Is My Insurance Company Trying to Cheat Me?

Let’s be honest, anyone who has had an insurance claim has had this or a similar thought run through their head. For many years insurance companies have done things to earn a bad rep. I’ve been in the insurance restoration industry for the last 10 years, and during this time I can honestly say that I have rarely met an adjuster or contractor that wanted to skimp on the settlement. The few times I’ve seen this is when the policyholder has been extremely difficult to work with. Yes, bad estimates happen, however, most of the time the feeling of being “shorted or cheated” comes from not understanding your policy and how it pays out.

The biggest misunderstanding is most often the issue of matching. Insurance policies are specifically written with terminology and phrases to avoid matching. Homeowner’s coverage is to replace the damaged items with like kind and quality. While as a homeowner and contractor I often don’t agree with this and I will fight it to the best of my abilities. To explain this policy the easiest is to give you situations where you will most likely run into this situation. Let’s say you have a flood where the carpet has to be removed in the hallway. The same carpet runs throughout the home. The living room opens and connects directly to the hallway with the same carpet and you have 3 bedrooms directly off of the hallway and an office with french doors off of the living room. The carpet in the hallway and living room will be replaced but the carpet in the bedrooms and office will most likely not be replaced as most insurance policies are written to stop at doorways.

The other situation is most often with kitchen cabinetry. If water damages your lower kitchen cabinets (or a fire, your uppers) most insurance companies will allow replacing the run of damaged cabinets (meaning all of the lowers or all of the uppers). If you have specialty/custom cabinets you will most likely be given a custom price to rebuild that run of cabinets to match what was there. Very rarely is matching kitchen cabinets likely these days, however, it is not impossible. Over the past 25 years, there are hundreds of cabinet styles and specialty finishes, from dozens of manufacturers. Unless you recently replaced the kitchen, it will take countless hours of research to find the cabinet manufacturer that made your cabinets (a good place to locate the manufacturer is on the inside of the door. Let’s say you’ve managed to find the manufacturer, companies usually discontinue a line every 4-7 years, or they make considerable changes to it. On top of the possible discontinued issue, it is very likely that the elements have changed the finish on your cabinetry. Perhaps your contractor has pointed the issues out to your adjuster, depending on the difficulty they may add extra money to allow to get a close match, perhaps a custom cabinet.

This is where you have several options:

1) You can take your budget and get quotes from cabinet places on a less expensive cabinet to replace all of your cabinetry. Remember that by using less expensive items elsewhere in the reconstruction you will have that money to allocate towards your new cabinetry budget.

2) You can certainly create a unique custom kitchen by finding an opposite finish cabinet to replace your lowers or uppers with. It is very common today to mix cabinetry finishes to give a unique custom look to fit your style. For example, let’s say your cabinets are a stain cherry cabinet in a shaker style. You could go with a complementing stained or painted finish cabinetry, perhaps in antique white or black.

3) If the mix/match isn’t your style consider a paint treatment. My best example of this is a fire I did in Durham, NC in 2007; my client had a small grease fire that scorched the finish on 3 of her upper cabinets above her stove. The insurance company allowed for replacement of these upper cabinets. She was not happy with that. (Now to be fair, this was an extremely smart professor at Duke University and as soon as the fire happened she started dreaming of her new kitchen.) When I broke the estimate down into our budget for the cabinets she was highly disappointed. She wanted her new kitchen. I replaced the 3 damaged parts of the cabinets with unfinished stock pieces that matched in style and repainted all of her dated oak cabinetry to a new beautiful modern black. We added new hardware, repainted the walls and I was able to get new countertops for her, by choosing a less expensive replacement floor. Within 2 weeks she had a brand new remodeled kitchen with nothing more than her deductible out of pocket.

4) You could order the cabinets to match your existing cabinetry and if they don’t match well enough you can go back to your insurance company and have them come back out to assist you with another option. PLEASE NOTE: if you’re set on getting a kitchen completely different than what you had and you opt to try and match your existing cabinets and fail, the insurance company is not going to pay to replace the newly replaced cabinets again. Do not go out and get cabinets that clearly will not be a match to your cabinets and then call the insurance company and say “I tried to match the cabinets but they don’t match.” This is fraud and you can be charged.

The best advice I can give anyone is to understand your policy. Look at your declarations page thoroughly. Understand your coverage. If there are any changes in your home update your insurance as necessary, to protect your home, yourself and your family.

Understanding your claim can be both easy and confusing. It’s easy if you listen, take notes and ask questions (to both your insurance company and your contractor). I’ve seen homeowner become completely befuddled by a claim when they try to make sense of it without knowing enough or by trying to break down the estimate line item by line item and add up the totals to “checkup” on the contractor or adjuster. Just remember that life becomes unsettled when it’s least convenient. There is never a good time to have to file an insurance claim. However, life is unpredictable and it will slap you in the face when you have all your balls in the air. I recommend to all of my clients to get a spiral notebook or notepad the moment they have to file a claim. Write everything down because if you’re like everyone else as soon as you think of a question for you adjuster you’ll forget their name and lose their contact information and/or your claim number. Keep track of everything. Start collecting pictures of things you like that will have to be replaced, it’s good to dream but don’t be unrealistic. Don’t assume that because something got wet it will be replaced. Carpet is one of the most argued for items. Most homeowners assume that because the carpet was wet for several hours before it was discovered it will be claimed as unsalvageable. In a general Class 1/Category 1 (Clean water) loss most carpet can and will be saved. Restoration companies are HIGHLY trained to dry these items. Carpet is replaced as a last resort. It may need to have the pad replaced and be restretched/rekicked and cleaned but in rare situations does it require replacement. Delamination is a reason for replacement. Delamination is when the primary and secondary backing of the carpet separate. One of my favorite arguments for carpet replacement was from one of my homeowners in Virginia who said that her carpet wasn’t wet before and therefore should be replaced. I had to laugh on the inside when she said this because while I am confident that the 83 gallons of water which we removed from her living room were not present prior to the loss; the water did not damage her carpet. She argued her point (I think she was a law student) for nearly an hour and a half. She did not win. She argued that water damages fabric and since it was not wet prior to her loss it should be replaced to prior condition. I agree that water does damage some fabrics but her carpet was not made of silk or wool. It was average nylon carpet, and after checking the tags of 8-10 pieces of clothing (looking for nylon) that she normally wears and washes, she dropped that argument. She rebutted that the carpet color changed/darkened where the carpet was wet. Yes, it was darker where the water was, because it was still wet! Two days later upon completion of drying the carpet, the homeowner confirmed that the carpet color returned to its original shade. Nonetheless, her next argument was that by getting wet, the carpet’s structure was now damaged. She couldn’t really explain what she meant, but I was confident I knew where she was trying to go. When I explained to her that during the manufacturing process carpet is routinely exposed to several “water baths” in order to manufacture it. When she learned that water is used in the manufacturing process she had no further arguments. Feel free to use any of her argument should you want to try and get your non-damaged carpet replaced. If you’re carpet gets wet with clean water and isn’t found to be delaminated, look for staining from furniture feet. Staining IS a valid reason to replace carpet.

Drywall and trim are the other most commonly damaged items in a home during a water loss. Drywall patches are 100% acceptable in restoration. The insurance company does not owe to replace all of the drywall in a room because there was a section that had to be removed. Understand that drywall can usually be dried without any relating issues. If a section has to be removed a patch fit to the squared-up removed section is acceptable. Once properly taped and mudded that patch will not be noticeable, if it is than your contractor needs to have another drywall crew redo the repair. Yes, drywall is hung in 4×8 or 4×12 sheets but that does not mean that you need an entire new sheet of drywall “because it wasn’t previously patched.” Any new drywall will be sealed and painted to match.

Insurance companies/adjusters are starting to release the reins on painting of a room. It varies company to company- adjuster to adjuster- and on the clients’ attitude. For years the standard has been to apply two coats of paint to the new drywall and 1 coat to the remaining section of wall (corner to corner). The corner to corner theory is that when painting a room you can/typically stop in the corner once you have an entire wall painted. You never want to stop mid wall because that will be noticeable. Also with corner to corner if the paint shade is slightly off it won’t be visible as it stops in the corner and light casting shadows will affect the paint shade as well. Having been met with so many contractor arguments over painting the remaining walls, during the last 2 years we have seen the corner to corner rule relax. Typically now, if I have a 12×12 room and I patch one of the walls, I will apply two coats of paint on top of two coats of primer to the new drywall. I can usually get the adjuster to approve repainting the remaining walls, to match. This does not mean that you get to change your 12×12 powder blue dining room to Victorian red. This means that you get a fresh coat of powder blue paint in your dining room. However, if you’re nice to your contractor you can update that powder blue to a similar tonal value color such as a grey blue. Cultivating and fostering a good relationship with your contractor can only benefit you.

One of the other biggest items homeowners don’t understand that don’t get covered are the source repair costs. Example: the ring between your toilet tank and bowl rots, causing your toilet to leak. The insurance coverage will be to repair the damage that the toilet caused. It however, will not cover the cost of fixing or replacing that toilet, or your cost to hire the plumber to come out and shut off the water and remove the toilet. In short, your insurance company is not trying to “stick it to you”. It is important to note that any form of water damage should be cleaned in a timely manner. Water damage can spread to mold damage, and your insurance company is not likely to pay for a mold inspection if they feel that you aided the progression of the mold by delaying in drying the area. If something doesn’t make sense. Ask about it. If you don’t understand the answer or are having difficulty with your adjuster ask for their supervisor. If something raises a flag in the supervisors head they can and often will either send out another adjuster/field reinspector or come out and investigate. Don’t be afraid to ask if you truly feel that you’re not being treated fairly. Your insurance agent can also help to explain your policy to you.

Regardless of what you feel you’re owed, just because you’ve been paying into you policy for x number of years doesn’t mean you get everything and anything you want. Indemnity is a basic insurance principle that states that you, as an insured should not be allowed to profit from an insurance loss. This principle is important and helps to protect both the insurance company and you.

Becoming a Child Custody Lawyer

This professional is a family lawyer who specializes in child custody cases, helping to protect children's rights. To become a child custody lawyer you would have to pursue the same path as any lawyer but specializing in child custody cases. In most states, you would need an undergraduate degree, like a bachelor's degree before you can go to law school. When getting your law degree your bachelor's degree does not need to be in a subject related to law. If you have already chosen your career path there are some existing pre-law specializations. For example, when specializing in custody law, you could major in social work, philosophy, or psychology. Any of these majors will help give you a unique education that will help you further down your path to become a child custody lawyer.

When getting your bachelor's degree make sure that you are maintaining a high GPA as this may help you get into this type of school. On the road to becoming a child custody lawyer, applying to such a school is often stressful and rigorous but is a necessary step to becoming a lawyer. When completing all of the required application letters take your time to ensure that you are doing them correctly. If any have a deadline to summit them, try to get them done first so they will get there on time. During the application process for law school, you will need letters of recommendations so try to get professionals you know or former teachers to write the recommendation letters for you.

To get into law school most require applicants to submit standardized test scores that focus on the general law. One such test is the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). This is a very hard test to pass but is needed in order to get into law school. Before taking the exam experts recommend that you study for this test at least six to twelve months in order to pass, get a good grade and possible admission to law school. When attending law school, you should tailor any elective courses so they relate to family law subjects. While at law school and during your undergraduate schooling you should look for assistant or internships with a family law firm. This extra training can provide you with a wealth of information it can also help you establish a professional contact network. Once you have completed law school you will have to sit and pass the bar exam for your state or the state where you will be practicing as a child custody lawyer.

Although you are specializing in child custody cases, you will start out as a family attorney. It may take several years to gain expertise and become an established child custody lawyer.

What Makes A Good Social Security Disability Attorney?

Disability claims can be tricky and really exhausting, especially when you lack the necessary support. Fortunately, social security disability attorneys offer you all the necessary services to win your claim. They give attention to detail so that all facts are gathered and carefully developed to favor you in a court of law. This is, however, a process that only the best social security disability attorneys can successfully handle in confidence and you should therefore make sure that you select one who is best placed to represent you. How then do you tell which one will be the best for your case?

1. Experience – With experience comes knowledge and sharpened skills of handling disability cases in the most professional way possible to get positive results. Rely only on one who has conducted dozens of disability hearings to have a pleasant experience making a claim that has higher chances of success.

2. Specialization – He who spends more time working on disability cases is a better placed partner for your case. Social Security disability claims can be tedious and they do differ from other types of legal cases and only a specialized social security disability attorney can fetch you the kind of positive results you expect with your case.

3. Responsiveness – This trickles down to communication skills. A good social security disability attorney should be able to answer all questions that you might have regarding the case no matter how glim they might be. You should not feel as though they are keeping details from you regarding the case. He generally needs to be as helpful to you as possible by keeping you up to speed with the case progress even in the preparation phase.

4. Commitment – Social Security disability attorneys have a tendency of showing up when the hearing is a few weeks away. A committed one on the other hand will be involved in the process as early as possible. This is especially very important for claimants who are physically limited and do not want to miss out on claim development.

5. Compassionate support – In as much as your social security disability attorney is your legal representative, feeling a personal connection with them can make a huge difference in the case. Disability has plenty of emotional and physical issues and you should feel like he looks at you and the claim as unique. When you talk to your social security disability attorney, you should have the sense that your individual concerns and issues do matter so the both of you are able to work harmoniously to a good end.

Apart from having a flashy resume, a good social security disability attorney should be detail oriented and at least have an understanding of medical issues and medical resources that can help increase the winning chances of your case. One who is locally experienced can have a much easier time developing and managing your claim according to law regulations and requirements. It is of important that you choose one you are sure is qualified and experienced enough to get you great results with the representation.

Find Some Hidden Expenses in Your Car Insurance Such As Healthcare?

Chances are, if you own a car, you might be paying for some unnecessary "extra options." For example, if you already have health insurance, why does one need the "medical coverage" under car insurance? Have you ever asked your car insurance company what this means? So what if you get into a car accident and you are injured? Will your current health insurance wait for your car insurance to kick in because you have this "medical coverage," thus delaying claims? How long will this be delayed, and will this affect your health insurance coverage because of a "lengthy delay," costing you more out-of-pocket medical expenses because you missed the submission day? It all sounds to familiar, right? But if you do not have health insurance and you are injured in a car accident, this "medical coverage" can help pay for some of your medical bills (it did for me).

In general, this "medical portion" of your car insurance MAY cover the following, but be sure to ask your car insurance representative to explain:

  • Some funeral expenses
  • Passengers that might be hurt while you or a family member is driving
  • If you are an injured passenger in someone else's car
  • If you are struck by a car while walking or cycling
  • If you require dental care after an accident
  • If you require extended nursing services or hospitalization while rehabilitating
  • If you require prosthetic limbs

So if you are doing some "summer cleaning" and you are trying to uncover some cost savings because you are worried about that mysterious increasing premium under your health insurance, be sure to call your car insurance and start asking questions (and be sure to document the answers).

Start with these warm up questions: Do you really need the rental car option if you have a new car? How does that loss of income actually help you and in what situation? When does that bodily injury actually kick in, and what part of your body?

When you feel warmed up to the point that the car insurance representative is sweating, start asking about the "medical expense payments." What is the bare minimum requirement needed in your state? What does it cover? How does it compare to your current health insurance? When does it kick in?

In addition, don't be afraid to ask for more discounts, including any new discounts you might qualify for. In the end, you just might find you have saved yourself a couple of hundred on your car insurance; enough to pay for your new health insurance premiums … I know I did 🙂

Donating Your Car to Charity: Make It Easy

There are many different reasons to donate your car to a charity of your choice. If you have a vehicle that you rarely use anymore, takes up space in your garage, and you no longer want, it may be the perfect time to donate your vehicle.

Making Donation Easy

In some cases, people interested in donating a car to a charity may not care about the tax deductions they could qualify for. It may seem more appealing to simply have the charity come to pick up the car and title and take if off your hands.

For those people, the donation process is very simple, and it can be a relief to have the vehicle out of your garage. Other people may be interested in donating their vehicle to help out a good cause and receive the tax deduction benefits that come with making a charitable contribution.

The Donation Process

Depending on how many benefits you want to earn from your contribution, your tax deduction process can differ. If you intend to maximize your benefits and your vehicle is worth more than $500, you probably intend to claim full market value to reduce your total taxes.

This can make filling out your taxes more complicated than claiming basic exemptions or simply making a cash donation.

The Itemized Deduction

Claiming full market value for a car is a very difficult process, and the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) tries to dissuade people from completing it by creating restrictions on the market value donation qualifications.

In order to best understand how your contribution affects your federal income tax statements, you need to complete an itemized deduction tax form. If you don’t understand this form – or if you are unsure how to proceed after making a donation – you can go to a professional tax firm to have them complete your taxes or hire an enrolled agent, otherwise called a tax expert, to represent you before the IRS.

Finding a Qualified Charity

Not all charities are qualified as tax exempt organization that can provide tax benefits in return for donating cash and non-cash items. The only charities that are qualified are ones that have been approved by the IRS as “exempt,” some religious organizations, and charities that are a 501(c)3 organization.

If you aren’t sure on the status of the charity that you wish to donate to, you can search the internet for the charity and the qualification should be on its website. If the organization does not have a website, the IRS has a page that has a current list of the tax exempt organizations.

Fair Market Value vs. Cash Donations

In most cases, it is rare to receive fair market value for a donated vehicle. A variety of fees and underlying expenses accompany car donations, and it is fairly common for vehicles that make their way to charitable organizations to need quite a bit of work to bring them back to life.

More often than not, charities end up scrapping the cars that come in and then take the money from the scrap to apply it to the charity’s purpose. The IRS also limits the vehicle’s worth to the value that the charity has for it.

If a car will be used for a certain period of time to carry out the charity’s needs or if the charity sells the car at a significant discount to someone as a fulfillment of the charity’s philanthropic mission, the donation is set at the value of the charity’s use for the car.

Understanding your Donation

Make sure that throughout the donation, you keep records of each and every transaction and piece of information that takes place. This will be a significant help during tax season. In addition, make sure that you take the necessary steps to correctly fill out your tax forms.

Your donation can truly make a difference in many people’s lives. There are many charities that could help many people with your vehicle donation. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of donating a vehicle, you can do a private sale and simply donate that cash.

Cash donations are much easier to handle on tax forms than vehicle donations, and it is up to you how you want to proceed. Just remember, any donation that you make changes the life of other people around you.

Gap Insurance – Back To Basics

Once you have insured your car, you are good to go. Right? The answer is no. You still need GAP insurance. What is GAP insurance? Let’s take an example. Suppose you have bought a car making a down payment. After a couple of months, you end up getting your car totaled or stolen. You will get payment from the insurance company based on the existing value of your car in the market. The actual price of the car won’t be considered. This type of insurance provides coverage in this type of scenario. Let’s know more.

Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP)

The term GAP is short for guaranteed asset protection. This insurance policy includes your motorcycles as well as cars. It’s a good idea to apply for insurance should you consider a finance deal in order to buy a motorcycle or car. Once you have sold your car or have paid its price, you can get a refund. You may want to keep in mind that this policy is not an alternative to motor insurance. This is just a type of additional insurance that you can consider to protect your car.

The importance of GAP insurance

The price of vehicles doesn’t remain constant. So, the insurance company will figure out your payout keeping the current value of your vehicle in mind. Not everyone has to get insurance. GAP insurance won’t be a requirement if you got a loan to make payment for the car. You can do with the regular car insurance.

However, if you take out a loan for a car, we suggest that you give a go to GAP insurance. The reason is that if your car is totaled or damaged, the rest of payment won’t be on you. Aside from this, it will be the responsibility of the insurance provider to get you a replacement car in addition to alleviate the loan you got to buy the car.

Types of GAP insurance

Typically, your car dealership can help you with insurance. Apart from this, you can go to licensed brokers as well. According to many experts, getting insurance from reliable brokers is better than car dealerships. The reason is that car dealership will cost you more.

GAP insurance is of many types. Each provider has different policies and the prices of the policy are different based on the car and the dealer/broker.

It’s important to note that some insurance packages, such as finance insurance is there to help you get funds for buying a car. Besides, you can consider a lease insurance policy that helps you handle the fees and costs incurred as a result of damage to a leased car. Another type of insurance plan was created in order to fund your new car purchase. At times, your insurance provider adds to your insurance package.

Long story short, you may want to make sure that you know what a GAP insurance policy has to offer before you get it. You can ask the broker for more information.

The Secret to Hiring the Best Divorce Lawyer for Half the Price

Looks like your headed for a divorce – or maybe already in the middle of one. You have realized that hiring the best lawyer is essential for a great outcome, yet paying $ 400 an hour with a $ 10,000 retainer fee is just not going to happen.

Let me share a "dirty little secret" with you. You can have the best lawyer for half the price with Mediation. Some of the best, most experienced lawyers have quit litigating and decided the best way to have clients satisfied with the results of their case is mediation.

Even if you are 100% successful at your trial in court (which is seldom the case), after considering the stress, the loss of time from work and family and the enormous cost, you really haven't won at all.

Divorce Mediation is today's answer. You can hire the best lawyer at half the cost because both you and the other side are using the same lawyer.

No More having two lawyers are no longer preparing separate pleadings for court.

No More Letters and Telephone Calls going back and forth between attorneys at $ 100 + a pop

No More in office meetings, memos, paralegal billing time and the myriad of other office charges

No More conferences with two lawyers billing at a combined fee of over $ 500 per hour.

No More expensive court appearances and paying your attorney to wait for your case to be called.

One expert lawyer does it all – and can charge less because the overhead is substantially reduced with mediation.

A Mediation Lawyer is totally neutral. His or Her only goal is to assist parties in obtaining a settlement that both can live with.

Even when each party has their own attorney, I can assure you that sooner or later the case will settle. Only about 5% or less of cases are ever actually litigated.

Yes, you will settle your case, and your attorney and the Judge will make sure of it. The problem is, you will have spent thousands of dollars in lawyer's fees, not to mention your own loss of time and stress to reach a settlement that is probably not as satisfying as one obtained through Mediation.

The parties never have to confront each other. The mediator can offer separate sessions with each party throughout the settlement process.

With proper technique and negotiating abilities, an expert lawyer can help the parties find a settlement which both feel good about. Mediation has enormous benefits in addition to saving money.

Click Here for the Top 10 Benefits of Mediation .

How To Choose A Criminal Defense Attorney

Offenders, charged with driving under the influence or DUI, drug offenses, domestic violence, assault, homicide, murder, cyber crimes are charged with criminal offences. There are attorneys qualified and highly experienced in handling criminal cases. They have in-depth knowledge of all the particulars involved in criminal offenses and even have subordinates, who work directly with them on such cases.

It is essential to consider certain details, before hiring an attorney. People should not engage a lawyer whose primary practice something other than criminal defense. It is not advisable to hire a family or civil attorney to represent a defendant in a criminal proceeding. The lawyer’s traits and character are very important. People must always look for a confident and tough lawyer that has a good reputation with the prosecutors and panel of judges, involved in the case.

It is important for a client to enquire about the charges against him and the probable consequences, if he were found guilty. The client should also enquire about the defense strategy. Apart from this, the defendant is also advised to insist on a written contract, setting forth all costs and covered services.

It is advisable to keep in mind the stringent laws and penalties associated with criminal offense, and people should not consider representing themselves in court. The appointment of an expert and experienced attorney is always considered to be the safer option. The yellow pages or online websites are a good source of finding an experienced lawyer, specializing in particular cases. It is advisable to always be honest with the lawyer, so that he can protect the defendant’s interests. It is imperative for a defendant to hire a good lawyer, but he needs to be a good client as well. That means that the client needs to actively participate in his defense procedure.

Real Estate Attorney Fees – How Will Your Attorney Charge Fees?

Hiring a property attorney without knowing about the real estate attorney fees system may lead to a big financial mishap. To make a better decision in terms of hiring a lawyer, we must be aware of the fees generating system, as their cost can be substantial. The amount alone can wreck your bank account, if you are not prepared for that. When you have decided to take legal support from a lawyer, you must be eager to solve any property related issues that leave impacts on your finances too. Therefore, are you ready to attract another financial difficulty with little knowledge in lawyer fees, which may make or break your financial condition?

Basic Factors Working Behind High Attorney Fees

You must have a clear cut communication and negotiation with your real estate attorney regarding his/her fees before signing a legal agreement. So how much do you expect and have kept aside from your expenses to pay for attorney fees? Many of the attorneys possessing high repute in their field of operation may charge higher fees than their counterparts.

However, real estate attorneys take account of multitude of conditions and factors to decide on their fees. Following factors are usually considered by them –

1. How complicated is the case?

2. Span of time that the legal representative is likely to spend for resolving or settling the disputes, including time required for researching, interviewing all the witnesses, gathering facts, preparation of the documents etc.

3. Emerging of newer and sudden developments during the trial period may extend the case longer and this may extend the number of digits in the lawyer payments.

Different Categories In Attorney Fees

A client can be charged with attorney fees for the first meeting. Following amount charged for first meeting, your legal representative may charge you a fixed rate price or on the hourly basis or retaining, statutory or contingency fee. A lawyer may charge you more money for the time spent in the trial period in the courtroom than the time spent in the research and other jobs pertaining to your case that he performed while sitting in offices or libraries. You may as well agree to pay either anyone of these two or a combination of these two. Discuss about the cost, along with your case, when you find a legal representative. Online real estate lawyer databases listing top notch lawyers in the country include their payments system and amount, if fixed. Investing a little time in browsing these directories and databases will be worth the trouble because it will help you save your pocket.

Know About Attorney in DUI Cases

DUI prosecutions are motivated by issues that are not based upon constitutional fairness or equity. Like all attorneys, they are bound by ethical duties and a high standard of “fair dealing” with all litigants in our adversarial legal process. Often, the heat of battle causes these officials to become both political and competitive. When this occurs, justice does routinely suffer at the hands of a prosecutor’s vanity or ego, or outright criminal misconduct.

Lawyers must periodically stand for election. Many are first appointed to their posts by the governor of their respective state to act as the county or state attorney given the responsibility for accusing and prosecuting crimes within their jurisdiction. When it is time for re-election rolls around, an opponent seeking to replace the prosecutor may investigate the actions of the incumbent in dismissing cases, reducing cases or noteworthy cases at trial. A high profile trial can end the tenure of a successful and diligent state or county attorney. Los Angeles County, California is probably the best known place for this to occur in the United States. Hence, the pressure to “win” will always loom over the lawyer’s office. Case dispositions are public records, for mostly all criminal cases. Combing the prior files for unusual or inexplicable outcomes favoring persons charged with DWI can be a large part of an opponent’s political attack on the current office-holder. This political tension, coupled with attorneys’ inbred desire to “win”, creates a rocky slope for defense attorneys to negotiate as the case goes to trial. In the late 20th century and in the current century, numerous states have passed legislation that intends to create a crime for prosecutors within the state to reduce or dismiss a DUI-DWI charge. Kentucky and Oregon have such statutes, and many cases are needlessly tried due to the legislative edict that threatens any prosecutor who negotiates a marginal case with becoming a criminal defendant from doing so. Such legislative overreaching is an improper misuse of the legislative process, and a constitutionally a questionable practice. To say that every DUI-DWI case made by the officers of these states is a good, solid case is ludicrous and yet such laws are politically expedient.

Like other jobs, relationships are built and experienced DUI lawyers can approach an ethical and principled district attorney or state’s attorney with a proposal for a reduced charges or dismissal of charges in a pending DUI case. Knowledgeable attorneys in the drunken driving defense field will know which prosecutors to trust and which ones not to trust. Being able to find a “winning” defense or a flaw in the prosecution’s case, and then to be able to use that as a negotiating tool to avoid the risk of trial is generally limited to DWI lawyers who work in this field on a daily basis. Some prosecutors would listen to the presentation once and immediately “fix” the problem by amending the accusation or information or possibly by locating an essential witness whose name was not known prior to the conversation with defense counsel. They know no loyalty and will not have moral compass. They want to win more than they care about fairness, much less their tarnished reputations in the future. Criminal defense lawyers who handle criminal law matters every day quickly learn who these people are, and never trust them with any pre-trial “disclosures”. Other prosecutors are highly honorable people who will “do the right thing” when confronted with a loser of a case, based on some latent flaw or defect in the case.