In today’s highly litigious society, it seems that no one is safe from being sued. Even if you are just living your life and minding your own business, you could find yourself facing a lawsuit to defend yourself from someone who had a slip and fall on your sidewalk, or who tripped on your front steps.
While hopefully your homeowner’s insurance would be able to cover any medical expenses that arose from accidents like this, sometimes the situation does escalate into a legal issue if the accident victim isn’t satisfied with the insurance company’s offer, or if his claim is denied. In those cases, finding a Florida attorney who has experience with liability issues arising from slip and fall accidents is necessary to defend yourself in court and avoid a court ruling of negligence against you that might cost you thousands of dollars or more.
Or you might work as a doctor, and find that a former patient and her family have filed a legal complaint against you because you did not identify her lung cancer while it was in the earliest and most treatable stages. Your patient’s attorneys may claim that your failure to make a proper diagnosis and run the tests that you should have ordered based on the nature of her symptoms did not meet the expected standard of medical care and also severely diminished her chances for a successful recovery by giving the disease time to spread to her lymph nodes and other organs. In this instance, if your professional liability insurance is not able to come to a settlement agreement, you will need a Florida malpractice attorney to defend the appropriateness of your actions and your professional reputation.
And if you are facing financial problems, you may find yourself in default on your mortgage and facing foreclosure by your bank or other lending institution. While it might seem difficult to justify the expense when you are literally facing homelessness, consulting with a Florida foreclosure attorney and having him explain the steps involved in a foreclosure procedure and review any legal documents that you have received regarding the foreclosure can at least ensure that the process is being handled properly and that your rights are not being ignored during this painful and frightening experience.
In some cases lenders have been known to be overzealous in attempting to force out a mortgagee who has defaulted on several payments, and may resort to tactics that are both unethical and illegal in order to get you to leave the premises. If this happens to you, your foreclosure lawyer can take appropriate legal measures to make sure that you don’t lose your right to be treated fairly along with losing your home.
Likewise, if you are arrested for any kind of crime or misdemeanor, you have the right to have a Florida criminal attorney working for you to represent you at your bail hearing, to fairly present your case to a judge or jury, and to negotiate with prosecuting attorneys to determine a mutually-agreeable settlement or sentence if appropriate.
In all of the examples above, you were the defendant in the lawsuit, which is to say that you were in the position of defending yourself against the legal claims of others. And certainly having a Florida defense attorney on your side in any case where you are facing civil or criminal charges is a very prudent move if you want to be sure that you get a fair hearing in court and that your rights are respected throughout the legal proceedings.
Attorneys and Plaintiffs
However, there are many life situations where you will find yourself in court as the plaintiff, or the one who is seeking a legal judgment against another party, whether your opponent is another person, a company, or even a government agency. For example, if you are involved in a divorce, even an amicable one, a Florida divorce attorney can help ensure that you follow all of the state laws that apply to your situation including on how to divide real property like your home or other real estate, custody of pets, visitation and custody rights for minor children, and the distribution of other valuable assets including bank account funds, investments, collectibles and antiques, and retirement funds.
And of course if the divorce turns acrimonious, there is no substitute for an experienced and aggressive divorce lawyer in making sure that you receive a fair settlement of your marital assets and any spousal support payments or alimony that you are due.
A Florida family law attorney can also handle divorces and custody issues, but these lawyers can also help you and your family in other situations. Family law attorneys commonly handle adoption procedures, whether you are adopting an new infant or child through an adoption service, or bringing your current family closer together by making your stepchild your legal child as well.
Family law attorneys can also work in juvenile court, representing teens and other children who have been accused of a crime. And these lawyers can also work with child protection agencies and social service departments to protect the rights of children who have been removed from neglectful or violent situations, and may recommend termination of parental rights if that is in the best interest of the child.
Consulting a Florida immigration attorney is a wise move if you or any member of your family wants to live in the US but is not a US citizen. Understanding the complicated process involved in all aspects of immigration law such as applying for a student visa or other type of visa, getting a green card, marrying someone who is not a US citizen, and other immigration issues can help you avoid serious problems like arrest and deportation.
Even if the proper procedures that you or your family members need to follow to stay legal in the US seem time-consuming and unnecessarily convoluted, in the long run it is much better to get an immigration attorney’s advice and do things properly than it is to do things wrong and hope that you won’t get caught. And fixing the legal problems that will definitely arise from not obeying American immigration rules and regulations will take much longer and be even more complicated than doing things right in the first place would have been.
Any time that you are injured through the negligence of others, a Florida injury attorney may be able to help you collect appropriate compensation for your pain and suffering. Consulting with an attorney that specializes in liability issues should be a first step before accepting an insurance company’s settlement offer to ensure that you are receiving a fair deal and that you fully understand all of the terms of the settlement agreement that you are being asked to sign. And of course, if you and the insurance company aren’t able to agree on a fair settlement, than you will need an experienced injury lawyer to represent you in court.
One common situation where injuries happen is during birth, where complications can cause an infant to be deprived of oxygen long enough to cause permanent brain damage. In these heartbreaking cases you may want to find a specialized liability attorney like a Florida brain injury attorney or a Florida birth injury attorney who deals mainly or exclusively with these types of cases because it is likely that your child will need special care throughout their entire life, even after you and your spouse pass away. It is critical that in spite of any grief or anger you might be feeling about what has happened, you take the actions needed to ensure that your child will be secure and cared for no matter what the future may hold.
The workplace is another common source of injuries. If you are involved in any kind of accident at work, immediately notify your employer and seek medical attention, and then get the advice of a Florida workers compensation attorney to make sure that your case is handled properly.
Your workman’s comp lawyer can explain the Florida worker’s compensation procedure to you, make sure that you file your claim properly and in a timely manner, review your rights under Florida workers comp law, evaluate and make recommendations regarding any settlement offers you receive from your employer’s workers compensation insurance company, and if necessary, take your case to mediation or arbitration or even to court if you are not being treated fairly and in accordance with the law.
If your injuries are of a permanent and disabling nature that will prevent you from returning to work, then you will likely want to apply for federal social security disability benefits. Because the process for applying for these benefits can be confusing, especially when you are still recovering from a serious injury and dealing with the emotional trauma that it has caused to you and your family, and because many first-time disability benefits claims are denied, you will likely want to hire a Florida Social Security disability attorney to help you through this process.
Having a lawyer that specializes in social security disability claims prepare and review your paperwork will increase your chances of having your application approved the first time you submit it. And if your claim does get denied, your attorney can help you correct any deficiencies so that you can quickly file an appeal to get the benefits that you deserve.
Defective products are another common source of injuries. We are all familiar with product recalls, when a manufacturer announces that a toy, medication, food, or other product has safety issues and offers consumers a replacement item or makes a modification available for the original item in order to avoid injuries, accidents and illnesses.
If you should be hurt by a product that did not perform as expected, or made ill by a food that was contaminated due to unsanitary packaging procedures, or suffered health complications due to unexpected severe side effects from a medication, then a Florida product liability attorney can help you file a claim against the manufacturer in order to be compensated for any injuries to yourself or damage to your property that arose due to the defect.
Finally, whenever you are dealing with complicated financial situations that involve taxable income like investments, retirement funds, inheritances, and some insurance settlements and court judgments, a Florida tax attorney can give you advice on how to stay legal and pay the correct amount of federal, state and local taxes.
Between income taxes, earned income, passive income, depreciation, estate taxes, excise taxes and other tax terms, it can be very difficult for a non-professional to understand clearly what is taxable and what isn’t, and how to legally minimize any taxes due. An experienced Florida tax lawyer can be invaluable in advising you to make sure that you don’t face penalties, late fees and even jail time from the IRS or Florida Department of Revenue for failing to report all taxable income properly, as well as ensuring that you don’t pay more in taxes than what you actually owe.
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