Divorce Information: Everything You Need to Know to Protect Your Rights

Divorces are, without a doubt, among the most emotionally trying situations anyone could think to experience. Imagine how challenging going through a divorce can be if every step involves so much confusion and unanswered questions regarding legal decisions that need to be determined together. Even the most amicable of couples can quickly become contentious and antagonistic in the face of such stress. If you are in the same tense situation, it would help to learn more about the different ways in which you can seek financial, legal, and even physical protection to solve as many issues as possible.

One of the most common sources of contention in divorce proceedings involves child custody agreements. Divorcing couples in highly contentious situations will find it hard to agree on how to best proceed with sharing parental duties. Another common cause of contention in divorces is the decision involving the separation of shared property and assets between spouses.

An easy way to safeguard your rights in both situations is to contact a divorce attorney as soon as possible. An effective lawyer will be able to safeguard your many legal rights that could be overlooked by your former partner during the procedure. Having a qualified divorce lawyer advocating for your rights ensures that you, as well as any children you might have, will be able to come out of this turbulent time with all the resources you need to move on.

Should your decision to divorce come from the fact that you or your children have been hurt or have felt threatened around your spouse, do not hesitate to contact law enforcement. Police officers can help you and your children move out of a dangerous situation, as well as provide options that could keep an abusive spouse away.

In general, except in cases of domestic violence, it’s important that you do not make rash decisions during divorce proceedings until you have been given proper legal counsel. If you need help with getting a divorce, consult with an experience lawyer working in your area.

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Difference Between Speeding and Reckless Driving

People often think that speeding and reckless driving are one and the same. When you are stopped and given a traffic ticket, there is a notion that this was because of the way you were driving. The truth of the matter is that speeding and reckless driving are two different things. In this article, we shall take a look at the difference between speeding and reckless driving.

The main difference between speeding and reckless driving is that the former is just a traffic infraction while the latter is class 1 misdemeanor. Aside from that, speeding does not carry any possible jail time and has a maximum penalty of $250 on most cases. On the other hand, reckless driving carries a jail time of up to 1 year. According to the website of the Law Offices of Yvonne M. Fraser, when convicted due to reckless driving, the charge becomes permanent while a speeding infraction can be erased from your driving record in a few years.

Another difference is that speeding does not require court appearance. You can just pay for the speeding ticket. On the other hand, reckless driving may require court appearance so having an attorney is imperative. In addition, the Department of Motor Vehicles assigns different points to speeding and reckless driving. The maximum points for speeding is 3 points while for reckless driving, it is 6 points.

Being the more serious offense, reckless driving can also have some serious consequences. Aside from jail time, it can also result to your license being suspended and your car insurance going up. When it comes to the suspension of the license, it is the court which will decide if there is a need to do so depending on the facts and circumstances.

How Do You Determine Your Violation?

In order to determine whether you are charged with speeding or reckless driving, simply look at the summon given to you by the enforcer. Look at the Law Section of the ticket and then Charge. The words reckless driving or speeding should be written. The police might also write the speed you were traveling.

However, it is worth noting that speeding can also have some acts of reckless driving, depending on the state where you are located.

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Personal Accidents Happen

Unexpected injuries happen, but it doesn’t mean that you have to take the blame or deal with the repercussions of an accident on your own. Hiring a personal injury lawyer allows a victim the necessary time to recover from injury without the fear of being denied compensation for their pain and emotional suffering.

Certain states require all motorists to carry a minimum “personal injury protection” insurance, in order to cover medical costs no matter who was at fault in the accident. According to Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller and Overbeck, P.A., these laws “make it unfortunately easy for insurance companies to deny claims, leaving hospitals, doctors, and other medical providers without the ability to recover compensation for the cost of treatment performed.”

Medical bills are expensive and you should not have to undergo the financial burden of paying off these expenses if your accident was caused by another party’s negligence. Your insurance company may try many tactics to avoid the disbursement of your claim. By hiring an attorney, you can assure that they will fight your insurance company in order to provide you with the best settlement possible.

Do not allow insurance companies deny you payment that is rightfully yours. Personal injury lawyers will fight against these companies to assure that you get compensation for your losses incurred by injury. The negligence of another individual or a public business should never be tolerated. An attorney well-versed in personal injury claims could make a huge different as you undergo your case in court.

Houston personal injury lawyers like to say that they can fight for coverage of your “expensive medical bills, lost wages, and extensive recovery times.”

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Bitten by a dog? Here’s what you need to know

Being attacked by a dog can be both physically and emotionally traumatizing. According to jeffsampsonlaw.com, people who suffered from animal attack are faced with a variety of injuries, including hemorrhaging, severe lacerations, fracture, wounds, and deadly infections such as tetanus and rabies. Apart from these physical injuries are the financial difficulties brought about by lost time at work and longer recovery period. In some cases, a dog attack victim may even suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder caused by the horrifying incident.

Who is exempted?

As a general rule, negligent dog owners in the U.S. should be liable for the damages incurred by a victim of an animal attack. However, there are instances when an owner is exempted from such responsibility. You may not be eligible for compensation if:

  • You are attempting to commit felony
  • You are a trespasser
  • You physically harmed the dog, which provoked it to attack
  • You have been attacked by a dog who was assisting the military or the police
  • You are a canine professional or a veterinarian

Strict liability laws

If you have been attacked by a dog and you are not any one of those mentioned above, you are most likely to be eligible to claim compensation from the dog owner involved. However, your chance of claiming compensation greatly depends on your state’s dog bite statute. Most states, for instance, enact strict liability dog bite laws wherein dog owners are responsible for the damages incurred by the victim even if the victim could have done anything to prevent the situation.

One bite laws

On the other hand, some states adapt an ancient dog bite legal doctrine called one bite rule, or first bite rule. In one bite rule, dog owners are not responsible for the damages done by their pet if they were not aware of its propensity to do harm. The principle behind this doctrine is that all pets are naturally tame, and owners do not know that their pets have the tendency to hurt other people until the first incident of harm. States that enact this type of rule practically allow dogs to have their first bite for free before its owner becomes legally liable. However, owners could still be liable for their dog’s first bite if the owners knew that the particular breed is dangerous.

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Potentially Dangerous Surgical Procedures for Women

Whether you require surgery for health reasons or simply wish to undergo an elective procedure, it is important to consider the potential risks of the operation. There are a variety of risks associated with virtually every medical procedure, but some surgeries are more dangerous than others. Even if doctors do everything right, you may still develop serious side effects or suffer complications that could affect every part of your life.

The Risks of Common Surgical Procedures

The following medical procedures are commonly performed on women, whether electively or for health reasons. However, it is important to understand the potential health hazards associated with each of these before you give your doctor your informed consent to the procedure.

Botox Injections

There are a number of uses for Botox. When used in small doses, it can treat muscle problems that cause lazy eyes, severe underarm sweating, and TMJ. Of course, it can also diminish wrinkles so one can look younger. While these outcomes are certainly beneficial, Botox can also cause severe side effects. Depending on the injection site, the most common side effects include bruising or bleeding, tenderness, and soreness. Other side effects include headaches, cough, fever, nausea, and fatigue.

In more serious scenarios, a person can have an allergic reaction to Botox, causing the patient to break out in hives, have difficulty breathing, and experience tightness in the chest. If this happens, you should seek medical treatment immediately. In rare cases, Botox can cause loss of bladder control, vision troubles, and possibly even seizures.

Breast Augmentation

In 2008 alone, over 307,000 breast augmentation surgeries were performed in the United States, making it the most popular plastic surgery procedure in the country. As of 2010, over five million women in the United States have breast implants. Despite this procedure’s popularity, there are also some risks associated with breast augmentation. Some potential complications include the following:

  • The need for additional surgeries
  • Scar tissue forming around the implants
  • Ruptured or deflated implants
  • Breast pain and change in nipple or breast sensation
  • Interference with the ability to mammogram breast tissue

Non-Elective Procedures

There are also a number of risks associated with non-elective procedures. One common example is the use of transvaginal mesh to treat pelvic organ prolapse or stress urinary incontinence. Transvaginal mesh is inserted into the pelvic region to strengthen or replace damaged tissue and increase elasticity in the vaginal wall. While this product was initially praised, recent findings have linked transvaginal mesh to a number of complications.

Between 2005 and 2010, there were a reported 3,874 cases of transvaginal mesh complications. This includes problems such as mesh exposure, contraction, or even erosion. When this happens, you could suffer serious pain, infection, organ perforation, scarring, and even neuromuscular problems. Some victims of transvaginal mesh complications have started a transvaginal mesh lawsuit against the manufacturer of this surgical implant, pursuing financial compensation for their damages.

Other Considerations

Before you choose to pursue a surgical procedure, be sure to consider its risks and benefits as well as any alternatives you could pursue instead. It is important to discuss the topic with your doctor and also pursue a second medical opinion in order to protect your health as much as possible.

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Students Seeking Temporary Visas

A large portion of people that travel to the United States seek a quality college education since the United States hosts some of the most prestigious academic institutions in the world. However, before a foreign visitor is able to begin their courses of study, they must obtain a student visa. Visas available to students are classified as nonimmigrant visas, suggesting temporary residential status.

The F-1 visa is available to students who do not intend on working. In addition to being proficient in English, F-1 applicants must maintain their residence abroad, must intend on departing the United States after completing their educational pursuits, and must be able to financially support themselves for the duration of their stay in the United States. Many student visas are unique in relation to other nonimmigrant visas because they do not have a specific time limit. As long as the visa holder is enrolled in a full course load of classes they are allowed to stay as long as they need to obtain their degree.

Another visa available to students is the M-1 visa. Unlike the F-1, M-1 visas apply to students attending vocational schools or receiving educational certificates, like pilot certificates. Many of the same requirements apply to M-1 holders in that they must maintain citizenship in their home country, be financially stable, and intend on returning to their home country once they have obtained their professional degree. In order to receive the M-1 visa, the Department of Homeland Security must approve of the vocational, or non-academic, school that the applicant is enrolled in.

Applicants for student visas are subject to multiple filing and attorney fees. The application process can cost around $1,500 for the average visa candidate. Some people find it useful to hire a lawyer in order to navigate the application process with more ease.

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Quick Thinking and Golf

You step up to the ball, set your club, get your stance, you’re ready. And then it happens. The voices in your head start going off, “don’t shank it,” “keep your eye on the ball,” “don’t move your head,” “seriously though, don’t shank it,” and so on. And then…

You shank it.

We’ve all been there. Many times. We know we can do it, we are physically skilled and capable enough to do it, but for some reason our minds won’t shut up long enough for our bodies to take over.

Well, don’t you think it’s time we just get over ourselves? I mean, really. You’re not going to talk the ball into the hole. You’re not a ball whisperer. Forget everything you’ve been taught to think before hitting the ball and just let your body DO it.

We underestimate our body’s ability and try to compensate with our minds. That’s simply not the answer. If you want to hit the ball straight then shut that head of yours up and just hit the damn thing.

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Functional Capacity Evaluation

Workers’ compensation, absenteeism and attrition are among the biggest employee-related expense for most employers. An employee pool that have high incidence of injury and health claims usually mean higher premiums that employers have to pay for workers’ compensation and health insurance while attrition leads to high training and turnover costs. According to the WorkSTEPS website, pre-screening employees for functional capabilities will reduce these employer costs considerably, as much as 50% in some cases.

Another way to reduce these costs is to require employees to take a functional capacity evaluation (FCE) post-injury to determine fitness to return to work as well as eligibility for workers’ compensation claims and disability payments. This ensures that the injured worker is truly able to perform his or her job functions adequately and not exacerbate the existing injury as well as determine if any claims for disability or workers’ compensation is justified. The date gathered from these assessments may be used as a basis for decision-making in claims as well as other employee-related health and work concerns.

An FCE is a double-edged sword. It can prove that an injured claimant has grounds for a claim or even more than what is being claimed. It may also show that there is no reason why a worker should not go back to work immediately. At any rate, an FCE is often required by an insurer, and it should be administered by a disinterested third party which will produce a credible and objective FCE report.

All employers should invest in a service that will provide employee prescreening as well as FCEs to improve productivity and reduce employee-related costs. It would also be advisable to have other assessments done such as upper quadrant/carpal tunnel testing and work environment evaluation to help in injury management and prevention. The return on investment may be realized immediately, significantly and in multiple ways.

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Economic Crisis Highlights the Importance of Disability Benefits

There has been a growing trend in the US for formerly productive albeit partially disabled workers to seek disability benefits since the economic crisis hit the job market in 2007. Research shows that employers who accommodated employees with back problems, weak hearts, or other health conditions that reduced their capacity to work have been forced to let them go in these tough times. Productivity has become a priority for companies struggling to make ends meet. In the meantime, those who have been let go have turned to social security and employer-sponsored disability insurance for financial relief.

The importance of disability benefits is undeniable. According to the website of Hankey Law Office, P.C. in Indiana, a steady source of income is invaluable in assisting the disabled worker cope with the fact of their disability. A recent survey of disability beneficiaries show that the emotional impact of being able to keep off welfare through disability benefits is almost as important as the financial security it affords.

Social security disability (SSD) is almost always the go-to option for totally disabled workers whose disability is determined to last at least 12 months. However, SSD is not an option for workers who are only partially and/or temporarily disabled; besides which processing an SSD claim can take several months to a year. In the meantime, bills are going unpaid and loss of home and health becomes very real for the family. An article on the website of LaMarca Law Group, P.C. in Des Moines explains how workers’ compensation disability benefits can save the day for workers who may not qualify for SSD or who may desperately need relief while waiting for their SSD or other benefits to get processed. It emphasizes the wisdom of procuring disability insurance while employable because serious injury and disability can come at any time.

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BP Oil Spill Claims

Three years after the event, many victims of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and subsequent oil spill are still waiting to get compensation for the losses they sustained. Also referred to as the BP oil spill, the catastrophe affected the environment as well as the health and livelihood of people of the surrounding areas including 5 US states namely Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, and Texas. This is especially true for non-profit organizations, some of which according to an article on the Williams Kherkher website may actually be eligible for a Risk Transfer Premium on top of the actual loss incurred because of the accident.

Unfortunately, the process of applying for compensation after the BP oil spill is very different from the process people go through for something like insurance coverage following a car accident. There are established guidelines and regulations which dictate how far an insurer can delay or deny coverage for a claim. Not so with BP.

Under the terms of the Settlement Agreement as well as the court-appointed BP oil spill claims processing center which was believed by many would speed up the process, BP could challenge each and every claim at a whim, significantly slowing everything down to a snail’s pace. In other words, BP can and does dictate the terms under which compensation is processed and meted out. Too often, it is much too little and too late to be of any significant help for the victims.

In order for claimants to make any headway with BP oil spill claims, they need to know precisely how they are processed, and how to appeal what would almost certainly be a denial at the first try. Most claimants have neither the knowledge or experience to make any significant headway in this endeavor, which is good for BP. It is highly advisable to enlist the help of a lawyer who have a good track record in dealing with BP oil spill claims for any chance at success.

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