Have You Had a Run In With An Uninsured Motorist?

Anyone who owns or operates a vehicle knows how important insurance is, and is probably familiar with the requirements that mandate certain amounts of coverage in their particular state. These rules were put into effect to help protect innocent victims from experiencing devastating financial losses should they become affected by a person who does not have proper insurance coverage. While good in theory, insurance laws still have a number of loopholes that people are able to utilize, which results in serious consequences for many people on a yearly basis.

Today, even with strict insurance laws in place, it is estimated that more than sixty million people in the United States are still either underinsured or completely uninsured. While many people are blaming not having adequate coverage, and the minimum amount of coverage required by law on the economy and monetary reasons, the truth is, this issue is one that has been around for years. That being said, the down turn in the economy in recent years has only perpetuated this issue, and has led to higher numbers of motorists taking the gamble of not being caught by dropping their coverage.

An uninsured or underinsured motorist can make things quite difficult should you find yourself in an accident. Whether the accident involves a personal car, truck, or other type of motor vehicle, if you find yourself involved with a person without adequate coverage you are the one left holding the bag for all of your damages, including medical expenses. This is the case even when the accident is not your fault. The result can be extremely expensive and lead to big problems that can be devastating.

One way to help protect yourself is to purchase extra insurance yourself, which is commonly referred to as uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. The laws surrounding this type of coverage do vary a bit from state to state, but essentially it allows you to purchase a particular level of protection from your own insurance company for any damages or medical expenses that may be in excess of the amount that you can recover from the motorist who is uninsured or underinsured.

Should you find yourself in the position of needing to execute this line of coverage, a claim against your own insurance company is filed, using your own policy, for the precise type of damage you would needed to recover. This is done much the same way it would be done if you were to seek compensation from the other motorist’s insurance policy, and covers damages such as property damages, medical bills, and lost wages.

Because insurance companies are notorious for making processes difficult and drawn out, utilizing this coverage is not as easy as you may think. Even if a claim is eventually paid, insurance companies may choose to cancel your policy which can make getting insurance in the future quite difficult. This only adds insult to injury should the accident not be your fault in the first place. In any case that damage has been done because of an accident, especially one that involves an uninsured or underinsured motorist and will require the use of your own insurance policy; it is wise to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. He or she is quite skilled with dealing with insurance companies and can walk you through every step of the process.

If you decide to take the risk yourself and not purchase uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage on your personal policy, you are taking a gamble that can be truly devastating should you have an accident. Many people believe they can waive this option as long as they drive in a very cautious manner. They believe that saving this small amount yearly on their personal policy is more important than the extra level of protection this coverage provides. Unfortunately, even if you drive more carefully and do everything right on your end, you still cannot control outside forces and you cannot protect yourself from reckless or negligent driving by others that are on the roads with you on a daily basis.

If you or someone you know has been injured in any type of accident that involves an underinsured or uninsured motorist, you should not delay in contacting a personal injury attorney. The laws surrounding these types of cases do vary somewhat from state to state, and some states do not allow these claims to be settled in a court of law. Instead, they are to be dealt with through mandatory arbitration and must be settled based upon policy provisions. Since there are also statutes of limitations that are enforced, as well as precise filing guidelines, it is never wise to try to handle these cases on your own.

A personal injury attorney who specializes in the area of uninsured and underinsured motorists can help you to find the best possible means of recovery, and can handle your claim on your behalf so that you will receive the best possible payout. These cases are often handled separately from the actual accident claim, and vary from standard accident cases. It is not uncommon for multiple petitions to be filed, one for insurance, one for injuries, and one for property damages. It may also require civil litigation and/or criminal litigation depending on the precise circumstances involved.

Personal injury attorneys often work on a contingency basis, which means that you do not have to pay anything upfront to get your claim started. This will allow you to focus on the details of your case, as well as your personal recovery without the added worry of how to pay your legal bills. This can go a long way toward making the process flow smoothly on all sides.

Insurance companies have teams of attorneys working hard on their side to protect their interests and to pay out as little as possible. Do not take the chance of becoming a victim twice. A personal injury attorney will work hard for you in order to protect your future, and get you the compensation you truly deserve.

6 Useful Tips for Handling Divorce Court

If you’ve never gone through a divorce before, you should know what happens in divorce court. You may worried this will go downhill fast, but if you follow the tips in this guide, listen to your lawyer, and prepare, you should be fine.

What happens in divorce court?

Well, it’s not a battle and it’s not a war. Both sides make the case, argue on child custody, property, and money, and a judge makes a decision.

How You Dress Says a Lot

This does depend on the man and woman question. Some suggest women should not dress “sexy,” but really that’s quite obvious. Be professional: act like this is an important interview. You need not wear the dress showing all your legs nor the leather jacket with all the holes. Dress for success, not to make a big impression.

Be Honest, Be Fair

Be honest with your lawyer, be honest with the judge, and be fair with your spouse. You are more than likely going to lose some things, unless there is clear evidence of wrong doing on one side. Some take divorce court as an opportunity to get back at their spouse; if he or she cheated on you, it’s understandable to be angry. However, the more honest you are, the more mature you act, the better you will look to a judge. Though you may want to strike a home run, just play it safe.

Respect the Judge

Show your divorce judge respect. Instead of being smart – or trying to explain every detail of your side – be honest with the judge and understand he or she has a lot of power in your case. If you play smart, be disrespectful, how will that help your case?

Emotions

Rarely will a divorce which has to go to court – instead of mediation – be agreements and farewells. Your emotions may get the best of you. You have a right to show them, but avoid doing so in court. If you cry through the whole proceeding, or explain to the judge how much you hate your spouse, it helps nothing. Will it ruin your case? Not always, but if you act unprofessional, it may hurt the final decision.

Refer to Your Lawyer

Finally, walk every step your lawyer tells you to, say what he or she tells you to, be quiet when your lawyer asks, and only contradict them when it’s not a legal issue. Yes, you are paying this lawyer, but you are paying him or her for court room experience.

Avoid DUI Charges: Get the Best DUI Lawyer

Driving under the influence is a growing problem in our society today. It is considered to be a serious offense and could result to serious consequences if ignored. However, now a days a person who has been charged with this offense should not have any trouble dealing with such a case because they can get the best DUI lawyer who can help them out.

Being arrested can be an embarrassing experience, and definitely a life changing for anyone else. It could mean the loss of your driver’s license, civil fines and worse it can even land you in prison. No one wants to suffer such consequences. These penalties can have a great impact not only on your family,but as well as in your career and future. It can even damage your reputation as a citizen. Thus, it is imperative to consult the best DUI lawyer to eliminate and if not lessen the DUI offenses.

As we all know, it is always necessary to know your best chance to come out of the problem such as charged with this case without much damage. This could be made possible with the help of your DUI lawyer. Serious offenses such as these need to be dealt with by someone who knows the law. Talking to an attorney who specializes in DUI defense is the first thing that you should do if caught with DUI. Only them will be able to guide you through the process correctly.

The DUI lawyer will work to build your defense case and will find ways to settle the case or minimize the penalties. They can give you an extra confidence that is needed for the case. They can answer your questions and will prepare you for the proceedings each and every step of the way. They will give you the chances at either winning your case or at least minimize your penalties. Of course, it is also important for you to share all the facts about your case with them. This could help to fully defend you with your case.

Getting a competent DUI lawyer can be time consuming. However, because of the presence of internet finding the them becomes much easier. Aside from asking your friends and other relatives, online resources are also there to help you find the best DUI lawyer in your area. Through this you can actually get the information such as their names and contacts.

The DUI charges are very frustrating and can damage your reputation in the society. If you get caught, it could be better to find and contact an expert DUI lawyer in your area to lessen your charges or acquit you fully from them.

The Effects Of The Closure Of Los Angeles Superior Court’s ADR

After more than 20 years of service, Los Angeles Superior Court officials eliminated its Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program as part of budget cuts that also resulted in the loss of 500 total jobs. The ADR program was the largest of its kind in the United States and had served as a role model for other programs.

Thousands of cases were resolved without ever going to court because of ADR, according to Mary Hearn, a spokeswoman for Los Angeles Superior Court. During the 2011-2012 fiscal year, the ADR program worked with 14,045 cases, resolving 12,906 of them. This cost free, effective program was eliminated, essentially without explanation. With fewer people working for the court, this move makes little sense. Here are a few reasons:

-Court officials say they are inundated with work. The ADR mediators provided three hours of work to the parties pro bono. In some cases three hours was all that was needed to settle a case. Any additional billing was sent to the parties.

-Mediation brought cases to settlement sooner than a lengthy court battle would. Often, the parties would modify their demand so that it did settle.

Before ADR, it could take up to five years for a case to get into a courtroom. After that, the court could continue the trial for another two years, avoiding the five-year statute requiring trial to begin within five years. This gave the parties reasons to stall. This is reminiscent the saying “Justice delayed is justice denied.”

What does this mean for the thousands of cases that go through Los Angeles Superior Court? The parties can still seek private mediation to resolve their disputes. The ADR program proved the value of mediation to the parties and the courts.

Those who don’t seek mediation will likely have to wait for a court date which could take five to seven years. Some may give up on their case rather than wait. Others may take bad settlements out of frustration. These are options that give defendants such as insurance companies in civil suits an advantage. Injured parties that need money fast to pay for medical expenses and bills may settle more quickly than if they had the chance to mediate.

Court officials have not said if the ADR is permanently closed but have indicated they are facing a budget shortfall of up to $55 million. The case statistics from the 2013-2014 will give a clear picture of how this affects the court system.

Been Injured? Get Injury Compensation Advice Straight Away!

Do you know what to do when you have suffered an injury at work, on the road or in a public place?

There are correct procedures to follow and different laws in each State and Territory. Your actions can have a serious impact on your entitlement to injury compensation.

The quickest and most important action is to contact an injury advice line. An independent organisation offering injury advice will take you through the steps you need to follow.

Strict time limits apply so make contact straight away or you may miss out on legal compensation.

Getting injury advice from an injury advice line may put you in a better position and save you from jeopardising any of your rights to injury compensation.

Strict time limits apply in all parts of Australia, so get injury compensation advice straight away after your work accident or car accident.

You may benefit from speaking with an accident injury attorney. At an Accident Injury Compensation Helpline you can be connected with an accident injury attorney. Accident injury attorneys are hand-selected and approved by the Injury Helpline.

Selected Accident injury attorneys, qualify for a number of reasons:

They offer free legal advice and a free consultation

  • Lawyers will act on a ‘no win no fee’ basis if your case qualifies
  • Lawyers are work claim and road accident claim injury experts
  • Lawyers are experienced legal specialists in your State or Territory
  • Lawyers have a high success rate and excellent negotiation skills
  • Lawyers care for their clients and will treat you fairly and charge reasonably
  • Lawyers are in a good position to support your claim and offer you a personal service

If you have a permanent injury and one that involved another party (or parties) acting in a ‘negligent’ manner, you may require representation by an accident injury attorney.

An accident injury attorney can fight for your rights to maximise your compensation claim payment.

Your rights and entitlements will be based upon the laws of the particular State or Territory in which your accident occurred. There may be thresholds which affect your rights.

Remember strict time limits apply across Australia. Contact an injury advice line as soon as possible. One call may make a big difference to the outcome of your accident injury claim.

You are entitled to injury compensation by law. It is very important you make yourself aware of your legal rights to compensation by seeking injury advice. Your legal entitlements will depend on where your injury happened and the specific circumstances of your injury.

Use Your Eb5 Investment Visa on the West Coast

If you would like to enter the United States within a year, you may be considering the eb5 investment visa. In particular, you might be thinking about investing in a regional center rather than opening a brand new business in this country. If so, know that one of the states with the most regional centers to choose from is California, home of the California Military Base, or CMB. This takes up several former military bases, and could be the perfect project for you to invest in.

This project takes care of the eb5 investment visa requirements for you. For example, if you join this project, you do not have to hire ten employees, as those in charge of the project will do so. You simply have to be approved for the eb5 visa, and invest your $500,000 at this regional center. You do not even have to live in the area or the state if you do not want to, though many immigrants choose to stay here due to the various things to do.

Once you apply for this project, your money will be placed in an escrow account until you are approved. If you are not approved for some reason, you will get your funds back quickly, which means that you have nothing to lose. Additionally, CMB tries to ensure that its investors get some return on their investment, which is perfect for those immigrants who wish to retire once they arrive in the United States. In many cases, you could live off the return on investment from the project that you select, so make sure that the one you choose seems likely to make a profit.

The USCIS has approved CMB, so those in charge of the project are aware of the requirements to keep you in the U.S., and strive to help you fulfill your side of the deal. This means that they ensure that at least ten employees get hired by them once you invest, and they also keep you aware of the status of the project. Even if you decide to live elsewhere and not take part in daily operations, you will be kept apprised of the situation so that you know what is going on with your investment. Clearly, this location is a good choice when it comes to using your eb5 investment visa.

Checklist For A Car Accident

Getting in a car accident can be frightening. Even when no one is seriously injured, the jolt of the accident can put your nerves on edge, give you an adrenaline rush, and even put you into shock. When this happens, it can be hard to remember what to do at the scene of an accident. But if you end up having to hire a personal injury or car accident lawyer to help you get compensation from the accident, you’ll want to make sure you have as much information as possible.

As soon as the accident happens, you should put on your emergency flashers so that other drivers know that they should go around you. Immediately afterward check to make sure that no one is seriously injured. Call for medical help if anyone is in trouble. Even if no one is injured you should immediately call the police. The best way to protect yourself in an accident is to make sure the police arrive and file a police report, which can be helpful information in insurance claims and lawsuits. The police will also assist with exchanging driver information. If you have a camera on your phone, take pictures of the accident. If it’s safe to do so, move your vehicles to the side of the road. If the police haven’t already had you do it, make sure to exchange information with the other driver including name, phone number, address, and insurance information. If you can, immediately write down all the details about the accident that you can remember. This information can be vital if a lawsuit is necessary.

Is a Company Name a Trademark?

A company name is not a trademark. A company name is a legal identity for a corporation which can separate legal personality, can own property, sue and be sued in its’ own name, has office bearers, members and enjoys perpetual succession. A company may choose to trade under a registered business name, or in some cases it may not conduct trade at all.

Every company is allocated a registration number and has certain ongoing filing and compliance requirements depending on the laws of the jurisdiction it operates in. The registration of a company name does not confer any proprietary rights upon the holder of a company name. Companies can frequently be involved in many trade activities which change over time.

As stated above, a company may register a business name which it trades under. Registration of a business name, like a company name, is a legal obligation and does not automatically grant a company, or a company doing business under a fictitious name, a right to use that particular business or company name as a trademark.

The relationship between these different identifiers, namely trademarks, company and business names has generated a lot of confusion. Many businesses have misconceived the nature of the rights which attach to each identifier and have failed to comprehend the interface between them. This is because many traders don’t fully comprehend the inherent legal nature and purpose of each identifier and the differences between them. This can lead to unanticipated litigation and commercial uncertainty. A business name cannot be registered if it is identical to a registered company name, or is a name which is identical to, or closely resembles an existing registered business name, where the public would be likely to be mislead if business were carried on under both names.

Automated software is sometimes employed by some jurisdictions to apply the above criteria however there is still a large reliance upon human skill and judgement in interrogating databases to detect potentially conflicting names.

It is essential that traders understand that business names are registered out of a sense of legal obligation, their purpose being to provide a mechanism to ensure consumers and traders are able to identify the entity behind a trading name or firm. This promotes accountability. However, a business name is also capable of functioning as a trademark under certain circumstances. It can function as a trademark where it serves as more than just a business or company name and informs consumers of the origin or source of a product or service.

Registered businesses can also be registered as registered trademarks provided they meet the normal criteria for registration. The only assurance that can be gained by a properly executed search of a business names register is that a registrant is apprised that there are no prior or subsequently registered business names in the jurisdiction in which the search was conducted with a confusingly similar trading name.

However this won’t afford the registered business owner protection against similar prior registered trademarks, similar subsequently registered company names, and common law rights to similar names such as trademarks or unregistered trading names.

There has been a widespread misconception that a registered business name or a company name confers a proprietary right upon the owner. This had led businesses to assume, erroneously, that a registered business or company name will confer both immunity upon them from trademark infringement proceedings and exclusivity in respect of rights to a particular name. This is not the function or purpose of a business and/or company name.

This has resulted in business and company name registrants (including company registrants doing business under registered business names) becoming aware that their business name infringes either a pre-existing common law or registered trademark only after making a significant investment in their business. The legal and marketing costs in terms of re-branding their identity are significant. There is also the possibility of a business or company being sued and having to pay compensation to either a domestic or foreign trademark owner.

Across the world there are a wide range of systems in different jurisdictions for the registration of business, company and trademark rights. Some countries offer greater safeguards against the possibility of a company and/or business name being registered which could potentially conflict with an existing trademark. Business and company names should only be registered where searches of the trademarks register reveal there is no conflict with either a pending or existing trademark in the same or similar field of business activity. Ideally searches should be undertaken beyond official trademark, business and company registration databases.

Where a business name registration is in existence at the time of the registration of a trademark this creates a presumption, which can be rebutted, that the name was in prior use for the purpose of establishing a defence to a later trademark infringement action. Owners who subsequently acquire trademarks bear the onus of establishing that a business name which appears to infringe a trademark hasn’t been used continuously in the course of trade on similar goods or services before the date of registration or first use, whichever date is earliest.

The misconceptions that a company name will give rise to a right of exclusivity over that name and confer immunity from a lawsuit against a trademark holder gives rise to a false sense of security by the owner of a company name. A person who registers a company name does so as they have elected to organise their business by incorporating it, which requires them to conform to various requirements under corporations law.

As stated above, often a company will choose to do business under a registered business name rather than adopt their company name. On other occasions a company may decide to use their company name as their trading name. The real problem however arises due to a lack of understanding of the purpose and function of company and business names compared with trademarks.

As with company and business names, many domain name registrants are under the misapprehension that they have property rights in a domain name registration. What traders fail to appreciate is that domain names are issued on a first come first served basis and that their domain name may be either identical or confusingly similar to a trademark owned by a third party. This could likewise expose them to potential trademark infringement actions either in the Courts or through the arbitration system for the resolution of domain name disputes where the trademark owner claiming rights in the domain name takes legal action.

A Domain Name only confers a revocable licence upon a person to use the name, not a property right. A Trademark on the other hand confers upon the owner an exclusive property right which can be used, assigned, licensed, mortgaged or bequeathed. There is also an assumption made by a domain name holder that the domain name registrar checks the name they register. In many cases domain name registrants, just like company and business name registrants, are unaware of the risks of trademark infringement and the need to conduct comprehensive searches before choosing a name.

The strongest misconceptions exist in the area of business and company names due to not understanding that these four distinct identifiers serve completely different purposes.

Only a Trademark will confer upon the owner a property right and exclusive rights to the use of a name. On the other hand the registration of a company name and a business name arises out of a legal obligation and doesn’t confer any entitlement as such. Registrants must comply with business name and company name legislation in order to lawfully conduct business. As a registrant is allocated the right to use a business name or company name after a search of the register is conducted, it is possible that they automatically assume that this confers ownership rights upon them and nobody can either use or take their name away from them.

Some countries with federal systems of Government have registration systems which are more fragmented than others which compounds the confusion. State business names are registered in Australia by states and territories, whilst company names are registered pursuant to federal law. In the US company names are registered through various State registries. This was also the case in Australia prior to the introduction of a national system of registration of company names in 1991. However, after the adoption of a national system in Australia in 1991 there was a lot of confusion as there were a number of companies in different state jurisdictions which had identical names.

For traders to understand the distinctions between company and/or business names, domain names and trade marks they must comprehend the nature and function of a trademark. A trademark is a sign which is used to.distinguish one traders goods and/or services from those of another trader. A trademark serves as a badge of origin or source identifier and informs the consumer of the origin of goods and/or services. There are two types of trademarks; common law and registered trademarks.

Both serve the purpose both of fostering goodwill associated with a business’ products and/or services, and protecting a consumer by informing them of the origin of goods and/or services. The advantage of owning a registered trademark for a trader is an evidentiary one. A registration gives the owner a right to enforce their trademark without having to prove reputation in the market in respect of the goods and/or services associated with the mark.

To be registered a trademark must be capable of distinguishing a trader’s goods and/or services from those of others in a particular field. It cannot be substantially identical with or deceptively similar to a trademark either registered or applied for by another person in respect of similar goods and/or services.

A company name is not a trademark, and a trader who registers a company name or a business name must conduct a search for trademark applications and registrations prior to registration. These kinds of searches have their limitations as they won’t uncover common law trademarks. However there are professional trademark clearance services which yield more comprehensive results.

As a company name and/or business name is not a registered trademark a person contemplating the registration of a name should conduct a thorough endeavour to search for all prior common law and registered trademarks both domestically and internationally.

As pointed out above just because a company name is not technically a Trademark this does not mean that either a company name and/or business name cannot eventually perform the function of a trademark. There is no one single place where a person can search for all conflicting business, company names, commercial names, brands and unregistered common law trademarks.

There is no guarantee a name has not already been adopted in trade or commerce by another business as a trademark without being registered. In most countries trademark law recognises the existence of rights in a name acquired through prior use. If there is some evidence that a trademark is in existence, whether by registration or prior use, extensive enquiries should be undertaken prior to bearing the risk of filing a trademark. Your enquiries may include whether the business is in the same industry, the same geographical location, has the same or similar marketing channels, sells the same or closely related products or services and sells to the same customer base. The critical thing you should be trying to establish is whether customers are likely to confuse your business with another business’ goods or services. If there is any overlap, you should be very cautious, as you are risking potential legal action, and devoting a lot of money, time and effort to building a brand, only to risk being sued and having to rebuild your business by starting all over again with a new name.

Another business within your industry which is already using the same name in the same geographic region as you will be likely to have superior rights to a name if it is using the name publicly even if it hasn’t officially applied for trademark registration. You may believe a business will be indifferent to what another business is doing in a remote region of the world. However since the advent of the internet, the concept of location has assumed a completely new meaning and trademarks are increasingly colliding with domain names. Instead of being linked to specific territories, businesses are now competing for a presence on a global stage. Vast numbers of businesses, even local enterprises have put up their own websites, creating a potential for competition, confusion and conflict in the marketplace.

There is a doctrine called honest concurrent use in some jurisdictions where two trademarks operating in the same sphere will be allowed to co-exist harmoniously, however this is a rare occurrence.

International trademark owners have also proven to have been quite aggressive in hauling companies into foreign courts particularly where their trademark is well known or famous, even where there is little likelihood of confusion arising from the use of their mark.

Because so much business is now being done online, most businesses will want to be able to use their proposed mark as a domain name so that their customers can easily find them on the Web.

A company name, in and of itself, cannot be trademarked, as it first needs to be associated with a specific product or service before it becomes a trademark. Upon registration a company can become a registered trademark in one or more of a number of internationally agreed upon classes of goods and/or services recognised under the Nice Classification system. Equally a Company may acquire common law trademark status by gaining a reputation in the minds of the consuming public with the provision of a particular product and/or service, so that it operates as more than just a company name.

When Applying For Lawsuit Loans, Clarify Whether You Are Wearing Your Seatbelt

We all regret the number of lives lost each and every year due to injuries sustained in car crashes. They are certainly tragic, irrespective of the reasons behind them. It is important to note that it is estimated that 83% of the deaths occurring annually may be prevented by the proper use of seat belts and airbags. If you’re considering obtaining either lawsuit loans or settlement loans, it is important to clearly identify whether you were utilizing such a restraint at the time of the crash.

Every time we get behind the wheel of an automobile, we risk injuring others, as well as ourselves. It is very important that we utilize due-diligence when we are on the road. With the increased number of vehicles occupying the roadway, as well as an increasing number of elderly individuals driving on those roadways, the need to be observant when we are driving has never been more crucial.

Unfortunately, many times we get behind the wheel of a car and take very little thought of the possibility of an injury occurring. Fortunately, in the vast majority of cases, were able to to travel to and from our destination without incident. This may result in a lackadaisical approach to understanding the importance of utilizing your seatbelts and the importance of having an airbag that is functional in your vehicle.

Why would it be important to notify individuals whether you actually utilize your seatbelt in a car crash that occurred if you’re applying for either a lawsuit loan or a settlement loan? There are numerous reasons this would be important to take into consideration. However, one of the most important reasons will be the extent to which you exercised due-diligence when you’re on the roadway and the degree to which you attempted to mitigate damages sustained. This will also be an important factor with respect to other occupants of that vehicle involved in the crash. This is particularly true with all minors.

It is also important for you to notify your physician about whether you were wearing any type of a restraint at the time of the incident. There is a lot of information that a competent physician is able to glean from knowing whether such a restraint was used. For example, injuries sustained in a car crash by those who do not wear a seatbelt are often much more severe than those who do wear a seatbelt. Furthermore, individuals who wear a shoulder harness are much less likely to sustain some the shearing forces that will affect those individuals who merely employ a seat restraint. Although, airbags can be extremely helpful even in those instances in which only a seat restraint is used.

Always be truthful with those individuals who will be representing you in your lawsuit. This is true regarding your physician, your attorney, and those from whom you seek either a lawsuit loan or a settlement loan. Remember, lawsuit loans and settlement loans are non-recourse. Such funding will be reviewed very carefully. Any attempts to misrepresent the circumstances surrounding the car crash are likely to result in a denial of any request for litigation funding.

Five Steps to Avoid Online Defamation

As recently as 20 years ago, members of the press were pretty much the only people who had to worry about issues like defamation and libel. But with the explosion of social media in recent years, virtually anyone can have a platform and a mass audience with whom to share ideas. And that means virtually anyone can find themselves, unwittingly or otherwise, liable for defamation. It also means that topics reserved for mass communications and law students are now relevant for the public at large.

If you tweet, blog, tag or post, here are five steps to keep you out of defamation danger:

1) Know what constitutes defamation.

Just as its name suggests, defamation is when you defame another person through harmful statements about another person that you know or should know are false. Slander, when such statements are spoken, and libel, when they are written, are forms of defamation.

For example, tweeting that your boss is a sexual harassment nightmare when no such claims have been verified would be considered libelous. But tweeting that you just won a judgment against your boss for sexual harassment, if true, is safe.

2) Stick to facts; avoid opinions that could be construed as facts.

Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but it’s critical to distinguish the difference between opinion and fact. If you believe a politician lied about his or her campaign finances, for example, but it’s not been proven, it’s best to precede any verbal or written statements about that belief with the words “in my opinion.” It’s better yet to keep potentially defamatory thoughts to yourself.

3) No name-calling.

Even if you think the latest celebrity mistress is a home wrecker, name-calling can constitute character assassination. He or she may believe their paramour truly was separated at the time of the affair, in which case the home was already wrecked and your statement is false.

4) Let readers reach their own conclusions.

It’s likely that when faced with the facts, the same facts you encountered, many of your Facebook followers will view situations much the same way you do–without you exposing yourself to defamation claims.

5) Don’t retweet or link to someone else’s potential defamatory material.

Someone else may originate a rumor, but that doesn’t stop it from being untrue. Regardless of where a defamatory statement originated, anyone who repeats it is just as liable as the initial source.

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