Hauppauge Legal Issues Blog

3 tips for maintaining your safety when biking to work

Depending on your profession and where you work, you may find that you're able to commute via bicycle. For many people, this is more efficient than driving their car or taking public transportation.

While there are many benefits of biking to work, such as the ability to save money on fuel, you can't afford to overlook the safety risk of doing so. Any time you're biking in close proximity to moving vehicles, it's imperative to follow these tips.

  • Make your intentions known: Drivers can't read your mind, so make your intentions known by using hand signals and making eye contact. It's these little things that can go a long way in helping you avoid trouble.
  • Use a bike lane, when available: If you have the opportunity to ride in a bike lane, you should always choose to do so. It's safer to ride here than on the sidewalk, the shoulder of the road or in traffic.
  • Watch for recently parked vehicles: Once someone parks on the side of the road, it won't be long before they open their door to exit. Don't focus so much time on moving vehicles that you forget about the possibility of a door opening into your path of travel.

Why do pedestrian-vehicle accidents happen?

As a pedestrian, you'll constantly find yourself in close proximity to moving motor vehicles. This holds true when jogging around your community, strolling through the parking lot at the mall or walking to work.

Knowing why pedestrian-vehicle accidents happen can help keep you safe, as you're able to adjust your approach to avoid trouble. Here are some of the most common causes:

  • Distracted driving
  • Reckless driving, such as failure to use turn signals and illegal passing
  • Excessive speeding
  • Disobeying traffic signals and signs
  • Failure to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks
  • Disregarding weather conditions, such as fog that causes poor visibility
  • Disregarding traffic conditions
  • Drowsy driving
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol

Plan now for future care

When creating an estate plan, it's easy to focus the majority of your time on your assets, and who will receive them upon your death. While this is important on many levels, there are other aspects of the estate planning process that require your attention.

For example, it's important to have a plan in place in the event that you are unable to make decisions for yourself. This can result from a serious injury or illness. Here are three good additions to your estate plan:

  • Living will: If you have instructions regarding medical care, such as the type of treatment you want to receive, include this in a living will. This ensures that you receive the proper care, even if you're unable to communicate with your medical team.
  • Power of attorney: Your finances require special care and attention at all times. If you're unable to manage your finances, you'll want to know that there's someone doing so on your behalf. You can name a power of attorney, while also outlining what they can and can't do.
  • Health care proxy: This goes along with a living will, as you may not include instructions for every possible situation. A health care proxy, also called a health care power of attorney, is responsible for making key medical decisions on your behalf.

These are among the most common causes of car accidents

As a driver, it's important that you never become too comfortable with your surroundings. Instead, you must remain alert at all times.

There are many common causes of car accidents, with these five among the most worrisome:

  • Distracted driving: Any form of distracted driving increases the risk of a crash, such as texting, talking on the phone, eating or drinking.
  • Drunk driving: For many years, drunk driving has been a leading cause of car accidents and related injuries and deaths
  • Reckless driving: There are many forms of reckless driving, such as speeding and illegal passing. It's imperative to always obey the rules of the road, as they're enforced for a reason.
  • Inclement weather: This includes conditions such as rain, snow, ice, sleet and strong winds. When the weather changes, so should your driving style. For example, slowing down on icy roads is a must.
  • Traffic: Traffic patterns can change without notice, so you must always pay attention to the road ahead. For example, an accident on the highway can result in a complete stop of traffic. If you're not paying attention, you could strike a vehicle that's stopped ahead.

When are estate tax filings required?

There are two main types of estate taxes estates here in New York could potentially be subject to upon a person’s death. One is the state estate tax, as New York is among the states that has its own such tax. The other is the federal estate tax.

When a person here in New York passes away, whether or not his or her estate would be subject such taxes depends on the size of his or her estate. Not all estates are required to file and pay estate taxes. Rather only estates that are valued in excess of certain exclusion amounts are subject to such requirements. Today, we will go over the state and federal exclusion amounts.

Do I need to think about exit strategy when starting my business?

There are basic steps that need to be taken when trying to get a business off the ground. We suspect that is something that any would-be entrepreneur in Dallas can appreciate. You need a great idea, of course. You also need solid planning that takes all potential business legal matters into consideration. And part of that plan should include an exit strategy.

That last part might seem somewhat counter-intuitive to some. Why would you want to be thinking about getting out of your business even before it has gotten started? The answer, according to some business veterans, is that having an exit plan allows you to keep your ultimate goals in focus, share them with those you work with, and stay on course in rocky times.

Texas does not rescind established paternity easily

Texas law regarding parenthood of a child makes it relatively easy to establish a parenting relationship. As we noted in a post last November, all that's required is for two a man and woman to sign a document called an Acknowledgment of Paternity.

The ease of the process may be good for the state. It doesn't require genetic testing. And once an AOP is signed, it becomes easier for officials to determine child support, custody and visitation issues. It also becomes easier for the state to hold the signatories of the document accountable for fulfilling their parental obligations.

Does a DBA registration offer any legal name protection?

Ah, the days of childhood when you could set up a crayon drawn sign on a corner, wheel out a wagon and start selling lemonade to passersby. You still may see some of these pop up businesses around Dallas on a hot summer day, but they are fewer and farther between than they used to be even 10 years ago.

That's not necessarily because it's so much harder to do -- though there are surely those who would argue that it is no easy thing starting a business. The legal hurdles that are required at the various levels of government can be significant. No, sad as it may be, security concerns might be the bigger reason why lemonade stands aren't as common as they used to be.

A few lessons about interstate child custody and support

Imagine that you and your spouse have a child, and for many years your family lives happily. But then something changes one day, and you and your spouse feel more stressed out and get into more arguments with one another. As the months pass, your marriage disintegrates, and you and your spouse decide that it is time to get a divorce.

Obviously, this is a trying time, but thankfully you and your spouse don't contest custody of your child, leading to joint custody that benefits everyone involved. A few years pass and everything under this arrangement is working out just fine.

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