Choosing the Best Possible Financial Plan for Your Loved Ones’ Future

Preparing a plan regarding how one intends to ensure the future of his/her loved ones upon his/her death may be quite a challenge due to the many different legal documents and concerns that need to be dealt with. Making one, however, such as an estate plan, need not be complicated, and since death is a natural occurrence that everyone will go through, making preparations early can prove to be really advantageous and beneficial, especially to your family.

Ensuring your family’s future may be done through a Will or a Living Trust. The contents of a Will, which become effective upon your death, basically allows you to name your chosen heir/s, the specific individual/s to whom you wish to bequeath your property; it also lets you appoint an executor or personal representative, whose tasks shall include: the collection and management of all your assets; selling of your real estate or securities, if necessary; payment of your remaining debts; and, the distribution of what remains from your assets (after all debts have been paid) to all your named heirs. While still alive, you as the testator or the person who made the Will, can make changes to it as often as deem necessary. To be able to execute it, it will first need to be filed in the local probate court (in the state where you reside or where the estate you own is situated) and then subjected to probate, the legal process that will prove your Will’s validity.

A Living Trust or an “inter vivos” trust, on the other hand, is a written form of agreement, which specifies the transfer of your properties to a Living Trust. It requires a trustee, a role which you, yourself, can assume; the law, however, allows a trust company or a bank to assume this role.

A Living Trust manages all transferred properties for the benefit of your heirs named in the trust agreement. You can also revoke or amend it (just like a Will) any time before your death. But, while a Will may be executed only upon your death, a Living Trust takes effect as soon as you create, and transfer your properties into, it. Its length of effectivity is considerably flexible too since you can specify when exactly you want it to end, like when the beneficiary turns 23, two years after your death, and so forth.

There are definitely many things that you may want to consider before deciding whether you should prepare a Will or a Living Trust. According to the website of Peck Bloom, LLC, this is because while the latter also offers the huge benefit of it being exempt from the probate process, it is still not outrightly recommended to everyone.

Personal Injury: Accidents Involving Pedestrians

The National Safety Council, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nongovernmental public service organization that promotes health and safety in the US by helping minimize the alarmingly high number of preventable injuries and deaths in working environments, homes and communities, records about 70, 000 pedestrians accidents in the US every year. From the given figure, about 4, 500 are fatal or end in the victim’s death a few days following the accident.

Fatal accidents are usually more frequent in rural areas where vehicles can run at faster speeds due to lighter traffic, where pathways are poorly illuminated at night, and where there are usually no sidewalks where pedestrians can walk safely. In urban areas or cities, on the other hand, where pedestrian activities and the volume of cars are always high, pedestrian accidents are usually non-fatal.

Ensuring the safety of pedestrians is a major traffic concern for the simple reason that all Americans become pedestrians at certain times of the day. Besides a person walking, the term “pedestrian” also refers to anyone who is on foot, including someone running or jogging, or a person standing at a street corner. If a car driver can sustain severe injuries in an accident, how much more will a pedestrian, who has nothing, whatsoever, to protect his/her body from the impact caused by an approaching vehicle. Thus, an accident can easily result to severe injuries or, worse, untimely death.

While drivers play a major role in significantly reducing incidences of pedestrian accidents, some car manufacturers have taken the initiative of designing their new car models with the latest safety devices that will enable the car to detect the presence of pedestrians (and cyclists) meters ahead and fully stop the car (or slow it down), even without driver input, to either lessen the force of impact or totally eliminate the possibility of crashing into anyone or anything. These accident avoidance technologies include the Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with Full Auto Brake, the Forward Collision Warning system and the Automatic Braking system, which will automatically stop the car, if it senses that the vehicle ahead has suddenly stopped, to avoid collision.

Pursuing legal action to seek compensation for any kind of harm suffered in an accident is the right of anyone; it is also allowed under the law. Many cases are settled, however, even before these reach the courtroom, as liable parties rather decide to offer compensation to the victim and ask that the lawsuit be dropped in return. Many victims accept these seemingly trouble-free settlements, thinking, or being made to think by the liable party’s legal counsel, that accepting the offered compensation totally favors them. In any form of settlement it remains essential that victims are represented by personal injury lawyers to make sure that their rights are fully defended and that the compensation they will receive will justly cover all the present and future damages caused by the injury.

Sedation Dentistry for the Problematic Patient

If you dread the thought of going on a dental chair, don’t worry; you are not alone. Most of us equate visits to the dentists as equivalent to a living nightmare with that awful drill and lots of pain, though experience has taught us that under the hands of a skilled dentist the pain is minimal. But there is no gainsaying how we feel; we still tense up and this makes the experience worse.

In response to this general if unreasoning dread of dentists, there are clinics that offer sedation dentistry to calm the most jumpy of patients. Sedation dentistry is not a specialty per se, although general practitioners and pediatric dentists typically go through several courses to train them in the use of pharmacological agents called sedatives designed to calm and relax patients.

A patient can choose the degree of sedation to which he or she will be reduced to. Minimal sedation leaves the patient awake and aware but calm. Moderate sedation reduces the patient to a semi-conscious state where the patient is awake but speech is slurred and events that happen during the sedation period may not be remembered. With deep sedation, the patient is placed in an unconscious state and will not respond to stimulus.

In general, sedation is accomplished orally, rectally, or through inhalation. The sedative may also be introduced into the central nervous system intravenously or intramuscularly. This will depend on the preferred method of the dentist and the patient, which will be discussed prior to sedation.

Sedation dentistry is ideal for specific patients as enumerated on the website of Dr. Sid K. Steadman D.D.S., such as those with physical limitations that preclude extended periods with the mouth open i.e. jaw muscle problems. Sedation will help relax the patient safely and sufficiently to carry out the necessary procedure.

Car Accident Due to Driver Distraction

Being charged with a traffic violation offense and slapped with a fine are already heavy penalties; these are not all, though, for there are still the demerit points that give drivers that added painful sting. Demerit points differ with the type and severity of the violation committed. While some violations are given 1 or 2 points demerit, others are given up to 6 points.

In some states, a total of 12 points demerit can result to suspension of driving privileges and higher car insurance premium. Attempting to elude an officer, DUI and reckless driving are violations that usually get the highest demerit points. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA), coincidentally, has also identified drunk-driving and reckless driving as among the major causes of injuries and death during car accidents; the rest are overspeeding, failure to wear a seatbelt and distracted driving. But just as it appears that the strict and consistent implementation of traffic laws directed against drunk drivers, reckless drivers and speedsters are finally earning favorable results, another violation is consistently making itself as the newest worst cause of driving accidents – cell phone use, whether texting or talking on a handheld or hands-free cell phone.

Cell phone use while behind the wheel is currently considered the worst and most dangerous kind of distracted driving and, on a daily basis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1,153 people are injured and 9 killed due to it. Due to the great risk cell phone use puts innocent motorists and pedestrians into, the state of New York, particularly, deemed it necessary to increase demerit points for violation of texting while driving ban from 3 to 5 (this change became effective on June 1, 2013).

States vary with regard to prohibition of cell phone use while driving. At least 44 states, including the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, and D.C., ban text messaging for all drivers (but not talking on the phone), while 37 states plus D.C. prohibit any form of cell phone use by teen and new drivers – the ones mostly involved in car crashes resulting to injury or death (based on CDC and NHTSA records).

Driving distraction, however, is never limited to cell phone use, whether using it to text or talk with someone. There are many other forms of distractions that almost all drivers are guilty of, but without even noticing it. Anything that takes one’s eyes off the road, hand off the wheel, and/or mind off driving, like eating, talking with friends, talking on the phone (whether on a handheld or hands-free phone), adjusting a GPS or radio, applying make-up, and so forth, is a form of distraction.

An article on the website of law firm Williams Kherkher explains how a driving accident due to distractions, which are totally preventable, can suddenly change a person’s (and his/her family’s) life. An injury will also mean lost wages (due to inability to render work for a number of days) and medical bills. In relation to such, Williams Kherkher advises injured victims of car accidents to contact a personal injury lawyer, who can clearly help them in all legal concerns, including the possibility of being compensated by the liable party.

The Good Sense of Freight Factoring

The term may sound complicated (anything that involves math sounds complicated), but in fact freight factoring is a pretty simple concept. You, as owner of a trucking company or independent trucker, sell your accounts receivable (invoices) to a third-party company called the factor for slightly less than the face value of the invoice. It’s similar to rediscounting a postdated check; instead of getting $100 which is what the check is for, you get something like $90 but you get it at once.

There are many reasons why it may be a good idea to avail of freight factoring, but the main reason is to improve your cash flow without having to go through a long process as you would have to for a bank loan, for instance. Freight factoring companies such as TBS Factoring can typically let a trucker have the cash they need for operations within 24 hours of getting an invoice. Moreover, it is not considered debt because the invoices are in essence sold, not used as collateral, and the terms are usually short, between 30 to 90 days at most.

Independent truckers are especially vulnerable to tight pockets because they depend on what they collect not only to keep the business going but for their personal needs. When an invoice is due in 30 days that means the trucker needs to have cash from elsewhere to live on until the invoice becomes due, and even then there is no assurance the client will pay on time. In addition, independent truckers do the hauling themselves, so they are unlikely to have the reserves available to bigger operations where there is a continuous flow of money from invoices that mature one after another.

Of course, a savvy independent trucker will manage the cash when it does come in so that there is enough to continue operations and pay for expenses until the next invoice becomes due for payment without needing to have the money advanced. Sometimes, though, it just makes more sense to have the money on hand, such as when there is a chance to upgrade the business that will enable the trucker to take more or better contracts i.e. buy a bigger truck.

Comparing Injury Laws

Personal injury laws can vary from state to state, therefore filing for a claim can require necessary research and information regarding the laws that would apply to your state and understand how it would affect your claim. There are states that follow the shared fault for accident and injury cases. It is important to understand how this type of rule or law will affect your compensation, otherwise you might not even have any compensation.

The state of Texas follows the “modified comparative negligence” law, where the amount of compensation will depend on the percent of fault of each party. In layman’s terms, this means that the total amount of compensation that will be awarded will be reduced by the amount equal to the percent of fault that the person is legally held liable to. When you have been carry more than 50 percent of the blame for the accident, you will not have legal rights to ask for compensation from the other at-fault parties. If this is still confusing to you, or you would want to argue your case in court, then it is advised to find an Austin personal injury lawyer to help you sort out and gather evidence for your claim in court. Meanwhile, the state of Wisconsin follows a similar personal injury law, where they fall under the shared fault or comparative fault system. Despite being partially to be blamed for the accident, you can still collect compensation form the other party involved for the injuries and damages suffered.

There are other similarities between two states, but what a Sheboygan personal injury lawyer should point out is that Wisconsin has a three-year statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim, while Texas only has two years from when the injury occurred. Missing the statute of limitations would mean forfeiting your right for compensation. Personal injury claims that are filed after the statute of limitation closes will not be entertained or heard in court.

Personal injury laws can take time and additional expense, therefore it is important to hire the right type of lawyers who will properly represent your case in court. Because there are certain differences in state laws and each case is unique in its own, the right lawyers would make or break the case.

Dealing with Injuries in the Workplace

Accidents do happen, but when they occur within the workplace, the damages may not only be for the injured worker but also the company as well. Companies have lost millions of dollars after being filed with personal injury lawsuits by workers who have been injured during their employment. Although these worker’s are covered with workers’ compensation, the company may still be held liable if they neglected their duty of ensuring the safety and wellbeing of their workers.

As reported on the website of Scudder & Hedrick, PLLC, despite the recent updates in ensuring workplace safety, there are still companies that tend to disobey safety rules and regulations given by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that have lead to many life-threatening or life-altering injuries or sickness. Worker’s compensation does help in providing financial assistance to injured workers, but they may not be enough to cover for the expense or the accident was purely preventable and occurred due blatant neglect of worker’s safety. Worker’s compensation is protection for both the worker (to cover for expenses while injured) and the company (to avoid being filed a personal injury claim). When no settlement on the worker’s compensation is agreed upon, then the injured worker can file for a personal injury claim.

Because personal injury claims are a daunting task to prove in court, most of these cases are settled outside of court before they are actually heard. After gathering the necessary evidence for a personal injury claim, find a lawyer who can properly fight and represent your claim. They can also help in calculating the amount of compensation that could be settled, along the special damages, past economic losses, and future losses.

Personal injury lawsuits damage a company’s reputation, and could cause them to lose a lot of money as well as waste important time. This is why as part or protecting themselves from employers who only wishes to milk them through personal injury lawsuits, WorkSTEPS recommends having effective pre-employment testing and evaluation. These examinations help in ensuring that the right person will be hired for the specific job, lowering that chances of accidents in the workplace and promote a more productive workplace environment.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are a very common and familiar term; however, they are not always awarded in personal injury cases. For a plaintiff to be awarded punitive damages in a personal injury case, it must be proven in court that the defendant’s behavior was notably very bad. General damages are usually given as compensation for the injuries and losses that the injured victim suffered, such as for physical injury, lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and many others.

Punitive damages are given mainly as punishment for the overly reckless behavior of the defendant, and it is not directly connected to the injury suffered by the plaintiff. This type of compensation is not necessarily aimed to make up for a specific loss, however it is still the plaintiff who will receive these damages paid by the defendant. For punitive damages to be awarded, various states in the US require proving the intentional misconduct or otherwise gross negligence of the defendant, while there are other states that need the defendant’s act to be with recklessness, deceit, or malice. In such cases, punitive damages can be provided.

A Broomfield personal injury lawyer may tell you that taking legal action against a defendant who causes not only physical injury but also economical and non-economical damages can be a very deterring event. Aside from gathering evidence to make a personal injury claim valid, proving gross negligent for punitive damages can be added issues. Gross negligence is considered conducts that are reckless and those that constitute to actions that show blatant disregard or indifference to other people’s safety, rights, or life. Punitive damages serves as a warning to prevent similar wrongful actions or repugnant conducts in the future.

There are differences in various US states on how much punitive damages can be awarded to the plaintiff. If you ask a Birmingham personal injury lawyer, the limitation for compensation in Alabama is different from that applied in Florida. It would be better to consult with a lawyer that is well versed with the personal injury laws in your state to see how these state laws affect your personal injury claim and possible punitive damages.

Rules to Know When Filing a Personal Injury Suit

There are a number of things that should be put into consideration when filing a personal injury claim in South Carolina. The first thing to know is that South Carolina follows a shared fault rule. This means that in some personal injury claims, if you are partially to blame for the accident and injuries that resulted after, then that affect the amount of compensation that will be given to you.

As the Goings Law Firm, LLC explains on its website, under the South Carolina the “modified comparative negligence rule”, the total amount of compensation that can be given to you (as the plaintiff in the case) will be equivalent to the percent of fault that that other party caused. If you hold any legal liability for the accident, then that percentage will be deducted to the total compensation. If your liability is more than 50 percent, then you will not be entitled to any compensation from all the parties involved in the accident. Because South Carolina is compelled to follow the modified comparative negligence rule when a personal injury claim reaches the court, issues and questions about comparative negligence is a common occurrence, especially during settlement trials.

Likewise, as with any “modified comparative negligence” rule, South Carolina has limits of the amount of compensation that can be given to the victim. Plaintiffs for medical malpractice lawsuits can only receive up to $350,000 as compensation for pain and suffering (and other non-economic damages). Furthermore, punitive damages (or those intended to punish the defendant for their reckless behavior) are only limited to $500,000.

South Carolina has a three-year statute of limitations when filing for personal injury case. You as the plaintiff only has three years from the date of injury to file for a personal injury claim, otherwise you will not have a case. However, according to the website of Massachusetts injury lawyers Crowe Mulvey, each state can has their own rules regarding personal injury claims, so it is necessary to not only be aware and understand the laws that apply to your specific state, but also hire someone who is familiar with these laws. That way, you’re less likely to run into problems that may arise due to minor differences between state statutes.

Assigning Fault to Construciton Site Injuries

Construction sites are notoriously dangerous places to work. There are many dangers in construction sites that can lead to serious injuries to the workers – slip and fall, burn, vehicular, heavy equipment, and other type of accidents are all possible in a construction site. Despite being covered by workers’ compensation, there are incidents that may require filing for a personal injury claim, especially if the accident occurred because of another person’s negligence and the injuries sustained was severe enough that workers’ compensation isn’t able to cover for.

According to the website of Hach & Rose, LLP, personal injury claims are possible in construction site accident if the construction company or managers fail their obligation to ensure proper safety measures for their workers, they can be held liable for the accident and damages to the injured worker. These safety measures and rules are all written and enforced by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), while each state also have their own additional employment laws to protect the safety and wellbeing of the workers. Anything that is not followed or implement these OSHA regulations can be penalized, and incidents of workplace accidents that occurred due to not following these rules should be reported immediately.

As mentioned earlier, each state in the US have their own rules for workplace safety, and when you have been involved in an accident and wish to file a personal injury claim against your company or a co-worker it is vital that you know the laws and rules that would apply to your case. Hiring a Milwaukee personal injury lawyer when you’ve been injured in the state of Wisconsin would help you have a strong case and could provide a more favorable verdict. Wisconsin follows the shared fault for an accident or injury law. This could mean even when injured, if you have played a partial part in causing the accident, you can only have part of the compensation. It depends mainly on how much percentage of fault can be accounted to your own negligence, and this will amount to the portion of the compensation you will be receiving.

Additionally, there are damage caps applicable in Wisconsin. Many factors can affect a personal injury suit, therefore it would good to consult with a Milwaukee personal injury lawyer, just to be sure that all bases are covered. Any type of accident that lead to life-altering injuries should be taken to court. Injuries such as these not only affect the workers but also the people that they provide a living for.