One Major Cause of Truck Accidents: Much Deeper than Sleepy, Tired or Impaired Drivers Operating Their Trucks

When a truck accident occurs, the chances of lives being lost, injuries being serious and other vehicles getting severely damaged are very high. Though the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) works persistently in implementing its primary mission, which is “to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries,” (, the National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) still register about half a million truck accidents every year which result to more than 100,000 injuries and close to 4,000 deaths.

In 2014, about two million semi-trailers, also known as trailer trucks, big rigs or 18-wheelers, were registered and operated in the US. This is only about 13% of the total number of trucks (which are more than 15 million) that were registered during the same year. With only 3 million truck drivers on active duty, this means that each driver will need to operate five trucks at the same time.

The lack of qualified truck drivers and the number of job orders that drivers need to complete within schedule spell a big problem in the trucking industry. With truck accidents continuously occurring, most of which, according to the FMCSA, are the fault of truck drivers who drive while intoxicated or even though when feeling fatigued and drowsy, it is necessary that the government realizes that there really is a much deeper problem than huge vehicles being operated by sleepy, tired or impaired drivers.

Despite the mandate on maximum hours of service and rest period for truck drivers, many drivers who lack sleep are still made to complete job orders and asked to perform extra chores. While some use stimulants to remain awake, others just cannot keep their eyes from closing, opening them when they get startled, but only to find themselves already very close to a pack of stopped vehicles.

This was what actually happened one August in 2010 when a big rig never had the chance to slow down, ramming a Ford Focus into another semi-truck and then careening into five more other vehicles, all of which burst into flames. According to the veteran truck driver, he has had only three hours sleep since his last duty and had his eyes closed prior to the accident.

Failure to hire qualified drivers, failure to make sure that hired drivers can and will safely operate trucks, and failure to give drivers the length of rest which the law requires them to have before their next duty, are all faults of the employer. Because of this, as explained by a Charleston truck accident attorney, a trucking company can be held liable for the negligence or errors committed by its drivers, especially if these errors of negligent acts result in accidents. Additionally, a trucking company may be held liable for failure to properly train its employees.

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Child Support Options

One of many elements of breakup in films is that of child-support while alimony often looms big, when, in fact, alimony is frequently just obtained for a restricted period and is not always required. Child support, about the other-hand, will be an area of the breakup deal where modest kids are typically involved until the age of 18.

Child support is a court- decided -purchased quantity paid with a non-custodial guardian to the custodial guardian assessed according to whatsoever child support measure the state uses, be it Income Stocks, Percentage of Revenue, or Melson Formula. A divorce attorney for your low-custodial parent, for instance, would attempt to lessen their client’s responsibilities under the revenue stocks design. Establishing child-support payments usually takes into account the non-custodial parent, the finances of the parent custodial parent, as well as the standard of residing the little one would have had when the divorce had not occurred, among different factors.

Child support guidelines in the use change to mention, which may confuse things in certain circumstances such as for instance when parents reside in distinct states outside of wherever the divorce was given along with a modification is required. Even such circumstances, jurisdictional issues will come up with reciprocity.

Administration of child-support is taken very critically in the USA and has been identified globally being a human right. A guardian in arrears for child support or are susceptible to various penalties and penalties including imprisonment, may lose their skilled or driver’s permit, and might entice the curiosity of the US government. Some states allow the courts to order pay garnishment of the low-custodial parent to make sure payments that are regular. The judge could also direct the noncustodial parent to give rise to additional low-periodic bills such as medical and dental companies, as well as in some instances to expenses payments.

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What You Need to Know About Traumatic Brain Injuries

A traumatic brain injury can have very serious effects on the human body. Considering that the brain plays an important role in regulating particular bodily functions, any type of external force to the head can cause significant damage and be considered a great cause for alarm.

The severity of a traumatic brain injury will depend on the amount of force that disrupts the brain. Any type of violent jolt or blow to the head could lead to significant dysfunction in the affected area of the brain. Sometimes, these dysfunctions are only temporary. However, more severe injuries could lead to permanent damage resulting in long-term complications or even death.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are about 1.4 million cases of traumatic brain injuries in the country every year. Minor injuries can result in bleeding, bruising, and torn tissues that could lead to short-term symptoms such as headaches, loss of consciousness, disorientation, and sensory problems. In more severe cases, a traumatic brain injury can lead to a patient experiencing permanent disability or falling into a coma.

Traumatic brain injuries usually result from the following situations: vehicular accidents, slipping or falling, physical assault, blasts or explosions, and any other incident that might cause a strong force to head.

Following an accident, patients might not be able to observe obvious and immediate signs of their injury. They might even walk away from an accident feeling fine. Even then, it’s important that patients at risk of a traumatic brain injury receive medical attention right away.

Anyone who has been in an accident that may have caused a strong blow to the head should be on the lookout for any evidence of significant injury. According the Mayo Clinic, traumatic brain injuries can lead to the following signs and symptoms:

  • Feeling dazed, disoriented, or confused
  • Losing consciousness for any amount of time
  • Headaches, nausea, or vomiting
  • Feeling fatigued, drowsy, or dizzy
  • Loss of balance and coordination
  • Problems with vision, hearing, smelling, and tasting+
  • Dilation of one or both pupils
  • Clear fluid draining from nose or ears
  • Weakness or numbness in fingers and toes
  • Convulsions or seizures
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Who is at Risk for Asbestos Exposure?

Before the late 1970’s, asbestos was used in many building and other products, such as fireproof vests and a number of other consumer materials. It was praised for its heat resistant, strength and insulating properties. Unfortunately, it was proven that asbestos is highly toxic and the cause of the diseases asbestosis and mesothelioma cancer.

Some professions are more prone and at risk of asbestos exposure. These include miners, electricians, railroad workers, shipyard workers, and a number of other professions. Even military veterans are at risk as asbestos was used in drywall and building materials, mandated for use in every branch by the US government. Asbestos fibers were also used in ship building materials, putting those in the navy at risk as well.

Those at most risk are those who were exposed to a large amount of asbestos fibers over a long period of time. The type of asbestos fibers you were exposed to can also effect your risk as some fibers are known to cause mesothelioma more than others. Some personal factors can also increase your chances of developing an asbestos related disease, such as smoking and if you hold a preexisting lung condition.

One of the more terrifying developments in determining who is at risk is that family members of workers exposed to asbestos may also find themselves with a life-threatening disease. When workers would come home with asbestos fibers still on their clothes or skin, family members may have breathed in the asbestos fibers without knowing it.

In general, people are at less of a risk of asbestos exposure than in the past as the use of asbestos materials has been banned in the United States. However, when buildings previously made with asbestos building materials are destroyed, the asbestos fibers can be released into the air. View more about asbestos related dangers.

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Causes for Damage to Belongings in Storage Units

There are many variables to consider when storing belongings in a storage unit. While some are simply minor and logistical such as how to maximize space or what to package items in, other factors regard the well-being of the items in the unit. Rain, temperature, and theft are three things that could cause harm to belongings.

When water seeps into a storage unit, it only takes little to ruin a lot. When it rains, if the units are not properly constructed and items not properly protected, rain can ruin wooden items, while causing others to get soggy and moist. Couches, chairs, and other furniture are at risk of having temporary or permanent water damage. Even if the items aren’t destroyed, they can deteriorate significantly.

Secondly, the temperature of a storage unit can affect the items. If the climate of the storage unit’s area drastically varies, temperature controlled storage units are an option to consider. Climate controlled self storage units stay at a constant temperature to prevent damage caused by extreme heat or cold. If the air breaches high temperatures, moisture in the air can damage belongings.

Lastly, theft of a storage unit can occur if the facility isn’t properly secure. It is best to store items where the units are gated, guarded by a security guard, monitored through a surveillance system, and accessible with one key. Furthermore, once items are stored, it is wise to change the lock every now and then. All of these precautions aim to prevent someone breaking into the unit and stealing personal items.

All three of these factors should be considered when choosing a storage unit. If not, any of them can either pose harm to your items, or result in the disappearance of them. If properly protected against natural causes such as weather, and guarded against thievery, items will be better protected.

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Drug Possession: Heroin

Possession of heroin is a serious crime and penalties are severe under Texas law. The drug is considered highly addictive, so the possession of it leads to harsher consequences than minor drugs. Texas drug laws are some of the harshest in terms of penalties after a conviction. According to the website of the Mark T. Lassister, a drug possession charge may affect the personal relationships and professional future of the convicted person.

The following shows the maximum penalty charges under Texas law:

Amount of Heroin Offense Classification Prison Sentence Fined Penalty
Less than 1 gram State Jail Felony Up to 2 years $10,000
1 gram- 3.99 grams 3rd Degree Felony 2- 10 years $10,000
4 grams- 199 grams 2nd Degree Felony 2- 20 years $10,000
200 grams- 399 grams 1st Degree Felony 5- 99 years $10,000
More than 400 grams Enhanced 1st Degree Felony 10- 99 years $100,000

Many heroin possession cases end in plea agreements. This means that the defendant pleads guilty to the drug charges in return for a lesser sentence than would be given if the case went to trial. Plea agreements often result in little to no jail time in minor possession cases or first time offenders.

Another sentencing alternative is also drug court. These courts are specialized to handle drug related cases. They are designed to promote rehabilitation instead of forcing the defendant to a prison sentence. While the drug courts are an alternative to prison time, they are no less intense. Most require constant supervision and regular random check-ins through their drug court programs. These courts are more helpful to defendants seeking help for drug problems.

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Little-Known Slip and Fall Premises Liability Facts

Slip and fall accidents are a major staple and common causes for personal injury claims. Slip and fall accidents fall into the premises liability claims, and despite what many people believe, there are many situations where this can be applied to. Laws surrounding injury topics differ slightly from place to place, so regional familiarity is important.

First and foremost, premises liability applies to a great number of accidents, not just slip and fall accidents. Generally under law, property owners and managers are responsible for any type of injury that occurs within the property that is under their control or management. Aside from slip and falls, anyone who is injured due to the property owners’ negligence and recklessness can be basis for a personal injury claim. Contaminated food, poor security, or malfunctioning elevator that caused injury and damages can be cause for an injury claim. It is required by law for property owners and managers to ensure the safety of the property and surrounding premises, most especially if they are being rented or leased. Their failure to do so may put them at risk of liability for a claim or lawsuit.

Furthermore, when an injury does occur due to such negligence or reckless behavior, you or the victim can file for more than one legal claim against the property owner or manager. In instances where the accident occurred while you are in your workplace, you can file for worker’s compensation to your company and a premises liability against the property owner (provided that the owner is different from your employer). If, however, that they are the same, then you can only choose one, because filing for a worker’s compensation claim will relinquish your right to file for a personal injury claim against your employer.

Slip and fall accidents are one of the leading cause of spinal cord injuries, especially among senior citizens. These can lead to serious injuries and complications, as even result to death in severe cases. Understanding if you have a legal claim for an injury claim after a slip and fall accident may require the help and guidance of a personal injury lawyer, particularly those who specialize in premises liability.

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Personal Injury Lawsuits and Shared Blame

Living in a state that follows the “pure negligence” laws, you have the right to sue a driver for the injuries and damages that you have suffered. In order to have a personal injury claim after a car accident, you only have to prove or show evidence of the other driver’s fault. What makes a personal injury lawsuit difficult in “pure negligence” law is that there are many defenses that the at-fault party can use. Hiring a lawyer such as Williams Kherkher would provide you with advice on how these defenses would affect your personal injury lawsuit and what you can do to protect yourself.

Proving fault in a personal injury lawsuit is vital in being granted compensation. However, there are instances where multiple parties contribute to the accident. In the US, two types of rules are generally followed: comparative and contributory negligence. It is important to know which one your state follows as these can greatly affect the outcome of your case and how much compensation you would receive.

In comparative negligence, the factor that would determine the case and compensation would be how much each person is at-fault for the accident. The judge or jury will determine the amount of fault each driver has contributed for the accident, and these would determine the amount of compensation. The amount would be equal to the amount of fault the other party has contributed. Contributory negligence rule, on the other hand, would mean that if you have been proven to contribute to the accident regardless of how much it is, you have no legal right to ask for awards for damages. Even a small amount of fault on your part would render you unqualified for any type of compensation. It is a steep rule that only a number of states follow. Because these are just among the factors that can affect your personal injury claim, it helps to contact a lawyer who in adept laws in your state to determine the proper course of action following a car accident.

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Facing Accusations of Criminal Activity

Any act that violates the law is considered a criminal act, or crime. Anyone who has acted against the laws practiced within the country or region will be legally liable and punished according to the crime committed. Criminal charges can be a heavy burden for anyone to carry, and it can affect the person throughout the rest of their lives. In order for an act to be considered a crime, two distinct factors should be present: mens rea (guilty mind) referring to the plan and regard of committing a crime, and actus reus (guilty action) which is the actual deed of committing the criminal act. As long as these two factors are established and when it is violating the law it can be considered a criminal act.

In order to protect citizens from criminal acts, and in order to have a set of punishments for those who have committed them, criminal law is made. Because of the complexity and opposing nature of criminal laws, aside from minor cases it is required to have a lawyer to help with the defense for the case. Living in Texas, a Dallas criminal lawyer may be the only way to ensure that the criminal charges brought against you will be settled or with minimal penalties. Criminal charges carry with them the possibility of severe penalties such as hefty fines, imprisonment, or even death. Having someone who understands the law may be the only way you can protect and enforce your rights after being charged.

The way a criminal case will end depends on a number of factors, mainly according to the evidence presented in court and the testimonies given by the witnesses. Usually criminal statutes are interpreted based on past similar cases, and those who have been charged would need the help of their lawyers, such as an Austin criminal attorney, to prevent their clients from further compromising themselves. The right to avoid self incrimination is granted in the constitution, and the help of an attorney can do a lot to help you make sure you exercise that right as best you can. Criminal cases are generally brought to court, and in order to have proper representation and having equal opportunity to defend yourself, a lawyer will be necessary.

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BP Oil Spill Claim Appeals

Four years after the eventful 2010 oil spill that affected the areas around the Gulf of Mexico, major oil company BP Plc is found to be “grossly negligent” by a federal judge. Following a ruling given by US District Judge Carl Barbier, BP Plc could have additional fines of up to $17.6 billion to the $42 billion they already are required to pay for charges after causing what is considered to be the worst offshore disaster in the history of the United States. As many as 5 states close to the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico have been affected by the oil spill, and the compensation has been very slow. With this new penalty, claimants and their lawyers are hoping that they will have their settlement given soon.

The report stated that the court has ruled BP was grossly negligent and that their “willful misconduct” resulted in the oil discharge. After the ruling, BP Plc has immediately released a statement declaring their move to appeal the decision. According to their statement, they “…believe that the finding that is was grossly negligent with respect to the accident and that its activities at the Macondo well amounted to willful misconduct… “is lacking supporting evidence during the trial. In connection to this, the U.K. government has issued their support for BP Plc’s appeal regarding their multi-billion dollar oil spill settlement.

The appeal, backed upped by the government of the United Kingdom, claims that settlement payments were going to people who were not injured or affected by the oil spill, and would count as a “grave international comity concern.” BP’s appeal states that there was misinterpretation in the settlement which ended up benefiting claimants who had no direct or logical connection to the oil spill. The U.K.’s appeal mirrors that of BP, arguing that permitting the settlement process to move as it is will discourage other companies from pursuing the same type of settlements in the future.

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