Protecting your interests during divorce

3:24 pm

Over half of all marriages in the United States currently end in divorce, and many people want help protecting their interests during this process.  While some divorces are “uncontested,” in which divorcing spouses agree on divorce settlement terms, many divorces involve contested issues on which divorcing spouses cannot agree.  Sometimes one spouse ends up enjoying more benefits than the other after a divorce is finalized, so it’s important to protect your interests during the divorce process.

Your “interests” might refer to many different things, such as child-related issues, alimony payments, and the division of assets.  Property, asset, and debt division are topics that arise in almost any divorce, and can create disagreements between spouses, depending on their hopes and expectations.  As such, making sure that your interests are protected during divorce negotiations is important for ensuring that the results of a divorce settlement work in your favor.

 Commonly Disputed Factors

In order to effectively protect your interests, you need to make sure that you enter your divorce proceedings with a clear understanding of your hopes and wishes for a number of different contentious divorce issues, including:

  • Child custody or child support payments
  • Living arrangements / ownership of property
  • Dividing stocks, bonds, and other investments
  • Dividing debts
  • Alimony / spousal support payments

These issues can arise in many divorce cases, and if you do not have a clear understanding of your hopes for these matters, you may not get the settlement that you need.  However, having an experienced legal representative at your side during the divorce process can help you protect your interests and your legal rights.

Cindy Diggs

Predatory Lending

12:23 pm

Loans which are given under deceptive and unfair pretenses are known as predatory loans; this type of lending is often classified as fraud. The terms of the loans written under these types of practices are abusive and target certain groups of people. Lenders of predatory loans take advantage of people with credit problems and debt, the very poor, young adults without financial security, the elderly who depend on SSI for income, and uneducated individuals – the lenders find people who don’t have other options or don’t realize there’s other types of loans out there.

Types of High Risk Lenders

The predatory loan is one which begins with unfair terms; this is not to be confused with certain predatory mortgage practices which operate on the ‘bait and switch’ theory – lenders promise a low rate on high risk mortgage loan and then raise rates significantly for no conceivable reason. Predatory loan providers usually explain their unreasonable terms in a very skewed way – borrowers are getting a sales pitch, not an adequate explanation of what they are agreeing to. Common operations like this call themselves pay day loans, car title loans, overdraft loans, and even come in the form of credit cards.

What Can The Borrower Do to Save Themselves

It can be very difficult to get out from under the mountain of problems these loans cause once the borrower has signed over their rights. If the borrower is lucky enough to have the ability to get a loan through a reputable source such a credit union, that would be an ideal avenue for paying it off immediately; the National Credit Union Association site has many resources and information about credit unions. Otherwise, reviewing the legal credibility of the agreement is the next best option, especially if the consumer is facing repossession and thousands of dollars of debt. Avoiding the circumstance entirely is the only way to keep from getting ripped off by a predatory lender; if there are any other options for emergency money, exhaust those avenues before even considering a high risk loan.

 

Written on behalf of Louthian Law Firm, P.A. A personal injury law firm located in Columbia, South Carolina.  For more information, please visit us at www.louthianlaw.com.

Preventing Dog Bite Injuries

10:31 am

Dogs are great pets and they are one of the only domesticated animals which we can engage into a co-beneficial relationship with – we feed them and give them shelter, they protect us and provide companionship. Some dogs are not as welcoming however, and dog bite related injuries send thousands of people to the hospital each year. Learn how to protect yourself from being a victim of a dog attack.

Avoiding Dog Related Injuries in the Neighborhood

Firstly, you need to understand that you are far more likely to be bitten by a dog when their owner is present. Another important point is that most people are bit from behind; keep a forward and commanding posture when strange dogs are present. Pack attacks are the most dangerous and violent, avoid being vulnerable around a group of unknown dogs at all cost. If you do find yourself in threatening situation with a dog, put any available objects between you and them, then grab their throat until they release if they do bite. The CDC website has many tips on avoiding dog bites as an individual.

Protecting Your Kids in the Home

Most dogs will never turn on the owner; they see them as the alpha and will remain forever peacefully loyal, but that courtesy doesn’t always extend to their owner’s kids. Children are the most at risk to be injured by the family pet. They are smaller, slower, and when they are injured the severity is worse due to their smaller size. Another danger factor is that kids don’t always know what to do around dogs; they can’t read the warning signs of a dog bite or dog attack and won’t know when to back away and stop using triggers. Choosing the right kind of dog is a vital choice. Large breed dogs, aggressive breed dogs, and older dogs may be a dangerous addition to a home with young children. Additionally, properly training and socializing a puppy or adult dog can make a major difference in how your pet acts towards your children and others.

 

Written on behalf of Millar & Mixon, LLC. A personal injury law firm located in Atlanta, Georgia.  For more information, please visit us at www.millarandmixon.com.

A To-Do List at your First Car Accident

12:22 pm

It is very common to panic when you are involved in your first accident.  You might not be sure if you should stay in the car, get out of the car, or call the police.  Make sure that you only leave the car if it is safe to do so.  Only move your vehicle if keeping it in the place of the accident is a hazard to other drivers.  Here are the steps you will need to take once you and your vehicle are safe:

1.  Assess the situation to determine if any passengers in any of the vehicles are injured.

2.  If anyone is injured, get medical help for the injured passengers right away.

3.  Make sure to get the contact information for each of the passengers and the witnesses.

4.  Write down the license plate number of each of the other vehicles.

5.  Call the police to come to the scene of the accident for a police report.

6.  Take photos of the scene of the accident, the damage to your vehicle, and any damage to the other vehicle. Also get the other drivers’ auto insurance information.

7.  Take time to sketch the accident for your records and gather contact info for any witnesses.

8.  When the police come, only discuss the details of the accident with the police.

9.  Contact your insurance company to report the accident as soon as possible.

 

Arlene Nguyen is a freelance writer who writes about insurance issues. 

 

First-Time DUI Arrest: What to Expect and What it Really Costs

9:08 am

Fines and Costs

Fines will vary from state to state, in California, a Vista DUI lawyer said it can range anywhere between $500 and $2500. These fines do not cover other charges, however. You will be responsible for any court and class costs, as well as the costs associated with time off of work, driving to and from court and classes, and probation fines. If you were in a car accident and caused property damage, you may be responsible for that, as well.

Loss of Driver’s License

DUI offenders will more than likely lose their driver’s license, even when it is their first offense. It will vary by state, but typically lasts for 30 days to a year. When the Department of Motor Vehicles reinstates your license, you will be required to pay a fee for them to do so.

Mandatory Meetings

A DUI offender may be required to attend mandatory classes as part of their probation and sentencing. These classes may include Alcohol and Highway Safety classes and group counseling. Participants are required to cover the costs of these programs, which may or may not be covered by their insurance. Offenders may also be required to attend a minimum amount of AA classes, as well.

Car Insurance

Many car insurance companies will drop a DUI offender, even a first timer with an otherwise clean record. Getting car insurance when you must report a DUI can be difficult, and your rates will be much higher, even double with some companies. Most car insurance companies will keep your DUI offense on their records for at least 3 years.

 

Meningitis Outbreak Continues To Kill, More Lawsuits Expected

9:06 am

The nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak is continuing to kill, claiming three more victims on Tuesday, October 30th, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The total death toll now stands at 28, with the new fatalities coming in Michigan (2) and Tennessee (1). These two states have been hardest hit, with Tennessee having 11 verified deaths.

Across the U.S., the disease, which spread from steroid injections distributed by the Massachusetts based company New England Compounding Center, has infected a total of 365 people in 19 states.

Originally thought to be restricted to steroid injections for back pain, cases of meningitis have now been additionally linked to hip, shoulder, elbow and knee joint injections.

Virginia currently has one fatality linked to the defective steroids, and this number may increase in the future. Lawsuits have been popping up in states across America, including Michigan and Minnesota.

The fungal meningitis outbreak is connected to 17,000 vials of methylprednisolone acetate produced by the NECC. Since then, a voluntary recall of all its products has been put in place.

Injuries from defective drugs can be serious, and in order to gain fair compensation for your suffering, you may want to contact a Virginia personal injury attorney.

 

The Dangers of Pradaxa

9:30 am

The News often gets bombarded with information regarding national recalls of all kinds of products. While we might hear about problems with tainted broccoli, defective baby seats, bad pet food, or toys that contain toxic paint, a lot of the news regarding prescription drug and other medical product recalls seems to fly a bit under the radar. If you regularly take prescription drugs (or over-the-counter medication for that matter), it’s important to stay informed when it comes to drug and medical product recalls. One drug that has received quite a bit of recent scrutiny is the blood thinning drug pradaxa. Pradaxa is currently being investigated as the main factor in hundreds of deaths caused by uncontrollable bleeding.

Pradaxa

Pradaxa is a blood thinning medication used to decrease the chance of strokes and other complications amongst individuals with atrial fibrillation, which is the most common condition of cardiac arrhythmia or “irregular heartbeat”.  Pradaxa has recently come under scrutiny and is being investigated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its possible role in brain hemorrhaging, heart attacks, and serious bleeding and numerous other serious side effects.

Pradaxa was approved by the FDA as a replacement for Coumadin and began being prescribed to patients who were at risk of having strokes and other related complications. It is true that Pradaxa is incredibly effective as a blood thinner, which is the problem. The drug is so effective that hundreds of patients using the drug have died due to traumatic bleeding that resulted from otherwise minor injuries that would have been easily fixed had the individual not been taking Pradaxa. Many of these deaths took place in hospitals under the care of numerous doctors and health professionals who were simply helpless to stop the bleeding.

One source suggests that the use of Pradaxa is responsible for 260 deaths amongst the users of the drug. Regardless, the FDA continues to claim that “Pradaxa provides an important health benefit when used as directed.” In addition a spokesperson from Boehringer, the company that makes Pradaxa, told the Houston Press that “260 recorded deaths are not outside the parameters of a major clinical trial that the FDA and its global counterparts relied on in approving the drug in the first place.”

Do Most Payday Loan Lenders Practice Loan Sharking?

10:37 am

With the increasingly large number of debtors in the United States, the number of loan sharking companies is also on the rise. Unfortunately, many of these companies are trying their best to lend money to people at exorbitantly high interest rates. While there are some lenders that offer loans at affordable market rates, there are others who scam the people who come to them by charging above average interest rates. Whenever you accrue a large, unpaid balance, you may have to rush to a payday loan firm seeking help. Doing this can be somewhat worrisome however, as many debtors may wonder if the payday loan companies are loan sharks, waiting to take advantage of them.

Unfortunately for a debtor, payday loan lenders can often be considered loan sharks based on the way they handle the lending process. A payday loan lender will, in general, first check if you earn a sufficient amount of money with which you can pay back the payday loans on time. They will check your loan affordability, and if you can’t repay the money on the right time, they will typically multiply the interest rates so that it becomes more difficult to repay the loans. This is similar to the way a loan sharking company would work.

The use of payday loans is increasing day by day, causing a similar rise in the number of loan sharking companies. As such, it is any debtor or person’s best interest to thoroughly research and check out their options before seeking out a loan. One such way to do this is to check if they’re registered with the Better Business Bureau or verify their authenticity through their website and other avenues. If you stay aware of the risks, you may be able to save yourself from being taking advantage of. However, should you find yourself in a position where you owe many payments on payday loans, a payday loan consolidation firm may be able to help you.

Bus Accident in Somerset

10:53 am

In Somerset, Pennsylvania, 10 children received minor injuries after a school bus carrying them collided with a semi-truck. The bus was carrying 26 students to Jackson Elementary School, when it collided with the truck around 8:30 AM. The children suffered no serious injuries, receiving only bumps and bruises.

The truck driver was cited as being at fault for the accident. He was unable to see the bus due to the sun shining in his eyes at the time, and pulled out in front of the bus at an intersection. The intersection is also said to be dangerous, and has been the site of several other collisions. The Truck driver will be facing several traffic citations.

Source: http://tribune-democrat.com/local/x325724805/School-No-serious-injuries-in-bus-wreck

Resisting the Need to Text While Driving Can Prevent Car Accidents

11:14 am

Our auto accident lawyers at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C., represent victims of all types of car accidents, whether it was caused by drunk driving, reckless driving, or a driver who was texting while driving. Unfortunately, texting and driving has been proven to be an extremely dangerous activity, as research has shown that texting while driving is the single most deadly cause of accidents, despite being 100% preventable.

 

A recent study done by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that texting while driving is 23.2 times more likely to result in an accident than unimpaired driving. In addition, the study surveyed licensed drivers and found that 95 percent of them said texting behind the wheel was both unacceptable and unsafe. However, 21 percent of those surveyed also admitted to texting while driving in spite of knowing the risks. This may be due to the fact that most people are fairly attached to their phone and feel that texting doesn’t affect their own driving, allowing them to handle problems on the road should they arise.

 

This belief is incorrect though, as the study also found that texting while driving results in longer response times than seen in drunk drivers. An unimpaired driver can respond quickly to changes in traffic and begin braking within half a second, whereas a legally drunk driver typically needs four additional feet to begin braking and a driver who is texting needs 70. These statistics are frightening, considering how many drivers choose to text behind the wheel; however, there is something that people can do to limit this danger. By simply muting or turning off your phone each time you enter your vehicle, a person could eliminate accidents caused by texting and driving by about 50%.

 

Tragically, severe injuries are frequent outcomes of Michigan car accidents caused by texting and driving Fortunately, victims of car accidents do often have the legal right to pursue legal action against a driver who acted negligently by texting while driving, causing a car accident as a result. If you or a family member suffered injuries in an accident due to the irresponsibility of another driver, call our office now at 800-606-1717 to speak with one our experienced Buckfire Law personal injury attorneys. We will start working on your case immediately by gathering all the evidence and witness statements needed to present a strong claim.