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Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.s)

 

Vargas Law Firm, P.A.

The answers to the questions on this page do not constitute specific legal advice from the Vargas Law Firm, P.A. about any particular claim or matter. If you have a particular question about a specific legal issue, you should contact an attorney before taking action. You may also go to the Contact page of this website and submit a question; however, merely contacting this office does not create an attorney-client relationship.

 

General Questions

 

How much will it cost?

Cost is determined on a case by case basis. After the free initial consultation, we will provide you with an estimation on associated fees. A "retainer fee" is also often required, except in some matters involving personal injury or formal probate administration. where attorney's fees are contingent upon a recovery in your legal claim. In addition to attorney's fees, you will also be responsible for litigation, such as filing fees and discovery costs.

 

Does my case have merit?

After going through the details of your case with you, we will determine whether or not you have a valid claim. The person filing the suit, has to provide sufficient evidence in order for the case to be pursued.

 

When will my case go to court?

Once a lawsuit is filed, the rules of procedure must be followed through before going to trial.

 

How long will it take for a lawsuit to resolved?

Every case is different. Some lawsuits are resolved after a few months, others can take several years. We will work as hard as possible to get you the best results as quickly as possible.

 

When do I need to file my lawsuit?

The time within which you must file your claim in court must fall within the given timeframe of the statute of limitations. The time frame depends on the type of case. Consult our office when you think you have a case and we will make sure you’re aware of the time frame.

 

Is the information I provide my attorney confidential?

Yes, attorney-client privilege is upheld from consultation and even after the case is concluded. Only under limited circumstances, is that privilege compromised.

 

Estate Planning/Probate

 

One of my family members died without a will, what are the next steps?

There are certain legal documents that are going to need to be filed dependent on who is the next of kin. Ensure that you have the right legal representation for yourself or your family.

 

If I’m not facing health problems, why should I be concerned with estate planning?

Regardless of age or health, death and illness are realities we all must face. Since we can’t know exactly when we are going to have to deal with death, it’s imperative that we have our estate in order early on.

 

 

Bankruptcy

 

¿Qué es la quiebra?

La quiebra es un proceso judicial por el cual una persona que no puede pagar sus deudas puede comenzar de nuevo a tener finanzas sanas. El derecho a declararse en quiebra se otorga por ley federal, y todos los casos de quiebra se manejan en el tribunal federal. El presentar la petición de quiebra hace que todos sus acreedores cesen inmediatamente en sus esfuerzos de cobrar sus deudas, por lo menos hasta que sus deudas puedan ser separadas conforme a la ley.

 

¿Qué puede hacer la quiebra por mí?

Es posible que la quiebra pueda lograr:

 

- Eliminar la obligación legal de pagar la mayoría de sus deudas. A esto se le llama el “descargo” de sus deudas. Está diseñado para permitirle que comience de nuevo a tener finanzas sanas.

- Detener la ejecución de la hipoteca de su casa o su casa móvil y darle la oportunidad de ponerse al día en los pagos que adeuda. (Sin embargo, la quiebra no elimina automáticamente sus hipotecas y otros gravámenes en sus bienes inmuebles o propiedades sin hacer pagos).

- Hacer que se recupere (vuelva a poseer) su automóvil u otros bienes, o puede obligar a sus acreedores a devolverle sus bienes, incluso después de que éstos los hayan retenido.

- Detener la retención de su sueldo, el hostigamiento por parte de los cobradores de deudas y acciones similares por parte de sus acreedores para cobrar la deuda.

- Restaurar o impedir que se ponga término a los servicios públicos.

- Permitir que desafíe los reclamos de acreedores que hayan cometido fraude o, de algún otro modo, estén intentando cobrar una cantidad mayor de la que usted realmente debe.

 

¿Qué no puede hacer la quiebra por mí?

La quiebra no puede remediar todo problema de finanzas. Tampoco es la medida apropiada para todas las personas. En el proceso de quiebra, por lo general, no es posible:

 

- Eliminar ciertos derechos de los acreedores “garantizados”. Un acreedor “garantizado” tiene una hipoteca u otro gravamen (prenda) contra su bien como garantía de su préstamo. Usted puede obligar a los acreedores garantizados a aceptar pagos a largo plazo en el proceso de quiebra y la quiebra puede eliminar su obligación de pagar cantidades de dinero adicionales si se le quita su bien (propiedad). No obstante, por lo general, usted no puede quedarse con la garantía a menos que continúe pagando la deuda.

- Descargar aquel tipo de deudas señaladas por la ley de bancarrota para recibir un tratamiento especial, tales como manutención de menores, pensión alimenticia del cónyuge, ciertas deudas relacionadas con el divorcio, la mayoría de los préstamos estudiantiles, los pagos donde haya una orden judicial de restitución, cargos penales y algunos impuestos.

- Proteger a los avalistas de sus deudas. Cuando un pariente o amigo ha firmado como avalista para un préstamo suyo, y el consumidor descarga el préstamo por medio de la quiebra, puede ser que el avalista todavía tenga que pagar todo o parte del préstamo.

- Descargar aquellas deudas que se contrajeron después de que se presentara la petición de quiebra.

 

What Is a Bankruptcy Discharge and How Does It Operate?

One of the reasons people file bankruptcy is to get a “discharge.” A discharge is a court order which states that you do not have to pay most of your debts. Some debts cannot be discharged.For example, you cannot discharge debts for–

 

• Most taxes

• Child support

• Alimony

• Most student loans;

• Court fines and criminal restitution

• Personal injury caused by driving drunk or under the influence of drugs.

 

The discharge only applies to debts that arose before the date you filed. Also, if the judge finds that you received money or property by fraud, that debt may not be discharged.

 

It is important to list all your property and debts in your bankruptcy schedules. If you do not list a debt, for example, it is possible the debt will not be discharged. The judge can also deny your discharge if you do something dishonest in connection with your bankruptcy case, such as destroy or hide property, falsify records, or lie, or if you disobey a court order.

 

You can only receive a chapter 7 discharge once every eight years. Other rules may apply if you previously received a discharge in a chapter 13 case. No one can make you pay a debt that has been discharged, but you can voluntarily pay any debt you wish to pay. You do not have to sign a reaffirmation agreement (see below) or any other kind of document to do this.

 

Some creditors hold a secured claim (for example, the bank that holds the mortgage on your house or the loan company that has a lien on your car). You do not have to pay a secured claim if the debt is discharged, but the creditor can still take the property.

 

Personal Injury

 

What is my case worth?

We will discuss your claim with you and then evaluate whether or not you have a claim. We will have to establish liability, causation, negligence and damages.

 

What is PIP Insurance? What does Florida being a "No-Fault" state mean?

People are often confused about what PIP is, whose insurance company pays out the benefits in the event of an accident, and what is meant by Florida being a "no-fault " State. As a local personal injury lawyer, here are the facts:

 

• PIP stands for Personal Injury Protection and under Florida law it is required that every vehicle owner and driver on the road have $10,000 worth of PIP insurance coverage.

• You must obtain medical treatment within 14 days from a medical professional. Failure to comply will result in a denial of benefits.

• PIP benefits are paid by your own insurance company if you are in an accident.

• PIP benefits are paid by your own insurance company regardless of who was at fault for the accident. This is what is meant by Florida being a no-fault insurance state.

• PIP insurance pays for 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost wages up to $10,000. This means, you have to recover the rest of your out of pocket expenses from the owner/driver that caused the accident.

• PIP covers any accident or injury that involves a vehicle, even if you are on a bicycle or a pedestrian and are injured by a vehicle.