How to avoid investment fraud

What does investment fraud mean, and how can you protect yourself against it?

Investment fraud is when a broker abuses his or her authority over your money and uses it for purposes that are not in your best interest. In theory, this isn’t supposed to happen. Brokers are tasked with doing what is best for you and your financial interests. They are supposed to think only of how to maximize your gains and still keep your money secure.

In the real world, this often does not happen. Instead, brokers may push your money into particular stocks or bonds that benefit them or other clients more than you. If they do this without clearly explaining the fact to you, they are committing fraud.

But how do you protect against such things?

The best course to follow if you are trying to be proactive and can afford it is always to diversify. Don’t trust all your money to one broker. Put money aside in several areas, including some in savings, some in bonds, and some in annuities, so that even in the case of extremely poor management, you’ll still have a significant portion of your money left.

The next major point is to educate yourself. Although it may be asking too much to become a financial expert, find out enough to be able to keep up with the terms and the logic of your broker’s decisions. The better you can understand what is happening, the better you can guard against mismanagement.

Finally, a step worth considering you believe mismanagement has already occurred is looking into getting an investment lawyer. A lawyer can help you sue to recover your lost investment if there is cause for it.

It’s worth point out that this is only an option if your broker lost your money through fraud or criminal mismanagement. It is entirely possible for a broker to mismanage your funds, lose your money, and to have done nothing wrong in the eyes of the law. Bad investments are possible for anyone to make. Even great investors make them sometimes. If your broker made a few bad choices honestly, you might have a very little case.

However, if your broker either showed purpose in misusing your funds (particularly without your approval) or else showed negligence in how they protected against your losses, you may have a case to make, and may be able to recover something of what is lost.

The financial industry is an incredibly powerful way to make money, and one that all are encouraged to be involved in, but only up to a point. Just as the market can make you a fortune or a comfortable retirement, it can lose those things as well. The better you follow the steps above, the better chance you have of walking away like a prince when you pull your money out, and the better chance you have of avoiding becoming a pauper due to fraud or negligence.

Read More

What Constitutes Wrongful Death?

In the aftermath of the recent tragedy in Charlottesville, many are troubled and hope for justice, both for Heather Heyer and the driver, James Fields. An important question, however, is: justice for what? James Fields actions can be classified as many different crimes. Officially, he has been charged with second-degree murder, but his actions might also be classified as manslaughter or wrongful death. What is the difference between these terms? Can Heather Heyer’s death be legally considered wrongful? In this article, we will explore the concept of wrongful death, some examples of it and what that might mean for you if you find yourself amidst a wrongful death case.

“Wrongful Death” can be applied to any case in which one person’s negligence and/or intention wholly or partially caused the death of another. There are four requirements that must typically be met for a wrongful death case:

  1. A death
  2. The death was caused by another person, with or without intent
  3. The dead person is survived by family or children
  4. The decedent’s estate must have a representative

If all of these conditions are met, there is a case to be made for wrongful death.

It is important to note that a person can be charged with both “murder” and “wrongful death.” The distinction between the two is that one, “murder” is the term used for criminal suits taken against individuals by the state. The other, “wrongful death,” is used in civil suits taken against individuals by other individuals or estates. Wrongful death cases might result in some financial reparations, but criminal punishments are only present in criminal trials. It is also important to note that since each charge is pursued in a different trial, it is possible that someone who is charged with both, might only be found guilty of one or the other. A stark example of this happening is OJ Simpson, who was found guilty of wrongful death but not of murder.

If wrongful death is a civil case, what are types of punishments can it justify? There are two categories of losses for which someone might be awarded following a wrongful death. In the first category, there are losses that the deceased might’ve earned from the cause of their death until the moment of their death. In the second category, there are losses that the deceased’s loved ones might’ve earned if they hadn’t had the emotional and financial turmoil related to the wrongful death. There are appropriate compensations for each of these categories that can be distributed amongst the deceased’s spouses, children, and even parents. Furthermore, depending on the circumstances of the death, a court may choose to take additional punitive measures against the defendant ranging from rehab to house arrest.

If someone close to you has been the victim of a wrongful death and you have suffered in any way because of it, you might be eligible for legal recourse. To be certain, you should contact an Indianapolis wrongful death attorney to discuss your options.

Read More

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is demeaning and derogatory. It robs a person of their agency and the perpetrators should have to face the consequences of their actions. New York State and city law as well as federal law prohibit employers from sexually harassing their employees in any way. The harassment includes:

  • Inappropriate touching
  • Making sexually suggestive comments or innuendos about another person
  • Grabbing, groping, and generally invading personal space
  • Inappropriate comments about a person’s clothing
  • Abusive and obscene comments about a person’s sexuality or gender
  • Quid pro quo

New York City sexual harassment lawyers encourage victims of any form of sexual harassment to come forward and file a lawsuit against their harasser. Leaving this unaddressed could lead to much worse situations for the victim and possibly for more victims is the harasser is not held accountable for their crude, disgusting behavior.

Addressing the problem is the first step to ridding workplaces of sexual harassment. If the victim felt uncomfortable enough to leave their workplace because of how hostile their abuser made their environment, they may have the opportunity to file a sexual harassment lawsuit and get the justice they deserve.

These actions may have developed over time- the abuser may have worsened their behavior gradually so that the victim may not even notice the harassment is happening. If their behavior matches the above-mentioned points, they are sexually harassing a victim and that is not tolerable. Speaking out against this violence is the right thing to do. Support the victims of sexual harassment and hold the perpetrators responsible.

Read More

Possible Fatal Mistakes Distracted Driving can Cause

During the first quarter of 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recorded 6,800 fatal car crashes all across the U.S. Though this count was 4.9 percent lower than the count during the same quarter of the previous year, 7,150 fatalities, it was still a big number, considering the fact that car accidents are totally preventable; the only thing necessary is that drivers observe proper road behavior road and traffic safety rules.

The possible consequences of a car accident include bruises, lacerations, injury to the neck, head or spinal column, amputated limb, bone fracture, painful and sore chest, neck, legs, arms and back, or untimely death. The most common causes of these accidents are driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI), driving beyond the speed limit and distracted driving – bad road behavior or driver errors which cause more than 90% of all road crashes.  

For many years, the NHTSA has identified alcohol-impaired driving as the leading cause of car crashes. Recently, however, another cause has become more prevalent, one that even the most careful of drivers can be guilty of: distracted driving.  

Distracted driving refers to any form of activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the primary task of driving. Based on the list posted in the website of the Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, LTD., of driving distractions include, but are not limited to:

  • Rubbernecking (looking at roadside events or accidents)
  • Adjusting the radio
  • Choosing or inserting CD
  • Eating or drinking
  • Grooming, for example brushing hair or applying makeup
  • Setting the GPS
  • Reading
  • Consulting a map or written directions
  • Disciplining children
  • Unrestrained pets
  • Reaching for fallen objects
  • Talking to passengers, and
  • Talking on a cell phone and texting, which are today’s most dangerous form of distraction while behind the wheel

Any form of distraction while driving at a high speed, even for just a couple of seconds, may cause a driver to:

  • Drift out of the proper lane and into the path of an oncoming car traveling in the opposite direction
  • Fail to signal lane changes or turns
  • Change lanes without checking blind spots
  • Turn the wrong way onto a one way street
  • Enter a highway ramp in the wrong direction
  • Disregard a traffic signal
  • Fail to notice a bicyclist or pedestrian on or near the road

Anyone, including experienced and the most careful drivers, can be distracted while driving; however, the ones most prone to this bad driving behavior are young drivers, particularly those aged between 18 and 25.

An article posted on a website found at mazininjurylawyers.com, says that cars and vehicles are a valuable asset for independent individuals. However, car accidents happen far too frequently, resulting in lost wages, and even death or serious injury. When a car accident is the fault of one specific party, it is greatly unfair to expect the innocent party to waste their time and resources dealing with the situation, especially in the event of a wrongful death. This is why it would be wise for any individual to learn about his/her legal rights in the event that he/she gets injured in an accident due to someone else’s fault.

 

 

Read More

Running Through Red Lights and Car Accidents

Traffic rules are enforced to ensure the safety of everybody on the road, and traffic lights are no exception to this. There are instances where traffic lights can play a major role in traffic accidents, such as when they are malfunctioning, but there are also instances where reckless motorists run through red lights deliberately, causing accidents that could have been easily prevented.

According to the website of Goings Law Firm, LLC, victims of car accidents that have been caused by someone else may have legal options to take, such as getting compensation from the damages.

Possible Damages

Injuries: Car accidents, particularly those that involve huge amounts of force, can cause injuries, particularly in the head, neck, back, and chest areas. The worst injuries include brain trauma, whiplash, and spinal cord damage.

Medical Costs: Sometimes, the extent of the injuries does not matter, because you will most likely go to a trauma center as a safety precaution. This will not come without medical costs, which can easily reach hundreds or even thousands of dollars, depending on the sustained injuries.

Vehicle Damages: Low impact accidents may give little damage to your car, but high impact ones can wreck your car into oblivion. Whatever force is involved, it doesn’t change the fact that your vehicle has been damaged and will be needing repairs or replacements.

Other Causes of Red Light Accidents

Though many red-light accidents are caused by negligent drivers who intentionally run through red lights, there are some that are caused by innocent mistakes.

Low Visibility: There are times where traffic lights are hard to discern because of conditions that may affect visibility, such as fogs and winds. There are also times where traffic signs are newly installed on familiar roads and those who frequently cross those roads did not see the newly installed signs.

Limit Line: There is a painted line on the road to mark where vehicles should stop during a stop light or a stop sign, but there are occasions where these lines are hard to see, like when they are already faded due to the lack of maintenance.

Turning Issue: There are some jurisdictions where vehicles can make a left or right turn even on a red light, but there may be instances where these turning issues become catalysts to accidents because of misunderstandings.

Read More

Protecting Yourself from Wrongful Arrest

Through the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, every American citizen is assured the right to feel secure against unreasonable searches and seizures. This includes protection from the unlawful apprehension of one’s property, as well as protection from wrongful arrest. As reports of false arrests and other similar circumstances continue to make rounds in news cycles all over the country, it’s important that people are reminded of the rights afforded to them by law.

What constitute wrongful arrests?

Legal definitions may vary from state to state, but wrongful or false arrests generally refer to cases where a person is detained or taken into custody without respect for his rights and for due process. In other words, these types of cases involve situations where a person’s right against unreasonable searches and seizures is threatened by an entity or another individual. A concrete example from Clawson and Staubes, LLC: Injury Group calls to mind store workers that keep customers detained inside their premises due to unfounded accusations of theft or shoplifting. Another example involves police officers arresting individuals without any legal ground. Depending on specific circumstances, cases that involve false criminal charges and detainment may also constitute a wrongful arrest.

How do I protect myself from wrongful arrests?

Incidents of wrongful arrests are often complicated and difficult to untangle. People that find themselves in these situations have to deal significant financial loss due to legal fees and missing time from professional appointments. There’s also the fact that it can have catastrophic effects on one’s life. A wrongful arrest incident can easily damage reputations and cause profound humiliation. As such, it’s important that everyone is made aware of the ways in which they can be protected from these devastating consequences. Seeking help from a qualified attorney can do a lot to mitigate any effects that a wrongful arrest may have on one’s personal and professional life.

If you believe that you have been arrested or detained without any legal basis, do not hesitate to contact a lawyer soon after the incident to get advice on how to proceed with your case.

Read More

Debt Negotiations

When people envision banks, financial institutions, and other various lenders, they see soulless corporations ready to pounce and foreclose their home as soon as the opportunity arises. But the reality is many of these lending companies are willing to make leeway for a debtor to alter an existing contract to one they can afford. After all creditors rather see some form of payment than nothing at all. Debt negotiation is a very real thing, and if done with expertise it can save one from bankruptcy.

With debt negotiation, it is not uncommon for debtors to be able to cut debt balances by 50% by utilizing a variety of different negotiation tactics. Many creditors are willing to settle unsecured debts such as credit card debt or medical bills and sometimes even omit them entirely. This can be done because under chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy, many unsecured debts are able to be discharged completely leaving creditors willing to sacrifice a lot to avoid a debtor filing bankruptcy. Concurrently, creditors are sometimes able to report the debt in a way that is less damaging to an individual and help salvage a credit score. Not only can you settle many unsecured debts, but according to Bradford Law Offices, PLLC, a debtor may be able to lower their existing interest rates through negotiating for a renewed payment plan. However, during these negotiations, lenders would rather accept large lump sum settlements opposed to monthly installments as they are hoping to take the easy cash rather than spend time constantly pushing late notices.

Creditors do not typically want to use litigation as a response to default payments, but they will if a debtor does nothing to try and make payments. They would rather help negotiate with you so that both parties can maximize their interests in the matter. Creditors need to be paid and debtors need some empathy, and through debt negotiation hopefully everybody can reach an agreeable agreement.

Read More

The Tenets of Workplace Negligence Claims

Employer negligence, especially in the workplace, is one of the leading causes of personal injury and worker’s compensation claims each year. An employer may be held liable when they are proven to be negligent in supplying the employee the ability to undertake a particular act. Employer negligence has four basic causes of action, namely negligence in hiring, supervision, training, and retention. According to the Scudder & Hendrick, PLLC, negligence claims should present three basic points: (1) there is duty of care from the defendant, (2) this duty of care was breached, and (3) the breach of duty of care caused the injuries of the claimant. In order for the claim to be valid, the injuries should have been deemed “reasonably foreseeable”.

Although it is not legally required for employees to report their negligent co-workers, company policy may still require it. Likewise, it may be necessary and ethical to report the incident and the reckless behavior of the co-worker when it puts other employees at risk. It is essentially every workers responsibility to report anything that can pose as a danger to everyone in the workplace. For many Minnesota workers’ compensation lawyers, such actions do not affect the amount of benefits that will be awarded should the claim be approved.

By law, every worker injured in the workplace or during working hours is entitled for worker’s compensation. This is regardless of whether who caused the accident or injury. However, an employer can be held accountable for the actions of an employee when they were aware of the employee’s negligent behavior and did not take any action to address the problem, which endangered the health and safety of other employees. The website of Scudder & Hendrick, PLLC further states that third-party claim requires proof of the gross negligence of the employer and the serious injuries that resulted from the incident.

Read More

Avoiding Car Accident Injury

People have been looking into alternative ways of transportation, and among the most common and popular ones are bicycles. In today’s fast-paced world, bicycles have remained a staple in households, and thus have become an environmentally-friendly and healthy option to going from one place to the next. However, with the increasing numbers of cyclists sharing the road with motorists, safety concerns have become a serious consideration.

Bicycles provide little to almost no physical protection to their riders, which can lead to serious or even fatal injuries should they encounter an accident while on the road. According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, many personal injury claims have already been filed by cyclists due to accidents caused by the other party. The problem with many of these cases, however, is the evidence to support the claims of the cyclists. The blame is often given to the cyclist despite following road rules, and there are so many things that need to be considered and proven before a cyclist can file a personal injury claim. Aside from following the road rules, the cyclist must also understand the legal rules of liability when it comes to road accidents.

The outcome of a personal injury case depends on two main factors: first, whether the reckless or negligent actions of the driver caused the accident and subsequent injuries of the cyclist, and second, whether the cyclist caused or contributed to the accident. There are states that follow the contributory or comparative negligence rule, where if the cyclist caused or at least contributed to the accident, they may have their compensation reduced or forfeited altogether. The state of Texas is one of those states, and the website of the Horst Law Office emphasizes that any damages that can be recovered can be reduced if the cyclist was 51 or more percent at fault for the accident.

Read More

The Responsibilities of Property Owners

Property owners have the responsibility of ensuring the safety of their property and as well as the people they invite into it. Any accident and resulting injury that occur within the property will make the property owner accountable. This can lead to a premises liability claim, a type of personal injury tort that makes the property owner liable for their negligence in providing a safe environment for their guests.

A property can be dangerous in a number of ways, and for residential properties it is especially important to understand how to properly maintain these properties to avoid accidents. Porch collapse accidents have been happening around the country in increasing numbers, and in many cases the cause of these porch collapses are the negligence of the property owner to maintain the safety on their buildings. According to the website of the Chris Mayo Law Firm porch collapses are often due to the property owner’s neglect of duty; they are the ones who are responsible for the maintenance and property upkeep.

Although porch collapse incidents typically occur on older, multi-storey buildings, new one can still be susceptible to porch collapse due to weather and poor maintenance. In fact, porch collapse accidents have frequently occurred in the Chicago that an important part of their building inspection goes to checking the safety of porches. It may not seem like a serious threat, but many people have been severely injured due to porch collapse. Massachusetts personal injury attorneys would be quick to point out that such accidents can occur anywhere.

Read More