Oil Shale Deposits in the U.S.

By on 7-12-2017 in Mineral Rights

Oil shale is one variety of sedimentary rock. It is formed when silt and clay combine. Oil shale usually contains kerogen, a good possible source of gas and oil. Technological developments, which have enabled oil companies to combine horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have resulted to an increased production of shale oil and gas in the United States. This has transformed the nation from being an oil-dependent country in the past to a major oil producing one today – a transformation that has caused excitement not only among oil firms but among land owners too whose lands may be possible sources of oil.

The common law grants owners of properties or estates in the U.S. certain rights, namely, “mineral rights” and “surface rights.” These rights include private ownership of oil, gas, valuable rocks and all other forms of minerals which may be found on or under their property. These rights include the property owners’ legal capability to lease, sell, transfer ownership, bequeath or give these rights to anyone they choose.

Owner’s control over their properties and whatever may be found on or beneath these is one of the most basic stipulations in the private ownership law which is legally referred to as, “fee simple estate.”

Thanks to this “fee simple estate,” owners of lands along the shale regions are given the possible chance of enjoying the flow of huge amounts of cash into their household. The only thing they need to make is to decide whether to sell or lease their mineral rights to any of the giant oil firms that lay their offer on the table.

To a number of property owners, however, deciding is just never too easy. Selling mineral rights has advantages and disadvantages, but so too does leasing these. If you want to sell mineral rights, you probably want to find out as much as you can about the process before you commit to a decision. A successful sale that will earn you maximum profit with minimum effort depends on a confident seller familiar with the ins and outs of a complicated, time-sensitive market. Some mineral rights brokers have developed a step-by-step guide to help you sell mineral rights at the best possible price. Once you understand the basic process, you will be better able to make an informed decision about how to proceed.


Remove Bad Truck Drivers from the Road!

By on 5-10-2017 in Traffic Accidents

Fatal truck accidents happen almost 11 times a day, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This translates to more than 4,000 deaths every year; non-fatal accidents, on the other hand, number to more than 100,000 annually.

Ii was in 1986 when the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act was passed into law. As this law strictly mandates the removal of bad drivers from the road, allowing drivers to continue operating a truck despite multiple traffic violations, especially a DUI or driving under the influence, is, therefore, a clear violation of this law, to which truck drivers, and their safety officers and employers must be held liable, especially if an accident occurs.

Many truck drivers normally drive for 11 hours, especially if the cargo they carry needs to be delivered fast and on time. Thus, despite feeling fatigued or sleepy, the mental resolve to make a timely delivery makes them forego personal needs for the sake of work requirement. This attitude, however, has proven detrimental many times as this takes away their focus on driving and reduces their ability to react to emergency situations. Furthermore, it increases their inability to notice smaller vehicles, whose drivers also fail to observe proper care, committing the mistake of tailgating a truck or driving in its “no zone” area.

Due to the length of big rigs or 18-wheelers, their drivers often end up failing to notice smaller vehicles driving in their “no-zone” or blind spot areas. These “no-zone” areas refer to spots around a truck where crashes would most likely happen because (smaller) vehicles are not visible to truck drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), these areas include:

  • a truck’s front area, where smaller vehicles often make the mistake of suddenly slowing down or making an emergency stop after cutting in front of a truck;
  • a truck’s rear area, where smaller vehicles make the mistake of tailgating it; and,
  • a truck’s sides (especially the right or passenger side), where smaller vehicles are usually never visible and can easily be crushed if truck changes lane or makes a right turn.

According to the law firm Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, “Trucking companies and the drivers they employ have a legal and ethical responsibility to protect other drivers on the road. When a trucking company has done everything they can to ensure that both their vehicles and their employees have what they need to do the job safely, the responsibility for safe conduct shifts to the truck driver. Unfortunately, some drivers fail to take this responsibility seriously and cause catastrophic and preventable accidents as a result. Bearing all these in mind, truck accidents victims have every reason to take legal action against the responsible party if they suspect the accident was caused by any form of negligence or recklessness.”

On its part, the firm Abel Law says, “Large semi-trailer trucks have a commanding presence on the road. Most drivers take extra care around these large vehicles because they understand how devastating an accident with a truck could be. A single truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, or 40 times the weight of an average passenger vehicle.

Truck drivers have a responsibility to control their vehicles and to exercise caution at all times to help avoid causing an accident. When a truck driver acts in a way that puts other drivers at risk, he or she may be held liable for any injuries or damages that result. Thus, if your injuries were caused by another person’s reckless actions, you may be eligible to win compensation for medical expenses, reduced earning capacity, disability, ongoing pain, and emotional suffering. It is not right for innocent victims to shoulder the burden of other people’s mistakes.”

Damages from Car Accidents

By on 2-14-2017 in Traffic Accidents

Car accidents can be triggered by a lot of things, such as driver errors, auto defects, road hazards, and dangerous weather conditions. The most tragic car accidents and injuries are those that involve an innocent motorist. According to the website of personal injury attorney Ali Mokaram, a negligent party who has caused injury to an innocent party may be held liable.

But what exactly are the damages sustained in a car accident? They are written below to prove the point that car accidents are more damaging than you think.

Medical costs

The most obvious effect of traffic accidents is injury. If the motorists involved are lucky, they may sustain only minor ones, such as bruises, cuts, and road rashes. Those who are not so lucky may have traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries that may lead to paralysis, disfigurements, and amputations. The medical costs of these complications may not be easily covered, especially by families who are financially limited.

Pain and suffering

Of course, injuries are very painful. But it is important to note that physical pain is not just the kind of stressful feeling victims experience. They may also be emotionally and psychologically affected, influencing their general enjoyment of life. The most common problems include anxiety, depression, flashbacks and nightmares about the traumatic event, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Loss of wages

Getting injured does not just inflict pain and suffering and have medical costs, as it may also result into the loss of your earning capacity. If you are injured, your physical limitation can prevent you from going to work. Your therapy sessions will take your time away. Your injury may also be serious enough to warrant lifelong limitations to your ability to work and earn money.

As said earlier, these damages are more tragic when they happen on the innocent party, while the negligent party that has caused the traumatic event suffers from relatively less damages. To avoid these things, it is best to always drive safely and be aware of your surroundings.

How to Deal with Post Traumatic Stress after a Motor Vehicle Accident

By on 2-11-2017 in Injuries

A host of things can happen after you are hurt in an accident. You may be treated by paramedics on the scene in minor cases,  taken to a hospital and treated for physical injuries, taken to see a specialist, or even rushed to surgery. However, after being hurt in an accident, you may need to be treated for more than just physical injuries. Car accidents can be extremely traumatic experiences, and often the mental injuries incurred in an accident are just as severe as the physical ones. Unfortunately, despite the potential lasting effects of these mental injuries, they are often not regarded with the same care as their physical counterparts and go unnoticed most of the time until they present increasingly dire symptoms.

One of the most common mental repercussions after an accident is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. As the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs notes,  motor vehicle accidents are the most frequently experienced traumatic event in men and the second most frequent in women.  Despite how common the condition is, most people aren’t aware of its basic symptoms and proper courses of treatment. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, PTSD symptoms can include angry outbursts, flashbacks, and nightmares, among a multitude of other cognition and mood symptoms that began after an accident. If you were hurt in an accident and have experienced similar symptoms, you may have Post Traumatic Stress or a similar anxiety disorder and should seek outside help immediately. A psychiatrist needs to diagnose the condition first and can then proceed to begin treatment methods, which may include medication, psychotherapy, and group counseling, all of which will aim to help you manage and reduce your symptoms. As noted by Russo, Russo, and Slania, P.C., such injuries can leave you with many “physical and emotional challenges” that are “difficult to overcome.” However, with proper attention to your mental health by certified health care professionals, such accidents and their resulting trauma can in fact be overcome and conquered.

Signs That You Are A Makeup Addict

By on 12-01-2016 in Makeup Addiction

Women are always conscious of their looks when going in public. They want to look and feel good about themselves in the eyes of other people. Cosmetic products can help achieve this goal. For this reason, they spend time in buying the latest beauty products. Sometimes they wear makeup all the time and cannot let the day pass without having makeup. If you are this kind of woman, it could be a sign that you are becoming a makeup addict.

But while cosmetic products can boost the confidence and look of a woman, addiction to makeup can also have its negative effects. Addiction Makeup reveals that cosmetic products contain parabens, which are preservatives found in personal care products. When exposed to these substances, exposure to parabens can have a negative effect on the skin. Here now are the signs that you are addicted to cosmetics:

1. Hoarding Makeup
Makeup addiction forces you to hoard makeup for yourself. Even if you already have plenty of makeup in your collection, you keep on adding to your current stash.
2. You Just Can’t Stop Buying Makeup
When you have the tendency to buy makeup even if you can no longer afford it, it is a sign that you are addicted to makeup.
3. You Always Want To Wear Makeup
If you cannot get through the day without putting on makeup, you have a serious addiction to cosmetic products. Such addiction has reached a different level such that you will still put on makeup even if you are just going to the post office or go to the gym.
4. It Takes A Long Time For You To Get Ready
Because of their desire to look their best, makeup addicts spend several hours getting ready. They want everything to be perfect and this is wrong.

Wearing makeup has been part of a woman’s lifestyle. It is their way of making themselves pretty and confident. But too much of everything can be bad and that includes makeup addiction.

Brain and Head Injury Due to Falling Objects Near a Construction Site

By on 11-03-2016 in Construction Injury

Sometime in 2013, a 58-year-old independent contractor for a New York-based trucking company, who was delivering Gypsum National drywall in New Jersey, ended up as another innocent and unsuspecting victim of what may be said was a totally preventable fatal accident in a construction site.

After speaking with someone (who was in a pickup truck), the 58-year-old contractor was hit on the head by a 1-pound tape measure, which slipped from the hands of a worker (who was working on the 50th floor) while he tried to unfasten the tool from his belt. The tape measure bounced off a piece of construction metal that was about 10 – 15 feet from the ground before inflicting a fatal head injury.

Falling objects from heights, especially in construction sites, are a huge safety concern. In 2012, records from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics show 4,383 fatal work-related injuries in the United States. The cause of death of 233 who died was getting struck by objects
or equipment, which is the third leading cause of injuries and fatalities in construction site accidents. The 509 deaths, by the way, registered a seven percent increase from 2011 during which the number of deaths was 219.

The types of objects that very often fall from great heights include hand-held radios; nuts and bolts; hard hats; little bits of concrete; and small tools, like tape measures, pliers and wrenches. While this type of carelessness can definitely result to property damage below, lost productivity, and inconvenience to worker (who will have to go down to retrieve the tool), workers should never forget that this can also very well result to a life-altering injury or death, not just to his/her co-worker or anyone else inside or near the site, but to pedestrians too who may be feet away from the construction area since falling objects can bounce off any material and hit anything or anyone below.

Many are not aware of the dangers and the possible severe injuries which can result from falling construction tools and materials. Who would have thought that a 1-pound tape measure would kill a man, anyway? Getting hit by a falling object can easily result to severe injuries, such as brain and head injuries which, if this does not kill the victim, it may cause in him/her permanent disability.

As the law firm Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® explains in its website, over 1.7 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury every year, hospitalizing 275,000 and killing 52,000 others. These individuals may suffer cognitive, emotional, and other difficulties that require ongoing care and treatment, at great expense. If the accident resulting to brain injury was the fault of someone else, the victim is given all the rights to pursue legal action where the court may find him/her eligible to receive financial compensation for the damages he/she has been unjustly made to suffer.

Child Conservatorship in Texas

By on 9-05-2016 in Family Law

“The best interest of the child shall always be the primary consideration of the court in determining the issues of conservatorship and possession of and access to the child.” This stipulation is stated in Title 5 Sec. 153.002 of the Texas Family Code.

The best interest of the child is the primary consideration of all state courts when determining child custody, visitation rights and child support issues during a divorce process. The best interest of the child, however, does not necessarily mean what the child wants, but what the court deems would be best for him/her.

As mentioned in the website of law firm Kirker Davis, LLP, in the determining conservatorship or custodianship (of a child) the overarching standards for Austin and Texas courts are: (i) assurance that the child will have frequent and continuing contact with parents who have shown the ability to act in the best interest of the child; (ii) provide a safe, stable, and non-violent environment for the child; and, (iii) encourage parents to share in the rights and duties of raising their child after the parents have separated or dissolved their marriage.

The issue of conservatorship, besides being legally complex, can be the most emotionally involved and contentious of all divorce-related issues that need to be settled. It is for this reason that the courts encourage divorcing spouses to work together, settle their differences and try to arrive at an amicable agreement regarding child custody, otherwise, determining conservatorship issue will be left to the family court judge who will make all legal and binding decisions (in open court) after hearing both spouses lash at each other; the decision may not be likable to one or to both parents, or even to the child himself/herself as it will be based on what the judge sees to be right, fit and fair.

A child, upon reaching the age of 12, can sign a “Choice of Managing Conservator,” a document that will tell the court of his/her wishes concerning primary living arrangements. This document can persuade the court to decide based on a child’s preference, however, this is not always the case.

As soon as you or your spouse considers filing for divorce, settling all issues amicably will make a lot of difference in the outcome of all issues that need to be settled. Although you can surely agree or argue with your spouse, doing it with the help and guidance of a highly-competent child custody lawyer may just result in a more reasonable and acceptable agreement, as well as keep your divorce case outside the court.