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Modifying or Amending Child Custody Orders 

Experienced Lawyer As a child custody lawyer might explain to you, once a court order or decision has been made regarding the custody of a child, it is preferred that it remains the same. However, it some cases, these arrangements are no longer practical. In this situation, it may be possible to ask the judge to amend or modify the orders. Before you can do this, certain procedures must be filed. In general, it will help to have a child custody lawyer on your side.  Modifying Child Visitation When one or both parents cannot reach an agreement regarding child custody and visitation, it will be up to the judge to order an arrangement that is in the best interests of the child. As a child custody lawyer, like a child custody lawyer in Fairfax, VA,  might explain to you, there are two types of custody: Legal Custody – This includes the right to make decisions for the child. These decisions may include education, religion, upbringing, healthcare, and more. It is possible for both parents to have legal custody of the child.  Physical Custody – This refers to the time spent with the child. In general, one parent will have physical custody. This parent will also be responsible for the main decisions and daily care of the child.  Another form of custody is joint custody. As a child custody lawyer may tell you, this can be awarded by the courts, but is not always divided equally. For example, one parent may have the child on weekdays and the other parent may have the child on the weekends.  In any case, once an order has been legally issued, both parents must agree to follow the terms. It is common for these terms to eventually not suit one or both parents, or even the child. For instance, as a child grows older, they may wish for something different. Or, one parent might be offered a job across the country. In both scenarios, a new agreement may need to be reached.  Modifying Court Agreements It is possible to change a child custody agreement. To do this, you or your child custody lawyer must file a petition with the family court. In general, a modification will be accepted when: The court approves the modification request, or Both parents are in agreeance to modify the request In general, a modification is granted only when at...
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The Process of Requesting a Crash Report

Experienced Lawyer A crash report is a document that is compiled by an investigating officer that explains the available evidence and professional theories to the cause of the accident and who is at fault. While there are many facts included within the report, it is necessary to make the distinction between fact and opinion, especially if your claim goes to trial. However, as most personal injury and car accident claims are settled outside of court through negotiations, these reports are valid and useful, but how do you obtain a copy for your records? Information You Will Need When requesting a police report, there is specific information you will need about the accident. If you have an identification number, the process is typically more streamlined. However, without this number, you will need to provide the location, date, and time of the accident. Also, you will need to have your ID, and you must be either the owner of the vehicle or one of the drivers involved in the collision. Requesting a Paid Report Next, most jurisdictions do charge a fee to get a copy of the official crash report. While prices vary by state, it is typically around $15. In order to request this paid copy, you will need to find the proper traffic division of law enforcement agency. If a responding officer gave you a receipt on the scene, then it will likely have the incident number and who to call. However, if you did not receive a receipt, then you can contact the station that responded to the accident to find out the next steps. Checking for a Free Copy If you are lucky, you can obtain a free copy of the accident report from your insurance company. You can contact your claims representative and see if they have a copy of the report. If they do, the insurance company will often provide you a copy for free. However, not every insurer will have a copy on file, but it is still worth checking to save yourself the report fee, possibly. Importance of a Crash Report When Filing a Lawsuit While it may not seem important, a crash report is useful, especially during settlement negotiations. These reports will state the facts of the scene as well as the expert opinion of investigators to the cause of the accident, which can help in determining fault. If you are not sure if you need a...
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Common Causes of Brain Injuries

Common Causes of Brain Injuries Though brain injuries are often serious, they are not always obvious. A brain injury is not always accompanied by a skull fracture, an open head wound, or penetration of a foreign object. Brain injuries that lack these features are called “closed injuries” and can be more difficult to diagnose. It becomes necessary to observe for behavioral, emotional, or physical changes. It may help to know what can cause brain injuries in the first place. There are two basic types of brain injuries — acquired injuries and traumatic injuries. Each can affect either children or adults. Some may be present at birth. Traumatic Brain Injuries Traumatic brain injuries are those that result from an accident that involves one or more blows to the head or penetration through the skull into the brain. Falls and motor vehicle accidents account for a number of TBI. Other possible causes include the following: Sports Injuries During contact sports, athletes frequently crash into each other or knock each other over. The force of these collisions can result in TBI. Whiplash During a car accident, the head may whip violently back and forth from the force of the collision. This can cause the brain to strike the inside of the skull. Shaking A physical attack may take the form of someone grabbing the patient by the shoulders and shaking him or her violently back and forth. This can cause tearing of the nerve tissues. Penetration If a foreign object, such as a bullet or a sharp object, were to enter through the skull into the brain, it could cause significant damage. Explosions Doctors who treat active-duty military personnel have found that TBI can result from explosive blasts. However, they are not entirely sure what specifically causes the damage. Acquired Brain Injuries When it is not an accident or trauma, but instead an illness or medical condition that damages the brain, the resulting injuries are called acquired brain injuries. Injuries of this nature may be acquired in the womb, during birth, during childhood, or as an adult. Possible causes include the following: Infection of the brain or central nervous system Cancer Benign tumors Hypoxia, i.e., lack of oxygen The most common cause of an acquired brain injury is a stroke, which is a lack of blood flow to the brain due to a blocked or burst blood vessel. The most important thing...
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Understanding Where Workers’ Comp Benefits Come From

In the United States, there is a system in place to protect individuals who are injured while at work. This system is called workers’ compensation. If you are like most people, you do not think about workers’ comp most of the time. Most people assume that a work injury will never happen to them. However, it is important to have a good understanding of workers’ comp before you need to use it. A common question is, “Who provides the benefits?” This guide will fully explain the surprisingly complicated answer. Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim There are two different answers to the question of who provides the workers’ comp benefits. For any single workers’ comp case, the compensation will be provided by either: A private insurance company A state-run agency The reason there are two different potential benefit providers is because there are two different systems in place. Some states use one system and some use the other. It is important to know what system your state employs, but you should also know that the system does not change what the filing process looks like for you. In either case, the only thing you need to do is report your injury to your employer. Your employer should handle the claim from that point onward. Private Workers’ Comp The first system places the responsibility of providing workers’ compensation in the hands of private insurance companies. Some companies only provide workers’ comp, while others provide it alongside other types of insurance. Each individual employer is required by the state to pay for workers’ comp coverage through a private provider of his or her choice. This allows employers to choose a company that suits the needs of the employees. State Workers’ Comp In some states, the state itself takes responsibility for providing coverage. There is a dedicated agency that handles all workers’ comp cases in the state. This system is far simpler because the employer does not need to do much of anything to receive coverage. Every worker in the state is automatically covered, assuming the employer has his or her business registered correctly and legally. Remember, workers’ comp coverage is a right guaranteed to every employee in the United States. No matter which system your state uses, or what your employer has to say on the matter, you can have all the expenses related to your injury fully compensated. This means you...
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What Goes in a Will?

You know you have grown up when you are willing to tackle your own mortality. The best sign of this is drafting your estate plan. Not you personally, of course, but with the help of an experienced lawyer. Understanding your options requires a discussion with a trusted estate planning lawyer who can help you decide what your best path forward is for your estate plan. Your Will Determines What Happens to Your Assets A last will and testament is a legal document laying out what you want to have happen to your assets and your belongings once you are gone. By thinking about some questions now, you can relieve some stress off your loved one’s shoulders. When you make all of the decisions in advance, they don’t have to worry about what you might want. Your will determines who receives your personal possessions and how your assets are distributed. State Law Decides What Happens if You Don’t Have a Will Every state has similar laws for distribution of assets after you are gone if you die intestate, meaning without a will. If you have a spouse, they will get all of your assets. No other loved one will receive any distributions. If you want a child, niece, nephew, or even a non-relative to receive an important item, you need a will. Without a will specifically stating the item the named individual should receive, they will not receive it. Other Important Documents A will is not the only component to a full and complete estate plan. In fact, there are many documents which make up an estate plan. Many people only consider a will, however, because it is the most well known. You should also have: Living will Health care directive Power of attorney Trust  Speaking with a skilled and experienced estate planning lawyer can help you decide what is best for you. We have knowledge you deserve to help guide you through your estate planning process. Update Your Will Regularly Unfortunately, many people think they can create a will once and never look at it again. That can lead to stressful situations. If you create a will when you are 30 but you don’t die until you are 90, your life will have changed dramatically during that time. If your will stays the same, it would be like reverting back. The best way to ensure your will stays up...
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