Two Examples Of Legal Challenges That May Complicate An Open Adoption Process

Although most birth parents prefer open adoption, the process is fraught with some legal challenges for adoptive parents. Fortunately, these challenges will be surmountable if the adoption process was above board and everything is legal.  Here are a couple of examples of these challenges:

Issues with Relinquishment

Relinquishment is the process by which the birth parent gives up their child for adoption, which means they renounce their legal rights to the birth of the child. Adopting a child involved going through numerous hoops, but the process is generally complete when the birth parent signs the relinquishment papers.

At least that’s how it’s supposed to work. Unfortunately, states have different laws that complicate this issue further. For example, in some states, there is a window (that can be as long as a few months) after the relinquishment within which the birth parent can change her mind and revoke the adoption. Some states also allow the birth parent to revoke the relinquishment if she can prove that she signed them under duress, coercion, or undue influence.

In short, going through the whole process and having the birth parent sign the relinquishment form may not guarantee that you will be keeping the child. As you can see, this can be a legal headache that you need to prepare for right from the start. Prepare yourself by educating yourself about adoption laws, preferably by consulting an adoption lawyer. The adoption lawyer will also see to it that due process is followed so that the birth parent doesn’t find an excuse to revoke her relinquishment of the child.

Disagreements in Future Involvement

The second complication you may face is when the birth parent changes or tries to change her involvement with the child. Although the adoption agreement specifies how much contact the birth parent can have with the child, some parents may break this agreement by seeking additional visits with the child.

The desire to be in constant contact with one’s child may be natural, but the birth parent should know this when relinquishing their child. The good news is that family courts usually side with adoptive parents as long as the existing contract was legal and is clearly beneficial to the child. Therefore, you don’t have to worry if you involved an adoption lawyer like in the process and crafted a fair agreement that looks out for the child’s welfare.

When you do everything above board, you have the law to turn back on when the birth parent tries to complicate matters.

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Proving Your Losses: How To Strengthen Your Personal Injury Lawsuit

When you are hurt because of another person, you may be able to receive compensation for your losses. While you will have to establish the extent of your injuries and that your injuries were caused by a liable person, you will also need to show what your losses are. Your financial award in a personal injury lawsuit looks at your lost wages, medical bills, costs associated with fixing your car if it’s a car accident case, and money for losses that are more difficult to measure. While you will start with pecuniary losses that are measurable and easy to prove, the real money in a personal injury lawsuit comes from the non-pecuniary losses, or those that are hard to calculate.

Using the Losses You Can Quantify Easily

To prove your pecuniary losses in a personal injury lawsuit, you will simply need to gather together all of your relevant bills and pay stubs. If you have been out of work, you will want to show pay stubs from the past three months in order to get a weekly average of how much money you were making. Any medical bills, property repair, or other expenses will be added together and be the first part of your compensation if you win your lawsuit.

Proving Your Subjective Losses

The problem with non-pecuniary losses is that they are often subjective. This is where compensation for pain and suffering comes in. Pain is different from person to person, but in general, the more severe your injuries are, the higher your compensation will be. If you have become permanently disabled because of the accident, this will provide you with more money than if you went back to work within a few weeks. Proving the extent of your injuries, including pain and suffering, takes some effort.

Working with Your Treatment Team

To finalize your case, you may need to be at a medical end to treatment. When you work closely with your treatment providers, they are better able to determine if you are at a medical end to treatment. This means that you have made as much progress as you can, and you are unlikely to improve from your injuries further. Your treatment team are the providers that are going to provide medical evidence regarding your pain, suffering, and future loss of function, so you need to be honest and listen to all treatment advice.

When you have been injured, you must seek treatment regularly in an effort to get better. For more information, contact local professionals like The Kirbo Law Firm.

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3 Of The Main Reasons Teens Are Involved In Auto Accidents

If your son or daughter is soon to be a licensed driver, you want to be sure that you are doing what you can to implement safety on the road. After all, driving is dangerous and there are tons of accidents every year that not only cause damage but can also lead to serious or fatal injuries. This is why it’s important, as the parent of a teen driver, to know the three main reasons teen drivers are involved in auto accidents and what you can do about it:

Driving While Upset: 

Teens tend to have ever-changing emotions that are strong, especially while dealing with the pressures of school and the pressures of maintaining a social life. Many teens find themselves on the road while under the influence of strong emotions that can lead to serious road rage and poor driving choices. As a parent, you need to be aware of this so that you can let your child know what they should do in these situations, which would be to pull over, call and talk to someone, and take the time to calm down before getting on the road again. 

Not Understanding Hazards: 

There are many hazards on the road that experienced drivers are aware of. Experienced drivers also know how to handle getting around these hazards safely. It’s important that while teaching your teen how to drive, you go over some of the hazards that they could stumble upon, such as workers on the road. Your teen should drive a safe distance from workers on the side of the road. Your teen should also know that swerving when they see an animal on the road is dangerous. Most of the time the animal will move out of the way at the last minute anyway. 

Driving Without Proper Licensing: 

Once your teen receives their permit, they are likely excited to get themselves out on the road. However, when your teen only has their permit, they should not be driving without an adult in the vehicle. If your teen drives on their own during this time, not only do they not have the proper experience, but they are also putting themselves in danger of getting in an accident. The thrill of driving on their own alone can be enough to lead them to make poor driving choices. It’s important that you keep the car keys away from your teen until they receive their license. It’s also best not to gift them a car until their license has been issued to them. 

When you know these three main reasons teens are involved in auto accidents every year, you can be sure that you take action to do what you can to ensure that your teen is safe on the road. 

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3 Tips To Ensure Your Personal Injury Medical Bills Are Covered

If you have been involved in an accident that resulted in a personal injury, one thing that you might be worried about is covering your medical bills. After all, going to the doctor is not cheap, and even a relatively minor injury can result in hundreds or even thousands of dollars in bills to the hospital, doctor’s office, physical therapist, and more. These are a few helpful tips to help you ensure that your medical bills are covered by the responsible party.

1. Hire a Lawyer

Don’t count on being able to handle your case by yourself, even if the case seems relatively simple and even if the insurance company representative seems nice and easy to get along with. These companies have all sorts of tactics to help them get out of paying, and, if you aren’t careful, you could end up accidentally saying something that will make them fight your claim, or you could sign for a settlement that will not actually cover all of your bills. A personal injury lawyer will help you ensure that your medical bills are covered and can help in other ways, too, such as helping you sign up for temporary or permanent disability and fighting for you to be compensated for lost wages from work.

2. Keep All of Your Medical Bills

You can’t really expect that all of your medical bills will be covered if even you don’t know how much they are. Make sure that you keep every single receipt or bill that you receive for your medical care, and turn these documents in to your attorney.

3. Track Other Expenses, Too

Sometimes, your healthcare-related expenses don’t just end with the doctor’s bills. If you have been having to pay out-of-pocket for prescription medication, if you have had to purchase a lot of over-the-counter medication, or if you have been spending money on things like bandages, crutches, or a wheelchair ramp, make sure that you track how much you have spent.

As you can see, there are a few steps that you can take to help you ensure that your personal injury medical bills are covered. If you follow these three tips, you can help reduce the chances of being stuck to cover these expenses yourself. Then, you can help lessen the financial burden that can go along with an accident and resulting injury and can allow you to focus more of your attention on healing rather than on financial issues.

For more information about what you can do to get compensation for an injury that wasn’t your fault, talk to an attorney like Knochel Law Offices PC.

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What To Expect With Your Bankruptcy Creditor’s Meeting

Many people are surprised by the idea of a creditor’s meeting when they learn about it; it seems both comforting and scary at the same time. It seems comforting because you don’t have to actually appear before a judge in a traditional court to have your bankruptcy case heard, but scary because the thought of facing people that you owe money to is quite intimidating. The good news is that a creditor’s meeting is nothing to worry about, as long as you are well-prepared. Read on to learn more about this event, and soon you will be on the other side of it.

1. You will learn of the date and time via mail, so be sure to know exactly where to park, where to go and what to bring with you. You will need to show valid photo government-issued identification, such as driver’s license or passport, as well as a copy of your bankruptcy paperwork (the bankruptcy petition). These meetings are usually held in a nearby city in a federal building, sometimes in a courtroom but just as often in a large conference room. Though it may be held in a courtroom, there will be no “bankruptcy judge,” as there is no such thing. Instead, the meeting will be presided over by the bankruptcy trustee.

2. You should plan to spend approximately two to four hours at the meeting, but don’t worry, as your time before the trustee will be extremely brief. It comes as a shock to some filers that their creditor’s meeting is not a private event but is instead in a room filled with other bankruptcy filers with the exact same appointment time. In fact, the proceedings are actually open to the public. Whether or not you remain in the meeting after your turn depends on local custom, but it’s a good idea to leave your children elsewhere just in case you have to stay the entire meeting.

3. If you are fortunate enough to have a bankruptcy attorney, you may not actually see them until your name is called. The attorney may have other clients present at the same meeting. Once called, you will be sworn to tell the truth and then the trustee will ask you the same questions that were asked of all the other filers, such as:

  • Have you ever filed for bankruptcy before?
  • Is the information on your bankruptcy petition accurate and is that your signature?
  • Have you filed your federal taxes yet?

4. You may be wondering, at this point, why the meeting is called a creditor’s meeting. It can be somewhat of a misnomer, since creditors seldom appear at the meeting. If there are any issues with your filing, however, you may encounter a creditor who wants to object or question you about your debt. Your attorney will have prior knowledge of any appearances, and you will have plenty of opportunities to be prepared for any issues that arise. It is in your best interest to ensure that you have not used your credit cards to run up debt for frivolous purchases in the last few month prior to your filing, however.

For more information, contact John D Rouse or a similar legal professional.

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3 Tips For Dealing With An Insurance Adjuster After An Accident

After a car accident in which you were not at fault, the insurance adjuster stands between you and your compensation for the damages you suffered. An experienced adjuster has most likely dealt with dozens, if not hundreds, of car accident cases. He or she knows the finer points of negotiating. Unless you are skilled at negotiating, it is possible that you could be bested. To help you avoid this, here are some tips for dealing with the insurance adjuster. 

Remember the Adjuster Is Not Your Friend

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is assuming that the insurance adjuster is your friend. It is not uncommon for adjusters to be overly friendly during negotiations. Adjusters know that some people are uncomfortable with haggling over the settlement amount with friendly and helpful people.  

It is important to remember that the adjuster is doing his or her job. Insurance companies want to make a profit, and paying large settlements is not the way to do it. As a result, part of an adjuster’s job is to negotiate for the best settlement possible for the insurance company. Giving you a large settlement is not going to accomplish that goal.  

Avoid Giving Too Much Information

Immediately after the accident, the insurance adjuster might contact you to learn the details of the accident. It is important that you limit the details that you give him or her.  

Any statements that you give the adjuster can be used to deny your claim or reduce your settlement amount. If you are contacted by the insurance adjuster, stick to the basics. The basics include verifying the cars that were involved, the drivers, and the date and time. Inform the adjuster that you need time to assess the accident and that you will provide a written statement at a later time.  

Do Not Sign a Medical Records Release

The insurance adjuster might try to pressure you to sign a medical records release form. The form would give the insurance company permission to view your medical records. Although the insurance company does have the right to see proof of your injuries, you should never give them complete access to your records.  

Unless the release form limits the insurance company’s access to certain records, the adjuster could request additional records. The adjuster could access records from five years ago to look for any past accidents in which you were involved. He or she could blame your injuries on that accident, and you could struggle to prove otherwise.  

Work with an experienced personal injury attorney at a law office such as Erickson Law Office to learn other tips for handling an insurance adjuster. 

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3 Things A Family Lawyer Can Do Besides Divorces

Many people are familiar with a family lawyer for divorces. In fact, when most people think of a family lawyer they equate it to divorces. Although family attorneys handle a lot of divorces, they are also able to handle a good deal of other cases as well. Here are some other things that family attorneys do as well.

1. Adoptions

Adoptions are one of the most rewarding cases a family attorney can do. If you are adopting a child, you will need to meet with an attorney. The attorney will help to ensure you are a foster parent, all of the state requirements are met, and that the child’s biological parents have terminated their parental rights.They will then represent you in court when the time comes to make the adoption final. Since there are so many different legal requirements that must be met before you can legally adopt a child, you should meet with an attorney early about your adoption.

2. Prenuptial Agreements

Since divorce rates are so high, it is important that you are realistic about the possibility of divorce. Many people make the choice to get a prenuptial agreement before they take their wedding vows. For many individuals this is a great idea. If you have children from a previous relationship, you have a good deal of wealth, or if you have been married before, you should consider getting a prenuptial agreement.

A family attorney is uniquely prepared to help you construct a prenuptial agreement that will protect you and your interests. Since the family attorney has seen so much divorce, they know what to include in the agreement so that it is thorough and will protect you in the case that the marriage dissolves.

3. Domestic Violence

If you have been the victim of domestic violence or know of someone who is in a dangerous situation, you should talk to a family attorney about getting the individual to safety and protecting the victim’s rights. The family attorney can help to get the children and spouse out of a dangerous situation, can issue a restraining order and can help them get in a safe situation while protecting them legally. A family attorney can also help you put evidence together to give to the state prosecutor if charges are filed and there is a criminal case against the abuser.

As it has been shown, family attorneys do much more than just divorce and can handle any of your needs with legal issues pertaining to the family and marriage. For more information, contact Knollmeyer Law Office or a similar firm.

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