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Stroudsburg Personal Injury Law Blog

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Does an heir have to be a blood relative?

As a Pennsylvanian resident who is looking into drafting your will, you may be wondering more about the details and legal definitions of an heir. For example, one of the most frequently asked questions is: does your selected heir have to be related to you by blood?

Though this used to be the case in distant times passed, there is no legal statute saying that it is necessary. In fact, only allowing property to be passed through the hands of blood relatives is generally abolished by statute in the modern day. According to the Legal Dictionary, an heir related to you by blood is called an "heir of the body", meaning they were either conceived by or born of you. Children of these people can also be considered an heir of the body.

Why do motorcyclists face extra danger?

As a motorcyclist in Pennsylvania, you may have heard that the crash statistics for bikers like you are usually higher or more dangerous than for other types of drivers. We here at Newman, Williams, Mishkin, Corveleyn, Wolfe & Fareri, P.C., will lay out exactly why that is.

The first thing you should know is that the body of a vehicle can simultaneously be a danger to a driver, but more often protects them. While they risk being trapped inside if the cage crumples, the cage itself is also incredibly sturdy and meant to bear the force of large impacts. This means that a driver can be rolled around, bashed, or crashed, and they will likely not make contact with the ground.

Are overworked and tired truckers a road hazard?

Truck driver in Pennsylvania like you know how grueling your job can be. Hours and hours on the road every week with very little time to rest can lead to a number of poor side-effects for your health. It can also take a toll on your ability to concentrate and make snap decisions, which can lead to accidents.

So, are truck drivers who are tired and overworked a hazard to other people on the road? The short answer: yes. The U.S. Department of Transportation has taken painstaking measures to try cutting down on driver fatigue, a major cause of accidents between privately owned vehicles and trucks. Of the nearly 4,000 people who die in truck-related accidents, the majority of them have involved driver fatigue. Truck drivers have been reported as working up to 80 hours or more in a week, with some squeezing an entire extra shift into their weekly schedule and getting very little rest in between the end of one week and the start of another. Though that is less common, one thing that is common is the frequent skipping of rest breaks while on the job to cut down on delivery or travel time.

What should you know about vehicular extrication?

Some accidents on the roads of Pennsylvania are severe enough that a person alone might not be able to rescue you from the vehicle. This is where vehicular extrication may come into play.

First things first: what exactly is vehicular extrication? This action is described by The Free Dictionary as the removal of a car from around an injured person, thus freeing them from the wreckage for treatment. If vehicular extrication is needed in the first place, that usually means that the car is mangled to the point that you would not be easily reached by paramedics. In order to get at you, tools may be brought in to aid in the extrication. This can include:

  •          The jaws of life
  •          Window breakers
  •          Saws or other power tools

Can bankruptcy stop harassing creditor calls?

If you are one of many people who are unable to keep up with your credit card payments, medical expenses and mortgage, you may receive consistent creditor calls, emails and mail. In some cases, this communication can become somewhat harassing in nature. Creditors may threaten to repossess or put a lien on property if you aren’t able to pay within a certain period of time. When you file for bankruptcy, however, you receive an automatic stay, which protects you from creditor calls.

According to the U.S. Courts, an automatic stay is put in place only after you have filed all of the proper paperwork with the bankruptcy court. Once this is initiated, creditors can no longer pursue legal action against you, make telephone calls or garnish your paycheck. A stay may only last for a limited period of time, depending on the situation, and so it is important that debtors follow the timeline for deadlines to ensure the case is handled in a prompt manner. 

What is real estate appraisal?

As a Pennsylvanian resident dealing with real estate, you have likely been looking into real estate appraisal. Going into the appraisal, it is important to know what's being looked for, and what the overall purpose of an appraisal is, as well as how it will benefit you.

US News states that real estate appraisal will determine the market value of your property, meaning how much it is feasibly worth in the current market. Obviously this can differ greatly from the amount that was initially paid to obtain the property. In some cases, current market value may be much higher. In others, it can be dramatically lower. This can affect what you do with the property, especially if you're trying to decide between holding onto it or selling it.

Are accidents in construction zones more lethal?

Pennsylvanian drivers like you are aware of the dangers that construction zones can pose. Additionally, accidents that take place in these zones can sometimes be held up to different laws that are specific to areas of construction. Knowing more information about these accidents may help you to avoid them, and may even save your life.

Generally speaking, the Federal Highway Administration has shown that fatal accidents with objects are the most common construction zone accidents with a fatality rate. They weigh in at almost 60 percent in a 2014 survey, out of 607 fatal crashes in work areas. Rear end accidents come in next at almost 20 percent, and angle has almost 15 percent. Head-on crashes and sideswipe accidents are both under 10 percent. Comparatively, non work areas have a higher fatality rate with everything but rear end accidents, which are just slightly above 5 percent.

How much documentation do you need in estate planning?

When a Pennsylvanian resident like you has to deal with estate planning, valuation or administration, you will need to deal with a lot of paperwork. We here at Newman, Williams, Mishkin, Corveleyn, Wolfe and Fareri, P.C., will help you get your foot through the door by giving you a list of the documents you will need to proceed.

Certifications and documentation are important when handling estates. Some are common knowledge, such as the original will as well as a certified copy of the death certificate. However, there are many other documents that are also necessary. This includes information for personal financial accounts, such as:

  • Account information for 401 (k), IRA, or pension
  • Account information for loans or credit cards
  • Account information for bank accounts, savings accouts, savings bonds, and all affiliated documents

What is undue influence?

When Pennsylvanian residents like you are dealing with matters of an estate, there are plenty of issues you may run into. For example, you may at some point suspect that manipulation is occurring behind the scenes. This is an inkling you might not want to overlook.

Undue influence may sometimes occur in matters of estate valuation or planning. What exactly is undue influence, in this case? The Legal Dictionary has described undue influence in estate planning as a manipulation tactic employed against vulnerable people, such as the elderly or infirmed. The manipulator in these scenarios will insert themselves in a way that subtly - or overtly, in some cases - convinces the victim to draft estate documents in a way that favors the manipulator, even if that wasn't the victim's initial intention.

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Newman, Williams, Mishkin, Corveleyn, Wolfe & Fareri, P.C.
712 Monroe Street
Stroudsburg, PA 18360

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