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Hours of Service Violations by Trucking Companies

Posted by on Oct 9, 2015 in Driving Hazards | 0 comments

Drivers of 18-wheelers have a large responsibility when they are on roadways. According to this West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys website, due to their immense size and weight, accidents that may be a simple fender-bender with two regular size vehicles can become serious when a semi-truck is involved. One of the most common causes of truck accidents is truck driver error caused by fatigue. While there are laws in place to regulate the amount of hours a truck driver can work, many employers blatantly ignore them and overwork their truck drivers, leading to severe exhaustion that can cause unsafe driving behavior.

The federal laws that are in place to set the rules for truck driver hours are known as hours of service rules. These rules indicate that a truck driver can only drive 14 hours a day, with no more than 11 of those hours being consecutive. An hours of service violation occurs when a truck driver goes over the hourly limit or does not allow enough time in between shifts. Innocent drivers of the road can be put in danger when these laws are violated. Common risky driving behaviors caused by an overly tired truck driver include swerving on the road, not stopping in time for stop signs or stop lights, or failing to check blind spots before changing lanes. One of the most severe consequences that can occur is a truck driver falling asleep behind the wheel. When these actions are committed by a truck driver, the accidents that occur can be catastrophic. A collision between a regular vehicle and an 18-wheeler can cause serious injuries and even death.

While driving alongside 18-wheelers is a common occurrence, accidents involving them should not be. Thousands of people are put in danger when truck drivers take the wheel overly fatigued. Even worse, the accidents that occur as a result are often preventable if the company had simply followed the law.

When Doctors and Pharmaceutical Companies Go Wrong

Posted by on May 12, 2015 in Dangerous Consumer Products, Injury | 0 comments

When a serious illness puts a person’s life on the line the only source of salvation that may come to that person’s mind may be a doctor. A doctor, who is well trained and deeply knowledgeable about the human body and health, and who can have access to so many of the technological advances in the field of medicine, would only naturally be thought of as definitely capable of providing the needed effective treatment for any type of illness. Reality, however, clearly shows that this is not the case; and rather than just a big number of doctors causing new health problems than providing medical solutions, it is obvious that there is another source of problem, something bigger than doctors that the government and the medical community need to be aware of – the pharmaceutical firms.

More than 750,000 deaths due to poor medical care are recorded in the US every year. These include millions of: unnecessary prescriptions; people being subjected to surgical procedures which are actually not needed; and, people being confined in hospitals despite the lack of absence or need for it.

Though such are clearly doctor errors, there are more cases recorded, which involve adverse effects of prescription drugs or medical devices. These are usually due to drugs that have not been fully tested, yet are claimed safe and effective by their manufacturers.

One specific device, which is manufactured by the American company Intuitive Surgical Inc. and approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in the year 2000, is the da Vinci Surgical System, a multi-armed robotic surgical equipment designed to help surgeons perform minimally-invasive surgical procedures easily, fast and accurately.

This robotic surgical equipment gained immediate success not only in the US but in Europe and Asia as well and the only thing holding back many other hospitals from acquiring it is the unit’s more than $1 million cost.

The da Vinci Surgical device requires very small (multiple) incisions, about 1-2 cm, compared to the 5 – 7 inches long or even 12 inches long (depending on the type of surgery to be performed) incision that an open surgery requires. And with very tiny openings, this could only mean fast-healing wounds, much shorter recovery time, very little loss of blood, and much lesser pain.

Not very long after the device’s use, however, reports of injuries and deaths began to be linked to it. These reports also made mention of device malfunction, internal scarring, injury to tissues or organs, doctors’ lack of experience in properly operating the device, and so forth.

Many lawsuits have already been filed against the da Vinci’s manufacturer, including those by families of patients who have already died even some years after the device was used on them. According to the website of the National Injury Law Center, there are injuries and deaths that may have possible links to the da Vinci surgical device, considering that it has been used in thousands of procedures on prostate removal and hysterectomies alone.

The da Vinci Surgical System is not the only problem that authorities should worry about, though, for millions more also get injured or die every year due to the use of prescription drugs. According to the website of law firm Williams Kherkher, three of these drugs, which are the basis of many lawsuits in various US courts, are Actos, Depakote, and Risperdal.

Actos (also called Pioglitazone), is an oral drug for Type 2 diabetes patients. It helps increase patients’ sensitivity to insulin as well as helps them control their blood sugar level. Within 10 years after it acquired the FDA’s approval in 1999, the drug became one of the most prescribed medications in the US, simultaneously gaining recognition in France and Germany. But studies and actual cases revealed Actos’ real effects, which included risk of heart failure, liver failure, tract infection, upper respiratory infection, macular edema, lactic acidosis, diarrhea, muscle pain and death.

Depakote and Risperdal, on the other hand, were approved for the treatment of bipolar disorder. While Depakote was formulated to lessen or totally prevent severe epileptic seizures, to treat manic episodes linked to bipolar disorder and to prevent attacks of migraine, Risperdal was prepared as effective treatment for the symptoms of autism, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Though both drugs seemed totally safe for some time, both, like Actos, also began to be linked to serious side-effects. For Depakote, the reported side-effects included pancreatitis, liver toxicity, confusion, unusual bruising or bleeding, and the risk of delivering a dead child or a child with a birth defect. For Risperdal, the effects were: stroke or stroke-like occurrences; Tardive Dyskinesia, a disorder in the central nervous system that results to uncontrolled movements of the limbs and twitching of the tongue and face; Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS), a potentially deadly disorder that is characterized by irregularity in one’s pulse and blood pressure; and, death.

The right of patients (or their families) to file a personal injury lawsuit for the possible compensation that they may be legally entitled to receive. Both law firms also recommend the hiring of a seasoned lawyer, who will help the victim receive no less than the full amount of compensation that he or she is legally entitled to.

The Ombre and Balayage Hair Techniques

Posted by on May 9, 2015 in Haircare | 0 comments

When the going gets tough . . . the hair usually ends up looking terrible. But with an excellent hair treatment from a high-end hair salon in Houston you, definitely, will never have to worry again about how your hair looks.

Therapy Hair Studio, one of the top hair salons in the Greater Houston area, remains committed in providing only the best hair care for all their clients – the basic reason why, despite the availability of so many do-it-yourself products, people just keep coming back. Why? Because, besides the excellent service that always exceed clients’ expectations and the comfortable ambiance, this salon’s specially selected team of hair specialists also know how to make their clients feel great about their hair and the treatment that they just received.

Besides hair length reduction and trims for male and female (including children, of course), salon clients also enjoy cutting with styling, blow-drying, shampooing, conditioning treatment w/ heat, smoothing, hot rollers, keratin treatment, overlays and add on color, flat or curling iron, lash tint, brow tint, deluxe nail care service, and other facial services, according to Therapy Hair Studio. For special occasions, such as anniversaries or weddings, the salon offers hair style and make-up services that are meant to complement a client’s outfit and personal style – services that will surely bring out the client’s most stunning looks.

Among the most sought after hair treatments at present, however, are the Ombre & Balyage hair techniques which, lately, have been garnering lots of attention.

The Ombre hair technique involves the gradual lightening of hair strands. At the roots, where the hair’s color is maintained or made darker, this dark shade is made to fade as the hair’s color becomes lighter towards the hair ends. This hair technique, which is great, especially, for those with curly hair, can exude either subtlety or remarkability; but no matter which, one sure thing is that it is definitely eye-catching and will make you totally gorgeous.

Balayage, a French term, which means, “to sweep,” is great for those whose hair is straight. Now the most popular hair coloring technique requested in salons, balayage is known to create depth, dimension and a natural, sun-kissed finish, the same sun-kissed highlights that you got when you were a kid.

Many women are just excited to try either the Ombre or the Balayage and feel great about their new look. But, though, these hair treatments are sure to make you look really great, just make sure that you entrust the service to a hair care specialist.

Wrongful Death: Proving the Defendant’s Negligence

Posted by on May 6, 2015 in Injury | 0 comments

While all manufactured goods, whether for indoor or outdoor use, are meant to provide fun, comfort, health, convenience, etc., the many different forms of human services, especially health care, ought to make a person’s overall condition better. This is what everything is intended for, anyway. And, with the awareness of our moral and legal responsibility in not endangering the lives of others, life should, therefore, be totally safe and fun.

Reality, though, says otherwise. Every year either millions of individuals suffer injuries or families lose a member due to death. Majority of these injuries and deaths, however, are not the fault of the injured or dead individual, who is believed to have acted diligently and with due care; rather, these are the faults of people, whose reckless or negligent actions have all but resulted to injury-causing or fatal accidents.

Wrongful death: the unexpected loss of someone’s life either because of another person’s negligence or willful misconduct. According to the website of The Seegmiller Law Firm, wrongful death may not only leave a family grieving over the loss of one of its beloved members, it may also throw them into a situation wherein they will be made to suffer financial difficulties, especially if the victim is the father of, or the breadwinner in, the family. This is why the firm makes clear its message that the dependents or the surviving family members of the deceased, legally identified as “real parties in interest,” have the legal capacity to seek justice and compensation (through a civil lawsuit) from the reckless or negligent party who is liable for their devastating loss.

A wrongful death claim or lawsuit is a special type of personal injury lawsuit that is filed for the purpose of seeking compensation for all the financial damages the dependents are (and will be) made to suffer from. Though states may actually differ in what factors and elements are considered regarding who the “real parties in interest” may be or what may be considered as compensable, some of the commonly accepted coverage of the compensation includes medical and funeral expenses, loss of financial support, loss of the decedent’s services, and lost possibility of inheritance.

Before a family could be awarded the compensation that it seeks, however, it will first need to prove that the person being accused of liability was, indeed, negligent and that his or her negligence caused the death of the deceased. This negligence will also need to be proven by a preponderance of the evidence, the burden of proof that the family of the deceased (acting as the Plaintiff in the lawsuit) is required to meet. An Iowa personal injury lawyer will be aware that a preponderance of the evidence means that more than fifty percent of the evidence presented should point to something to make it convincing and most probably true and accurate.

Seeking legal assistance from lawyers, who are capable of identifying the family’s real needs, who know what evidences to look for and how to formulate the most convincing arguments, should be a priority of the surviving family.

Retaliatory Acts Leading to Wrongful Termination

Posted by on May 4, 2015 in Employment Law | 0 comments

Many times, when an employee complains about unfair labor practices, discriminatory behavior in the workplace, or otherwise assists in an unfair employment practice investigation, certain individuals work together to find ways of getting that employee terminated. The worst possibility is if the employer has an active role or direct participation in all of it.

Federal and state laws have been passed to protect employees and job applicants from any form of unfair and discriminatory practices in the workplace. These laws require the employers, especially, to make sure that their companies are free from discriminatory practices and that whoever would be proven guilty of such acts should be given the necessary disciplinary actions.

Despite the laws, however, the website of law firm Cary Kane says that many forms of discriminatory practices exist in many US firms, often resulting to wrongful termination.

In a wrongful termination case, dismissal of an employee constitutes an infringement on any of the terms covered in a company’s contract of employment, federal and state employment law and Employee Rights against wrongful termination.

The federal laws that prohibit employment discriminatory practices are contained in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which are enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or EEOC. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits any form of workplace harassment, abuse and discrimination based on one’s sex or gender, race, color, national origin and religion. Though nor clearly stipulated, Title VII , nevertheless, also strictly prohibits retaliation against any employee who either makes, or helps make, evident prohibited acts, especially if the perpetrator is someone in authority.

Retaliation refers to any hostile act or behavior than an employer, employment agency or labor organization may resort to, to show dissatisfaction against an employee who plays a part in legally protected activities. While a hostile or adverse act can be any action, including denial of employment, unjust termination, unjustified negative evaluation, or threats of criminal or civil charges, that are intended to hinder an employee either from taking part in an employment discrimination proceeding or from complaining about a discriminatory act, a legally protected activity refers to any action aimed at exposing and proving harassment and/or discriminatory practices in the workplace. Protected activities include:

an employee’s refusal to perform discriminatory acts that are ordered by his/her superior;
complaining about or protesting against workplace discrimination;
resolving to file charges of employment discrimination or showing intent to file one; and,
participating as a witness in a legal proceeding or EEO investigation.

While a person who has been complained about will certainly not be pleased with the complainant, the latter will have to be objective in his/her judgment as to whether the alleged guilty individual is, indeed, resorting to retaliatory acts or is simply displeased. A strong conviction, however, of being retaliated upon may require the assistance of a good employment lawyer, whose knowledge and experience in discrimination laws will help the employee verify the truthfulness of his/her conviction as well as help him/her make a correct and timely filing of the case.

Selling Your Mineral or Gas Rights

Posted by on May 3, 2015 in Mineral Rights | 0 comments

One variety of sedimentary rock is oil shale, which is formed when silt and clay combine. Oil shale usually contains kerogen, a good possible source of gas and oil. Technological developments which have enabled oil companies to combine horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have resulted to an increased production of shale oil and gas in the United States. This has transformed the nation from being an oil-dependent country in the past to a major oil producer today: a transformation that has caused excitement not only among oil firms, but among land owners as well, whose lands are considered as oil wells waiting to be drilled.

The common law grants owners of properties or estates in the US certain rights, such as “mineral rights” and “surface rights.” These rights include private ownership of oil, gas, valuable rocks and all other forms of minerals which may be found on or under their property. These rights include the property owners’ legal capability to lease, sell, transfer ownership, bequeath or give these rights to anyone they choose.

Owner’s control over their properties and whatever may be found on or beneath these is one of the most basic stipulations in the private ownership law. Under the law, this private ownership is legally referred to as, “fee simple estate.”

Thanks to this “fee simple estate,” owners of lands along the shale regions are given the possible chance of enjoying the flow of huge amounts of cash into their household. The only thing they need to make is to decide whether to sell or lease their mineral rights to any of the giant oil firms that lay their offer on the table.

To a number of property owners, however, deciding is just never too easy. To start with, both selling and leasing have their own advantages and disadvantages. On its website, The Mineral Auction details the possible consequences should an owner decide to sell or lease his or her oil rights, gas rights and mineral rights. More importantly, the firm offers owners the assistance that they will definitely need not just in selling their rights, but in making sure that owners get the most competitive and generous offer for the future of their families.

Required and Supplemental Hazard Disclosure Items

Posted by on May 1, 2015 in Natural Hazards | 0 comments

In the state of California real estate sellers and brokers are legally obligated to inform their prospective buyers whether the property they are selling is located within one or more state-mapped areas where threats of fire, flood, earthquake, seismic activities, and other types of hazards exist.

This information, called the Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement (NHDS), is mandated by the Natural Hazards Disclosure Act (which falls under Sec. 1103 of the California Civil Code and which took effect on June 1, 1998). Under this Act there are six types of hazards that legally require disclosure: special flood hazard area; dam inundation; very high fire; wildland fire; earthquake fault zone; and, seismic hazard. Real property sellers, however, have also included in the NHDS the following supplemental hazards reports: radon gas exposure; airport influence area; Megan’s law disclosures; and, military ordnance.

In detail, these hazards reports are about the following concerns:

Required Hazards Reports

  • Special Flood Hazard Area – refers to properties that are located within Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA). These properties are identified in maps maintained by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and, through FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), these qualify for low cost flood insurance.
  • Dam Inundation – areas which can be flooded and become drainage basins in case of failure of a dam or levee due to erosion, earthquakes, etc.
  • Very High Fire – mapping of areas, which hold abundant fuel or are dry, too windy and difficult to access, that have high risk of fire.
  • Wildland Fire – reports regarding this hazard include areas that can be affected by forest, grassland or brushland fire.
  • Earthquake Fault Zone – structures for human occupancy are prohibited from being built within 600 feet of identified active fault zones. These zones are shown in map called the Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Fault Zone Maps.
  • Seismic Hazard – this report contains areas at risk to landslides, liquefaction, strong earthquakes and other earthquake-related ground failures.

Supplemental Hazards Reports

  • Radon Gas – this cancer-causing, radioactive gas is estimated to cause thousands of deaths in the US every year. It is colorless and odorless and can be found all over the US – in offices, schools and, most especially, in homes. Its worst effect, when inhaled, is lung cancer (it is now held that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the US; the first is smoking).

Radon gas is the result of uranium breaking down in well water, and igneous rock and soil. Due to the great danger it causes, the Indoor Radon Abatement Act of 1988 (IRAA) directed the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) to record and identify areas with the potential for higher indoor levels of radon.

  • Airport Influence Area – refers to properties that are located within 2 miles of an identified airport.
  • Megan’s Law – this is based on Section 290.46 of the Penal Code, which provides information, such as the community of residence and the ZIP Code, where listed sex offenders and other certain types of criminals live.
  • Military Ordnance – provides information about properties that are located in formerly used defense sites, which are known to still be containing hazards.

On July 1, 2013, notification of prospective residential real property buyers about the availability and accessibility of the general locations of gas and hazardous liquid transmission pipelines was also made mandatory in a natural hazard disclosure report. This mandatory notice is called the Gas and Hazardous Liquid Transmission Pipelines.

While there are now different firms that provide natural hazards information to potential property buyers, not all are able to provide error free information and high quality service to all clients. Probably more important than buying a dream house is making sure that it is safe from any form of disaster – this is just what a natural hazard disclosure report aims to achieve.