Do You Need an Attorney to Contest a Traffic Ticket?

Traffic Ticket Attorney

If you receive a traffic ticket that you think is unfair or based on false information, it is natural to want to contest the ticket. This is a right that every driver has. No matter how big or small the ticket is, you have the right to contest it and argue for its dismissal. Sometimes, you are required to appear in court if the violation is severe enough. However, there is a lot you need to know about traffic court hearings before you attempt to defend yourself in one. This guide will answer the questions about what happens at a traffic court hearing and whether you should have an attorney.

Traffic Court Hearing

If you plan to contest your ticket, you will appear at a traffic court hearing. The first thing that will probably happen is the court will handle several arraignments for other drivers. You will have to wait for the traffic court hearing to begin. Then, several other drivers will probably have their hearings before yours.

When it is finally your turn, you will have a chance to present the evidence for why your ticket should be dismissed. The officer who issued the ticket must appear to argue against you. If the officer does not show up, your ticket will be dismissed immediately. Once you have presented your evidence, the judge will decide whether you should pay the ticket or have it dismissed. After that, the process is finished and you can go back to normal.

Attorney

First things first, if you do not plan to contest a ticket, you never need to hire or speak with an attorney. If you are even considering the possibility of contesting your ticket, you should speak with a lawyer, like a traffic defense lawyer from May Law, LLP, to get more information about how the law works and how strong your case is. You can also get good advice about the best way to represent yourself.

So, it is a good idea to speak with an attorney, but do you need to hire one? This depends on you. Attorneys are absolutely not necessary to contest a ticket. Further, it is relatively rare for an attorney to contest a traffic ticket for a client. However, it does happen occasionally. If you are very worried about presenting evidence yourself and do not mind paying an attorney to do the job, you should feel free to do so. Contesting a ticket is easier than you might think, so you should consider how much work it would actually be before making your decision.

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Why Truck Accidents Are Particularly Dangerous

Personal Injury Lawyer

Motor vehicle accidents are often life changing and can change a person’s everyday life. This changes with the kind of vehicle as well. Sometimes the size of the vehicle makes a huge difference for the outcome of the accident and any injuries involved parties may succumb to. Motor vehicle accidents that involve larger vehicles such as semi-trucks and 18-wheelers can lead to the death of those involved, or at least the passengers in the other vehicle. It is sometimes fatal to those in the larger vehicles as well, depending on the details of the accident and how everything played out. Either way, if these accidents do not end in death, they often end in very traumatic injury. For these reasons, it is best to note how to avoid these accidents and understand the difference in being involved in a motor vehicle accident with an average sized vehicle and a larger truck. Vehicles in some cases are even able to drive directly under a larger truck and be crushed completely. These accidents are so intense it is difficult for one not to think about placing larger vehicles on their own roadways entirely. Because these accidents are so intense, you or your loved one may want to pursue a personal injury claim against the at fault party because your life is sure to be affected by this collision and any injuries sustained. Should you or your loved one be involved in a motor vehicle accident with a truck, here are some things to note:

The Extreme Injuries Sustained

The injuries may be extremely different from any automobile accident you have ever been involved in before. Different in a sense of extremity and severity. No matter the speed of a vehicle, sometimes it is still very life altering in the end due to the size of the automobile. These injuries can lead to long-term treatment and cannot guarantee a full recovery.

What Caused the Accident?

What caused the accident in the first place? Operating a semi-truck is very risky, therefore accidents can occur. Drivers usually work long shifts and do not get much rest. For these reasons, they may drive very tired, and even on drugs that help keep them alert and awake. Falling asleep behind the wheel is very common and can lead to a very serious accident considering the driver loses complete control of the vehicle.  

Contact an Attorney

These companies are usually insured and therefore if involved in a motor vehicle accident, there are lawyers available to defend them as well. This is why it is best to first seek medical attention, then contact a lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer from the law office of Andrew R. Lynch, P.C., to see what your legal options are and how you and your family can be compensated for the damages caused by the truck accident.

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Wrongful Death vs. Survivor Action

When a family loses a loved one because of someone else’s negligence, they are left with overwhelming grief as well as a financial deficit. After all, they are dealing with a loss of income while medical and funeral bills pile up by the hour. However, if your loved one was killed due to a negligent act by another person, you are able to file either a survivor action or a wrongful death claim. Each claim option will provide compensatory damages to the family of the deceased, but they vary in their outlook.

What is Wrongful Death?

A family member can file a wrongful death claim if their loved one was killed as a result of another party’s wrongful action. There are several scenarios in which this may occur including medical malpractice, car accidents or work accidents. In order to bring forth a wrongful death claim, the plaintiff must prove that the death was caused by negligence or malicious intent from another person. They must also prove that the family of the deceased is suffering either financially or emotionally as a result of death and would benefit from compensatory damages. Awarded damages could compensate for the family’s pain and suffering, medical bills, funeral expenses, and even future income that the deceased could have earned.

What is Survivor Action?

A family member can also choose to file a claim for survivor action. Instead of compensating the families for their loss, these damages attempt to provide compensation for the suffering of the deceased. Basically, survivor action awards damage to the deceased’s estate, compensating them for what they would have received if they had survived the accident. This means that the finances are distributed to the estate instead of sent directly to the family members.

Who Can File Wrongful Death Claims?

A wrongful death or survivor action claim must be filed by a representative of the deceased’s estate. These representatives could include immediate or distant family, common law life partners or financial dependents. In some cases, persons unrelated to the deceased can file a claim if they are struggling financially because of the wrongful death.

Who Can Be Held Responsible for Wrongful Death?

Depending on the situation, different parties can be held responsible for wrongful death. In court, the plaintiff must prove that the death was caused as a result of negligence by an at-fault party that had a “duty of care” for the deceased. This is defined as a legal obligation to exercise care and caution when involved in situations that could harm others. For example, drivers operating a motor vehicle have a “duty of care” for others on the road.

Figuring out who is liable for a wrongful death or survival action claim can become extremely complicated, getting help from PIOLETTI PIOLETTI & NICHOLS can give you peace of mind. In many situations, these cases could last several months to over a year. If you’re considering filing one of these claims, you should contact an experienced wrongful death attorney who can ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for the loss of their loved one.

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Understanding Your Basic Rights When Arrested

Regardless of the kindness or understanding of a police officer, intimidation and fear are part of the arrest process simply because of the situation. No one intends on being arrested, and when the cuffs are secured, everyone feels vulnerable as control is taken away. However, even alleged criminals have rights, and it is your responsibility to understand those rights, protecting yourself from abuse.

Right to Know Charges

Always know what you are under arrest for. A police officer cannot place you under arrest without informing you of your indiscretions and legal faults. Until an officer places you under arrest, you are free, which means you do not need to submit to questioning. However, keep in mind that you can be held for the suspicion of a crime with enough evidence — even just circumstantial evidence. Still, the police can only hold you for so many hours before drafting and notifying you of formal charges.

Right to Remain Silent

As a prominent component of your Miranda rights, knowing when to remain silent is crucial. Do not speak with detectives or arresting officers other than to state your name and additional biographical information. Do not discuss specific aspects of the charges or your case without an attorney present. Everything you say is admissible in court. While it’s tempting to profess your innocence relentlessly, know that the more you speak, the higher the odds of you potentially saying something to hurt you. The detectives and arresting officers are not your friends, and they are not there to help you.

Right to an Attorney

Beyond keeping quiet, your most important right is to an attorney. Hire an attorney as soon as you are able. If you cannot afford an attorney, request a public defender at your arraignment. Remember, do not talk about your charges or the case until you have your attorney present. If detectives pressure you into talking with them, keep your answers to known facts. However, the best response is to say you refuse to answer without an attorney present. You have no responsibility toward the arresting officers, do not allow anyone to manipulate you.

Fear is rational when you are being placed under arrest. However, you cannot let that fear blind you to your rights. It is natural for the police to want a quick legal resolution, but your responsibility is only to yourself. Contact an attorney, like a criminal defense attorney in Fairfax, VA from May Law, LLP, at the earliest opportunity and refuse to answer questions until they are present.

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The Requirements for Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim

Personal Injury Lawyer

When a patient is harmed or injured by their medical care provider who acted negligently in treating them, this is considered medical malpractice. Though the laws that regulate medical malpractice claims vary slightly from state to state, the basic claim eligibility requirements are fairly consistent. If you or a loved one was harmed by medical malpractice, contact a lawyer, like a medical malpractice attorney from The Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian, LLC, who can review your claim at no charge and tell you if they believe it will be considered valid by a judge and hold up in court.

As to the basic requirements for filing a medical malpractice claim, note that all of the following must apply in your case:

  1.   You were the patient, and the doctor was your physician. This may seem like a nonsensical requirement, but it prevents persons from filing frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits against doctors who they meet on a casual basis, and who are not actually their medical care providers.
  2.   The physician was negligent in the care that they provided to you. Negligence holds a strict legal meaning in this context. Your medical malpractice lawyer must be able to prove that you were seriously harmed after your physician provided treatment that was not consistent with recognized medical standards. In other words, they did not use the same manner or methods that a competent doctor is expected to use under the circumstances surrounding your condition. When a law firm represents injured patients, their medical malpractice lawyer can call upon medical experts to testify on their client’s behalf. Experts can and will provide testimony regarding the injury our client suffered and how it could have been avoided had they received proper treatment.
  3.   The negligence was the cause of the injury you sustained, and it resulted in causing you measurable and significant damages. In other words, you suffered more than a simple papercut. Depending on your circumstances, the injury could require surgery to reverse the damage. In this example, your claim would include the cost of surgery, possibly your pain and suffering as well, the income you cannot earn until you have sufficiently recovered, and more. Many types of damages are compensable, far more than most people realize. With the insight of a skilled medical malpractice lawyer from our firm, you have an excellent chance of recovering far more compensation than you may have anticipated.

Turn to a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Who Gets Results

Even a valid claim can easily get denied if it is not prepared properly or documented in full. If your claim has not yet been settled and the at-fault party’s insurance company is dragging their heals in closing it, a lawyer may be able to help you. Give a law office a call today and request a consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer.

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Variables That Help Determine a Pedestrian Accident Recovery Amount

Personal Injury Lawyer

There are a lot of variables that make up an amount someone could expect to recover from a pedestrian accident lawsuit. Your accident has unique factors at play, and a lawyer won’t give you a cookie cutter answer when you wonder what to expect. Liability could be up in the air, whether your injuries were caused by the accident could be in question and a wide range of other issues could be on the table. The following are some other variables that a court might take a look at.

Severity of Injuries

If you end up with a serious injury that requires multiple surgeries, prolonged recovery, and a lifetime of medication, your settlement amount will typically be higher. If your injuries are life-threatening and require a long hospital stay, the recovery might be even higher. If you only have small injuries that are quickly taken care of and healed, your settlement may not be quite as high.

Work Time Lost

Many injuries will cause you to lose time at work, at least to some extent. The wages you lose can be reimbursed through your lawsuit. If you only miss a day or two right after the initial injury, you will typically only qualify to receive a percentage of those wages. If you will be permanently disabled and unable to ever get back to work, your recovery amount could get quite high.

Injury Impact

Many injuries will impact your everyday life. You may not be able to participate in certain hobbies anymore. Your spouse might leave you because of a rift that comes between you due to the injury. You may suffer chronic pain for the rest of your life. All of these things that impact your life can be compensated. The greater the impact, the greater the settlement.

Injury Recovery Time

Some injuries are healed in only a few days or weeks, while other injuries are never recovered from. If doctors feel you’ll have a full recovery but that it will take some time, your settlement may reach higher than if the doctors feel you’ll recover by next week. If you are never going to recover, the amount typically goes up dramatically.

Learning More and Getting Started

To learn more about pedestrian accidents and what damages you may be able to recover, get the assistance of an attorney. Call a personal injury lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer in Bloomington, IL, today to get started with your case.

 

Thanks to Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols Attorneys at Law for their insight into some of the variables that help determine a pedestrian accident recovery amount in a personal injury lawsuit. 

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What to Expect as Personal Injury Lawyer Costs

Personal Injury Lawyer

After being injured due to the fault of another person or entity, you may be entitled to compensation. Is it worth hiring a personal injury lawyer? In many cases, yes. The following are some things that will help you understand how much you can expect your personal injury lawyer to cost when all is said and done.

Contingency Fees

Most personal injury lawyers work on what is known as a contingency fee basis. This means they don’t ask for a fee upfront, but will take a share out of your settlement. Many contingency fees range somewhere between 30% and 40%, with 33% being pretty average. The experience of the attorney and the complexity of the case may determine whether the fee is higher or lower than the average. If you feel the fee is too high, you can try to negotiate, but depending on the attorney, you may have to just stick with what was offered.

Additional Costs 

Most legal situations call for a lot of additional costs. Your lawyer may take some time to really investigate your claim and will need to pay for the investigator. He or she may find expert witnesses to testify on your behalf. There will also be all the office fees such as filing, copying, printing and more. Your lawyer can help you understand how much these costs will be.

Each lawyer charges for these costs differently. One may ask that you pay them all as they arise. For example, when it comes time to file the claim, you would be required to pay the filing fee that day. When the investigator sends the lawyer a bill, you would be the one who pays it.

Other lawyers may dissolve these types of fees into the contingency fee as long as they feel the settlement will be high enough. For potentially small settlements, a lawyer may not offer this as an option, but it’s always worth asking. It’s also possible the lawyer will want you to pay these additional costs upfront or in a lump sum at the end of the case.

Learning More by Contacting a Lawyer

When you are ready to learn more about a personal injury case and how much it might end up costing you, contact a personal injury lawyer in Salt Lake City, UT. Be prepared with all your most pressing questions so you can get them answered and move on with the case as soon as possible.

 

Thanks to Rasmussen & Miner for their insight into personal injury claims and what to expect for costs.

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Truck Driver Negligence

An experienced truck accident injury lawyer, like a truck accident lawyer in Cleveland, OH, will know that truck driver negligence can result in terrible multi-vehicle wrecks that cause catastrophic injuries including traumatic brain injury, fractures, dislocations, paralysis, paraplegia, quadriplegia, other disabling injuries, and wrongful death. Tractor trailers, big box trucks, and other commercial trucks are extremely heavy and sit high off the ground, providing specific dynamics that increase the risk of serious personal injury when there is a trucking accident. 

Who Is at Fault? 

When a commercial truck crashes into a car, the trucking company may defend the claim by arguing that the truck driver was not its employee, but was instead acting as an independent contractor. Laws vary by state, but generally, the legal determination of whether a truck driver was acting as an employee in the course and scope of his or her employment, as opposed to acting as an independent contractor, depends on whether the trucking company controlled the “means and methods” by which the truck driver operated his or her semi-truck or other commercial truck.  

In some cases, the inquiry is simple. If the truck driver filled out the company’s application, went through its applicant screening process, was provided with an employee handbook, was assigned a supervisor employed by the trucking company, was paid by a company check, and received a W-2, the traditional definition of “employee” is clearly met. In such a case, the trucking company will be held vicariously liable for the trucker’s negligence including speeding, traffic violations, regulatory violations, and other negligent acts that cause a motor vehicle crash.  

Using a Truck Driver as a Contractor

Increasingly, however, major trucking companies will contract with smaller trucking companies to fill their needs. In these cases, the larger trucking company will argue that no employer-employee relationship existed with the subcontractor’s employee. However, if the large trucking company controlled the truck driver’s route, operations and other employment-related activities, your state’s law may allow you to hold the major trucking company liable along with the smaller trucking company that directly employed the negligent truck driver. This issue becomes important if the truck driver or his direct employer carry insufficient insurance limits to cover all the compensatory damages caused by serious personal injuries or wrongful death. In that case, your personal injury lawyer will need to investigate whether the larger trucking outfit bears vicarious liability for the truck driver’s negligence.  Once this connection is established, attorneys can discover whether the larger trucking company has additional or greater liability insurance limits that apply to the personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

Vicarious Liability

“Vicarious liability” means that an employer is held liable for the negligent acts of its employee, including trucking negligence. Vicarious liability can be established through proof of a traditional employer/employee relationship under the doctrine of respondeat superior. In addition, an independent contractor can be deemed to be the agent of the trucking company under certain circumstances using principles of actual agency, apparent agency, and agency by estoppel. In the latter circumstance, the key inquiry is whether the large trucking company had the right to control the actions of the independent contractor semi-truck driver.  

Conducting an Investigation 

A detailed factual investigation is necessary to reveal the circumstances of the relationship that might establish a right of control, including whether the trucking company established the route, supplied the truck or trailer, monitored the truck driver’s progress via an app or satellite, whether the trucking activity was part of the company’s regular business, the terms of the agreement between the truck driver and the trucking company, whether payment is by the hour or job, and whether the trucking company has a right to terminate the trucker’s employment. Your personal injury lawyer will want to obtain and review the following documents: 

  • The bill of lading
  •  A purchase order invoice
  • Trucking company apps
  • Any lease agreement
  • Any other written agreement between the parties

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer

In some states, the inquiry ends with a determination of whether the trucking company was exercising its motor carrier operating authority under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) at the time of the wreck. It is important to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer or wrongful death lawyer who specializes in trucking accidents early after a catastrophic trucking accident in order to explore these issues and preserve evidence vital to proof of a connection between the negligent truck driver and his or her employer.

Thanks to Mishkind Kulwicki Law for their insight into forming a lawsuit because of truck driver negligence.

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Liability Discussed: When Medical Emergencies Cause Accidents

Car Accident Lawyer

Determining fault in a car accident may seem simple at first. Whoever caused the accident is liable, right? When a driver acts negligently or drives under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it is easy to determine fault. However, when someone causes an accident due to a health condition, this may be a different story. Here is what you need to know about accidents caused by medical conditions.

Determining Liability Due to a Medical Condition

When it comes to determining liability from an accident caused by a medical condition, you need to see a doctor right after the accident. The doctor will be able to diagnose you and may be able to report whether or not you suffered from a medical issue that caused the accident. For example, say that you have never had a seizure before but on the day of your accident, you suffer from one. To your knowledge, you did not have epilepsy or any reason to believe you were prone to seizures. In this case, you may be able to defend yourself with the sudden emergency doctrine. If there was no warning that you were going to lose consciousness or become impaired in any way, then it may not be your fault.

Determining Liability Due to a Pre-Existing Condition

When it comes to pre-existing conditions, there may be other standards that the courts have to figure into the equation. For instance, if you have a medical condition that could potentially put other drivers in danger and you do not treat that illness, then you could be liable. For instance, if you are diabetic and do not monitor your blood sugar or take your medicine and suffer a blackout behind the wheel, you could be liable. It was your responsibility to monitor your condition.

However, if you have heart problems, take your heart medication, and have no reason to believe that you are going to suffer a cardiac event, but then do suffer one on the road, then it may not be your fault. You have to take reasonable means to avoid a car accident in order for the accident not to be your fault.

If you were involved in a car accident due to your health condition, you may not be at fault. Instead of fighting the case on your own, consult with a car accident lawyer, like a car accident lawyer in Memphis, TN, to find out what your best options are. These cases can be extremely complicated and difficult to prove. It is best if you have an attorney on your side to guide you through it.

Thanks to Darrell Castle and Associates, PLLC, for their insight into who is responsible for an accident when a medical emergency causes a car crash. 

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What Should I Know About Legal Separation?

Personal Injury Lawyer

Legal separation is not as common as a divorce; however, they are treated in a similar manner to divorce cases and should be taken seriously. As a family lawyer might explain to you, legal separation cases can affect the lives of all involved. If you’re considering a legal separation over a divorce, it is important to understand the difference between the two. If you would like further assistance, call a family lawyer.

What Are the Grounds for a Legal Separation?

While all states have their own laws for legal separation, many are similar. In general, the grounds for a legal separation are:

  • Incurable insanity
  • Irreconcilable differences
  • Abandonment
  • Adultery
  • Cruelty

The Difference Between A Legal Separation and a Divorce

Divorce and legal separation are similar; however, there are differences as outlined below:

  • There may be no waiting period to obtain a legal judgement.
  • Upon the entry of a judgement, each party’s financial matter becomes separated. 
  • Legal separation concludes as soon as there is a judgement. 
  • Some states do not require any residency requirements. 

Why Someone Would Seek Legal Separation

There are many different reasons for people to opt for a legal separation as opposed to a divorce. In general, we, at [law firm name], find it is most common when there are religious reasons involved. For example, if a clients’ religion looks down upon a divorce, they may prefer to legally separate. Another reason for legal separation over divorce may regard certain federal benefits, such as Social Security, which may still be made available. Under Federal law, parties who have been married at least 10 years may be eligible to receive benefits of the other spouse. Furthermore, they will be able to continue to file joint tax returns and may be able to receive survivor benefits or military retirement from the VA.

The Process of a Legal Separation

The process of a legal separation is very similar to a dissolution of marriage. In order to get a legal judgement, a petition must be filed. Once filed, a judicial officer and case number will be assigned to you. In general, a Summons, and papers, will be served to the responding party. After which, he or she will have 30 days to respond. Failure to do so may result in a successful judgement. In addition to these basic steps, both parties will need to disclose their financial statements. If either wishes, they can commence discovery or file for temporary orders. A case management hearing may be scheduled, at which there may be an attempt to resolve the case. If the case cannot be resolved, a trial may ensue. The eventual goal will be to obtain a successful resolution on issues regarding the legal separation, child support, visitation, and custody, spousal support, debts, division of property, and so forth. 

Do You Need a Lawyer for a Legal Separation?

While you may not need a lawyer for a legal separation, it is recommended. At the minimum, you may want to schedule a consultation with a family lawyer in Baltimore, Maryland to discuss what you can expect. 

 

Thanks to Greenberg Law Offices for their insight into family law and what to know about legal separation.

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