5 September 2020

Car accident claims - when to contact a lawyer

If you have been involved in a non-fault road traffic accident, whether as a driver, a passenger,
a motorcyclist or cyclist, or as a pedestrian, you may wonder when is the right time to contact a
lawyer. Today, we’re going to cover some of things you may not have considered regarding
when to contact a lawyer (click here for more information on the topic).


Speak to a lawyer before the other side’s lawyer makes contact with you
If you have been involved in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, your immediate attention will
be drawn to your injuries and to the injuries of any other people involved in the incident. This is
normal. Once you have established that you are not in a life-threatening situation and that
everybody else is OK, it’s time to report the accident to the authorities and to call your lawyer.
 

Why call your lawyer so soon? The driver at fault will likely fear the repercussions of their
negligence, which, depending on the severity of the accident, could bear financial implications
or even jail time. This means they will speak to their lawyer as soon as possible, and their
lawyer will then try to contact you for comment - speaking to the other side’s lawyer before you
have spoken to your own lawyer is never a good idea, because the other side could attempt to
force some kind of admission that can be used against you. Instead, redirect all correspondence
through your legal team, thus ensuring that you do not inadvertently say or do anything that
could harm your claim.
 

What if the accident was months ago - can I still claim?
If you have been involved in a car accident that was not particularly serious in terms of injuries
suffered, but has left you in the difficult position of paying for fixes to your car whilst chasing the
other side for reimbursement of any mechanical or body work to you vehicle, you should
consider contacting a lawyer. Depending on your location, the typical time frame limits involved
in making a claim range from 2 - 3 years. This merely means that you have to begin your claim
within that time period, and doesn’t mean that you have to have completed your claim before
this deadline.


Always remember that even if you have begun the process of speaking to the other side’s
insurance company, you are entitled to instruct a lawyer to ‘take over from here’ and to
complete the negotiations on your behalf. Insurance companies will not normally pay out if they
are not held to account, meaning one or two phone calls and an email from you enquiring as to
the progress of your claim is not likely to work. A lawyer can expedite the claims process, and
can also help you to understand whether you are entitled to any other forms of compensation,
such as loss of earnings, travel expenses, and any physical or psychological suffering that may
have occurred as a direct result of your non-fault crash.



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5 August 2020

Developing Mindfulness Through Defensive Driving

When behind the wheel of a car, you are responsible for your safety and the safety of others on the road. It is important to practice defensive driving in order to curb the risk of collisions. In taking a Texas state approved defensive driving course online, you learn the rules of the road and ensure that you are creating a safe environment for other drivers and pedestrians.

What is Defensive Driving?
Defensive driving is all about mindfulness; you are taking into consideration your actions as a driver. The primary purpose is to reduce the possibility of an accident. Some principles to keep in mind while driving include:
- Regulating your speed
- Avoiding distractions, including phones
- Maintaining distance from other vehicles
- Abiding by all road signs
- Predicting the actions of other drivers

As a defensive driver, you consider the well-being of everyone on the road, including yourself. The road can be a dangerous environment, and it is important for drivers to anticipate all possible incidents and adjust their actions accordingly. With the proper consideration given to your behavior, you can create a safe driving environment for everyone.

What are the Benefits of Defensive Driving?
In learning to be a defensive driver, whether on your own or in a course, you gain a better understanding of yourself as a driver. In addition to learning about road regulations and state laws, you develop your confidence as a driver. Especially if you are a younger driving, it can be nerve-wracking to operate a vehicle. The more you practice, though, the more self-assured you become in your driving. You also acquire knowledge of the various risks involved in driving and develop strategies for avoiding them. There are innumerable benefits associated with defensive driving, but perhaps the most important is learning to trust yourself when you are behind the wheel.

Why is Defensive Driving Important?
A car accident can be a horrifying experience, and the best way to avoid one is to build up your defenses as a driver. In developing your knowledge of the road and learning about the behaviors of other drivers, you can lower the risk of an accident. The most important principle of defensive driving is mindfulness. You are sharing the road with other drivers, and you always want to pay attention to your surroundings to avoid any potential incidents. By being careful and considerate while driving, you uphold the safety of everyone.


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15 July 2020

Summer Lawn Care Tips

Sweltering summer temperatures can turn any beautiful lush green lawn into a dry yellowing eyesore. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to make sure your lawn looks as healthy as possible, even during the hottest months of the year. Below are a few things to try out to restore your lawn to its former glory.

Invest in Sprinklers
One reason why grass dries and yellows is because it isn't getting enough water. One of the easiest ways to water your lawn is to invest in a sprinkler system. This is much easier and more efficient than watering your lawn with a hose or watering can. If you are new to all things sprinkler-related, it's best to hire a company, like the Colorado Sprinkler Service, that can install, repair, and otherwise maintain sprinkler systems. This way, all you need to worry about is watching the grass grow.

Mow Often
Having a mowed lawn is key to making sure healthy grass doesn't grow out of control. The more often you mow your lawn, basically no matter what kind of lawn mower you are using, the easier it will be to mow your lawn. The longer a lawn goes without being mowed, the thicker the grass gets. If the grass is too thick, it can mess up the blades of a mower; this can cause the mower to go into disrepair. So, for your best bet, mow your lawn sooner than later.

As another lawn mowing tip, make sure to remove any sticks, rocks or other debris before you get to mowing. Theses small objects can also damage a lawnmower. It's best to do this chore immediately before mowing.

Don't Forget to Rake
Most people only think about raking in the autumn when the leaves begin to fall off the trees. However, it's also important to rake during other seasons. Raking can move dead grass and other debris out of the way. This can help to keep your lawn looking clean and healthy. For the best results, rake after you mow your lawn. If you have a compost bin, put your lawn clippings in. This can help to make for great compost that you can use for gardening.

If you want your lawn to look its very best in the summer months, try out these three simple tips. If you water your lawn, mow it, and rake it even just once a week, you are sure to see an amazing improvement.


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13 July 2020

Towards the Future: 5 Traps to Avoid When Buying a New Home

Finding and purchasing a home is a big deal. In many situations, it is overwhelming. This is especially true for those who are new to the process.

While this is true, the last thing anyone should do is select the wrong home and regret it down the road. One option to help buyers avoid some of the most common mistakes is to work with the professionals, such as DollarBack Mortgage. It is also smart to get to know some of the most common traps and mistakes that occur. This is a surefire way to avoid them.

1. Purchasing Too Much House
The housing costs should never exceed 30% of a buyer’s take-home pay. The housing costs that are referenced here mean the actual mortgage payment, the property taxes, and all homeowner's insurance costs. It is important to keep the figure in mind when deciding what a person can spend on a home. If the 30% threshold is exceeded, the buyer may find they fall behind on the housing costs, their emergency savings fund, or some of their other bills.

Also, remember that home maintenance is time-consuming and expensive. It is also a part of owning a home.

2. Failing to Put 20% Down on the Mortgage
It is not absolutely required that a person make the 20% down payment on the home. However, if someone doesn’t do this, they will likely have to purchase PMI—private mortgage insurance. This is a premium that is paid to protect the lender and will run about 0.5% up to 1% of the total value of the home loan each year.

3. Not Increasing a Person’s Credit Rating Before Getting a Mortgage 
A person’s credit is a huge factor that lenders look at when they determine if someone can qualify for a mortgage along with the interest rate they are offered. If someone has a credit rating that is great, they will be offered more competitive rates. However, if their credit rating is just okay, they will pay a lot more on interest for the home loan they receive. As time passes, this can add up.

4. Accepting the Very First Mortgage Offer
Applying for a mortgage can be a huge hassle. While this is true, it will pay off when a buyer goes through it a few times to ensure they have found the very best rate available. If someone opts to accept the initial home loan they are offered, they will not have any way to know if they could have qualified for less interest. It is best to shop around, especially for those with a good credit rating.

5. Not Understanding HOA Membership 
Homeowners associations or HOAs are governing bodies in certain housing communities. These are common in newer developments. With an HOA, a homeowner must pay dues to cover certain amenities. However, these can be costly, so it is a good idea to find out what the total assessments are before purchasing a home that is within an HOA.

By avoiding the mistakes that are highlighted here, anyone will be on their way to getting a great home that fits their needs and budget. Be sure to work with the professionals to ensure the desired results are achieved. In the long run, this will pay off and help provide the desired outcome.


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30 June 2020

5 International Home Buying Tips

If you are considering purchasing a home overseas, you may not be sure how to get started on the process. These five tips can help you with your international home search.

1. Investigate Financing Options
Your financing options will vary depending on what part of the world you are interested in purchasing a home in. In some places, you may need to pay cash. In others, you may be able to get financing from a local or international bank. It is best to investigate your options before you start shopping. This will help you set your budget and avoid wasting your or the seller's time by shopping for a property you will not be able to get financing for.

2. Do Thorough Market Research
Real estate markets tend to fluctuate differently in different regions. To make sure you are getting a fair price and shopping at an opportune time, it is best to research the trends in the area you plan to buy a property. If prices are unusually high and a market correction is expected to occur, it may be best to wait to make your purchase. Otherwise, you could end up overpaying for a home that may drop in value and be difficult to resell.

3. Consult an Attorney
The laws regarding real estate purchase and ownership can vary greatly from one country to another. It is a good idea to consult with an attorney familiar with the laws in the country you are considering purchasing in before you make a purchase. Some countries may place restrictions on non-residents purchasing a property. Additionally, there are likely tax considerations that you will need to be aware of.

4. Investigate the Transportation Options
Not all countries are car-friendly. You will want to find out what the transportation options are and whether they are compatible with your lifestyle.

5. Shop Online While you will eventually want to visit the properties you are most interested in, it is probably not very practical to fly out to see all of them. You can narrow down your search by first shopping for properties online at sites such as Comporta real estate. You can get a lot of information about the properties you are interested in this way. Many sites have extensive photographs of the interior and exterior and some even offer virtual tours.

Shopping for a new home overseas can be an exciting but daunting task. These tips can make the process a little easier.


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12 May 2020

Three Important Considerations for a Major Home Renovation Project

The decision to complete major renovations in your home should not be arrived at lightly. There are so many important things to consider. Are these renovations necessary for safety reasons? Are you updating the home for your own pleasure? Perhaps you want to list the property on the market in the near future and certain upgrades will make it more attractive to potential buyers? Once you’ve decided to move forward, you need to prepare yourself for the entire process from planning to execution. Here are some things to keep in mind.

Choosing the Renovations 
Not all remodeling projects are created equal. You may want to completely transform your kitchen with the latest in technology, finishes and gadgets, but that may not be the best choice. Maybe your kitchen needs an update, you might be better served in updating key elements like the appliances or the cabinetry. If you’re making upgrades for a sale, you should consider improvements that offer a high return on investment. Make a list of what is most important and develop a scope of work with that in mind.

Hiring a Pro or DIY
You’ll need to figure out whether you’re going to hire professionals, do everything yourself or a combination of both. When considering major renovations, it may be wisest to consult the services of a designer and contractor. Of course, this will cost money, but these pros can help you realize your ideas in a way that is feasible, in compliance with local regulations and safety guidelines. You can certainly save money by doing some things yourself, but mistakes can result in costly repairs and delays to your overall schedule. There’s no guarantee that working with pros will be problem-free, but go with providers with good reputations and a track record of doing good work.

Paying for the Work
You should have a set renovation budget based on the funding available to pay for the work. If you can cover the work with allocated savings, that’s great. You may need to seek out a Texas lending home equity loan to cover all or part of the work. This allows you to borrow against the equity in your home. It’s a great option for major projects and offers lower interest rates than credit cards and signature loans. Home improvement loans from a county or municipality are another option for financing your remodeling projects.

A major house renovation is a serious undertaking. You’ll have to make important decisions regarding where to invest time and money. You’ll need to carefully plan and determine what to do, how to pay for it and how the project(s) get done.


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15 April 2020

Top Ways to Incorporate Natural Stone in Your Home

Capture the beauty of nature right in your home by incorporating natural stone into your home. The versatility, beauty and durability of stone can transform any room in the house. Here are some popular ways to incorporate it.

Countertops 
Natural stone works great as a countertop for the kitchen, bathroom or wet bar. Marble countertops in Milwaukee WI resist cracking, breaking and scratching. The beautiful white with veins of grey is perfect for the modern home. Granite is still popular coming in a variety of colors. The dark grey of soapstone makes it a popular choice, not to mention the smooth, silky texture.

Floor 
Formed into tiles, natural stone makes a fantastic flooring option. Natural wood may seem the height of luxury, but it misses the beauty and durability of natural stone floors. Granite can handle foot traffic while marble looks elegant and classic. Limestone can take the rigors of modern life while flagstone captures the rustic, modern look. Delicate sandstone may make the perfect flooring for a Spanish colonial style, especially in a special room with less foot traffic.

Backsplash 
Transform the kitchen or bathroom with a decorative backsplash made of natural stone. Opt for textures beyond smooth for a truly natural look. Or go smooth with a mixture of natural stone tiles and ceramic. Create a pattern or choose a uniform look. Use for the tub skirt and shower surround for added luxury in the bathroom.

Fireplace 
Surround your fireplace with the beauty of the natural stone. The fireplace is the focal point of any room. With the stone surround, it becomes a luxury point that draws the eye. The TV no longer is the center of attention. The crackling flames pop against the beauty of the stone.

Patio 
Use less-expensive stone blocks outside to create a beautiful patio. Extend the beauty of the outdoors further with garden paths that snake around the yard. Create a pebbled look with smaller stones or opt for large ones for a simpler look. Use different shades of stone to create a one-of-a-kind design.

Wall 
Take your home’s design to an all-new level by using stone tiles on the wall. Small tiles don’t weigh down the wall, but they create an interesting look and texture. Use as an accent wall for the room. Highlight the entryway with stones that match the paint. Decorate columns to make them stand out as a piece of the home’s décor. The options for natural stone are only limited by the imagination.


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4 April 2020

How To Sell Your Gold Jewelry

People decide to sell their gold jewelry for many reasons. Maybe the piece reminds you of an ex and brings back memories. Perhaps you just don't like your jewelry anymore and would like to make a few extra bucks. Whatever your reasons for selling your gold, it's important to understand the process first.

Research Your Jewelry 
It might be tempting to head to the first jeweler you see, but you'll likely lose money. Research your pieces to learn their value before you sell them. If the jewelry has gemstones, find out how many karats they are. You'll also want to know how much the jewelry weighs. Finally, learn about the spot value of gold. The price varies daily and you aren't likely to receive an offer at spot value, but knowing what it is helps you determine if you're getting a fair price.

Know How the Scales Work
A standard scale isn't what jewelers use. U.S. scales measure 28 grams to an ounce. Gold scales use the Troy ounce. A single Troy ounce is equivalent to 31.1 grams. Some jewelers use pennyweight scales to measure a Troy ounce. A pennyweight is the equivalent of 1.555 grams, so be sure your dealer doesn't weigh your pieces with pennyweight but try to pay you by the gram. This takes money from your pocket.

Read the Fine Print
When it comes to where to sell gold, you have two options. Some people sell their jewelry at a physical place. Others prefer to use mail-away services. Regardless of your preference, always read the fine print before completing a transaction. When selling through the mail, remember to insure the pieces and find out how long you have to accept or deny the offer as well as how long it will take to receive your payment.

Sell To an Expert
Just because a business claims to be an expert in buying gold, doesn't mean it is. Talking to an experienced handler ensures you get the most for your jewelry. A true expert will recognize that some pieces of jewelry have more value if melted down while other pieces make more money for them (and in turn, you) if resold intact. The decision typically requires a jeweler who understands the value of the stones as well as the gold.

When selling your gold, pay attention to your intuition. There are plenty of unscrupulous companies out there. If the offer you receive seems too good to be true, it probably is. Check out consumer reports and online reviews before deciding which gold buyer to approach.


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23 March 2020

Finding the Right Personal Injury Attorney

As you look for the best personal injury lawyer for your case, you may have hit a few roadblocks. For example, you might be struggling with finding an attorney who specializes in the particular personal injury you sustained. Maybe you don't really trust what a lawyer's website is saying about helping you get the compensation you deserve. Whatever the case, you can make your search easier by following a few steps. Hiring the right lawyer to handle your legal case doesn't have to be a daunting task. However, you shouldn't turn to just any lawyer for help. It's best to look for someone who has experience handling your type of case and who you feel that you can trust.

Ask Friends and Acquaintances
Ask your friends or coworkers whether they previously sought legal assistance in a personal injury claim. If they have, politely ask if they can share who represented their case. If they tell you good things about their lawyer, add the lawyer to your list of people to consult. However, avoid making a decision solely based on someone else's recommendation.

Find out the Extent of a Lawyer's Training
When it comes to hiring a lawyer to help you with your personal injury case, it's important to see how much experience they have as well as the type of training they received. You might consider asking certain questions like, "How long have you been practicing?", "What percentage of your cases involve the type of injury I sustained?", or "Will you personally handle my case or hand it to an associate?" The last question is especially imperative because you want to ensure that the lawyer you're contacting is actually the lawyer who will represent you.

Many of the lawyers who advertise on TV about providing legal assistance in personal injury cases promise viewers that they'll fight for them. However, a majority of these lawyers have never tried a case and simply refer clients to real litigators. This is a major problem because it's important to know who's going to fight for you before the case begins.

Discuss Fees Before Signing 
Many personal injury attorneys don't charge their clients upfront. Instead, they take out a contingency fee, which is a percentage of the settlement you receive if you win your case. As you look for the right lawyer, make sure you're happy with their fees before signing an agreement.

Finding the right personal injury lawyer takes time and patience and plays a role in whether or not you win your case.


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16 March 2020

Stylish and Inexpensive Ways to Increase Your Home’s Value

When we think of increasing our home’s resale value, most of us look to home renovations. But a major, construction-level renovation may not be the right choice for you and your family when it comes to reselling your home and making a tidy profit.

In a housing market in an average area, you are likely to break even at most after putting money into a major home renovation. While bathrooms and kitchens tend to be your best bet if you do opt to renovate a space in your home, you are better off taking care that any quality of life issues—such as a leaking roof or finnicky boiler—are tended to first.

Just because a major renovation may be off the table, however, does not mean you are out of options when it comes to increasing the profit you will net from selling your home. There are plenty of tiny, inexpensive options to attract buyers.

And if you do decide to take the plunge in renovating a room in your home, whether you are DIYing it or outsourcing, be sure that you are making the investment for your own enjoyment rather than someone else’s!

Repaint
Repainting a room is an effective way to completely transform a room in your home on the cheap. With the right tools, painting a room can be reliably DIYed by basically anyone! (Plus, you can choose a color that you really like and maximize your enjoyment of the home for the remainder of your time there!)

Color is a powerful tool to completely change the mood of a room. Because it is so powerful, you really only to paint sparingly when it comes to bolder colors. Try an accent wall if you are unsure about the hue you are transitioning to, and then slowly incorporate more walls as you become confident in the color.

Aggressive colors like red, orange, or dark colors of any shade should be relegated to accent walls or smaller rooms. People are generally more attracted to lighter, paler shades when it comes to buying homes, because colors such as these are easier to incorporate into each potential buyer’s personal style.

Upgrade Light Fixtures 
Nowadays, it is in vogue for lighting fixtures to be unobtrusive and innocuous, coordinated carefully with other hardware in your home. For instance, if your kitchen cabinets all have brass handles, your lighting fixtures should not be silver.

You can easily dust and spruce up any fixtures in the kitchen and bathroom. Generally, however, living spaces like the family room and bedroom should not have built in light fixtures in the ceiling. It dates the room, so if you need to replace any ceiling fixtures in these room try going for clean lines and minimalist aesthetics.

Re-caulk Tiles 
Good clean caulk work between the tiles in your home can make a huge difference in the way potential buyers perceive it. Even better, re-caulking tiles is an incredibly easy and painless process for even the least seasoned DIYer!

Resurface Countertops
Replacing countertops alone can totally transform a kitchen or bathroom’s entire vibe. By just replacing these surfaces, you can forcibly pull your house’s décor out of the 1950’s or whatever bygone era it belongs in and into modernity.

Now, replacing countertops isn’t necessarily as straightforward as it sounds. You might need to call in a professional, like a home remodeling service in Houston. But some jobs can be done fairly easily by a novice with some basic study via the internet.

You can also go nontraditional or artsy when it comes to smaller surfaces, like your shower tiles or bathtubs. If you are confident in your art skills, you can try painting a small mural or creating a mirror mosaic for the enjoyment of future residents. These things can really separate your house from the rest of the herd.

Increase Efficiency of Heating and Cooling
Increasing the efficiency of heating and cooling units in your home can be done rather easily. Of course, if your home is in need of a new water heater or your central air conditioning needs a tune-up, you might want to invest in those causes first.

You can check for any drafts by closing all windows and doors in each room and lighting a candle. Move the flame towards windows and doors and stand still. If the flame of the candle flickers, this suggests that you might have a leak. Then, you can take any necessary steps to ensure your potential homebuyers tour an appropriately cozy or cool home!


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