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Queens Personal Injury Law Blog

What does it mean to preserve your assets?

For most, one of the first thoughts that goes through an individual's mind when they consider estate planning is drafting their will or some other end-of-life document that relays their final wishes. Many don't realize that it also includes making plans for how your minor or special needs children are going to be cared for once you're gone or how you intend to preserve your assets.

There are many reasons lawsuits get filed. If you work in certain professions, then you may be sued for malpractice. If you're involved in a car crash with injuries, then the person who gets hurt may ask you to pay their medical bills. If a tree in your yard falls on someone or something, then you may be sued as well. Insurance can help you pay for many of these expenses, but if you don't have it, then your estate may be affected.

There is a lot to know about the dangers of drowsy driving

Even if you're familiar with the dangers of drowsy driving, it's still possible you could find yourself fatigued while behind the wheel. The same holds true of everyone else on the road, which is why this remains such a big problem throughout the country.

Drowsy driving typically happens when a person hasn't slept enough, but there are other things that can lead you down this path. Drowsiness impacts your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, such as by:

  • Affecting your ability to make the right decisions
  • Slowing your reaction time
  • Increasing the likelihood of losing your focus

The dangers of smartphones in the operating room

Smartphones can put a wealth of critical information at a doctor's fingertips. However, they can also present a temptation to check emails, read texts and find out how many likes their latest Twitter post got. That's why the presence of smartphones in the operating room has become a safety concern.

They can cause doctors and other personnel to lose focus on the patients and, in the worst cases, cause medical errors. As one professor who's written on the subject says, "Once we get into or start using our cellphones, we separate ourselves from the reality of where we are. It's self-evident: If you're staring at a phone, you're not staring at the monitors."

A Flushing bus company has safety issues after a fatal crash

Three people died, 17 were injured and the facade of a restaurant was destroyed when a private tour bus ran a red light at the intersection of Main Street and Northern Blvd., crashing into a city bus in Flushing during September of last year. While you'd think that it would only take a single crash to motivate the bus owner to clean up their act, a recent review of federal records shows that little has changed for them.

Since that fatal crash occurred now more a year ago, Kum Gang Tours, Inc. and its partner the Dahlia Group Inc. have both racked up at least 13 safety violations throughout the northeast corridor.

Are you at risk of a Black Friday shopping injury?

There's a certain irony that Black Friday -- a day of unbridled greed -- falls right after the holiday we celebrate by giving thanks for what we have. Nevertheless, New Yorkers will be out in force soon queuing up outside of department stores to snap up discounted bargains.

There's certainly nothing wrong with saving money and stretching your holiday budget a bit farther. However, Black Friday shoppers must be careful to avoid the injuries and even deaths that have befallen so many others out shopping for deals.

How should I handle sentimental items in my estate plan?

Coming up with a plan to divide up assets such as jewelry, artwork, or family heirlooms in your will can be hard if you don't know what something is or what it's worth. What you may hold near and dear may be starkly different from the items someone else values. One way to ensure that your wishes for these items are honored is for you to address them in your estate plan.

A great place to start when crafting your estate plan is to inventory all of your assets that you wish to pass down to your heirs. You then should clearly designate whether you want the item itself or the proceeds from their sale to go to your heir.

Are you ready to drive in dangerous New York winter weather?

New England winters are notorious for heavy amounts of snow, sleet and freezing rain, as well as sudden shifts in weather. It may have seemed like a relatively calm winter day when you left for work. When you head home in the afternoon, you might end up facing blizzard-like conditions that make driving a dangerous endeavor.

You don't want to have to worry about whether your vehicle is ready to handle inclement New York winter weather. As the fall begins to turn to winter, it is the perfect time to begin to prepare yourself and your vehicle for safe driving in the colder weather. A little extra effort now can ensure you're ready when the snow arrives.

There are many reasons why truck accidents rose in 2017

In October, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published data from its Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS.) It showed that in 2017, most types of fatal motor vehicle accidents decreased. This includes speed-related and drunk-driving crashes. Sports utility vehicles (SUVs) and large trucks crashes went up as did crash rates in urban areas. Researchers have attempted to make sense of these increases.

NHTSA data shows that the tractor-trailer and SUV crash rates for 2017 increased by 5.8 percent over the previous year. Those that involved large straight trucks increased by just shy of 19 percent during the same time frame.

The pros and cons of legally changing your name

You have considered changing your name for a while, and you think it is finally time to take that next step and make it official. Perhaps you have never really liked your given name, and you want something that you love. Perhaps you are looking for a fresh start in your life, and you think the name change is a key step to put you in the right mindset for positive growth.

Regardless of your reasons, you do want to consider the pros and cons before you do it. Here are a few things to think about:

What should you look for when selecting an executor of an estate?

One of the first decisions that you'll have to make during the estate planning process is deciding who you want to serve as executor. While you may be inclined to appoint a family member to this role, doing so can sometimes cause more harm than good. Some may choose to appoint a good friend, attorney or financial planner, depending on their jurisdiction's laws. Whomever you choose should have certain attributes.

You'll want the person that you appoint to be the executor of your estate to first and foremost be an honest, reliable individual. They'll be the one to collect and distribute your assets and pay your final expenses. The person that you choose should be someone that you feel confident can keep your financial secrets private.