Dealing with Homesick Law Students: Henry’s Perspective

It doesn’t seem to matter how independent and strong-willed you are. Nope, everyone gets homesick at some point. That also includes us law students, even if we’ve already been in school for a long time. Some of us only left our home states in search of the best education we could get.

It’s great to know that we’re getting the best education we can, but sometimes, you just miss mom’s home-cooked meatloaf, you know?

Since we started this blog, I’ve been thinking about some of the common problems we run into, especially living together, and homesickness seems to keep popping up. So, how do we older law students deal on the days when you’re sick or alone or just missing out on holiday fun?

Far from Home

It seems like I’m the farthest away from home, and for the shortest time. I grew up in Illinois, and even when I was little, I always dreamed of being a personal injury lawyer in Chicago. I loved when we took trips into the city, so it was always an important place for me.

Now, though, I’m missing it even harder. I finished my undergrad at the University of Chicago, so I spent four years really falling in love with the city. While I’m planning to go back as soon as I’ve got my degree, I do still miss the city, my family, and my old friends.

How I Cope

For a lot of us, it’s easy to get caught up in the nostalgia and homesickness. You come down with a cold, but there’s no one to make you chicken noodle soup and bring you tissues. Still, there are a few ways I deal with homesickness.

One of the most important parts of my week is giving my parents a call. Skype doesn’t exactly make up for an in-person hug, but it can help until the holidays come around. Then, of course, I always put reminders on my calendar about the holidays. I include flight times, when to buy my tickets, and when my holiday breaks begin and end.

Adding time to my year to visit home and see people is important to me, so I always make a point to visit. When I get to go back and make new happy memories, it’s easier to wait again for the next visit.

Surviving Law School and Making Connections

My last tip for those studying out-of-state or away from home doesn’t have to do with visiting parents at all, though. Instead, I suggest making friends and building connections together.

For Nate, Mallory, Candace, Clark, Daniela, and I, that’s not too hard. We share this big house together, so of course we’re together and doing things as a group all the time. However, that’s not always so easy for others.

If you’re missing home and it’s making studying had, try going out with your friends or even meeting someone new. Sometimes, it can make your homesickness a little easier.

Studying with Law Student Roommates

Living on your own comes with a lot of responsibility. You’re expected to keep up with all your laundry, do your own dishes, and keep the place clean. At least the lawn and repairs are handled by the landlord, but sometimes, it’s hard to adjust. Some of us never even had to take care of those things before we moved off to college.

Studying comes with that, too. Plenty of smart kids know how easy it can be to coast by on a good memory when you’re in high school. Law school, though, isn’t so simple. You’re dealing with a bigger workload in general, and that’s tough to balance.

That balance is something we found out the hard way.

Learning to Study

It started with our first semester, during the first few weeks when grades are just coming in. Mallory was the first to get her papers back, and she was upset. She wasn’t a C-grade student, but there it was in red on the top of her paper.

In fact, Mallory is one of the hardest workers in the house. She’s from the rural South and got here on scholarships and grants. In fact, she even wants to return to be a car accident attorney in Alabama. Sadly, now she was worried about that dream coming true. If she’d struggled so much with a test on personal injury law, what other hurdles would the future throw at her?

When the rest of us began receiving average or even bad grades, we knew we had to do something. Sure, taking time to clean and have fun was important, but our grades were on the line!

Flashcards and Notes and Practice Tests, Oh My!

While we’re all studying different fields of law, certain things do carry over. Most importantly,we needed to learn accountability. Separately, it was easy to never ask what the other housemates were doing and whether they were taking time to study. Now, that wasn’t an option.

Unless a big event was happening, we started to meet every night at the kitchen table. It’s a big one, so there’s enough room to set up our laptops, spread out our notes, and get to work. We set a one-hour timer, too. Some of us only need that long for most nights, while others might be up for half the night on an exam week.

If we share classes, that gives us a chance to study the material together, too. Now, it’s no longer an option to sit alone in our rooms, working away at cases we don’t understand. This way, we can ask questions, get answers, and understand the work a little better.

Studying Now for Better Results Later

After all that studying, it didn’t take long to see great results. Mallory was the first, again, to get her test results back. This time, it was a perfect score, and she jumped for joy. The rest of us teased her about taking a break, but we know her too well. That night, she was right there with us, humming as she wrote out some practice summaries.

Now, though, we’re all seeing the results of our hard work. Of course, we all learned a lesson, too. When you’re in good company, even studying doesn’t have to be so bad.

What Is Michigan’s Motorcycle Helmet Law?

Not every U.S. state requires its motorcycle riders to wear helmets. In Michigan’s largest city, those who end up in the hospital after a traffic mishap often call a motorcycle accident attorney in Detroit. After consulting with a competent lawyer who specializes in traffic and other personal injury issues, people are often surprised to learn the fine points of the state’s laws pertaining to helmets.

What Is Michigan’s Motorcycle Helmet Law?

Michigan is one of the “lenient states” when it comes to rules about wearing motorcycle helmets. However, the law itself is a bit complicated. In general, anyone under the age of 21 must wear a helmet while driving or riding a motorcycle. The rules for those who are over 21, whether drivers or riders, are different.

– For drivers:

As noted above, a driver of a motorcycle must be over the age of 21 to choose not to wear a helmet. In addition, the driver must carry, at minimum, $20,000 in first-party medical benefits and must have either passed an approved safety course or held a motorcycle license for more than two years.

– For riders:

In addition to being over 21, the rider must carry his or her own $20,000 (minimum) medical first-party insurance. This amount of insurance cannot be the same as the insurance carried by the driver.

Note that the Michigan law allows those who have met the criteria above to “choose” whether they wish to wear a helmet. Good judgment dictates wearing a helmet even when the law does not. Helmets do much more that prevent scrapes and scratches. In fact, motorcycle helmets do much more than is commonly thought. Here is a short list of the advantages of wearing a motorcycle helmet:

Why Motorcycle Helmets Make Sense

  1. Helmets protect the brain and the head. Head/brain injuries are the primary cause of death for people who are in motorcycle accidents in the U.S. No, a helmet will not prevent every instance of head/brain injury, but the fact remains that they do prevent a huge percentage of serious head injuries.
  2. Helmets improve the driver’s and passenger’s visibility. Motorcycle helmets are designed to be seen by other drivers and even by pedestrians. Riders and drivers without helmets are at a much higher risk of not being noticed. That means more accidents, more injuries, and more deaths when helmets are not worn.
  3. Helmets offer face protection in accidents. There’s so much focus on the serious injuries to the brain and head that the face protection afforded by helmets is often neglected.
  4. Helmets with visors greatly improve driver visibility. Air, dust, rain, snow, and other impurities in the air can decrease visibility quickly. Wearing a helmet with a good visor eliminates this problem completely.
  5. Helmets will save you money on your motorcycle insurance. If you have an accident while wearing a helmet, some insurance companies will view that as a plus, notate the fact that you are a conscientious driver, and give you a more lenient medical payout.

Alabama Car Accident Statistics 2018

It is always interesting to see the numbers for vehicular accidents at the end of each year. They show whether safety programs and new laws had any discernible effect. They point to the leaders and to those lagging behind.

Every state generates its own reports, and these are compiled to create a national database. The final report for 2018 is not yet out, but some data from the first half of the year is already available. The Alabama car accident statistics 2018 can be found on the website of the National Safety Council. In fact, the NSC has data for every state in the US.

A Small Drop in Fatalities

The council compared the best estimates from 2017 and 2018. According to their findings, the frequency of motor vehicle deaths actually declined by a small amount in the year—a one-percent reduction, to be exact. A few states experienced a significant decline in fatalities, including Wyoming, Kansas, Maine, and New Jersey—each posting reductions of at least 9.4%.

Unfortunately, there were also others that registered an increase of more than 5.8%. These include Oregon, Nevada, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Florida, and New Hampshire. Alabama is not an outlier like these states, but the figures show a rise in crash fatalities of up to four percent.

Note that the final reports for 2018 are likely to come out in August of 2019, so these are only estimates for now. Still, it is good to know that the roads do not seem to have gotten more dangerous in the past year despite the rise in vehicle registrations and other factors which could have pushed the figures up.

The total deaths for the US remain around forty thousand in 2018, with there being just 231 more in 2017. Focusing on Alabama, there were 1,044 fatalities in 2016, 914 in 2017, and 948 in 2018.

Road Safety Strategies

Avoid being part of the statistics by driving carefully. Follow all the traffic rules but be wary of those who don’t. Stay clear of alcohol, drugs, phones, and other things that could impair your driving. Focus on the road at all times. If you are less than one-hundred percent, then ask your friends to drive you home. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Leave early, so you do not have to race towards your destination. If you do get involved in a crash, then call an Alabama auto collision lawyer immediately for assistance.

How to Protect Yourself After Providing a Tip to the SEC

When you have witnessed someone committing securities fraud, it is crucial you report the violation of securities law to the SEC. The securities and exchange commission will take action and prosecute the perpetrator.

While reporting a crime is the right thing to do, you should know that there are consequences. For starters, your employer or supervisor may retaliate against you. If it is discovered that you snitched, you may be fired. You can even be demoted or transferred to a different department that nobody wants to work in. It is important you learn how to protect yourself after providing a tip to the SEC. After all, the SEC may even decide to come after you instead of going after the main suspect.

The SEC Whistleblower Program provides a cash reward to whistleblowers who provide information that lead to the successful prosecution of suspects and financial sanctions. If the financial sanctions exceed a million dollars, whistleblowers can expect to get fifteen to twenty-five percent of the recovered amount as a cash reward.

If you have been fired after providing the SEC with a tip, the cash reward will ensure you can live a comfortable life. After all, getting another job in the industry will be next to impossible when employers find out that you have previously tipped off the SEC. The following will help you to protect yourself after tipping off the SEC:

1. Hire a Whistleblower Attorney

The SEC does not have your interests at heart. You should know this beforehand. Therefore, you need to take care of yourself by hiring an experienced whistleblower attorney. The ideal lawyer should have a lot of experience helping clients report securities violations to the Securities and Exchange Commission. They should also have a great reputation in the industry, like SEC whistleblower lawyer Stuart Meissner.

2. Use Anonymity

When tipping off the SEC, you should consider protecting your identity to ensure you do not experience employer retaliation. You can remain anonymous through an arrangement between your attorney and the SEC. This will not prevent you from being an effective witness. It will also not prevent you from getting the cash reward that whistleblowers are entitled.

3. Understand State Law

Before you blow the whistle, be sure to read your employment contract, state employment law, federal employment laws, as well as the SEC whistleblower rules. This will help to ensure you know what you are getting into. You do not want to report a crime and end up getting sued by your employer for breach of contract, among other things. That said, having a competent lawyer by your side will ensure that you are not left exposed when you tip off the SEC about violations of securities law by your employer or colleagues.

Phoenix Injury Statistics

Injury is a physical trauma done to the body usually caused by an outside force. That external force could be courtesy an accident, hit, fall, weapon, etc. A car accident is one of the major reasons for severe injuries. Irresponsible or reckless driving can be quite dangerous. To provide you some perspective, the following are some Phoenix road accident facts.

Why Learn About Car Accidents?

There are certain places, times, and circumstances under which road accidents are likely to happen. While you may not always be able to stop a car accident from happening, you could decrease your likelihood of being in such an accident if you know the causes. By reviewing car accident statistics in Phoenix, you would discover the types of irresponsible driving behaviors that could lead to injuries and accidents

Types

Most common accident type in Arizona is accidents involving vehicles in transport. The second most common type involves stationary objects followed by accidents with non-stationary. A major portion of the accidents (more than six thousand) belonged to an unknown category.

Top Causes

As per the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), major reasons for car accidents in Phoenix include:

  • Speeding
  • Driver fatigue
  • Drunk driving
  • Running red lights
  • Distracted driving
  • Aggressive driving
  • Inclement weather
  • Traffic congestion
  • Roadway defects

More than 4,800 accidents involving cars on Arizona roads had an alcohol connection. Of those, more than 280 involved fatalities. While crashes caused due to alcohol consumption accounted for approximately four percent of all crashes in the state, they accounted for close to a third of all fatal accidents.

The day of the week and time of the day also factored into these accidents. In 2017, most car accidents happened on a Friday, between 5 and 6 p.m. The most fatal accidents happened between 8 and 9 pm on the same day. January 20, 2017 saw the most crashes per year at 640.

Holidays are one of the most dangerous times to travel; the Thanksgiving travel period (November 22 to 27, 2017) witnessed 16 fatal crashes, which is the most for any holiday. The New Years period (Dec 30 to Jan 3, 2017) saw 12 fatal crashes and the Christmas travel period (Dec 22 to 26, 2017) had 11 fatal accidents.

Statistics

2017 saw more than fifty-five thousand injuries and close to one thousand deaths due to vehicle crashes in Arizona where 226 pedestrians also died due to these crashes. 1,700 crashes involved pedestrians—over 1,500 of them happened in urban areas. Moreover, about eighty-five percent of all pedestrian accidents led to injury of some type.

People in the twenty-five to thirty-four year age group were killed and injured the most due to these crashes and individuals in the thirty-five to forty-four year age group were the second most. Men dominated both the categories, having more injuries and deaths than women.

The state’s total economic losses during the period due to vehicle crashes were more than ten billion dollars, and Phoenix had contributed to that loss significantly.  

As far as death or serious injuries go, vehicle drivers were much more likely to suffer compared to pedestrians or passengers. Adolescents and young drivers are more likely to be involved in a car accident on Phoenix roads.  

If you were part of a car crash in Phoenix, Arizona, contact the Law Offices of Michael Cordova to stay clear on the legal side of things.

Finding the Right Lawyer May Be Key to Your Injury Case

It’s always important to work with a lawyer who is knowledgeable, experienced, and approachable, although finding the right lawyer may be key to your injury case and often the difference between winning or losing your case.

Many people who have been injured understandably don’t want to pay for the services of an attorney, and it’s also tempting to believe you can handle things yourself, especially if you have a clear case. If you are only slightly hurt or there is minor damage to your vehicle in a car accident, it’s realistic to handle your case yourself, if you have at least a basic grasp of the system. However, statistically those who use the services of an accident attorney are typically awarded a higher settlement than people who don’t. This is partly because the insurance companies are forced to take the issue more seriously than they might otherwise have done, and partly because a competent attorney is often able to find more compelling evidence to support your case.

As a general rule, if you have a serious injury, are looking at very high medical bills, or there’s potential for a large amount of lost wages, it makes sense to hire a personal injury lawyer. Along the same lines, a long-term or permanent injury or one that is potentially life changing also means that working with a good lawyer would be a smart move.

Another occasion when you should work with a personal injury attorney is when the other party’s insurance company is disputing your claim or reluctant to blame their client. The other party’s insurance company may have a team of lawyers or experts on their side, which can be intimidating; you may well be pressured into accepting a lower compensation amount or even giving up your claim altogether.

It’s worth remembering that the typical insurance company doesn’t want to pay out unless they absolutely have to; their strategy is often to question or contest any claim—a process that can be frustratingly slow. Your attorney may be able to speed up the process so that a decision in your case is made sooner, rather than later, and will make a point of keeping you updated on the potential outcome.

Of course, the goal of your personal injury lawyer is to help you to win your case and to try to secure the largest settlement amount possible. In addition, a good personal injury lawyer will liaise with the other party’s insurance company and take care of any paperwork or other requirements, so you don’t have to.

If you have never had to deal with a personal injury claim, or insurance company claims, it can be confusing and frustrating; it’s easy to feel your claim is not being taken seriously. In short, you are paying for your attorney’s knowledge of the system, their expertise, and to have the support and advice of someone throughout the entire process—a process that can take weeks or even months.

The requirements can also vary between states; dealing with a personal injury lawyer at Anderson and Anderson, injury attorneys means you will always receive the most up to date and relevant advice. If you need a good personal injury attorney, take advantage of the free consultation that’s offered by most lawyers. It gives you a chance to ask questions and discuss your case, and to make sure you work with someone that’s right for you. Another effective strategy is to get recommendations from family or friends, or even from your state bar association. Just remember, to increase your chances of a favorable outcome, it’s important to work with someone with relevant personal injury experience.

Why Work with a Private Criminal Defense Attorney in TX?

When charged with a criminal offense, a person has the right to hire an attorney to defend them. If they cannot afford to hire an attorney, they can be represented by a public defender. Since many people cannot afford to hire a competent attorney, they often opt to be represented by a public defender.

Unfortunately, this is not a good idea for several reasons. This is because public defenders all over the country have a dismal record when it comes to winning. When a prosecutor takes a case to court, they are sure that they have a watertight case. Therefore, a public defender can only negotiate a plea deal with the prosecution for a lighter sentence. In fact, that is what the role of a public defender has been limited to – explaining legal situations to their clients and convincing them to take a plea deal.

Why Work with a Private Criminal Defense Attorney in TX?

Whether you are innocent or guilty of the crime you’re charged, it is crucial you hire a private criminal defense lawyer to boost your chances of getting the charges dropped. Defense lawyers who practice privately are usually highly-qualified and have a lot of experience representing clients. Therefore, they can offer quality legal services. As a result, you can expect to get the best outcomes possible when you are represented by a private lawyer.

You can also save a lot of money in terms of fines and other costs that you may be required to pay if found guilty. After all, a private lawyer can mount a successful defense, convince the prosecutor or the court that there is insufficient evidence to convict you, and help you get the charges dropped. In some cases, they can point out a problem with the way the police arrested, booked, or arraigned you in court. These procedural issues are enough to have your case thrown out.

Defense lawyers in private practice usually have a team of legal researchers who normally conduct research on case law, state law, federal law, and can even carry out an investigation of the incident privately to discover new facts or the truth. Public defenders, on the other hand, usually have tight schedules and limited resources, so they are not able to afford you the kind of legal representation you deserve.

Another reason why you should consider hiring a private defense lawyer as opposed to using a public defender or representing yourself in Texas courts is the fact that some crimes come with a death sentence. Since your life is literally on the line, you cannot afford to let a novice, in the name of a public defender, handle your case. You must hire the most qualified defense lawyer who is in private practice to handle your case. This will only boost your chances of success.

Since private lawyers usually charge a higher rate, you can hold a fundraiser after getting released on bond. You can even remortgage the house to get the funds needed to hire a competent lawyer to help you mount a strong defense. Money should not be an issue because you do not want to spend decades or life in prison or get a death sentence just because you did not have competent legal counsel. Be sure to get in touch with criminal defense lawyers Crain, Lewis, and Brogdon for the best criminal defense for your case.

Getting Back Behind the Wheel After a Serious Crash

When it comes to getting back behind the wheel after a serious crash, it is important to understand that every individual must take all the time they need before they do this. It is vital that drivers feel comfortable and confident and ready to drive after a major accident.

In a serious crash, it is likely that the drivers and passengers would have suffered serious injuries. The accident may have also led to death. The mental and emotional trauma caused by a major traffic accident often takes longer to heal than the physical injuries that are clearly visible.

Express Yourself Freely

Mental health experts say that suppressing anxiety and stress caused by the accident can do a lot of harm to the body and mind. In fact, it is also believed that it can hamper and delay the healing of injuries. You may find yourself reliving the moments of the crash over and over again and need to take steps that will help you move on.

It is important that you speak freely with your loved ones about the accident and communicate your fears and apprehensions. If your stress and anxiety is difficult to handle, you may also consider speaking with a counselor. It is vital to acknowledge your worries and not just push them away.

One Step at a Time

Once you have physically recovered from the injuries sustained in the accident, it is time to get behind the wheel. Do not make a big deal of it. Instead, take a short drive with a friend or family member. Once you are comfortable in the driver’s seat, you can start driving on familiar routes. Follow traffic rules and avoid distractions of any kind. Do not avoid the accident site. This will just add stress to the situation and make the event seem far bigger than it is.

If you have been in a serious car crash in Riverside, it is recommended that you consult with a Riverside car wreck lawyer. Your attorney will study your case and all the factors that contributed to the accident. You will then be advised on how to proceed with your case to protect your interests.

Your Riverside car wreck lawyer will ensure that you understand your rights and responsibilities and that you are well represented. Since the attorneys are well versed in the laws of the state, they will make certain that all the facts are presented so that you receive just compensation.

Most Dangerous Intersections in San Diego

San Diego County’s urban neighborhoods are becoming dangerous for street-crossing. Several cases of drivers killing pedestrians have been reported in the recent past, as per the SDME 2016 annual report. Many studies have been compiled to identify the most dangerous intersections in San Diego.

The findings came up with close to two-hundred hotspots, including areas previously detected by pedestrian advocates.  

University Avenue in San Diego has been notorious for its dangerous intersections that pose issues to people travelling by foot. The problem with this corridor is that pedestrians are not being given the right-of-way like before. Almost everyone is trying to cut ahead and there are people on their phones while walking or in their cars.

Studies discovered that several perilous locations, leading to severe injuries and deaths, had wide streets and were close to major highways. For instance, the fourth most dangerous crossing on most lists was Chula Vista’s 4th Avenue and C Street, located close to Interstate 5 and Route 54. The seventh most hazardous intersection was Camino Del Rio and Sports Arena Boulevard. These are two big traffic arteries feeding into Interstates 8 and 5 directly.

The popular pedestrian crossings along the roads, where you could see cars traveling at speeds more than thirty-five miles per hour, are leading to disaster. The relatively freeway-rich San Diego has made drivers very used to the notion of traveling faster.  

The possibility of death goes up significantly as speed heightens the impact. The chances of death are twenty-five percent when a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle that’s moving at a speed of close to twenty-three miles per hour—at forty-two miles per hour, fatalities will occur half the time and ninety percent of the time when the speed is fifty-eight miles per hour.

With walking-friendly urban environments becoming popular, potential for car-pedestrian collisions are going up. In the densest areas, where people regularly traverse intersections in hordes, an etiquette of sorts has developed between motorists and pedestrians. The most hazardous areas are places where this informal etiquette involving negotiation and choreography has just started to evolve.

If you’ve been involved in a road accident in San Diego, contact a car accident attorney in San Diego right away to procure compensation that you deserve for your property and personal losses.