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Leominster Legal Issues Blog

Fall weather and the risk of car accidents

There are a myriad of reasons why car accidents occur each day. In Leominster and all across the state of Massachusetts, some of these accidents can be blamed on the poor decisions of drivers, such as operating a vehicle while drugged or exceeding the speed limit. However, some also happen due to inclement weather, such as snow and ice. It is also important for drivers to be aware of the risks they may face during the fall, such as rain and fog.

Unfortunately, some people downplay the threat of heavy rainfall, assuming that it is less dangerous than icy roads. This behavior can lead to a devastating accident, which may claim lives or leave victims with personal injuries they will never recover from. Whether a strong gust of wind knocks a branch onto the road or a driver cannot see very far in front of their vehicle due to heavy fog, these types of weather conditions can create serious problems.

Creating a trust could protect your minor children

There are so many things to worry about when you're a parent. What kind of diet is best? How much screen time is too much? Are your little ones getting enough time outside? Most importantly, what will happen to your children if you should die unexpectedly?

Most new parents understand that creating a last will that names guardians for their minor children is critical. Taking this step ensures that your children don't end up as wards of the state or in potentially abusive foster care situations. However, have you also taken a moment to consider what assets and resources your children will need to reach adulthood without you?

Alimony laws in Massachusetts

Couples who are getting divorced in Massachusetts should understand alimony laws in the state so it is fair for both parties. Alimony is financial support that is paid to the other spouse for a certain period of time, and it is determined by the court.

According to the Massachusetts Court System, there are four types of alimony. They are:

  • General term - regular support paid for a period of time that is determined partly by the length of the marriage
  • Reimbursement - one-time or regular support for costs (such as specialized training or school tuition) incurred by the ex-spouse to support the paying spouse  during the marriage
  • Rehabilitive - regular support for a period of time in which the one receiving the support is able to get back on their feet and support themselves
  • Transitional - on-time or regular support to help spouse readjust to life in a new location

What you need to know before contesting a will

Many people in Massachusetts may feel as if a relative's will has left them without the inheritance they deserve. According to FindLaw, proving that there is a problem with the document the deceased created may be difficult unless there is a will that has a later date and was obviously written with the intent to replace the first. However, that does not mean someone in a different circumstance is unlikely to succeed.

Consumer Reports notes that a person can challenge the will if he or she has a stake in the outcome. This may be someone who is in the will, in a former version of the will, or a natural heir such as a child or spouse. A testator cannot necessarily disinherit a husband or wife, so spouses may have an easier time claiming a portion of the estate and waiving the contents of the document. 

Handling the aftermath of a slip-and-fall accident

From auto crashes to animal bites, people are hurt by the negligence of others in various ways. However, it is important to point out that some people become victims of slip-and-fall accidents, which often happen unexpectedly. Antonioni & Antonioni Law Office knows that some people who become injured after falling down had no way of knowing that a surface was slippery or that it was dangerous to walk in a particular spot. Sadly, these falls can leave victims with an overwhelming amount of physical, emotional and financial pain in Leominster and across Massachusetts.

If you were hurt after falling down because of a careless business owner, you should not remain silent. Regrettably, some people may think that their case will not be taken seriously or that the accident was their fault. However, leaky pipes were left unaddressed or a sidewalk was constantly slippery because a business owner failed to ensure that walkways were safe, they must be held accountable for their carelessness.

What are some benefits workers' comp offers?

On a daily basis, people are hurt in many different workplace mishaps. Sometimes, a worker may sustain an injury while on a construction site, while other accidents involve repetitive strain and falling debris. Regardless of the field you are employed in, if you suffer an injury at work it is pivotal to go over your options at once. In Massachusetts, and all across the U.S., these injuries have upended many lives and can also make life challenging for the relatives of those who are hurt in a jobsite accident.

According to the Department of Labor, workers' compensation benefits help those who have suffered an on the job injury in many different ways. For example, you may be able to receive assistance with medical care. Also, workers' comp could help provide you with monetary compensation that you need due to lost wages stemming from your inability to work. Furthermore, if you need help with training to secure another job, workers' compensation benefits may be able to help you out.

Spousal support modifications in Massachusetts

Divorce may be the end of your marriage, but in many cases it is not the end of your relationship with your former spouse — at least, not legally speaking. Many divorces conclude with a judge handing down some form of decree that lays out guidelines for spousal support obligations.

Unfortunately, many divorced couples soon find that the terms of these orders do not function for their circumstances. There are many reasons this might occur. A sudden decrease in income could make alimony unsustainable.

Types of OSHA violations

Employers in Massachusetts are required by law to follow certain procedures and regulations to keep their workers safe, and these are controlled by OSHA. There are a number of ways a company may violate these regulations, and there are strict penalties for doing so.

According to the Safety News Alert, there are five types of OSHA violations. These include:

  • Serious Violation - the employer is aware of a hazard that can potentially cause serious harm or death
  • Other-Than-Serious Violation - a hazard is directly related to health and safety on the job, but typically would not result in major harm
  • Repeat Violation - violation of a regulation in which the company has previously been cited for
  • Willful Violation - the employer knows of a hazardous condition and does nothing to fix it, or knowingly commits a violation
  • Failure to Abate Prior Violation - employer fails to stop or fix a prior violation

Changing child custody arrangements

Divorced parents in Massachusetts spend a lot of time determining the best custody arrangements for their children. Based on a number of factors the parents, or court, decides on an agreement that serves the child's needs in the most effective way. Overtime, one or both of the parents may want to change the arrangement, and there are different considerations for this to occur.

According to the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, there are four types of custody arrangements. These are:

  • Shared physical custody - both parents have periods of time in which the child resides in their care
  • Sole physical custody - the child resides only in one of the parents' homes
  • Shared legal custody - both parents are involved in major decisions, such as healthcare, education and emotional and religious development, that affect the child 
  • Sole legal custody - only one parent is responsible to make these major decisions

Responsible ways to resolve holiday parenting time disputes

With the holiday weekend finally before us, there are so many family friendly things to experience. Some will take time to see “Despicable Me 3.” Others will plan outings to the beach, while others will enjoy the simplicity of just doing nothing and let the weekend decide what to do.

Indeed, holiday weekends are supposed to be fun, but for divorced (or separated) parents who have trouble co-parenting, the Independence Day holiday weekend could be a disaster waiting to happen.

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