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Richmond Legal Issues Blog

Accident claims rise with pot use

Kentucky drivers who may be taking to the road this summer on their vacation journeys and who may be driving to an area where marijuana is allowed to be used recreationally will want to pay special attention to signs of potentially impaired drivers. To date, Massachusetts, Maine, the District of Columbia, Alaska, Nevada, Colorado and all three west coast states have legalized pot for recreational purposes. However, that does not mean drivers are supposed to get behind the wheel of a car after consuming the drug yet it seems that many may be doing just that. 

While those people and entities that pushed hard to legalize the use of marijuana may want to have others believe that it is completely safe, a new report issued by the Highway Loss Data Institute may suggest otherwise. After reviewing the results of a study that lasted four and three-quarters years, the group found that there had been a jump in the number of claims made for vehicle crashes in Colorado, Oregon and Washington after they had legalized pot for recreational use. Overall accident claims rose by 2.7 percent in just a couple of years.

Woman accuses fellow National Guard members of sexual assault

When accusations of sexual assault are made, a moral conflict may ensue amongst many in Richmond. The immediate reaction may be to have sympathy for the alleged victim, while at the same time, there may also be a hesitancy to rush to judgement in condemning the accused. Many cases of alleged sexual assault involve encounters between people with an established relationship where one may act upon perceived indicators of the other’s desires to escalate their level of intimacy, only to later be accused of forcing him or herself upon the other. In such a case, all facts surrounding the incident should be considered when attempting to determine the true nature of an encounter.

Such factors are currently being contemplated by prosecuting attorneys following the arrest of four members of the Kentucky National Guard for sexual assault. The suspects, all of whom are men, are accused of raping and sodomizing a fellow female member of the guard in a local hotel room during their annual training exercises. All four men have since been released on bond. Both the prosecutor and the attorney of one of the defendants have confirmed that alcohol was involved in the encounter, with the defense attorney claiming that any action that occurred was consensual.

Being wary of an early settlement could pay off in the long run

Motor vehicle accidents occur at an alarming rate, many of which have the potential to end in disaster. Perhaps the negligent actions of another driver caused you to suffer serious injuries. Along with any immediate pain and/or discomfort you may be experiencing, your finances might have taken a hit as well.

Chances are you may be in search of financial relief following the incident, and an insurance company might even offer you a quick settlement to ease your financial woes. However, an early settlement may be insufficient to cover your expenses, especially since certain injuries might not appear until several days after the collision.

What are signs of a serious head injury?

Kentucky drivers who get into accidents with trucks may be more susceptible to severe injuries than those who get into crashes with vehicles that are smaller or similarly sized. For this reason, you should keep an eye out for signs of possible severe head injury.

Mayo Clinic differentiates between mild and moderate or severe brain injury, with two separate sets of symptoms for both. If the damage is more severe, you will likely experience symptoms that are a bit easier to notice. For example, intense nausea or repeated vomiting may occur. Seizures are also somewhat common, as is a lack of coordination. You may also experience difficulty moving your limbs or extremities. In regard to emotional changes, it's likely that increased aggression or confusion may follow.

New phone technology aims to curb distracted driving

When a car accident occurs in Richmond, Kentucky, it can be life altering for those who suffer injuries. Recovering from a crash can be expensive and lengthy. Unfortunately, many accidents result from people engaging in behaviors that distract them while they are behind the wheel.

One company is now taking steps to try to reduce distracted driving accidents. Users of iPhones who download iOS 11, the phone’s newest operating system, will have a new feature called “Do Not Disturb While Driving.” While certain driving-related apps like navigation will still be available, the phone will prevent most other apps from being used while a car is in motion. The new feature will also disable notifications for incoming messages so that drivers will not be tempted to check their phones and take their attention away from the road.

What should I know about prenuptial agreements?

While it can be a challenging subject for many couples in Richmond, having a valid prenuptial agreement in place is crucial for explicitly spelling out financial matters before a marriage takes place. There are a number of common mistakes associated with these documents, and it’s important for both you and your new spouse to be acutely aware of the process so that you can make an informed decision.

As illustrated by TheKnot.com, there are numerous considerations that should be made when devising a prenuptial agreement. For instance, knowing the exact definitions of associated legal terms will help you increase your understanding of the document. This can include terms like an operative event, whihc refers to the situation that spurs a prenup into action (this either the officially divorce filing or if one spouse moves out of the marital home). Additionally, marital property refers to that property is gained during the course of the marriage, while separate property is anything that is owned by the individual parties.

How can you stay safe if you work alone?

If you are one of the hundreds of people in the Kentucky workforce who work alone, you face a unique set of risks. Being by yourself throughout the day has its benefits, but it can also be difficult to get the help you need if you experience an injury or illness on the job. Fortunately, there are precautions you can take to protect yourself and secure your safety in the event of an accident.

The Safety and Health Magazine provides some helpful suggestions you may consider using. These include the following:

  • Receive training: Be sure you receive adequate on-the-job training for the types of responsibilities you will be required to perform. Make sure you understand protocols and policies so you can perform your tasks successfully and safely.
  • Be vigilant: Once you have completed your duties for the day, always be consistent and vigilant about checking back into your home base office. This way, if you are ever late or things are amiss, your coworkers will immediately suspect something is wrong and will not wait until it is too late to respond.
  • Maintain contact: Even when you feel completely comfortable doing your job alone, always keep contact with a main office, colleague or supervisor. Doing so will help guarantee your safety as another individual will be aware of your location, situation and estimated time of return.
  • Know your options: Devise a clear plan for how you will respond to emergency situations. Additionally, be familiar with suggested protocols put in place by your employer to help secure your safety. As an additional precaution, practice some of these plans to ensure you understand proper execution.

Secure compensation after cargo-related truck accidents

Kentucky residents are used to seeing semitrailers on their roadways. Many monstrous machines travel these interstates, country roads and city streets in order to deliver goods in state and across the country. Unfortunately, as you are likely aware, accidents often result from sharing the road with these vehicles.

Truck accidents happen for a number of reasons. One reason not commonly discussed, though, involves cargo securement issues.

Dangerous roadways and car crashes

When people picture an auto accident, they may think of a guilty driver, such as someone who is under the influence of alcohol or a driver who was reaching reckless speeds. However, there are a myriad of reasons why some accidents happen in Kentucky. For example, dangerous roadways are responsible for many deaths and serious injuries each year.

If you are driving on road that has not been plowed during heavy snowfall, are unable to see the road well because of an obstruction or find yourself on a road with guardrails that are broken, your chances of being hurt or killed in a motor vehicle crash may increase significantly. Regrettably, some roads have signs that are either illegible or do not make sense, which can lead to a crash. In some cases, the sign may be missing, leaving motorists unaware of upcoming hazards.

How to financially survive a divorce

In their haste to file for divorce, many people in Kentucky fail to realize that their financial situations are going to change. Whether they plan to get custody of their kids or move into separate households, careful consideration and planning should occur to minimize the impact of their separations on their finances. Both parties in a divorce are often hit hard by the financial challenges it can present, states MoneyCrashers.com. 

Divorces are usually financially devastating when couples have been together for many years and are much older. Having to separate living expenses and assets can be stressful and lead to all sorts of conflict during divorce. Couples who take the time to prepare themselves financially for their new independence can improve their post-divorce finances. 

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