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How much is your pain and suffering worth?

If you become the victim of a Texas auto accident, you can sue the negligent driver or entity that caused your accident. As FindLaw explains, you can recover money damages if you prevail in your lawsuit, including those pertaining to your pain and suffering resulting from your injuries.

Be aware, however, that Texas places a cap on the amount of pain and suffering damages you can recover as follows:

  • $250,000 if the defendant is a private individual and/or entity
  • $100,000 if the defendant is the State of Texas
  • $100,000 if the defendant is someone who was rendering community service through a program sponsored by a city or county

Dividing property in a Texas divorce

Couples who file for legal separation or choose to terminate their marriage in Texas must deal with a myriad of issues before signing the final divorce settlement. One of the most challenging may be that of separating property that was accumulated during years of marriage. People may get attached to certain items and it can be emotional when it comes time to divide property, vehicles, furniture and possessions.

In Texas, all community property is separated equally, with half going to each spouse. Couples who wish to determine their own property division, however, may go through mediation and create their own plan. In addition to basic shared items, community property can include lottery winnings, income tax refunds, antique collections, travel rewards points, intellectual property and even cemetery plots.

Top 3 Tips After a Car Accident

Car accidents can be terrifying, traumatic experiences. However, in the aftermath, it is important for you to retain control and not just let events unfold. You may need to depend on a personal injury claim to recover damages for medical bills, lost wages and other issues you may end up facing as a result of the accident.

After the crash, you may get a call from an insurance adjuster wanting to settle the case. At this stage, not even your doctor may know the full extent of your injuries and the long-term impact on your life. Any settlement offer at this time is highly unlikely to cover your needs.

What is a Standard Possession Order?

If you and your spouse are Texas parents contemplating a divorce, your biggest concern likely is the custody and visitation arrangement you will make for your children. You therefore should become familiar with two important legal terms Texas uses with regard to these matters. The first is possession order, meaning your parenting time schedule. The second is possessory conservator, meaning your children’s noncustodial parent.

As Texas Access explains, the Texas Family Code contains a Standard Possession Order that acts as the default visitation arrangement in all Texas divorces involving children. What this means is that if you and your spouse cannot agree between yourselves on how to divide your children’s time between you, this SPO does it for you. The SPO is a detailed parenting time schedule that sets forth exactly when each of you will have your children throughout the year, as well as where and how you will exchange them.

How difficult is it to modify a child custody order?

If you and your spouse obtained a Texas divorce that included a custody and parenting time order, either or both of you can modify this order at any point in the future that a material and substantial change in circumstances occurs. As FindLaw explains, if your children were young at the time of your divorce, it is not unlikely that your original order may have to be modified several times as they grow up and their needs change.

How difficult you find it to modify your custody order depends on whether or not you and your ex-spouse agree to the changes. If you do, you can change them by mutual agreement without any court intervention. Be aware, however, that neither of you can enforce this informal private agreement, even if it is in writing, should a dispute arise later. You can only enforce court-ordered custody orders and modifications thereto.

Can the average trucker lifestyle negatively impact you?

Over the decades, the life of a trucker has been romanticized in popular culture. Truck drivers get to explore the countryside while being paid for it. However, as many people in Texas are aware, the life of a truck driver is not always so carefree. You probably encounter large trucks every day you are on the road, and you know that often, semi-trucks can be dangerous. The trucker lifestyle may contribute in part to this danger.

Truck driving is a stressful job, as Smart Trucking explains. You may already be aware that truck drivers are often on the road for long hours, driving in isolation. This fact alone can contribute to a host of other problems that may cause accidents, including the following:

  • Drowsiness due to long shifts and monotonous scenery
  • Depression from being away from family and friends for long periods of time
  • Unhealthy eating habits when home cooked meals are substituted with fast food or convenience store snacks
  • Mental and physical effects of sleep deprivation
  • Inadequate physical activity

Deciding between sole or joint custody

When Texan parents get a divorce, matters of child custody must soon be dealt with. But is sole custody the right option, or would joint custody be a better fit? The answer will differ from family to family depending on a number of different factors.

As the Legal Dictionary states, joint custody is a joint effort between divorced parents to continue having an equal presence in the life of their child. This does not necessarily mean that the child's time will be divided equally between both parent's homes. It does, however, mean that both parents will have an equal say in the important life decisions that their child will face. This can include choices regarding matters of religion, medical care, schooling, and more. Today, many people believe joint custody is the best option for children.

Car collisions and avoidance systems: An idea whose time has come

At the Law Office of Roland R. Esparza, PC, in Texas, we know what grievous injuries you and your passengers can suffer in a car crash, particularly one involving a head-on collision with another vehicle. What if you could reduce your risk of not only head-ons but also single-vehicle and sideswipe accidents by 11 percent? Would you do it?

As reported by CNBC, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently released the results of its new study finding that collision avoidance systems do exactly that. Furthermore, these technologies, including blind spot and lane departure warning systems, reduce your risk of injuries in a crash by 21 percent because they give you the time you need to avoid an impending crash.

Overloading a big rig is a major injury and liability risk

Some people dismiss intuition, saying it means little, but when you are driving next to a big rig that keeps edging closer to your car, thoughts of impending disaster might surface.

Most professional drivers know how to load their cargo. However, overloading continues to be a problem that threatens motorist safety and opens the door to liability issues for the trucking company and others.

Collaborative divorce: a more amicable divorce approach

At the Law Office of Roland R. Esparza, PC, we know that times have changed. Many divorcing couples in Texas today no longer wish to engage in a lengthy, costly and acrimonious court battle and prefer a more amicable divorce approach. Nevertheless, divorce is never easy, and each party wants the comfort of his or her own attorney looking out for his or her best interests. If you and your spouse fit this description, a collaborative divorce may be just what you are looking for.

FindLaw explains that a collaborative divorce is one in which you and your spouse each retains your own respective attorney, but neither you nor they hurl accusations at each other across a crowded courtroom. Instead, all four of you hold a series of meetings in an out-of-court location. At these meetings, you and your spouse resolve your own issues and your respective attorneys guide you through the negotiation process while ensuring that neither of you disrespects the other.