How to Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney

You thought you had waited long enough at your friends house after the party but the breathalyzer is telling a different story – a DUI is in your immediate future. Perhaps the jerk sitting next to you at the bar finally got under your skin and, in a moment of weakness, you lost your cool and now a have an assault charge against you. No matter how you arrived at this point, you need to hire a criminal defense attorney. This can seem like a daunting task since being arrested is very intimidating and it is important to get the best legal representation possible.

Hopefully, these tips and pointers will start you down the proper road to hiring a lawyer that will represent you well. When looking for an attorney, consider the following:

1) Make sure the attorney you hire has experience with your type of offense. Defending a felony narcotics possession is very different from defending a DUI. When interviewing an attorney, be sure to ask you much experience he or she has with your type of case.

2) Talk to your friends. It may be possible that they know somebody who has had to hire a criminal defense attorney. A referral is an excellent way to meet a good attorney as the referring person can let you know how the attorney did on all aspects of the case.

3) Any attorney you are looking to hire should offer a free initial consultation. This might be 10 minutes on the phone if you are in custody or 30 minutes if you are able to meet in person with the attorney. Do not hold back – be very upfront and honest about your situation. If you aren’t providing full disclosure, it can negatively impact your case and cause extra expense. Be wary of any attorney that will not provide a free initial consultation or demands payment for this time

4) During the initial consultation, ask who will be handling your case. Many high profile criminal defense attorneys have their associates do all the work. You may be okay with this but many people want the attorney they speak with to handle their case directly. In general, the more well known the attorney is the more likely he or she will be less involved in your case.

5) Make sure the terms of the engagement are clearly spelled out. Be sure to ask what the rates are for negotiating a plea agreement and any other stages up to and including trial. Rates can vary dramatically from attorney to attorney and you can avoid a big surprise by asking about them up front. An up front retainer fee after the initial consultation is usually required. This fee may be many thousands of dollars depending upon the offense with which you are charged.

6) Most importantly, make sure you are comfortable with the attorney and the firm. You will be working with these people on a very intimate part of your life. Feeling insecure about the working relationship will do nothing to help you or your mental health. Listen to your gut. If something feels off, keep shopping for an attorney until you are sure you can be completely comfortable with him or her.

If nothing else, these tips should give you a starting point to begin looking for a lawyer to professionally and effectively represent you. If you have had an unfortunate run in with the police, take the first step and call a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

Car Insurance Costs Are Cut, But It’s Not Good News for Everyone

The seemingly never-ending rise in car insurance prices could be coming to a screeching stop thanks to proposed government changes.

New proposals will see a huge U-turn on the rate at which payouts for victims of serious accidents is calculated which is known as the Ogden rate.

The Ogden rate is set to be changed as soon as next year in a bid to provide a “fairer” system.

How does the Ogden rate work?

Set by the government, the Ogden rate is the amount awarded to victims with life-changing injuries after an accident.

The rate had been set at 2.5% which meant that for every £1,000 awarded to a victim in a claim, the insurer would pay out £975 – with the other 2.5% or the Ogden rate expected to be earned by the claimant through investment interest. This would then give them the full pay out they were due.

In March 2017, the rate was cut to -0.75% or in a monetary sense, insurers would now have to pay victims £1,007.50 per £1,000 payment.

It was this increase in pay outs that helped cause car insurance prices to hit record highs* in the last 12 months.

What’s the latest Ogden rate change?

While a specific date hasn’t been announced, the Ministry of Justice have confirmed that they are revising the rules and it’s expected that the Ogden rate will be put at 1% from next year.

The changes have been welcomed by insurers as it will reduce the amount they are forced to pay.

Huw Evans of the Association of British Insurers commented on the proposed changes:

“This is a welcome reform proposal to deliver a personal injury discount rate that is fairer for claimants, customers and taxpayers alike.”

“If implemented it will help relieve some of the cost pressures on motor and liability insurance in a way that can only benefit customers.”

What do these changes mean for drivers?

The last time rates changed it meant an increase in car insurance premiums as insurers passed on the extra costs to drivers.

Now with pay-outs to victims expect to drop, it only makes sense that the savings will be passed on to drivers by reducing the overall cost of their cover.

Changes are not expected to come into effect until next year so it may be some time before these savings can actually be seen on the price of annual insurance.

How will it affect accident victims?

While it’s potentially good news drivers, victims of serious accidents who are left with life changing injuries could be short changed.

Instead of receiving the full amount of the awarded pay-out, victims will now once again be expected to invest their money for profit.

While the assumption is that these people will be able to make up the difference comfortably, many have commentated on the unfairness of the new rate.

Speaking to The Mirror, President of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, Brett Dixon said:

“Someone with a life-long, life-changing injury such as brain damage or a spinal injury cannot afford to take any risks with how his compensation is invested,”

“The last thing people with devastating injuries think about when they are lying in a hospital is their insurance premiums. They think about how they are going to manage. Insurers say an increased discount rate will benefit customers through their premiums. It is of no benefit if they are severely injured and forced to take risks with the compensation they so desperately need.”

4 ways to reduce the cost of your car insurance

While you wait for rate changes to bring the cost of you cover down, there are a number of ways you can save yourself money right now.

Reduce your risk

While there are some details you can’t change, there are a few things you can do to reduce the risk you pose. Something as simple as changing your job title from an office manager to an office administrator could save you money.

You also need to consider the vehicle you’re driving. When choosing a car, you should try and get one that’s safer, slower and less eye-catching.

Increase your excess

Increasing the amount you’re willing to pay if you have an accident will reduce the price of your premium. This is a great way to reduce the overall cost but remember you should never agree to an excess that you can’t afford to pay.

Make sure your car is secure

Whether it’s adding an immobiliser to your car or locking it away in a garage overnight, increasing your vehicles security will make it less attractive to thieves and cut the cost of your cover.

Make sure you let your insurer know about your improved security as some providers will offer discounts even before you renew.

Only pay for the cover you need

If you’re only borrowing a car or just need to drive for a few days, an annual insurance policy could be a huge waste of money.

A temporary policy offers the same level of cover and financial protection as yearly insurance at a fraction of the price.

You get the cover you want without having to pay for insurance you don’t need. You can get a range of quotes in minutes and compare prices to save time and money.

What You Should Know Before You Give To Charity

The end of the year is traditionally the most popular time for making charitable donations. But to make sure your hard-earned donations really do the most good, it is very important that you do some due diligence before you write that check or donate that stock, car, antique, or other item.

First of all you should approach the donation as a business deal. Ask yourself what causes matter to you. Maybe you want to help the environment, or provide scholarships to gifted but impoverished children. Maybe you want to support the arts programs in your local community, or make sure that stray animals have a safe, no-kill shelter where they’ll be taken care of. Or you may want to help cure diabetes, or wipe out smallpox, or make sure families affected by a recent disaster get the emergency assistance they need.

Whatever your cause, you’ll need to do some research to find charities that are helping in that area. Making sure you find a worthwhile charity for your donation does take some work. You do need to verify that any agency that you are dealing with is legitimate. A simple way to do this is to do a search online for a charity and download its IRS 990 Form at guidestar.org. You can also contact the charity directly and ask for its IRS 501c3 determination and a copy of its latest IRS 990 form.

The 990 form is the tax return that charities file with the IRS every year, similar to what businesses must file. (Please note that some churches are not required to file this form). The 990 form can look complicated but it gives you lots of useful information to help you decide if a charity is a good one to trust with your hard-earned money. The 990 form shows you what percent of its total funds an organization actually spends on its programs, as opposed to using these dollars to build up an endowment or pay administrative and fundraising fees. The 990 form also includes the salaries of highest-paid employees and how much went to high-paid independent contractors, so you can see if a charity is paying fair wages or is perhaps using most of their donor funds to pay themselves instead of advancing their mission.

Besides Guidestar, another place to find reliable reporting information about charities is the GreatNonprofits website, which lets people evaluate charities based on their actual experiences as a client, staff member, volunteer or board member. And the Charity Navigator website has a star-based rating system that looks at a charity’s finances, accountability and transparency.

After you’ve looked at the various evaluation materials that are available, it’s time to narrow down your charity search to a few promising organizations and then check out their websites or contact them directly before you make your final decision. Certainly you want to see that the organization has a defined mission statement as well as a practical strategic plan to carry out that mission. A charity should make it clear to you why you should donate to their organization, and how your funds will be used.

Finally, you need to know that the charity is able to measure the progress they make towards achieving their goals. While many charities use heart-felt stories and images to help induce donors to give, in the end what matters is that real changes are really going to happen as the result of the donations you and others make. So before you sign your check or do your electronic transfer, take some time to do your research so that you can be sure that your gift will actually do the good that you intend it to.

What Makes a Supercar?

Asking what makes a car super is like asking, what makes a woman beautiful – everyone has her own opinion.

A term supercar was coined to describe extremely expensive, extremely beautiful and extremely fast cars. But the proper use of this term is often subjective and disputed, especially among enthusiasts. There is no clear definition of what characteristics a car must have to be a supercar. What constitutes a supercar is often a matter of opinion. Also, the use of the term is heavily dependent on the era – a car that is considered to be a supercar at one time may lose its superiority in the future.

It is also important to know that the term refers to factory-built, usually unmodified, street-legal cars. Heavily modified and potentially street – illegal vehicles do not fall into the supercar category. Supercars are not muscle cars or tuned up sports cars. And there is no such thing as a cut price supercar.

A supercar is a car that combines speed, handling, unique design and represents the pinnacle of the automaker's art. It is the car equivalent of a supermodel or a race horse. There are, off course, some basic criteria for measuring whether a car should be considered a supercar or not. Things to consider: design, acceleration, top speed, handling, power-to-weight ratio, style, rarity, price – all of these has to be super in a supercar.

Want an example? Here is a prime example – The Bugatti Veyron.

The Bugatti Veyron is currently (2007) the most expensive (around $ 1.5 million) and fastest fully street legal car in the world. The Guinness Book of World Records included Bugatti Veyron under the heading – Fastest Production Car. With 1001 horsepower this supercar champion features all the most recent automotive advancements and is able to achieve a top speed of 253 mph (407km / h). This is faster than any production car ever made, it's actually faster than Formula 1 cars. Supercars are not just fast, they are blazingly fast.

Other supercars include: Koenigsegg CCX, Pagani Zonda, McLaren F1, Saleen S7 Twin Turbo, Enzo Ferrari, Lamborghini Murcielago and so on.

On the fun side, if you ever doubt whether a car is a supercar or not, consider this:

A car might be a supercar if:

  • you have a wallpaper or a poster of it
  • It's worth more than your house
  • you drool when you see one
  • it can break the speed limit in 1st gear
  • you will probably never own one,
  • but if you do, you would never give the keys to the valet.

In conclusion, a supercar is a car that changes your idea of ​​what a car is and what a car can do.

Let’s Learn More About How to Get Cheap Auto Insurance

Do you have the right car insurance? Well, many people think that it is a must to have the right car insurance. It will be better if you get the best one with cheap auto insurance. While most people know whether they have liability, collision or comprehensive coverage, some people pay much attention to their insurance coverage until after they have been in an accident, the others just do not really care about it.

Shopping for car insurance is an important planning topic that is often overlooked since most teenagers are added to mom and dad’s insurance policy when they first get behind the wheel and then later shop for the least expensive policy when they have to the pay the bill on their own. In this article, we will be discussing car insurance coverage and so you will get some tips to help you get the most for your money.

Cheap auto insurance has two primary benefits. The first one is protecting your assets and the second one is protecting your health. Getting the proper coverage is the first step in the process. These are the basic types of coverage with which most people are familiar:

1. Liability: This coverage pays for third-party personal injury and death-related claims, as well as any damage to another person’s property that occurs as a result of your automobile accident.

2. Collision: This coverage pays to repair your car after an accident. It is required if you have a loan against your vehicle because the car isn’t really yours – it belongs to the bank, which wants to avoid getting stuck with a wrecked car.

3. Comprehensive: This coverage pays for damage incurred as a result of theft, vandalism, fire, water, etc. If you paid cash for your car or paid off your car loan, you may not need collision or comprehensive coverage.

In addition to the coverage listed above, other optional coverage types include the following:

a. Full Tort/Limited Tort: Your insurance will be reduced by a few dollars if you give up the right to sue when you get an accident. However, giving up your rights is rarely a smart financial move.

b. Medical Payments/Personal Injury Protection: Personal injury protection pays the cost of medical bills for the policyholder and passengers. If you have good health insurance coverage, this may not be necessary.

c. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: This type provides for medical and property damage coverage if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist.

d. Towing: Towing coverage pays for a tow if your vehicle cannot be driven after an accident. If you are a member of an automobile service, or if your vehicle comes with roadside assistance provided by the manufacturer, this coverage is unnecessary.

e. Glass Breakage: Some companies do not cover broken glass under their collision or comprehensive policies. In general, this coverage is not worth the long-term cost.

f. Rental: This insurance option covers the cost of a rental car, but rental cars are so inexpensive that it may not be worth paying for this coverage.

g. Gap: If you demolish that $35,000 sport-utility vehicle 10 minutes after you drive it off the lot, the amount the insurance company pays is likely to leave you with no vehicle and a big bill. The same thing applies if your new set of wheels gets stolen. Gap insurance pays the difference between the blue book value of a vehicle and the amount of money still owed on the car. If you are leasing a vehicle or purchasing a vehicle with a low, or no, down payment, gap insurance is a great idea.

Insurance Lawyers

This professional specializes in different types of insurance and the lawful upholding of these different insurance policies. During a normal workday, they may work with staff and aides to track any current cases progression, complete continuing education courses like changes in insurance law, or investigate current cases. Some of the more common types of insurance include:

• Auto

• Home

• Health

• Mortgage

When you work as an insurance lawyer, you can practice in any of these areas or other divisions of insurance law. One function an insurance lawyer involves mitigating insurance law cases, which could involve both corporate and personal insurance law. The lawyer that practices mitigation may need to have the ability to gather and decipher information, have communication skills when they present the collected information to the court, and employ time management skills.

Case mitigation will often work concurrently with case investigation. Along with the staff and aides, the insurance claim lawyer will collect facts that surround the insurance case so they can present the facts to the court. The facts will be the basis for the defense of the client who has hired this lawyer to represent their case. An insurance lawyer may also oversee the writing of new insurance policies for corporate or professional clients. Insurance underwriters may complete the specific writing of these policies. The insurance lawyer is most often responsible for verifying the legality of the policy and removing any loopholes it may have.

Insurance laws do change so the insurance lawyer may need to attend continuing education seminars or take continuing education courses so they can stay up-to-date on all of the different changes. The continuing education can help the insurance lawyer provide the most effective presentation to the client that hires the attorney. In all regions, it may not be necessary to do continuing education classes in order to maintain their license in insurance law and be able to practice this type of law.

There is a long list of insurance companies, laws, and policies, which an insurance lawyer can practice. Each type of insurance does require a certain type of knowledge in regards to give their clients effective legal support that is needed to win insurance cases. An insurance lawyer can work for the defendant or victim.

To become an insurance lawyer you must have a bachelor degree and a law degree from a law school that is accredited. To be admitted to the law school you will need to have a satisfactory score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). In law school, you will receive intensive classroom instruction and legal learning experiences. Before you graduate, you will also need to complete an internship. Many will do this internship in a law firm that specializes in insurance law.

About A Good Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Medical malpractice lawyers are of great importance as they help you in filing a case when a doctor makes a mistake that results to harm. A good attorney should help you in the following stages:

Investigation

This is the first thing that a good lawyer should do. He should contact all the doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers who are directly or indirectly involved in the alleged malpractice. When the lawyer contacts the involved parties, he should ask for copies of the relevant medical records.

After getting the records he should do extensive research and understand the condition that you were suffering from. He should also understand how to treat the condition.

In addition to seeking for information online, a good attorney should also seek help from an expert. For example, if you were suffering from asthma at the time of the malpractice, the attorney should contact an asthma expert and learn as much about the condition as possible. The lawyer should also ask the expert whether you were treated the right way.

Filing suit

Once the attorney has done his research and has come up with a conclusion that there was malpractice, he should file a lawsuit. He should then serve the defendants and their attorneys with copies of papers that show that a lawsuit has been filed.

Pretrial discovery

At this stage the lawyer should find the people who will be witnesses in court. The attorney will determine what type of people they are, whether the jury will like them, and if they are believable.

He should also ask the witnesses to give their part of the story. After listening to all the witnesses, he should come up with a conclusion as to whether it’s wise to go to the next step.

Negotiations and settlement

The good thing with most medical malpractice cases is that they settle. This means that the cases don’t go to trial. The reason why the cases settle is because the insurance companies cover them.

Sometimes the negotiations towards settlement are unsuccessful and the involved parties are forced to go to trial.

Trial

At the trial stage the witnesses are asked to testify in court. To increase the chances of winning the case, the lawyer should prepare exhibits, visual aids, questions to witnesses, and opening statements. Although, an attorney should do everything possible to help you in winning the case, you should remember that the final decision lies with the judge.

Insurance Coverage for the Egg /Poultry Farmer

Like any business owner, a poultry farm owner faces exposure to many commercial liability risks. Storms, floods, fires, insect and rodent damages and equipment is perhaps more real to this industry than others.

Nonetheless, the genuine threat posed to this type of farmer relates to the dreaded salmonella bacteria. Salmonella contamination can result in food poisoning. In the case of the poultry farmer, eggs can become infected and if eaten by the public cause a health threat.

Of late, there has been a salmonella scare about the eggs sold in various US states. Due to this the egg farmers have recalled more than two hundred million eggs!

Consumers have been told not to eat or cook the eggs. Instead, they have been instructed to return the eggs to the retail outlets where they bought them and receive a refund.

A Quick Summary about Salmonella

• More than a million US residents are infected with Salmonella on an annual basis. This has prompted hospitals to admit twenty-three thousand patients and is the grounds for four hundred and fifty related deaths.

• Children under the age of twelve are most prone to Salmonella food poisoning, but the infection is most dangerous for babies, seniors and those suffering from compromised immune systems.

• Most bouts of Salmonella are cured within 4 to 7 days by bed rest and drinking water and juice. Certain cases, however, are resolved only with the use of antibiotics.

Chicken, Turkey and Egg Farm Insurance

If a Salmonella outbreak hits the chicken, turkey and egg farm, there will be a significant loss of income to the owner. Moreover, lawsuits are bound to surface. All of this points to the importance of having sufficient related commercial insurance coverage.

Associated Farm Insurance protects poultry raised on the property and feed mills. In addition, it protects financial backers of big flocks of chicken and geese raised to become broilers, breeders or those grown for the production of eggs.

Coverage is usually prepared on an ‘all-risks’ form that is exclusively written for the poultry farmer. This type of insurance covers poultry mortality due to climatic or humid conditions, and so on. This can cover climate conditions in the farm or even while the poultry are being moved from one place to another in a vehicle.

Other perils to the poultry farm may include:

• Mishandling of chemicals

• Seepage from storage tanks or ponds on the property

• Harsh poultry conditions

A select group of related farm insurance plans cover contamination risks as well.

Making Travel and Car Insurance Tax Friendly

Over the last few years, technology has advanced in leaps and bounds. There has been a great improvement in the automobile industry. Although a relatively small portion of the Indian population owns a car, the percentage is slowly increasing. At the same time, a far larger portion of the population owns at least some sort of vehicle. Many who cannot afford a car own vehicles such as a scooter, a motorcycle, etc.

With the growing of the Indian middle class and the relatively affordable travel fare, travelling has become easier. More and more people have begun roaming the world. This calls for an increased demand for travel insurance. This is because no event is devoid of blunders. Luggage can be lost, flights and trains missed, accidents are not unheard of. Unfortunately, not everyone is able to afford this along with their travel expenses. Travelling internationally can be especially expensive and international travel insurance even more so.

On the other hand, car insurance is one of the more popular insurance policies opted for in India. This is because it is mandatory. Anyone who owns a car needs an insurance policy on it. As a result, buying a car incurs multiple other costs along with it. Its insurance policies are extremely costly and can dissuade people from buying a car altogether. In 2007, less than 1% of India’s population owned a car. Yet, the rapid increase in the car owning population shows the increased investment in this insurance policy. This can be seen as 4.7% of India’s population owned a car/jeep/van in 2013.

Today, as we stress on advancement, we must also look to the people. We need to discover better ways to aid them. Investing in motor insurance and international travel insurance is often the deterrence needed for putting people off of buying vehicles or travelling internationally. As a result, in order to facilitate the growth of such policies, it is important to make them more advantageous.

For why would people invest in an extremely expensive travel insurance policy? It is true that blunders are not unheard of, but they are not extremely common either. Many may consider it a waste of money. But there would also be some among these who have repented this decision. Almost everything in most places abroad, ranging from hotel stay to public transport, is more expensive.

Hence, in order to encourage people to spend on such useful policies, we need to make an effort. Making such policies tax friendly allows people to discern their advantages. The hesitation they suffer in the expense can be avoided in the advantages the policy proposes. This would be for the benefit of the people themselves as such policies offer a valuable back up.

Car Charity – A Solution For Your Aging Car

There are a number of different things that you can do with your old car today. Not so long ago, people would assume that a car which is at the end of its life can only be junked. This is not the case today, where there are multiple options that one can consider.

Many of the newer options are considered to be as car charity, and for good reason. After all, if there is no more use for your old car, giving it away for charity shouldn’t be such a bad idea. Here are a couple of ways in which you can do so.

Giving it to a website

There are so many different charity websites out there that you can make use of in order to give away your car. In just a couple of clicks, you can have someone pick up your car for you and put it for better use.

There has not been an easier way to donate a car before this. Hence, if your car is not in a drivable condition, this is a great way to get rid of it and ensure that someone else can put it to better use.

Giving it to local charities

If you are not comfortable with using the internet, you can call some of the local charities around your home and inform them about your decision to give the car away. But, be warned that you might not always be lucky in finding these charities.

In many cases, you might have to look quite hard in order to find the charities that can help you out in this manner. While car donations are still noble, smaller charities run on a tight budget, which doesn’t permit them to pick up cars on your behalf. Hence, the internet triumphs in this manner.

Donating it to someone you know

If you feel that your car is not going to be of use for you, then you should consider parting ways with it. If there is someone that you think is in dire need of a vehicle, you can consider giving away your car to them.

In this way, not only will you feel good, but you have also bought a lot of joy to someone else. Thus, car donation is a very healthy activity that helps lesser fortunate people to enjoy the luxury of moving in a car without having to pay as much to buy a car.

Hence, it should be understood that car charity is not necessarily for the people that have a lot of money lying around. If you have a vehicle that is not of use for you any more, consider donating it rather than selling it.

There are many different ways in which you can do this today. The best way to donate a car would be through the internet, but there are other options too in case you want them.

Hence, choose the option that best works out for you and stick with that. The joy that you get from doing such a thing is to only be experienced, as words cannot do justice for it!