Too Many Trucks on the Road

There are so many big trucks on the road these days, it’s starting to feel like more than a hassle, it’s starting to feel like a threat. I often feel suffocated by the number of trucks around me. Although they’re supposed to stay in the far left lane, it’s now a common occurrence for me to find a truck to my left, a truck to my right, and a truck in front or behind me. It’s claustrophobic, and something needs to be done about it.

I’m sympathetic to the argument that we need trucks. We have to get things shipped somehow, and this is a country that decided to ship by truck instead of by train (which helps free up the roads in other countries). Perhaps we really can’t do anything about the number of trucks, but we should do something about how they drive.

Why is it, for instance, you never see the police pulling over trucks for clogging all the lanes? They pull over cars all the time for speeding or driving inappropriately. Why not trucks? A few extra tickets cutting into the income of truckers, and they may be more willing to stay where they are meant to stay on the road.

Another option might be more cameras on the road. If the police won’t ticket bad truck drivers, why can’t cameras do so automatically? If the cameras are hidden, all the better, then truckers won’t know which parts of the road to be safe on, and they’ll be forced to assume they always have to be on their best behavior.

A final possibility, and really, the most likely, is more automation in trucking. The future is driverless trucks that follow along almost like trains without drivers to get impatient and try to force their way over a lane or two just to go a mile or so faster. Once this technology comes in, we’ll all be much safer, but how long will we have to wait?

Apparently, you should react in this order: seek medical care, contact police, save your documents, don’t sign anything, and contact a lawyer.

I assume they have purposefully left off the real first steps, which are: curse loudly, scream at the driver who caused the wreck, take lots of photos and post them online, call your parents and cry for a while.

It would be nice if I didn’t have to think about all these issues now, but I just don’t see the roads getting any better in the near term. Though it would be a great help, the police aren’t going to start pulling truckers over, and no one is going to pay for those cameras. So, until the trucks drive themselves, we’ll have to all be prepared for the worst.

Learn More

Common Disagreements in Divorce

Divorce is not a simple legal matter. There are so many legal aspects where you and your spouse can disagree with, and these can make the divorce process even longer. A long divorce process has a lot of disadvantages, such as the burgeoning legal fees, lost time, and the emotional strain.

According to the website of the San Antonio divorce lawyers at Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, the disagreements may come in many forms, such as in child custody, child support, spousal support, and property division.

In child custody, the top priority is the best interest of the child, and there will be a lot of factors involved to know this – such as the relationship of the child to each parent, each parent’s ability to provide, each parent’s maturity and criminal record, and the child’s preference.

In child support and spousal support, calculations will depend on many factors as well, such as each parent’s earning capacity, whether or not each parent has affected the earning capacity of the other, future expenses after separation, and even the duration of the marriage and age of the child involved.

In property division, all assets and liabilities can be divided fifty-fifty or give more to the spouse that has deserved more, and this will depend on the state and its rules regarding property division.

Despite already having determined factors to cater to these possible areas for disagreements, spouses will still find them unfair, and with legal help, they will do everything they can to turn the conditions to their advantage, or at least make them “fair.” This results into longer divorce processes.

To avoid the legal hassle of long divorce, many couples opt for other legal options, like mediation, wherein an unbiased mediator takes the spouses in a less formal setting, lets them voice out their opinions, and helps them come up with a compromise. This results to faster results, not to mention less emotions during the separation process because of mediation’s less argumentative nature.

At the end of the day, it is still the couples’ choice whether they will make the divorce proceedings complicated and longer or simple and fast, and sometimes, anger, guilt, jealousy, and other negative feelings they have for their partners cloud their judgment.

Learn More

Eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance

The Social Security Administration is managing a federal insurance program that aims to aid those who cannot continue to work because of a disability, and this program is called the Social Security Disability Insurance, also known as SSDI.

To be eligible to this program, certain factors are considered, such as your number of years in employment, age in relation to your work credits, and medical condition. These factors may vary on a case to case basis. For example, those who have worked for a long time, have aged a lot, and have sustained a severe medical condition, are more likely to get approved by the Social Security Administration, compared to a less experienced worker who has sustained a disability in a relatively young age.

According to the website of Hankey Law Office, P.C., this program involves a variety of complicated legal processes, such as filing for coverage and appealing a coverage rejection. This warrants the rise of legal representatives who specialize in SSDI.

But why is the process so complicated? This is to prevent abuse of the system. SSDI is a financial support program. Of course, many people will find it appealing to apply. Here are just some of the advantages of having a Social Security Disability Insurance:

  • You can have money for your day-to-day expenses and treatment costs
  • The financial security will prevent emotional and psychological problems that may arise due to financial burdens
  • The lack of emotional and psychological problems will prevent relationship issues that may arise due to depression, irritability, social withdrawal, and other behaviors

In a way, SSDI is there to pay you back for all the contributions and taxes you have paid. It is a legal and moral protection for the productive individuals in society who have become unfortunate enough to sustain a disability.

Learn More

Beware of Dog

Dogs can be the sweetest and most loving creatures. As any dog lover knows, these animals really can be man’s best friend. However, any dog can also bite. Dogs bite if they are provoked to do so. If a dog finds itself in a stressful situation, is scared or startled, or is not feeling well, it may defend itself by biting. The website for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur every year in the United States. With this in mind, it is important to know what to do if faced with the possibility of being bitten.

If approached by a strange dog, especially one that seems violent or angry, remain calm and stand still. Avoid seeming aggressive by not making eye contact and keeping your body turned away from the dog. Try to get the dog to leave by saying “no” in a firm, deep voice. If the dog still charges, protect yourself the best you can by covering your head and putting anything you have between you and the dog. Once safely away from the dog, assess your injuries and seek medical attention. Dog bites can lead to infection, and carry the possibility of rabies or tetanus. You should identify the dog’s owner and contact them to get more information about the dog. According to Clawson & Staubes, LLC: Injury Group, owners are responsible and liable for injuries caused by their dogs, even if they did not or could not know that the dog would inflict the injuries. It is important to file a report to help protect others from getting bit by the same dog. Dogs can be dangerous. Protect yourself by being wary of your surroundings and knowing what to do in case of an incident.

Learn More

Auto Defects Greatly Increase Risk of Accident and Serious Injuries

In 2014, two car companies recalled a fleet of their vehicles due to defective parts. One of the firms, Nissan, recalled nearly a million of its vehicles because of unreliable front passenger air bags; General Motors, the other firm, recalled 2.4 million of its sedans due to faulty taillights. Besides this, General Motors also had to recall 26.9 million more vehicles due to a defective ignition system. Though alarmingly big, these recalls were just half of the nearly 53 million vehicles recalled worldwide (about 34 million are in the US) due to the explosive air bag inflator manufactured by Takata Corp. and installed in various car brands and models. This recall due to exploding Takata air bag is presently the biggest auto-safety recall in the history of the car industry.

Hundreds of different recalls have been made in the past by vehicle manufacturers due to parts that malfunctioned. Some of these include a transmission shift cable that detaches, power steering that fails, a seat belt cable that fails to provide proper restrain, fickle tail/brake lights, front seats that do not detect occupants (which would result to air bags not deploying during an accident), and electronics that can disable front and side curtain air bags and seat belt pretentioners.

A recall can be made by a vehicle manufacturer – this is called a voluntary recall, or may be made through a court order instigated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). A recall becomes necessary when vehicles or vehicle parts turn out to have a safety-related defect or fail to comply with minimum safety standards set by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and Regulations of the NHTSA.

The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and Regulations is a set of guidelines to manufacturers of motor vehicles and vehicle parts. This was created by the NHTSA for the purpose of protecting the public against defective cars and malfunctioning parts which increase risk of injury or death during crashes. This set of guidelines specifically detail the minimum safety performance requirements for motor vehicles and parts, especially those parts that affect a vehicle’s safe operation, such as the brakes, lights and tires, and those that will keep drivers and passengers protected from fatal or serious injuries, like child restraint, air bag, safety belt, energy absorbing steering columns and motorcycle helmets (these federal standards cover all types of vehicles and vehicle parts).

According to Georgetown car accident attorneys of Evans Moore, LLC, one thing that can make car accidents so scary and so potentially dangerous is their unpredictability, which may be caused by a defective car part. A malfunctioning part increases risk of accident, which a driver can fail to escape from regardless of how careful a driver he/she is.

If a car accident occurs due to a defective part, however, an innocent victim should know that he/she can pursue legal action in order to seek compensation for the losses, injuries, and pain and suffering he/she was made to unjustly suffer. Being represented by an experienced car accident lawyer in this legal pursuit may be to the advantage of the accident victim.

Learn More

Degrees of Offense

Rape, which is one type of sexual assault, is forced, unwanted sexual intercourse that can be committed by a person on a male or a female of any age. The offender, called a rapist, uses force or violence in order to have control over another person. In some occasions, a rapist uses alcohol or illegal drugs to impair his/her victim so as to render (the victim) incapable of fighting back.

Regardless of who the offender is, a stranger, a date, an acquaintance, a friend, a family member or a spouse, so long as it is forced and unwanted, then the act shall be considered as a crime.

A rape charge alleges any of the following:

• Force was applied;
• The victim has a physical or mental condition that renders him/her incapable of expressing consent; and,
• The offender is in a position of authority and uses this authority to coerce the victim to submit to his/her malicious intents.

If the act is committed against a person under a certain age, then the offense committed would be “rape of a child” or “statutory rape” (this is due to the fact that the alleged victim’s lack of ability to consent is established by statute).

A “rape of a child” offense is determined based on the victim’s age. Based on age, rape of a child falls under three degrees:

1) Rape of a child in the first degree. This is the crime (a felony) committed if the victim is under the age of 12 (and not married to the offender) and the offender is at least two years older than his/her victim. Maximum possible sentence for this crime is life imprisonment.

2) Rape of a child in the second degree. A person will be charged with rape of a child in the second degree if he/she has sexual intercourse with another who is 12 or 13 years old and not married to the offender; the offender should be at least three years older than the victim. This crime is also a class A felony.

3) Rape of a child in the third degree. A person who has sexual intercourse with another who is either 14 or 15 years old and not married to him/her can be charged of this crime, which is a class C felony. The offender should also be at least four years older than his/her victim.

As explained in the website of Horst Law, though rape of a child is a Class A felony, state law mandates that the minimum prison sentence for a conviction on this charge be 25 years rather than the 15 stipulated under the sentencing guidelines for Class A felonies. In addition, anyone convicted of this crime may be subject to enhanced requirements for probation or parole. The aggravated form of this charge applies to offenses committed against a child aged three years or less. Though the aggravated form is a Class A felony, the offense is categorized in such a way that the minimum prison sentence will be 40 years if the defendant is convicted.

Learn More

Wrongful Death in the Event of a Catastrophic Accident: Who Should be Held Liable

Catastrophes have left many individuals dead and a lot more severely injured. These tragic occurrences have changed the lives of so many families which have lost a loved one, but, most especially, of surviving victims. Catastrophes can happen anytime and anywhere; these can damaging properties that can cost up to millions of dollars, as well as claim thousands of lives.

Most often than not, catastrophes are results of human error or man’s negligent acts and careless behavior. Consider events, such as the sinking of the Titanic, which took the lives of more than 1,500 passengers; the 1989 Exxon Valdez accident, which resulted to 10.8 million gallons of oil being spilled into the waters of Prince William Sound; the Piper Alpha Oil Rig fire in 1988, which claimed the lives of 167 workers and caused damages amounting to $3.4 billion – these are just three of the almost endless list of tragic accidents, which also include as fires, methane hydrate eruptions, and suddenly collapsing scaffoldings, tower crane, roofs, stadiums or houses. More than damage to property, though, which can easily be replaced with enough funding, is the most painful effect of catastrophes: wrongful death.

Wrongful death is a legal claim made by the beneficiaries or survivors of a person who has died due to the fault of another person or party. This is claim for damages that includes loss of earnings that the deceased could continued earning had he/she did not die, incurred medical cost prior to the injured person’s death, and, loss of consortium (or removal of the benefits of a relationship, including sexual, because of the injuries or death caused by a negligent party).

While it may be easy to assign blame to another person in case of an accident, proving that person’s liability is never an easy task. The family of a deceased victim may choose to file suit against the accused liable party, prove his/her liability and file for claim in the process – all on their own or, they can choose to be represented by a seasoned personal injury or wrongful death lawyer who may be able to help them achieve all these.

Learn More

What Is A Deductible? – Understanding The Basics

When applying for a car insurance, one of the most important decisions you have to make is the amount of your deductible. It can have an impact on your insurance rate and can also have an effect on the financial impact of certain types of claims. According to the website of Chicago nursing home falls lawyers, a deductible is the amount of money that you must pay after an accident before the provider starts paying for damages.

If your car insurance only offers liability coverage, you do not have to worry about deductibles. On the other hand, if you have comprehensive, collision coverage, or both, then you need a deductible for both options.When choosing a deductible, you can either go for a higher deductible to reduce your car insurance premium or a lower deductible to lessen your out of the pocket expenses in case of a claim. In order to decide the best option, let us take a look at the pros and cons of each.

With a higher deductible, you will have more out of the pocket expenses. However, there is a downside to this option and that is lower biannual or monthly insurance payments. But if you choose to increase your deductibles, just make sure that you have an interest-earning account. By doing so, you can have ready money when you file a claim with your car insurance provider.

On the other hand, lowering your deductibles translates to higher monthly insurance rates. The advantage of this option is that even if you file a claim, you would not have to worry about out-of-the-pocket expenses as your insurance company can pay the remainder of the bill. So the decision is really up to you.

So when shopping for a car insurance, it is best to ask for a quote with different levels of deductible. By doing so, you will be able to see the difference in rate for each level of deductible. The important thing is to choose the deductible that you can afford and handle. You need to balance your budget and what you can afford to pay should a claim be filed.

Learn More

Cars and Bikes Rights on the Road

The NHTSA gets every road user, especially motorists, to honor the rights on the highway because this is the ideal way to produce a transportation environment that is safe. Legally speaking, bicycles have the same privileges on the highway as every other sort of motor vehicle. Though, several drivers have declined motorcyclists space they require on the way, bringing on substantial amounts in dead and badly wounded bicyclists.

Based on Williams Kherkher‘s website, there were about 51,000 injured and 600 killed cyclists last year alone. These numbers have continued to rise in the last couple of years, showing the excellent danger to after bikers start to ride on U.S. streets they are exposed. And in spite of the bike lanes on town roads that are busy, several drivers still will not admit the right of riders on the road, rendering auto and cycle collision a highway site every single day that is common.

The most frequent reasons for crash between cycles and motor vehicles are:

  • Car motorists immediately and abruptly turning in the front of bikers
  • Motorists, from parking places or driveways, reducing cutting a biker’s right of way and driving into traffic
  • Motorists neglecting to slow down at intersections
  • Drivers running a stop sign or traffic light
  • Motorists not getting moment to double check for incoming bikers
  • Reckless driving thanks to negligence or booze influence

In spite of the number of bicycle injuries, riding a bicycle should never be a viewed as a hazardous means of transportation or leisure action. Several cyclists have decided to ride along routes where they’ll be safer and appreciate their ride more if only to keep from the dangers that city roads present.

In the case of a collision, the culpable or reckless motorist must be made to face the consequences of his or her actions.

Learn More

Medical Malpractice: Erb’s Palsy

Erb’s palsy is typically considered one of the most common types of birth injuries in the United States. Based on the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, only 1 or 2 of every 1,000 babies born in America have this specific condition. Infants with Erb’s palsy have problems with weakness or paralysis in one-arm.

The brachial plexus is a network of nerves between the throat and arm. Nerves that go from your spinal-cord to the arm, hands, and fingertips form it. This network merges in a place on the right or left side of the throat. Erb’s palsy occurs when the brachial plexus is injured during child birth. The condition is common in newborn babies who’ve had hard or complex deliveries while various conditions add to the risk of this kind of injury. To be unique, Erb’s palsy usually occurs when the baby’s neck is extended during birth.

The variable causing the rise of the Erb palsy is negligent or careless errors made by medical staff throughout childbearing. Physicians or nurses can harm the delicate neural system of newborn babies by pulling at the head throughout delivery at the incorrect time when pulling the infant out of the birth canal and using extreme force on the shoulders.

Fortunately, newborn babies who develop Erb’s palsy can obtain feeling and motion in the affected arm with proper medical aid and treatment. That is why it is essential for parents to pay careful attention. Early detection will help prevent long term impacts that may cause long-term handicap and muscle atrophy. Individuals with Erb’s palsy may show signs of single-arm weakness and numbness in one arm. For more severe cases, individuals may discover that their baby’s arm is lax without the sign of movement.

Learn More