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Showing posts from June, 2017

Good Credit, Medical Bills, and Filing for Bankruptcy

You have excellent credit, but you've racked up some substantial medical bills. Is filing for bankruptcy a viable option?

Your good credit will definitely take a hit if bankruptcy is filed. On the flip side, if unpaid medical bills prompt a flurry of late-payment notices, and eventually the medical provider hands you over to collections or wins a court judgment against you, that doesn't bode well for your credit rating either.

Filing for bankruptcy is a tool to help you regain your financial footing, but it should be a last resort. Explore other options first. For instance, make sure all your available insurance coverage has been utilized. In addition, if your bill (or a chunk of it) was for uninsured medical costs, your medical provider may offer a significant discount.

Depending on your income, you may qualify for the Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) program, which affords you free or reduced-cost hospital care for medically necessary services.

If filing for bankruptcy …

Auto Accident Victims and Lost Wages

If you've been injured in an auto accident due to the negligence of another driver, and our injuries prevent you from working or reduce your ability to work, you have a right to recover lost wages. Generally, to recover for lost wages, one of two things must occur: An injury must be the direct result of the accident, or a pre-existing injury was made worse by the accident.

To prove lost wages, produce the pay stub from your most recent paycheck prior to your injury. Tips and non-salary benefits should be included as well. If you are self-employed, you will need to submit proof of what you would have earned. Keeping detailed, organized records pays off in these circumstances.

If a motor vehicle accident results in a long-lasting or permanent injury-including chronic pain or fatigue - that will affect your ability to earn a paycheck, you may have grounds to recover for "lost earning capacity." In some situations, you can claim this even if you can work- for instance, if th…

Wrong-way Accidents: Infrequent but Lethal

According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), over 350 highway deaths each year are the attributable to wrong-way incidents, with the vast majority of them due to head-on collisions at high speeds. One percent of conventional auto accidents involve fatalities; the figure skyrockets to 22 percent for wrong-way collisions.

a 2012 report issued by the NTSB stated that over half of wrong-way incidents involved alcohol-impaired drivers, with over 60 percent of them ahving blood-alcohol readings of .15 or higher- nearly double the legal limit in most states. Fifteen percent of wrong-way collisions are initiated by drivers age 70 or above. Confusion and impaired vision are aggravating factors in these accidents.

Many wrong-way accidents begin with a driver mistakenly entering a highway from an exit ramp; others originate with people who realize they have missed their exit, so they make a U-turn and head the wrong way back to the exit. Nearly 80 percent of wrong-way accidents …

Post Bail or Go to Jail

Bail is cash, a bond, or property that an arrested individual gives to the court to regain their freedom - at least until their trial - and to ensure that they show up for all scheduled court appearances. If they fail to do so, the court will keep the bail money and issue an arrest warrant.

The bail amount is set by a judge. Factors taken into consideration include the seriousness of the crime, the accused's prior criminal record, their financial resources, and their likelihood of being a flight risk. In some states, a suspect may request a lowered bail at a special bail hearing or at their arraignment (first court appearance).

If the accused has been charged with a particularly serious or violent crime, or the judge believes that they are a danger to the community, might flee to avoid trial, or will likely obstruct justice by tampering with witnesses or destroying evidence, bail may be denied.

If a suspect violates the court's conditions of release (e.g., obeying all laws, st…

Starting a Family Takes Some Thought

Starting a family can be exciting, stressful, joyful, and daunting - all rolled into one. As with most endeavors, a little foresight and planning can go a long way.

Prior to a newborn's arrival, know the facts about what and how much your health insurance will cover. Give some thought as to whether you want a doctor or midwife to provide prenatal care and deliver the baby. Choose a pediatrician before a baby's birth.

In the workplace, find out how much maternity leave can be taken and how much of it will be paid. Inquire as to your employer's policies on taking time off for doctor's appointments or to prepare for adoption. Consider the steps you must take to get health insurance coverage for your bundle-of-joy-to-be.

Research the safest baby products available and which ones to avoid. Is your home free of hazards? Do your homework on child safety seats. Know your legal rights to nurse in public. When returning to work after the birth, be informed on what your rights ar…

Juvenile Deliquency Proceedings

In most states, juvenile delinquency proceedings involve persons age 18 or under. A few states might go lower, at 16 or 17, and one state (Wyoming) sets the age at 19. All juvenile cases are civil matters, not criminal.

In juvenile delinquency cases, instead of being charged with a crime, the juvenile is accused of committing a delinquent act. A prosecutor or probation officer typically gets the ball rolling by filing a civil petition, which states the charge and requests that the court determines that the juvenile has been delinquent.

Juveniles have the right to attorney representation at an adjudicatory hearing (where the judge weighs the evidence in a case), but they do not have the right to a trial by jury. If a delinquency determination is made, the court has broad powers as a to what constitutes the best interests of the child and a suitable course of action.

Common delinquent acts include theft, drug abuse, simple assault, and disorderly conduct, among others. Roughly 3 perfect…

Common Vehicular Injuries

Auto accident injuries are wide-ranging, but some are more common than others. They can be influenced by seatbelt usage (or lack thereof), airbags, the direction the impact came from, the speed of impact, or the position of the occupant's body when the impact occurred (facing straight ahead or turned).

Soft tissue injuries - those involving ligaments, muscle, or tendons - are most common car accident injuries. Whiplash is a noticeable one. Muscles and ligaments of the neck and shoulders are unnaturally stretched to due to sudden, high-energy movements caused by impact. These forces are responsible for many back injuries as well, including serious ones involving the spine.
Scrapes and laceration can result through contact with something solid inside the car; loose, flying objects, such as a cell phone, eyeglasses, or a bag of groceries; or getting smacked in the face by an airbag.

A blow to the head can cause a concussion, as the brain is slammed against the interior of the skull. A …

Truck Rollover Accidents

Dangerous tractor-trailer rollover accidents -- which occur when a truck flips over while moving -- are frighteningly common on our nation's roadways. Because the wheels have left the ground, the vehicle is totally out of control. Other motorists on the roadway are in jeopardy, as objects that happen vehicles or posing obstacles on the road that may prompt evasive maneuvers... and more accidents. Not to mention, hazardous/toxic payloads can trigger widespread injury and property damage miles from the original accident site, and perhaps long after the incident has occurred.

The most common causes of tractor-trailer rollover accidents include:
Improperly loaded trailer. If a load's weight is not evenly distributed or properly secured, it may shift while traveling and result in a rollover.


Speeding: The higher the speeding, the more potential for rollovers. Rounding a curve or turn too quickly, a shifting load, or hitting an object on the road is all it takes.Wind: Tractor-trailer…

Valuation of a Decedent's Stocks and Bonds

The values of stocks and bonds change from one business day to the next. Actually, from second to second when the market is open for business. When someone who owns stocks and/or bonds passes away, one of the first tasks an executor or personal representative will undertake is to prepare a schedule of assets. Each security should be listed and identified, as well as the nature and type of ownership.

Stocks and bonds are valued based on the date of the decedent's death. The price will be calculated by taking the average of the highest and lowest quote during the day of trading. If the decedent died on the weekend or other time that the market was closed, the high and low quotes from the trading day immediately before and immediately after the date of death will be averaged. Sometimes the average is weighted.

Stock dividends may have been declared before the date of death, to be paid sometime in the future. Those values should be added to the schedule of assets.
Determining bond val…

When a DUI Arrest is Unlawful

If you are ever arrested for a DUI, the last thing you may be thinking about is whether the police officer who arrested you was unlawful in making the arrest. If the officer was unlawful, though, it may be enough to get your charges dismissed.

Unless you commit a traffic violation, such as speeding or running a red light, a police officer can only pull you over if he or she has reasonable cause to believe you are driving under the influence. Reasonable cause is a very broad term, but some of the things that police officers look for can include:


SwervingWeaving in between lanesEndangering other vehiclesFollowing other vehicles too closelyDriving well under the speed limitErratic braking By exhibiting any of these actions, you can give a police officer reasonable cause to assume you're driving under the influence.
If you are pulled over or are stopped at a sobriety checkpoint stop, remember that a police officer cannot search your vehicle without your consent. As a United States citi…