Accident & Personal InjuriesLegal Information

This section encloses information and resources to help you if you’ve been involve in an accident or are suffering from an injury.  This section contains six topics.

  • Personal Injury
  • Car & Vehicle Accidents
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Mesothelioma & Asbestos
  • Nursing Home Abuse
  • Workers’ Compensation

  Car & Vehicle Accident  

In the United States, every 10 second someone is involved in an automobile accident and the majority of personal injury claims in the U. S. rise from auto accidents.  In general, the negligence law presides over the claims arising from automobile accidents.  A person who operates a vehicle is obligated to utilize reasonable care.  Failure to exercise reasonable care is measured negligence and may be compelled to the damages to a person or property.   People in general use their intuition to determine who is at fault in traffic collusion.  However, Courts and attorneys examine different essentials such as traffic laws, police reports, and witnesses to establish who was at fault.   

Things to do after Traffic Collusion:

Stay at the Scene
The law requires that people involve in a car accident never leave the scene until it is suitable to do so. If someone departs from the scene of the accident, especially where someone has been injured or killed, he or she may be charged as “hit and run” driver and may face serious criminal punishment.

Check on all Passengers and Drivers
Check the condition of all passengers and drivers involved in the accident and get medical attention if need. If someone is complaining of neck or back pain, it is best not to move them until competent medical personnel arrive.

Obtain a Police Report
If the collusion involves major physical injury, death, or major property damage, you need to call the police and ask a police report be filed when the law enforcement officers arrive at the scene.  Remember to obtain the badge number, report number, and the name of any responding officers.

 

 

Family LawLegal Information

Welcome to the Divorce and Family Law section of ProsLaw for the Public.  This section contains helpful information and resources on family law and divorce – related legal issues. To begin, please select one of the following topics.

·        Adoption
·        Premarital or Prenuptial Agreement
·        Divorce
·        Collaborative Family Law
·        Child Custody
·        Child Support

  

Adoption  

This section contains information and resources to educate the public and to help the couples and individuals seeking adoption.

Classification of Adoption

There is relatively variety of conducts to adopt a child and authenticate your legal relationship through adoption. The followings are the list and process of different categories that an individual may chose for adoption.

Agency Adoption

In agency adoption, a licensed private agency or a public agency is involved with the placement of the child.  Public agencies usually position children who have become charges of the state for different reasons such as orphanage, abandonment, or abuse. Private agencies place the children that are usually brought to the agency by the expected parents that want to give up their child for adoption.  These agencies are usually run by social service organizations or charities.

Independent Adoption

In an independent or private adoption, no agency is involved. The independent adoption may involve express agreement between the birth parents and the adoptive parents or by involving a mediator such as an attorney, doctor. However, in most independent adoptions an attorney is usually involve for processing the court official procedure.

Independent Adoption

In an identified or designated adoption, the birth mother and adopting parents find each other and then request an adoption agency to be involved for the adoption process.

International Adoption

In an international adoption, the child is a citizen of a foreign country.  In this case, the adapting process should convince the adopting parents’ home state in the United State as well as adoption requirements of the foreign country.  At the time of entering U.S., the parents must obtain an immigrant visa for the child through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the child will become U.S. citizen automatically upon entering the United States.

Stepparent Adoption

In a stepparent adoption, the parent’s new spouse adopts the child or children of the parent with a previous relationship. Compare to the agency or independent adoption, the stepparent adoption procedures are very simple, especially if the child or children involved and the other parent consent to the adoption.

Single-Parent Adoption

Currently, all 50 states and the District of Columbia allow single parents to adopt. In these instances, the single parent accepts full legal responsibility for the financial care and rising of the child.

Domestic Partner Adoption

In California, a new law allows a same-sex domestic partner to adopt the children of his or her partner under stepparent adoption procedures, so that the process is reasonably speedy and easy. In order to qualify for these procedures, the parties must be registered as domestic partners with the state.  These procedures ensure that both partners are considered legal parents of their child.

Relative Adoption

In a relative or kinship adoption, a member of the child’s family adopts the child.  If the parents die while the children are minors, or the parents are unable or unfitted to take care of the children, the grandparents frequently adopt their grandchildren.  In most states, these adoptions are easier than non-relative adoptions. If the adopted child has siblings who are not adopted at the same time, kinship adoption procedures usually provide for contact between the siblings after the adoption.

Collaborative Family Law 

Welcome to the Collaborative Family Law section of ProsLaw for the Public.  This section contains information and resources to educate and update individuals with Collaborative Practice in family law issue. 

Divorce is ending a marriage and it can be a painful experience as well as a new beginning.  Distinguishing these facts, many individuals wanted to have a more productive way of divorcing. Collaborative Practice or Collaborative Divorce is an answer for the individuals that sought a more constrictive way of divorcing.  It encourages admiration, respect, the priority to the needs of the children and it allows the spouses to have more control of the process.  Collaborative Practice is a different approach of divorcing that can help individual to make a healthy, hopeful transition from one stage of life to the next.

The Concept of Collaborative Law

A rising leaning as an alternative to resolve disputes in family law is the collaborative law.  The collaborative law perception is a structured and supportive out-of-court approach to resolve disputes that allows individuals in a legal disagreement to work together with their attorneys or In Pro Persona to resolve their disputes in a positive approach.  Assigning to the collaborative law procedure in family law, would give the individuals opportunity to finalize a divorce and resolve any property disputes, custody and support issue without stepping into a courtroom.

Development of Collaborative Law

In the early 1990’s, the Minnesota family law attorneys established the collaborative law process as a fair approach, and uncomplicated alternative to divorce cases. Today, in addition to the recently formed International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, many national, regional, state, and local collaborative law groups exist. The focal point of these organizations is mainly on applying the collaborative laws principles to family law, such as divorce and related issues.  Recently, there is an increase in the use of the collaborative process to resolve disputes in other fields such as disagreements that arise in employment and business relationships.

 

 

 

 

Bankruptcy & DebtLegal Information

This section contains information and resources to help individual in increasing debts and unable to make required payments. The topic areas below demonstrate the most ordinary ways of dealing with debt, the alternatives, should individual decide to file for bankruptcy, and additional information.

  • Debt Relief Options
  • Bankruptcy Basics
  • Is Bankruptcy Right For You?

Criminal LawLegal Information

Welcome to the Criminal Law section of ProsLaw for the Public.  This section contains information and resources to help individuals with criminal law issue.  This section contains the following topics:

 

·        Criminal Law & Their Sources
·        Stages of a Case
·        Your Rights
·        Crime Prevention
·        Victims Resources
 

 

Defective & Dangerous ProductsLegal Information

Welcome to the Defective & Dangerous Products section of ProsLaw for the Public.  This section contains information and resources to help you if you or anyone you know have been injured due to a defective or dangerous product.  This section contains:

 

·        Product Liability
·        Breach of Warranty
·        Dangerous Product List A to Z
·        Motor Vehicle Defect Cases
·        Medical Product Defect Cases
·        Drug Product Defect Cases
 

 

Employment LawLegal Information

Welcome to the Employment Law section of ProsLaw for the Public.  This section contains information and resources to help individual and organizations with legal issues associated with employee and employment.  This section contains the following subjects:
 

·        Employee Rights
·        Employment & Anti – Discrimination Laws
·        Work Place Rights
·        Employee & Multinational Employers
 

 

Estate PlanningLegal Information

Welcome to the Estate Planning division of ProsLaw for the Public. This section contains information and resources to help you with Wills, Trusts, estate planning, probate, and estate administration

Immigration LawLegal Information

Welcome to the Employment Law section of ProsLaw for the Public.  This section contains information and resources to help you with legal issues related to immigration. To begin, please select one of the following:

 

·        Obtaining Green Cards
·        Obtaining U.S. Citizenship
·        Deportation
·        Employment Visa
 

Intellectual Property for Small BusinessLegal Information

Welcome to the Intellectual Property section in ProsLaw for Small Business.  This division provides you information, tips, and resources to help your business with issues related to copyrights, patents, and trademarks.

·        Patent
·        Trademark
·        Copyright
 

Real Estate LawLegal Information

Welcome to the Real Estate Law section of ProsLaw for the Public.  This section contains information and resources to help you with legal issues associated with homeowners, tenants, and landlords.  This section contains:

·       Home Ownership
·       Landlords
·       Tenants
 

Home Ownership

If you are planning to buy or sell home, the “Home Buying-Selling Dictionary” can provide you with an understanding of a number of common words and terms used in a typical real estate transaction

Abstract (Of Title)

A summary of the public records relating to the title to a particular piece of land. An attorney or title insurance company reviews an abstract of title to determine whether there are any title defects which must be cleared before a buyer can purchase clear, marketable, and insurable title.

Amortization

A payment plan which enables the borrower to reduce his debt gradually through monthly payments of principal.

Appraisal

The estimate of value of real property made by an impartial expert, typically including references to sales of comparable properties to estimate the value. A lender will require an appraisal, but it does not take the place of an inspection.

Assessments

Costs charged for public improvements that benefit land. Pending assessments must be addressed in the purchase agreement and at closing.

Assumption of Mortgage

An obligation undertaken by the purchaser of property to be personally liable for payment of an existing mortgage. In an assumption, the purchaser is substituted for the original mortgagor in the mortgage instrument and the original mortgagor is to be released from further liability in the assumption, the mortgagee’s consent is usually required.

Closing

The closing, also known as the settlement, is a meeting at which a transfer of sold property is finalized. At closing, the buyer signs the mortgage documents and pays all closing costs, and the seller signs the deed. Both parties sign the closing statement, which is an accounting of funds credited to the buyer and seller.

Closing Costs

The numerous expenses which buyers and sellers normally incur to complete a transaction in the transfer of ownership of real estate. These costs are in addition to price of the property and are items prepaid at the closing day. This is a typical list:

BUYER’S EXPENSES SELLER’S EXPENSES
Documentary Stamps on Notes Cost of Abstract
Recording Deed and Mortgage Documentary Stamps on Deed
Escrow Fees Real Estate Commission
Attorney’s Fee Recording Mortgage
Title Insurance Survey Charge
Appraisal and Inspection Escrow Fees
Survey Charge Attorney’s Fee

The agreement of sale negotiated previously between the buyer and the seller may state in writing who will pay each of the above costs.

Closing Day

The day that formalities of a real estate sale are concluded.  The certificate of title, abstract, and deed are generally prepared for the closing by an attorney and this cost charged to the buyer. The buyer signs the mortgage, and closing costs are paid. The final closing merely confirms the original agreement reached in the agreement of sale.

Commission

Money paid to a real estate agent or broker by the seller as compensation for finding a buyer and completing the sale. Usually it is a percentage of the sale price–6 to 7 percent on houses, 10 percent on land.

Condemnation

The taking of private property for public use by a government unit, against the will of the owner, but with payment of just compensation under the government’s power of eminent domain. Condemnation may also be a determination by a governmental agency that a particular building is unsafe or unfit for use.

Condominium

The owner of a condominium unit owns the unit and has the right, along with other unit owners, to use the common areas, which are owned by the condominium association. Condominium laws vary greatly from state to state, but typically include an association that maintains the building, pays taxes and insurance, and maintains the reserves for improvements.

Contract for Deed

A contract for deed is a contract that allows a buyer to take possession of property in exchange for monthly payments until the balance is paid off, even though the seller maintains legal title to the property until the final payment is made. The parties negotiate the terms of a contract for deed.

Conventional Mortgage

A mortgage loan not insured by HUD or guaranteed by the Veterans’ Administration. It is subject to conditions established by the lending institution and State statutes. The mortgage rates may vary with different institutions and between States. (States have various interest limits.)

Deed

A formal written instrument by which title to real property is transferred from one owner to another. The deed should contain an accurate description of the property being conveyed, should be signed and witnessed according to the laws of the State where the property is located, and should be delivered to the purchaser at closing day. There are two parties to a deed: the grantor and the grantee. (See also deed of trust, general warranty deed, quitclaim deed, and special warranty deed.)

Deed of Trust

Like a mortgage, a security instrument whereby real property is given as security for a debt. However, in a deed of trust there are three parties to the instrument: the borrower, the trustee, and the lender, (or beneficiary). In such a transaction, the borrower transfers the legal title for the property to the trustee who holds the property in trust as security for the payment of the debt to the lender or beneficiary. If the borrower pays the debt as agreed, the deed of trust becomes void. If, however, he defaults in the payment of the debt, the trustee may sell the property at a public sale, under the terms of the deed of trust.

Default

Failure to make mortgage payments as agreed to in a commitment based on the terms and at the designated time set forth in the mortgage or deed of trust. It is the mortgagor’s responsibility to remember the due date and send the payment prior to the due date, not after. Generally, thirty days after the due date if payment is not received, the mortgage is in default. In the event of default, the mortgage may give the lender the right to accelerate payments, take possession and receive rents, and start foreclosure. Defaults may also come about by the failure to observe other conditions in the mortgage or deed of trust.

Documentary Stamps

A State tax, in the forms of stamps, required on deeds and mortgages when real estate title passes from one owner to another. The amount of stamps required varies with each State.

Down payment

The amount of money to be paid by the purchaser to the seller upon the signing of the agreement of sale. The agreement of sale will refer to the down payment amount and will acknowledge receipt of the down payment.

Equity

The value of a homeowner’s unencumbered interest in real estate. Equity is computed by subtracting from the property’s fair market value the total of the unpaid mortgage balance and any outstanding liens or other debts against the property. A homeowner’s equity increases as he pays off his mortgage or as the property appreciates in value. When the mortgage and all other debts against the property are paid in full the homeowner has 100% equity in his property.

Escrow

Funds paid by one party to another (the escrow agent) to hold until the occurrence of a specified event, after which the funds are released to a designated individual. In FHA mortgage transactions an escrow account usually refers to the funds a mortgagor pays the lender at the time of the periodic mortgage payments. The money is held in a trust fu?d, provided by the lender for the buyer. Such funds should be adequate to cover yearly anticipated expenditures for mortgage insurance premiums, taxes, hazard insurance premiums, and special assessments.

Foreclosure

A legal term applied to any of the various methods of enforcing payment of the debt secured by a mortgage, or deed of trust, by taking and selling the mortgaged property, and depriving the mortgagor of possession. Foreclosure proceedings vary by state, but typically include foreclosure by advertisement, which does not include a court proceeding, and foreclosure by action in court.

General Warranty Deed

A deed which conveys not only all the grantor’s interests in and title to the property to the grantee, but also warrants that if the title is defective or has a “cloud” on it (such as mortgage claims, tax liens, title claims, judgments, or mechanic’s liens against it) the grantee may hold the grantor liable.

Grantee

That party in the deed who is the buyer or recipient.

Grantor

That party in the deed who is the seller or giver.

Hazard Insurance

Protects against damages caused to property by fire, windstorms, and other common hazards.

HUD

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Office of Housing/Federal Housing Administration within HUD insures home mortgage loans made by lenders and sets minimum standards for such homes.

Lien

A claim by one person on the property of another as security for money owed. Such claims may include obligations not met or satisfied, judgments, unpaid taxes, materials, or labor. (See also special lien.)

Mortgage

A lien or claim against real property given by the buyer to the lender as security for money borrowed. Under government-insured or loan-guarantee provisions, the payments may include escrow amounts covering taxes, hazard insurance, water charges, and special assessments. Mortgages generally run from 10 to 30 years, during which the loan is to be paid off.

Mortgagee

The lender in a mortgage agreement.

Mortgagor

The borrower in a mortgage agreement.

Plat

A map or chart of a lot, subdivision or community drawn by a surveyor showing boundary lines, buildings, improvements on the land, and easements.

Points

Sometimes called “discount points.” A point is one percent of the amount of the mortgage loan. For example, if a loan is for $25,000, one point is $250. Points are charged by a lender to raise the yield on his loan at a time when money is tight, interest rates are high, and there is a legal limit to the interest rate that can be charged on a mortgage. Buyers are prohibited from paying points on HUD or Veterans’ Administration guaranteed loans (sellers can pay, however). On a conventional mortgage, points may be paid by either buyer or seller or split between them.

Prepayment

Payment of mortgage loan, or part of it, before due date. Mortgage agreements often restrict the right of prepayment either by limiting the amount that can be ?repaid in any one year or charging a penalty for prepayment. The Federal Housing Administration does not permit such restrictions in FHA insured mortgages.

Principal

The basic element of the loan as distinguished from interest and mortgage insurance premium. In other words, principal is the amount upon which interest is paid.

Quitclaim Deed

A deed which transfers whatever interest the maker of the deed may have in the particular parcel of land. A quitclaim deed is often given to clear the title when the grantor’s interest in a property is questionable. By accepting such a deed the buyer assumes all the risks. Such a deed makes no warranties as to the title, but simply transfers to the buyer whatever interest the grantor has. (See deed.)

Title

As generally used, the rights of ownership and possession of particular property. In real estate usage, title may refer to the instruments or documents by which a right of ownership is established (title documents), or it may refer to the ownership interest one has in the real estate.

Zoning Ordinances

The acts of an authorized local government establishing building codes, and setting forth regulations for property land usage.