The State of Handgun Laws in the Lone Star State

Many people who haven’t even been to Texas know that the state is known for its gun culture. Whether at the shooting range or for self-defense, many Texans are gun-owners. With the conversations surrounding gun rights and the Second Amendment gaining more and more momentum each day, it is important for Texans — and those visiting the state — to understand the complex gun laws in effect in the state.

Whether you’re a gun-owner or have never held a gun in your life, take a look at this blog post to learn more about the state of gun laws in the Lone Star State.

Obtaining a Gun in Texas

Much of the conversation surrounding gun culture revolves around who is able to obtain a gun and how. An individual in Texas is eligible to carry a concealed handgun if:

  • The person is at least 21 years old
  • Has not been convicted of a felony offense
  • A legal resident of the state of Texas for at least six months before submitting their application for a gun license
  • Has not been convicted of a Class A or Class B misdemeanor
  • Not dependent on any drugs or alcohol
  • Is capable of exercising sound judgment in regard to the proper use and storage of a handgun
  • Fully qualified under both state and federal law to purchase a handgun
  • Is up to date on their child support payments, if applicable
  • Not a fugitive for a felony or a Class A or B misdemeanor

It is important to note that Texas does not require a background check for private gun purchases.

What Types of Guns Can You Own?

In addition to eligibility requirements, many have discussed exactly what type of guns individuals are allowed to lawfully own. Under Texas law, there are no restrictions on what type of gun an individual is able to purchase, as long as they are eligible to purchase a gun. Therefore, individuals who are eligible to make private gun purchases in the state are eligible to purchase assault weapons — such as a semi-auto AR15, FAL, G3/HK91 rifle.

Campus Carry

The “Campus Carry” law was a big source of controversy in the Texas political landscape when it was first signed into law. Under this law, students at public four-year or two-year universities are legally allowed to carry concealed handguns within buildings on campus. Universities are allowed to make exceptions for student safety, but cannot prohibit the lawful carrying of handguns on campus.

Unlawful Carrying of a Handgun

Of course, life happens. If you have been accused of carrying a handgun unlawfully, you have rights. Reach out to a Texas attorney with experience in handling gun crime cases, like the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, immediately. An attorney is well-versed in the certain laws regulating gun ownership in Texas and will be able to best represent you in court.

Unlawfully carrying a gun is typically charged as a Class A misdemeanor. This charge could come with a fine up to 4,000 dollars and up to a year of jail time.

The Value of Worker’s Compensation

Workers’ compensation is necessary in cases in which a worker is injured on the site of a job. In some instances, workers’ compensation is given because the task-at-hand was risky (like working from tall heights) or because another worker was negligent and caused an injury like an inattentive machine operator made a mistake.

Because our economic system in America is geared toward profit above other concerns, it only makes sense that sometimes employers are hesitant to provide workers’ compensation toward injured workers. Paying workers for lost wages, covering their medical expenses, and perhaps even compensating them for their pain and suffering, can quickly add up.

However, workers deserve to be paid for the things they have lost due to an accident that was not their fault. Whether a worker is injured by a faulty machine or by a dangerous work environment is no concern to their rehabilitation process. And while making money is an admirable goal, it is more important to take care of your own employees over maximizing profit.

Recovery Efforts

One of the greatest aspects of workers’ compensation (adequate compensation, that is) is that workers’ compensation allows workers to purely focus on recovering from their injuries. In earlier periods in which workers’ compensation was not available, even middle-class workers could be pushed into destitute poverty by a simple accident. If you are too injured to work at the job that caused the accident, you are not paid for your injury, and you are not given any sort of benefits like paid time off, then the accident may cause you to turn to your savings to survive and/or pay bills.

This is simply unfair. If you are injured, you deserve to rest and recover, not focus on making ends’ meet. However, that is what happens if you do not receive adequate compensation. As an aside, if your workers’ compensation is being delayed or reduced by your employer, feel free to contact an experienced law firm like ChasenBoscolo. They have lawyers that can fight on your behalf for the compensation you are owed from an accident or injury at work.

Peace of Mind

Not only will your body heal better knowing that recovery is the only priority, but your mental health will also thank you. Anxiety and nervousness are imminent when you are stuck wondering about how bills will be paid or how to deal with unexpected monthly expenses like your child getting sick.

Workers’ compensation can give you peace of mind as you are able to pay for immediate medical needs and, in excellent compensation deals, for lost wages or other financial losses potentially faced by the accident.

No matter the cause or circumstance behind your injury, you deserve financial freedom as well as physical recuperation from your injuries. Be sure to advocate for yourself and ensure that you are receiving adequate compensation for your pain and suffering. If you are unsure, or if your employer is attempting to reduce or delay workers’ compensation, reach out to experts like ChasenBoscolo who will fight on your behalf.

Boats Are Getting More Dangerous in Florida

If Florida is famous for anything, it’s water. There’s water everywhere here. We’re surrounded on three sides by the ocean and the Gulf, and then, within the state, we have an enormous number of lakes and swamps. Florida is a wet state. We all know that. But it’s time perhaps we put a little more consideration into how we interact with that water. Specifically, it’s time we paid more attention to how we boat around all that lovely water.

A blog post from Glover Law Firm has recently pointed out that there’s been an increase in boat accidents in recent years. To begin with, Glover Law Firm points out that Florida actually leads the country in the number of boat accidents and in the number of boat accident deaths. While it makes sense that Florida would be near the top of the list, since we have so much water and such a large population, it is depressing to think we lead both categories. After all, Texas has a long coast and a large population. The same is true for the country’s most populous state, California. New York has a great lake and access to the ocean, plus rivers and lakes, and it has the fourth largest population in the country. Despite all these contenders, Florida is the undeniable worst for boat accidents and deaths. That suggests more needs to be done to curb these numbers, and more has been done with boat education and safety regulations.

Unfortunately, it appears these efforts have done little or no good. While the number of injuries in Florida boat accidents jumps around a little bit, the most recent numbers suggest Floridians are getting no better about avoiding serious boating accidents. The latest numbers we have, in 2015, show the number of injuries hitting a five year high, at 438 injuries. That is only one more than in 2011, but it is a discouraging 73 more than in 2014.

What does that tell us about Florida? It tells us that all other efforts so far have failed to do much to make the waterways safer for boaters.
That leads to the uncomfortable discussion of what more can be done. The first option would be to simply accept the numbers for what they are. We have a lot of tourists, a lot of people who come to relax and party, and that means drinking, drugs, and irresponsibility. It’s hard to see how we eliminate that and maintain our tourism charm.

I don’t think many residents would be happy about doing nothing, though, so option two is to pass stricter laws against boating under the influence and boat accidents, and then to enforce those laws more strictly. This would almost certainly lead to some dent in those high numbers, but the consequences may be fewer people coming to our state to enjoy themselves and also a more bloated justice system.

I’m not sure which option is better, but the numbers appear to indicate it’s time we seriously discuss which direction we prefer our state to go on this issue.

Innovation Can Save Our Air

The cost of living in industrial areas is extensive. Although many assume the worst parts of living in such places can be the smell or the crime rate or the lack of good schools and housing options, the greatest risk is actually the air itself. If factories are not up to code, industrial exhaust can lead to all sorts of health problems.

These problems can be slight or serious, from asthma to chronic bronchitis, to early aging, emphysema, and even death.

Though it may often be assumed that pollution is a third-world issue, it is actually a very real problem in America. MIT has calculated that 200,000 lives end earlier than they otherwise would every year due simply to air pollution.

Such high figures, and such horrible health problems, can lead to a sense of despair, especially for those located in those heavily industrialized areas. What can be done to reduce these issues?

The answer, as it always is, is innovation. America’s pollution problems have decreased massively over the last few decades because of innovation in the automotive and industrial industries. A continued push for such innovation is sure to find further answers that allow an industry to exist side-by-side with healthy communities.

Many new inventions are already showing great promise. Robovent claims to have already improved over 100,000 lives and says it will help 10,000 more every year. That business works with industries such as welding to clean up their exhaust and thus lower a number of harmful particles entering the air.

Stories like that of the Robovent (a company that says it is very passionate about its mission to clean the air) suggests a number of solutions are just over the horizon.

What is required now is an investment. That investment can and should take several forms, from philanthropists to business investors, to government loans. That last option is particularly crucial. Though some Obama-era investments were derided for their failures, the overall approach of investing in new technological innovations was a sound one, and one that should be encouraged on a bipartisan basis. In this heavily partisan era, one thing all can agree upon is the need for America to be at the forefront of the generation of technological inventions. With much of the world eager to clean the air, particularly in heavily polluted countries like China and India, the potential future profits for companies and the nation should be large enough to convince any skeptical parties that investment is needed and needed now.

Should that investment come, in all its forms, the future looks far brighter for those industrial communities. Cleaner air may be just around the corner. It just takes a few visionary inventors, and a few other visionary investors, to bring it to America, and to the world.

BAC Level is not Based on a Person’s Tolerance to Alcohol

Driving under the influence (DUI) has always been a major concern for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Though considered a serious criminal offense in all 50 states, so many obviously take it lightly, especially those whose age ranges between 17 and 24, the most common offenders of the anti-drunk-driving law.

On the road, drinking and driving is a fatal combination. It does not only put a driver’s life at risk, but also the lives of his/her passengers, pedestrians and other motorists. Thus, in a determined effort to significantly lower the number of road accidents due to drunk driving, the federal government, through the NHTSA, has set the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08% (from 0.10% before the 1980s).

In 2013, a move was made by the NHTSA to still lower the BAC level to 0.05%, the legal limit in many countries. This is based on studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which show that a 0.05% BAC level (acquired after consuming 2 – 3 bottles of beer) is enough to lessen a person’s coordination, full ability to respond or react to emergency situations, track moving objects and steer away from road hazards. Though this new limit is still to be signed into law, the NHTSA is positive that it will merit the lawmakers’ approval.

Drivers should understand that the BAC level is not based on a person’s tolerance to alcohol; definitely, some individuals, even after consuming 10 bottles of beer, can remain more sober than others who may have consumed just four bottles. And four bottles is all it takes to get that 0.08% BAC reading.

Part of the government’s serious campaign to catch drunk drivers includes sobriety checkpoints, higher fines and harsher punishments. Those who are caught violating the legal limit are charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) or DUI, and the punishment in the event of a conviction can include a $200 fine, 1 to 30 days imprisonment and suspension or revocation of driver’s license (harsher punishments are imposed on repeat offenders).

Though no DUI lawyer would ever condone or tolerate the irresponsible acts of drivers who drink and then drive, many lawyers, including the Columbia DUI lawyers, also believe that there are occasions when some individuals have no other choice but to drive, despite having consumed alcohol, due to emergency cases or unavoidable circumstances. At other times, individuals are apprehended and charged despite having a BAC level that is way below the limit set by the government.

It cases such as these, those caught and charged with a DWI or DUI may necessitate the services of a seasoned and determined DUI defense lawyer. Since being charged with a crime can have a lasting negative effect in your life, taking chances with an inexperienced legal counsel may cost you the bright future you have always desired. Thus, entrust your case only to an experienced and skilled DUI defense lawyer.


Prescription Drugs: A New Typed of Killer in the U.S.

Prescription Drugs: A New Typed of Killer in the U.S.

In 2006, a report was released regarding the harm being caused by medication errors. It said that medication errors have been affecting about 1.5 million people in the U.S. for the past two decades. In 2015, nine years after this report was made public, instead of reducing instances of these errors, the problem only escalated. In 2008, for instance, the National Center for Health Statistics recorded 41,000 deaths due to medication overdose or poisoning.

The bigger concern that the government faces, especially the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, is the fact that these overdose problems are not caused by illegal drugs, like cocaine and heroin, but by medicinal pills that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and which doctors prescribed to patients.

Prescription drugs are aimed at maintaining health and sustaining life. To serve their real purpose, though, these will have to be taken in accordance with medical guidelines because if abused, used much longer than instructed by doctors or used in ways other than medically directed, then these can very well cause not only harmful side effects, but even death.

Not all prescription drugs pose harm. The ones that do, however, are those that people tend to use every day (due to doctor instruction), like opiate-based pain relievers, anxiety medications, sedatives and stimulants, despite their addictive and very strong effects.

The positive results, which users claim, opiate-based drugs provide them are the main reasons why they become over dependent and addicted to these drugs. The worst mistake that users commit, though, besides abuse of these drugs is mixing some of these with other drugs, making their effect no less than deadly.

As pointed out by Dr. Russell Jenkins, MD, a member of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices’ (ISMP) board of directors, the most dangerous combinations of drugs include antidepressants and methadone, and painkillers and supplements. Certain antibiotics and oral contraceptives, as explained by Matthew Grissinger, RPh, ISMP pharmacist and education safety analyst, should not be taken together as well, as the former will only reduce the effectiveness of the latter. Both experts also said that, Coumadin, a blood thinner taken by people with heart valve conditions or with blood clots, should not be used with ginseng or aspirin.

According to the Goings Law Firm, LLC, “Personal Injury Lawyers know that the consequences of a serious accident or injury can be devastating. They understand the physical pain and suffering, overwhelming medical bills, lost wages, and stress that often result from the negligence and wrongful conduct of others. Theye also understand the frustration that you may be experiencing in dealing with the insurance company or the at-fault party. Thus, they are determined to provide anyone the strong legal representation they personally need in any type of serious personal injuries, including car accidents, truck accidents, wrongful death, alcohol related claims, falls, and dangerous products (which include harmful pharmaceutical drugs).”

Along this same line, the Amerio Law firm says, “It is important that you understand what your legal rights are, and determine whether you may be eligible for compensation, as a result of your injuries due the negligence of someone else. Through a personal injury claim or lawsuit you may obtain compensation for economic, as well as non-economic, damages. These damages include covering expenses for past and future medical care, physical therapy, and even lost wages from time taken from work for your recovery. Damages can also include compensation for pain and suffering, and emotional distress. There is no financial gain that can undo your traumatic experience. However, legal action can certainly help relieve financial burdens and hopefully help you and your family obtain the justice and closure you deserve.”

Devastating Aftermath of Car Accidents

For people who live in Texas, it can seem impossible to get around without the help of a car. Unfortunately, we live in a dangerous world where even the most cautious drivers can find themselves the victim of car accidents. Regardless of whether you live in an urban center, such as Dallas, or a more rural community, reckless driving takes place all around you. In 2015 alone, drivers lost over 37 billion dollars as a result of motor vehicle accidents. The consequences may also be far more severe. According to Dallas car accident attorneys of the Benton Law Firm, in 2012 there were around 63,000 serious injury crashes in the state, with 87,000 people sustaining serious injuries from these crashes.

After a car accident, many victims experience shock. Shock is a medical condition resulting from low blood pressure, and frequently affects victims of motor vehicle accidents. Symptoms include confusion, chest pain, dizziness, pale skin, unconsciousness, and a variety of others. When these symptoms occur, simple steps such as exchanging insurance information and taking pictures of the damage can become difficult as a result of the trauma. In the event of a serious injury this is especially true.

Many motorists are taken advantage of in the chaotic aftermath of a car accident because they were not able to take proper steps to legally protect themselves. These steps include recording the locations and areas of physical damage of each vehicle. It is important to understand that the insurance company will require huge amounts of information, and to be prepared for detailed recalling of the incident.

Continuing your daily routines without use of your car is challenging, but dealing with the added stress of insurance adjustors and hospital bills can be overwhelming to even the toughest driver.

When Is A Trucking Company Liable For Truck Accidents?

Aside from the driver, another party that can be held liable for a truck accident is a trucking company. At first glance, the employer would want nothing to do with the accident. Often the blame for an accident lies on the driver for not showing reasonable care for the welfare of other drivers. But come to think of it, the trucking company can also be partially at fault for truck accidents.

The website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® reveals that either way a truck accident can cause immeasurable damage to the victim and their family. As mentioned, while the liability for the accident falls on the driver, there are also instances when the trucking firm can have partial fault for the accident. The trucking company can be held liable for the following instances:

  • The driver who operates their trucks is not qualified or does not have a license
  • Not conducting random drug and alcohol testing as required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
  • Not ensuring that their drivers comply with FMCSA regulations
  • Not giving sanctions to drivers who fail drug or alcohol tests and who are found to be noncompliant with FMCSA guidelines
  • Allowing trucks to operate even though they were not properly inspected and maintained
  • Forcing drivers to work beyond the regular working hours. It is their job to keep drivers from being fatigued.

Owners of trucking companies will do everything in their power to make sure that they will not be held liable for accidents or injuries that will be caused by their drivers. These companies have the money to hire the best lawyer who will represent them in court. So if you or your loved one was injured or killed in a truck accident, you wouldn’t let the liable party or parities get away in paying the damages you deserve.

Different Types of Business Lawsuits

The customer – business relationship is all about trust and confidence. The customer should put their trust in the business. There is a give and take relationship here. The bad news is that some businesses break the trust that customers gave them. If that breach of confidence ends up hurting the customer, they have no recourse but to sue the company.

According to the website of Slater Pugh Ltd. LLP, there are several options that a business can consider when defending their rights as a company. The courtroom is not the only venue where they could settle a legal battle. Let us take a look at these legal alternatives:

Civil Litigation

A civil litigation is uniform and regulated by Federal or state court. Filing a case can be tasking even if it does not go into trial. The processes may include filing a complaint, pleading, counterclaims, or third party action.

Small Claims Court

Small claim courts are informal courts that handle minor cases ranging from nuisance charges to money disputes. This is the first court where litigation takes place for small financial damages.

Class Action Suit

A class action suit is designed to consolidate several smaller cases into one large lawsuit. The cases involved here can be anything from toxic waste disposal to securities fraud.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Alternative dispute resolution involves both arbitration and mediation. This is the best alternative for resolving conflicts and if you want to reduce the cost and time and avoid litigation.

Lawsuits can be time consuming and can waste your money and other resources. These alternatives can be considered for settling any conflicts and to prevent going to court. As a business, it is best to understand all your legal options. Knowledge of these different courts can help you determine the best legal alternative for your business.

Holding negligent parties liable in truck accidents

Individuals who were injured or who have lost a loved one in accidents involving commercial trucks may find it hard to determine exactly who are responsible for their loss. Properly determining who are responsible in truck accidents is important for victims to possibly have a valid claim and get all the remunerations they deserve for recovery.

As such, people who are involved in truck accidents should clearly identify all the persons, companies or any entities linking to the involved truck. While drivers are often blamed in truck accidents, truck or trailer owners, truck companies, companies that lease trucks and trailers, truck parts manufacturers, and shippers can be held responsible in accidents. When a truck accident occurs, companies linked to the involved truck often blame each other to possibly avoid liability for crash victims not to garnish their insurance. In a truck rollover accident, a company or entity might claim that the incident was caused by the driver’s poor judgement; on the other hand, the driver’s employer may claim that the truck’s load was improperly distributed in the trailer. Trucking companies before employ strategies to possibly avoid being liable in accidents. One of the strategies is for companies to get trucking operation permits even they do not own trucks or trailers. These companies hire contractor who owns or operates trucks and trailers. When contracted trucks are involved in accidents, the company could argue that they do not own the truck or the driver involved is not their employee.

Though trucking companies often attempt to avoid liability when an accident happens, trucking companies are expected to follow federal and state regulations. Truck companies nowadays can be penalized from violating laws that endangers other vehicle drivers on the road. Acts of truckers’ negligence including hours of service violations, hiring unqualified drivers, not training drivers, and inadequate truck inspections may result to tragic accidents.