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A classic movie cliché — He (or she) is right behind me, isn’t he?

5 Reasons Why Truck Drivers Need to Retain a Lawyer

5 Reasons Why Truck Drivers Need to Retain a Lawyer

Truck drivers spend hundreds of hours of their time out on the open road. Unlike a typical workplace, however, there are unique dangers and regulations that must be taken into consideration. Life is unpredictable, and situations arise that could put truckers in danger of losing their jobs. Whether you are a trucker and have found yourself in legal hot water or you know someone struggling with this issue, there are five reasons why you need to retain a lawyer.

  1. You Are Charged With a DWI

Driving under the influence is a serious offense, and all 50 states have strict enforcement in these situations. Being convicted can quickly cost you your job, and there’s a good chance you’ll never be driving a truck again. When you hire an attorney, however, you can build up a strong defense. There are a lot of angles your attorney can take as they investigate the situation. They’ll talk to officers and review documentation to see if there’s anything amiss that could be used to have your case dismissed. If not, they can help minimize charges and to help you get back on your feet.

  1. You Were in a Serious Accident

Whenever there’s an accident involving a semi-truck, there’s typically a lot of damage. After all, they can weigh 80,000 pounds and travel alongside smaller vehicles. If you were involved in an accident, you’ll want to seek out legal representation. Insurance will be involved, and you’ll have to submit to various tests such as drugs and alcohol. If there are any fingers pointed your way in regards to the reason the accident occurred, you shouldn’t talk to anyone until you’ve consulted with an 18 wheeler accident lawyer like those at the Law Offices of Eric Harron.

  1. You Are Confused By Your Conviction

No matter your conviction, the fact remains that the law can be confusing, and, unless you have a law school degree, there are likely aspects about your case you aren’t completely clear on. If there’s anything you feel you aren’t sure about, you owe it to yourself to consult with legal counsel to ensure you understand your rights.

  1. You’re Innocent, But You Don’t Know How to Build Your Case

Lawyers have spent years understanding how the court system works, and there are numerous ways in which they can build a strong defense on your behalf. Just some of the things they could do for you to help you overcome charges include:

  • Discovering key evidence that was improperly obtained.
  • Pointing out that a witness statement contradicts an earlier one
  • Discovering that the crime lab failed to properly handle evidence
  1. You’re Not Sure How to Plead

If this is your first time facing the court system, you may be confused when you’re asked your plea. What are the repercussions for choosing one option over another? To avoid potentially severe penalties, your attorney can review the case and offer the sound advice you need in order to give you the best chance.

The Representation You Deserve

We all make mistakes. As a truck driver, you spend significantly more time on the road than the average person, and it’s not uncommon for you to get pulled over and find yourself in trouble. However, there’s a lot at stake since you’re on the job. Don’t put yourself in danger of sabotaging a career you’ve worked so hard for. The sooner you get an experienced lawyer on your case, the better chance you’ll have of presenting a viable defense that will give you the best possibility of a light sentence or complete dismissal of charges.

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 four-year-old husky Snowball.

Six Instances When You Should Always Get Legal Help

6 Instances When You Should Always Get Legal Help

While many people take pride in handling problems on their own, there are certain things you need help with. One of these is legal matters. No matter how much you think you know, a layperson doesn’t have the skill or knowledge to properly navigate through many complex legal matters. Below are six instances when you should always get legal help.

Being Charged with a Crime

Never represent yourself in criminal court. Making mistakes in criminal court can result in extremely negative outcomes. You could end up behind bars for years. With the advice of a good lawyer, on the other hand, you may receive a much lighter sentence or be exonerated completely.

Divorce

If you are considering filing for divorce, you should certainly hire an attorney. Divorce is never a simple matter, and there is a lot at stake. Depending on how it turns out, you could lose a lot of your possessions in court. Reaching a better result such as with a settlement will require a skilled attorney.

You Are Being Sued

If you have had a lawsuit filed against you by another person or party, you need proper legal representation. A skilled attorney can help you win in court and save you from the harsh debt burden of a legal judgment.

Immigration Issues

Issues involving immigration, residency and legal status can be very complex. If you don’t approach the legal questions properly, the consequences can be severe. For example, you could get deported back to your home country. If your legal status is being challenged or your US residency is in jeopardy, get proper legal representation from an immigration attorney in Los Angeles.

You Are in a Custody Dispute

If your ex-spouse is trying to take your children away from you, you certainly need legal assistance. A lawyer can help insure that you are represented properly and are able to obtain the custody or visitation rights you deserve as a parent.

You Have Been Discriminated Against

If you feel like your employer has discriminated against you based on your race, sex, color, religion, ethnic origin, age or sexual orientation, one of the only ways to obtain justice is by filing a lawsuit. Hiring a lawyer with experience in civil rights cases can help make sure the discrimination doesn’t go unpunished.

Overall, a lawyer can certainly provide you with valuable assistance when the stakes are high. Don’t be afraid to set up a consultation to discuss your case with an attorney with the appropriate kind of experience.

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.

Carfax: Number of US Vehicles With Open Safety Recalls Reaches 47 Million

Carfax logo. (PRNewsFoto/Carfax)

Reuters reports that according to Carfax, the number of recalled vehicles in the US increased to 47 million, up 27% from last year. Although recalled vehicles can be repaired free of charge at dealerships, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 25% of owners fail to have recalled vehicles repaired.

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

Cyber Law: What To Do When Your Company Data Has Been Breached

Cyber Law What to do When your Company Data has been Breached

Cyber-crime is a growing problem, and a recent study indicated that the average cost of a data breach has increased 15% for companies. The Internet and computer technology has offered a number of conveniences and allowed us to work smarter instead of harder, but it’s still necessary to stay ahead of the game when it comes to security. If your company data has been breached, there are a few things you need to do to ensure you get back on your feet and continue on with your business stronger than ever.

Secure Customer Trust
If your security breach has impacted your customers, the first thing you must do is maintain their trust and answer all their questions thoroughly. While you can expect to be presented in a negative light by the media when this occurs, the way you handle the situation makes all the difference in the long-term. Just some things you should do when engaging with customers in regards to the situation include:

  • Assure them you’re aware of the situation
  • Let them know you’re working on getting to the bottom of it
  • Let them know you’ll provide restitution if they indeed prove to be victims

Anyone Can Fall Victim
Most industries use computers in some way or another, and that makes you a potential victim. From food companies and manufacturers to healthcare providers, insurance companies and more, there is information that should remain secure.

Security You Can Count On
While a security breach can seem scary, it can also be overcome. The key is to act quickly to maximize your success in recovery. The use of technology is only expanding, and it’s important to utilize new tools to keep up with the competition. By following this valuable advice, you can recover and become an even stronger company than you were before. Having someone on staff with a master’s in information security is an investment that can pay off more than you may realize.

Legal Counsel
The sooner you find a skilled attorney to help you settle your information breach, the better. They understand the laws pertinent to your situation, and they can help you file all the required paperwork in a timely fashion. Best of all, they can offer the counseling necessary to help you avoid the overwhelming feeling of being under siege. This is a temporary situation that can make your company stronger in the long run.

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 four-year-old husky Snowball.

Friday Fun

Honest Slogans is a site that shows Company slogans as they really should have been written.

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Six Common Injuries That Happen on the Job

6 Common Injuries That Happen On The Job

While most workplaces are designed to be safe, there are a variety of hazards that must be taken into account. While working, there are different types of injuries that can occur. When they do, your financial livelihood may be called into question, as you are unable to attend to your daily duties. Consider the following six common injuries that happen on the job so that you can be prepared if you ever need legal assistance.

Being Hit By An Object

The average office or workplace environment is a treasure trove of items just begging to fall at the most inopportune of times. It is all too common to become injured as the result of a falling item that makes contact with you. This can include items that fall from a shelf, or that are dropped on you inadvertently by another person. This can happen from moving, remodeling, or natural disaster.

Head Injury

This is especially common for certain industries and specific jobs. It’s important to only allow authorized personnel into constructions area. Employees should also receive regular safety training and wear all required safety gear.

Slip and Fall Accidents

Many workplaces today have solid floors that can become slippery without notice. This often leads to a slip and fall, which can then lead to a variety of injuries that can keep a person out of work for an extended period of time. If this has happened to you, you might want to consult with The Law Offices of Gregg Durlofsky to determine what your legal options are moving forward.

Transportation Related Accidents

If you drive for your work, workplace related transportation accidents are sadly all too common. This works just like any other type of injury caused by an auto accident, except that your ability to work is compromised as a result. You will want to consult with your lawyer to determine what options you have in that regard.

Repetitive Motion Related Injuries

For individuals that sit at a computer for long periods of time, or who work in an occupation that requires the same muscle to be used each and every day, this strain can cause severe injury. Back pain, stained tendons, and more can be the result. This injury is becoming more common today, and it can keep you out of work for an extended period of time.

Victim of Assault or Violence

Sadly, workplace assaults or acts of violence are also a common occurrence. Such events often lead to injury. Don’t be afraid to report incidents, whether they happen to you or a coworker. Even if the violence is coming from a boss, you should never have to deal with these situations.

There are certainly other types of workplace injuries to be aware of, but these are six of the most common. Stay safe while working, but if injury does occur, consider contacting a law firm in order to protect your legal rights.

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.

7 Signs You May Need to Sue Your Employer

7 Signs you May Need to Sue your Employer

The law gives a lot of leeway to employers when it comes to managing employees. Still, there are cases when employers go too far. One of the reasons why civil court exists is to make up for the wrongs committed against other parties. If you feel your rights were violated by your employer, you may be able to launch a successful employment lawsuit under certain circumstances.

1. You Are Being Sexually Harassed

If you feel you are being sexually harassed at your workplace, this may be justification for a lawsuit against your employer. Often times, this occurs when a supervisor requests sexual favors. If you feel you have been punished for declining a superior’s advances, you certainly have a case to make in civil court.

2. You Have Been Unfairly Overlooked for a Promotion

Employers usually form their own policies for who receives promotions and who doesn’t. While employers do have a lot of freedom in determining who is promoted, they must follow their own policies as well as all employment laws while doing so.

3. You Were Singled Out Due to Your Background

According to Strianese PLLC Employment Lawyers, there are certain protected classes of people that cannot be fired or singled out in some way for belonging to a certain group. Employers are not allowed to treat a person differently based on their race, religion, color, sex, veteran status or disability.

4. You Were Punished in Retaliation

Whistleblower laws prevent employers from punishing employees for reporting misdeeds and safety violations in the workplace. If you feel you were fired or overlooked for a promotion for whistle blowing, you certainly have a case to sue.

5. You Were Punished for Refusing to Take a Polygraph Test

Federal law and many state laws allow a person to refuse taking a lie detector test. This cannot be grounds for firing or punishing an employee.

6. You Were Fired for Being a Legal Foreign Worker

There is a difference between legal aliens and illegal aliens. If you have the paperwork to prove you can legally work in the United States, you can sue if you were fired for your alien status.

7. You Were Punished for Being Too Old

Age is also a protected class under specific circumstances. If you are over the age of 40, you cannot be fired or overlooked for a promotion based on your age alone. This, however, does not apply to people under the age of 40.

Employers must follow the law in regards to how they handle employees. If you feel you have been unfairly targeted by your employer, you may have a case to argue in civil 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 four-year-old husky Snowball.

4 Signs You Are Entitled to Compensation After an Auto Accident

4 Signs You Are Entitled to Compensation After an Auto Accident

In today’s litigious society, it doesn’t take much for an auto accident to evolve into an expensive and time-consuming legal battle. With over 5.2 million accidents taking place every year, it is important that every driver knows their rights and responsibilities regarding these life-altering events. Read on for a look at four signs you might be entitled to compensation after an auto accident.

1. You Have Reached Your Insurance Limits

The vast majority of drivers have insurance policies that only meet minimum state requirements. For most states, this is around $30,000 for medical expenses and pain and suffering. When that money has been exhausted, victims might have to face mounting medical bills with absolutely no help. These individuals should speak with an attorney about their legal options if they were not responsible for the accident.

2. You Can No Longer Work

Losing one’s ability to work goes well beyond emergency medical services. For many people, being injured to the point that they cannot carry out their job could actually cost them millions of dollars. Disability benefits might cover some of the expenses, but that is not always enough, so some people will seek out a personal injury lawyer. The type of compensation due to disability is generally referred to as lost income compensation.

3. Your Quality of Life Has Diminished

Pain and suffering compensation is a little more difficult to calculate. Unlike medical expenses, damaged property, and lost income, there is no easy way to put an exact amount on pain and suffering. As a general rule in some states, a multiplier is used on the tangible expenses. The judge might multiply the medical bills and lost wages by three in order to come up with a fair amount.

4. The Accident Was the Result of Faulty Auto Parts

In this case, the car manufacturer or the company that created the part will most likely be at fault for the accident. These types of cases are also incredibly complex and could evolve into a class action lawsuit against the company. Car manufacturers are required by law to produce vehicles that are relatively safe when they are operating correctly. The company will be fully or partially at fault for an accident if their vehicle does not meet those standards.

If you believe you are entitled to compensation, then you must immediately contact a local auto accident attorney. These legal professionals can help you through the complicated process of filing and winning a lawsuit against another party.

Author information: Anica Oaks is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She 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.

Family Business Conflicts – Lawful Resolutions and Strategies

Family Business Conflicts

Owning a business and transforming it into a success is hard, and it can be even harder in a family business. According to the Harvard Business Review, around 70 percent of family businesses fail or get sold out at the second level. Protecting work relationships in a family business is a necessity as opposed to a luxury as in other businesses.

Differences and Disagreements

Disagreements and conflicts are two terms that actually have their own definitions in the world of family business. Disagreements are when two or more parties have different sets of facts, different perceptions, beliefs and expectations concerning different facets of the business. A conflict is when one or more disagreements reach a critical level, and at least two people involved feel they have a mutually exclusive position. Conflicts end family businesses, and they can either be prevented or dealt with through lawful resolutions to save the business.

Creating a Strategy to Help Prevent Conflict

According to the Family Business Institute, which is an authority on conflict resolution for family businesses, there are several strategies successful, low-conflict families use to prevent frequent conflicts and conflicts from becoming serious. Professionals, like those at Alternative Law, realize that many issues can show themselves when running a family business. Constant, open communication can help mitigate this. Although it may seem far-fetched, or even corny, families with successful businesses and relationships simultaneously often do family retreats to reconnect with one another and strengthen bonds. Since there are a high number of conflicts reported on weekly basis in polls among family businesses, one strategy the successful families use is mandatory, business-formal meetings. The meeting is scheduled weekly, and family members discuss issues constructively. Constructive and civil discussions about disagreements is how to prevent conflicts.

Use a Legal Mediator

Using a mediator is better than going to court to sue a family member over something business-related, which boils down to money over family. Mediators can help dissolve a business or resolve a legal matter privately, quickly and inexpensively. They are also good at salvaging a business, and are legal experts in conflict resolution. A neutral party directing energy toward solutions and common ground is invaluable, and it makes mediation worth every penny.

It is better to practice some sort of conflict resolution, and be open about problems and concerns. Masking problems and putting off, or even flat-out denying, inevitable conflicts is a perfect way to bankrupt a family business. Take prevention tip classes, classes on conflict resolution in business and develop a skill set necessary to make the business more successful.

Author information: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter: @RachelleWilber

Friday Fun

Are there any strange buildings in your neighborhood? They’re going to seem very plain compared to these buildings:

Krzywy Domek (The Crooked House), Poland

Legal and Lifestyle Challenges After a Car Accident

 

Legal and Lifestyle Challenges after a Car Accident
Auto accidents can be harrowing experiences when they result in serious injuries that will impact the remainder of the victim’s life. Many individuals who survive accidents are often left disabled or severely crippled to the point where many lifestyle changes are inevitable. The inability to live the same type of life after the wreck is a depressing situation for most auto accident victims, but there are also some methods of dealing with challenges and issues stemming from a car crash. And in addition, auto accidents must also be adjudicated, and hopefully the negligent party has adequate insurance to cover the damages. And, that is still no guarantee the insurance company will negotiate in good faith when claims are filed. The potential for a lingering law suit means that it is always a good decision to retain a personal injury and auto accident attorney to handle the legalities while concentrating on adjusting to a new life of limitations.

Lifestyle Challenges

Lifestyle adjustments are common after an automobile accident, even when the injured victim is still relatively mobile. Many injuries such as back injuries never fully repair and problems could worsen with time. This is why it is important to have an attorney handling your case that knows the importance of ongoing medical treatment as a negotiation tool to enhance a final settlement. The new lifestyle almost always includes numerous trips to the doctor or physical therapist on a regular basis. Physical therapy is a vital component of accident recovery and the recommended regimen should always be followed. Chiropractic services are also sometimes needed in such instances. Professionals, like those at Urban Wellness Clinic PC, know that chiropractic work following an accident can help with the rehabilitation process. Staying positive and learning how to adjust is important, but the victim’s mental state can still take a toll. It is important to also seek treatment from a mental health professional who may be able to help you learn how to improve your frame of mind.

Legal Challenges

Sometimes the legal challenges can be the most difficult, especially when the respondent insurance company is being difficult or purposely slow in approving claims. When an insurance company thinks the injured claimant is handling the case without legal counsel they tend to either be more difficult or attempt to settle the claim quickly with a full future medical release.

It is very important after an accident to follow all health recommendations, including physical therapy, and always find an experienced and effective auto accident attorney to handle the legalities during the recovery stage. That way you can focus on restoring your health as much as possible.

Author information: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter: @RachelleWilber

10 Ways to Avoid Getting a Ticket

10-Tips-to-Avoid-a-Ticket

AutoGuide has an excellent article about how to behave if a police officer pulls you over. Proper behavior just might help you avoid getting a traffic ticket. Here are the opening paragraphs. Click to read the entire article.

Encounters with law enforcement are rarely fun. It’s one of the most dreadful feelings in the world when red and blue lights fill your rear-view mirror.

However, traffic stops and being pulled over are a fact of life. Maybe you were speeding. Perhaps that last text message you sent was a little too obvious. It could have been that you ran a red light; it’s even possible you were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Whatever the case may be, you’re about to be detained on the side of the road for the next few minutes … or more.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to reduce your chances of getting a ticket, one that costs you serious cash and could increase your insurance premiums. Here are 10 topical tips that might help you sidestep a citation. Read the ten tips.

How Workplace Hazards Can Create Legal Troubles for Your Business

How Workplace Hazards can Create Legal Troubles for your Business

One thing that can cause a lot of trouble for a company is a safety hazard. Obviously, your first concern should be protecting your employees from workplace injuries. However, there can also be other significant ramifications for not making the effort to maintain a safe workplace. Below are some of the ways that workplace hazards can cause big legal troubles for your business.

1. OSHA Violations

The OSHA acronym stands for Occupational Safety and Health Administration. This is the government agency that has been given the responsibility of creating and enforcing rules and regulations regarding workplace safety. OSHA guidelines cover nearly every conceivable angle of work, and breaking them can have serious consequences. If you fail an OSHA inspection, your company could face serious penalties including harsh fines.

Overall, it’s a good idea to make sure you have the ability to conform to all of OSHA’s rules. For example, certain companies deal with hazardous materials. Being able to properly store, move and dispose of those materials in compliance with OSHA may require special training from a company like National Environmental Trainers.

2. Workers’ Compensation Insurance

The law in most states (but not in Texas) requires that employers provide their employees with workers’ compensation insurance, often referred to as workers’ comp for short. This was developed as a compromise to protect employees form workplace injuries without the use of lawsuits.

As one might expect, claims made on such a policy can have a significant impact on the rates the employer pays. In general, the rate will be based on a combination of the amount of payroll a company does and the number of claims that have been made in the past four to five years. Even without lawsuits, having an unsafe workplace can quickly get very expensive.

3. Lawsuits Outside of Workers’ Comp

Despite the fact that workers’ compensation was developed as a way to save companies from the burden of lawsuits brought on by workplace injuries, there are enough loopholes that may still allow lawsuits to succeed under certain circumstances.

For example, if a product or piece of machinery that you manufactured resulted in the injury, the worker in question could bring a massive lawsuit against the company. In most cases, when employees can sue, they probably will. Workers’ compensation certainly does not provide the level of income that a successful lawsuit can.

The legal and financial implications of an unsafe workplace can be rather severe. Avoid them by making safety a top priority in your company. It’s the right thing to do regardless.

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 four-year-old husky Snowball.

Steps to Avoid and Respond to Auto Accidents

Car accident on a highway

Motor vehicle deaths rose eight percent in 2015, the largest increase in half a century, according to the National Safety Council. An astounding 38,300 people were killed and 4.4 million were seriously injured, making 2015 the deadliest year since 2008. Car insurance industry estimates indicate that the average American will be in an accident about once every 18 years.

Don’t Drive Distracted or Drunk

About 94 percent of traffic accidents are caused by factors related to the driver, and 41 percent of driver-caused accidents involve driver inattention, internal or external distraction, or inadequate surveillance, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Cellphone-related crashes increased for the third year in a row in 2015 and now account for 27 percent of all accidents, the National Safety Council estimates. Talking on handheld or hands-free cellphones accounts for 21 percent of crashes, while texting accounts for six percent.

Meanwhile, alcohol-impaired driving contributes to one-third of all traffic-related fatalities, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Avoiding driving while distracted or drunk will greatly reduce your odds of getting in an accident. It’s best to avoid talking on the phone at all while driving, but if you feel you can’t avoid using the phone, it’s better to use hands-free calling technology than to use your hands. You can also use apps that send your calls to speakerphone or that block incoming calls and texts while you’re driving.

Maintain Your Vehicle

After driver-caused accidents, vehicle-related accidents are the next most common category of crashes, the NHTSA data shows. Tire and wheel problems are the biggest contributor to crashes in this category, accounting for 35 percent of vehicle-related accidents. Cars driving on tires that are under-inflated more than 25 percent are three times more likely to be in an accident.

Brakes are the next biggest culprit, accounting for 22 percent of vehicle-related crashes. Stay safe by making sure your tires are properly inflated, checking your tread depth regularly, keeping your brakes maintained and following other maintenance tips in your owner’s manual.

Drive at Safe Speeds

Speeding was a contributing factor to 28 percent of motor vehicle deaths in 2014, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Speeding at night is particularly dangerous, raising the risk of outrunning your headlights so that you don’t see danger before it’s too late to react, as well as raising the risk of other drivers not seeing you in time.

If you live in an area where deer cross the road, speeding further increases your risk of a dangerous and expensive accident. Follow the speed limit, and slow down in rain or snow.

Wear Seat Belts

Fifty-one percent of drivers who are killed in cars aren’t wearing seat belts, according to the NHTSA. This number rises to 58 percent for SUV drivers and 64 percent for pickup truck drivers. In contrast, wearing seat belts reduces the risk of fatality by 45 percent and the risk of moderate to critical injury by 50 percent for front-seat passenger car occupants, while reducing fatalities 60 percent and injuries 65 percent for light-truck occupants. Wearing your seat belt is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of being killed or seriously injured.

Choose Cars with Advanced Safety Systems

Today, many cars come with advanced safety features such as back-up cameras, blind spot monitors, lane departure warnings, anti-lock braking systems, automatic emergency braking and tire pressure monitoring systems. Knowing what systems your car has and how to use them effectively can increase your safety. MyCarDoesWhat.org provides an orientation to these types of advanced safety features.

However, AAA cautions that these advanced safety features sometimes still have bugs that are being worked out, so for instance, having a blind spot monitor should not become a substitute for maintaining a good habit of visually checking your blind spot.

If You Are in an Accident

If despite these precautionary measures you do find yourself in an accident, there are a few safety steps you should take. Move to a safe area such as the shoulder of the road, if you are able. If not, turn your hazard lights on to alert other drivers. Assuming you are able, stop your car, turn off the engine and shift into park or put on your hand brake, and get out. Check on others involved, and call for help if needed. Call the police if appropriate. Gather information about the other vehicle, eyewitnesses and attending police officers, and document the scene with your smartphone camera. File your insurance claim as soon as possible if applicable.

Author information: Roy Rasmussen, coauthor of Publishing for Publicity, is a freelance copywriter who helps small businesses get more customers and make more sales. His specialty is helping experts reach their target market with a focused sales message. His most recent projects include books on cloud computing, small business management, sales, business coaching, social media marketing, and career planning.

Friday Fun

And you thought *your* family photos were strange?

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6 Times When Hiring an Attorney is Essential

6 Times When Hiring an Attorney is Essential

At one time or another, everyone will need help from an attorney. The good news is that there are attorneys who focus on specific areas of law. That ensures you can work with someone who knows exactly how to provide the legal representation that is needed. Here are six examples of when you need to hire an attorney and ensure your interested are protected.

Preparing a Last Will and Testament

While you can order kits that help with preparing a last will and testament, are you really sure the final product will do everything you want done? Laws related to wills and other end-of-life documents vary from one jurisdiction to another. It is in your best interests to work with an attorney to ensure no detail is overlooked, and that the text of the will is in full compliance with current laws.

Setting Up a Trust Fund

Along with a will, using some of your assets to set up a trust fund for a child or grandchild is a great way to provide the beneficiary with some degree of financial stability. Depending on what you want to accomplish with the trust, an attorney can help you identify the best way to structure it.

Buying a House

Never buy real estate without getting input from an attorney. The legal counsel can look over the terms of the sales agreement and ensure there is nothing in the history of the property that could cause you problems in the years to come. Once the attorney affirms there are no outstanding claims on the property and all the sales documents are in order, you can sign them with confidence.

Getting Married

A second marriage is great, but you have to make sure to be practical about financial holdings. A prenuptial agreement that ensures both parties keep the assets they bring into the marriage, plus provide for an equitable division of property acquired during the union, will simplify things if the marriage does end in divorce.

Filing for Bankruptcy

No one likes the idea of filing for bankruptcy, but there are times when it is the only practical solution. An attorney can help the client determine eligibility for both types of personal bankruptcy, and provide guidance all through the process.

Sustaining an Injury

When an injury occurs due to the negligence or intentional act of another person, seek legal counsel immediately. Personal Injury Attorneys, like the ones at Bachus & Schanker Law, work hard to ensure their clients have the resources they need to pay the bills, get medical treatment, and in general be able to focus on recovering from the event.

When legal help is needed, don’t hesitate. Call an attorney and arrange for a consultation as soon as possible. Having that support will make it easier to face whatever problem has arisen.

Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.

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Physical Therapist Assistant Careers

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Many of our clients undergo physical therapy as part of the recovery process for their injuries. Physical therapy is a vital part of the rehabilitation undertaking.

Physical therapy is a branch of rehabilitative medicine focused on helping patients maintain, recover, or improve their physical abilities. Physical therapist assistants provide physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of licensed physical therapists.

Physical therapist assistants work with clients of every age who have injuries, diseases, and other health-related conditions that limit their ability to perform activities of daily living.

The physicaltherapistassistantedu site contains much information about this interesting career choice.

The Best 4 Things You Can Do for Your Personal Injury Case

The Best 4 Things You Can Do for Your Personal Injury Case

Some people aren’t injured in accidents. They don’t suffer any injuries and walk away without a scratch. Some are obviously injured, and others begin to experience symptoms a few hours or even days after the crash. After an accident, you want to protect not only your property rights but also your rights involving any personal injury claim that you might have. Here are the four best things you can do to protect them.

Call 911 for Police and Paramedics

You’ll want a police accident report because it contains all contact and insurance information for the person who caused the accident. If there were independent witnesses, the report is likely to contain their contact information too. Your attorney can interview those witnesses to aid in determining liability.

Get Examined

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 2.34 million people are injured in motor vehicle accidents every year. If you’ve been injured, you’ll want paramedics at the scene. The first reason is that they’ll examine and treat you at the scene, and then they’ll transport you to the emergency room for further examination and treatment. Records of care and treatment are the foundation of any personal injury claim. Your case begins with the paramedics’ records and it continues with the records of examination from the emergency room. You’ve started the process of documenting your injuries.

Don’t Give a Statement to the Other Side

The insurer of the party who caused the accident might contact you and ask to take your statement. Politely refuse to give one. According to Trammell and Mills Law Firm LLC, there are no laws requiring you to give that statement without your attorney being present on your behalf. There will be a time in the future when you’ll be required to give that statement, but your attorney will tell you when and where you’ll give it. Your attorney will also prepare you for that statement and be present with you when you give it.

Attend All of Your Medical Appointments

In your medical records, the opposing insurer will be looking for missed medical appointments or gaps in treatment, and then it will use them against you to raise issues about possible faking or malingering. Be sure to attend each and every medical appointment that you have.

Being responsible with your case is of great help to your attorneys. You’ll help in maximizing any settlement or verdict.

Author information: Anica Oaks is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She 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 Having the Right Paralegals Changes a Law Firm

How Having the Right Paralegals Changes a Law Firm

Staffing is important to the success of a law firm. While the top priority should be to recruit top legal talent, it’s also essential to hire a strong support staff. When the right paralegals join a firm or practice, both productivity and client satisfaction can increase.

What Paralegals Do

Paralegals support attorneys by performing a variety of tasks, including legal research, document preparation, and case investigation. Many paralegals also perform administrative duties such as filing and setting appointments.

Paralegal Education

In the United States, paralegals are not licensed, though many choose to earn a professional certification through organizations such as The Association for Legal Professionals. The lack of licensure makes paralegal education an issue of significant concern.

While licensure is not required to be a paralegal in any of the 50 states, many paralegals choose to complete an educational program. Some complete a two-year degree, while college graduates may opt for a post-bachelor’s degree certificate in paralegal studies. There are also graduate-level paralegal degrees online. Attorneys that practice in very specialized areas of law may feel more comfortable hiring a paralegal who holds a master’s degree or graduate-level certificate.

How Paralegals Impact a Law Firm

Law firms that hire highly-qualified paralegals often find that their attorneys are better able to focus on their cases and clients. This can be particularly true in a solo or small practice, where attorneys without paralegal support may be expected to handle time-consuming administrative tasks.

Larger firms also benefit from having highly qualified paralegals on staff. A paralegal who is intimately acquainted with a specialized area of legal practice such as free speech can provide unique insights to the legal team. In addition, that paralegal is better equipped to perform in-depth research that can help attorneys win their cases.

Finding the Right Paralegal

Finding the right paralegal for a practice can be a challenge, although straightforward human resources principles are often helpful. Investigating the paralegal’s work background, including experience in law firms of similar size and composition, is a must. Other things to examine include the paralegal’s training. While some paralegals are trained on the job, the completion of specialized coursework that coincides with the firm’s areas of practice can be a strong indicator that the paralegal is a good fit.

Over the years, attorneys have realized the importance of investing in quality administrative and paraprofessional team members. Quality support for legal professionals equals long-term profitability.

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 four-year-old husky Snowball.