Truck Accidents, the Law, and You

If you’ve been driving for a little while and nothing’s happened to you yet… you think, ‘Oh nothing’s going to happen.’ But all it takes is an accident happening with one of your friends or God forbid, something happening to you, to really give you a wake-up call”. – Victoria Justice

There is no doubt that the risk of being involved, or even killed, in a vehicle accident is relatively high. More people lose their lives as the result of a car crash than a motorcycle accident, or aeroplane crash. These figures are skewed by the fact that more people use a motor vehicle as their primary transportation device. So all these statistics show us is the fact there you have a higher risk of being involved in a car accident because there are more vehicles on the road, not because auto drivers are the worst drivers on public roads today.

The 2013 statistics provided by www.iii.org show that the lifetime odds of being killed in a car accident are 1:113. The total road deaths figure for 2013 is 35,369.

Trucks and truck drivers

The American Trucking Association states that there are currently about 3.5 million professional truck drivers who transport goods on the US Roads. The total annual mileage driven by these truck drivers is around 400 billion miles, and the industry transports around 10 billion tons of freight every year. Consequently, we can see from these figures that the trucking industry is here to stay for the foreseeable future.

Unfortunately, it goes without saying that there are bound to be truck accidents on the roads. Registered trucks currently make up about 6% of all registered vehicles on the road. However, they cause around 11% of all public highway deaths. Some of the common causes of truck accidents are equipment failure, fatigued or speeding truck drivers, unsafe driving practices, poor vehicle maintenance, as well as poorly trained drivers. We can not exclude dangerous weather conditions such as black ice, snow, high winds, hurricanes, and tornados from reasons why truck accidents occur.

What to do if you are involved in a truck accident

It does not matter whether you were the cause of the collision between your motor vehicle and a truck, there are a couple of simple steps to follow in the event of an accident:

  • Take cognisance of our surroundings

Once your car has come to a halt, check your surroundings and yourself to see how badly you are injured and how severely your vehicle is damaged. If you can get out of the car, then it is a good idea to climb out and phone for help. If you aren’t able to get out of your vehicle, then wait for help to arrive. If you can move your car off the road, and if the state laws permit you to, then move your vehicle off the road.

  • Take professional advice

Once the accident scene has been cleared up, your vehicle has been either driven or towed away, and you have seen a doctor, then it is time to consult a truck accident attorney. You will need specialist advice on how to deal with personal injury claims as well as claims related to the repair or replacement of your car.

Final words

Because of the intricacies involved in the motor vehicle accident law, I don’t believe that it is a good idea to try and sort out the ramifications of an accident by yourself. It is better to approach a legal specialist to help you finalise all the claims for and against you.  

Basic Tips For Preparing For Your Court Case

Having to prepare yourself to take a case to court can be a lot of pressure if you’ve never done it before.  When your only representation of going to court is in Hollywood movies it can be a pretty daunting task to imagine having to go forward with presenting your case.

Going to court doesn’t have to be the worst experience of your life, however.  It doesn’t have to be some dreaded experience that is seen in a negative light.  Consider it a blessing to be able to have a legal system where you are able to present your facts and get the ruling in your favor.  Here are some of the best tips for a smooth and successful court case.

Find Quality Representation

The first thing that you will want to do is seek legal representation.  This means you will want to find someone who comes recommended and handles cases of the same nature.  You will want to do a proper search online for lawyers in your area.  It is also beneficial to ask your friends and family if they have any recommendations for someone local.  You never know, you may find that one your friends is actually a lawyer.  Reaching out on your network is never a bad idea.

Make sure that you discuss all of the details before deciding to move forward with a lawyer.  It is important to discuss all details of the case, listen to their interpretations of the details, discuss pricing, and make sure that you feel that you are putting your fate in the hands of someone you feel is capable.

Practice Makes Perfect

Make sure that you practice presenting your case as much as you can.  This means either doing it in the mirror whenever you have a moment alone before you start your day.  Or perhaps you can record yourself and replay it to observe yourself.

Public speaking it something that takes practice, so the more that you rehearse and polish your presentation, the better you will be and more prepared for your day in court.

Observe Other Cases

Try attending as many other cases as you can to get a feel for how they work and what to expect.  You can sit in on most cases in the courthouse and absorb the process and get a feel for how the rhythm of a case works.

Once you have a vision of how it all works you will feel much less tense about your court case since it isn’t some looming mystery.  Preparation and knowing what to expect is always going to put you at an advantage.  Do yourself a favor and put in the time to prepare yourself which will give you much more confidence when it is your time to present your case in court.

5 Topics of Law To Pay Attention To In the Coming Years

In the coming years, there are going to be some changes in the basic way that social and legal operations are going to intersect. Which means that even in a general sense, the entire population of the United States should roughly have an idea of where things are, and where they might be headed to.

Five topics of law in particular that need to be observed from both afar and up close include legal implications surrounding drugs and addiction, immigration, protesting, freedom of speech, and hate crimes. Outside the realms of rightness and wrongness, there are still a tremendous number of legal implications in limbo.

Drugs and Addiction

When dealing with drugs and addiction, the legal system can be a bit of a minefield. If you’re addicted to illegal drugs, but you still need help, where can you go? When you go to a rehab clinic, do they pay attention to the legality of the substances you’re abusing, or how you got them? If drugs use is a health epidemic, then the law should indicate that health comes first, and legal consequences get put on the back burner at the time of initial contact between an addict and a counselor.

Immigration

The legal topic of immigration is huge right now, and will be reaching a fever pitch in the coming years as the government forces that be decide what to do about the current country and world situation. It’s an incredibly complicated topic, and a solution would require a lot of thought, and then a lot of specific actions to make sure that the right people are in the right places at the right time, with the right result coming out of the other side of any implicated laws.

Protesting

With the number of protests happening nationally and around the world, the laws may be changing soon regarding what protesters can be charged with. Because there are some people who insist on damaging property, charges to the whole group may start becoming a part of the legal process resulting from a lack of self-policing by protesting groups.

Freedom of Speech

The idea of freedom of speech is in the Constitution. But, what freedom of speech means can seem to be up for grabs in the legal sense. And the more that people exercise the idea of them saying whatever they want, the stronger the pushback is going to be. Lawyers are going to have an interesting time filtering out the good and the bad in the coming years.

Hate Crimes

And finally, the laws regarding hate crimes are slowly morphing in tune with overarching governmental structure right now. The concepts of who is protected and who isn’t are changing depending on who you ask, and legislation may follow to more clearly define what constitutes a hate crime in the future.

5 Ways To Protect Your Business From Liability Suits

A responsible business owner should always be aware of the liability laws in their state of operation.  Even more, it should be the top priority to make sure that no harm comes to any patron on the property at any time.

Protecting the public from unnecessary accidents and harm requires going to great lengths to assure safety and visibility at every twist and turn of the property.  It is crucial to understand the different types of liability under the law.  Here are a few of the most effective ways to protect a business from a possibly lengthy and expensive liability suit.

Premises Liability

If a customer or a company employee is injured on the property, it could be very bad for business.  Legally, property owners are responsible for the financial repatriation of any injury that is deemed the fault of the establishment.

In this type of lawsuit, the status of the individual is a vital variable.  For example, there is the status of invitee, licensee, or trespasser.  There would be much less liability to the protection of an individual that is determined to be on the status of trespasser than a person under the status of an invitee.

Product Liability

This term refers to an injury caused by a particular defect in a product a company provides to the public.  Selling a product that is dangerous by default is a breach of product liability.

In this case, it does not necessarily have to injure the consumer.  If the product is unable to be used for its intended purpose, then the business owner could be faced with a liability suit.

Vicarious Liability

Even if the product or company does not do harm to a customer, the company could still be liable if an employee causes a client harm.  The term vicarious liability refers to the transferred responsibility.  The employer is responsible for the negligent act of their employee.  Strict screening and adequate employee supervision is one proactive solution to this liability nightmare.

Negligence Liability

Negligence liability suits typically involve instances where a patron was injured because the business failed to provide the necessary safety precautions.  For example, a customer slips and falls while there is no “wet floor” sign present, or a broken front step causes a patron to twist their ankle.  These are issues that could have been avoided if the business fulfilled its legal responsibility to public safety.

Worker’s Compensation

Customers and the general public are not the only groups of people that a company is liable to provide a safe environment.  Employees are allotted the same right through the eyes of the law.  If an employee is injured on the clock, then the company could be liable for their medical attention.

How to Hire The Right Lawyer For You

Life can often present us with some sticky situations in which we are going to need legal representation. We are not just talking about a criminal charge like a speeding ticket a DUI or an assault charge, legal representation can also be needed after an incident in the work place, a divorce or even a malpractice suit from a hospital visit.

You may think that you’ll never need one but should the situation arise whereby you need representation it is important that you do all that you can to hire the right lawyer for you and your case. Let’s take a look at some of the aspects you should be looking at when it comes to hiring a lawyer.

Specialization

Whilst many law firms will have various branches which look after specific aspects of the law, it will be important that you look to hire a specialist for your case. There are many ‘Jack of all trade’ lawyers out there and whilst these may be able to give you solid representation, hiring a specialist will be the best course of action for you to take. In order to gain the best possible outcome a specialist lawyer will be the best option for you as they will know this area of the law inside-out including historical cases and of course, how to get the strongest verdict possible.

Reviews

Lawyers are judged wholeheartedly on their abilities to win cases and when searching for a lawyer you should spend some time investigating the track record of a number of different lawyers. Winning cases comes in many forms, reduced sentencing, case being thrown out and even suspended sentencing and you should use all of your resources to find out how successful the history of a lawyer is before hiring. Many lawyers will tell you how good they are but the only way of finding out for sure is to look at their history.

Meet With Them

You need to ensure that you have a lawyer who believes in you, is very knowledgable and has a good bedside manner. Going through legal proceedings is alien to many of us and as such it is important that you have someone who is on your side at all times. To try and find the best lawyer for you in this regard you should sit down and have a meeting with a few different lawyers. There is no obligation to hire a lawyer after a meeting and you can really get a flavor for how they work and how you feel when talking to them. Finding the right blend of a good lawyer and one with strong personal skills can be tough but sitting down and talking through your case will be one of the best ways for you to find out if you can work with this particular professional.

Cost

The cost of the lawyer will of course have to be factored in, like many things in life, the best lawyers charge the highest fees. You may wish to try and save money on your legal representation but it important to know that generally speaking, you get what you pay for so if you can squeeze out some extra money for your representation then you’d be well advised to do so.

Three Things You Should Be Doing To Protect Your Money And Your Health

Poor health care can cost you a lot of money. Not only does it shorten your lifespan and make life more difficult, but it also drains your bank account and your savings. Even if you have health insurance you may still be paying a good deal of money if you have major health issues or illnesses.

From pregnancy to a broken leg, and from diabetes to cancer, medical conditions are costly. Plus, you run the risk of complications, in pregnancy and in surgery. Saving money when it comes to healthcare starts with eating right and getting physical activity into each day of your life, and it continues with the following things.

Know Your Rights As A Patient

You never have to take a medication just because your doctor recommends it. Take the time to weigh the pros and cons. Talk to them about why they want to prescribe it to you and whether or not there are any other options.

While malpractice doesn’t happen constantly, it could happen, so you want to know what your risks are when it comes to going under the knife. Look into your doctor’s history. Talk about all the things that could go wrong during your surgery. Make sure you weigh the risks of the surgery against the chance that it will actually help you.

Invest In Insurance

Make sure that you do have medical insurance. Get it now, before you have something go wrong. Changes are coming to coverage when it comes to insurance and you may find that if you get sick without insurance you won’t get coverage for your illness once you do get it.

Insurance isn’t always cheap, but it can seriously save you some money in the long run. Insurance doesn’t always cover everything. You may want to make sure that you have some sort of discount plan that also covers your prescriptions (which can seriously add up).

Have A Savings Account

Your savings account is your lifeline. Without one, you don’t have money for emergencies. You can use money from your savings account toward medical expenses if you need to if you need some money in an emergency. There are also medical savings accounts you can look into specifically for money that will go toward doctor’s appointments, visits to the hospital, and even medication expenses.

Putting away money for the things that you may (or may not) need in the future is a good, adult thing to do. You may want to save money even if you have credit cards, insurance, and other ways to gain access to money, simply because it is a wise thing to do. Many people live paycheck-to-paycheck these days, and a savings account is the one way to get out of that pattern.

Three Reasons to Develop an Estate Plan


People often put off the idea of estate planning. Some of this is due to not wanting to face their own mortality, but other reasons include age and assets. You may think estate planning is good, but it is best to wait until you retire. You may also think that you don’t have enough assets to consider estate planning. However, it doesn’t take much wealth to create a need for a will, and as far as age, no one knows when they will die. The following are several reasons you should have an estate plan.

Your wealth may not be distributed according to your wishes
Without estate planning, there is no guarantee that your heirs will get the assets you wanted them to have. In the absence of a will, it is a judge who will make the determination of which relative gets a share of your wealth and how much. It is often true that only relatives will share in this inheritance, so those you wanted to leave assets to but are not part of your family will get nothing. Estate planning can prevent this.

Avoiding probate problems
Any time someone dies with a certain minimum amount of assets, these assets must move through a probate court. Assets must be transferred legally, taxes and creditors paid. In general, all outstanding issues must be settled. However, there are ways to avoid the probate courts, and estate planning is the key to doing so. The probate process can delay the time it takes for your heirs to get the assets you wanted them to have. In some situations, this may lead to hardship for your heirs.

Tax planning
An important part of estate planning is the tax implications. Not only for your wealth today, but the amount that your heirs will receive. Taxes can take a huge part of the money that you wanted a loved one to have. However, there are tax strategies that you can implement today to reduce the tax burden in the future. One example of this is a living trust.

Your first step in estate planning comes from getting a consultation from a firm that focuses on this type of law. One example of this is the Carole Callaghan Law firm. In addition, a Texas Online Estate Plan can be done on the Internet. The online option is perfect for those with fewer assets, simple family structures or finances that are not complex

Your Dog And The Law

There’s more to owning a dog than just feeding them and taking them to the veterinary clinic on a regular basis. Since dogs are extremely domesticated they don’t do well to fend on their own, and they can sometimes get themselves (and you, in the process) in trouble. From slipping out of the fence and running loose (dog at large) to biting the neighbor when they try to pet it, your dog could actually get you into legal trouble if you aren’t careful.

Before you consider buying or even adopting a dog, you need to take some time and research the laws and regulations in your area. Some places have leash laws, while other don’t. Some places even have ordinances on when you might get in trouble for your dog’s incessant barking!

Dog Bites

What happens if your dog bites someone? Well, there are a few things that can happen, depending on where you live, who they bite, and if they are up-to-date on their vaccinations. You’re safer to teach your dog manners (it’s called obedience class and making sure you’re the alpha in their life) and keeping dogs that have shown aggression muzzled or away from people that it might bite.

If your dog bites someone that person could sue you. Your dog could be put to sleep. If your dog has not had its shot, particularly its rabies shot, and there’s any chance they might be infected, they will most definitely be put down.

Barking

Dogs bark, it’s kind of their thing. Some dogs bark more than other dogs and you can train your dog only to bark on command or when someone pulls in the driveway/knocks on the door. If you have a dog that barks all night long and is annoying neighbors, you may quickly learn about the noise ordinances in your area, whether you live in your own home in the city or you rent an apartment.

Leashes

Before you go walking around town with your dog unleashed you should make sure you know the leash laws in your area. You should also make sure you know your dog. If they run off after a squirrel and get hit by a car you’re going to be distraught, and you may be liable for the damage caused to that car and driver for your negligence with your dog.

If your dog gets loose in an area where there are laws about leashes you could get ticketed for having a dog at large. That’s just one more added expense to a pet that isn’t cheap in the first place.

Licensing

If your loose dog isn’t licensed you may also get a ticket for that. Find out if licensing is required where you live (it probably is) and make sure to get your dog legal. Some areas have canvassers that actually go door-to-door to check that all dogs in the area are properly licensed, and fine those that have dogs that aren’t.

5 Tips For Handling the Legal Side of Business Creation

The idea of creating a business always seems like a bright, shiny plan that will change your future for the better! Be your own boss, get rich, work hard toward a goal that you can achieve – these are the promises that we keep in our minds! But reality paints a bit of a different picture, and the legal aspect of business creation is at the forefront of making sure that details are paid attention to.

Five tips to help you center your business goals with respect to the law include getting a good law firm on your side, understanding business licensing, creating separate budgets for personal and professional matters, keeping tax laws under consideration, and reading legal news publications regularly.

Get a Good Law Firm On Your Side

Contacting a law firm regarding creating, buying, or selling a business is always a good first step. The last thing that you need is to get you business dream shattered before it even begins, simply because you didn’t know about the right paperwork to fill out, or the right fees to pay, or the right government entity to send what information to.

Understand Business Licensing

When you first create a business, there are a number of decisions that you have to make when it comes to licensing. How, exactly, do you plan on incorporating your business? If you’re not familiar with the options that you have at the beginning, and choose something that ultimately complicates legal matters later, then you’ll end up with a business-flavored buyer’s remorse situation and legal entanglements that can take years to handle.

Create Separate Budgets

It’s important that you keep a separate budget for your business outside of your personal accounts. For official reasons, this will help you determine income and expenses, and those are the things that you have to be very detailed about when it comes to doing your taxes and filing tax returns. And the legal implications of taxes are another concern in themselves.

Keep Tax Laws Under Consideration

If you plan on handling the legal aspects of your business most efficiently, the core of many of your business processes are going to be organized for tax reasons. The difference between the success and failure of many companies rests with their ability to handle bookkeeping in a legally sound manner. Failure to do so can result in bankruptcy and even criminal charges!

Read Legal News Publications

If you want to read what the rest of the world is doing in order to match up legal necessity with business acumen, make it a point to regularly read business and legal news sections of local, national, and international magazines and newspapers. Simply by being aware of what big corporations all the way through small businesses are doing to stay above water will help you determine your own course of action.

What is the Lemon Law?

A car buyer is protected from purchasing a defective product by “Lemon laws.” Sometimes, car dealers will sell, or try to sell, a vehicle that has serious defects. The buyer may wind up paying more in repairs than they did for the car. They may not be able to drive it at all. They are the proverbial “sucker,” which is why the laws designed to aid them refer to “lemons.”

These laws seek to help consumers in cases where the car dealer failed to disclose pertinent information about the vehicle. When things such as maintenance history, miles driven and number of owners gets withheld, the lemon laws allow the purchaser to recover costs. New AZ car laws for 2017 and beyond aim to help all drivers on the road.

Warranties

When someone buys a car, there is always a warranty. First, is the express warranty. This written guarantee that the dealer will cover the costs of certain needed repairs is standard. These contracts always have a set time frame, usually chosen to benefit the dealership.

Second, is the implied warranty, which differs depending on the jurisdiction. Buyers and sellers both expect that there are certain rational implications in their transactions, even if nobody ever explicitly states them.

For example, the dealer may never say that they have inspected the car for problems; however according to various traffic schools, everyone, including the courts, would assume that this safety inspection has occurred. Likewise, a buyer may never state that they will contact the dealer as soon as possible after noticing a defect; yet, everyone would assume they would.

The implied warranty arrangement in the above scenario is that the dealer will fix any problem that arose from normal items checked during the safety inspection as long as the buyer informs them of the situation in reasonable time.

The Problem

As mentioned above, car dealer chooses the warranty schedules that benefit them. Buyers often joke that when something on their car breaks that is an indication the warranty has just expired. Car owners have a tough time getting things fixed, as a result.

Also, dealers may just refuse to acknowledge that something mentioned in the warranty is the source of the problem. It is not unusual for an owner to claim a problem with the breaks. The dealer inspects and says it has to be something else.

Another trick is for the dealer to claim the owner caused the problem. Yes, the issue could be with the breaks, which are coverable, but the driver has a heavy foot that has done the damage.

The Solution

Lemon laws try to provide buyers the protection needed against unscrupulous sellers.

Think about it, without these laws a buyer would have a near impossible time proving that the item in question was broken beforehand and not as a result of their own actions.

Who has lemon laws?

All 50 states are covered via the federal lemon law, known officially as the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975, which covers mechanical failures.

Various states have their own variation, as well.

How do lemon laws work?

In general, owners are entitled to relief from the seller if the car is derivable for a set number of days, often 30, during a year. The owner may also recover damages if the vehicle required the same repair at a high frequency in a short time frame. Last, if there are so-called catastrophic defects, then the owner can sue and recover.

What about used cars?

Used car buyers are not fully covered by the federal lemon laws. Thus, various states have written a form of protection for these buyers. In some cases, the law is a bit weak. For example, owners may have to report a defect within 15 days. Many believe this time insufficient for a novice to notice things intentionally hidden by the dealer.

It is also possible for consumers to file an unfair and deceptive practice lawsuit in many instances.

Lemon Laws Protect Car Buyers

Without the lemon laws, both on the federal and state levels, consumers would have to live by the rule of caveat emptor and “buyer beware.” Of course, this would be unfair which is why the government has stepped in to keep dealers from taking advantage.