How to Be an Effective Witness

No matter your station in life, you are at risk of being involved in a lawsuit or criminal investigation. They are two very different things, but lawsuits and investigations do share some common traits. Most importantly, they rely on witnesses.

If someone is accused of a crime, witnesses can be used to determine the character of a person or to verify an alibi. Similarly, in a lawsuit, witnesses can be utilized as evidence-providing testifiers for the plaintiff or as experts for the defense. As evident from its conclusion on the website for the Lexington personal injury law firm, Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton, LLP, witness statements are an important part of the discovery process for investigations into accidents, explosions, and more.

At some point in life, you may be called on to provide a statement in writing or in court. This experience can be straight-forward or incredibly scary. Either way, you need to know how to act and what to say to be an effective witness!

They Can Always Handle the Truth

As a witness, it can be tempting to bend the truth alongside the narrative provided by with whomever you agree the most or by the person who called you to testify or provide a written statement. However, this almost never works out in your favor.

Because witnesses in-court are subject to cross-examination by the opposing lawyer, you will almost certainly be held accountable if you lie. The other attorneys have evidence, timelines, documents and more to prove you wrong.

Lying is also just plain wrong. Do not bend the truth or withhold relevant information as a witness. Doing so will not work out in your favor nor will it weigh well on your conscience!

Detailed, But Not Too Detailed

The amount of detail and information to offer is a tough balance to strike as a witness in an investigation or lawsuit. Especially when involving situations like accidents or medical emergencies, it may be tempting to provide as much information as possible when asked by an investigator or professional.

However, be sure to not provide an amount of information that will lead to mistakes in documentation. For example, if you include information about a specific statistic or rare, hard-to-pronounce health condition, the person documenting your witness statement may lose track of the more important details.

My best advice is to remember — and discuss — the most important aspects of your knowledge while offering more details if necessary or needed. Through this, you will be able to accomplish both the goal of being an effective witness while also still offering the whole and complete truth.

Overall, being an effective witness is a tough task. While we have only covered two of the most important aspects of being a witness in an investigation or lawsuit, there are many other factors that affect your performance. Like anything in life, being an effective witness only requires you to follow your gut and do the right thing — everything else will work out in the end!

What To Do If Your Broker Just Lost You a Ton of Money

Most of us are not financial experts. That’s why we trust our investments to brokers who are supposed to understand the markets and our personal needs. They are supposed to protect us against serious losses by plotting relatively safe and profitable investments that don’t expose us to the major risks that our naive investment efforts might otherwise do.

They are supposed to do that, but they don’t always. There is far too much evidence that many brokers don’t take their responsibility seriously enough. They pursue very questionable investment strategies that often involve a very high risk of major losses. The reason for this is that high risk can lead to high gain.

That is a reasonable strategy for some investors, but your broker is supposed to discuss that option with you and go according to your preferences. If you didn’t express a desire to play fast and easy with your money with risky investments, then your broker shouldn’t do it. But, again, many brokers do it anyway. So, where does that leave you?

Let’s review one recent case so we can see what went wrong and what you can do if you’re caught in the same situation. Earlier this year, many investors lost money investing in the LJM Capital Preservation and Growth Fund. What happened still isn’t completely clear. It appears that LJM Capital Preservation and Growth Fund was not living up to its apparent mission to focus on capital preservation and instead was making very risky investments without taking the steps required to preserve capital. That behavior led to devastating losses, including 80% of the stock value, or perhaps as much as $600 million in value.

What was the result? In the immediate sense, it left investors significantly poorer. And since many brokers had invested in LJM without warning their clients of the risks involved, those losses were felt by a lot of innocent investors who didn’t sign up for that kind of risk.

That lack of awareness, though, may end up saving those investors and costing those brokers and their brokerage firms quite a bit. If a broker doesn’t warn their clients of such risks, they can be held accountable for the losses. And since a brokerage firm is responsible for the broker’s activities, those firms may be required to pay for this behavior.

That should answer your questions about what you should do when you lose out in a situation similar to LJM. Sometimes, losses just happen, even with stable and safe investments. Sometimes, you choose to take a risk, and it doesn’t work out. In those situations, you just have to accept that the investments don’t work as planned. However, if you’ve lost money because your broker was taking risks they didn’t tell you about, then you have every right to demand that money back.

How do you demand it? You’ll have to speak to a lawyer to pursue a claim against your broker.

What Happened to the Woman I Married?

Have you ever been close to someone who you thought you really knew but who, in one particular situation, proves to be a completely different person?

That’s my current situation and it’s…weird. It’s weird. I should be angrier than I am, but I’m more just confused about what’s happening.

The basic story is I’m getting a divorce. It was a long time coming, and when the decision came, it wasn’t at all unexpected. The discussion was civil. I’m not going to claim there weren’t tears and some angry words, but overall, we talked like we always talk. It was agreed between the both of us that there were just too many issues that we didn’t see eye to eye on and that the spark that held us together had just fizzled out. We even agreed to be friends. It was about as good as you could hope.

I mean, it really was inevitable. I want kids and she doesn’t. I always thought that would change, that some sort of maternal instinct would kick in, but she still doesn’t want them, and I think she honestly never will. She wants to travel, and I want to settle. We’re just in completely different places with completely different priorities. I can see now that we had a perfect relationship for our twenties, but now our thirties are here, it just wasn’t ever going to work out.

But I really did honestly think we’d be able to stay friends in all this. I thought that, in fact, until the other day, when we got down to the specifics of the divorce. Turns out, we don’t agree on anything there either, and unlike the actual break up of the marriage, there wasn’t a lot of friendly feeling to go around.

I think we fought over every piece of furniture, over the cars (she wants both for some reason), even over my dog (who she never liked and who I brought into the relationship). I wanted to talk to her privately about all this, but I was told it wasn’t for the best. So, I can’t know for sure, but I’m beginning to suspect she didn’t actually take the break up quite as smoothly as she let on.

Could I have misread her feelings? I don’t know. I thought she wanted this as well or I wouldn’t have brought it up. I’m the kind of guy to go on suffering silently if I think it’ll make someone else happy. We’d still be together if I thought she’d be happier that way.

Maybe it’s just a temporary hiccup. Maybe she needs to get it out of her system.

But, since I don’t know that for sure, I have to start investigating contested divorces and find out exactly how those work. I hope we can walk back from this point. I hope I can still save our friendship, but at this point, it seems like she just wants to burn everything down. I’m grateful right now that we didn’t have kids together.

Common Injuries from Oil Field Accidents

All kinds of workers are vulnerable to workplace accidents and injuries. Even office workers, who seem to be in safe office buildings, may be hurt because of defective escalators and elevators, fires from overheating office equipment, and electric shocks from overloaded wiring systems.

But it can be said that some workers are more vulnerable than others, such as oil field workers. According to the website of Brunkenhoefer P.C., oil field injuries can be sustained from various oil field accidents, like explosions, exposure to toxic chemicals, falls from oil derricks, gas leaks, malfunctioning machinery or equipment, and pipeline blowouts. But what exactly are the injuries that can be sustained?


Oil field workers use tools and heavy machines that can potentially cut off body parts due to malfunction or improper use. In improper use, the workers may be at fault, but in a malfunction, employers, supervisors, inspectors, and maintenance providers may be held liable. The worst thing about amputations is that they are generally permanent injuries.

Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries

The brain and the spinal cord can receive serious traumatic force during falling accidents, especially because oil field workers are frequently in elevated places. The worst traumatic brain injuries result into severe physical and cognitive problems, like unbearable headaches, vomiting, and difficulty speaking and understanding speech. The worst spinal cord injuries, on the other hand, result into paralysis.


Oil field workers inherently deal with strong substances such as chemicals and oils. These substances may cause burns, through direct contact, explosion, or fire ignition. The bad thing about burns is that they don’t just damage the skin. Depending on their severity, they may also damage the nerves, muscles, and bones.


Bones can break if they receive sufficient force, and that is exactly what they get when workers slip because of oil and violently fall onto the ground, get hit by pipes and rigs, or fall from elevated places. The body parts that are most vulnerable to fractures are the hand and arm, foot and leg, hip and pelvis, and the shoulder and back.

Nursing Home Abuse

When you put your parents or grandparents in a nursing home, you want them to be taken care of. You want the best care from their nurses, doctors, and any caregiver they will have. However, this is not always what happens. Even though these facilities are governed by detailed laws and regulations designed to protect their residents, nursing home abuse and neglect still happens.

Noticing signs of abuse early is the key to protecting your loved ones and helping the elderly in our society. According to, the signs of nursing home abuse include: broken bones or fractures, bruising, cuts, bed sores, frequent infections, dehydration, mood swings, reclusiveness, refusal of food, unexplained weight loss, and poor physical appearance. According to Charleston personal injury attorneys of Clawson & Staubes, LLC: Injury Group, the elderly are often reluctant to report abuse themselves because of fear of retaliation, lack of physical and/or cognitive ability to report, or because they don’t want to get the abuser in trouble. This means that it is often up to relatives or outside third parties to notice and report abuse.

The physical and emotional abuse that often occurs in nursing home facilities can have significant effects on the elderly victims. Abuse and neglect can lead to mental and emotional issues, and can have disastrous financial consequences for victims. Physical effects can be very serious considering the age and physical condition of the residents already. If you do suspect abuse, it is important to act quickly.

All About Sexual Abuse In The Nursing Home

Nursing home abuse can come in a variety of forms. Aside from physical, verbal, health, and life issues, another type of maltreatment in nursing homes is sexual abuse. The number of these incidents has become alarming that it has become a growing problem in nursing homes. Elderly patients can be subject to sexual abuse because of their frailty and unlikely to be taken seriously when filing a claim.

In most nursing homes, sexual abuse may involve patients that are already suffering from dementia or other mental illnesses. According to a study conducted by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) revealed that the older the victim is, the less likely it will be for the sexual offender to be charged. Aside from that, the same study also revealed that elder sexual abuse victims are likely to be believed unless there are signs of physical trauma. The incidence of sexual abuse in nursing homes may be a result of being understaffed in most of the facilities.

The family of the sexually abused elderly can play a crucial role in making the perpetrators of the crime liable. To prevent elderly sexual abuse, it is important that the facility be filled with more staff to prevent sexual abuse. At the same time, they should be properly trained to handle such kind of incidents.

Elderly abuse in the nursing home can manifest the following symptoms:

  • Emergence of sexually transmitted diseases
  • Problem sitting or drinking
  • Injury to the pelvic area
  • Extreme station
  • Inappropriate or unusual behavior
  • Suicide attempts

Preventing sexual abuse in a nursing home can prove to be a challenge. Unless preventive measures are implemented, the number of victims of sexual abuse in the nursing home will continue to increase. Nursing home abuse, in general, should be subjected to a thorough investigation. The party responsible for the act of sexual abuse should be held accountable.

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