Outdoor Slip and Fall

Posted by on Feb 22, 2017 in Slip and Fall | 0 comments

You are having a relaxing stroll on the sidewalks of your city and you suddenly slipped and fell because of a slippery substance on the road. The accident has caused you injury, resulting into pain and suffering and loss time at work. Getting injured because of the negligence of another party is one of the most tragic things that can happen to you. This is especially true for slip and fall accidents, because property owners are legally obligated to ensure the safety of their premises to avoid accidents and injuries. Failure to do so may result into premises liability claims.

Common causes of outdoor slip and fall
Slip and fall accidents can happen indoors or outdoors. For indoors, the most common causes are defective railings, stairs, escalators, elevators, and slippery substances. For outdoors, slippery substances and objects that may trip you are also common.

Snow and Ice: Snow and ice can be slippery, especially if the person walking on the area is not mindful of them. It is best to maintain and clean the surroundings to avoid slip and fall accidents caused by snow and ice.

Water: One of the most obvious causes of slip and fall accidents outside is water, as it makes the area slippery. There are also instances where the use of inadequate footwear can result into limited traction and slip and fall accidents.

Trash and debris: Pieces of trash, such as the comical banana peel, can also result into a slip and fall. Debris in the area, such as piles of leaves, may also be a danger to unsuspecting pedestrians. Cleaning the area and removing possible obstructions is a good way to prevent these things from triggering accidents.

Uneven surfaces: The design, maintenance, and materials used in constructing the area may also be factors in slip and fall accidents. Uneven surfaces, such as potholes and cracks, may trip those who are walking in the premises.

Poor lighting: Sometimes, obstructions and slippery substances are easy to avoid, but pedestrians may still find it hard to even detect them if the lighting in the area is inadequate. They may not see the obstructions and trip on them. They may not be aware of the presence of slippery substances and carelessly walk through the area, resulting into slip and fall accidents, and worse, injuries.

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Riding a Motorcycle: A Dangerous Activity due to Driver Negligence

Posted by on Feb 17, 2017 in Motorcycle Accidents | 0 comments

For motorcycle riders, the likelihood of sustaining severe injuries or getting killed in an accident is always higher (compared to car drivers) due to their lack of protective gears other than the helmet. This lack of protection, in fact, makes riders 20 times more likely to die in a crash compared to drivers of passenger vehicles.

Accidents involving motorcycles are either single-bike crashes or multiple-vehicle accidents. A single-bike accident, which is the more common of the two, involves no person or vehicle other the rider and his/her bike. It includes accidents, such as a rider crashing his/her bike to a concrete barrier, a lamp post or any other road fixture, or a rider crashing on asphalt after running on a patch of gravel, sand or leaves, or any slippery object or surface. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) points to alcohol use and speeding as the two major causes of single-bike accidents; both factors greatly reduce a riders’ capability to react to emergency road situations on time, as well as make a rider lose control of his/her bike easily.

A multiple-vehicle accident, on the other hand, which may be rarer, but definitely deadlier, involves another vehicle, like a car, an SUV or a truck. This type of motorcycle accident is usually due to driver distraction, impairment due to alcohol or illegal drug, failure to notice an approaching motorcycle or a driver’s simple refusal to acknowledge and respect a motorcyclist’s right of way.

Head-on collision, rear-end collision and side impact are the deadliest types of multiple-vehicle motorcycle accidents as these can easily severely injure, disable or kill a rider. Based on NHTSA records, about 4,500 motorcycle riders die every year, while another 90,000 suffer injuries.

it can be hard for riders to prove that they are the victims in the event of an accident and that it was the motor vehicle driver’s carelessness or recklessness that caused the accident. With the help of a highly-skilled personal injury lawyer, who is well familiar with conducting investigations that can lead to proofs supporting a prosecutor’s claim, however, injured riders may just be a to prove their innocence and receive compensation for their pain and suffering.

The amount of compensation that a personal injury lawyer recovers for his/her clients varies for each case. No two cases are the same, despite how similar their circumstances may be. Compensation or commonly referred to as damages, according to the Ali Mokaram law firm, can be divided into two categories, punitive or compensatory damages. Punitive damages are penalties that a judge will award to the plaintiff that is specifically designed to punish the defendant for their heinous acts. These damages are typically reserved for cases involving tort law and are often used to deter the defendant from doing the act again. On the contrary, compensatory damages are designed to help the plaintiff to pay for the costs of recovering after the injury. These damages often include things such as lost wages, property damages, and lawyer fees.

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Domestic Violence: A Crime Wherein Both Women and Men are Victims

Posted by on Sep 16, 2016 in Criminal Defense | 0 comments

Domestic violence, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, affects millions of American households each year. Though majority of victims are women (about 1.3 million women are abused by their partner every year), a survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 40% of the total number of victims of severe, physical domestic violence are actually men. These men, however, are not those who are too weak to fight back, rather, they are those who do not wish fight back; those who would rather be hurt than hurt their partner.

Anyway, whether the victim is a man or a woman, the fact that domestic violence or domestic abuse causes pain and destroy lives cannot be contested. No uniform definition of domestic violence exists in all U.S. states; some definitions say that domestic violence is an abusive, or a pattern of abusive, act/behavior committed against a person (the victim) with whom the perpetrator of the act has an intimate or sexual relationship with, such as a spouse, a dating partner or a sexual partner. Some definitions, on the other hand, include all persons in a domestic relationship; thus, besides a spouse, this will include children and other relatives living with the aggressor (some other states even include in their list of persons protected by domestic violence laws, a former spouse, a former sexual or dating partner, an in-law, a step-parent, and a step-child.

Domestic abuse can be physical, emotional, psychological, sexual, or economic in nature. It can also be threats of action that can influence another person; these threats include actions intended frighten, hurt, injure, intimidate, terrorize, humiliate, or manipulate another. Specific actions that are considered as abuse include punching, hitting, kicking, shoving, pushing, sexual assault, intimidation, stalking, withholding money, constant or repeated name-calling, isolating a partner from others, wielding a weapon against someone, and so forth.

Criminal prosecution of domestic violence charges fall under assault and battery laws, menacing, harassment, or false imprisonment (a tort and a common-law felony due to the act of restraining a person in a restricted area without justification or consent).

According to a Nashville domestic violence defense attorney, when police officers respond to an incident of alleged domestic violence, state law mandates that the preferred response of officers is to arrest the primary aggressor. Though this law is intended to protect victims of domestic violence, it may also force the hand of the police to make arrests that they may not have to do otherwise. Regardless of the events that led to an arrest, the severity of a domestic violence accusation, whether it is true or baseless, will require an accused to hire a highly-competent domestic violence defense attorney for the best possible defense that may save him/her from conviction, as well as for him/her to clear his/her record of the charges made against him/her – for the protection of his/her rights and future.

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Understanding The Dangers of Depakote

Posted by on May 25, 2016 in Products | 0 comments

Depakote is the proprietary name give to the drug divalproex sodium in the United States. Developed by Abbott Laboratories in 1983, it is designed for treating seizures as well as manic episodes for people with bipolar disorder. It is also prescribed for treating and preventing migraines. While Depakote is not a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), the drug is sometimes prescribed in relation with SSRIs.

According to the website of Williams Kherkher, Depakote also has serious side effects that can have lasting health prtoblems. Recently, there has been several studies that have re-examined the potential connection between Depakote and birth defects in children exposed to the popular anticonvulsant drug during pregnancy. Research shows that pregnant women who take Depakote may experience a significant risk of giving birth to babies with devastating birth defects such as spina bifida, heart defects, cleft palate, to name just a few.

In 2013, the US Food and Drug Administration issued a warning that pregnant women should avoid Depakote and other valproate drugs as they were associated with lower IQs especially in children. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that pregnant women who take valproic acid during early pregnancy are 12 times more prone to giving birth to a child with spina bifida. Aside from that, the FDA also advised patients not to take antiepileptic drugs as they can increase risk for suicidal thoughts and behavior. The FDA also required drug companies to include warnings about this risk on their prescription labels.

Unfortunately, these warnings came too late for many women who took Depakote. Drug manufacturers have the responsibility of testing their drugs and warning the public about its risks. Unfortunately, Abbott Laboratories failed to inform consumers about such risks. In 2012, the company pleaded guilty for misbranding Depakote. It agreed for a settlement worth $1.5 billion. Abbott is also facing product liability and wrongful death suits.

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The Lowdown on Social Security Disability – Facts You Need To Know

Posted by on May 23, 2016 in Social Secrity | 0 comments

Recent statistics have revealed that one out of every six working-aged Americans representing 29.5 million people become disabled. Disability is accompanied by a wide range of consequences. While some people may still be able to work despite their disability, others with severe and long-term disability may have a limited capacity to work and hence are prone to experience economic hardshi[s.

Figures released by the Council for Disability Awareness revealed that more than 37 million Americans are classified as disabled which represents about 12% of the overall population andf over 50% of that number are in the working age of 18-64 years old. As of 2012, there are 8.8 million disabled wage earners getting Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits. As of March 2013, the average monthly benefit received by disabled men and women workers were $1,255/month and $933/month, respectively.

According to the website of the Hankey Law Office, disabled workers can only rely on social security disability benefits for their financial needs. Applying for social security disability can be a long and tedious process. In its annual report for 20134, the Social Security Administration revealed that only 36 percent of claims filed from 2004 to 2013 were approved. In addition, about a quarter of the applicants are given benefits on their initial claims, 2 percent approved on appeal and 11 percent at hearings.

Given the difficulty of getting approved for social security benefits, Stephen Dunn, a staff attorney with the New York Legal Assistance Group, recommended that applicants should get the right material to the right people at the right time. He put emphasis on getting the application right at the first time. You need to make examiners see that you have been receiving regular medical care. Having a good medical record is crucial in establishing the seriousness of your condition and how it has affected your abilities.

When to Apply

It is important that you apply as soon as you become disabled. Your benefits will not kick in until the sixth month of your disability. Your waiting period begins after the first full month after the date your disability claim has been approved. Processing usually takes 3 – 5 months but you can shorten the processing by providing the necessary information and documents during your application. If you have the needed documents, submit it right away.

How To Apply

To be eligible for Social Security disability, you need to have worked at least one-fourth of your adult lifer or at least 5 of the 10 years prior to the onset of disability. You would have to wait for five months before you can qualify for benefits.

According to data from the Social Security Administration, 28 percent of final medical denials in 2013 were attributed to the impairment considered “not severe.” Another 31 percent were due to the applicant being considered as still being able to do work.

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Divorce and Annulment – What’s The Difference?

Posted by on May 22, 2016 in Divorce and the Family | 0 comments

There comes a time in married life, when couples decide to go their separate ways due to irreconcilable differences. According to the website of The Maynard Law Firm, ending a marriage can be complicated and emotionally charged. It can have lasting consequences for the couple, their families, and their finances. Aside from that, according to the website of Marshall & Taylor, PLLC, there are also pressing issues that they need to deal with such as child custody, visitation rights, and others.

When there is really no other option left but for the couple to move on separately, they have a variety of options to choose from and two of them are divorce and annulment. According to the website of the Law Office of Daniel Jensen, P.C., both are legal processes that comes with difficulties and obstacles for the couple. But what is the difference between the two? Let us take a closer look:

Annulment cancels a marriage between a man and a woman. In a legal proceeding, a marriage is annulled which means that it never technically existed or invalid. On the other hand, divorce ends the validity of the marriage making the couple single again with the option to marry again. The former can also be filed by either party. They need to prove that there is a ground for filing an annulment and if proven, the marriage will be nullified and voided by the court. Some grounds for annulment include bigamy, forced consent, fraud, mental incapacity, underage marriage, to name just a few.

Depending on the state, divorce can be much more complicated than annulment. With the former, the assets of the married couple are divided and their debts are settled. As for the children, divorce proceedings determines issues such as custody, visitation rights, and child support. State laws will determine whether your annulment or divorce is simple or complex.

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When Is It Time To Seek The Help of A Credit Counselor?

Posted by on May 21, 2016 in Financials | 0 comments

Some people just cannot seem to make ends meet. According to the website of Erin B. Shank, PC, many people find themselves in a financial problem that they end up seeking advice from a credit counselor. For some people who just cannot control their spending habits, counseling is a great way to deal with a financial problem and change your attitude towards money.

According to CreditCards.com, the average American household with at least one credit card owner owes around $15,950 in credit-card debt. So how do you know that you need the help of a credit counselor? There are tell tale signs that you need to be aware of that you need help controlling your finances. Here are some of the red flag that tells you it is time to get help:

  • You are paying your credit card bills with another credit card. You apply for more cards in order to pay for your current ones thus sinking you further into debt. If you are doing that, you are only accumulating more debt as you are also accumulating more interest.
  • You cannot pay for living expenses. You need to remember that you have basic needs that you have to satisfy such as food, housing, utilities, and more. If you are not able to meet these expenses, it is a sign that you need some help from a professional. A credit counselor can help you realign your budget so that you will be able to pay for necessary expenses.
  • You are getting calls from collectors. When your mail starts to get piled up with notices and legal letters. Having creditors knock on your door can be an embarrassing experience and you do not want that to happen. Get help from a credit counselor before it’s too late.

The best thing to do to get yourself out of credit debt is to live within your means. Do not spend on items that you do not really need.

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Recognize The Right of Way And Avoid Car Accidents

Posted by on May 19, 2016 in Car Accidents | 0 comments

When driving in traffic, we often encounter the term “right of way.” Depending on road rules, this term refers to a driver giving priority to pedestrians or to another vehicle. Non-yielding to the right of way rule may subject the erring driver to fines or liabilities in case of an accident. According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, you can make the other driver liable for any accident that may happen for their failure to yield to right of way. Meanwhile, according to the website of Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller and Overbeck, P.A., even minor accidents can result to serious injuries, pain and suffering and other accidents.

In general, a driver approaching an intersection is governed by the right-of-way rule. Drivers who are turning left must give way to vehicles which are going straight or turning right. When there are two drivers at an intersection and they arrived at the same time at a right angle, the driver on the left is subjected to the right of way.

An Appleton personal injury lawyer would probably tell you that the right of way rules are designed to promote traffic safety. When a pedestrian or another vehicle gets in the way of a driver, this is where altercations, conflicts, and accidents can happen. The law does not allow an individual to the right of way but only sets rules on who should yield. So having an understanding of the right of way can help prevent accidents and make driving a more pleasant experience.

Emergency vehicles such as an ambulance, fire truck, police vehicle, or paramedic vans always have the right of way. To yield, move your vehicle to the far right side of the road and stop until the emergency vehicle has passed safely. When approaching at an intersection without STOP or YIELD sign, slow down and stop. When a vehicle is already in the intersection or approaching it in front of you, the car that arrived first has the right of way.

Pedestrians who are crossing at corners or crosswalks always have the right of way. Always keep in mind that just because they made eye contact with you, a pedestrian will yield the right of way to you. A simple understanding of the right of way can go a long way in preventing car accidents.

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Common Errors That Lead to Wrongful Foreclosure

Posted by on May 17, 2016 in Financials | 0 comments

“There’s no place like home,” as they say. For most of us, a home gives security. It gives us a place where we can relax, become comfortable, and protection from natural forces. Getting your house foreclosed can be a challenging experience. But a wrongful foreclosure is even more difficult. A Plano wrongful foreclosure attorney will probably guide you to the relevant legal actions available to you for whatever reason your property was wrongfully foreclosed.

Wrongful foreclosures arise from a banks’ lack of due diligence when processing claims. While banks have continuously denied this, foreclosure lawyers are saying that this is not only happening but is widespread. Here are some of the common errors of banks that result to a wrongful foreclosure:

1. The homeowner was not in default but faced foreclosure

Sometimes banks have the tendency to mistakenly foreclose a property even if the owner was not in default. This error is often due to miscommunication between lenders, servicers, title insurers, foreclosure law firms, and other bank contractors.

2. Homeowners were adviced that they were qualified for a loan modification

In a recent survey, 373 homeowners revealed that they were incorrectly adviced to stop making mortgage payments to become eligible for loan modification. In addition, a report by Courthouse News Service revealed that some homeowners have either lost or came close to losing their property because the bank told them to default and then foreclose.

3. Homeowners were behind on their mortgage but could have caught up if not for the additional fees

The mortgage servicing industry has received a lot of criticism for deceiving consumers by charging hidden fees such as late fees, broker-price opinions, inspection fees, and others. The Federal Trade Commission advises consumers to read billing statements first to guarantee the legitimacy of fees.

4. Dual track of foreclosure and loan modification processing

Banks tend to process foreclosures and loan modifications simultaneously resulting to foreclosure of the property. The Federal program requires a mortage broker or servicer to provide borrowers a denial notice before foreclosing their property.

5. Ther bank was not able to provide prrof its standiong to foreclose

Even if the homeowner is clearly in default for reasons outside to servicer action, the servicing company still cannot foreclose the property. It has to be the borrower or his representative.

Losing a home can be an extremely embarrassing experience especially when it was through the negligence or error of another person.

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