Archive for July, 2013

Social Taboos about Debt Could Make it Hard to Ask for Bankruptcy Help When You Need It

According to The Street, talking about credit card debt has become one of the most taboo topics for most Americans, especially those in the age groups classified as “Generation Y.” 

As many as 85 percent of Americans responding to a recent survey conducted by CreditCards.com indicated they would be unwilling to discuss their credit card debt with someone they just met, and a vast majority of respondents also indicated they’d be more reluctant to talk about their debt than about their love life or salary.

Our Columbia, SC bankruptcy lawyers know that the reluctance to discuss debt leaves many people uncertain where to turn if they are struggling and unwilling to ask for the help they need if they are considering filing for bankruptcy. The reality, however, is that while people might not like to talk about it, a lot of people are coping with serious financial struggles. Those who have debts they cannot pay should never be afraid to ask for help.

Why is Debt a Taboo Topic?

The Street indicated that the percentage of Americans who don’t want to talk about their debts has increased in recent years, as in 2008 only 80 percent said they’d be standoffish about the topic. The jump to around 85 percent is a sharp increase, especially considering only 84 percent of respondents surveyed said they wouldn’t want to talk about their salary and only 80 percent indicated they wouldn’t want to talk about their love lives.

More than 1,000 adults were interviewed in the survey about their attitudes towards discussing debt and researchers have a number of possible explanations for why most answered the way they did.

One issue is that debt has very negative connotations. While it has always been frowned on, today those who are in debt may feel as if they are failing if they are forced to depend on credit to buy the things they need.  There are also stereotypes suggesting that individuals who are in debt suffer from a lack of self-control. The negative attitudes about debt can make people reluctant to share information about their financial struggles for fear that the information will be seen as admitting to personal failings.

The reality, however, is that a lot of Americans have debt and a lot of Americans are struggling a great deal with their credit card bills. In fact, the economy and wages haven’t fully recovered from the great recession that began in 2008. Ongoing economic hardship may help to explain why more people don’t want to talk about credit card debt today than in the past: more people may be struggling with larger ongoing debts due to the lingering financial crisis.

Unfortunately, this unwillingness to talk about debt can be dangerous. Those who see their debt troubles as failings and who are unwilling to share may also be reluctant to get the help they need. Filing for bankruptcy could actually be the best solution to get you out of debt so you don’t have to feel concerned about your finances; you should never hesitate to be proactive and take the smart step of asking for help when you are in over your head.

If you are considering bankruptcy, contact the Columbia, South Carolina attorneys at Matthews & Megna today at 877-253-7705.

South Carolina Toddler Killed in Car Accident at His Home

Car accidents are consistently a top cause of fatalities for young people year-in-and-year out. Kids are more susceptible to accidents for a lot of reasons including the fact that children may not always look both ways or understand how to avoid being hit by a car. Children are also small and more difficult to see by drivers, thus increasing the chances of a pedestrian accident. Finally, kids may not have bones that are as fully developed or bodies that are able to protect them from the force of a car accident impact. All of this can significantly increase the chances of children dying in the wake of a traffic collision.

Unfortunately, kids are not at risk only out on the roads or when passengers on vehicles. Our Columbia accident lawyers know that each year, kids are involved in back-over accidents and/or are run over while at their own homes. Unfortunately, this type of crash recently resulted in the death of one young South Carolina boy.

Car Accident Leads to Fatal Injuries for Toddler

According to WBTW News 13, a two-year-old child was outside of his home on the afternoon of July Fourth. The boy was run over by his father while outside and he sustained serious injuries. The child was transported by helicopter to a nearby hospital after the accident occurred but doctors were unable to save his life. Tragically, he was pronounced dead at Richland Memorial Hospital in Columbia, South Carolina at around 4:18 p.m. on the Fourth of July.

The news reports that law enforcement is looking into the circumstances of the tragic accident and indicates that an investigation has been launched. However, the coroner who responded to the accident scene has reported that it does not appear there were suspicious circumstances and that foul play is not suspected.

Of course, it seems very likely that this crash was an accident and not an intentional act on the part of the driver. Kids are involved in fatal car accidents all the time, sadly, and some of those crashes occur when a young child is backed over or run over by a vehicle in his own her own home. Driveways are dangerous — parking lots are also among the most dangerous locations for these types of collisions.

Even slow moving cars that are entering or exiting a driveway or traveling in a parking lot can cause serious injury to a young toddler and parents may simply not see their kids in the driveway or outside in the path of the car.

Protecting Kids from Car Accidents 

While car accident injuries involving kids are typically accidental, parents and drivers can still take steps to prevent these types of tragic incidents from occurring. First and foremost, it is important to always know where your kids are when either pulling into or backing out of your driveway. Backing out or reversing the car can be the most dangerous time for kids because they may fall within the vehicles blind spot and because young toddlers may be hard to see when the car is in reverse. Some cars have rear view cameras to try to prevent these types of devastating accidents by making it easier for drivers to see when a child is behind them.

In addition to checking your blind spots to try to reduce the chances of a crash, drivers should also travel at slower speeds in driveways and residential areas, avoid driving while tired or distracted or impaired in any way, and should teach their kids as soon as possible about safe behavior when cars are present.

While these safety suggestions will not prevent all tragic car accident deaths involving young kids in their homes, hopefully these safety tips will help to significantly reduce the number of children who lose their lives in car wrecks each year.

If you were hurt in a car accident, contact the Columbia, South Carolina injury attorneys at Matthews & Megna today at 877-253-7705.