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Bankruptcy: What To Do If Your Creditor Violates an Automatic Stay

Experienced Lawyer Even though a creditor violating an automatic stay is likely unintentional, there are consequences the company can face for the mistake. If this happened to you, we encourage people to talk with an attorney about what actions they can take against the creditor for the violation. Creditors rarely violate this automatic stay. But if it does occur, it’s usually not on purpose. However, this doesn’t mean it should go ignored by the debtor.  Confirm the Debt is On Bankruptcy Petition Your attorney can help you check to see whether the creditor who violated your automatic stay was listed on your original bankruptcy petition. It is the debtor’s responsibility to list all of their debts, so creditors can be notified. If you forgot to list this creditor on the petition, we can help correct this problem promptly. If you don’t update your petition, then it is still your obligation to pay this debt.  If you did list the debt/creditor on your petition, then you can contact the creditor directly and provide them information about your bankruptcy so they know you indeed filed. When reaching out, have your bankruptcy case number, court where you filed, and the date in which you filed ready.  If the Violations Continue to Happen If after you contact the creditor the pestering for debt payments keeps happening, then an attorney can talk to you about how to pursue action so the creditor faces damages to such violations. As a debtor protected under an automatic stay, you can seek punitive damages and compensation for legal fees. But, in order to win this case you will have to prove that the action was willful. In regards to breaching the automatic stay, a willful violation is when a creditor is aware of the bankruptcy filing but chooses to contact the debtor anyways.  Holding a creditor accountable for a violation may not be something every person is comfortable doing on their own. The average person doesn’t understand the court process, which is why they may reach out to an attorney for support. They can make a suggestion for next steps based on the degree of harm the creditor’s behavior had on you and whether receiving damages is likely. Depending on the circumstances of the situation, your lawyer may suggest either: Filing a motion that requests the judge enforces an “order to show cause” in which the creditor must...
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Should I Suspect Medical Malpractice?

Experienced Lawyer It’s really unknown how many medical errors occur every year. Some experts estimate that about 10% of all deaths are due to medical malpractice, about 250,000 annually. That doesn’t count the thousands of people who have non-fatal injuries. Should you automatically assume that medical malpractice is the reason your health isn’t going as expected? Here are some tips as to whether you should consider a claim against your healthcare provider. Unexpected Outcomes   Your doctor may have the most modern technology in the world, but there’s no guarantee that any treatment model will cure your malady. You may not get the best outcome or the outcome you hoped for, but it might not be medical malpractice. Instead, you have to look at whether the medical provider provided a medical standard of care that another competent and skilled professional would have. Get A Second Opinion If you believe that your doctor made an error in treatment, go to another doctor for a second opinion. Focus on your health first. Get the right treatment for your condition. If damage was done because of the misdiagnosis, you can pursue a claim later. Get Your Medical Records Before you ever file a malpractice claim, you should begin collecting your medical records. You want to get documents that show the symptoms you were experiencing, what tests were performed, what treatment was provided and any medications that were prescribed. Save any information your doctor gives you, not just billing information. Document Your Journey If you think your doctor isn’t providing adequate care, you’ll need to be certain of what was done. Track your symptoms, your appointments and the impact on your life. The more details you write down, the more information you have to show what you went through because of the doctor’s mistake. There’s no way to remember this over time. A journal where you’ve documented daily activities is evidence of your health. Contact an Attorney Medical malpractice isn’t a do-it-yourself legal matter. To show malpractice, you have to prove different elements of the case. You may have to show the relationship between the provider and healthcare facility. Typically, doctors aren’t employed by the hospital. Was the negligence due to a hospital mistake or because of the doctor? Most medical malpractice lawsuits have to be brought within a certain time frame. If you miss this deadline, you may not have any recourse...
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Common Mistakes to Avoid in a Child Custody Battle

Experienced Lawyer If you’re in the middle of a child custody battle right now, it’s especially important to be mindful of your actions. What you do and say can play a big part in the judge’s ultimate decision. Family lawyers share some of the most common mistakes people make during child custody battles. Talking Poorly About the Other Parent in Front of Your Kids No matter how angry you may be with your ex, you should resist the urge to talk badly about him or her in front of your kids. They’re already likely stressed out and hearing one parent talk poorly about the other parent will just make them more uncomfortable. If the judge finds out that you have been badmouthing the other parent in front of your kids, he or she might not think you have their best interests in mind and consider that in their custody ruling. Not Letting the Other Parent See Your Kids If you try to prevent the other parent from seeing your kids without a court order, the judge won’t look at that very fondly. Unless there is a very good reason for doing so, you should never prevent the other parents from visiting your kids. If you, however, believe that your kids will be in a dangerous environment, you should let the court know as soon as possible. Taking Your Kids on a Trip Without the other Parent’s Permission Taking your kids out of town for a fun trip seems pretty harmless, right? However, if you’re in the middle of a custody battle, you better get the other parent’s permission first before taking them on a trip. Even if you didn’t mean any harm, the judge may believe that you tried to kidnapping your children if you didn’t let the other parent know. Not Being Careful About What You Post on Social Media What you post on Facebook and other social media sites can have a big impact on your child custody case. Anything you post on these sites can come up in court. For example, if you post a photo of you intoxicated at a bar, the judge may think that you’re a bad influence on your kids and use that against you in the ruling. Therefore, don’t post anything on your social media accounts that you wouldn’t want the court to see. Disobeying Court Orders It’s important to follow...
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What is My Pain Worth?

Experienced Lawyer When you’ve been injured in an accident, it is not unusual for the responsible party’s insurer to try to rush you to a settlement. Even if you’ve been offered an amount that covers your current medical bills, who pays for future medical needs? The answer is you do if you’ve already accepted a settlement. But how is a fair and adequate value for a personal injury claim determined? The legal term for losses and injuries due to an accident is “damages”, and that is where the valuation begins. Economic Damages Economic damages are the quantifiable, or measurable, losses incurred due to another person’s careless or willful acts resulting in harm. Also known as specific damages, the value is determined by adding up the total out-of-pocket expenses. These may include: Lost salary Loss of business opportunities Loss of, or damage to, property Present and future medical bills, including medications, physical therapy, medical equipment and in-home medical care Medical expenses typically comprise the majority of the total specific losses. Even though most of the losses can be easily documented, expert witnesses may need to weigh in on valuing lost opportunities or future medical bills. However, economic damages are not always available to the defendant in some states. The concept of comparative negligence may impact the recoverable losses by the amount of shared responsibility for the accident. Non-Economic Damages This loss category is also known as general damages. These losses are not as easily quantifiable as specific damages and may involve complex analysis to determine the total value. Examples of general damages are: Disfigurement Disability Loss of enjoyment Pain and suffering Loss of companionship – in the case of death, this is a loss that may be recovered by a spouse This category is subject to the laws of the state in which the case is filed. Some states require a finding of specific damages before allowing the plaintiff to seek general damages. There is frequently a formula used to arrive at the value of general losses and they are frequently subject to a cap, or limit, on how much can be recovered. The limits may vary but a common rule of thumb is that the plaintiff may receive no more than 10 times the value of economic damages for non-economic damages. Before signing off on any offers from the insurance company for your injuries, you should contact an experienced...
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