Fender-Benders and Life Enders

Everyone knows that a car accident can range anywhere from a minor fender-bender to a tragic collision that ends with the loss of life. Getting on a highway can only make things more likely to end in disaster. The average speed of a highway in the United States is a whopping 70 miles per hour. In addition to this, many people out on the highway will have been out there for a long time. Long-distance vacations lead to families and groups of friends driving for as long as ten hours without a break! Not to mention long-haul truckers who make ends’ meet by delivering cargo across the country. Driving such a long period of time can cause drowsiness, and failing to take proper breaks to rest, stretch, and eat a proper meal makes drowsiness all the more severe. Poor night vision, drowsiness, and an empty stomach are all common causes of someone falling asleep at the wheel.

Falling asleep at the wheel not only endangers you but those around you. Even nodding off for a split second can cause a major accident. Most drivers of 18-wheelers have to follow strict rules regarding how long they can drive before taking a break and how long those breaks have to be. Still, even with proper precautions, there’s always going to be a risk of a driver losing consciousness for a brief moment. Other things can cause an 18-wheeler to crash. Cargo holds can be loaded over the weight limit, and the truck itself could malfunction. Weather can lead to unsafe roads and a large truck could easily hydroplane. Other causes could be the direct result of a negligent trucker. Distracted driving is a leading cause of major truck accidents. The usage of smartphones while driving has increased in the last few years, and it’s not uncommon to see a trucker on his or her phone. Distracted driving has been said to be worse than drunk driving, as at least drunk drivers are attempting to pay attention to the road, while distracted drivers are blatantly ignoring their surroundings.

Accidents involving 18-wheelers are much more complicated than collisions with other cars. Instead of it just being two drivers with two insurance policies, one also has to consider the company’s insurance policy, as well as a bunch of other factors. The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee understand this, and they have expertise in this area. When beginning a lawsuit against a truck driver, there are so many factors that come into play. These factors are complex, and the best course of action is to get an attorney who really knows what they’re doing. Because of the complex nature regarding the accidents, these accidents cannot be resolved by simply exchanging insurance information like you would with a normal fender-bender. Accidents like this often result in severe injuries or loss of life, so make sure you’re taking the proper steps to get the justice that you deserve!

Why Do Personal Injury Laws Exist?

When we get into an accident, we hope that the person we were involved in an accident with have insurance. If they don’t have insurance, they’re breaking the law and will likely face a criminal charge or citation from a policeman at the scene of the accident. On top of this, without insurance, a lawsuit is basically the only way to make sure that the driver is held responsible for paying damages done to you. However, this situation is pretty rare. What’s more likely to happen is that the person you get in an accident with will have insurance, but the insurance company will try to pay you less than what you deserve.

Insurance companies have a tricky way of trying to get out of paying for all the damages done in car accidents. If you get in a serious accident and need to file a claim for lost wages or extended recovery therapy, insurance companies will try to weasel their way out of accepting the claim. This is where personal injury laws come in and help everyday people get the money they deserve. I actually found out about the Law Office of William J. Luse by searching for attorneys online. They are attorneys that represent clients to make sure insurance companies pay what they should after an accident. As someone who doesn’t have a law background, I wouldn’t know how to fight for myself in court. It would be scary to explain why I money for lost wages, potential lost wages and extended therapy in front of a judge. Also, there is so much paperwork and formality involved. I don’t have the time to figure out all that stuff. That’s why personal injury laws exist and why personal injury attorneys are helpful.

Insurance companies hire lawyers too. If I tried to fight insurance companies in court without a lawyer, I probably wouldn’t get anywhere. Insurance companies have the money to hire lawyers and provide expert witnesses. These people use their years of experience in the business to try and explain how an accident not caused by me is somehow my fault, or why I shouldn’t be compensated for my injuries. They may try to say that my injuries actually happened before the accident and I’m just using the accident as an excuse for money. They may say that I am responsible for my injuries in a car accident because I knew the risk of driving on the road. I wouldn’t know how to counter these sorts of things, especially on the spot in a courtroom. That’s why I’m glad we have the laws to protect victims in situations like that.

 

How to negotiate your way out of debt

As you grow up and become financially independent, you have to find some way to handle your financial obligations regardless of your situation. Borrowing money becomes more common, especially during hard times. Credit cards, loans, and payment plans are all different ways that people make ends meet and make their checkbooks balance. Although this may help in the short run, or even the long term in many cases, sometimes it’s only kicking the can down the road. Debt and borrowing can snowball into a much more significant issue that will require your undivided attention at one point when the can is just too big to kick it any further.

Debt negotiation can be a valuable tool for people who are struggling with overwhelming financial obligations. It’s a complicated process by which someone can agree with their creditor to pay a lesser amount of money than that which is owed. In many cases, this is a win-win for both sides, as the creditor won’t have to write off the entire loan as a loss and can recoup some of their money, and the borrower won’t have to resort to more borrowing or even bankruptcy to deal with their debt.

Trying for debt negotiation without an attorney is a tricky ordeal. An attorney can function as an unbiased 3rd party who will work in your favor to try and put together the best deal possible for you, while not being at odds with your creditor. With fewer emotions involved due to their financial detachment, they can keep a level head in the negotiating process to come up with a deal that your creditor will accept, and will work in your favor. Debt negotiations can be done for a variety of loans, including, but not limited to:

  • Credit cards
  • Banking fees
  • Cash advancements
  • Retail credit cards
  • Medical debt
  • Personal loans
  • Debt owed after repossession
  • Legal judgments (over 12 months overdue)
  • Private student loans

Just about any and all liabilities can be renegotiated and changed to allow creditors and borrowers to come out with a slight victory on their end. It’s possible to reduce one’s debt by a very significant percentage, anywhere from 30-70 percent is likely and has been done before. Although it depends on who the creditor is, a reasonable attorney should be able to get a sizeable chunk of your debt removed. However, in many cases debt negotiation may not be the best option, and bankruptcy would be the best avenue instead. If you feel this may be the case for you, the best option is still to speak with an attorney, who can help run through your options and help you pick the one that will most benefit you.

When to Call a Lawyer After an Accident

Picture this: you’ve just had a serious collision with someone on the road. Maybe it’s your fault, or maybe it’s theirs. What’s the first thing you do?

You check to make sure you’re alright. You check to see if anyone else in your car is alright. Then you check the other guy. And then what?

Do you call the police, your insurance…your lawyer?

It crosses everyone’s mind, but when exactly is it right to get a lawyer involved after an accident?

Basically, you should call for any of these five reasons:

  1. Someone’s been injured
  2. Someone’s died due to the accident
  3. The police report is putting the wrong person at fault (especially if it’s you!).
  4. There’s a lot of property damage
  5. You’re afraid your insurance isn’t going to pay out fully

Those are all pretty serious nightmare scenarios but don’t just assume this can’t happen to you and skip on to the next article. Around three million people are injured in car accidents every year in the U.S. That’s about one percent of the whole population. The number of accidents is about six million.

In addition, CNN says America has the highest road death rate in the world, and road crashes are the largest cause of death for citizens going abroad.

But even if those facts are too scary for you, just let this one give you pause: according to asirt.org, America spends $230 billion EVERY YEAR on car accidents. Do you really want to have a chunk of that money coming from you?

That doesn’t mean that you need to have a lawyer on speed dial for every fender bender, but make sure you have someone in mind just in case things are a bit more serious.

According to Munley Law, facing a car accident without a lawyer can mean you end up with:

  1. Increased pain and suffering
  2. Serious medical bills
  3. Lost wages (or even losing your job)
  4. Potentially diminished earning power (if you end up with a chronic injury)
  5. Being on the hook for long-term rehabilitation or therapy (for you or the other people injured)

Like every other kind of law, the laws around car insurance are complicated and hard to navigate if you’re a novice. So don’t just expect you can handle everything coming because you’re pretty clever. Remember that the other guy may be lawyering up even if you think you can reach a deal on your own.

If you’re worried about that lawyer money, a lot of places will give you at least a free consultation—they may even base all charges on whether you win the lawsuit or not. When looking for lawyers, make sure you find someone who is upfront about being flexible like that, so you don’t end up worrying about payments on two ends.

Adoption and Its Effects

An article by Herman, E. (2011), titled “Adoption History in Brief,” which is posted in the The Social Welfare website says that “During the twentieth century, numbers of adoptions increased dramatically in the United States. In 1900, formalizing adoptive kinship in a court was still very rare. By 1970, the numerical peak of twentieth-century adoption, 175,000 adoptions were finalized annually. “Stranger” or “non-relative” adoptions have predominated over time, and most people equate adoption with families in which parents and children lack genetic ties. Today, however, a majority of children are adopted by natal relatives and step-parents, a development that corresponds to the rise of divorce, remarriage, and long-term cohabitation.” (http://socialwelfare.library.vcu.edu/programs/child-welfarechild-labor/adoption/)

Establishing a parent-child relationship (through adoption) between two persons not naturally related to each other can be a challenging endeavor, especially if the adoptee is already at a certain age or if the adopting parents have other children. Jealousy and the issue legal rights of everyone, especially of the spouse and biological children (if and when the spouses divorce one another or if one spouse dies), usually set in.

This is because, through adoption, the adopted child acquires all the right and privileges possessed and enjoyed by any member of the family; including becoming an heir in the same family. As regards the adoptee’s biological parents, they lose all their rights over their child as the adopting parents are legally declared the adoptee’s new and rightful parents through adoption. 

Adoption was originally conceived as a means to normalize and give meaning to the union of married, but childless couples. In 1851, however, when the Adoption of Children Act was made a law, adoption assumed the purpose of legal and social operations intended to promote the interest of a child rather than that of the adopting parents. In modern society, couples, whether of opposite or of the same sex, can adopt a child, so long as the court sees them fit to parent a child.

The United States recognizes two types of adoption: closed adoption and open adoption. In closed adoption, the state decides who can adopt a child, legally requiring the biological mother to relinquish her rights (over her child) in the process. Open adoption, is its exact opposite, as this legal procedure allows the birth mother to choose the adopting parents, besides maintaining the right to communicate with, and visit, her child. 

Since states regulate the laws concerning adoption, there is no uniformity as to what is required or considered for a couple, or even a single adult, to be deemed worthy of adopting a child. Often, couples or individuals are confronted by laws and requirements that suddenly make adopting a child a complex procedure.

Raleigh divorce lawyers at Marshall & Taylor PLLC explains that every adoption is unique, based on the family’s circumstances and the type of adoption they choose to pursue. While some couples will naturally choose to adopt an infant, there are cases wherein adopting families choose to adopt a step-child, an adult or even a foreigner.