Harvey Animal Refugees

By on 11-19-2015 in Insurance

The effects of Hurricane Harvey were devastating, and the city of Houston will take many years to recover from the catastrophic flooding that most are calling an “800-year flood”. Thousands of people have had their homes completely destroyed, and other Texas cities are expected to receive refugees. However, it is not just people who were affected: thousands of animals in shelters are going to have to move cities as well. Animals are considered to be family members in many households, and it is necessary to help them as much as possible.

According to this CBS News story in San Antonio updated just yesterday, San Antonio Animal Care Services is teaming up the local humane society to provide emergency shelter for animals affected by the storm. As of Tuesday, the 29th, 231 animals have already been brought in, and not just dogs and cats: they have even taken in a gerbil named Rufus. Even with emergency resources, San Antonio cannot shoulder the entire burden. Wings of Rescue is helping transport pets to shelters all over the country, to Maryland, Washington D.C., and even all the way to Oregon and Washington state. 169 dogs and 122 cats are on their way to Austin, and Austin Pets Alive is expecting to bring in over 1,000 rescued animals by the end of the week. Rescuing as many animals as possible is a huge priority, as shelters are determined to not have a repeat of hurricane Katrina, which stranded or killed over 600,000 animals.

Many millennials are choosing to own pets instead of having children, and it is easy to see why. Cats and dogs cost much less to keep, and they can become just as much a part of the family as another human. Pets require a huge time commitment (especially dogs), and many young people who are working hard every day to support themselves are short on time. However, many companies and startups are popping up to help, like Walk!ATX, a dog walking service available in Austin, the fastest growing city in the United States. With all of these resources for pet parents, more and more people are able to experience the joy of living with a furry friend. All of the refugee animals from Houston will hopefully go to good homes.

Before the hurricane struck land, many shelters across Texas called for foster parents to house animals in order to clear the shelters for refugees from Houston. If you have been considering adopting a dog or a cat and you live in the central Texas area, now is the time to do it. There are hundreds of displaced animals that just want a loving, forever home. If you do not have the time or resources to donate directly to charities that are helping Houstonians, and if you cannot bear the responsibility of pet ownership, you can help these displaced pets by donating food and bedding to your local animal shelter.

Oil Shale Deposits in the U.S.

By on 11-19-2015 in Insurance

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 11-19-2015 in Insurance

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 11-19-2015 in Insurance

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 11-19-2015 in Insurance

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.