The Auto Accident Glove Compartment Checklist

No one wants to think about getting injured in a car crash, but those who are prepared will be better off in an emergency situation if it comes up. From the first few minutes after an accident to weeks and months afterwards, there are certain steps you should take to protect your own physical and financial well-being. Keep this auto accident glove compartment checklist handy in case of an auto accident.

Immediately After the Auto Accident

The roadways can be especially hazardous in the moments right after a traffic accident. While your car and others involved in the collision are at a standstill, other cars continue to pass by at a high rate of speed. The potential for additional devastation is very real.

  • Remain in your vehicle if there is a potential risk. Your immediate safety is a priority.
  • Move to a safe location if your vehicle has created a safety hazard or is obstructing traffic.
  • Don’t leave the scene of the accident.

When it is Safe…

  • Assess your injuries and check on the well-being of others who are involved.
  • Call 911 if there are injuries.
  • Follow any instructions that police officers give you.
  • Tell them the facts only; not opinions or extraneous information.
  • Be courteous and polite, but do not admit fault.
  • Get the officer’s name, badge number and precinct.
  • Provide your name and insurance information.
  • Call your auto insurance company if your coverage offers emergency towing arrangements.
  • Write down the name of the tow company and where your vehicle is being towed.
  • Document the names and contact information of any witnesses.

At the Scene

If your injuries don’t require an ambulance ride or ER visit, take this time to document the area. Use your camera or smart phone to photograph the following:

  • License plates of any vehicles involved in the accident.
  • Damaged areas of your vehicle, other vehicles or property.
  • Any factors that could be helpful to investigators, such as skid marks, obscured traffic signs, lane position, street signs or other landmarks that can identify the accident location.

Take note of:

  • Time, date and location.
  • Weather, traffic conditions and visibility.
  • Description of the accident.
  • Description of injuries and damage.
  • Details of police involvement.
  • Adjuster’s name, phone and claim numbers.

In order to collect the information you need, it’s helpful to always keep a notebook and pen in your glove box for taking notes. There are also many apps you can download to use for photos and notes. Get all the information you can. Note the date, time, place, and description of how the accident occurred.

Collect the names, addresses, telephone numbers, drivers’ license numbers, VINs, vehicle make and year from all drivers. It’s also wise to take a picture of the license and registration for accuracy later.

One thing you should never do is get into an argument with other drivers or police. It’s not worth it. There will be time later to sort things out when you’re calm. Also, don’t sign anything at the scene and do not discuss fault.

Afterward

  • See your doctor to get your injuries looked at, treated and documented.
  • Follow all doctors’ orders and take all prescriptions.
  • Photograph injuries right away.
  • Keep all receipts for anything that’s related to the accident.
  • Call a trusted auto accident attorney.
  • Take advantages of free initial consultations
  • Keep up with all important court dates, if applicable, as well as appointments with the insurance adjuster and your lawyer.

Emergency Supplies

In the event you are in an accident or stranded, it’s smart to think ahead and have an emergency supply kit in your car, containing:

  • Bottled water
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Blanket
  • Dried/non-perishable food
  • Jumper cables

Contact Auto Accident Law Firm

The aftermath of a car accident can be fraught with pain and frustration. Don’t let those factors cloud your judgement. Whether you think your injuries warrant a call or not, it never hurts to call auto accident law firm.

Find top rated attorneys and law firms profiles with Find Attorneys Directory, the best and free online attorney directory. Guest bloggers can also publish their articles here as other bloggers are doing.

How Can Creditors Use the Option of Litigation Finance for Recovering Unsecured Loans?

It is a known fact that when a person files for bankruptcy, it is an official declaration that they are no longer in the position to repay the loans they have taken. Depending on the type of bankruptcy they have filed for, their obligation to repay loans, particularly unsecured ones, is wiped off. Ultimately, the creditors who have granted unsecured loans are at the risk of facing major losses.

Unsecured loans are generally considered as high-risk loans, they generally come with a higher interest rate and are granted to people who do not provide any asset for collateral at the time of applying for a loan.

It is to be noted that not all unsecured loans are wiped off. In some cases, a person may have to repay the amount of unsecured credits they are liable for after the bankruptcy period is over. However, these cases are far and few and generally, they are not obliged to pay the loan amount.

A common way many unsecured creditors opt for, in order to recover the amount of unsecured loans, if the borrower has filed for the bankruptcy is litigation finance. In this option, they are financed by a third-party company so that they could file a case against the borrower. The plaintiff is obliged to pay a certain portion of the money they will receive from the borrower. This amount is decided in advance between the litigation funding company and the plaintiff.

A prominent benefit of opting for this method is that it can slow down the process of bankruptcy. In normal cases, by the time the creditors are made aware of the filing of bankruptcy by the borrower, they are generally not left with much time to make their claims in a proper way. In the event of using the litigation finance option, they will get ample time in hand to make a claim that has maximum chances of being proven in the court. Thus, there are enhanced chances of recovery of the amount.

Opting for this method of litigation finance can also help the creditors to meet huge expenses and costs associated with filing a claim. The third-party company involved provides them with adequate funds so that they could manage all these expenses and lawyer’s and witness’ fees efficiently. This way, they will not have anything else to focus on apart from strengthening their claims to boost the recovery.

Another vital benefit of going with this option for creditors is that it is risk-free from them. They are only liable to pay the litigation funding company if they have recovered the amount. If they aren’t able to recover the amount of unsecured loans, litigation funding company is not entitled to receive anything from the plaintiff. This is the major reason why litigation funding companies do not take every case that come to them. Prior to taking a case, they thoroughly investigate and evaluate it. They only invest their money in the case if there are maximum chances of recovery.

Even if they aren’t taking the case, the information they have derived from investigating and evaluating the case, it can come in handy for the plaintiff if they are making a claim. Hence, consulting a litigating finance company is in no way a bad idea for them.

Some unsecured creditors often have to settle for an amount much lower than they granted a borrower. This is done in order to avoid heavy losses caused if the borrower is declared as bankrupt and are no longer held liable to pay unsecured loans. With the option of litigation finance, they will not have to settle for a lower amount as there will be a high possibility of fast recovery of the amount with only a portion of the recovered amount going to the litigation finance company.

If the amount of the unsecured loan is huge, a litigation funder may purchase the complete claim from the plaintiff. They generally pay a huge amount to the creditor for the said purpose. However, this usually happens when they a deep understanding of the complexities of the case and they believe there are high chances of recovery to be made. This can prove to be a suitable option for the plaintiff as they can get the amount without having to face the legal hassles.

To cut the long story short, litigation funding is a risk-free situation for an unsecured creditor in every possible event. Not only it gives them the hope that their bad debts can be recovered but also provides them with the funds so that the claim can be prepared in a more effective way. Due to all these reasons, the trend of using this option is gaining popularity in different parts of the world.

Brandon L. Fernandez is a native of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and is an associate in the Lydecker Diaz’s Miami office. Mr. Fernandez’s practice includes all aspects of federal and state civil trial litigation with a primary focus in civil rights litigation, complex commercial litigation, government liability, law enforcement liability, labor & employment law, premises liability, and professional liability.

5 Kinds of Attorneys You Need at Some time in Your Life

Are you looking for an attorney that can be of great help for solving your legal issues? However, what type of attorney you are searching for. Now, there are several kinds of attorney. The legal field is really very complex as well as large. You will discover that different attorneys specialize in different areas. That’s the reason why there are different attorneys, and whatever may be your legal issue, there’s an attorney who is an expert in dealing with a particular issue.

So, you want to search for an attorney who has the ability for handling the legal issues correctly. What kind of attorneys are there? Since there are several attorneys, in this post, I’ll concentrate on some of them who are specialists in dealing with the common legal issues.

Tax Attorney

The tax attorney has to deal with different tax-related concerns, such as IRS, estate planning, domestic & international business, and many more. These attorneys will help you with settlement and litigation negotiations.

The tax is rough but isn’t impossible. In some of the cases, it’s good not to go with this alone. In case you have a tax argument with the IRS, you can immediately get the backup. The complicated taxes are the other example when the legal help might save you, like a new marriage with variable incomes and assets or a divorce that’s pending.

Estate Planning Attorney

The estate planning attorneys will give you an assurance that all of your family relations are in order in the case somewhat goes wrong. Their task may range from preparation of a trust to the drafting of a will so that your asses get appropriately distributed to your loved ones when you become deceased.

The estate planning attorneys evaluate and draft several documents, like:

  • A trust
  • A last will and testament
  • A durable power of attorney
  • The designation of the heir
  • A medical durable power of attorney

But, there are some situations where people don’t have a will and in such a case, their assets pass through the Probate process. In these situations, Probate Attorneys can be of great help as they can argue how and where that asset gets distributed.

Criminal Defense Attorney

The criminal defense attorney has the following responsibilities:

  • Define the type of crime
  • Recognize the victim that’s involved in the case
  • Find out the real executor of the committed crime

These attorneys will represent you with two kinds of criminal law. These are:

Misdemeanors: These are small serious charges that lead to a fine or imprisonment for less than one year.

Felonies: These are very serious and in case you discovered as guilty, you might end up in the prison itself for more than one year or you might face the penalty of death as well.

The criminal defense attorneys handle a range of small offenses, such as shoplifting to the major crimes, like assault & battery, drug trafficking, DUI or even the murder. Most of the attorneys who exercise the criminal defense might practice working on the side of the prosecution.

Medicaid Attorney

A Medicaid Attorney has the ability to handle different medical lawsuits and medical malpractice claims. They have a wide knowledge of medical standards and law, and the guidelines which governs the professional and ethical conduct in the medical field.

Moreover, a Medicaid Attorney is well-versed with different areas of law which are included in the medical lawsuits. These fields included in this are – personal injury law, malpractice law, insurance law, and contract do.

These attorneys represent the claimants who are injured because of the medical malpractice. They can help you with getting the compensation for the injuries and the losses.

Traffic Attorney

The traffic violation is a serious concern. These attorneys may assist you with the following:

  • Arrest warrants for the due traffic violations
  • Driving with the license that is expired
  • Reckless driving
  • DUI
  • Routine traffic offenses
  • Hit and run accidents
  • Leaving the accident scene

If you face any of the above concerns, traffic attorney would be your ticket to the freedom. The attorney will negotiate you and might represent on your behalf in the court.

These attorneys are high in volume as they have the tendency to have many clients on the everyday basis. They only make one or some mistakes.

The above information will give you an idea of the types of attorneys available. There are many more apart from the above. Ensure that the one you find is best equipped to help you out.

John Barret is a blogger with the Elder Law Center of Wisconsin from the past four years. He is a law graduate in the US and enjoys writing about different legal processes, aspects of the laws, and the significance of having an attorney.

Been in an Uber Accident? Here’s what you need to know

Whether we know it or not, whether we like it or not, the collaborative consumption that makes up the sharing economy is here to stay. Now you can rent a spare room in your house to weary travelers, rent one of several shared bikes at terminals throughout large cities, or make a little extra cash driving people to and from their destinations. However, this new economic sector raises a whole new set of legal questions about responsibility and liability. That’s why it shouldn’t come as a surprise you can’t seem to turn the corner without seeing an ad for an “Uber Accident Attorney” So, what do you do as a passenger when your rideshare driver finds themselves in a crash?

1. Call 911.

Since rideshare companies treat their drivers as independent contractors, each driver is responsible for maintaining their own automobile insurance in compliance with the company’s rules and regulations. Many of these drivers are reluctant to contact the authorities in the event of a crash since it will affect their insurance premiums, driver’s status and licensure. However, receiving care for injuries after an automobile accident is nearly impossible if the accident was never reported to the authorities. In spite of what your driver says, in spite of if you feel pretty okay, insist on calling the police in the event of an accident.

2. Report the accident in the app.

In the wake of difficult accident reporting procedures, both Uber and Lyft now have in-app accident reporting processes that begin with the push of a button. Customer service in both cases will walk you through what happens next, assist you in contacting authorities if you haven’t already, and take statements about what happened. Again, your driver may be reluctant to have you report the accident, but doing so can only help you in the long run.

3. Take pictures if you can.

While you have your phone out, and if you are not seriously injured, begin to take pictures of the accident scene. Be sure to take pictures of your driver, any other drivers or pedestrians involved, the license plates of both vehicles, the location where the accident happened, your injuries (if any) and any damage that may have occurred. In the event your accident goes to court, these pictures will serve as invaluable evidence in determining fault and financial outcomes.

4. Be sure to get a copy of the accident report.

Any police officer who arrives on scene will supply a copy of the accident report to both drivers. If they cannot supply a third copy to you, be sure to snap a picture of the report as well as the officer’s name and badge number. Such simple information makes it much easier to track down a copy of the accident report in the future.

5. Your injuries are covered, but you will need an attorney’s help to be compensated.

Some auto accident cases can be resolved without the help of an attorney. An accident involving an Uber driver almost always requires an attorney’s help to sort through liability and compensation. While your injuries are covered under the driver’s insurance, Uber also carries an insurance policy for its passengers. However, Uber’s coverage only extends to certain times you are engaged with the app and its drivers.

When a driver has accepted a ride but does not have the passenger with him, there is limited liability coverage for the driver if he is in an accident. If the driver has an Uber passenger in his car, Uber’s insurance policy will cover the passenger or any third party (like a bike messenger or pedestrian) if an accident occurs. However, this insurance only kicks in after the driver’s insurance has paid out. That is where having the help of a qualified Uber accident attorney comes in. They can help you navigate liability, medical expenses and payouts between both the driver’s insurance company and Uber’s.

If you have been in an Uber accident, contact an attorney you can trust to help you navigate the murky legal waters of liability.

Find top rated attorneys and law firms profiles with Find Attorneys Directory, the best and free online attorney directory. Guest bloggers can also publish their articles here as other bloggers are doing.

How Child Custody Works in North Carolina

While it is perhaps most common for child custody to come up in the process of going through a divorce, that is by no means the only time when custody has to be decided. Often, custody has to be revisited when one parent moves or their behavior changes (making it dangerous for the child or children to remain in their custody). The child may also reach an age where they are able to decide whom they want to live with and what situation works best for them.

Whether you are deciding child custody for the first time as you go through your divorce or are coming back to the issue because of some change, you need to know how child custody works in your state.

This article is intended to help you sort through some of the complexities of child custody in North Carolina so you know what is ahead and how to best navigate the system for your children.

Types of Custody

Before getting into what a custody decision looks like, it’s important to highlight just how custody can be arranged. In North Carolina, custody arrangements can look very different from family to family.

Custody includes two elements: the physical custody of the child and the legal custody of the child. These often, but do not always, overlap. These two types of custody can be shared by both parents (joint), be held by only one parent (sole), or else be given to a third party (if neither parent is seen as capable of taking care of the child).

When there is joint legal custody of a child, both parents can make important decisions for the child. This means either parent can decide on medical treatments, education, or other vital life choices. This often, but again not always, goes with joint physical custody, which means the child lives at different times with both parents. An arrangement can be made for joint legal custody that does not include joint physical custody.

In the case of sole legal custody, only one parent can make the important decisions for the child. Sole physical custody means the child only lives with one parent. Sometimes this is preferred, even in the event of good relations between all parties, in order to provide stability for the child.

If one parent has sole physical custody, the other parent will most likely (except in extreme cases) be granted some form of visitation rights. These can be unsupervised or supervised. An unsupervised visit allows the parent without physical custody to leave the home and take the child on outings or to their own home. There’s a lot of freedom, with limitations set beforehand. Supervised visits require another adult to be present for all interactions with the child. This can be someone of the parent’s choice or not, depending on the circumstances.

Contested or Uncontested Custody

Custody can be worked out privately by both parents. If an agreement is reached, the issue is uncontested and won’t involve a judge (barring very extreme circumstances). However, if both parents cannot reach an agreement on custody, the issue is contested and will be decided by a judge.

How Custody Is Determined

In North Carolina, the child’s interests always come first. The state does not decide custody based on the gender of the parent. It also doesn’t consider whether the parent is a blood-relative or a relative by adoption.

Instead, what a judge considers are a series of factors that are meant to show where the child will be happiest, healthiest, and safest. To begin with, the risk of domestic abuse or substance abuse will weigh heavily on the decision of the court.

If such abuse is not present, the judge will consider whether both parents can provide a stable home that is consistently safe and pleasant for the child. This includes basics like having a regular supply of food, consistent shelter in a safe area, access to clothes and medicine, but also includes where the child feels comfortable and happy.

Where the child has been living and with whom will also be important to the judge’s decision. Keeping the child in the home, community, and school they know is important, so parents that have not been in the family home, have moved far away, or are often away would be at a disadvantage.

The judge may also consider the child’s age and which parent has demonstrated in the past the characteristics of the primary caregiver.

If the child is old enough to voice an opinion, their preferences will also be considered by the judge.

How to Modify Child Custody in North Carolina

The goal of custody arrangements in North Carolina is to resolve the issue permanently to the greatest satisfaction possible for all parties. Sometimes, however, circumstances change, requiring changes to be made to a custody agreement. These can be positive (such as a parent returning to the area and being able to take joint-custody of the child) or negative (a parent becoming unfit to care for the child).

Modifications can be agreed by both parents and might be relatively easy to put in place (although they likely will only be made if the change is significant). In the event only one parent wishes to make a modification, a judge will again become involved to find the best solution. A third-party can also petition for a modification.

Do I Need a Child Custody Lawyer?

Where your child lives and who has control of the most important decisions in their lives is perhaps the most important decision that will be made in the process of a divorce. The laws surrounding divorce and child custody in North Carolina are extensive and complex, so it is always best to hire an experienced attorney to help you bring the best case for you and your child before the judge. This remains true in the case of modification, whether you are pursuing it for yourself, or the child’s other parent wishes to change the agreement.

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The Numbers Behind Workplace Injuries in North Carolina

It can be challenging to get an accurate read on how safe or dangerous it is to work in North Carolina. For most people, all they have to rely on is anecdotes. Do they know people who have been injured in a particular industry in a particular place? Have they heard rumors that this business or manager is particularly safety conscious or tends to put their employees in danger?

When it comes to the safety of the people going to work, this is just inadequate. People need to know the level of danger and the type of danger they can expect when they go to work.

To help educate people on what safety and danger in the workplace looks like in North Carolina, we’ve provided some of the facts and statistics found in the North Carolina Department of Labor (NCDOL) Occupational Safety and Health Annual Comparison Report from the most recent year of its release (2016) and provided some of the significant findings within.

North Carolina Is Safer Than Much of the Country

The first point to make is good news. North Carolina is significantly safer than many other states. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, North Carolina is among just 13 states that have fewer injuries and illnesses from the workplace than the national average.

The actual numbers, though, are still daunting. 71,000 work-related illnesses and injuries were not fatal in 2016. This translated to 2.5 such incidents in 100 employees. In other words, 2.5% of all workers in North Carolina suffered from workplace injuries or illnesses (although the severity of these incidents varied).

Industries That Are Safer and Less Safe

Everyone knows that some industries are safer to work in than others. No one would assume that an office worker is in as much danger as a firefighter, for instance. However, how do the numbers break down according to NCDOL?

The industries that saw the lowest rates of days away from work, job transfers, and job restrictions included the financial sector (at the lowest rate with 0.5 individuals per 100 workers), information, and professional and business services. Slightly higher rates were found in construction (a surprisingly low 2.2 per 100), mining, state government, and “other services.”

More serious were leisure and hospitality (2.8 per 100), trade, transportation, and utilities (3.1 per 100), and education and health services (3.3 per 100).

This list, however, is somewhat incomplete, since the mining numbers are likely so low because of the lack of mining within the state.

Where Businesses Are Failing Employees Most

The NCDOL also details the most common severe violations found in different types of business.  In construction, for instance, many of the most common severe violations are in the most critical areas. Businesses were consistently failing workers in fall protection, the use of ladders, the use of scaffolds, and providing enough safety training.

For general industries, the violations often had to do with machine guarding, communicating to workers about hazards in training and writing, and maintaining tools.

In the public sector, there were similar violations regarding machine guarding and hazards communications. There was also not enough protective equipment available for workers.

Fatalities at Work

Injuries due to work are always tragic, mainly when they are severe but even worse is when an accident results in a death.

North Carolina had 48 deaths in 2016, according to the NCDOL report. The main areas these occurred in were, in order of number: struck by an object (17), falls (14), crushed by object or equipment (6), and electrocution (4). There were also seven workplace deaths that were not categorized but include fires and explosions.

The total number of deaths represents a significant jump from the most recent comparable years (40 in 2014 and 42 in 2015). There were more deaths in each category over the immediately previous year in every category except electrocutions.

Conclusions

While North Carolina is doing better than much of the nation at keeping its workers safe, workers across the state still suffer injuries in workplace accidents every day. It is important that all workers understand their rights when it comes to a workplace accident. Many wrongly believe that in order to get compensation, their employer must have been negligent or careless in some way. This is simply not true. Worker’s compensation coverage exists to help injured employees get back on their feet after an accident. You aren’t suing your employer, you’re claiming benefits from insurance coverage that is there to help you. If you’ve been hurt on the job, you are well within your rights to inquire about these benefits that may be available to you.

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Why SUVs are More Likely to Get in Rollover Accident

A common misperception with the safety of larger vehicles, like SUVs and trucks, is that they’re safer in car accidents. While higher weight is usually correlated with higher safety in accidents, one thing that is disconcerting is the distribution of weight in SUVs and trucks. While head-on collisions are traumatic accidents with high mortality rates, rollovers follow closely behind — a majority of them leading to fatalities. SUVs are dangerous because they have the highest likelihood of rolling in severe accidents. While a lot of factors play an important role in rollover odds, it’s important to understand why SUVs are so dangerous when it comes to rollovers.

Studies Show SUVs are More Likely to Get into a Rollover

When compared to sedans and other more compact vehicles, studies show that SUVs are more likely to get into a rollover. Once you analyze the cause more closely, it’s easier to understand why. With a narrow chassis base, or narrow body design of a car, along with the higher center of gravity found in SUVs, higher rates of rollovers are easy to explain. A lower center of gravity, like in sedans, would be harder to flip than a taller SUV that is heavy on top.

Design of SUVs

SUVs are designed to have a higher center of gravity because they’re designed to be higher off the ground. While this has its perks, like taking it off-roading, it’s not often considered when thinking about rollover safety. A wider car that’s lower to the ground is far less likely to get in a rollover accident. Trucks are also prone to rollovers, but not as dangerous as SUVs when you consider the weight difference. Vans, while worse than cars, are better than SUVs and trucks because they are generally lower to the ground.

Carelessness, Reckless Driving or Aggressive Driving

However, no one ever intends to get in a rollover accident, or any form of auto accident for that matter. Carelessness, reckless driving, or aggressive driving all are huge contributors to rollovers, and taking careful measures when driving can eliminate a lot of the risk.

Sometimes, however, it’s not the driver’s fault. Other drivers can pose a danger to you getting in a rollover accident.

Bad Weather

Another cause is bad weather. With poor weather conditions like rain, sleet, snow, ice, etc., tires can lose traction in any vehicle and send it off course, and oftentimes off the road. It’s not uncommon to see rollovers in the median during bad snow storms, which usually isn’t the driver’s fault. Poor road conditions, like windy roads, or roads with debris and gravel, can cause a driver to spin off course. In all these auto accident scenarios, rollovers are often the final result.

Even without poor weather or road conditions, over correcting is a notable cause of rollovers. By swerving in one direction, then drastically swerving back to correct the original swerve, over correcting causes the tires to go the opposite direction than intended due to the momentum of the car. This shift in weight is what often causes rollovers, as we know that SUVs have a higher center of gravity.

When considering other negligent drivers causing rollovers to rollover, it is important to be mindful of other drivers on the road that might be reckless, aggressive, or even drunk driving. If you have been in an auto accident or rollover that wasn’t your fault, but the fault of another driver, contact an auto accident lawyer in your area that has dealt with similar cases in the past to make sure you get full compensation for your car and medical bills.

Find top rated attorneys and law firms profiles with Find Attorneys Directory, the best and free online attorney directory. Guest bloggers can also publish their articles here as other bloggers are doing.