How To Keep Social Media Out Of Your Personal Injury Claim

social media and your personal injury case.

Social media has completely taken over our lives. Most people have a habit of posting daily to multiple platforms. These platforms include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, Pinterest, and many others. The majority of people don’t think too much about what they’re posting or how it could affect them in the court of law. However, if you are looking to file a personal injury claim, it’s important to be aware of how your social media presence could impact your case. Here are 3 ways to keep social media out of your personal injury claim.

1. Think Twice Before Posting

Even though social media is the fastest way to update all of your friends and family at once, it’s important to keep these things as private as possible. Detailing your every account of the incident and the post-incident can have an adverse effect on your case. If you must update your loved ones, keep your post simple and to the point. Let them know that you are safe and going to be okay.

2. Public Posts Can Diminish Your Claim

Any post prior to an accident where a person complained about a previous injury, ache, or pain can be used against your claim. Adjusters and defense lawyers could claim that your injury, ache, or pain was caused by a pre-existing condition. Therefore, it’s not possible to seek monetary compensation for the personal injury. Obviously, they are called “accidents” for a reason because we don’t know when they are going to happen. On the other hand, it’s important to be mindful that even what you say on the Internet can potentially be used against you.

3. Courts Can Still Access Private Posts

Setting your profile to private is a good way to screen online friends and even some family that you don’t want to know your business. But, a defense attorney can still gain access to your private account while investigating your personal injury claim. This means that any posts in regards to any physical activity after the incident, or any pre-existing pains or injuries could be used against you.

The best advice for anyone dealing with a personal injury case is to use extreme discretion when posting and re-posting online content. Defense attorneys are looking for any excuse to deny your claim. Avoid talking about specifics in regards to your injury, home, vehicles, or anything else that may have been involved in the accident. Always carefully screen new friend requests and never discuss your case with anyone online. The emotional and physical recovery after an accident is hard enough as it is, don’t make it harder on yourself.

At Sylvester Law we can help you with all aspects of personal injury law.

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7 Mistakes To Avoid When Buying A Franchise

Buying a franchise is a great opportunity to go into business for yourself. As you start the process of choosing a franchise, it is important to avoid these seven common mistakes that could be potential pitfalls to your new business.


Buying Into The Hype

Many companies will claim to be the greatest but buying a franchise is a business venture. In business, there is, unfortunately, no such thing as a sure thing. Not all franchises are equal, and not all of them will result in instant or long-term success.

Not Doing Market Research

It is easy to get excited when shopping for a franchise, but do not let that excitement keep you from really digging in and doing the necessary market research. While a franchise make look like a great opportunity at first, it is imminent to know how well your franchise will do in the marketplace.

Choosing the Newest Franchise

For many, the main draw to purchasing a franchise is the fact that you also obtain the brand name and proven record of that company. While the newest franchise might be enticing, investing in an up-an-coming business can be very risky.

Not Having an Emergency Fund

While researching different franchises, you will likely carefully calculate the franchise cost, fees and ongoing royalties but it is important to have an emergency fund in place in case your new business does not start turning a profit as quickly as you expected.

Not Having an Exit Strategy

Understanding the terms of your contract is obviously vital and while you may be focused on what it includes in regards to your business running successfully, it is equally important to know what will happen if your situation takes a more negative turn. You should be informed as to what will happen if you close your business before your contract is up or if your business goes bankrupt. Obviously, you hope these situations do not arise, but being informed will help if they do.

Not Hiring a Franchise Advisor

Buying a franchise is a big financial investment but investing in legal advisors is equally vital to the success of your business. Having a franchise attorney can be extremely helpful as they can help you to understand and negotiate your contract, and show you what to avoid during the process.

Assuming the Franchisor has Your Back

It makes sense that your franchisor will want your business to succeed, but at the end of the day they will protect their own interests first. When it comes to business, it is important to remember that they may not always have your best interest at heart.

At Sylvester Law we can help you with all aspects of business law.

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Arizona Residential Landlord Tenant Act

Does the Landlord Tenant Act apply to me?

The Act, Arizona Revised Statutes Sections 33-1301 to 33-1381, applies to the renting of a
residential dwelling unit, i.e. a house or an apartment.

Are there any exceptions to Landlord Tenant Act?

Yes. If you rent a mobile home, you are covered by the Arizona Mobile Home Parks Residential
Landlord and Tenant Act, A.R.S. §§33-1401 to 33-1491. In addition, A.R.S. §33-1308 lists seven
exceptions, including such rentals of dormitory rooms, fraternity or sorority houses, hotel
rooms and public housing.


What must a landlord provide to a tenant upon move-in?

1. A landlord must disclose in writing the name and address of the property manager and
owner or owner’s agent.

2. Landlords must give notice that copies of the full text of the Arizona Residential Landlord
and Tenant Act are available for free from the Arizona Secretary of State’s office.

3. A landlord must provide the tenant with a move-in inspection form to record any existing
damage to the residence.

4. Landlords who rent property with access to a swimming pool must provide the tenant with a pool safety notice.

5. A landlord is required by federal law to give notice of any lead-based pain on the rental

6. A landlord can require a security deposit, but it cannot exceed one and one-half the monthly
rent, plus the first month’s rent. Security deposits are refundable unless the landlord sustains
damages due to the tenancy. Non-refundable charges for cleaning or re-decorating the unit
must be stated as non-refundable and are not security deposits.

7. In general, landlords must provide safe, clean and habitable residences. This includes
compliance with building codes concerning health and safety, maintaining appliances in
working order, providing running water with reasonable amounts of hot water and heating and
air conditioning in working order when required by the weather.

8. In general, tenants have a duty to maintain the dwelling unit. This includes compliance with
building codes, keeping his/her part of the unit clean, using appliances reasonably and not
deliberately or negligently destroying, damaging or removing any part of the lease premises.
The above information is NOT a comprehensive guide or discussion of the Arizona Residential
Landlord and Tenant Act. You should obtain the advice of any attorney as to you specific

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4 Ways To Hold Title To Real Estate in Tucson

real estate

Sole ownership:

This is the simplest way to hold title and you alone will hold all rights to the real estate.
Joint Tenancy with right of survivorship:
Two or more persons can hold title together as joint tenants. As joint tenants, each owner has
equal rights to the property as a whole. If one of the owners dies, under the right of
survivorship, the deceased’s share automatically transfers to the other co-owners of the
property, not to the heirs of the deceased.

Tenancy in Common:

Multiple people can hold either equal or unequal portions of a property. Two people can each
own 50% or one may own 80% with the remaining 20% split between other persons. Any
combination is acceptable and any owner can independently sell, give or bequeath his or her
share of the property at any time.

Community Property:

Property acquired during a marriage is recognized in Arizona as community property. Husband
and wife each own half the property and each can will/bequeath their half to anyone, including
the spouse. If the community property is owned “with right of survivorship,” the surviving
spouse will automatically own the entire property.

Beneficiary Deed:

Arizona permits the use of a Beneficiary Deed which transfers the title to real estate, without
probate proceeding, upon the death of the owner. It is sometimes referred to as a transfer on
death (TOD) deed.
The Beneficiary Deed is similar in all respects to other deeds used to transfer real estate, except
the one significant difference being that the deed does not take effect until the death of the
conveying party. Thus, the owner of real property designates by the deed a beneficiary of the
real property and, on the death of the owner, the property passes to the beneficiary.

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Basics For Buying and Selling a Home in Arizona

Selling a Home by Owner – FSBO:

This is when you try to sell a home without a realtor, “for sale by owner,” or FSBO,
pronounced fizzbo. You may save the real estate commission but you will have to analyze the
market, decide on a price, advertise and show the house, draft an agreement and negotiate
with buyers, all on your own.
Buying a FSBO is different than buying with a real estate broker involved. You will personally
have to research a fair value/price, negotiate with the seller and review or draft an offer to
It is more critical to have the help of an attorney in the FSBO buying and/or selling process. The attorney can suggest appropriate contingencies, draft and review documents and guide you through each step of the transaction.


Buying a Home – Make an Offer:

When you have found the home you want, it is time to write up a formal purchase offer and
sign a real estate purchase and sale contract.
You and the seller must sign a legally binding contract. However, the contract can include
contingencies such as a property inspection, appraisal, loan approval and title report review
and approval. Contingencies enable a party to opt out of the transaction if a contingency is not
A seller may respond to a buyer’s offer by accepting it, rejecting it, or making a counteroffer
presenting different terms for the sale.

Don’t forget Title Insurance:

You must make sure the seller has good title to the property. Basic title insurance protects you against defects of record in the seller’s title. The title insurance company researches public records and issues a title insurance commitment stating information about the title. For
example, who owns the property? Are there any easements or restrictions on the use of the
property? Are there any liens that should be paid off at or before the closing? All of these
matters may seriously affect the value and your use of the property. Some of these matters
may require an attorney’s expertise to review, resolve and/or make it clear to you the title that is being conveyed to you.
Sellers are legally required to provide buyers with certain disclosures. Sellers must disclose any known issues that might affect the property’s value or habitability.

The Closing:

The closing should happen with an escrow officer at a title company. Sometimes the buyer and seller don’t meet at the closing. Each can go in to sign their closing documents separately or they sign electronically. Some signatures will have to be notarized so bring a photo I.D.
Prior to the closing date, get the closing statement and a copy of the documents to review. It is wise to have an attorney do this and answer any questions you may have. Attorneys can see potential problems and offer a solution before the closing date. The closing statement details closing fund amounts and who pays what. Funds can be wired or paid with a cashier’s check on the closing date.

After the closing, the deed is recorded with the County Recorder for the county in which the
property is located. Once the deed id recorded in the buyer’s name, it is delivered to the buyer.
The buyer should also receive the title insurance policy contemplated by the title insurance
commitment. An attorney should review these documents for legal accuracy and compliance.

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Protect Your Intellectual Property

Protecting Your Intellectual Property

If you own a business, you have intellectual property and while protecting it may seem like a daunting task, it does not have to be. With the right information and guidance, you can prohibit others from using your ideas, creations and so forth. The right protection is so important, because without it, you could experience loss of revenue and possibly clients. Your ideas, inventions, logo and even your business’ name can all be legally protected if you take the right steps to make it happen.

Knowing Your Rights

As a business owner, you have rights available to you to protect your intellectual property, and knowing which right, or rights, you need is essential. A trademark is used to protect your business’ name, symbol or logo, and keeps them from being used by anyone else. When protecting your original works like books, videos or songs, a copyright is used to prevent others from distributing, selling or making money off your work. Patents are specifically designed to protect your unique inventions, ensuring others will not be able to make, sell or use them.

Seeking Advice

Once you understand your rights, it is important to speak to an attorney who can evaluate your business and intellectual properties. An attorney will be able to use that evaluation to advise you on what protection you need and how to avoid making any mistakes. As always, with business, talking to an attorney who is experienced in your specific industry, is an advantage.

Plan Ahead & Act Quickly

If you are starting a new business, protecting your intellectual property needs to be one of your first priorities. Protecting your intellectual property is so important and can be crucial when getting your new business off the ground. If, for some reason, you already have a business up and running, but do not have your intellectual property protected, it is not too late. Act quickly, because even if it is just your business’ name and logo, it is yours and you deserve to have that protected.

You worked hard to start your business and you continue to do so as your serve your clients. Make sure all your hard work, and the work of your employees, is not in vain by protecting your invaluable creations, ideas and other intellectual properties. Do not give someone else the chance to benefit from your creativity and expertise, place a legal lock on your intellectual properties, just as you would your storefront or shop.

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Estate Planning: Don’t Take It On Alone

These days, one can find anything and everything online, including do-it-yourself estate planning forms. These forms may be appealing, especially if you want to save time and money by not hiring an estate planning attorney. Unfortunately, when it comes to estate planning, you get what you pay for and in many cases, saving time and money upfront will not pay off in the long run.


One Size Does Not Fit All

When planning your estate, there are numerous factors to consider, and assuming a DIY form off the internet is going to fit every family’s needs can lead to irreversible or costly mistakes. Everyone’s situation, financially and otherwise, is different, so it is important to have an attorney help you make sure your beneficiaries’ specific needs are going to be met. Without the guidance of an estate planning attorney, including step-children and or business assets in your plan can become confusing and you may even miss important asset protection benefits simply because you were unaware of them.

Ever-changing Laws

The legal system is an ever-evolving world where laws can change quite often, and unless it is your job to know when these laws change and how, you may not even be aware that they have. Estate planning is designed to give you peace of mind that your beneficiaries and assets will be well taken care of. There are countless forms available on the internet, but it is quite difficult to know whether or not they are up to date with your state’s current laws. Hiring an estate planning attorney will give you the confidence to know that your document will be valid when it really counts.

Estate Planning Laws for Each State

Not only are laws constantly changing, but laws regarding trusts, probate, and taxes are very different from state to state. The laws can differ so greatly that an online form simply cannot be counted on to cover the specific laws for each and every state. An attorney in your state, who is experienced in estate planning, will be able to make sure your documents meet and follow the requirements and laws dictated by your state.

Some things are best left to the professionals, and estate planning one of them. Hiring an affordable attorney could mean the difference between having your beneficiaries and assets taken care of the way you intended and leaving them with inadequate benefits and confusion.

What is a Simple Will?

A simple Will is a legal document that sets forth your wishes regarding the distribution of your property at your death. If you die without a Will, state law decides who inherits your property.

In a simple Will, you will name a Personal Representative to manage the distribution of your property and the payment of expenses upon your death. You can also name a Guardian for your minor children, and/or a Conservator to manage the financial affairs of minor children.

If your estate distribution plan is more complex, if you want to control what happens to your property after your death through a trust, or if your estate will be subject to estate taxes upon your death, a simple Will is not for you.

Find out how Sylvester Law can provide you with affordable estate planning services.