Keeping Your Car in Tip Top Shape

New car owners have a lot of responsibility when it comes to taking care of their recent purchase. If it’s their first car, they may not be fully aware of just how much effort is needed to maintain a car. If you’ve recently purchased your first car, here are just a few of the things you’ll need to keep your car in top shape:

Don’t let it overheat.

Drivers who regularly make long treks run the risk of an overheated car. Luckily, there’s a gauge that shows how hot the engine is. If you notice that your engine is approaching a high temperature, find a safe place to park and wait for it to cool.

One thing that can be causing the car to overheat is a lack of coolant. Make sure your car has enough coolant before you head out for the day. It’s also a good idea to always keep the coolant in the trunk of your car in case of emergencies.

Get regular oil changes.

Look up the recommended mileage for your car, and when you approach that number, head on over to a car shop and have your oil changed. If you’re more interested in doing it yourself, there’s a ton of online resources that’ll teach you how to perform an oil change.

Purchasing the oil yourself and changing your own oil can save you a lot of money. Just make sure you’re fully confident in your abilities so you don’t damage your car.

Wash your car.

Regularly washing the exterior of your car can help keep it looking brand-new. You can go through a car wash or just buy the proper soap and do it at home. Cars are big purchases, so don’t let your car become dingy!

Clean the inside of your car.

It’s incredibly easy to let the inside of your car become inhabitable. Food wrappers, mail, clothes, and a variety of other stuff can quickly pile up. Once a week, take a few minutes to throw away the trash and clutter inside your car.

In addition, wipe down the surfaces- you’ll be shocked at the stuff that can build up over time! Vacuum the seats and floorboards, and occasionally hose down your mats if you’re looking to deep clean your car. If you notice the trash becoming an issue, invest in a small trash can that can fit in the car. And, of course, don’t forget the air freshener.

Schedule regular maintenance.

There’s a lot you can do for your car, but you still need to go get it checked by professionals every once in a while. They can pinpoint specific issues and advise you on how best to solve them.

Know what to do in the case of an accident. If you’re injured or your car is damaged after a collision with another car, Portner Bond, PLLC advises that you get in touch with a lawyer immediately. You don’t want to be saddled with bills so soon after purchasing a car, so see what compensation you’re entitled to.

An Undeserved Foreclosure

Recently, I was talking with one of my neighbors who had received a foreclosure notice out of the blue despite the fact that they had been paying their mortgage and had not received any notice of deficiency in relation to their payments. They were stressed and frustrated, and they asked me if they needed to hire a lawyer. I had very little knowledge of the subject at the time, so I decided to do a little bit of research to see if I could find an answer for them. While I was doing research, I came across the website for Smith Kendall, PLLC, which provided quite a bit of interesting and helpful information on the subject.

I learned that there are many different ways that lenders unfairly foreclose upon homeowners, all of which are illegal. Banks can fail to provide appropriate notice of foreclosure if they begin the process of foreclosing on a home but do not inform the homeowner that they have missed payments. This is illegal because it does not allow the homeowner to take steps to remedy the situation and prevent losing their home because they are unaware that the process has begun. Second, lenders can be said to have “bad faith” on the loan. This happens when the lender delays or refuses payments on the debt that then leads to foreclosure, which would cause you to lose your home even if you did everything right. Also, lenders might overcharge for late payment fees, which are set at a regulated level, and these excessive charges can create a vicious cycle ending in foreclosure. Finally, lenders can offer loans with unfair terms that result from tricking their client, which makes foreclosure illegal as well.

Experienced lawyers can do several things when they help their clients fight wrongful foreclosure cases. Lawyers can help you stop foreclosure or reverse a wrongful foreclosure if the lender does not follow the strict regulations that banks and lenders must comply with when undergoing the foreclosure process. These guidelines are dense and specific, so it is important for a person who is being wrongfully foreclosed upon to seek legal help to ensure that no violation of compliance is missed by the court. Additionally, lawyers can help their clients recover funds after a foreclosed home is sold. If the bank is able to sell the home for more than is owed to the bank, the bank must pay the homeowner the remaining balance. This almost never happens unless the bank is forced to make this payment by an attorney. Lawyers can also help you file for bankruptcy if the bank is pursuing access to other assets using either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This can help debtors retain control of unrelated assets that are at risk of seizure by their creditors.

I will definitely recommend that my neighbor consults with a lawyer quickly about the foreclosure notice they received. The legal side of the foreclosure process seems to be complicated enough that it would be extremely difficult to find success if you represent yourself, and even if you represent yourself and win, you might be leaving money on the table that an experienced lawyer would not.

Behind the Party: Be Prepared for the Real Legal Risks to Party Drugs

Partying often comes with some less than ideal behavior. People drink more than they should, put themselves in riskier situations, and often, take party drugs.

While this can often seem like youthful exuberance, there can be real consequences. Unfortunately, those consequences are often brushed aside as the ideal of young people having fun gets the focus. The potential fun is never worth the trouble an individual can get in for being a part of that scene. For the sake of this article, I will avoid the most obvious risks, those related to health and safety, that sometimes get brought up. Instead, I want to talk about the legal risks young people run when they are part of the party scene. The truth is that the party scene can lead to serious legal consequences, even for those who aren’t indulging in these behaviors.

Consider the legal penalties for possessing ecstasy in Massachusetts. James Powderly Cape Cod Criminal Defense Attorney highlights some of the most serious legal issues an individual might face for ecstasy.

As a Class B drug, if the individual is charged simply with possession for a small amount of ecstasy, they are looking at a potential $1000 fine and up to a year in prison. Much more seriously, if an individual is charged with possession with intent for a large amount of ecstasy, they are facing up to $10,000 in fines and up to 10 years in prison. That’s for a first offense. Offenses after the first have mandatory minimums associated with them, including a mandatory 2 years in prison and a mandatory $2,500 fine that can go up to $25,000.

In other words, the risks associated with ecstasy are very high. Mr. Powderly also points out that sometimes people can get wrapped up in these charges even when they personally were not in possession of the drug. They’ll then have to go to great expense to prove the drugs were not theirs.

There is a strong argument that the country should not prosecute drugs so strenuously, that there shouldn’t be mandatory minimums, and that drugs like ecstasy shouldn’t come with such serious punishments. While, again, there is much to be said for this argument, that isn’t the reality at the moment.

So, it is important to caution the young who are out there enjoying the party scene to be careful. Be aware of the risks to your health, your safety, and to your freedom. Think twice before making any risky choices, and be sure to have a plan if something goes wrong and you find yourself in legal jeopardy.

In that case, it is always best to get the best lawyer you can as soon as you can. While you may believe the use of party drugs shouldn’t involve law enforcement, law enforcement doesn’t agree, and you will need a good legal defense to avoid the consequences the system has in mind.

Are motorcycles better for the environment?

One upshot to riding a motorcycle is the fuel efficiency. Putting aside how cool, how fun, how absolutely thrilling it is to ride, you’re also always getting better mileage than any of the other guys on the road.

That got me thinking, shouldn’t the motorcycle be a symbol of the environmental movement?

I dabble a bit in saving the planet. I recycle. I clean up parks when I have some free time. Around the end of the year, I donate to a few Earth-friendly organizations if I have money left over after buying everything for Christmas. And, when I’m not riding, I take the bus everywhere.

It sure would be nice to be able to pat myself on the back for being even more Earth-friendly than I thought. I might even be able to convince myself that the environmental impact was one of the reasons I started riding in the first place.

Unfortunately, it’s not quite that clear-cut. According to the MythBusters, motorcycles do have better fuel efficiency, and they do have lower carbon dioxide emissions, but they emit far more of some of other pollutants.

According to the LA Times, that includes more than 8,000% more carbon monoxide and 416% more hydrocarbons.

To sum it up best, of course, there’s Adam Savage: “At best, it’s a wash. Motorcycles are just as bad for the environment as cars,” he said on the show. “At worst, they’re far worse.”

This result was apparently not unexpected. According to experts in the article, the problem is the lack of space and the quick rise in cost for motorcycles. There’s simply not the room to attach some of the fancy engine changes that cars all have now to lower their emissions. At the same time, the motorcycle has just been able to slip by without as much attention to that side of its engineering since it isn’t the main vehicle for most people.

Still, it’s a disappointment for me, since I now feel a little more guilty when I go for a long ride. At least, as the article says, it took fewer raw materials to put the bike together. That’s something.

And, I suppose, if I forget about the kind of emissions, there’s something to be said for motorcycles taking up less than one percent of the overall pollution.

In the end, though, guilt or not, I’ll keep riding. The risks of riding never stopped me from it, and the costs are unlikely to do so either. I know bikers have a higher risk of serious accidents. I take the proper precautions. Now, I know bikers also create a lot of pollution, how I’ll take precautions against that, I don’t know.

Perhaps I’ll try to offset somehow. I could donate more, and more often. I could try to eliminate some other kind of environmentally unfriendly behavior. Perhaps I’ll give up plastic bags.

I encourage everyone reading to consider these sorts of steps. I doubt many of us would give up our rides, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do something to keep the world a little cleaner.

Dental Treatment Just Became Painless

Let’s face it. Even adults avoid the pain and the discomfort associated with dental treatment. Thus, many never make any appointment with a dentist.

Dental treatments do not have to be uncomfortable or painful. Several years of experience have enabled a number of dentists to learn new tricks that will make dental treatments quick and relatively pain-free – including injections, which are supposed to make a patient numb prior to the actual treatment.

The Babylon Dental Care clinic, for instance, has found the solution to make even routine teeth cleanings a worthwhile experience through the use of a gel called Oraqix®. This gel helps relieve discomfort or sensitivity. Additionally, through the use the Cavitron®, tissue trauma experienced by patients when dentists use hand instruments to clean their teeth, is minimized. With regard to cavities, instead of drilling or use of anesthesia, said clinic rather recommends micro-abrasion, which is a high-pressure baking soda mixture.

Painless dentistry, also called sedation dentistry, is an absolutely safe procedure. In this form of dental treatment, a patient is calmed through the use of mild forms of sedation before a dental treatment is actually performed. To help relieve patient anxiety, the area that needs to be treated it numbed so that the patient will not feel the work of a dentist or hygienist. The procedure would have been completed by the time the sedation wears off.  There are varying levels of sedation in painless dentistry:

  • Minimal Sedation. Though the patient is awake, he/she will feel calm.
  • Moderate Sedation. The patient may be awake, but not fully aware.
  • Deep Sedation. The patient is slightly conscious.
  • General Anesthesia. The patient is completely unconscious

Sedation dentistry has actually been practiced by dentists for many years; new techniques, however, has expanded its application, allowing it to be used even for simple treatments, like teeth cleaning. The calming and numbing effects of sedation have also proven an effective antidote even for people who cannot bear the thought of being in the dentist’s chair.

Administering sedation may be done through the following means:

  • Inhaled – this is done through the use of a breathing mask.
  • Oral – a pill that comes in a variety of strengths is given to a patient. This will make a patient feel groggy so that he/she would be asleep during the procedure.
  • IV Sedation – this is administered through an IV drip and it takes effect almost immediately. The dentist can continually monitor and adjust the dosage if necessary.


How Business Litigation can quickly become personal

In modern business, litigation becomes an issue for the overwhelming majority of people. Whether the other party is an ex-employee or a supplier, you may have a longstanding relationship with them. You may try to keep your emotions out of the litigation, but that can be difficult when dealing with your livelihood. According to the litigation lawyers at Slater Pugh, enlisting the support of a qualified legal representative when facing these and other breaches of trust can give you the best chance at protecting your company.

One common type of business litigation is between a business and ex-employee. When an employee is trying to prove wrongful termination or discrimination, motive is everything. To establish motive, lawyers will review specific conversations and interactions that took place during the employee’s tenure. The nature of this reminiscing is frequently extremely emotional. Questions of context and meaning arise, and misunderstandings can be upsetting to all parties involved. A classic way of determining discrimination is by proving other employees engaged in the same behavior but were not fired. This situation brings more employees into the litigation and only serves to deepen the emotional toll.

Another common type of business litigation is between two business partners and involves intellectual property. Intellectual property is defined as “a work or invention that is the result of creativity, such as a manuscript or a design, to which one has rights and for which one may apply for a patent, copyright, trademark”. This may seem straightforward, but what if the partners took a collaborative approach. Suddenly you are disputing the individual credit and fighting for your ideas. These situations can quickly become emotional, especially if money and friends are involved. In these situations specifically it is essential to have a litigation lawyer taking care of the details.

Dockworkers are Engaged in one of the Most Dangerous Jobs in the United States

On November 4, 2016, just before the end of his shift, which ran from 6 pm to 3 am, Bert Tufele, a Samoan longshore worker at the Stevedore Services of America (SSA) drove his utility tractor (UTR) close to the vessel, from which he was moving cargo containers, that was docked at Pier A of the Marine Terminal in Long Beach. His UTR, however, accidentally clipped the bombcart of another UTR that was in front of him. Upon impact, Tufele was thrown out from his UTR; the vehicle’s tires run over him, causing in him fatal injuries.

There had been other longshore worker deaths on this Long Beach dock in the past, most being workers who performed duties in other job classifications. The death of Tufele, however, is believed to be the first death that involved a UTR driver and the accident not linked to a faulty equipment or to another individual. This is why UTR drivers, prior to the start of their shift, are required to inspect their vehicles; during operation, they should maintain safe speed and always wear a seatbelt. Most UTRs, however, have no speedometers and have mechanical defects, such as missing or malfunctioning seatbelt.

Shippers’ task task of loading and unloading cargo ships promptly and efficiently necessitates two things: the need to be physically fit and the need to go through extensive training so they can learn to load and unload properly.

Their job, however, is also one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States and, like any labor-intensive job, they are at risk of work-related injury, especially when machinery malfunctions or when other people act negligently.

Filing a maritime lawsuit against the manufacturer of a defective product or against the party whose negligent actions contributed to the accident may be necessary for the injured to claim additional financial compensation that will help pay for his/her medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.

Types of Escalator Accidents Revealed

Escalators provide individuals with a quicker way to move up floors. But despite the convenience they offer, there has been a spate of escalator accidents reported over the years. Since it was patented in 1892, the design of escalators has not seen much change. As the website of Ali Mokaram reveals, escalators require proper inspections and repairs to ensure their safety. Its dangerous nature has caused people to be alarmed when riding them.

Around 12,500 to 15,000 escalator accidents happen in the United States on a yearly basis. The accidents may include clothing or body parts getting stuck. Due to the growing safety concern of escalators, may manufacturers have now added safety features to their escalators. Let us take a look at some of the common escalator accidents:

Falling Accidents

Falls associated with stopped handrails can be difficult to defend because components that power these rails require regular maintenance. Aside from that, there are many available devices that can help provide warning to the public of a stalled handrail.

Side of Step Entrapments

This happens when clothing or body parts gets stuck between the moving step and stationary adjacent skirt panel. Defending these accidents can also be equally challenging due to the problem of maintaining the allowable gap between moving stair and skirt panel.

Comb Plate Entrapments

This accident involves a body part getting entrapped between the moving stair and the stationary comb plate located at the egress point of all escalators. This is equally challenging to defend as well since the plaintiff would have to prove that the combs were set too high and does not penetrate the grooves in the steps or if the step is too slow.

Handrail Entrapments

This accident happens when clothes or body parts get stuck between the moving handrail and its guide or at the handrail brush on the newel.
Broken or Missing Steps

Accidents due to broken or missing steps usually result to serious injuries when both step yokes, the main support on each side of a step to which the rollers are attached give way.

Distribution Systems Applied Courts When Dividing Properties, Assets and Debts

There are times when the only remaining way to get out of a trouble-filled marriage is through divorce. Divorce, no doubt, is a painful process, especially if the process through which all issues related to it are settled in the courtroom (this refers to contested divorce, which is also known as traditional courtroom divorce), where spouses, through their respective attorneys, discredit one another, bring to the open each other’s weaknesses and wrongdoings, and recite before an audience made up of strangers, all their assets, properties and debts. The final decision regarding the issues that need to be settled, however, will not be made by them, but by a judge presiding over their case. The issues that may need settlement are child custody, child support, visitation rights, spousal support or alimony, and division of properties, assets and debts. The more issues there are that need to be settled, the longer the divorce case goes and, the longer the divorce case drags, the more expensive things become due to court fees, attorneys’ fees, and fees paid to experts, like accountants and property evaluators.

Besides child custody and alimony, another issue that is often hotly argued about in a divorce case is division of properties,assets and debts.

Dividing properties, assets and debts can be a source of too much stress for divorcing couples. But while some individuals think that everything can be divided, the law says otherwise, meaning, not everything may be up for division. This is because only marital assets and properties can be divided; thus, before a judge can decide “who gets what,” he or she will first need to identify which assets and properties are considered marital and which are not.

Personal or non-marital assets and properties include: all properties mentioned in a pre-marital or prenuptial agreement; inheritance or gift to a spouse at the time of marriage; profits earned by a spouse from properties which he or she already owned before the marriage; and, properties bought by a spouse using the money that he or she earned before marriage.

In dividing properties and assets, the courts may apply equitable distribution or community property. Community property distribution is based on equality. Under this system, all the properties and assets earned and acquired during marriage, even if only one of the spouses worked, will be distributed equally since the spouses are considered equal owners of. This is also applied to debts, thus, rendering both spouses equally liable for unpaid balances on all debts, such as car loan, home mortgage, credit cards, and so forth.

Equitable distribution, on the other hand, divides all marital properties and assets between spouses in a fair and reasonable manner. It is the court which determines what will constitute fair and reasonable distribution: it can be a 50/50 division or one spouse may be awarded a greater percentage of the marital properties and assets. To determine what is fair and reasonable, the court considers the following factors:

  • The age and health condition of each spouse
  • The earning potential and financial condition of each spouse
  • The properties and assets mentioned in a premarital or prenuptial agreement
  • The amount of the properties if liquidated
  • Future liabilities and financial needs of each spouse
  • The degree of contribution made by each spouse in the acquisition of all marital properties
  • The value of of each spouse’s personal property, like business, retirement plans, stocks, bonds, 401(k) plans, financial incentives
  • Amount of child support paid and alimony obligations.

It is legally allowed for divorcing couples to negotiate a property settlement by themselves; however, as mentioned in the website of The Maynard Law Firm, PLLC, failure to reach an agreement will require a court to make the decisions for them. Wisconsin, Washington, Texas, New Mexico, Nevada, Louisiana, Idaho, California and Arizona are the states where the community property distribution system is observed; all other states observe the equitable distribution system. In whatever state a couple may be living in, when it comes to division of property, assets and debts, it is always advisable to settle or go to court assisted by a skilled attorney.

Understanding No-fault Car Liability Insurance

On account of the more than five million vehicle accidents that occur in the United States every year, all states, with the exception only of New Hampshire, has mandated that all drivers carry insurance liability coverage. This liability coverage is intended to protect health-related cost for bodily harm or repair of damage to home (such as another car of a fixture on the highway) where the insured motorist is held to be the trigger; it can also be required to ensure safety additional people as well as their properties.

With DWI, dangerous driving and over-speeding as among the very best causes of car accidents on U.S. roadways and routes, ensuring the protection of conceivable harmless accident victims, whose security on the road is undermined, is merely just and proper.

It’s also true, nevertheless, that many times even the driver that is careless or negligent endures serious injuries and his/her automobile, incurring wreck that is leading. Because of this, the no-fault auto liability insurance was released, a type of protection where the wounded driver’s insurance provider will cover all his/her injury-related losses, also if the injury was absolutely the problem of a motorist that is stated.

Insured under the no-fault insurance are lost wages because of the cost of health treatment, missed business days and expense of harm to the house; payment to these is called PIP or personal injury protection. This will need to be done by way of a court case, although the casualty has the possibility to still pursue further payment to home for damages.

One other amazing factor about no-problem auto liability insurance is its rates prices lower compared to at-fault insurance rates because there’s really no longer any need for the court proceeding, which is merely meant to ascertain who the responsible party is in the injury.
Drivers with numerous traffic infractions in just one year, who’ve been charged with DUI/DUI or who don’t have any insurance liability coverage (in states where this really is needed), apart from getting their state-mandated insurance, will also need to get and fill out an SR-22, a document that demonstrates the control of an automobile liability insurance.

Based on an article posted on the website of Madison, Wisconsin car accident attorneys, an SR-22 is really a type submitted by underwriters to some state’s Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office, for the purpose of having the suspension to the driver license lifted; it is just through the raising of the suspension can the motorist love his/her driving privileges again.

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