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Medical Debt and Bankruptcy


Posted By on Jul 24, 2017

The average person can accumulate debt because of many reasons, ranging from the understandable like unexpected expenses to inexcusable like reckless credit card use. One of the most common causes of bankruptcy is medical debt, which is understandable, because it usually involves a huge amount of money that an average person will find hard to pay back.

What a bankruptcy case can do with your medical debt will depend on what kind of bankruptcy you qualify for. According to the website of Erin B. Shank, P.C., an average person may go for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. One has advantages over the other.

Bankruptcy

In the event of a bankruptcy, all your debt will be divided into categories, such as secured debts and unsecured debts. Examples of secured debts are mortgage and car loans, and anything else that has collateral, while unsecured debts are those that do not have collateral. Unsecured debts are further categorized into priority and nonpriority general unsecured.

Priority debts are obligations, like alimony, child support, and taxes, while nonpriority general unsecured debts are those that can be wiped out, like credit cards and medical bills.

Chapter 7

In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the trustee takes some of your nonexempt assets, sells them, and uses the proceeds to pay creditors. Your discharge can clear your medical debt, along with other nonpriority general unsecured debts, like those in your credit cards. However, it is important to note that you should still qualify for Chapter 7 first, meaning that your income should be low enough.

Also, a low enough income does not necessarily mean that Chapter 7 is the right kind of bankruptcy for you. Chapter 13 has its own benefits.

Chapter 13

In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your general unsecured debts, including your medical bills, are bundled into a repayment plan. This plan is often adjusted in a way that makes the payment less financially stressful, and this is usually calculated having your income, expenses, and the amount the creditors would have received if you have filed for Chapter 7 instead, in mind. After completing the payment period, which often just pay a percentage of the total amount of debt, the remaining balance is discharged.

The good thing about Chapter 13 is the fact that you are able to keep your properties. The most important things about bankruptcy is knowing your current situation and bankruptcy options and weighing the pros and cons of these options.

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What is Spousal Rape?


Posted By on Jun 6, 2017

What is Spousal Rape?

Spousal rape, also known as marital rape, occurs when spouses engage in sexual activity without the consent of one of them. It can be a tricky legal matter. Firstly, it is easy to believe that the parties engage in consensual sex all the time because they are a couple. Secondly, the first reason will make it harder to prove that a sexual activity has been non-consensual, especially when compared to rape charges against strangers.
According to the website of Horst Law, spousal rape is considered a Class B Felony, with a maximum fine of $25,000 and prison time of about 8 to 30 years. This is just for Tennessee, but it gives you a clear idea on how jurisdictions handle spousal rape cases.

Different Manifestations

Stranger rape is often a one-time non-consensual sexual activity, but you cannot say the same for spousal rape. Usually, spousal rape is a repetitive occurrence. Below are some of the instances where spousal rape can occur:

  • Sex because of force – It doesn’t matter whether you are spouses or not, because if you force another person to have sex with you, it is considered rape, whether it involves direct violence or not.
  • Sex because of manipulation – If you directly or indirectly manipulate your spouse, like when you lie of him or her being bad at bed or being a bad partner just to get more sex, you may be raping your spouse because he or she may just be forced to have sex with you for your own satisfaction only.
  • Sex because of threats – If you threaten your husband or wife for sex, like when you claim that you are going to hurt him or her or destroy something he or she cares about, it can be considered spousal rape, because your spouse is just complying to avoid harm.
  • Sex without consent – The main idea behind rape is that it is non-consensual, so if your partner does not have the ability to give his or her consent, like when he or she is intoxicated, and you force yourself into him or her, it can be considered spousal rape.
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Benefits of Ridesharing


Posted By on Mar 11, 2017

Ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft are slowly dominating the transportation market, eating up the precious shares of taxis and other modes of transportation. This may be bad news for taxi drivers and the like, but it may be good news for everybody else.

Ridesharing has several benefits for drivers, passengers, and even other motorists on the road. It is fair to say that the losing of taxi drivers is worth it when we look at society in a broader perspective.

More accessible mode of transport
For other transportation services, you may need to go to proper stations just so you can utilize them. You may need to stand outside while hailing or waiting for a ride. You cannot say the same for ridesharing. This kind of service is accessible through the commuter’s mobile phone, so he can just designate a pickup point and just wait for his driver to arrive.

This accessibility is particularly beneficial for those with physical limitations, like those who are under the influence of alcohol. It prevents them from forcing themselves to go to transportation service stations or drive.

Convenience of travel
Ridesharing companies do background checks on driver applicants, and require relatively new vehicles and good insurance plans. This ensures the convenience, safety, and security of potential passengers. Even those who have their own vehicles may want to try Uber and Lyft. They can arrive at work, school, or anywhere else they are going feeling more calm and relaxed by not being forced to drive and fight through traffic.

Less vehicles on the road
Since many car owners are starting to realize the convenient and economical nature of ridesharing, more and more are using the services and leaving their vehicles at home. In effect, there are less vehicles on the road, leading to less vehicular traffic, cleaner air, and better view of the surroundings.

These benefits may also translate to fewer traffic accidents, fewer health conditions related to dirty surroundings, and a better enjoyment of life.

Potential Problems
Even though ridesharing has its benefits, it is far from perfect. Having background checks on drivers will not completely filter out negligent and reckless behaviors. Requiring relatively new cars will not completely prevent defects, especially if the defects are associated with the driver’s lack of maintenance.

Requiring good insurance can also become a problem if an accident and injury has occurred. According to the website of the Mokaram Law Firm, many insurance companies will do whatever possible to pay the least amount of damages to accident victims.

Despite these potential problems, many people are still using the available ridesharing services. It seems that they are ready to face the potential problems, in exchange to the surefire benefits to drivers, passengers, and everybody else.

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Temporary and Permanent Disability in Worker’s Compensation

Getting injured in the job does not only affect your general health, but also your overall capacity to earn a living for yourself and your family. There are compensation benefits to help injured employees with these financial burdens, and these benefits can be classified into two – temporary disability and permanent disability.

Temporary Disability

Temporary disability refers to injuries or illnesses that are not permanent. To be covered by temporary disability claims, the employee should not have been able to work or have been hospitalized for more than three consecutive days. These claims are further broken down into two categories – temporary partial disability and temporary total disability.
In temporary partial disability, the worker has partially lost his ability to work and only temporarily. In other words, he will not be able to fully perform all his duties and so the employer cannot give him proper work compensation. A temporary partial disability claim will allow the worker to receive supplementary income equal to 2/3 of his actual compensation and benefits that have been lost because of injury or illness.
In temporary total disability, the worker has completely lost his ability to work and only temporarily. This means that the worker will totally not be able to perform his duties at work. Those who have temporary total disability claims will typically enjoy a bi-monthly check equivalent to 2/3 of their actual wage until they can go back to work.

Permanent Disability

Permanent disability claims involve those who have sustained injuries and illnesses that will last a lifetime. Like temporary disability, permanent disability is further broken down into permanent parial disability and permanent total disability.
In permanent partial disability, a part of the worker’s capacity has been permanently lost. Benefits for this kind of claim can be either schedule loss of use (SLU) or non-schedule. SLU benefits last for a certain number of weeks, depending on the affected body part. The body parts are usually involve the upper and lower extremity, eyesight, and hearing. In the case of non-schedule, benefits are calculated based on the worker’s permanent loss of earning capacity, and this usually involves body parts not covered in SLU, such as the heart and brain.
In permanent total disability, a person’s wage-earning capacity has been completely lost, and he may receive a bi-montly check equivalent to 2/3 of his income for the rest of his life.
It is sad enough that you have been injured in the job. But things could get worse. Insurance companies and others have the tendency to deny workers of the compensation they deserve, but it is a good thing that we have compensation lawyers, such as those from Spiros Law, PC. A workplace injury or illness can be a challenging part of your life, but legal help can at least aid you to overcome the financial side of it.

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Motorcycle Crashes


Posted By on Mar 9, 2017

Common Causes of Motorcycle Crashes

Motorcyclists are very vulnerable motorists. They are some of the smallest vehicles on the road, so a collision with larger vehicles can be devastating, not to mention that they are not wrapped with metal that can absorb impact unlike car and truck drivers.

Motorcycles are also more economical compared to other vehicles, so more and more people are using them as alternatives. This also means that more and more people are at risk of the already vulnerable motorcycles.

It is good to know that the motorcyclists are at least protected by legal professionals, like those who specialize in motorcycle accident injuries such as the Abel Law Firm and Hach & Rose. But do you really want to injure yourself and go to court? Preventing motorcycle accidents altogether is obviously a better choice. Below is a list of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents for your knowledge and safety.

Dangerous Maneuvers

Since motorcycles are smaller compared to the other vehicles on the road, they are generally easier to stir. Also because of this, motorcyclists become too complacent and reckless when it comes to negotiating curves, turns, changing lanes, weaving, and overtaking. All these things are dangerous because they can potentially cause the motorcyclist to hit curbs, crash into obstructions such as trees, or collide with other vehicles on the road. If you are maneuvering dangerously, you are also making your position unpredictable to the other motorists around you.

Speeding

Riding motorcycles can give you adrenaline rush, particularly because of the roller coaster-like sensation that can result from speed and air. This is only one of the reasons why motorcyclists tend to travel at a high speed, putting them at risk of losing control of their motorcycles. They are also giving themselves and the others around them very little reaction time or wiggle room to react to unexpected scenarios. This can easily cause a traffic accident.

External Factors

Sometimes, motorcycle accidents are not directly caused by motorcyclists, but by the elements around them, like weather conditions, defective roads, obstructions, and other reckless motorists. Weather conditions can affect road visibility and road effectiveness. Road defects, such as potholes and traffic light malfunctions, and obstructions like rocks and tree branches, are liabilities and can result into misunderstandings and unexpected stimuli. According to a motorcycle accident article on the website of the Houston personal injury lawyers of Williams Kherkher, mechanical failures and faulty motorcycle designs are also common causes of motorcycle accidents.

The best way to avoid motorcycle accidents is by driving safely. Operate your motorcycle according to your skills and be cautious of foreign objects such as other vehicles and road obstructions. Also maintain your motorcycle to ensure that it is in top condition, to avoid problems such as mechanical failures.

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The Dangers of Bard G2 IVC Filter

An IVC filter, or an interior vena cava filter, is a spider-shaped medical device that is surgically put inside a patient who is at risk of blood clots and pulmonary embolism, often because of traumatic injuries sustained in car accidents or other medical issues.

One such filter is known as the Bard G2 IVC Filter, which has been known to cause injuries and complications to unsuspecting patients. It is a good thing that the law as well as the Bard G2 IVC Filter lawsuit attorneys of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® are on your side on these kinds of injuries and complications.
But what exactly are the dangers of a Bard G2 IVC Filter? The dangers generally involve the device moving to another area, particularly areas where it becomes hard or impossible to extract, the device having detached components like how its spider-like legs can be fractured and travel to another part of the body, and the device piercing organs.
These issues can cause the following injuries and complications:

  • Blood vessel, tissue, and organ perforation
  • Death
  • Internal bleeding
  • More blood clots
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Punctured vena cava
  • Severe pain

It is also important to note these injuries and complications not just occur when the filter is already in place. Sometimes, there can be issues on the insertion and removal procedure.
When inserting the filter, the patient may suffer from access site bleeding, bruising, and puncturing, incorrect placement of the device, incorrect positioning of the device, and defective filters. When retrieving the Bard G2 IVC Filter, the patient may suffer from perforations, long surgery times because of difficulty of retrieving the device, and other factors that may prevent retrieval like obstructions such as large clots and scars.
It is unfortunate that a device that should protect you and a procedure that should ensure your safety are the very things that put you in harm’s way. Again, it is a good thing to know that the law and its representatives are there to defend you in product liability and medical malpractice.

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Keeping your space spic and span is an important step in keeping everything organized. At first, we all think that we know how to pack but when we are actually doing it already, we begin to realize the difficulty of keeping everything organized. The truth of the matter is that you do not have to go through all those difficulties with the help of storage facilities.

The website of Austin storage units reveal that these facilities can make storing convenient, secure, and professional. But choosing the right facility can prove to be a daunting task. It is worth keeping in mind that you will be storing your own stuff in the facility so check them out first before choosing. Here are some tips on making the right choice:

Make sure that the storage facility has put in place adequate security measures

  • Check if the storage units in the facility are the right size for your needs and that it has the capability to cope with your future needs just in case you need to increase or decrease the space you will rent.
  • The facility offers space for goods that you want to store. For example, you are planning to store valuable items and you want an enclosed unit so your items will not be visible outside.
  • The storage facility is tidy and well-maintained
  • The facility is free from pests. The last thing you would want to see is cockroaches or rats on your belongings
  • If you have a lot of things to store, make sure that the facility has enough space for your selected removal vehicle.
  • While most storage units are secured, you can always bring your own lock for added security
  • Look for a facility that is adaptable to temperature change. The unit should be well insulated or double wrapped.

Keeping these tips in mind will help ensure that the items you will store will be safe and will not get lost.

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Work-related injuries are on a rise lately. When employees incur an injury in their workplace, it could mean huge costs for the employer. Workplace injuries cost employers around $1.2 trillion worth of losses annually due to employee health and productivity issues. For this reason, employers have now focused on reducing the incidence of workplace related injuries.

In order to reduce work-related injuries, employers are now utilizing functional employment testing. These tests are designed to match the physical capabilities of new hires with the demands of their potential jobs. Functional capacity testers at WorkSTEPS understand the importance of creating a medically safe, legally compliant, scientific and objective means of matching an employee’s functional capabilities with the essential functions of their job.

Functional employment testing has been in use since World War II in order to efficiently use the pool of workers available in the US working for the war to effectively place them in appropriate jobs. These tests can be done separately or combined with pre-employment medicals. Functional employment testing not only help safely place new hires in jobs but also monitor their progress throughout recovery from an injury and illness as well as establish vocational counseling and planning.

In addition, these types of tests help determine two things: 1) whether the prospective employee can perform essential job functions with or without accommodation and 2) whether they represent a direct threat to themselves or other people. Functional employment testing requires a careful analysis of the job to be tested. The components of the test must be tailored to the specific work setting. For the job to be valid, it should represent the applicant’s ability to perform the job.

Certain employment practices have already been ruled as invalid as they failed to measure important job behaviors. For instance, using height and weight as a criteria for employment has been deemed illegal. If fitness tests are incorporated into pre-employment screenings, then it should demonstrate that fitness is related to job performance.

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The workplace is supposed to be a place where equality and fairness should be practiced. Regardless of race, nationality, gender, or disability, all employees must be afforded equal rights that they deserve. However, this has not been the case over the years. According to statistics released by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, there has a total of 89,385 charges of employment discrimination.

The website of Cary Kane LLP reveals that workers are protected against discrimination when being hired, fired, promoted, or mistreated. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits employers from engaging in employment discrimination. The law also gives you the right to file an employment discrimination case against your employer or co-worker who is mistreating you. There are certain steps that you can undertake when filing a discrimination case:

Talk to the Offender

The first thing you can do is resolve the issue in a peaceful manner. You can talk to the person who is mistreating you. This may seem awkward at first but such action can help you prove some facts should you decide to file a lawsuit. As the complainant, you need to prove that the harassment was unwelcome and you did not like it. If the situation is not resolved, you can put all your concerns in writing.

File A Complaint Within Your Company

If all your efforts proved futile and the offender continues to discriminate you, the next step is to lodge an internal complaint. You can check your employee handbook or ask human resources on the ways to file a harassment or discrimination complaint. By filing a complaint, you are giving your company an opportunity to conduct an investigation or resolve the problem. At the same time, you are also protecting your rights.

File An Administrative Charge

Before you can file a harassment or discrimination charge in court, you are legally obliged to file an administrative charge. If you don’t, your lawsuit will just be dismissed. Most states require employees to file an administrative charge with a fair employment practices agency in their state before filing a lawsuit. Keep in mind that there is only a short deadline for filing an administrative charge and for filing a lawsuit upon receipt of your right to sue letter.

Filing The Lawsuit

Upon receipt of your right to sue letter from the state or Federal administrative agency, you may now file a lawsuit. At this stage, you will need the help of a lawyer to guide you throughout the process.

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One of the critical issues that need to be determined in a child support case is proving paternity. In awarding child support to the father, there are certain factors that need to be studied by the court. According to the website of Arenson Law Group, PC, unless paternity is established, the father may not be allowed to see or support a child. There are different rules that prevail when it comes to proving paternity.

Agreed or Presumed Paternity

In a child support case, the court classifies fathers as acknowledged or presumed. So what’s the difference? An acknowledged father is a biological father of a child whose parents are unmarried. In this case, paternity is established if the father admits it in court or the parents or agreed upon by the parents. In this case, an acknowledged father pays for child support.

On the other hand, establishing paternity for a presumed father is based upon certain conditions that need to be true unless he or the mother proves otherwise:

  • The man was married to the mother when the child was conceived or born. In some states, however, a man is not considered a presumed father if the couple has separated.
  • The man tried to marry the mother and the child was conceived or born during that period
  • The man married the mother after the birth and agreed to either have his name on the birth certificate or provide child support
  • The man welcomed the child into his home and openly accepted the child as his own

The presumed father must pay child support

Equitable Parent

The last decade has seen a great deal of changes in the law. Nowadays, in some states, a spouse who is not the legal parent is qualified for custody or visitation under the principle of equitable parent. This is applicable if the man and the child have a close relationship and regard themselves as parent and child or when the biological parent encouraged the relationship. If the man was granted equitable parent rights, he will also shoulder child support.

Alleged Father

When an unmarried man impregnates a woman, he is often referred to as the alleged father. He pays for child support if the court establishes his paternity of he acknowledges that he is the father. He also has visitation rights and may seek custody.

Stepfather

A stepfather is the spouse of a legal mother but is not the biological father of the woman’s children. They are not required to pay support unless he legally adopts the children.

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