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Hot Springs Arkansas Legal Blog

Hit and injured by an insured driver? Things to know

Every day, residents and visitors to the state of Arkansas suffer injuries in auto accidents. Those whose accidents are caused by insured drivers may think that getting compensation for their losses should be a piece of cake. While that should be true, sadly, it is not. Numerous individuals end up either fighting tooth and nail to get fair compensation or just give up and take what they are offered.

Why is it so hard? As a victim of an accident you are entitled to maximum relief, aren't you? Insurance is there for this purpose, isn't it? You would certainly think so, but insurance carriers are not there to take care of victims. They are businesses, which means they want to protect their investors. Insurance carriers are not always your friends when you need them.

Why does the valuation date matter in your divorce case?

Given the emotion that goes into a divorce in Hot Springs, one may easily anticipate tempers flaring over many of the aspects related to property division. You might not think that the date that your marital assets are valued is important, so long as they are valued at all. Yet as surprising as it may seem, the valuation date in a divorce case can become a hot-button issue (especially when there are a considerable amount of assets subject to appreciation and depreciation). 

How, you ask? Say your spouse runs his or her own business. At the time of your separation, business is booming. Yet dealing with the distraction caused by your divorce case (and all of the other elements associated with it) may cause him or her to neglect the company. If your divorce proceedings drag on for an extended period, by the time the date arrives to value the business assets, they may have depreciated significantly. 

Examining the issue of boating while intoxicated

Hot Springs can definitely live up to its name during the summer months, which is why this time offers the perfect opportunity for you and your family and/or friends to escape the heat by going boating. Part of relaxing out on the water might include enjoying a couple of cold drinks. Yet while you are entitled to enjoy yourself in this manner, keep in mind that you are still prohibited from operating any sort of motorcraft while intoxicated. Many of those that have come to us here at the Tapp Law Firm have learned too late that this also includes motor boats. 

When determining when you may be too drunk to driver your boat, the state applies the same standard that it does to drunk drivers. According to Section 5-65-103 of the Arkansas Code of Criminal Offenses, that standard is a blood-alcohol concentration of .08 percent (that limit decreases to .02 percent if you are under the age of 21). It should be known, however, that even having a BAC lower than the legal limit does not necessarily mean that you cannot be charged with boating while intoxicated. On the contrary, you could face such a charge if law enforcement officials believe that your actions are impaired to the point of you endangering others. 

How are semis different from passenger vehicles?

Understanding the difference between large trucks and your vehicle can help you to stay safer on Arkansas roadways. You can better interact and respond to a semi, which will keep you out of danger and allow everyone to share the road. According to Nationwide, the differences are all related to the size of the vehicles, which means large trucks have different requirements than your car.

To begin with, you should understand that a larger vehicle requires more time to do almost everything, including stopping. If you were to cut off a semi and slam on your breaks, the truck probably could not stop in time to prevent hitting you because it would need a longer stopping distance than your car. Large trucks cannot stop on a dime. They also cannot turn as quickly as you can or speed up as fast.

3 Steps to Take When Involved in a Car Accident

When driving on Arkansas roads, safety is a must. However, even the most cautious drivers may find themselves involved in an accident at times and knowing how to react can make all the difference. State Farm offers the following advice in this case, which will help you mitigate what is already bound to be a stressful situation.

1. Call for Help

Ending your marriage may be made easier with divorce mediation

To dissolve your marriage, either you or your spouse must take legal action. However, this does not mean you have to go through a trial to work out your divorce's terms.

Today, an increasing number of divorcing couples in Arkansas and elsewhere are taking advantage of mediation to address their disputes. Here is a look at what divorce mediation involves and how it can benefit you during the marital breakup process.

Are Hands-Free Devices Actually Safer?

Every day you hear about accidents that result from using a mobile device behind the wheel. Accordingly, drivers in Arkansas often outfit their vehicles with handsfree devices in an attempt to reduce the risk of being involved in a deadly crash. But are these devices actually safer? The National Safety Council offers insight into whether a hands-free device can protect you from being involved in a severe crash.

Distraction Is the Real Issue

What happens when a driver refuses a sobriety test?

Uncertainty and doubt surrounding the work ethic of law enforcement officers across the nation not only applies to officers' use of force, but to the use of field sobriety tests. Some drivers feel they have been treated unfairly when pulled over, and others even claim the need for the tests were unfounded altogether. While drunk driving laws exist to keep everyone safe, many Arkansas drivers express confusion when it comes to these complex and intimidating tests.

One article from KATV News weighs in on Arkansas' laws surrounding drivers' rights when pulled over. According to the article, knowing one's rights when stopped by an officer can make all the difference in regard to a person's line of defense. No matter the reason, KATV stresses the importance of remain calm, encouraging readers to always provide necessary information; however, it may be best to wait until an officer requests these documents to avoid suspicion. Drivers have the right to continue driving until they find a safe place to stop, as well. As for field sobriety tests, KATV points out that it is a driver's right to refuse such tests when requested.

Using a breath test to determine your BAC

If you happen to be pulled over for suspicion of driving while drunk in Hot Springs, then you have to assume that a breath test is forthcoming. While you do not have to submit to preliminary alcohol screenings (e.g., breathalyzer tests), you should that you are compelled to take an actual chemical breath it is requested. Many of those who come to us here at the Tapp Law Firm facing drunk driving charges question the need for breath testing if it is your blood alcohol content that determines whether you are impaired. Can your breath actually yield a reliable BAC measurement? 

According to The Alcohol Pharmacology Education Partnership, once you consume alcohol (or technically ethanol, which is the form of alcohol used in most drinks), it escapes through the lining of your stomach and/or intestines, where it is taken to the heart and then ultimately, the lungs. Once in the lungs, it moves from the blood through the capillaries and into the alveoli (the tiny air sacs in your lungs). It remains in the mucous lining of the alveoli as a liquid. However, as it comes in contact with the oxygen you breath in, causing some of it to vaporize into a gaseous state. That gas is then exhaled as you breathe. More liquid ethanol in the alveoli is vaporized as you breathe out to ensure its content in your lungs remains balanced. 

Dividing up a 401k

The decision to get a divorce in Hot Springs touches off a flurry of activity that must occur before a marriage is officially dissolved. Among the most complex processes (and potentially most contentious) is the division of marital property. Many often overlook the fact that contributions made to a retirement account (such as a employer-sponsored 401k) during a marriage are also listed amongst a couple's shared assets (if an employer matched an employee's contributions, those funds are considered marital assets, as well). Divorcing spouses have options when dividing up 401k funds, so research should be done to determine which would be most advantageous. 

Some might say the easiest method would be to simply liquidate the portion owed to an ex-spouse and pay him or her one lump sum. However, this could result in the contributing spouse facing serious tax penalties. If this is the way a couple chooses to go, the contributing spouse should work to specify in the divorce agreement that the responsibility for those penalties should be shared. 

Whether you need guidance through divorce, a personal injury lawsuit or any other of our practice areas, we encourage you to contact our office as soon as possible: 501-623-9800

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Tapp Law Firm | 424 Ouachita Avenue | Hot Springs, AR 71901 | Hot Springs Office Location

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