Living Wills Make Living Easier

If you reach a certain age, you will hear from many different people that you need to have a will. It’ll make things so much easier for your loved ones, you’ll be told, and you never know what will happen tomorrow.

Despite the fact that the above statement is true for everyone from birth until there is no tomorrow, it’s really only when you get to the gray-haired stage of life that people really start hammering it home.

They mean well, and in fact, they’re absolutely right, so we shouldn’t get offended. We should all have wills. In fact, we should write them up before we reach the gray-haired stage and keep them regularly updated. They do help our families and friends when the inevitable comes. It allows them to focus on grieving instead of petty things like money and possessions.

However, having a will isn’t the only way we should be looking to protect those we love during those final moments, we should also all have living wills.

A living will, for those who don’t know, has nothing to do with passing on possessions. It’s a document that details our end of life wishes. Do we want to be kept on ventilators if that possibility develops, or do we want to be taken off life support and allowed to peacefully drift away? What steps do we want doctors to take to revive us, if any, and what steps do we definitely not want taken?

These are uncomfortable decisions to think through, but we need to do so while we’re healthy and thinking clearly. We need it not just for ourselves (which is reason enough), but for those we love.

Think about it from the perspective of family and friends: let’s say something happens to you, and the doctor comes out to ask what should be done. Should they perform an invasive, desperate surgery, should they put you on life support, or should they not?

Imagine how excruciating the choice will be for your loved ones if they don’t know your wishes. It’s the sort of decision that may haunt them for their entire lives, one way or the other.

It’s not enough to mention your wishes now. They may still be wondering, five years down the line, whether your wishes changed. Put it down in writing, and your loved ones can simply hand over your wishes to the doctor without having the extra burden of guilt.

As you can see from the above example, it’s crucial to have a living will in order to make sure the best possible option is taken for everyone on all sides.

Since this is so important, it’s worth pointing out that like all wills, writing a living will is best done with a legal professional, like this estate planning lawyer in my town, who I heard good things about. A living will, and a regular will, should be ironclad and thorough. The less your family has to worry about at the end, the better.

We Should Respect Our Farmers

Farming is a very American occupation. We often praise our “amber waves of grain” as essential to our national identity. Is there anything that suggests America more than the farmer overlooking his fields?

Yet, farming is a career that has a lot of difficulties to it. The economics of farming are notoriously complicated, especially now that the market is no longer the next town, or the next state, or even the whole country, but is instead vast and intimately internationally connected. The corn grown in Iowa will be sold all over the world, and working through the economics of such things is extremely complicated.

While that means there are more customers, it also means there are more competitors and more demands from different regions for the product.

Beyond this, there are the old worries of farming, such as protection from insects and disease that can destroy the crops. There’s also the old fear of droughts and floods, as well as winters that run too long and summers that run too hot. These concerns are sure to increase as climate change becomes more prominent.

So, farming is already complex because of the economics of the business, plus the natural difficulties of growing produce. In addition to this, there is the competition of corporate farms which have massive economic sway and backing. Such corporations can control the market and can afford to wait for better prices or a better growing season.

All this and little has even been discussed of the actual process of farming. There, farmers have to worry about the price of seed and the type of seed to use. With GMOs, there is the potential to avoid certain pests and diseases, but the need to purchase everything from a single supplier, which can raise costs. Plus, GMOs have developed a bad name, and so the use of such products, while helping the crop, could cut into the number of customers available after it’s grown.

Further, there are always the physical dangers of the farm. Some farms are set out in areas that are still very wild, where animals could still attack livestock or even family. The tractors and other heavy machinery (which first of all is incredibly expensive to purchase) also holds real risk of causing injury either through carelessness or through mechanical malfunction.

All these risks suggest that while farming may conjure an image of charm and idleness, the reality is far different. The work is hard, the business risky, and the life can be dangerous. There are competitors everywhere, a vast world market to try to not just understand but to predict, and a huge potential for catastrophe from nature or elsewhere.

This means we should make a greater effort to appreciate our farmers. Their job is an essential part of our American identity, still today, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

Be prepared with homeowners insurance

It is always important to keep your homeowners insurance current and up-to-date in the event of a personal injury, such as a trip and fall accident, that happens on your property. You might ask if such an accident is covered by your homeowners insurance. Homeowners insurance usually has two separate coverage types – liability coverage and medical payment coverage. For all homeowners, it is important to have Slip and Fall Accidents and Premises Liability, in the event someone does slip and fall on your property.

As a homeowner, it is important to be sure that your property is safe and secure, for adults as well as children. There are some common places on your property where accidents can happen more easily. For instance, porches, staircases, and rugs within your property can cause some major hazards if not secured properly. A common problem is when homeowners place rugs or carpeting on porches or staircases, but then don’t secure them down properly. Rugs and carpeting need to have proper grip pads underneath them when placed on porches and staircases.

If the handrails on a porch or staircase are poorly designed or if they don’t exist at all, this can cause a trip and fall accident. If the risers (or the height of each step) on a porch or staircase are the wrong height or are varying heights within the staircase, this can also be a hazardous issue. Additionally, if the steps on a porch are too shallow, this can be a safety issue when adults or children are walking up or down them repeatedly. Another safety issue is when the railings of a porch or staircase are too narrow where a child could slip through them and fall. This is a common issue that must be addressed on decks and balconies.

What happens if the porch is not secured and there is a trip and fall accident on your property? Is it considered to be your fault, since it happened on your property?  Were you careless in any way that would have caused the trip and fall? These are all questions related to liability and who would be at fault in a trip and fall accident on the homeowner’s property.

If there is a trip and fall accident on your property, it is important to report the injury to your homeowner’s insurance company. If you file a claim with your homeowners policy regarding a trip and fall accident, be prepared for questions because an insurance adjuster will almost certainly ask numerous questions related to the incident. For instance, did poor or broken lighting contribute to the slip and fall? Does the homeowner regularly examine or repair any problems on the premises? If a guest tripped over a broken or loose carpet or flooring, how long was it not secured correctly? Did the homeowner already know about the problem but had not fixed it yet? These are important questions, and it would be best to contact your homeowners insurance adjuster or seek legal advice.

Fried Chicken Beer

Craft breweries are known for creating a world of new beer flavor creations. This is a part of the growing appeal of these independent companies. Due to their size and their independent management, craft brewers have the freedom to experiment and to use their creativity to create practically any flavor of beer you can imagine. Some of these flavors may sound immediately appealing, while others might make you raise an eyebrow. wrote an article about one such beer that has recently come on the market called a Fried Chicken Double IPA.

Two brewing companies out of Richmond, Virginia, The Veil Brewing Co. and Evil Twin Brewing, have come together to create a wild new beer flavor that has shocked many beer drinkers. Although the brewers state the beer does not taste like fried chicken, they do add a small amount of fried chicken during the brewing process. This offers a brand new flavor possibility to their beer that both owners are very excited about. This same brewery created an Oreo beer last year that quickly became an internet sensation. The brewers seem thrilled about the ability to use new ingredients during the brewing process to learn how it will react with the standard base of the beer. Their latest creation, the Fried fried chicken beer, is an 8% ABV brew with the base flavor coming from an Old Country Double IPA. This beer has a combination of Citra, Simcoe, and Enigma hops, which blend together with the fried chicken to make a unique flavor. Many beer drinkers who are already a fan of these breweries are excited to see what kind of flavor combinations Veil Brewing Co. will come up with next.

While this beer sounds almost like something out of a story, the new brew hit the market in July of 2017. Flavor combinations such as this demonstrate the power of craft breweries in the American beer market. For decades, most beers tasted and looked fairly similar, with generally bland flavorings. However, the market is being revolutionized by the creativity of independent brewers. Although fried chicken beer may not be everyone’s first choice of drink, it is just one of the thousands of different flavors and styles available in craft beers. This surge in inventive new beer flavors and styles have broken down the barriers of what brewers once thought possible.

Although many people may like to try all the new flavors of beer available, independent companies simply do not have the ability to make their brews widely available across the country. You simply cannot purchase many craft beers in groceries stores because the brewery only creates a small amount of their product each year. However, companies like Growler Chill, are helping to make craft beer more readily available for your home. Their product allows you to store and chill your favorite craft beer and provides you with on-tap freshness. With their help, maybe one day we can all try a glass of fried chicken beer.

Slipping and Falling Accidents

A property owner has the legal responsibility of making his property safe. If he fails to do this, and a person ends up getting hurt, he may be held accountable for the damages, such as the medical costs of treating the victim’s injury and the lost wages as the victim has not been able to work because of the physical limitation. This is called premises liability.

According to the website of these Tucson accident lawyers, slip and fall accidents are under premises liability. But what is a slip and fall in the first place? A slip and fall is just what those words suggest – you slip in the property and fall strong enough into the ground to get injured.

The main component of a premises liability case is the negligence of the property owner. This also applies for slip and fall accidents. If it can be proven that the property owner has been negligent, and this negligence has resulted into the injury of another, then it may be a legitimate premises liability case.

But how can a property owner be negligent? There are three conditions:

  • He has created the dangerous condition that has led to the slip and fall accident
  • The dangerous condition has been there long enough to be seen and fixed by a reasonable property owner
  • Because of the property owner’s failure to see or fix the condition, the condition ends up hurting another person

Most of these conditions are the result of the lack of maintenance, such as the following:

  • Buildup of ice, rainwater, or snow in the sidewalk
  • Buildup of leaves and other debris
  • Cylindrical objects that may rollover, like pipes
  • Defective facilities, like elevators, escalators, and stairs
  • Unattended slippery materials on the floor, like spilled drinks
  • Worn carpets, rugs, and other textiles on the floor

Property owners should regularly clean their premises, inspect their facilities, equipment, and furniture, and have enough security to see potential hazards like spilled water. They owe it to themselves and their visitors to make their premises safe.

It is a Property Owner’s Responsibility to Ensure the Safety of Their Premises

Slip and fall accidents are among the top causes of serious injuries in the U.S. Data from the National Safety Council (NSC) Injury Facts show that there are more than 8 million victims of this type of accident every year.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), some of the most serious effects of a slip and fall accident are fracture to the hip, torn muscle and ligament, knee injury and broken bones (wrist and/or elbow), and the ones who are most prone to it are people 55 years old and above. Though it may just be a simple accident to many, it is enough to alter an elderly victim’s life and make him/her incapable of further enjoying years filled with worthwhile activities.

A slip and fall accident can occur in any dangerous property, that is, where there are trip hazards that are not noticeable, exposed wires, uncovered metal or wooden pegs, unnecessary clutter, no warning signs, especially on wet surfaces, uneven floors or walkway, moss-filled floors, inadequate lighting along walkways, unstable surfaces, no railings or guardrails, exposed wires, and so forth. It can happen in hospitals, inside a church, inside a mall or a restaurant, beside a pool, in the office – practically, anywhere, where the owner of a premise is negligent or careless enough as to allow accident-causing elements to remain in his/her area of responsibility.

Sadly, many lack concern in cleaning their own mess, and still many more do not have the initiative to clean their premises – to make sure that everything is safe. If they do not want to tidy up things for others’ sake, then, at least, they should get rid of any hazard for their own safety. Always, the victim of such lack of concern, carelessness or negligence, is someone who is totally unaware of a possible slip or trip hazard.

Injuries resulting from a slip and fall accident are called personal injuries. Under the law, the person or party liable for such accident is always the property owner. Thus, owners should be aware that after an accident due to their negligence, a claim lawsuit is sure to follow. At the very least, you want adequate warning when there are unsafe conditions. However, there are times when unsafe conditions crop up without warning and cause people to get hurt. It is a property owner’s responsibility to ensure the safety of their premises. When they fail to do so, injured people can hold them accountable for allowing dangerous conditions to persist.

Truck Driver Errors

Most traffic accidents happen because of driver error, and truck accidents are no exception to this. Most of the time, the truck drivers are at fault. It can be argued that truck drivers should actually be more careful compared to ordinary drivers, because the vehicles they operate are much heavier and larger. It will not be wise to trigger an accident.
The website mentions that those who have been hurt in truck accidents because of somebody else’s fault, like the truck driver’s, may pursue legal action against the responsible parties, such as trying to get compensation from the damages they have sustained.
This means that truck drivers are legally obligated to operate safely. But to do so, it is important to enumerate the most common truck driving errors, so they can cautiously avoid them.

Obviously Reckless Behaviors

Doing obviously reckless behaviors while on the wheel is just unacceptable. Firstly, the behaviors are known to be dangerous already, so there is no reason for truck drivers to do them. Secondly, choosing to do the obviously reckless behavior is also negligent, because they are operating vehicles that may have high impacts during road accidents. Below are the most common behaviors that are obviously reckless:

  • Driving while fatigued, especially when intentionally doing so just to fulfil a quota or a specific task
  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, medication, and other products that may cause impairment
  • Speeding, either by going above the speed limit or driving too fast when the road and weather conditions are considered
  • Blatant disregard of traffic rules, particularly right-of-way and turning issues

Faintly Reckless Behaviors

Some reckless behaviors are not as obvious as drunk driving and speeding, but they are just as equally dangerous. Some of these behaviors drivers know to be reckless but do anyway because they are not as threatening as other reckless behaviors, while some arise from the drivers’ ignorance. Below are the most common ones:

  • Driving with excessive weight, usually in the form of too much cargo in the trailer
  • Failing to maintain the truck, making it more prone to wear and tear and defects
  • Getting too close to other vehicles, like tailgating and weaving through traffic
  • Not considering blind spots while driving, considering that trucks have wider blind spots compared to other vehicles
  • Not using turn signals, especially during turning movements in intersections

When Employer Negligence or Truck Driver Error Leads to a Preventable Accident, They Believe Those Who Suffer Deserve Just Compensation

An 18-wheeler, also called semi-truck, big rig or tractor-trailer, weighs about 80,000 lbs., making it 20-30 times heavier than a passenger car. While this weight can make this type of vehicle incredibly tough in road crashes, the same feature is source of great disadvantage where braking or coming to a full stop and many other concerns are the issue.

Compared to other vehicles, especially an ordinary passenger car which, at the speed of 65 mph, will require about 316 feet before coming to a full stop, an 18-wheeler will take 525 feet to stop fully. This longer stopping distance alone makes big rigs threats on the road. Due to this, it is very necessary that truck drivers are fully trained, licensed, not feeling fatigued or sleepy, and totally sober and focused on the road whenever behind the wheel.

While the first three necessities (mentioned above) are never or seldom problems, certainty on truck driver sobriety is still a big question. As shown in a number of studies, many truck drivers have been found intoxicated or high on drugs while driving – a very serious traffic violation due to the high risk of injury they put themselves and, especially, other motorists in.

The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for drivers of passenger cars is 0.08%; for truck drivers, however, the limit is much lower: 0.04%. Semi-truck drivers with a 0.04% BAC can result to DUI, while if caught with a 0.02%BAC, they can be suspended from operating their truck for a total of 24 hours.

Truck accident lawyers from the firm Mazin & Associates, PC, know that “Heavy haul trucks are by far some of the most difficult vehicles to operate. Their large size and mass lead to numerous safety hazards, including bad brakes and large blind spots. These safety hazards only worsen when the bitter winter comes and the already limited traction of the road decreases even further. Trucks are very accident prone and when a truck accident occurs it is almost always devastating for everyone involved.

Said truck accident lawyers also understand the “necessity for heavy haul trucks to deliver goods across the country. However, when employer negligence or truck driver error leads to a preventable accident, they believe those who suffer deserve just compensation.”

Factors that Greatly Contribute to Head-on Collision Accidents

For many years now, motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. have always gone beyond five million, resulting to more than 32,000 fatalities and more than two million injuries. About 2% of these five million motor vehicle crashes is head-on collision. Though this type of accident occurs much less frequently (compared to fatal alcohol-related accidents, for example), it, however, results to more than 10% of the 32,000-plus driving fatalities. Non-fatal head-on collision accidents can most likely result to life-altering injuries, such as spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, broken bones, and paralysis, among others.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), head-on collisions are among the most dangerous types of auto accidents. Driver error is the major cause of car accidents, including and especially, head-on collisions. Factors that greatly contribute to this type of accident include: inattention or driving while distracted; a driver drifting into oncoming traffic; a driver who, knowingly or unknowingly, drives the wrong way on a highway or residential road; making a dangerous passing maneuver; driving at excessive speed; driving while intoxicated; or, falling asleep at the wheel. These, as well as many other possible causes of head-on collisions, are often due to negligence or reckless road behavior, which can easily be prevented.

Head-on collision is one type of accident that drivers never even want to think of possibly getting involved in – due to its severe consequences. To help make sure that this will never occur in large highways, where vehicles run at fast speeds, some local governments have installed stretches of steel wire cable to prevent vehicles from one lane from ever drifting to the other.

West Palm Beach car accident lawyers believe that a driver, whose negligence or recklessness causes a head-on collision accident, should be held liable for the consequences of his/her carelessness. Due to the difficulty and challenges facing authorities in determining fault in head-on collision accidents, however, one who claims to be a victim may find it necessary and advantageous if he/she would hire a seasoned personal accident lawyer who will be able to represent him/her well in court.

5 Tips On Choosing Car Insurance

Car insurance is a necessity in the United States. For this reason, you need to find the right provider. There is a proliferation of car insurance companies in the market today which can make finding the best one a daunting task. According to the website of Insure on the Spot, finding the rate that best suits your budget and individual coverage is the top priority. This article will guide you on choosing the right car insurance company.

1. Check The Reputation and Financial Standing of the Company
Choosing a car insurance company requires some vigilance on your part. It can be easy to be victimized by “fly-by-night” companies so you need to make sure that the provider you have in mind is a reputable one. You can check with the Department of Insurance in your state to determine whether the company is licensed to engage in selling car insurance.
Another way you can check the integrity of the provider is to find out how it ranks in the Better Business Bureau. You can also find other information about the company such as how long has it been in business as well as customer reviews.

2. Watch out for fraud companies
When money is involved, there will always be crooks who will be trying to rip people of their cash. If the offer they are giving you seems too good to be true, this is a sign that you must forget about the company and look for another one.

3. Get More Than One Quote
When looking for a car insurance company, do not just focus on one provider. Get quotes from at least three providers and compare their rates. This way, you will be able to find the best option that suits your budget and need.

4. Set The Right Deductible
A deductible serves as an out of the pocket expense that you will have to shell out in case of an accident. While a high deductible can lower your insurance premiums, it will also mean higher out of the pocket expenses. If you are not a bad driver and has no record of being at-fault, you can opt for a higher insurance premium and get higher savings in the process.

5. Choose An Average Model Car
Going for luxury cars can increase your insurance premium because most companies consider these types of cars as more high risk. So if you want to lessen the interest rate of your policy, go for an average model car which offers less risk.
Car insurance gives you peace of mind when involved in an accident. When looking for a provider, always consider your budget and what coverage you need.