Pothole Accidents: Who’s Responsible?

Most motorists do not realize the serious of pothole accidents. Potholes can be as a big as a foot wide and several feet deep. Even if you are driving and slow down to go over one, the wear on your vehicle, especially if it is on your neighborhood street, can be damaging over time. This is not to mention if you don’t see a pothole and run right into it; the impact can cause your tire to blow and injury to yourself and passengers in the vehicle.

Potholes are typically caused by several factors such as constant driving over a tear in the street, the asphalt is damaged, or weather elements such as sleet and hail. Rainwater is one of the biggest factors in creating potholes and causing them to grow bigger. Supposedly, it is the responsibility of the city to fix holes and cracks in the streets immediately to prevent them from becoming potholes. Because some cities do nothing to repair the many potholes littering their streets, this is one of the main reasons pothole accidents are on the rise.

The parts of your vehicle that are affected most by driving over a pothole are the shocks and suspension. Studies have shown that going over a pothole unexpectantly is like having a car hit you at over 30 mph. This can lead to you losing control of your car and causing an accident.

One suggestion is that people should take pictures of potholes in their neighborhood and surrounding areas. Next, contact your local city hall about fixing them. It is their responsibility to do so.

To reduce your chances of being a victim in a pothole accident, it is recommended to slow down and drive carefully over any potholes. In the event that you do become involved in a pothole accident, be sure to contact a personal injury attorney specializing in motor vehicle accidents. They can help you deal with the insurance companies and city to get the full monetary compensation you deserve.

Pedestrian Accidents on Interstates and Highways

Even though it is legally restricted, there are many reasons why a person will be on a standing or walking on an interstate or highway. One of the main explanations is a car accident has taken place and they are going for help. Another good reason is that their car has stalled or stopped and they are trying to fix it on the side of the road.

While these are all legitimate scenarios for physically being on a highway, it is also one of the most dangerous. Studies have shown in recent years that more and more people are becoming causalities of pedestrian accidents on interstates and highways and the numbers keep growing.

Typically, alcohol or some sort of controlled substance factors into the equation—for both the pedestrian and the driver. Usually, if a driver is high or drunk, their response and reaction time diminishes. On the same note, if a pedestrian is drunk, they cannot move out of the way of a fast-moving vehicle the same as if they were sober.

Another reason for the rise in pedestrian accidents on the interstates and highway is the number of drivers that drive way over the speed limit, especially in larger SUVs. Many believe that they can drive fast and react quickly if someone steps out in front of their vehicle. But fatality reports from across the states have shown the opposite.

Not only is this not true, but usually those driving fast in larger SUVs have been known to lose control of their vehicle. If you factor in texting or talking on a cell phone as well, then the probability of avoiding a collision goes down.

If you find yourself or your loved one has been the victim of a highway or interstate accident, the first thing you want to do is contact an Atlanta personal injury attorney immediately. They can make sure that get the help and justice you deserve.

What You Should Know About Parent Re-Location

Divorce is already a complicated situation in itself. But when the custodial parent decides to leave the state with the child/children, it can make matters even worse. Non-custodial parents need to know that they do have rights if their ex-spouse decides to move away with the child/children. It is important to know the necessary steps to take in case this ever happens to you.

Typically, the first thing you will want to do is to contact your attorney. If you don’t have one, find a Florida family law attorney that specializes in custodial and visitation agreements. The non-custodial parent should be notified way ahead of any intent of a move of more than 50 miles away from the non-custodial parent. Also, the custodial parent should have sent a Notice of Intent to Relocate to the non-custodial parent.

If you and your ex-spouse have come to an agreement on your own, it must be in writing. The reasons for the move need to listed as well: new job, closer to other family members, better schools and neighborhood, etc. The visitation rights and arrangements of the non-custodial parent need to be noted on the agreement. Afterwards, the court will approve the agreement.

You can object to the relocation. If you do so, then the custodial parent can’t leave the state with your child/children. Usually, an objection to the move is filed in court to have something in writing and to let the court know that you take an active part in your child/children and their well-being. There typically is a hearing and the court will decide whether your objection is valid.

One of the worse things a non-custodial parent can do (and it will later count against you) is not take an active part in the welfare of their children. If you are this type of parent and object to the parental relocation of the custodial parent, the custodial parent can prove that you have not participated in your rearing of your child/children and most likely, your objection will be overturned.

Information on Megan’s Law

If you are a convicted sex offender, according to Megan’s Law, you are required to register with the Pennsylvania State Police or the local law enforcement agency. In addition, the Adam Walsh Act (AWA) of 2007 stipulates that all states and the District of Columbia must keep a sex offender registry and registration is required of every offender who committed a sex crime against a minor, which helps to create the national sex registry. This includes juvenile sex offenders as well as adults. Furthermore, any time a sex offender moves, law enforcement must be notified of the change in residency. If you forget to register or let the police know where you live, you can be charge with a felony.

This means that your personal information, such as address, physical description, license plate number, and criminal history, will become public knowledge. If you have a family, they can be subjected to harassment by neighbors, employers, and other parents and/or children. Landlords, real estate agents, and apartment housing managers are vulnerable as well because they are under a legal obligation to let the other tenants know that a convicted sex offender has moved in. On the other hand, they can also be sued for violating a person’s right to privacy.

Megan’s Law was passed in 1994 after seven-year old Megan Kanka was raped and murdered in New Jersey by a neighbor, a convicted sex offender living right across the street with four other sex offenders. The law required sex offenders to register with state or law enforcement. In turn, their name is put in the national sex offender registry and residents are notified that a convicted sex offender is living in their neighborhood.

This state’s Megan’s Law has a loophole: if you are a convicted sex offender from out-of-state and move to Pennsylvania, you do not have to register.

Another change will be that homeless sex offenders be required to not only register, but check in with state police once a week until they find a permanent place to live.

Trucking Accidents between Intrastate and Interstate Trucks: What You Need to Know

In the trucking industry, there is a big difference in being an intrastate carrier and an interstate carrier. If you ever find yourself in the misfortune of being in an accident involving an 18-wheeler, this information can be of vital importance.

An intrastate carrier is a truck that carries goods that are going from point A to point B within the state. A shipment from Savannah to Atlanta in Georgia is considered an intrastate delivery. The truck should not leave the state.

An interstate carrier is a truck that carries goods from one state to another, sometimes making stops. A truck carrying goods from Pittsburgh to Washington, DC, can make stops in Dayton, OH and Arlington VA. Additionally, there is authorization needed from Canada and Mexico if the shipment is going to either country.

The rules and regulations for intrastate and interstate carriers differ. There are also a set of regulations for tractor-trailer trucks, whether the truck is doing a partial or full delivery, and how long the driver can go without taking a rest/break. It is the responsibility of the trucking company to make sure that the truck is logged in correctly as either intrastate or interstate.   I

If any changes are made to the delivery, such as going from an intrastate to an interstate delivery, it is vital that the information is changed. Loads are insured for only what is supposed to be on the truck and sometimes trucking companies try to bypass this law.

A real important fact to know is that interstate carriers are regulated by not only the state, but a federal law called the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. While intrastate carriers are governed by state law, most states have also adopted federal laws.

 

The Special Dangers of Garbage Truck Accidents

Garbage trucks are huge vehicles that travel along the streets of any given city, picking up trash from commercial residences and businesses. The risk of being in an accident with a garbage truck is high since most trucks are allowed special privileges that the average driver is not.

While typically drivers are allowed to drive on just one side of the street, garbage trucks can drive on both sides of the street. This can be the basis of why garbage trucks are typically involved in accidents that prove to be deadly.

For example, if a garbage truck is picking up trash in a residential area during the summer when children are playing, the chance of a child running out in the middle of the street for a ball or playing in the street is high. Garbage truck drivers need to be particularly aware of this, but sometimes they are not. Other things drivers need to be aware are garbage falling off the truck and faulty wheels/brakes.

Another high-risk area of garbage truck accidents is with cyclists. Because garbage trucks usually make wide and unexpected turns, they need to pay attention to cyclists who sometimes like to weave in and around cars.

Drivers sometimes cannot see everyone that is behind them or those that speed up next to the truck at the last minute. For drivers and cyclists on the road, it is important to remember this: if you can’t see the garbage truck mirrors, then the garbage truck driver cannot see you.

Garbage truck drivers need to take some extra precautions when driving. They are supposed to drive slowly and be aware of everything and everyone around them. Because they are operating such a huge vehicle, doing such things as running red lights, making sudden turns and stops, talking or texting on a cell phone just raises the possibility of hitting a pedestrian, driver, or cyclist.

The injuries sustained by being in an accident with a garbage truck are catastrophic; people have suffered broken spines, loss of arms and legs, paralysis, head trauma, and third-degree burns.

Criminal Liability

You throw a party for family and friends to celebrate a birthday, wedding, or holiday. The drinks are flowing and everyone is having a good time, some more than others. One of your guests is clearly drunk, and yet, continues to drink. After telling you that they are okay to drive home, they get behind the wheel. An hour later, you get a phone call that they were in an accident, where passengers in the other car were injured and killed. Are you criminally liable for the accident?

According to the Pennsylvania Dram Shop Law, a place where liquor is served can be held accountable for serving or allowing an already intoxicated person to continue to drink and then causing injury or death to another person.

Pennsylvania, along with several other states, are now imposing laws that will find businesses, bars, restaurants, and even people hosting events liable for accidents due to driving under the influence (DUI) or operating under the influence (OUI) by one of their patrons or guests. Such functions may include a wedding shower, bachelor party, fraternity or sorority hazing ritual, family barbecue, and the annual office Christmas party.

The Dram Shop Law basically states that a business or place can be legally liable for the consequences of disobeying The Liquor Code. The Liquor Code states that it is unlawful to sell, give, or furnish alcohol to someone who is visibly intoxicated. Legal liability comes into play when you serve and let an already intoxicated person continue to drink.

Furthermore, if you know that a person at your home is an alcoholic and has a drinking problem (any prior convictions or arrests for DUIs or OUIs, fired for drinking on the job, or been in rehab), yet you let them excessively drink at your home, you can be held legally liable for their actions after they leave.

Cell Phone, Texting, and Auto Accidents

It is the most talked about topic when it comes to automobile accidents—using a cell phone for texting and talking while driving. In recent years, more accidents have been caused by this than any other reason. Legislation has been presented to making texting or talking while driving a crime, but the number of accidents still keeps going up.

Some states, including Kansas, have legislation in place that bans the use of cell phones while driving, especially for those under the age of 18. Some states have gone a step further and ban those under the 18 from using a hands-free device while driving, which includes bluetooths and earbuds.

When you are driving and talking or texting, you are distracted from the road. Your attention becomes focused on the person on the other end of the phone. In addition, other things such as reading the phone screen, typing responses to text messages, and listening to a conversation all can make your reaction time slower to a child, for example, darting out in front of your car.

Studies have shown that drivers that text while driving have been seen weaving in and out of traffic, running stop signs, and rear-ending cars. But this does not only apply to those driving cars.

There have been several well-publicized accidents involving school buses where the driver was texting while transporting children to and from schools. A collision in California between a freight train and a commuter train was the result of the operator of the commuter train texting and not paying attention. In this accident, 25 people were killed.

Most of the time, a driver that was found to be texting while driving will be stopped for some other reason such as speeding or going through a red light. It is afterwards that it is discovered that texting was involved. Victims of these accidents are not only being killed, but some are suffering from injuries to their brain, spine, and head.

They are becoming paraplegics and quadriplegics. The medical bills are enormous, they are losing their jobs since they have to take off from work for rehabilitation, and their life is never the same.

Corporate Flexibility Act 2011 and its Effect on Corporations

In February, California introduced a bill in the Senate that would allow corporations, including start-ups, to create a “green corporation” without being threaten with a lawsuit by their shareholders. The current law on the books in California allows shareholders to take legal action if they believe their corporation becoming environmental will affect their profits.

The new bill will allow companies to become a sort of “for-benefit” corporation, a new type of business that centers around other goals beside financial gain. This has typically been an issue in the past with most corporations from taking an active part in environment and social matters, such as not outsourcing jobs or participating in Earth Day.

This is usually why society has such harsh resentment towards big business; most people believe, and it is true to some extent, that all most corporations are interested in are profits. In addition, most big corporations thumb their noses down on non-profit corporations and some do not even consider them to be corporations.

The push to get more corporations to take a more proactive part in making their companies “greener” has typically been met with hostility. This is not the first time that social activists and lawmakers have been introduced to offer corporations a chance to become more environmentally conscience. Recently, Maryland and Vermont have introduced actions to allow “for-benefit” corporations. However, they are usually geared towards smaller corporations and firms.

This is why the Corporate Flexibility Law of 2011, also known as SB 201, is so important. This law would authorize and legalize the formation of a new type of business known as the “flexible purpose corporation.” It is, for the most part, geared toward the big, public, and well-known companies.

This is why it will be difficult, it seems, for the more established and well-known big corporations in California to change and become “for-benefit” corporations and get “B-Corporation” status.

Ways to Reduce the Risk of Bicycle Accidents

To save money and in keeping with becoming a more environmental friendly nation, more people are using their bicycles as a mode of transportation. Because there are more new bicyclists on the roads, accidents involving motorists and bike riders are on the rise. The majority of these accidents are due to not knowing and obeying the laws when it comes to who has the right of way on the streets. An even bigger number of accidents are because of not following safety guidelines. A collision between a driver and a bicyclist is one of the most serious accidents, since typically end up causing fatalities. Most of these accidents are usually avoidable by just adhering to some basic rules, having good judgment, and using common sense.

Bike Paths

While some cities have created bicycle lanes on their roads, a good number have not. Bike paths are created for a reason: so that bicyclists can have a lane on the road just the same as motorists. They are not for drivers trying to bypass other motorists they feel are driving too slowly. Likewise, bicyclists who choose to ride in between cars instead of along the designated bike paths are putting themselves at risk for an accident.

Hazardous Turns

Sometimes, motorists have no patience with other cars when it is time to turn, let alone a bicyclist. However, trying to be the first to turn, especially when a bike rider is next to a motorist can prove fatal. It can cause the bicyclist to have to stop right in the middle of riding, which can lead them to get hit by another car. Or, cutting them off from turning can cause them to hit the car or fall off their bike in the street. A good rule to follow is if a bicyclist is making a turn in the same direction, give them enough room, space, and time to do so.

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