Friday, 1 May 2015

Circumstances You Might not Realize Can Increase Your Personal Injury Settlement

Should you ever be involved in an accident that is almost certainly not your fault, you quite naturally have the option of pursuing a claim at court. If the accident in question has resulted in any outstanding medical bills or meant a general loss in your livelihood and income, you absolutely should. However, something that is not always understood is how the circumstances that result in payment are calculated. For example, just how much pain do you have to be in before you can claim compensation for it? Is a broken leg accounted for the same as a broken arm?

The circumstances that can increase your personal injury settlement are codified and regulated. If you do find yourself in a lawsuit over injuries you have suffered, knowing these sorts of things can really help you get the most out of your settlement, which can be helpful for those extra medical costs or to assist with getting by while out of work.

Naturally, each case is unique, so there may be certain exceptions, variants and caveats to these listings but these will give you a place to start.

No Pain, No Gain

As a general rule of thumb, most court cases will use the amount of pain suffered as a general yard stick for determining how much compensation is due to the injured party. The more you’ve suffered as a result of your injury, the more you will receive in your personal injury settlement.
Bear in mind as well, this isn’t just physical pain. You don’t have to scream in anguish whenever your broken collar bone is touched. Mental anquish is also taken into account, as is any pain caused by a disruption in your regular life and means of income. So, for example, if you make a living as a guitarist and you suffer from broken fingers, you’d get more in a personal injury settlement than a professional singer would for the same injury.

Other things related to your injury that can result in increased personal settlements include:

• Hard Injury - broken bones, fractures, nerve damage, dislocated joints, spinal column damage, etc.

• Medical Expenses - this only covers expenses directly related to treatment, as well as prescription costs.

• Permanent Injury - facial scarring, loss of use in limbs, weakness, indefinite continued treatments etc. 

• Disruptions to Daily Life - once again, this includes not just the length of recovery, but how much the injuries prevent you from living your normal life and maintaining your livelihood.

Pointing Fingers

Of course, there is more to your personal injury claim than simply how much your broken leg prevents you from your usual job as a tap dancer. There is also the matter of the legal liability, in laymen’s terms who exactly was responsible for the injury in the first place. This will play a very important role in determining how much compensation you will receive at the end of the case, assuming you’re even awarded a settlement at all.

Naturally finding out that you were at least partially responsible for your injury will damage your case, so you may want to ensure you have the following before proceeding to court.

• Blame - you were completely faultless for the injury, or prevention of it was completely beyond your reasonable control.

• Evidence - having witnesses or video footage of the injury will greatly bolster your case in a claims court.

• Good Presentation - it pays to be patient and calm during the proceedings. Keeping a level head will make your case more credible. You should also be organised and presentable during the hearing. Make sure to wear a smart suit, and that you have all necessary paperwork.

• Luck - if the person you’re suing is unsympathetic or otherwise held suspect, you may be rewarded with an increased settlement.

A Second Opinion

If you’re uncertain as to whether you may be entitled to additional payment following your accident or injury, you should probably consider asking for legal advice from an attorney. Most law firms such as Heil Law will offer a free consultation upon your first visit, so there’s really no reason you shouldn’t approach one to see if circumstances can give you a greater personal injury settlement, or greater chances of success. They may also alert you to potential weaknesses in your claim, or unseen laws and ordinances, that may damage your chances of a successful claim too.

Christian Mills is a freelance writer and family man who offers articles and advice on a variety of challenges affecting families and life in the home.

About Author

Jimmy Simond is a founder of he share his immense knowledge of Finance in this blog.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

What You Need to Know about Structured Settlements

If you have been the plaintiff of a successful lawsuit for an accident or personal injury, it is highly possible the trial did not make it to court. Instead, an agreement to settle the lawsuit with money outside of court has been reached. Usually, this agreement results in cash. As the plaintiff, you have two options: you can choose to receive all of your money at once, or you can choose to receive the money in payments, which is known as a structured settlement. Before you choose the type of payment for your damages, there are several things to consider. Consult with a personal injury lawyer to make sure you are choosing the best settlement type for your situation.

Tax Effect

One thing to consider is the tax effect of structured settlements vs. lump-sum payments. When you choose a lump-sum payment, you must claim your settlement as income. This is reported on your taxes, and may have negative effects on your tax return. Structured settlements, on the other hand, are considered an annuity. Provided you do not have control of the release of the settlement, it is tax-free.

Inflation and Recession

One of the problems with a structured settlement is that it does not change if recession or inflation occurs. This could leave you with money that is less valuable than it was at the time of your settlement. In contrast, lump-sum payments are paid out at once, giving you the opportunity to invest in treasury bonds that will be affected by the economy.

Spending Responsibly

Statistically, the majority of plaintiffs in successful lawsuits who receive lump-sum payments have the money spent within five years. The reasoning for this is that the large amount of money may encourage them to make extravagant purchases, instead of saving for the future. When you choose a structured settlement, you only receive payments throughout the length of the settlement. This ensures you have money in the future. This is especially beneficial if you have become permanently disabled and are unable to work.

Current Financial Needs

Some individuals who are receiving a settlement from a personal injury lawsuit have financial needs greater than the structured payment amounts. This could be caused by medical costs not covered by insurance related to the case at hand. If pressing hospital bills are an issue for you, then choosing a lump-sum payment could be crucial to maintaining your financial stability.

Settle Easier

Many defendants do not favor a lump-sum payment because it will leave them in debt. In this case, they may be very reluctant to choose this option. If a structured settlement is an option, however, they can make payments over time. This can be less stressful on the defendant, making it more likely that the case can be settled outside of court.

Protection of Funds

As a structured settlement is considered an annuity, it is covered by state insurance laws. This ensures that you continue to receive your structured payments, even if the defendant of the lawsuit goes bankrupt. When you choose a lump-sum payment, however, you must purchase insurance for the money.

Extent of Injuries

In some cases, the accident may have caused damage so severe that you are incapable of making purchasing decisions. In this case, choosing a structured settlement will ensure the longevity of your payments. It will also ensure you have enough money to secure the cost of living and medical care in the future. This especially true if the accident caused damage that will progress over time.

If you are unsure of your settlement options or find yourself considering an impending court case, consult a personal injury lawyer like David Heil to make sure you understand your options and their implications.

Lautaro Martinez is a freelance writer and professional student who contributes articles and practical advice on a variety of issues that affect families and small business owners.

About Author

Jimmy Simond is a founder of he share his immense knowledge of Finance in this blog.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Financial Goals You Should Consider Achieving In 2015 – Commitment Will Make Life Better

It is true that each and every new year, we all are faced with the same question, what are the goals that I’m going to commit myself to? Unfortunately, most people will answer this question with a long list of goals and resolutions that may seem to be pretty unreal. The problem with such people is that they easily get to the end of the year without achieving more than 10% of their goals that they’ve listed. So, if you’re positive enough to change last year’s failures into this year’s success, you got to follow certain suggestions for not only building the goals of 2015 but also accomplishing them. Here are some meaningful goals that you can keep in front of you.

1.      Set your personal financial plan: Majority of the professional and certified financial planners believe that everyone should have a financial plan of their own and they should review this plan in regular intervals so that they know how much they’ve reached and what else they need to do to achieve them. You will always see people who are nearing their retirement and almost all of them have never achieved their financial plans as they’re retiring with debt. Financial planning, if done correctly and at the right time will certainly reap good results. Think twice before putting all your assets into one basket as this is the biggest mistake that is committed by most.

2.      Max out on your yearly investments: There are many people who are not maxing out their annual contributions to savings accounts, retirement plans or even 529 plans for their kid’s future. This is a New Year and hence now is the right time to determine the limit for each plan, how much money you can afford and to ensure that you’re keeping aside this amount of money each month.

3.      Stay prepared to pay taxes: Now that we have stepped into 2015, it is high time that you make sure whether or not you’re doing proper planning about your taxes so that you don’t have to rush during the year-end to complete all those tax-saving tasks. According to your age, you can add an additional $5500 to your 401(k) and $1000 to your Individual Retirement Account. You should also check whether you’re withdrawing your required minimum distribution. Always do a mock-tax return so as to get an idea.

4.      Organize your finances: It’s vital to preserve all your tax and investment documents. If handling too much paperwork is getting messy, then you can follow a system. The best option for you is to find a best online storage system and drop all those documents into that program. This will certainly cut down on clutter and also save a few trees every year.
So, if you wish to lead a financially successful 2014, you should follow the above mentioned goals. Did goodbye to credit card debt and get help from the professional companies to repay your debt with ease.

About Author

Jimmy Simond is a founder of he share his immense knowledge of Finance in this blog.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

The Rise of Mobile Trading

Whilst 20 years ago a mobile phone was a rare site even in the most bustling of metropolises, the great leap forward in mobile technology since the millennium means that mobile devices are now an ever-present part of our lives. If anything this trend towards mobile has only accelerated in the past few years, as the rise of the smart-phone has transformed the mobile from a device for making calls into something that is, to all intents and purposes, a hand-held computer. The UK is a prime example of this trend, with a recent Ofcom report stating that in 2014 a staggering 62% of people were using smart-phones. 

One of the results of this is that both trading information and financial data are now far more accessible to traders. Whilst in the 90’s and even in the 00’s the vast majority of trading transactions were made via desktop, in the past few years the percentage of trading done via mobile has continued to grow by leaps and bounds.  The rise of the tablet has also helped in this regard, since it has proved to be easily transportable whilst also having an easier trading interface than smart-phones due to having a larger screen. 

This leap forward in technology has also come at a time when data is increasingly becoming easier to interpret, with trading courses available to help people get to grips with the rise and fall of the financial markets. In fact, ETX Capital offers a wide variety of trading-related seminars and webinars, all of which are free to ETX Capital clients. 

Whilst in the old days financial news could be slow to circulate, the rise of the internet in general and social media in particular means that the spread of financial news can be almost instantaneous. The accessibility to both social media and trading apps on the same mobile device means that people can react to financial news just seconds after reading it – wherever they are in the world. The ability to trade whilst away from one’s desk has opened up the world of trading; with internet access via mobile phone, anyone can be a financial trader. 

Newcomers to the world of financial trading certainly aren’t spoiled for choice – there are large number of different tradable products out there, with global equities, indices, Forex pairs and commodities all available to trade nowadays via mobile platforms. For example, TraderPro, ETX Capital’s flagship platform, offers thousands of different trading choices to users – and as well as being available on Desktop devices the trading  platform is also available in app format for Android and iOS devices, giving users the flexibility to trade when and where they want to.

About Author

Jimmy Simond is a founder of he share his immense knowledge of Finance in this blog.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

How Your Wallet Should Look In 2015

Now that we’ve crossed one and a half month of the year 2015, you must be wondering what 2015 has in store for your wallets and for the entire economy. A powerful thing these days is a financial built that is built on reasonable foresight, with the tanking price of oil, the economic weakness that is prevailing in the world, the aging bull market and the series of geopolitical headwinds. Every year, there are some important milestones and trends that are expected to occur in a year. So, what’s being predicted about 2015? What will be the shape and size of your wallet? Will you be able to manage your soaring financial obligations? What does the credit card industry has in store for you?

Federal Reserve predicts a rate hike in 2015 – A detailed look

According to the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy statement, interest rates are all set to increase in mid-2015, the first rise since 2006. The Federal Open Market Committee announced that it keep on winding down its bond-buying stimulus program by trimming off $10 from its monthly purchases, thereby leaving the stimulus program to end by October. Fed Chair Janet Yellen said that the US economy is gradually making progress towards the FOMC’s aim of sustainable employment. 

However, the labor market needs to recover fully.

When all this happens, the interest rate increase will have an impact on most of the credit card users. As the interests of the variable-rate cards are linked to the prime rates of the bank, whenever the Fed acts on its decision, the people who carry balance on their variable rate card will see the monthly interest costs start rising. On the other hand, the savers will see good advantages as the yields on their savings account will see an increase.

Unemployment level to reach 5%

If you have an eye on the bigger picture, you will know that a large portion of the global economy is in trouble, Europe, Japan and OPEC, the economic resurgence of US is still sluggish, as it seems. Experts expect more of the same kind of recovery, if not better in the year 2015. Predictions reveal a GDP growth of 3% and a reduction in unemployment to 5%. Such statistics could easy take the US back to levels that were never seen since early 2008, before the seeping in of the financial crisis. Healthy corporate balance sheets will be seen due to more people a work, more output and more robust economic growth.

Higher automobile sales

The relatively old fleet of cars, where an average vehicle is 11.4 years old, the rejuvenating economy and the still-low interest rates led to a solid year of automobile sales in 2014. Experts expect 2015 to be even better as a larger number of consumers gain confidence in their savings opportunities and financial security.

Consumers may accumulate at least $60 billion in credit card debt

During the past few years, there has been a rapid decline in the performance of consumer credit cards as the bad memory of the Great Recession has faded into memory. The Americans accrued $36.7 billion credit card debt in 2012, $38.8 billion in 2013, and $60 billion in 2014 which shows a combined amount of $135.6 billion in only 3 years. This unabated trend is projected to continue in 2015. In fact according to projections, consumers will incur at least $60 million in new credit card debt during 2015. Obviously there’s a fake hope that everyone should follow a budget, spend much less than what they earn and also save for their rainy day fund.

Massive closing of branches will be seen among banks

As a larger portion of the market shifts to mobile applications and the ‘online-only’ accounts, banks have been closing down their branches throughout the US in massive numbers. There were 1487 net closings in 2013 and this was till now the highest number that was recorded since 2002. As per research by SNL Financial, around 1464 branches were closed through mid-November, 2014. Experts expect this trend to continue and increase through 2015.

Expert advice for consumers in 2015

As we see that the condition of the US economy and the world economy is not going through a very 
positive way, consumers have to stay on the safe side by taking some watchful financial steps. They have to take steps to get rid of their debt by taking out debt consolidation loans utah so that they can use the proceeds to repay their debt obligations with ease. Boost your savings and create an 
emergency fund for better lifestyle.

Therefore, when you’re wondering about the shape and size of your wallet in 2015, you should take the above mentioned facts into consideration. Speak to a financial advisor and take advice on the financial steps to take in order to remain debt free.

About Author

Jimmy Simond is a founder of he share his immense knowledge of Finance in this blog.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Major Pitfalls To Avoid In Handling Foreign Currency Exchanges Like Pound To Euro

What are the things you should not do in handling your foreign currencies if you plan on earning money from it? If you have done exchanges like pound to euro, what are the pitfalls you should avoid to lessen the possibility of incurring losses? You should read the following parts for your reference on what you shouldn’t be or do when it comes to handling your foreign currency investment. Organized

Don’t be impulsive and irrational because you may end up making baseless decisions.

Decisions, no matter how small or big the effect is, should be carefully thought of for more than a couple of times.  You can’t immediately rush into things just because you feel like doing it. Impulsive decisions will cost you a lot since you have not assessed the outcome of your actions. If you act upon things without any basis, then it seems like you are digging your own grave. Exchanging your pound to euro should not be done just because you notice there are several individuals who do it. This exchange may be favourable on their part but not for you. Remember that it is your own money which you will place into an investment. Have the extreme caution as you analyse the foreign currency exchanges rather than regret in the end.

Don’t be easily persuaded by other traders or brokers.

It is inevitable for you to hear different opinions from various traders and brokers of foreign currencies. Do not be easily persuaded with the things you may hear from them. Their opinions may clash the perspectives of each other. You may just see yourself stuck in confusion as you don’t know what you must do and whom you shall trust. Before choosing the advice you will follow, you should have an overall assessment of the actions you will do first. A projected forecast for each decision will absolutely help you. Pose yourself different questions such as: Is it beneficial to exchange your British pound to dollars? What is the euro rate today? How much will I have to keep? How long should I keep this allocated amount? What are the top performing countries recently in terms of their economy? While it is helpful to hear opinions from different brokers and traders, just be careful not to fall into the trap of becoming a victim.  

It is not advisable to hoard a huge amount and keep it for a long time.

It is very risky to keep a large amount of foreign currency for a long time. There are uncertainties that can happen in the global market which will directly affect the value of the foreign currency you are holding. If you are willing to go with everything you got then you have to rethink again. A huge amount kept for a long time is more prone to losses once an unpleasant event takes place. Say for instance that you are waiting for a certain value of the euro rate today within this month. It continuously increases each day but it’s still far from your target value. Then all of a sudden, its value dropped even lower compared to the amount you have purchased the foreign currency. The losses are significant because you have hoarded a huge amount for a long time.

It is best to not mix the foreign currencies intended for expenses with the investment.

It seems disorganized when you have foreign currencies which you both use as investments in the foreign currency exchanges and for purchasing items from other countries. Open a separate bank account for the foreign currencies you are maintaining like for example your Australian dollar. You have to track down all of your transactions. It will be easier if one account is intended only for a single purpose. You will be able to see the cash flows which are all related to your investment in foreign currency exchange trade. Moreover, you can easily compare your previous balance with the current balance and see the difference of the amounts. As you allocate the amount you will use to purchase foreign currency, immediately open a bank account intended solely for it.

Don’t be too complacent.

Keep an eye on everything that may and will affect the value of the foreign currency whether it’s positively or negatively. Be quick as to how you will use and lay your cards for the next days or weeks. If you are unaware of the news then you may end up incurring losses because you are too complacent or you appear gullible and others try to take advantage of you. The worst that may happen is if there are already the indicators regarding an event which will heavily influence the value and you still choose to stick with your decision from last week. As much as other traders would want to see the high value of a certain foreign currency and exchange pound to euro or other foreign currencies, be open to all possibilities so you won’t be taken aback with an unexpected happening.

About Author

Jimmy Simond is a founder of he share his immense knowledge of Finance in this blog.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Moving Towards Financial Prudence – The New Year Is All About New Beginnings

If the New Year is considered all about new beginnings, don’t you think that this is the right opportunity to move towards financial prudence? Although the New Year might still be a few days away, but this is the right time to get some personal financial matters in place, before the Christmas and New Year celebrations take over. The simplest thing to do is to include any money related resolution to your list. Doing so might seem to be a spoiler but this should well be the one decision that you were able to put in practice and get paid handsomely in the long run. If you wish to plan ahead of time so as to stay on top of your personal finances, here are some points with which you could start off.

  • Learn more about your finances: In case you think that it is solely the duty of your financial advisor or planner to know about all kinds of financial products, you’re grossly mistaken. Apart from the financial planner, it is also the investor’s responsibility to know where to invest his dollars. Even the investors who prefer to stay with simpler products should study their investment choices. The problem with most people is that they don’t have an inclination towards reading on finance. Well, you don’t have to become a CFA but you should know the basics. Having a basic understanding will help you get a grip on the bigger picture.
  •  Reflect on your cash flow: Another simple way of getting disciplined and getting into the habit of saving is to first find and then plug the loopholes in your expenses. If investing is important for you, track the cash flow. Once you figure out your avoidable expenses, you can easily channelize money into savings and investments. People are usually undisciplined and they love to be savers, not investors. So, jot down where you spend, what amount you spend.
  • Start with a small amount: If you find it difficult to save and invest, the best way to do so is to start small. Many people will think that small investments take them nowhere. A small amount out away may look like nothing but you will rather be surprised to know how this amount may add up. Hence, keep saving money in small amounts so that you can soon see your fund growing.
  • Manage your debts: While you investigate your expenses, make sure you pay close attention to your loans. In case you realize that you have too many, it is time that you consolidate them.  You can either seek help of the debt consolidation programs or take out debt consolidation loans in order to combine all your loans into a single monthly payment. Before doing that, remember that all loans are not bad and hence keep paying the ones are used to build assets, like mortgage and car loans.

Hence, if you’re someone who is dreaming of spending a debt-free 2015, take into account the above mentioned tips to save your dollars. At the same time make resolutions to invest safely.

About Author

Jimmy Simond is a founder of he share his immense knowledge of Finance in this blog.