Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Thanksgiving Traveling Safely Tips in Massachusetts - Avoid a Car Accident

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the most traveled holiday period of the year is mere weeks away. If you are planning on traveling throughout Massachusetts over the Thanksgiving holidays, the American Red Cross has prepared a list of travel tips designed to help you and your family arrive at your destination safe and sound.

Before Leaving Home

  •  Be certain that your car is in good working order. This includes checking your oil and coolant levels, as well as making sure your radiator blades are clean, the fan belt fits correctly and is not worn, all filters are clean, and the windshield wipers work correctly. If you are uncomfortable inspecting your automobile then take it to a qualified auto repair facility or dealership.
  • Make sure your tire pressure is adequate. On the inside the driver’s side door jamb near the latch (not the hinges) there should be a sticker indicating the manufacturers recommended tire pressure. If your tires are not up this pressure, add the needed amount of air.
  • Clean your headlights and taillights. They tend to get cloudy over time, reducing the strength of your lights.
  • Start your trip with a full tank of gas.
  • Get plenty of rest the night before to ensure you are well rested and alert for you drive.

While You Are Driving
  • Make sure that everyone is buckled up properly. Check car seats to ensure they are installed correctly.
  • Never drive impaired! If you have been drinking, you should not be the one driving. In 2012, there were 32 alcohol impaired driving fatalities in Massachusetts. 72% of drivers had a BAC greater than .15. Every one of these deaths was completely preventable!
  • Slow down! There are going to be plenty of drivers on the road, so use caution.
  • Observe the speed limit. Your chances of being involved in an auto accident are increased if you are driving too fast or too slow.
  • Devote your full attention to the road. This means no cell phones, no breaking up arguments in the backseat, and no fiddling with the radio.
  • Follow the rules of the road. This includes making sure that you do not follow the car in front of you too closely.
  • When dusk approaches, turn on your headlights. Additionally, if the weather impedes visibility, make sure your headlights are on regardless of what time of day or night it is.
  • If you are going to be on a long road trip, make frequent stops and rotate drivers to prevent drivers from becoming too fatigued.
  • If your car starts to give you trouble, pull off the road. Be sure to pull as far off the road as possible.
 If you are one of the millions of people planning to travel throughout Massachusetts and the United States over Thanksgiving, arriving safely at your destination is your top goal. Use the tips discussed above to ensure your trip goes as easily and safely as possible.

By Todd D. Beauregard


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Did You Know Filing Bankruptcy Can Actually Increase Your Credit Score?

When you think of bankruptcy, what comes to mind? For most people, bankruptcy is a very dirty word. According to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court the bankruptcy rate has seen a decline every month for the last quarter of 2013, however  bankruptcy is still inevitable for many Americans. The average American assumes that filing bankruptcy will always result n a poor credit score for at least ten years. There are a lot of myths associated with filing bankruptcy.

But did you know that filing bankruptcy can actually increase your credit score?

It’s true.

Those who file bankruptcy already have a history of late or missed payments. There are usually several delinquent accounts in collections as well. This means that there is a probably already a low credit score. Bankruptcy can work to rebuild your credit over time.

The first thing to understand is that if you are considering filing for bankruptcy, your score is probably already low. Generally, in order to be eligible for bankruptcy, you have to carry a certain amount of debt. Many consumers are able to improve their credit score within a year or two of filing bankruptcy.

If bankruptcy doesn’t lower your credit score, then what does it do?

  • Bankruptcy eliminates your legal responsibility to pay off certain debts. This “discharge” can be beneficial in certain cases and can stop the foreclosures and repossessions.
  • Bankruptcy allows an individual to catch up on loans and other bills.
  • Bankruptcy can stop your wages from being garnished and stop collection agencies from harassing you.
After you file bankruptcy, there are a number of things you can do to continue building up your credit score:

  • Periodically look at your credit report and dispute any fraudulent charges. Everyone is at risk of identity theft. Now that you have filed bankruptcy, be sure to remain vigilant in checking your credit report.  
  • Be aware of your current credit score. You should check your credit score every month or so to stay abreast of any changes. When applying for credit, a creditor will check your score—this could cause your score to go down, so make sure you take your time in applying for new cards. Be careful in the types of cards you apply for and be sure to follow up the application process by checking your credit score.
  • Try to pay all of your bills on time. This is an essential step to continuing to rebuild your credit after filing bankruptcy. You want to avoid putting yourself in another financial crisis. Paying your bills on time can help you start to establish a strong credit history and keep you on the road to financial recovery.
  • Avoid any of those “quick fix” credit repair services. Rebuilding your credit takes time. Don’t be fooled by companies that claim to be able to fix your credit overnight. There is nothing wrong with repairing your credit slowly at your own pace.
  • Spend within your limit. Having a budget will help ensure that you are able to keep up with your financial responsibilities. Spending within your limit means that you won’t have to worry about overexerting your wallet. If you spend within your limit, you can be in a better position to deal with unexpected expenses or even pay more than the required minimum payments on any bills, which may allow you to build up your credit faster after filing bankruptcy. If you are able to stick to a budget, you can put yourself in a great position to improve your credit score.
Filing bankruptcy won’t necessarily prevent you from achieving a high credit score. Don’t let your assumptions stop your from filing bankruptcy. Learn the facts and make an informed decision. Filing bankruptcy can actually increase your credit score and improve your financial outlook. Unpaid balances are eliminated with bankruptcy, so your credit score can only improve. This, however, does not necessarily mean that you have good credit. It just means that you will be a in a better position to obtain credit than you were before filing for bankruptcy.

If you are still unsure about whether you qualify for bankruptcy or if you have questions regarding how filing bankruptcy might impact your credit score, it would be beneficial to find a bankruptcy attorney that is reputable in your state as many offer a free, confidential consultation.

By Todd D. Beauregard


Friday, January 17, 2014

5 Scariest Product Recalls - Injury Lawyers Massachusetts

Consumer Product Safety Recalls

As a species, we're pretty awesome when it comes to inventing - some of the products and gadgets we have now seem to have come straight from science fiction. We can invent, manufacture and distribute goods all over the world, faster than ever before. Cause for celebration, perhaps, but things do not always go to plan. Think yourself lucky if you never bought any of these five items,  Most of these products have caused some type of personal injury or embarrassment to the consumers who bought them, they're the five scariest product recalls.

1. Shower Doors Shattering 

In 2011, Kohler Co. recalled about 100 glass shower doors after discovering that the hinge mechanism could shatter and pose a laceration hazard. Dozens of complaints have been received about various shower screens shattering, causing all kinds of cuts and lacerations. Some people even needed stitches or surgery as a result of their injuries.

2. Chair Collapse 

Everyone has fallen off a chair and embarrassed themselves at some point in life. Sometimes, the chair itself is to blame. Walmart just recalled a five piece card table and chair set after it emerged that many of the chairs have been unexpectedly collapsing. Finger amputations, finger fractures and injured backs are just a few of the injuries associated with the poorly made chairs. Card playing suddenly seems like less of a gamble than sitting down.

3. Transparent Yoga Trousers 

Perhaps one of the most embarrassing business flops of the year comes in the form of designer yoga pants, which, seemingly, weren't quite up to the task. Lululemon Athletica's yoga pants, with prices starting at $100 per pair, used material so thin that in many of their designs, the pants became so sheer as to be see-through. The products were recalled at an estimated cost of $60 billion. Scary if you inadvertently owned a pair and exposed yourself unwittingly, and scary too, if you're a shareholder.

4. Drop-Side Cribs 

Millions of drop-side cribs have been recalled in the US after the tragic suffocation and death of more than 100 infants due to the cribs. Some babies suffocated and others fell from the cribs due to missing or faulty hardware in the sides. Traditional drop-side cribs have now been banned in the US but consumers should beware of second-hand drop-side cribs which may still be available for purchase.

 5. HP Chromebook 11 

The Chromebook 11 was meant to be the next big thing. As an affordable, lightweight and sleek laptop built around Google Chrome system, it was expected to be a big hit last holiday season. However, all of a sudden, the product started to disappear from the shelves, and it was not due to its popularity. Instead, HP began receiving reports that some of the battery chargers were dangerously overheating, causing a potential fire or burn hazard. No big fuss was made, but products were gradually recalled from stores - scary because we almost never heard about it! Most products are made safely and perform their function as expected, but there will always be some things that fall through the net. Protecting yourself should always come before having the latest fashion or fad.

 By Massachusetts Injury Lawyer Todd Beauregard