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Can You Sue If Your Pet Is Killed By Another Party?

Posted by on 4:49 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Can You Sue If Your Pet Is Killed By Another Party?

When your pet is killed through another’s negligence, you do have legal options for recovering compensation for its death. Although it is impossible to assign a monetary value to your pet’s life, you can receive compensation for damages, such as emotional distress and loss of companionship. If your pet was killed, here is what you need to know.   What Should You Do Immediately After Your Pet’s Death? Although it might be difficult to focus on taking legal action after your pet’s death, it is important that you begin to collect evidence as soon as possible. The more evidence you have, the more likely it is that you will be able to successfully win compensation for your loss.   If you have any pictures of your pet when it was killed, they can help show the location of the accident and potentially help counter any incorrect statements made by the responsible person. You also need to get contact information for anyone who witnessed the accident. If the responsible party behaved in a negative manner or admitted to harming your pet, witnesses can help attest to this.   If you contacted the police, obtain a copy of the police report. The police report will contain statements from witness and also contact information for the responsible party. In addition to this evidence, you will need to have your pet examined by a veterinarian. He or she can provide you with a detailed report that determines the cause of death. The report can help counter an argument by the responsible party that the pet died by some other means. Can You File a Lawsuit? A lawsuit is an option, but you should start by attempting to settle the matter with the responsible party. He or she might be willing to negotiate a fair settlement that will allow you and your family to move on.   If the responsible party is unwilling to take responsibility, your next step depends on the location of the accident and whether or not a vehicle was involved.   If the accident occurred on the property of the responsible party, you can file a claim with his or her homeowners insurance provider. Your attorney can write a demand letter asking for compensation and provide evidence to backup your claims.   You can also contact the insurance company if the responsible party hit your pet with a car. The police report will have insurance information for the driver listed.   If none of these circumstances occurred, you can file a lawsuit against the other party. Contact a personal injury attorney to learn...

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3 Ways To Reduce Your Small Business Tax Burden

Posted by on 10:54 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Ways To Reduce Your Small Business Tax Burden

Owning and operating your own small business can be an exciting way to generate the income needed to support your family. Unfortunately, many small business owners find themselves facing a significant and unexpected financial burden when filing tax documents for their business. If you are looking for a simple way to increase the profitability of your small company, reducing your tax burden could be a simple solution. Here are three ways you can reduce your small business tax burden in the future. 1. Put your family members to work. When it comes to reducing the amount of money your small business pays in taxes each year, the solution could be as simple as making the choice to hire your family members as employees. If your business is structured as a sole proprietorship, hiring your spouse could be a great way to reduce your FICA taxes. If your spouse retains his or her job outside of the family business, then the income he or she generates from this outside employment will count toward your FICA limit on a joint tax return. This helps you reduce the amount of FICA taxes your small company pays each year, reducing your overall tax burden. 2. Rely on independent contractors. Rather than hiring full or part-time employees to complete vital business tasks, rely on the help of independent contractors instead. When your small business retains independent contractors, you are not required to pay the employer’s share of Social Security or Medicare taxes for these employees. Eliminating these expenses from your budget can help you reduce your company’s overall tax burden, lowering the amount of money you owe when filing your business taxes each year. 3. Ask for advertising benefits when donating money. While most business owners believe that charitable donations can help lower their tax burden, you should recognize that the IRS only allows these donations to be deducted from the tax burden of a small business when they can be classified as a business expense. If you donate to an organization, ask that your company’s logo be displayed on advertising materials or on the organization’s website. This turns your donation into an advertising expense, which the IRS will allow you to deduct when filing your business taxes. Reducing the tax burden for your small business can be a great way to free up revenue for more beneficial investments. Consider hiring family members or independent contractors, and be sure that you are receiving advertising benefits when donating money in order to decrease your small business tax burden in the future. Talk to a tax service that specializes in tax preparation for business to learn...

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Two Types Of Short-Term Alimony That May Be Available To You

Posted by on 4:22 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Two Types Of Short-Term Alimony That May Be Available To You

When judges award alimony—also called spousal support—they look at a variety of factors to determine if alimony is warranted and the amount that should be paid. One of those factors is the length of the marriage. The majority of the time, a judge will only order alimony when the couple has been married for a long time (e.g. a decade or more). However, even if you were only married for a few years, it may still be possible to get alimony from your spouse. Here are two options available to you. Rehabilitative Alimony Rehabilitative alimony is support awarded to one spouse who needs time after the divorce to get back on his or her feet. The spouse’s financial need is generally the result of a temporary issue and the person is fully expected to be self-sufficient after a short time. For example, one spouse takes time off work to care for a sick family member but is expected to return to their duties within six months. The judge may order the other spouse to pay alimony for those six months until the person begins working again. This type of alimony may be awarded regardless of how long you were married to your ex. However, the maximum length of time you can receive this type of support is 5 years, though it may be renewed at the end of the expiration period if you suffer an unexpected setback or are still in the process of becoming self-supporting and your spouse can afford to continue making the payments. Like all other types of alimony, payments will end when the support order expires, you or your ex dies, or you remarry. The amount may be changed due to life events, such as your spouse getting a raise or losing his or her job. Gap Alimony Another type of alimony you may be eligible for is bridge-the-gap (or simply gap) alimony. This type of spousal support is similar to rehabilitative alimony, except the focus is on helping the eligible spouse transition from being married to being single or to cover a specific type of expense. For instance, if you and your ex are required to sell the home and split the proceeds, the judge may order your ex to pay alimony to cover expenses you incur moving from the home to an apartment (e.g. rent and utilities). However, gap alimony differs from rehabilitative alimony in one critical area: neither the amount nor duration can be modified. So even if your ex won the lottery the day after the judge put the order in place, you’re unlikely to get more money. Additionally, the support order will end if you or your spouse passes away or you remarry. For more information about these and other alimony options available to you, contact an alimony...

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Need Help With VA Claim Evidence?

Posted by on 8:03 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Need Help With VA Claim Evidence?

Veterans Affairs (VA) claims and appeal can be hard to file, even if you have all of the right information on hand. There are a lot of requirements for the types of evidence used, and you need to get it right the first time to avoid jumping back into paperwork queues because of long wait times after a denial. To avoid unnecessary delays, here’s a few claim system details and ways that a lawyer can help.  Getting Service-Connection Just Right The crucial point of a VA disability claim is creating a link between your injury or condition and military service. You need to prove that your condition was caused by or happened during your military service and that you’re still suffering from the problem. This link is called service-connection and is the main deciding factor behind whether your claim is accepted or not. Veterans have quite a few medical and support benefits, such as basic medical coverage that allows you to visit clinics and hospitals to give the kind of care you’d expect at general practice doctor’s offices and emergency rooms. The problem is that to get referrals to specialists, most veterans need referrals that require review or a co-pay, while VA disability-rated veterans can simply file referral paperwork for referrals of their choice. The VA will only provide monetary compensation to injuries and conditions related to the military. This means that any problem that happened before or after the military—or a condition that you can’t link to military service yet—won’t be eligible. How Are Service-Connected Links Created? The easiest way to have a service-connected link is to have a military record entry that confirms your condition. This usually means a military medical record entry showing examination results that prove your condition or a service record entry showing that you dealt with an event that could have lead to your problem. The service record part is helpful because not all military service members have immediate access to medical assistance, and it’s understandable if you decided to end your career after a life-altering injury that didn’t quite kill you on the spot. It can also help you with presumptive claims (VA PDF document) where you didn’t get additional medical examination before leaving the military, but you have symptoms that are generally associated with your type of service. Agent Orange and Gulf War syndrome are two types of exposure examples.  You may need a lawyer to find the evidence if your medical record is written in complex language and you’re not sure which parts to highlight. The VA won’t scour your medical and service records to find the problem for you, so the exact set of relevant evidence needs to be presented. If you don’t have any evidence at all, a personal injury lawyer can examine your entire set of military records and connect you with non-VA medical team to get the evidence you need. This is helpful when VA medical center wait times are too long or when your usual doctors aren’t familiar with injury systems to write evidence in ways that confirm certain disability diagnosis. Contact a personal injury lawyer, such as those found at Elliott & MacLean LLP, to have a pair of experienced eyes on your situation for greater claim system...

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3 Tips For Reducing Your Liability As A Motorcyclist

Posted by on 10:11 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips For Reducing Your Liability As A Motorcyclist

As a motorcycle rider, you may be at a higher risk for having an accident and suffering serious injuries than if you were driving a car. Unfortunately, the stigma surrounding motorcyclists as being unsafe on the road can make your case more difficult to prove when you are not at fault. There are several precautions you can take to reduce your risk of serious injury and to improve the chances of proving your case when you are not at fault. Wear The Proper Helmet Wearing a helmet is a necessary part of being a responsible motorcyclist, but wearing just any helmet you think is fashionable can increase your risk of head injuries and liability. You should purchase DOT-approved helmets for yourself and any of your passengers. These are designed to absorb more of the impact in the event of an accident. If you happen to suffer head injuries during an accident, even when the accident was not your fault, your injuries may be considered preventable if you had worn the proper helmet. Not only can a DOT-approved helmet mean the difference between walking away from an accident and suffering irreversible brain damage, but it might help you receive the appropriate amount of compensation for your injuries. Take Extra Training To help debunk the myth of an unsafe motorcyclist, consider taking extra motorcycle training. Many motorcyclists only engage in enough training to become a licensed motorcyclist, but never update their training. Look for motorcycle associations in your area or online that may offer refresher courses. You may also need extra training if the type of motorcycle you use changes. For example, some motorcyclists upgrade to a high-performance bike but are not trained to properly use their new motorcycle. Being on the open road is not the time to experiment with a powerful, faster bike. Avoid Common Risks One of the most common causes of a motorcycle accident is when a motorcyclist squeezes through traffic. Although motorcycles are designed to fit into spaces where cars cannot, it does not mean you should attempt to squeeze between two lanes of traffic. Cars may change lanes or simply drifting within their lane can quickly make you lose control of your bike. If you are riding between cars in the right lane and parked cars along the side of the road, if someone in one of the parked cars opens the door and contributes to an accident, you will be at fault. It does not matter if they failed to check before opening the door because you weren’t’ supposed to be riding there in the first place. Motorcyclists are especially vulnerable on the open road. Doing your part to be a safe motorcycle rider can help reduce your risk of an accident, but also help prove your case if you were not at fault. Contact a motorcycle accident attorney for more...

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The Probate Process In 3 Simple Steps

Posted by on 10:56 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Probate Process In 3 Simple Steps

Many people don’t give the probate process a second thought until it directly affects them. While the unknown can be intimidating, just like anything else, the probate process can be broken down into logical and easy to understand steps. If someone dies, probate is very likely to happen, whether the deceased had a will or not. Read on to get the process broken down into 3 simple steps. 1. The filing of the will Once the will has been located and read to any pertinent parties, it must be filed in your local county probate court. The reading of the will also heralds the naming of the person responsible for ensuring that the wishes of deceased are carried out properly by the personal representative or executor. Alongside the filing of the will, at least in most locales, comes the publishing of a notice to creditors in a local newspaper. This publishing gives notice to any creditors with an interest in the estate of the deceased to come forward within a certain period of time or lose the opportunity to have the debt repaid. Once the probate court has received the will, all beneficiaries will be notified, and the will becomes a public document. 2. An inventory is performed. The will goes through the probate court process, which can take around 6 months, but can take much longer for larger, more complicated or contested estates. During this time, one of the first duties of the personal representative is to perform an inventory of all estate assets. Assets of the estate can include everything from the family home, vacation homes, boats, cars, art, jewelry, the funds in checking and savings accounts, stocks, bonds and more. The value of real estate must be determined by utilizing the services of a professional home appraiser. In many estates, property may be prepared for sale and even sold if the debts of the estate require it. The personal representative must keep careful records of any funds used and the purpose, as this accounting will become part of the final probate paperwork. For example, if the services of a maintenance person are required to keep the home safe from the elements during probate, this transaction must be part of the completed probate paperwork. 3. The probate is final The final paperwork will be handed down at probate’s completion and will serve as the prompt for the personal representative to distribute the property according to the deceased’s wishes. Beneficiaries will need a copy of the death certificate to have property transferred to their names. Any real estate will be transferred via a name change on the deed (via a quit claim in some states), and vehicles and boats are issued new titles with the new owner’s name. Other property, such as personal belongings, can simply be handed over to the designated beneficiary. Click here for more info about this...

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4 Benefits Of Choosing A Mediated Divorce

Posted by on 8:57 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Benefits Of Choosing A Mediated Divorce

The challenges of any relationship can be overwhelming at times.  This is likely to be the reason many people decide to get divorced. It is important to choose the least stressful way to end your marriage. One way to do so is by selecting a mediated divorce. This will enable you to work together on various decisions that must be made instead of arguing and working with lawyers. By knowing other benefits of choosing this method of divorce, you may be more motivated to do so. Benefit #1: Control the outcome One of the biggest challenges that married people may face is not having any control if the divorce proceeds to court. However, by working with your spouse, a mediator and attorney, you can work to determine all of the decisions that must be made on your own terms. Benefit #2: Reduced legal fees It’s ideal to work together when a marriage is ending because failure to do so can result in steep legal fees. The time it takes for an attorney to act as a go-between can be costly. Studies show the average cost for a contested divorce is $15,000-$30,000.  Benefit #3: Private and confidential It’s likely you may prefer to have your case settled outside of a court because of the privacy it will grant you. Mediation can be a confidential gathering between you and your spouse without any other individuals knowing about it other than the professionals involved. On the other hand, a divorce that is tried in court will be on open record for any other individual to see.  Benefit #4: Deciding on key issues The reason for mediation is to come to an agreement on various issues that must be decided upon during a divorce. There are sure to be many things that must be discussed and listed below are some decisions typically made at mediation: 1. Property – Who will get the home or will it be sold and the money divided? 2. Assets – Any assets that are jointly owned will be split. Deciding on how much each spouse gets can be done during this time. 3. Children – If there are children involved, you can agree on custody matters. The benefits of divorce mediation are many and may enable you to legally end your marriage with less stress. Be sure to consult with your family lawyer to assist you through this legal process today! Contact an attorney like Gilbert P Kaback for more...

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Three Things To Know To Know If You Stop Paying Your Credit Card Debt

Posted by on 12:44 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Things To Know To Know If You Stop Paying Your Credit Card Debt

If you are struggling to pay your bills, it is likely you are considering the decision to stop paying some of your bills, such as your credit cards. Before you make the choice to stop paying your credit cards, it is essential to understand what the ramifications are. 1. Know the Statute of Limitations When you stop paying your debt, the credit card company has a limited amount of time to recoup its money. Once the statute of limitations is over, the creditor can no longer take steps to force you to repay the debt. The statue of limitations varies based on the state that you live in. For example, it is three years long in Alabama, but in Montana, the period is eight years. If a creditor does try to sue you or pursue collection efforts once the statute of limitations is over, the creditor is in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. 2. Understand What Your Creditor May Do After you stop making payments, your creditor will take certain steps to recoup the money that you owe. For 180 days after you stop making payments, the credit card company will call you directly to collect the debt. Once 180 days have passed, the creditor charges off the debt. When the debt is charged off, this means that the credit card company removes the debt from its assets. Legally, you still owe the debt. At this point the debt is usually sent to a collections company, either within the original credit card company or through an outside collections agency. Once the debt is sold off, the collection company may take you to court to force you to pay. If a judgement is secured against you in court, your wages can be garnished (company takes what you owe directly from your paycheck) and you can have a levy filed against your home (the levy must be paid off before the home can be sold). 3. Your Options for Dealing with the Credit Card Company You may be able to settle the debt for less than it is owed by contacting your credit card company. If the debt is in collections or a judgment has been issued, a settlement is still possible. Collecting judgments is expensive, and credit card companies want to mitigate their losses. Filing for bankruptcy is another possibility to legally dissolve debt obligations. It may be helpful to consult with a lawyer that deals with judgments. You can find one at a firm like Sinsheimer, Stuart J. If you truly do not have the financial resources to pay the debt or have few assets,  the judgement may not have an effect on you. Financial distress is a difficult time in any individual’s life. Take control of the situation by learning what to expect if you stop paying your credit...

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Common Dirty Tricks Used By Exes During A Divorce

Posted by on 2:00 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Common Dirty Tricks Used By Exes During A Divorce

All’s fair in love and war, and the gloves come off during a divorce. Many divorces end in a very one-sided manner because one of the parties knows how to work the system to his or her advantage. If you want to make sure that you get what you deserve during the divorce, you will need to be aware of common divorce tricks. Orders Of Protection One common trick is to get an order of protection. This is done in an effort to portray you in the most negative light possible with the hope that this will make your ex appear more sympathetic. The best solution to this problem is to challenge the order of protection. Require that your ex prove that it is necessary to have an order of protection. Bring your own evidence that the claims that were used to justify the order of protection are unfounded. Also, through every step of the process, try to be as polite as possible and avoid appearing angry. Maxing Out The Credit Card Another common trick is to use up the credit card of the other partner if he or she is the primary cardholder. This is effective if the primary cardholder agrees to be responsible for all of the credit card debt. Before agreeing to a deal like this, look at the charges to make sure that there are no unapproved charges that were made by your partner. Not Paying The Bills If you are not the primary income earner, your spouse may move out of your home and refuse to pay any bills. The goal is to place you in such a terrible position that you are then willing to accept any offer. There are some vindictive actions that exes engage in, often out of anger. These include: Removing everything from the home Cancelling all credit cards Trying to get an ex fired Cutting off utilities Trying to leave the state with the kids These actions should never be taken, regardless of how angry you feel. Doing so may get you into legal trouble or will at least make it more difficult to have an amicable divorce. It is also easy to fall prey to any of these tricks, but if you work with a local divorce attorney, you will be much less likely to fall victim to them. Divorce attorneys have seen all of these tricks before and can provide more advice on how to avoid them. Contact a firm like Madison Law Firm PLLC for more...

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Things You Can Do To Lower Your DUI Penalties

Posted by on 4:02 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Things You Can Do To Lower Your DUI Penalties

The outcome of your DUI trial doesn’t have to be squarely in a judge’s hands. There are a few things that you can do to make yourself a candidate for a low DUI penalty. Here are some ways to be proactive about getting a reduced sentence.  Hire an Experienced Lawyer The first thing to do is look for an experienced DUI lawyer or criminal law attorney who is well-versed in your county’s DUI laws. They can be your first line of defense and greatly affect how you’re seen in court. For instance, they will offer you counsel about which pieces of information to play up in your trial and which to minimize.  Weaken the Evidence One part of a criminal lawyer’s job is to help you weaken the evidence in your case. After all, a judge’s sentencing is based on how strongly they believe you were driving under the influence and what the implications were to public safety. Your DUI lawyer may help you to refute a weak blood alcohol test or contextualize your drunken behavior as something else, such as illness or tiredness at the time. It can also help to argue that your drunk driving didn’t put many people in danger; this is an especially good thing to mention if there were few drivers and pedestrians in the area at the time you were pulled over.  Seek Out Help On Your Own You can also be proactive about taking steps to correct alcohol abuse and poor driving behavior. Alcoholics Anonymous is one option. Some states may also offer DUI classes to curb drunk driving. Substance abuse treatment centers are another excellent option for solving long-term alcohol abuse. If you sign up for these classes voluntarily and without the judge’s guidance, it shows that you are already taking steps to correct your behavior and a heavy DUI sentencing isn’t needed.  Offer To Do Community Service If the financial obligations of a DUI sentencing are what you’re concerned about, you may be able to negotiate. For instance, asking to do community service hours in lieu of a cash fine is one option to reduce the financial burden.  Ask for an Interlock Device Another negotiation you can make if this is your first DUI is to get an interlock ignition device put on your car. While a judge may not accept, this is a potential option for you to keep being able to drive instead of getting your license revoked.  Click here for more information on a criminal law attorney or do an online...

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