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Covington Legal Issues Blog

Different approaches to address drunk driving during long weekend

Many people in Kentucky take advantage of the Labor Day holiday weekend to spend time socializing with friends and family. However, innocent gatherings can take a dangerous and potentially deadly turn when people consume too much alcohol and then attempt to drive home. Preventing drunk driving accidents is an objective in which many organizations have an interest. However, different organizations are taking different approaches to address the issue of drunk driving prevention.

WYMT Mountain News reports that state authorities will have a heightened presence in several eastern Kentucky counties this weekend as they patrol the Virginia border. Law enforcement officers will conduct thorough inspections to ensure that the driver's license is valid and that there are no suspicious smells or other signs of alcohol or drug use coming from either the driver or the vehicle, with the latter receiving top priority. In either case, depending on the jurisdiction, the driver will receive either a warning or a citation. Authorities report seeing decreased instances of impaired driving and increased use of seatbelts in part due to the "shock factor" of seeing heightened patrols in the area. 

4 ways to avoid a multi-vehicle accident

The roadways around Covington and Cincinnati are often crowded places. While collisions involving two vehicles are common, multi-car pileups occasionally occur. For example, in May, six individuals sustained some type of injury when a wrong-way driver caused a four-car pileup on the Ronald Reagan Highway. 

While you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries and property damage from whoever caused the accident, assigning fault in a multi-vehicle accident can be difficult. An experienced attorney can likely help with that. Still, you are better off by avoiding a pileup altogether. Here are four ways to prevent a multi-car collision: 

Keeping your insurance coverage after your divorce

It goes without saying that your divorce will bring with is several changes. Yet one that many of the clients in Covington that we here at The Berger Firm have worked with in the past have overlooked is healthcare (or more specifically, who will handle the costs of yours and your children’s healthcare once your divorce becomes final). During your marriage, you may have been covered under your spouse’s group health plan. Your divorce will almost certainly affect that coverage; the question is to what extent? 

In the case of your kids, the impact will be minimal. Typically, if your ex-spouse is eligible for health insurance through their employer, the court will require that they carry coverage for your kids even after your divorce. Yet what about you? It is expected that you will eventually secure separate coverage (either through remarriage or securing new employment). Yet in the meantime, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act allows you to remain on your ex-spouse’s plan.

Powell County collision produces fatal results

Collisions between cars and motorcycles in Covington often result in the motorcyclists involved suffering serious injuries. The lack of protection afforded by motorcycles makes them more susceptible to injury in such incidents. That may lead to an unwarranted belief that such accidents are almost always the fault of the motorists involved. Yet in many cases, motorcyclists may indeed be the ones to blame. Practices such as lane-splitting or trying to maneuver motorcycles tightly between vehicles may increase the risk of an accident. While motorists should indeed make an increased effort to be aware of motorcyclists on the road, motorcyclists are also charged with avoiding reckless behavior. 

Such behavior can often produce devastating results. Such was the case in a collision that occurred between a truck and a motorcycle in Powell County. The accident occurred on Route 77. Witnesses say that the motorcyclist (who was also carrying a passenger on his bike) attempted to turn on to Kentucky Highway 15 South. While the exact details of the collision have still not been reported, the motorcycle ended up colliding with the truck, and its rider and passengers were killed in the process. The driver of the truck was also injured in the collision. He was taken to a local hospital. 

Multi-car crashes benefit from accident reconstructionists

Minor fender benders, such as a rear-end collision in rush hour traffic or a car hit broadside at an intersection are common along Kentucky highways and secondary roads. Determining the person at fault is usually a simple task. However, a multi-car crash can have many variables. At The Berger Firm, we often represent clients injured in a catastrophic car accident.

Most states have guidelines that dictate who is at fault. In complex crashes, it is difficult to find the vehicle that fits that criteria. It is possible for many vehicles to have some fault. According to John Desch Associates, Inc, accident reconstructionists use a scientific approach for discovering who caused the accident, why and how. These experts have training in physics and engineering. Law enforcement officials may also have specialized training. Using a particular methodology, they reconstruct the accident.

Is divorce the right option for me?

While all marriages encounter issues from time to time, in some cases problems might seem insurmountable. This often leads one or both spouses to consider divorce, especially when plagued by the same issues over and over again. If you're concerned your marriage might be in trouble, Reader's Digest recommends looking for the following signs. 

Lack of intimacy

3 ways to value a business for divorce purposes

If you own a small business, it is probably more than just the place you work. On the contrary, your company may represent years of hard work and sacrifice. Losing part or all of your business in divorce may cause you to experience a variety of emotions. It may also make supporting yourself and your family difficult. 

In Kentucky, judges divide marital property pursuant to what is equitable. If you started your business during your marriage, your soon-to-be ex-spouse may claim an equitable interest in some or all of it. While you may be able to reach an acceptable agreement, you should know what your business is worth. For divorce proceedings, you may value your business in one of the following three ways.

Can you prevent unexpected expenses from putting you in debt?

When you are hit with an unexpected expense, you are probably not the only person in Kentucky trying to figure out how to cover the cost of whatever it is you now have to pay for. In fact, many Americans neglect to save money for such financial pressures and ultimately find themselves drowning in debt when they have to pay for something, they were not planning on paying for. 

Fortunately, you have the opportunity to prevent unexpected expenses from hurting you financially by adequately planning and saving for your future. Each time you receive a paycheck, consider putting a portion of it into a savings account that can be drawn upon when needed. Additionally, you should refrain from impulsively spending money when you unexpectedly receive it. Examples include bonuses at work, commissions and monetary gifts from others. Rather, assess how the money would be most appropriately used, but consider saving some of it as well. 

Collision in Lexington sends three to the hospital

Sharing the road with others in Covington may often be easier said than done. While most people likely consider themselves to be responsible drivers, they cannot control the actions of others on the road around them. Sometimes those actions may be blatantly reckless; other times they may be due to simple carelessness. Whether the reason behind them, a single solitary action while driving (even one that lasts just a split second) can be enough to produce a chain of events that results in untold devastation. 

Accident investigators are currently looking into what action might have led a vehicle to turn into another on a Lexington highway. Witnesses say that two vehicles were approaching each from opposite direction when one swerved and hit the other head-on, causing a collision that eventually involved another vehicle. The end result was a section of highway being shut down for several hours and a number of people being taken to the hospital. The extent of their injuries has not reported, it was shared that one vehicle was so badly damaged that its occupant had to be removed by rescue personnel. 

Dividing a 401k during property division proceedings

As people prepare to enter into divorce proceedings in Covington, they likely understand that they will need to make some concessions to their soon-to-be ex-spouses in the area of property division. One element of this particular issue they may not be expecting to deal with is the division of their individual 401k accounts. Many often question why a 401k would be included amongst their marital assets. As contributions to a 401k account are made from one's income (which is indisputably a marital asset), they are also considered shared. 

Once one has accepted that a portion of their 401k is owed to their ex-spouse, the next step is determining how to best divide it. It is common knowledge that early withdrawals from retirement accounts are typically met with large penalties. Per information shared by cnbc.com, however, a divorce presents a special exception to this rule. During property division proceedings, the court will issue a Qualified Domestic Relations Order authorizing that retirement fund assets be paid to an alternate payee. This allows said alternate payee (the non-contributing spouse) to withdraw funds without having to pay a penalty. They will still, however, have to pay income tax on whatever dispersals they choose to take. 

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