What To Do if You’ve Been Hurt in an Accident

Posted by on Feb 1, 2017 in Car Accidents, Personal Injury

Accidents happen even to the most careful drivers. If you’ve been hurt in an accident, there are a few steps you should follow. The first steps you take following a personal injury accident can greatly affect the reimbursement from your car insurance company if you file a claim.

First off, try to remain calm. This is important for making smart and rational judgements regarding the accident. Next, seek medical attention even if your injuries do not seem serious. You may feel fine now, but symptoms like discomfort and dizziness may appear days after the incident. Getting medical attention will also strengthen your personal injury claim. If you wait days or weeks, it will be more difficult to attribute your injuries to the accident.

If the vehicles are still operational, move them to the side of the road and out of the way of oncoming traffic. Next, you should document the accident. Take photos of the vehicles, your injuries, street signs, the other driver’s insurance, etc. Even if you think the accident may be your fault, do not say so.

After an accident you must decide whether or not to file a claim. If the accident was your fault and there damage does not seem major, you may be tempted to offer cash to the other driver. However, this can be much more costly than you think. According to Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, if you choose to file a claim with your insurance company, the sooner you make your claim, the sooner you could be eligible to receive compensation.

Taking legal action might be the last thing on your mind after an accident or injury, but it is important to take these steps quickly, as there is limited time to file a claim.

Learn More

How to Qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Posted by on Nov 22, 2016 in Bankruptcy

People caught in overwhelming debts are usually stressed in trying to figure out what can save them from their debts or what they can do to save themselves. To many, the thought of having to sell everything they have painstakingly worked for is just too painful – but what else is there left to do?

Well, the truth is, there is a legal way which will help individuals with overwhelming debts regain control of their financial situation: bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding where individuals or businesses that owe debts can declare their inability to pay what they owe; in this proceeding, creditors are also ordered to forgive debtors their debts. Declaring and filing bankruptcy is allowed under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. There are different chapters under this Code, each designed to address an individual’s or a firm’s specific financial situation. Besides helping debtors regain control of their financial situation, filing bankruptcy has many other benefits, the most immediate of which (depending on the bankruptcy chapter filed) is the automatic stay, which is cessation of whatever form of harassment (such as e-mails, phone calls, letters, text messages, lawsuits and others) law firms and debt collectors use in order to force debtors to make payments.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which is also called liquidation bankruptcy, is one specific chapter that can help individuals. This chapter is actually best for people who have properties, but whose salary or income does not go above the stipulated limit in the chapter. As the name suggests, this chapter requires the liquidation of a few of a debtor’s (non-exempt) properties . The selling (of the surrendered properties) is to be done by a court-appointed trustee, who will also distribute the amount earned to creditors. Debts to be paid are only those categorized as non-dischargeable, such as court fines, alimony and student loans. Medical bills, business and personal loans, debts due to use of credit cards are called dischargeable debts, meaning, the court may free a debtor from the obligation of still paying these.

According to a Raleigh Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney, Chapter 7 is one of the most commonly sought forms of bankruptcy because it provides individuals with a way to discharge, or completely eliminate, many of their existing debts. For a person suffering under the weight of unmanageable debt, Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be able to provide him/her with much-needed relief. However, pursuing this debt relief option can be complicated, so it is important that he/she seek professional assistance if he/she thinks that Chapter 7 is right for him/her.

Debtors who wish to seek protection under this chapter will have to take a means test, which they will need to pass. This means test is a way to determine if their income is low enough to qualify them for this bankruptcy chapter.

Learn More

Reasons Why Shoulder Replacement Surgery Fails

Posted by on Oct 21, 2016 in Personal Injury

Roughly 9 out of 10 shoulder replacements last for 10 to 20 years. There are various reasons for its failure. The bad news is that 20 percent of the 50,000 shoulders replaced throughout the United States fail either immediately after surgery or up to 15 years at the most. The reason for the failure is that the plastic glenoid socket either wears out or becomes loose.

When the failure of shoulder replacement is due to a defective design, the patient has a case against the manufacturer. The website of Williams Kherkher revealed that over the years there has been an increase in the number of shoulder replacement lawsuits. In shoulder replacement surgery, the top of the humerus and the shoulder blade is replaced by a surgeon. The new components are held together by cement or by made a material that enhances the growth of a new bone.

While majority of procedures are generally successful, failures may still happen. Some of the factors that may cause the failure of a replacement surgery include:

  • Infections. Post-surgery infections may cause the removal of shoulder prosthesis. Once treated, the patient may be eligible to get another implant.
  • Prosthetic misalignment or loosening. When the implant is not sufficiently secured to the bone or not well aligned to the other parts of the shoulder, it may result to the misalignment or loosening of the prosthetic.
  • Bone Fracture. Post-surgical fracture may require a second shoulder surgery.

These factors can all cause severe pain and disability and may result to shoulder replacement revision surgery. In this procedure, the prosthesis is removed and replaced in order to reduce the risk of complications. Compared to other procedures, shoulder replacement revision generally takes a longer time and is more complicated than initial procedures. The complexity of revision surgery makes the risk of complication higher.

Learn More

Defective Pharmaceuticals: The Hidden Danger of Shoulder Joint Implants

Posted by on Oct 20, 2016 in Defective Pharmaceuticals

Patients who suffer from conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis often experience severe joint pain that impact their ability to move. When a patient’s joint dysfunction becomes too difficult to handle through medication and physical therapy, plenty of doctors suggest surgery as the next course of treatment. Joint replacement surgeries are pretty common procedures. Thanks to the giant advancements in medical technology, patients have the option to have their damaged joints replaced with synthetic implants. Hip and shoulder implants are among the most widely used for these procedures.

Like any other procedure, shoulder replacement surgeries involve a certain amount of risks. Many of these risks are easily mitigated with proper post-operative care. However, there are occasions when these risks are exacerbated by defects in the synthetic implants used for the operation. Implants used in shoulder replacement and other similar surgeries are manufactured by pharmaceutical giants make use of metal components that both doctors and patients have found to be ineffective. Worst, these implants have, in some cases, been found to cause serious injuries.

According to Williams Kherkher, many of the widely-available metal-on-metal joint implants used in hip and shoulder reconstruction can lead to high levels of metal toxicity in the body, significant bone and tissue damage, erosion of the implant, and dislocation due to the implant’s faulty design. Correcting these errors can then lead to the patient having to undergo another invasive surgery, lengthening their recovery and rehabilitation. This means additional medical expenses that the patient will have to shoulder.

Fortunately, the law provides patients with legal avenues where they can choose to hold manufacturers accountable for their defective pharmaceutical products. If, even after significant recovery time, you continue to feel pain and discomfort after a shoulder replacement surgery, it’s possible that your condition has been worsened by the use of defective joint implants. Consult with your physician to address the symptoms, and then seek out the assistance of a lawyer to explore your legal options.

Learn More

When Is The Employer Liable For Truck Accidents?

Posted by on Oct 5, 2016 in Truck Accidents

When truck accidents happen, the usual blame goes to the truck driver for their negligence in performing their duty of care. While there are instances when an accident is clearly the fault of the driver, this is not always the case. According to the website of Pohl & Berk, LLP, there are times when an accident is indirectly caused by the negligence of the trucking company.

Determining the liability of an employer can prove to be a daunting task for the plaintiff. Chances are the trucking company will find a way to free themselves from any liability. But how can you pin the employer and make them liable for the truck accident? Let us take a look at some examples of employer liability.

One of the ways the employer can be held responsible for an accident is by hiring unsafe drivers. It is the responsibility of the trucking company to ensure that the drivers they will hire are fully qualified. It does not stop there though as the employer should also see to it that the driver consistently passes drug and alcohol tests.

The liability of a truck company is based on “respondeat superior” which is a Latin phrase meaning “let the superior make answer.” This means that an employer is liable for the wrongful acts committed by its employees regardless of whether or not they were unintentional and were committed within the scope of employment. This theory is based on the premise that accidents are likely to happen in the business and such the employer should be held liable for any accident.

One of the alibis that a trucking company would use in a case is that the driver who got involved in the accident is an independent contractor and are thus liable for their own expenses. This is important to show that the employer really failed to show reasonable care to other drivers.

Learn More

Foreclosure Defense: A Way to Keep Your Home from Getting Foreclosed

Posted by on Jun 20, 2016 in Finances

According to the America’s Debt Help Organization, about 4.2 million US homeowners lost their homes due to foreclosure between 2007 and 2014. Foreclosure, based on the definition of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is a legal process wherein a creditor or mortgage lender puts up loan collateral (most commonly a house) for sale to recover mortgages unpaid by a borrower. The process that leads to foreclosure usually starts after a borrower fails to pay his or her mortgage for three successive months.

Foreclosure has two major types: Judicial and Non-judicial. In Judicial foreclosure, a lender or mortgagee, which is usually a bank, is first required to file and win a lawsuit to have the right to foreclose on a property. While lenders normally do not make a legal move until a debtor has failed to pay the mortgage for three consecutive months, they actually have the legal right to foreclose on a property even with just a single default on payment.

A Judicial foreclosure procedure takes several months or a year to be completed. Currently, this foreclosure process is available in almost all U.S. states except in Michigan, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

In Non-judicial foreclosure, a lender does not need a court order to be able to foreclose on a property. This type of foreclosure, however, is only allowed if a “power-of-sale” clause is included in the deed of trust. The power of sale, whether in a deed of trust or mortgage, indicates the consent or a borrower to the selling of his or her mortgaged property through non-judicial foreclosure in the event that he or she defaults in payment. The lender, however, will first have to notify the owner of the property before his or her property is auctioned off.

The list of states where Non-judicial foreclosure is available includes Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming and the District of Columbia.

In states where both foreclosure processes are available, non-judicial foreclosure should be the process used if the borrower signed a mortgage that contains a power of sale clause; the judicial foreclosure process should be used, however, if the power of sale clause was not signed.

In the Ryan J. Ruehle Attorney at Law, LLC, website, it is mentioned how foreclosure can be a serious threat, especially to those contending with other debts. This is because other financial concerns can quickly render mortgage payments unaffordable. There are steps, though, as stated in the website, which can be taken to help prevent or delay the foreclosure process. Foreclosure defense is one of these steps which can protect owners from creditors who intend to have their home from being foreclosed.

Learn More

Highway Defects Liability

Posted by on Jan 4, 2016 in Car Accidents

Highway maintenance is one of the most important municipal responsibilities due to the vast amounts of traffic and travel done along the roads. When there are defects in the highway or there is a lack of safety structures, the risk to the public is greater. Highways are places in which drivers are traveling at high speeds amongst many other parties. If one driver hits a pothole that offsets their vehicle, the damage to themselves and others could be severe.

One of the most common highway defects are potholes. These indents in the pavement can occur over the normal wear and tear of a road, however they should still be repaired often to avoid drivers suffering flat tires or losing control of their vehicles. Other highway defects include uneven pavement, lack of signs, lack of guardrails, and shoulder drop-offs. All of these defects are capable of causing the threat of increased injury in the case of an accident.

According the website of the Hankey Law Office, highway defects liability may be shared between multiple organizations. While a municipal is responsible for the maintenance of highways, they also need to contract construction companies to perform the physical repairs. This means that defects that were incorrectly repaired or not fixed within a reasonable amount of time may be the shared liability of a construction company and municipal.

Highway defects can cause a multitude of injuries to unsuspecting drivers and their passengers. Like any serious car accident, a driver can sustain head and brain injuries, neck injuries, broken bones, and other potentially permanent damage. You should not be responsible for the medical expenses and lost wages associated with an accident caused by a highway defect.

Learn More

Driving Distraction: A Treacherous Driving Mistake

Posted by on Sep 4, 2015 in Car Accidents

Based on the 2013 Traffic Safety Facts data released by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there is a decline in the number of fatal traffic crashes from the previous year – from 33,782 in 2012 to 32,719 in 2013. In fact, except for an increase in the number of those injured in distraction-affected crashes, all other 2013 statistical details, which include deaths and (all other) injuries due to accidents involving passenger vehicles (cars, SUVs, minivans and pickup trucks), large trucks, motorcycles and pedestrians, indicate declines from 2012.

These declines definitely show that either the government or vehicle manufacturers, or both, is/are doing things that are perfectly right, such as the stricter implementation of road safety rules and/or the installation of the latest safety technologies in newly manufactured vehicles. However, with millions of cars and other types of vehicles still running on US roads and highways every day and the number of traffic accidents still running above five million every year, the task of keeping the number of road accidents to a minimum remains to be a huge challenge for the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Causes of traffic accidents that top the NHTSA list include drunk-driving, reckless driving, speeding, driver error and distracted driving. Distracted driving, in particular, refers to any type of activity or movement which would turn a person’s attention away from driving. Distractions endanger lives, be it of drivers’, passengers’, pedestrians’ or other motorists’. And unlike drunk-driving, overspeeding and reckless driving which only a few drivers may be guilty of, distracted driving can be everyone’s grave mistake, but one that is most unnoticed. Chances are, all have been guilty of allowing distractions to make them turn their eyes and focus away from the road or take a hand off the wheel.

Driving distractions has countless forms, like eating and/or drinking, talking to a passenger, reading a map, adjusting a radio or any other electronic gadget, grooming, lighting a cigarette, and so forth. The most alarming forms of distractions, which take drivers’ focus off of driving, however, are conversing with someone over the phone and texting.

The website DISTRACTION.GOV: Official US Government Website for Distracted Driving says that the average time that one’s eyes are off the road while texting is five seconds, the same length of time needed to drive through a football field at the speed of 55mph.

Often, a brief act of carelessness is all it takes for a tragic accident to occur and, once one occurs, its physical and emotional repercussions, as the Cazayoux Ewing Law Firm website puts it, can be serious and long-lasting.

Though the injuries and the trauma resulting from the accident can never be erased, an injured victim may at least have the chance of being found eligible by a court to receive compensation from the guilty party. This compensation is intended to cover all the damages suffered by the victim, such as high cost of medical treatment and lost wages.

Learn More

Buying a New House: Like a Marriage?

Posted by on May 9, 2015 in Natural Hazards

Marriage can be more complicated than you might initially think. You don’t just marry someone you’ve just met and call it true love, as has once been said. In real life, it is folly to make such a huge, permanent commitment without looking into the partner with whom you wish to dedicate spending the rest of your life with. This same kind of commitment can be likened to purchasing a house and, just as with finding out on whether your partner is “The One”, you need to take certain precautions.

One of these precautions is to acquire the natural hazard disclosure (NHD) report. More often than not, some have even stated that this is the likelihood 99% of the time, the sellers are the ones who are expected to provide these reports. However, there must be special care taken when getting these papers.

Going back to the marriage analogy – who would you rather trust with your partner’s history: your partner’s family or your partner’s Twitter followers? The same can be said of those who can provide NHD reports. Anything can be found on the internet these days and anyone who is not an expert on these reports could be duped by false (or incomplete) facts. That is why it is important to get a reputable source to find out the kind of natural hazards that might be present within the house.

Is the environment susceptible to fires, floods, or earthquakes? What is the crime rate of the neighborhood? How old is the house in question and when were the foundations last fortified? If previously foreclosed, what was the reasoning behind it? There are plenty of questions you need to ask and there might be answers that you need that you never thought to ask for. A source or agency that can be trusted, for about $50 more, can be the price that saves you from expenses that go to hundreds of thousands of dollars in repairs due to ignorance or misdirection.

Learn More

What You Need to Keep in Climate Controlled Units

Posted by on Mar 3, 2015 in Storage

Climate controlled storage units are typically 25% more expensive than standard units of the same size. For example, a regular 5 ft x 5 ft unit in Pond Springs Mini Storage is $55 a month while a climate-controlled one is $70 a month. However, the price difference may be worth it. Deciding to get a climate-controlled until will depend on many circumstances.

1. The items are irreplaceable or expensive.

The added expense of the climate-controlled unit may be a pittance compared to how much your item will depreciate if not store properly. Wood and leather, for example, can warp, crack or discolor with changes in temperature. If your $5,000 antique table warps because of humidity, it can reduce the value to less than $1,000. However, if your items have no intrinsic value, then it may not be worth the cost of a climate controlled unit.

2. You need to store them for a long time.

Since the main problem with temperature-related damage is over time, you won’t need a climate-controlled unit if you only intend to store your items for a couple of months. A good example is when transferring to another home. There may be instances when certain portions of the home is not yet ready, in which case you can store the intended furniture temporarily.

3. There is high humidity and/or extreme climate conditions in the area

Some regions have low humidity and more or less even temperatures the whole year round. In such cases, you probably don’t have to worry about temperature-related damage to your stored items. In Austin, however, where it gets really hot in the summer with high humidity, you will want a climate controlled unit. Also keep in mind the threat of flood water which can find its way into storage.

Whatever you decide, make sure that you check the unit first and get details about how the storage company intends to control the climate. Since you are paying a premium for it, you have the right to know if you will be getting what you paid for.

Learn More