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February 18, 2018

Mars rover engineers build test sandbox

Sunday, May 8, 2005

Mars rover engineers have built a test bed simulating the condition of the Mars Rover Opportunity, which became stuck in a Martian sand dune on April 26. The test bed uses a combination of materials including play sand for children’s sandboxes, diatomaceous earth for swimming pool filters, and mortar clay powder.

Opportunity dug into soft sand to wheel-hub depth as it drove over a dune about one-third meter (one foot) tall and 2.5 meters (8 feet) wide. “We’ve climbed over dozens of ripples, but this one is different in that it seems to be a little taller and to have a steeper slope, about 15 degrees on part of its face,” said Mark Maimone, a Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) rover mobility engineer. Tests will be conducted using an Earth-bound twin of the rover and the simulated Martian dune to determine how to best maneuver Opportunity out of the predicament before transmitting commands to the actual vehicle.

“We choose to proceed cautiously, so we don’t expect to begin actually driving out of the dune before next week, possibly later,” said Jim Erickson, rover project manager at JPL. “Both Opportunity and Spirit have already provided many more months of scientific exploration than anyone expected. By taking good care of them, we hope to keep them exploring for more months to come. Tests so far have sustained our optimism about Opportunity’s ability to drive out of this dune, but we have more testing ahead to understand how robust that capability is.”

Engineers constructed a simulated dune last week using sand that was already at JPL’s rover testing facility and put a test rover into a similar dug-in position. The test rover had no difficulty driving away, even when sunk belly-deep. However, that sand offered better traction than the finer, looser material that appears to make up the surface at Opportunity’s current position. “We needed to do tests using material more like what Opportunity is in, something that has a fluffier texture and cakes onto the wheels,” said JPL rover engineer Rick Welch, who is leading the tests.

Based on images of wheels and wheel tracks from Mars, Dr. Robert Sullivan of Cornell University, a rover science team member, working with engineers in the JPL test bed, helped match the properties of the test sand as closely as possible with those of the sand beneath Opportunity, “We found that when the wheels dig in, the material we’re using does stick to the wheels and fills the gaps between the cleats, but it doesn’t stick when you’re just driving over it. That’s good because it’s the same as what we see in the images from Opportunity,” Sullivan said. Experiments show that the test rover, after some initial wheel-spinning, can drive out of the more powdery material.

The team went to several home supply and hardware stores to find enough bags and boxes of the ingredients to make more than 2 tons of the simulated Mars sand for the more realistic mobility tests, according to JPL rover mobility engineer Jeff Biesiadeckia.

Uncategorized @ 3:14 am
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Report urges Kenya to ban plastic bags

Wednesday, March 9, 2005 File:Plastic bag stock sized.jpg

They are cheap, useful, and very plentiful, and that is exactly the problem, according to researchers. A report issued on Feb. 23 by a cadre of environment and economics researchers suggested that Kenya should ban the common plastic bag that one gets at the checkout counter of grocery stores, and place a levy on other plastic bags, all to combat the country’s environmental problems stemming from the bags’ popularity.

Uncategorized @ 2:57 am
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Different Types Of Flooring Methods

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Submitted by: Todd Herman

Our home can be considered as the nest of our dreams. People all over the world tries hard to make their home a beautiful and stylish place. There are various factors which determines the outlook of your home, and these factors ranges from courtyard to kitchen, roofing to flooring and rooftop to patios. Flooring of a home plays a vital role in the overall appearance of your home.

Beautiful floors will add elegance to your home and it will change the whole outlook of your room. It can create a dramatic impact in the appearance of your home to a great extend. So we need to be very careful before choosing the right type of flooring which suits your needs and budget. There are various options available for you while deciding on the flooring of your home. Please find below the list of 09 most popular flooring methods adopted all over the world.

1) Bamboo Flooring: Bamboo flooring is one of the new entry in the flooring industry. Bamboo floors are gaining more and more popularity due to its Eco friendliness. Bamboo floors are highly durable and it offers an elegant look to your home. Honey and light tan are the two color variants you can choose for bamboo flooring.

2) Hardwood Flooring: This is the most conservative type of flooring method we have been adopting for ages. This type of flooring offers natural beauty and durability for your home. Oak, Maple, Cherry , Pine, Walnut and many more are used for hardwood flooring.

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3) Linoleum Flooring: Linoleum is an eco friendly material which is obtained from raw materials. You can select a wide variety of colors while using Linoleum flooring. These types of floors are available in various thickness and you can choose the one which suits your needs and tastes.

4) Laminate Flooring: Laminate flooring has created a silent revolution in this arena. Due to its easy maintenance, this type of flooring is getting rave reviews from United States of America and Europe. Laminate flooring is pretty cheap hen compared to hardwood flooring and this is one of the main reason behind its wide spread popularity.

5) Ceramic Tiles: This type of flooring is very popular all over the world. It can be used as floor tiles for both indoor and outdoor. People prefers unglazed tiles for outdoor purposes to avoid the risk of slipping.

6) Rubber Flooring: This type of flooring is very much suitable recreational rooms, play rooms and kid’s bedrooms. Very little maintenance is required and you can wash the floor using plain water or cleansers.

7) Vinyl Sheet Flooring: This type of flooring is very much suitable for work areas, kitchens and bathrooms. Vinyl flooring is very much similar to tile flooring, but have less price when compared to ceramic tiles.

8) Cork Flooring: Cork flooring is available in various colors, textures and sizes. The natural patterns available will surely enhance the interior of your rooms.

9) Marble flooring: This type of flooring can be considered as the uncrowned king in this arena. Marble flooring gives a gorgeous look for your home and you can choose various colors according to your wish.

Beautiful and stylish flooring will add the gorgeousness of you home and it plays a vital part in deciding the durability of your home. So select an appropriate flooring for your home which satisfies both beauty and q

About the Author: Installer Direct Flooring has the best

flooring Calgary Alberta

has to offer, such as Tile Flooring, Flooring installation, Laminate Flooring and

hardwood flooring in Calgary

, Alberta Canada.

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February 17, 2018

State of emergency declared in New York over H1N1 swine flu virus

Thursday, October 29, 2009

According to US health officials, New York state governor David Paterson has declared a state of emergency in the state as a result of the H1N1 swine flu outbreak.

The Associated Press news agency reports that the six-page declaration was issued because at least 75 people have died of H1N1 related illnesses in New York since April. Three have died from H1N1 related illnesses just this past week. The declaration also says that human cases of the virus are on the rise.

Paterson says he issued the declaration because “a disaster has occurred throughout New York State, for which the affected local governments are unable to respond adequately.”

The declaration will allow health officials more access to the H1N1 vaccine and the seasonal flu shot. It will also allow for an increase in the number of vaccine doses available in the state and will allow more health care facilities to administer the vaccine, including dentists and pharmacists. Schools with health centers will also be allowed to administer both vaccines.

Despite the declaration, officials stressed that there is no reason to worry. A spokeswoman for the New York State Department of Health, Claire Pospisil, said that “it [the declaration] helps us to be more prepared.”

The order came shortly after US president Barack Obama declared a national emergency last Saturday, a response to the spreading of the virus, which has now been circulated in 46 states.

Uncategorized @ 3:18 am
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Microsoft launches MSN adCenter

Monday, September 26, 2005

Microsoft announced today the official launch of MSN adCenter in France and Singapore. adCenter allows advertisers to target specific demographics using information provided by Microsoft’s Hotmail and Microsoft Passport Network users.

“The launch of adCenter in France and Singapore is a great first step to delivering on our global vision to connect advertisers to consumers in a much more meaningful way,” said Yusuf Mehdi, senior V.P. of MSN Information Services & Merchant Platform.

Advertisers will be able to target ads based on geographic location, gender, age range, time of day, and day of the week. If MSN has no information on the visitor it will display ads based upon keywords. Additional features include a cost estimator and a site analyzer that will recommend keywords based on the content of the advertiser’s website.

MSN currently has a contract for Yahoo ads that runs through 2006, and they are expected to slowly phase them out, although MSN has not confirmed this.

adCenter has been in testing in France and Singapore since March. Testing in the US will begin in October. Microsoft plans to eventually sell ads on websites outside of MSN.

This initiative is a part of a broader strategy that Microsoft has launched to compete against Google’s AdWords service, in operation for several years, which allows advertisers to bid on specific keywords and ensure ad placement on the company’s search engine and other online properties. Microsoft’s chief executive vowed to “kill Google” in an expletive-laden tirade against the firm, according to US court documents filed by Google.

Many internet users choose to block web page advertisements from both Microsoft and Google, using several different techniques of ad filtering, such as adblock in the firefox web browser.

Uncategorized @ 2:57 am
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46 illegal Afghan immigrants suffocate in truck in Pakistan

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

 Correction — Nov 1, 2013 The article below claims each passenger paid 4000 to 8000 USD. Each paid 30,000 Rupees, equivilent at the time to about US$375. 

The bodies of 46 Afghan illegal immigrants who suffocated to death in a container truck Saturday near Quetta, Pakistan, returned home Tuesday.

The Edhi Foundation placed the victim’s bodies into coffins to transport them back to Chaman. Funeral prayers were said before victims left Quetta hospital. “We are taking these dead bodies to Spin Boldak and later these will be flown to Kabul by helicopter. We are thankful to Pakistan government for every help,” said Afghan consul general Daud Mohsini.

Afghan officials received the bodies from The Edhi ambulances and Pakistan police escorts at the Pak-Afghan border Bab-e-Dosti (Friendship Gate). Security was high and traffic was backed up at the border crossing. The bodies were taken to Kandahar then to Kabul before they were laid to rest in their home towns.

Hamid Karzai, President of Afghanistan dispatched aircraft to Pakistan to bring home the 46 victims. Poor weather grounded the planes, and the bodies were driven back across the border.

Pakistan police found a locked truck packed with approximately 111 Afghan illegal immigrants around 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of Quetta on Saturday. The driver had fled the scene where 62 people were initially pronounced dead. Police said that from the strong smell emanating from the truck, the victims may have died days before they were discovered.

45 other people were found unconscious and taken directly to the hospital. At hospital two more migrants died. “The death toll is 46,” said Ghulam Dastagir, a police official.

Wazir Khan Nasir, a senior police official said, “We have been able to talk to some of the people, who were trapped in the container. They were all Afghans in the container and the container was going to Iran, When the condition of people inside the container deteriorated, the driver fled, leaving the container.”

Survivors have reported that a human smuggling racket locked 64 Kabul residents and 37 Spin Boldak residents in the truck container Friday afternoon. The truck’s air conditioning unit stopped working causing the locked passengers to cry out for help which was unheeded by the truck’s driver, and they fell unconscious. However, the loud ruckus caused by the trapped people inside did alert police and local residents to their plight.

The trip had cost each illegal immigrant US$4,000 to 8,000 for the trip. Gul Zameen, a survivor said, “We are all poor and wanted to find jobs in Quetta and Iran.”

The survivors have been charged under the Foreigners Act and some have been detained. Karzai has ordered an investigation and “demanded people avoid dangerous illegal migration and not be deceived by smugglers.” “We’ll go to Pakistan and talk to the survivors to find out what had exactly happened. The culprits will be brought to justice,” said Moheeddin Baluch head of the investigating delegation.

Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) is also investigating. Five suspects believed to be involved in running the human smuggling racket have been arrested.

Uncategorized @ 2:49 am
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Hip Hop Beats Made Easy As One, Two, Three, Four

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By Fred Grazier

Are you a budding musician who wants to know how to make hip hop beats? You don’t need to have formal training in music in order to indulge your passion for it. You can make your own hip hop beats in order to entertain your friends or to make music for a special occasion. These beats are basically all of the elements of a hip hop song without the vocals which you can add later on if required.

The basis of any hip hop beat is making a drum groove that is usually four or eight measures long. Absolute beginners can easily use royalty free drum grooves and loops that are available online absolutely free of cost. You can also design your own beat using MIDI once you gain confidence. Once you have your drum groove in place you need to add a bass line that compliments the drums. Here too, you can make an original one using MIDI however most people just use pre-recorded ones. You then have to round off the back ground music with orchestration. You can use any instrument that you are comfortable with as long as it goes well with the beat you have already created.

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Once you have created the music of your choice, you should add a bit of pre-recorded music to it. This is known as sampling and it adds great value to your hip hop beats. You have to be very careful to take permission of the person whose work you are sampling especially if it is copyrighted. Many unknown musicians offer their work to be sampled in order to make them popular.

You can also use hip hot beat makers if you want to get your music done in a hurry or if you are not satisfied with your efforts at doing it in the method detailed above. These beat makers come in various varieties and they are software that offer you fully loaded interfaces. They offer lots of interesting features that help you create music easily. These features include virtual instruments, mixers and lots of audio and MIDI tracks. Creating beats is very easy with the help of this software since you do not have to do more than drag and drop various audio samples. The various samples and loops that the software contains are royalty free which means that you can use them in any way possible and as often as you want.

You can buy software to make hip hop beats if you plan to make this music often because it is certainly a worthwhile investment. You might have to look around to find the best one and advice from other people who use them will be very useful. You can also download free beat maker software. In time, and with a lot of practice, you will be able to build up your music from scratch to create something that sounds very professional. You can be assured of having a great time creating your own hip hop music and adding your vocals to it irrespective of which method you use.

About the Author: Visit the

Sonic Producer

website and watch how easy this beat making system is – Even your Mamma could knock out beats that Snoop would be proud of! Check out this

Sonic Producer Review

to get the full scoop.

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News briefs:May 31, 2010

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Uncategorized @ 2:20 am
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Former Satyam CEO Raju, his brother and CFO arrested and detained in profit-fraud scandal

Monday, January 12, 2009

Byrraju Ramalinga Raju, founder and chairman of Satyam Computer Services, and his brother, B. Rama Raju, the company’s managing director, were arrested late Friday by Andhra Pradesh police. The brothers were placed under judicial custody in a Hyderabad, India jail and will remain there until January 23. Facing charges of criminal breach of trust (Section 406 of IPC), criminal conspiracy (Section 120-B), cheating (Section 420), falsification of records and forgery (Section 468), and fraudulent cancellation of securities (Section 477-a), they face up to ten years imprisonment if convicted.

After 18 hours of interrogation by the Crime Investigation Department (CID) at the state police headquarters, the Raju brothers were sent to the Chanchalguda prison and slept Saturday night on the floor along with 26 other low-risk inmates.

S. Bharat Kumar, the Rajus’s lawyer, asked the magistrate to issue orders for health monitoring. “His blood pressure is fluctuating and he needs medical treatment,” said Bharat Kumar. Mr. Raju appeared before the court Saturday while a team of doctors visited him after he had complained of chest pain.

Raju has Hepatitis-C, and both brothers have high blood pressure, so health precautions are necessary while imprisoned. Prison rules mandate service of jail food thrice a day. The menu includes 650 gm of rice thrice a day with 250 gm of vegetable curry and 125 gm of ‘daal’ plus tea twice a day.

Satyam’s chief financial officer Vadlamani Srinivas, who was also arrested Saturday, had undergone preliminary investigation and appeared Sunday before a special court, according to A. Sivanarayana, Andhra Pradesh additional director general of police. Srinivas was remanded to judicial custody until January 23 by Mr. D. Ramakrishna, Sixth Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, and sent to the Chanchalguda jail with the Raju brothers after interrogation by CID’s Crime Branch (the CB-CID). During his Saturday night arrest and probe by CB-CID, Srinivas made revelations which are contained in his confession letter as submitted to Network 18. “According to me fixed deposits are unreal and fictitious which were managed and was an understanding between the audit section management,” Srinivas stated.

The Hyderabad court on Monday postponed the bail hearings of the Raju brothers and Srinivas to January 16. To be defended by a battalion of 25 lawyers, the three accused will remain in Chanchalguda Central Jail until further court order. The Raju brothers were shifted Sunday to a mid-size Old Hospital Barrack cell shared with a bootlegger.

Contents

  • 1 The offences
  • 2 About Satyam Computer Services
  • 3 Impact on Satyam Computer Services finances and reactions
  • 4 Related news
  • 5 Sources

In 2008, the company struggled to purchase two infrastructure companies founded by family members of company founder and CEO Dr. Raju – Maytas Infrastructure and Maytas Properties – for $1.6 billion, despite concerns raised by independent board directors. Dr. Raju tendered his resignation on January 7 after due notice of falsified accounts to board members and the SEBI.

Since January 7 when two lawsuits were commenced, dozens of other class action law suits were filed against Satyam for hundreds of millions of dollars damages based on fraud in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan, among others. The securities fraud class-action lawsuits have been filed on behalf of investors who bought Satyam American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) since 2004.

On Wednesday Dr. Raju admitted to falsifying and overstating Satyam’s cash reserves by $1B US dollars (£661m) or 94% of its cash and bank balances on books at the end of September.

The fraud was perpetrated several years ago to bridge “a marginal gap” between actual and accounting books operating profits, and continued for several years. “It was like riding a tiger, not knowing how to get off without being eaten,” B. Raju said.

In a letter to the board, Dr. Raju said that neither he nor the managing director had benefited financially from the inflated revenues. Further claiming that none of the board members had any knowledge of the dire company situation, he noted that Satyam’s balance sheet as of the September 30, 2008, carried inflated figures for cash and bank balances of INR 5,040 crore (as against INR 5,361 crore reflected in the books). He alleged it also carried an accrued interest of INR 376 crore which was non-existent. He confessed that he himself prepared an understated liability of INR 1,230 crore on account of funds amid an overstated debtors’ position of INR 490 crore (as against INR 2,651 crore in the books).

Indian analysts have compared the Satyam-Raju scandal to the infamous American Enron scandal. Immediately following the media expose, PricewaterhouseCoopers, auditor of Satyam’s accounts, was set to be probed for complicity in the controversy. Times Now has reported that the Andhra Pradesh CID arrested PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) representative Gopal Krishnan for investigation on Saturday night.

New York-listed Satyam Computer Services Ltd., India’s fourth-biggest software firm, is a consulting and information technology services company based in Hyderabad, India. Founded in 1987 by Dr. Byrraju Ramalinga Raju, Satyam’s network spans 67 countries on six continents. It employs 53,000 professionals in India, the United States, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Hungary, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Japan, Egypt and Australia. Its monthly salary outflow is estimated at six billion rupees ($125 million). Deriving more than half of its revenues from the United States, it serves 700 global companies, 185 of which are Fortune 500 corporations.

Satyam’s clients include Nestle, Ford, General Electric Co., General Motors Corp., Nissan Motor Co., Applied Materials Inc., Caterpillar Inc., Cisco Systems Inc. and Sony Corp., and brought in about $40bn last year.

In December 2008, a failed acquisition attempt involving the company Maytas led to a plunge in Satyam’s share price. After Wednesday’s confession, Satyam stocks fell further by more than 70%, while the BSE SENSEX dropped to 7.3% Wednesday, causing the removal of Satyam Computer Services from its indices on Thursday. The shares free fell to 11.50 rupees on Friday, their lowest level since March 1998, compared with around last year’s high of 544 rupees.

The New York Stock Exchange has terminated trading in Satyam stock as of January 7, while the National Stock Exchange of India said it will remove Satyam from its S&P CNX Nifty 50-share index from January 12.

India’s biggest-ever corporate fraud has seriously tainted India Inc.‘s strong corporate governance image. “The admission of fraud in financial affairs has created an adverse impression in the minds of trade, business and industry across the world,” the Indian government admitted. The government intervened on Friday night, dismissing Satyam’s board of directors, announcing it will appoint representatives to manage the affairs of the insolvent outsourcing giant. The board would meet within seven days. Dr Yeduguri Samuel Rajasekhara Reddy, chief Minister of State of Andhra Pradesh, India, on Sunday said that the main agenda is to protect the jobs of the software professionals. “We are taking all needful steps in coordination with the government of India to ensure that the jobs of 53,000 engineers are protected and the shareholders’ money is salvaged,” Reddy said.

“We are working on the names. The Satyam case is an aberration. The credibility of the Indian corporate sector in general, and IT sector in particular, should not be allowed to suffer because of this.” Prem Chand Gupta, the Corporate Affairs Minister said. The Federal Government of India appointed a three-member independent board with full authority for Satyam on Sunday and was set to convene within 24 hours. “We have appointed Deepak Parekh, chairman of Housing Development Finance Corporation, Kiran Karnik, former president of IT industry body NASSCOM and C. Achutan, former member of Securities and Exchange Board (SEBI) of India,” Mr. Gupta said.

In early Monday trading (0535 GMT) after the creation of the three-member board, Satyam shares rocketed upwards 60% to 38.15 rupees, even though the main Mumbai market was down more than 2%. BBC reported that Satyam shares have jumped 51% to 36.05 rupees on Monday after the stock lost 87% last week. “The constitution of the new board is seen as a positive step by the market. It’s a confidence boosting measure,” K.K. Mital, Globe Capital, New Delhi head of portfolio management services said. “But the rally will depend largely on the financial situation at the company and the kind of measures that are taken to improve liquidity,” he added.

The Company Law Board, however, has requested Satyam’s interim board not to implement its decisions. “We are asked by the Company Law Board not to implement the decisions of the board. But we are allowed to continue our activity. The team which was constituted recently is continuing its work,” Satyam head global marketing and communications, Mr. Hari Thalapalli, said.

Lazard Ltd., who has a 7.4% stake in Satyam, sought representation on the new board and wrote as much to The Indian Ministry of Corporate Affairs. “As the largest shareholder in the company, we want to be consulted in whatever decisions are being taken by the Indian government. We have written to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and are awaiting a reply from them,” Hitesh Jain, a partner at ALMT Legal, who claimed to represent Lazard, said. “It is a fair proposal and we will take a decision as and when we clear other issues. No decision on this has been taken yet,” P.C. Gupta replied.

Meanwhile, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) also announced it will try to control the damage and take steps to boost investor confidence. “This exercise will be undertaken after the third quarter results and is expected to be completed by end of February this year,” a SEBI official statement said. A SEBI team is also investigating acting-CEO Ram Mynampati whose salary was greater than that of founder Dr. Raju and all the directors combined. Dr. Raju had just one fifth of Mynampati’s total package of over Rs 3.5 crore as of March 2008. All the directors comparably received only a total of Rs 2.6 crore as salary, commissions, sitting fees, professional fees and other receivables.

Further, the Andhra Pradesh Police CID and teams assigned by the Economic Offences Wing of the CB-CID conducted searches Sunday of homes of the accused including the ex-CFO’s office to gather documentary evidence about the financial fraud.

Uncategorized @ 2:19 am
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Looking For A Car Accident Lawyer? 4 Questions You’ll Want To Ask

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byAlma Abell

If you’ve been involved in a collision or crash, finding a car accident lawyer to help you deal with the aftermath is a must. Here are questions to help you find the best one:

How long have you been practicing law?

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Experience is a good indicator of whether you’re hiring the right person or not, says ThoughtCo. However, don’t just go with general experience. Look for someone who can count on years of service in dealing with cases similar to yours. A lawyer who has a successful history of settling car accident cases will most definitely have the kind of training and insight to handle yours.

How much of your workload deals with car cases?

Expertise is born out of familiarity. If most of the cases that your lawyer deals with involve car accidents, then that’s going to bode well for you. It means your lawyer will already know what to look for, what signs to watch out for and basically what steps to take to get the case going.

What are my chances?

An experienced car accident lawyer can already make an educated guess on what’s going to happen. Your lawyer can tell you if your case has a chance or if it’s going to be better for you not to pursue the case any further. If you just got a settlement offer, your lawyer can review the offer and advise you on whether it’s a good and fair deal or not.

How much can I expect in terms of compensation?

This is a good question to ask. Most of us only know about damages that cover hospitalization, treatment bills and loss of wages. But depending on your case, you could end up qualifying for more damages like punitive damages or damages for trauma. That’s something your lawyer can determine for you.

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