When we see buses slowly crawling along city streets or slowly driving through suburban neighborhoods to pick up children, it’s hard to imagine such vehicles could do much damage in an accident. They are, almost to the point of annoyance for many people, chronically slow moving.
For many people, this can feel like a negative. Anyone stuck behind a bus in the city knows the exasperation with the slow-starting, slow-moving, often stopping city bus.
But for all the tortoise pace of the average bus, accidents do happen, and those accidents are often quite serious.
They’re serious for the obvious reason. Buses are huge. When they run into something, they do a lot of damage. While this is rare because of how they are hampered in their action (constantly needing to pick up people and let them off), when they do hit something, it likely leads to some very unfortunate consequences.
What is particularly upsetting about these unfortunate consequences, when they do occur, is that the people most often affected are children and the elderly. Who else rides the bus as often as those two groups?
According to USA Today, there were only about 1,200 bus-related accidents in the country between 2004 and 2013. However, those accidents resulted in 134 deaths.
That number includes many people who weren’t even on the bus. In fact, 21% of those killed were outside the bus at the time of the accident.
While these numbers may seem low compared to the high overall numbers of vehicle accidents in the country, two things should be kept in mind. First, this is only school buses, not city buses or other buses (such as long-distance buses like Greyhound). And second, again, these are kids we’re talking about.
In order to lower these numbers even further, more should be done to make sure all students have seat belts on the bus, and that bus drivers are rigorously tested to make sure they are very safe and reliable drivers. The same should be expected of city buses, although seat belts are obviously not possible in that case.
The number of overall truck and bus accidents has been going up in recent years, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which means there’s never been a better time to start implementing higher standards for drivers and start looking for more innovations to help lower these numbers.
When buses are tasked with watching over our children and the elderly, and when the driver is responsible for such powerful machines, more has to be done to make sure everyone is safe onboard and on the street. There’s no excuse for any accident to be caused by a bus. As inconvenient as it can feel to drivers sometimes, buses should always be slow to start, slow to move, often stopping, and above all, safe.
For all of human history, people have gathered in their community centers to socialize, barter, and share in the human experience. Even ancient cultures took pride in their communities, and local governments would undertake grand building projects in order to beautify the landscape for their own people as well as visitors. Even today, one small town in Illinois is continuing the tradition of celebrating their town history and pride with a beautification project.
According to this article in the Daily Herald, the small village of Antioch in northern Illinois is about to celebrate its 125th anniversary. Comprising just about 15,000 people, Antioch is the definition of a small town, but it is incredibly proud of its history. In order to cap off an entire summer of celebrations, the town is installing a new 18-foot clock tower downtown across from the village hall. The clock tower had been acquired a number of years ago but has been kept in storage all this time. The city council originally planned to install it elsewhere, but a road-building project got in the way. In addition to the new clock, the area around the village hall will undergo a major landscaping update. Originally, the old village hall was to be torn down and replaced, but there was never enough money in the budget for that. Not even landscaping had been improved in over 15 years because there was never room in the budget for it. The total cost of this 125th-anniversary project is about $44,000 and will add “color for every season” to the aging town hall. The project will also include new benches and lighting, as well as a plaque celebrating the village history. The scenery will also highlight a veterans memorial in the village hall courtyard.
Especially for small towns, community history is incredibly important. I think that it is unfortunate that it took so much time for the mayor and the city council to decide to beautify the downtown area. More local governments should take as much pride in their communities as the people who live there. Certainly, since the mental health benefits of attractive landscaping have been proven time and again, it would add plenty of value to the community for years to come and even attract more tourists and potential new residents.
Of course, it costs a significant amount of money to undertake a landscaping project of this magnitude, so landscaping is an easy thing to cut out of most city budgets. However, you can landscape your own home for much less, and it will still beautify and add value to your community. In the greater Chicago area, Ware Landscaping is one such company that will take all of the guesswork and help you in your landscaping endeavors. All of us are part of a community in one way or another, and if the local government is too slow in making the community beautiful, the onus falls on us.
Chapter 7 will allow you to discharge most of your debts and still keep some exempt property such as your homestead, your vehicle, and personal possessions. However, according to the website of Gagnon, Peacock, Vereeke, some debts are non-dischargeable and cannot be wiped out. These include:
- Back child support and other types of family support
- Debts for DWI (driving while intoxicated) personal injury
- Traffic tickets and criminal restitution
- Income tax and other tax debts within the last three years
- Debts not included in your bankruptcy filing
The last item happens more often than it should. In most cases, this is because the filer decided to accomplish the forms on their own in the mistaken believe that they are saving money by not enlisting the help of a bankruptcy lawyer. This is a false economy, especially when a creditor files an objection to discharge for a dischargeable debt. This may include:
- Credit card debt more than $1,150 incurred within 60 days of filing for luxury goods or services
- Debts incurred fraudulently, such as by providing false information in the application
- Debts incurred from the willful destruction of property
It should be noted also that lenders that hold a lien on your home or vehicle retains the right to take possession of these properties, even if they fall under state or federal exemptions. If the lender does repossess the property, you are still entitled to the amount of your equity. For example, if you had a car worth $5,000, but you still owe $3,000 on it, then your equity is $2,000. The lender can get the property back and sell it, but will have to give you back your equity. You can also choose to continue paying for these secured debts in order to keep your property. However, if the exempt property was used to secure a loan, but the loan was not for its purchase, then the debt may be discharged.
There are many issues that will come up in Chapter 7 that can be confusing and scary to a lay person. It is advisable to retain the services of a competent bankruptcy lawyer in your state for the best results.
When you choose a house to rent or buy, you think about how many people are going to live in it to determine what size you need. Typically, you look at how many bedrooms and bathrooms because that is where you will be spending most of your time at home. The same is true for storage units. You have to know what you are going to put in it before you choose the size you need.
As a rule of thumb, here is what the website of Pond Springs Mini Storage estimates you can put in standard sized units:
5 ft x 5 ft – Smallest Unit
This is about the size of a rather large hall closet. You can put in quite a few boxes plus small furniture you don’t use like a telephone table or a chest of drawers. You can probably fit in a two-seater couch but only if it less than 5 feet in length. If you are merely storing stuff your kids’ grew out of, this should be fine.
5 ft x 10 ft – Walk-in Closet
This is longer than it is deep, so you can put your regular-sized couch and chair or a dining set, plus a host of smaller boxes and items. This is actually quite a large space if you plan it right, enough to store most of what is in the typical living and dining room.
10 ft x 10 ft – One Bedroom Apartment
If you feel like keeping the stuff from your starter home but don’t have space for it in your new house, or just want it out of the way as you move in, this will do nicely. It will fit the contents of a standard one-bedroom apartment complete with refrigerator and washer-dryer.
10 ft x 15 ft – Two Bedroom Apartment
This is probably bigger than most apartments in the city! This will fit the contents of a standard two-bedroom apartment but probably not all major appliances. Again, it is all in the planning.
10 ft x 20 ft – largest unit
This is big enough to hold an RV, so if your stuff won’t all fit in it, then you really may have too much stuff!
Regardless of whether you just want their advice on how to properly negotiate a settlement on your own, or take over an already ongoing personal injury claim, or hire a lawyer to full handle your claim, finding the right type of personal injury lawyer plays a vital role in either having your claim denied on awarded. There are some factors you should look into when finding the right lawyer, such as one that is highly experienced and have knowledge about state laws as well as someone with whom you are comfortable working with. For instance, if you’re in California, it may be a good idea to speak to a lawyer in California, like Dwight Ritter at Ritter and Associates.
Talking with your friends and acquaintances can help you find a lawyer who can represent your case. Ask them about their own personal injury claims and get their opinion on the lawyer. Put the lawyer on the list of those who would have to schedule an interview, but make sure to get other people’s opinion about the lawyer. Don’t base your decision on one friends’ opinion only; talk with several people and meet with the lawyer to determine whether you are comfortable working with them and if they are willing to devote their energy and time for your case.
If you already have a lawyer, you should immediately talk to them first, especially if they have already represented you in court before. They may be effective in their job, but make sure that they know and fully understand how personal injury claims work. Because tort laws are specifically different from other law practices, it is important to have a lawyer who actually practices and specializes in it in order to have a stronger defense. If you current lawyer does not cover personal injury claims, you can ask him for referrals. Lawyers often refer each other cases, and you can be sure that you will be in good hands because they already are trusted by your lawyer. One last option is going through lawyer directories. These are lists of lawyers advertising their services, and they can be found online.
Workers’ comp insurance is required by law. The coverage is meant to provide medical assistance as well as loss of income for workers who may be injured in workplace accidents or who may develop occupational illnesses and problems. Workers’ comp supersedes the employee’s right to sue the employer for negligence, unless the employer fails to provide coverage.
Employers may choose to self-insure, in which case the employer is liable for all expenses that is mandated by state law as covered, or pay an insurance company to provide the coverage. In either case, workers who develop repetitive motion injuries, also called repetitive stress injuries, should be able to claim from their workers’ comp insurance.
Repetitive motion injuries have only recently been added to the list of occupational illnesses covered by workers’ comp. It used to be that claims can only be made for accidental injuries. The dawning of the computer age, however, has brought with it a whole slew of health problems, including repetitive motion injury. Today, this type of workers’ comp claim is the most common in the US, costing in excess of $20 billion annually. Coverage will vary from state to state.
However, repetitive motion injuries will only be covered if it develops because of the claimant’s work. A data entry encoder will likely make a successful claim for carpal tunnel syndrome; a security guard is less likely to meet with success, because it is unlikely to be due to work-related activities. Because repetitive motion injuries develop gradually over time, it is excluded from the usual requirement for workers’ comp claim to provide a specific time and place of the causative incident.
In Missouri and Arkansas, workers’ compensation laws recognize repetitive motion injury as an occupational disease, including trigger finger, carpal tunnel syndrome and epicondylitis. It is perfectly possible to make a workers’ comp claim for this type of injury even if the claimant has left the workplace where the injury developed, although it may be more complicated.
Here are a few sources about different these workplace place injuries:
Workers’ comp claims are not always straightforward, and insurers will invariably look for ways to minimize their exposure. If you developed a repetitive motion injury in the workplace and you are having a hard time making a claim, consult with Madison, Wisconsin lawyers for assistance. Attorneys are aware of the paperwork and processes involved with filing a workers’ compensation claim and can work to avoid potential hangups.
Domestic violence charges are a serious accusation that can be quite difficult to prove since even experts say that it is often founded only on an individual’s personal judgment. The United States Department of Justice defines domestic violence as a coercive or assaultive behavioral pattern that individuals use against their partners (in an intimate relationship) for the purpose of maintaining or gaining control and power over them. Such behavioral pattern is manifested through acts that hurt, frighten, humiliate, terrorize, threaten, isolate, and intimidate the other partner. Domestic violence, however, is not limited to physical (and sexual) abuse; these may also be economic, emotional or psychological abuses intended to crush one’s confidence, making him/her totally submissive and in fear of his/her partner.
Domestic violence or domestic abuse is one of the major social problems faced by non-governmental groups and government agencies in the United States; anyone can be a victim in domestic violence (just as anyone can be an abuser), regardless of education, socioeconomic background, religion, race, gender, and age (a great majority of the victims are women aged between 15 and 44).
Though the direct victims in domestic abuse are those who suffer the worst pains and injuries, other family members (especially children) are victimized too in the sense that they also are made to suffer emotionally and psychologically.
In fact, even the US Department of Justice fears that children who are regularly exposed to violence in their homes are at the greatest risk of seeing violence as part of life, something that they can never do away with and something that will turn them into future “abused” and “abusers.”
Records show that about five million women are abused by their intimate partners every year. Studies also show that the number of women injured in domestic violence is far higher than those injured due to rape, assault and motor vehicle accidents.
Because tax laws can be difficult to understand, a lot of companies hire a good tax lawyer to help them sort out any problems when it comes to their tax concerns. Corporate tax is something that is mandated by the law, and every company is liable to pay for their taxes, otherwise they can be filed with criminal charges. A corporate tax is the tax that every company pays in accordance to their company’s profits during a certain taxable period.
Corporate tax is different from individual income taxes in 2 significant ways. First, corporate taxes are based on the net income, or profits, with legal deductions for the cost of doing business. Second, that these taxes are only implemented on businesses that are employed as corporations (sole ownership or partnerships are not taxed as corporations). Aside from their incomes, corporations are also taxed based on their properties and the jurisdictions on which their business are in. Most jurisdictions follow a taxing system based on declared or estimated capital, while there are jurisdictions where others are taxed according to equity structure of the company.
Because corporations are taxed by their profits or net incomes, their taxable incomes are generally financial statements that have certain adjustments. These taxes can have an alternate base: assets, income, and payroll which are computed in an alternate way as well. The rates for taxation differ by jurisdictions.
As found on the website of JP Singh, Attorney at Law, preparing for non-simple tax returns takes a lot of time and effort. Having a tax lawyer can come in helpful in a lot of ways, not just contesting disputes or exemptions. Just as with other entities, corporations can also be held liable for withholding tax obligations when they make varieties of payments to others. Although these responsibilities are not the tax of the corporations themselves, corporations (their officers or employees) can be punished if they have failed to withheld to pay on these taxes.
One of the newest features for cars that almost make a human driver irrelevant may one day be as common as the car radio.
High-end cars started the trend, but more proletariat models are also jumping on the bandwagon with built-in sophisticated systems that make use of onboard cameras and sensors plus adaptive cruise control to make road travel safer and nearly autonomous. New car models in 2014 are slated to include these safety systems that not only makes minor steering adjustments to keep the vehicle centered on the lane, it can also stop and go to avoid obstructions and collisions on the road. Some automakers even include the Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with Full Auto Brake system in response to the disturbing number of serious car accidents involving those on foot and bicycles.
The safety systems take advantage of the increasing sophistication and decreasing prices of relevant technology, such as cameras and sensors coupled with an onboard computer which can make split-second choices. This eliminates the element of risk of car crashes associated with distracted driving or substance intoxication. The system is mostly effective on the highway, but it is anticipated that even more advances in the future may finally put one aspect of science fiction in reality: the self-driving car.
The presence of household gas in most residences is usually taken for granted. It is there, in tank form or coming in through a pipe, fueling heaters, boilers, dryers, ovens, and so on. But the potential for danger in having such explosive material in the home seldom occurs to anyone until an accident happens. An explosion injury can be devastating, not to mention the damage to property, but who is liable?
Residential gas explosions happen for a variety of reasons. Recent natural gas explosions in several states were traced to leaks from aging and poorly maintained pipelines which had originally been lain half a century ago. Between 2005 and 2009, there have been 14 deaths and 51 injuries reported from 282 incidents of pipeline explosions. There have been some initiatives to improve the safety of these pipelines that feed into homes and residential buildings, but it is slow going.
Other residential gas leaks that have been reported involve poorly-maintained and improperly placed propane tanks. Gas companies who install and refill these tanks have the responsibility to ensure that they are properly housed and maintained. In one incident, the gas company overfilled the tanks, which were already in poor condition, and the gas leaked, causing an explosion.
For residential buildings where there is a landlord or a building administrator, gas lines should be regularly inspected and regulated by certified professionals. It is the responsibility of the building manager to ensure that this is done.
Liability for a residential gas explosion injury or death depends on the type of household gas used, type of residence, and the circumstances surrounding the incident. If you believe that the residential gas explosion that injured you occurred due to the negligence of the professionals who are supposed to ensure the safety of pipelines and tanks, then you should sue. Consult with an explosion injury lawyer who is experienced in dealing with residential gas leak explosions and see if you are eligible to recover damages.