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Park Cities workplace injury lawyerWinter can be a dangerous season for those whose line of work involves spending time outdoors or exposed to weather conditions. Even in Texas, winter weather can increase the danger faced by workers facing the elements. There are steps employers can take to help protect their employees from the dangers of cold or frozen weather, but some do not. Depending on the circumstances of your workplace injury, you may have a personal injury claim against your employer. If your employer is a non-subscriber and you do not have access to worker’s compensation coverage, filing a personal injury lawsuit with the aid of an experienced attorney may be the only way for you to receive financial compensation after an injury. 

What Types of Workplace Injuries Are Common During the Winter?

While those who work primarily outdoors are generally at the greatest risk for winter workplace injuries, others may be at risk as well. Those whose job causes them to drive around a lot may also be at an elevated level of risk. Common types of winter workplace injuries include: 

  • Slip and fall - One of the most common types of workplace injuries even in good weather, workers are in even greater danger of slipping and falling during winter storms. These accidents can be quite serious, especially for older employees. 
  • Frostbite - People working outside in freezing weather should have adequately protective clothing and opportunities to warm up. More serious cases of frostbite can even result in the loss of extremities, especially fingers and toes. Frostbite injuries sustained at work have the potential to be permanently disabling in these cases. 
  • Car accidents - In severe weather, the roads can be extremely dangerous. Those whose line of work involves driving or riding around may be at heightened risk of getting hurt in a serious accident. 
  • Heavy equipment - Operating heavy machinery in icy conditions can become extremely dangerous. When large equipment loses traction or any component fails due to extreme weather, very serious accidents can result. 
  • Hypothermia - Hypothermia is a medical emergency that can cause permanent damage. Those who work for long periods outdoors in the winter must be adequately protected against the elements. If a worker shows signs of hypothermia, like confusion or sudden sleepiness, the response must be immediate. Too often, hypothermia becomes much worse because the situation is not appropriately addressed. 

While some winter work injuries are unavoidable, others can be prevented by a reasonably safety-conscious employer. If you got hurt at work this winter, a qualified attorney may be able to put you on the path to receiving compensation. 

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Posted on in Family Law

Dallas prenup attorneysPrenuptial agreements can be an excellent way for a couple soon to be married to come to an agreement about how certain things would be settled in the event of a divorce. Property division is quite frequently the major concern for couples who seek out a prenuptial agreement. Developing a prenuptial agreement is a wise decision for many couples. Marriages do end in divorce quite frequently, and having a strong prenuptial or postnuptial contract in place can certainly make the divorce process easier. 

However, there are limits on what a couple can legally agree to in a prenuptial agreement. Before signing a prenuptial agreement, it is crucial that you speak with your own attorney who can make sure that you are well-protected in the contract. 

What Can Couples Legally Agree to in a Prenuptial Agreement?

Couples make the choice to create a prenuptial agreement for a wide variety of important reasons. Often, prenuptial agreements are used when one or both parties have significant assets, have an ownership interest in a business, or have other complex financial concerns. In Texas, prenuptial agreements can cover: 

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TX divorce lawyerProperty division has the potential to become quite complicated for people leaving marriages with substantial assets. These spouses often possess types of property that may be difficult to divide, like stock investments and income-generating real estate properties. Prenuptial agreements often come into play for those whose wealth preceded the marriage. The process of equitably dividing marital assets can be difficult even when both spouses are cooperative. If there is also a high level of conflict in the divorce, litigation is likely. There is a lot at stake when you are ending a high-asset marriage. You will want an experienced divorce attorney to advocate for you.

What Should I Know About High-Asset Divorce in Texas?

It is important to be prepared for some of the issues that may arise in your high-asset divorce. If you and your spouse had substantial assets during your marriage, you may want to consider:

  • Prenuptial agreements - Prenuptial agreements are not always air-tight. There are circumstances where courts will refuse to enforce these contracts. If there was some type of fraud or coercion involved, the agreement could be discarded. Extremely unfair prenuptial agreements that heavily favor one spouse may not be enforced either. Another common reason these contracts are voided is that one spouse was not fully aware of the other’s financial situation when the agreement was signed.
  • Marital property - Generally, everything you and your spouse acquired during the marriage is considered community property, meaning it belongs to you and your spouse equally. However, there are exceptions. Gifts or inheritances received by only one spouse remain that spouse’s separate property, and only that spouse is entitled to keep it during a divorce.
  • Valuation - Completing an appraisal or valuation of certain marital property is an important step in a high-asset divorce. The court will need to know exactly what property like real estate, any businesses owned by one or both spouses, and even some personal items like jewelry are worth so it can divide them fairly. This process can become costly and time-consuming, but it is essential.
  • Litigation - Especially when there is high conflict between spouses, litigation may be more likely in high-asset divorce cases for several reasons. There is a lot at stake for both parties, and the cost of litigation may be less of a barrier in these cases.
  • Child support - Texas laws may affect the amount of child support the court can order, even for high-asset families. However, the goal is to allow any children involved to maintain their lifestyle. Trying to reach an agreement is often a good option.

If you are exiting a high-asset marriage, it is important that you have strong legal representation. This type of divorce can be a difficult process, and you will need a knowledgeable attorney to protect your interests.

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TX family lawyerChild custody proceedings can be difficult for the children involved. Some will have a strong preference regarding which parent they would like to live with, while others may be reluctant to express a preference. While Texas courts may consider the preferences of children in limited ways, the state does not allow minors to make their own decisions regarding custody. The court will, however, carefully consider the child’s best interests before making any custody determination. A qualified child custody attorney can offer you more specific advice regarding your particular situation, as there are a lot of variables at play.

Why Are Children Not Allowed to Choose?

Children may not be able to make the best decisions for themselves regarding where to live and with whom. Often, a child will select the “fun” parent who is more permissive or the parent who gives them a better allowance. Children may also be easily bribed, and it is not uncommon for parents in divorce cases to do exactly this. Courts want to make sure that the child lives with the parent who it is in their best interest to live with - and this may not be the parent with who the child asks to live.

How Can a Court Consider a Child’s Opinion?

If the child is over the age of 12 years old, one or both parents can submit a request for the child to speak to the judge regarding custody matters, and the request must be granted. If the child is under 12 years old, a parent can still submit a request, but the judge may grant it only at his discretion. Neither parent will be permitted to be present for this conversation, which takes place in the privacy of the judge’s chambers.

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TX injury lawyerTexas sees more accidents involving commercial trucks than any other state in the nation. With the number of big rigs used by our oil and gas industries, this makes sense. More semi-trucks on the roads mean more accidents. However, a good number of these accidents are preventable when appropriate caution is used. Those operating these large and potentially dangerous vehicles have a very important duty to do so as safely as they can. When this duty is not taken seriously, very bad accidents can result. If you were hurt in a truck accident, it is important to speak to an attorney as soon as you can to begin preserving the proof you may need later.

What Causes Commercial Truck Accidents in Texas?

The reasons more commercial truck accidents happen in Texas than anywhere else may be complex. A big part of it is the sheer amount of large trucks used in the oil and gas industries. Unfortunately, when rigs carrying these substances or their byproducts are involved in collisions, there may be additional dangers involving these hazardous materials. Commercial truck accidents may happen in Texas due to:

  • Driver fatigue - Oil and gas are around-the-clock industries, as is truck driving. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration sets out strict policies regarding how long a driver can work and how long he must rest in between shifts, but these policies sometimes go ignored in the interest of saving time. When drivers exceed the allowable driving hours, they become more prone to mistakes that can lead to major wrecks.
  • Drugs - There is no excuse for a truck driver to get behind the wheel while impaired. There are supposed to be drug and alcohol testing procedures in place to ensure that intoxicated drivers stay off the road, but this does not stop every driver every time. Additionally, due to the long hours and tight schedules, some truck drivers turn to stimulants that help them stay awake, but may also increase reckless driving behaviors like speeding and tailgating.
  • Fleet maintenance - Companies are financially incentivized to keep all of their trucks in service at all times. This sometimes leads to companies negligently postponing necessary maintenance because they are reluctant to take a truck off the road, especially if doing so would cause delays.
  • Distraction - Anyone operating such a large vehicle should have their eyes on the road, not on their cell phone. Unfortunately, driver distraction is a contributing factor in many commercial truck accidents, both in Texas and elsewhere.

If you were hurt in an accident involving a semi-truck, it is best to contact an attorney quickly. The sooner an investigation can begin, the easier it may be to identify and later prove the cause of your crash.

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