Preventing Motorcycle Accidents

Jul 06

Motorcycles are regarded by many as dangerous to ride, especially with other negligent, unobservant drivers on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists are about 26 times more likely per mile traveled to experience a fatal crash. Obviously the very best way to avoid accidents and injuries is to wear protective safety gear and observe the rules of the road, but accidents do happen.

Motorcycle accidents are likely to happen in a variety of situations. Passenger cars can be particularly dangerous to motorcyclists, because of their blind spots or even inattention to motorcycles on the road. Many accidents are caused by abrupt left turns by cars, sudden lane changes, or even fender benders. The best, most effective way for motorcyclists to avoid these is to anticipate blind spots of cars and trucks and leave enough room to brake and change lanes.

However, there are common behaviors of motorcyclists that can lead to crashes. Rounding corners too quickly and failing to anticipate road conditions can be particularly hazardous to motorcycle riders.

Factors like not wearing a helmet, speeding and alcohol use also make these crashes all the more dangerous. Measures to avoid these kinds of situations are available and typically effective, however.

Visibility should be a prime safety goal. Due to their size, motorcycles can often go overlooked by passenger car drivers. Motorcycle drivers can increase their visibility by wearing bright colored gear and always using headlights.

Motorcyclists should also take protective measures to decrease the chance of injuries in a crash, like wearing helmets, protective clothing and eye wear, such as gloves, long sleeves and long pants.

Unfortunately, all the protective gear and defensive driving measures in the world cannot always protect from other reckless and negligent drivers on the road. To learn more about liability in motorcycle accidents, visit this website.

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Common Causes of Boating Accidents in Florida

Apr 08

Florida is a state well known for its temperate weather and beautiful beaches. It offers plenty of opportunities for people to experience the sun and open sea. One way both tourists and locals enjoy their surroundings is by riding boats out into the water.

Boating and other similar activities are obviously popular and widespread in Florida. A 2013 report by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (MyFWC) noted that there were a total of 896,632 registered water vessels in Florida, making it the state with the most boat registrations in America. As one would expect, the notable number of registered boats indicates that boating accidents are a common occurrence in Florida. The same report found that there were 736 cases of boating accidents in the year 2013. Out of all these accidents, 420 incidents led to serious injuries and 62 led to fatalities.

The website of West Palm Beach law firm Schuler Halvorson Weisser Zoeller Overbeck lists the following as common causes of boating accidents in the area:

Boating Under the Influence. As it is with driving in roadways, alcohol impairment can seriously affect a person’s ability to properly operate a boat.

Speeding. Speeding is another common cause for boating accidents. A boat running at too high a speed could cause passengers to fall overboard.

Reckless Boat Operation. A reckless or distracted boat operator could end up committing oversights that could lead to crucial mistakes. Most of the time, recklessness can cause a boat to capsize or turn over in the water.

Improper Safety Equipment. Larger boats and vessels meant for the public can become liable for accidents and injuries if the operator fails to provide proper safety equipment. Plenty of victims end up drowning after a boating accident, so it’s important that all passengers are equipped with life jackets.

Failure to Follow Safety Regulations. The most crucial way operators can avoid accidents is by making sure to adhere to safety regulations and precautions. Failure to do so can end in catastrophic accidents.

Boating accidents does not have to be part of the norm in Florida. There are ways operators can ensure that such catastrophic events will no longer continue on in the future. Aside from adhering to specific laws and policies, reckless operators should also be held accountable for their actions. Anyone who has been a victim of a boating accident should not hesitate to seek out proper legal counsel.

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How to Treat People that Have Experienced Loss

Feb 09

Losing a loved one is often a devastating battle that never truly ceases. Those that do go through highs and lows that become less drastic over time, but to an extent are always present. Loss changes people, and sometimes it is hard to get a gauge on what people that have experienced loss are thinking or feeling. Here are a few rules of thumb for being there for those who have lost a loved one.

If they are constantly in contact with you, take that as a sign that they need you to comfort them on occasion. Loss makes people want to be alone more than usual, so if they are still reaching out to you they see you as a comfort zone. Be aware of what types of conversations they are starting. If they want to have interesting small talk, do not try to make the conversation and therapy session, but if they are talking about their feelings, let them vent and let them know you care about their well being. Do not try to give advice, especially if you have never been in their situation. In a time of loss, no one wants to be told how they should and should not feel.

If they are not constantly keeping up with you, send an occasional text or phone call their way asking how they are doing. Most people who are experiencing a recent loss are usually always feeling upset to some extent, but do not want to depress those around them, so they tend not to bring their true feelings up. They will appreciate that you are worried about their well being and will feel less insecure venting.

The website of Crowe and Mulvey says that few things in life can be as difficult as dealing with the unexpected loss of a loved one. Respect the space of those that are going through a serious time, but also be aware of when they are sending out a cry for help.

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The Petersen Presumption in Child Custody

Dec 30

Child custody is one of the trickier aspects of divorce, mostly because as stated on the website of Marshall & Taylor PLLC it has an enormous impact on the children. Under normal circumstances where the couple is the natural or biological parents of the child, North Carolina divorce courts would grant custody to the parent who has the capacity to serve the best interests of the child.

However, there are circumstances that are not normal. For example, there may be cases where only one parent has biological ties to the child, but the non-parent is the primary caregiver. If both parties are seeking custody of the child, how will to court decide to which parent it will be granted?

The primary concern of any court in the US is the best interest of the child, but this is interpreted in different ways depending on the state. In North Carolina, for example, they rely on what is called the Petersen Principle in which the courts ruled that the constitutional right of a biological parent to the care and custody of their children under the Fourteenth Amendment supersedes all other considerations that may make a non-biological parent a better candidate except where the biological parent proves to be unfit.

It is not at all easy to prove a parent is unfit, however. If you are in the midst of a divorce and you believe that the children of your future ex-spouse would suffer from being in his or her sole custody, as a non-biological parent you will have to prove that your ex-spouse is an unfit mother or father before the court in North Carolina will consider your petition. You can accomplish this much more effectively if you consult with an experienced divorce lawyer in your area that will have the resources and knowledge to build a case against your ex-spouse.

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Personal Injury Laws

Sep 29

Personal injury laws can be different from one state to the other. When you have been injured because of another person’s recklessness or negligence, it would be advisable to consult with a personal injury lawyer to make sure that your case is covered by the law in your state. Tennessee personal injury lawyers are trained in the laws and regulations in Tennessee, while the same is true for lawyers in other states.

The state of Tennessee follows the same statute of limitations as other states, which is two years after the date of the accident. You should be able to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit against the defendant, otherwise the court will not entertain your case after the statute of limitations has expired. This would mean that you will have no legal right for compensation for the damages caused by the accident. In cases where the victim of the accident is a minor, the statute of limitations will not expire until he or she has reached the age of 19.

The contributory negligence rule means you, as the plaintiff, may be affected if you have a share of responsibility for the accident. If the judge or jury has determined that you have contributed to the accident and the resulting injuries, you may have no legal right to ask for compensation for your damages, no matter how small your contribution to the accident may be. Talking with a personal injury attorney regarding the possibility of having the defendant use the comparative negligence rule may save you the trouble of wasting money and effort going to court. Additionally, it is important to discuss this possibility because it can help you decide whether you would choose to go to court of settle outside of court with the insurance adjuster.

There are limitations set on punitive damages, since these are meant to punish and prevent future similar actions from the defendant as well as others. Punitive damages are only given when there is clear evidence that the defendant acted with malice or strong intent above negligence.

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BBQ and Blues

Aug 15

We got our staff together and thought it would be really fun to share some of our favorite BBQ and blues rhymes. Here are highlights:

  • Good food is a great way to chase away them blues.
  • You’re never sad with brisket in your hand.
  • Why push pork when you can pull it?
  • BBQ sauce is like my God. I believe in brisket Jesus.
  • My tongue likes to listen to juicy meats on repeat
  • The best time in all the land is when you have smoked meat in your hand

There ya have it!


What do y’all think? Leave your favorite barbeque sayings in the comments!

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The Purpose of Alimony

Jun 26

Alimony is one of the big issues in divorce, especially when there is a significant disparity in the earning capacity of the spouses. The FreeDictionary website defines it as the “Payment that a family court may order one person in a couple to make to the other person when that couple separates or divorces.”

However, this does not explain why alimony is sometimes necessary. The primary purpose of alimony is to give the spouse with less income to adjust to a new way of life after divorce. Across the states, the rules, regulations and applications of alimony vary widely, and it is further complicated by the specific circumstances of each case.

It is often difficult to quantify in monetary terms the value that each spouse contributed to a marriage, especially if they were married for a long time. For example, one spouse may never have had an opportunity to work outside the home, but provided an exemplary home for the other spouse and several children. After a divorce, such an individual may have difficulty getting work, and will need financial support from the ex-spouse until such time that training has been acquired to qualify that individual for paid work.

Alimony, sometimes called spousal support or spousal maintenance, is not always for life, and unlike child support, is not federally mandated. In Texas, for example, the court may order one spouse to pay the other spouse spousal maintenance under specific circumstances, not more than $2,500 a month of 20% of the paying spouse’s income, whichever is less, and not to exceed 3 years in duration. A Denton divorce lawyer would be the best person to ask about specifics regarding Texas divorce laws that pertain to alimony.

Recent reforms in family law of many states have been targeting alimony, aiming to eliminate it altogether. If you are contemplating divorce and anticipating the need for alimony, consult with a divorce lawyer to see what you are entitled to under current state law.

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Giants on the Road

Jun 25

Semis, big rigs, 18-wheelers. These are all terms that mean the same thing: large trucks with an attitude. These metal giants can be seen rumbling across any major highway in the US, and they serve an important function; that of moving consumer goods across states. However, it is undeniable that semi-truck accidents happen more often than is good for the average person’s peace of mind.

Because of the sheer size of the vehicle, coupled with the added weight of whatever cargo it is hauling, 18-wheeler accidents tend to be especially deadly, often resulting in serious injury or death. Take for instance the recent accident involving a Walmart big rig and the limo van carrying comedians Tracy Morgan, James McNair, and three others. McNair died at the scene, while Morgan remains in critical condition. The other passengers also sustained injuries, although the limo driver only sustained minor scratches. The semi driver, however, sustained no injuries or remorse whatsoever, reportedly tweeting that “It’s my road.  Move or get hit!” A Texas truck accident lawyer would be able to use such statements to support a claim of negligence.

Generally, people who are unlucky enough to get into an accident with an 18-wheeler on the road find themselves facing huge medical bills beyond their health insurance coverage, not to mention loss of income and perhaps long-term disability. In such cases, it is their right to demand that the responsible party or parties share the burden of the aftermath.

If you are in this exact situation, you should not think twice about making the claim. Consult with a truck accident lawyer in your area to assert your rights and recover damages for what you have had to endure.

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Facts about Pedestrian Accidents

Jun 23

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 4,280 people died and 70,000 were injured in pedestrian accidents in 2010. This translates to one person dying every 2 hours and getting injured every 8 minutes. Pedestrians are more likely to be killed in a crash-related accident than a car rider. The populations at high risk of pedestrian accidents are adults 65 years old and older, children between 5 and 9 years old, and the alcohol impaired. Alcohol-impaired pedestrians and drivers were involved in nearly half of all crash-related pedestrian fatalities, and of this number, 33% of the pedestrians registered a blood alcohol content level higher than 0.08 g/dL, typically the legal limit in most states.

The report further states that cars driving at high speeds are more likely to strike a pedestrian and result in a fatality. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the US Department of Health, 73% of pedestrian accidents that occurred in 2011 happened in an urban area, 70% at non-intersections, 88% during clear or cloudy weather conditions, and 20% between 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m. California has the dubious distinction of being the top state in terms of number of pedestrian accidents.

The biggest problem with pedestrian accidents is that no matter who is at fault, the pedestrian always gets the short end of the stick, which means serious, catastrophic injuries or death. In Santa Clarita Valley, for instance, an 18-year-old riding a skateboard was struck by a passenger car and later succumbed to his injuries in the hospital. A Santa Clarita personal injury lawyer would be the first to state that the young and healthy is no match for a speeding car in a face off.

If you have been seriously injured in a pedestrian accident, you may be able to get compensation if the driver was negligent in any way. Find out about your legal options by consulting with a pedestrian accident lawyer in your area.

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Nursing Home Abuse in Kentucky

Jun 22

Kentucky, like most states in the US, has a major problem with nursing home abuse. Because victims are mostly elderly with compromised health and a sense of helplessness, neglect and abuse has a significant impact on their emotional and physical well-being.

The population of the elderly in Kentucky is increasing, which means that a greater portion will soon be going into the long-term care system once they can no longer take care of themselves. Each and every one is a potential victim of nursing home abuse, and the precise degree of risk can be difficult to gauge because many incidents of abuse go unreported. In one study, there are indications that at least 10% of people who are in long-term care facilities are subject to neglect and abuse despite the professional duty of care that is expected of healthcare staff. This represents thousands of cases in Kentucky alone every year.

In an attempt to address this serious issue, the Elder Justice Act was enacted in 2010. The Patient Safety Abuse Prevention Act also passed legislation, which requires nursing homes to run a background check on applicants to see if they have criminal records. Kentucky also has its own legislative effort to address the issue embodied under Chapter 209 of the Kentucky Revised Statutes which makes it mandatory for persons with knowledge of nursing home abuse to report it to the proper authorities and to authorize the courts to get involved when the situation calls for it.

The area of Louisville has recently come under scrutiny from state inspectors because several long-term care facilities have failed to pass the standards imposed under federal law for nursing homes, and some have been levied hefty fines. Unfortunately, this type of intervention is akin to locking the barn doors after the horses have bolted. The damage done to victims of nursing home abuse is often irreversible, especially if it leads to death. What is needed is a Louisville personal injury lawyer or two to file a case against these facilities to really put the screw on.

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