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HBO LAW FIRM PROUD TO SPONSOR FESTIVAL

Hammett, Bellin and Oswald Law Firm is proud to be one of the sponsors for the 2017 Wilson Center for the Arts Guitar Festival. From August 17-19 artists from around the world will converge in Wisconsin to showcase their talents and compete in numerous guitar competitions. There will be classes, exhibits, and incredible performances from world class musicians.

This year there will be tickets provided for several community organizations, such as the Boys & Girls Club, so that they can provide free entry for 100 children to attend the performances. This is an incredible event for all ages and lovers of all styles of music. Individuals create the conscience of the community, and at HBO Law we believe providing opportunities for all members of the community will only make it stronger. Thanks to the Wilson Center for making this great event happen.

How to Avoid Car Accidents in the Summer

Although it can seem counterintuitive at first, the summer is actually one of the most dangerous times of year to drive. Although the lack of snow and ice on the road and the longer daylight hours seem like they would reduce the number of collisions on Wisconsin highways during the warmer months, there is actually a higher incidence of collisions during the summer, especially for teenage drivers.

You can take steps to reduce your likelihood of being involved in a car accident this summer. Just as you do throughout the year, follow the posted traffic signs and always obey the posted speed limit. Drive defensively and adjust your driving to your surroundings. A few other ways you can avoid car accidents this summer include:

Choose Not to Drink and Drive

Summer often means barbecues, graduation parties, and for those around Green Bay, days on the boat. And a lot of these events mean drinking alcohol. Drunk driving is not only dangerous, it is illegal and carries criminal penalties for those found guilty of OWI.

If you choose to drink, do not drive. Get a ride from a designated driver or use a rideshare like Uber or public transportation to reach your destination. Alcohol inhibits a driver’s perception of the road, his or her judgment, and his or her reaction time, all of which can cause a deadly accident.

Keep your Car from Overheating and Be Prepared for Breakdowns

If your car overheats, it can break down and potentially cause a collision. It can also leave you facing a steep car repair bill or even mechanically total your car. If you notice white vapor coming from under your hood, a strong unpleasant smell in your car, or the needle on your dashboard temperature gauge going beyond the normal temperature range for your engine, pull off the road immediately and turn the car off. Open the hood to allow it to cool, but do not touch anything inside until it has cooled completely. Once you can open the coolant tank, check its level. If all you need is to top it off, do so and get yourself home or to a mechanic to determine if there is a leak in your cooling system.

Share the Road with Others

During the summer months, school is out and there are more teenage drivers on the road than there are during the academic year. Many of these new drivers are driving on unfamiliar roads and could be facing certain roadway challenges for the first time, like navigating a divided highway or driving at night. Pay close attention to the road at all times so you can react to sudden, irrational moves by inexperienced drivers.

Summer is also a popular time of year for road trips. Visitors who are unfamiliar with the roads and cities they visit can make similar mistakes to young drivers, such as driving too slowly and making sudden turns.

In addition to young and visiting drivers, there tends to be more motorcyclists and bicyclists on the road during the warmer months. Again, be conscientious of these individuals to avoid collisions with them.

Keep Yourself Calm, Cool, and in Control Behind the Wheel

It can be easy to become frustrated when sharing the road with the drivers discussed above. This, paired with the heat of the summer months, can easily cause drivers to overreact to others’ actions and create an aggressive driving environment. This is known as “road rage,” and it is not productive for anybody.

When you drive this summer, keep your mood stable by keeping yourself cool physically and emotionally. Keep a bottle of water in the car to keep yourself hydrated at all times. If your vehicle has air conditioning, use it to stay comfortable. When traffic piles up or other drivers make inappropriate moves, do not take it personally. Make safety a priority and do not engage when others make aggressive – or stupid – choices.

Work with an Experienced Car Accident Attorney in Wisconsin

Even if you take all the necessary precautions to prevent a car accident this summer, there is still a chance that another driver will behave in a negligent manner and cause you to suffer an injury in a collision. If this happens, you could be entitled to recover monetary compensation for your resulting damages through a personal injury claim. To learn more, contact our team of experienced Appleton car accident lawyers at Hammett, Bellin & Oswald, LLC today to schedule your initial consultation with us. Our Appleton personal injury attorneys can answer any questions you have and help you move forward with the personal injury claim process.

2017 Law & Justice Scholarship Winner Announced

Hammett, Bellin & Oswald, LLC is pleased to announce that Hannah Krueger is the recipient of the 2017 Law & Justice Scholarship.

This scholarship was offered to all first-year college freshman who planned on attending an accredited College/University during the 2017-2018 school year to assist with college education expenses. Judges selected the scholarship winner based on school activities, special honors and awards, community involvement, interest in pursuing a law degree, academic performance and an essay.

On behalf of the lawyers and staff at HBO Law Firm, we would like to congratulate Hannah Krueger on being the 2017 winner of the Law & Justice Scholarship. We wish her the best of luck in all her educational endeavors.

Quick Tips for a Scam-Free 2016

MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) hopes consumers resolve to be scam-free in 2016. Start the year with an awareness of the many scams that target your finances and identity and learn what tools are available to help protect you.

“Government impostor, computer tech support, and sweepstakes scams were among the major threats for consumers in 2015, and there is no reason to assume they won’t continue to target us this year,” said Frank Frassetto, Division Administrator for Trade and Consumer Protection. “Remember that regardless of the narrative or pitch con artists throw your way, the operations tend to have the same goal: they want your money or personal information.”

Spot the vast majority of rip-offs by following these simple tips:

  • Be skeptical of too-good-to-be-true offers.
  • Keep your personal and banking information private, and never give out these details in an unsolicited phone call or in a reply to an unsolicited text message or email.
  • Don’t wire money to someone you don’t know or give them the account number from a prepaid debit card – these funds are practically impossible to track.
  • Never click on links or open attachments in an email or text message from an unknown sender.
  • Never pay to claim a prize.
  • Protect your computer by regularly updating your operating system and antivirus software, using a firewall, creating strong passwords, and using two-factor authentication when possible.
  • Remember that the IRS and your utility providers will never call and threaten you for an
    immediate payment.
  • Decline any offer that involves you cashing a check from someone you don’t know and
    keeping or sending along a cut of the money.
  • Research charities before you donate.
  • Immediately hang up on automated sales calls WITHOUT pressing any keys.

There are also some tips and tools you can use to combat scam artists and protect yourself:

  • Get a free copy of your credit report. Look for irregularities and unexpected lines of credit-these are signs that you may be the victim of identity theft. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call 877-322-8228 to order a copy from each of the three major credit bureaus.
  • Place a security freeze or fraud alert on your credit report as added protection against identity theft. A credit freeze locks down your credit. A fraud alert requires businesses to take extra reasonable steps to verify your identity before issuing a line of credit or service. More details and a freeze request letter are available in this DATCP fact sheet:
    http://datcp.wi.gov/uploads/Consumer/pdf/IDTheftCreditFreezeFAQ632.pdf
  • Sign up for the Do Not Call Registry. Unsolicited sales calls to numbers on the registry are
    illegal, so if you receive one you will know that it is either a scam or is from a business you may not want to work with. Call 888-382-1222 or visit www.nocall.wisconsin.gov to add your residential number.
  • Get a free copy of DATCP’s Senior Guide – a booklet that highlights common scams and
    provides consumer resource information. Download a copy from the DATCP website or
    request a copy by mail by calling the Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-422-7128.
  • Contact the Consumer Protection Hotline with questions about a consumer issue or to inquire about a business. Reach the Hotline by phone at 800-422-7128 or send an e-mail to
    datcphotline@wisconsin.gov.
  • Follow the Bureau of Consumer Protection on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wiconsumer.

The scams from 2015 will not suddenly disappear in 2016 – if anything, new variations will pop up. Fight back by arming yourself with an awareness of the major red flags and the tools available to help protect you from being scammed.

*Link to full article: http://www.wisconsinsmp.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Fraud-Alert-January-2016-Vol-19-No-6.pdf