Hit and Run: Understanding the Consequences of Leaving the Scene of an Accident

Hit and Run Undestanding the Consequences of Leaving the Scene of an Accident

You’re driving home at the end of a long work day. Its dark out and the streetlights in the area are few and far between. You rub at your eyes, but before you open them again you feel your car hit something.

You slam on your brakes and look around. You can’t see much and, man, you just want to go home. What would happen if you did decide to leave the scene of an accident? In this article, we outline some of the potential consequences of a hit and run.


All hit and runs come with the possibility of fines as punishment. The amounts vary from state to state, but if you are charged with a misdemeanor, the fine can be as high as $5,000. If you are charged with a felony offense, the fine can be anywhere from $5,000 and $20,000.


Many individuals convicted of a hit and run, spend some time in jail in addition to paying a fine. According to Suhre & Associates in Columbus, Ohio, in the case of a misdemeanor conviction, you could potentially spend a six-month jail sentence and pay a $1,000 fine. For a felony hit and run, the jail term could be as long as 15 years.

License Suspension

Because hit and run offenses are considered far more serious than the average accident, most drivers also have license penalties after a conviction. In most cases, a conviction comes with an automatic six-month license suspension.

However, in hit and run cases where a victim was seriously injured or killed in the accident, the administrative consequences may be more severe. This type of conviction may result in long-term or even lifetime revocation of your license.

Possible Litigation

Hit and run incidents can also come with civil penalties. You may be sued for damages you caused to help a victim pay for medical bills, property damage, and lost wages. While you could be subject to a civil suit in an accident, many judges triple the damage amount after a hit and run to penalize the at-fault driver.

If you have a DUI on record or another traffic offense, consider keeping a DUI attorney on retainer. Not only could this attorney help you in the case like the hypothetical at the beginning of this post, he or she can guide you through other minor offenses as well.

No matter the circumstances, a hit and run is not worth the risk to your freedom or permanent record. Instead, call the authorities and see the incident through.

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

Leaf or landscape? I love Google Earth, and so does the fellow who assembled these photos.

Personal Finance 101: How to Prepare Financially for a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Personal Finance 101 How to Prepare Financially for a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Many people ask how to prepare financially for a personal injury lawsuit. Typically, a personal injury results without warning but, in some cases, long-term exposure to toxins and carcinogens results in the development of life-threatening illness. In either scenario, it is important for the injured victim or family to contact a personal injury lawyer right away to determine the merits of his or her claim. Personal injury lawsuits may take years to settle.

Long-Term Exposure to Health Risks

Millions of Americans suffer mental or physical harm each year as the result of accidents, occupational and workplace hazards, or negligence. Filing a personal injury claim seeks financial compensation for injuries sustained by the victim and related treatment expenses.

Many personal injury claims result from car or work accidents, assault, occupational danger, or faulty products. When the worker repeatedly suffers strains at work or develops serious long-term physical damage, including mesothelioma, asbestosis, hearing loss, asthma, or emphysema, a personal injury claim is likely to seek substantial financial damages.

Employer Offers of Settlement

If a sick worker’s illness is the result of long-term exposure to asbestos, loud noise, or toxins, the employer may offer a settlement before the patient or family files a personal injury lawsuit. A personal injury lawyer is still recommended to assist the worker or his heirs in negotiating a fair settlement (Source: Pritzker Law).

Sudden Injuries, Medical and Disability Insurance

A serious car accident is seldom imagined by the victim. Lost wages and medical bills pile up quickly. If the patient did not previously elect or purchase short and long-term disability insurance, cash on hand, savings and retirement plans quickly evaporate.

Some states, including Rhode Island, California, Hawaii, New Jersey, and New York have employer-mandated short-term disability programs. A hurt worker in one of these states can get short-term disability assistance.

The injured person’s car insurance or employer health care may be used to pay for his or her medical care until an injury claim is settled. In some cases, the policyholder’s car insurance or the car insurance of the driver who caused the accident agree to pay the injured person’s lost wages.

It is essential to engage a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss financial matters, especially if he or she becomes permanently disabled.

Other Financial Options

Although Social Security disability is not a short-term solution, injured workers without financial resources may decide to file for benefits as soon as possible. In many states, short-term transitional financial assistance can help to support the worker and family until a personal injury settlement is reached.

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.

Getting a US Green Card: What You Need to Know


(Image Source – 1 )

Living in the U.S. is a dream for many and why wouldn’t it be?

The country speaks of superior living conditions, excellent education system, a better social welfare system and economic opportunities galore for the citizens.

The thought of settling in the U.S. starts with a dream for a better life and grows into the determination to be an American citizen. However, the process of procuring a green card is no walk in the park.

The process can be excessively demanding, paperwork-intensive, time-consuming and, in several cases, troublesome too. But, don’t let this dampen your spirit. By keeping all the minute details related to the process in mind and following the related regulations, the experience can be quite a smooth one.

Remember, the U.S. green card is a prized possession for a habitant because it does make living in the country a comfortable proposition. So, staying determined through the process is crucial.

Here are six essentials to keep in mind when you apply for the U.S. green card.

  1. Understand the Green Card Application Process

First things first. It is essential for you to determine the most appropriate way to avail a green card. For this, you need to know the category you fall in –

  • Family-sponsored preference category
  • Employment-based preference category
  • Diversity visa immigration
  • Refugees and asylees

After figuring out your respective category, you can learn more about the application process. The process differs based on the method in which one seeks to obtain a green card.

  1. Learn about the Green Card Lottery System

The annual green card lottery program (Diversity Immigrant Visa Program) is a brilliant opportunity for potential immigrants to obtain the status as permanent legal residents of the U.S. Each year 55,000 permanent visas or green cards are handed to applicants through this program, where the selection of the applications is done randomly in a lottery process. Make sure to get all the information related to it and check if you fall in the category of Diversity Immigrant Visa Program.

  1. Invest Sufficient Time in Research

It is important that you are extremely careful about who you take green card-related advice from. There are a plethora of myths, false beliefs and rumors related to the process, and believing them without clarifying with a knowledgeable professional is the worst mistake you can make.

It is, therefore, essential that you invest substantial time in conducting research related to the entire process and get a thorough understanding of the aspects related to it. You can refer to the USCIS website, as the information available on it is accurate and reliable.

  1. Seek Help from an Experienced Lawyer

If you are facing difficulty in understanding a law or an aspect of the green card-acquiring process, it is best to get in touch with an experienced and professional immigration lawyer.

He or she will help you understand the several laws and details related to it, making things simpler for you. Moreover, he or she can also help you prepare for the green card interview.

  1. Don’t Upset the Authorities or Violate the Laws

Being deported owing to violation of a law is the last thing you would want. It is extremely essential that you follow the laws of the state. Even a parking violation is a strict no-no.

Remember to not do anything that upsets the state authorities as the consequences can be catastrophic and can even ruin your chances of getting the green card. Follow the necessary regulations and the provisions with extreme care.

  1. Other Guidelines to Bear in Mind
  • Start collecting the necessary documents related to the green card-acquiring process well in time, in order to save yourself from hassles later.
  • You can ask your U.S. employer to put in a good word for you as that can be quite helpful when applying for a green card.
  • If you are applying for a green card through the petition of a family member, check if more than one family member is eligible to petition for you. Doing so will give you more options even if one of the applications gets rejected or takes too long to process.
  • The wait for green card applicants can go up to 10 years or more. It is, therefore, important that you maintain your calm and be patient.


The process of obtaining a U.S. green card can be quite cumbersome and may come with its share of difficulties. However, by keeping the above-mentioned guidelines in mind and taking care of the minute details, you may increase your chances of attaining the coveted eligibility. These tips will help you pursue your objective of acquiring U.S. citizenship. It is important that you stay determined and don’t lose hope, regardless of how complex the process may seem. Only then will you be able to ensure that your dream of becoming an American citizen comes true.

About the Author

Solomon Gilliam is a top Chicago-based immigration lawyer at The Acosta Law Group. He has vast experience in handling all kinds of immigration cases, and a proven track record in handling issues related to immigration law. He personalizes legal representation for his clients and fights vigorously to achieve the best possible outcome for them.

Falsely Accused? 5 Steps You Must Take to Get Charges Dropped


Getting charges dropped in a criminal case is practically impossible in many situations. There are several reasons for this problem, ranging from the attitude of the prosecutor concerning the nature of the charge to the fact that the state may have a very good case. However, even cases that appear valid according to the material case facts can still be dismissed when the state has failed to follow proper arrest or investigation protocol according to the U.S. Constitution. Anyone who has been charged with a crime should always follow certain actions in an effort to get frivolous components of the charges dropped or omitted from the police record because criminal convictions can damage the defendant’s life for many years to come.

Get Released From Police Custody
It is much easier to defend a criminal charge when not incarcerated in terms of both ability to earn an income and finding an experienced and effective criminal defense attorney who will aggressively represent your case. The first issue any arrested defendant will face is being released from jail. All courts are required to make a decision on setting bond before releasing the defendant. Sometimes this is done at arraignment, but most of the time it is set immediately upon arrest. In states where bonding agencies are allowed, a meeting with a bondsman will probably be the first interview conducted. Personal representatives on the outside can help also.

Retain an Attorney
A defendant who is charged on solid evidence will have a difficult time convincing a prosecutor to drop or reduce charges. For those who have a personal representative who can contact an attorney, the situation may not be as restrained. The court may attempt to assign an attorney, but it is never a good decision to accept a public defender when you can afford a personal attorney who can investigate the case from your perspective and address charge concerns with the prosecutor. Public defenders rarely perform an in depth investigation of a police report or how they attained their evidence. It is an investment in your future.

Review the Evidence Against You
There are several reasons a prosecutor will dismiss criminal charges. One of those reasons is a lack of material evidence. Many cases are prosecuted on the basis of witness testimony, but witness testimony is anything but scientific, and inaccurate accounts of criminal activity are not admissible when they can be proven erroneous. Willingness of a witness to provide testimony in a trial can change when the defendant can prove the witness made a false statement to the arresting or investigating officer, so getting the evidence correct can impact he severity of a charge.

Request a Charge Reduction
Prosecutors rarely reduce or dismiss a charge without the input of a criminal defense attorney who can craft your case in more accurate terms. If the prosecutor sees that you intend to fight the charge, many times a reduction can be done, but total dismissal is the real goal. Prosecutors may be more inclined to dismiss when they think they may lose the case conviction in trial. A bad police report can also be a basis for a dismissal when evidence will be omitted from the record summarily. This is the part of defending a criminal charge when your attorney is vital.

File for an Expunction or Nondisclosure
Individuals who have no prior record have more leverage with prosecutors than those who do not. Many times a prosecutor will drop a charge entirely when it is pointless for the state to pursue a conviction. This legal action will always require an experienced expungement attorney who understands the rules of expunging a criminal record, including wiping the original arrest record that also remains publicly viewable even without a conviction on the charge.

Getting a charge dismissed is not completely out of the realm when the evidence is not strong enough to positively convict the defendant. The record remains intact until the complete record is eliminated with prejudice. Having an expungement attorney to make the charge completely go away will be necessary so you can get back to a positive life.

Bio: 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

Put Safety First While Handling Dangerous Tools on the Job

industrial concept with tools and equipment, selective focus on nearest

Let’s call this a Labor Day safety warning. If your job requires you to regularly use dangerous tools to complete a project, safety must come first. An infographic from Apple Rubber states that there were nearly 3 million injuries in the private sector in 2013. But worker safety has drastically improved in the last several decades. In 1970, almost 11 percent of workers reported injuries as opposed to just over 3 percent in 2014.

To stay safe in the workplace, some basic rules must be followed:

  • Stay alert
  • Wear safety goggles
  • Avoid disabling the safety when a tool isn’t being used.

For instructions on handling common dangerous tools, consult the following guide to keep you safe:

Nail Guns

Whether it is large or small, nail guns are powerful and easy to use, which makes the incidence of injury higher. The CDC reports that 68 percent of worker injuries are directly related to nail guns. To stay safe, you must take the following precautions:

  • Make certain the gun is in the proper position, which in most cases is the sequential mode. This builds in an extra step before the gun fires and requires you to pull the trigger rather than just depressing the muzzle.
  • Be sure your hands are clear of any misfired nails before nailing anything together.
  • Go over safety precautions periodically. Either read the manual or the safety procedures provided by your place of employment.


When using knives at work, you must exercise caution. Here are some common sense tips to always follow when handling these knives:

  • Don’t walk fast or run with the knife in your hand.
  • Don’t slam the knife down out of frustration or throw it down.
  • Don’t use it for any unintended purposes, such as using the blade as a screwdriver.
  • Keep the knife blade sharp (dull knifes tend to cause more injuries than sharp knives).
  • Don’t attempt to catch a falling knife.


Since hammers are a basic tool, people tend to assume they don’t cause any injuries. However, using a hammer erroneously can cause a broken wrist or finger. When doing work with a hammer, ensure the handle is secure. If it isn’t, there is a risk the head could ricochet and land on your body. Also check for splinters before using it. Have a firm grip, hold the end of the handle and aim squarely when hammering. And use a hard surface because a soft base might give and cause the hammer to slip.

Table Saws

A table saw is a large piece of equipment that should not be underestimated. When in use, keep your area clean so clutter doesn’t impair your ability to use the saw. Also make sure the safety features work properly prior to working with a blade. When you decide to change the blade, disconnect it from the power source to avoid a serious injury. If you choose to cut a large piece of wood, rest it on a stand to maintain the proper position while cutting. Two other important things to remember: do not reach over a moving blade and refrain from free-handing a cut. Instead use the miter gauge or fence to help with the stock.


A ladder is a common piece of equipment that sent 2.1 million people to the emergency room between 1990 and 2005, according to the American Journal of Preventative Medicine. If you are using tools while on a ladder, store them in a belt so you can climb without juggling extra items in your hands. You can determine if an extension ladder is properly secured by propping your feet out at the base of the ladder and extending your arms in a straight line. If it’s secure, you should be able to rest your hands on the rung in front of you comfortably.

Friday Fun

I love optical illusions, and this T-Rex is much better than most.

Think Before You Drink: 10 States with the Harshest DUI Laws

10 States With the Harshest DUI Laws

A conviction of DUI can result in harsh consequences. However, these consequences are harsher in some states than others. While you should never get behind the wheel after having alcohol, some states will be more harsh with the punishments.


The state with some of the harshest DUI laws is Arizona. Previously, extreme and repeat DUI offenders were required to install an ignition interlock device. These devices require a breath sample before the car will even start. If the driver has any alcohol in their breath, the car won’t start. If it does start, it requires breath checks on the road to keep the driver sober. If alcohol is found on the road, the device begins an alarm until the ignition is shut off. Currently, Arizona requires anyone convicted with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher to have an ignition interlock device. Anyone with a DUI of 0.20% or higher will automatically spend forty-five days in jail. This cannot be countered by a judge.


A DUI in California means a suspended license if the DMV doesn’t hear a request for a hearing within ten days of the conviction. In court, if a person’s BAC is 0.08% or higher, actions are taken to suspend a license for at least four months for the first offense.


More severe actions are taken if a minor is in the car or the BAC is 2.0 or higher. Without a minor, however, jail time cannot exceed six months. With a minor, it cannot exceed nine months. Fines without are between $250 and $500. With a minor, it is $500-$1,000. A license can be suspended from 180 days to a year. There is a possible impound of ten days unless there’s no other transportation for the family.


In Illinois, driving with a BAC of 0.08% automatically suspends the license for 180 days. An ignition interlock device is installed after the first offense, and fines can be up to $25,000. Refusing any tests results in even harsher consequences.

New Jersey

New Jersey is slightly less severe. If the BAC is between 0.08% and 0.10%, a fine between $250 and $400 is given and jail time of twelve hours to forty-eight hours. A second DUI brings fines between $500 and $1,000. A two year jail sentence could be a possibility as well. A third offense brings the ignition interlock device.


In Oregon, the first DUI suspends your license for a year. First DUIs also mean eight hours of community service or forty-eight hours in jail. A minimum fee of $1,000 is also for the first offense. A second offense suspends the license for three years. A third revokes it completely.


Texas has a zero tolerance law for those under the legal drinking age of twenty-one. DUIs can be given for anyone who is driving impaired. Refusing tests suspends your license for 180 days if the officer believes it necessary.


In Georgia, the first DUI can carry a fine between three hundred and a thousand dollars and ten days to twelve months in jail. A second conviction ups the fines to six hundred to a thousand dollars and at least seventy-two hours of jail time, or ninety days to twelve months. Third offenses bring a minimum of fifteen days of jail and fines from one thousand to five thousand dollars. Four or more offenses and a sentence of three months minimum is served. Each offense has a probation period too.

New York

A first offense can be up to a year in jail and between three hundred and a thousand dollars in fines. Licenses can be revoked for at least six months. Second offenses and third offenses bring harsher sentences of thirty days at most in jail and up to a year of a suspended license.


A zero tolerance law like that of Texas is in place in Virginia too. A first offense leads to the revocation of your license for up to a year and fines of at least two hundred and fifty dollars. The second offense doubles the minimum fine and triples the revocation of your license. A third offense further doubles the fine and the license is revoked indefinitely. If your last DUI was five or fewer years ago, you will serve six months in jail.

According to Keyser defense attorneys, if you have been charged with a DUI, it’s important to seek legal counsel. While you may still have some consequences, having a competent lawyer can ensure the best outcome possible.

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.

Estate Planning: 5 Reasons to Have a Last Will and Testament

Estate Planning 5 Reasons to have a Last Will and Testament

Laws regarding estate planning and an individual’s last will and testament vary by state. Failure to make a will is a plan to fail. In the absence of a person’s will, his or her state government will make decisions about distribution of assets and the needs of children.

Essentially, this means the court will divvy the deceased’s belongings between a spouse, relatives, and children. The decision about which heirs receive what belongs to the individual as long as he or she makes a will. Five of the best reasons to make a last will and testament include:

1. Appointment of Children, Elder and Pet’s Guardians

Accidents sometimes claim the lives of parents with children. If a father or mother dies without leaving a last will and testament, state government decides who will take care of them. Because parents know their children best, it is important for your will to identify the right future guardian for children. Foster care is avoidable by executing a will now.

Similarly, elder parents and relatives cared for by you may have few financial assets to fund an independent lifestyle. Without making financial and guardianship decisions for an older family member in the last will and testament now, your elder may face difficult times ahead. Law firms like the Dore Law Group assist individuals and families in need of estate planning services.

Pets are also family members. A long-lived pet, such as a macaw, cockatoo, and other avian, can live on long past his or her best friend’s demise. It’s important to designate your pet’s new home and flock mates. It may also be important to earmark funds for the future care and feeding of your pet. Whatever you do, don’t leave it to your state government to decide where and how Polly will live. In some cases, the court may decide it’s in the pet’s best interest to live at the zoo.

2. Protection of a Business

The last will and testament, along with a living trust, is an effective way to pass a business along to co-owners and/or heirs. Estate planning failures result in failures to pass along family-owned enterprises to the next generation about seventy percent of the time. This result is completely avoidable by executing your will.

3. Asset Distribution

You and only you should decide upon which family members receive what assets. As long as an executed last will and testament is in place, give favorite collectibles, securities, real property, classic cars or a jewelry collection to the proper recipient. If left to the state to decide, cherished friends may never receive the last gifts you intend to share. Ensure that loved ones receive all that you want them to receive in memory of you.

4. Prevent Family Feuds

Without a last will and testament, family members are likely to squabble about how your assets should be distributed. Legal fights and broken communications between those you leave behind can amplify death’s sadness. Make decisions about these matters instead, and keep family members properly focused on each other as they mourn.

5. Charitable Donations

Perhaps a college, university, or charitable cause is very important to you. You fund raise and remind everyone to give to one or more charitable organizations regularly. If you die without including the charitable organization in your will, your cause may or may not receive funding from heirs. Don’t risk it. Make sure your will includes funding or distribution of assets to a favorite charitable organization.

Why You Must Make a Last Will and Testament

No one wants to think about death, but considering those you leave behind in your will embraces life. There is no reasonable excuse for not making a will. Only you can decide how much of your estate to give to the government. Only you can decide what music will play in the background at a celebration of your life ceremony.

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.

Electric Cars – The Silent Ride Can Be Dangerous for Pedestrian and Others

Electric Car

(Image credit: http://smartercharger.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Electric-Car-Batteries.jpg)

After typewriter, phone and jukebox, another machine joining the list for being upgraded to its electric counterpart is the car.

Electric cars, propelled by an electric motor that is soundless, can successfully convert 60 percent of the domestic electrical energy. In comparison, conventional gasoline vehicles can convert only 20 percent of that energy. Better yet, the tailpipes of electric cars do not emit air pollutants like conventional vehicles do.

Although these cars come with environmental and financial benefits, they have a slow adoption rate. Many believe that this is because electric cars are too expensive and the battery takes a longer time to charge, others opine the reason is something else – that these cars are ’silent.’ In fact, they are so quiet that others on the road, especially pedestrians and cyclists cannot hear them coming.

Statistics show that bicyclists and pedestrians, especially those who are visually impaired, are often caught off guard by electric cars even when they are driven at a sluggish speed of 18 mph or less, thanks to its soundless engine. According to a study published by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA back in 2011, electric cars “are twice as likely to cause accidents” when slowing or stopping, backing up, entering or leaving a driveway or a parking space, and/or starting in traffic.

Electric Cars Pose Serious Threat to Pedestrians

As a result of the NHTSA and other reports, regulatory bodies felt the need to add noisemakers to electric cars in order to alert pedestrians and bicyclists of its presence on the road. In fact, the NHTSA made quiet-car noise requirement proposals in 2013 requiring car manufacturing companies to add in-built noisemakers to their electric vehicles so that they make a noise when moving at slow speeds, especially below 18 mph.

The reason for such a request was the age old belief that hearing and seeing provides the best defense to us against being hit and run over by a motor vehicle. The sound here acts as a safety measure to alert people about the approaching vehicle. According to the NHTSA, electric vehicles with in-built noise-emitting devices will help avoid almost 3000 accidents every year. The NHTSA has, however, allowed the car manufacturer to pick their own sound as long as it meets the audibility parameters of the organization.

However, many believe that the statistics mentioned in the 2011 study, based on which the proposals were made, are outdated as there were limited number of electric cars on roads back then. Some also argue that most recently designed diesel and gas-powered cars also produce significantly low decibel noise levels and, therefore, are of the opinion that electric vehicles are being unnecessarily targeted by the regulatory bodies.

Although retrofitting older electric cars and redesigning new ones is a relatively inexpensive solution, many consumers are against such a rule (should this become a law) as they think the government should not be in control of matters related to automobile design and functionality.

Despite such criticism and a slow adoption rate, the number of electric cars on the roads have increased over the past few years. This indicates that a large number of people are unaware that electric cars are largely responsible for road accidents due to lack of conclusive evidence. Besides, you cannot overrule the fact that many of these accidents are caused by noisier vehicles as well.

Principles to Be Used for Creating Noise-Emitting Electric Cars

Sound designers are working with automobile companies to find ways to avoid issues like electric car accidents arising due to the lack of ‘sound’ in these vehicles. While it will take considerable time to implement the safety standards, the principles regarding the sounds made by electric vehicles are as follows:

  • It must indicate the presence of the vehicle to the pedestrians and cyclists on the road.
  • The sound of the car must help others determine the location of the car along with its orientation i.e. whether it is moving away or toward the listener, how fast it is moving, etc.
  • These sounds must not be annoying like those of horns, backup signals, sirens, or other aggressive warnings, which are relatively short, infrequent and deliberately unpleasant. The sounds of electric cars are bound to be heard more frequently in both light and heavy traffic and hence, the sounds must alert and orient, and not annoy the listeners.

It is essential to standardize the sounds of all electric vehicles so that pedestrians and cyclists can interpret them easily. Sounds that vary too much are more likely to confuse the listener. Despite that, many car manufacturers prefer individualization of the sound emitted from their electric car. This is basically done to meet two purposes – marketing and safety.

In terms of safety, individualization of electric cars will help you track them if there are several other vehicles on the road, especially at crowded intersections. Individualization of sound also has a significant impact on marketing. It helps different brands establish their unique characteristics that are in keeping with the particular brand’s image.

Delays in Verdict

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of Global Automakers insisted that the NHTSA defer full compliance of the law until September 2018, referring to their concerns regarding the clause of the rule. The delay in verdict has, however, disappointed many organizations and pedestrians, especially the visually impaired. The National Federation of the Blind has openly expressed its disappointment. They too have cited concerns over the increasing number of silent electric cars on the road and its impact on pedestrians. In addition to this, they suspect that addressing the issue related to the vehicles already on the road will not be a priority for car manufacturers, further increasing the chances of electric car accidents.

That being said, we don’t mean that car-makers are doing nothing. For example, Lexus hybrid and Toyota have launched a Vehicle Proximity Notification System, whereas Nissan Leaf now comes with an alert sound known as the Vehicle Sound for Pedestrians. Additionally, Chevrolet Volt, a plug-in hybrid also has an alert sound for the same purpose.

Conclusion – Precaution Is Better Than Cure

Although a cliché, the above phrase perfectly wraps up everything you need to do when driving electric vehicles. Drive carefully in your electric car especially around cyclists and pedestrians. Also, focus more on the parking lots, driveways, cars pulling out of alleys, and school zones.

Author Bio:

Jenniffer Pickard is a freelance content writer specialized in producing high-quality and original content. She is passionate about researching and writing for diverse industries. In her spare time, she hangs out with her friends and whips up delectable desserts.

How Law Firms Can Improve Client Service

Client Service

(Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/hammer-books-law-court-lawyer-620008/)

“The goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best but legendary.”
Sam Walton

Increasing revenue, building loyal client relationships, and having a competitive edge over rivals – these are just a few of the many goals of a law firm.

Do you know there’s a magical success formula that can help your law firm achieve these goals? Enter outstanding client service.

There is a sea of law firms in the U.S. What can help differentiate your law firm from the others is not just the legal expertise you offer, but also the client service that you provide. In the current marketplace, exceptional customer service can promote client loyalty and prevent client base attrition.

Here are five tips that can help you strengthen your relationship with your current clients and acquire new ones.

  1. Providing Personalized Service

Imagine your client’s delight when he/she is welcomed by your receptionist with a warm smile, offered a beverage of his/her choice, and informed about the details of his/her scheduled meetings well in time!

Providing such personalized client service can help make your firm come across as professional, competent and a company that genuinely cares about its clients.

Here’s what you should follow:

  • Greet the client by his/her name.
  • Make sure to be on time. In cases where the wait is unavoidable, make the experience for the client a pleasant one by offering a beverage, a comfortable waiting area, access to the phone or the Internet, entertainment options such as television or print materials.
  • Refrain from discussing the client’s case in public places such as a hallway, an elevator or the cafeteria.
  • Give your client your undivided attention.
  • Make sure to introduce a visiting client to other attorneys and staff, especially those on his/her team.
  1. Anticipating Needs and Preparing in Advance

Understanding your client’s needs is extremely essential. Only then will you able to develop a plan to achieve the desired goals. Keep the following in mind:

  • Prepare an agenda for each meeting with specific objectives and be prepared for the meeting well in time.
  • Ask clients how often and through which mode they would prefer to receive communications on their legal case.
  • Establish scope of work, provide an estimate of time, and prepare a budget at the outset of any project.
  • When it comes to the expenses, ensure to bill with clarity, accuracy and on the basis of the value provided to the client.
  1. Being Easily Accessible and Responsive

Accessibility and responsiveness play a crucial role in building strong relationships with clients. Here’s what you should bear in mind:

  • Provide your client with your office and cell phone numbers, email address and an extranet site where he/she can access the information from about his/her legal case 24/7.
  • Make sure to clear the doubts and concerns of the client right away.
  • Respond to the client’s complaints and fix them immediately.
  • It is important to always have a backup plan for times when the concerned attorney is absent or for unscheduled meetings.
  • Ensure that the entire staff is well-trained and adept at communicating with the clients in a professional manner.
  1. Creating a Culture of Excellent Client Service

Client service should be an integral part of the firm as a whole, and not just the customer service department. It is, therefore, essential to create a culture of continuous service improvement with an unwavering focus on customer experience. More importantly, an uplifting client service culture requires every employee to take responsibility, understand and play their roles with clarity and vigor. Here’s how you can go about creating one:

  • Articulate your law firm’s central philosophy in a few yet meaningful words.
  • Make sure to elaborate on the core values of your firm.
  • Hire the right candidates, train them, and use discipline to enforce what matters to you.
  • Ensure that every employee is contributing for continuous service improvement.
  • Encourage customer feedback as that will help you identify potential problems.
  • Celebrate client service improvements by rewarding your staff and appreciating them for their hard work.
  • Continuously strive to innovate and improve your services in order to create more value for clients, employees, and partners.
  1. Following the Other Essentials
  • Remember, you get only one chance to build your firm’s first impression. Make sure you build a great one.
  • Leveraging existing technology and incorporating new ones can help improve business operations and provide cost effective services. CRM systems can help develop client relationships to a great extent.
  • It is essential to manage your time effectively to meet deadlines.
  • Provide regular updates to the client and keep him/her informed about the progress of the case.
  • Most importantly, take responsibility and apologize when something goes wrong.


It is important to remember that simply excelling in the practice of law is no longer enough to differentiate your firm from the competition. Client service excellence is a crucial competitive advantage for a law firm or any business for that matter. Right from catering to your client’s preferences and acquiring a thorough understanding of his/her legal matter to being easily accessible and responsive, you should take care of the important aspects in order to provide exceptional client service. Follow the above-mentioned tips and you will be able to build long-lasting and profitable relationships with your clients.

About the Author

Jeff Tomczak is an experienced personal injury attorney in Joliet, IL. at The Tomczak Law Group. As the founder of the firm and a lawyer by profession, he has years of experience in handling the most serious and high-profile personal injury, accident and criminal cases since the last 25 years. He is dedicated in his work of representing victims and strives for availing significant compensation for his clients.

Friday Fun

I know from personal experience that cats can be jerks!

Six Of The Most Embarrassing Crimes You Don’t Want To Be Accused Of

Criminal Defense Understanding What to do After Being Charged with a Crime

In today’s world, there are several seemingly innocent acts, such as relieving yourself in public, that are criminalized and can cause an individual significant social embarrassment. Listed below are six crimes you certainly do not want to get charged with.

Urinating in Public

This offense is illegal in all 50 states under a law that criminalized the act specifically. It is very socially embarrassing to be arrested for something that could have been avoided easily, and this small act could potentially land you on the registered sex offender list. The disorderly act is punished as a misdemeanor that could include a variety of punishments including community service, fines or even jail time.

Road Rage

While aggressive driving is simply a traffic violation, road rage is a criminal offense equal to assault with a dangerous weapon. Additionally, if you take your frustrated shouting and gesturing too far, then the law officials can consider this harassment.

Prostitution & Solicitation

Law officials have been finding new ways to stop prostitution and even going so far as to use fake online profiles to arrest suspects. The law takes this crime very seriously, and the punishments are quite heavy for offenders. If you are convicted, then you will have to suffer some embarrassing social consequences. Consequences range from the loss of your professional license to a public record of the sex crime. You will likely also face fines, jail time or community service. It’s important to talk to a solicitation lawyer as soon as possible in this situation.

Child Pornography

Social media and widespread use of cell phones has attracted a lot of attention lately. A new teenage fad where teens take sexual photos and distribute the images has spread across the nation. Anyone who receives a teen’s naked ‘selfie’ can find themselves in danger of being prosecuted for possession of child pornography, even if they never requested the picture. You could face serious jail time, fines and even be listed as a sex offender for life.

Flashing During Mardi-Gras

You can be arrested for indecent exposure and wind up on the sex offender registry for flashing your breasts in several states. Despite the custom in New Orleans, it is wise to avoid this tradition during Mardi-Gras season.

Infringing on Copyright Laws

If you watch unauthorized YouTube videos, share DVDs or even share music, then you are likely in violation of copyright laws. It would be both unfortunate and embarrassing to face criminal charges on your record for an offense like pirating.

No one wants to be convicted of a crime, especially one that carries embarrassing social stigmas. You’ll certainly want to avoid these six acts to ensure you don’t get caught up in a legal battle. It’s always wise to consult with a lawyer if you are being charged of any crime.

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.

How a Personal Injury Lawsuit can Affect Your Financial Health and the Future of Your Family

How a Personal Injury Lawsuit can Affect your Financial Health and the Future of your Family

It’s hard to imagine that the loss of a loved one can result in insurmountable bills, but it often does. There are several instances people can find themselves in where a personal injury claim becomes necessary. In some ways, a personal injury claim can right some wrongs. It cannot bring back a deceased love one, but it can collect for damages incurred as a result of losing a loved one, and it can take care of the financial aspects of the loss to allow for healing. People are impacted financially in several ways. A personal injury claim can help.

Loss of Companionship

Relationships mean something. A price cannot be placed on how much a relationship is worth; however, insurance companies have to determine an amount based on this aspect. This is the starting point for determining how much a claim is worth. Money can’t bring back a loved one, but it can help with bills that would otherwise be difficult to pay for. For starters, it’ll help to cover the funeral bills. In cases of wrongful death, deaths are often sudden as they are unexpected. Several families may not be prepared to pay for funeral costs.

Loss of Compensation

If a family is dependent upon a loved one for financial support, losing them means they lose financial support as well. Families and others may be able to recover money for this type of damage.

Additional Costs

At times, there are future costs to contend with. For example, there may be additional hospital visits that need to occur. Some injuries require numerous surgeries, such as reconstructive surgeries. It may become necessary for a defendant to pay future medical bills. Other damages may include ongoing monetary support, loss of enjoyment of life and on-going care needs. A good lawyer can help recover these damages that can set a family’s finances back permanently (Source: http://thepearcelawfirm.com)

Injuries and death can happen at any time. However, they are enough to place people into financial disparity for their lifetime. This creates a domino effect and can devastate a family for generations. Personal injury claims exist to right some wrongs. It sends a message to the defendant and to others that negligence and abuse will not be tolerated. It helps to pay for bills that would otherwise not get paid. It helps take the financial burden off of those who are suffering so that they can heal in a proper way. A claim cannot reverse what was wrong, but it is a step to healing the hurt.

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.

Four Easy Ways Small Law Firms Can Cut Costs


(Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wdm/17323332735)

The ultimate goal of running a business is to make profit. When running a business in a challenging economy, when customers and profits are hard to come by, several entrepreneurs take the road often taken to maintain their bottom line – cutting costs.

Law firms are no different. As the volatility of the current economy takes a toll on them, it shouldn’t be surprising if law firms, particularly the small and solo ones, look for ways to increase their revenue by spending less.

Mentioned ahead are a few ways in which law firms can cut costs.

  1. Economize the Office

If you’re a small or a solo firm, think about this – do you really need that huge, decorated office in that highly prominent location? After all, they will come at an exorbitant cost. It would make better sense to have a simple, yet professional-looking office in an affordable location.

Alternatively, why have a fixed office at all? You can consider renting space in an externally managed space where you pay only for the services you ause. This could mean anything from leasing a full-time room and setting up an office, to accessing a conference room when meeting clients. This setup could be particularly beneficial for firm operating virtually.

  1. Outsource Staff and Skills

When you’re running a small law firm and aren’t making much money, you will do well to outsource certain staff and skills. Do you really need that full-time accountant, legal assistants and other support staff? Chances are the answer is in the negative. Consider every aspect of this and then make a call.

The payroll function, for instance, is one of the biggest expense in any firm. Consider if you really require all the people you employ. Layoffs and reduced work hours can help, particularly when you have other more economically-viable alternatives available. Outsourcing functions like payroll and IT can go a long way in bringing your costs down.

  1. Think Paperless

Buying paper costs money, and storing it requires space. Also, when you buy paper, you will invariably need to spend on folders, files, clips, cabinets, photocopiers, printers, printing supplies, and so on.

The simple solution for this is to go paperless. Using CDs, pen drives and external hard drives is much more convenient and can save you a lot of money. Apart from that, cloud storage platforms come as a blessing and can help cut costs, thereby sparing you the stress related to storage.

  1. Curb Your IT Expenses

Just like any progressive firm, you’re surely going to want to buy the most updated technology for your firm. But hold that thought and think rationally about this one too. Evaluate your IT needs before buying new technology or even upgrading the current one.

Technology takes little time to become outdated. Your current technological aid and systems may be all that you need for the time being. If you still think your computers need to be replaced, consider whether or not second-hand or refurbished units will suffice.

Further, you can consider free/economic alternatives to essential office programs such as the Microsoft Office Suite. OpenOffice and Google Apps can be of great assistance here.

Similarly, reevaluate your need for having multiple pieces of office equipment like fax machines, scanners and printers when a single, but optimally configured, copier can perform all these tasks. If your office equipment is proving to be costly, you can either sell or donate it.

Be mindful, however, that if your photocopiers, fax machines and printers do not have the automatic encryption feature, take them to a trustworthy dealer to have the hard drives wiped clean. Being a law firm, the last thing that you’d want would be to pass on your clients’ confidential information into the hands of complete strangers.


There’s no doubt that waste and unnecessary costs can eat into your profits. It is best to minimize and/or control expenses in order to maximize revenues. The above tips should help you identify the areas where skimping may actually work and turn out to be beneficial. Do keep in them in mind when planning for cost cutting at your law firm.

About the Author:

Robert J. Kerr is a top Chicago-based criminal defense attorney at Law Office of Robert Kerr, LLC. He concentrates not only in criminal defense but also in DUI defense, drug crimes, sex crimes and civil rights. His aggressive approach helps his clients protect their rights and he is always ready to provide timely information and accurate advice to them.

4 Crucial Questions if Your Loved One is Injured at a Senior Care Facility

4 Crucial Questions if Your Loved One is Injured at a Senior Care Facility

If a member of your family is in a nursing home, they have certain rights that the federal government has specified. Of those rights, two of the most important might be those of being treated with dignity and respect and having a trusted person manage the senior’s affairs. If your senior is injured or otherwise suffers damages in a residential care facility, you should ask yourself these very serious questions.

Was There a Breach of a Duty?

The duty of a residential care facility is to provide quality care to its residents 24 hours a day. When adequately staffed, there shouldn’t be any gaps or want of care. Lack of adequate staff or improperly trained staff interfere with the patient’s dignity and respect. The family member is there for a reason. They need quality and timely assistance.

Was My Loved One Injured or Damaged?

You might not be 100 percent satisfied with the care that your senior is getting, but it’s also impossible to please everybody. If their physical and mental conditions along with their finances are where they’re expected to be at, there probably isn’t any neglect. Should you see a rapid physical and/or mental deterioration or significant reduction of their assets, they might have a case for legal repercussions. That’s when you want the intervention of an experienced nursing home attorney.

Was Neglect or Exploitation the Cause of Their Damages?

As people get older, they get increasingly more frail. A residential care facility can’t have somebody with your senior every minute of every day. We all hurt ourselves at times. But if your senior sustained a fall and a fracture, they could have tripped over something in an unlit area, slipped on a wet floor or fallen out of bed when rails were necessary. If personal items are missing or bank accounts are depleted, are they victims of exploitation? You probably want to discuss this with a nursing home attorney.

Should I Call the Police?

Milwaukee injury lawyer Jonathan P. Groth advises getting law enforcement involved right away if you believe a crime has been committed. There are criminal statutes against physical abuse and financial exploitation of seniors. The Milwaukee County District Attorney takes senior exploitation very seriously.

Give your senior’s complaints or condition careful but reasonable evaluation. It’s particularly difficult if they don’t want to speak or can’t speak. Law enforcement and a nursing home attorney might provide you with insight the insight you need to make a decision.

Author info: 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.

Friday Fun

There’s nothing “funny” about this post. It really just displays my own ignorance. I never thought much about it, but if asked I would have said that non-Christian religions were fairly evenly spread across the country, with perhaps the Jewish religion having a larger minority in New York and Florida. I would have been very wrong.

Look at this map that shows the largest non-Christian group in each state, based on the 2010 U.S. Religion Census.


Settlement Reached in Morcellator Lawsuit


According to a plaintiff’s attorney involved in the trial, reported the Wall Street Journal, there has been a settlement in a federal lawsuit against Lina Medical ApS, the manufacturer of an allegedly-defective laparoscopic power morcellator. The case had been expected to be the first of its kind to go to trial, ahead of at least 21 similar lawsuits involving the use of morcellators. The Journal went on to says that negative publicity over their risks and FDA intervention have significantly curbed the use of morcellators; in 2014, the Journal noted, Johnson & Johnson voluntarily stopped selling the devices.

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

Taking Caution: Six Dangers of Underage Drinking Teens Should Know About

Conflict between mum and daughter at home. Search many conflicting people in my portfolio

Underage use and abuse of alcohol is a major public health concern. Although illegal, 12-20 year olds consume 11% of all alcohol sold in the United States, and 90% of this is consumed in binge drinking. Alcohol consumption by youth under the age of 21 years old accounts for over 4,300 deaths every year as well as many more injuries, illnesses, and many other negative consequences. There are several dangers of underage drinking that every teen should know about.

School and Work Problems
Alcohol consumption in underage youth can interfere with brain development and affect your memory. It can also cause increased absence from school and failing grades. This can lead to high school drop out or loss of your job.

Increased Chance of Risky Sexual Activity
Drinking alcohol significantly impedes judgment and can lead to risky sexual behavior. For teens, this may lead to unwanted and unprotected sex, in turn increasing the likelihood of sexually transmitted diseases, unplanned pregnancies, and sexual assaults. The Kaiser Family Foundation conducted a random survey of 1,200 adolescents (aged 13-24 years old) and found that 81% reported having sex, with over 50& admitting that teens mix alcohol and intercourse “a lot.”

Legal Problems
Underage drinking is illegal and can lead to prosecution for teens and responsible parties that enable drinking to occur. Not only are there court costs, fines, and lawyer costs, but you could also end up spending time in jail. If you ever have an adolescent charged with underage drinking, seek an attorney, like Georgia criminal lawyer Lee Webb, who is skilled and experienced with alcohol consumption laws.

Increased Risk of Alcohol and Illicit Drug Abuse as an Adult
Underage drinking significantly increases the risk of developing alcohol abuse or dependency issues as an adult. In 2012, a study found that those who reported drinking alcohol before the age of 15 years old were more than 7 times more likely to develop a dependency later in life. Drinking alcohol also acts as gateway behavior to other illegal and dangerous drugs.

Social Problems
Drinking alcohol can lead to poor judgment, lack of interest in other activities, more outbursts and fighting, and increased risk of homicide and suicide. Increased risky behavior can greatly affect your social life in a very negative way.

Injury and Death to Yourself or Others
In addition to accounting for over 4,000 deaths every year, more than 190,000 alcohol related injuries occur annually, including alcohol poisoning, traffic accidents, and other serious injuries.

Underage drinking is attractive to many teens, but it is imperative that you understand the negative and potentially deadly consequences that could arise. It is not fun, glamorous, or exciting.

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

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Six Reasons Why Legal Knowledge Can Quickly Get You A Promotion

6 Reasons Why Legal Knowledge Can Quickly Get You A Promotion

One of the fastest ways to quickly gain a promotion at work is to develop a skill set that separates you from the competition. In most any company, having knowledge of business, tax or employment law provides you with a tremendously unique and marketable skill that could put you on the fast track to get the promotion you have always wanted.

Ability to Offer Advice

Obtaining a degree with a legal background could make you absolutely indispensable to your employer. You could quickly become the go-to person to review proposals, tax strategies and business structure concepts to help find legal deficiencies or possible problems.

Prevention of Lawsuits

With the appropriate legal knowledge, you could be able to identify weak areas in your business structure which could make your company vulnerable to lawsuits from employees and vendors. Making sure that adequate training and monitoring opportunities are being utilized could save your company thousands in potential lawsuits.

Creating Training and Education Programs

Having legal knowledge with regard to business allows you the opportunity to create training and education programs that are specifically tailored to the needs of your company. Your employer would no longer have to rely on cookie-cutter programs that do not cover important legal aspects in relation to their specific business.

Evaluating Finances

If your company is not managing finances according to their business tax structure, they could pay thousands in penalties and interest if they were ever audited. Having the legal tax knowledge to correct any possible financial mistakes could result in a great savings to your company.

Estate and Financial Planning

In business, it is necessary to have contingency plans in place to protect the business should the unthinkable happen. Employers depend on those with legal knowledge to help them develop such plans and to offer continued solutions as the company grows and changes.

Conflict Resolution

If there is ever a conflict with a business associate or vendor, it is imperative to have someone with legal negotiating skills to help resolve any dispute in a quick and cost-effective manner. A great legal negotiator could help in reaching an amicable agreement without having to go through a costly court trial. Legal knowledge could also be helpful should your employer decide to try mediation to solve a problem.

Master’s in law programs offer an opportunity to move up in your career. From having knowledge of international business law to understanding legal tax deductions related to a business, legal knowledge can be a genuine asset to most any employer. In addition, your legal knowledge could be a benefit to you even if you decided to change careers.

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.