What Do I Need to Know and Do Before Filing For Bankruptcy in Texas

There is a chance that you’re flooded with anxiety when contemplating filing for bankruptcy. Having challenges with debt can be a stressful period in one’s life. Creditors will be on your case and a simple mistake could make you lose your assets. That is why you should be getting in touch with an experienced bankruptcy attorney for a smooth process. The process itself is complex and confusing and isn’t something that you’d want to do on your own. Before you can start filing, here are a couple of things that you need to know about bankruptcy.

It is Not an In and Out Process

If you’ve never had any experience with bankruptcy cases, it is easy to assume that they’re similar to normal cases. A bankruptcy case can last up to a year. If you’ve filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can expect a shorter time but other types of bankruptcy could take more than a year before the cases are finalized. If you’re unsure of the process, it is imperative that you’re getting in touch with a Dallas bankruptcy lawyer.

You’ll Be Open For Financial Scrutiny

If you’re never the person to discuss your finances with friends and family, you should be prepared for financial scrutiny. This could sometimes mean that your financial life will open to the public. Once you’ve filed for bankruptcy, you’ll be required to attend the meeting with creditors in person. There are no restrictions on the kind of questions the creditors can ask provided they’re related to the case. This will mean that anything to do with your finances can be questioned.

Honesty is Required

It is crucial that you’re being completely honest with the information presented when filing for bankruptcy. This is because a bankruptcy court will be of the opinion that only an honest individual should be entitled to a debt discharge. The first thing you’ll be required to do is to list down all your creditors, debts, and property. If it is discovered that you’re being dishonest at any point, there is a chance that you might lose the bankruptcy discharge. The FBI could be involved as bankruptcy fraud is a serious offense.

Bankruptcy Forms Are Complex

A lot of people are of the assumption that filing for bankruptcy is a simple and straightforward process. This couldn’t be further from the truth. There will be complex questions that need answers and will mostly be centered on your financial affairs. It is important that you’re taking your time as you’ll not want to provide the wrong information. Having an experienced attorney will help you fill the forms correctly so that there are no chances of making mistakes.

The Discharge is Personal

For any filing of bankruptcy, the ultimate goal will be to have the debt discharged. This is because it will prevent all the creditors from collecting debt from you. The bankruptcy will only protect you as an individual. It doesn’t include shared debt. A good example is when you’re the co-signer of a loan. There is nothing that will be stopping the lender from collecting debt under such circumstances.

The Process is Not Cheap

You could be in a bad place financially but filing for bankruptcy could be costly. The cost of filing for bankruptcy will be determined by the attorney you’ll hire and if the fees will be waived. Doing the filing on your own could still attract substantial fees.

It Will Impact Your Credit

It could take up to 2 years before you can start recovering from a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. There are not a lot of creditors that will be willing to work with you. You’ll first have to rebuild your credit score. Don’t take on huge credit that you’ll have issues with repayment. The last thing you should be doing when still recovering from Chapter 7 bankruptcy is to accumulate more debt.

You Might Lose Property

It is possible to keep property when filing for bankruptcy but not all of it. Any property that isn’t exempt can be claimed by the bankruptcy trustee. The kind of property that you get to keep will be determined by the bankruptcy option that you go for. The exemptions will also vary from one state to the next.

Conclusion

Filing for bankruptcy will affect your credit for years to come but it could sometimes be the only way out. If it comes to that, you’d want to get an experienced bankruptcy attorney that will ensure that you’re getting the best out of the case.

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How Long Does A Car Accident Settlement Take?

A car accident is a very traumatic experience for anyone. Not only does it cause physical injury, but can also lead to a lot of financial troubles. The mental and emotional problems that follow as a result of the accident don’t help either. Not only are you affected by the accident but your family members and close friends as well. And if another person caused the accident, then the pain and trauma are that much higher.

Car accident cases are generally straightforward, and the settlement happens quickly. However, in some situations, the settlement may take longer than expected. Fighting for a settlement can be very stressful for an accident victim and his/her family.

But even before we go into why a settlement could get delayed, it is necessary to know all the steps involved in litigation for a car accident.

  • The plaintiff files a complaint against the opposite party.
  • The defendant gets served a copy of the complaint by the plaintiff. This will generally take a few weeks, but this step can drag on for months in some situations.
  • The defendant will then have to respond to the complaint. Generally, he/she gets about a month to file the response.
  • The collection of information begins at this stage. Each party will have to give all the information they have about the accident. This step generally takes a few months as there could be a lot of information to collate.
  • The trial begins once the information is in. In most cases, the trial will take one or two days.
  • Any party who is not happy with the result of the trial can appeal to the court. Appeals could be filed at many levels.

Why Would A Car Accident Settlement Take Long?

While most people expect car accident settlements to not take too long, in some situations, these cases may go on for a long period of time. There could be several factors that may affect a car accident settlement.

The Severity Of Damages

How severe and what type of damage the accident has caused can influence the time taken for the settlement. Damages can be of two types – damage to your vehicle as well as your physical injuries and mental trauma. Let us look at an example:

You own a regular car and it gets totaled in an accident. You also fracture an arm in the same accident. In a situation like this, where the damage and injury are straightforward, the settlement may not take too long. However, if the car involved in the accident was a brand new, high-end vehicle, and you suffer injuries that require multiple surgeries and months of recuperation, then the settlement may get complicated and take a longer time.

Also, if you suffer serious life-threatening injuries like brain damage, paralysis, loss of limb, or something similar, then the car accident settlement amounts could be massive, and this can cause further delays.

Cooperation From The Opposite Party

This has a significant influence on the amount of time an accident settlement could take. If you have severe injuries with high medical bills, then the opposite party’s insurance company will try to minimize the settlement amount and may not be very cooperative. In addition, if the opposite driver refuses to accept his mistake, then the insurance company will also make it tough for you to get a settlement. It is important that both parties cooperate with each other for an accident settlement to be concluded quickly.

Time Taken In Legal Proceedings

Legal proceedings can take a long time, especially if the initial settlement talks don’t go very well. Your lawyer will have to file a legal complaint if the responsible driver doesn’t accept fault and if his/her insurance company doesn’t cooperate. While, in principle, the litigation is supposed to speed up the process, it can do just the opposite, especially if the opposite driver’s insurance company decides to fight the claim, dragging the proceedings further.

Lack Of Clarity For Fault

If it is not clear who was really at fault at the time of the accident, the opposite driver or his/her insurance company may not agree to settle. Or even if there is a slight chance that you were also responsible for the accident, then again, the opposite drive may decide to fight the case. This can further delay the settlement.

Car accidents are by themselves very traumatic, and you will take a long time to heal from them, not just physically but mentally as well. Every car accident is different from the other. Some may get settled quickly while some may go on for months or years. There could be several factors that affect the time taken to solve the case and come to a settlement. In some situations, the cases could drag on for years. At such times, not having good counsel can cost you greatly. A good attorney will not only gather all the information on your behalf and represent you in a court of law but will also fight to handle the insurance company and ensure you get the compensation amount you deserve.

If you or a family member has been involved in a car accident, then leave the worrying about the settlement to Rector Stuzynski LLC. We have been dealing with car accidents for decades and know what it takes to get a fair settlement for our clients. We will ensure we collect all the information about the accident from you and will look at each and every detail thoroughly. Not only will we guide you every step of the way, but will also represent you in the court of law. We will fight till the end for your settlement and ensure you get justice. Our team will not rest till you get a fair settlement that you are satisfied with. Contact Rector Stuzynski LLC for a free case evaluation today. You can either opt for a virtual consultation or give us a call to book an appointment.

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The Dangers of Driving Under the Influence

Everyone knows that it’s dangerous to get behind the wheel of a car after consuming drugs or alcohol. Unfortunately, many people do it anyway and put others in harm’s way. When someone chooses to drive their vehicle under the influence, they increase the risk of being involved in an accident. Below is more information about what legally constitutes driving under the influence and the consequences a drunk driver might face if arrested in Florida.

What’s Considered DUI?

You could face a charge of driving under the influence (DUI) if you’re in actual physical control of a motor vehicle and:

  • Under the influence of alcohol, illegal controlled substances, or harmful chemical substance; or
  • Have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least .08% per 210 liters of breath or per 100 milliliters of blood.

When a driver is impaired by drugs or alcohol, it isn’t easy to control the vehicle and focus on the road ahead. Driving under the influence can lead to any of the following symptoms:

  • Slowed reaction time
  • Reduced motor skills
  • Decreased alertness
  • Altered sensory perception
  • Lack of muscle coordination
  • Poor decision-making skills
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of consciousness

DUI Penalties in Florida

Driving Under the Influence The penalty you face will depend on various factors, including whether you have a prior DUI conviction and the severity of your offense.

According to Florida statute chapter 316, section 193(2)(a), you could face the following penalties:

  • First DUI conviction: Maximum of six months in jail and between $500 and $1,000 fine
  • Second DUI conviction: Maximum of nine months in jail and between $1,000 and $2,000 fine

You could also lose your driver’s license for 180 days to a year for a first-time offender or up to five years if you’re a second-time offender. Florida statutes might require that you install an ignition interlock device to check your alcohol levels before you’re allowed to start the car.

The penalties for three or more DUI convictions are below.

  • Third DUI within ten years of the last one: Maximum of five years in jail and up to $5,000 fine
  • Third DUI more than ten years after the last one: Maximum of twelve months in jail and between $2,000 and $5,000 fine
  • Fourth DUI or more: Maximum of five years in jail and at least $2,000 in fines

Enhanced Penalties for Bodily Injury or Death

If you cause an accident in Florida while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you could face enhanced penalties for injuries or fatalities that occur.

If your DUI offense leads to property damage or bodily harm, you could face a first-degree misdemeanor charge. The penalty is up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Causing severe bodily injury is a third-degree felony with a five-year jail sentence and up to $5,000 in fines.

If you’re facing a DUI conviction and your accident contributed to the death of someone else or an unborn child, that’s considered DUI manslaughter, a second-degree felony. The penalty is a maximum of $10,000 fine and up to fifteen years in jail. If you fled the accident scene and an injured person ended up dying, you could face a maximum of 30 years in prison.

What to Do If You’re Arrested and Charged with a DUI

If you are arrested or charged with DUI, you should seek legal representation immediately. If you wait too long, you could unknowingly give up your rights and risk the future of your legal case.

When you’re facing a DUI conviction, it can be an overwhelming and stressful experience. You won’t have to go through this alone. A criminal defense attorney will stay by your side from start to finish of your case and make themselves available to provide you with the support and guidance you need. It’s crucial to remember than an arrest never guarantees a conviction, so make sure to hire an attorney to defend your rights.

If you were arrested or charged with DUI and don’t know what to do next, make sure to contact a Pensacola DUI lawyer to discuss your rights and legal options. Your lawyer will evaluate the case against you and will discuss the strategies necessary to get the charges against you reduced or dropped.

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Careless Actions Cause Injuries and Fatalities Every Day

Every day across the U.S., people suffer severe and potentially fatal injuries. If you’re hurt in a car accident, are harmed by a defective product or pharmaceutical, become injured or ill on the job, or for another reason, it’s vital to know that you have rights.

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident, compensation could be available to you to help you get medical treatment, pay your bills, and move on with your life. For example, if someone else’s negligence causes you harm, you could be owed compensation from the at-fault party through a personal injury claim. Similarly, if you lost a loved one in a tragic accident that was not their fault, you could pursue a wrongful death claim.

If you were injured or became ill at work, you could be eligible to seek worker’s compensation benefits, regardless of who was at fault. If a third-party, like a contractor, caused your accident, you could file a third-party claim.

With so many legal avenues for getting the fair compensation you’re owed after an accident, it’s crucial to understand how these accidents happen and what you can do to get the fair amount you’re owed if you’ve been hurt. Here, we’ve provided specific information about workplace accidents and wrongful death claims for you to better understand these cases.

The Dangers of Workplace Accidents

Injuries When a worker is hurt performing work-related duties or becomes ill due to workplace conditions, you might be entitled to benefits through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation exists to help injured workers get treatment and a portion of their wages as they recover. In exchange for this coverage, the employee typically waives the right to sue their employer for damages.

The most common causes of workplace injuries include:

  • Lifting heavy objects
  • Falling from heights
  • Dehydration
  • Exposure to toxic substances
  • Slips, trips, and falls
  • Repetitive motion injuries
  • Malfunctioning machinery or equipment

A workers’ compensation lawyer in Georgia can help you get the benefits you’re owed, and will make sure the insurance company or your employer don’t wrongly deny or diminish your claim.

Some of the benefits you could be entitled to include:

Disability benefits pay a percentage of the injured employee’s lost wages depending on the extent of the injury and qualifications they meet. There are four types of disability payments:

  • Temporary total disability
  • Temporary partial disability
  • Permanent total disability
  • Permanent partial disability

Medical benefits pay upfront for all necessary and reasonable treatment required to evaluate and treat the work-related injury or illness.

Death benefits are also available for surviving family members that lose a loved one in an accident. If another person’s actions caused your loved one’s death, you could seek compensation for funeral costs and a percentage of their lost wages before the fatal injury or illness.

How to Handle A Wrongful Death Case

If your loved one died because of someone else’s careless or intentional actions, you might be entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit. According to Georgia law, wrongful death is a person’s death that another party causes with reckless, intentional, negligent, or criminal acts.

It’s crucial that you hire an experienced wrongful death lawyer in Georgia to help you with your case. The legal process is complicated and confusing for anyone who hasn’t gone through it before. If you choose not to seek legal representation, the opposing party might take advantage of that and intimidate you into dropping the case.

There are only a handful of family members that are allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit. They include:

  • Surviving spouse and minor children
  • Surviving parents
  • A personal representative of the deceased’s estate

Damages refer to the expenses and intangible losses suffered by an accident victim. When you pursue this type of case, you could recover compensation for your expenses and any losses your loved one suffered prior to their death. The available damages include:

  • Medical expenses associated with fatal injury or illness
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Pain and suffering experienced before the victim died
  • Lost wages and benefits, including what the deceased would have earned if they survived
  • Loss of companionship, care, and other benefits the deceased provided

There’s a statute of limitations you must follow if you wish to pursue compensation from the at-fault party that caused the death of your loved one. The statute of limitations in Georgia is two years. That means you have two years from the death date to file your lawsuit; otherwise, you’ll lose your right.

What to do if you’ve been hurt in Georgia

If you get hurt at work, suffer from a dog bite, or lose a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, it’s recommended that you hire an experienced attorney to represent you. If you were bitten by a dog, for example, a Georgia dog bite lawyer will be able to evaluate your claim, investigate the accident, gather relevant evidence, and demand fair compensation from the person or party that caused you harm.

If you have a worker’s compensation claim, your attorney will make sure your application is complete and accurate and will appeal your case if your employer or their insurer deny or attempt to underpay your valid claim.

If you need a wrongful death lawyer in Georgia, make sure to choose a law firm with the right experience, resources, and compassionate attention necessary to help you and your family recover compensation and get a measure of closure.

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