If you or your child has suffered injuries as a result of a motor vehicle accident it can be traumatic and change your life forever. You may have burns, broken bones or a dislocated shoulder or hip. You may have suffered whiplash to your head or neck, or have nerve damage or a spinal cord injury, or maybe even have lost the use of an arm or leg or one of your hands. I represent clients who have suffered personal injuries or property damage in automobile accidents as well as motorcycle, truck and bus accidents. I also handle injury cases resulting from other motor vehicle accidents including those involving drunk drivers or hit and run drivers, uninsured or underinsured drivers, and accidents occurring from motor vehicle, SUV and semi-tractor trailer collisions and rollovers. Call me, Marion and Lamar County, Alabama auto accident attorney John V. Martine, today at (205) 487-7022
A wrongful death occurs when a person is killed due to the negligence or misconduct of another individual, company, or organization. A lawsuit for wrongful death belongs to the deceased person’s heirs at law, usually a surviving spouse or children, and sometimes parents. The general rule in Alabama in wrongful death cases is that the nature of damages is punitive. That means that the amount of money that the at-fault party from the car wreck or other negligent act must pay to the family is calculated in the way of punishment for taking a human life, not on the monetary value of the person who died. Alabama law does not treat one human life as more valuable than another when it comes to cases where death has been caused by a person or corporation being negligent, careless or even acting willfully. Call me today for a free consultation: Northwest Alabama wrongful death attorney John V. Martine-- to talk about your family’s potential wrongful death case.
Insurance claims are when you make notice for reimbursement or coverage from the insurance company when the insured has suffered a loss that is covered under the insurance policy. Under Alabama law, insurance companies are not allowed to refuse to pay a customer's claim without "reasonable justification." This means that an insurance company must engage in a reasonable investigation and pay legitimate claims in a timely manner. If an insurance company fails to handle its customer's claim properly, it may be held accountable in bad faith for resulting economic losses, including lost wages, interest on money the insured borrowed to cover expenses while insurance benefits were wrongfully withheld, and loss due to damaged credit. If you have been treated unfairly by an insurance company that owes you money call me today, Winfield, Alabama personal injury lawyer John V. Martine, for a free consultation.
The fastest growing segment in the United States is the elderly population. When we are no longer able to care for our elderly loved ones, we often need to entrust them to the care of nursing homes during their final years. But many of these nursing homes are under-funded and understaffed, and a disturbing amount of neglect and abuse cases are being reported. I am deeply concerned when there are injuries sustained by nursing home residents due to neglect and abuse-- often as a result of the inappropriate use of physical restraints, joint contractors, overuse of sedatives, unnecessary use of urinary catheters, loss of mobility, pressure sores and lack of nutrition with weight loss. Call me today, Marion and Fayette County, Alabama nursing home abuse Attorney John V. Martine, if your loved one has been victimized by a nursing home.
Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere and can cause serious personal injury. Premise Liability accidents can include toxic exposure, animal attacks, swimming pool accidents and amusement park ride accidents. Property owners have a legal duty to maintain their property responsibly and avoid the existence of hazardous conditions. Dangerous or defective conditions may be large or small, temporary or permanent. When you have been injured through no fault of your own by a dangerous condition on another person’s property is essential to investigate quickly Temporary conditions such as water on the floor of a grocery store need to be documented, and some wrongdoers may try to hide the dangerous condition that caused your injury. Call me: Marion, Fayette and Lamar County, Alabama personal injury lawyer John V. Martine today for a free consultation about your slip and fall case.
If you are injured on the job or get sick with an occupational disease which was caused by the type of work you do, notify your employer immediately so that they are on notice that they are legally required to give you medical care. This also applies to repetitive motion injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, when part of your body starts to wear down because of the physical actions required for you to do your job. Alabama has laws to protect people who end up being permanently injured due to serving the needs of their employers, especially when that injury makes them less able or completely unable to work and earn a living in the future. Protect your rights now. If you have been seriously injured on-the-job, call me, Marion, Lamar and Fayette County, Alabama Workers Compensation Lawyer John V. Martine (205) 487-7022.
Do you work for a large company that is pressuring you not to take maternity leave or threatening to fire you because you need to take time off from work to care for a sick parent? Are you being pushed out of your job because of your physical disability even though you are perfectly able to do your job with reasonable accommodations? Are you a factory worker who is being cheated out of your overtime pay that you have earned? There are federal laws which protect workers from certain abuses by their employers, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). If you have a problem with your employer and you think you might need to file a lawsuit, call me: Northwest Alabama Employment Law Attorney John V. Martine, for a free initial consultation (205) 487-7022.
Social Security Disability Insurance will pay monthly benefits to you if you are a qualified worker who became disabled before reaching retirement age and your medical doctors affirm that you aren't able to work anymore. To qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, you must have worked a certain number of years in jobs that deducted Social Security taxes (FICA) from your paycheck. The amount of time that must be worked is calculated with “work credits,” with up to four work credits possible per year. If your Social Security Disability Insurance application has been denied, time is of the essence- call me: Winfield, Alabama Social Security Disability Lawyer John V. Martine now.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal program that allows you to apply for benefits on a strictly need-based basis if you are disabled but you do not have the years of working and paying FICA taxes that would allow you to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance. The program is funded by general fund taxes (not from the Social Security trust fund), and eligibility is determined according to income and assets. SSI is called a "means-tested program," which means that only your financial need is considered, not work history. In order to qualify for SSI benefits, you must have medical proof that you are unable to work. If you are medically disabled and unable to work and your SSI application has been denied, call me: Alabama SSI Appeal Attorney John V. Martine today at (205) 487-7022.
Sometimes bankruptcy isn’t an option even though you have more debts than you can pay. In those cases some people opt for settlement arrangements with their creditors. Debt settlements are voluntary, which means that your creditors are not required to make any agreement with you, and they lack the federal law protections you would have in paying a Chapter 13 debtor’s plan. If you are facing crippling debts and are wondering whether you should negotiate settlements with your creditors or file for Chapter Seven or Chapter Thirteen Bankruptcy, call me to schedule a free consultation: Marion, Lamar and Fayette County Bankruptcy Lawyer John V. Martine (205) 487-7022.
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy case is also commonly called a “straight bankruptcy” case. It allows an individual or a married couple who is drowning in debt to discharge some or all of their debts completely in order to gain a “fresh start.” Some types of debts cannot be discharged and there are many requirements to be legally eligible for a Chapter Seven Bankruptcy: You must be an “honest debtor” who is not guilty of fraudulent or misleading financial practices. You must attend bankruptcy debtor counseling. You must meet the Bankruptcy Court’s test to determine that you do not have enough income and assets to be able to repay your debts. Call me, Winfield, Alabama bankruptcy attorney John V. Martine, for your free consultation.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is what people are talking about when they use the term “Debtor’s Court.” An individual or married couple who has some monthly income that would allow them to pay some of their debts over time applies to the Court to have a payment plan approved, interest free. You must appear in court with a Bankruptcy Judge, the Bankruptcy Trustee and the lawyers representing your creditors in order to have your plan approved. Monthly payments are made directly to the Bankruptcy Court and then the money is distributed to the creditors. If you are suffering and overloaded with medical debts or credit card debts, call me for your initial appointment at no cost: Alabama Bankruptcy Lawyer John V. Martine (205) 487-7022.
If you need a divorce decree, legal separation, annulment, or other form of termination to your marriage you must file the proper petition in Domestic Relations Court to try and get a signed Order from a Judge. The court also has the legal power to resolve other issues connected to your existing marriage which including: custody and visitation rights, division of property of the marital estate, spousal support, child support, restraining orders, and other matters. If you need help in a bad or abusive marriage situation, especially if there are problems of financial fraud, addiction issues or violence, call me: Marion, Lamar and Fayette County, Alabama divorce lawyer John V. Martine to represent you and advise you through every phase of your divorce case.
Paternity cases are where a court establishes the legal father of a child and the rights and duties that accompany fatherhood, including custody, visitation and child support. There can be a difference between a biological father and a legal father. When a child is born in Alabama, the mother’s name automatically appears on the birth certificate. If she is married, her husband is legally presumed to be the baby’s father. However it is possible in Alabama to have the courts recognize another man who is not the mother’s husband as the legal father of a child. If the parents are not married, it is especially important for all concerned-- the mother, for the father, and above all for the child, to establish paternity. Call me: Alabama paternity case attorney John V. Martine.
Custody is the charge and control of a child, including the right to make all major decisions such as education, religious upbringing, training, health and welfare. Custody usually refers to a combination of physical custody and legal custody. Many factors influence an award of custody and the way a case is presented in court can have a large impact on the result for you and your children. If you are awarded custody of the children as a primary custodial parent, it has far reaching consequences both to you and to their well-being and development. I understand that your children are the most important thing in your life. Call me today: Fayette, Lamar and Marion County, Alabama child custody lawyer John V. Martine
Child support is a monthly payment made from a non-custodial parent to a custodial parent to contribute to their child’s living expenses, i.e. food, clothes, etc., and any other related debts. When a judge awards sole custody one parent, as in the event of a divorce, the non-custodial parent is required to fulfill his or her child support obligation by making monetary payments, whereas the custodial parent meets his or her support obligation through providing a home and the daily needs of the child. Child support is the right of the child—not the parent. No one can sign away the right to monthly child support payments. If you are facing a child support case in Lamar County, Fayette County or Marion County, Alabama call me today: Alabama Child Support Attorney John V. Martine
If a parent who has custody wants to move to a new home a significant distance away, Alabama law generally requires that parent to give the non-custodial parent a minimum amount of notice prior to the anticipated move. The purpose of this notice is to give the noncustodial parent an opportunity to go to court and seek a Judge’s Order restraining the relocation of the child. While the best interests of the child have always been central to the decision courts have made varying decisions to allow and to disallow the move for the past 20 years. Issues involving two or more different states are governed by the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA) and the Federal Parental Kidnaping Prevention Act (PKPA). Call me about your interstate child custody case: Winfield, Alabama interstate custody lawyer John V. Martine, (205) 487-7022.
Alabama’s Family and Juvenile Courts determine cases where parents have been accused of being unfit to have custody of their own children due to abuse or neglect. Sometimes this is because a grandparent or other family member has been forced to intervene in the instance of drug addiction or mental illness of the parents. In other cases the Alabama DHR (our state’s child protection agency) has been called in to investigate a home. The DHR often gets called out in legitimate cases such as when the police have arrested someone selling or manufacturing illegal drugs in their home with children present, but they also can get tricked into taking action on an innocent family because someone called in an anonymous false accusation against a person they hate. If you have a case in Fayette, Lamar or Marion County, Alabama, call me: Alabama DHR Defense and Custody Lawyer John V. Martine.
“DUI” stands for Driving Under the Influence and occurs when someone is operating or is in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substance, to the extent that their mental faculties are impaired and/or their Blood Alcohol Content is above the legal limit. Even for a first offense, penalties can include license suspension, substantial fines, mandatory attendance at a court approved alcohol program, mandatory overnight incarceration and the required installation (at the offender’s expense) of a car ignition locking device. In addition, a DUI conviction stays on an Alabama driving record for several years. Plus, a DUI conviction could also jeopardize your employment opportunities or your child custody rights. If you have been arrested for DUI call me right away: Lamar, Fayette and Marion County DUI Attorney John V. Martine (205) 487-7022.
A conviction on a drug charge of any magnitude, even a small amount of marijuana, can seriously affect your entire life: present and future employment chances, your education, your reputation and your family relationships. Drugs and Narcotics laws are a serious matter with serious penalties due to the dangers to the public caused by substance abuse. Most states have laws that give different treatment to possession of different categories of drugs (i.e. prescription drugs, marijuana, crystal methamphetamine) and also make a distinction in the offense charged as to whether a small amount of the drug was found with the defendant (personal use) or a larger amount (intent to sell or distribute, trafficking). That is why it is so important to call me: Marion County, Alabama drug charge defense Attorney John V. Martine as soon as you have been arrested, to stand up for your rights and defend you.
High-tech professionals, corporate executives and financial workers who are criminally charged for offenses such as corporate theft, counterfeiting, embezzlement, forgery, hacking, fraud, tax evasions, computer cyber-crimes or bad checks are often referred to as “white collar” offenders and are prosecuted for white collar crimes. You might be charged with theft or misappropriation of company funds due to an accounting error, a miscommunication or possibly even a co-worker’s deception. In some cases, first-time offenders are convicted and sent to prison, even with no prior criminal history. An arrest and conviction for one of these crimes can have a serious impact on your life. Call me today: Northwest Alabama white collar crimes defense Attorney John V. Martine (205) 487-7022.
Domestic violence is any physical, emotional, sexual or other violence that takes place between people who may be married or not married; heterosexual, gay, or lesbian; living together, separated or dating. Domestic violence can be criminal and include physical assault: hitting, pushing and shoving, etc., sexual abuse: unwanted or forced sexual activity, and stalking. Domestic violence charges can have a serious impact on your employment, your immigration status, your child custody rights and other areas of life. To protect your rights in court, contact me: Winfield, Alabama domestic violence criminal defense Attorney John V. Martine today.
Felony Crimes involve drug and narcotics charges, arson, burglary, armed robbery, murder and/or attempted murder, rape and/or sexual assault, kidnaping, assault and battery and Shaken Baby Syndrome. A felony conviction is a serious matter that can result in a substantial prison sentence and the potential loss of certain privileges and Constitutional rights of U.S. citizenship, such as the right to possess a firearm or the right to vote. There is a lot at stake when you have been charged with a felony. Contact me today: felony criminal defense Attorney John V. Martine, if you have been charged with a felony in Marion County, Lamar County or Fayette County, Alabama.
Even though no one likes to think about their life coming to an end it is essential to make a Last Will and Testament so that you can spare your loved ones a great deal of conflict, confusion, time and expense by arranging how you want your property, cash and other assets to be distributed after your death. It is also important to sign an Alabama Advance Directive for Health Care (Living Will and Health Care Proxy) so that people know how you want to be cared for if you become incapacitated due to injury or illness, as well as an Alabama Durable Power of Attorney appointing someone you trust to manage your affairs. Call me today for your appointment: Winfield, Alabama Wills and Estates Lawyer John V. Martine.
If you are an immigrant who has been charged or convicted of a crime in Alabama the state or local municipal authorities could turn your case over to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to place you in deportation or removal proceedings in Immigration Court. Since the passage of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 ("IIRAIRA"), the rights of aliens in the United States have been severely curtailed when past criminal conduct is a factor. Relatively small criminal convictions that previously did not cause immigration consequences can now trigger deportation proceedings against an alien. Criminal convictions as serious as murder, and as minor as shoplifting can result in deportation with no chance to ever be allowed to have a visa to return to your family in the United States. Call me today to talk about your Immigration Court case: Alabama Deportation Defense Attorney John V. Martine (205) 487-7022
I am proud to work for family unity serving qualified U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents who wish to sponsor their spouses, fathers, daughters, mothers, son, fiancés and other relatives to enter the United States to live with them permanently. Parents, spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age of U.S. Citizens are considered immediate relatives and are not placed under a quota system. Rather, they can proceed directly to Adjustment of Status or Consular Processing to apply for Permanent Residence (Green Card) in the United States. The others are placed into preference order which determines how long of a waiting period will be required before completing the final steps for the Green Card. If you need to sponsor your family member to live permanently in the United States call me today: Winfield, Alabama Immigration Lawyer John V. Martine (205) 487-7022.
If you have had Permanent Resident (Green Card) status for five years (three years if married to a U.S. Citizen) you may be eligible to apply for U.S. Citizenship. You will need to be able to prove that you have maintained a period of continuous physical presence in the United States and that you can read, write, and speak English. You will also need to be able to pass a test regarding knowledge and understanding of U.S. history and government. You cannot be granted U.S. citizenship unless you have good moral character and a clean criminal record. You must also demonstrate that you have a commitment to the principles of the U.S. Constitution and have a favorable disposition toward the United States. The process is exhaustive and requires a great deal of documentation. If you are ready to become a U.S. citizen call me today: Alabama Immigration and Naturalization Lawyer John V. Martine (205) 487-7022.