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Social Security And Dealing With Debt

Social Security And Dealing With DebtWhether you’re entering your golden years or dealing with a significant disability, Social Security can be an important lifeline at a time when you aren’t able to work as well as you used to. If you’re dealing with significant debts, it’s especially important to have some form of income which you can rely on without having to watch it disappear before you can do anything about it. However, while Social Security benefits are ordinarily protected from debt collectors, there are some exceptions which you should keep in mind.

A Heavy Weight

Oftentimes when you’re dealing with a heavy debt burden or outright bankruptcy, debt collectors can have the courts order your wages garnished to cover part or all of your debt payments. If you’re fortunate enough to not know what wage garnishing means, what happens is that some of your weekly or biweekly income is removed from your paycheck before it so much as reaches your bank account (although it’s still counted against your taxes, naturally).

Ideally, you should never have so much debt and so little income that you... full post

Motorcycle Helmets Are Not Always The Law, But They’re Always A Good Idea

Motorcycle Helmets Are Not Always The Law, But They’re Always A Good IdeaWhether your first thought is the deep roar of a Harley or the rabid scream of a Honda, motorcycles are exciting vehicles. Even if you don’t push the engine to its limit on the open highway or weave in and out of traffic on a busy city street, it’s not hard to feel the excitement brought on by the wind whistling past your face and the sheer power rumbling beneath your seat. However, motorcycles also come with a variety of added risks which make caution and safety important considerations.

Safety Issues

As far as safety features go, the biggest difference between a motorcycle and an enclosed vehicle is precisely that enclosure. Automobile cabins are packed with safety features that go far beyond the basics of seat belts and airbags. They also come with special reinforced steel beams and crumple zones designed to absorb and redirect all the force of an impact so that none of it reaches you. Antilock brakes are standard equipment,... full post

What To Do When A Hazardous Environment Leads To Wrongful Death

What To Do When A Hazardous Environment Leads To Wrongful DeathThere are few things as painful as experiencing a loved one's death. Though it is a natural part of life, nobody is eager to say goodbye. This can be even more painful when you believe your loved one death is due to someone's reckless actions or neglect. If you believe that your loved one's death could be a result of someone's actions or neglect, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim.

Though there are many different types of 'wrongful death' claims, death due to hazardous environment is not as talked about as it should be. Exposure to hazardous and toxic substances is dangerous and can result in fatal injuries. Sadly, many of these materials can be found in products for all kinds of uses. However, a company that fails to protect its employees and the general public from exposure to such chemicals and materials should be held accountable for their actions and neglect.

Fatal injuries can result from exposure of hazardous and toxic materials and are most... full post

Understanding Florida's No-Fault Car Insurance Laws

Understanding Florida's No-Fault Car Insurance LawsBeing in a car accident is already a stressful experience. The injuries you sustain from the accident alone can make it difficult to carry on normally. The last thing you want to deal with insurance companies. Many companies will go out of their way to avoid paying you the compensation you need or simply make the process overly complicated. However, they might not be the only reason why things get complicated after an accident.

In 2013, Florida put in new insurance laws that change the way insurance works after a car accident. So before you hop into your car, there are a few things you might want to know about Florida's insurance laws.

A No-Fault State

Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to the payment of auto insurance claims after a car accident. This means that drivers are required to carry auto insurance that pays for personal injury protection benefits also known as PIP. This protects the policyholder after an accident and helps pay for any medical expenses and some non-medical-related costs that occur because of the accident.

Minimum... full post

Why You Should Have Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Why You Should Have Uninsured Motorist CoverageAccidents are no fun and can often cost you a ton in damages and medical fees. Thanks to Florida's no-fault insurance policy, Floridians are required to have at least the minimum amount of Personal Insurance Protection benefits also known as PIP. This allows you to receive financial help after an injury and get the medical care needed to recover. Sadly, not everyone is insured.

In Florida, almost one in five at-fault drivers are still uninsured. Though Floridian drivers are required to have no-fault insurance, that may not be enough to cover the costs of being hit by an uninsured motorist. That is why insurance companies offer uninsured motorist coverage to give you that extra protection and assistance you may need after an accident. Understandably, not many people are eager to spend more when they already have some coverage.

You have no fault insurance so why do you need uninsured motorist coverage?

No-fault insurance, also known as PIP, is mandatory and carries a $10,000 limit in Florida. However, the term “no fault” can be a bit confusing. The term is used... full post

Workers' Compensation: Exposure To Chemicals

Workers' Compensation: Exposure To ChemicalsAccidents can happen anywhere, but when your injured at work it can change a few things. If you are the cause of your own accident, there is not too much you can do about it. However, if the accident was caused due to the actions or neglect of the company or another employee, you may be able to file for workers' compensation and receive financial help. This can assist you in covering medical costs and of any lost wages due to the injury.

What happens when your injury is due to being exposed to chemicals on the job? Can it count towards workers' compensation? The quick answer is yes. However, it can be a lot more complicated than that.

What Is Workers' Compensation?

When a worker is injured on the job, workers' compensation allows them to get financial compensation for their injuries. Workers' Compensation is designed to provide an array of protections for the worker and to ensure that any worker who is injured is able to pay their medical bills and are able to continue supporting themselves and their family. However, if... full post

Florida Rain And The Accidents That Come With It

Florida Rain And The Accidents That Come With ItThough many only think of Florida as being a very sunny and warm place, it is actually a pretty rainy state. This can be especially true during hurricane season when rain and wind become a deadly force. However, hurricanes aren't the only dangerous weather condition. Even when it is simply raining outside, the roads can become a dangerous place. In Florida, rain has caused thousands of car accidents each year.

How Does Rain Impact Your Driving?

It may sound strange that a little wetness could effect your health and safety. However, it really is no laughing matter. Any kind of poor weather condition is likely to effect your ability to drive in one way or another and rain is certainly no exception. The main reasons why rain can impact your driving boils down to less visibility, slippery roads, and inexperienced drivers.

Less Visibility

During a rain storm, especially a heavy rain storm, it can be difficult for drivers to see other cars. Even cars that are rather close may be hard to notice at first. If that... full post

4 Common Types Of Workplace Accidents

4 Common Types Of Workplace AccidentsAccidents can happen anywhere. However, when they occur in the workplace there are a lot of extra considerations to think about. Was the accident due to your actions or the actions of someone else? Did the company ever train you on how to handle this type of situation safely? Was the accident caused by someone's neglect or your own? These kinds of questions help to understand who is liable for your accident. If it was due to the actions or neglect of someone else, you may be able to file for workers' compensation.

Thanks to workers' compensation, many workers can get the financial compensation they need to heal after an accident. This can help cover the cost of medical bills and lost wages so that you can still support yourself or your family during your recovery.

Here are a few of the most common workplace injuries you could find yourself with.

1) Slips and Falls

These types of accidents account for about a third of all injuries in the workplace. In general, falls accounts for more than a million injuries each... full post

Why You May Need Help When Dealing With Insurance Companies

Why You May Need Help When Dealing With Insurance CompaniesAn accident is already a pretty traumatic experience. The physical and mental injuries sustained can leave you permanently damaged and unable to support yourself. The last thing you want is to have insurance companies deny your claim and refuse to give you the help you need. Sadly, that can often be the case.

In your time of need, you would hope that the insurance companies would have your back. However, insurance companies will do a lot to avoid paying you the compensation you deserve. Even when your claim is accepted, it is likely the insurance companies will underpay you as much as possible to keep more money for themselves. This wouldn't be such a terrible thing if accidents were cheap. However, accidents often create a large amount of financial issues that you may be left struggling with.

So why is financial compensation needed after an accident?

Medical Bills

If you were injured because of an accident, you most likely have some expensive medical bills. Even if you only end up with minor damage, it... full post

What You Should Know About Car Seat Safety

What You Should Know About Car Seat SafetyThough children can certainly be a handful, they are a precious gift. That is why you, as a parent, try so hard to keep them safe and healthy. You make sure they get all their fruits and vegetables, take them to the doctor when they get sick, and never let them hop on to their bike without their helmet.

But are you doing enough to keep your child safe?

Keeping your child safe should always be your first priory as a parent. Due to their smaller and more vulnerable size, children require much more safety precautions than an adult does. This includes keeping them safe when your driving. Though you'd like to believe that you'd never get into an accident, specially when your little ones are with you, you can not take that chance with your child's life.

Accidents are unpredictable and happen a lot more often than you think. That is why you need to make sure to do everything you can to keep your children safe. Thanks to modern technology and research, your ability to... full post

A Closer Look At Spinal Cord Injuries

A Closer Look At Spinal Cord InjuriesA spinal cord injury is when there has been damage done to any part of the spinal cord of the nerves found at the end of the spinal canal. These types of injuries often come with permanent changes in sensation, strength, and other body functions below the site of the injury. Though many scientists are optimistic about future advances in research and treatment, they are still far from fully understanding the nature of spinal cord injuries.
Common Causes Of Spinal Cord Injury

Though there are a variety of ways to injure your spinal cord, most tend to fall within one of these 3 categories.

Motor vehicle accidents. Both auto and motorcycle accidents remain the leading cause of spinal cord injuries. Due to the often neck and head jerking reaction that often occurs in an auto accident, it is all too easy to hurt and injury your spine. It is even worse for motorists who are less protected and end up feeling the full force of the collision. These type of accidents currently account for 35 percent of spinal cord... full post

5 Causes Of Pedestrian Accidents

5 Causes Of Pedestrian AccidentsWhen the weather is sunny and you don't have too far to go, it's nice to be able to walk and enjoy the day. For some walking is even a daily form of exercise to keep you feeling good and healthy. Though traveling by foot might be a healthier option, it may not always be a safer one.

Pedestrian-automobile collisions are more common than you may like to think. A lot of pedestrian accidents fly under the radar because many choose not to report their accidents to the police. Regardless of that fact, it has been reported that 70,000 pedestrians are injured and more than 4,000 die each year from automobile collisions.

So why are pedestrian accidents so common? A pedestrian accident can happen for a number of reasons. Though most root back to a motorist's neglect to watch out for the pedestrian, it can be a little more complicated than that.

Here are some of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents.

• Unmarked Crosswalks

Intersections are where the majority of vehicle-pedestrian collisions occur. With the help of signaled crosswalks, these collisions... full post

Do I Need A Disability Lawyer?

Do I Need A Disability Lawyer?Accidents and illness can happen to anyone, but sometimes it can leave you unable to work or support yourself. This is where filing for disability comes into play. Being on disability allows you to maintain your independence so that you can get back to the things that really matter.

• How do you know whether you can qualify for disability?
• What do you need to do to file for disability?
• Should you hire a lawyer?
• Filing for disability can be complicated so it's no wonder you have so many questions.
• What Counts Towards Disability?

Disability is any physical or mental condition that limits a person's senses, movements, or activities. However, for your condition to count towards your disability claim, you need to prove that your condition makes you unable to work and support yourself.

Why Should I Have A Lawyer Help Me With My Disability Claim?

The most important reason to hire a lawyer to help you with your disability case is that your chances of winning increase significantly. Also since your lawyer only charges a fee if you win,... full post

Dealing With Insurers Is Sometimes A Matter Of Faith

Dealing With Insurers Is Sometimes A Matter Of FaithLike any other kind of for-profit company, insurers have a bottom line, and the farther away it is from their expenses, the better off they’re doing. The need to keep net revenue up puts significant pressure on claims adjusters, since they’re responsible for every cent their company spends on its policyholders. While this means they’re typically reluctant at best to fill any claims they receive, especially the more expensive claims, they may end up taking things a step too far and act in bad faith.

Good Faith, Bad Faith

The idea behind the “good faith” policy in regards to insurance is that, while insurance is a business, insurers should at least be doing something to look after their policyholders. Insurance isn’t about filling a corporation’s bottomless money pit, after all, it’s paying a company so that the company will pay you in a time of need. If an insurance company forgets this fact or refuses to acknowledge it, it’s acting in bad faith.

When Does An Adjuster Cross The Line?

There are several different... full post

The Discovery Process Can Be The Longest Part Of Any Injury Case

Discovering Is The Longest PartDid you ever notice how court cases can sometimes take years between filing and actually seeing its first day in court? The primary reason for this delay is something called the discovery process, and the reason it takes so long is because it’s essentially the court case in slow motion.

Attorneys, detectives, and other investigators spend this time collecting evidence, witness depositions, expert testimonials, and everything else they need to prove that their side is correct. Then, once they’ve each built up a decent amount of material, each side allows the other to see or “discover” their collected evidence. This gives both sides the opportunity to collect more evidence to counter their opponents, and after that the cycle begins again.

Fair’s Fair

The surprise witness or piece of evidence is a classic feature of courtroom dramas. There’s nothing like an unexpected swerve to get you invested in the plot and keep you guessing as to what happens next, after all.

However, dramatic twists are a lot less fun when someone’s life or livelihood is on the line, and the discovery process came... full post

Let The Buyer Beware: On Lemons And Limited Warranties

Let The Buyer Beware:  On Lemons And Limited WarrantiesBuying a used car is, at least at first glance, a good way to save money over buying a new car. By purchasing a model that’s a few years old, you can save sometimes upwards of half off the original cost, and while its best years may be behind it, a decent, reliable used vehicle should still have at least a full decade of life left in it.

However, not all used cars are created equal. For as much effort and research as you need to put into buying the right new car, everything becomes twice as important once the car has a history.

Get A Background Check

This means researching both the history of the model of car you’re looking at and researching the history of the specific car. Does the model have a reputation for reliability, or does it seem to fall into the “planned obsolescence” category where important systems start to fail as the warranty runs out? Was the specific car in an accident? Was the last... full post

Brian O Sutter
posted by Brian O. Sutter , in:

Punitive Damages: It’s Not Always About You

Punitive Damages: It’s Not Always About YouPersonal injury lawsuits are generally about monetary compensation. Someone else’s negligence caused an injury which may be physical, mental, or else to your property, and so you sue that person or else settle out of court in order to get a fair compensation for your loss. However, in addition to the standard damages of lost income, lost or damaged property, and mental and physical pain and suffering, there’s also such a thing as punitive damages, money which is awarded in order to punish the defendant rather than to compensate the plaintiff.

A Higher Standard Of Negligence

With most forms of personal injury damages, all you need to do is prove that the defendant is at fault and that their actions resulted in a need for compensation. However, because punitive damages are essentially a form of punishment, motive matters just as much as fault. Negligence isn’t enough: the plaintiff must prove that the defendant committed gross negligence, which is similar but requires that the defendant knowingly and without regard put human lives in danger. Alternately,... full post