| Read Time: 2 minutes | Personal Injury Lawyer

Carbon Monoxide: What Is It and What To Do?

Personal Injury Lawyer | Carbon Monoxide:  What it is and what to do if you are exposed An experienced Personal Injury Lawyer can inform you of your rights if you or someone you know has been exposed to carbon monoxide. More than 20,000 people in the U.S. visit the emergency room each year for carbon monoxide poisoning. Of those, 400 of them will die. Carbon monoxide has been called a “silent killer”and is a common industrial hazard. Even small amounts can be harmful, so it is important to know what carbon monoxide is and what to do if you are exposed to it. What Carbon Monoxide Is Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas produced from the incomplete burning of carbon containing materials like natural gas, coal, kerosene, oil, propane and wood. It is produced by forges, blast furnaces and coke ovens on large industrial sites. CO is also produced by the internal combustion engine in smaller equipment like forklifts, gas-powered generators, marine engines and power washers among others. How CO Harms         Improper ventilation can quickly allow dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide to build up. When breathed in, the CO binds with hemoglobin in your blood at 300 times the rate of oxygen. Carbon monoxide poisoning deprives your heart, lungs and the rest of your body from the essential oxygen it needs causing you to suffocate and lose consciousness. With enough exposure, this can happen in minutes. The Signs of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning If someone has been exposed to carbon monoxide, they will experience various symptoms before losing consciousness. The amount of exposure will determine how quickly these symptoms move from bad to worse. Dull Headache Weakness Dizziness Nausea/Vomiting Difficulty Breathing Confusion Blurred Vision Loss of Consciousness Complications of CO Poisoning Carbon monoxide can cause reversible and irreversible damage depending on severity of exposure. Permanent brain damage Heart damage – potentially leading to severe cardiac complications Fetal death and miscarriage Death Those Most at Risk CO poisoning is dangerous for everyone, but some are more at risk for severe complication, faster. Fetuses Young children Elderly People at high altitudes People with heart or lung diseases Smokers or others with already elevated CO levels What to Do If you or someone you are with displays these symptoms and you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, follow the steps below to quickly get help. Move to a well-ventilated area or outside as quickly as possible. Call 911 immediately. Administer 100% oxygen with a tight-fitting mask, if the victim is still breathing. Administer CPR if the victim has stopped breathing. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a serious and swift acting hazard. Be sure that any fuel burning equipment has proper ventilation. If you feel uncomfortable with the situation at work, discuss it with your supervisor immediately. You could save the life of your co-workers and even yourself. If you or someone you know has suffered carbon monoxide poisoning, contact The Personal Injury Department at Young Wooldridge, LLP. A personal injury lawyer at Young Wooldridge, LLP can inform you of legal options you may not know you have.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Personal Injury Lawyer

Highway Safety Basics

PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER | HIGHWAY SAFETY BASICS FOR ALL An experienced Personal Injury Lawyer can inform you of your rights if you or someone you know was injured in a motor vehicle accident. In 2017, there were 37,133 people killed in motor vehicle crashes. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), 16 percent of these fatalities were pedestrians, 14 percent were motorcyclists and 2 percent were bicyclists. sixty-four percent of crash fatalities in 2017 were passenger vehicle occupants and 2 percent were occupants of large trucks. While highway safety is improving over the last decade, we still have work to do to mitigate the vast majority of vehicle crash related fatalities. From the statistics stated above, everyone is at risk. The three biggest causes of vehicle crash fatalities are: Alcohol Speeding Distracted Driving Basic highway safety tips can help to combat these poor driving habits and can keep you, your staff and your loved ones safe on the road. ALCOHOL As the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA) puts it, “if you feel different, you drive different.” All 50 states have laws against driving under the influence of alcohol. Thinking, reasoning and muscle coordination are all affected by alcohol making it dangerous to have even one drink and drive. Remember these tips before making the mistake of drinking and driving. If you are planning to drink alcohol, designate a non-drinking designated driver. Use taxi services, if needed. If you are the host, make sure all of your party guests leave with a sober driver. If you see a drunk driver on the road, call law enforcement immediately. Always wear your seatbelt to protect yourself from other impaired drivers. SPEEDING In 2017, speeding accounted for more than a quarter of all traffic fatalities. Data tells us that speeding is on the rise. This trend could be due to many factors like increased traffic congestion, stressful schedules or a general detachment and disregard for other drivers. Whatever the cause, we can all do more to keep the roads safe from speeding accidents. Always observe speed limits and reduce your speed in inclement weather. Give speeding drivers plenty of space. If someone is trying to pass you in the left lane, move over and let them by. Use good judgement to avoid aggressive drivers tailgating or intimidating you. Call the police if you believe another driver is harassing you. DISTRACTED DRIVING NHTSA reports that approximately 481,000 drivers are using handheld devices daily. There are three main types of distraction where driving is concerned; manual, removing hands from the steering wheel, visual, taking eyes off the road and cognitive, thinking about anything other than driving. Texting is exceptionally dangerous because it engages all three of these distractions. Adhere to the following safety standards to keep our roads safe of distracted driving. Never text and drive. Pull over if you must or wait until you’ve reached your destination. Save phone calls until the end of your trip. Don’t try to multitask while driving. Using a handheld device, changing the radio, setting GPS and even eating are dangerous activities that can increase the risk of an auto accident. Remain focused on the task at hand, driving, for the entire time you are behind the wheel. If you or someone you know was injured in a car accident, contact The Personal Injury Department at Young Wooldridge, LLP. A personal injury lawyer at Young Wooldridge, LLP can inform you of legal options you may not know you have.  

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Personal Injury Lawyer

What do you know about Brain injuries?

Personal Injury Lawyer| Brain Injuries  An experienced Personal Injury Lawyer can inform you of your rights if you or someone you know has suffered a brain injury. Brain injuries occur when a person sustains an impact to the head. These types of injuries are common and very serious. There are varying degrees and causes of brain injury. Knowing more about brain injury could mean the difference between long term and short-term effects. When the brain is injured due to an impact to the head, it is called Traumatic Brain Injury or TBI. The leading cause of TBI is falls. In moderate to severe cases, the biggest cause was car accidents. These are followed by gunshot wounds and assault. If you have suffered a personal injury, it is imperative that you rule out brain injury quickly. While some head injuries are quite apparent, with cuts, broken skin and bruising, perhaps the most alarming thing to know about TBI is that it can be imperceptible to the eye. It is often the case that a person in a recent accident thinks that they are aware of all of their injuries while under the surface, a dangerous brain injury could be causing more damage every minute it is left untreated. Doctors use the scale “mild”, “moderate” and “severe” to describe the level of injury in every case. Below are some symptoms to look for: Mild Brain Injury Loss of consciousness – this can be for just a few seconds up to a few minutes No loss of consciousness, but a feeling of disorientation and confusion Headache Drowsiness or fatigue Dizziness Nausea Difficulty with speech Difficulty sleeping or excessive sleepiness Sensitivity to light or sound Other sensorial complications – ringing in the ears, bad taste in the mouth or effects on the sense of smell Moderate to Severe Brain Injury The above symptoms may be present in moderate or severe injuries and the below list of symptoms could appear within hours or may take days to present. Loss of consciousness – from several minutes to hours at a time Persistent or worsening headache Continual vomiting and nausea Clear fluid draining from nose and ears Dilation of pupils – one or both Numbness in fingers or toes Loss of coordination Seizures Slurred speech Coma or inability to awaken from sleep Unusual behavior – agitation, combativeness Profound confusion Additionally, when young children and infants are injured it is important to pay close attention to their possible symptoms. Since children can’t effectively communicate, symptoms to watch for are: Seizures Inconsolable crying Sadness and depression Loss of interest in favorite games and toys Change in sleep habits or drowsiness Change in eating/nursing habits Always see a doctor after an injury has occurred even if you believe that you have no injuries. If you are experiencing any of the items listed above in the days following an accident, seek emergency medical attention. Even mild brain injury victims can experience symptoms for up to a year after an accident. If you suspect that you or someone you know has suffered a burn injury, contact The Personal Injury Department at Young Wooldridge, LLP. A personal injury lawyer at Young Wooldridge, LLP can inform you of legal options you may not know you have.

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Personal Injury Lawyer

Child Car Seat Safety Do’s and Don’ts

Personal Injury Lawyer | Child Car Seat Safety  An experienced Personal Injury Lawyer can inform you of your rights if you or someone you love is injured in car crash. An estimated 46% of car and booster seats are misused in a way that could reduce their effectiveness according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This sobering statistic and others cause government agencies and local organizations to launch child safety seat campaigns every year. Raising awareness around car seat safety can save children’s lives. The Facts In 2016, in the U.S. 732 children, under the age of 12 died in car crashes. Of those, 35% of them were not buckled in. Restraint use among young children often depends upon the driver’s seat belt use. The use of a car seat reduces the risk of injury in a crash up to 82% and boosters 45%. The CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics(AAP) lead the conversation on child car seat safety. Together, they inform the public as well as car seat manufacturers on best practices for child passenger safety. Follow these tips for keeping your child passenger safe. Don’t: Turn children facing forward until at least 2 years of age. When a child rides rear-facing, the head, neck, and spine are all supported by the hard shell of the car safety seat, allowing the car seat to absorb most of the crash forces, and protecting the most vulnerable parts of the body. Purchase used car seats from an unknown source. If you don’t know a car seat’s history, don’t use it. Used seats should Come with instructions and a label showing the manufacture date and model number. They should not be more than 6 years old and should not have been in any previous accidents. Assume you know how to install a car seat if you’ve never done it before. Cars made after 2002 have a latch system that you should use to secure car seats to your vehicle. Before that, belt installation varies from seat to seat. Find a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician in your area to help show you how to install your car seat free of charge. Often these can be found at your local fire station. Place car seat in the front seat. The back seat is the safest place for your child’s car seat. Airbags can kill young children riding in the front seat. Never place a rear-facing car seat in front of an airbag. The middle of the back seat is the safest spot in the car to place children. Do: Keep all children in car seats or boosters until at least age 8. It is safe to move your child out of the booster when he or she reaches a height of 4 feet 9 inches, sits against the back of the seat with knees bent comfortably at the seat edge and when the seat belt rest comfortable over the hips and the shoulder, not below hips or on the neck or face. Opt for the 5-point harness Older seats may have a 3-point harness. Choosing a 5-point harness ensures that your child is secured to the seat in five places preventing them slipping out of the safety of the seat in the event of a crash. Buckle children safely for every trip. No matter how short the trip, an accident can happen. Make sure you are properly securing children every time they are passengers in a moving vehicle. Model proper vehicle safety by buckling up every time you ride in a car with children. Make sure that any family members or other caregivers know how to properly install and buckle car seats. Proper car seat use will greatly reduce the risk of child injuries in your vehicle. If you or someone you know has suffered a personal injury in a car crash, contact The Personal Injury Department at Young Wooldridge, LLP. A personal injury lawyer at Young Wooldridge, LLP can inform you of legal options you may not know you have.

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Personal Injury Lawyer

How Much Do You Know About Workplace Safety?

Personal Injury Lawyer |  Workplace Safety An experienced personal injury lawyer can inform you of your rights if you or someone you love is injured on the job.As the National Safety Council states“every worker deserves to make it home safe – every day”. In 1970, the federal government instituted OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Act which governs workplace health and safety regulations and compiles annual statistics relating to workplace safety incidents. Despite OSHA conducting 32,020 federal inspections and 40,993 State Plan inspections, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, 5,147 workers were killed on the job in 2017. That equates to about 14 people per day. For every worker and employer, knowing more about workplace safety will lead to less injuries and fatalities on the job. The “Fatal Four” In 2017, one in five workers deaths was in the construction field. These four causes were responsible for more than half (59.9%) of those. Falls Struck by Object Electrocution Caught/Crushed The Department of Labor says that eliminating these Fatal Four could save 582 workers’ lives every year in America. OSHA and other state and federal departments are working hard to make workplace safety the highest priority in every industry. However, there is a lot of misinformation out there. Believe it or not, in some industries, workplace safety has a bad rap. Below are 3 myths about workplace safety, debunked. Myth One: It’s impossible to create a hazard-free work area. This line of thinking is dangerous because it creates a “safety is a futile effort” mentality for employers. When employers are informed and proactive about what it takes to create an injury-free workplace, safety is a very attainable goal. The proper planning, education, discipline and diligence can create a hazard-free workplace in any industry. Myth Two: Following OSHA safety standards requires too much time and money. Anyone who feels this way has clearly never considered how much time and money is wasted when accidents do occur. From direct costs: workers compensation, medical payments and legal fees to indirect costs: training replacements, damaged equipment, lost productivity, lower employee morale and more absenteeism, employers pay for unsafe work environments. Myth Three: Accidents happen. Research shows that most workplace accidents are preventable. By taking workplace safety seriously and actively participating in and pursuing a safe environment every day on the job, workers and employers can achieve an injury-free workplace. But what happens when an employer fails to create a safe environment for their workers? Ultimately the worker is the one who will suffer most from this situation. OSHA laws state workers right in these situations. Determining the best course of action depends on the severity of the situation. The question is: Are you in imminent danger? If You Are In Imminent Danger You have the right to refuse to work. Immediately call the OSHA phone line at 800-321-OSHA and 911 if anyone needs medical attention. Imminent danger situations require that the following criteria are met: you believe that performing your work poses a real danger of death or serious physical injury your employer refuses to correct the problem, and there isn’t enough time to eliminate the danger through other means, such as requesting an OSHA inspection. If You Are Not In Imminent Danger Start by bringing the hazard to your employers’ attention. Document your report by putting it in writing with the employer or simply by keeping your own record including the date, time and who you reported it to. If you are afraid to talk to your employer, you may report it directly to OSHA or other governing state agency. If your employer does nothing or threatens to take action against you for reporting a hazard, you should contact OSHA to file a complaint. You can do this anonymously or give your name. If you or someone you know has suffered a personal injury on the job, contact The Personal Injury Department at Young Wooldridge, LLP. A personal injury lawyer at Young Wooldridge, LLP can inform you of legal options you may not know you have.

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Estate Planning Attorney Bakersfield

What Is Joint Ownership?

Estate Planning Attorney Bakersfield | What Is Joint Ownership? An experienced Estate Planning Attorney in Bakersfield can inform you of your options if you or someone you know is looking to establish joint ownership of a property.  Probate is the act of proving a will is genuine or broadly, “the process of administering an estate.” When you pass, your assets and finances will undergo the process of probate to sort out the details of your estate. Probate can be a long and arduous process for loved ones and beneficiaries. It can tie up your assets for months and can open them up to estate taxes which could, in some cases, deplete your financial standing significantly. Proper estate planning can help your loved ones avoid probate. Joint ownership is one way to keep your property out of probate. Just as it sounds, joint ownership is when a property is shared by two or more people. There are several forms of joint ownership, all of which can help avoid probate when one owner dies. The forms of joint ownership are: Joint Tenancy With Rights of Survivorship In joint tenancy with rights of survivorship or JTWROS, two or more people legally own a property. When one of those owners dies, the property simply stays under ownership of the remaining partner(s). The heirs of the deceased have no legal rights to the property. Upon death of one of the owners, the surviving owners fill out a form and present it along with a death certificate to whoever keeps the records. Depending on what type of property it is, this could be a bank, state department of motor vehicles or county real estate records office. Tenancy By The Entirety In certain states, Tenancy by the Entirety exists. Abbreviated TBE, this form of joint ownership functions in the exact same way as Joint Tenancy with Rights of Survivorship, except it is restricted to just two people who are married or are registered domestic partners. When a spouse dies, the other becomes the sole property ownership when a death certificate is presented to the property record keeper just as Joint Tenancy with Rights of Survivorship. Community Property Currently nine states are considered Community Property States. In these states, property, income and debt acquired during a marriage is considered community property between spouses and an assumed 50-50 ownership exists. Although simply stating in a will or trust that you wish your property to be otherwise distributed after death cannot override the community property laws. However, each spouse is able to bequeath their share of the property to a person of their choosing, like a child or other family member. If no heir is named, when one spouse passes, the property is automatically transferred, and the surviving spouse becomes the sole owner. Only a prenuptial agreement may supercede the community property laws in these states. Tenancy In Common As Tenants In Common, TIC, each owner of a property holds a percentage. Percentages do not have to be equal, instead they are determined by how much an owner contributes to the purchase of the property. Each owners share becomes part of that owner’s estate. It is named in the will and left to a person of their choosing upon death. The other owners, unless named as heirs in the will or trust have no claim to the other percentages of the property. One pitfall with this type of property ownership is that as part of individual estates, the percentage can become subject to probate and the state’s will in the settling of an estate. This can put the property and the other owners in difficult position. When considering the various types of joint ownership, consulting an experienced estate planning attorney will help you decide which is best for you and your family. If you or someone you know is looking for more information on joint ownership, contact The Estate Planning Department at Young Wooldridge, LLP. A estate planning attorney at Young Wooldridge, LLP can inform you of options you may not know you have.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Personal Injury Lawyer

Performance Under Pressure: Basic Workplace Safety Tips For Stressful Jobs

Personal Injury Lawyer| Performance Under Pressure An experienced personal injury lawyer can inform you of your rights if you or someone you love is injured on the job. According to the National Safety Council, every 7 seconds a worker is injured on the job. It is the responsibility of the employer to provide adequate training and proper signage. Employers should maintain a culture of safety and lead by example. However, to avoid a workplace injury, you must take responsibility for your own actions. Your safety, health and future depend on it. While all jobs have some risk level, a few are potentially more dangerous than others. The top five occupations with the largest number of workplace injuries are: Service (including firefighters, law enforcement, etc) Transportation and Shipping Manufacturing and Production Installation, Maintenance and Repair Construction The most common type of injuries were: Overexertion Accounting for 34% of reported injuries, this includes lifting or lowering and repetitive motions. To avoid these types of injuries remember to: Try not to bend, reach or twist when lifting heavy objects. Take frequent breaks. Contact With Object And Equipment 25% of injuries come from direct contact with objects and equipment. Being struck by or against an object or equipment, being caught in or compressed by an object or equipment and being struck caught or crushed by collapsing objects or equipment all fall under this category. Do your part to stay clear of these common workplace injuries by: Storing heavy objects close to the floor. Being aware of moving object and equipment in your work space. Wearing the proper protective gear for your job. Slips, Trips and Falls Another 25% of injuries are attributed to slips, trips or falls. Falling to a lower level and falls on the same level are both included. Steer clear of these accidents: Place ladders on even, solid and sturdy surfaces only. Keep the workspace clear and free of debris, trash and interfering objects. If you or someone you know has suffered a personal injury on the job, contact The Personal Injury Department at Young Wooldridge, LLP. A personal injury lawyer at Young Wooldridge, LLP can inform you of legal options you may not know you have.

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Personal Injury Lawyer

Keep Your Loved Ones Safe From Burn Injuries

Personal Injury Lawyer | Burn Injuries  An experienced Personal Injury Lawyer can inform you of your rights if you or someone you love is in a fire, scald or burn accident at someone else’s fault. In a national survey, nearly half (44%) of respondents said they did not believe burn injuries to be a major danger in their homes. However, burn injury center admissions continue to grow every year. Every day, 300 children are seen in emergency rooms for burns and two of those will die. Elderly loved ones are at greater risk of burn injuries. So how do we keep burn injuries from effecting our loved ones? Stop Burn Injuries From Occurring In Your Home The majority of burn injuries happen in the home. Cooking accounts for 47% of all home fires. By taking some simple precautions and alerting your family members to the risks of being burned, you can keep those you love from experiencing painful and potentially scarring burns and scalds. ● Cook when you are wide awake and never under the influence of medications that might make you drowsy or slow reaction time, other drugs or alcohol. ● Wear tight fitting clothing, especially sleeves when you are cooking. ● Always keep a lid and oven mitts nearby when cooking. ● Keep surface areas clean to prevent grease build-up. ● If a pot or pan does catch fire in your home, quickly cover it with it’s lid and turn off the heat. ● Do not move a pot or pan that is on fire and never put water on a kitchen fire. ● Make sure fire alarms are in proper working order. ● If a kitchen fire gets out of your control, get out of the house and do not return for any reason. According to the American Burn Association, between 2013 and 2017, an estimated 376,950 scald burn injuries associated with consumer household appliances and products were seen in hospital emergency rooms in the U.S. between 2013-2017. This includes stoves, coffee makers, tableware, cookware and bathtubs. Remaining vigilant when it comes to daily household activities is your best defense against these type of injuries. Keep Children Safe From Burn Injuries Because children have immature motor and cognitive skills, are unable to self-rescue and rely on adults for supervision and danger-avoidance, they are at particularly high risk for burn injuries. Children also have thinner skin and sustain more severe injuries when burned. ● Make sure fire alarms are placed at the entrance to children’s bedrooms. ● Make children aware of the exits in their room and discuss an escape plan with them. ● Keep hot kitchen items out of reach of children. This includes pot/pan handles, hot liquids and coffee makers among others. ● Cook on back burners. ● Supervise young children in the kitchen as they learn to use the microwave and other potentially hazardous appliances. ● Always check water temperatures before bathing children. Keep your water heater set to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. ● Do not leave children with immature babysitters and do not allow children to bathe younger siblings. Avoid Burn Injuries Outside The Home Burn injuries can happen outside the home as well. In a well-known case, a woman suffered third-degree burns when a fast food company served her scalding hot coffee. A man was burned as a patient in the hospital when his bed caught fire due to a manufacturing defect. Workers on the job have accidents through at their own fault or from improper safety precautions on the part of the employer. Taking inventory of our surroundings and staying alert to potential burn hazards can protect us as we go about our days. ● Follow all posted rules and protocol around equipment at work. ● Do not operate machinery when fatigued or distracted and never under the influence of alcohol or drugs. ● Read and pay attention to manufacturers warnings on the goods you purchase. This includes appliances, children’s toys, grills and more. ● Be aware of warning labels on food and beverages. ● Alert the proper personnel if you notice any unnecessary heat or burning smells in your surroundings. If you or someone you know has suffered a burn injury, contact The Personal Injury Department at Young Wooldridge, LLP. A personal injury attorney at Young Wooldridge, LLP can inform you of legal options you may not know you have.

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Estate Planning Attorney Bakersfield

Divorce and Your Estate Plan

Estate Planning Attorney Bakersfield | Your Estate Plan An experienced Estate Planning Attorney can inform you of your options if you are going through a divorce. Divorces are challenging. Emotionally and financially, divorce can wreak havoc on your life as you know it. As you’re untangling your feelings surrounding this person, you also have a mountain of paperwork, assets, debt and more to consider and attend to. It can seem sometimes that the task of getting a divorce will never end. As you navigate this difficult time in your life, remember to include your estate plan in the mix. The last thing you want is to have to revisit the details of divorce unexpectedly down the road. The act of getting married, legally awards rights to your spouse whether you have a written estate plan or not. In most states, the act of divorcing revokes those rights. However, the more complex or diverse your life together, the more you have to consider after divorce. Children, properties, financial accounts and insurance policies could hard-wire your ex-spouse’s inheritance until you expressly remove their claim. In some cases, if your ex-spouse remarries and has children from another marriage, they could have legal claim to your estate upon your death. Experts recommend that you take some time with your estate plan in its entirety to ensure that your current life is reflected in your wishes after you pass. Though your estate may be large, you need to start somewhere. Below are suggestions for where to begin: Revoke your current will and create a new one Revoking your will is as simple as physically destroying it. Tear, shred or burn the old will. You can also state in your new will that it should supercede and take the place of any other will. A will commonly names the spouse as: executor of the estate, guardian of minor children, power of attorney and healthcare power of attorney. Determine what you can legally alter and make changes to suit your new life. You also want to leave any property to others by name. Update your beneficiaries Likely, you’ve named your spouse as beneficiary on life insurance policies, bank accounts and retirement accounts, at the very least. As these designations can override beneficiaries named in your will, you will want to address them individually. Review all of your accounts and policies and update the beneficiaries on each one. It’s a good rule of thumb to cross reference your will any time you name beneficiaries to make sure you don’t have conflicting designations. Name new powers of attorney In the event that you become incapacitated, a power of attorney has broad control over your assets. They can make decisions to sell real estate, access bank accounts and act with authority on any other facet of your estate. Neglecting to designate a new power of attorney could mean that your ex-spouse has this control. Furthermore, your healthcare power of attorney can make life altering decisions about your care and health should you become physically or mentally unable to function normally. Be sure to put these powers in the hands of someone you trust completely to act in your best interest. Divorce can be a sticky situation. Time, money and energy are strained throughout the process. Visit and tend to your estate while you’re aligning all of your other affairs to safeguard your new life. If you or someone you know is going through a divorce and needs help adjusting an estate plan, contact an estate planning attorney Bakersfield, CA. They can inform you of legal options you may not know you have. If you need help planning or settling an estate, contact The Estate Planning Department at Young Wooldridge, LLP.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Personal Injury Lawyer

Distracted Walking | Head Up, Phone Down

Personal Injury Lawyer | Distracted Walking An experienced Personal Injury Lawyer can inform you of your rights if you or someone you know is injured while walking. While the slapstick nature of someone distractedly tripping into a fountain or walking into a street sign can be amusing, there is real danger where pedestrian device use is concerned. Pedestrians are extremely vulnerable in urban areas even when paying close attention to their surroundings. Studies have shown surprising evidence that adding a device makes it exceedingly difficult to multitask through a phenomenon called “inattentive blindness”. Walkers forget where they are going and struggle to maintain a consistent stride, veering off path and into avoidable hazards. In 2017, nearly 7,000 pedestrians were hit and killed by vehicles. As communities work to become more pedestrian-friendly, their efforts are thwarted by head down walkers. Everyone with a device is at risk. One study showed that texting pedestrians were 60% more likely to stray off-line. Pedestrian injuries among older teens are on the rise, up 25 percent compared to previous years. One in five high school students crosses the street while distracted by the use of headphones and texting, primarily. Distracted walking has become issue enough that some communities are implementing safety measures to combat it. Unsuccessfully, New York, Arkansas and Illinois have tried to ban cellphone use while walking. One town in New Jersey serves jaywalkers with an $85 fine for texting. In London, England, distracted pedestrians are protected by padded lamp posts. SafeKids.org has initiated a campaign called Moment of Silence in an effort to raise awareness. Teens and others are invited to take a pledge to put their devices down when crossing an intersection. Take a few of these common-sense precautions when walking and keep yourself safe from distracted walking accidents: Never use a device while crossing the street. Always cross at intersections where motorists are on higher alert to pedestrian presence. When wearing headphones, keep the volume low or leave one earbud out. Take frequent breaks to look up and take inventory of your surroundings. Hold your phone up higher in your visual field so you can see what might be ahead of you. Check out apps designed for on-the-go texters. If you or someone you know has suffered a personal injury as a pedestrian, contact The Personal Injury Department at Young Wooldridge, LLP. A personal injury lawyer at Young Wooldridge, LLP can inform you of legal options you may not know you have.

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