Trick-or-Treating Safety Tips from Wiseman Bray

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Halloween is such a fun time of year, especially for children.   Sadly, it is also a very dangerous night for kids.  On average, twice as many child pedestrians are killed while walking on Halloween compared to other days of the year.  Only 18% of parents use reflective tape on their children’s Halloween costumes, and 12% of children ages 5 or younger are permitted to trick-or-treat alone!  In addition to talking with your kids about Halloween safety, here are some things you can do for a safer night:

 

  • Kids under 12 should trick-or-treat and cross streets with an adult.
  • Use reflective tape on costumes.
  • Walk on sidewalks and paths, and not in the street.
  • If there are no sidewalks, you should walk facing traffic as far to the side as possible.
  • Cross streets at corners only, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
  • Watch for cars that are turning around or backing up.

DRIVERS: If you are driving on Halloween night, be especially vigilant!  Slow down, even more than usual, in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and often move in unpredictable ways.

HOMEOWNERS. If you are a homeowner, here are some ways you can help keep trick-or-treaters safe:

  • Keep Property Well-Lit– Kids will be cutting through all parts of your yard to find your front door, so make sure that your property is well-lit and that it is obvious which door trick-or-treaters should go to.
  • Keep Property Unobstructed– Clean up yard debris, fill gopher holes, wind up hoses, and pick up toys or other equipment left in the yard.
  • Restrain Pets– Be sure to keep your pets away from the front door and porch, where they might get excited and jump on or bite trick-or-treaters. It is best to keep your pet in another room or in the garage during trick-or-treating time.

The attorneys and staff of Wiseman Bray PLLC wish you a very Happy and Safe Halloween!

erin shea injury lawyer memphis tn

Erin Shea, Attorney

Important Facts About Probate

After an individual dies, their will is subject for probate. This is a legal process utilized to help settle estate that a deceased person has not delegated. Assets that have not been put into a trust are the portion of the will that will be taxed. The probate process is a crucial step so that assets can be moved to beneficiaries. Probate is not often appreciated because it is so expensive and takes quite a bit of time to complete. Accessing a will or estate planning can be difficult, so contacting a lawyer, like an estate planning attorney Scottsdale AZ trusts, can help give you guidance and support throughout the probate process. The details of probate can vary depending on the state that you live in and is vital to remember that probate can be circumvented.

Many assets are not required to go through probate. This is the case when inheritances, money gifts, and life insurance policies come into play. The beneficiary named on the deceased’s accounts, like retirement or joint bank accounts, are given to them upon the death of their partner. These do not have to go through probate. Any asset in which the beneficiary has been appointed already by the descendant does not need to be assigned in probate court. It is important to contact an estate planning attorney to learn more information about the probate process and assets that may be able to avoid probate altogether.

 

Assets are Required to Withstand Probate

Unfortunately, a lot of assets are required to go through probate court. Real estate properties owned by the deceased, any bank accounts that are not assigned to a beneficiary or in a joint account, any valuable personal property that belonged to the deceased, and anything not included in a will are subject to pass through probate. In the tragic event where the deceased does not leave behind a will, all of their assets have to pass through probate court. Once the probate process has been completed, which can take years, beneficiaries can be determined. It’s important to note that if there is not a will identifying beneficiaries, the court will make a determination around this by taking into account close family and friends.

Contacting an estate attorney is advised. He or she will have knowledge of estate planning and will be able to support you in getting through the probate process as easily and quickly as possible. Making sure that you have an estate plan or will in place can help save your beneficiaries from a lot of emotional and financial grief..The grief process can be very difficult, with an estate plan in place, and the help of an attorney, your loved one will be able to navigate through probate with ease.

 

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Hildebrand Law for their insight into probate and estate planning.

 

Call for Witness in Trooper’s Deadly Motorcycle Accident

Michigan State Police are actively searching for more witnesses to a crash in the City of Rockford that took the life of a state trooper, according to M-Live.

Twenty-eight-year-old State Trooper Timothy O’Neill was killed in an accident at Belding Road and Wolverine Boulevard NE while on duty as part of the motorcycle patrol. The crash involved another motor vehicle, but no one else suffered any injuries.

State Police Lieutenant Kevin Sweeney said that an accident reconstruction expert and a state police detective are still investigating the crash. More details will be released once that investigation is complete. According to the lieutenant, investigators are taking their time to ensure everything is done properly. Fatal cases, noted Sweeney, normally have a longer investigation time than cases that do not involve death.

O’Neill joined the state police in 2014, spending his entire career in Rockford, and he was set to be married on October 7. Several members of law enforcement and the community came out to honor him at his funeral service in Auburn Hills. Local resident and attendee Kathy Albright told reporters that she came to pay her respects because law enforcement officers often do not receive the respect they deserve.

Motorcycle deaths are on the rise

The tragic case of O’Neill highlights just how much risk motorcycle riders face when they’re out on the roads, even if they are members of law enforcement and have had specialized training as a result. In late September, for example, off-duty Los Angeles police officer 34-year-old John Gasparyan was hit and killed by a motorist who was making a U-turn, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The week before the L.A. accident, Highway Patrol Officer James Branik was struck and killed in San Martin, California, while on his motorcycle when a car made a left turn right into his path – a common mistake motorists make that often has deadly consequences for motorcyclists – according to the Mercury News.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, motorcycle deaths are going up based on the most recent data available. There was an 8.3 percent jump in motorcycle fatalities between 2014 and 2015, and in 2015, studies showed that a motorcyclist was 29 times more likely than occupant car passengers to die in a collision per mile traveled. In addition, the fatality rate for registered motorcycles was six times the rate of registered motor vehicles. With the increase of registered motorcycles on the road over the last year and motorists still not completely aware of how to share the road with them, this tragic trend is likely to continue.

A motorcycle accident often has serious consequences for the rider because of the lack of body protection in such an open method of transport, especially when compared to the protection people receive in passenger cars, trucks and buses. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you do have rights. Speak to a motorcycle or car accident lawyer Denver CO trusts today about what you can do for your case.


Thanks to our friend and contributors from Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into motorcycle accident cases.

Changing Your Will After Receiving a Personal Injury Settlement

 

Personal injury settlements are compensation granted to someone who filed a claim against another person or company for causing an injury. Sometimes the settlement amount is large, and depending on the details of the agreement, it could be paid out in a payment plan or all at once in a lump sum. Once you receive the total and use money to cover your medical bills from the injury, you may have some extra money remaining. You may want to change your will to account for this new asset, but there are a few scenarios you may want to think about before making any alterations.

 

Relationship Changes

Unfortunately, a serious personal injury could leave someone with a long term or lasting disability. A disability changes a victim’s life in many ways, usually structural adjustments must be made to their home in order to make it more accessible for them. If they are unable to return to work, this makes those renovations doubly important. Personal relationships may transform as well due to the emotional toll a disability can take on family, friends and partners/spouses. These changes may influence changes in who inherits your assets when you die, especially if new people enter your life to care for you. You may want to include them in asset distribution.

 

Legal Representation

You might want to ask yourself a series of questions before changing your will:

  1. Is there money left over from your personal injury settlement after paying medical expenses? Do you wish to give any of this money to designated heirs when you pass?
  2. Is there anyone you want to add to the will who was not named in the previous draft?
  3. Is there anyone you want to remove?
  4. Has your settlement award been set to cover medical care past the length of your life? If it has, then you may receive far more than you expect.  

Asking for the advice of a professional lawyer is important when making adjustments to your will, including if you are awarded settlement. An estate planning attorney such as the Estate Planning Attorney Phoenix AZ  locals trust will review your settlement terms and review your unique situation. Then they can guide you on how to alter your will according to your new wishes.

 

Contact an estate planning lawyer today to determine how your award will affect your will and if it would benefit you to change it to reflect your new asset.

Arizona Estate Planning AttorneysA special thanks to our authors at Hildebrand Law for their insight into Estate Planning.

A Business Name or Do You Make it a Trademark?

 

As a small business owner, you understand the importance of protecting your business name. There are several ways your business could be damaged by a competitor using your name or logos. If you’re building a brand, investing in advertising and hoping customers can find you, you’ll want to make sure you’ve properly protected your business name so no one else can use it.

First, after applying to be a corporation or an LLC, the Secretary of State’s office is going to check to make sure that your proposed corporate name isn’t already in use by a different business in your state. Every state has its own laws about just how different a name must be from other business names. For example, some states will allow “Lori’s Nails” when there’s already a “Nails by Laurie” registered. Other states will reject it and consider the second to file as deceptively similar.

Once your LLC or corporation application is approved, your name is protected in the state: No other business will be able to form an LLC or corporation with the same name in that state. However, there’s nothing to stop a business that operates as a sole proprietorship or partnership from using your name in the state. It just won’t be able to register as an LLC or corporation with that name. In addition, registering your name with the state has no impact on what happens in the other 49 states. If you incorporated your business in Illinois, another business can use your same name in Texas or Michigan. And, it can even incorporate or form an LLC in other states with with the same name. Depending on your business type and model, brand protection at the state level might be sufficient. For example, if you are opening a local restaurant, you might not mind if another business uses your name in a completely different state. There’s little chance that a customer will confuse the two.

However, if you plan on expanding nationwide, selling your products/services across the country, or are just concerned that a partnership might use your name, then you should protect your name on a federal level with a trademark.

A trademark attorney Chicago IL residents rely on can help explain the function of trademarks. A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol or design (or a combination of any of these) that identifies the source of a product or service and distinguishes it from competitors’. Trademarks can be granted on distinctive names, logos and slogans. One example with Nike’s trademarks are not just their name, but swoosh graphic and the phrase, “Just Do it.”

Trademarks are granted at the Federal level by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The owner of a trademark has exclusive rights to the trademark and can prevent anyone else from using it. The protections given by trademarks extend to the state and Federal levels.

If you do choose to apply for a trademark, you should conduct a free basic search to make sure no one has a pending application with the USPTO for your proposed trademark (or something close to it) in a similar capacity. The next step is to contact an intellectual property attorney to undergo a comprehensive name search to check if someone is using your proposed name at the state or county level.

There are a few key reasons to do a search before you file. First, if you apply and your proposed name is already in use, your application will automatically be denied. That means you’ll lose your application fee, and the time spent preparing the application.  Some businesses determine they have adequate protection through simply registering their name with the state; others need exclusive name rights in every state. As you develop your business plan, carefully consider your particular brand protection needs. Contact our Naperville Trademark Attorneys for expert legal guidance at (630) 318-2606 today.

Konrad-Sherinian-attorney-at-law-chicago-illinoisThanks to our friends and contributors from the Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian for their insight into business law.

Top 5 Major Mistakes that Drivers Can Make After a Car Accident

Experiencing a car accident can be a traumatic incident for many people.Even though you may be shaken after an accident, there are some important things that you need to do so that you can minimize the aftermath. Forgetting to take pictures or videos, not obtaining contact information from the other driver, immediately speaking with the other driver’s insurance company, failing to contact the police and not contacting a lawyer, like a car accident lawyer Phoenix AZ trusts, are a few major mistakes that you can make after a car accident.

 

Failing to Notify the Police

After assuring that everyone involved in the incident is safe and that you have moved your car out of harm’s way, you should notify the police. The police will create a documented report about what occurred in the accident and if someone gets hurt or there is any type of damage to your and your other driver’s property. This will be very helpful as you begin to sort out the paperwork and claims from the accident.
Forgetting to Take Photos

Pictures can be the most important piece of evidence for your claim. Try your best to take pictures of the vehicles before anything has been towed away or taken away from the scene. Also, taking pictures of the other driver’s license and their insurance card. All physical damage to the vehicles should be photographed, and taking a video of of you speaking with the other drivers and any witnesses is a great asset for your claim as well. They will help determine who is at fault.

 

Failure to Get Contact Information

If you fail to get the other driver’s contact information, you will not be able to file a claim with them. Eyewitness testimonies are vital to determining what happened to cause the accident. Remember to get the name and phone numbers of all eye witnesses so that you and your attorney can contact them later to testify on your behalf.

 

Speaking with the Other Driver’s Insurance Company

Avoid speaking with the other driver’s insurance company right away. You may still be in shock or pain whilst processing what happened. Many claim adjusters are trained so that they can make you admit something that you may regret later, like who you think is at fault. They may also want to tape your conversation; you have the legal right to reject this offer. You are not required to speak with the other driver’s insurance company before speaking to your own insurance company or even an attorney first.

 

Not Speaking with a Lawyer

In the event that you get into an accident, an attorney can provide you with advice on how to move forward. If someone was injured during the accident, speaking with an attorney can help you to understand how to proceed. They may advise that you ask for compensation for rehabilitation and emotional distress. A lawyer can give you legal advice if the insurance company offers you an unfair or low settlement or if they deny your claim.

 

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Lorona Mead for their insight into auto accident cases.

 

 

Job Opening – Entry Level Legal Assistant

Minimum Education Requirements: Associate’s Degree or higher

Job Requirements

  • Experience not required but preferred.
  • Must be people oriented with commitment to customer service.
  • Must communicate effectively with customers and attorneys.
  • Ability to pay close attention to detail.
  • Proficient editing skills.
  • Proficient with Microsoft Outlook, Word, and Excel.
  • Demonstrate initiative and ability to work independently.

Job summary

Wiseman Bray PLLC is medium-sized boutique law firm.  A Legal Assistant’s primary responsibility is to support Attorneys and the Litigation Coordinator in any manner that allows them to be more effective and efficient.  The position involves general office work such as scheduling, filing, editing, preparing correspondence, and basic research. The applicant must be detail oriented and able to juggle multiple tasks while independently keeping track of, and following up on, open items.  A Legal Assistant serves as a primary point of contact for clients and customers, and is responsible for answering incoming phone calls and identifying and addressing customer needs.

Wiseman Bray PLLC employees receive 12 days paid leave annually.  Office hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, with an hour for lunch break.  Beginning salary is $30,000 per year, and employees are 401(k) eligible after completing 1 year of work.  Unfortunately, Wiseman Bray PLLC is not able to offer health insurance benefits.

Wiseman Bray does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, age, or disability.

Please send all inquiries and resumes to info@wisemanbray.com.

Resumes that contain spelling or grammatical errors will not be considered.