bookmark_borderWhy One Should Need A Car Accident Lawyer

When Should I Get An Attorney for a Car Accident

After an accident, car accident victims are often left to deal with serious injuries and rising medical bills on their own. Insurance companies often offer accident victims a low-ball settlement that is just a fraction of what they need to recover. These insurance companies don’t have your best interest in mind—the only people they have in mind are their shareholders and reducing their liabilities. They may pressure accident victims into signing a settlement too quickly and you could end up with less than you need to cover your injuries.

The moment your accident occurred, a clock started ticking. It’s a countdown to the first financial hit coming your way as a result of your injuries. For most folks, that first hit is a missed paycheck. Then the first medical bill comes in, and there won’t be just one. Pretty soon, you find yourself with a financial problem that you don’t know how to solve.

That’s why it’s important that you call one of our experienced car accident attorneys as soon as possible following your accident. This ensures that our team can collect important evidence and witness accounts that could be lost over time. It also allows our legal team to go to work quickly to build a strong case for you. The sooner you call, the sooner you can get the compensation you deserve for your accident.

Steps to Take After a Car Accident

Immediately after you are injured in a car accident, there are steps you can take to help you collect the compensation you need.

  • Call 911 – Call 911 and report your accident, which helps alert both police officials and emergency medical teams to the scene of the accident. Your police report and your medical report will be invaluable when establishing fault and liability. Without them, it’s just your word against theirs.
  • Gather Evidence – Gathering evidence can be done easily now that we have smartphones. Snap pictures of license plates, eyewitness information, vehicle damage, traffic patterns, intersections, and any other important information that could help your lawyer establish fault.
  • Contact a Lawyer – Insurance companies will always seek to reduce their liabilities by offering accident victims a low-ball settlement offer. This is usually a fraction of what you need to recover. Contact an experienced car accident attorney immediately to begin building your case. Remember, contacting an attorney is not the same thing as filing a lawsuit.


You should hire an attorney to represent you after a car accident in these situations:

  • You suffered injuries and/or significant damage to your car. If you were involved in a minor fender-bender that did not cause serious injuries, you may not need the assistance of a car accident injury attorney. But in all other circumstances, speaking with an experienced car accident injury attorney is the best way to protect your legal rights to recover compensation.
  • It is obvious, or even just possible, that someone else’s actions contributed to causing the accident. Speak with an attorney about any car accident in which someone else’s actions may have played a role, including any accident involving more than one vehicle, and any accident involving a sudden, unexpected loss of control of your car.
  • You’ve been offered a low-ball settlement by the other driver’s insurance carrier. It is important to speak to an attorney before ever agreeing to a settlement or making an official statement to a third-party insurance provider. Early after an accident, it is difficult, if not impossible, for you to have a clear and thorough understanding of the costs accident injuries might inflict on your life. Until an experienced attorney has helped you analyze the extent of the damages you have sustained, you risk accepting a settlement in your case that is much too low and will not fully cover the expenses you face now and in the future. Once you’ve accepted a settlement, you generally will not have the opportunity to go back and ask for more money.
  • Your injuries are severe and permanent. Permanent injuries inflict a lifetime of expenses, including future surgeries, hospitalizations for complications, modifications to your home, and a decline in your earning capacity. Let an attorney help you obtain the money you need to pay for them.
  • Your accident was caused by the negligence of a governmental agency. It takes skill and know-how to recover compensation from a local or state government entity as damages for the wrongful actions of its employees. Ask an experienced attorney who understands the complications of taking legal action against a government entity to help you.


The insurance company isn’t on your side like you think they are.

While we like to think that insurance companies have our best interests in mind, their first aim is to keep their own costs down and reduce overhead. This means that your interests and those of insurance companies may not always align. Hiring an attorney is one way to ensure that you have an advocate on your side to protect your rights.

Proving liability can be difficult.

Determining the party that was responsible for the accident can be hard. You will also have to prove that they breached the duty of care and that their breach resulted in your injuries. Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney who understands the law will increase your chances of being able to prove the necessary things in order to win your case.


What Compensation Can I Collect?

After an accident, there’s so much to be done – and much of it is costly. If you hire an attorney, they will fight for you to win the maximum amount of compensation possible. For instance, these expenses could be covered:

  • Car repairs
  • Doctor visits
  • Hospitalization
  • Rehabilitation programs
  • Future medical costs

On top of that, you may be compensated for the time you missed from work, your pain and suffering, punitive damages, or any reduced earning capacity you may have suffered. Without a lawyer, it is much more difficult to win compensation for all you are owed. That is why we suggest that you make sure you have award-winning legal representation on your side.


Knowledge of Law and Procedural Rules

Hiring a personal injury attorney to represent you after a car accident means you will have a professional working for you — one who is extremely knowledgeable about the relevant laws and procedural rules that may affect your case.

An attorney can advise you of any time limits (called statutes of limitations) that can bar you from filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. For instance, in many states you must file your lawsuit within two years of your car accident or be forever prohibited from filing your lawsuit. An attorney will also be able to inform you about any special exceptions to the statute of limitations — for minors, for example.

Your attorney can file a lawsuit on your behalf and will know how best to mitigate any possible defenses raised by the other side. In addition, once your case gets under way, your lawyer will play an invaluable role in preparing your case for trial — and even going to trial if your case doesn’t settle.

Even though a lawsuit is rarely necessary, the threat of legal action offers strong leverage when negotiating a fair settlement.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, having an attorney who is knowledgeable about the law evens the playing field, especially when you are going up against the experience and vast resources of a large insurance company.

bookmark_borderDUI Lawyer Rates

What percentage of DUI cases get dismissed?

Research found that statistics taken around DUI, OUI, DWI, and the like, varied greatly if they could be found at all. Most rates were based on convictions.

The first step in seeking a defense to get the charges dropped or the case dismissed is … call a DUI lawyer. This is your first line of defense. At least consult with an attorney. An initial consultation is usually free.

Statistics in California for the period between 1997 and 2006 was between 75 percent and 85 percent conviction rate. In 2006 in California, 90 percent of DUI arrests ended up with convictions. Another site offered up a PDF that cited statistics from various counties across the US. Some conviction rates were as low as 63 percent while several were 85 to 95 percent. Actual dismissals of charges occurred at rates, when stated, of around 1.5 percent. One country cited about a 10 percent dismissal rate. Rhode Island cites a rate of about 67 percent convictions. From 2000 through 2011 Connecticut cited a 50 percent climbing to a 70 percent dismissal rate, but only from allowing 1st time offenders to take a course whose completion got the charges dismissed. Washington State cites an average of 32 percent dismissal.

The reasons for dismissal are many, but a few stand out. One of the biggest reasons that a dismissal occurs is the reason that the police officer had for stopping you in the first place. This is known as “probable cause”. Every state in our Union requires that a police officer must have a very solid reason for a traffic stop, unless it is a legal roadblock where every car is stopped. In court at the DUI hearing, the police officer must testify, if asked, what the reason was for the original stop. The reasons for stopping a vehicle are also many, and not necessarily directly tied to drinking. If someone in the car discards trash onto the road while observed by a police officer, the officer can stop the car for that reason, then, smelling a distinct odor of alcohol, had probable cause for DWI or DUI. The rest is the tests and possible arrest. (nice rhyme, yes?) Another typical reason is if the police officer does not appear for the hearing, there is a possibility for immediate dismissal, or another hearing date. Most states have a time limit between the arrest and the hearing. If that time limit is exceeded, especially with an extension, the case could be and should be dismissed.


How often do DUI cases get reduced? How often do DUI cases get dismissed?

How often DUIs are reduced or dismissed is not really quantifiable. The result of most cases depends on the quality of representation and the facts your lawyer has to overcome. The most ideal approach to get the best result is: hire a DUI lawyer to defend you and spot holes in the State’s case against you.


Truth be told, experienced DUI lawyers “win” most cases for first-time offenders when there is no proof of an accident or terrible driving.

The expression “win” is in quotes here on the grounds that win may mean having the charge lessened to an alternate offense or generally getting a plea deal that prevents a conviction. Like most court cases, when fighting DUI and DWI charges, the best thing a lawyer can accomplish for a person is to arrange a plea deal; a less serious charge that comes with less serious punishments.

Lessened charges or dropped charges?

However, as a result of dropping a DUI arrest to a less serious offense, a driver will then consent to enter a guilty plea to the lesser charges in court. Realize that the judge won’t effortlessly consent to lessen your DUI charges, notwithstanding for a first-time offense. This is because new laws for drunk driving (and the general public opinion) have expanded in seriousness in each state. Numerous prosecutors are influenced to seek a full conviction under the costly new laws.

This is the reason the prosecutor will require a strong motivation to reduce the charges. An aggressive RI DUI lawyer will know how to fulfill this in the wake of evaluating the facts of interest. A talented lawyer will know how to discover the shortcomings in the case the prosecutor has, which will open them up to the thought of a plea deal. This can fundamentally lessen the charges against a driver from the serious offense of what they were initially confronting.

The recipe for success is to research comprehensively. Interview and disclose all information to your Rhode Island DUI lawyer and move the case forward; utilize evidence and procedural movements skillfully; and display an effectively thought out, choreographed trial with expert witnesses, character witnesses, and other time tested strategies for a strong defense in criminal cases.

My experience with DUI as a prosecutor

As a previous prosecutor, I manage DUI cases every day. When I worked under the Attorney General, I assessed all my cases and realized that each case is distinctive and that not each case was a good case for the State.

Now and then, the state is confronted with evidence issues. For example: a breath test machine that was breaking down or a defendant with a low blood alcohol level. Different cases included proof that was corrupted by police misconduct. For example: an officer making the person stop without reasonable justification, an awful DUI checkpoint, an officer who did not read the Miranda Rights, or when an officer unlawfully stopped the individual and kept him/her without reasonable justification.


How DUI Cases Get Dismissed

The low percentage of DUI cases would be higher if drivers retained the services of defense attorneys who can evaluate the circumstances that resulted in an arrest and the potential shortcomings of prosecutors. Law enforcement officers are expected to follow certain procedures in their DUI investigations, which must include respecting the legal rights of drivers. Skilled lawyers will look at how evidence was collected by police officers and how prosecutors present the case. Probable cause must be properly established, and prosecutors have a burden to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

Although dismissal of DUI charges is ideal, another strategy that can be pursued is a reduction of charges, which can be negotiated with prosecutors who prefer getting at least a conviction on lesser charges than facing the risk of their cases being systematically disassembled during a trial.


Common reasons charges are dismissed in DUI case

Each criminal case is different. DUI cases generally depend on the police following proper procedures and on the results of any chemical tests.

DUI charges should be dropped:

  • If the police did not have proper grounds to stop your vehicle. The police can stop you if they reasonably believe you have committed a traffic violation such as speeding or running through a red light. They can also stop you if they see that your driving poses a danger to others – such as weaving in and out of lanes. If you were following the laws and driving with the flow of traffic – then normally the police don’t have the right to stop you.
  • Illegal searches and seizures. Police cannot search your vehicle for signs of alcohol containers or evidence of drinking unless they have probable cause or unless they obtain a warrant. Most offices don’t obtain warrants in DUI arrests – so whether they had probable cause to search the vehicle is a critical issue. Illegal searches and seizures violate the Fourth Amendment.
  • Illegal field sobriety tests. There are specific field sobriety tests officers should give and specific ways they should give them. If the tests are invalid, the arrest may be invalid.
  • Illegal chemical tests. While drivers generally consent to blood or breath tests, officers still need to explain what rights a suspect has. Testing machines must be inspected regularly. The chain of custody of the test and test results can’t be broken before trial.
  • Failing to advise you of your right to speak with a lawyer. Defendants are entitled to be told they can speak with an attorney after they’ve been arrested.
  • A stop or search was unconstitutional or illegal for other reasons. For example, roadside sobriety checkpoints are supposed to alert drivers to where the roadblocks will be ahead of time.


The Results Of A Blood Test Are Not Evidence Of Impairment

If the arresting officer concludes that there exists sufficient evidence or probable cause to believe you are under the influence of a drug, then you will be asked to take a blood test. If you refuse, you risk suspension of your driver’s license for at least one year with no opportunity to obtain a restricted license before the suspension period ends. Other penalties include increased jail time if convicted among other penalties.

Will The Presense of THC In My Blood Test Cause A DUID Conviction?

The presence of a drug in your blood is not conclusive proof that you were under the influence. THC metabolites, found in marijuana, remain in your system from 28 to 45 days.

How Long Is Cocaine Present In My Blood?

If testing for cocaine, the test will screen for benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, that is detectable in your body for several days.

How Long Can Meth Stay Present In My Blood?

Methamphetamine can remain for 2-10 days depending on several factors. In any case, the effects of these drugs would have dissipated long before you drove.

Is There A BAC Level For Drugs?

There is no accepted metabolism rate for a drug as there is for alcohol as it is affected by the person’s age, gender, tolerance, general health, and how the drug was ingested.

As a result, no one can testify as to what the drug concentration level was at any time you were driving.

bookmark_borderPick The Best Divorce Lawyer For Your Solution

Tips on Choosing The Best Divorce Attorney

Divorce can be a painful and stressful experience for many. It is a legal proceeding that involves the dissolution of a marriage between husband and wife. There are two parties: the husband and the wife. Then there is a third party, which is commonly known as a divorce attorney. The role of a divorce attorney Nashville is very important because no marriage can ever be dissolved without the help of a divorce lawyer. Therefore, it is imperative for you to select the best divorce attorney in your area.

Make sure to get the views and opinion of people you know who have faced similar circumstances and have managed to handle it well. Ask them if they know someone who will not only provide you with legal support and guidance but will also take good care of your emotional needs. However, it would be wrong to get too captivated with the recommendation. You need to choose someone whose expertise and experience can prove valuable in your case.

It is time to collect the basic details about prospective lawyers. Look for their credentials and qualifications. Make sure to choose someone who possesses an extensive amount of experience in Family Law. Area of specialization plays a vital role in deciding the outcome. So you ought to look for someone who specializes in handling divorce-related cases. The more experienced the attorney, the better. You may even ask the prospective lawyer to show you his or her degrees and certificates.


Tips for How to Choose a Divorce Lawyer Who Will Be Right for You

Use Your Head But Listen to Your Gut.

The first nine tips are all important. They are  logical and rational. But, when you’re trying to choose a divorce lawyer, logic isn’t the only thing you need. If you meet a divorce lawyer and the little voice in your head is screaming “Run!,” do yourself a favor. Listen to it! There’s probably a reason that your alarm system is going off. If you’re not sure whether you’re being overly sensitive, here are a few warning signs to look for.

Make a list of questions to ask BEFORE you interview any one.

It’s normal to be nervous when you go talk to a lawyer. That’s especially true when you’re talking about something as personal as divorce. Plus, going through a divorce itself is emotional.Your natural nervousness may make it difficult to focus when you are talking to an attorney. Once you are in an attorney’s office, you may forget what you wanted to ask. You also may not remember the lawyers’ answers.

Interview at least 2 or 3 lawyers before you choose a divorce lawyer.

Going to two or three different lawyers’ offices and telling your story over and over again can be exhausting. It’s tempting to want to just hire the first lawyer you meet. Resist the temptation. Take the time to meet at least two different attorneys.

Find a lawyer who is experienced in family law.

When you are getting a divorce you want to have an experienced attorney by your side.  This is not the time to hire your cousin’s boyfriend’s uncle who specializes in estate planning. You need a lawyer who regularly works in divorce.

Take lawyer ratings with a grain of salt.

Lawyer rating agencies are not infallible. A lawyer who chooses not to advertise, or who doesn’t participate in a particular rating site’s program, may end up being rated poorly. That may be true even though s/he may be an amazing attorney.  So, it’s often hard to tell if a lawyer is good or bad based solely on some lawyer rating agency.


Tips for Choosing the Right Divorce Attorney

Go with your “gut” – finding the right “fit” is a must in the attorney-client relationship.

Not every family law attorney will be the right fit for you, even the ones who coming highly recommended. If you value an attorney who can hold your hand throughout the process and educate you about each and every development throughout your case, be cautious of attorneys with too high of a caseload who may not have the time or support to be in communication with you. If you need an attorney to assist with the division of interests in a closely-held family business, you will need an attorney with a business background, or at the very least an attorney with a strong network of reliable financial consultants. Not all family law attorneys have the knowledge or skillset to handle high asset divorce cases. Likewise, not all family law attorneys are proficient at handling contentious custody matters or allegations of domestic violence or abuse and neglect. Don’t be afraid to ask your attorney if they’ve handled a case like yours. At the end of the day, you are your best advocate and you must follow your instincts when choosing an attorney to advocate on your behalf.

Choose an attorney who sets realistic expectations.

Domestic relations matters are by nature emotional because they involve conflict between people who were once in love but have developed irreconcilable differences. Betrayal, distrust, and hurt feelings are natural, as is anger. When anger dictates a client’s approach to their case, the client may want to inflict pain on the other party. However, tearing a “pound of flesh” doesn’t advance your case or your best interests. If you hire an attorney who will do exactly what you want without advising you along the way, then you are setting yourself up for failure. An attorney who fails to set realistic expectations will not only disappoint but will drag you through unnecessary turmoil in the process.

Choose a divorce lawyer you trust.

Throughout the divorce process, you will need to share private and sensitive information with your divorce attorney – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Your attorney must know everything that the other party may use against you. Bad facts are easier to manage if your attorney is made aware of them early on. Your attorney will also have a different perspective than you on whether certain facts are legally relevant or not. You must be able to trust your attorney and be comfortable opening up to them. With that in mind, remember that your attorney is not your best friend or your therapist; your attorney is there to “counsel” you by providing legal advice. If your attorney inserts him/herself too much into your life, their ability to provide objective, sound advice about your case can be compromised. The best attorneys are those who are able to maintain a caring distance, to be empathetic yet objective.

Prepare for your initial consultation.

Jerry Maguire’s repeated mantra, “help me help you, help me help you…” rings true for legal representation. If your lawyer works harder than you on your case, not only will your bill reflect as much, but so will your final outcome. Your attorney should have an intake process that not only screens for potential conflicts of interest but also streamlines identification of factual disputes and legal issues. When you attend your initial consultation, it is important that you come prepared with information about your family – know and be able to convey the assets and debts comprising your marital estate, all sources of income and expenses and the division of child rearing responsibilities. Your attorney should look for ways to provide cost-effective and efficient services, rather than ways to add billable hours. One of the best ways to avoid unnecessary costs and attorney’s fees is for you to help your attorney gather information and think outside the box. After all, you know the ins and outs of your life better than any attorney, mediator or judge ever will.

Find an attorney with experience in family law in your jurisdiction.

It is important that you find an attorney with experience in family law to handle your divorce, meaning a substantial portion of their practice should be invested in family law cases. An attorney who doesn’t specialize in divorce and custody matters may not be able to provide competent representation if they are unfamiliar with developing legal nuances. Not only should your attorney have family law experience, they should also have experience in your jurisdiction. An attorney who knows the local rules and procedures in your county and is familiar with the rulings and approach of your judge will be able to advise you on the best strategy to protect your interests.



Use the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory

This law directory contains names and profile data of lawyers in the country. Use it to find experienced divorce attorneys. Talk to these attorneys and pick the one you like.

Get Referrals from Your Insurance Firm

Insurance agencies know many lawyers from different fields. Call your insurance agent and ask for a referral.

Visit Local Law Firms

Research law firms in your area and pay them a visit. Many firms offer free initial consultations. During your consultation. get more information on the kinds of cases they have experience working with.

Try the Classifieds

Pick up a magazine or go online to check the services section in the classifieds. You might get some luck and find a listing for a divorce attorney.

Use the Yellow Pages

Get the Yellow Pages and search the listings for divorce attorneys. You can either go old school with the physical yellow pages or look at an online directory.


Tips For How To Choose A Divorce Lawyer

Go with your gut. The first nine factors are all very logical and rational. But, when you meet a particular lawyer your gut starts screaming “Run!,” then do yourself a favor. Listen to your gut. If you are not sure what your gut is saying, here are a few hints.

Make a list of questions to ask BEFORE you interview any one. It’s normal to be nervous when you go talk to a lawyer, especially about something as personal as divorce. It’s also normal to be super-emotional when you are going through a divorce.

Interview at least 2 or 3 lawyers before you choose a divorce lawyer. Going to two or three different lawyers’ offices and telling your story over and over again can be exhausting. It’s tempting to want to just hire the first lawyer you meet.

Find a lawyer who is experienced in family law. This is not the time you want to talk to your cousin’s boyfriend’s uncle who specializes in estate planning, but is willing to do you a favor and handle your divorce.

Take lawyer ratings with a grain of salt. Lawyer rating agencies are not infallible. A lawyer who chooses not to advertise, or participate in a particular rating site’s program, may end up being rated poorly, even though s/he may be an amazing lawyer. Their mediocre rating is really only a reflection of the fact that that lawyer has chosen not to be part of the rating program.