Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Driving in the summer is not necessarily safer than driving in the winter months.  At times, the summer roads can be more deceptive than icy roads in winter or floods during springtime. According to the driving statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), from July to August, during the years 2006 to 2009, there was an increased fatality rates during the summer months.

One reason for the increase in driving fatalities is that school is out for the summer which results in more teens on roads and highways. Students Against Destructive Decisions reports that teens spend approximately 44% more time driving during summer than they do during the school year.  Naturally, the more drivers there are on the roads, the higher risk of accidents.

In addition, many vacationers choose the summer months for their trips.  Due to the high costs of flights, travelers often chose to drive to their destinations.   What results is congested roads and an increase in car accidents because of unpredictable driving from others.

Further, because of the nice weather, road construction is generally prevalent during summer months. This increased road construction has also led to a rise in accidents on highways.  With traffic lanes narrowed or reduced, as well as intrusive barricades and traffic congestion, this "perfect summer storm" can be problematic. In 2009, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) reported nearly 700 fatalities resulted from car crashes in construction zones.

Finally, due to the increased temperature, more cyclists are utilizing the roads during summer. This forces motorists to share the road with cyclists, which can be a difficult, dangerous but extremely important task.  

As you enjoy the last bit of your summer, it is vitally important to stay safe and alert while driving, as there can be an increased accident rate for drivers. If you or someone you know has been injured in a vehicle accident as a result of another person's negligence, we strongly recommend that you contact an experienced personal injury attorney, such as the professionals at Smith Horras, P.A., along with seeking immediate medical attention. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Ouch! Continued Pain From a Slip and Fall Accident?

Slip and fall accidents can result in personal injury law claims. Have you been injured on someone else’s property?
Hundreds of thousands of people are injured every year in slip and fall accidents. The cause is often a defect in the floor or an unsafe condition such as changes in the walking surface, poor lighting, or a slippery surface.
If you get injured in such an accident, the law requires that you prove that:
  1. A dangerous condition existed;
  2. The property owner knew or should have known about the condition; and
  3. The property owner did nothing to remedy the dangerous condition.
The law limits the amount of time you may wait before filing your slip and fall lawsuit. Don't deny yourself compensation simply because you took too long.  Contact Smith Horras, P.A. now for a free consultation to evaluate your claim.

Financial Assistance For Adoptions in Idaho!

Adoption is an amazing process that is able to match a loving family with a child that needs stability, safety and nurturing.  Your family will need to obtain the services of an attorney to file the petition for adoption and get that adoption finalized.

Smith Horras, P.A. has experienced and qualified attorneys to help you with this process.  In addition, in Idaho, there are resources available to assist with the costs if you and your adoptive child qualify.  If you are adopting a child eligible for adoption assistance, these fees can qualify for reimbursement after adoption finalization. Financial assistance for adoption may be available through one or more of the following sources:
·         Adoption Assistance: Idaho offers an adoption assistance program for eligible children with “special needs”. Most children in foster care are considered to have special needs. Adoption assistance can include up to $2,000 reimbursement of adoption-related costs, a monthly subsidy for the ongoing care of the child, and a Medicaid card to assist with medical expenses until the child is 18 years of age. 
·         Adoption Tax Credit: You may be able to take a tax credit for qualifying expenses paid to adopt an eligible child, including a child with special needs. The adoption credit is an amount subtracted from your tax liability.  Learn more through the IRS website
·         Employer Benefits: A number of employers offer adoption benefits. Contact your Human Resources department to inquire about the availability of adoption benefits.
·         Military Benefits: The military provides active-duty personnel a reimbursement for most one-time adoption costs. The National Military Family Association provides further information and resources.
·         Loans and Grants: Loans or grants are available through a variety of organizations such as adoption agencies, foundations and banks.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Subrogation is a legal concept whereby a party "steps into the shoes" of another. Most commonly you see subrogation in the context of insurance contracts. For instance, an insurance company that is obligated to its insured might pay the claim to their insured and then "step into their shoes" and sue a third party who is arguably liable. Subrogation provides an opportunity in some situations for an insurer to mitigate what might otherwise be a losing endeavor. Subrogation is most common in construction contracts, insurance contracts, suretyship and negotiable instruments. Seeking to have an insurance company compromise in part their subrogation interest is a common method that plaintiff's attorneys use in the context of personal injury claims to achieve greater recovery for the injured person than they might otherwise be entitled to. There are generally two kinds of subrogation, express and implied.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Car Insurance

Med pay, uninsured and underinsured insurance protects you, not the other driver. It is relatively cheap when compared to the liability insurance products that protect the other driver. Make sure you get the maximum amount available. If you get in an accident, you will be glad you did!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Benefits of an Entity

The foremost benefit of an entity is the fact that the entity shields the business owner from liabilities that arise from their business. A fact of transacting any type of business is the possibility of being liable to someone for something that went wrong. For example if the business was unable to meet the terms of a contract. If the business is operating as an entity (and the business owner did not personally guarantee the contract) the person suing would usually only be able to sue the entity. If the business is not operating as an entity, however, the person suing would most likely sue the business owner individually. If the suit is successful and a judgment is entered against the business owner, the business owner’s personal assets could be seized to satisfy the debt. But if the judgment was only issued against a business owner’s entity, however, the business owner’s personal property (his home, car, etc.) would most likely be protected because only the entity’s property could be seize to satisfy the judgment.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Domesticating Foreign Judgments

What happens if you have a judgment issued against a person or entity, the judgment debtor doesn’t pay you as ordered, and the judgment debtor doesn’t own any property located in the state where you sued them? A judgment from a state court in one state will not allow you to seize property located in another state. Domesticating your foreign judgment is the process by which you get around this problem so that you can seize property in the other state. Once a foreign judgment has been domesticated by a court in the state where the judgment debtor has property, you can use that state’s enforcement mechanisms to satisfy your judgment. Although each state has its own procedures for domesticating foreign judgments, the overall process is the same. You will not have to have your previous trial over again, that part is done. In the process of domestication the court in second state will simply accept the judgment from the first state and issue a new judgment with essentially the same terms as the original judgment. Once the second state court has issued its judgment against the judgment debtor, you will be able to use all of the enforcement remedies of the second state to enforce your judgment against the judgment debtor’s property in that state. This post relates to state court judgments. Federal court judgments are treated differently.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Piercing the Entity Veil

What happens when someone obtains a judgment against an entity, the judgment debtor refuses to voluntarily pay the judgment, and the judgment debtor has no property or assets to seize? It may turn out that the person who owns and operates the judgment debtor actually does have assets. Because entities generally shield business owner’s personal property from being seized to satisfy the debts of their business, does that mean there is no way to get to the business owner’s personal property to satisfy their business’ debt? Not always. Although entities generally do shield the business owner’s personal property, there are certain circumstances that will allow the judgment creditor to break through the shield that entity creates—traditionally called “piercing the corporate veil”—and seize the business owners’ personal property to satisfy the debts of the judgment debtor business. Each state has different laws associated with allowing an entity to be set aside for purposes of piercing the veil, and every case will be decided based on the specific facts of that case. However, the factors that generally allow this to happen include some or all of the following: - the entity is only a sham or “alter ego” of the business owner, - the entity is only used to advance the private interests of the business owner, - the entity is or was being used to defraud customers, clients, creditors, etc.; - the entity’s owners, managers, members, or directors did not observe corporate formalities; - the business owner exerted complete and total financial interest, ownership, and control over the entity in a way that benefitted the personal interests of the owner far more than the entity; -the business owner used the entity or the entity’s property for their personal use outside of the business’ purpose.

Monday, February 11, 2013

All Debt Is Not Created Equal

There are many different types of debt: liquidated, unliquidated, contingent, secured, unsecured, consumer, commercial, dischargeable and nondischargeable. It is important to know just exactly what type of debt is at issue so you know which "rule book" you will need to follow.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Can we record our phone conversation? Above is a link to a very good table summarizing the law on recording phone conversations.