Punitive or Compensatory Damages due to Car Accidents

Anything that will catch your attention while you are behind the wheel and cause you to veer your focus on that thing rather than on your driving, then something unpleasant may just likely happen.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) continuously and untiringly reminds motorists that it never be complacent in apprehending and punishing violators of traffic laws, especially if these violations injure or cause the death of an innocent victim (another motorist, a motorcyclist, bicyclist or pedestrian).

Dangerous road behaviors that continue to put at risk everyone’s safety include driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI), reckless driving, overspeeding or driving at a speed that is unsafe for a particular road or weather condition, and distracted driving, which is now fast becoming a major threat on the road.

Unlike other causes of car accidents which are focused mainly on single acts (like DUI, which only involves consumption of alcohol), distracted driving takes different forms, so many of which are so ordinary that drivers no longer realize that they are already being distracted.

Cell phone use (whether using a hands-free or hand-held phone to text, call someone or answer someone’s call) is currently identified as the most common form of driver distraction. The many other forms of distraction drivers are guilty of include: talking or arguing with his/her passenger; eating; drinking; reaching for an object, like from the back seat of the car, causing him or her to look away from the road as well as take one hand off the wheel; adjusting a car radio or a GPS device; using a laptop or reading a map for directions; playing with a child or a pet; grooming, like brushing one’s hair or applying make-up, or fixing a tie; lighting a cigarette; driving while angry; and so forth.

One revealing result of records analysis made by the NHTSA is that the ones most guilty when it comes to distracted driving are young drivers, particularly those aged between 17 and 24. This also means that most of those who violate safety traffic rules, as well as the most common victims of fatal car crashes, are young drivers too.

Regardless of who the person behind the wheel is, a car accident taking place due to reasons such as negligence, carelessness and distraction, can be avoided. For victims, one important thing they should consider after an accident is hiring a seasoned personal injury lawyer, who may be able to help them get the compensation that the law may entitle them to receive.

According to the website of the law firm Ali Mokaram, “Compensation or commonly referred to as damages, can be divided into two categories, punitive or compensatory damages. Punitive damages are penalties that a judge will award to the plaintiff that is specifically designed to punish the defendant for their heinous acts. These damages are typically reserved for cases involving tort law and are often used to deter the defendant from doing the act again. On the contrary, compensatory damages are designed to help the plaintiff to pay for the costs of recovering after the injury. These damages often include things such as lost wages, property damages, and lawyer fees.”

Domestic Violence Accusations

Domestic violence refers to any form of abuse or violent behavior towards a person in a domestic setting, like a spouse or child. It may come in many forms, but the most common forms are physical abuse, emotional abuse, and sexual abuse.

According to the website of Kohler Hart Powell, SC, domestic violence accusations should be taken seriously and you should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. These accusations, proven or not, can have negative effects in your being, like reputation damages and career damages.

But in order to properly defend yourself from domestic violence accusations, it is important to know first the different forms of domestic violence and their manifestations.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse involves contact or pain inflicted on the physical body of another person. Most of the time, this comes in the form of punching, kicking, stabbing, and choking. But there are subtler forms, like forcing to use drugs, intentionally denying needed medical care, and depriving the person of sleep and food.

This kind of abuse is easy to detect because of physical evidence like wounds. Still, abusive acts that don’t result into injuries, like slapping, can still be considered domestic violence.

Emotional Abuse

This kind of abuse usually targets the victim’s self-worth by using abusive behavior such as constant personal criticism, intimidation, public humiliation, and insult. Most of the time, emotional abuse is partnered with physical and other forms of abuse to magnify its effect. The victim can develop several conditions such as depression, eating disorder, substance abuse, and suicidal tendency.

Sexual Abuse

Sex can be a vital part of domestic relationships, but it doesn’t mean that it is not subject to abusive behavior. Most sexual abuse cases involve rape, harassment, and unwarranted touching. But there are other forms that appear to be subtler, like forcing the victim to not use contraception, abortion, genital mutilation, and sex trafficking.

Other Forms of Abuses

There are other forms of domestic violence that you should consider, like psychological abuse and economic abuse. Psychological abuse involve a variety of abusive behaviors that may affect the victim’s mind, like blackmailing and preventing the person from leaving the house. Economic abuse refers to the control of financial issues, like how an abusive spouse can intentionally limit the access to the victim’s career advancement, education, and resources such as money and other assets.

Not only are these abusive behaviors unhealthy for the relationship, but they also bring with them additional medical costs, attorney fees, and other unnecessary expenses. It is a good thing that there are laws that protect those that are accused of domestic violence and those that have become victims of domestic violence. By looking at both the sides of the accused and the accuser, we can better judge domestic violence cases.

Common Causes of Insurance Disputes

Insurance can give people financial assistance in times of emergency. When they get involved in an accident, having insurance can help them pay for medical bills or repair for their car. Accidents are associated with various expenses and your insurance can help defray the onslaught of bills. When insurance disputes arise, the release of your claims can be delayed. In this article, we shall focus on the common causes that lead to insurance disputes.

Coverage Limits and Exclusions

The insurance provider and the policyholder may have different interpretations when it comes to the scope of insured perils, entities or individuals, per occurrence and aggregate limits, and other terms and conditions.

Lack of Communication

When there is poor or infrequent communication between a policyholder and the insurance company, chances are there will be insufficient understanding of the policyholder’s risk profile and/or insurance portfolio. Constant communication is vital to avoiding insurance disputes.

Unreasonable Expectations

Expecting too much in the scope and value of a particular claim can lead to delays in the processing of a claim.


You need to tell your insurance company about any issues that might affect your risk when you take out or renew your insurance policy. If you don’t, it is likely that it will affect your ability to make a claim on your insurance.

Loss Assessment

When there is a conflict on the computation of your projected or incurred losses, there could be a problem with the immediate release of your insurance claims.

When applying for insurance policy, it is important for the applicant to disclose as much information as they can to the insurance company. This will help insure a trouble free release of your insurance claims in times of emergencies. The website of Abel Law Firm reveals that it is important for you to make timely payments of your policy so you can prevent delays in the release of your claims.

Basic Concerns about the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

Social Security members, who sustain permanent disabilities, whether this injury is work-related, may be entitled to receive cash benefits from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

Social Security members refer to anyone 65 years old or below, who has:

Worked long enough or recently enough in a job covered by Social Security or who is self-employed; and,
Earned the required number of credits required by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Employees earn four credits in a year. These credits can be earned through monthly payment of Social Security taxes (identified as “FICA” Federal Insurance Contributions Act in employees’ pay slips).

Permanent disability, on the other hand, refers to any condition:

  • That renders a person unable to perform the work that he/she did before being disabled and which renders him/her incapable of performing any other type of work; and,
  • May either last for at least a year or result in death.

The SSA has made a list of disabilities and medical conditions which it considers too severe. If a person’s condition is found in this list and if he/she meets the other criteria listed above, then he/she would most likely qualify as a recipient of SSDI cash benefits.

It will have to be understood by an employee, however, that, despite having been approved to receive the cash benefits or if he/she is already receiving payments, this can stop if:

If the SSA decides that his/her medical condition has improved to a point that he/she can be considered as no longer disabled or he/she works at a level that the SSA considers as “substantial”; or,
If he/she turns 65 – if this is the case, recipient will continue receiving the same amount of payment, only this time, it will no longer be in the form of disability benefit but in the form of pension.

As explained by the Hankey Law Office, however, despite how much those who have developed an unexpected physical or mental disability rely on Social Security Disability benefits, many of them find the application process overly complex; worse, many more are denied in their application on their first attempt.

Whether in preparing all the required documents, in filing their application or in making an appeal, a highly-competent SSDI lawyer may be able to help. It is not enough to be eligible for the benefits; everything will also need to be done correctly – something that can be better accomplished through the assistance of a legal professional.

What are Sex Crimes?

There’s a reason sex crimes are constantly in the news: they’re not only all too common, but completely life-changing for all parties involved. The best way to prevent them from occurring is to spread knowledge and awareness about how and why sex crimes happen and why they shouldn’t.

As defined by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, sexual assault is an attack or attempted attack generally involving unwanted sexual contact between victim and offender. Sexual assault may or may not involve force; some attacks can be solely verbal.

According to the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, child sexual assault can be classified under indecency with a child or continuous sexual abuse of a young child or children. Indecency can be either a second or third-degree felony depending on the charges and has a minimum sentence of 2 years. Continuous sexual abuse, however, is a first-degree felony and a conviction can lead to anywhere from 5 to 99 years in prison.

Rape, defined by the Bureau of Justice Statistics as forced, non-consensual sexual intercourse including both psychological coercion as well as physical force, is a second-degree felony. Those convicted of rape charges can receive anywhere between 2 to 20 years in prison.

Statutory rape includes any sexual activity between a minor under the state-established age of consent with a person more than three years older than them. Statutory rape is a first-degree felony and can carry a sentence of 5 to 99 years in prison if the minor is under 14 years old and a second-degree felony with a possible sentence of 2 to 20 years in prison if they are between 14 and the age of consent.

Those who have committed a sex crime must nationally register as sex offenders. This means they are entered into a nation-wide registry and legally obligated to live by a certain set of rules that includes disclosing their sex offender status to their neighbors and not living within 1,000 feet of a school or childcare facilities.

Should You Get a Prenup?

The debate on prenuptial agreements, colloquially known as “prenups,” is heated and incredibly varied. Google the issue and you’ll come up with thousands of articles from business, financial, and relationship journals in support of getting the agreement and just as many against it. All in all, it can be said that the decision to get a prenup is best reviewed on a case-by-case basis. But how do you know whether your specific case necessitates the hotly debated documents?

First of all, younger, less financially-established parties with very few assets to their name at the time of the marriage shouldn’t need a prenup. However, having a significant amount of assets when coming into a marriage can cause initial issues that may be resolved through a prenup according to the lawyers at Arenson Law Group, PC.

A study by TIME’s Magazine found that more couples argue about money than any other topic. In order to prevent the arguments and stress money can cause in a marriage, it is often suggested that couples maintain open communication about the topic. If you’re worried your potential spouse may be uncomfortable discussing money, prenups can help start a dialogue on finances in the relationship and establish financial boundaries that both parties can agree on. Though financial conversations can be awkward initially, they are going to be a recurring theme throughout any marriage.

Another major issue that should factor into any decision to get a prenuptial agreement is spousal support. If you don’t think your spouse will appreciate the prenup, it is probably best not to get one. Trying to force a prenup on an unwilling party is likely to create friction and inspire distrust very early on in the marriage.

One last thing that should be considered is the presence of children. For those who are going into a marriage with existing children, it may be good to establish a prenuptial agreement to ensure that there is a stable plan in place for the children. Prenups can also let you establish these children as beneficiaries in the case of your death according to CNBC.

All things considered, the prenup is neither good nor bad, but a tool you and your partner can use to help construct a marriage or take it apart. Whether you decide to use one or not, the decision to get a prenup can set the course for a marriage and is a decision that should be seriously considered and discussed in depth.

Dealing with a life-altering injury

Life-altering injuries are, by definition, not easy to deal with. They can mean losing your physical capabilities, your job, and/or your independence. While these injuries and the events that caused them can be traumatizing, they certainly don’t mean that your life is over. Many have found ways to deal with life-altering injuries with support from others.

Whether you were hurt due to a vehicle accident or were hurt because of another person, the consequences can be dire for all parties involved. First, make sure you have received all of the medical care you can as soon as possible. Many times early action can prevent an injury from becoming something life-altering. If you aren’t able to finance all of the medical treatment you need, you may want to consider taking legal action to secure all the funds you need. According to Spiros Law, P.C., there are special legal provisions put aside for those injured in the workplace or while under medical care. Considering measures like long-term physical therapy can also help those with life-altering injuries physically heal.

Once all possible medical provisions have been taken care of, it’s important that victims of life-altering accidents and their families receive all the psychological and community support that they can. Seeing a counselor can help people cope with their altered lives and outlooks and deal with any mental disorders that may result from the injury. According to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, depression and trauma can commonly occur as a side-effect of a life-altering injury. One of the best ways to deal with the trauma from a life-altering injury is to take an active part in a support group. Support groups can be found both online and in-person and generally aim to be as inclusive and accessible as possible. Taking an active role in a community of people in the same situation as you can feel very validating and help on a psychological and even physical level.

Motorcycle safety

Motorcycles can be so much more than a means of transportation, for many they are a way of life. However, many motorcyclists face serious risks and dangers that auto drivers don’t have to worry about which is why it is so important for motorcyclists to consciously keep safe while riding.

According to motorcycle accident lawyer, Ali Mokaram, though motorcycle accidents are not as common as auto accidents, they can be even more deadly due to the exposed nature of the motorcycle. This is why it is incredibly important that motorcyclists wear protective gear such as gloves, motorcycle boots, leather or nylon jackets, and the most important piece, a well-fitting helmet. Helmets protect from head and neck injuries that can leave motorcyclists paralyzed or worse. According to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, gloves and jackets not only protect the body in the case of an accident, but they also protect the body from blisters, hypothermia, and other damage caused by constant wind-battering.

Defensive driving isn’t just for cars: defensive motorcycle driving should be practiced at all times. Motorcyclists should be extra wary of blind spots and speeding, as there is a much smaller margin of error for these mistakes on motorcycles than there is in other vehicles. Motorcyclists should also try to keep themselves as visible as possible, especially at night. This can be accomplished with reflective detailing and bright-colored clothing or motorcycles.

Even if every motorcyclist in the world took every precaution and drove as safely as possible, there would still be the risk of auto drivers, buses, trucks, any other vehicle running into them. According to attorneys Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, motorcycle accidents can occur due to any number of contributing factors like irresponsible auto drivers, poor weather, or motorcycle defects.

Avoiding Foreclosure by Declaring Bankruptcy

Many struggle with financial distress and substantial debt at some point in their lives and this issue experienced by so many can have dire consequences such as inability to pay medical bills, the dissolution of a marriage, or even losing a home to foreclosure. Although declaring bankruptcy is on very few bucket lists, it is often the best, if not the only, financial decision for those in extreme debt. Individuals experiencing significant financial difficulties should seriously consider bankruptcy as it can help them along the path to financial recovery while protecting the assets people need most, like a home. Declaring bankruptcy can mean not only getting debt forgiveness and the ability to rebuild a credit score, but also allows individuals to defend their homes against foreclosure according to a Raleigh bankruptcy lawyer.

Foreclosures don’t happen overnight—they’re usually the result of missing several consecutive mortgage payments and there are usually several ways to prevent them from happening. Once it’s all but certain that it will occur, though, it’s smart to consider declaring bankruptcy in order to stop it. When a person files for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a court order for relief is issued that puts an automatic stay on all personal assets that stops creditors from repossessing them. These reposessable assets include furniture, cars, and yes, houses. Any scheduled foreclosures can be postponed for a few months or until personal finances have recovered. Chapter 13 bankruptcy partnered with a detailed financial plan is the most effective way to save a house and reduce mortgage debts. Declaring Chapter 13 bankruptcy can allow for extra time to pay off the late fees on a mortgage and defer or eliminate second or third mortgage payments. While all options should be investigated when facing foreclosure, bankruptcy should be seriously considered as it is one of the most efficient ways to save an at-risk home.

Riskiest Medical Products

In this time of unprecedented knowledge and innovation, amazing new medical advances are made daily. It’s no wonder that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved nearly all medical devices in 2015, this past year saw some truly game-changing products introduced into the medical scene. However, they can’t all be winners. There are thousands of incredibly high-risk medical products recalled by the FDA each year, but many other high-risk products remain in use.

According to law firm Williams Kherkher, morcellators, or medical instruments used in hysterectomies or myomectomies to remove noncancerous growths, have proven to be dangerous. These instruments have recently been found by the FDA to worsen undiscovered early-stage cancer by spreading the cancerous tissue around the operation site.
Pharmaceuticals are one of the most commonly abused medical products and are often overprescribed because of misdiagnosis or a doctor’s relationship with the company that produces the pharmaceutical.

Pharmaceutical drugs can be very dangerous when used by patients that don’t need them or abused by patients who do. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, this abuse can lead to drug dependency, liver damage, heart attacks, kidney problems, and even death. The most commonly abused drugs are opioids like Vicodin, depressants like Valium, and stimulants like Adderall.

Transvaginal surgical mesh is intended to safely reinforce the vaginal wall in order to prevent prolapse and incontinence, but over time it has proven to be less reliable than initially believed according to the Williams Kherkher firm. The FDA has found that faulty surgical mesh can lead to complications such as organ perforation, vaginal scarring, and urinary problems.

Additionally, several kinds of hip replacement devices have been making the news in the past few years for all of the complications that have resulted from the replacements including tissue damage, inflammation, and metal poisoning.

Though not always dangerous when the right doctors, screenings, and device brands are used under completely controlled conditions, each of these medical products can be very high-risk and may merit extra consideration before or after being used.