Recent News

Preparing to Store Household Items

Moving household items into a storage unit is a tedious task. Requiring hours of labor, packaging, transportation, and unloading of goods can take a lot of time and effort. However, there are several methods that make this process easier. From using the correct packaging material to knowing how to place your items in the storage unit, these tips make the process of moving much easier.

When packaging your items, do not cover them in plastic or printed newspaper, don’t overstuff boxes, or store toxins and flammables. Covering your belongings in plastic or printed newspaper will leave your items mildewy (because plastic retains water) or smudged, if a box is overpacked it will be too heavy for transport, and toxins and flammables can lead to undesired consequences when in a compacted environment.

A good material to store your belongings in is cardboard boxes. When moving them, use a light to see the pathway, and exercise caution so not to drop them. Label the boxes on all sides; not just one side. Labeling all sides means you don’t have to rotate the boxes to see it in the future. This will save time when taking something out of the unit because it will be easier to find.

When deciding where to store your belongings, it is important to consider the total amount of space they will take up. Doing this can save costs, considering that monthly storage rate increases with size.

Before moving things into the self storage units at Ben White Mini Storage, it is suggested that you consider all of these tips while preparing to move. The entirety of moving can be frustrating, however taking these steps will make it easier when the time comes.

Read More

Current Cases of Asbestos Exposure

With the widespread information campaign about the dangers of asbestos, and the stringent laws against the use of the compound in any but the most specific circumstances in the US, it seems strange that not one but two companies are being charged sanctioned for exposing their employees to asbestos exposure.

Many of the older buildings in the US are built with materials that contain asbestos, and some companies have specialized in the demolition of such buildings with emphasis on the proper removal and disposal of these materials. This was what the Department of Labor and Industries contracted Partners Construction Inc. and Asbestos Construction Management Inc. for when they were tasked one after the other to demolish a residential building in Seattle.

Investigations into job were prompted when an employee revealed that a considerable quantity of asbestos remained on the property after the first company Partners Construction claimed that the job had been completed. Asbestos Construction Management then took over after Partners Construction was decertified, but it turns out that there was a close family link between the two companies, and is currently in the process of decertification.

Employees alleged that both companies had exposed them to asbestos in the demolition process, and the agency is charging them for willfully and knowingly violating 19 safety and health regulations. Fines of nearly $380,000 may be levied against the two companies.

Prolonged and significant asbestos exposure can lead to mesothelioma, a form of cancer, or asbestosis, but the symptoms usually takes years to manifest after exposure. Because the causative link is well-established with asbestos, it is enough for a plaintiff in a personal injury claim to show that there was significant exposure within the relevant period to prove liability.

If you believe that your medical condition was caused by negligent toxic exposure, you may have a claim against the responsible party. However, you should take action as soon as you confirm your medical condition as the statute of limitations starts from the time of discovery in most states. Consult with a personal injury lawyer at http://www.ritterpersonalinjury.com/ today.

Read More

Risks of Choosing to Drive a Motorcycle

Drivers who rely on motorcycles as their principal means of transportation enjoy the benefits of efficient gas mileage, easy access to parking, and recreational advantages. Despite economical efficacy and overall convenience, motorcycles necessitate that the owner take extra precautions while operating the vehicle. Motorcycles are incredibly vulnerable on busy roadways as they drive along side larger vehicles. Motorcycle operators need to have coordination since drivers employ balance when navigating turns and uneven surfaces. The most obvious, but effective, precautions that motorcyclists can take is wearing a helmet, not exceeding the recommended speed, and staying alert to shifting weather and road conditions.

Unfortunately, other drivers are often the cause of motorcycle accidents. It can be challenging to share the road with motorcyclists, but it is a necessary measure. Other drivers should know that it is important to not follow motorcyclists too closely should a sudden stop occur. Additionally, drivers should always observe their blind spots before they change lanes.

In 2006, there were 35 times more deaths resulting from motorcycle accidents than from car accidents. Since motorcycles do not provide the same standard of security as traditional motor vehicles, severe injury, even death, is more likely to occur as a result of a motorcycle crash. The website of the attorneys at Pohl & Berk, LLP, cite head injury, brain injury, displaced joints, damaged joints, neck injury, spinal cord injury, broken bones, scarring, road rash, and lacerations as the most frequently occurring injuries sustained by motorcyclists.

If you or a loved one has been hurt in a motorcycle injury due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Make sure to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney will be able to help you through this difficult time and provide you with emotional and legal support.

Read More

What is the Peace Corps?

The Peace Corps is a volunteer organization sponsored by the United States Government that allows college graduates to serve in developing countries. It was established through Executive Order 10924 by president John F. Kennedy shortly after he took office in 1961. Since then, the group’s more than 200,000 volunteers have served 139 countries.

Qualifying for the Peace Corps

Acceptance into the Peace Corps requires a two year commitment and qualifying is competitive. There are currently slightly more than 8,000 volunteers serving in the Peace Corps. Almost all positions require a college degree and applicants must be able to at least demonstrate a capacity to learn a new language.

The corps also prefers people who have volunteer and leadership experience. The organization offers ways for potential applicants to seek out domestic volunteer opportunities to gain this valuable experience. Not being too choosey about where and when your assignment will be can also improve your chances of having your application approved.

The average age of a Peace Corps volunteer is 28, but that doesn’t mean older individuals should not apply. Additionally, while it is difficult to coordinate initially, married couples can serve in the corps together.

Read More

Work-Related Injuries

An accident is often a painful and traumatizing experience. Many accidents can cause physical, emotional, and psychological harm to the victim, as well as financial problems due to the unexpected costs of medical treatment in the event of an injury. The victim’s financial problems can worsen if the injury he or she sustains is severe or permanent, as the type of treatment necessary to treat these types of injuries is often more intensive.

Accidents can happen anywhere, and victims are often left struggling to find a way to pay for the treatment they may need. This makes acquiring the services of  an experienced attorney often a necessity following a serious accident, as they can help injury victims to get the compensation they need to pay for the costs of their injury.

There are many ways a person may suffer a serious injury. One of them can be work-related accidents, such as a mishap in a refinery. It is common knowledge that refineries are dangerous places and though the incidence of refinery accidents may be low in comparison to other occupations, when an accident does occur, it can have devastating consequences for workers. For this reason, it is critical that refinery owners follow all requisite safety guidelines and provide appropriate safety gear for their workers.

The most common causes of injuries in a refinery are slip and fall accidents, chemical spills, equipment failure, fires and explosions, and contact with toxic substances. Since these injuries are typically work related, injury victims may be eligible for workers’ compensation. However, there are many situations in which injured workers may not be able to fully cover the costs of their injury through workers’ compensation payments. In these cases, it may be necessary to take legal action against those in charge of refinery safety in order to pursue workers’ compensation benefits.

Read More

About Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Choosing to file for bankruptcy can often be a difficult decision to make. Debt is a difficult thing to handle, especially in this trying economy. Individuals who have too much debt may find it difficult to stay current on their payments, which in turn could lead to serious financial difficulties.

One way to help people get through such hardships is by filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy claim. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy claim can help you in a lot of ways, especially when you are already worrying about how to pay for the debts. Through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy claim, you are:

  • Protecting your properties from the creditors. Because you need transportation, housing, clothing, and other necessities to keep living, they can be protected from creditor collection, as dictated by the court.
  • Putting a stop to the harassment from creditors. The non-stop calling, emails, letters and threats of lawsuits can be stopped once the case has been filed in the court. Any creditor that tries to collect money from you or to repossess your property during the bankruptcy process can be held accountable for their actions.
  • Wiping out most debts, whether they are credit cards debts, medical debts, payday loans, or personal loans. You can start anew by filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy; these debts can be removed, as long as they are not secured by any collateral (car, electronics, and house).

There are many other benefits a person can get from filing a Chapter 7, so filing for bankruptcy should not be seen as a disaster. However, many people have had success avoiding bankruptcy and debt altogether by working with experienced financial planners who can help them effectively plan for their future and address their wealth management needs. By working with successful financial planning professionals, many individuals are able to avoid the frustrations that come along with a bankruptcy filing altogether. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, contact a Cincinnati chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer today to learn more about your options.

Read More

The Potential Dangers of Topamax

Topiramate , or Topamax as it is more commonly known, is a drug prescribed for epileptics and people suffering from serious migraines. It is manufactured by Johnson & Johnson, and is specifically intended to take away the pain and suffering caused by migraine attacks and seizures by repressing seizure and pain-causing signals coming from the nerves.

Topamax is proven to work more effectively than other brands in eliminating symptoms. Therefore, more and more patients and doctors came to prefer it over similar products. Research, however showed that Topamax can cause life changing or even deadly side-effects, specifically for unborn children whose mothers who took the drug during pregnancy. Some of the most common side-effects Topamax causes are cleft lip, cleft palate, and hypospadias, a defect that puts the urethra, the tube where urine passes from the bladder, at the underside of the male’s sexual organ.

Though Topamax continues to be available on the market, the US Food and Drug Administration released a statement in March 2011 which advised doctors to observe strict care when prescribing the drug. Despite the fact that Topamax side-effects can be medically treated and corrected, treatment will require time and is quite costly, issues that will surely put the child and his or her family in a difficult position. If not corrected, however, any of the side-effects can have significant consequences on the child’s health and well-being for the rest of their life.

Those who have had a child with a birth defect that may have been caused by the use of Topamax during pregnancy may be entitled to seek legal representation in order to pursue compensation from the manufacturers of this pharmaceutical product. Indeed, a Topamax lawsuit may be the best available option for families struggling to deal with these tragic consequences to get the financial assistance they need.

Read More

Mineral Rights Disputes in Texas

There was a time in North Texas when buying real estate was pretty much cut and dried and on the level. Ironically, it is what is happening below the surface that is giving headaches to all parties involved in a real estate transaction. This is mainly because of mineral rights disputes, which elevates a domestic issue (buying a home) to commercial litigation over who owns who.

To understand why commercial litigation comes into the picture, it is necessary to understand the impact of the natural gas found in Barnett Shale, both in economic and real estate law terms. It will also explain why homeowners are now practicing rigorous due diligence when tracing the ownership of property they are considering buying.

Barnett Shale is the site of what is considered the largest reservoir of onshore natural gas in the US and is located under Fort Worth, Texas. The location of Barnett Shale, which is in urban areas such as Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, has necessitated the negotiating of mineral rights with landowners. It is possible for drilling operations to be done with minimum damage to the surface area (although not always), and the landowners are paid for the lease of the land as well as royalty for whatever a particular well produces. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, not really.

Mineral rights are not necessarily tied in with surface land ownership. This means that it is entirely possible for a parcel of land to have two owners: the surface land owner and the mineral rights owner. Prior to Barnett Shale, very little notice was given to tracing the ownership of mineral rights, which were often severed from the surface land title and not included when the surface land changed ownership. This can lead to mineral rights disputes. For example, let us say a surface land owner agrees to rent out the mineral rights to a mining company, presuming ownership of the mineral rights. And then the actual owner of the mineral rights disputes the contract. This can lead to a pretty heated commercial litigation, especially if the area turns out to be lucrative.

This state of affairs is by no means limited to North Texas, Barnett Shale or natural gas. Many parts of Texas have yielded commercially-viable deposits of coal, oil and other fuel sources, and have become the focus of mineral rights disputes.

Read More

Multiple Vehicle Motorcycle Accident Statistics

A technical report commissioned by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and published in 1981 still mostly reflects the cause and effects of a multiple vehicle motorcycle accident today. Aptly named the Hurt Study (after head of the research team Harry Hurt, not as a reflection of the topic), the paper offered 53 insights into motorcycle accidents in general. Among these are interesting snippets including:

  • Only 2% of all motorcycle accidents were due to bad weather (probably because motorcyclists avoid going out then)
  • Most motorcycle accidents occur during short trips and near the starting travel point
  • Excessive speed was not a significant factor: median crash speed and pre-crash speed were 21.5 and 29.8 mph respectively
  • Nearly 50% of all motorcycle accidents are alcohol-related
  • A significant number of motorcyclists involved in accidents had no license or had a revoked license

It also included several observations on multiple vehicle incidents and the survival rate of motorcyclists involved in accidents. Some observations for multiple vehicle motorcycle accidents:

  • Comprising 75% of these motorcycle accidents, in most cases the other vehicle was a passenger vehicle
  • Drivers of the other vehicle impinged on the motorcycle right-of-way, causing approximately 66% of accidents
  • A majority of accidents occurred because the motorist did not see the motorcycle until it was too late, and most happened at intersections. The use of motorcycle headlights even during the day and wearing bright colors increased conspicuity of motorcycles and reduced the number of accidents significantly
  • Motorcycle riders involved in these types of accidents are at an extremely high risk of injury (98%), and the degree of severity increases exponentially with motorcycle size, speed of collision, alcohol consumption and lack of protective gear, especially a safety helmet

A motorcycle accident is bad enough, but when another larger vehicle is involved, the consequences can be deadly. If you were involved in a motorcycle accident caused by a negligent motorist, you need to make sure you don’t just become a statistic. Make the driver pay for negligence with the help of an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer.

Read More

Trucking Statistics and New Laws to Improve Safety

Texas is criss-crossed by numerous major highways, with commercial trucks and 18-wheelers frequently traveling great distances through the state. Unfortunately, the statistics for an 18-wheeler accident is grim; over 98% results in at least one fatality. Not enough emphasis can be placed on ensuring road safety when it comes to operating big rigs because it is so often catastrophic for the other party. This is why there are so many rules governing commercial motor vehicles and why the penalties for non-compliance so stiff.

It has become even more rigorous as a new law comes into effect to further reduce the incidence of big rig accidents on US highways. The Moving Ahead for Progress for the 21st Century or MAP-21 was signed into law by President Obama on July 6, 2012. MAP-21 seeks to bolster the teeth of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in enforcing safety rules and regulations. Under MAP-21, several carriers have been given cease and desist orders for failing to comply with the FMCSA regulations. This has made the message to other carriers loud and clear that the government is determined to reduce the number of unfit CMVs and incompetent CMV drivers operating on American highways.

MAP-21 supports the FMCSA strategic framework for improving CMV safety through the following core principles:

  • Raise the thresholds for entry into the CMV industry
  • Require CMV carriers and drivers to comply with safety standards or cease operations
  • Weed out carriers whose CMVs fail to meet safety standards, and CMV drivers who are incompetent and unfit to travel on US roads

MAP-21 went into effect on October 1, 2012, and provides more funds for the FMCSA to implement its Highway Safety Improvement Program which focuses on infrastructure safety and safety programs to reduce 18-wheeler accident and highway fatality statistics.

The aggressive campaign to prevent highway accidents is laudable, but there are always those who slip through the cracks. If you suffered injuries in an 18-wheeler accident and you believe it was due to negligence, it is your duty to file a suit against the driver and carrier to discourage such behavior. An experienced truck accident lawyer can be an invaluable ally if you decide to take legal action. Taking legal action may also make the FMCSA stand up and notice, and properly sanction the parties responsible.

Read More