What Can Cause A Truck Accident?

Accidents are never something that you plan or can foresee. The whole point of an accident is that nobody saw it come – like a plot twist in a book that had no foreshadowing. As it is then, it can sometimes be difficult to assign blame as to whose fault it was. There are times when the accident was caused by driver error – carelessness can happen, or even a result of arrogant overestimation – or even the trucking company itself. Sometimes, it is due to a truck defect or malfunction.

There are numerous ways for an accident to occur. Not a single truck accident happens in exactly the same way as the other. The root causes can often be traced back to negligence, however.

Surprisingly enough, driver error is not the most common cause of these accidents. One of the most common causes of truck accidents is the negligence that roots to the trucking company itself. Not just anyone can operate a massive eighteen wheeler but some companies may opt to get just about anyone who can drive. There are certain aspects of the truck to consider – such as its considerably heavier weight as well as the blind spots that takes a certain level of experience in order to maneuver properly, in order to avoid accidents.

Some other causes of truck accidents are due to the lack of upkeep of the vehicle which can cause for the payload to fall off or damage the truck in some way. Fatigue is also another reason for truck accidents as truckers are only permitted to drive for fourteen hours a day, as it is a federal law. Fatigued drivers are nearly as dangerous as drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it has been said, and there have been many an accident that can prove that.

Be safe on the road and remain vigilant in order to avoid accidents like this at all costs—and if you have done all you can, know that the law will be on your side when the time comes.

California Cities at Risk for Earthquakes in the Near Future

California has several fault lines running through it, one of which is the San Andreas fault system. It is called a continental transform fault because it is more than 800 miles log running from North to South. T is actually made up of three major sections, North, Central, and South, so technically it is a fault system. The segment that poses the most risk is the Southern one, which runs about 35 miles away from Los Angeles.

The Seismological Society of America recently published a study in its Bulletin that four of the smaller pieces traversing the San Francisco Bay Area of the San Andreas fault may currently have enough stored energy to wreak havoc on some cities under which they run. The researchers have identified the potential sources of deadly earthquakes as the Green Valley Fault, Rodgers Creek Fault, Calaveras Fault, and Hayward Fault. The last, particularly, is located right smack in the middle of a populated area; however, seismic activity from any of these faults will result in significant damage to buildings and other infrastructure.

This can be devastating to home sellers in the affected areas, as it will affect the value of their property. Even if the buyer is not aware, the seller has to tell them because it is a violation of the Natural Hazards Disclosure Act, which came into effect in June 1998. It is mandatory for home sellers to inform their potential buyers if the property is in an earthquake fault zone. If the buyers were not given a standardized Natural Hazard Disclosure (NHD) Statement, the seller can be held liable for any damage caused by natural hazards, including earthquakes, even years down the road.

The law is to protect people from buying property that they may not be aware is in a natural hazard zone. On the other hand, it also protects you as a seller from civil liability when you correctly fill up and provide an NHD statement. Filling up an NHD statement can be time-consuming, however, because you have to check several federal, national, and local government agencies for the relevant information. You could save considerable time by contracting a natural hazard disclosure company to provide you with a report, which you can use as a basis for filling up the NHD statement.

Child Injury: Should You File a Claim?

Oh, to be a child again. Children are often more willful and much braver than adults are and this is mostly due to their lack of life experience. And it is precisely that as to why children are more likely to get injured due to accident. As it is, even their bodies are more susceptible to physical injury than an adult’s. They are much more precious that way – which is why it is important to exercise caution when in the presence of or when dealing with children.

However, some people are not always quite as responsible as they should be – and that calls for bad things to happen, sometimes scarring the child for life (in either a physical or emotional way, sometimes both), or even kill them. When this happens, it is in the responsibility of their “next friend”, also called as guardian ad litem (usually the parent or legal guardian of the child), to pursue justice on their behalf.

According to the website of the Ausband & Dumont Law Firm, some accidents born out of neglectful actions can have severe, sometimes permanent effects on the child in question. This entails a lot of unprecedented, overall preventable medical bills (sometimes, if the child was employed during the time of the incident, loss of income) as well as incalculable cost for having had gone through the accident in the first place.

Children are much more prone to be shaped by great circumstances in their lives – great and terrible ones that often result into psychological damage. It is due to these possibilities that child injury claims need to be handled seriously and aggressively for the sake of justice so that the victim and the victim’s family doesn’t have to have the added strain of financial troubles as well as the stress of trying to recover from the ordeal.

If you or someone you know has had child injury problems, it is recommended that you contact legal assistance as soon as possible. The thing about these claims is that they are quite complex and require experts who are knowledgeable and experienced.

Effects of Domestic Violence on Phoenix Child Custody

The sad fact is that many victims of domestic violence do not recognize it for what it is. They think that it is normal that their mothers lock them up in a closet for days on end as punishment, or their husbands to hit them for burning dinner. Domestic violence victims are also inured to verbal and emotional abuse because it has been going on for as long as they can remember, but this can have far-reaching consequences in the way they think and live. Many become domestic abusers as well because they think it is the way it should be.

It is often only when a third party sees the marks or recognizes the signs of domestic violence and reports it that it comes out and becomes documented. Of course, the victim may eventually realize the abuse and then reports it. In any case, when divorce is petitioned in Arizona and the issue of child custody comes out, documented domestic violence has a significant effect on the court’s ruling.

Divorce court judges are tasked to determine where the best interests of a child lie. To do this, they look at a number of factors, two of which involves domestic violence. What the court would like to know is that if there is indeed evidence of sustained abuse of the parent or child, and the extent of the domestic violence. In a contentious divorce, one parent may allege domestic violence where none exists to win custody, and this will come out in an investigation and count against the accusing parent.

When either parent has actually been convicted of child abuse or domestic violence, there is a good chance that the court will decide against granting at least physical custody of the child and may even rescind visitation rights for the convicted parent if the pattern of abuse is severe and extensive. This is to protect the abused parent and/or child from further violence.

But a conviction alone is not enough for the court to remove the parental rights of the convicted parent if he or she successfully defeats the “rebuttable presumption” that the child’s best interests is served by doing so. A Houston divorce lawyer can best explain how this legal assumption can be upheld or defeated.

What is Binge Drinking?

Having a few drinks with friends may seem harmless, however, drinking too much too fast can quickly become very dangerous. Binge drinking can lead to many disasters, including DUI/DWI’s and sexual assault.

Binge drinking is an exceptionally dangerous and destructive drinking pattern that is defined as men drinking 5 or more drinks in a 2 hour period, and women drinking 4 or more drinks in a 2 hour period. While this behavior can be found among individuals of all ages, it is very prevalent among college aged students and frequently occurs on college campuses. While some people mistakenly confuse binge drinking and alcoholism, most binge drinkers are not alcoholics, and instead, choose to engage in this dangerous behavior.

Aside from the negative health effects that alcohol can have on drinkers, there are a host of serious dangers specifically associated with binge drinking. One of the most serious dangers associated with binge drinking, but one that is rarely discussed, is the emotional toll of binge drinking among college students. A lot of students who engage in binge drinking do so to manage some amount of stress or unhappiness. Rather than addressing their problems with a professional, far too many young people instead try to “relax” by drinking too much with their friends, and never tending to the deeper issues at hand.

Binge drinking also puts young people in a dangerous situation, as many find themselves too intoxicated to deal with any problems or difficulties that arise. This is especially true when it comes to sexual activity. Far too many young people report being the victims of sexual assault after having indulged in too many drinks, and many are left to deal with consequences like emotional trauma, unplanned pregnancies, and sexually transmitted diseases.

Additionally, according to the CDC, binge drinkers are more likely to drive while they are intoxicated than non-binge drinkers, making it more likely for these individuals to cause devastating or even fatal car accidents and find themselves in need of a DUI lawyer if pulled over and charged with an alcohol-related driving offense. This increase in drunk driving also puts these individuals, and everyone else around them on the road, at risk of being injured or killed in a drunk driving accident.

Fortunately, many schools and other institutions are becoming increasingly aware of the dangers that binge drinking poses to college students, and as such, are taking aggressive action to try and limit or stop this destructive behavior on college campuses.

MATS: The Means to a Healthier Environment and More Profitable Farming Industry

The rule to control the emission of toxic acid gases and heavy metals, a mandate that has met the resistance of power plant owners and operators for about two decades, will finally be upheld, leading to the possible prevention of asthma and heart attack each year.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was firm in its decision in 2012 in enforcing the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, or MATS, a new regulation that will strictly limit the emission of hazardous substances, like mercury, hydrochloric acid, arsenic and other deadly pollutants. The EPA orders various power plants to abide by its stipulation by 2017.

Presently, about 53 tons of mercury emanates from US-coal-fired power plants annually; the full implementation of MATS in 2017 will eliminate as much as 90% of this. Burning of municipal garbage and medical waste also contributed about the same amounts of heavy-metal smog twenty years ago. Since these acts were checked, however, the bulk of mercury emission has been blamed on leaving power plants.

With the new rule, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) expects to save about 130,000 individuals from asthma attacks, around 4,700 people from having heart attacks and about 11,000 US residents from suffering early deaths.

Though it is true that upgrade of equipment to meet MATS standard may be costly, amounting to about $10 billion every year, this amount can easily be dislodged by profit, which can reach up to $90 billion annually, due to reduction in crop damages as well as improvement in health.

The Most Common On-Campus Drugs

When many people realize the freedom that moving away from home for the first time affords them, they may be a bit overzealous to take advantage of it. Lots of students try drugs for the first time within their first years in school.

The most commonly abused drug is alcohol. Because alcohol is legal, it doesn’t have the stigma attached to it that illegal drugs do, making more students willing to try it. Of course, underage consumption of alcohol is illegal, but students believe their newly acquired independence makes them mature enough to drink.

Marijuana is the most widely-used illegal drug. A 2003 report from the Office of National Drug Control Policy showed that as many as half of all college students have tried marijuana at least once in their lifetime, with nearly one in five having used it within the last month. Because of its prevalence, many students develop a lax attitude about pot and forget that it is an illegal, mind altering substance. Frequent use of marijuana can have a serious effect on your studies. As a matter of fact, students who have a D average are four times as likely to have smoked weed in the past year than those who have an A average.

Other drugs that are frequently used by college students include:

  • Cocaine
  • Psychedelics (such as LSD and psilocybin mushrooms)
  • MDMA and Ecstacy
  • Opiates (such as Xanax and Ketamine)

Because drug use carries the risk being kicked out of school, injuring yourself,  or being arrested, it is important that students seriously weigh their personal decision of whether or not to use drugs against their goals for their futures.

Community College Student Announces Shooting Online before Firing

An 18-year-old New River Community College student turned himself in to police after firing a shotgun at the school’s mall campus Friday, killing no one, but injuring two women.

The most bizarre part of this story, besides the obvious derangement a person has to have to believe shooting their colleagues is a good idea, is that the gunman posted his intentions online just moments before carrying them out. A post on online anonymous image forum 4chan allegedly made by the shooter states his name, the type of gun he planned to use (a “Stevens 320 shotgun”), and even linked to his student profile page. It also included a photograph of the school’s entrance.

Moments after the post went online, shots broke out at the mall. When officers arrived, the gunman put down his weapon and surrendered. So far, his motive remains unknown.

The shooting took place ten miles from Virginia Tech, the site where one of the worst college shootings in history occurred almost exactly six years prior. The Virginia Tech shooter killed 32 and injured 17 more before turning a gun on himself. In his internet post, yesterday’s shooter said he had no intention of killing himself unless the situation got really far out of control.

It’s important for college students to remain on the lookout for suspicious behaviors and report them to the authorities to help fight the influx of shooting rampages that seems to have risen in recent years.

Staying Safe from Sexual Assault on Campus

Moving to a college campus for the first time is an undoubtedly exciting experience. For many students, it’s the first time they have a real taste of independence. The freedom they feel is so boundless that some students become comfortable with the idea of committing crimes. No college is free from crime, but there are ways to protect yourself from becoming a victim.

Sexual assault is one of the most prevalent crimes on college campuses. Online investigative journalist magazine Investigate West estimates that one in five women on college campuses experiences some kind of sexual assault, most commonly date rape. There is a number of things you should do to prevent being a victim of date rape. For starters, never go out without a friend you trust, and make it a priority to stay together throughout the night. If you are drinking, do not accept a drink that you did not see poured. Better yet, always pour your own drink and open cans and bottles yourself. This way you can ensure that they have not been tampered with.

When walking on campus, especially at night, try to stay on more crowded and well-lit pathways. Many schools have emergency stations, usually marked by blue lights, that can be used to speak with or summon help if you feel as though you are in danger. Be aware of your surroundings and stay away from suspicious individuals. It may seem cold, but your safety is important. If you are walking around at night, it’s always good to have a friend with you. There is safety in numbers, and not being alone is a deterrent to potential sexual assaulters.

The point is not to live in a constant state of fear, but to rather have the knowledge that sexual assaults can, and unfortunately do, happen. Arming yourself with this information can prove useful in helping reduce your risk of being a target. If you happen to be a victim of an on-campus sexual assault remember that you are not alone and that there are a lot of people who are willing to help you.

Decreasing Drunk Driving on College Campuses

Drunk driving is an incredibly serious problem on college campuses across the United States, as colleges provide an environment in which under-age individuals can get relatively easy access to alcohol and in far too many instances, binge drinking is common, if not encouraged.

Drunk driving places everyone on the road in harm’s way, and can have devastating effects on unsuspecting, law-abiding motorists. Fortunately, many university administrators are taking action to try and reduce drunk driving incidents on and around their campuses. Some steps that university administrators have taken in recent years have included:

Initiating Safe Ride Programs: Safe ride programs can be run either by campus officials, or as a volunteer organization that students themselves participate in. With these programs, individuals who find themselves intoxicated off campus can call a number and receive a free ride back to their dorm or apartment. This discourages drunk driving, and helps to create a safer environment on roadways near a university, and helps students avoid criminal charges like DUI, DWI, OWI (in places like Wisconsin), or DWII (in places like Oregon). In most states, speaking with a DUI or DWI lawyer could help you alleviate the stress when issued a drunk driving ticket.

Cutting Out Student Courts: Many universities have student courts or disciplinary councils that establish penalties for students accused of crimes or violating school policy. However, in order to discourage more serious crimes, like drunk driving, many schools have decided that crimes of this nature will not be handled on campus, and instead, those charged with drunk driving will have to hire a drunk driving lawyer and defend themselves in the legal system, not on campus.

College Students Drinking

Creating Zero-Tolerance Policies: One incredibly effective deterrent that some schools have put in place is a zero-tolerance policy for drunk driving arrests. These policies basically state that if a student is convicted of drunk driving, they will be kicked out of school, even if it is a first offense.

Through these and other policies, school officials are hoping to limit the number of drunk driving incidents that occur on and near college campuses, and in doing so, keep their students, faculty, and staff safe.

 

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Larry Benneth+