What Are My Rights as An Immigrant?

The U.S. Constitution guarantees every person in the country with certain rights, regardless of the status of their immigration.

While being an immigrant in this country can be a challenge, to say the least, knowing your rights and how to use them can help you appropriately respond to a situation with the police or immigration officer.

Below are some of your most basic rights as immigrants in the United States.

The right to remain silent

If an immigration officer approaches and asks you questions, you may not speak to them or answer any of their inquiries, especially those involving your place of birth or how you came into the United States. You may also refuse to show any proof of identification that shows what country you’re from.

To keep them from asking more questions, you may tell them that you’re choosing to remain silent until your immigration attorney arrives. Most importantly, don’t lie or produce any false documents.

The right to refuse a search

Aside from choosing to remain silent, you do not have to allow or agree to a search on yourself or your belongings. The officer, however, may perform a pat- down check on your clothes if they suspect you of carrying a weapon.

Your labor rights

U.S. labor and employment laws apply to all employees, notwithstanding their immigration status. Any acts of discrimination based on race, religion, sex, or color are prohibited in the workplace.

Like all every other person in this country, you have the right to a safe working environment and be fairly compensated for the work that you do.

Your right to an attorney

In the event that you’re detained or taken into custody, invoke your right to a lawyer immediately. Even if you don’t have or know an attorney, you may ask the officers for a list of pro bono lawyers. You may also contact your consulate for assistance in finding a lawyer to handle your case.

Be careful about making any statements or signing documents, especially if you don’t fully understand what they mean. You may refuse to sign anything until you have spoken to your legal counsel.

What do I do if ICE shows up on my doorstep?

Your home affords you special protections that you can’t exercise in public spaces. Understanding these protections and how to use them can help you deal with and avoid trouble with the immigration enforcement knocking on your door.

One thing that every immigrant should know is that you don’t have to let an ICE officer inside your home unless they have a valid search or arrest warrant with your name (or any person in residence) and address on it, signed by a judge. You can ask the officer to hold the document up to a window or slip it under the door so that you can examine it.

If the officers can’t produce a warrant, keep the door shut and inform them that you do not consent to their entry. Should they for their way in, do not resist or run away. Instead, tell them that you do not authorize their search of the premises. Stay silent. Do not make any statements, answer any questions, or sign documents. Ask to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible.

An immigration attorney can help.

Immigration matters are often confusing and complicated – this area of the law is something that you wouldn’t want to navigate alone.

No matter what kind of situation you’re in, know that you have options. An experienced immigration attorney can help you grasp the context of your individual circumstance and go through all the possible options.

Whether it’s an immigration application or issues with immigration laws and procedures, working with an expert can save you time from dealing with extensive paperwork and raise your chances of obtaining a favorable result.

What You Should Know About Prescription Drugs & Drugged Driving

Drunk driving is illegal, and so is drugged driving. And if you think that the “drugged” in drugged driving only refers to illicit ones like cocaine, crystal meth, and heroin, you would be surprised by what the law has to say about that.

Drugged driving laws, which all US states have, cover prescription drugs as well. Even when what’s found in your system are traces of painkillers, antidepressants, and other types of legally prescribed medications, you can get arrested and charged with driving under the influence of drugs or DUID. And just like a regular DUI, the consequences of a DUID are just as serious, and you will need to hire a DUI drug lawyer.

Here are some more facts about prescription drugs and drugged driving that you need to know.

Side effects of prescribed drugs get you in trouble.

If you’re suffering from high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes, then you’re likely taking maintenance medications prescribed by your doctor. The problem with such drugs, however, is that they do have varying side effects. The same can be said of painkillers, especially ones that fall under the category of opioids, whose effects are similar to what you get from heroin.

Some of the most common side effects of prescription drugs include blurry vision, difficulty concentrating, drowsiness, nausea, and dizziness. When a person who takes prescription drugs experiences any of them while behind the wheel, it could lead to an accident that could put lives in danger.

Your prescription isn’t a pass in some states.

Waving your actual written prescription in the face of a police officer who stops you on suspicion of DUID is not going to save you, at least in states like Arizona, Delaware, and Kansas. As far as their DUID laws are concerned, legal entitlement to use a drug is not an acceptable defense.

It’s even tougher in Arizona, home to some of the strictest DUI laws in the United States. Drugged driving is inherently illegal there, as it has a per se prohibition against it in place. Painkilling opioids and anti-anxiety benzodiazepines are also categorized there as prohibited drugs, and if police officers there have reasonable suspicion that you are impaired by such drugs, they can readily arrest and charge you with DUID.

Police won’t distinguish between alcohol and drugs.

The most important thing for police officers is to determine if the driver is impaired. In most states, police won’t really distinguish between alcohol, prescription drugs, or over-the-counter or OTC medications. All they will do is ascertain if a driver they pulled over on suspicion of DUI is, indeed, impaired, and they will arrest that driver, regardless of the substance that caused that impairment.

To find out if a driver is impaired, police officers will typically administer field sobriety tests or FSTs, which are subjective at best. It will then be up to the police officers to decide whether the driver passes those tests or not. If arrested, then whether the charge is a DUI or a DUID will depend on more tests to be administered after the arrest.

Taking prescription drugs doesn’t mean no more driving, ever.

Even if you’re taking prescription drugs regularly, you can still drive, as long as you take steps that they won’t impair you when you’re driving.

Your physician will play a crucial role in ensuring you won’t be impaired when taking drugs your medical condition requires. Your doctor’s actions will include adjusting your dosage, the number of times you take them in a day, and changing the prescription altogether to one with few to no side effects. With such tweaks, there is a reduced risk of impairment, and you would be able to drive safely.

Should you find yourself arrested for drugged driving, keep in mind that you are going to need a DUI attorney to represent you to make sure you get the best possible results.

Things to Know About Criminal Damage

Have you found yourself in a situation where you got so mad at a neighbor for whatever reason, right to the point where you were tempted to put a rock through his or her window, but decided against it at the last minute?

If you stopped yourself from doing it, then you made the right call. Had you given in to your rage, you will have been arrested and charged with criminal damage.

Criminal damage is a serious charge that typically involves damage to property. Whether it’s as simple as breaking a single plate or something more severe like crashing your car into someone else’s home, you are bound to face criminal damage charges, and you’re going to need a criminal defense attorney to represent you in court.

Here are some things you need to know about criminal damage.

How Does One Commit Criminal Damage?

You will find yourself facing a criminal damage charge if you recklessly deface or damage property that belongs to another person.

The same thing will happen if you tamper with property to impair its value substantially.

Another way to get charged with criminal damage is to damage property that belongs to a utility. Anyone who tampers with the property of a utility intentionally will face criminal damage charges as well.

When you park your vehicle in such a way that will deprive other people’s livestock of water, you may also be up for a criminal damage charge.

And if you write or draw graffiti on the side of a building without the owner’s permission, you can expect a criminal damage charge sooner or later.

Criminal Damage Can Be Charged As A Misdemeanor or Felony

Whether a person will be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony criminal damage will largely depend on the value of the damage.

Property damage that costs less than $1,000 is a misdemeanor. Anything beyond a thousand dollars, and it’s going to be a felony, which brings even harsher consequences.

The class of misdemeanor or felony will also depend on how significant the property damage is. Damages of less than $250 is a Class 2 Misdemeanor, while damages over $250 but less than $1,000 is a class 2 misdemeanor. Charges will be upgraded to a Class 6 Felony if damages reach more than $1,000 but less than $2,000.

You Can Be Charged Even If You Co-Own The Damaged Property

In Arizona, you can actually be charged with criminal damage if the property you destroyed is co-owned by your spouse. So the next time you argue with your spouse, and you’re thinking about smashing that huge TV in the living room that you both happen to own, don’t.

Criminal Damage Can Be Resolved Without Jail

Criminal damage comes with a prison term, but it can be resolved if your attorney can successfully arrange a diversion program or a deferred prosecution agreement instead.

Should find yourself at the receiving end of a criminal damage charge, make sure that you get the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you get the best possible result.

Falsely Accused of Domestic Violence? Here’s What You Need To Do

Domestic violence is a global problem. A serious crime in the United States and many other countries, domestic violence victimizes millions of people, mostly women. In some cases, domestic violence leads to injuries and even deaths.

For the longest time, victims of domestic violence typically stay silent about what they’re going through for one reason or another. Lately, however, those who have been at the receiving end of abuse from their partners have begun speaking up about their ordeal and filing criminal cases against their abusers.

The sight of domestic violence victims taking legal action against their tormentors is a heartening and inspiring one because abusive partners deserve to be punished with the full force of the law.

However, there’s the worrisome fact that not a hundred percent of all allegations of domestic violence are true. In fact, some people who claim they are domestic abuse victims just want to make life difficult for the ones they are accusing. After all, a domestic violence charge against anyone will severely affect that person’s life, and it doesn’t even matter if the accusations are true or not. Once domestic charges are leveled against a person, you can expect that person’s life to be ruined to a certain extent, even when he is represented by experienced domestic violence attorneys.

Anyone can be accused of domestic violence. It could be you, even if you’re anything but abusive toward your partner. If you ever find yourself forced to answer domestic violence charges, here are some of the things you need to do.

Hire a lawyer specializing in domestic violence cases.

A domestic violence charge is no laughing matter. If convicted, the consequences you will face are severe, and they will affect you for the rest of your life.

The best thing you can do if someone files a case of domestic violence against you is to get the services of a criminal defense lawyer, especially one who specializes in defending those who are falsely accused of domestic violence. With his or her skills and experience, your lawyer is highly qualified to prove in court that you are a victim of a false, baseless, and malicious accusation.

Be consistent with your narrative.

When you’re accused of domestic violence, expect authorities to bring you in for questioning. Whatever information they get from you in the beginning will be on record. That’s why you need to make sure that you stick to your story until the whole thing is done, especially if you’re actually innocent of the charges against you. It won’t help your case if your narrative isn’t consistent.

Heed restraining orders.

It is standard procedure for a person accusing someone of domestic violence in court to file a restraining order for their protection. If the court agrees with the petition and grants it, make sure that you comply with all its conditions.

A restraining order typically specifies that you must never get within a few hundred meters of your accuser at any time for the duration of your case. Follow that condition to the letter, or you will jeopardize your chances in court. Any request by your accuser to meet you should be on record because it will give the judge the impression that you do not represent a threat to the accuser, which just might help your case.

Keep your head.

It’s easy to explode when you’re being accused of a crime you didn’t commit, but losing your head will not do you any favors. If anything, an outburst from you may be construed by the court as a sign that you are, indeed, capable of abusive acts. So stay calm and focused at all times, whether you’re in court or outside of it. There’s a chance the judge will notice your demeanor and willingness to be fully cooperative for the duration of the trial.

Indeed, being the defendant in a domestic violence case is not a walk in the park. Prepare to see your reputation and character assailed, and your life turned upside down. But as long as you are truly innocent of the accusations against you, your chances of getting the best results in your case are high, especially when a skilled criminal defense attorney is handling your case.

Turning 20 in Canada? Make Sure You Read This Guide Before Starting to Vape

The Vaping Regulations in Canada often only affect the owners of vape shops as well as vape companies directly, however they can also limit the vapors to some extent. Finally, while these regulations and rules might be limiting, the majority of them are effective for the vaping community as well as assist promote health over the addiction and youth vaping. With the increasing popularity of vaping or e-cigarettes, health firms across the Globe have been pressing for a quick action to limit what they view as the health threat, specifically to the young Canadians.

Nowadays in Canada, e-cigarettes (i.e., electronic cigarettes, vaporizers, or vapes) are legal for a specific use. Under the federal Tobacco & Vaping Products Act and Non-Smokers’ Health Act, the minimum age for buying tobacco products is 18. There are right now no rules regarding where one can utilize them, along with some exceptions. However, there are various provincial and municipal vaping regulations which have been produced by provinces and municipalities. The kinds of places where vaping are currently banned vary throughout Canada. The 8 provinces and the Canadian federal government have adopted e-cigarette legislation, as per the Canadian Cancer Society.

Vaping items are advertised, manufactured, sold, or imported in the country are subject to, among the others, below-mentioned acts as well as their regulations –

1.  Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 – You should be 19 years old to buy vaping supplies and e-cigarettes. Like tobacco products, selling vaping supplies and e-cigarettes to anybody younger than 19 is illegal. It is needed by rule for the retailers of Ontario’s vaping industry for receiving appropriate Government approved recognition from the consumer before they sell the latter supplies or e-cigarettes. The latest by-law tells that anybody who is under 19 years old is not allowed entrance into the vape shop and a lot of reliable vape stores in this province have been applying this already for a while.

Under this law, you can’t vape in an enclosed public area, enclosed workplace, as well as other areas that are designated as vape/smoke-free. In case you vape in a place where the activity is not permitted, you might be levied with the offense as well as subject to the fine in case you are convicted. Vaping through the electronic cigarette (which include exhaling and inhaling vapor) is allowed if the below-mentioned situations are fulfilled –

  • Use is to sample the vapor product

  • Not more than 2 people can sample the vapor item simultaneously

  • Specialty vape shops should provide one-time usage, fresh disposable mouthpieces for sampling, until an e-cigarette is a private possession of an individual sampling the vapor product, Etc.

2. Tobacco and Vapor Products Control Act (British Columbia) –The Government of British Columbia, in March 2015, proposed the legislation, which initially, aimed on banning e-cigarettes from being utilized indoors, banning sale of e-cigarettes to anybody under the specified age limit of 19, as well as restricting promotion or advertising of electronic cigarettes. This law was proposed for coming into effect in February 2016.

As per this vaping regulation, the following are prohibited –

  • Sales where the tobacco sales are banned

  • Sale as well as supply to the minors (younger than 19)

  • Vaping in the cars with kids under 16

  • Vaping wherever smoking is prohibited (public areas like Golf courses, Storefronts, Parks, and Beaches or workplaces) with the exclusion of vape stores where the minors’ entry is prohibited, with at most 2 people sampling the product simultaneously with the intention of purchase.

  • This e-cigarette legislation also bans any type of publicity in the shops except PoS (Point-of-Sale) displaying price and availability which include duty-free stores.

  • Vaping within 6 meters of doors, open windows, and air intakes

  • KG to Grade 12 school spots at any time

  • Every PoS display except anywhere minors are not allowed, permits the vending machines at the adult-only places which include the duty-free stores

  • Ban on the health authority land in the designated areas.

3. Tobacco Access Act & Smoke-Free Places Act (Amended) (Nova Scotia) – This was one of the earliest provinces to execute important restriction e-cigarette sales and vaping in Canada. The province passed the above-mentioned legislation which came into effect on 31st May 2015. It considers e-cigarettes in almost the same manner as tobacco cigarettes. As per this E-cigarette Legislation, they should not be included in the scene, until the shop does not allow minors’ entry. The promotion of PoS is prohibited. Outside of the shop, no advertising or signage is allowed. Prohibition of selling to anybody younger than 19. Also, selling in the pharmacies is not allowed, or wherever tobacco sales are banned.

Under the regulation, the following activities are banned –

  • Possession by the minors

  • Sale as well as supply to the minors

  • Vaping in the venue where the act of smoking is banned

  • Sale in the pharmacies

  • Need to showcase age restriction signage

  • PoS promotion. (Vape stores are exempt however any promotion from outside of the store is prohibited)

  • Vaping on the school property, in the cars with kids younger than 19, on bar patios/restaurant, within 4 meters of windows, doors, as well as air intakes of the workplaces

As per the update in this law (In December 2019), Nova Scotia declares the ban on every flavored vaping products or e-liquids for coming into effect 1 April 2020.

4.  Tobacco Control Act (Quebec) – Since the year 2015 in the province, the majority of the smoking rules are also included in the vaping laws such as the ban on the sale of vaping items to anyone under the age of 18. Currently, online sales of the vaping items to anybody who is younger than 18 are illegal. Delivery agents have the duty of checking out that the purchaser is 18 or older. Vaping items with flavors of dessert, candy, soft drinks, cannabis, as well as energy drinks are also banned. These modifications are included with current restrictions, like where you cannot smoke, either electronic cigarettes or tobacco.

As per Bill 44, it is forbidden to –

  • Interact with consumers inappropriately about tobacco products showcased in the store. It means the seller cannot talk regarding the alleged advantages of vaping.

  • Permit e-cigarettes as well as associated accessories for being viewed from outside of the store. For preventing this, you will be required to frost the window.

  • Allow consumers to test flavors or products. In case you run the vape store, you cannot permit a prospective customer to test the products or demonstrate how they work.

  • Considered as one of the most significant Canadian vaping laws, it also prohibits the advertisement of the vaping item whose distribution or sale is prohibited. In a broader sense, posters, advertisements in newspapers, Facebook posts, leaflets, or on a social networking channel are not permitted. Similarly, it is impossible for the vape seller in the province of Quebec for owning a site that advocates its products.

5.  Tobacco & Electronic Cigarette Sales Act (New Brunswick) – New Brunswick amended 2 acts, on 1 July 2015, for encompassing vaporizers and e-cigarettes, to limit its sales to the minors as well as to signify where these products can be utilized.

As per the law –

  • One cannot sell smoking supplies (blunt wraps, rolling papers, cigarette tubes as well as filters, cigarette pipes, and holders) to anyone who is younger than 19 or is put on display.

  • Sale of e-juices and e-cigarettes to those people who are younger than 19 is prohibited as well as the vaping products should be hidden from sight.

  • Most requirements to post the health warning symbol has been removed.

  • Nobody younger than 19 can enter the vapor shop unless they are accompanied by an adult.

  • Restrictions on the promotional items that currently apply to tobacco at the other retail stores will also apply to smoke supplies and electronic cigarettes.

  • Outdoor ads by vapor shops and tobacconists are not allowed as well as promotional material inside these stores should not be viewed from the outside.

Later solutions to this act include –

  • Sales banned anywhere tobacco sales are prohibited

  • The ban on sale as well as supply to the minors

  • The ban in or on school land, in the car with children younger than 16, within 3 meters of the patios, within 9 meters of windows, doors, as well as air intakes of the workplaces.

6. Tobacco & Electronic Smoking Device Sales & Access Act (Prince Edward Island) – Under this regulation, the below-mentioned activities are banned

  • Sale where selling tobacco is banned

  • Sale as well as supply to the minors and acquire by minors

  • Use of vaping products with children younger than 19 in cars, bar patios/restaurant except from 10 PM-3 AM, within a distance of 4.5 meters of air intakes and doors

  • Vaping in the workplaces or indoor public spaces

  • PoS promotion as well as promotion from the outside of the retail premises

  • Outdoor signage

  • Vaping on the construction sites

  • Any advertising which is misleading about the health hazards, health effects, as well as characteristics of the vaping devices.

After having some amendments to the well-known Smoke-Free Places Act, the following activities are banned –

  • Use in the cars with kids under 19

  • Use of the electronic smoking gadgets in the workplaces or indoor public areas, excluding in the designated smoking space in the long-term care facility

  • Use on the construction sites

  • Use in the bar patios/restaurant between 10 PM-3 AM

  • The outdoor designated smoking spaces which are within the distance of 4.5 meters of air intakes and doors.

As per the latest update in this law in November 2019, Prince Edward Island has put in place the legislation for increasing the legal age for vaping from 19 to 21.

7.  Smoke-Free Environment Act & Tobacco and Vapor Products Control Act (Newfoundland and Labrador) – The Government in this province is right now ‘working on the legislation’ about e-cigarettes and vaping. Currently, no official rules are in place. In recent times, there are no laws in terms of vaping inside, which include restaurants, bars, and hotels, etc. until specified by an individual establishment.

Under this law, which came into effect on 7 June 2016, the following things are banned –

  • Vaping in workplaces, vehicles, and public places with kids who are younger than 16.

  • Sale to the minors

Moreover, in case you are planning to choose an online vapor store to buy e-cigarettes or other supplies for the first time, make sure to go for a trustworthy one. One is allowed to vape in the designated electronic cigarette spaces in the long-term care facilities as well as in certain workplaces.

The below-mentioned activities were banned under the provisions which came into effect July 1, 2017 –

  • PoS promotion, promotional materials, and products can’t be visible outside, or inside the shop

  • Sale banned anywhere tobacco sales are banned

  • Restrictions on the signage outside stores.

As per the current updates of July 2017, vape stores will be permitted for operation if only the conducted business is vapor products’ sale.

As far as Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and Yukon are concerned, currently, there are no provincial or municipal regulations about vaping in each one of these territories. It means that there is no age restriction on sales, no bans on where you cannot and can vape, as well as what the advertising shops can utilize. A lot of people also prefer to buy the supplies from a reliable online vapor store in this way, they can get the desired item without any hassle.

The majority of shops will still not sell the vaping items to somebody underage, as well as the majority of establishments will not permit vaping in case they also ban smoking indoors. Those places where vaping is not allowed (like in cars with kids under 16) also vary throughout the country as well as might be included in distinctive legislation. Furthermore, this is always a good and polite idea to first get permission before utilizing the vape in the indoor public space.

What to Expect During A DUI Arrest

Considering that driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious criminal offense, we all should try to do whatever we can do to avoid being pulled over by cops for any reason. The problem is, authorities are actively manning the streets for any sign of a drunk driver, and will gladly make a DUI arrest whenever they can.

Reasonable suspicion

Police officers need to have reasonable suspicion that you are involved in some kind of criminal activity to stop your car. Whether or not you are involved in anything criminal is beside the point. The moment they notice your car make an illegal turn, drift from lane to lane, get too close to other cars or objects by the side of the road, or stop in the middle of the road for no apparent reason, they will ask you to pull over so they can check you out. Speeding, repeated braking, and very slow driving can also get you in trouble.

Questioning and roadside tests

The police officer will ask you to step outside your vehicle, and then proceed to ask you questions. He or she will ask you if you had anything to drink. However you respond, the police officer will ask more questions to try to establish that you had been drinking. Just remember that your responses will be noted and may be used against you if ever you’re arrested for a DUI, and that you have the right to remain silent the entire time you’re being questioned.

Roadside tests are also standard procedure for the police if you’re pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving. These roadside tests include field sobriety tests (FSTs) and a breathalyzer test to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). How you perform on these tests or whether or not you agree to undergo them in the first place would be crucial details that your DUI lawyer is going to need to determine the best course of action for your case.

Arrest and mandatory chemical tests

If the officer arrests you and brings you to the police station, you can expect to be administered mandatory chemical tests to sufficiently establish that you were, indeed, intoxicated at the time of your arrest. Under implied consent laws, you will have to submit to breath, blood, or urine testing.

The police will also take away your driver’s license and replace it with a temporary paper driving permit. They will book and cite you for a DUI, and you will stay in jail until you or a friend posts your bail. A judge may also release you on your “own recognizance.”

Hire an experienced DUI attorney

Since you’re facing a DUI charge, it would be in your best interest to get the services of a skilled and experienced DUI lawyer. The sooner you get in contact with a drunk driving attorney, the better, as it would give the both of you more time to prepare a defense in court.

To get a clearer picture of what happens if you’re arrested for driving under the influence, check out the infographic below.

When Do You Need A Personal Injury Lawyer?

Suffering an injury during an accident is a serious matter.  Aside from the physical pain, a personal injury means medical treatment, and therefore, expenses.

In all likelihood, most people who have sustained injuries in an accident—particularly one that was caused by the negligence of someone else—have thought about hiring a personal injury lawyer. So when do you really need one?

You were seriously hurt.

If you’ve only sustained a small scratch or something extremely minor, there would probably be no need for a personal injury lawyer. There’s even the possibility that if you ask a personal injury attorney about it, he or she will probably say the same thing.

However, if the accident sent you to a hospital for emergency treatment, or if you’ve lost a limb or have to deal with a disability as well as long-term, continuous medical care, you have every right to get the services of a personal injury attorney.

Conflicting accident reports

When there’s confusion in the reports filed by police, medical personnel, and insurance companies regarding the accident you were involved in, you stand the risk of receiving a much lower compensation offer or worse, an outright denial of your claim.

Don’t hesitate to seek the help of a personal injury attorney when there is any conflicting information in the above-mentioned reports.

Dangerous road conditions were a factor in the accident.

When an accident occurs because of dangerous road conditions or within a construction zone, there may be more than one party that can be held accountable for the mishap. A personal injury lawyer can help identify and sue all the entities at fault.

Multiple parties are involved.

Let’s make one thing clear: even if there’s only one party liable for the accident, you still need to hire a personal injury lawyer, especially if your injuries are severe. But if multiple parties are involved, it’s even more imperative to have a lawyer because liabilities are no longer that clear, and insurance companies can make everything more complicated.

When there are multiple parties involved in an accident, there’s the possibility that you—one of the injured—will actually be seen by the other injured parties as partly at fault for the accident, which could negatively affect your own claims.

More claimants also mean less settlement money to go around. With a personal injury attorney by your side, you can secure your fair share of any settlement money and deal promptly with any counterclaims and cross-claims that may come your way.

Insurance companies are giving you a hard time.

Insurance providers are almost always involved in personal injury claims. After all, it’s the insurance policies of at-fault parties that are supposed to pay for claims made by victims of the accident they caused.

Let’s not forget, however, that when insurance companies approve medical treatments, pay for losses, and offer compensation, they will do so with their best interests in mind. Some may even fail to comply with the different terms of the policies they provide and end up not giving injury victims the compensation they legally deserve.

Insurance companies will interview injury victims and scrutinize everything they say on the record, trying to find a technicality they can use to justify paying a lesser amount or, in some cases, denying a victim’s claim outright. It’s not uncommon for accident victims who don’t have personal injury lawyers to end up receiving nothing from the at-fault party’s insurance company because of a statement they made to insurance people.

With a personal injury lawyer by your side, you will have someone to protect your interests when you’re making insurance claims. When a representative from the insurance company grills you about the accident, your personal injury lawyer can help prevent you from saying anything that could put your claim in question.

When offered a settlement

Let’s assume your claim went through without the assistance of a personal injury lawyer, and you received a settlement offer. The problem is, you’re not sure if the amount they’re offering you is fair. A personal injury attorney can confirm if you’re receiving fair enough compensation or not.

If you’re still not sure whether or not you need the services of a personal injury lawyer, you can always consult one about your specific case.

6 Key Notes to on Edge in Personal Injury Case

There is an assurance that one accrues losses once caught up in an accident or injury, but what must be reassured or prepared to is the security of lessening such losses or winning the case, against the perpetrator or accused causing such injury to victim. Now, we would like to give you twelve (12) simple key notes to know when under such situation or dilemma. According to Everett, L.C., (2012), in her book Personal Injury Lawsuits & Settlements, there are twelve (12) important notes to know about a personal injury case, but here, we will only cite six (6). These are:

1. Seek an expert and efficient lawyer or law firm that can handle your case.
Unless you can dwell on the legality of your case, you can exclude hiring a lawyer/attorney who is an expert in dealing with a personal injury case. 2 things to consider: experience and winning record of the lawyer in similar cases. Make sure to make personal inquiries or calls to lawyers or a law firm such as LG Law Firm who are also known for their work as a bankruptcy attorney ontario ca. Consider checking the law firm’s records of wins and their best lawyers.

2. Remain calm and lessen your actions once you find your lawyer.
Your personal injury lawyer takes over your case, and makes sure to keep you on track with the case’s status, or when you are needed for some legal support. Experienced lawyers will work on your case independently upon retrieving substantiated information from you.

3. Your lawyer may work on a contingency and consider forming billable hours.

The meaning of contingency based-acceptance of a case by lawyers is that you, as a client, are not expected to pay anything until the case is won and received award or settlement payments. On the contrary, when the lawyer lost the case, you only owe small office fees.
Additionally, as to the billable hours, your attorney must work enough billable hours to be paid, to keep their office/firm running. The attorney may be working in many nin-contingency clients, but at the same time is working on your case.

4. Expect to put out some cash from your pockets in the duration of the case.

Make sure that you are financially prepared to pay some small office bills out-of-pocket, even if you are a contingency client. The costs may be delayed until the award is received, or that the office/firm may send you billings monthly for certain documents or legal-related matters on your case.

5. Time is going to be consumed before the case’s completion and payment.

It is best to always produce best evidence through a thorough investigation, for this is essential in the chances of winning the case. Such time required for investigation and researching is lengthy, especially that your lawyer has other clients other than yours, in need of the same competence and efficiency from the lawyer.

6. Settlement is very likely in personal injury cases.

It is 99% of the time that personal injury cases end early, prior to court hearings due to settlements. This is ultimately the best or win-win solution for both the defendant and plaintiff. Aside from shortening the case time, the plaintiff is most likely to receive the defendant’s payments. Such settlement payments can be made in lump sum amounts or over time, in an incremental payment method.

Now that you have read the six (6) key notes we highly recommend for you to be cautious about these points, and that these may eventually help you or remind you about how you can effectively be at an edge or ultimately, win your personal injury case.

Alcohol Addiction and Drunk Driving Accidents

Anyone who drives after drinking alcohol to the point where their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels go beyond the usual 0.08% limit has a very high likelihood of getting arrested for a DUI.

Worse, they could get involved in a drunk driving accident and end up hurting themselves, their passengers, and other people. If they survive the crash, they are going to need a DUI attorney by their side because they are going to face a criminal case that has the potential to turn their lives upside down.

These could happen to people who don’t drink often or too much. Now imagine how bad things are going to get if the one behind the wheel is someone who consumes a lot of alcohol and does it as frequently as he or she can.

The problem with alcohol addiction

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), about 88,000 people die alcohol-related deaths in the United States alone. NIAAA also says that over 15 million American adults have a drinking problem.  Alcohol addiction or alcoholism is a growing problem not only in the US but the whole world as well.

Alcoholism is a form of drug addiction that takes a heavy toll on its victims. Unlike casual drinkers, alcohol addicts drink to excess and often have no control over their overwhelming desire to drink. They tend to drink first thing in the morning, and typically end their day with a few more drinks. Alcoholics tend to drink alone, too, and they don’t mind. Even when their drinking is already causing problems with their relationships, they would still be unlikely able to control it. And if you ask them about their drinking, their reaction will likely be one of anger and hostility.

The long-term physical effects of alcohol addiction are numerous. The liver, for example, will always be badly hit by excessive alcohol consumption. Cirrhosis, cancer, and hepatitis are just some of the illnesses of the liver that alcoholics are more than likely to suffer. Other chronic diseases that alcoholism can bring about include high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and digestive problems.

Alcohol can also cause a disruption in the brain’s communication pathways. As it affects the brain’s neurotransmitters, alcohol also slows down the transmission of information. These effects on the brain often result in memory loss, seizures, and depression.

For alcoholics, their heavy and long-term drinking can also cause their brain cells and their overall brain mass to shrink, which would directly affect their cognitive functions as well as their mood, sleeping patterns, and motor skills.

Alcoholics have no business driving

Casual drinkers who get behind the wheel after a drink or two are already dangerous enough. With alcohol affecting their vision, concentration, reflexes, and motor skills, they are already at risk of causing a drunk driving accident. When it’s an alcoholic that’s in control of a vehicle, then the chances of an alcohol-related car crash taking place becomes a lot higher.  In all likelihood, the deadliest car crashes in history were caused by drivers who were more than just casual drinkers.

Substance abuse assessment programs for DUI convicts

It might be hard for authorities to detect an alcoholic on sight, but once a person gets convicted of DUI in most states, they are made to undergo substance abuse assessment programs.

These programs aim to determine if a person has a drug or alcohol problem. If the interview by a licensed or certified substance abuse counselor and the results of the structured assessment questionnaire DUI convicts are required to answer reveal that they indeed have a substance abuse problem, then they will be recommended for professional treatment programs.

While these treatment programs may not be guaranteed ways of getting rid of alcohol addiction completely, they at least give alcoholics a chance to get their lives back on track, and become responsible drivers once again.

Drunk Driving Facts That Will Change Your Life

Addictive drugs are, by nature, dangerous. We all know what hard drugs like crystal meth, cocaine, and heroin can do to our bodies and our lives in general. These illegal substances can wreak havoc on addicts and their families as well. Over the decades, so many people have died of accidental overdose, and this continues to happen despite massive government campaigns against illicit drugs.

However, none of the misfortunes attributed to heroin et al. can hold a candle to the misery that one particular drug has visited and continues to visit upon countless people. Worse, of all, this drug is legal and can be brought at your neighborhood store once you’re of age.

The drug in question is alcohol, and it’s the world’s most dangerous addictive drug. It is responsible for so many deaths due to cardiovascular disease, liver disease, cancer, and pancreatitis. Alcohol also triggers violent behavior, giving rise to countless homicides.

Then there’s drunk driving, which has led to countless unfortunate road accidents, many of which have claimed people’s lives. Yet people still drink and drive and end up getting stopped for a DUI or worse, wrapping their car around a tree.

Let’s take a look at some drunk driving facts, which we could only hope people wouldn’t ignore.

Drunk driving is a crime

If you’re not worried about drinking and driving because you believe it’s something you can easily get away with, then someone lied to you. All states consider driving under the influence or DUI as a crime, and as such, it comes with consequences like jail time, probation, and hefty fines.

If it’s your first DUI, then you might just be slapped with a misdemeanor. However, you could be facing felony charges if your drunk driving hurt or killed someone. Jail sentences for people convicted of a felony are longer, and the fines are steeper.

Drunk driving can burn a hole in your pocket
To give you an idea of how costly drunk driving can get, car crashes caused by intoxicated drivers cost an estimated $52 billion a year in the United States alone.

And if you get arrested for a DUI, know that its cost can also drive you to the poorhouse. On top of the litigation costs and the heavy fines that come with a conviction, the court can also order you to pay for damages which could become sky-high. The jail time you will have to serve also means you won’t be able to work, and the lost wages will make it even harder for you to raise the money to pay for the fines and the damages.

A person dies in a drunk-driving crash every 50 minutes
According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA, drunk-driving accidents in 2016 have claimed the lives of 29 people on a daily basis. That’s one drunk-driving death every 50 minutes.

Less than 0.08 BAC doesn’t mean you’re not impaired
If your blood alcohol concentration or BAC is at 0.08 or above, then you are considered legally impaired in most states, and you will most certainly be arrested if police officers stop you on suspicion of drunk driving.

Most people would take that to mean that if their BAC is below 0.08, then they aren’t impaired and should go on their merry way. The truth is, studies have shown that even a BAC of only 0.02 can already affect a person’s driving skills. You may not get arrested for a DUI in some states when your BAC is below the legal limit, but you could still figure in an accident because of your impaired driving.

We could only hope that the facts above would make you think twice about driving drunk.