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.

Are You Eligible for Compensation if You Didn’t Wear a Seat Belt During an Accident?

Wear a Seat BeltIt’s always a good practice to wear your seat belt when you’re in a vehicle, but there are times when that doesn’t happen. Perhaps you are physically unable because of a medical condition or injury, perhaps you’re making multiple stops and don’t want to struggle with a seat belt time after time, or maybe you just plain forgot.


Regardless of your reason for not wearing a seat belt, if you are injured in an auto accident, you may be eligible for compensation. Our team at The Ingram Firm has provided this blog post to give you insight into the question. We are car accident lawyers in Columbia, MD, who have a depth of experience in this area and know what to expect.


In Maryland, seat belt use is mandatory, but failure to wear a seat belt does not constitute negligence on your part. This means you still may be eligible for compensation. You are protected by a statute within the Maryland Transportation Code that says not wearing a seat belt may not be considered negligence or evidence of contributory negligence. It also states that it does not limit the liability of a party or insurer or reduce recovery for damages.


As you can see, you have solid rights that should be upheld in your case. Experienced and trustworthy car accident lawyers in Columbia, MD, are whom you should turn to for help.

The Dangers of Texting While Driving

Texting While DrivingIf you haven’t had a close call with a distracted driver yet, you can count yourself lucky. This latest road hazard is wide-spread and growing daily. Our quest to be eternally connected to one another has resulted in a wave of drivers who are more in tune with their smartphones than with the vehicle they are controlling.


There are a lot of hazards that come with texting while driving, and if you’re unlucky enough to encounter these hazards first-hand, you will quite likely require the services one of the car accident lawyers in Columbia, MD, at The Ingram Firm.


It’s accepted wisdom that texting while driving diminishes driving skills just as much as being impaired. It’s easy to see why. Texting drivers are paying more attention to reading and replying to messages than watching the road. Concentration is spread among multiple tasks — such as hiding the fact they are texting — and reaction times are significantly lowered.


A moment’s lapse in concentration can have long-lasting effects. If you are one of the many drivers who have succumbed to this temptation, we encourage you to think again and give your undivided attention to driving safely.


If you’ve been in a collision that’s the fault of a distracted driver, keep in mind that accident lawyers in Columbia, MD, are willing to take your case and help you in your quest for justice and fair compensation.

Producing an Effective Defense Against a DUI Charge

DUI Attorney Columbia, MDGetting arrested on DUI charges can cause serious harm to your freedom and lifestyle. From a damaged reputation to lost time and potential loss of your license, the effects of an officer’s wrongful judgment spread further than one might imagine. Fortunately, you have the chance to defend yourself from the charges. As any good DUI attorney in Columbia, MD, can tell you; that makes all the difference for countless clients facing such allegations.


To create an effective defense, you’ll need to follow a few key pieces of advice:


Avoid Self-Incrimination — Never admit to wrongdoing while interacting with officers or other representatives of the law. The constitution guarantees you the right to remain silent, and it’s best to use it. Remember, the arresting officer is not your friend, no matter how nice they might seem.


Document Everything — The more details your lawyer has to work with, the better they can present your case. It’s often impossible to know in the moment which facts could be relevant, but a clear account of your arrest can often expose poor judgment or outright misconduct on the part of the arresting officer.


Choose the Right Help — Your attorney might be the only thing standing between you and a life-changing conviction. Choose someone with the knowledge, resources, and commitment to pursue your case confidently.

Earning Your Citizenship with an Immigration Lawyer in Columbia, MD

How to Become a U.S. CitizenBecoming a citizen of the United States isn’t an easy process, and it is only becoming harder each passing year. That is why you need to make sure that you are working with an immigration lawyer in Columbia, MD, to avoid potential pitfalls that could end up having your citizenship denied.

There are four common issues that come up that can slow down, stop, or end your citizenship process before it is finished. They include:

Tax Issues – If you owe any back taxes to the IRS, you could find yourself running into a roadblock towards gaining your citizenship. While back taxes don’t always mean an instant rejection, they do need to be addressed before any movement will be made in a positive direction.

Child Support Issues – If you are a parent who is paying child support, then you are going to have to prove that you are doing your due diligence. Applicants who are delinquent on their payments may be denied citizenship.

Selective Service Registration – Males between the ages of 18 and 25 are required to sign up for the Selective Service System–showing that they are willing to defend and support the United States and the Constitution in times of war. You will need to sign up for this before any movement can be made on your citizenship request.

Good Moral Character – One of the most important parts of earning your citizenship is to prove that you are a good person that can benefit becoming a member of the United States of America. Individuals with criminal records or those caught lying during the naturalization process will find themselves denied citizenship.

Finding a Criminal Law Firm in Columbia, MD, for Your Situation

Hands in HandcuffsBeing accused of a crime is a very stressful time for any individual. While the criminal justice system is designed to give you a fair trial, it can be labyrinthine trying to fully understand all of the different laws and legal strategies that directly impact your case.


The key to building a strong defense is to work with a criminal law firm in Columbia, MD, but how do you find the right one? Here are some of the things to look for to ensure you are picking a qualified attorney capable of representing you:


Experience Matters – Check out the years of experience of the attorney or firm you are considering. This will give you an idea of if they have dealt with cases like yours in the past.


Review Testimonials – Few things are as helpful when deciding on whom to work with as seeing what past clients have had to say about the firm. Research reviews and testimonials to get a better idea of the experiences past clients have had with the attorney.


Schedule an Initial Consultation – Your first impression might tell you a lot more than you think about the firm or attorney you are considering. In your first meeting you might be able to quickly figure out if your lawyer is responsive, if they are qualified, and if they are capable of meeting your needs.


How Do They Bill – A big warning sign to look out for is unclear billing. While you want the best representation possible for your case, you also do not want to end up on the wrong side of an enormous bill you weren’t prepared to receive.


No Guarantees – Even the best lawyer can’t guarantee the outcome of any case they take to court. You want someone who is going to work hard on your behalf, but if they can tell you they guarantee an outcome, then you might want to find someone who can be more honest with you.