Drunk Motorcycling Needs to be Addressed

Motorcycles are dangerous. There is nothing new in this statement. Anyone who has ever stepped onto a motorcycle has known that decision is far more dangerous than setting foot in a car, or bus, train, airplane or nearly any other type of transportation. Again, motorcycles are dangerous. We all know this.

But the dangers of riding a motorcycle are not as well understood. Of course, the obvious dangers are, well, obvious. There is less protection on all sides, so minor crashes can lead to serious damage. This is especially the case when riders don’t wear helmets. Without a helmet, bikers run a great risk of brain or spinal trauma, and of course, death. Motorcycles are also less easy to control since they are on two wheels. Stopping may take less space but again, an injury is more likely because bikes can fall over and the rider is left exposed.

The less well-addressed issue is the problem with motorcyclists driving under the influence of drink and drugs. This is a very real problem, and it leads to a large number of motorcycle accidents.

The reason this issue exists at all is at once, and once again, obvious on the surface with more complex and difficult problems underneath.

The obvious answer is that some drivers, no matter the vehicle, drive under the influence. Drunk driving is one of the primary causes of all accidents and all vehicle-related deaths. The fact motorcycles are not an exception to this problem is not surprising.

The deeper answer, though, comes from the culture of the motorcycle. Having an aura of rebellion and a devil-may-care attitude means that motorcyclists are more likely than other drivers to ignore common sense choices like drinking responsibly or finding another ride home when too much has been imbibed. The choice to ignore what is safe is intimately related to the choice to ride a motorcycle in the first place. Again, everyone who gets on a motorcycle knows that choice has exposed them to greater risk. The choice is often made not in spite of this but because of it.

To fix this problem, more needs to be done to address the culture of the motorcycle. Evidence, like tests done by motorcyclists to drive drunk, should be prominently shown either through commercials, motorcycle magazine advertisements or at the time when motorcycle licenses are given out. While it’s impossible to change how someone feels about any particular thing, raising awareness could at least mitigate some of the worse trends in the motorcycle community.

A more strict enforcement of laws could also go a long way to diminishing the chances the next motorcyclist will make the same decision.

While no one would want to take away that connection of rebellion, liberation, and freedom found in the aura of the motorcycle, some adjustments to the culture should be made for the betterment of the riders themselves.

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Long Term Disability Pay in NC

Although most people romanticize about winning the lottery and living off of the interest once it’s put in the bank, the truth is that most of us will quickly grow tired of not working or having a set schedule from day to day. Of course, this becomes even worse when you have an injury that leaves you permanently disabled and unable to work for a long period of time, particularly because most people who become disabled have not won the lottery, and have no other money to live off of. This is why long term, permanent disability pay is so important. The law regarding disability pay in North Carolina is complicated, but it could be improved to at least acknowledge those with severe mental health issues. None of us can look into the future, and something like this can happen to anyone.

According to the North Carolina Industrial Commission, there is a distinction between a “permanent disability” and a “permanent impairment”. A permanent impairment is a purely medical condition, while a permanent disability is a medical condition in addition to inhibiting or reducing one’s ability to hold gainful employment. This is an important distinction, but unfortunately, the line becomes blurred when discussing mental illnesses. Do they qualify as an impairment, an “anatomical or functional abnormality”? The site also claims that a permanent disability is a damage or loss “to a part of the body”. If the brain is a part of the body, then debilitating mental illness ought to qualify as well. The guidelines set by the industrial commission proceed to lay out the basis for determining disability status for nearly every body part. The amount of disability compensation follows a complicated calculation that takes into account the percentage of damage done to certain extremities (each with their own multiplier based on how important they are for industrial work), and whether, after the maximum amount of rehabilitation, the disability is still present. Then, it is also important to note the even further subdivisions, which is whether the permanent disability is “partial”, whether the hearing loss occurred, and whether or not teeth were lost. There are even separate calculations used for determining the amount of compensation awarded for the amputation of limbs.

The law covering long term disability pay in North Carolina takes such a long time to parse out that worker’s compensation lawyers in Raleigh are becoming more popular. While it is easy to understand that complicated systems ensure that not a single cent of limited government money is wasted when handing out disability pay, it fails to take into account any mental trauma that may have resulted from these injuries or the events leading up to the permanent disability. However, some companies may use the fact that the law is so complicated in order to hold back the proper amount of disability pay. In cases like these, getting a third party involved can help ease the financial burden.

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Hurricane Damage Claims

Hurricanes are among the most destructive natural calamities in the U.S. and, depending on the category a hurricane would fall into, effects can range from damages to frame homes, snapping tree branches and power outages to total collapse of frame homes, weeks of power blackout, and inhabitability of affected areas for months.

In repairing or replacing property damages, people depend on their specific insurance companies as the source of adequate finances. Insurance firms, on their part, would send independent adjusters to claimants’ homes to assess property damages, sometimes a day or two after the disaster, not giving a property owner enough time to  correctly asses his/her own losses.

Though independent, these adjusters are hired by insurance firms and so are trained to represent the interests of their employers. Due to this, the result of assessment to property damages is undervalued. In some cases, claims are denied for reasons claimants never understand or, if a claim is approved, release of payment is delayed.

For a property owner to get an accurate estimate and inventory of the damages to his or her personal or commercial property, hiring his own appraiser is often necessary, whether this be an independent or a public appraiser. An appraiser is expected to act in the best interest of property owners, not of insurance firms. According to the U.S Department of Labor – Bureau of Labor Statistics, claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners, and investigators evaluate insurance claims. They decide whether an insurance company must pay a claim, and if so, how much.

Much of the value of your appraisal will come from the knowledge and assessment of the appraiser, so it is essential to work with an appraiser who has an eye for detail, knows the insurance process, and is looking out for your best interests.

In the state of Texas, for example, getting an accurate and fair evaluation of the damages to properties is highly important to make sure that property owners get the fair amount they are owed for an insurance claim. This is why Texas insurance appraisal is always entrusted to consulting & services firms that look for details, are familiar with the insurance process, and have owners’ best interests first and foremost.

Whether you have suffered damage to your personal or commercial property, an appraiser can help you. Some of the most common claims that appraisers deal with include damage from hurricanes, floods, fires, explosions, ice storms, and wind. Some appraisers also deal with claims of business losses due to property damage.

 

 

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On Oil and Gas Litigation

The energy, gas and oil sector is a large and important industry in the city of Houston, however, the many years of drilling and dredging performed by this sector is said to have not only greatly contributed to the dramatic loss of wetlands which help reduce storm surges, especially in southeast Louisiana, but have also caused the disappearance of 16 to 50 percent of about 2,000 square miles of land.

Due to the loss of the wetlands, the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East now emphasizes the necessity of building higher levees and floodwalls, which means increased costs for building defenses against storm surges. Due to this, said agency intends to hold liable as many as 97 companies; these companies may either repair the damage themselves or contribute to the cost of flood protection today and henceforth.

The lawsuit the agency plans to file against the 97 companies has three major claims:

  • First, though the drilling and dredging was legally permitted but with the condition that these companies will repair any environmental damage, no repair was ever done.
  • Second, years of drilling and dredging, which have turned swamplands into open water, have impaired the effectiveness of a levee – a violation of the federal Rivers and Harbors Act.
  • Third, a principle of civil law called “servitude of drainage,” is said to have been violated since the marshes, which have been turned to open water, have increased the amount of storm surges that move into the metro area during hurricanes and tropical storms. This “servitude of drainage” law strictly prohibits anyone from causing an increase in the flow of water onto someone else’s property.

According to the law firm Williams Kherkher, “The energy industry can be difficult to understand, especially when it comes to the legal requirements that must be met in order to begin work and challenges that arise after the job is complete. Navigating the laws, both state and federal, that apply to the energy sector can be difficult due to the complexities surrounding every aspect of energy extraction. For instance, once an extraction project is allowed to begin, getting it up and running is expensive and any heated disagreement can stop it in its tracks. Additionally, ownership rights of oil and gas can be especially complicated, as different laws govern oil and gas before and after it has been captured.

In addition to this, disagreements that might block the completion of an energy project can be extremely costly for everyone involved. Thus, if you are facing legal issues that may include construction disputes, false claims act suits, royalty disputes, or any other energy, oil, or gas related issue, it may be advantageous to have a seasoned lawyer who will be able to help you navigate the difficulties associated the litigation.”

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Three Common Types of Law Practiced in Texas

Anyone that has ever lived in Texas knows that, here, everything is done bigger. An abundance of business conducted means that the lawyers practicing here have their work cut out for them. Business litigation, employment law, and real estate law are three common types of law practiced. Here are the details of each of these crucial legal specialties.

Business litigation is an umbrella term used to describe many forms of dispute resolution involving two parties. These disputes, without the assistance of a lawyer, can frequently sink your business. Many business owners put absolute trust in their partners and associates, but this practice may come back to bite you if you are not careful. According to the business litigation lawyers of Slater Pugh, Ltd. LLP, contract breaches can involve a variety of actions or inaction that violates a business’s agreements. Do not fall victim to predatory business partners, speak with a lawyer today.

Employment law is an area which is overlooked by many new business owners. With the variety of state and federal labor regulation we face today, hiring and firing can quickly turn into a nightmare and pose a major threat to your business. One such example is discrimination. When a company is accused of discrimination, there can be major financial and legal consequences. In these situations, it is paramount that a business lawyer is on hand to answer questions and handle the case.

Buying and selling real estate means navigating a complex maze of red tape and legal pitfalls. Most people are inexperienced in handling these matters, and rely on a real estate agent to take care of the details. To save money and protect yourself, consider an attorney instead to be in charge of your real estate transactions.

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