Every person alive wants to be safe, happy, and healthy. Unfortunately for thousands of people a year, personal injuries are experienced after a workplace accident, a car wreck, or another incident. Of course, these injuries can include everything from a mild strain to life-altering debilitations.
I recently became interested in the process of personal injury claims, so I decided to see what people experiencing this have to go through to receive compensation for their injuries:
Of course, in a personal injury case, someone must be injured. No matter the situation, it is always advised that a person receive professional medical care. In most lawsuits for compensation, it is a requirement that a person seeks medical care. This is one gatekeeping mechanism to prevent fraudulent claims.
Medical documents ought to outline the specific harms experienced by someone so that these documents can be used as evidence in a court. That is why experienced personal injury lawyers like the folks at Evans Moore, LLC will recommend their clients ways to ensure their injuries are being properly documented; not an attempt to milk money from claims, but rather to document every pain and pinch that a person incurs from an accident or incident.
Commonly, the insurance company of the person responsible for the accident will offer compensation or coverage for the injured party. However, many lawsuits are filed or legal action is taken because the compensation offered is too small or does not make up for all of the negative effects a person experiences from an accident that was not the fault of the injured.
Many personal injury lawyers will negotiate on your behalf before filing a lawsuit or litigating the matter. Obviously, lawyers are good at negotiating. Even more, however, experienced personal injury attorneys are less inclined to fear large corporations. They have the wisdom and maturity to handle threats or empty-handed maneuvers to make a person feel as if they have no choice but to accept the offered compensation.
Of course, some big companies do not budge. Or, less commonly, there might be a legitimate disagreement over the claims that are covered in an accident. No matter what path takes you toward officially litigating to receive compensation, make sure that you are comfortable with your legal counsel.
Scarily, there are instances of people receiving poor or low-quality legal representation from expensive lawyers. It is essential to receive adequate representation for the money you are giving your lawyer. In almost every case, if you are not happy with the preparations, actions, or relationship with your attorney, you can seek alternative legal representation to take over your case and deliver the results to which you are entitled.
The litigation, medical care, and insurance processes surrounding personal injury cases are complex and complicated. But at every step, there are trained professionals whose job is to protect you and your interests. Seek them out and make sure that your injuries are healed, your legal counsel is excellent, and your budget is not busted. Doing so may require extra effort on your part, but you owe it to yourself.
Atlanta is a big city, which means it’s full of lawyers. That very banal fact is easily dismissed by most people, the exception being those who are looking to get a divorce lawyer they can rely on. Choosing a divorce lawyer when there are so many options is incredibly stressful, especially when you are trying to find the best way to tear your life apart so you can start all over.
I know a lot of people in this position, and I’ve seen an unfortunate number of them continue on in marriages they aren’t happy in because they just don’t know how to go about picking a divorce lawyer they feel the can trust.
So, I’m going to try to lay out for those individuals (and for others who come across this) just what you need in a lawyer. First of all, what you want in Atlanta divorce attorneys is basically what you’ll find laid out on the above-linked site: namely, an experienced firm with lots of positive results for their clients, and a breadth of experience handling every issue that might come up in your divorce.
Let me lay that out a little more clearly. Your divorce lawyer should have experience (don’t go with someone new to law who may make a major mistake that affects the rest of your life). Your divorce law firm should have a history of winning tough divorce cases (just in case your divorce turns into one of those cases). Ideally, your divorce firm will have a number of qualified and experienced lawyers so the overall level of knowledge on every point is high (since these lawyers will probably use each other as a resource at times).
Finally, your lawyer should be able to handle any issues that might come up in your divorce. That means they know how to handle everything that might develop when fighting for custody of children. They also know how to get spousal support if you need it. They’ve dealt with those who contest paternity or those who refuse to show up for proceedings. They also know how to divide up property and income so that you feel the pinch of the divorce as little as possible.
One last thing that matters: you need to decide if you want a lawyer that is compassionate towards your case. Again, some people want a lawyer who’s also something of a friend during the process. Other people just want a lawyer who gets the best result and gets on with it. Decide this beforehand and then see how you feel when you meet with your potential lawyers.
Once you know what to look for a lawyer, it’s easier to browse local Atlanta divorce lawyer pages and settle on a few that look good. Then, meet with the best set you find and decide on the one that works best for you based off those meetings. Follow your gut when you hear your answers, and you’ll land a great divorce lawyer.
We’ve all been there, driving a little faster than the speed limit, and then suddenly, behind us we see those flashing lights. Whether it’s a ticket or a warning, we get the talk. We hand over the license and registration, and we hear what our speed was, what the limit is, and why we were pulled over.
After that, we’ve all had the same thought: why is the speed limit so low in this area? Perhaps some of us have taken it further: why are there speed limits at all?
That’s one of those questions that, at the moment, seems to be very insightful and reasonable, but upon the least amount of reflection, it proves to be incredibly foolish.
After all, we know that faster cars are more likely to get into wrecks. It’s intuitively true. When you drive faster, you have less time to react, and you have less control over your car. We all swear or honk at the sports car zooming through traffic, and we all know the reason is that such driving is more likely to lead to an accident.
The data backs this up. Government research finds that about 31 percent of crashes are due to speeding. In 2007, that led to over 13,000 deaths. Even when speaking less dramatically, and leaving fatal crashes aside, the cost of speeding is immense. It costs people $40 billion every year.
Speeding is such a big issue in crashing, that law firms make a point of representing people who have been the victims of accidents due to the other driver speeding.
So, while that ticket you received may seem unfair, and perhaps that particular street you were on could use a bump of 5 or so miles in the limit, the overall point the officer made was valid. Speeding is dangerous, even if we all do it. A reminder every now and again to watch the speedometer and drive at a reasonable speed is important.
After all, we don’t want to be part of those statistics listed above. We don’t want to be part of the 31%, the 13,000, and we most certainly do not want to be responsible for those statistics either.
While it’s unreasonable to expect anyone reading this to suddenly become an advocate for strictly adhering to speed limits, it’s still worthwhile to give a gentle reminder that limits are not just set to make sure cops can earn revenue for the government through tickets. The limits are set to keep everyone safe, that includes pedestrians and drivers, and it includes you, speeding in your car.
If that leads to just a few readers taking their foot off the gas, just a little mind you, and keeping speeds at least reasonable, then this article has done its job. While it may be fun and sexy to really let go and fly down the street, the consequences are simply too great to do so.
At the very least, the next time you are caught driving like that and you see the lights flashing behind you, you’ll know you deserve what you get.
Factors that can Affect a Court When Deciding about Child Custody
There are many factors that courts consider when determining divorce-related issues; states, however, differ with regard to which factors count or do not count. This is the same in determining the issue of child custody, except for the fact that all states share one guiding principle: the best interest of the child.
Though what falls within the scope of “in the best interest of the child,” may be contested, the following factors are deemed by many states as necessary:
- the amount of involvement each parent has in the child’s activities;
- the level of relationship the child has with each of his/her parents;
- a parent’s lifestyle, financial stability, and health;
- factors that can affect a child’s academic performance;
- the child’s age and gender; and/or,
- the possible physical, emotional and health risks in the environment where each parent lives.
Divorce can be a very emotional and demoralizing process. Yet, when spouses reach a point in their relationship where still living their future together becomes more of a struggle than a source of happiness and fulfillment, many consider divorce as the only sensible option. But there are many issues that need to be settled due to divorce, such as division of liabilities and assets, alimony, child support and, probably the most painful, the issue on who takes custody of the child.
According to The Maynard Law Firm, “Issues related to the custody of your children may very well be the most important aspect of your divorce. If possible, you and your partner should attempt to agree upon what specific role each of you will play in the lives of your children once the divorce is finalized. While it may be possible to work this out voluntarily, many partners end up going to court for rulings to resolve the disagreements over the custody of their children.”
This is why, when thinking of divorce and intending to have custody of your child, it may be necessary to have a child custody lawyer on your side who can proceed with compassion, yet with underlying firmness and expertise, and who is aware of the sensitivity and the complexity of the issue that need to be settled.
Self-storage, which is shorthand form for self-service storage, is one booming industry in the U.S. It is involved in the renting out of a storage space, like a room, a container, or an outdoor space or locker, to individuals or businesses on a short-term basis, usually for a month; longer-term leases are possible, though.
About 58,000 self-storage facilities were made available as the year 2009 ended. These facilities were available to all those who needed an extra space where they could keep the things that they have outgrown but cannot part with. It was also made available for existing business firms – serving a perfect safe shelter for temporarily unused office equipment or for whatever purpose the spaces were needed.
The need for self-storage space can be based on three things:
- American consumerism. Every year, especially during the holidays, everyone is simply in a rush to filling their homes with new stuff. The purchase of something new, of course, means need for space. However, with no extra room in the house, the old stuff will have to give up their spaces. Replacement does not necessarily mean throwing out the old, though; things many people are not prepared to part with. This is why the need for self-storage.
- American mobility. Extra spaces, where people can keep some of their household items safely, are in demand, especially during summer, the time when moving to a new house is at its peak. And, if the new residence cannot house all of one’s belongings, things of secondary importance are rather kept in a self-storage.
- Older houses, built with smaller closets and rooms, and the disappearance of the American attic. According to the National Association of Homebuilders, the average American house has gotten much bigger; from the average 1,660 square feet in 1973 to 2,400 square feet in 2004. Despite the increase in size, though, one important space was missing: the attic.
Many houses, especially in the temperate states, like California, Florida and Texas (the three states that also happen to have the most self-storage facilities), were designed as ranches or bungalows with neither a basement nor an attic where old stuff can be kept. But ranches or bungalows are not the only houses having space problems for even modern houses now lack an attic as builders have shifted to using trusses, which are cheaper, compared to rafter-based roof frames.
The self-storage industry says that in every ten U.S. households, one is renting a self-storage unit. Not all self-storage facilities are the same, however. Self storage Austin 78727, for instance, offer climate controlled storage units and drive-up units, to make sure your belongings are kept well and protected, no matter what the temperature is; these are also accessible anytime you need to have any of your belongings.
A sudden major change in one’s financial situation due probably to loss of job or the need to pay child and/or spousal support can be financially crippling, especially if you are paying a mortgage, credit card bills and others bills on top of monthly utility charges. This is a very common scenario involving thousands of American wage earners, who end up being faced with overwhelming debts.
A debt crisis is a major stress and, unless you find an acceptable way of rising up from surmounting debts, this crisis will continually haunt you through phone calls at home at the most inconvenient hour of the day or at the office demanding to speak with you to ask you to pay your debts, emails and text messages, and letters from collection or law firms warning you of the possible lawsuit you can be faced with if you do not start paying immediately.
It usually takes about three successive months of non-payment before an account is tagged as bad debt and the debtor given negative credit. But with the debt crisis at hand, having negative credit would most probably be the least worry the debtor will have. The major concern is how to settle all debts and get back on good financial track again.
There are actually a variety of legal options that individuals and businesses have, which will help them get out of debt and regain control over their finances. One of these legal means is Bankruptcy, a legal declaration (either by an individual or by a business firm) of the inability to further pay debts that have worsened to an unmanageable amount. There are two major types of bankruptcy: liquidation and reorganization.
Chapter 7, one of the chapters in the bankruptcy law, which is a liquidation bankruptcy and the most commonly filed bankruptcy chapter, requires you (the debtor) to surrender all of your “non-exempt” properties for liquidation. If you run a business, this you will have to stop operations as its assets will have to be sold. A court-appointed trustee, who takes charge of the liquidation process, will pay all your creditors with the amount earned from the sold properties. Despite the probable small amount they may receive, the creditors have no option but to accept; they should also abide by the court’s decision to have your remaining balance forgiven and no longer be collected, lest they suffer severe penalties under federal law.
The debts that need to be paid in chapter 7 are only those that are categorized as non-dischargeable debts. Debts that can be discharged, like past utility bills, personal loan from family, friends, or employer, medical bills, and, most especially, credit card charges, are automatically discharged by the court with order to the creditor to cease any form of collection from you.
As explained in the website of the law firm Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C., Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be a good option for an individual debtor as well as for a business entity. Individuals can benefit from Chapter 7’s discharge clause: in certain cases, a debtor can discharge his debts, remove the responsibility for these outstanding amounts, and emerge from the process with a clean slate. However, this chapter can be a complex legal procedure. Besides the need for you to evaluate properly, with the help of a competent bankruptcy lawyer, if this is the chapter that will best work for your particular case, or if there is even a need to file for bankruptcy altogether, you will also need to take a means test. This test will determine if you salary falls within the limit set under Chapter 7. The wisest move a debtor could make, in connection with filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy, is to do it only with the help of a lawyer highly-competent in the bankruptcy law.
Not all states have uniform divorce practices and divorce laws. While there are states that recognize no-fault divorce, a practice wherein citing a reasonable ground for divorce is no longer necessary, so that so long as one spouse files a petition for divorce, a family court should grant such petition. Currently, 17 states adhere to this “no-fault” position; these states are California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin.
In the other 33 states, though these originally only recognized the fault system for divorce, these now also allow petitioners to file for divorce on no-fault grounds. Some of basic laws for filing divorce, like in Texas and other states, include:
a) No Fault. This is now available to couples whose marriage has become insupportable due to irreconcilable differences, discord or conflict of personalities. This means that the marriage is not working anymore and reconciliation can no longer be expected.
b) Fault. “Fault’ divorce necessitates a specific, acceptable ground upon which a divorce is being sought. Any of the following is an acceptable ground for divorce:
- Cruelty by one spouse
- Act of adultery
- Conviction of felony of one spouse
- Abandonment for at least one year
- Living apart for at least three years without cohabitation
- Confinement of one spouse in a mental hospital.
According to the law firm Kirker Davis, LLP, during the process of ending a marriage, both spouses typically undergo tremendous emotional strain. The legal process involved in either divorce or annulment is complex and includes a wide spectrum of issues, including distribution of property, child custody, spousal and child support. Divorce can have profound consequences with the potential for long-lasting effects on a person’s finances and property. This is one legal issue that is worth settling peacefully and amicably and outside the court – a kind of settlement that will work for both spouses and which can be accomplished through the help of a highly-competent divorce lawyer, whose interest is to help the spouses get through this most painful and emotional time in their lives.
Reduced instances of long-term disabilities (LTDs) and getting to find the right people for the right job: these are just two of the greatest benefits that firms can enjoy if they employ the services of a functional employment testing firm when it comes to hiring concerns.
Functional employment testing firms help companies find effective solutions to their major concerns, which include unproductivity or poor employee performance, employee absenteeism, fast employee turnover and job-related injuries, which translates to high Workers’ Compensation claims. Testing firms accomplish this task through the creation of an objective, scientific, legally compliant, and medically safe way of matching an applicant’s specific strengths and skills with the essential functions required of a certain job.
WorkSTEPS, for instance, a functional employment testing firm itself, used its functional employment testing tool in its founder’s family pipeline construction and fabrication business before the 1990s. In its very first year of testing, the family business saw a significant 60% reduction in job-related injuries and costs per claim, resulting to three quarters of a million dollars saved. After WorkSTEPS was formally incorporated in 1994, companies that sought its services also saw and felt significant changes during the first year alone. These changes included:
• Decreased turnover;
• Increased worker productivity;
• Safer work environment;
• Reductions in lost time;
• Diminished incidence of fraud and abuse;
• Reduced modifier rates and Workers’ Compensation premium; and,
• Reduction in Group Health costs
Functional employment testing firms do not just consider an applicant’s qualification based on his/her resume. They also conduct preemployment screening tests to ascertain that an applicant possesses the right skills, work behavior and fitness required by the job he/she is applying for. These tests will also show how an applicant will perform under pressure and certain circumstances even before he/she is actually given the final offer and starts work. Then there is also the pre-employment post-offer testing which will confirm whether the chosen candidate is capable of safely performing the essential functions of the job he/she is being offered.
Functional employment testing firms offer many other services, such as job analysis, functional job description, functional capacity evaluations (FCE), post-employment fit-for-duty testing, pre-offer agility testing, and upper quadrant / carpal tunnel testing.
One probable way to describe the aim of functional employment testing firms is to make sure that no job is offered to a wrong applicant and that no applicant is ever offered a wrong job.
After a week of hard work or on the eve of a holiday, friends and work colleagues usually get together for a couple of drinks – a perfectly normal thing. Well, just make sure you do not get behind the wheel and drive afterwards or you may end up in deep trouble.
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI) is a major traffic offense in all U.S. states. Before anyone can be charged with a DWI or DUI, however, it needs to be proven first that the person accused of the violation has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08%, the legal limit for driving, or higher.
According to Truslow & Truslow, Attorneys at Law getting a 0.08% BAC level can definitely differ from one person to another due to a multitude of influential factors, such as rate of consumption, strength of drink, age, gender, body type, body fat or muscle content, metabolism, hydration, overall health, alcohol tolerance, and food taken (because an empty stomach can result to a higher BAC level), etc.
Medical professionals say that a person’s BAC clock starts about 15 minutes after he/she finishes his/her first drink and that if he/she takes only one standard drink every hour then his/her BAC level will more likely remain within safe limits. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), a standard drink could be equivalent to:
- a 12 oz. beer
- a shot of 1.5 oz. of distilled spirit or 1 oz. of 100 proof liquor
- a 4 – 5 oz. glass of (table) wine
Those who would be caught with a BAC level of 0.08% will be charged with a DUI misdemeanor; however, if a person being charged has a much higher BAC level, or already has previous DUI records or if someone was injured or killed in the accident, then the charge can be raised to DUI felony.
Law enforcement officials have never been more zealous in enforcing the anti-drunk driving law. Now, while this move has had some good results, as this has led to the apprehension of frequent violators, there have also been occasions when those caught have been charged wrongly since their BAC level was below the legal limit.
Wrongful accusations usually happen in states where DUI or DWI is considered a very serious offense. These mistakes can happen, due to a malfunctioning or improperly used breathalyzer or physical signs, such as speech impediment, red eyes and awkward movements being linked immediately to drunk-driving.
Besides the hefty fines, imprisonment and possible suspension of your driver’s license, the effects of a criminal charge, much more, a conviction, will hound you for many years after your time in court and jail. This is why, no matter the offense, a Columbia criminal defense attorney strongly emphasizes that criminal charges, at any level, should be taken seriously because if you get convicted of any criminal offense, then you can expect to encounter serious prejudices in your life.
During the first quarter of 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recorded 6,800 fatal car crashes; this was 4.9% lower than the number during the same quarter in 2013 (7,150 fatalities). Despite the decrease, 6,800 is still pretty high for the simple reason that majority of car accidents, being due to driver error, are preventable, if only drivers will behave responsibly on the road and care more for their own safety and the safety of other motorists.
One law firm, the Bruner Law Firm, specifically, believes that most drivers know how to avoid a car accident. Unfortunately, however, so many of them do not consciously practice safe driving every time they get behind the wheel. With their smart phones and GPS devices within arms reach, their minds are easily distracted. As they try to do many things at once, the primary task of driving safely ends up being very poorly performed.
Distracted driving is another major cause of car accidents which result to thousands of fatalities and another tens of thousands of injuries. Unlike drunk-driving, overspeeding and reckless driving which a responsible driver will never commit, however, any driver, even the most careful ones can be guilty of distracted driving without even realizing it.
In the website of the law firm Williams Kherkher, it is said that driving distractions can be differentiated into three main categories:
- Visual: When a driver takes his or her eyes off the road, they immediately increases their chances of getting into a crash. Visual distractions can include texting and other phone use or even looking at someone else in the car.
- Manual: When a driver takes his or her hands off the wheel, the car is more prone to swerving or sudden adjustments that can result in a collision. Manual distractions can include applying makeup, eating, and drinking.
- Cognitive: Whenever a driver takes his/her mind off of driving, the lack of focus slows down reaction times. Thus, daydreaming or experiencing strong emotions (such as crying or anger) can be dangerous while driving.
Texting while driving and talking with someone over the phone while behind the wheel are, presently, the worst kind of driving distraction. Other kinds include fixing a tie, combing or styling the hair, reading a map for directions, reaching for something, adjusting the radio or any electronic device, playing with a child or a pet while driving, lighting a cigarette and smoking, watching a movie from a laptop, and so forth. While anyone can be guilty of committing this dangerous driving lapse, young drivers, those aged between 18 and 25, are the ones identified to be the guiltiest, especially when it concerns texting or talking on a cell phone while driving.
Regardless of what caused distraction, the result, in the event of a crash, will always include property damage and/or harm to another individual (another motorist or a pedestrian). It is important that victims seek the help of a personal injury lawyer to make sure that all things necessary for a personal injury case to prosper are acquired, that the case is filed properly and all evidences are in order. All these are to enable the victims to merit the compensation they legally deserve.