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House Fires and Premises Liability

After a long day at work or school, the last thing you want to think about at home is danger. Homes are supposed to be safe havens, but many homes are not. They are prone to premises liability and product defect, which may cause injury or death depending on its gravity.

One of the common dangers in houses is fires. According to the website of West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys of Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller and Overbeck, P.A., fires that have occurred because of a reckless or negligent party can be subject to a premises liability lawsuit. It is best to be knowledgeable about house fires so you can avoid them.


One of the causes of residential fires is candles, especially those that are left unattended. Recklessness around candles, like playing with it, putting it near flammable items, and letting it be accessible for children and pets, are also known to start house fires.

To avoid fires originating from candles, make sure to not leave it on before sleeping, especially if the room it is in is not occupied by a reasonable person. Also make sure that the candles will not tip over, to prevent spreading their fires to other materials.

Cooking and Heating Equipment

Anything related to fire and heat can cause a house fire, so cooking and heating equipment are obviously good candidates as house fire starters. Leaving cooking equipment unattended, like stoves, pans with oil, and placing other combustible materials, like oven mitts, near them, is particularly dangerous.

Leaving fabrics and other materials that can spread fire near heat sources like chimneys is also known to start fires. Even electric heaters are not entirely safe. If they have faulty wiring or are not maintained properly, they may just be the catalyst for house fires.

To prevent fires from cooking and heating equipment, don’t leave them working when you are going to leave the house, even if you are just going to buy that missing ingredient for your recipe in the grocery store at the corner of the street. Equipment should also be clean and just generally well-maintained.

Wiring and other electrical issues

Outlets, wires from appliances, lighting like bulbs – these are the most common electrical problems that cause fires. Make sure that a qualified electrician has installed everything that involves electricity in your house, like switches, fuses, and outlets. Appliances, like washers and dryers, are also susceptible to faulty wiring and maintenance issues that can start house fires.

To avoid these, try not to overload outlets, use the proper cords for interior and exterior wiring, don’t leave appliances unattended and not well-maintained, and of course, don’t forget to get a qualified electrician annually, to check your house of any electrical issues that a non-professional cannot easily discover.

Tips On How To Prevent Boating Accidents

Boating is one of the most exciting ways to explore the earth’s vast bodies of water. Likewise, it can offer families with an excellent venue for bonding with each other. But while boating can be fun and exciting, it also offers potential risks to passengers and other boats as well. A boating accident lawyer in Charleston will tell you that negligence and recklessness on the part of the operator can have catastrophic results.

Just like driving on the road, boating operators need to have a “safety first” mentality. They can expose their passengers to potential risks such as drowning or property damage. Here are some safety tips that you need to bear in mind before hitting the water for your boating trip:
Don’t drink and boat. Just like drunk driving, alcohol and boating do not mix. According to the US Coast Guard, alcohol is a leading cause of boating accident deaths. In 2011, alcohol use accounted for 16 percent of boating accident deaths. The heat of the sun and being on the water the whole day can exacerbate the effects of alcohol.

Ensure that there are sufficient safety equipment on your boat. Your boat should be equipped with life jackets and other flotation devices. There should also be first-aid kit and emergency supplies. Lights, a fire extinguisher, and an anchor should also be on hand. Estimates by the US Coast Guard attributed 70 percent of boat accident deaths to drowning and 84 percent of those who drowned had no life jackets.

Always make sure that your boat is sea worthy. According to a 2011 report by the US Coast Guard, failure of the boat contributed to 424 accidents, 28 deaths, and 151 injuries that year.

Maintain a safe speed. In that same report of the Coast Guard, excess speed was responsible for 349 accidents, 28 deaths, and 321 injuries. Observe the speed limit and maintain a safe speed.

Even Truck Drivers Need A Break

Trucks have played a major role in moving items from one location to another. According to the American Trucking Association (ATA), trucks were responsible for moving 67% of freight tonnage moved in the United States in 2011. With this much reliance on trucks, it is important for employers to comply with safety rules. As revealed by the website of Cazayoux Ewing Law Firm, failure of these companies to follow safety standards can result to catastrophic accidents.

One of the biggest culprits in truck accidents is the hours of service being rendered by drivers. Employers put too much pressure on their drivers to go as far as possible in order to accomplish their respective tasks. As a result, the driver ends up fatigued and sleepy causing them to lose control of the wheel and slam into another vehicle or property. Too bad for the driver the blame will be put on him.

To remedy the situation, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) launched a new set of rules regulating the working hours of truck drivers. Taking effect in 2012, the new changes in the working hours include:

• From the previous limit of 82 hours, the number of working hours that truck drivers should render in a seven day period is no more than 70 hours.
• After the initial 8 hours, a driver needs to take a break of at least 30 minutes before riding again
• Upon completing the maximum number of hours for the week, FMCSA’s new ruling requires drivers to go off duty for at least 34 hours. Although the rule has not changed, FMCSA added a new stipulation that the “restart” must include two periods running from 1 am to 5 am.

FMCSA also considered reducing the number of hours a truck driver may run per day from 11 to 10. Eventually, the 11-hour limit was maintained and the 10-hour limit still to be discussed.

Contacting asbestos dusts in the workplace

An individual is at high risk of suffering serious respiratory illnesses if he or she unknowingly inhale tiny specs of asbestos dust. However, people who are working in constructions, factories, and railroad are at high risk of being exposed to harmful asbestos minerals, according the website of Williams Kherkher said.

Asbestos is often used in strengthening construction materials making it fire resistant. Construction materials like roofs, cement, floor tiles, and pipe wrappings were believed to have been fortified with asbestos. In the automobile industry, asbestos is widely used in various vehicle parts like brakes and clutches. Though the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned majority of products containing asbestos in 1989, an appeal in 1991 resulted to many asbestos laws overturned. Asbestos use in construction products were prohibited as it was discovered to cause mesothelioma, a rare cancer linked to accidental breathing of asbestos fibers. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimated that there are 1.3 million workers everyday are accidentally inhaling substantial amounts of asbestos dusts. Though over 50 countries has banned asbestos, only some parts of the U.S. have its use.

The OSHA had created standards to protect workers from accidentally inhaling asbestos particles in their workplace. One of the OSHA standards is for employers to ensure that asbestos is strictly limited in the workplace, however, various research suggested that there is no such thing as “safe level of asbestos exposure.” There are times when employers become negligent in protecting their employees from work-related hazards. Negligence may come in many forms like not training workers, failure to provide safety equipment to workers, or failure to monitor asbestos level in the workplace.

Various Classifications of Divorce

The breakup may be the legal dissolution of a relationship, and no matter how it is sliced by one that’s what it is. Nonetheless, there are several factors that shape one gets there, although not what it is.
Like with whatever else inside the U.S. that requires the law, divorce regulations and state differ slightly or even a ton to convey. Generally speaking, nonetheless, the following elements are applicable and used in every state.


There was a time when a prerequisite of breakup in the U.S. is a problem. Quite simply, someone needed to consider the responsibility for the marriage’s breakdown. Maybe it’s cruelty infidelity or abandonment. In 1970, nevertheless, California and a regulation smashed the ice and approved for a zero – divorce. Grounds that are adequate were bodily inability and terminal insanity. Today, all states possess some form of the number-fault divorce law, and reasons may be irreconcilable differences.


A breakup uncontested or are often contested. A contested divorce is where the parties are not able to come to an agreement over anything; an easy divorce is where one-party does not react to the divorce program, or is agreeable to all the terms of the divorce planned from the customer-spouse. There are often happens when the celebrations a contested divorce acrimonious, you’ll find youngsters, and house department is just a complicated matter. According to the website of MT Divorce Lawyers, a competitive divorce is where most of the problems have to be negotiated, usually causing a large amount of turmoil too.

On the other hand, it’s possible to have a basic divorce. There is definitely a refined divorce and problem divorce where the marriage was less than 5 decades, you can find no debts no children and no house. It’s divorce’s least expensive sort, and can be attained within as few as thirty days.

Military status

The process of the military divorce may be the identical to civilian divorce. Nevertheless, a breakup is often more complicated due to the life’s character. Troubles of house team, child support, and infant custody involve a mutually agreeable agreement to be ironed out to get a seasoned divorce lawyer’s expertise.

Causes of Teenage Car Accidents

Each year, a significant number of car crashes involve a teenage driver. Common causes for teen crashes and injuries include driving at night, not wearing seat belts, reckless driving, and drinking and driving. If teenagers are consciously aware of these causes while driving, crash rates can be reduced and injuries can be prevented.

Driving at night can be especially difficult for young drivers. Combining inexperience with darkness leads to undesirable results. To avoid consequences, drivers can try to limit time spent driving in the dark, or practice driving in the dark with an adult.

Another common cause of injury is not wearing a seatbelt. While there is a self-explanatory solution, implementing a habit of putting on a seatbelt can be difficult to achieve. Making a reminder to buckle up is an effective solution to prevent injury.

Reckless driving is an encompassing source of accidents. The teenage age group of drivers is proven to have the highest rate of drivers that put themselves in risky situations. Whether it is speeding, texting and driving, cutting off cars, or other unwise actions, the driver is increasing their risk of being in a car accident. Simple solutions are following the speed limit, silencing cell phones to decrease distractions, and exercising prudence while on the road.

Lastly, drinking and driving results in teenage deaths every year. While the legal drinking and driving level for adults is .08, states laws can outline a no tolerance policy up to a .02 BAC level for teen drivers. Drinking and driving is especially dangerous because it is punishable by law, but furthermore can have fatal implications.

Teenage driving accidents can be extremely harmful and emotionally draining. However, if these solutions are employed, crashes and injuries can be reduced.

Most Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

It can be one of the hardest decisions to make: to have to put a beloved relative into a nursing home. However, with the kind of financial situation that an average American household has and the kind of lifestyle most working adults with families have, sometimes a nursing home is the best option an elderly person. After all, it is in a nursing home where your loved ones can be properly taken care of with all the attention that they medically and emotionally require.

However, when you are checking in your relative into a nursing home, there are some things that you might want to watch out for.

Each elderly person in a nursing home has his or her own rights that need to be upheld. There is a certain standard of care that a nursing home needs to abide by in order to continue their practice. More of these rights can be read more about on this website. For example, each individual patient must have individualized care. After all, not every elderly person will have the same exact bodily conditions as someone else and they will need their own specific kind of care and the nursing home in question needs to be able to provide not only appropriate facilities for that care but also staff who are learned in the ways of caring for elderly folk.

Some common signs of abuse in nursing homes that you can spot are in the reactions of the patients within the nursing home. Do they seem strangely quiet and submissive to commands from the people who are supposed to be taking care of them? Do they flinch or cringe at physical contact, when they hadn’t done this before they were admitted? These could be signs of abuse in a nursing home.

Another sign is if there is a particular place in the facilities that is prohibited from public view due to reasons that have been unexplained. This could mean that there are operations within the walls that are not known to public scrutiny due and this has the potential to be a dangerous secret within the home. There are many signs of abuse but one of the many ways to tell is to ask the patients themselves about their treatment and gauge at their reactions.

It is important to make sure that your loved ones are cared for when you are unable to care for them.

Modified Comparative Negligence at Work

They say that it takes two to tango. This is true when it comes to personal injury, because there needs to be at least two parties involved: the tortfeasor (the doer of a wrongful act) and the victim. Another crucial factor in a tort case is the element of fault. One party (presumably the tortfeasor) is the proximate cause of the adverse event that led to harm to the victim. However, assigning fault also takes into account if the victim took reasonable measures to ensure his or her own safety.

One of the most common defenses by a tortfeasor in a personal injury claim is that the victim was partly or solely at fault for what happened. For example, if a car traveling beyond the posted speed limit struck a jaywalking pedestrian, a jury may find the pedestrian partly at fault for the accident. This defense is a reasonable, and in some states that follow the pure contributory negligence doctrine, this can bar the pedestrian (victim) from getting compensation.

In Atlanta, however, there is something called modified comparative negligence at work. Under the pure comparative negligence doctrine, the victim (plaintiff) can sue the defendant for compensation even if the victim was mostly (up to 99%) at fault, and the award is merely reduced by what the jury finds to be the percentage of fault of the plaintiff. An Atlanta lawyer would explain that modified comparative negligence in the whole of the state of Georgia means that if the plaintiff is equal or less than 50% (51% in other states) at fault, the plaintiff can still sue for damages, but the award is reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to the plaintiff.

So, taking the above example, if the jury finds the pedestrian is 30% at fault, and awards damages of $100,000, the plaintiff gets $70,000.

Small Business Bankruptcy Filing

Filing for bankruptcy of a small business is similar to a personal filing in many ways. The advantages of choosing one type of bankruptcy over the others will depend on the structure of your business, your intentions during and after the filing, and the type of debts you have. You will be required to attend credit counseling as described in before making filing any type of bankruptcy, at which time you will have a clearer picture of what your options are.

For businesses, the available bankruptcy options are Chapter 7, 11 and 13. Typically, companies choose Chapter 11 or 13 because it can continue to operate even as it is paying off its obligations under a repayment plan. It is possible for a business to file for Chapter 7, especially if it is a sole proprietorship and has a lot of unsecured and secured debt tied to a personal guarantee.

However, debt discharge under Chapter 7 also means the business will have to be dissolved as assets will be liquidated (including stocks, office equipment, and accounts receivables) and continued operations will not be possible. If you are planning to close the business anyway and you have not personally guaranteed any of the loans i.e. corporation, you will not even have to file for bankruptcy. You can simply stop operations and walk away.

Debts are typically categorized into secured i.e. truck used for business or unsecured i.e. credit card debt. Under Chapter 7, you are likely to lose the collateral for secured loans unless it is an exempt asset i.e. primary home, while under Chapter 11 and 13, you will have a chance to pay your secured debt off under more favorable conditions to avoid repossession or foreclosure. With unsecured loans, it is the priority debts such as back taxes that you have to pay first, regardless of the type of bankruptcy you choose. Nonpriority unsecured debts such as credit card debt are typically paid last, if at all.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is one of society’s common social problems and it affects even families in the US, with more than 10 million incidences being reported every year. Its most common victims are women, children and the elderly – those who are less capable of physically defending themselves.

Perpetrators of domestic violence are always intimate partners (the person whom the victim is married to or living with) and it can happen during a relationship, while the partners are breaking up, or even after the couple has separated. Where women are the victims, those most affected are between 16 and 34 years old.

The abusers’ intent is nothing more than to gain power and dominance over their respective partners by humiliating, frightening, intimidating, threatening, terrorizing or injuring them until their feeling of self-confidence and self-worth are all gone, becoming totally submissive to abusers’ demands.

The victim of domestic violence can be anybody as the abuser does not give any regard to the victim’s religion, age, race, nationality, financial status, professional standing and educational attainment. The most common types of domestic abuses victims are made to suffer, include:

Physical abuse is a key element of domestic abuse. It refers to the use of physical force against one’s partner and it can be committed through a lot of different ways, like punching, kicking, slapping, choking, hair pulling, assaulting with a weapon, restraining, confinement, and even murder.

Emotional, mental or psychological abuse may be committed verbally or non-verbally. The wounds inflicted through emotional abuse are deeper compared to physical abuse; this type of abuse is committed through recurring criticisms, indifference towards the victim’s skills and abilities, name-calling, screaming or yelling at the victim, criticizing or belittling the victim’s accomplishments, and mocking or humiliating the victim, especially in front of friends.

Sexual abuse is usually carried out by forcing the victim to: participate in unwanted or demeaning sexual activities; look at pornographic materials or participate in a pornographic film; and so forth.

Domestic violence is always a traumatic experience that also causes physical injuries, fear and loss of self-confidence. Its victims almost always become problematic, withdrawn, and often unsure and embarrassed of his/her acts. Worse, its effects trickle down to the children, making them feel ashamed, afraid, confused, stressed and guilty for not having the strength to protect their abused parent.

The website of Flaherty Defense Firm, explains further what domestic violence is, its ill effects and the legal rights and options of victims. Being a crime, domestic violence should be reported immediately and victims should know and understand that they have the law to protect them against this social malady.

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