high a risk it is for women. There is a much higher rate of misdiagnosis and failure to diagnose heart attacks in women than there are in men. A recent study confirmed this fact by examining the data of closed medical malpractice claims.

All the malpractice claims used for the study involved cases where there was a failure on the doctor to diagnose a heart attack and/or disease in a female patient. In more than 60 percent of the cases, the female patient died as a result of the physician to realize the patient was exhibiting heart attack symptoms. In one-third of the cases, the patients had damage to the heart from the attack.

The data revealed that in fifty percent of the malpractice claims, it was the patient’s primary care physician who either failed to diagnose or misdiagnosed heart attack symptoms. For 22 percent of victims, it was a cardiologist who did not recognize symptoms and the remaining 17 percent of cases, emergency room physicians failed to realize the patient was having a heart attack.

The study’s authors highlighted one case as an example of how prevalent this situation is. The 47 year- old-female patient went to her primary care doctor with a complaint of a burning sensation in her chest every time she ate.  The patient, who was obese, had also recently been suffering from high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. She was also a cigarette smoker. The patient reported she had been suffering from the burning sensation for the past day or two and had also been struggling with increased heartburn for a few weeks.

Her physician told her she had heartburn, suggested taking antacid and sent her home. Two days later, the woman contacted the doctor’s office because the burning in her chest was still occurring. A nurse recommended continuing the antacid and made an appointment for the patient to come in the following day. But the woman woke up that night with chest pains and vomiting. She was rushed to the emergency room but died shortly after her arrival.

When You Need an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney

Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against a doctor, hospital, or other medical facility can be overwhelming and even a bit intimidating. This is why having a skilled and seasoned medical malpractice lawyer in Salt Lake City, UT  from Rasmussen & Miner representing you can make all the difference. They will work diligently to get you the compensation you may be entitled to.

Suffering From a Back Injury When You Go Shopping

 Personal Injury Lawyer

When you make a run to the store to pick up groceries or other household supplies, you may be hoping that it is a quick trip. Unfortunately, a quick trip to the store can turn into a long trip to the hospital when you suffer from a fall accident that causes you to have a back injury. There are many reasons that you might fall inside of a store. You might be walking through an aisle that had a spill or a leak of some sort, not see the liquid on the ground, and accidentally slip on it. In other instances, you could see something on the top shelf that you need and reach for it only to slip and hit your back. When you are in a fall accident, your injuries could range from moderate to severe, and you might need to get help from a medical professional and even a physical therapist. Attorneys know that a fall accident that results in a back injury can lead to health problems, so please call now to see how they can help you with your personal injury claim. 

What are common back problems that happen after a fall accident?

There are many different types of back injuries you can sustain after a fall in a store. Some of the most common are:

  • Herniated Discs. When you fall, you may remember twisting or contorting your back in a way that you did not intend to on the way down. If this happens, you could suffer from a herniated disc. This occurs when one of the discs between your vertebrae slides out of place. It can cause pain not only in your back but also in your legs. 
  • Tailbone Injury. Often, if someone falls they fall directly on their tailbone. It could be something as minor as a tailbone bruise or even a fracture to the coccyx. You should see a medical professional right away if you landed on your tailbone during a fall. 
  • Spinal Cord Injury. In more severe cases, you might find that you have injured your spinal cord in some way. This can lead to very serious problems, including the loss of feeling in one or both of your legs. Do not hesitate to go to your doctor if this has happened. 

What can I do after suffering from a back injury in a store?

If you have suffered from a back injury after falling in a store, the most important thing you can do is seek medical help as soon as possible. Especially because of where the injury is located and depending on how much pain you are in, you should call a friend or family member to drive you to the hospital. Your doctor can document your injuries for your insurance claim and can go over treatment options with you. For more information on how a slip and fall lawyer in DC can help you with your injury claim after falling in a store, call a law office now. 



Thanks to The Law Office of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C. for their insight into personal injury claims and back injuries from a slip and fall accident.

As a bicyclist, what can I do if I get hit by a car?

Personal Injury Lawyer

As a cyclist, a rider can do all the right things – stay close to the road’s edge or ride side-by-side with a partner to create space so you don’t have to ride in danger gravel, wear blaze orange or neon yellow, have lights to raise even more awareness – and can still get into an accident.

For some reason, cyclists tend to antagonize vehicle drivers, which doesn’t help the situation at all. Drivers apparently resent having to slow down to pass cyclists safely, and some don’t care to slow down at all.

According to Bill Strickland, former editor of Bicycling magazine, the nice approach is the best when dealing with other drivers.

But what nice doesn’t work, and an accident occurs, anyway? What happens after an accident?

In a blog post that appeared on the website Active, Seattle cyclist John Duggan tells his story. He was turning left, and as the law requires, was on the far-left side of the turning lane when the car along side him chose to make a U-turn when the light turned green, cutting Duggan off and sending him soaring off his bike.

Like most people involved in an accident, Duggan didn’t seem injured, so he and the driver both went on their way, but a half-mile down the road, adrenaline from the initial accident gone, pain was no longer masked, and Duggan ended up in the emergency room.

He did what every cyclist involved in a car accident shouldn’t. He failed to get the driver’s information, and he was left shouldering the entirety of his medical bills. Duggan was a lawyer, so mistakes such as this can happen to anyone.

What to do in the event of an accident

Duggan (who now handles legal cases primarily for cyclists) did what many cyclists – and drivers – might do in an accident. He brushed himself off and went on his way.

What he should have done, however, was:

  • Call 911. A police report can help prove who is at fault, so if there are injuries, the injured part will know whose insurance should cover it. That goes for damages to car or bicycle as well.
  • Get pertinent information from the driver. The driver’s name, license number, insurance information, phone number and address are all important information to have.
  • Take down witness information. If people are paying attention (they are driving, so they should be), they will have likely seen the accident and will be able to make a statement on your behalf.
  • Document the scene. Take notes, use your phone to take photographs and gather as much information as possible before police arrive.
  • See medical help. You won’t know the extent of your injuries without an evaluation by a medical professional.
  • Contact a bike accident lawyer in Boynton Beach, FL. If your injuries are extensive or your bike is destroyed, an attorney can help you get compensated for your losses.

Duggan offered one important bit of information: Don’t ever admit fault. Leave it up to the police to decide whose fault the accident was, and proceed from there.



Thanks to The Law Office of Eric H. Luckman, P.A. for their insight into personal injury claims and bicycle accidents with cars.

Family Lawyer for Spousal Support

Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have recently been divorced, the court might have ordered one spouse to pay spousal support, or alimony, to the other. Whether you are seeking spousal support or would like to ask the court to enforce the order after your ex-spouse is not cooperating with the agreement, you should consult a family lawyer for spousal support. 

Can You Get Spousal Support After a Divorce

Whether or not spousal support (also known as spousal maintenance or alimony) is awarded, is a determination made by Agreement or by a judge at the time of divorce. In order to receive it, the Court will consider various factors to determine whether spousal support is appropriate, including the duration of time it may be needed, and to what extent. Additional factors that may be considered include:

  • The age of each party
  • The health of each party
  • The length of the marriage
  • Whether there are minor children
  • Who the children will be living with
  • Any exceptional expenses for the children
  • Whether the spouse seeking the support can eventually support them self
  • How long it will take before they can support themselves
  • The distribution of marital property

In order to establish a workable, practical, and fair spousal maintenance agreement, you should consult a family lawyer who understands how to navigate the legal criteria for spousal support, as well as, common nuances that may arise. To protect the rights of the client, and their interests, the right family lawyer can utilize their skills to convince a judge to deviate or not deviate from the standards of spousal support.

Protect Your Assets During a Divorce

A divorce can cause extreme financial strain, in addition to emotional distress. As a family lawyer, we know you might feel that you’re are facing a lot of uncertainty. We stand by you and will implement due diligence to allay any fears you may have about the future.  We also develop a legal framework that can protect your rights and secure your financial future. 

If you’re facing a high net worth divorce, or there are significant assets involved, you might expect further complications. If need be, we can turn to accountants, economists, valuators, and other independent professionals who can lend us their opinions. 

Temporary Spousal Maintenance

If your divorce has not yet been finalized, the court may order temporary support. This is not the same as final support and is determined by the statutory guidelines in the state. A judge will likely consider the standard formula to determine whether or not temporary support should be granted, and if so, the amount to be paid. 

Modifying Spousal Support

It is possible for the court to modify the spousal support amount of an Order or agreement. This begins with a petition filed by your family lawyer in Baltimore. The modification may request to increase or decrease the support based upon changes in ones’ circumstances. 



Thanks to Greenberg Law Offices for their insight into family law and spousal support.

Criminal Defenses

 Criminal Defense Lawyer

Being accused of a criminal offense is a life altering thing, even if you have a criminal history. When you are accused of a criminal offense, guilty or innocent, naturally you would want or need to defend yourself. This is where a criminal defense attorney may come in. A criminal defense attorney assists in building a criminal defense for you in an attempt to avoid the worse case scenario. Criminal defense attorneys use the law and the facts of your specific case to strategically challenge prosecutors trying to charge and sentence you in a criminal case. The opposing counsel in these cases, is the prosecutor. They bring the case in front of a judge and/or jury and show them how you should be charged with a criminal offense they are accusing you of.

Criminal defenses may be scarce, depending on the charge and the evidence against you. However, it is still good to know what criminal defenses are usually used in criminal cases. Not all defenses prove the prosecution wrong, but all defenses, if used properly, can ultimately help the outcome of your case.

Some criminal defenses are:

Insanity defense. Contrary to popular belief, this defense is not used as often as it may be shown on television. To use the insanity defense  your criminal attorney must prove that due to some mental disorder, you were either unaware of your actions or unaware that they were wrong. Using the insanity defense is tricky because this is also admittance to the crime. You should not use this defense without your attorneys approval.

Coercion and Duress defense. This defense is also an admittance to the crime in that someone forced you to commit it byway of a threat of some sort. It is unlikely that this defense would work if you were in the commission of another crime while being coerced to commit the other.

Renunciation, or abandonment and withdrawal. This defense is used when you planned to commit a crime then changed your mind, it can only be successful if no crime was committed at all on your behalf.

There are several other defenses that may be available to you if you are accused of a criminal offense, such as: self defense, intoxication, statute of limitations, or consent. Not every defense can be used in your favor, it all depends on the crime in question. If you or someone you know has been accused of any criminal offense, speak with a Decatur criminal law lawyer as soon as possible to see what defense options may be available to you.



Thanks to Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into criminal defense and defense strategies.