Benefits of a Prenuptial Agreement

»Posted by on Jan 21, 2014 in Family Law | 0 comments

Premarital agreements are a mockery of “For richer, for poorer” – right?

For most people, planning a divorce before the wedding is unsettling to say the least. Some even say that couples who are confident in their love for each other have no need to sign a pre-nup. They may argue that such documents taint the sanctity of marriage.

Although these are reasonable arguments, a good chunk of first marriages end in divorce—up to 41%, according to some data. Signing a premarital agreement to divide assets before getting married may be a responsible decision for even the most secure couple. In fact, one could argue that premarital agreements are simply a way for couples to prove their love: they allow couples to protect each other in the event of a breakup by dividing their assets themselves beforehand, instead of letting a divorce court do it for them. If you and your spouse need legal assistance in this area, contacting a Cedar Rapids divorce attorney may help you both understand the process.

Premarital agreements could potentially save every couple grief. However, those with large amounts of debt, those expecting an inheritance, and business owners are very strongly advised to sign a prenup, according to divorce lawyers. Arenson & Maas, PLC, states on its website that legal assistance can help couples protect themselves and their families while dealing with “complex legalities.”

For those who remain uneasy about signing a prenup, “sunset clauses” may be a helpful crutch. These additions state that the document will no longer be valid after a certain number of years, or after children are born.

If you and your significant other one are getting married, seeking legal consultation to get more information about premarital agreements is a responsible and commendable decision.

read more

Car Accidents

»Posted by on Jan 10, 2014 in Auto Accidents, Personal Injury | 0 comments

Most people have been involved in at least one car accident in their lifetime. Car accidents happen all the time, and in some cases it involves one car and a hapless tree or telephone pole. In a multiple vehicle incident, with luck it is nothing more than a fender bender where an exchange of insurance details is usually enough to settle the matter. Unfortunately in many cases, property damage is the least of the involved parties’ problems.

A car in the U.S. typically travels at around 55 mph on the highway, and about 30 mph on city roads. At these speeds, a sudden deceleration caused by even a minor collision with another object can cause injury due to whiplash, impact, airbag deployment, seatbelt sign, or flying glass to the driver and passengers. A pedestrian hit by a car at 30 mph has a 50% chance of death. A head-on collision with or being rear-ended by another vehicle constitutes a slew of different types of injuries of varying levels of severity as well as property damage up to a total car wreck, depending on the speed of travel and the types of vehicles involved.

All this damage and injury sometimes occur through the coming together of a set of unfortunate circumstances with no one to blame. In most cases, however, form of negligence is at work. It is estimated that 28 people a day die from car accidents caused by drunk driving, many of them teenagers, and one person gets injured every 90 seconds. About 10% of all car crashes involve drunk driving. An article on the Pohl & Berk, LLP website state that aside from the physical damage, car accidents often result in deep emotional trauma.

Drunk driving and other types of negligence which causes injury or death render the driver criminally and civilly liable. Those who have been injured or otherwise harmed by a negligent driver may be eligible for compensation. Contact a competent personal injury lawyer, such as Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.®, experienced in dealing with car accidents to get an evaluation of the case.

read more

Dangerous Property

»Posted by on Jan 8, 2014 in Personal Injury, Premises Liability | 0 comments

There is a phrase that describes dangerous property: an accident waiting to happen. This can range from a wet tiled surface to a rotten floor boards. While these circumstances certainly constitute a high risk of someone getting inadvertently injured, they are not enough to constitute premises liability. One of the basic requirements for this to apply is reasonable care taken by a visitor.

The liability of the property owner, lessee, or anyone else that has control of the premises is not automatically presumed even if the injured party has a legal right to be there. That is, the injured party is a visitor or invitee and not a trespasser. While the property owner has a duty of care towards people who may legally be on the property to ensure that no harm comes to them, the visitor or invitee also has a duty to take reasonable care to avoid harm.

For example, if the wet tiled surface is on the perimeter of a swimming pool, those who traverse the surface should not be running or using footwear that tend to slide on smooth surfaces to avoid slipping. Visitors should also avoid portions of the property where the surface is obviously unstable. Visiting children should be kept away from or be supervised when in the kitchen, near a grill, around water, pets, or unsecured high places.

On the other hand, property owners who know or should have known about the potential dangers of the property should give adequate verbal or written warning about these dangers to visitors. Areas that are inherently unsafe should have restricted access. According to Pohl & Berk, LLP lawyers, failure to take these measures may constitute negligence by the property owner.

When injury occurs on a property despite reasonable care taken by the visitor or licensee, a claim of premises liability may be eligible. Consult a premises liability lawyer to assess the case.

read more

Truck and Bus Accidents

»Posted by on Jan 6, 2014 in Auto Accidents, Personal Injury | 0 comments

What happens when a large truck with a heavy load and bus full of people collide? Disaster, that’s what. Truck and bus accidents by themselves are bad enough, but brought together they are sure to result in serious injury if not death, and considerable property damage.

More than 270,000 truck accidents and about 56,000 bus accidents occur in the US in 2011 which taken together is approximately 6% of the total number of vehicular accidents. Roughly 4,000 people were killed in these accidents, and 112,000 were injured. There are no statistics available for the number of truck-bus accidents, but one can imagine that they probably added as a whole to the count for the fatalities and injuries.

Because truck and bus drivers operate commercial vehicles, they are held to a higher licensing standard than a regular driver. They are expected to drive defensively and circumspectly because they operate vehicles that pose a significant threat to other vehicles as well as their own passengers. They also drive considerable distances, which make the likelihood of an accident higher than for other drivers.

Failure to take the requisite care and failure to follow safety regulations constitute professional negligence. According to the Habush Habush & Rottier website, this makes the driver and possibly the truck or bus company owner liable for property damage, civil damages resulting from personal injury or wrongful death, as well as the pain and suffering from emotional and physical trauma.

If you or an immediate family member has been involved in a truck, bus, or truck-bus accident because of the negligence of the driver or owner and which resulted in injury or death, it is not right that the victims should be burdened with the financial losses of the incident on top of everything else. At the very least, the negligent party or parties should be held responsible for expenses associated with the accident. Consult with a personal injury lawyer adept at handling cases involving truck or bus accidents and get the litigation process started.

read more

The BP Claim Process

»Posted by on Jan 4, 2014 in Oil Spills | 0 comments

Nothing prepared the inhabitants and business owners of the area affected by the BP oil spill for the devastation in caused on their health, finances, and environment. More than three years down the road, the effects continue to be felt by the population. According to a Williams Kherkher website, BP PLC has denied nearly three-fourths of the individual and business claims made with the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF), which processes the funds slated for the Economic and Property Damage Class Action Settlement Agreement.

In light of the aggressive vetoing of BP, bolstered by the order of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to investigate allegations of fraudulent or overpaid claims, the affected population can only wait for the final ruling to be handed down. In the meantime, the thousands of claims that have been denied will have to go through the BP Claims Appeal process to get the compensation they deserve. According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, filing a BP claim and appeal is much more restrictive than filing for a car insurance claim, for instance.

For one thing, insurance companies are strictly regulated, and have to comply to avoid being liable for an insurance bad faith claim. The BP claim process is governed by the rules laid down by BP itself, which proved to be far from inviolable when BP decides they are inconvenient. The claims appeal process is also heavily weighted in favor of BP, laid down in extremely strict timelines that would need the professional handling of an experienced BP claims appeal lawyer to follow. There are only 44 days allowed from the eligibility notice to final proposal, and preparing the paperwork for the claims appeal can be overwhelming for the uninitiated.

It would be a mistake to try to handle a BP claims appeal without the benefit of competent legal representation, as many who have tried can attest to. To have a fighting chance to get the deserved compensation, appellants with a legitimate claim have to face reality and fight fire with fire.

read more

Defective Drugs

»Posted by on Jan 3, 2014 in Personal Injury, Pharmaceutical Liability | 0 comments

“Defective drugs” is a misnomer insofar as they are actually formulated and manufactured precisely as they were intended. They only said to be defective when they pose unanticipated health risks to those who use them. While this may be due to a failure to test properly, a failure to warn, or misleading marketing, it would appear that the only defective component in the equation is the manufacturer.

Side effects are to be expected with pharmaceutical products, but the benefits are expected to outweigh them. Among the most controversial products in the market today are contraceptive products, such as Yazm Yasmin, Ocella, and NuvaRing. According to Williams Kherkher, the worst thing about products such as NuvaRing is that millions of women used them believing they were safe, and the manufacturers did nothing to disabuse them of this notion even though studies had shown that NuvaRing encouraged potentially deadly levels of blood clot formation 6.5 times more than in women who did not use Merck and Co.’s product.

The same could be said for Bayer Pharmaceutical’s Yaz, Yasmin, and the generic version Ocella. An article on The National Injury Law Center website pointed out that numerous studies showed that the 4th generation combination contraceptives containing drospirenone (Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella) consistently raised the risk of blood clot formation in women, leading to higher risks of stroke, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. This prompted the Food and Drug Administration to launch the investigation, but Yaz had already been on the market for 5 years, and Yasmin for 10 years.

While the harm these products have caused may not be reversed, the companies that allowed the products to be distributed so widely knowing the risks they posed to the users can still be made to pay for their negligence. Consult with a defective drugs lawyer specializing in filing claims for the particular product that caused serious harm or death to the user and get an assessment of the case.

read more