Nearly 100,000 car accidents each year is caused by DWD--Driving While Drowsy. Approximately 1,500 people are killed in car accidents because of it. According to sleep experts, driving tests on someone being awake for 18 to 19 hours results in the similar findings as someone who has an alcohol level of .1.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a typical automobile accident related to DWD--driving while drowsy--has the following characteristics:
The problem occurs during late night/early morning or mid afternoon.
The car accident is likely to be serious.
A single vehicle leaves the roadway.
The automobile accident occurs on a high-speed road.
The driver does not attempt to avoid the car accident.
The driver is alone in the vehicle.
Although no driver is immune, the people highest at risk are young people (ages 16 to 29), especially males; shift workers whose sleep is disrupted by working at night or working long or irregular hours; and people with untreated sleep apnea syndrome or narcolepsy.
Studies have showed that taking a short nap (about 15 to 20 minutes) and consuming caffeine equivalent to two cups of coffee do make a short-term difference. However, other suggestions such as opening a window or listening to the radio have not proven to remedy DWD.
If you are too drowsy to drive, pull over and rest. Call a friend to pick you up. Do something so you and all the other drivers and passengers on the road are not injured or killed because of your driving while drowsy.
In my practice, I have represented families who have suffered because someone else caused an automobile accident because they were too tired to drive safely. Families can be forever changed because of a car accident. I have seen it happen too many times!
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
Obtaining cash for structured settlement payments is a rather complex process. Before making the decision to cash in your structured settlement, it's important to understand how the process works.
You can receive cash for structured settlement payments by selling your note payable to an annuity broker or financial institution. There are numerous companies who offer lump sum cash payments in exchange for annuity payments. However, it is important to scrutinize the individual or company offering the deal.
When selling structured settlement payments you will be required to sign legal documents assigning the rights to your future payments over to the investor. Depending on your financial circumstances you may choose to sell all future payments or only a portion of them.
Let's say you have a structured settlement valued at $100,000 and paid out over 10 years. You receive $10,000 per year. Now, let's say you are in need of $10,000 cash. Instead of selling the entire structured settlement, you can sell one year of payments in exchange for a lump sum cash payment. After the $10,000 has been repaid to the investor through the assignment of payments, the annuity payments will resume and be paid directly to you.
The first thing you will need to do before selling your structured settlement payments is to determine how much money you need. Oftentimes, people sell their structured settlement to pay off medical expenses, debts or college tuition. Others are in need of quick cash for investment purposes such as buying real estate or stocks and bonds.
Prior to selling structured settlement payments the seller must obtain court approval. A judge reviews the case to determine if the seller will benefit from the transaction. As long as there is a genuine need for the transaction, the judge will normally approve the request. However, if the judge denies the request, structured settlement purchasing companies may be able to help the seller take the necessary steps to obtain authorization from the court.
When working with a structured settlement investor you will be required to provide details about the note. The investor will need documentation of the transaction including the name of the insurance company and the exact dates and monetary amounts you receive.
The investor will review the structured settlement to determine its present day value. Afterwards, the investor will contact you to discuss payment options. Once the terms have been agreed upon, legal documents will be filed with the court. Upon approval from the court, it usually takes between 6 and 8 weeks to receive cash for structured settlements.
You want to feel at ease with the structured settlement investor or company you choose. Take time to conduct research and contact references provided by the investment company. Ask plenty of questions and make certain you have a thorough understanding of the transaction prior to signing any documents. After all, it is your money and you don't want to lose it to an unscrupulous individual