The Benefits of Collaborative Divorce

Divorce itself can already be an emotionally-draining and demoralizing experience, much more the process to resolve it, specifically, if it ends up getting settled in a family court room. This type of divorce process, called litigated or contested divorce, which is the traditional way of settling divorce and divorce-related issues (which include child custody and visitation rights, child support, spousal support, and division of marital properties, assets and debts), is heard in a courtroom and, therefore, open to the public. Besides the emotional burden it can cause, it can only leave divorcing couples hating one another in the end and probably huge legal fees (court fee, attorney’s fee and expert fee) that need to be settled.

The many inconveniences and negative effects of a litigated divorce process have influenced many other divorcing couples to find alternative ways through which they can settle their divorce and other issues in ways that are faster, much cheaper and more peaceful. Well, good news for them because there are now new methods available in setting divorce and all divorce-related issues faster, peacefully, and without spending as much as one will spend in a court-settled divorce. These methods include Uncontested divorce, Divorce mediation and Collaborative divorce.

Collaborative divorce, particularly, is the newest method of alternative dispute resolution. Under this collaborative divorce process, divorcing couples hire their own lawyers whose job is to assist their respective clients resolve conflicts through the use of cooperative techniques instead of adversarial strategies and litigation (the spouses may also seek the help of a mediator and/or other neutral experts, like an accountant and/or a child custody expert who can assist them in settling all issues at hand). At the outset of the process, the spouses and their lawyers make a commitment to achieving a negotiated outcome. If, however, no settlement is reached, then the “Participation Agreement” entered into by all those involved in the process will require each of the spouses’ lawyers to withdraw from the process. The spouses may then hire new attorneys who will represent them in court (for the adversarial contested divorce process).

According to the law firm Marshall & Taylor PLLC, besides allowing couples seeking a divorce approach their separation as partners willing to work together to reach an amicable agreement, collaborative divorce also allows couples decide on how to handle post-settlement disputes, as well as provides them with other benefits, including:

  • Expediency of the divorce case;
  • More control over the outcome;
  • Less stress and anxiety;
  • Lesser costs compared to the traditional divorce process.

To help make sure that collaboration will succeed, it is important that spouses choose only experienced lawyers who they can trust and whose genuine interest is to help them resolve all issues.

The Possible Consequences of a Traumatic Brain Injury

Any type of injury that directly affects the brain is a serious matter because this can lead to serious consequences, like a severe illness or death. Brain injury, otherwise known as traumatic brain injury (TBI), is caused by a strong jolt, or a very violent blow, to a person’s head. This usually happens when a person falls head first, suffers a sporting accident, or a bicycle, motorcycle, car or truck accident, is struck violently or is shot on the head, or is knocked down due to an explosion.

Despite the layers of protection which should keep the brain safe, there are blows there are just too violent or forceful, causing these layers incapable of providing the brain its actual needed cushion (these layers of protection include is the hard bone, called the skull or cranium, the membranes, called the meninges, and the Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which allows the brain to float, providing cushion for it especially when the head makes sudden movements). These forceful blows make the brain collide with the internal wall of the skull, resulting to bruising, internal bleeding or torn nerve fibers which damage one or more areas of the brain – an intra-cranial injury called TBI.

There are different possible consequences to traumatic brain injury, such as temporary or permanent functional disability, or psychosocial impairment which can have a major effect on a person’s judgment, memory, cognition, reasoning, problem-solving ability, processing of information, abstract thinking, language and vulnerability against serious illnesses, including epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and other health problems that can affect the respiratory, digestive or circulatory system.

Every year, as shown in records from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least a million people in the US are treated for brain injuries; more than 50,000 of these individuals, despite the treatment, are just not strong enough to survive the injury, though.

According to the website of the Benton Law Firm, many cases of TBI are results of accidents due to someone’s negligence. The lifelong traumatic effects of TBI on victims’ lives make it important for them to pursue compensation for all damages resulting from their injury.

The Worst Consequences of Car Accidents

All it takes is one wrong moment, one terrible mistake. It can be in the blink of an eye and life, still so young and vibrant, can slip away like breath on a mirror. That is all it takes in order to completely throw someone’s life off course – or worse, end it. It is not just the individuals who are directly involved in the accident who suffer, however, but their friends and families as well.

Car accidents are some of these situations and their consequences extend far beyond the injury they initially cause.

Not every car accident requires for the victim to be in a car. Sometimes, due to driver error or simple carelessness, a run-of-the-mill pedestrian can become victim to the accident and these situations can be fatal in the worst of times. Something so shocking and sudden can only mean an immediate upheaval in routine for those close to the victim.

There have been incidents where the victims were merely children who have now been robbed of the ability to walk and run while some young adults are just starting to find their groove in life only to find themselves suddenly paralyzed and in debt for medical expenses due to a car accident. There are also the lost wages, if the victim were of working age and the primary income earner of a family. Not to mention the immense grief of something so precious such as time and life to be stolen by an incident that could have easily been prevented if negligence had not become a factor.

Circumstances like this, fortunately enough, fall under the jurisdiction of personal injury and it is then advisable that you contact an experienced legal professional if you or someone you know has been made to suffer through an ordeal like this due to a car accident. This is so that you may not only rest easy in the assistance of people who know their way around the scenario but also the network of medical professionals that they have access to who can make the recovery period much smoother and easier to deal with.

Nursing Home Negligence or Abuse

While many maintain their independence in their later years, many of our loved ones find themselves needing some assistance as they age. Nursing homes often provide a safe and caring environment for our loved ones to continue to lead happy, healthy lives while receiving the care and assistance they need. Unfortunately for some families however, some of these facilities prove to be dangerous to their loved ones. In cases of nursing home negligence or abuse, residents of a nursing home could be harmed or not receive the proper care that they need. This can be a traumatic situation for any family, and while this is something no one should have to face, it is important to know what signs to look for in your loved one that may bring to your attention this horrible situation.

According to the website of The Sampson Law Firm, some warning signs that your loved one may be suffering from nursing home abuse or negligence are:

  • Sudden changes in emotional state
  • Withdrawal from friends and relatives
  • Unexplained physical injuries
  • Abrupt weight loss
  • Bed sores

These are all red flags that something is lacking in the care your loved one is receiving at their assisted living facility. While these situations are uncomfortable to think about and should never occur they are all too common and must be investigated and reported if you notice any of these potential warning signs.

Nursing home abuse or negligence is a particularly horrifying situation because our most vulnerable loved ones are the victims. There is no excuse for this conduct and those who commit this crime must be held accountable. If you discover that your loved one is a victim of this unfortunate situation, you or your family may be owed certain damages for this traumatic experience.

Types of Electrical Burns

Burns are scarring. Not only physically, but emotionally as well. According to website of the Abel Law Firm, common causes of burns are chemical hazards, electrical hazards, explosions, and malfunctioning equipment. Electrical hazards have extreme potential to cause harm because they involve electrified currents, and are often unrecognizable.

When a burn has resulted from an electrical accident, there are three common classifications of the injury: electrical burn, arc/flash burn, or thermal contact burn. In the event that the electric current has reached the bone, and thus damages surrounding tissue, the burn is referred to as an electrical burn. The second type of burn is an arc burn, or a flash burn. These result from a nearby explosion, or an electric arc. Lastly, thermal contact burns occur when the skin comes in contact with energized structures or cords. Heat from these electrical currents burns the skin, and can leave scars.

After the initial injury has occurred, it is important to treat it immediately. If the burn is severe, medical attention should be sought. However, there are also steps to follow that can alleviate pain for burns of a lesser degree. These steps include running cool water over the affected area, avoiding popping the blisters, and taking a pain reliever. Applying Aloe Vera or a soothing lotion can help minimize pain during the healing process.

Exercising caution in all circumstances will help minimize burn injuries. In workplaces or public spaces, building managers should keep the building maintained so that electrified currents do not pose any dangers. If you have been injured as a result of a person’s or company’s failure to secure electrical hazards, you may be eligible for financial compensation.

SXSW: Gets Better and Better Every Year!

limo rides in austinIf a Civil War can barely touch Austin’s reputation as a party town – what could possibly hinder its growth into becoming one of the hottest, most awaited bashes of the year? The South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival only gets better and better every year – and it hasn’t disappointed yet!

SXSW is a festival that celebrates the industries of film, music, and technology. It celebrates collaborations of all sorts from all kinds of people from all over the world. Talk about representation and innovation as this festival is known for its numerous premieres and live performances, attended by stars and experts alike. There are meet ups aplenty for the respective fields so that people can have the chance to mingle with one another, sharing common interests and even insights as well as tips for each other.

There are hardly any events quite like this – ones that encourage discussion and discovery for and with each other. This year promises to be the biggest one yet with hundreds of live performances! There are so many things to see, people to meet, and an awful lot to take in that you might miss a few if you stress out about it too much.

Even in SXSW’s conception in 1987, Austin was not considered was one of the Top 20 major markets in the country; which, really, is a right old shame. But there is not quite any other opportunity to help such an up and coming metropolitan to flourish so that it may better serve events like this? Keep Austin weird and support a local Austin company in order to ensure that every business flourishes during the duration of the entire festival. After all, you deserve every luxury from an event that encourages fun and stress-free! There are many local services in Austin that can offer you just that.

Facts about Car Insurance

It is a given that all registered vehicles in the US have to have insurance or other proof of financial responsibility i.e. surety bond depending on a particular state’s requirements. But what is not always clear to most people is what the insurance policy covers in a car accident: the vehicle or the driver.

It depends on the type of insurance, the coverage, and the state. Typically, personal liability insurance will always follow the driver, no matter what vehicle the driver is operating. Liability insurance is designed to protect the driver from out-of-pocket expenses in case he or she causes injury to another party. The vehicle, on the other hand, may be excluded in the coverage if it is not listed in the insured’s policy or available for regular use. In such cases, the registered owner or insurer of that vehicle will have liability for any damage or injury caused. However, these are not hard and fast rules; it will depend on the policy.

Conversely, comprehensive or collision auto insurance follows the vehicle irrespective of who the operator was. The insurance will pay for damage to the insured vehicle for any reason although the policy may specify who the allowed operators (covered driver) can be for the policy to take effect. In general, family members of the policy owner are covered drivers, but not always. There are some insurers that will only cover the costs of repairing or replacing a damaged vehicle if it was being operated by the policy owner.

Insurance policies in general are difficult for most people to understand, so it may be a good idea to consult with a lawyer about the what, why, and wherefores of your coverage. You could get your agent to explain it to you, but unfortunately not all agents will dot the Is and cross the Ts for you unless you’re already making a claim, by which time it may be too late.

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