In Texas, licensed gun owners are now legally allowed to openly carry handguns in public and certain private premises, provided that the handguns are inside holsters or carried in a belt. This has its own advantages and disadvantages.
One of the obvious advantages of open carry is that it can reduce crime. The mere fact that the public or private space has a person who is openly carrying a handgun is enough threat for bad guys to think twice, because of the possibility of retaliation and failure to commit the crime they want to commit. The fact that the handgun is openly carried is also an advantage, because it makes the handgun more accessible, and therefore the owner will be able to react and respond on time, in case a reaction or response is needed.
The overall advantage of having an open carry law in the state is safety.
It can also be said that the open carry law can promote the opposite of safety. Many people, especially who are not used to having deadly weapons lying around, will not feel very comfortable if some stranger in the premises has a holstered gun.
Even though open carry can reduce crime, it can also do the opposite, and this is because of abuse of accessibility of handguns and the ease of bringing them around premises.
But the danger doesn’t just involve bad guys. Even the good guys can pose as a threat to the general public, especially if they are inexperienced. There are known instances of accidental misfires. Causes of misfires may vary, but they mostly involve accidentally dropping the gun and negligently leaving live rounds in the gun’s chambers.
Another overlooked disadvantage is the confusion regarding the law. According to the website of the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, the open carry law stipulates that handguns should be in your belt or holster at all times, unless there is a legally justifiable reason to use the weapon. Even if you have such a reason, there is a chance that the police will still arrest you in the pretense that you broke the law. In other words, this open carry law can be a legal nightmare in its own right, and sometimes, you have to think if the advantages really outweigh the disadvantages.
Emotional and Psychological Effects of Divorce on Spouses
It doesn’t matter whether the divorce is contested or uncontested, as it will always have an emotional and psychological toll to the parties involved. It doesn’t matter if you are the one who initiated the divorce, the reason why the divorce has been filed, or are merely a child that has been caught up with your parents’ issues.
Anger is an appropriate response in separation, especially if the reason behind the separation or the idea of the separation itself has a negative core idea, like when your spouse has been cheating on you or beating your children. But anger is not always a good thing, as it may result into increased irritability, which can even compromise your relationship with your children.
Anxiety in divorce is often rooted to the uncertainty of the future, now that you and your spouse are arguing about division of your assets and liabilities, child custody, spousal support, and other legal aspects that can tremendously change not just your future, but also the future of your children.
The involved spouses may even focus their energies too much on the negative emotions that it may result into alienation behaviors, such as disinterest in activities, withdrawal from social interaction, and even emotional detachment to their children.
Extreme feelings of sadness, downright depression, and low self-worth may lead to behaviors that may distract them or make them escape these emotional and psychological responses, such as overeating, oversleeping, overworking, and on the worst instances, even suicide.
Guilt can be warranted and unwarranted. It can be justified for those who have been the initiator of divorce, but it can be unjustified for children who feel that they are the reason behind the divorce. The website of Kirker Davis, LLP even acknowledges the fact that children may be significantly affected by divorce, so it is best to talk to them about it.
It is important to note, however, that the emotional and psychological effects are not always negative, and if they are, they are not always permanent. Divorce can lead to positive responses such as relief from getting out of a toxic marriage and hopefulness because of the possibility of a fresh start.
Filing Bankruptcy may Help Homeowners Save their House from Foreclosure Under Certain Situations
Foreclosure is a legal process in which a creditor or lender takes possession of a property (which serves as a collateral for a loan) due to a borrower’s or mortgagor’s failure to keep on making mortgage payments to the lender. Creditors usually do not begin a foreclosure process on any property unless mortgage payments have been delayed for about two to three months. After this length of delay, some creditors (usually banks) still willingly work out deals with homeowners, like allowing them to settle unpaid mortgages through a loan modification, however, many other creditors do not and, instead, begin a foreclosure process, wherein they repossess and usually sell the unpaid property at a public auction. Proceeds from the auction will be used to repay the mortgage and any legal fees. On the part of a homeowner, who would try to do anything to save his/her house from being foreclosed on, he/she may take advantage of the loan modification solution or try other alternatives, such as filing bankruptcy.
The U.S. bankruptcy law, which originates from Title 11 of the United States Code (also called United States Bankruptcy Code) is a federal statutory law designed to help or enable consumers and businesses to either eliminate or repay their debts under the protection of a bankruptcy court.
Homeowners facing foreclosure may find bankruptcy as a tool to help them keep their house; specifically, Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 may help them accomplish this. As explained by Ryan J. Ruehle Attorney at Law, LLC, it is important for consumers and businesses to understand the different bankruptcy chapters available as each chapter is designed to address and solve specific financial problems and debtor situation.
Through Chapter 13 bankruptcy, for instance, (this is also called a wage earner’s plan), a homeowner is allowed to propose a three to five-year installment repayment plan which could allow him/her to repay all or part of his/her debts to his/her creditors. It is necessary this time, however, that a homeowner never again delay or miss mortgage payment, otherwise, there may be no other way to save his/her house from being foreclosed on.
Under Chapter bankruptcy, on the other hand, a homeowner may just be able to save his/her house but only if his/her creditor foreclosed on his/her home without following the proper procedures; this will allow him/her to file a wrongful foreclosure suit. Otherwise, if his/her creditor is able to foreclose on his/her property, there will be no means of getting his/her house back. The greatest benefit of filing Chapter 7, if this were the case, is saving the homeowner from still having to pay his/her creditor any deficiency balance (a deficiency balance arises if the proceeds from the foreclosure sale are not enough to cover the balance of the mortgages).
According to the law firm Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C., wrongful foreclosure can be an extremely difficult thing to go through. A homeowner will also most likely have no idea if his/her house was being foreclosed on wrongly. This is why it may be necessary for homeowners to get help from a qualified legal counsel who may be able to help them fight for the right to keep their home.
An Insurance Coverage Employees should Most Likely Have
In 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded more than three million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses, and 4,405 deaths. These statistical data are so much lower compared to the yearly average of accidents, injuries and deaths before 1971 (the year the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA was passed into law), thanks to the consistent efforts of OSHA in implementing health and safety in work environments.
Workplace accidents resulting to injuries and deaths, however, continue to happen, making these a major concern of federal, state and local governments. Each time a worker is harmed, different issues are brought into the open, including the concerned employer’s compliance with workplace safety laws, the severity of the injury sustained by a worker and the effect it will have on this worker’s financial future.
Some accidents cause no more than minor scratches, while others are more serious, requiring days or weeks of bed rest. Some injuries are definitely severe, however, causing long term disabilities (LTD) that render a worker unable to work for months or even years, taking away his or her capability to earn wages.
It is a good thing that some employers provide their employees with a long term disability (LTD) insurance policy as part of their comprehensive employee benefits package; this is to protect their employees from losing any form of earnings during the long period when their injury or illness will keep them out of work.
As explained by the Hankey Law Office, long-term disability (or LTD) coverage is an insurance plan structured so that you receive compensation for the wages you lose as the result of an injury, illness, or any other condition that prevents you from working. It is similar to life insurance, in that it will provide you with financial compensation in the event that you suffer injury from an unexpected tragedy, but instead of covering medical expenses, it reimburses you for lost, future wages.
An LTD policy usually stays effectivity for 10 years or until the insured employee reaches the age of 65. An employee can start enjoying the benefits of his/her LTD policy after his/her short term disability insurance benefits have ended (the short term disability insurance benefits, which employers may also provide for employees or which employees may purchase on their own, typically last between three to six months).
Despite employees’ eligibility to receive LTD benefits, however, many applications get denied or are awarded benefits that are lower than what the policy stipulates. Many insurance providers, obviously, are guilty of avoiding making payments, thus, they do all things possible to deny claims, delay assessment of applications or payment of claims, or pay much lower benefits.
Since an insurance policy is a legal contract, it would be wise if the injured employee make the application for the benefits through the help of a legal expert who is adept in the LTD insurance benefits law.
Estate Planning for the Finacial Future of Loved Ones
The first step in Estate Planning is the drafting of a Will. It is in a Will that a testator (the person making the Will) is able to legally identify everything that he/she will want to pass on to his/her spouse, children and other dependents, as well as what or how much cash each will have. The testator, according to Chicago elder law litigation attorneys, may also choose to draft a more elaborate Will wherein he/she can elect his/her preferred guardian for minor children (who will make sure that they are provided for, both personally and financially, upon death or incapacity), name a health-care proxy, who will make medical decisions for him/her if ever he/she gets incapacitated and, elect an executor, or the person who will manage the estate left for distribution. This executor is also tasked to see to it that the testator’s last wishes are fulfilled, that all unpaid debts are settled and, after payment of all debts, whatever remains will be distributed to all heirs.
The mental capacity of a testator during the drafting of his/her Will is essential as this is a guarantee that he/she is never influenced by anyone and that he/she is perfectly aware of his/her decisions. Equally important are the observance of the rights of every legal heir and being counseled by a knowledgeable and experienced legal professional to ensure that the Will’s contents comply with the laws of the state where the testator resides or where the estate owned is located).
A lawyer’s assistance can also help effectively address any litigation due to a Will contest that any heir may file. Contesting or challenging the validity of a Will can be filed by any heir who feels that he/she deserves more than what was left for him/her. An heir can also question the testator’s mental state when the Will was drafted, citing any possibility of influence or manipulation by someone with interest in the assets and properties.
As estate and trust disputes involve family members, all issues, therefore, are considered sensitive. Failure to address disputes effectively can only result to rivalries between family members which can create rifts in their relationship.
Family members should understand that an estate plan is meant to put order in their properties and assets, as well as to make sure that they will be able to enjoy the maximum value of everything through reduction of tax and other expenses. Thus, in the event of disagreement, which can lead to litigation, if the family members themselves fail to allay anyone’s doubts, then only a knowledgeable, experienced and skillful lawyer probably can.
Placing the Blame on Truck Drivers in the Event of Truck Accidents
There are more than 15 million trucks operating in the U.S.; about two million of these are semi-trucks, also called big rigs or 18-wheelers. Due to their very large size and very heavy weight, these can cause major property damage and serious or fatal injuries in the event of accidents. For this reason, the federal government requires that those who will operate a truck should have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), which they can earn after going through a special training and education, and a series of tests that deal with the proper operation and handling of this types of vehicle.
Thus, as pointed out and emphasized by the law firm Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, drivers of semi-trucks, have greater responsibility on the road than drivers of other types of motor vehicles because if an accident were to occur, great damage and serious injury would likely result. Unfortunately, despite the great responsibility which they fully know they should display, some truck drivers are negligent and drive irresponsibly. However, in spite of the threats of trucks due to their huge size and the irresponsible behavior of some drivers, truck operation will continue to go on due to the major contribution this make in the notion’s economy.
Once a driver earns a CDL, he/she and his/her employer are expected to comply with all federal laws enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Department of Transportation. A few of these laws, which are meant to ensure the safe operation of trucks and the avoidance of road crashes, require:
– Maintenance and regular check of trucks;
– Use of parts, such as tires and brakes, that pass the quality standard set by the FMCSA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) ;
– Strict observance of the hours of service, which is the maximum number or hours drivers are allowed to drive, and the required number of hours of rest;
Despite all the laws, yearly rate of truck accidents remain at 500,000. These accidents result to more than 100,000 injuries and at least, 4,000 deaths. Many studies show that majority of truck accidents can be blamed on drivers of smaller vehicles most of the time; however, this finding is contrary to the findings of the FMCSA, which say that no less than 90% of accidents are the fault of truck drivers.
Contributing factors to truck accidents include driver fatigue, impairment due to alcohol, prescription drugs or illegal drugs, driving too fast despite poor weather or road condition, not being familiar with the road or the truck, inattention and driving distractions, improper way of attaching the trailer, improper loading of cargo, failure to double-check blind spots, and failure to ensure that the brakes are in good working condition.
Truck accidents are more numerous in some states due to the presence of many more trucks in these locations. In the state of Texas, for instance, Dallas truck accident attorneys of The Benton Law Firm confirm that the number of truck accidents have suddenly increased over the recent years due to the recent oil boom which has resulted to more 18-wheelers on the road.
Truck accidents, far more than any other type of automotive accident, can result to catastrophic or fatal injuries, causing many families to face devastating consequences. This is why it is often possible for those who have been injured or killed in a truck accident to take legal action against the party responsible for their suffering.
Effects of Electrocution
Electrocution, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is one of the “fatal four,” or one of the major causes of occupational accidents resulting to injuries and deaths in construction sites. In the whole of U.S., however, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) says that it is the fifth leading cause of work-related injuries and deaths.
Workers who are most prone to electrocution accidents include electricians, electrical helpers, utility workers, construction workers and those working in manufacturing sites. The highest number of injuries and deaths, however, come from the those who work in construction sites and those whose work is directly involved in the maintenance and repair of overhead power lines. Power line workers often accidentally come in contact with overhead power lines, while in construction sites workers sometimes accidentally get electrocuted by high voltage wires or by arcing or jumping high levels of power from electrically charged cables (high voltage refers to voltage above 500).
According to San Diego personal injury attorneys of Ritter & Associates, the United States Bureau of Labor reports that roughly 150,000 construction site injuries and almost 1,000 fatalities occur every year in the U.S.; about 400 of these fatalities are due to electrocution. Workers, who suffer work-related injuries, though, may be able to receive financial support to help pay for medical bills and other damages.
As explained by the firm Abel Law, construction sites need electricity to power different types of tools and equipment. Though needed, this flow of energy can also be dangerous if not handled properly. The following types of faulty products can put a person at risk of electrocution:
• Faulty power strips
• Faulty power tools
• Faulty cords attached to power tools
• Faulty extension cords
The effects of electrocution are always serious because it makes the body a conduit instead of it fending off electricity. As the body becomes a conduit, it allows high voltage of electrical current to cause injuries both inside and outside it, such as severe internal and/or external burns, spinal cord injuries, brain damage, heart attack, muscle damage, paralysis and death. Muscle damage can result to swelling of the limb which, in turn, can lead to “compartment syndrome” (compression of the arteries) wherein blood is prevented from reaching the (affected) limb.
Other effects of severe electrical shocks include intense muscle contractions, fatal heart arrhythmia, brain and nerve injuries, serious injuries to internal organs and fall accidents.
The Dram Shop Act: Making Irresponsible Hosts and Business Establishments Equally Accountable for Alcohol-related Accidents, Injuries and Deaths
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) records show that in 2013, more than 1.1 million alcohol-impaired drivers were arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI). During the previous year, a study revealed that the number of those who drove while under the influence of alcohol was 29.1 million. Drunk driving is a major in the U.S. and in all the other parts of the world. This is despite the continuous education and warnings to drivers about the dangers of drinking and driving. Thus, since the early part of the 1900s up to this time, many people drive while impaired and a lot of those who do this cause accidents where they injure or kill not only innocent people on the road (other motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists) but also themselves.
Stricter anti-drunk driving laws today do not just require apprehension of adult drivers (aged 21 years old or above) whose blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is 0.08% or above, but also of teen drivers (those below 21 years old) if any alcohol is ever traced in their blood or breath.
As explained by West Palm Beach car accident lawyers, once a driver reaches the legal limit of consumption, critical motor functions become impaired and the driver is thus unable to safely operate his/her vehicle to the best of his or her abilities. Thus, besides arresting alcohol-impaired drivers themselves, business establishments and certain individuals can now be held answerable too for certain accidents that are alcohol-related. The legal responsibility of business establishments and certain individuals is rooted on the stipulations of the Dram Shop Act. According to the law firm Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.®, the Dram Shop Act is a law which can make a host or a business establishment (including a restaurant, a bar, or a tavern where alcoholic drinks are sold) accountable for any injuries or damages an intoxicated person causes, but only if such host or establishment still offers or sells alcoholic drinks to such person who is already intoxicated. Civil liability extends to anyone the intoxicated person injures or kills.
Currently, the states of Delaware, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota, and
Virginia do not have dram shop liability.