Avoiding Investment Fraud

When you have decided to invest your money, you are making a significant decision about your finances. There are many inherent risks that come with investing, but there is also the chance of a significant return, which encourages many individuals and businesses to continue investing. This is a serious decision that can have an important outcome in an individual’s financial well-being. For this reason, many people choose to work with investment brokers or another financial professional, who have the knowledge and expertise to help them make smart investing choices. Although many brokers really do work for the benefit of their client, some also take advantage of their position and make money at their client’s expense.

According to the FBI, investment fraud is defined as “the illegal sale or purported sale of financial instruments.” This refers to any sale made with an investment broker or another financial assistant that does not have any legal standing or does not intend to help the client receive any money in return. These schemes can usually be identified if the terms of the investment seem too good to be true. Some examples of these include:

  • Offers of low or no risk investments
  • Guaranteed returns
  • Overly-consistent returns
  • Complex strategies
  • Unregistered securities  

Although it may seem difficult to identify these factors on your own, the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission notes a number of ways you can protect yourself from entering into a fraudulent scheme. Some of the best steps you can take include:

  • Asking questions: make sure to do your research before entering into any kind of investment. The information you find will help you determine if it is a legitimate offer
  • Getting to know the salesperson: look into the individual’s licensing and credibility as well as the firm’s history with investments
  • Being wary of unsolicited offers: companies that reach out to you to invest in them may be looking to take money from unaware investors. You should always look at a company’s financial history before choosing to invest

Each of these strategies requires you to do extra work before you invest, but this is the best way to keep yourself from entering into a fraudulent operation.

Protecting your financial interests is an essential part of being financially stable in this uncertain economy. With the prevalence of scammers growing in all different areas, you can never be too careful about where you are sending or spending your money. Although it is certainly easier to hope for the best when investing, this is not a safe or smart choice to make. This is an important decision that you must take time to think through

If you believe you have already entered into a fraudulent investment, however, you are not alone. An investment fraud attorney can help you take the appropriate steps to get your money back and stop the firm or broker at fault. It may be a difficult road, but these attorneys are prepared to help you understand your rights and take back the money you have lost.

Drunk Driving Accidents: Causal Factors

The worst car accidents are those that involve preventable errors. This is especially true on cases where the errors have been done because of recklessness or utter negligence. They become even more tragic if an innocent party has been involved and hurt.

One of the best examples here is drunk driving. Drunk drivers often cause accidents, even though it is fairly easy to avoid the practice. There are instances where they crash on their own or collide with other unsuspecting motorists and pedestrians.

According to the website of Hach & Rose, LLP, those who have been involved in auto accidents caused by drunk drivers may have legal options. This can be a nice way to prevent drunk driving accidents, but sadly, they still happen. Below are the most common causal factors that surround them.

Reckless or Negligent Driving

The most obvious factor is reckless or negligent drivers, because of course, they are the ones controlling the vehicles. Alcohol can negatively impact their driving, resulting into accidents, and worse, deaths of innocent parties.

There are only two ways to avoid this factor – by making the car inaccessible or getting a designated driver. If drivers cannot control themselves, it is better to leave the car at home and take public transportation. If they already have the car with them, they can get a friend to drive them home.

Dram Shop Liability

The website of Clawson & Staubes, LLC: Injury Group has mentioned that licensed commercial establishments who overserve alcoholic beverages to their customers may be held accountable if an alcohol-related accident occurs.

When you think about it, these establishments should not be the only ones limiting alcohol serving, but also private individuals organizing house parties and the like. Saying no to a customer or a friend is sometimes the only way to prevent injuries and deaths.

Law Enforcement

It can also be said that drunk drivers are still on the roads because of confidence that they will not get caught. This means that the law against drunk driving is not enforced enough to deter individuals from even trying driving while under the influence of alcohol.

The best way for the local government to show how serious they are against drunk driving is by tightening law enforcement. Prioritize drunk driving cases in court. Set up sobriety points near dram shops, freeways, and other strategic locations. They can also create drunk driving programs to spread awareness.

Common Choking Hazards for Children

Children are not just physically and mentally limited to protect themselves, but they can also be curious and reckless, putting them at risk of injuries. One of the most common causes of injuries in children is choking. As the adult, you have the responsibility to make sure that the children are in safe conditions to prevent the risks of choking.

The common choking hazards for children are listed below, because the first step to prevention is knowledge.

Food
Children have the tendency to not chew their food and swallow it whole, putting them at risk of choking. The most common food items that can be choking hazards are hard and round, such as nuts, seeds, popcorns, candies, raisins, hotdogs, and even chunks of meat and vegetables.

That does not mean you should avoid these food items altogether. You can cut them up to smaller pieces, so when the child accidently swallows them whole, they will not be stuck in the throat. Also, discipline the child to focus on the act of eating and to employ the proper eating position to prevent accidental choking.

Toys
Consider the toys you get for your child, as they can be choking hazards as well. This is especially true on small toys, such as balloons and marbles. But even big toys can be choking hazards, especially those that have small detachable parts that your child may put in his or her mouth. Avoid these kinds of toys or at least read the age-appropriation of the toys before you buy them for your child.

Toys as choking hazards are taken seriously even by the legal community. There are lawyers who specialize on choking hazard claims on children toys, such as those from Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®.

Small Objects
Any small item inside or outside the household can be a choking hazard, such as coins, pins, magnets, and rocks. Always supervise your child to make sure that he or she is not putting small objects in the mouth. Even better, make small objects inaccessible for your child. Put the coins, pins, and magnets on places where they are organized and not on the reach of your child.

Defective Seat Belts

Of the more than five million vehicular accidents all across the U.S. in 2012, more than 2 million drivers and passengers required treatment in emergency departments, while more than 30,000 lost their lives. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), had the drivers, who got involved in accidents, only wore a seat belt, then the number of injuries and deaths could have been cut by no less than half.

A seat belt is a crash-safety device; it keeps a car driver and other car passengers from sustaining serious or fatal injuries during crashes. It is designed to keep their bodies from colliding into a vehicle’s hard interior surface or with another passenger, or from being thrown out of the car. To be truly effective in providing the protection it is intended to provide, however, a seat belt should be a combination of shoulder and lap belts.

Though seat belts have kept millions of drivers and passengers safe during collisions since the 1950s, there have also been times when these have failed to immunize anyone from injury or even death. Serious injuries or death have occurred when the force of impact is very strong (such as the force created as two speeding vehicles collide) or if there is a defect in the seat belt design or material.

In 1995, as many as 8,428,402 vehicles in the U.S. which were equipped with seat belts from Takata Corporation of Japan had to be recalled. The recall was made due to complaints filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, saying that portions of the release buttons on the Takata seat belts could break off and jam belt latches – this could cause the belts to unbuckle in auto crashes. This defect was linked to 47 injuries. In November of 2015, Tesla Motors Inc. also decided to recall its entire all-electric Model S fleet due to a single incident wherein its sedan’s seat belt assembly broke.

According to a Dallas car accident lawyer, defects in seat belts is a result of an error committed because of carelessness or negligence. Due to this, what has been intended as a safety device has, instead,become a threat to life. Defective seat belts are products of negligent manufacturers and, under the tort law, innocent victims are given the right to seek compensation from parties whose actions unjustly cause injuries to others.

Assault and Battery: Who Can be Held Guilty of This Act?

Assault is a deliberate act which puts a person in fear of physical harm that he or she may be about to suffer. This definition connotes that physically harm need not be inflicted and that merely causing another person to fear its possibility is already an act that deserves punishment.

Assault, however, is just a threat. If there is actual physical harm on another person, then this would be battery. Before, assault and battery were considered separate crimes, with battery being taken as “completed” assault. Currently, however, many modern laws no longer distinguish between the two crimes and refer to assault as a crime of actual physical violence (despite the absence of distinction, it is still possible for a person to be convicted only of assault without battery, such as when he or she raises his or her fist in a threatening manner, but without actually throwing a punch. In like manner, a person may be convicted only of battery without assault, such as when he or she pushes or punches someone else from behind, without first making nay threats).

With regard to the penalties and sentences for an assault and/or battery conviction, state laws vary greatly. Conviction can include fines and/or imprisonment, and, depending on how severe the offense is and the criminal history of the offender, a repeat offense will most likely result to stiffer penalties. Stiffer penalties will also be meted out on offenders whose victim is a family member, a person living with the offender, or a public servant, such as a police officer, a firefighter, a paramedic or a teacher.

Assault (or simple assault) is a misdemeanor crime; however, if the threat is made with a weapon of any kind or with the resolve to commit a serious crime, then this shall be considered as aggravated assault, which is a felony. Likewise, an assault committed against a person, with whom the offender has a relationship, is considered an aggravated assault or a felony. A person, on the other hand, commits an aggravated battery if he or she accomplishes it using a deadly weapon or if he or she has intent to commit murder or other serious harm.

As pointed out by a San Diego personal injury attorney, the courts can punish more than just the perpetrator of violence and assault. Legally, people who aid and abet, counsel or encourage the assailant or assailants are liable, even if they did not physically harm the victim or victims. In addition, owners of a property or a business firm where the attack occurs, can be held legally liable if the case is assault.

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