When you think about natural disasters that can damage your home and can pose a threat to the lives of your family, one of the first ones that come into your mind is floods. There is good reason for that. Floods are some of the most devastating natural disasters you can experience, and the worst part about them is that they can be unpredictable.

Below are just some of the damages a flood can do to your home.

Structural damage

Floods, particularly those that move at a rapid pace, may have enough force to seriously damage the structural aspect of your home, putting it or its parts at risk of collapsing. This is particularly true when it comes to walls, especially those in the exterior, because they may have received sufficient force from flood waters.

But moving water is not just the culprit to structural damage, because even stagnant flood water can be a problem, particularly on floorboards, wallboards, and parts of the house that are made of wood.

Some structural damages can be obvious, but some may require the help of qualified professionals. It is important to get their help, just to be safe.

Electrical system damage

Electricity is one of the most underrated hazards when it comes to floods, because people tend to overlook it. The most dangerous aspect is conduction, or how electricity can travel through water. So, if you are not sure if you have properly turned off your electricity and other utilities, don’t go back into your house, especially if it is still wet.

Flood, whether moving or stagnant, can damage wiring systems, circuit breakers, fuses, light switches, and outlets, and these will likely need replacements.

Appliance, furniture, and personal damage

Aside from the structural and electrical systems of your house, the things that are actually inside the house are also at risk of damage. These may include appliances, such as television sets, refrigerators, and computers, furniture, such as sofa sets and dining tables, and personal belongings, such as photo albums and clothes.

Many appliances can be restored as long as they are properly cleaned and thoroughly dried before trying to turn them on again. Many furniture, however, are likely to be destroyed, especially those that are predominantly made of wood or textile.

Damage assessment

According to the website of the Texas insurance claims adjusters at K2 Consulting & Services, LLC, insurance companies may send their own adjusters to determine the extent of damages in your property.

But insurance is a business, so it is not far out to believe that these adjusters will not be as extensive as you would have liked. So, having an idea on what areas of your house are typically damaged is important, so you can gauge whether the damage assessment is at least fair.


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Dangerous Driving Habits: Speeding

There are some dangerous driving habits that put drivers and other innocent parties at risk of traffic accidents. These include drunk driving, distracted driving, street racing, and even tailgating and weaving. But one of the most dangerous of all is speeding.

Control

Driving requires the coordination of hands, eyes, and feet, and this coordination may suffer if a driver is speeding. The faster the vehicle is, the less traction it has on the road, putting speeding vehicles at risk of rollover accidents, especially during sharp curves and turns.

Reaction

If a vehicle suddenly makes a turn in front of him, a pedestrian suddenly crosses the intersection, or a turn suddenly presents itself, the speeding driver may have limited time to react because of how fast everything is happening.

Speeding vehicles are also harder to stop, as they need greater pressure on the brakes and more time for the brakes to perform their tasks. Too much braking may result into overturn accidents, and the lack of braking may result into rear-end collisions.

Visibility

Visibility is an important aspect of driving. If you are speeding, visibility is compromised in different ways. For the speeding driver, he may not comprehend traffic lights and signs, judge the distance between other vehicles and pedestrians, and properly see sudden curves and turns.

For the others around the speeding driver, they may not see him passing and fail to react accordingly. They may suddenly make a turn without realizing that a speeding vehicle is behind. Pedestrians may cross the street without knowing that a speeding vehicle is approaching.

Accidents, Injuries, and Legal Actions

Because of the reasons above, speeding drivers are more prone to traffic accidents compared to diligent motorists. The accidents that will occur because of speeding are also likely to be more powerful. The worst injuries that can be sustained are traumatic ones, especially those that concern the head, brain, neck, and spine.

What makes speeding more unforgiveable is the fact that it also puts other motorists in danger. But according to the website of Crowe & Mulvey, those who have been hurt in speeding accidents may have legal options, such as making the speeding driver accountable for the injuries and property damages.


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Effects of Alcohol in Driving

Drinking and driving are one of the most dangerous combinations on the road. Alcohol has various effects on the body that affect your driving skills. What makes things worse is that you are not the only one who is in danger of getting hurt or killed, but also the other unsuspecting motorists around you.

The issue in drunk driving is serious enough that there are law firms and lawyers out there who specialize in DUI, such as the DUI defense lawyers at Truslow and Truslow. But what makes alcohol dangerous for drivers specifically?

Drowsiness and Feelings of Relaxation: Alcohol has a tendency to make its consumer drowsy and feeling overly relaxed, which may cause the consumer to fall asleep or close his eyes while driving.

Limited Body Coordination: You need good eye-hand-foot coordination in driving, and alcohol affects this coordination in a level that is not acceptable for safe driving. Putting your eye off the road, your hand off the steering wheel, and your foot off the pedal can lead to car accidents.

Limited Comprehension Skills: The brain is primarily affected by alcohol, and this could have negative effects on the way you concentrate on the road and on the act of driving, the way you comprehend traffic signs, and the way you make judgments on traffic.

Limited Reaction Time: All the entries in this list makes the driver susceptible to very limited reaction times to unexpected stimulus.

Tendency to Do Reckless Behaviors: Drunk drivers can be very confident, causing them to do reckless road behaviors such as speeding, weaving between lanes, driving the wrong way, and not following traffic signs.

Vision Problems: Alcohol has the capability of giving you eye problems, such as blurred vision and slow eye muscle function.

Depending on the jurisdiction, being convicted of DUI can result into fines, jail times, and license suspensions and revocations.


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What are the Most Common Overtime Pay Violations?

Through the Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA, majority of people employed in the United Sates are able to receive legal protection from violations against their right to just and equal wages. One of the policies outlined in the FLSA is the regulations on overtime payment. Based on the federal rules outlined in the FLSA, all nonexempt employees working in the U.S. are entitled to receive an overtime rate that is one and one-half or 1.5 times more than their normal wage. These employees are expected to receive overtime payment for every hour they work outside their regular 40-hour work week.

These overtime regulations are supposed to have been set to ensure that employees are properly compensated for all the hard work and effort they exert in their jobs, but there are times when these regulations are violated by employers. What happens when employers fail to follow these laws? What are the most common violations that prevent workers from receiving their overtime pay?
Many employers tend to cut corners in order to bypass the rules on proper overtime wages. The most common tactics employed in these situations is by misclassifying certain workers as either salaried employees or independent contractors exempted by the FLSA from overtime requirements. It’s also common for employers to fail compensating their workers for certain “off-the-clock” tasks like traveling between job sites, wearing and maintaining safety gear, attending trainings and seminars, and accomplishing paperwork at home.

In these situations, majority of workers are able to file a claim for unpaid wages and get compensated for damages incurred. If you are not receiving overtime pay from your current place of employment, you should contact a labor law attorney to learn more about your legal options. Working with an experienced lawyer will help you build a stronger case for your claim.


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Marriage and Divorce in Texas

In the state of Texas and in nine other states (Alabama, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Utah; add to this the District of Columbia), two kinds of marriage are recognized: formal and informal. (Except in New Hampshire, where common-law marriage is recognized only through death for probate purposes, all remaining 33 states no longer allow two individuals to contract marriage through common law; these same 33 states, however, recognize common-law marriage contracted by couples in states that still allow it).

A church marriage or a marriage that is presided by a Justice of the peace is what constitutes a formal marriage. An informal marriage, also known as “sui juris marriage” or, more familiarly, “common-law marriage,” is a framework wherein two individuals are legally considered married despite the absence of a formal religious service or despite not having formally registered their marriage in a religious or state registry. For their marriage to be recognized as legal, it simply requires that they: (i) agree to be married or that they consider their togetherness as a valid marriage; (ii) present themselves to others as married; and, (iii) act as they are married.

While entering into marriage in Texas may be easy, as suggested by the state’s recognition of the common-law marriage, ending it is not. As there is no such thing as “common-law divorce,” couples who want to terminate their marriage will have to file a petition for divorce or dissolution of marriage in a Texas court.

Texas recognizes two ways through which a marital union may be terminated: “no-fault” divorce and “fault” divorce. In “no-fault” divorce, a spouse petitioning for divorce simply has to tell the court that he/she and his/her spouse has differences that make their marriage unsupportable or beyond fixing. As explained by an Austin divorce lawyer, insupportability means discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marital relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation. Under Texas law, divorce may be allowed on grounds of insupportability alone, without having the need to cite any other reason.

In “fault” divorce, however, a spouse filing a petition for divorce is required to cite acceptable grounds (which he/she will also have to prove in court) because of which the divorce is being sought. Acceptable grounds of divorce include: adultery; cruelty; conviction of felony with the convicted party having been imprisoned for at least one year; abandonment for at least one year; the spouses having lived apart for three years; confinement in a mental institution for three years with the mental disorder having little or no hope of recovery. While there are spouses who file for “fault” divorce in the hope of being awarded a greater share of community properties (properties and assets), others rather file on “no fault” grounds due to the possibility that a “fault” divorce may take months or a year to settle, resulting to higher court and other legal fees.


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