Across the United States, there is a starting number of drunk driving accidents that occur each year. Although drivers are aware of the serious consequences that can come from driving while intoxicated, this does not prevent many people from driving even when they are over the legal alcohol limit. Due to the high number of injuries and deaths that occur each year as a result of drunk driving, many states are facing complaints that they do not take drunk driving seriously and that the consequences for driving drunk are too lax. However, according to a recent article by My San Antonio, Texas has some of the strictest drunk driving laws in the country.
Texas has ranked as the 13th toughest state for DWI charges, due to the severe penalties these drivers face and the significant number of prevention tactics in place across the state. In July of 2017 alone, Bexar County saw 43 DWI arrests according to country records. This number increases the number of DWI arrests in the county to 355 in the first half of 2017. For just one county in the entire state of Texas, this is a significant number of people who are facing consequences for their reckless actions. In all of 2016, there 590 DWI arrests in the county, and 2017 numbers indicate that the area is on track to meet or beat their previous year’s DWI arrest numbers. This indicates the county’s dedication to catching and penalizing individuals who engage in drunk driving. Across Texas, the penalties for a DWI arrest are severe and will result in a minimum of three days in jail after a first offense and a minimum of 30 days in jail after a second. Additionally, Texas is the only state where prior convictions will always be considered in future sentencing, no matter the length of time between arrests. Although Texas does not have any minimum fines associated with DWI arrests, drunk drivers will still face a significant financial cost, as insurance rates increase on average 44% after a DWI. With these penalties in place, Texas is working to end the number of serious accidents caused by drunk driving.
Although strict penalties are not a perfect solution to end drunk driving, they are an important step in the process. All states across the nation should require penalties at least as strict as those that Texas has in place, in order to discourage people from driving drunk. Although not all accidents can be prevented, stopping people from driving while intoxicated can prevent a large percentage. No one should have to face the physical or emotional losses that come from a serious accident.
Fortunately, individuals and family members harmed by a drunk driving accident can take action to help manage their financial losses. Texas attorneys, such as the Chris Mayo Law Firm, can help individuals file a lawsuit and receive compensation for their losses. Although this cannot end the pain or devastation from a car accident, it is an important starting place for many families.
In late May, tragedy struck Point Pleasant, NJ as contestants were preparing for the Jersey Shore Grand Prix. During one of the preliminary events, two boats crashed, leaving one dead and two severely injured.
The crash occurred as two boats took the first turn of the course. One boat, dubbed the “Repeat Offender” by owner James Byrne, crossed directly in front of another boat, causing the two to collide. The other boat, operated by brothers Peter and Richard Smith, passed over the top of Byrne’s boat, crushing him beneath. Both brothers were ejected into the water as their vessel later sank, but both refused medical treatment immediately after the incident.
The crash was afterwards investigated by authorities in Ocean County, who now say that they won’t file criminal charges against the two surviving boaters. They do, however, plan to continue their investigation of the collision to prevent similar catastrophes in the future. The “Repeat Offender” will be inspected by mechanics to determine whether any malfunctions occurred, but experts observe that the crash was likely unrelated to technical malfunctions. When combined, speed and choppy waves can create dangerous conditions that make vehicles difficult to control.
Though charges weren’t filed in this instance, the Houston offshore accidents attorneys at Williams Kherkher explain that victims can often claim compensation for injuries sustained on the water. Thanks to the Jones Act of 1920, “qualified sailors” who have been involved in accidents or become sick while performing their duties are eligible to recover compensation from their employers. If you have been injured on the water, it’s important to contact an offshore accident lawyer, who can tell you whether your case falls within the bounds of the Jones Act.
Insurance is a business after all, so it is not surprising that insurance companies will do everything they can to minimize the money they put out and maximize the money they put in. So, they may deny claims, and there are instances where even legitimate claims are denied. This can be a moral and legal issue, but that is for another article.
According to the website of Fields Disability, it is possible to make an appeal, so the insurance company can reconsider its decision of denying your claim. But before making an appeal, it is important to know your rights as a person who is claiming for long-term disability coverage.
Right to get a copy of your insurance policy
You and your employer or insurance company have agreed upon on an insurance policy, indicating the terms and conditions of the insurance, such as what constitute as a disability and what doesn’t. It is important to get a copy of this insurance policy so you can know what aspects of your claim you can improve so your claim will be more viable.
Right to check your medical records
Of course, one of the most important things in a long-term disability insurance claim is evidence that you are actually disabled. You have the right to take a look at your medical records, such as X-rays, MRI’s, reports regarding emergencies, medications, surgeries, and other documents that may bolster your claim. This is because there is a chance that the medical professional and insurance company has missed a significant part of your medical condition, resulting into the denial of your claim.
Right to check your file in the insurance company
If your claim has been denied, you can go to the insurance company and request for a copy of your claim document and their denial letter, so you can better pinpoint the parts where the denial may have risen from. This way, you can specifically target these parts for improvement to better your chances of being granted coverage.
Right to appeal the denial of your claim
This is arguably the most important right you have as a long-term disability insurance claimant. Whether your claim is weak or strong, you have the right to appeal to the insurance company to reconsider their decision to deny your claim. Yes, this can actually change things, especially if you exercise your other rights and improve your claim.
Solicitation of a minor, or child enticement, is the deliberate persuasion, enticement or invitation of a a person who is below the age of 16, to enter a home, a vehicle, an office, or any form of dwelling for the purpose of engaging in a sexual activity (such as fondling, molestation, sodomy, or sexual assault) or to have sexual intercourse. The mere attempt to solicit or entice a child can also result to solicitation charges even though the offense is actually never getting carried out.
Many states prosecute sex crimes committed on minors very aggressively. Besides possibly mandating a criminal to register as a sex offender (for the rest of his/her life), anyone convicted can also face up to 30 years imprisonment and fines of up to $100,000.
Time in jail and cost of fines will significantly increase if solicitation of a minor is charged at the federal level. According to the United States Department of Justice, Section 2422(a) and (b) of Title 18 of the United States Code, solicitation of a minor can be charged on:
- “Whoever knowingly persuades, induces, entices, or coerces any individual to travel in interstate or foreign commerce, or in any Territory or Possession of the United States, to engage in prostitution, or in any sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a criminal offense, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both;” and,
- “Whoever, using the mail or any facility or means of interstate or foreign commerce, or within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States knowingly persuades, induces, entices, or coerces any individual who has not attained the age of 18 years, to engage in prostitution or any sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a criminal offense, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title and imprisoned not less than 10 years or for life.”
Upon release from federal prison, if a convicted felon fails to register as a sex offender, he/she could be charged with a separate crime that carries up to 10 years imprisonment and considerable fines.
As explained in the website of the law firm Horst Law, “Sexual crimes involving children almost always have heavy criminal implications and if a person accused of solicitation of a minor or other sexual offense does not start building a defense immediately, the chance they will face serious criminal punishments rises significantly. Any sex crime is considered a felony and with that entails the possibility of jail time. The official level of a solicitation of a minor offense often varies with what the accused was trying to solicit from the minor. In many instances, the level of felony charged will be one degree lower than that of the crime being solicited. Some of the most common criminal penalties that people accused of solicitation of a minor face include:
- Soliciting a minor to observe sexual conduct – Fines ranging from $25,000 to $100,000, and jail time between eight to 30 years.
- Aggravated sexual exploitation – Fines ranging from $25,000 to $100,000, and jail time between eight and 30 years.
Each picture, performance, or sexual request can signify a separate count of solicitation of a minor. As a result, the penalties for child sex abuse can quickly stack up if not adequately defended against.”
When we decide to get married, we aspire to make it work and perfect. Just like in fairy tales, our objective is to “live happily ever after.” But like what they say there is no such thing as perfect. While we want to make our married life work, there will come a time when things will not go well. Most couples who still believe that they can still fix their marriage end up making things worse.
Just because you cannot fix your relationship does not mean it is beyond repair. It only means that no one wants to give in and you are fixing it based on what you want. If your spouse is no longer happy, there is a relationship problem that you need to fix. According to the website of Kathleen Snyder, relationship struggles can be difficult for couples to handle. This is where a marriage counselor can help you.Seeking the help of a marriage counselor can work wonders for the married couples. Figures from Statistics Brain revealed the following numbers:
- 65% of couples reported significant improvement after seeing a marriage counselor
- 75% of couples believe that they are “better off” after a counseling session
- 50 percent of couples still maintain their improved relationship two years after counseling
- 22% of couples who attended marriage counseling cite love for each other as their reason for attendance while 19% say that they do not communicate well
- Married couple would attend an average of 20 sessions in marriage counseling
But when is the proper time to get into marriage counseling? Here are some of the signs that you need the help of a relationship professional:
- When there is no communication. In reality, the challenge in most relationships is the lack of communication. When couples do not talk, it is usually hard to get back in the right direction. A counselor can device new ways for the people to communicate
- When there is communication but always negative. When the talking is in the negative, your spouse would feel that they are being judged, shamed, disregarded, or insecure. When the married couple talks in the negative, the communication turns into emotional abuse
- When you are afraid to open up. When there is an issue that you need to communicate with your spouse but you just cannot do it, it is really a problem. A marriage counselor can help you clear things up with your spouse.
- When affection is taken as a punishment. When you give your spouse the silent treatment and vice versa, it only shows imbalance in your relationship.
- When you are considering or already having an affair. Contemplating about having an affair shows that you are looking for something different from your current relationship. While survival is still possible even after the affair, it is best to nip it in the bud right away. As long as you and your partner are committed to working things out, the marriage can still be saved.
- When you are living independent from each other. When you and your partner become more like roommates than a married couple. The lack of communication, intimacy, and the feeling of just “co-existing” is a tell tale sign that something is wrong with your relationship and you need a professional to bring back the spark in your relationship.
Marriage is not like a grocery item that you can easily return and replace with another item. It is a life long commitment. For any signs of trouble, the couple needs to work things out or if they cannot, a marriage counselor can help them patch things up.
Providing excellent customer service is one of the keys to the success of your business. You want to make sure that your customers gets the best experience in your website. They may have some queries or concerns that needs to be addressed right away. You don’t want to keep them waiting or else they might go somewhere else. This is where a live chat platform will come in handy. You can cater to the needs of your customers right away without having for them to wait a long time.
Numbers Don’t Lie
Several statistics have showed why live chat is the best form of customer service. Not only does it provide several benefits but also delivers a high level of customer satisfaction. Here are figures that proves live chat is worthwhile for your business:
- 73% of satisfied customers prefer using live chat than any other support methods such as email, telephone, and social media.
- 44% of customers revealed that having a live chat address their inquires while making an online purchase was one of the most important website offerings
- While making an online purchase, 83% of customers got live chat support
- 62% of customers were more convinced to make purchase if customer support was available
- 63% of customers were more likely to come back to a website that has live chat features
Benefits of Live Chat
Here are some more reasons for considering live chat for your business:
- Live chat turns leads into potential customers
As you are able to address concerns and queries right away, live chat helps convert leads into sales. A recent study revealed that chat can increase conversions by approximately 20 percent. According to the website of Lasso Live Chat, these features can make visitors feel that their needs are being satisfied and concerned being heard.
- Live chat increases customer service efficiency and reduces customer service expenses
Aside from easy installation, a live chat program can also be easily learned. In addition, the cost per transaction is significantly lower than other communication channels. The customer service rep can also interact with multiple clients simultaneously while still offering “personalized” service.
- It can boost the level of customer satisfaction
An an emarketer.com survey found that 63% were more likely to return to a website that offers live chat. When the customer see the chat button, they become more confident.
- Increases the likelihood of purchase from the customer
A study by Marketing Power revealed that customers who use live chat are three more times more likely to purchase since the method is direct and personal. Live chat can help you focus more on the needs of your competitors.
- It gives you a competitive advantage over the competition
The 2013 U.S. Wireless Customer Care Non-Contract Performance Study revealed that customers prefer live chat than other communication channels thus giving you a competitive advantage over competitors.
In this day and age when competition in the industry is quite competitive, you need to find a way to make your business stand out from the competition. Adding the live chat feature is one effective way to give yourself a competitive edge in the industry.
Preventing workplace injuries is the responsibility of both the employer and the employee. In legal parlance, this is called duty of care. For the employers, it is their responsibility to take all the necessary steps to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of their employees. Business owners must not view this as a legal duty but as a business case as well. For employers, showing duty of care helps build and reinforce their trust and commitment to employees. Likewise, it helps improve staff retention, boost productivity, and greater employee engagement.
While the employers put the policies and guidelines in place, it is the job of the employee, on the other hand, to follow the practices, participate in the training and report hazards. Under the law, employees have the right to refuse work that will undermine their safety without fear of disciplinary action.
Employers are also legally bound to abide by relevant health & safety and employment laws as well as the common law duty of care. They also have the moral and ethical duty not to cause or fail to prevent, physical or psychological injury which they must fulfill to prevent personal injury and negligence claims. An employer is guilty of violating their duty of care once they fail to do everything reasonable in the circumstances to keep their employees safe from harm.
According to the website of Scudder & Hedrick, PLLC, the Occupational Health & Safety Act and Regulations outlines the different safety requirements that all businesses must meet for the sake of their employees. Here is a partial list of an employer’s duty of care to their employees:
• Ensure that the workplace is free from serious recognizable hazards and complies with standards, rules, and regulations based on the OS & H Act
• Make sure that workplace conditions conforms with applicable OSHA standards
• Provide safe tools and equipment and ensure that employees use and properly maintain them
• Establish color coded posters, signs, or labels to warn employees of potential hazards
• Maintain or update operating procedures and inform employees so they can follow safety and health requirements
• Provide employers with safety training in an understandable language
• Implement a written hazard communication program and train employees on proper precautions about exposure to hazards
Here are some of the workers’ responsibilities as laid down in the Occupational Health & Safety Act and Regulations:
• Protect their own safety and health as well as of their co-employees
• Work hand in hand with their employers on safety and health concerns
• Inform their employers about any workplace situation that could be hazardous to them
• Follow the provided safety instructions and training
• Properly use and maintain safety equipment and devices
Employees rights as provided for in the Occupational Health & Safety Act:
• Be informed about workplace hazards
• Take part and assist in determining and solving health & safety issues
• Refuse unsafe work
According to the website of LaMarca Law Group, P.C. despite these standards being in place, workplace injuries are still a common occurrence in American companies. Employees must be vigilant in safeguarding their health and safety in their workplace to prevent accidents from happening.
Now more than ever, with the increasing costs associated with car accidents, having car insurance has become a necessity. Having insurance is such a convenience when you get involved in road crashes. It frees you from having to make those out of the pocket expenses for any repairs that may arise from the accident.
According to the website of this 18-wheeler accident lawyer, you need to understand the terms of your policy so that you will know how to deal with your provider in case they try to shortchange you. With that in mind, here are some facts about car insurance that you need to know:
- Car insurance does not provide coverage for lost personal items due to vehicle theft. If you are fond of bringing expensive items in your car such as laptops and GPS devices, you may not be able to get coverage for them in case of vehicle theft. If you want coverage for them, you should include a rider on your policy for covering them.
- Occupation can affect your auto insurance rates.Depending on your occupation, it is possible to get discounted rates on your insurance premium. For instance, an engineer is likely to get discounts because they are considered less risky.
- The kind of car you drive can affect your car insurance rate
Most insurance companies use insurance accident statistics compiled by the Highway Loss Data Institute when setting prices on insurance. So the more expensive your car is, the higher will be your insurance rate as the insurance provider will have to pay more. If your car is the type that is less likely to be stolen, you get lower insurance rates as the insurer will pay less when you get involved in an accident.
- When switching auto insurance policy, make sure to cancel your previous policy. When you fail to do so, it will be reflected in your credit report as canceled due to non-payment.
- Auto insurance is tax deductible when used for business. Simply, indicate the amount of time your car is used solely for your business. Let us say that you used your car 30% of the time, then 30% of your auto insurance is deductible. Your best option is the flat per-mile reimbursement instead.
- Being a safe driver can contribute to lower premiums. Most insurance companies will consider things like safety features, safe driving record, anti-theft devices, and others. So make sure that you are fully rewarded for being a safe driver.
Getting rid of an itchy scalp can be a major issue especially for women. Of course, no one would want to see loose flakes of dandruff falling off on their clothes. The scalp contains sebum (sebaceous glands) designed to moisturize the hair and scalp. When it looses its moisture, the scalp becomes dry, white, and flaky. For most people, an itchy scalp can be a cause of embarrassment and discomfort.
Dry and itchy scalp can be caused by stress, environmental factors, diet, chemical based hair products, and hot water. According to the website of Therapy Hair Studio, getting professional hair care need not be a burden. In fact, you do not have to spend a huge amount of money to treat your dry scalp. Here are 5 natural remedies for getting rid of an itchy and dry scalp:
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar contains powerful anti-inflammation properties that gets rid of the yeast and virus that causes itchy scalp. Likewise, it helps balance the pH levels of the scalp, which can help relieve itching and dryness. Yeast does not thrive in an acidic environment so applying an ACV solution can be helpful. To treat dry scalp, do the following:
- Rinse your hair and scalp with water and let it dry.
- Mix equal amounts of apple cider vinegar and water and pout it into a spray bottle. Using cotton balls, apply the mixture directly onto your scalp
- After a few minutes, shampoo with normal water
2. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera are known for its moisturizing properties, which can help soothe dryness and itching. It can be derived straight from the plant or the organize gel that are available in most stores. Aloe vera is a natural emolient and has a calming property.
3. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil contains natural antifungal, anti-inflammation, and antibacterial properties. It kills the bacteria that causes the over production of skin cells. It can soothe the scalp when used with shampoo or conditioner. The Mayo Clinic says that there is some evidence that Tea Tree Oil can help with acne as well, but cautions against consuming the oil, as it is somewhat toxic when taking internally.
4. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil not only treats the scalp but gets rid of dandruff problem. It creates a barrier that keeps the skin moisturized. It contains capyrilic acid which helps keep fungus from developing. It can become even more effecitve when combined with tea tree oil.
5. Baking Soda
Baking soda exfoliates the scalp and controls dandruff caused by overactive fungi. To get the best results, make a paste using a baking soada and water mixtue and then apply it directly onto your scalp. Leave it for 10 to 15 minutes and then rinse well with water.
These natural remedies can contribute a lot to eliminating dry and itchy scalp.
They say that dogs are a man’s best friend. They can protect your property, your belongings, and they make a great companion. But things can get out of hand sometimes and in one moment you could find yourself embroiled in a dog bite lawsuit. Getting bitten by a dog can be fatal due to the rabies that could easily spread throughout your body. Before anything else, you need to seek medical attention as you can get seriously injured, infected, or worse, die. In fact, the Cleveland Clinic says that outside of the United States, dogs are the most common source of rabies transmission to humans.
Once medical treatment has been done, you can try to hold the owner of the dog liable for damages. According to the website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, dog bites can be traumatic because it will require extensive medical and rehabilitative treatment. If you plan to file a lawsuit against the owner of the dog, you may first need to understand the laws in your state regarding dog bites. Aside from that, it is important to know that these lawsuits are not resolved quickly and may take a few months or years to have a conclusion.
Proving liability is the main concern when it comes to dog bites. You and your lawyer will have to work hand in hand to show in court that the owner of the dog was liable for the injuries you sustained due to the dog’s behavior. Depending on the state you are in, holding the owner liable can be a real challenge.
In some states such as in California, dog bites are governed by strict liability laws. This means that any injuries that result from the dog bite will make the owner at fault. The only time the owner will not be held liable in a strict liability law state is when you were trespassing in the property of the owner or if it can be proven that you were taunting the dog.
Likewise, in other states, liability is governed by the “one bite” law. In a state like Texas, for example, a dog owner is not responsible for any injuries, if it was the first time you were bitten by a dog. However, succeeding bites will make the dog owner liable. According to the website of the Benton Law Firm, the owner of the dog can also be charged with second-degree felony or imprisonment of up to 20 years if the victim dies after the dog bite.
It is worth noting that even if your case does not comply with the requirements to make the owner liable in a strict liability or one bite state, you can still prove negligence on the part of the owner. You can still charge them due to their violation of the leash law, which allowed the dog to attack you. This way, you can still charge the owner even if it is the first time that their dogs bit you.
The dog bite lawsuit commences when your lawyer sends a demand letter to the owner of the dog informing them of your intention to press charges, your injuries, the argument, and the acceptable settlement amount.
After sending of the letter, the period of negotiation comes. Your lawyer will try to negotiate a settlement agreement that is favorable to you. If the other party does not agree, then your lawyer will now file the formal lawsuit against the owner of the dog.
At the trial stage, the prosecution and defense will now proceed with the presentation of their evidences by presenting their witnesses. The jury will then deliberate and give their verdict.
Dog bite lawsuits can be a long and draining process so you need to ask yourself whether it is worthwhile to pursue a case against the dog owner.