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Monthly Archives: February 2015

What are Mineral Rights?

Mineral rights are a form of real property. It is distinct from the surface land rights, and each may be owned by different entities. As such, the mineral rights owner has the right to use it as desired without interference from the surface land owner.

It is important to understand that mineral rights can be severed from surface land ownership. Many people may not be aware that they own mineral rights to the land, and if they do that they have the attendant rights of ownership, or that they do not own the mineral rights at all. This has sparked some controversy among land owners who find themselves in the midst of a dispute with hitherto unsuspected owners of the mineral rights under their land.

In other countries, this would not be an issue because mineral go to the government or state by default. However, things are different in the US. Real property laws allow for the private ownership of mineral rights, so it can lead to some bitter fights when the time comes to exploit the minerals in, say, a horse farm in Lee County where the Eagle Shale Ford is located.

It is also important to know that severed mineral rights in some states “expire.” What this means is the ownership of severed mineral rights that have lain dormant for a certain number of years may revert to the surface land owner. In North Dakota, for example, mineral rights that have been “abandoned” or unused for 20 years reverts back to the surface land owner.

This can be a boon for surface landowners who sold their mineral rights to speculators that never got around to developing the asset. They can get back their rights and sell it all over again. However, if mineral rights owners are not aware they own it, this is a waste. Make sure that you don’t make that mistake and do your research about any mineral rights you may own through an inheritance or other conveyance.

However, if the owner of the mineral rights decides to start development and mining operations, the surface landowner generally has no choice but to grant reasonable access. This is one of the inclusions in mineral rights.

If you are planning to sell your mineral rights, you should make sure that you know everything there is to know about its value. You can also choose to make it easy on yourself by getting a reputable mineral rights auction house do the legwork for you.

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Driving Distractions: Acts Many Drivers are Guilty of

As more and more cars continue to populate US roads and highways every year, the influx of information on the necessity that drivers should be totally focused on the road while driving becomes more vital. Drivers know very well that even a couple of seconds of distraction can spell danger; a mistake that may result to property damage, bodily injury or death.

Besides medical malpractice and abuse of, or too much dependence on, prescription drugs, car crashes are included in the list of the major causes of deaths, especially of teens, in the US. Of the more than five million accidents occurring each year, no less than 35,000 result to someone’s death, while more than two million end up in injuries.

The Most Likely Causes and Victims of Car Accidents

Different studies only confirm the findings of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which says that a greater percentage of road mishaps are due to teens more than adult drivers, who are more mature and, probably, more experienced on the road. This maturity and experience are shown in the fact that a much lesser number of adult drivers are involved in drunken driving, speeding, violation of traffic rules (such as making illegal turns, running red lights, etc.) and distracted driving.

According to the website of the Abel Law Firm, distracted driving, which is veering one’s attention to something else while behind the wheel, is a growing concern among teenage drivers. Though all drivers are probably guilty of being distracted once upon a time in their driving career, distractions are more frequent among the young, many of whom tend to underestimate and fail to recognize dangerous road situations.

Most common forms of driver distraction

While the use of cell phone (whether hands-free or hand-held) definitely increases the risk of a crash, this only make up a lower percentage of the total number of driving distraction-related accidents involving teens and other drivers. The greater number of accidents is either due to other in-vehicle or external sources, including: adjusting a car radio, a compact disc player or a GPS device; using a laptop; talking or arguing with a car passenger; assisting a child; being distracted by a child or a pet; reaching for an object; lighting a cigarette, grooming; one’s attention being caught by a moving object outside of the car, and so forth.

Parents making sure that their teenage son or daughter is trained in a good driving school or is well-supervised until he/she shows focus and maturity behind the wheel will definitely never hurt. Though one may be very familiar with the road he/she is driving on, a moment of distraction can change safe driving to an injurious or fatal one.

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