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The Importance of Dog Walking

Posted by on Mar 30, 2014 in Pets | 0 comments

Most dog owners consider the daily walk a way to let their pets “do their business,” and the quicker they do it the better. After all, most people lead busy lives and can barely find the time to sit down to eat, let alone take their dogs out for a long walk.

But according to a leading dog expert, exercise is a necessary part of a dog’s life, and keeps it healthy, balanced and happy.  This applies to dogs of all sizes, shapes, and breeds. Exercise is considered to be more important than discipline and affection, because when a dog is well-exercised, it is calm, making it easier to instill discipline, which in turn justifies giving the dog affection. The ideal amount of exercise a dog should have will depend on its energy level; over time the dog owner will get a good idea of what that is.

Dogs are not toys; they need to lead a dog’s life, and expend pent-up energy in a productive manner. Otherwise, it will be neurotic, bad-tempered, or insecure. The daily walk provides the opportunity for the dog to explore and discover.  The walk can also be complemented with other outdoor activities such as swimming, a game of Frisbee, or an exhilarating run along the beach for the exceptionally energetic dog.

For pet owners who would like to provide their dogs with the exercise they need but simply cannot manage it should consider getting a professional dog walker to do the deed. It would be best to select a dog walker who has an affinity with dogs because they can sense it in the people around them and respond more readily to someone who is well-disposed to them. The dog will benefit more from the daily walk with someone who understands dogs as the interim pack leader.

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The Problem with Tornado Insurance Claims

Posted by on Mar 27, 2014 in Insurance | 0 comments

An Enhanced Fujita (EF) 5 tornado struck Moore, Oklahoma on May 20, 2013, chewed up homes and farmland for 39 minutes before lifting, leaving in its wake a total of 25 people dead and 377 injured. Property damage is estimated to be in excess of $2 billion.

Oklahoma is tornado country, and is actually unofficially called the Tornado Capital of the US.  Almost 14 years to the day, the strongest tornado in recorded history also touched land on the hapless city of Moore, estimated population of 57,000. Oklahoma and surrounding areas have been hit with at least 156 tornadoes since 1893, and probably more that have not been recorded. With tornados such a frequent occurrence, it is no wonder that Oklahomans make it a point to have their homes and property insured against it.

It doesn’t really take a big tornado to damage property, but when it does hit, it follows that more homeowners will be making tornado insurance claims. The problem with this is that insurance companies make it as difficult as possible for policyholders to get the benefits stated in their policy which they have faithfully paid for. This is not only bad business, it is bad faith, and that can lead to a whole lot more trouble for insurers.

A recent court decision involving one of the largest insurers in the US illustrates this. Three Woodward plaintiffs were awarded $15 million who alleged bad faith when the insurer refused to give them what was promised when their homes were devastated by a tornado in April 2012 that destroyed 89 homes and killed 3 children. But insurance companies continue to abide by their default mode of deny, delay, and defend, and as stated in an article on the Smith Kendall Buxton Law Group website, often the only recourse for policyholders is to sue.

If you believe your tornado insurance claim has been undervalued by an insurance company, consult with an insurance bad faith lawyer regarding your legal options. It may take time, but it is the only way to get fair treatment for your insurance claim.

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Estate Planning and Mineral Rights

Posted by on Mar 22, 2014 in Land Rights | 0 comments

The expression “cutting the ground from under someone’s feet” probably doesn’t refer to selling your mineral rights as part of your estate planning. Contrary to the common interpretation of this idiom, selling your mineral rights will strengthen rather than weaken your position in this case because it improves your liquidity, making it easier for you to plan its disposition more equitably. The Mineral Auction website points out that all it takes is the right connections to get the best deal for the mineral rights.

Estate planning is currently gaining ground as a way for property owners to ensure that heirs avoid probate, the unpleasant wrangling that occurs after a will is read, and paying the government a hefty slice of any bequest in inheritance taxes. The easiest way to do this is to liquidate assets and to set up wills and trusts that would best fit the circumstances.

It has become more and more apparent to many property owners that liquid assets i.e. cash rather than real property i.e. land are easier to divvy up among those who will be left behind. There is no question of having to get a valuation as cold hard cash requires no interpretation. Liquid assets are also transportable, which land is not. If the property is in more than one state, keeping the estate in that form requires that it undergo the probate process in each relevant state as well, which can mean considerable delay.

Mineral rights is a form of real property that is particularly difficult to have a valuation done because it has no value per se unless it is established that there are profitable quantities of oil, natural gas, or other resources under the property. Unless you plan to develop the land before you shuffle off this mortal coil and find out, the best thing you can do is to simply sell the mineral rights to a developer as well as the surface rights, and invest the proceeds in something more definite than a possible coal mine.

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How Trucking Companies avoid Liability for Truck Accidents

Posted by on Mar 16, 2014 in Automotive | 0 comments

Motor carrier or trucking companies are involved in part on in whole for many truck accidents. It could be due to hiring incompetent drivers, failing to enforce Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations concerning hours of service, alcohol and drug testing, or regular vehicle maintenance, or failing to properly train their drivers. As an employer of the driver and owner of the vehicle, the carrier owes a duty of care to the general public to fulfill these obligations.

To avoid liability, trucking companies employ various stratagems to disassociate themselves from the driver, the equipment, and the vehicle. One of these is to hire drivers from another trucking operator as independent contractors so that in the event of an accident, the trucking company can claim that there was no employer-employee relationship and cannot be held liable for any error that the driver committed whether due to negligence or incompetence.

The same ploy is used to avoid liability for the maintenance and repair of the truck. The trucking company leases the vehicle from another company. The trucking company has all the required permits to operate the truck but does not have ownership, although the truck bears the placard printed with the name and permit numbers of the trucking company. Since the truck company does not own the vehicle, it can argue that there is no liability.

In response, federal regulations have been modified to end any equivocation by mandating that notwithstanding the actual ownership of the vehicle or driver employment status, the named company in the placard is responsible for any damage that may be inflicted on property or individuals as a result of negligence. This is good news for victims of negligent truck accidents as they have solid ground for pinpointing liability for expenses associated with their injuries. According to the website of the Abel Law Firm, in an encounter with a 20 ton truck, any such injury is bound to be serious.

When seriously injured in a truck accident because of the negligence of the driver, trucking company, or both, dismiss any attempt at disclaiming responsibility. A competent truck accident lawyer will know how to counter such claims and establish a strong case for compensation.

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Psoriasis and Workers’ Compensation

Posted by on Mar 13, 2014 in Workplace Injuries | 0 comments

Perhaps the easiest type of workers’ compensation claim is when an injury is sustained as a result of a workplace accident.  Workers’ compensation insurance is a no-fault insurance, so there is no need to prove the why or the how. As long as the injury occurred in the workplace, the important questions are what, where and when. But some workplace injuries are not so easy to prove.

A good example is psoriasis, a chronic autoimmune connective tissue disorder which manifests externally as a scaly skin disorder and in severe cases internally as an inflammation of joints, tendons and ligaments in extremities most especially the hands. Known as psoriatic arthritis, the condition makes it difficult to freely move the affected.

In appearance, psoriasis is unsightly and this can deeply affect social relationships and psychological health of the patient. Although it is not contagious, people who are not familiar with the condition tend to shy away from a person with psoriasis. That alone, however, cannot be considered as a basis for workers’ compensation, although it may well qualify for Social Security disability as a mental disability, or for those with psoriatic arthritis, as musculoskeletal disability.

To quality for workers’ compensation, the claimant must prove that the condition was caused at least in part by some aspect of the work or working environment. The problem with psoriasis is that the cause is unknown and it can appear suddenly at any time. Studies into the disorder indicate that stress may serve as a trigger for psoriasis as well as certain environmental factors, including exposure to chemicals and certain weather conditions that may be present in the workplace.

However, even if the workplace may be proven to aggravate psoriasis, it does not necessarily mean it caused it, so proving causation is going to be a major challenge for any claimant.  It will take the skills and knowledge of an experienced personal injury or workers’ compensation lawyer to make a claim based on work-related psoriasis.

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Diagnosing Traumatic Brain Injury

Posted by on Mar 9, 2014 in Brain Injuries | 0 comments

It is crucial for a patient’s chances of recovery that any traumatic brain injury (TBI) sustained in an accident are diagnosed correctly and in a timely manner. The consequences of an undiagnosed TBI can have very serious consequences to an individual’s functional capabilities.

TBI occurs when a person experiences a sudden jolt, violent blow, or penetrating injury to the head that disrupts the brain’s normal function. The effects can be mild and temporary, or severe and permanent. Often, immediate and competent medical attention is needed to prevent TBI from progressing and to ensure the complete or best-scenario recovery of the patient.

But since TBI is usually difficult to identify without exhaustive testing, a suspected TBI victim has to be closely observed for signs and symptoms. These include loss of consciousness, headaches, changes in vision and other sensory reception, lethargy, loss of balance, difficulty in concentrating, lack of coordination, and behavior changes. A computed tomography or CT scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may also reveal any injuries that the brain may have sustained, but a negative result does not definitely rule out TBI.

Recently, a team of Swedish scientists posited that the presence of the brain protein tau may have some diagnostic value for TBI. Long suspected to be an indication of incipient Alzheimer’s disease, the scientists performed a study on ice hockey players who had sustained sports-related TBI and found that they had high levels of the tau protein which is produced by the central nervous system. The results are indicative, but not yet conclusive, so as a diagnostic tool today, the presence of tau protein cannot yet be exploited for the benefit of an accident victim.

An accident victim that sustains TBI even when it is diagnosed immediately and treated will still have to pay the price for the short- and long-term effects of the brain damage. If you sustained TBI because of the negligence of a third party, you may need to sue for compensation. Consult with a personal injury lawyer in your area on how to get the litigation process started.

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