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Frederick Maryland Legal Blog

Avoiding common mistakes after a car accident

It is not uncommon to feel confused and overwhelmed after an auto accident. It can be hard to keep your head on straight, not to mention make wise decisions that can protect your case and keep you from a false accusation of liability. You and other Maryland residents should understand what may either complicate your case or help it go more smoothly.

According to HowStuffWorks, doing the following immediately after an accident may hinder your personal injury case, rather than help it:

  • Reacting in anger and losing your temper, rather than calmly speaking to authorities and the others involved
  • Refusing to call law enforcement
  • Leaving the scene of the accident, which can be considered a crime
  • Apologizing, which may seem polite but could sound like an admission of guilt
  • Speaking with the other driver’s attorney or insurance company
  • Accepting the other insurer’s offer without talking to your insurance company or attorney first

Debunking 4 common myths of car accidents

Dangerous car accidents occur all the time in Maryland. Take the case of a crash involving three vehicles on April 8th that resulted in the hospitalization of five people. 

Sometimes, crashes would have fewer long-term consequences if the drivers involved knew exactly what to do. Unfortunately, many myths persist regarding traffic collisions, and one mistake can greatly affect the amount of money someone receives from the insurance company. 

Dividing retirement accounts during divorce

Division of assets is one of the most argued elements of divorce. Whether a couple was married for two years or 20, property adds up fast and it doesn’t split neatly down the middle.

Maryland is an equitable distribution state, meaning the property a couple acquires during marriage will be split in divorce fairly, though not necessarily a perfect 50-50. While there is such a thing as separate property, which is owed by just one of the parties, there are usually special considerations for this.

Should spouses who are divorcing file for bankruptcy together?

No one anticipates that their marriage will result in a divorce, just as no one anticipates that their financial life will result in bankruptcy. Going through a divorce or declaring bankruptcy are stressful enough on their own, but what if both are happening at the same time? For some people, divorce and bankruptcy will go hand in hand.

People who declare bankruptcy around the same time as they get divorced often find that declaring bankruptcy with their partner can have its advantages. Even if you and your spouse are eager to split as quickly as possible, you may find many benefits to declaring bankruptcy jointly.

Do you have overwhelming debt? Consider bankruptcy

Choosing to file bankruptcy is not an easy decision, but if you are struggling to pay back significant credit card debt it may be the right option for you.

While personal bankruptcy is often stigmatized, no one plans to go bankrupt. Often a life event significantly reduces income or increases bills, leading to a precarious financial situation. The three most common reasons for filing bankruptcy are divorce, medical bills and unemployment. If you are overburdened by debt, bankruptcy could provide you with much needed debt relief.

5 common mistakes in high asset divorces

For divorcing couples with significant assets, division of property is one of the biggest hurdles they face. In Maryland, assets are distributed equally during a divorce. This means the court systems do not have to divide the assets between the spouses equally so long as the distribution is fair. Judges consider the length of the marriage, what each spouse contributed to the marriage and the economic circumstances of each spouse when dividing assets.

4 items that will better prepare you for a car accident

Few people expect to be involved in a serious car accident. Whether it is because the relative odds being in a collision are so low, or because someone thinks they are a good driver, the reality is that anyone can be in a motor vehicle collision at any time.

While drivers can take a number of safety precautions to protect themselves, there is no way to completely negate the risks of an accident. Fortunately, there are four items you can keep inside of your car if you do find yourself in a collision to help you get through this difficult event.

Dissipation of Marital Assets in Divorce:

Dissipation of assets occurs in a divorce case when joint funds have been spent for other than family purposes with the intention of reducing the amount of money available. In other words, one spouse spends money so that the other spouse can't get their fair share. In the recent case of Riker v. Riker, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals determined a trial court had made a mistake when it determined that a wife had improperly taken retirement funds out of an account and awarded the husband a judgment for these funds less taxes and fees. The Court of Special Appeals said the taxes and fees should not have been deducted.

Who Makes the Survivor Benefit Selections?

In a divorce case, a pension survivor benefit is an asset which is in play for division. Recently the Maryland Court of Special Appeals struck down a decision of the Carroll County Circuit Court which determined that a former husband had the right to make a selection of the options available for a survivor benefit which had been assigned to his wife. The appeals court held that the Circuit Court, among other things, had to look at what a reasonable person interpreting the parties' agreement would have decided. This case illustrates that division of retirement benefits is a complicated process and is best accomplished when experienced divorce lawyers are involved in preparing the property settlement agreements. 

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