Jul 6, 2016

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Pros And Cons of a Limited Liability Company

Choosing the right business structure is an important business decisions that entrepreneurs would have to make. One of the most common choices is a limited liability company or LLC. For companies with one to three owners, it is the perfect choice. According to the website of Slater Pugh, Ltd, LLP, these types of company combines elements of a partnership and corporation. Here is a guide on the advantages and disadvantages of a limited liability company.

Advantages

  • A limited liability company provides protection to the owner against a possible lawsuit. Compared to a sole proprietor, the owner of an LLC is regarded as a separate entity from the company. This means that creditors cannot seize the owner’s personal assets.
  • With LLC, owners can deduct health insurance premiums on an income tax return.
  • Unlike C or S corporations, LLCs offer less paper works. This makes an LLC easier to form and maintain in good standing.

Disadvantages

  • In an LLC, profits earned are only taxed at the company level. Owners of the company pay taxes on profits on their personal income tax returns.
  • Unlike corporations, there is no definite role in an LLC. This can create confusion as to who will sign contracts.
  • However, this can be remedied with the creation of an LLC Operating Agreement.
  • If one of the owners of the LLC leaves, the company’s existence will cease to exist. Again, owners can remedy this with an LLC Operating Agreement.
  • While there are fringe benefits in an LLC, such are treated as taxable income. Employees of a C Corporation also receive fringe benefits but it is not reported as taxable income.

Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of a limited liability company can help you decide whether it is the right business structure for your company. It is always best to consult the experts when deciding on the business structure you want.

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Mar 10, 2016

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What are the contributing factors in truck driver errors?

In the United States, large trucks (such as semi-tractor trailers and 18-wheelers) are used for the shipment and transportation of many different products, making the industry a highly needed service. Trucks are particularly harder to operate, and it is a requirement that the drivers are well-trained and well-informed about the functions of the vehicle. Unfortunately, accidents are inevitable, and since trucks are larger than most vehicles we see on the road, the results are particularly worse and more tragic. There are just certain qualities that trucks have and cars do not, such as blind spots and relatively delayed stop time while stepping on the brakes due to the heavy weight. These things are only a few of the many factors that add to truck accidents.

The intensive nature of a truck driving job usually adds up to driver error as the cause of an accident. According to the personal injury lawyers at Pohl & Berk, LLP, there is a greater responsibility that is expected from truck drivers, so their negligence poses bigger risks.

According to Nolo, due to the nature of the job, truck drivers are prone to fatigue, which could lead to an accident. Exhaustion results in sleepiness and it may lead to simple distractions like the oversight of a sign, panicking, being startled, and many other more. Another driver error is the use of drugs and alcohol, and this almost always leads to tragic accident results. There are federal rules enforcing employment testing to trucking companies, although some drivers are just merely negligent and continue to violate the law. Blind spot is still one of the major issues in truck accidents, even though truck drivers are trained to look for vehicles that may drive on the “No Zone,” a space around the truck where the driver is not able to see through the mirrors.

The factors mentioned above are just a few of the many things that cause truck accidents.

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Oct 21, 2015

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A step-by-step account on how airbags work

Apart from seat-belts, airbags provide an added layer of protection among passengers during a car crash. In the U.S., cars with model year 1998 and onward are all required to have airbags for front passengers. But today, airbags are not only limited in the steering wheel and in the dashboard, they are also mounted on doors and chairs; and they are a big help in reducing fatal accidents in every U.S. roads.

But how does this amazing car safety component work? Here is a step-by-step account on how an airbag deploys:

  1. The airbag is equipped with sensor that tells whether a crash has occurred. This sensor is equipped with an accelerometer (an instrument that measures acceleration) to detect sudden decrease in acceleration. When there is sudden, possibly fatal deceleration, the sensor will trigger the airbag circuit.
  2. The circuit will then ignite a solid propellant that would trigger a chemical reaction. This chemical reaction would generate a large amount of gas so fast that it would inflate the airbag within a quarter of a second.
  3. The airbag is coated with talcum powder so that it would unwrap seamlessly. Also, the airbag is made of nylon fabric with tiny holes on its edges. The airbag deflates as the occupant’s head pushes it down.

However, there are certain scenarios where airbags do not deploy. According to the website of Williams Kherkher (view website), defective designed, manufactured, and mounted airbags may malfunction in times of collision. Furthermore, an airbag may not deploy in any of these situations:

  • A frontal fender bender
  • When you hit a moving object (an animal or a moving pole)
  • When you have been involved in an angled or rear crash
  • When the direction of the force during a car crash is downwards (ex. when your bumper is lodged below a semis’ loading platform, or when you drive over a large pothole)

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Jun 4, 2015

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Zofran and Cleft Palate

An infant’s palate, or the roof of their mouth, is fully formed by the tenth week of pregnancy. Palates form from the edges first then fuse in the center to form a solid roof. When this fusion process is disrupted, a hole is left behind and a cleft palate is formed. Typically the cause is never found. Genetic factors are usually considered, but environmental factors can be a cause as well. Environmental factors can include smoking, drinking, and being excessively overweight during pregnancy, but increasingly is taking unsafe medication.

Zofran is a drug that can be prescribed to women who are experiencing excessive and/or violent morning sickness. It was originally designed for cancer patients who were undergoing treatments and works by suppressing the chemicals that are responsible for nausea and vomiting. Recently, however, there have been connections between the taking of Zofran during pregnancy and the development of certain birth defects, including cleft palates. Inadequate research was done prior to prescribing it to expectant mothers. The FDA has since released a warning against its use by pregnant women, but many doctors prescribe it to their patients anyway.

The direct connection between taking Zofran and the development of cleft palates is still unclear, but Zofran lawyers are looking into the issue. Cleft palates can cause undue suffering to both the child and their caretakers. Infants with cleft palates are typically unable to breast feed since the hole in their mouths can fill with milk and cause them to aspirate or milk to come out of their nose. Older children will have a difficult time speaking since the roof of your mouth is necessary for making speech sounds. Surgery is the only solution and sometimes multiple surgeries are required. The effects of taking Zofran during pregnancy are still unclear, but it is important to know the risks involved.

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Mar 26, 2015

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Considerations for Selling your Mineral Rights

There are some circumstances when selling your mineral rights is the better option than leasing. True, when you sell your mineral rights you can no longer benefit from the yields when there are any. This can be truly frustrating, but mineral rights are highly speculative at best, and most often do not even pan out. Leasing keeps your finger in the pie just in case there are minerals in commercially viable quantities, and you still own the rights.

On the other hand, if you only own part of the property that has mineral rights, a lease can make it very complicated for you and your co-owners. For one thing, negotiating a lease will involve more people. For another, even if you get a lease contract that everyone can live with, the paperwork and administrative burden to make sure that everybody has a fair share of the proceeds and royalties may be too heavy for the money you eventually get for your share. This is especially true when the property is not yielding a lot yet, so the royalties may be next to nothing. As an article on The Mineral Auction website puts it, it may be more trouble than it is worth.

Another scenario where selling your mineral rights makes more sense than leasing it out is when you need a significant amount of cash at once. It could be to buy into a business, buy new property, pay for college, or pay off debts. You only get money from a lease on a piecemeal basis, and it is obviously going to be much less than a purchase, so selling your mineral rights is the best option for you.

If you do decide to sell your mineral rights, you have to be sure that you are getting the right price for it. You should consult with an oil and gas attorney if you get an offer to purchase and discuss why the price is right or not. It is easy for an amateur to get confused over the whole thing, so you may want to leave the selling to the professionals. There are companies that specialize in putting mineral rights up for auction and getting the best deals for both sellers and buyers.

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Mar 24, 2015

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Wet Reckless in Plea Arrangements

You are charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in and it seems that there is a wall of evidence against you. Your lawyer is advising you to make a “wet reckless” plea. What is that?

A wet reckless plea is admitting that you were driving after having had a few drinks. The formal description for this plea is “reckless driving with alcohol involved.” The conditions for a typical wet reckless plea is that the blood alcohol content (BAC) level was just at or slightly lower than the legal limit, the driver had no prior DUI charges or convictions, and there was no accident. A wet reckless plea is a lesser offense than a DUI and usually results in lower fines, no prison time, and no criminal record.

Some states are neutral about wet reckless pleas. There are no laws pertaining to such pleas, which mean that a good DUI lawyer can make a case for you. However, it can be hard to pull it off if your lawyer is not experienced in criminal defense. There is a lot of pressure on prosecutors to crack down on DUI, so they will not be willing to agree to a lesser charge unless the lawyer is very convincing.

In Texas, the situation is different. About a dozen states specifically prohibit against a wet reckless plea, and Texas is one of them. A driver charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas faces particularly harsh punishment. However, according to the website of Daniel Jensen, Attorney at Law, a savvy criminal defense lawyer can still work out a way to reduce penalties for a DWI, such as probation.

It would be better to avoid a conviction, of course, but you will usually need a good lawyer to do that. Because of the potentially damaging and long-term consequences of a DUI or DWI conviction, drunk driving defense should be a priority for you.

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Mar 21, 2015

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Distracted Driving is Deadly

Many car accidents happen for the most innocent of reasons. There has been such grim attention paid to drunk driving that people tend to be relaxed about texting, talking on their mobile phones, eating, applying makeup, or even changing the radio station. However, any kind of distracted driving can lead to an accident. It only requires a few seconds of inattention for it to happen.

The thing is, there are laws against drunk driving but not for the above causes of distracted driving. This may be because it is possible to get physical evidence of driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence. There are field sobriety tests, breathalyzer, and blood tests to confirm if a driver is unfit to drive. What kind of evidence can you get for changing a CD at the time of an accident?

This makes it harder for a Des Moines car accident lawyer to prove a case of negligence against a defendant who was texting, for example, at the time of an incident in Iowa. Unless the defendant admits to it, or allows the lawyer access to phone records, then that is pretty much it for the easy route. According to the website of Spiros Law, P.C., at the most, the victim of distracted driving will be able to get some compensation for medical expenses, but this will still depend on the circumstances.

It seems unfair but that is how the system works. A layperson with no legal background will have practically no hope of getting compensation without good legal representation. If you are in this situation, your best move is to consult with a car accident lawyer in your state.

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Mar 19, 2015

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Statistics on Accidental Injuries and Deaths in the US

People have accidents all the time, and in many cases they result in serious injury or death. The numbers amply attests to this. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regularly publish statistics on accidental injuries and deaths in the US. It is based on data from the US Census Bureau, and the latest data available is for 2013.

According to the CDC, there were 31 million people admitted for emergency medical treatment for accidental injuries in 2013. There were 130,557 deaths resulting from accidental injuries broken down into 30,208 for unintentional falls, 38,851 from unintentional poisoning, 33,804 from motor vehicle accidents, and 27,694 from other causes. Death due to accidental causes ranks 4th as the leading cause of death in the US.

Many of those who sustain injury in an accident and survive may be facing extended medical treatment, temporary disability, and perhaps permanent medical problems as well. The repercussions can be life changing. In most cases, health insurance covers most of the medical bills, but not all, and those that are not covered by any insurance at all suffer the most. As pointed out on the Pohl & Berk, LLP website, it adds insult to injury when the incident is completely preventable, and occurred solely because of the recklessness of another party.

Fortunately, US law protects victims of negligent behavior. However, as Madison, Wisconsin personal injury attorneys are well aware, proving that another party is liable for one’s injuries is not an easy task. It requires extensive legal knowledge and extensive experience to present a personal injury suit effectively.

If you sustain serious injuries because of a negligent accident, you do not have to suffer it in silence. Find an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area and get compensation for the damages you sustained.

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Mar 18, 2015

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Executors under Probate Law

The role of the executor of an estate is to make carry out the will of the deceased when it comes to the disposition of possessions and property. In most instances, the executor is someone with legal or financial expertise because the administration of an estate entails many legal and financial tasks, although law does not require it. Because it can take a lot of time to execute a will, the executor is typically entitled to a commensurate fee, and executors are authorized to spend money to pay for debts, taxes, funeral expenses, insurance premiums, operational costs of the estate, and other financial obligations the deceased may have left behind. They are also authorized to sell assets that have not been specifically willed to someone. This access is in place until such time as probate ends. However, they have no authority to appropriate any property or cash for their personal benefit.

Unfortunately, it is very easy for an executor to abuse their position of trust, and this is a breach of their fiduciary duty. The only way to determine if this has happened is to have a regular accounting of all proceeds and expenses made in a given period. Concerned parties may also request the probate court to demand an accounting from the executor if they suspect the executor of wrongdoing. The court will then investigate, and if it finds the executor to be in breach of fiduciary duty, the court will revoke the access and assign someone else to be the executor.

But what of the money that has already been stolen?

This is where a Chicago probate lawyer can come in handy. The probate court will not be get involved in this but beneficiaries of the estate can file a separate lawsuit in civil court against the executor for breach of fiduciary duty. To get their money back as well as court expenses, the plaintiffs will have to prove that the executor had betrayed knowingly and willfully the beneficiaries’ trust. However, there is a statute of limitations for bringing a civil action for breach of fiduciary duty, so it is important to file a case as soon as possible. Consult a probate lawyer in your area to find out what you need to do.

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Mar 16, 2015

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Take Your Pick: Blood Clots or Gallbladder Disease

Women who take oral contraceptives largely do so to prevent unwanted pregnancies, and there are many options out there. They certainly did not sign up to risk potentially serious blood clots or gallbladder disease when they decided to take Yaz, Yasmin, or Ocella.

It is widely accepted that some drugs have serious adverse side effects. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, drug manufacturers are supposed to make thorough clinical trials of these drugs to find out everything they can about it before marketing it to the public. The doctors then discuss this with their patients prior to implementing treatment. If the benefits outweigh the dangers, and there are no alternatives, or the alternatives are not as effective, then it becomes an acceptable risk.

However, when the drug company fails to test their products adequately, or suppresses information about negative results, they can be held liable for any adverse side effects that may occur once a drug is already available to the public. This is what happened with the birth-control pills containing drospirenone. It included Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella, all of which significantly increased their risk for forming serious blood clots (leading to deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism). Drug manufacturer Bayer failed to give adequate warning about these risks, which led to the filing of numerous personal injury lawsuits. However, blood clots is not the only problem for these women.

A 2011 study that came out in the Canadian Medical Association Journal indicated that contraceptive pills containing drospirenone was associated with a higher risk (20%) of developing gallbladder disease compared to those containing levonorgestrel and other birth control pills. The conclusion was based on the results of an analysis of the medical records of 3 million women who took birth-control pills for at least 6 months. The risk increased to 30% for women who took drospirenone for a minimum of two years.

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