Friday Fun

I’m not clever enough to think of these things, and probably not brave enough to actually try them. Take a look at Fun With Public Statues.

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Six Signs You Should Pursue A Career In Law

6 Signs You Should Pursue A Career In Law

Some people are naturally inclined towards one career path or another. A career in law is no different. While many are innately good at this type of work, with the right amount of patience and effort, almost anyone can pursue a career in law if they are passionate enough. These are six signs that you should pursue a career in law.

You Want a Flexible Career

One sign that you should think about a career in law is if flexibility is important to you. Law careers are very flexible. You can focus on specific areas of the law or even enter new areas as your career progresses. You can live and work nearly anywhere in the country and start your own business if that is something that interests you.

You Have Good Logical Thinking Skills

A career in law requires you to think very logically and to follow complex lines of thought to their conclusion. These skills are tested from the start and need to be applied when pursuing a degree. If you are comfortable following complicated lines of logic, then you can excel as an attorney.

You Are Willing To Put In Long Hours

You will want to pursue a career in law if you are willing to put in long hours to build your experience and reputation. A law career involves working long days both alone, with coworkers and with clients. You might have to work unusual hours during a case. If you are willing to do this, then a law career can be very rewarding.

You Can Communicate Well

Communicating is an important part of being a lawyer. You will be spending a large amount of time writing legal documents, reading motions and speaking convincingly to juries, judges and clients. If you can read, write and speak well, then you are perfectly suited for a career in law.

You Are Already Interested In the Law

An inherent interest in the law indicates that a career as a lawyer is probably right for you. This means you take a natural interest in the legal side of issues or in the justice system as a whole. A basic interest shows you are already enthusiastic about learning more.

You Have a Desire to Make a Difference

A final sign is if you have a desire to make a difference in the world or the community. A lawyer is in a unique position to help people of all types. If you want to positively impact the lives of others, then a law career is the path to follow.

A career in law can be satisfying, exciting and engaging. Getting a LL.M. online degree requires determination and can be very rewarding. Pursuing a career in law is the right decision if any of these signs apply to you.

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.

Understanding the Legal Effects of Pet Related Injuries

Understanding the Legal Effects of Pet Related Injuries

Millions of dog bites take place every single year, and these accidents remain the number one cause of homeowner insurance claims. Due to this phenomenon, many pet owners have found themselves unsure of their legal options and responsibilities after their pet has injured someone or is falsely accused of injuring someone. All pet owners and those injured by another party’s pets should understand the legal effects of this class of injuries.

Laws Change Between States
The laws are similar or even identical in at least some states, but owners should know that there are no federal pet-related injury laws. That being said, each state does have a handful of statutes regarding pet ownership, pet injuries, and injuries caused by pets. In every single state, there are at least some instances in which an owner will be responsible for an injury and some instances in which the injured party is partially or fully at fault.

When Is the Injured Party Responsible?
Just as with almost any other accidents or injuries, one or more parties may be responsible for a dog bite. Proving that the injured person is to blame will come down to a few unique factors. Primarily, this involves the individual provoking the pet, harming the pet, or knowingly putting themselves in a dangerous situation. This may include a criminal entering your property illegally or neighborhood children hurting or provoking the animal.

The “One-Bite” Rule
This is a general term that has been given to animal bite laws in a number of states throughout the country. Currently, around one-third of all states have a one-bite statute with many more maintaining similar rules. In broad terms, this statute claims that a pet owner becomes fully responsible for any injuries caused by their pet after it has bitten a person one time. At that point, the owners should understand that their dog has the potential to become violent and should take the necessary precautions.

When to Get Help
There is almost no pet-related injury that either owners or victims will not benefit from an experienced personal injury attorney. In addition to these cases becoming complex, they also involve strong emotions and potentially pit neighbors, family members, or friends against one another. An attorney is not just there to ensure that reliable data is collected and the proper damages are awarded, but also that the case or out-of-court negotiations are as amicable as possible.

When injuries involve any kind of pet, it is important that no one takes any legal risks. Contacting a personal injury attorney is the quickest way to move past these issues without them escalating into an ongoing legal battle.

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.

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What You Need To Know About Your Legal Rights With A Personal Injury

What You Need To Know About Your Legal Rights With A Personal Injury

Personal injuries caused by another person or a defective product can be confusing. It is not always clear exactly what you can and cannot do under the law. You need to know about your legal rights when dealing with a personal injury.

You Are Legally Entitled To Fair Compensation

You are legally entitled to fair compensation for your injuries. This is money from the party responsible to cover financial expenses like medical bills, lost income and future treatments related to your injury. You might also be able to get compensation for things like pain and suffering under certain circumstances. If someone tries to tell you otherwise, it’s important to speak with a lawyer.

You Have the Right to Legal Representation

You have the right to legal representation. This means you can ask for a lawyer immediately after the injury occurs, and you should. Talking to an attorney is important because they will be able to protect your rights, deal with insurance companies and build your case. An attorney is your best chance of getting fair compensation.

You Can Refuse Settlement Offers

Insurance companies are likely to offer you a settlement after a personal injury. You have the legal right to refuse this settlement regardless of what the insurer says. You can refuse all settlement offers in favor of going through the courts to get financial compensation.

You Can File a Claim

You have the legal right to file a civil claim against the people who are responsible for your injuries or the insurance company in some cases. This means you will go to court requesting the money you deserve for your injuries. It is important to remember you have this right since a civil claim is sometimes the only way to get any amount of reasonable compensation.

You Can Go After All Liable Parties

You have the right to go after all liable parties for compensation. You can pursue a claim against a driver, car manufacturer and repair center simultaneously if they were all partly responsible for your injury. This is an important right in product liability or medical malpractice cases.

You Can Pursue a Claim Even If You Were Partially Responsible

A final right to remember is that you can pursue a personal injury claim even if you were partially responsible for the accident. You have to be only partly responsible and not fully responsible. You might still be entitled to some compensation.

You need to take advantage of your legal rights if you are dealing with a personal injury. An attorney can help to protect and exercise those legal rights. Use your rights to win fair compensation and hold the liable parties accountable when necessary.

Informational credit to Gazewood & Weiner.

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.

 

Cost of a Car Crash: Tips for Estimating Your Finances After the Fact

Cost of a Car Crash Tips for Estimating Your Finances After the Fact

Car crashes can be a gigantic headache to deal with. The most important aspect after a crash is to make sure all parties involved are physically okay. After that, the dread of dealing with financial repercussions can be horrific. If you ever find yourself dealing with a car crash, follow these tips for estimating and dealing with your finances after the fact.

Call Your Insurance Company
If the accident is at all serious, calling your insurance company is a must. Especially if you are not at fault, and the other car involved has damage. If the other driver reports the accident to their insurance company, which gets in touch with your insurance company well before you do, it can raise some eyebrows in regards to responsibility for the accident. Many insurance companies offer a guarantee that your rates won’t spike if you are not at fault, so there’s nothing to worry about if you take proactive action.

Call a Lawyer
If you’re hurt in an auto accident, calling a lawyer is a smart idea. Medical costs can get expensive very quickly, and the easiest way to ensure you are getting the right rates (and being paid fairly if you weren’t at fault), is to contact a lawyer and let them handle the financial details of the case. According to Ladah Law Firm, many people can get an attorney cheaper if they were not at fault.

Check Labor Costs
Many times, the cost of body work varies from auto shop to auto shop. Check the labor costs at various places in your area to see where you can get the best deal. After the work is done, make sure to go through the bill and verify you were charged the correct rates for the work done.

Replace Parts On Your Own
If the damage to your vehicle isn’t severe, and is constrained to either a bumper or fender, it’s actually surprisingly easy to replace these parts on your own. There are many online guides that can walk you through it, and bypassing the labor costs of replacement at an auto shop will save you a fortune on your repairs. You can also get a professional to fix it, and as long as you provide the parts it can be done fairly quickly and easily.

Get Multiple Estimates
Auto shops offer estimates for most repair work before they begin fixing your car. Shop around at as many different businesses as possible, so that you can choose your most cost-effective option to have your car repaired.

Dealing with a car crash is never fun, but with these tips you can relieve some of the pressure of estimating and paying for your repair costs. But of course the best way to reduce costs of an auto accident is to avoid them altogether. Stay safe and alert on the roads!

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.

Happy 10th Anniversary to PISSD!

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Today is the 10th anniversary of this blog. I had no idea what I was getting into back on April 25, 2005.

Since that time I have published almost 4,000 blog posts here, plus many more on my other blogs. I have either published, or have scheduled to be published, 560 Friday Fun posts — mostly videos. But of all the legal topics, consumer safety articles, and even the Friday Fun posts, the most popular post by far is the one about my wife’s chili recipe.

This blog has been fun for me and I hope it’s been helpful to some people.

Here’s my first post from PISSD:

This Web log is a new adventure for me, and I hope to update it frequently enough to make it a worthwhile resource for lawyers and others who want to help injured and disabled persons. Much of the initial material will be drawn from my main Web site at www.kraftlaw.com or from other Web sites I maintain.

I’ll also use this blog as a repository for snippets of information on technology, marketing, humor, and other subjects of interest to me (and possibly to me only). Please share your thoughts.

The title of the blog reflects my general attitude toward the way State and Federal governments and insurance companies treat injured and disabled people. In general, there is an uncaring attitude toward people when they are at the lowest points (physically and financially) of their lives. I think this is wrong, and I am proud to be one of the advocates who fight the system on behalf of those who are unable to adequately represent themselves.

Friday Fun

I’m pretty good at spelling and grammar, but if I ever got a tattoo I would have a dictionary and a grammar guide in my hands the entire time. These poor people obviously did not.

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Five Things You Need to Have a Successful Personal Injury Trial

5 Things You Need to Have a Successful Personal Injury Trial

Personal injury law firms have an extensive list of open cases, requiring as much personal attention as the last. In addition to their current caseload, administrative, accounting and marketing tasks must be completed to keep the firm running on a full time basis. Increasing your chances of success early on during trial will help reduce the amount of time spent on each case researching potential rebuttals and practicing defense strategies with your clients.

Success in the courtroom will depend on how well you present evidence, your organization skills, effective communication and the quality of responses you’ve prepared for cross examination. The following five things will help you be successful during every personal injury trial:

1. Obtain Transcripts of Every Hearing

While most lawyers take great notes, it’s extremely hard to keep up with the often fast pace of a personal injury trial.

After every hearing, request a copy of the transcript so you can go over every detail and begin preparation for the next hearing. Any small details that you might have missed when inside the courtroom could have a major impact on the outcome of the case.

2. Always Have an Interpreter Handy

You never know what to expect during a trial. If a witness that doesn’t speak English comes forward that will make the difference between winning and losing your personal injury case, be prepared to have an interpreter on standby to help with the testimony in court.

Legal interpreters are often hard to come by because the legal language involved is difficult for some to comprehend. Because of this, you should always have a backup plan that includes a list of multiple interpreters for one language.

3. A Stellar Presentation Is Essential

Juries get bored easily, especially when the subject is personal injury law. A stellar presentation with great graphics, video slides and easy-to-understand verbiage will help keep the jurors involved with the case itself. Juries often tune out defense or plaintiff teams when they can’t understand what is going on; a simple and attractive presentation that gets your point across easily and quickly can help mediate this issue.

4. Hire a Trial Consultant

Naegeli Deposition and Trial, a deposition and litigation consulting firm based out of Seattle, suggests that a trial consultant might be the difference between sitting in a courtroom for days on end and winning your case within a matter of hours.

With years of experience, a consultant can help you organize your presentation for every hearing, will go over trial strategy to ensure you or your legal team haven’t missed any key steps, and can help with pre-trial research if necessary.

5. An Exceptional Legal Assistant

As the head of a major personal injury law firm, you might not be able to find the time to complete essential yet mundane tasks. While copies need to be made, forms need to be filed and evidence needs to be gathered, you have to concentrate on preparing your questions for cross examination and helping your client prepare for any questions that might come from the other side.

A legal assistant will do all the basic research and paperwork for you. An exceptional one will need little to no supervision, and can even help with the trial and litigation consulting firm when they’re preparing videos or working on strategy.

Time is golden when you’re trying to prepare for a personal injury trial. Beyond hiring a legal assistant, a professional trial and litigation consulting firm will help with any preparation and strategy you need to be successful in court.

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.

The First Five Things To Do When You Are Accused Of A Crime You Didn’t Commit

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While you might think that there is no way you will ever get arrested, you must remember that plenty of innocent people have been falsely accused of crimes merely because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. After a turn of events, you might find that you have been accused of a crime you didn’t commit, and at this point, what you do next is of utmost importance. If you want to save your reputation (and in some cases, your freedom), you’ll need to take a few precise steps to promote the best outcome. Take a look at five of the first things you’ll want to do if you’ve been falsely accused:

Deny It

Of course you have the right to remain silent, but that doesn’t involve zipping your mouth completely shut. Deny committing the crime both before and after your rights are read to you. Deny it in writing and on video tape if possible. The prosecution must produce those denials in the future. Exercise your Miranda rights, and say nothing more.

Work on Getting Out of Custody

You’ll be allowed a few phone calls after being taken into custody. Call a family member and ask them to go to a bail bond agent to get you released. Ordinarily you’ll be released in hours. If you’re in a non-bail bondsman state, you’ll appear before a judge for a bond hearing. Request a recognizance bond where no money is required to be posted. If the judge requires a cash bond, ask for three phone calls to raise the money.

Seek Legal Counsel

The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution confers the right to assistance of counsel for the accused in any criminal prosecution. That also means that if you can’t afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you by the court. Court-appointed attorneys are generally highly experienced and conscientious professionals. Barring a conflict of interest, you have the right to retain any attorney licensed in your state to represent you.

Cooperate With Your Attorney

Upon retaining counsel, it is in your highest and best interests to cooperate with your attorney. According to a criminal defense attorney, you have a better chance of winning your case if you are open and cooperative with your lawyer. That means providing them with any and all information they need, whether you feel it’s relevant or not. That also means telling your attorney 100 percent of the truth and nothing less. You want to prove your innocence, and so does your attorney.

Persist in Your “Not Guilty” Plea

The prosecution has the burden of proving you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. That’s a difficult burden. They might know that they can’t prove their case and ask the court to dismiss all charges. If not, persist in that not guilty plea through a jury trial.

These are fundamental basic rights that every person has if they’re arrested anywhere in the United States. While it can be overwhelming to be accused of a crime you didn’t commit, especially if you aren’t familiar with the law, the worst thing you can do is to not take any action. Follow the steps above, and be sure to enlist help from any resource possible in your endeavor to prove your innocence.

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

How A DUI Conviction Can Affect Your Employment And Relationships

How A DUI Conviction Can Affect Your Employment And Relationships

Driving under the influence, or DUI, is a serious charge. If you are convicted of this crime, then you will have a permanent mark on your record. A conviction will follow you forever and change many parts of your life. You should understand how a DUI conviction could affect your employment and relationships.

Problems Due To Missed Work

You could have problems with your employer due to missed work after a DUI conviction. You might have already lost time because of court dates. Mandatory alcohol diversion programs or jail time can keep you out of work. Missing too much work can lead to demotions or job loss.

Finding a New Job Is More Difficult

You will have a more difficult time finding a new job after a DUI conviction. Employers are less likely to hire someone with a conviction. There are also careers where a DUI can completely disqualify you from employment. A single DUI conviction can limit your future career options and make promotions unavailable.

Getting Around Will Become More Difficult

A DUI conviction could result in a suspended driver’s license. This will make it more difficult to get around. You might not be able to get to work on time anymore because you are relying on alternate forms of transportation. This is just one reason why it is important to talk to a lawyer when accused of a DUI. An attorney could shorten or prevent a full license suspension.

Less Trust with Family, Friends and Coworkers

A DUI conviction can cause family, friends and coworkers to trust you less. Those people could start to scrutinize every aspect of your behavior or assume that you have been drinking when you make a mistake. They might stop trusting you with certain responsibilities. This can destroy relationships.

Loss of Professional Licenses

If you need to maintain a professional license to work, then you could lose it after a DUI conviction. Some professional organizations have rules about DUI or criminal convictions. Losing your professional license can stop you from working in your chosen career field.

Strained Personal Relationships

Your own feelings of shame, embarrassment or failure can put strain on your personal relationships. You might withdraw socially or become emotionally detached. This strain could potentially lead to loss of long-time friends or divorce from a spouse.

A DUI conviction can have a devastating effect on your career and your relationships. This is why it is important to do everything possible to avoid a conviction. Talking to a lawyer can help you to understand your rights, and they can help you navigate the legal system, say the experts at the Knochel Law Offices P.C. Taking the time to dispute the charges or negotiate a deal through a lawyer can prevent these problems from occurring.

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.

 

 

Word of Mouth — The Powerful Injury Attorney Marketing Tool

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The Internet has become a useful tool for injury lawyers in particular, whether it is to gain potential clients, do research or network online on sites like Google Plus, and so on and so forth. Of course, negligence law practitioners around the country generally already have a negative reputation as “ambulance chasers,” so even if they are not big time Internet lawyers who want to rank online, they still have to maintain an online presence and clean up things like bad reviews, etc, to try and overcome that bias.

But when determining where clients come from, one of the best answers now-a-days, is still by word-of-mouth. This is not just because Google has created an environment of fear, uncertainty and doubt insofar as organic rankings go, with Penguin, Panda and its other algorithmic iterations.

It is also because PayPer click bids are now so high due to so many people paying for their Internet traffic, since their organic rankings started falling off starting around April of 2012. After all, a term like “accident attorney” can be as high as $100 for one click, which is way too high when you consider that we have to fund our own cases, and sometimes even advance down and out clients money.

Also, rather than deal with negative SEO from jealous competitors and their SEO companies such as the problems discussed here, many injury attorneys are even hiring PR firms to help improve their online images, paying for review clean up, and opting to pay for clicks on AVVO and Yelp!, instead of dealing with SEO companies.

Many injury lawyers I know who were once number one all over the net, are all but giving up on their websites for ranking organically, and instead using them to display reviews and information about their firms to impress potential new clients, and to put some fear into liability insurance companies that don’t want to pay up.

Gone are the days of lots and lots of links ranking your website, and having arrived are the days of one or two links from a powerful site being enough to rank a brand new site in the number one position. And good luck finding that golden egg link.

So how do you get ahead if you’re an Internet attorney when you finally throw your hands up and walk away from Google? Well, the above issues are causing a lot of formerly great ranking online attorneys to hedge their bets on old fashioned warm marketing. And as you can see, you can never really walk away. You will still need to monitor your reputation.

Simply put, warm marketing means that clients refer the law firm, or attorney’s name to friends, family or co-workers who are seeking the services of a legal professional practicing in the area of the law they may require legal representation. Yes it is true that some attorneys still have not begun using the Internet as a marketing tool and depend on word-of-mouth to help bring them potential clients.

Obviously these are the firms and lawyers that do seminars and hustle up business at conventions, from new and less experienced lawyers, and also from experienced lawyers who are too busy, or trying to focus on other areas of law. They also sponsor events, etc., and work with local communities doing outreach projects. Warm marketers are the injury lawyers who typically do not get so hurt when Google changes the algo.

But even in situations where a person seeking an attorney is given the legal advocates name by someone they trust, or even after meeting the lawyer face-to-face most individuals will then look up information about the law firm or attorney on the Internet using a search engine.

The reasons that an injury victim would do this can be for one or more situations below:

  • They want to see the size of the law firm.
  • How long the attorney offering services has been in practice.
  • The background of the attorney.
  • If there has been any record of disciplinary action against the lawyer or law firm.
  • How well the attorney or law firm is rated by past clients.

Searching for an injury attorney or law firm on the Internet in most cases, there will be no need to go past the first page on the search engine results, if the legal professional has a web presence they take seriously. Clicking on the link to a law firm or solo practice and what will be found is generally the law firm website. Read More »

Long Arm of the Law: Everything You Need to Know About Civil Forfeiture

Long Arm of the Law Everything You Need to Know About Civil Forfeiture

A situation where the government has the right to seize your property and sell it to the highest bidder without convicting you is a big threat to your property rights. Civil forfeiture extends to one’s home, car, and cash and when the law enforcement personnel sell your property, in most cases, they get to keep the proceeds. The following article seeks to provide a basic knowledge on civil forfeiture.

Origin of Civil Forfeiture
Civil forfeiture refers to a legal mechanism that gives law enforcement officials the permission to seize any property that has been linked with criminal activity. The property owner does not have to be guilty. The concept of civil forfeiture is to charge the property of being involved in crime, rather than charge the property owner. Therefore, police have the right to seize your home, car, money or any valuables without charging you. The legal fiction of civil forfeiture originated from the medieval times where objects were superstitiously presumed to be capable of causing death. This was used as an excuse to boost custom duties by collecting and selling people’s property.

What Civil Forfeiture Means in a Court of Law
In a court of law, a civil forfeiture case features the plaintiff versus the defendant where the plaintiff is the United States, and the defendant is the piece of property in question. According to Eschbacher Law, at this point, the property owner becomes the third party claimant. Civil forfeiture hearings are less interested in reasonable doubt, and are more concerned with the burden of proof. If the government proves your property should be seized, you should prove otherwise by preponderance of evidence. This means you should provide enough evidence to show there is a high chance your claim is true.

Defense for Civil Forfeiture
Your innocence, in most cases, is not a defense. You can argue that no crime took place, or that the government did not have enough probable cause or that your property is not sufficiently linked to the crime to warrant a seizure. If any of these defenses succeed, the government is supposed to return your property and is not liable for any damages.

As much as civil forfeiture is meant to curb criminal activity, it still leaves a lot to be desired. Law enforcement agencies can use this as a means of policing for profit. This means innocent property owners can have their property seized without just cause. However, the due process in court is one measure that seeks to reduce the unfair incidences of civil forfeiture. If you are a victim of civil forfeiture, you should hire an attorney to ensure justice is served.

 

Driverless Cars and DUI’s: How Will DUI Levels be Affected by Driverless Car Technology?

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Driverless cars have taken a lot of heat over their supposed negative aspects—their potential to put bus and taxi drivers out of work, the probable insurance nightmare of determining who is at fault in a driverless car accident, the worry of a malfunction—you name it. For various reasons, many are skeptical about this technology. However, one interesting benefit that the technology could provide is the possibility of lowering DUI incidents. Let’s take a closer look at how DUI levels might be affected by the regular implementation of driverless vehicles.

Driverless Cars Can Keep Drunks From Driving

Insert the unavoidable “duh.” However, it might be just that simple. Although legislative bodies are somewhat wary about issues with driverless cars, implementation will put an end to many of their fears. The question of who is at fault when a driverless car with a drunk occupant gets in an accident occupies the legislative mind right now, but when driverless cars reach the road they will quickly prove to be so reliable that the question is moot. A driverless car with a drunk occupant will be no more likely to cause a crash as one with a sober occupant. Although they will still be legally liable for the consequences of their actions, the truth is that driverless cars are simply not under the control of the occupant, and their inebriation is irrelevant to safe operation. The real matter at hand is how many lives can be saved by keeping drunk drivers from actually driving.

If the Technology Goes Mainstream, It Will be Far-Reaching

Drunk people will have easy access to driverless cars. With the possibility of driverless taxis and driverless public transportation, this would allow a drunk person to get home quickly and safely. Since there is no driver who has to memorize the route or feel dismay at small changes in the schedule, future mass transport will be more responsive than ever. Waiting for public transportation could be much less onerous when one can simply request the bus to come pick you up and drop you off. People may even be able to have the bus come right to their door.

Although it is not possible to predict with specificity, public transportation and taxis might well merge as cities employ fleets of driverless vehicles to take people where they want to go. This would cut DUI almost completely, because the sheer ease of the system would make driving a personal car while drunk almost as anachronistic as taking a wagon home. Of course, it will take a long time until this type of technology is mainstream, however, the potential is there.

Let’s Wait and See

While it seems like driverless cars are on the fast track, it will take several years before they are mainstream. The cost alone will only make them available to a select few in the beginning, and there are still legal hurdles to overcome. However, at a future date in time, if this technology proves to be as influential and wide-spread as some say, the benefits for lowering DUI’s could be monumental.

AUTHOR BIO: This article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves writing for technology, women’s interests, and family issues. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters. Dixie got advice for this article from the DUI Attorney Michael Kraut, who practices in the Los Angeles area.

Photo credit: Pixabay.com

Friday Fun

I’ve wanted to drive a Formula One race car since I was a teenager. Now, 50 years later, I guess I can stop dreaming. Still, it’s sure fun to watch other people drive them.

This little video not only gives you an inside look at driving a race car, but also shows how tiny differences in driving technique can make the difference in winning and losing. In this case 9/1000 of a second was the difference between pole position and runner-up.

Personal Injuries: Coping with the Emotional Side of Pain

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Getting injured is not typically something that you plan for. One day…it just happens. Whether the injury was the result of a workplace accident, slip and fall, or motor vehicle collision, those who suffer significant injuries have a long road ahead of them toward recovery.

Most would assume that the only thing they have to be worried about is recovering from the physical injuries they’ve sustained. While this is partially true, there are other aspects of being injured that no one thinks about or plans for until they’re in the midst of the mayhem – the emotional and financial aspects.

The Emotional Effects of an Accident

When someone has been significantly injured, it can have a significant impact on them emotionally. Someone who is injured obviously can’t carry on with life in the manner that they’re used to. In more severe instances, the individual may even be incapable of ever living life the way they did before the accident. For example, nerve damage could prevent someone from being able to return to work, or complete simple day-to-day tasks without complications. Injuries can ultimately change the way an individual thinks and feels about themselves and the quality of their life. Periods of anxiety, fear, self-doubt, and more can lead to a psychological breakdown creating an environment for depression to sink in.

Emotional aspects of an accident are often overlooked by those suffering from injuries. Their immediate attention is geared towards their physical well-being and recovery. However, as their wounds begin to heal, they’re often left with the emotional side of things, which leaves them feeling helpless, and in many cases depressed. When an individual is not fully aware of how to deal with these emotions, they often find ways to mask those feelings. Unfortunately that can lead to the dependency of medications, drugs, and alcohol.

Opiate Dependency

What many individuals assume is that because medication has been prescribed that it is safe for consumption. This is true in a sense. Medications are taken through a rigorous approval process by the FDA before they can be prescribed and consumed by the general public. However, when a doctor prescribes medication, they do so with strict guidelines on how much should be taken and when. When patients don’t comply with those instructions, they run the risk of affecting their health – including the potential for becoming addicted to their prescribed medication.

How does one become addicted to opiates? Pain medication essentially makes the pain go away. When the victim is no longer experiencing pain, their mental state of being often subsides. However, once those medications wear off, it sends them right back into emotional distress and physical pain. So to remedy that, they take more medication and become dependent upon it to provide them with immediate (yet temporary) relief.

Other Addictions

When prescription medications wear off or are no longer necessary, the emotional aspects of the injuries have still be unresolved. The feeling of not being able to return to work, do certain physical activities, or even look the same (in instances where scarring changes the appearance), can cause some to rely on illegal drugs and alcohol to mask their emotions.

Getting Help and Turning Things Around

It can be hard to get past the physical and emotional pain of an accident. The injuries you’ve sustained, the scars it may have left behind, and even the thought of the cause of the accident itself can be enough to drive a person to the edge. Be that as it may, it is imperative for those who have suffered injuries to get help before things get worse. Below are two forms of help that can assist you in getting your life back on track:

1.  Reach Out to a Therapist – An accident of any kind can be psychologically damaging. Some people experience post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, and even chronic stress. Talking with a therapist about these emotions is important to prevent the potential for substance abuse and/or addiction. A therapist can assist you in sorting through your emotions and helping you to find the silver lining to getting your life back in order. For those who have already developed a dependency to medication or other substances, an addiction therapist is still beneficial for helping you to kick your habit before things get worse.

2.  Seek Legal Counsel – Many individuals are unsure of when to contact a personal injury lawyer. However, when you’ve sustained significant injuries that have altered your quality of life or caused a great deal of emotional distress, it is beneficial to consult with a legal representative to find out what your rights are. Many attorneys do not charge for a consultation so there is no risk in reaching out to see how they can help. A personal injury attorney will ultimately review your case and help you in determining if you can receive financial compensation for your injuries and pain and suffering.

If you or someone you know has recently suffered a significant injury as a result of any form of accident knowing what to do can make a huge difference on their road to recovery. Allowing the psychological trauma of their injuries and the accident to sink in can cause unsettling feelings about life to develop. In turn, this can lead to dependency on negative crutches like painkillers, alcohol, and drugs.

It is best to reach out to professionals to help both your physical, psychological, and financial burdens so that you can work towards getting your life back on track. If you haven’t done so already, consider consulting with a personal injury lawyer to assist with financial compensation as well as a therapist to help you sort through your emotions. In time, you will see a significant improvement in your recovery process and your outlook on life.

Futures of Palm Beach, The Politics of Addiction, 2015. http://www.futuresofpalmbeach.com/addictions/politics-addiction/

The Berlin Daily Sun, Jen Buteau, Innocent Victims of Opiate Addiction, February 9, 2015. http://www.berlindailysun.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=52656:jen-buteau-collateral-damage&catid=73&Itemid=428

American Society of Addiction Medicine, Pain and Addiction, 2015. http://www.asam.org/research-treatment/pain-and-addiction

Helpguide.org, Emotional and Psychological Trauma, 2015. http://www.helpguide.org/articles/ptsd-trauma/emotional-and-psychological-trauma.htm

This article is from Jenna Brown. Jenna is a freelance blogger who is mainly focused on business innovation and breaking stories in business. Jenna has been blogging since college where she studied marketing and has merged her love of keying stories into copy writing work as well as plenty of reading and writing for fun! Find and follow on her new Twitter here! Also seen here.

On the Job: Six of the Most Dangerous Careers Today

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According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 4,405 work-related fatalities in 2013. Although the number of fatal workplace accidents is down 25 percent over the past decade, there is still a large number of workers in particular industries who remain at risk. Here are six of the most dangerous jobs in existence today.

Construction Worker
Average Annual Salary: $35,020
Laborers in the construction industry are at risk because they often work with a variety of potentially dangerous equipment including power tools and heavy machinery. In addition, some construction job duties are performed at dangerous heights. In 2013, there were 215 fatal injuries per every 100,000 workers in this industry.

Fisherman
Average Annual Salary: $33,430
Fishers and other workers in the fishing industry put their lives at risk every time they go to work. These laborers work on boats in sometimes treacherous conditions. Hauling and lifting heavy equipment on a moving boat, combined with the unpredictability of environmental conditions makes fishing a dangerous way to earn a living. In 2013, 27 workers in this industry lost their lives.

Logger
Average Annual Salary: $33,630
Logging is an extremely dangerous career because loggers work with massive equipment in unstable conditions and often in very isolated areas. Not only is cutting the trees down extremely dangerous, loggers must also work with heavy logging machines as well. The slightest mistake can be fatal in this industry — in 2013, 59 loggers were killed in work-related incidents.

Miner
Average Annual Salary: $62,620
Mining is yet another extremely dangerous profession. Although conditions have improved over the years thanks to modern mining technology, miners still risk their lives simply by reporting to work every day. Miners face the risk of explosions, equipment failure, mine collapse, fires and other hazards. There were 16 fatal mining industry injuries sustained in 2013.

Farmer
Average Annual Salary: $69,300
Farmers and other agricultural workers also face major hazards when it comes to everyday job duties. While the most obvious hazard for farmers is the heavy machinery they operate on a daily basis, like combines, balers and choppers. Farmers are also at high risk for tractor-related accidents. And, let’s not forget silo suffocation and bull goring. In 2013, there were 220 agricultural workers who died from farming-related accidents.

Truck Driver
Average Annual Salary: $38,200
Driving is a dangerous career for obvious reasons. Truck drivers work long hours, with few opportunities for an adequate rest. Professional drivers are at high risk for vehicle collisions and rollovers, whether caused by their own negligence or another driver on the road. 2013 statistics for fatal truck driving accidents are staggering — 748 drivers were killed while performing their job duties.

If you’re concerned about danger at work Bachus & Schanker Law say to consider consultation with a law group or Colorado Workers’ Compensation Attorney to learn your rights and how to protect yourself and your family if the worst were to occur. Becoming educated about the safety regulations for your industry is a good first step when it comes to making your job a safer place. Although many careers will remain dangerous, modern innovations have contributed a great deal toward workplace safety.

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.

Four Common Practices of Good Criminal Defense Attorneys

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Certain defense attorneys are well established in the criminal courts. Some seem to get more not guilty verdicts, and when their clients are guilty, they seem to get better plea deals and sentences. They all have certain common characteristics. These are four that they all share and four that you should look for when researching new attorneys to represent you in your legal endeavors.

Credibility

Most courtrooms don’t have windows. If a respected criminal defense attorney tells you that it’s raining outside, then indeed it’s raining outside. Having represented thousands of clients for many years in front of the same judges and against the same prosecutors, these attorneys have developed reputations for being credible. They’re not going to jeopardize that reputation either. They still have thousands of cases in the future and their livelihood depends on this aspect.

Preparation

Knowing how the facts of each case interrelate between physical evidence and anticipated testimony is part of every defense of a criminal case. Each piece of physical evidence has been examined, all witness statements have been analyzed, and witnesses for the defense have been prepared and disclosed to the prosecution. The law requires full, complete and timely disclosure by both sides. This is to avoid trial by ambush. When a veteran criminal defense attorney is involved in a case, any surprises are few and far between. If and when surprises do arise in a courtroom, the seasoned criminal defense attorney knows how to think on their feet. Full and complete preparation makes thinking on one’s feet less complicated.

Criminal Procedure

The procedure involved in a criminal case from the time of arrest is vastly different than the procedure involved in a civil cases. Criminal procedure also varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and sometimes even judges make their own special rules that must be followed in their courtrooms. Criminal procedure is a road map of how the case is to proceed through different phases. It involves safeguards designed to protect an accused’s constitutional rights. Procedure continues from arrest through pretrial, trial, sentencing and appeal. The highly experienced defense attorneys know criminal procedure and its nuances.

Persistence

Courtrooms are arenas, and adversarial proceedings are held in them. There are times when a prosecutor will try to prevent a defense attorney from effectively representing their client. There are also times when even judges might do that. Prosecutors might withhold critical evidence that negates the accused’s guilt. Wrongful convictions can result from this tactic. An attorney, like the Keyser Defense Attorneys in Minnesota, must be doggedly persistent in obtaining all relevant evidence in a case. This kind of dedication can be the difference between a wrongful conviction and a not guilty verdict.

These are the four legs that every successful attorney bases the majority of their cases and careers on. You’ll see these four common threads in every case they’re involved in, no matter what their client is charged with or how much money they might have.

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

Photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net

Three Simple Solutions for a Safer Home

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When people become parents for the very first time, they suddenly and understandably start looking at their safe and secure home as a sinister source of danger for their precious little one. From covering every outlet to securing bookcases to walls and much more, new parents are pros at making sure their homes are as safe as possible.

Those of us without little ones in the house don’t have to take such thorough and extensive steps to make our homes safe and sound. After all, chances are high that you no longer have to worry about your kids sticking a fork in the outlets or climbing the entertainment center. But just because we don’t have infants around, it does not mean that we should be lax in the safety department. It does not have to take a lot of time, money or effort to boost the safety of your home—in fact, the following trio of suggestions are simple places to start.

Light up the outside

If you enjoy entertaining family and friends outside, or even if you find yourself returning home from work or school after dark, it’s vital to have proper outdoor lighting. In addition to providing an added layer of security, Red Beacon notes that outside lighting will help you and your family safely navigate steps, pathways and more without falling. Zone lighting helps illuminate certain key areas at night, and it can also be used in the backyard and around your patio and deck areas. You should also consider adding lights with motion sensors. This way, if you are maneuvering up stairs in the dark while carrying bags of groceries, the lights will automatically come on to light your way. Basically, the more you can illuminate the places that you and your family walk through or hang out in at night, the safer you’ll be.

Install a peephole

As Keep Safe Warehouse notes, one of the easiest and least expensive ways to keep strangers out of your home is to install a peephole in your front door. Also referred to as a “door viewer,” a peephole allows you to see who is knocking at your door before opening it. As it turns out, peepholes are not created equally; for example, instead of the “fish eye” style, consider installing a wide angle door viewer that will give you a much broader view of the outside. For example, the 2 3/8-inch silver metal model by New-Vue enables you see up to 7 feet away from your door as well as a nice wide look out front.

Add a spa or hot tub cover lift

An outdoor spa or hot tub can be fabulously relaxing after a long day at work. Unfortunately, in order to enjoy the water, you first have to lift the cumbersome and heavy spa or hot tub cover off. In order to save your back, purchase a spa or hot tub cover lift from a company like Hot Tub Works; not only will the cover lift help to prevent neck, shoulder and back injuries, it will also encourage you to keep the spa or hot tub safely covered when not in use. This can also boost your home’s safety by keeping young kids and pets out of the water when you are not around to watch them.

Author Alison Stanton has been a freelance writer for the past 14 years. Based in the Phoenix, Arizona area, Alison enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics, but especially loves meeting interesting people and telling their stories. 

How to Get Just Compensation in Your Personal Injury Lawsuit

How to get Just Compensation in Your Personal Injury Lawsuit

When a person is injured by the negligence of somebody else, the injured party has the right to be made whole. Since the law can’t give the person a new natural neck or knee, the only way to compensate them is with money. If you’re injured by the negligence of another person and want to be made whole, you have to be diligent.

Document the accident
All circumstances surrounding the accident must be documented so that liability issues are preserved. In motor vehicle accidents, the police usually do a nice job of this in their accident reports. Make sure the police are called to the scene, and stay there until they arrive. They’ll get the details of how the accident happened, and the contact information of all vehicle occupants and any witnesses.

Document your injuries
Injuries are documented through medical records and bills. Without them, there are no ascertainable injuries and no case. If you’re hurt in an accident, the best way to document your injuries is to tell paramedics at the scene what hurts from head to toe. They’ll examine you at the scene. You want to be taken to the nearest emergency room. They’ll transport you. Records of your complaints of pain and their treatment will be made from the accident scene to the emergency room. Emergency room personnel will then examine you and make their own more detailed records. Follow up on all care and treatment after the emergency room. Don’t miss appointments.

Retain a personal injury attorney
When you’re minding your own business and suddenly hurt through the carelessness of somebody else, you’re a victim thrown into the world of personal injury. You’re not going to do arthroscopic surgery on your knee yourself, even though it’s an outpatient procedure. According to Owen Law Firm, you shouldn’t handle your own personal injury case either. You simply don’t know what you’re doing. An experienced and skilled personal injury attorney should be retained by you as soon as possible after the accident. Don’t worry about paying them. Consultations are free, and you owe no attorney fees unless they obtain a recovery on your behalf.

If the insurer of the party that caused the accident contacts you wanting your statement, you’re under no legal obligation to cooperate. Just tell them to contact your attorney. You’ll never hear from them again. Your job is to reach maximum medical improvement. That alone can be very time consuming. Your personal injury attorney will handle everything else. That’s what they are there for.

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.

Friday Fun

Here is an amazing gymnastic routine.