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Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer? Ask These Questions First

When your freedom is on the line, you need to have complete confidence in the lawyer you hire to defend your rights. This choice can be the difference between walking the streets as a free person or a criminal record and jail time. Your rights are valuable and need to be protected as strenuously as possible. That’s why you need an experienced criminal law firm in Columbia, MD, to stand with you against the might of the state.

At The Ingram Firm, we have defended many clients against a variety of charges. We’ll tell you what to ask when hiring a criminal law firm. Getting a few answers will give you confidence in your lawyer or tell you to look elsewhere.

Does the firm offer free consultations? This meeting should be more than a few minutes and dig into your case, personal situation, work history, and criminal history.

How much are the fees? You want a lawyer you can depend on, but not one with rates so high you will incur long-term financial difficulties. Make sure you get a straight answer and know how the lawyer charges clients.

Has the lawyer defended cases like mine? What will be the outcome? It’s best to hire an attorney who’s handled cases like yours because they know the best defenses. Also, if they have experience with your type of case, they can give you a realistic expectation of outcomes.

wet floor sign

Pursuing a Personal Injury Case When You’re Injured in a Retail Store

You deserve to be able to shop in safety. However, it’s an unfortunate reality that many people receive injuries while visiting retail locations. Therefore, it’s crucial to know what steps to take if this happens to you. A personal injury attorney in Columbia, MD, is the first call you should make to ensure that your rights are protected.

Retail stores have a duty of care to ensure that their locations are safe for shoppers. In other words, retailers must do everything within their power to avoid danger and hazards, including everything from spilled grocery products to unsafe stairwell lighting. If you believe that your injury is a result of negligence, a personal injury attorney will help you navigate the ensuing legal process.

Your Next Steps

After your injury, your first priority is your own health. First, make sure that you are okay and seek medical attention if necessary. If you don’t require immediate medical help, make sure that a store employee creates and shows you an accident report form.

Next, you must consider liability for the accident. Were the store’s dangerous conditions the cause of your injury? Could they have reasonably prevented these conditions? If you think the store is responsible, it’s important to gather the necessary evidence. This includes speaking with the manager, speaking to witnesses, and taking pictures and videos. After you’ve collected everything from the scene of the injury, you may need to file an insurance claim if your injuries are severe enough. Your next step is to contact a personal injury attorney in Columbia, MD, who will help you determine if your case is worth pursuing.

Car Insurance Coverage

Know What Your Car Insurance Covers in the Case of an Auto Accident

The law can be complicated and confusing, especially when seeking damages from a car accident. Three numbers are especially important: These are for the minimum amount of insurance coverage in this fault state where contributory negligence is the rule:

Bodily Injury or Death for One Person — $30,000

Total Bodily Injury or Death — $60,000
Property Damage per Accident — $15,000

Of course, you can purchase more than the minimum coverage. This goes further toward helping you recoup your losses.

However, as an auto accident attorney in Columbia, MD, our firm warns you against settling with your insurance company before talking to a lawyer. The insurance company is in business to make money and looks to minimize the amount it must pay you.

Ask for a Case Evaluation

Before you make any decisions, request a case evaluation. An auto accident attorney looks over your case and makes recommendations as to possible damages. This is of great importance, especially if there are any injuries. You know how much hospitalization and doctors cost. When you’re worried insurance won’t pay for the treatment you need, talk to professionals that work with accident and injury cases day in and out.

Building Your Credit Score After Bankruptcy

Rebuild Your Credit ScoreThere is no reason to be ashamed if you have had to file for bankruptcy. You show a sense of responsibility by recognizing you are in financial trouble. Even though the filing protects you from creditors, it will have a lasting effect on your credit standing. Depending on if you file for chapter 7 or chapter 13, a bankruptcy typically stays on your record from 7 to 10 years. However, you can rebuild your credit with assistance from a bankruptcy attorney in Howard County, MD.

 

At The Ingram Firm LLC, our legal staff specializes in helping clients re-establish their credit. While it may be difficult to believe, one of the best things you can do is apply for new credit. Gas cards, secured credit cards, and small loans allow you to show lenders you know how to be responsible. Make every attempt to keep credit card balances at a minimum so that you won’t have any problem paying what you owe.

 

You can see your credit score gradually go up when you commit to paying bills on time. Timely payments on debt incurred outside of the bankruptcy and paying more than the minimum required will work in your favor. With the assistance of a bankruptcy attorney, you can ask creditors to report your on-time payments to the credit bureaus. Your diligent payment history will help improve your credit score.

How Bankruptcy Will Affect Your Credit Score

Bankruptcy Piggy BankIt’s never easy filing for bankruptcy and it hinders your ability to move forward in the negative way it can impact your credit score. If you’ve made the decision recently or in the past to file for bankruptcy, it stays on your credit report for ten years. Whether you’re trying to use your credit score to help you take a step forward out of bankruptcy or recovery but are still suffering from your score, The Ingram Firm LLC can provide a bankruptcy attorney in Howard County, MD.

 

Working through your bankruptcy case will involve adhering to Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 procedures because it can help your chances of wiping your debts clean or minimizing them. Chapter 7 will liquidate any property or non-exempt assets and put the proceeds towards your debts. Even if you’re not able to pay it all off, the court has the power to wipe the slate clean. Chapter 13 allows you to discharge some of your debts, such as medical bills, and repay other debts like home mortgages or car loans over a three to five-year span.

 

Our highly experienced attorneys will also explore these types of bankruptcies:

  • Chapter 9
  • Chapter 11
  • Chapter 12

 

Even if bankruptcy can be a detrimental factor towards your credit score, our highly skilled bankruptcy attorneys can help you get your life back on track. It is possible to fix your credit score so that you can get back to your life.

What Happens When You File for Bankruptcy in Maryland?

: Bankruptcy Questions?Filing for bankruptcy is often the best move you can make, but that doesn’t make the process any less intimidating. Knowing what the process is like may help to ease your nerves.  Since everyone’s circumstances are different, you’ll need to talk to your bankruptcy attorney in Howard County, MD, for detailed information. In general, however, here’s what you can expect.

 

You’ll Probably Keep Your House

The biggest concern for most bankruptcy filers is that they’ll lose their property. Fortunately, most people keep their homes even after filing. You should talk to your lawyer to find out for sure what will happen with your property.

 

Your Credit Score Will Go Down, But It Can Recover

How much filing will affect your credit score depends on what your score was like prior to bankruptcy – but no matter what, it will go down. The good news is that you can rebuild your credit score after being discharged; talk to your bankruptcy attorney to learn more.

 

The Filing Process Will Take Several Months

The average bankruptcy case takes around four months, from the date of filing to the date of discharge. Note that this time does not include preparing your documents for filing, which may be simple or complex, depending on your circumstances.

How do Maryland Workers’ Compensation Settlements Work?

Work InjuryWhen you’re seeking compensation for an on-the-job injury, you’ll want the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney in Columbia, MD. You want to make sure that your case is presented fully and accurately, which is why law offices like The Ingram Firm, LLC, are here to help. With the right legal team on your side, you can ensure a fair settlement that satisfies everyone involved.

 

Deciding on a Settlement Amount

There is no requirement to settle in workers’ compensation cases, but many often choose to do so. However, the case can be reopened any time prior to receiving the full and final amount agreed upon. Once the settlement is finalized, no further changes can be made, and the case is closed, so it is essential to carefully discuss the agreed amount with your lawyer before making any decisions.

 

If you’re searching for an experienced personal injury attorney, The Ingram Firm, LLC, is one of the top choices of locals in the area. We have the knowledge and expertise necessary to assist you in achieving a more favorable outcome. You can count on us to go above and beyond to provide you with the legal guidance you require in this challenging time.

Challenging Your Percentage of Fault for a Car Accident

Percentage of FaultCar insurance companies, and not police officers, determine who is responsible for auto accidents. As with all auto accident situations, fault is an important element for both insurance and legal purposes. When the circumstances of an auto incident are unclear as to which motorist was responsible, the advice of an auto accident attorney in Columbia, MD, may be indispensable.

 

Dealing with Ambiguous Accident Situations

Some accident fault determinations are not as cut and dry as others. Certain vehicle incidents, like rear-end collisions or back-up accidents, can be far more complex for assigning fault. These scenarios are often unclear, and the insurance companies might end up disagreeing on which party is responsible. In these cases, the claims proceed to arbitration or small claims court. This is when having an auto accident attorney in your corner will be critical.

 

Here are a couple of auto accident examples where determining accountability may be complicated:

 

Rear-end Accidents – There is typically a presumption of guilt for the vehicle in the rear, but it’s not always the case. The party in front may share some of the blame in a rear-end collision, due to faulty signal lights, reckless or negligent driving, or if the vehicle struck was backing up. An auto accident attorney can help you prove your case in these situations.

 

Back-up Collisions – It is the responsibility of the vehicle backing up to yield to oncoming traffic. Ensuing collisions are almost always exclusively the fault of the motorist who was backing up at the time. The assignation of blame becomes more complicated; however, when both parties involved were backing up simultaneously.

Shared Fault for a Rear-End Accident in Columbia, MD

Rear-End AccidentOne of the most common types of car accidents in the United States is the rear-end collision. Determining liability for one of these will usually require identifying the cause of the accident and all parties involved. Car accident lawyers in Columbia, MD, can review the evidence from your case to determine the cause of the accident and who should be held liable.

 

A skilled lawyer will review the police report and any available evidence, such as pictures, videos, witness statements, and more. They can help build a strong case on your behalf so you can obtain the compensation you need for any injuries you may have sustained as well as damages to your vehicle.

 

Determining Fault

In some cases, it may be easy to determine who was at fault for a rear-end collision. Car accident lawyers can advise you best, but the general rule is, if a vehicle is lawfully stopped and is hit from behind by another vehicle, there is a presumption that the vehicle that struck the first vehicle was negligent and caused the collision.

 

Although this can apply to many rear-end collisions, there are exceptions to the rule. Car accident lawyers can advise on situations where the car that was hit is considered partially or fully responsible for the collision, such as:

  • The Front Driver Intentionally Slams on the Brakes
  • A Vehicle Backs Up Into a Car Behind It
  • A Vehicle Cuts Someone Off, Leaving the Second Car No Time to React

When Victims Cannot Sue the Government Over a Car Accident Injury

Car Accident InjuryIf you’ve been injured as the result of negligence on the part of a government employee, you need to act quickly if you wish to file a suit against the government for compensation. There are very tight timelines that must be adhered to, and they are much stricter than those for a civil suit against an individual.

 

The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) allows you to sue the federal government, but it sets a high standard for the claim. If you don’t get all your documents filed within a narrow window of opportunity, then your option of suing for compensation due to an injury you sustained in an auto accident caused by a government employee is gone. You need to work with a personal injury attorney in Columbia, MD, such as The Ingram Firm, to make sure all the necessary forms and documents are filled out correctly and filed on time.

 

You cannot sue the government if the employee was not working at the time of the accident and was not driving a government vehicle. If they are not acting in an official capacity, they are just another citizen and considered as such under the law.

 

Many elements have to be considered before you can sue the government, and having a personal injury attorney in Columbia, MD, on your side is the way to make sure you follow all the necessary steps.