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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