Felony Charges and What it Means for Your Career

Felony Charges and What it Means for Your Career

A felony charge does leave a mark on your record, and it can affect your ability to secure the job you want. It’s true that getting a felony can negatively affect your ability to get a job in several ways, but it also may depend on your industry. Some industries have more lax rules regarding felonies, and some employers may treat one type of charge less harshly than others. Before you begin your job search, it’s a good idea to consult with a Sacramento criminal lawyer. There may be legal options you’re not aware of. When it comes to your income potential, the cost of visiting a lawyer may end up paying for itself.

The Hidden Job Market
If you know the industry you want to work in, it’s important to start networking as soon as possible. This could mean going to conventions, talking with people in your church or local community center, and letting your contacts on social networks know you are looking for employment. The hidden job market does exist, and it consists of the many jobs that never make it to a job board or website. These jobs are filled by candidates the employer already knows. Start by working low-wage positions doing favors for a local business, painting houses, or working for a small, family-owned business. As you gain credibility, you may find the people you are working for are willing to hire you full-time or refer you to someone that needs full-time work.

Be an Attractive Candidate

If you start off your job search by telling every employer that you have a felony, it probably won’t work out too well for you, even though you are trying to be up front and honest. Let the employer ask the question and get to know you a little first. Try to wait until the employer is considering you for the position, otherwise you may end up sabotaging yourself before you get a chance to present your case. If the employer has a strict rule about not hiring convicted felons, you’re not going to get the job. However, most employers are somewhat lenient and if you can present yourself well in an interview, the felony may not be as important to the employer. Make sure your resume is free of errors, and if you lack the skills necessary for a particular industry, volunteer to get the experience required.

Sealing Your Records
In some cases, if you have fulfilled a waiting period, usually 10 years, you can hire a lawyer to help seal your records. Sealing your records effectively removes the felony from your past. Additionally, many states allow you to state that you have no record when asked if you were ever convicted of a felony. This can make applying for jobs, getting student loans, and qualifying for other incentives easier. The waiting time to seal your record typically begins when you are released from prison or when the case ended in court. It’s not typically the final day of your probation.

Don’t Give Up
Felony charges can make it hard to find a job, but there are employers that will hire convicted felons. If you’re a good writer, know how to paint, or have another marketable skill, consider working part-time or even starting your own business. You are going to hear a lot of rejections from employers, but you will eventually find employment as long as you keep applying for jobs and keep trying to present yourself in the best way possible. Make sure you’re registered with the local unemployment office, and consider enlisting the help of a professional job search agency.

Some employers are going to judge you harshly because you have a felony. The important thing to remember is there are other jobs out there. Broaden your scope and apply to companies within a large area. Use the Internet to search for job openings, and don’t be afraid to walk in to a local business and ask if they are hiring. Do some research, put in the effort, and with a little time you will find a job.

This article is from Brooke Chaplan, a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.

Five Critical Steps if You’ve Been Injured in a Car Accident

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The results of an auto accident can be devastating. In fact, the consequences can last longer than you expect. You can accrue a lot of medical expenses and your stress levels can also stretch to the limit. Despite your dilemma, there are five steps you can take to ensure that your recovery process is successful.

Seek Medical Attention

When you become proactive in seeking medical care, you may be able to delay further injury compared to if you don’t seek medical attention at all. This step is important because your health status and medical procedures can be documented. This will help in the verification process of your claim.

Contact Your Insurance Company

After you have received medical care, contact your insurance company to submit a personal injury claim. When you speak with an insurance representative, be sure to tell them the details of the incident and the medical treatment you have received as well as information about your follow up care. If your personal injury claim is denied, follow the next step to ensure that your legal rights are protected.

Seek Legal Assistance

This step is very important because your legal rights are at stake. If you don’t file a claim within the allotted time frame, you could risk losing your personal injury benefits forever. The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim in the states of Oregon and Texas is two years. This means if you miss this deadline, you may have to forego the medical treatment you need for physical therapy, medical procedures, attendant care, and compensation for lost wages.

In order to make sure that this does not happen, it is recommended that you request legal assistance from a personal injury attorney in Portland, OR, or your specific locale who can help guide you in the right direction.

Keep Information Confidential

While you may be tempted to inform everyone you know about your situation, you should keep your information confidential specifically between you and your personal injury attorney. Although it may take some time, if your case is accepted for the litigation process to be resolved, your legal and medical information should be handled with care.

Research Legal Attorney History

While every personal injury attorney commercial may sound like the ideal firm to contact, it is best to research the history and success of a personal injury attorney. You should contact a law firm that is known for treating clients with personalized attention and compassion.

A professional content and copywriter who graduated from the 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.

How To Deal With Financial Losses Following A Car Accident

How To Deal With Financial Losses Following A Car Accident

While no one expects to get in an accident while driving, it happens to many drivers every day. The pain and trauma of a car accident is immediate, but the stress of financial loss from the accident can be long lasting. Here are some ways to deal with the onset of medical and other bills.

Ask For Help From A Friend

It’s difficult to pay daily bills when you are in the hospital, so ask a friend or relative to pay bills from your account temporarily. Your bank will need a signature and identification from you allowing this. Obviously you should only ask someone you know very well and trust deeply. Another option is to buy them a prepaid card to use to pay daily bills.

Seek Payments From Auto Insurance and Personal Medical Insurance

Generally speaking, when you are in an auto accident, either your insurance or that of the person who hit you will pay you for medical bills up to the limit of the claim. After that has been expended, you can also seek payments from your own personal medical insurance.

The Family Medical Leave Act

If you were a full time employee, the Federal Family Medical Leave Act allows you to take leave for up to 12 weeks for personal injury, and you can be re-employed after that time. There are restrictions to this rule, so check the government website for specific rules in your case. Your doctor can give you an official notice telling you when you will be able to resume work. Be sure you receive that notice. It will come in handy when you are trying to receive payment for lost wages and other compensation.

Negotiate With Medical Doctors And Hospitals

Physicians and hospitals will sometimes negotiate or extend medical bills into time payments if they are aware of your financial inability to pay bills all at once. Talk to their financial department about resolving bills with a time payment plan. For minor tests and imaging, go to clinics and specialized offices, rather than hospitals, if possible. This may save you money, but it’s important to call ahead of time and ask what they charge to find the best option for you.

Apply For Disability Insurance

If you are seriously injured and your injury will affect your ability to work permanently, you can apply for disability insurance. Disability insurance doesn’t pay out immediately, but it can be a great benefit if your injuries turn out to be permanent.

Consult A Personal Attorney

When one party has been willfully negligent in a car accident, such as in the case where the other driver was drunk, there is good reason to consult an attorney. An attorney can get you the most amount of payment for damages available by law. In cases of wrongdoing, it can send a punitive message to the other driver.

When a car accident has occurred, it is important to concentrate on recovery instead of on medical bills. Rely on others during your recovery to help you do that. Attorneys can help you get the compensation you deserve, putting your mind at ease when it comes to medical bills.

Informational credit to Ladah Law.

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.

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How to Best Defend Yourself after Being Involved in DUI Related Accident

How to Best Defend Yourself After Being Involved in a DUI Related Accident

Should you be involved in a DUI related accident, one of the best ways to defend yourself is to just say no. The investigating officer will ask you to do certain things. Just say no.

Field sobriety tests
The investigating officer will ordinarily ask you to perform standardized field sobriety tests. With an authoritative demeanor, the officer will ask you to perform these tests. Attorney Sean Druyon wants you to take notice that the officer is asking you to take field sobriety tests. The law doesn’t permit an officer to order you to take them. The officer already suspects that you’re under the influence. By performing these tests, you’re only giving the prosecution more evidence to convict you. The field sobriety tests will all be recorded on the officer’s dashboard camera and played for a jury. You have the right to refuse to perform any field sobriety tests. Invoke that right. Just say no.

Breath testing
You might be asked to give a breath sample for alcohol analysis twice. The first time might be at the scene of the investigation. This is another field sobriety test. You have the right to refuse it. Just say no. The second time you’ll be asked to give a breath sample will be at the police station. You will be advised in writing of the possible legal consequences should you refuse to give a breath sample at the station. Notwithstanding any possible legal consequences for a refusal, refuse the blood alcohol breath test at the station. If indeed you are intoxicated, the printed slip that comes out of the machine after you give a breath sample raises a legal presumption that you’re intoxicated. It’s only more evidence that you’d be giving to convict yourself. Invoke your right not to provide a breath test under any circumstances. Just say no.

Immediately retain an attorney
If you’re arrested for a DUI in Utah, your driver’s license can be automatically suspended. You have a right to a hearing on the suspension, but you must invoke that right within 10 days of your arrest. By immediately contacting a law firm like Druyon Law, the attorney can take the necessary steps to preserve your right to a hearing on the suspension.

Don’t give the police and prosecutor the evidence they need to convict you of a DUI. Just say no, and contact an attorney at your first opportunity.

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.

Five Tips to Help Your Elderly Loved Ones Avoid Being a Target for Criminals

5 Tips to Help Your Elderly Loved Ones Avoid Being a Target for Criminals

Unfortunately, there are many unscrupulous people who are all too eager to take advantage of unsuspecting victims. Whether through identity theft, property crimes, or abuse, the elderly are particularly susceptible to crime. Believing that the elderly are more easily physically overpowered or more easily confused than the average person, criminals often target elderly victims. However, there are steps you can take to protect your elderly loved ones.

1. Protect financial assets.

Identity theft and fraud are on the rise everywhere, but the elderly are especially vulnerable to these crimes. Your loved one may not be technologically savvy and may not use features like online access to financial information. However, if you set up online access for bank accounts and investments, you can monitor their financial activity for signs of fraud. You can also sign up for credit monitoring so that you receive alerts whenever there is suspicious activity, and you can work with banking institutions to set specified maximums for cash withdrawals and credit card purchases.

2. Secure the home.

In addition to fraud, the elderly can be easy prey for burglars and thieves. There are a few simple steps you can take to protect your loved one’s home. For instance, consider installing motion-detecting lights inside and outside the home, and make sure that the external door has a peephole. You should also make sure that your loved one does not leave a spare key in an obvious location such as above the doorframe or under the mat.

3. Restrict who has access to your loved one.

There may be numerous people with regular access to your loved one, such as cleaning services, home health care providers, and the like. You should not assume that these individuals have been subject to careful screening. If you are using a service, request to see the background check results on anyone who will have access to your loved one’s home. You can also run a background check, yourself.

4. Protect telephone communications.

Some of the most common crimes against the elderly are telephone scams, where criminals coax victims into divulging protected information such as bank account numbers and Social Security information. You can protect your loved ones by adding their telephone numbers to the Do Not Call Registry, and also by ensuring that their numbers are unlisted. In addition, consider programming your telephone number into their speed dial settings.

5. Educate your loved ones.
Some of your loved ones need to be educated about crime and criminals. Some elderly people today don’t really seem to show much concern that they will be targeted by criminals. One of the best ways to solve this problem is to put them through a school of criminal justice which will help them to be more aware of their surroundings and teach them what to do if they are being attacked or targeted by criminals.

Although the elderly are vulnerable to a variety of crimes, you can exercise good judgment to minimize risk for your loved ones. You can start today with the easiest crime prevention strategy: talk to your loved ones, and be involved in their daily lives.

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.

How Rights Can Differ for Motorcyclists

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Collisions between motorcycles and larger vehicles have been on the rise, and a large number of those crashes result in serious injury for the motorcycle riders. While automobile drivers are surrounded by several tons of steel and sophisticated safety technology, motorcycle riders have only their helmets and their wits to protect them.

If you ride a motorcycle, you need to take a proactive approach to riding safety. That means being aware of your surroundings at all times, obeying local traffic laws and watching out for larger vehicles. Being aware of the blind spots automobile drivers face can also help you stay safe, but in the end there is a great deal of chance in any accident.

Unfortunately for motorists, motorcycle crashes are anything but rare. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the number of motorcycle-related deaths has more than doubled in the past ten years. Even if you ride safely and take all the necessary precautions, you could be involved in a crash that causes serious injury and extensive financial loss.

If you are one of the unlucky victims of a motorcycle crash, it is important to know your rights and contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Most motorcycle collisions result from a handful of causes, including failure to yield, failure to check blind spots before making a lane change, talking on the phone or texting, running a red light or stop sign and falling asleep behind the wheel.

A good personal injury attorney will be able to investigate the accident and determine exactly what happened and who was at fault. Hiring a competent attorney can also preserve your rights and help ensure you receive the compensation to which you are entitled.

Even if you are never involved in an accident, it is important for you, as a motorcycle owner and rider, to be aware of the laws that apply to you. You cannot simply assume that the laws are the same for drivers and riders. Motorcycle owners face some additional challenges, and it is important that they understand how those differences affect them.

As with automobile drivers, motorcycle riders need to have sufficient liability coverage in place. Depending on your situation and how many assets you have, the minimum required by law may not be enough to protect you. If you are unsure how much liability insurance you need, you should contact a financial planner or attorney.

Safety is another important consideration for motorcycle owners. While safety is important for anyone who operates a vehicle, it is even more critical for motorcycle riders. The lack of protection inherent in riding a motorcycle makes safety a vital part of the equation.

If it has been some time since you first got your motorcycle license, you might want to take a refresher course on driving safety. The laws are always changing, and a driving safety course will bring you up to speed and help you share the road safely with other motorists.

The warm breeze and thrilling speed can make all the difference in vehicle preference for motorcycle owners. There is nothing quite like hitting the open road and weaving along the highway. Knowing how to operate that motorcycle safely and understanding your rights will make the open road even more inviting.

This article is from @AmandaJaylene, who shares her experience on injury and auto collisions from her home along the busy roads of Phoenix. From DUI laws, to red light cameras, to traffic collisions – she’s witnessed a fair share of accidents in Arizona.

Three Vacation Ideas for After Your Recovery

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In a perfect world, your summer vacation would involve hiking a majestic mountain range, shopping ’till you drop at some of the best retail venues, or perhaps learning to surf at a sunny tropical locale. Now that you’re on the road to recovery, however, these vacation bucket list items may need to be put on hold temporarily.

Fortunately, there are plenty of vacation spots that are ideal for those suffering temporary disabilities. Consider all the special needs accommodations that these great spots have to offer:

1. Seattle, Washington

As USA Today notes, Seattle is not only home to some of the country’s greatest attractions like the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, and a variety of amazing museums and restaurants, it is also one of the most accessible vacation spots. If you are currently wheelchair-bound, the city offers plenty of hotels and attractions that you can easily access. For example, the Warwick Seattle Hotel, known for its terrific views of the Space Needle, has 12 handicap-accessible guest rooms that are conveniently reached by an elevator and feature grab bars around the toilet and in the tub. Roll-in showers are offered in certain rooms, and you can also request a shower chair.

The Seattle Art Museum has convenient drop off areas out front, as well as ramps, elevators, and loaner wheelchairs.

2. Toronto, Canada

If you would like to travel internationally this summer but are hesitant to embark on a long journey over to Europe or take a trip down to Mexico, a vacation to beautiful Toronto, Canada can provide you with plenty of much-needed relaxation. In addition to being known for its superior healthcare, much of the region is readily accessible for the handicapped.

Fresh air is great for healing, and both your body and soul can benefit from the cool weather involved in sailing, fishing, or just enjoying the scenery by boat. If you would like to channel your inner angler while you’re in the Toronto area, or are dreaming of spending hours exploring one of its gorgeous waterways by powerboat, be sure that you have your Canadian boating license on hand.

3. Las Vegas, Nevada

If Sin City is on your vacation to-do list, you don’t have to let your personal injury stop you from enjoying some festive time in Las Vegas. As LasVegas.com notes, the city has more handicap-accessible guest rooms than any other place in the country; just be sure to inquire when placing your reservations. Depending on the extent of your injury, rooms are available with roll-in showers, transfer shower benches, or tubs with built-in or portable seats. Wheelchair seating is also available in most restaurants and showrooms.

If Lady Luck is calling your name, all hotels have accessible slot machines, and many of the other games are played while seated and can easily accommodate a wheelchair.

When it’s time to cool off, most of the Vegas hotels have lifts that will help you get in and out of the swimming pool.

Author info: Alison Stanton has been a freelance writer for the past 15 years. She enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics, and always looks for opportunities to learn about new subjects.

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There’s nothing you can’t find on the Internet. Here’s everything you ever wanted to know about dirigibles, in a humorous manner.

Personal Injury: Why You Should Seek Legal Help No Matter How You Got Injured

Why You Should Seek Legal Help No Matter How You Got Injured

Many who are hurt may fear the incident was their own fault. However, this does not mean that they should not get legal help and pursue their case in court. Particularly for those who were hurt on the job or in the care of another person, going to court can make a difference in their quality of life. Those who were hurt while they were at work may not realize that there are many laws in place to help them get the money that they need to pay for their medical bills and lost wages to help keep them above water financially.

Medical Debt

Many may think that they shouldn’t bother seeking legal help, and they may not realize their injury was caused by the neglect of another. Talking with a lawyer can help those who have been hurt find a legal way to deal with the medical debt that they are experiencing. Even those who have medical insurance can end up dealing with many out of pocket expenses, and they may not be able to go to work.

Compensation for Emotional and Physical Pain

Those who were hurt while they were in the home of another person may not realize that there could be a legal way to get justice for the pain that they have had to endure. A lawyer can go back to the incident when the injury occurred and show the court how this happened. After an accident, an attorney will go back and gather of all of the evidence that they can in order to prove the way that the events of the day lead to the injury.

Peace of Mind for Medical Help

After getting hurt, it is important to seek medical help right away. A doctor will be able to get records showing the type of injury, as well as the type of problems that lead to these injuries. It can be a little bit more difficult to prove for those who wait a while to go to the doctor. Even those who have been in a car accident should always have themselves checked out just in case. This will help you out greatly in the long run. If the injury wasn’t your fault, a lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve. This way, you can have some peace of mind about expensive medical visits and procedures.

Auto Injuries

Those who were injured in an auto accident may not realize that they could be able to get help with their auto-related injuries. There are many lawyers who specialize in getting help for those who have been in an auto accident. Don’t spend time worrying about how to pay these bills, contact an attorney who will fight to get compensation regardless of how the accident happened.

No matter what type of injury you have suffered, or where it happened, it critical to get the help of an attorney. They can help you understand your rights and get fair compensation for your injuries and even loss of income.

Informational credit to Bachus & Schanker Law.

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.

Federal Regulators Call for Requiring Dealers to Fix Recalled Vehicles

In a 1,000+ word article, the AP reports that currently, dealers and individual sellers are not legally required to get repairs done on a recalled car before the vehicle is sold. Sellers are not even obligated to notify buyers that a vehicle is subject to a recall. Later, the AP says that several attempts to pass legislation that requires dealers to fix recalled vehicles or “disclose problems have stalled under opposition from carmakers, auto dealers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.” However, it adds that NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx are “making another push.” Rosekind is quoted as saying, “We cannot allow vehicles with potentially dangerous defects to leave used-car lots without the necessary repairs.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

Congressional Report Discusses Automobile Hacking

NBC Nightly News reported that a new Congressional report warns that automobiles have “significant security and privacy gaps” rendering them prone to hacking. Senator Ed Markey is quoted saying, “You don’t need a crowbar to break into a car. You just need an iPad to hack into the computer system to take control.” NBC (Alexander) explains that hackers can break in “through bluetooth or built-in cell phone systems designed to connect you to an operator in an emergency,” though “so far there’s no record of any car being maliciously hacked into on the road in the real world.”

ABC World News reported that the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers “says its members ‘pledge to provide heightened protections’ and are making ‘aggressive efforts to ensure that we are advancing safety.’” ABC (Jarvis) adds that “fifty percent of the cars sold this year have this wireless technology. It’s up to car companies to fix the problem.”

A Detroit Free Press article picked up by USA Today reports that Markey calls on the US automotive industry “to adopt a rating system that would tell consumers how well cars are when it comes to preventing cybersecurity attacks.” The article notes that Alliance in November introduced privacy principles based on “what automakers have already been doing.” An Alliance statement is quoted saying, “The industry is in the early stages of establishing a voluntary automobile industry sector information sharing and analysis center – or other comparable program – for collecting and sharing information about existing or potential cyber-related threats.”

The AP cites Markey saying “lawmakers need to work with the industry and cyber-security experts to establish clearer rules to guarantee the safety and privacy of drivers.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

Asbestos Remains Legal in US Despite Fatal Illnesses

The San Antonio Express-News reports that Stephanie Harper of Bonham, TX “was a daddy’s girl” and when her father “would come home from work – he was a handyman, a jack of all trades, doing auto mechanics, heating and cooling, anything – she’d grab him and hug him as hard as she could. ‘I’d sit on his feet and grab his pants legs,’ she remembers.” As far as she can tell, “that’s how she picked up the asbestos fibers that worked their way from her lungs to the lining of her chest.” The fibers “that caused the tumor that doctors found when she had her tubes tied at 22, after her daughter was born.” Harper has mesothelioma, “a cancer that is 100 percent preventable and 100 percent attributable to exposure to asbestos.” The Express-News notes that “it remains legal to import, manufacture and sell asbestos and products containing it,” and “asbestos-containing material known to be carcinogenic remains in millions of U.S. homes.” Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) “have fought to pass a ban on asbestos,” and in 2007, “they came agonizingly close,” as the Ban Asbestos in America Act “passed the Senate unanimously,” but “the bill was watered down in committee rewriting,” and “a one-word change – from asbestos-containing ‘product’ to asbestos-containing ‘material’ – gutted the proposed ban.”

Testimony could reopen thousands of asbestos cases. The American Lawyer reports that Cahill Gordon & Reindel’s “asbestos problem began on June 15, 2009, when David Swanson, a 73-year-old retired chemical engineer, walked into the offices of Cohen, Placitella & Roth in the seaside town of Red Bank, N.J.” Swanson “had worked for 37 years as a research engineer at New Jersey-based Engelhard Corporation and predecessor companies, retiring in 1996” and his daughter, Donna Paduano, “was suing his former employer, and Swanson was about to be deposed for the first time in his life.” Paduano had mesothelioma, and Paduano “claimed that her father was exposed to asbestos on the job, and that she came into contact with it from his work clothes and from her visits to his laboratory.” By the time “Paduano filed her suit in 2009, Engelhard no longer existed, having been acquired in 2006 by the giant German chemical company BASF SE,” so her attorney, Christopher Placitella, “sued one of BASF’s U.S.-based divisions, BASF Catalysts LLC.” Swanson testified that Engelhard “knew that there was asbestos in its talc, and had sought to destroy that evidence,” although Engelhard, BASF and Cahill “had maintained in thousands of asbestos cases that the company’s talc was asbestos-free.” BASF now “faces the prospect of having to defend itself in thousands of closed asbestos suits that could be reopened.”From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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The Social Security Administration has come out with their Top Ten Baby Names for 2014. Is your child’s name on the list?

Car Accident Safety: What You Need To Know After One Happens

Car Accident Safety

A car accident can be a life-altering event that may affect a person for years on end. On average, car accidents cost the U.S. $230.6 billion per year, and almost everyone will experience at least a minor collision at some point in their life. Anyone that gets behind the wheel of a vehicle should understand some of the steps that they can take to not only preserve their own health, but to also get the financial assistance that they deserve to cover the countless costs that are sure to take place in the coming months.

Safety Is a Priority
If an accident ever involves any serious injuries, then the safety of everyone involved should be your priority. Helping out other drivers, passengers, pedestrians, or cyclists that were injured will not imply guilt whatsoever and could actually make any future negotiations or payment problems much easier. Cars should be pulled off of the road if it is safe to do so, warning lights should be turned on, and everyone involved should be as far away from oncoming traffic as possible. For most collisions, moving the vehicles will not affect the data gathering process and leaving vehicles in the road will actually increase the risk of further injuries.

Collecting Information
As long as no parties are in need of emergency medical care, then you should begin the process of collecting as much data about the accident as possible. Those with a smartphone will want to take some pictures of any nearby signs, damage to the vehicles, tire marks, and damage to any nearby structures. Any drivers that are involved in the accident are also legally required to share their contact information and insurance information. Drivers do not have to share their social security number or driver’s license information with the other driver.

Medical Attention
Deciding if you need medical attention after an accident can be confusing. As a general rule, drivers that have any notion that they are even slightly injured should contact their primary healthcare provider and setup an appointment. One of the most common side effects of a collision is a rush of adrenaline, and this hormone could numb any pain for hours on end. Drivers should also realize what injuries should be treated after the accident. Injuries to the head, back, chest, or neck should be addressed immediately as well as any serious cuts.

Legal Help
A minor fender bender is typically the only time that a driver will not need to consider legal assistance. According to a DWI Lawyer in Austin, Texas, any time that there are injuries, extensive damage to property, a driver under the influence, or the accident involves one or more vehicles, then a lawyer should be contacted. Drivers should also be wary about accepting any immediate payouts offered by an insurance provider. These companies will often attempt to settle for as little as possible by offering an immediate lump sum. This settlement may not cover any ongoing costs, especially with rehabilitation services, medication, emergency surgery, and the inability to work.

Developing a Case
Even if your case does not evolve into a civil trial, a lawyer can be invaluable when it comes to the recovery process. These attorneys will be able to take full control of the situation from the moment that they are contacted and put an end to constant calls from the insurance provider, other drivers, or even the police that were at the scene. They will put in the extensive legwork that is needed to collect all pertinent information in order to have a solid base when entering into mediation with the insurance provider or filing for a trial.

Drivers should always sway to the side of caution when it comes to auto collisions. Even a slight mistake could mean an ongoing battle for fair compensation.

This article is from Rachelle Wilber, a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. Rachelle graduated from San Diego State‘s School of Journalism and Media Studies with her Bachelor’s degree. She loves writing and can find an interest in almost all things. She believes in a healthy lifestyle which has become a key to happiness for her. You can find her shopping or on the beach.

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Understanding the Legal Penalties After Being Involved in a DWI Related Accident

Understanding the Legal Penalties After Being Involved in a DWI Related AccidentDriving while intoxicated is one of the most serious crimes a person can commit while operating an automobile. In all 50 states, a DWI will result in serious penalties for the driver. If you have been charged with this crime, you need to understand the possible punishments if you wish to avoid them.

What Constitutes a DWI?

DWI stands for driving while intoxicated. However, this may leave many wondering how much they have to drink to break the law. It depends on how much a person weighs. This is due to the fact that the law is based on a person’s blood alcohol level. To be in the clear, a person must have a blood alcohol level below .08. For a 120 pond person, this is two drinks or less. For a 220 pound person, however, it’s five drinks or less.

First Time DWI Penalties

If you are being charged with your first DWI, you are likely to incur certain penalties if you are convicted. The punishments given can differ depending on the jurisdiction. However, in general, they include things like a fine of up to a few thousand dollars, probation and community service. There may be jail time served. Depending on the circumstances and jurisdiction, the term could be anywhere from several days to several months. The car may also be impounded and the driver may be forced to install a lock on his or her ignition that forces the driver to perform a breathalyzer test before it can be started.

Penalties for Multiple Time Offenders and Serious Accidents

If a person has previous convictions for driving while under the influence, the punishments given for a conviction are much more severe. For one, you could be prosecuted for having committed a felony. In states like Florida, three convictions within a ten year period results in a felony. Being convicted of a felony DWI could mean spending a year in jail, paying a $5,000 fine and having your license suspended for a decade. If you were involved in a crash that resulted in a loss of life, additional manslaughter charges with even more jail time and even larger fines are very possible.

Why You Need a DWI Attorney

According to Tad Nelson, being charged with a crime such as a DWI can cause a lot of emotional stress along with the legal stress. This is ultimately why you need an attorney to help you with your stress. After all, having a good attorney on your side will help you avoid some of the stiffest penalties for DWI. For example, you may be able to prove that the police officer made mistakes when testing your sobriety. You may be able to walk away without a conviction. If not, the harshest penalties can probably be avoided with good legal strategy. This is why hiring a seasoned DWI attorney is very important.

Driving while under the influence of alcohol can have serious consequences. It can put people’s lives in danger, and it can also result in the driver losing his or her freedom. However, avoiding some of the stiffest penalties is possible if you have the assistance of a good DWI lawyer.

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.

Six Things To Know About Winning A Structured Settlement Through The Court System

6 Things You Should Know About Winning A Structured Settlement Through The Court System

Structured settlements are often used in settlement of injury cases. A written agreement is used in resolving the case through the payment of periodic sums of money at agreed upon dates. It’s important to know these things before signing off on any structured settlement.

It’s an agreement

You may win a case by settling it, but a structured settlement can’t be forced upon you. Structured settlements can only be agreed upon by the parties in writing, usually in the form of a release of claims. No judge can order a structured settlement. They might only be called upon to approve it.

Know who is paying you

If the person responsible for your injuries was insured by a particular insurance company, the company isn’t the one who will be paying. It’s highly likely that the business is going to purchase an annuity to cover the amount of the structured settlement. The company that’s supposed to pay that structured settlement through the annuity could disappear in five years, leaving you with no more periodic payments. If an annuity is involved, be sure its from an established company.

Flexibility

Structured settlements can be flexible, but consider any flexibility issues before you sign off on a structured settlement agreement. Part of the settlement can be in cash. The balance can be structured. You can schedule the first payment one year, five years or even 10 years from now.

Changing structured settlements

You’ll probably hear some strong objections if you want to change a structured settlement. Changes will probably require court approval that you’re probably not going to get. The fact that you’re in perfectly good health and ran out of money is irrelevant.

Taxes

Lump sum settlements in injury cases are generally tax free. If you invest that money and derive income, a tax consequence occurs. Any lump sum and periodic payments made under a structured settlement agreement are also generally tax free.

Selling structured settlements

All or part of a structured settlement is permitted to be sold for cash in many states, and one company that does this is myLumpsum.com. A company representative may even go to court with you to seek approval of the sale. Sales can be much easier to get approval for than changes

Many states permit structured settlements to be converted to cash. Cashing out can benefit a recipient, particularly if they’re looking at buying a new home or retirement in the near future. Always talk with your attorney before entering into any type of settlement.

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.

Phthalate Exposure May Inhibit Masculinization of Genitals in Baby Boys

Good grief — something new for pregnant women to worry about.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that a study presented at the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting suggests that phthalates, the “chemicals used in many plastics, packaging materials and personal care products appear to be associated with the disruption of a key pregnancy hormone” called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). After analyzing data on “350 women and their babies,” researchers found that “exposure to phthalates might inhibit masculinization of the genitals in baby boys.”

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the study’s “findings build on an Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai study published last month in the journal Human Reproduction, which detailed how phthalates target hCG in the placenta, with measurable impacts in the mother’s blood throughout pregnancy.” Currently, the FDA “regulates phthalates ‘as food-contact substances’ because high levels of phthalates ‘can affect the endocrine system,’ said FDA spokeswoman Theresa Eisenman.” Medical Daily also covers the study.

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

NYTimes Calls for New Product Safety Laws

In an editorial, the New York Times wrote, “New laws are needed to deter corporations from covering up safety defects and punish those individuals and companies that do”; the bipartisan outrage over recent automobile defects hasn’t lead to legislation to deal with such issues. The Times called for the passage of three bills introduced by Sen. Richard Blumenthal. The Sunshine in Litigation Act would prevent secret settlements in product liability litigation from keeping regulators and the public from knowing of problems. The Automaker Accountability Act would allow the Transportation Department to consider the severity of the offense when setting fines for automobile safety violations, instead of having them capped. The Hide No Harm Act would criminalize businesses and responsible corporate officers not disclosing “known serious dangers.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

Friday Fun

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All Texans know how the some cities, such as Austin and Houston got their names. But does it surprise you that no one can say for certain who Dallas was named for? I’ve lived here almost 45 years and that still amazes me. Here are some interesting stories about the names of Texas cities.