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Do You Need a Green Card or an Immigrant Visa to Live in the US?

New US Citizens

If you aren’t a U.S. citizen, living legally in the country will require some form of documentation. For most people, that means a Permanent Resident (Green) Card or an immigrant visa. Which one you need depends on your current situation, but you have options to protect your rights.

For those already in the U.S. and with eligibility, the Green Card is the right way to go. By filing for an adjustment of status, you won’t have to return to your home country while your case is processed. There are a number of ways to qualify, including:

  • Through Family
  • Through Employment
  • As a Refugee
  • As a Human Trafficking or Crime Victim
  • As a Special Immigrant

If you live outside of the U.S., you’ll need an immigrant visa, which can require several steps. The first one is finding a United States embassy or consulate where you can apply. The application will likely require a sponsor, a medical examination, an interview, and other procedural requirements.

Uncertain about your status or the best steps to take? You may be able to find more information and assistance from a local immigration lawyer in Altamonte Springs, FL. Always follow the steps necessary to remain safe and give yourself the best chance of living legally in the U.S.

Understanding the Personal Injury Insurance Claim Process

gavel and legal documentsAfter suffering an injury as a result of a slip-and-fall, car accident, or other personal injury due to negligence, an insurance claim will often be filed in order to compensate you for any type of loss. While the insurance claim process is rather straightforward, it can be daunting and even intimidating for those who have never had to go through it before. To better understand the process, we will use an auto accident as an example of how the claims process is conducted.

Notification of the Incident
After being in involved in a car accident, it is best for all parties to exchange contact information, including names, phone numbers, vehicle ID information, and insurance information. This data will be needed to file a claim with your insurance company.
When you do get in touch with an insurance agent, you will be asked for a statement about the details of the accident, as well as any information about the other driver(s) involved. A claim will then be opened, and an agent will be assigned.

Investigation
After the notification, an investigation will ensue. The claims adjustor who has been assigned to handle the case will attempt to determine precisely what happened. They may do this by contacting you to request additional information, getting in touch with witnesses, reviewing police reports, and so on.

Negotiation and Payment
Once the claims adjusters have complete their investigation, they will offer a settlement, which is a payment designed to cover any losses you have suffered. However, you are not required to accept it; instead, you may consider negotiating for more. If you are unsuccessful in negotiating a necessary settlement amount with the insurance company, contact a personal injury attorney in Altamonte Springs.

Three Factors Used to Determine Child Custody

cheerful father and son eating breakfastWhile it is impossible to predict precisely how the judge will rule your custody case, it can be safely anticipated that the court has one goal in mind: determining your children’s best interests. To help you win child custody and put the stress of the dispute behind you, here are some factors that you can bet the court will be using to determine their decision.

Your living situation
After a divorce, the parent who stays in the family home is sometimes granted custody of the children because it allows the children stability in their daily lives.

Your relationship with your children before the divorce
If a parent was not especially involved with their children’s lives prior to the divorce, but now has a sudden desire to be their primary caretaker, a judge will likely notice the change of heart. For the children’s best interests, the judge will take some time to evaluate the situation and ensure that the request for custody isn’t being made to “win out” over the other parent.

Your ability to provide
Especially if your child has costly medical needs, or is attending a private school, each parent’s income will likely play a factor in the custody decision.

If you’re going through a child custody battle, it is important to know the laws and how decisions about your custody battle will be made. An excellent way to obtain this information is to reach out to a local child custody lawyer in Orlando, FL, who can explain the details and represent your interest.

Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Contact an Accident Attorney

After an accident occurs, it may not always be entirely clear if whether you should call an accident attorney. Unfortunately, many people debate for too long whether or not they actually need an attorney, and during this time, their case can fall apart. Even if you are unsure about your case, the right lawyer can help you determine if it would be beneficial for you to pursue it. Here are some reasons why you should call an auto accident attorney in Orlando, FL, immediately following an incident.

Preservation of Evidence
Law enforcement is not required to preserve all evidence it collects. If you do not have an attorney on your ride, evidence may be lost or destroyed.

More Accurate Witness Statements
It can be harder for witnesses to recall the events leading up to the accident clearly if a substantial amount of time has passed.  This is why it is best to obtain statements as soon as possible.

Likelihood of Compensation
The longer you wait before calling an attorney, the chance of you receiving the compensation you deserve decreases as each day passes.

Waiting too long to call an accident attorney can create a negative impact on your case. Turn to the professionals at Torres Law for fast help and peace of mind.

Ten Legal Terms You Should Know

law office desk with book, law scale and documentsAt Torres Law, we do our best to take the mystery out of legal services. We understand that to the untrained ear, some legal terms can sound like a different language. That being said, we have listed simple definitions for some common legal terms you may have heard while speaking with your DUI lawyer in Seminole County, FL.

Admissible: A term used to describe evidence that may be considered by a jury or judge in civil and criminal cases.

Affidavit: A written or printed statement made under oath.

Burden of proof: The duty to prove disputed facts. In civil cases, a plaintiff generally has the burden of proving his or her case. In criminal cases, the government has the burden of proving the defendant’s guilt.

Complaint: A written statement that begins a civil lawsuit, in which the plaintiff details the claims against the defendant.

Counsel: Legal advice; a term also used to refer to the lawyers in a case.

Defendant: An individual or business against whom a lawsuit is filed.

Lawsuit: A legal action started by a plaintiff against a defendant based on a complaint that the defendant failed to perform a legal duty which resulted in harm to the plaintiff.

Lien: A charge on specific property that is designed to secure payment of a debt or performance of an obligation. A debtor may still be responsible for a lien after a discharge.

Plaintiff: A person or business that files a formal complaint with the court.

Settlement: The payment of compensation by one party in at least partial satisfaction of the other party’s claim.

Three Questions to Ask When Seeking a Personal Injury Lawyer

gavel and stethoscopePersonal injuries can occur in a number of different circumstances: car accidents, slipping in a store, medical malpractice, etc. The one thing each circumstance has in common is that when you find yourself trying to recover from an injury, the last thing you want is an overcomplicated process of getting the help and compensation you deserve. That is why we’ve broken down some important questions you should ask when searching for a personal injury attorney in Seminole County, FL.

Do they specialize in personal injury cases?
Different lawyers usually specialize in different areas of the law. For the best results, you will want an attorney who specializes in personal injury law.

Have they litigated cases with circumstances similar to this one? How did they turn out?
While making sure your attorney is experienced in personal injury cases, you also want to make sure they have also seen success in those cases. Inquire about the attorney’s prior cases and results. While results of cases before yours will not guarantee a similar outcome, a strong record can indicate their level of knowledge and dedication.

How long will resolution take?
While no lawyer can provide you with the specific date that your case will be resolved, an experienced one will know the legal system and your situation enough to provide you with a general timeframe.

What to Do If You Slip & Fall – Part II

In our previous post, we discussed what you should do if you find yourself a victim of a slip and fall injury. With safety being at the forefront of your mind in an accident, always seeking medical help after the injury is crucial. Here are your next steps after taking a fall, and how these actions could help to protect you legally.

Collect evidence of the injury
This part may be done in the initial injury report process. However, it is important to gather evidence regarding the cause of your injury in the event legal action is necessary. Eyewitness reports of the incident, pictures, or video footage can all be of assistance here, as well as any detailed recording of how the event transposed is crucial in protecting yourself.

Deciding if legal action is needed
After you have become injured, it can be challenging to ultimately decide if you need legal aid. If there was negligence that led to your injury, blatant disregard for help during the incident or anything else regarding the accident that may seem like it could be unethical on the part of the property owner, you should consult a lawyer. Having a team of experienced lawyers in a situation like this – even if on retainer – can help you receive the compensation you deserve.

When you are in need of a qualified personal injury attorney or auto accident attorney in Orlando, FL, turn our team at the Law Offices of Jonathan Torres.

What to Do If You Slip & Fall

man on ground holding knee in painIf you ever find yourself in a situation where you have fallen and hurt yourself on someone else’s property or business, it is vital in the event of legal action that you take the correct next steps. Here is what to do in a slip and fall accident, and what steps you need to take directly after the incident occurs.

File an accident report
Depending on if you are physically able to alert someone after you have fallen on their property, your next step is completing an accident or injury report. This is a document that outlines the events leading up to the fall and details how the injury took place. If the police or an ambulance was called, you could ask the first responder to help you fill it out properly.

Speak to your doctor
If your injuries are not life-threatening or require emergency attention, it is best to follow up with your physician for an evaluation after the accident has occurred. Regardless of how you may feel before the incident, your doctor should thoroughly evaluate the situation to ensure there is no existing damage. IT will also help to have a doctor’s view of what happened on file in case legal action is necessary.

If you are looking for a personal injury attorney in Orlando, FL, to help you in your slip and fall case, turn to the Law Offices of Jonathan Torres today. Visit us or give us a call at 407-953-5318 to set up a consultation.

Preparing Your Teen for the Road – Part ||

In our previous blog post, we discussed some ways in which you can prepare your teenager for the responsibility of driving a car. It is crucial to remember that your child will need time, dedication, and practice while learning how to drive an automobile. However, there are specific ways you can get your teen comfortable with driving and understand the responsibility they have in safely getting behind the wheel. Here are a few ways you can help them to prepare.

Prepare themyoung man behind the wheel for the most common situations
Unfortunately, there is not a rulebook that parents can follow when teaching their child how to drive. However, there are some common scenarios that you can prepare them for that all drivers face during their time operating a vehicle. Talking them through situations like what to do if you are pulled over, what to do in the event of a crash, and how to change a flat tire are all critical things they need to know before getting behind the wheel of a car.

Practice patience when you are a passenger
No one is born with the ability and knowledge it takes to operate a vehicle, and you can probably recall how frustrated you were as a teen when you started learning how to drive. Remind yourself that your teenager will need your patience to succeed, and there will be times of frustration when they are in the process of learning. Correct their actions kindly and practice patience when you are with them during a lesson, and they will be able to absorb more information.

 

Finding reputable, friendly, and professional auto accident attorney in Orlando, FL, shouldn’t be a difficult task. Turn to the Law Offices of Jonathan Torres, LLC today. Give us a call at (407) 953-5818 to schedule your consultation.

Preparing Your Teen for the Road

young female driver in convertibleIf you are a parent or guardian of a teen who is just learning to drive, we sympathize with the fact that it is not the easiest process for either one of you. In today’s world more than ever, it is essential to prepare your teen as best as you possibly can for the responsibility of driving. Here are some ways that you can work with your child to get ready for getting behind the wheel so they are safe, and they make sure others are also safe on the road as well.

Don’t pressure your teen
While many teenagers cannot wait to learn to drive, some are just not as comfortable with the thought of operating a motor vehicle. It is important to gauge if your child is ready physically and emotionally to drive a vehicle, and not pressure them if they are not comfortable just yet.

Start small
Another thing to do in preparation for getting your teen on the road is to start small with their driving lessons. Whether you are leading the lesson or you have hired an instructor to help, make sure that the sessions are shorter and in locations with generally light traffic. As your child gets more comfortable behind the wheel, you can lengthen the lessons and incorporate roads with heavier traffic.

If you or someone you love is in need of a car accident lawyer in Orlando, FL, turn to the experienced team at the Law Offices of Jonathan Torres. We will be prepared to represent and fight for you.