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Cape Girardeau Missouri Legal Blog

Motor vehicle accidents involving motorcycles often prove fatal

Some people may not think about motorcyclists being on the roads during winter. However, many bikers brave all types of weather conditions because they enjoy riding their motorcycles. Unfortunately, motor vehicle accidents may be more likely to occur because drivers of larger vehicles are not watching out for motorcycles.

It was recently reported that a crash in Missouri involved a car and a motorcycle. Details indicated that the motorcyclist was traveling north when a vehicle traveling south attempted to make a left turn. The driver of the car turned in front of the motorcycle, which collided with the other vehicle. The incident resulted in the 34-year-old motorcyclist suffering fatal injuries. It was not mentioned whether the driver of the other car suffered any injuries.

Workers' compensation can help after falls, other work accidents

Safety hazards are everywhere. Many Missouri residents may have been going about their day normally only to end up injured while at work. The idea of a workplace accident may seem trivial to some individuals, but really, injury risks exist in all workplaces. If someone is injured on the job, workers' compensation may be needed.

Of the many hazards that exist, slips and falls are among the most prevalent dangers in any workspace. Individuals could trip over cords or objects blocking a corridor or other path, and even if the fall takes place on a same-level surface, serious injuries could still result. If a fall takes place from a height, severe injuries are also likely. As a result, it is important that proper safety equipment is provided to workers and that spaces are kept clear from clutter, spills and other trip or slip hazards.

How much home equity can you protect in a Missouri bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most aggressive and widely known form of individual bankruptcy. In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, an individual must meet certain income limitations and agree to allow the courts to liquidate some of their assets as part of the bankruptcy process.

By seizing and selling some of the individual's assets, the courts help prevent people from accruing substantial assets then filing bankruptcy to avoid the financial obligation to repay creditors. While you might feel comfortable with the courts liquidating recreational vehicles, expensive clothing or valuable collections as a means of repaying your creditors, you may feel much more protective of your home.

The role of the bankruptcy trustee

Pursuing personal bankruptcy can provide a Missourian with the fresh financial start he or she needs and deserves by discharging many debts. However, in order to succeed on a bankruptcy petition, an individual has to closely follow the law. This requires a thorough understanding of the bankruptcy process and the ability to represent one's best interests, when the need arises.

This week we will briefly look at the role of the bankruptcy trustee. When a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition is filed, the court assigns a trustee who is tasked with overseeing the process. This individual is supposed to be unbiased to ensure that the bankruptcy proceeds in a manner that is fair, and in accordance with the law. To start, the trustee assesses an individual's assets to determine which assets can and should be sold off in order to repay creditors.

The link between personal injury cases and criminal records

Being injured in a car accident caused by someone else's negligence can be frustrating, especially as the accident victim goes through the process of seeking the compensation they need to cover the medical costs and other damages associated with the accident. Those with past run-ins with the law may hesitate to file a personal injury claim, because they are unsure of how their criminal record might play out in court.

Missouri residents can rest assured knowing it is likely their past criminal record may not come out in court at all in a personal injury case. The past can only be brought up if it is directly linked to the case at hand. Therefore, if someone has been hurt at work, their DUI conviction of 15 years ago will most likely have no bearing on the case.

Are workers staying safe outdoors during winter?

Work must go on, regardless of the weather. This means many outdoor employees find themselves exposed to the extreme weather, even as others bundle themselves up and try working from home. The winter season means people are shoveling snow from pathways, clearing snow from roofs, using powered equipment as it snows, repairing downed electricity lines and removing downed trees.

Some employees, like post office or delivery workers, find their work increases during the holiday season, in the peak of cold weather. As a result, all these workers become susceptible to all types of safety hazards, such as hypothermia, dangerous driving conditions and frostbite.

How will bankruptcy impact your financial plans?

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is one way for Missouri residents to get control over their finances. However, if people are not careful, the holiday season can overwhelm debtors once again. Understanding the limitations of a financial situation is very important to remain financially strong during the holidays.

First of all, Chapter 13 bankruptcy revolves around a debtor's disposable income. This means the debtor has disclosed all sources of income and bonuses to the court, including Social Security payments and interest on savings and investments. In addition to this, all expenses must also be disclosed. Disposable income is the money a person has left at the end of the month after covering all reasonable expenses. For many, this income could be used for buying gifts and planning trips during holidays, but for debtors, it means making court-ordered payments from that income for three to five years. But, does this mean that people need to give up celebrating for this time? Not necessarily.

Events that commonly lead to Chapter 7 bankruptcy

Many people who are dealing with high amounts of debt consider filing for bankruptcy. Those who do decide to file will do so under a specific bankruptcy Chapter, and the Chapter that will benefit them the most will depend on their circumstances.

Those who decide to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy are usually earning a low income or no income at all. This is because qualifying for Chapter 7 bankruptcy requires that you pass a means test to show that you have a limited income. In addition, those who decide to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy tend to have a limited amount of assets. This is because a high proportion of the debtor's assets will be liquidated. As a result, many high-asset individuals tend to be deterred by this.

The elements of a personal injury case

When holding someone accountable for causing a personal injury, there are certain legal principles that come into play and must be proven before someone can be held legally liable for their actions. "Negligence" is one such legal doctrine, allowing Missouri residents to hold someone accountable for careless behavior that caused injury.

A negligence case must prove certain elements. The plaintiff, who is the injured party, must prove four items in order to demonstrate negligence. The first element is a "duty." Duty refers to a legal duty of care owed by the defendant, who is the person or party accused of negligence, to the plaintiff. The relationship between the two parties can create a legal duty, or the situation can. For example, a doctor may owe a patient a duty of care, whereas a motorist owes a reasonable standard of care to others on the road.

Qualifying for Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy

When Missouri residents realize that their expenses and debts are far outweighing their income and they no longer have the ability to make ends meet, they may find themselves considering filing for bankruptcy. Many people across the country choose this option as a way to get a fresh financial start and have debts discharged, depending on the category of bankruptcy they qualify for.

To qualify for debt forgiveness through Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the filer must pass the means test. A number of factors, such as a person's income, expenses and family size, are looked into to determine if the filer has enough income to pay debts back. There are two parts to the test. The first part looks at where the household income falls in comparison with the state's median income. While the test considers the last six months for this calculation, anyone with a change in income can present documentation to adjust the time period. If someone is below the median income, they have passed the means test and, in general, can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

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