Bicycle Riders: The Danger They are Exposed to

Jul 30

For many people, riding a bike to work or for morning exercise is a way to keep themselves fit and healthy. Much like like motorcycle riders, bicyclists should know that they too face higher risks of crash-related injury and death compared to motor vehicle occupants.

In 2013, the total number of bicyclists that died was 900, while an estimated 494,000 were rushed to emergency department due to accidents involving bicycles and motor vehicles. In 2014, due to educational Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety programs introduced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of fatal bicycle accidents went down by 20% to 720.

Separate studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reveal the following facts:

  • Adolescents and young adults whose ages range from 15 to 29 and adults 45 years and older are the most common victims in fatal bicycle accidents.
  •  Children aged between 5 and 14 and those between 15 and 24 years old have the highest rates of non-fatal bicycle-related injuries.
  •  The top two cities where the highest number of male cyclists get killed every year (in accidents involving bicycles and motor vehicles) are California and Florida. These two cities, with Illinois, New York, Michigan and Texas account for 54% of all cycling fatalities from 2010 to 2012 which total to 2,023 (621 in 2010; ;680 in 2011; and, 722 in 2012).
  •  The two major contributing factors to bicyclist deaths are failure to wear a helmet and alcohol-impairment.

According to one cycling accident lawyer from the Hankey Law Office, cyclists must do without seat belts, air bags, or other protective features offered by enclosed vehicles. They rely only on their helmet and elbow/knee pads to prevent injury. Unfortunately, while such protective gear may be effective in minor spills or falls, it is much less effective in a serious accident involving much larger, heavier, and faster vehicles.

If, due to another person, a bicyclist is injured in an accident, it may be advantageous to seek legal assistance from a seasoned personal injury or cycling accident lawyer for the best legal action he/she can pursue.

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Do You Know the Difference between Car and Truck Accidents?

Mar 20

These are the days of awareness with what one says. Since the dawn of social media has risen, the time where ignorance was allowable has long since passed. When you make a mistake, people don’t forgive and forget—there’s every chance they’ll resent and remember. So things are no longer just a matter of inconsequential semantics and things need to be defined in accordance to what they truly are. Though this has always been true, it’s imperative that the difference between even two seemingly similar causes must be pointed out so that there may be clarity with the situation.

So what is the difference between a car accident and a truck accident?

There are some people who think that there is no need to differentiate the two since they’re both vehicles. They’re basically the same thing, right? Why make a distinction?

The difference is in the details as, when you think more critically of the situation, you can see that the separation is necessary. When you imagine a car accident, some of the situations that come to mind are the collision of two vehicles together. Though personally devastating, it is something one can picture on a day to day basis as they do happen rather often. When you think of truck accidents, it is easier to picture something a bit more grandiose in nature. Truck accidents are the stuff of action films with spectacularly shattering consequences on the roadways where they happen and to any neighboring vehicles that were at the wrong place at the wrong time.

It is in the potential damage that a truck can do, according to the website of truck accident lawyers at Williams Kherkher, that demands its own separate category. There are federal laws that truck drivers must abide by that regular car drives don’t have to such as a strict schedule as to how many hours they can drive consecutively as well as the special, professional training that is required in order to operate a vehicle of such magnitude.

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Drinking and Driving Accident Consequences

Oct 27

Drinking and driving is a criminal offense that can include jail time and significant penalties. The legal expression, driving while intoxicated, indicates the owner of an auto was over the legal limit of .08% blood alcohol content. A huge number of injuries and deaths happen every year when an individual makes the poor choice to get behind the wheel after ingesting. It’s almost impossible for these drunk drivers’ sufferers to prevent the impacts inebriated motorists could cause.

Alcohol is a depressant drug that’s mental, physical, and serious emotional affects. Motor abilities are impaired even when you start consuming alcohol. At a BAC of .02%, somebody begins to relax, lose visible capabilities and have impaired judgment. At .05%, there is certainly slower eye movements and response time. Someone’s blood alcohol concentration may continue following the last drink was consumed to go up as much in three hours. Moreover, the hangover effects the next day may continue to impair engine functions.

Each year, over 13,000 people are killed in drunk driving related vehicle accidents and hundreds of thousands more are hurt. This costs the United States of America over $100 million every year in damages. There are around 1.4 thousand DWI arrests annually, more than half of which produce a conviction.

The victims of those accidents might have severe financial and emotional harms along with the damages they sustained. The intoxicated driver may be required to compensate medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage for the injured party.

An Indianapolis car accident lawyer can probably identify that submitting a dram shop claim against the institution or organization that negligently served the intoxicated driver is also crucial to keep all parties accountable for their activities. In the event, you were hurt in a drunk driving injury, contact a lawyer locally to talk about choices to seek the compensation you deserve.

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Mold Infestation In Rentals

Jul 28

Molds are just one of the newer things that renters should be considering when they are looking for a place to stay. Molds can cause a number of health risks and complications, and many tenants have won cases against landowners who they alleged were negligent is ensuring the safety of the unit, thus putting their health in danger.

Toxic molds are actually a family of molds that cove a number of colors and shapes – from black, green, grey, or white and appear either shiny or powdery. Toxic molds are often from the family of penicillium, stachybotrys, fusarium, paecilomyces, and aspergilus. The effects of toxic molds have caused controversial debate within the medical and scientific communities, yet there is no question on the health effects that tenants have suffered after being exposed to large amount of toxic mold.

Aside from some exceptions, the responsibilities of the landlords or property owners are not clearly included in state ordinances, building codes, statutes, or regulations. It is important for tenants to know the specific laws that cover them from toxic mold infestation. Presently, there are no federal laws that allow residential buildings to have acceptable exposure limits or building tolerance standards, while only a few states have established tolerable mold standards. Among them are California, Texas, New Jersey, Maryland, and Indiana; cities such as New York and San Francisco have local laws that provide some guidelines for indoor air quality and permit tenants to file for personal injury claims under certain local laws.

Despite having a lack of state or federal laws that can protect you as a tenant from toxic mold, you can file an injury claim against the landowner regarding the mold problems. Landlords have the responsibility of maintaining the safety of the unit, this include fixing leaks and other places or situations that could lead to a mold growth. Likewise, some landowners include clauses that would relieve them of any responsibility that resulted from mold growth. Both the tenant and the landlord should be partners in their effort to prevent any growth of molds in the property in order to protect themselves from health risks or future property damage or injury claims.

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Craniostenosis and Depakote

Jun 14

According to a 2001 research paper published in the Journal of Neurosurgery, there are indications that regular intake of valproic acid (i.e. Depakote) may result in trigonocephaly, or the premature closing of the metopic suture in an infant’s skull. The metopic suture usually closes when the child is between three and nine months old. This is a form of caniostenosis caused by craniosynostosis, which basically means the skull closes.

The authors studied 2,220 children, and of these, 17 had mothers that regularly ingested Depakote or other valproic acid-based medication to manage epileptic seizures. Considering that the incidence of craniostenosis in the general population is one in every 2,500 live births, finding 17 in this study population is significant. This indicates at least a 10-fold risk of having children with craniostenosis among the population of women that take Depakote compared to those who do not.

The growing infant’s skull had four sutures: metopic, coronal, sagiital, and lambdoid. The most common type of craniostenosis involves the sagittal suture, followed by the coronal suture. Metopic synostosis, or trigonocephaly, occurs a maximum of just 15% of all cases.

The human body is truly marvelous. In most cases where one skull suture closes before it should, and perhaps not leaving enough space for the brain, the skull expands in the orientation of the unclosed sutures to compensate. This can give the child an unusually shaped head.

According to the website of Williams Kherkher, however, in some cases when the skull does not grow enough to accommodate the brain, the pressure can cause serious complications. This includes but not limited to blindness, sleep impairment, eating disorders, or cognitive development problem.

Aside from the physiological effects, the skull malformation may also affect the development of the face. It can change the shape of the face in noticeable ways. This can adversely affect the social and emotional development of the child, especially if it is accompanied by physiological complications.

If you or your child suffers from craniostenosis, it may be because of Depakote.

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Symptoms of Liver Failure

Mar 19

Liver failure is a life-threatening condition that usually results over a long period of time. It occurs when enough damage is sustained by the liver to cause parts or the entire vital organ to no longer function. Acute liver failure can occur within the short time span of 48 hours and be hard to miss. Reasons for liver failure vary from prolonged alcohol consumption to faulty medication that destroys the liver.

Xarelto, an anticoagulant released in 2011 by Bayer and Johnson & Johnson, is one such medication known to cause acute liver failure. According to the website of lawyers at Williams Kherkher, drug manufacturers often do not list certain health hazards such as liver failure as a side effect, leading to serious injury and life-threatening situations for its patients prescribed the faulty medication.

Symptoms of liver failure include pain in the upper right abdominal region, yellowing of skin or eyes, abdominal swelling, and vomiting. Complications may arise from prolonged damage of the liver or lack of treatment for acute liver failure. Liver failure may cause excessive fluid in the brain that builds pressure in the cerebellum, displacing brain tissue and depriving the organ of sufficient oxygen. Bleeding, infection, and kidney failure may also arise as complications.

The treatment option for serious liver failure is a liver transplant. The costly and invasive procedure may take months or years for a viable liver donor to be matched. This time frame may lead to loss of life if a candidate is not found. In less severe cases of liver damage, medicine and constant monitoring may be enough for a full or partial recovery.

If you or a loved one experienced liver damage or failure after being prescribed Xarelto, contact a Xarelto lawyer in your state. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills and pain and suffering due to the negligence of the drug manufacturers and producers.

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Nursing Home Abuse

Feb 22

In February of 2014, the U.S. News & World Report released its latest list of what it evaluated to be the best nursing homes all across America. About 16,000 nursing homes from all 50 states and about 100 major metropolitan areas were evaluated to help the millions of American families find the best nursing home (nearest them) for their loved one.

In evaluating almost all of the nursing facilities in the US, the following factors were considered: level and quality of safety and care; staffing; health inspections; performance in vital clinical needs; the time spent by nursing staff with the residents; and, cases of health and fire violations. According to the website of Pohl & Berk, LLP, however, despite their obligation to providing quality care, many nursing home facilities fail to do this, causing many residents serious harm.

The list of the best nursing homes, the sixth list released by the U.S. News & World Report, comes in the midst of widespread news regarding the frequency of nursing home abuses and neglect. These terrible and offensive acts committed against many of the residents of nursing homes (elders, physically or mentally incapacitated individuals and those needing rehabilitative therapy due to illness or accident) are most frequent where there is inadequate number of staff and where resources are not enough. An alarming circumstance as records from the American Association for Justice show that about 90% of nursing facilities in the US do not have enough staff to provide sufficient care to more than 1.5 million residents nationwide.

The different forms of abuses most commonly suffered by nursing home residents include physical, emotional, physical, sexual and, in some instances, financial. Sexual abuse is the most cruel and humiliating form of these abuses, which are committed by the staff members themselves or by victim’s the co-resident, who is either coerced or bribed by the same staff members.

Residents often rather refuse to complain due to various reasons, including: threats by the abuser; fear of being accused of seeking too much attention; shame, especially if the abuse is sexual in nature; or fear and shame of being tagged as suffering from dementia.

Even with the absence of clear signs that acts of abuse or neglect are being committed against your loved one, sudden changes in him/her plus your gut feeling that something may be wrong should never be outrightly dismissed. And, to either authenticate or disprove the possibility of abuse, no matter how slight the signs, seeking the help of the highly-skilled personal injury or nursing home malpractice lawyers would be a commendable move.

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Unpaid Wages

Jan 16

Performing any type of work at any time even outside the office, but so long as it is asked by the employer and is, therefore, for the employer’s benefit, should merit compensation , according to the stipulations of the Portal-to-Portal Act. This decree was passed in 1947 as an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938. The FLSA, also called the Wages and Hours Bill, is a federal mandate that sets rules for the national minimum wage, the daily and weekly number of working hours and the legal pay for overtime work; it also strictly prohibits the hiring of minors or those under the age of 18 for hard labor and the requiring of those below the age of 16 to work during school hours.

Though the FLSA was intended to make sure that employees are paid what is due them and that no one is required or made to work longer than they should, it was never meant to put employers in the losing end. Thus, despite benefiting about 700,000 workers when it was passed into law, the US Congress saw the need to amend it to make clear its extents and limits.

Amendments centered on clearly defining which activities before, during and after work shifts are compensable and not compensable due to certain works wherein employees need to perform activities (related to work) before actually engaging in their principal activities.

The specific clarifications and amendments on the contents of the FLSA that were made through the Portal-to-Portal Act, include:

a. Activities that necessitate mandatory compensation:

  • Duties that are part of one’s regular work
  • Activities that are essential and, thus, indispensable parts of one’s regular duties

b. Some activities that are generally considered compensable (compensation to the following activities depends on one’s agreement with his/her employer):

  • Principal work or activities that are directly related to principal work but which are performed at home;
  • Putting on the required gears necessitated by the job
  • “Suffered or permitted” work which is performed before or after a work shift and which the employer knows (or should know) as being performed
  • Disaster drills and fire drills
  • Travel time spent during the work shift but which is required to be able to perform a job which
  • Periods of inactivity occurring during shift
  • Time spent waiting for work instructions and the distribution of required working gears
  • Meal periods, but only when one has been required to work while eating within the worksite or at the desk
  • “On-call” time wherein one is required to stay at or near the workplace

c. Activities that are generally not considered to be compensable:

  • Travel time to or from the place of work
  • Time spent in line to punch a time clock
  • Extra/waiting time before the actual start of shift
  • Meal periods, during which regular work is not performed
  • “On-call” time, but when responding only to a telephone call or an electronic message

According to the website of Cary Kane, despite the mandates and the strict enforcement of laws governing labor and employment, hundreds of lawsuits still get filed in courts all across the US. Employment laws, however, are complex, and the statutory limit set by the government in filing a lawsuit based on unpaid wages can only be a source of added pressure.

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Claiming Social Security Disability Benefits Getting Harder

Nov 05

As if it wasn’t bad enough before where 7 out of 10 claims for Social Security Disability Benefits were being initially denied, with the Social Security Administration (SSA) running out of funds, its belt is getting even tighter.

The SSA has been paying out progressively more disability benefits since the economic recession began, nearly $9 million in March 2013 which is an increase of 21% in the same period in 2007. The bill for disability benefits in 2010 was nearly $130 billion, compared to just $18 billion (inflation-adjusted for 2010) from just 40 years ago. The leapfrogging rate is rapidly draining the resources of the SSA, which estimates that at the present rate the SSA will be unable to pay full SS benefits by 2016.

Studies show that this sharply upward trend is not due to any significant deterioration of the average working American’s health. It is also noted that the increase in claims coincided during the time of the massive economic crisis. This indicates that many claims were made by people who were not really disabled at all.

It is unfortunately true that a good number of the unemployed are drawing disability payments in lieu of a paycheck for actual work, which is why the SSA has become much more discriminating about what applications warrant an approval. This is a big problem for workers who have a genuine need for financial need because of their disabilities but are at a loss about how to go about filing a successful claim. As characterized on the website of Hankey Law Office, the SSA is no longer the safety net it was designed to be at inception. Currently, the SSA is just another bureaucratic hurdle that deserving people need to traverse to receive the benefits they were promised and paid for when they were able-bodied.

If you are having difficulty in making a disability claim, you will need some professional assistance. Contact a Social Security disability claims lawyer in your area to help you get what you need and deserve.

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Being Arrested for Drunk Driving

Nov 02

Drunk driving is definitely a crime in any state, and rightly so. An impaired driver has an 11-fold risk of an accident compared to a sober driver, and presents a danger to themselves as well as others in property damage and personal injury. A Racine car accident lawyer, for example, would point out with complete accuracy that an injury to a third party resulting from driving under the influence (DUI) is completely preventable and constitutes a breach in the duty of care that every individual takes on when he or she gets behind the wheel of any motorized vehicle.

But while it is understandable why the enforcement of DUI laws in most states are stringent, there are instances when zeal takes the place of common sense and an appreciation of the facts. Take for example the case of an Arizona man who was pulled over for what appeared to be impaired driving and the police officer actually said he could tell the man was drunk “by looking into his eyes.” The man was brought into the police station to take a breathalyzer test which came back 0.0 blood alcohol content (BAC). Under most state laws, this would have earned him a walk there and then. Instead, his car was impounded and his license suspended. When all was said and done, he should not have been arrested in the first place.

According to the website of Austin criminal defense attorney Ian Inglis, it is possible for law enforcement to make a mistake; unfortunately, not all of them are willing to admit to it. If you have been charged with drunk driving, it would be in your best interest to insist on consulting a lawyer before saying or doing anything to protect your rights. You will avoid a whole lot of trouble later on if you take any arrest, false or otherwise, seriously.

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