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Ryan Devereux
My involvement in a taxi cab accident taught me a lot of tough lessons. After driving around the same block in Chicago for 45 minutes to find a parking spot, I finally saw my opportunity. A car ahead of me pulled out of a parking lot onto the street, and he’d left a spot open right at the front of the lot! I turned left to enter the parking lot when a taxi cab behind me smashed into my driver’s side door so hard that it set off my airbags. The cabbie later claimed that he was trying to go around me from behind. Because I wear glasses, the impact of the airbags bruised and cut my face. Luckily, my wife had no injuries and she was able to get the cab driver’s plate number and company information. She also exchanged insurance information with him. We’d never been in an accident before, and we were both so shaken up that we couldn’t remember what we had to do. The cab driver seemed genuinely sorry and assured us that we didn’t have to worry because his insurance would pay for everything, so there was no need to call the police. Our first mistake was believing him as we drove off to a hospital.

My left eye swelled up badly; I felt worried because of the bleeding and the fact that I couldn’t see out of it for 24 hours, but there was no damage serious enough to warrant an operation. The ER visit was expensive because they ran extra tests on me since I had slight whiplash from the impact. My wife first called our car insurance company and explained to them what had happened. They asked her if she had taken any photographs of the damage, and we had not; that was our second mistake. There was a big dent on our car, but the cab didn’t have much more than a broken headlight from what we could remember. When she described the accident to our insurance representative, he deduced that the cab driver was at fault, which was just as we’d suspected, since he made an illegal move by crossing the center median while trying to go around us. My wife immediately called the cabbie’s insurance company to begin to file our claim with them. Unfortunately, what we didn’t know was that the cab driver’s insurance had expired more than six months ago. We had to argue with our own insurance company to try to help pay for the medical bills since our plan did not cover accidents with uninsured motorists.

The police couldn’t help us, even though we had his license plate number because they weren’t there after the accident to confirm our story, so we were left in a case of our word against the driver’s. The cabbie also gave us phony contact details, so we filed suit in small claims court against his taxi company for our damages. The company was able to trace the driver using the plate number and they forced him to settle with us in mediation to avoid going to trial and creating a bad name for their company. After this nightmare to recover more than $2,500 in total expenses, we’ve learned to always call the cops, take photos before moving our vehicles in an accident, and check the driver’s insurance information carefully! I hope others reading this story never have to go through a similar experience.

Byline: Ryan Devereux found a lawyer that specialized in taxi accidents when he was struck with his bad cab experience.

It doesn’t matter if you’re attending college online or on campus, your safety is paramount. You may be walking from your dorm to class, or from your car to the library; staying aware of your surroundings and following proven safety tips will help keep you from becoming a victim. If you’re a college student, here’s how to stay safe:

1.Don’t Walk Alone

According to Thomas Kane, president of The College Safety Zone, it’s important that you never walk alone, especially at night. It’s a well known fact that there is safety in numbers. Criminals will target people walking by themselves long before they go after a group. If you have to walk anywhere, make sure that you take along a buddy. If you must walk by yourself across a parking lot, make sure that you park under a light and as close to the entrance as possible.


Keeping your hands-free doesn’t only apply to driving. No matter where you are going, be sure that your hands are empty. This means that if you have a ton of books to carry, put them in a messenger bag or a backpack, and sling the bag over your shoulder. You’re less likely to become a victim if your hands are swinging by your sides instead of carrying ten pounds of books and supplies.


If you don’t have the option to use a drive-up ATM, make sure that you are taking your money out during the day. Use ATMs in well-lit areas and always look around the machine before you approach it. If you see anyone hanging around the area, skip that particular ATM and find another. After you’ve gotten your money, resist the urge to count it. Instead, stick it in your pocket and walk away. You can count your money and organize yourself once you are somewhere more secure.

4.Personal Defense Items

Whether you carry a taser, a bottle of mace or an ear-piercing whistle, you should have something with you to draw attention to and protect yourself. If you do choose to carry one of these items, make sure that it’s easily accessible and that you know how to use it. A can of mace will do you no good if it’s at the bottom of your bag and you have no idea how to use it properly. A self-defense expert can teach you how to use your tools safely and correctly.

5.Share Your Schedule

One of the best ways to ensure your safety is to make sure that at least one person always knows where you are. If you go to work, class or even to the library on a regular basis, let someone have your schedule. Get into the habit of at least texting that person when you get home. If you are assaulted or in an accident, you’ll stand a better chance of making it through your ordeal if a loved one is always aware of your whereabouts.

Your safety should be your primary concern. If you follow the five tips above, you’ll be sure to stay safe no matter if you attend a traditional college or are a distance learner. If you need more safety tips, talk to your college’s security office or your local police department; either of these agencies will be happy to offer you advice.

Chantel Leck is an avid blogger. If you’re interested in ensuring the safety of others, consider the various careers possible with a criminal justice degree. Several schools offer online criminal justice degrees, including University of Cincinnati and Boston University.
According to statistics from the Internal Revenue Service, a total of 148,390,000 tax returns were received last year. Visits to the IRS website have increased by over two percent, too. Despite the popularity of do-it-yourself programs such as Turbo Tax and Tax ACT, many Americans will ultimately decide that they need professional help, and many seek it for the first time while filing their return.

This is great news if you work in the accounting field. However, before you start taking on new clients as tax season approaches, it’s crucial to learn that you have the right to set expectations, and let clients go if things aren’t working out. Read on for two suggestions that can help you manage clients when you work as an accountant, but can easily apply to any service industry.

Be Careful About Promising Too Much

It’s natural to want a client to see you as motivated and willing to finish a job. However, as a service provider, it’s also up to you to set expectations that are in accordance with your rates and ability levels.

In many cases, it’s not as much about about having the necessary skills as setting aside enough time in the day. For example, if a client wants rush preparation for a tax return, it might seem like an easy way to apply your knowledge carefully and efficiently.

However, tax returns, and any other type of complex paperwork can become increasingly intricate depending on a person’s specific situation. To keep your nerves intact during a client project, emphasize accuracy over speed. This will give you the time you need to do things thoroughly, without feeling that you’re crunched for time.

Similarly, be careful about making promises. In the tax industry, a client might become overly hopeful about getting a sizable return because they’re basing their expectations on past experience.

Whether you’re filling out tax forms, acting as a business advisor, or providing another particular service, remind your clients that you’ll use knowledge to the best of your abilities, but some things will simply remain out of your control.

Go With Your Instinct

Whenever you provide a service, it’s common for clients to want you to treat them as if you’re they’re your only concern in the world. They do deserve attention, but within reason. Set expectations at the beginning of your working relationship, and give details about any specific skills that you have.

If your customers are made aware of what you can offer from the beginning, they’ll be less likely to expect something that you can’t necessarily deliver to their expectations. Know your abilities, and promote them, but don’t become overly ambitious.

Finally, pay attention to your gut feeling. Often, it’ll be the first indicator that it’s time to end your relationship with clients who expect too much from you, or want you to bend over backwards to meet their needs. Ending a relationship is rarely easy, but if you feel strongly that it’s no longer a good fit, have a serious talk with your client.

No matter which industry you’re a part of, always keep things in perspective. It’s great to have a full roster of clients, but not if it puts you at risk for getting burned out. You have the right to be choosy. Good luck!

Tara Daines writes for finance blogs. If you’re interested in pursuing a degree in accounting but you don’t want to quit your day job, check out Online MS in Accounting options.