Honda investigating sixth Takata airbag death.

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In continuing coverage of Takata Corp.’s exploding airbags, The AP reports that Honda is investigating a crash that occurred on January 18 in Houston in which the driver of a 2002 Honda Accord “was found unconscious” in the vehicle following a minor two-car crash. The AP reports that the victim, identified as Carlos Solis, was killed “when an air bag inflated and sent shrapnel into his neck,” according to Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL). Christina Garza, a spokeswoman for the Harris County Sheriff’s Office in Texas, said that the deputy responding to the accident “observed [Solis] had a large open wound to his neck.” In a statement, Honda said that the model involved in the accident had been recalled in 2011, but repairs had not been made on Solis’ vehicle; the automaker “urged anyone with a vehicle recalled for air bag problems to take cars to dealers as soon as possible.”

Bloomberg News reports that a lawsuit filed by the Solis family against Honda, Takata, and the dealership from which the vehicles was purchased alleges that the incident was the result of a “relatively minor collision resulting in minimal damage to both vehicles.” In a statement, Honda Executive Vice President Tetsuo Iwamura said the automaker “will try to facilitate the recall and improve the ratio of cars fixed.” Takata also released a statement on the incident, saying, “We are working in close collaboration with Honda to determine the facts and circumstances surrounding the vehicle’s status at the time of the incident. Takata’s number one priority is the safety of the driving public.”

The Detroit (MI) News reports that Honda notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about the event, and claimed, “We are currently working with representatives of the driver’s family to gain the access necessary to conduct a comprehensive investigation.” The news reports NHTSA spokesman Gordon Trowbridge “said the agency was awaiting information from Honda,” but he “encouraged all car owners to go to safercar.gov and enter their vehicle’s vehicle identification number to check for outstanding recalls — and for owners who receive recall notifications from manufacturers to get repairs made.”

A second article in the Detroit (MI) News reports that a “bipartisan group of U.S. senators led by the top Republican and Democrat on the Commerce Committee reintroduced” the Motor Vehicle Safety Whistleblower Act on Thursday which would “give automotive sector employees incentives to sound the alarm on vehicle defects.” Sen. John Thune (R-SD), the chairman of the Commerce Committee, said “Ensuring the safety of American motorists is a priority, but the public’s trust has been shaken due to the record number of recalls this past year,”noting, “There is much more work that needs to be done.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

Death Claims from Faulty GM Ignition Switch Rise to 50

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The AP reports that “with only five days left before the deadline to seek payments, compensation expert Kenneth Feinberg has decided that 50 death cases are eligible for money due to crashes caused by faulty General Motors ignition switches.” Seventy-five injuries were also declared eligible in details released on Monday by Feinberg, who was hired by GM to oversee the claims. A fund set up by GM “has received 338 death claims and 2,730 claims for injuries,” the AP reports. “Of those, 58 death claims have been rejected as ineligible for compensation, as have 328 injury claims. Feinberg is either reviewing or awaiting documentation on 230 additional death claims and 2,327 injury cases.”

Bloomberg News piece picked up by Automotive News reports that the 50 death claims ruled as eligible on Monday is four times larger than GM’s initial estimate. According to Bloomberg, Feinberg said his findings – unlike GM’s – relied on circumstantial evidence. “GM engineers were looking for definitive proof of ignition switch failure,” Feinberg is quoted saying. “So of course there will be a greater number of eligible death claims.” The story was also reported by Reuters (1/26), Auto World News, and Autoblog.

GM: Nearly 900k defective ignition switches still in use. Auto World News reports that documentation filed by General Motors with the NHTSA last week “shows that almost 900,000 GM vehicles with potentially defective ignition switches are still being used.” GM “says that out of a recall of approximately 2,190,934 vehicles, just 1,229,529 vehicles have been repaired by dealers,” Auto World News reports. “The total number of ‘unreachable’ vehicles is up to 80,122, according to the Detroit automaker.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

Friday Fun

This singer is completely overshadowed by the flamboyant drummer in the band. His performance starts a little after one minute into the song.

 

The Name Game: A Quick Guide for Legally Changing Your Name

The Name Game - A Quick Guide for Legally Changing Your Name

If you married or divorced recently, or find that you just can’t stand being reminded of your given name for one day longer, you can consider legally changing your name. While the requirements can vary depending on your motivation for changing your name, as well as where you live, it is a fairly simple process. Read on for a quick guide to help you successfully and legally change your name:

Do I Need a Court Order?

In the case of a recent marriage or divorce, you won’t need a court order to change your name provided you are taking your husband’s surname or are returning to your maiden name. When you sign your marriage certificate, be sure to sign it as you intend to be known. You’ll need to show your marriage certificate as proper documentation when changing your name, so be sure to have it with you.

A New Social Security Card

Report the change in your name to the Social Security Administration, either in person or by mail. In addition to copies of your marriage license or divorce decree, you will also need to send proof of your identity, such as your current driver’s license or passport and proof of citizenship, such as your birth certificate. If you don’t want to send in these sensitive documents, you can visit your local Social Security office and bring the paperwork and documentation with you.

What Other Paperwork will I Need?

If your legal name change is not related to a marriage or divorce, you need to fill out the proper forms for your state. Many times, these are available at your local courthouse, but check with your state to find out the exact forms you will need. Typically the form includes:
- your current name
- desired name
- identifying information (such as your Social Security number)
- date and place of birth, birth certificate number
- the reason for the request

You’ll also need to provide copies of:
- your original birth certificate
- photo ID
- your Social Security card

You must be present at the hearing in order for the judge to consider the request. There will be a court filing fee and you will be responsible for the cost of reissuing your driver’s license, vehicle title and registration and other legal identification documents. Also, be sure to change your name with your financial institutions so you can maintain access to your accounts with your new ID.

Are There Any Restrictions?

Minors must be accompanied by both the parents. Should one parent not be available, documentation must be presented of efforts to locate the parent. The court will want to ensure the name change is not being done to defraud individuals or escape legal obligations, such as the repayment of debts; is not a racial slur, fighting words or intentionally confusing, though some states allow spelling out numbers; and that it does not infringe on the rights of another person, such as changing your name to that of a famous celebrity.

As you can see, this is a serious and sometimes complicated process, but it will be relatively painless if you have all of the correct documentation prior to starting. Regulations differ slightly from state to state, so check on the websites of your local Social Security office, local DMV, and other administrative offices to obtain the proper paperwork, and see what kind of documentation you will need to bring with you. The information for this article was provided by the professionals at Registrations Are Us, who offer license renewal in Spruce Grove for those who need a new license after changing their name.

This article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write for business, finance, women’s interests, and technology. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters.

Photo credit: jensgender.wordpress.com

Rejected Insurance Claim? Learn the Common Reasons Behind Rejected Insurance Claims

Rejected Insurance Claim - Learn the Common Reasons Behind Rejected Insurance Claims

If you’ve ever filed a claim with your insurance agent or provider, you probably know that insurance matters can get messy. Usually problems arise when policy holders are misinformed, or have incorrect expectations when it comes to their coverage. Regardless of the type of insurance claim you are making, there are a number of common mistakes or misunderstandings that can result in your claim being denied. By avoiding these pitfalls in the first place, you can avoid losing out or having your claim take longer than necessary.

Vague Claims

You must remember that an insurance company is in the business of making money. For this reason, it will require quite a bit of effort on your part in order to get what you want or deserve. You need to do the initial legwork, so be very specific about the incident that gave rise to the claim, what you are claiming for, and provide the insurance policy number under which you are covered. The more specific the information you offer to the provider, the process will go more smoothly, and is less likely to end in a rejection.

Poor Documentation

This can require multiple interactions as the insurance company may, for example, demand additional estimates for a repair process. Many insurance companies will send an adjuster out to review physical damage, but some rely solely on submitted documentation. Information is key, so pay particular attention to dates and take note of any witnesses if relevant. Not everything may be required as part of the claim, but it can help if it is rejected. With smartphones everywhere these days, having pictures of damage is expected.

Are You Really Covered?

One unfortunate reason claims are rejected is that people are not actually covered when they think they are. Look for riders or exceptions that may modify your coverage. Be aware that lack of due care on your part may be grounds for a claim, or part of a claim, to be denied. For example, valuables left in plain view on the back seat of a car may not be covered for this reason.

Illegible or Incorrect Claims

A claim can be rejected for as simple a reason as it’s illegible, or information is incorrect. Don’t give them reasons to deny your claim. Double-check information before you send it in, and, if it is rejected, find out if the reason for denial requires a simple fix. Many policy holders become frustrated when a claim is denied due to misinformation, but you can’t expect your insurance agent to catch an incorrect address, one wrong number in the paperwork, or a slight mistake you have made. Do your absolute best to ensure all information is accurate—it will only help the process.

Policy Has Lapsed

Sometimes, people don’t realize that their policy has lapsed, therefore making it impossible for the agency to accept the claim. Keep up to date on your premiums or your policy may no longer be in force. Scheduled automatic payments can help with this, but you should also check periodically to make sure they are going through.

If your insurance claim is rejected, be sure you understand your policy in clear terms before you become enraged and make an angry phone call to your agent. In the future, make certain everything is documented to maximize the likelihood that your claim is accepted and processed in a timely manner. Don’t leave everything up to the insurance company—take responsibility for your side of the claim and put in the effort to make the process as easy as possible in order to increase your chances of a favorable outcome. The information for this article was provided by the professionals at Steers Insurance Limited who provide car insurance in Labrador.

This article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write for business, finance, women’s interests, and technology. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters.

Photo credit:mrindc.wordpress.com

Dangerous Intersections in the US: Tips for Defensive and Safe Driving

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In 2013, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that approximately 33,000 fatal accidents occurred in the United States. There are certain intersections where the fatalities and injuries occur at a higher rate. Time Magazine analyzed data from 2002 to 2012 and used longitude and latitude points to compile data to determine the incident of fatal accidents that occur at particular intersections.

The following represents the top 10 most dangerous intersections in America:

1. Bensalem, Pa. – Knights Road crosses Street Road

2. Elizabeth, N.J. – Intersection of East Jersey Street and Spring Street

3. St. Louis, Mo. – Intersection of North Grand Boulevard and Montgomery Street

4. Asheville, N.C. – Intersection of Patton Avenue and New Leicester Highway

5. Awendaw, S.C. – Intersection of North Highway 17 and Seewee Road

6. Lucedale, Miss. – Intersection of Route 63 and Route 98

7. Astor, Fla. – Intersection of State Road 40 and State Road 19

8. Orlando, Fla. – Intersection of North Semoran Boulevard and Old Cheney Highway

9. Kissimmee, Fla. – Intersection of Vista Del Lago Boulevard and Route 192

10. Frostproof, Fla. Intersection of South Scenic Highway and County Road 700

Drivers everywhere can reduce the chance of injuries and fatalities by practicing defensive driving. The cause of these accidents varied, but most were attributed to increased traffic flow, a higher incidence of pedestrians and cyclists, as well as poor signage and aggressive driving. Here are five tips to practice defensive driving at any intersection:

Slow Down

In today’s busy culture, many of us are pressed for time. In order to be on time for work or personal commitments, drivers might feel the need to speed to get to their destination. When traffic is heavy, decrease your speed because the incidence of an accident is higher due to increased flow of vehicles on the road. When weather conditions are treacherous, allot enough time to get to your destination so you don’t feel the need to rush and subsequently speed. During nighttime driving, visibility is reduced so it is best to decrease your speed.

Minimize Distractions

With the advent of technology, drivers are connected to their cell phones either talking or texting. Others are multitasking by engaging in personal grooming, handling food or beverages or daydreaming. Driving requires complete attention and even steering your eyes from the road for one second could mean the difference between an injury or fatality. An estimated 421,000 people were injured from distracted driving in 2012. The best policy is to keep your hands on the wheel, your eyes on the road and your mind on driving.

Don’t Tailgate

Tailgating is a common problem among drivers. Those who engage in this practice think they will arrive at their destination more quickly. Defensive driving means following the three-second rule (stay behind the car in front of you by a minimum of a three-second count). It is easy to forget some of these basics; brush up on the rules of the road on driving-tests.org.

Practice Alertness

High-eyes driving is a technique where you keep focused on the horizon instead of the car in front of you. By keeping your eyes “high” you can get an overall look of the entire traffic pattern instead of a single vehicle. It gives you time to react to sudden lane changes, stops and swerves. It keeps you alert!

Look Both Ways

Although your impulse is to move forward when the light turns green, it is a prudent idea to pause for a second to determine whether anyone is running a red light. If you are the first person at an intersection, you need to be aware of all lines of the intersection, looking right and left to avoid a potential accident.

Defensive driving is a practice that can avoid injuries and fatalities on the road. Always remember that safety is the primary concern for yourself and others.

Author: Rudri Patel, former lawyer turned writer and editor, wife, mother and observer. Has written for Brain, Child; Huffington Post; First Day Press; and Mamalode. Seeking grace in the ordinary.

Power of Attorney: What It Is and Why You Should Care

Power of Attorney What It Is and Why You Should Care

A power of attorney is a legal document in which you authorize someone else to make business, legal, and medical decisions for you. The designated power of attorney should be someone who is well known and trusted by the one authorizing the document. It can be revoked at any time or remain in effect throughout the person’s lifetime.

Busy people.

This type of document can be done under normal circumstances when a person is too busy to handle all aspects of his or her life and allows someone else to make decisions or sign forms as needed. For example, a high-level executive who is operating several businesses or who travels a great deal may need help with personal affairs while immersed in other activities or away from home. The power of attorney does not need to consult the person he or she represents but can conduct business on that person’s behalf, including buying or selling real estate, and related matters.

Incapacitated individuals.

At other times a power of attorney is established when a person becomes critically ill or is temporarily incapacitated, mentally or physically. The person may know that he or she will be out of commission for a while and thus designate a power of attorney to handle his or her business and personal matters. This document gives the designee the legal authority to make decisions like funeral arrangements, banking decisions, and burial plans, as well as related family matters. However, a power of attorney does not extend beyond death.

Aging or disabled persons.

Someone who is elderly or who is confined to being at home most of the time may want a close friend or family matter to handle tasks like banking, bill paying, shopping, and general money management. Business decisions may be included as well. This may be a temporary or permanent arrangement depending on circumstances.

Medical power of attorney.

A special provision for medical matters can be included with a regular power of attorney or it may be established as a separate and independent authority over an individual that does not include business or other matters. The medical power of attorney may make decisions regarding medical treatment, a living will, or whether to prolong or end a person’s life who is on life support.

Decisions like those indicated above significantly impact a person’s life. Consulting a legal firm like Gittens & Associates can be helpful in clarifying the designee’s authority and limits, if any, to prevent misunderstandings and support the person’s best interests.

This article is from Karleia Steiner, who works as a freelance blogger and consultant. You can follow her on Google+.

Not at Fault in Your Motorcycle Accident? Four Tips to Recoup Your Losses

Not at Fault in Your Motorcycle Accident, 4 Tips to Recoup Your Losses

If you’ve had a motorcycle accident for which you are not at fault, you are probably concerned about how to recoup your financial losses. Knowing what to do to recover the loss can mean the difference between you being able to stay financially solvent or needing to file bankruptcy. An informative guide to taking steps to recoup your losses and playing it smart can be found at DMV.org.

The Scene of the Accident

It is important to gather insurance information, names of witnesses, and take pictures of the location of all of the vehicles involved. The insurance company of the other vehicle is going to be interested in the scene of the accident and may even call you asking for your version, but don’t be lulled into thinking they want to help you.

Get a Lawyer

Navigating the complexities of getting the money due you from insurance companies or other responsible parties can be daunting. A lawyer can question witnesses, investigate the scene, gather police reports, call expert witness, recreate the accident scene, investigate driving records, and negotiate with insurance companies. Most personal injury lawyers will take cases based on receiving a commission of the recovery. To find a motorcycle accident lawyer in your area check sites like Motorcycleaccident.org.

Investigate Negligence Possibilities

While most cases of negligence will involve the other vehicle involved, it is important to look at other possibilities that might have played a role. Were there hazards that the city, a nearby homeowner or business may have contributed to the accident? Was the driver of the other vehicle driving as a representative of a company? Is there a defect in one of the vehicles?

Avoid Social Media and Text Pitfalls

Social media and phone text have become routinely used in court cases. People have become used to shouting facts about daily life from the rooftop, not realizing that their public statements could be used against them. Regaining loss may depend on you not discussing the accident online or posting pictures that would cause anyone to doubt what happened, as well as on not sending an incriminating text to the other driver that leaves a written record.

Motorcyclists have an increased risk of injury and loss of property in accidents, so it is important to be aware of what you can do to minimize these risks. An accident has the potential to cripple one’s finances. The best advice is to not try to recoup your loss without the help of professionals.

About the author: A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica Oaks loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.

ALJ Hearing Processing Times and Pending Claims: The Statistics Tell All

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The National Organization of Social Security Claimants Representatives is the most authoritative voice for disability claimants. According to NOSSCR, the situation is bad and getting worse for claimants. Fewer cases are being granted, and it is taking longer to get decisions from the Administrative Law Judges of the Social Security Administration. Here is the opening paragraph of a recent article in the NOSSCR newsletter:

Hearing processing times are increasing. ALJ allowance rates are decreasing. Cases pending more than one year are increasing. Senior attorney advisor fully favorable decisions are decreasing. The number of cases pending per ALJ is increasing. The number of available ALJs is decreasing. These and other hearing level statistics do not paint a pretty picture of the current situation at the ALJ hearing level. At the end of November 2014, the number of pending cases at the ALJ hearing level surpassed one million, as predicted.

Friday Fun

When fathers are left in charge of small children…

Ever Considered Car Sharing? How to Know if these Programs Can be Trusted

Ever Considered Car Sharing - How to Know if these Programs Can be Trusted-1

The investment in a car is a large one—not only do most people have monthly car payments, but repairs, regular maintenance, paying for gas, and insurance costs can pile on quickly. Unlike other assets such as a home, vehicles depreciate over time. Rather than pouring your money into a new car, or buying a second vehicle to accommodate your family, car sharing is an alternative. With these programs, you set up a membership and receive a card equipped with RFID technology. With this card, you have access to any car in that company’s inventory. As long as you return the car in one piece, all you have to pay for is your membership fee and a fixed rate per hour of use. Sounds pretty simple, right? If your driving requirements are minimal, this can be a viable option, but you should be aware of how these programs work to ensure this is the best choice for you.

Potential Insurance Hurdles

While insurance is normally included as part of a car sharing membership, there are potential issues. For starters, if you car-share through a company, there are likely exclusions and strict limitations when it comes to filing a claim. Furthermore, if you participate personally in a car sharing program, your policy may not be renewable if an accident occurs while being used for this purpose. Each company will have their own regulations when it comes to insurance, but it is best to consult your own insurance agent about how you could be affected if you are involved in an accident while driving a car from a car sharing program. Your agent can help you dissect the car sharing company’s policies so you know exactly what you are getting into.

Availability Complications

When it comes to car sharing programs, there are a number of options that vary from company to company, which can be confusing for customers. For example, some programs have cars parked throughout the city, but there isn’t always one in your immediate vicinity. In other programs, you must reserve a car ahead of time, but availability isn’t guaranteed. Many people sign up for car sharing without reading the fine print or all the terms and agreements, so they are frustrated when a car isn’t available to them. This is pretty inconvenient when you need to get to work and find yourself without a ride you thought you would have.

Difficulty During Rush Hour

If you are thinking about car sharing to accommodate you during rush hour traffic, you may want to consider other options. Oftentimes, you have to plan far in advance, and, even so, you may have to walk a long distance to actually get to a car. This can prove inconvenient, especially during inclement weather. However, if you have the time and patience, it can save you money as an alternative to making a hefty monthly car payment.

Is Car Sharing Really for Me?

Car sharing isn’t for everybody. Whether you are considering using a vehicle or offering yours for use, the above obstacles should be strongly considered before making any final decisions. Car sharing can be a viable transportation solution, but ensure you are properly educated before investing in this option.

This article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write for business, finance, women’s interests, and technology. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters. Dixie got her advice about car sharing insurance issues from a Las Vegas car accident lawyer.

Photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons via William Warby

Six Important Things Everyone Should Know about a Criminal Record

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Obviously, having a criminal record is viewed in a negative light, however, there are a lot of misconceptions out there about criminal records. Whether you are worried about getting a job, concerned about the record itself, or just have questions, it is good to clear up the myths and know the basics about your criminal record. Read on to learn about six important things you should know about a criminal record:

Who Can View Your Criminal Record?

Before the advent of the Internet, generally only those in the legal profession had access to criminal records. The truth is, unless you have your charges expunged or your records sealed, nearly anyone with a computer can view your criminal history.

Can Charges Be Removed from Your Criminal Record?

Many people worry about having something on their record throughout their life. While the options are limited, there are some cases where items can be removed from the record. Some charges can be erased if they meet certain criteria such as:

-        You were found not guilty.

-        You were a youthful offender.

-        Your case was dismissed.

Generally, these sorts of records should be automatically removed. If not, you must contact your local court for correction.

Can Employers Refuse You a Job Due to Your Record?

This kind of discriminatory hiring protocol is generally considered illegal. A blanket policy of denying employment just because of past criminal history is a violation of civil rights. A prospective employer should engage in an individualized assessment of candidates who possess a criminal history.

How Can You Obtain a Copy of Your Criminal Record?

It’s prudent to have a copy of your own record, so you know what others will be seeing. You can obtain a local report from your jurisdictional court, or a national report from the FBI. There are also many unofficial public record searches available online.

How Do You Explain Your Criminal Record to Prospective Employers?

Honesty is the best policy in this situation. Chances are that your employer may already have some knowledge of your criminal past. They will recognize and respect your integrity when you openly answer their questions regarding your criminal history.

You May Be a Financial Asset to Prospective Employers

Having a criminal record may not always be a disadvantage when job hunting. Did you know that employers can actually claim a tax credit for hiring convicted felons within a year of their conviction or prison release? Some employers will enjoy a modest financial gain, while giving you the opportunity to work toward a brighter future.

No matter what your criminal record looks like, it is important to know your rights regarding the record. As you can see, a criminal record, while still considered negative, doesn’t put an end to any hopes or plans you had for the future. When you are aware of what is on the record, and what others see when they look at it, you will know how to handle future situations when the topic of the record comes up. Your future is brighter than you think!

This article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write for business, finance, women’s interests, and technology. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters. Dixie got advice for this article from Rod Gregory, a defense lawyer in Edmonton.

Photo credit:commons.wikimedia.org via defenseimagery.mil

Five Things You Need to Know About Workers’ Compensation After Being Injured at Work

5 Things You Need to Know About Workers Compensation After Being Injured at Work-1

Workers’ compensation is a term that you may hear at work, but it is not something that is often discussed in depth. You may know the basics about workers’ compensation, but knowing detailed facts about workers’ comp is very important. When you are injured while at your place of employment, you have various rights in regards to workers’ compensation. To maximize the benefits and care you receive, you should know the following facts about workers’ compensation.

A “No Fault” System Behind Workers’ Compensation

If you are injured directly as a result of your work, it does not matter who caused the injury. For example, if you fall while working, you are not at fault for your injuries. This no fault system is in place to protect workers’. As long as the injury is legitimate, no blame can be placed legally on you as an employee.

The Two Main Categories of Injuries

A workers’ compensation injury covers two different types of work-related injuries. The first category covers injuries directly related to a specific accident related to your work. The second category covers injuries that occur over time. A good example of this is a back injury sustained from repeating the same strenuous motions every day at work.

Not All Injuries Are Covered

It is a common misconception that any and all injuries are covered by workers’ compensation. For example, consider the back injury scenario again. External factors like playing sports could contribute to this injury. If this injury was not solely caused by work practices, it cannot easily be covered by workers’ compensation.

Workers’ Compensation Fraud is a Serious Issue

Every year, companies and employers pay millions of dollars to individuals injured while they were working. Unfortunately, some employees make false workers’ compensation claims. If you are injured on the job, you should prepare to document your injuries, expenses and so on. This will protect you and show proof that your claim is legitimate. This will help you stay organized just in case any legal action needs to be taken (Source: Kalamarides & Lambert).

Compensation Goes Beyond Medical Bills

While medical bills are a primary factor in receiving workers’ compensation, other costs can be covered, too. If you are injured, you may lose wages due to time off work. This can be covered so that your finances do not suffer.

By educating yourself with these facts, you can be thoroughly prepared for a handling a work related injury. Make sure to know the specific laws of your state in addition to these facts. In doing so, you can file an appropriate workers’ compensation claim.

This article is from Lizzie Weakley, a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. She enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her three-year-old husky Snowball.

Reasons Why You Should Get An Attorney After An Auto Accident

Reasons Why You Should Get An Attorney After An Auto Accident

An auto accident can be more than a fender bender and an inconvenience. Without taking the right steps after the accident, it can turn into a huge legal headache. Retaining an attorney as soon as possible after an accident can protect rights you probably don’t know you have.

The investigation

Along with the police, insurance companies on both sides will be conducting their own independent investigations. If the other side’s insurer contacts you, tell them to contact your attorney. You’ll never hear from them again. If it’s your own insurer, you’re required to cooperate with them.

Traffic court

Whether you caused the accident or not, what you say in traffic court might be used against you in the future, particularly if you say it when under oath. Your attorney knows this. They’ll prepare you on how you should answer questions in traffic court while still telling nothing but the truth.

Filing claims

Both sides are likely to file claims with their insurers, particularly the person that caused the accident. Claims must be timely, properly filed and documented. Attorneys do this for a living. If you were not at fault and injured, there’s a statute of limitations that must be observed. There might also be certain notice requirements. Attorneys know the law on claims and can help you better understand them.

Leveling the playing field

Insurance companies know accident law and know how to use it against people. Having an attorney that knows accident law takes away the insurer’s advantage. The insurer knows there are two sides to every story, and they’re going to hear your side through a formidable opponent. Their tone will change significantly.

Your insurer might try to walk away

Insurers want to collect premiums but they don’t like to pay out on claims. Your insurer may assert what’s known as a policy defense against you in an effort to avoid covering you. Your attorney can keep them honest.

Understanding what’s signed

You might have never been involved in a stipulation to dismiss, a dismissal order or a release of claims. The experienced accident attorney has. They understand these and will communicate the legal implications of each and every document to be signed by you following a motor vehicle accident.

Consult with an attorney as soon as possible after an auto accident. You have valuable rights that the attorney knows how to protect. Informational credit to Boucher Law Firm.

This article is courtesy of Anita Ginsburg, a freelance writer from Denver who often writes about home, family, law and business. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family when she isn’t writing.

Friday Fun

Are you a female born in the United States in 1965? If so, I bet your first name is Lisa.

Here is a map showing the most popular names for baby girls by state for six decades.

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GM Approves 36th Ignition Switch Death Claim

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In continuing coverage of GM’s faulty ignition switches, the AP reports that the offices of compensation expert Kenneth Feinberg has approved a 36th death claim related to the defect. In total, GM has approved 36 death and 44 serious injury claims out of 229 death and 1,986 injury claims submitted since August.

GM issues recall for 273,000 SUVs. USA Today reports that GM issued a recall for 273,182 midsize SUVs and sedans in the US over concerns that “the low-beam headlights can cut out, temporarily or permanently.” Included in the recall are 2006-2009 Buick Lacrosse sedans; 2006-2007 Chevrolet TrailBlazer and 2006 TrailBlazer EXT; 2006-2007 GMC Envoy and 2006 Envoy XL; 2006-2007 Buick Rainier; 2006-2008 Saab 9-7X; and 2006-2008 Isuzu Ascender midsize SUVs. USA Today reports that the defect is related to the driver modules for the headlamps, noting “the low-beam headlamps and daytime running lamps could intermittently or permanently fail to illuminate.” The article notes that GM is unsure whether the defect has led to accidents or injuries.

Takata to expand recall. Reuters reports that the Nikkei business daily reported that Takata is preparing to announce an expansion of its recall of its defective airbag inflators beyond high-humidity locations, though Reuters notes that a Takata spokeswoman denied that the company had made a decision on the expansion. Reuters reports that NHTSA had demanded that the company take action by Tuesday or risk being fined.

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

Injuries and Lawsuits: How to Get Justice After a Major Accident

Injuries and Lawsuits How to Get Justice After a Major Accident

 

There are a number of key actions that a person must take in the aftermath of a major accident. These steps are necessary in order to put an injured person on a course to obtain the justice (and compensation) to which he or she is entitled.

Document the Accident and the Aftermath in a Comprehensive Fashion

In the aftermath of an accident, an injured person must document the event and collect and maintain all relevant evidence. This includes everything from photos of the accident scene to witness statements to medical records associated with the post-accident medical treatments.

Make All Deadlines Associated with a Claim and a Lawsuit

Although this may seem elementary, the reality is that time and again a person without legal representation misses important deadlines when trying to get justice following a major accident. The reality is that insurance policies or contracts oftentimes include language that is not entirely clear regarding when (and how) claims must be filed. In addition, each state has what is called a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations establishes the deadline by which a lawsuit must be filed in a personal injury case.

The failure to meet these various deadlines — and it happens with surprising frequency to unrepresented individuals — can have dire consequences. Missing a claims deadline or the statute of limitations can result in a person being precluded from obtaining compensation to which he or she otherwise would have been entitled.

Retain a Personal Injury Attorney

In the grand scheme of things, engaging the services of an experienced, skilled personal injury attorney can be the most important step to take in order to get justice following a major accident. The reality is that the insurance claims settlement process is stacked against an injured person in any number of ways. Personal injury law is highly complicated. Court procedures associated with personal injury lawsuits are extremely complex. In short, a person lacking in legal training simply does not have the experience, tools and resources necessary to effectively fight for his or her rights following a major accident (Source: Yearwood & Company).

A person is able to assess the various ways in which a personal injury attorney provides assistance in the aftermath of a major accident through what is known as an initial consultation. The initial consultation is an appointment with a lawyer during which the attorney is able to generally assess the facts and circumstances of a case. The lawyer shares what strategies are available to work towards obtaining the compensation to which a person is entitled following a major accident caused by someone else’s negligence. As a general practice, there is no fee is charged by an attorney for an initial consultation.

This article is from Lizzie Weakley, a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. She enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her three-year-old husky Snowball.

Loved One Injured in a Car Accident? Five Ways You Can Help

Injured Helping

A car accident that causes personal injury can alter one’s lifestyle. A lot of changes that come have to be made in order to accommodate for permanent or temporary disabilities related to the accident. If you have a loved one who is dealing with injuries that are the result of an accident, you can help them through this difficult time in a variety of ways and here are just a few to get you started.

Household Duties

Whether it’s someone who lives alone or someone who is responsible for cooking for a family, preparing meals may be a difficult or impossible task following an accident. You can help out by preparing meals for them or delivering meals to them in a fun and interesting way. You might consider offering to help with household cleaning chores or with outdoor lawn maintenance tasks as they would certainly not be able to fulfill those duties on their own.

Child Care

An injured parent may not be able to transport their children to school, sports events or other activities that they are involved in. You can offer to drive the kids to the various locations they need to go. This can help alleviate a lot of stress that your loved one might be experiencing due to their inability to care for their children. Try taking the young kids home with you for a few hours, overnight or for a weekend so that your loved one can get some undisturbed rest.

Finding a Personal Injury Attorney

You can help your loved one find an attorney to represent them in their personal injury case. Your role in this process could be to ask friends and family for the names of attorneys they would recommend based on their precious experiences. You might be able to help your loved one search a lawyer’s referral list or directory to find the best attorney for their situation. You might also be able to help your loved one by doing the leg-work to collect, compile and organize the detailed information regarding the accident. Any help finding the right attorney, like those at Kenneth Cristall Law Corporation, for their case will be sure to be appreciated.

Transportation

Offer to drive your loved one to appointments they have with a doctor or attorney. You can either go shopping for them or drive them to the store and assist them with their shopping. There are no ends to the possibility of helping via transportation that you would be able to offer.

Pets

Pets require a lot of care and an injured person may not be able to walk their dog, clean the cat’s litter box or clean a small animal cage. Offering to help them take care of their pet during this trying time will go a long way to the easing of their stress.

Serious injuries can quickly alter one’s lifestyle in a big way. Ask your loved one how you can help them if you can’t think of anything to do. When you visit them, look for clues that indicate they need assistance in certain areas as they progress through their recovery period as many people will not say what they need out loud as they may be self-conscience of their condition. Your help during this trying time will be appreciated and remembered for years to come.

This article is from Meghan Belnap, blogger, researcher, and freelance writer.

Social Security Disability: Why Do So Many Americans Get Denied?

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Here are excerpts from a recent article at Motley Fool:

When most Americans think of Social Security, they focus on the retirement benefits they’ll eventually receive from the program. But for those who suffer an injury or illness that prevents them from working long-term, Social Security disability benefits are far more important, and those benefits can be the only dependable income source to help them deal with the financial challenges of living without earned income.

Over the past 15 years, the need for disability benefits has grown greatly. Yet as the most recent figures from the Social Security Administration show, approval rates for disability benefit applications have plunged over that period, and almost two-thirds of all applications for Social Security disability now get rejected. Let’s take a closer look at the numbers and the rationale behind them, as well as some things you can do to boost the odds of having your application approved.

The upward trend in disability benefit applications
The Social Security Administration has seen a huge spike in applications for disability benefits. As you can see below, since 1999, the number of applications has more than doubled, and after hitting new peaks in 2009 and 2010 in the aftermath of the Great Recession, claim volume has moderated only minimally.

Yet even with that surge in applications, the percentage of those claims gaining approval has plunged. The SSA accepted more than half of all applications for disability in 1999, but that rate fell to 33.5% by last year.

Friday Fun

This video isn’t “fun” but it certainly is interesting. Astronauts talk about how their thinking has changed after going into space and viewing earth from that perspective. There’s an environmental message here, but there is also gorgeous photography. Watch it for either reason.