Young Drivers are the Ones most Guilty of Speeding and Aggressive Driving

One scary thing about driving is the irresponsibility of many drivers on the road. Car crashes continue to injure millions of drivers, passengers, pedestrians and other road users every year. More than 30,000 also continue to lose their lives in fatal crashes which, if only drivers were more careful and concerned about safety, then road crashes would have been avoided.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), one major cause of car crashes is speeding. With 33% of all fatal motor vehicle crashes being due to speeding (this translates to about 13,000 lives lost every year), it has now become the third leading cause of accidental death on the road.

Speeding , or driving at excessive speed, can either mean driving above the set speed limit or driving too fast for certain road conditions, like a wet and slippery road, a road covered in mist or fog, or when there is road construction going on. The ones most guilty of speeding, as shown through different crash analyses, are young drivers – those aged between 17 and 24 years old.

Another study reveals that many of those guilty of speeding do not suppose that driving at fast speed is dangerous; neither do they think that speeding is a serious traffic violation. And while other speedsters may be aware of the risk of accident speeding causes, the excuse they give for their bad road behavior is their being insured anyway so that, in the event of an accident, damages will be taken care of by their insurance providers.

Driving faster increases the possibility of a driver losing control of his/her vehicle. It also increases the force of impact in a crash, resulting to more serious injuries, probably even death.

Aggressive drivers often exceed the speed limit as they weave in traffic, cut others off, zoom up on other cars from behind, and tailgate. This type of driving is often accompanied by other types of rude and dangerous behavior, such as cursing, using obscene gestures, and failing to signal.

If you have been seriously hurt in a car crash or have lost a family member in a motor vehicle accident that was caused by someone else, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation for your injuries against the person who caused the accident, the company or government entity responsible for causing or failing to repair a hazardous road condition, or a manufacturer of a defective vehicle or one of its parts.

Some of the damages that may potentially be recovered include, but are not limited to:

  • Medical Expenses
  • Lost earnings and earning potential
  • Expenses for household services you can no longer perform
  • Cost of transportation and childcare for medical appointments
  • Cost of assistive devices
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability
  • Mental anguish
  • Psychological disturbance
  • Loss of affection, companionship, or marital consortium
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Funeral expenses (in wrongful death cases)

 

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Severity of Burn Injuries

A burn occurs when the skin is damaged, typically by hot materials. This kind of injury is often associated with fire, but fire is not always the cause of burns. The following are just as devastating:

  • Chemicals and other strong liquids
  • Electricity, such as those from wiring systems
  • Hot liquids like boiling water
  • Hot materials like heated metal and glass
  • Radiation
  • Sunlight
  • Ultraviolet light

Burns are probably one of the worst injuries a person can sustain. It becomes worse if the accident that has caused the injury has been triggered by another person. According to the website of the Benton Law Firm, those who have suffered from burn injuries may have legal options, such as trying to get compensation from the damages they have sustained.

For example, if a drunk driver suddenly swerved into oncoming traffic, crashed into your vehicle, and your vehicle caught fire, the drunk driver may be held liable for the burns you may sustain.
Burn injuries can be classified according to their severity.

  1. First-degree burns – These burns affect the outer layer of the skin, also known as the epidermis. This usually occurs in simple incidents, such as when you accidentally touch a curling iron and sunburn. The affected areas are typically red and dry.
  2. Second-degree burns – This kind of burn injury is sustained if the outer layer of the skin and part of the next layer, called the dermis, are affected. Liquids that are hot enough can inflict this kind of burn. The affected areas will have a red and blistered appearance.
  3. Third-degree burns – Third-degree burns occur if both the epidermis and dermis are affected, and the damage may be deep enough to reach the subcutaneous tissues. Severe burn injuries such as these can be sustained from direct fires. The affected areas can have a white or charred appearance.
  4. Fourth-degree burns – These are the worst kinds of burn injuries victims may sustain. They occur if even the bones and muscles are damaged. Large fires and high-voltage electricity are the main causes of fourth-degree burns. The affected areas are usually impaired and amputated.
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Common Causes of Medication Errors

An adverse drug event (ADE), which refers to harm a patient may experience due to use of medication, is the cause of close to 700,000 emergency department visits and 100,000 hospitalizations in the U.S. each year according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services . The AHRQ also says, “ADEs affect nearly 5% of hospitalized patients, making them one of the most common types of inpatient errors; ambulatory patients may experience ADEs at even higher rates.” (https://psnet.ahrq.gov/primers/primer/23/medication-errors)

The bigger concern that the government faces, especially the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, is the fact that these overdose problems are not caused by illegal drugs, like cocaine and heroin, but by medicinal pills that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and prescribed by doctors, sometimes even for off-label use (or for use not approved by the FDA).

The purpose of prescription drugs is to maintain health and sustain life. To serve their real purpose these will have to be taken in accordance with medical guidelines because if abused or used much longer or more often than instructed by doctors or used in ways other than medically directed, then these can very well cause not only harmful side effects, but even death.

Not all prescription drugs pose harm. The ones that do are those that people tend to use every day, like opiate-based pain relievers, anxiety medications, sedatives and stimulants, despite their addictive and very strong effects.

Problems concerning medication overdose is just one side of the coin. More serious than this is medication error which refers to “any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the health care professional, patient, or consumer.”

“Medication errors, as discussed in the website of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), cause at least one death every day and injure approximately 1.3 million people annually in the United States. Medication mishaps can occur anywhere in the distribution system: prescribing, repackaging, dispensing, administering, or monitoring.

Common causes of such errors include: poor communication, ambiguities in product names, directions for use, medical abbreviations or writing, poor procedures or techniques, or patient misuse because of poor understanding of the directions for use of the product.

In addition, job stress, lack of product knowledge or training, or similar labeling or packaging of a product may be the cause of, or contribute to, an actual or potential error.” (http://www.fda.gov/drugs/drugsafety/medicationerrors/)

In the website of the law firm Habush Habush & Rottier, S.C. ®, it is said that “Numerous studies have shown that as many as 10 percent of medical prescriptions are erroneously filled. Obviously, receiving the wrong medication can have serious medical effects, even including serious illness, organ failure, or death. Prescription medication errors fall into two main categories —wrong medication or wrong dosage. In other cases, pharmacists may also fail to consider known drug allergies or dangerous drug interactions with other medications the patient is also taking.

In pursuing damages for pharmacy errors, pharmacy error attorneys collect and interpret all of the needed medical records and consult with expert pharmacology professionals who can testify about the toxicity of the specific drug or dosage received. Pharmacy malpractice lawyers also confer with experts who can show that the pharmacist made an error from a clearly written prescription.”

If you think that you have been injured by a pharmacy error, it will be wise to get experienced legal help immediately.

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Fair Labor Standards Act: Filing a Claim for Unpaid Overtime

Fair Labor Standards Act: Filing a Claim for Unpaid Overtime

The Fair Labor Standards Act, commonly abbreviated as FLSA, entitles most employees working in the U.S. to unbiased and non-discriminatory labor practices that include the federal-wide regulation of wages. Unfortunately, there are many employers that commit wage policy violations in order to cut corners and save revenue. As an employee, if this happens to you, there are several legal options you can consider. One of them is to file a claim for unpaid overtime wages within the appointed statute of limitations.

In order to receive the unpaid wages owed to you, a claim must be filed to the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor within two years from the date of your employer’s violation. However, the FLSA extends this 2-year period and gives employees an extra year if it can be found that the employer had willfully withheld overtime wages. In some states, the basic statute of limitations is at three years.

Filing an overtime claim requires you to provide details regarding your employer and the details of the position you hold with them. They will need information on your job title and the duties that come with it, as well as the particulars of how you are paid and at what rate. They might also ask about certain deductions that are made in your paycheck for things like taxes, social security, and health insurance.  In order to provide accurate information, you must be able to keep track of all the irregularities between your paycheck and the hours you’ve worked.

Take note that filing a claim with the Department of Labor is completely different from pursuing a lawsuit against your employer, although you can enlist the help of an overtime pay lawyer to help you accomplish both. In most instances, taking your claim to court is the best course of action after your original petition has been denied.

 

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Standards Observed by Austin Courts when Determining Child Conservatorship

In determining the issue of child custody during a divorce case state courts have the same primary consideration: the best interest of the child. In Title 5 Sec. 153.002 of the Texas Family Code, this same consideration is stipulated: “The best interest of the child shall always be the primary consideration of the court in determining the issues of conservatorship and possession of and access to the child.”

A child’s best interest, according to the court, however, does not mean what the child wants, it is rather what the court deems is best for him/her.

When determining conservatorship or custodianship (of a child), the overarching standards of Austin courts, according to Austin child custody lawyers of Kirker Davis LLP, include: (i) assurance that the child will have frequent and continuing contact with parents who have shown the ability to act in the best interest of the child; (ii) provision of a safe, stable, and non-violent environment for the child; and, (iii) encouragement of parents to share in the rights and duties of raising their child (even after the parents have separated or have had their marriage dissolved).

Due to the fact that the issue of conservatorship, when settled in court, can be emotionally draining, besides being contentious (between the spouses) and legally complex, courts, therefore, encourage divorcing spouses to find ways that will allow them to work together in order for them to arrive at an amicable agreement regarding child custody. Failure to come to agreeable terms will result to their divorce case needing to be filed in court. If this happens, settling the conservatorship issue will be left to the family court judge whose decision on who will be the child’s custodian, will be legal and binding whether this decision is acceptable to all concerned (the spouses and the child himself/herself).

While a child, upon reaching the age of 12, can sign a “Choice of Managing Conservator” document to petition the courts to make or alter its original decision regarding conservatorship, this does not mean that the courts will grant his/her preferred living arrangements as this may be contrary to what the courts see to be in his/her best interest.

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Reporting Nursing Home Abuse

Entrusting care of your elderly loved one to a nursing home can be a difficult decision. You will be sending your aged relative to an unfamiliar territory. When you do decide to entrust them to such facility, you always have the assumption that they will be treated with dignity and compassion. This is not happening, unfortunately. According to the website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, nursing home abuse is quite prevalent even under unlikely circumstances.

Nursing home abuse can be a difficult problem. It is something that is hard to define and identify. If there are indications of abuse, seldom is it reported to authorities. According to a two-year study by the Special Investigations Division of the House Government Reform Committee, nursing home violations occur in 30-percent of US nursing homes. Most of them are unreported and if reported, proving it can still be a challenge. Here are the steps in reporting nursing home abuse:

Pre-suit Investigation

Right at the onset of filing the case, the complexity of nursing home abuse becomes evident. You will have to acquire medical records for the elderly. These documents will then need to be reviewed not only for the time the elderly was residing in the facility but also 5 to 10 years prior to admission. Likewise, you will have to look for any signs of abuse such as bedsores, bruises, behavioral changes, and others.

Discovery

Once abuse has been confirmed, you will then have to file an incident report. If the caretaker of the facility is a doctor, social worker, or other government employees, they are required by law to report nursing home abuse. Citizens can also report suspected nursing home abuse. Make sure to include important details of the abuse when reporting.

Filing

There are several ways to file a nursing home abuse report

  • Through the Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116
  • The state resources page of the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) by the Administration on Aging (AoA) to locate the proper authorities for reporting nursing home abuse in the state. There may be several hotlines you need to call.
  • Through the elderly’s primary health care doctor, social worker, elder care advocate, or their immediate health care term provided they are not part of those who are being reported.
  • For severe cases of nursing home abuse, call 911

The elderly people are on the twilight of their lives. As they count down to their last days, they expect utmost care and attention and not the other way around.

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Worst Case Scenarios: Amusement Park Edition

Nothing bad ever happens at amusement parks, right? When you think about them, only pictures and maybe memories of fun times with friends and family are the pictures that come to mind. From the phrase itself, “amusement parks” are places where people smile, laugh, and have a good time and so it’s easy to momentarily suspend your disbelief for a moment and genuinely think that nothing bad could ever happen to you when you’re at an amusement park.

Unfortunately, as according to the website of the lawyers with Williams Kherkher, this is far from the actual truth.

Though there are people within the management of amusement parks who are held accountable to deliver on their duty of care towards their audiences, sometimes there are just some instances that slip through the cracks.

People expect some thrills from certain attractions at certain parks, after all, but they don’t agree to allow themselves to be barely strapped into a metal contraption that goes who knows how fast through metal hoops, fifty feet in the air, unless they knew that the attraction itself was safe. They want the adrenaline and the adventure but with the promise of safety, which is exactly what amusement parks are expected to deliver.

For example, a roller coaster car could accidentally stop in the middle of a loop or a car of a ferris wheel could suddenly break while it’s at the top of its ascent. These are dangerous situations that may not seem plausible but are definitely possible if the management does not care for the attractions appropriately or enough.

Amusement parks need to be equipped and prepared for worst case scenarios and that includes preventing them in the first place. Each and every attraction must first be inspected and tested before it is opened to the public, and even then—they must be regularly inspected for any damage so that necessary repairs or safety upgrades could be installed. If they fail to abide by this standard of care then they would be held legally accountable to all the damages done by their negligence. Click here for more information on personal injury statistics within the US workforce.

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Design and Manufacturing Defects in Automobiles

Our car is one of the most important products in our lives and one that we rightfully expect to be entirely safe. Unfortunately, cars can become defective or even sold to us with a defect risking our or our family’s safety. Sadly, negligent car manufacturers often know of the defects or failed to take the proper precautions to prevent them, putting drivers of the vehicle and other drivers at the road at increased risk for an accident.

There are two common kinds of defects that can occur in an automobile. The first is known as a design defect and occurs when there is an inherent problem in the vehicle’s design, making every car in the product line defective. This can include a brake pad that tends to go out over time or an airbag that fails to deploy during accidents. The other most common kind of defect is a manufacturing defect, which is when a flaw in a vehicle is not related to the design, but rather a problem when the vehicle was being made. Although they may not occur in every vehicle in a line, manufacturing defects can include an improperly installed car battery or a cracked window. When either of these defects occur and cause injury to the driver of the vehicle or another on the road, lawsuits can often be filed against the car manufacturer as they can often be held responsible for the defective products they distribute, according to http://www.shw-law.com/. Accidents caused by defects can not only lead to extensive medical and auto repair bills, but emotional and physical turmoil.

Automobiles should be held to the upmost safety standards and we should trust automobile manufacturers to release viable products to the public. When automobile companies violate this trust, the effects can be devastating. Driving should never be made more dangerous due to a design or manufacturing defect in a vehicle.

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Medical Malpractice: What Causes Wrongful Death?

Medical professionals hold an astounding amount of responsibility in their hands. Physicians, nurses, and other health care personnel are accountable for millions of patients every day. From simple ailments to live-threatening conditions, medical professionals are expected to give their patients the best care and treatment they can offer.

Sometimes, reality paints a grimmer picture. There are moments when the medical professionals fail to live up to the standards mandated by the fields of medicine and health care. In some cases, these incidents lead to fatalities that could have otherwise been easily prevented. As pointed out by Hach & Rose on their website, around 10,000 individuals are expected to die due to medical malpractice and hospital negligence each year. This significant number shows that wrongful death is a serious issue in the medical profession.

Wrongful death happens when physicians, nurses, and other medical staff commit negligent errors. Sometimes, these errors may seem like of little consequence. However, considering the stakes involved in such cases, slight mistakes can’t be excused. The errors that lead to such tragic outcomes often include the following:

  • Wrong or delayed diagnosis
  • Surgical errors
  • Failure to follow standard procedures
  • Inability to properly care for and observe patient

According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, a patient’s death can be justly compensated through a medical malpractice suit if it was caused by any negligent behavior on the part of medical staff and the hospital or institution they are serving. With an experienced personal injury lawyer, surviving family members can receive appropriate damages for the pain and suffering caused to them by an incident of medical malpractice. If you are in a similar situation, don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer practicing in your area to learn more about your legal options.

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Claiming Social Security Disability Benefits

There’s no way to account for accidents that might happen. While people can do their best to prevent the risk of such incidents from occurring, it’s best to be prepared for any possible outcome. Insurance is one of the most sure fire way to make sure accidents and the injuries they cause won’t get in the way of financial opportunities. For individuals who have been disabled in an unforeseen scenario, claiming Social Security Disability benefits can be viable option.

Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI is a form of financial assistance that allows individuals with disabilities to receive regular compensation. The payments made under the SSDI program are intended to help cover costs form medical care, lost income opportunity and other financial needs. Benefits from SSDI can be claimed by the person with disability or those who are responsible for their immediate care.

To qualify for these benefits, a claimant will have to meet the following criteria:

  • Aged 65 and below
  • Insured Social Security members
  • Employed long enough to make Social Security payment contributions and earned sufficient credits
  • Diagnosed with total disability for at least the last year that is expected to last for another year

The amount of compensation and the length of time it will be received by approved beneficiaries will depend on a variety of factors. An Indiana Social Security disability lawyer could further explain this, but primarily, the amount of payments they’ll receive is determined by the nature and severity of their current condition.

The process will start by filing an application with the Social Security Administration. Because applications can often take time to get approved, it would be best to seek out legal counsel to learn more about the appropriate steps required. This can also help speed up the process. To learn more about making Social Security Disability Claims, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced lawyer practicing in your area.

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