If You Don’t, Who Will?

The Role of Car Insurance in Car Accidents

Posted by on Aug 21, 2014 in Vehicle Accidents | 0 comments

Most drivers complain about the costs of car insurance, but it is only in cases of car accidents do they realize its value. All states require a minimum third-party liability insurance, which kicks in for the at-fault driver that would otherwise have to pay out-of-pocket for the property damage and personal injuries of another person. In cases where the car accident involves another vehicle, the insurance also covers injuries of passengers.

Of course, the minimum coverage required by state law will not always cut it. That is why it is recommended that additional coverage be purchased. This is especially desirable when the at-fault driver is found to have been negligent; the insurance company will be the one paying for all damages subject to the limit of the policy. The driver will be liable for anything over and above that, so the higher the coverage, the less the driver will have to personally pay.

Car insurance rates vary from state to state. In Illinois, for example, the average annual premium for minimum car insurance coverage for 2014 is $1,370, compared to Michigan’s $2,551. Purchasing Chicago car insurance, therefore, would be less costly than Lansing car insurance.

However, the comparison may not be entirely accurate. Some no-fault states such as Michigan require personal injury protection (PIP), because in no-fault states each driver is responsible for their own injuries as well as those of their passengers to the limits of their insurance and may be restricted from pursuing a claim against a negligent driver.

Illinois, on the other hand, is a fault state, and a car accident victim can get a Danville car accident lawyer to make a claim with the insurer of the other driver for damages and injuries provided it is proven that said driver was legally at-fault. If the insurer denies the claim, the case can be elevated to civil court with a personal injury lawsuit.

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Technical Criminal Defenses for Drunk Driving

Posted by on Aug 17, 2014 in Criminal Law | 0 comments

The law in general is difficult for a layperson (and some lawyers for that matter) to understand, and these include drunk driving laws. There are many, many technical issues that may come up even in the most unambiguous drunk driving charge in any state, something that any self-respecting Wisconsin criminal defense lawyer or Cape Cod drunk driving lawyer will explore for the benefit of their client.

Technical criminal defenses for drunk driving typically center on the field sobriety tests and blood alcohol content (BAC) results because these are usually the linchpin around which a prosecutor will base their case. Depending on the state, there are certain criteria that must be met in order to qualify a test or BAC result for submission to the court. These can include certification of the tester or machine, calibration of the machine, the solutions, replacement of the mouthpiece, and whatever else that can possibly affect the results in any way.

Many lawyers overlook these details, but these can most likely get a drunk driving charge mitigated or even dismissed, especially for defendants who have clean criminal records. Experienced and successful criminal defense lawyers, however, go over these procedures with a fine-toothed comb, especially when the odds are stacked against the client.

The main value of using technical criminal defenses in drunk driving is to introduce reasonable doubt during a trial. The science behind breath tests is far from infallible which is why procedures have to be strictly followed, and criminal defense lawyers know this. If they can prove that there were irregularities in the performance of the tests, they can argue that the results are inaccurate. Once this is introduced into the proceedings, it poses doubt in the mind of a reasonable individual regarding the validity of the charges.

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Spastic Types of Cerebral Palsy

Posted by on Aug 12, 2014 in Health | 0 comments

Cerebral palsy (CP) is one of the most common developmental disorders that usually develop in children. This can be due to genetic predisposition, birth injury, maternal disease, head injuries, or infections affecting the brain. CP is a complex condition that varies from patient to patient and it is a life-long condition; it cannot be cured, but it can be managed. The types of cerebral palsy are spastic, athetoid, and ataxic, but the one that most commonly occurs is spastic CP which affects at least 70% of all CP cases.

People with spastic CP, which is also called bilateral spasticity, experience muscle tightness (hypertonic) in certain groups of muscles in excess of what an individual with normal muscle development will experience. The muscles are always contracting, which can eventually lead to abnormal postures and movement. This is thought to be due to a lesion in the upper motor neurons of the brain, and perhaps the motor cortex. CP is classified as neuromuscular mobility impairment, although some experience co-morbid language and cognitive impairment.

There are different types of spastic CP:

  • Spastic Hemiplegia – one-sided; may manifest as a limp but otherwise does not significantly affect mobility
  • Spastic Diplegia – affecting the legs only; affects up to 80% of all spastic CP cases; may manifest as a scissor-like gait; severe cases may require assistive devices for mobility, such as walkers; many also present with strabismus
  • Spastic Monoplegia – affects only one limb
  • Spastic Triplegia – affects 3 limbs
  • Spastic Quadriplegia – affects all four limbs and severely restricts mobility

A person with spastic CP may lead a normal life, especially with the proper care and treatment during the early stages of the disorder. However, the degree of independence depends on the severity and type of spastic CP.

Regardless of the type and severity of CP, the long-term consequences can include significant physical, emotional, social, intellectual, and psychological issues. If your child’s CP was caused by the negligence of a physician or other third party, you may be able to get compensation for your child. Consult with a cerebral palsy lawyer in your area to have your case assessed.

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Legal Issues about Severance Agreements

Posted by on Aug 10, 2014 in Employment | 0 comments

All states in the U.S. except for Montana are at-will employment states. At-will employment means that the employer has the right to terminate the employment of a worker without being required to show just cause. Some states do recognize exemptions, specifically the public policy, implied contract, and covenant of good faith, so it would be in the best interests of employees to know if their termination falls under these exemptions.

At any rate, when a termination satisfies the state’s at-will employment policies, employers are under no obligation to provide severance pay unless it is specifically stated or implied in an employment contract, company rules, or employee’s handbook. For example, when a worker is laid off, he or she is entitled to receive compensation for work rendered as well as any paid leaves (with the exception of sick days) still remaining, but nothing else.

Severance pay is a certain amount that the employer may give an employee that has been terminated. In some companies, a severance agreement may be offered upon being let go which can be something like a week’s pay for every year of service, and most employees would be happy to sign. However, this can present problems for some employees that may not know what rights they are waiving by signing.

Some employers may offer severance pay with sincere intentions of helping the laid-off worker to some extent, but in most cases employers ask terminated employees to sign a severance agreement to avoid litigation. Most severance agreements include conditions which can severely limit the legal options of an employee to redress grievances, such as the right to sue the employer for any reason.

Furthermore, in some states such as New York there may be laws that bar employees from receiving unemployment benefits if they are receiving severance pay in excess of a certain amount. If you are a New Yorker, consult with a New York City employment lawyer to look over your severance agreement as well as advise you about the pros and cons of signing.

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The True Costs of Divorce

Posted by on Aug 8, 2014 in Bankruptcy, Marriage | 0 comments

It is a given that divorce can be life-changing, and not always in a negative way. There are situations where divorce is the most viable option, especially when a couple finds it impossible to continue on with the marriage. Some have even found that a divorce has significantly improved their relationship with their ex-spouse, and after a period of adjustment, has affected children in positive ways.

However, divorce can be a costly undertaking, and filing for the divorce is the least of these. In most counties, the filing fee is between $100 and $350. In Denton County, for example, the filing fee currently ranges from $279 to $303, depending on the add-ons. A Denton divorce lawyer will know what kind should be filed for the client. Speaking of which, the legal fees for each spouse typically start at $5,000, and this can go up significantly depending on how contentious the case is. But legal fees are not the biggest costs of divorce.

The biggest cost to a divorced couple is maintaining a household on one income instead of two. The costs will depend on whether there are children and if it was a two-income household to begin with. If one spouse was the sole breadwinner, the costs of alimony and child support can have a tremendous impact on the him or her until such time as the non-earning spouse starts working and the children reach the age of majority. The average American may find that the costs of divorce can be so high that filing for bankruptcy may become the only viable route out of financial distress.

As discussed on the website of Ryan J. Ruehle, LLC in Cincinnati, few people are prepared for the unexpected costs of divorce, and the debt burden may be too great to bear. There are many advantages to filing for bankruptcy because of divorce, but the timing is crucial. If you think you will run into financial trouble, it would be best to discuss the matter with divorce and bankruptcy lawyers to get a clearer picture of where you stand and your best options.

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The Cost of Filing a Lawsuit for Construction Site Injuries

Posted by on Aug 5, 2014 in Construction | 0 comments

If you or an immediate family member has been seriously injured on a construction site as a worker or an unfortunate bystander because of some negligence on the part of the construction company or other third party such as the city government, chances are you will need financial assistance for expenses related to medical treatment and recovery. A personal injury lawsuit is not usually the first recourse, because it can take time before such a case is resolved. Typically, the injured party seeks compensation directly from the liable company or third party, or files a complaint with the relevant regulatory agency, if applicable. If the claim is small enough, most liable parties would rather settle than get involved in litigation. However, if the claim is high enough to justify the expense or the third party denies liability, a personal injury lawsuit may be the best option to get compensation.

Most people would hesitate to contact a New York City construction accident lawyer, for example, where construction site injuries occur quite frequently given the nearly continuous construction ongoing in various parts of the city. They are afraid that they would incur expenses they can ill-afford. What they don’t know is that most personal injury lawyers conduct an initial consultation for free to discuss the case.

This makes a lot of sense because when the consultation is free, a lot more people will approach them with their cases. The lawyer will then pick which cases may be viable and conduct an initial investigation before taking on a client. This is because most personal injury lawyers in the US will not charge the client any upfront expenses until after the case has been resolved. When a Fort Worth personal injury lawyer, for instance, takes on a case, it is because the lawyer thinks it is winnable, and they will agree on a fee that the lawyer will deduct from the final award. This is called a contingent fee, and it can be hefty, although most states place a ceiling on how big a percentage the lawyer can legally take. However, considering that those filing a lawsuit for most construction site injuries on their own will not see a single red cent in compensation, the contingent fee is a small price to pay.

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