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Defining custody

When it comes to child custody battles, the situation is often a complete surprise to those getting involved. Despite the fact that child custody issues arise for a large percentage of America, for those not directly involved in some way already, the whole process can be baffling.

Most know that after a divorce, parents can have different custody arrangements, often with the mother getting the bulk of the time with the kids.

In order to help those entering into this process now or in the near future, here are a few important custody terms to memorize, courtesy of the law firm Higdon, Hardy and Zuflacht.

Physical custody—this refers to where the child or children will physically reside. It can be the same or different from the following term.

Legal custody—this term refers to who has the legal right to make decisions for the child or children. These decisions can include choices about health and education. Should a child require care, the person who would be called and would make all decisions would be the person with legal custody. As mentioned above, this is usually the person who has physical custody of the child, at least part of the time.

Joint custody—this is a slightly more well-known term and refers to an arrangement that allows both parents to have physical custody of the child. This can be evenly split time or may involve a different arrangement (one parent during the week and one for weekends, or one parent during the school year and the other parent for summer and holidays, for instance).

Sole custody—Again, a term that is more common in the average American life. This means only one parent has physical and legal custody of the child. This is common in situations of abuse and other circumstances where one parent seems incapable (or uninterested) in caring for the child or children.

Split custody—A rarer situation in which siblings are split between the two parents. This can mean the children are permanently with one parent or the other, or that the children rotate between the parents. This situation may occur when it seems siblings are incapable of getting along and would be better off separated.

These are only the beginning terms needed to understand custody issues, but they do point in the direction of the options available to those who are about to discuss such a complicated and emotional choice. There is no right or wrong way to settle custody issues, and it’s important that all parties are aware of the situation in front of them and what each term (and each situation) would mean for them individually and as a member of the family.

By creating this simple guide, I hope that I have helped some families at least a little bit to be better prepared for what is ahead.

First Steps After a Car Accident

Getting into a car accident is a frightening and often frustrating experience, particularly if you know that you did not cause it. You may not know what to do or where to begin after your accident; nevertheless, it is essential that you take the appropriate steps in order to protect your rights. Even if you do not intend to sue, these steps are essential when moving forward with insurance providers and claims adjusters, and they can help ensure you receive the money you need to recover from your accident.

After any sort of car accident, no matter the severity, the most important thing to do is to gather information and document everything you can about the scene. Although most people know to exchange information with others involved with the accident, there are several other key pieces of information that you should make sure to gather as quickly as possible. According to an article at FindLaw, after an accident some of the best steps to take include:

  • Calling the police: always call a police officer to make an official police report of the scene. This will provide an unbiased record of the extent of the damage any injuries that occurred
  • Taking pictures: show the damage on both your vehicle and any other vehicles involved
  • Talking to witnesses: ask for their names and numbers and any statement they can make about what they saw
  • Calling your insurance company: promptly inform your insurance provider about the accident and file a claim
  • Documenting medical treatment: if you require any medical treatment after your accident, always keep a record of this information as well as test results and doctors statements that indicate the severity of your injuries
  • Speaking with an attorney: car accident attorneys can help you determine what kind of compensation you should expect and will help ensure that you receive it

Each of these steps will not only make the process simpler moving forward, but it will also help you make a case in your favor, and receive appropriate compensation

Acquiring and documenting as much information as possible about your accident is essential, as this will help prove your case, no matter what action you decide to take. Even if you believe that there was no significant damage to yourself or your vehicle after the accident, you may discover underlying problems or concerns at later point in time. You should not have to pay for an accident that result from another person’s action, and this documentation will help to prove and demonstrate that you were not at fault.

After a serious car accident, victims often suffer serious physical, emotional, and financial consequences. You should not have to pay for damages caused by this accident, if were not at fault. In this case, you have the right to file a lawsuit against the other driver and receive compensation for your losses. The money you receive can help you pay for damages to your vehicle, medical bills, and rehabilitation costs. Click here to learn more about the legal process and your rights after an accident.

Truck Accidents

According to a report compiled by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 4,311 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes in 2015. Each day, millions of Americans share the road with large commercial trucks, and as important as these trucks are to our national economy, they’re indisputably dangerous as well. Since large trucks aren’t likely to go anywhere anytime soon, it’s important to acknowledge the serious risks that such vehicles introduce to the roads.

Causes of truck accidents

As the lawyers at the Sampson Law Firm explain, truck accidents can be caused by a variety of factors including the following:

  • Drunk driving: regular crashes caused by intoxication can already be damaging, but crashes caused by 18 wheelers can result in a catastrophic accident with high dollar damages. Financial damages for victims often cover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and wrongful death.
  • Truck driver error/negligence: covers instances of reckless driving, cell phone use, improperly loaded or secured cargo, failure to check blind spots before switching lanes, and driving while drowsy.
  • Truck defect or malfunction: defects and malfunctions most commonly fall into two categories—tire defects or brake malfunctions. These issues can be hazardous for truck drivers themselves in addition to other drivers on the road.
  • Trucking company negligence: covers instances in which companies fail to properly maintain their fleet or operate within safety regulations.
  • No-zone truck accidents: covers instances in which companies have failed to train their drivers to check their numerous (“no zone”) blind spots before changing lanes or turning.

Given the high-stakes nature of truck accident cases, injured (or otherwise wronged) parties would be wise to consult with an experienced truck accident lawyer before proceeding.

Is Divorce Mediation the Right Divorce Process for You?

Is Divorce Mediation the Right Divorce Process for You?

Ending a marital union through divorce and making decisions regarding divorce-related issues can be very painful and emotional for some individuals. This is why many rather choose a divorce process that is conducted outside of the courtroom, where everything are in the form of argumentation, is tension-filled, and is witnessed by anyone who would want to sit in as spectator. Despite the air of conflict and hostility in the courtroom, there are divorce cases that can be settled only in courts due to the failure of spouses to reach an agreement.

In contrast to a court-litigated divorce case, are alternative procedures, which are private, much faster to settle and much cheaper, and, most important of all, allow spouses to make their own decisions as well as arrive at such decisions in a manner that will let them keep treating each other amicably and with respect.

One alternative process is called mediation, which is performed with the help of an impartial third party mediator. Divorce Mediation is a private divorce procedure that is aimed at helping you and your spouse arrive at the most ideal solutions to all divorce-related issues, which may include child custody, visitation rights, child support, division of assets and properties and spousal support or alimony. While the presence of a lawyer (to represent you) is not strictly required during the mediation sessions, having one or consulting with one may be vital as this may help you understand what you should ask for during the negotiation process, what decisions you can make and agree to and if the final draft of the agreement or decisions arrived at merit your consent and signature.

Mediated divorce can take about three months to finish, or may be sooner, depending on how often you and your spouse agree to meet. Its cost, which may be divided between you and your spouse, falls from $3,000 to $4,500 (excluding the fee for the lawyer you will consult with).

As stated by The Maynard Law Firm, “Mediation provides couples who have disagreements with a low-pressure opportunity to work through those disagreements in the presence of a neutral mediator. The role of the mediator is not to pass judgment or to make a binding decision on your behalf; mediators do not have that kind of power. Instead, divorce mediation will be about finding creative solutions to those problems that have prevented you and your partner from being able to finalize your divorce agreement.”

Divorce mediation, without doubt, offers lots of benefits and advantages; however, determining first if you and your spouse are willing to settle all divorce-related issues amicably before choosing mediation is important. Entering into this divorce procedure without really intending to sacrifice some of your personal interests will only make the whole procedure a waste of your time and other resources.

The Dangers of Reckless Driving

Some car accidents happen because of honest errors, but there are also car accidents that occur because of the intentional recklessness of drivers. The most common reckless behaviors include speeding, distracted driving, street racing, dangerous maneuvering, and negligent errors such as not signaling when turning and running through a red light.

Getting injured because of the recklessness of another is perhaps one of the most tragic things that can happen in a person on the road. In fact, reckless driving has become a serious cause of injury on the road that there are legal professionals who specialize on it, such as the lawyers from Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®.

But what exactly are the dangers of reckless driving? They are listed below so you can avoid them yourself and avoid other motorists who are doing reckless behaviors.

Less reaction time
If you are speeding, tailgating, and distracted driving, you have less time to react on stimulus on the road, such as curves and turns, other vehicles, pedestrians, street signs and lights, and unexpected events like a vehicle in front of you suddenly hitting the brakes.

More prone to crashes and collisions
All manifestations of recklessness put not just you into the risk of accidents, but also the others around you. Driving drunk can make you crash into another car or jump the curb and hit a bystander. Not yielding to a red light may cause a collision with a vehicle that has the right of way. Literally any act of recklessness can cause a crash or a collision.

More devastating accidents
Reckless behaviors, particularly driving in excessive speeds, create more devastating accidents. The mere speed can increase the force of an impact, resulting into deadlier injuries, more severe property damages, and bigger traffic jams. The most devastating injuries are fatal or lifelong, such as brain damages, spinal cord issues such as paralysis, and amputations.

Dock Accidents

Accidents involving cruise ships have been getting more media attention, especially after the tragedy on January 13, 2012, which placed the Italian cruise liner Costa Concordia on the limelight. The Costa Concordia is one of the largest cruise ships in the world; it carried more than 3,206 passengers and 1,023 crew members, when it sank after hitting a rock underwater off Isola del Giglio, Tuscany.

Causes of cruise ship accidents can be natural or products of human negligence or recklessness. Contrary to what many believe that the worst accidents happen to a ship only while it is in the middle of the ocean, fatal accidents can also occur even at the pier, while the ship is docked.

Sometimes an accident that involves a docked cruise ship can turn out really bad because it can cause severe or fatal injuries, not only to passengers and crew members, but to dock workers and/or pedestrians as well. And, with so many cruise liners, freight carriers, and other equipment around, it would be hard to predict the severity of injuries and the degree of physical damage a dock accident can result to.

Some of the accidents that can occur while a ship is in the pier include: slip and fall which can cause mild to serious back injuries; falling cargo or cargo container, which can easily crush a person to death; workers accidentally getting hit by a cargo container (while it is being loaded on a container ship); fire breaking out is a ship’s cargo storage; dock workers being thrown off of their boats while working on a ship’s mooring lines (this usually happens when a ship pulls out from the port too soon, giving workers no time to clear the area).

Accidents occurring in docks can be very burdensome to one who gets injured. Aside from the pain and suffering a victim has to experience, the maritime law can be very confusing for him/her to comprehend, plus the fact that filing a lawsuit against those responsible for the accident (after the tedious process of proving liability) can be done in a specific court only.

The Pros and Cons of Some Common Roof Types

Renovating your roof can take a lot of time, effort, and expenses, so it’s important to make sure that the materials you chose complement your situation. Deciding on what type of materials to use for your roof will depend on considerations like durability, price, and how a certain type of roofing materials can weather the climate in your area.

Asphalt shingles are among the most widely used roof types because of its affordability and how easy it can be installed. They can even be installed on top of existing roof fixtures, making the whole process quick and hassle free. However, despite being fire-resistant and lightweight, asphalt shingles can deteriorate faster than most other types of roofing.

An alternative to asphalt shingles are those made of wood. While wooden shingles or shakes can be a bit more expensive, they can provide good better insulation than most other types of roofing materials. Unfortunately, considering how easy it is for wood to become damaged and rot over time, using wooden shingles isn’t the most ideal roofing solution for humid climates.

Those that want to make use of roof types that don’t require as much maintenance as asphalt and wooden shingles can make use of tiled roofing. Tiles are the most flexible in terms of aesthetic design, and you can be sure to find something that will suit the style of your home. The only down side to this type of flexibility is the price tag. Tiles are also much heavier than other roofing materials, requiring extra support from the roof framing.

Metal roofing is another good alternative that’s only slightly more expensive that asphalt shingles. Best of all, it provides the most effective solution in protecting a structure from fire, rotting, and other environmental factors. Unfortunately, metal roofs can make a lot of noise during particularly strong rainstorms.

There are many other types of roofing materials you can use for your home. Restorations and renovations aren’t one man jobs, however, so it would be best to consult with expert contractors to find out more about what will work best for your home’s structure. The experts at Ware Landscaping provide excellent service in Chicago, Illinois and other nearby areas.

Types of Brain Injuries Explained

Brain injuries result from a wide range of accidents such as slip and falls, car accidents, boating accidents, and other daily accidents. According to the Toronto Personal injury lawyers of Mazin & Associates, PC, injuries can range from mild to extremely severe. It will depend on the type and amount of force that affects the head. It may have an impact on one, several, or all areas of the brain. Here we will look at the different types of brain injury.

Traumatic Brain Injury

From the name itself, traumatic brain injury results from a trauma to the head. This may range from various causes such as road traffic accidents, assault, falls, and accidents at home or work. When suffering from traumatic brain injury, an individual experiences a period of unconsciousness, or feels sick and dizzy. According to estimates, traumatic brain injuries represent 75 – 80% of all head injuries.

The effects of traumatic brain injury may depend on several factors which may include the type, location, and severity of injury. It may have various symptoms ranging from physical, emotional, and behavioral effects. For symptoms that persist or cause problems, the injured individual may require rehabilitation.

Acquired Brain Injury

Acquired brain injury results from strokes, tumors, anoxia, hypoxia, toxins, degenerative diseases, and/or conditions not necessarily caused by an external force. The World Health Organization defines acquired brain injury as damage which occurs after birth and is not associated with congenital or degenerative diseases.

Acquired brain injuries can bring changes in an individual’s functioning in the area of physical, cognitive, emotional, and social. These types of brain injuries results from lack of oxygen to the brain, infections in the brain, or toxic exposure. Acquired brain injuries may cause slurred speech, fatigue and sleep difficulties. The injured individual can become easily distracted and may exhibit poor memory.

Socially, acquired brain injuries may cause an individual to isolate themselves from others because of feeling different and being treated differently.

How To Immigrate To The United States

The United States is one of the most popular when it comes to relocation. Foreign nationals prefer the US because it offers a lot of opportunities. A report by the Center for Immigration Studies revealed that immigration in the United States hit a record high 42.1 million in the second quarter of 2015, an increase of 1.7 million in the same period the previous year. Likewise, immigrants comprise 13.3 percent of the country’s total population, which is the largest in 105 years.

However, relocating to the United States is not that easy. It is a long and complicated process. There are different kinds of visa that are available to foreign nationals who are looking to move themselves and their families to the United States. To qualify for migration to the United States, you first need an immigrant visa. Here are the different ways you can get an immigrant visa:

1. Work in the Country

Working in the United States is one of the ways you can become a green card holder. US employers who are short of workers hire foreign workers to fill up vacancies and sponsor them for lawful status. If you are a skilled worker in science, technology, engineering, math, and other fields, this is your opportunity to become an American citizen.

2. Get Petitioned By A Family Member

If you are the spouse, child, parent, or sibling of a US citizen, they can file a petition to make you an American citizen. Family-based visas are divided into immediate family and family preference immigrant visas.

3. Set-up a business

Another way to become a citizen in the United States is to invest in a business there. This is the EB-5 visa and is one of the quickest ways to become a US citizen.

4. Enter The Lottery

If you do not have job offers or relatives in the United States, you can still have an opportunity to relocate to the US and that is through the lottery system. Every year around 50,000 green cards are being issued to people who win in the Green Card Lottery Program.

These are the available ways you can become an American citizen and live in the United States.

Reckless Driving Accidents

There is no denying that car accidents along with other automobile injuries are a significant problem in the USA. As pointed out by the U.S. Census Bureau, there was on average 10.6 million motor vehicle injuries between the years 2004 and 2009. Rash driving is among the most frequent causes for these mishaps to happen. Drivers who become irresponsible when operating their vehicles can end up causing disastrous accidents which could leave long-term outcomes for the sufferers.

In the majority of states across the U.S., reckless driving is normally understood to be a motorist’s “willful or wanton disregard for the security of persons and property” while using their car. Traffic offenses involving improper and thoughtless driving fall under this class, along with infractions produced by motorists who operate their vehicles without proper care and consideration. Speeding is included by definite examples of rash driving, ignoring indicators and traffic lights, failing to signal to additional automobiles through the utilization of blinkers, along with racing with other automobiles on the highway. In some select states, having flawed rests as well as additional vital vehicle technicians could also be viewed as dangerous driving.

Reckless driving injuries may vary in their severity. You will find times when such errors that are irresponsible can cause a mild rear-end collision. Nevertheless, there are also moments when rash driving violations may cause severe car failures like rollover accidents. According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, injuries common to such types of significant crashes include broken bones, brain trauma, neck and spinal injuries, internal tissue damage, and internal hemorrhage. Meanwhile, mild crashes can lead to strains and lacerations.

Generally, dangerous driving is considered a misdemeanor crime. If charged, an individual that perpetrated a rash driving violation may end up being forced to spend a significant amount of time in jail, pay substantial charges, as well as have her or his driver’s license suspended or revoked.

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