The Effects of Burn Accident

I know that receiving burns or related injuries from a fire can be a brutally painful experience. However, I have never really understood the different types of burns that can be incurred from an explosion, fire, or disaster. I researched this topic and found a helpful and concise explanation at the website for The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee.

According to this Seattle attorney’s website, there are three types of burns that a person can have: first-degree, second-degree, and third-degree burns. First-degree burns are burns that only affect the outer layer of the skin. Second-degree burns are burns that affect the outer layer of skin as well as the dermis below it. And third-degree burns affect both layers of skin as well as different glands and tissues underneath the skin.

I would not want any of these variations of burns, nor can I imagine anyone else wanting them. But surely, having third-degree burns would be the worst possibility.

The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee goes on to explain some of the effects (besides the obvious, pain) that can result from burn injuries. One example, limited mobility, truly made me reflect on how lucky I am to be able to move around, walk my dog, and hang out with my loved ones. I can’t believe some people have to be in pain and not be able to move the way they would like.

Another effect is disfigurement. This basically means that your body is altered in a permanent way that causes the arrangement or looks of your features to be different than normal. We should live in a society and world where you are judged on the content of your character, not your looks. Unfortunately, some people are still treated poorly or differently because of things like disfigurement. It’s not fair, but this is another horrible impact of a burn injury.

Digging deeper into that website, I found that there are options for people who have been burned or injured by others’ defective products or negligent actions. The first option, naturally, is to work with the insurance companies (both yours and the person responsible) to get compensation for your injuries. The problem, though, is that the insurance companies are incentivized to pay you as little money as possible for your injuries because they are a business focused on profit. They are not as concerned as you are, with your personal injuries.

It’s been suggested that seeking legal representation before dealing with insurance companies is probably your best bet. A lawyer will be more experienced in negotiating with insurance companies directly for a better compensation offer. And if worst comes to worst, you can work with a burn injury to press insurance companies for a much better settlement in or out of court.

The stakes are high with burn injuries being so intensely negative. If you are a burn victim, I’d make sure that you know what type of burn(s) you have from a medical professional and then discussing its cause(s), context, and more with a lawyer. You can always take the initial insurance offer, but you probably deserve more for all of the pain and potential disfigurement you face!

Sitting on Mineral Rights Can Be a Bad Investment

If you’ve got land with significant gas, oil, or other mineral rights, you may think your best financial option is to just sit tight. You may just want to keep the land as an insurance policy against future financial difficulties. You may also think that you’re likely to get a better deal somewhere down the line when prices are sure to go up.

The truth is, though, that you may very well be limiting your ability to protect yourself financially by refusing to sell now.

To begin with, there’s no guarantee you’ll get a better price tomorrow than you get today. At the same time, by leaving so much investment in your land, you limit your ability to get the liquidity required to truly diversify your investments in a way that will protect you in the case of financial difficulties.

Where does that leave you, then?

It leaves you in a position where you probably need to sell in the near-term instead of the long-term, but you also want to get the most for your land possible so you have the most income to invest in the best and wisest ways.

To get the most for your land, you’ll probably want to work with a mineral rights broker. The Mineral Auction points out several very compelling reasons for this, including:

  • You’ll get the best evaluation before going to sale: Without the help of a broker, you may not get a fair evaluation, meaning you’re leaving money on the table and exposing yourself because of your lack of personal expertise.
  • You’ll get more investors looking at your land: There’s only so much you can do on your own to attract investors. You may have to deal with just the first company that approaches you for your land rights. You’re obviously more likely to get a better deal when you have multiple parties trying to get your land. A mineral rights broker has the ability to bring in more offers to drive the price up.
  • You’ll get a guide through the whole process: Selling mineral rights isn’t necessarily very straightforward. There’s more preparation involved than you might think, and missing out on that early work may cost you a better deal. Working with a mineral rights broker can keep that process on track so that when the right offer comes in, you’re ready.

There’s nothing wrong with trying to handle your mineral rights on your own, or waiting for the market to meet your valuation, but you should recognize that you are taking a risk in doing that. Your land can be a great investment, or it can prove a poor one, just like anything else.

As always, the best security is in diversification, and to diversify, you’ll probably need to sell. And to sell, you will probably need a mineral rights broker. It’s really that simple. But the choice, of course, is yours.

Why I don’t assume people are guilty

I’ll always have sympathy for those accused of crimes until they’re proven guilty, even when they look guilty as sin from the outside. I know that isn’t a popular attitude these days. With the Harvey Weinstein story out there, it is probably very cathartic to assume he’s guilty and to cheer on everything that happens to him, but I have personal experience that makes me hold back.

When I was a kid in the ‘70s (not a kid, but I was in my early 20s, you’ll have to forgive me, everyone seems like a kid to me nowadays), I was charged with drug possession and nearly went to prison.

This was early on in the drug war years, and the police were searching anyone with long hair, just assuming that was reasonable enough proof they were smoking something.

I, actually, was not smoking something. Though I did have long hair and listened to all the right music, I didn’t go in for the drug scene. My father was an alcoholic, and that scared me away from anything that might give me a cloudy head or lead me down a bad road. I played it straight. I didn’t judge people for doing otherwise (still don’t), but it wasn’t for me.

That didn’t stop the police from assuming I was hiding something. One such officer harassed me in a park. He searched my pockets and whatnot, and when he didn’t find anything, he went looking around for anything on the ground. Unluckily for me, someone had actually thrown the butt of a joint in the grass. It was cold, clearly hadn’t been smoked in a week, but that was enough for the officer.

Off I went to the jail. I was fingerprinted, booked, and everything. Once the story was out, once I was released and had a court date, I don’t know how many people shook their heads at me, absolutely certain that I was guilty. And not just that I was guilty but that it wasn’t a misunderstanding or a one-time thing. Many people, including many close friends and some family, assumed I must be some kind of junky.

Now, for those too young to remember, the political climate was quite bad back then, in some ways better than now but in others much worse. There was an assumption that anyone in the counterculture was worthless and deserved any punishment they got.

But that sort of assumption, that attitude, is exactly what makes me pause before condemning people now. I think Harvey Weinstein is probably guilty, but I can’t be sure yet. I was lucky enough to find a good criminal lawyer. I am sure Mr. Weinstein will have the best anyone can pay for. I don’t really worry about him.

I do worry about the small time guys who get caught up in things they aren’t responsible for, though, just like me. I’m sure my situation happens every day still to this day. I hope people are more understanding. I also hope criminal lawyers are cheaper than they used to be. People need the chance to prove they’re innocent.

Hundreds of People Continue to Suffer Unduly Because of Reckless Drivers

Before becoming a licensed driver, a person applying for a license is first required by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to undergo formal driving lessons and go through written and actual driving tests to ensure that he/she has learned and developed proper road behavior. This is because driving is a privilege, not a right; therefore, no one can or should drive as if he or she owns the road. Simply put, public roads and highways should be no place for anyone who would fit the description of “reckless driver”.

A reckless driver, as defined under the laws of the United States, is a person who willfully and wantonly disregards the safety of persons and properties. The following are considered reckless driving behavior in the U.S.:

  • Overtaking an ambulance or a stopped school bus that is loading or unloading passengers;
  • Failing to use signal light when turning, slowing down, or stopping;
  • Driving above the speed limit in parking areas and public roads;
  • Maneuvering improperly;
  • Overtaking another vehicle on a one lane road or overtaking two vehicles simultaneously on a highway by driving in the lane of on-coming traffic or on the shoulder;
  • Drowsing off while driving, driving the opposite direction on a one-way street, and parking in a highway;
  • Passing a car where the view of oncoming traffic is obstructed, like on a curve or on the crest of a hill;
  • Running a red light or a stop sign; and,
  • Driving a vehicle that has defective parts, like faulty brakes or worn out tires.

Reckless driving is a serious traffic violation because it is a threat to people’s lives and properties. Though considered a misdemeanor, a charge can be raised to Class A misdemeanor (which means jail sentence of up to 12 months and/or a $5,000 fine) or felony if it causes injuries or death. In some states, reckless drivers can also have their driver’s license suspended or revoked. If the violation, however,  is committed in Federal territories, such as the George Washington Parkway, the Pentagon area, the Quantico area, in military bases, or in Northern Virginia Federal government facilities, then offenders are sure to suffer heavier penalties.

No one can be more aware of the dangers of reckless driving and the severity of injuries resulting from road accidents caused by reckless drivers than personal injury lawyers. Boston accident attorneys of Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, specifically, say that thousands of people suffer unduly because of reckless drivers, and are left with both injuries and high medical costs as a result. In the worst of cases, families may lose loved ones because of the irresponsible choices of reckless drivers.

Dealing with the consequences of a car accident caused by reckless driving can be difficult, but for many injury victims, it may be possible to recover compensation for the damages they may have suffered.

Driving recklessly is a choice and, though, accidents are never intended, drivers who choose to be reckless should understand that they put lives on the line the moment they start not to care about the safety of others – this is just one major driving mistake that they should not be allowed to get away with.


Child Custody: It’s all about Ensuring the Best Interest of the Child

Child Custody: It’s all about Ensuring the Best Interest of the Child

Child custody, which is intended to ensure that the best interests of the child are prioritized even after divorce, is a critical divorce-related issue. Its mandate is that the child’s future should never be compromised. Thus, whoever the court assigns as the custodial parent becomes responsible with regard to the child’s education, medical care and other growth needs.

The law firm Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht explains, “Child custody and support cases can arise for a number of reasons and situations. Separations, divorce, parental deaths, parental incompetence, and a variety of other situations can give rise to child custody hearings. These are never easy, regardless of the different reasons for a custody hearing. Such cases are particularly important as they deal with the future of a child, and all parties involved should seek to find a custody solution that is in the best interest of a child, both short- and long-term. This becomes difficult, however, when multiple parties each believe they can provide the best environment for the child, and in such cases, legal action is necessary to ensure the child is put with the parent or guardian that will provide the best care. Given the gravity of such a decision, it is imperative to have an experienced and dedicated team to guide you through the often frightening experience of undergoing a custody battle.”

While there may be different types of child custody, courts, if they can, assigns both parents as custodians to ensure their continuous participation in their child’s life.

Child custody can be:

  • Legal custody – this type of custody grants the custodial parent the right to decide about what is good for their child, such as where the child should study and what church he/she should go to are a couple of these things. Some courts usually award legal custody to both parents. If this will be the case, then the custodial parent will have no right to withhold the responsibility and right of the other parent to decide for their child.
  • Sole custody – if one parent is deemed unfit by the judge to continue caring for his/her child, usually due to drug dependency, alcoholism, mental incapacity, child abuse or unsuitable new partner, or unsuitable living environment, then sole custody will most probably the court’s option.
  • Physical custody – this type allows the custodial parent to be in the same house with his/her children. If the parents happen to live near one another, then joint physical custody may be decided by the court instead; this decision will also allow both parents to continue spending almost equal time with their child.
  • Joint custody –this type of custody allows both parents to have joint and joint legal custody over their child.
  • Split Custody – Though an uncommon type of custody, this, however, refers to situations where siblings may be split between two parents.

Custody decisions are not always final and may be appealed for a number of reasons, particularly if the person granted with custody later proves unfit or drastic changes occur in the child or parent’s life.