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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 2014 report on car crashes showed 30,057 fatalities, the least number of deaths in car accidents probably since the 1970s. While there have been accidents which were due to factors that are beyond the control of drivers, such as defective car or car parts or defective or poorly maintained roads, highways and bridges, both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) of the NHTSA hold that 90% of all road crashes can be blamed on drivers.
These road crashes are consequences of bad road behavior, a number of which are driving recklessly, driving above the set speed limit or driving too fast for road conditions, driving while impaired (by alcohol, illegal drug or prescription/over-the-counter drugs), making improper lane changes, tailgating, ignoring traffic signs and signals, not focusing on the road, and allowing oneself to be distracted while behind the wheel.
Since 2012, distracted driving, particularly involving cell phone use, has remained to be the worst form of driving distraction in the US. Distractions while behind the wheel take many forms, so many of which have even become unnoticed or have become too common that drivers no longer consider them as distractions. A short list of driving distractions includes: eating and/or drinking while driving; looking at a map; talking with other car occupants (studies have shown that the more people there are in a car, the greater distraction there will be to the driver); adjusting electronic devices, like a GPS; adjusting a car stereo and/or setting it to full volume; grooming; adjusting a tie; lighting a cigarette; playing with child occupants; reaching for something, especially, at the back seat; and, arguing with someone while driving.
Due to driving distractions, 421,000 individuals were injured and 3,328 lost their lives in 2012 (number of injuries was 9% higher than in 2011 which was only at 387,000). Unlike drunk-driving, driving recklessly and speeding which a greater majority of drivers will never risk committing, distracted driving can happen to anyone – even to drivers who are always concerned about road safety.
Regardless of the severity of injury that distracted driving may cause, this type of driving error is a threat to the safety of the drivers themselves, to other motorists, pedestrians and all others on the road. In its website, the law firm Williams Kherkher talks about the damages and losses that victims of car accidents may suffer.Read More
The American Cancer Society stated that approximately 221,000 new cases of lung cancer will be recorded before the end of 2015. The agency further stated that this year, fatalities associated with lung cancer are estimated to be around 158,040. The staggering number of new lung cancer diagnosis and lung cancer deaths in the country is a result of a variety of different factors, which we will discuss below:
A majority of lung cancer cases in the U.S. have been associated with cigarette and tobacco use. In fact, WebMD stated that approximately 90% of lung cancers have been a result of smoking. Second hand smoke is also considered a primary factor. Research stated that people who live with a smoker have a 24% chance of developing lung cancer, even if they do not smoke.
A majority of lung cancer diagnosis and deaths have been associated with poor air quality. Car fumes, for instance, contain dangerous oxide that may increase your risk of the disease. Unfortunately, some car companies care less about the environment and people’s health in exchange of bigger profits. The website of The Driscoll Law Firm P.C., for instance, says that Volkswagen sold diesel cars equipped with a sophisticated device designed to defeat standard emissions tests.
Radon is an odorless, colorless gas produced by the decay of highly-active radium gas. It comes from the bedrocks and seeps its way into your basement’s cracks and fissures. WebMD says radon exposure accounts for approximately 12% of lung cancer fatalities. A majority of homes in the U.S. may have some levels of radon in it, so it is important to have your home checked to know if your house has dangerous levels of radon gas.Read More
Millions of people fly every day around the world, and many have fears of flying. With images emblazoned in the news of horrific plane crashes like the recent Germanwings crash and the TransAsia crash, which produced a terrifying image of the plane hovering sideways above a highway in Taiwan, it is understandable why many have fears of flying.
Although pilots must complete years of extensive training and practice before ever taking flight, mistakes do happen, nonetheless. Some of these errors may even lead to death or injury of passengers. One of the top causes of plane crashes, unfortunately, is pilot error. According to a 2015 study by Statistic Brain Research Institute, pilot error accounts for as much as 53% of all fatal plane crashes.
Pilots are responsible for so many different aspects of the flight, it is not uncommon that mistakes are made and things overlooked. Pilots must observe weather conditions, radar, and readouts from plane mechanics, all while performing safe takeoffs, cruising, and landings.
Pilots can often be overworked and forget to take into account different physiological factors, such as sickness, alcohol, medication, stress, or fatigue that affect their ability to operate an aircraft, and ultimately affect the safety of the whole flight, passengers and crew included.
Stress can serve as a distraction in the cockpit, and make the pilot’s mind wander from the task at hand: keeping the flight safe. Poor communication can also threaten the safety of the flight. Whether between co-pilots or with the crew on the ground, a lack of communication can result in serious consequences for all aboard the flight.
Click here to learn more about pilot error and liability.Read More
No matter how unsettling, it’s a fact that car accidents are a common occurrence all over America. As the U.S. Census Bureau reports, an average of 10.6 million motor vehicle accidents have been officially reported in the span of 6 years, starting from 2004 until 2009. A huge portion of these reported incidents resulted in serious injuries and fatalities.
Among the most common suspects to devastating car accidents is distracted driving. According to Distraction.org, a website set up by the U.S. Department of Transportation and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving has led to 3,154 fatal crashes in the year 2013 alone. The top reason that these accidents happened is because drivers were texting or talking on their mobile phones.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines distracted driving as driving while doing another activity that causes you to split your attention. As posted on their information page, there are 3 types of distraction that happens behind the wheel. Visual distraction is when drivers take their eyes off the road to do something else. Manual distraction happens when drivers take their hands off the wheel. Finally, cognitive distraction applies for situations when a driver starts to absent mindedly operate their vehicles. The use of phones while driving is particularly alarming because it involves a combination of all three of these scenarios.
The U.S. Department of Transportation is currently heading efforts to curb instances of distracted driving. However, their campaigns will fail to bear fruit as long as the public aren’t made aware of the perils of driving while distracted. Victims can end up suffering long-term consequences caused by injuries like whiplash and traumatic brain damage. Not only does this issue lead to serious risk of injury, there are too many reported cases of distracted driving leading to fatalities. Every driver should contribute in making sure that all roadways in the U.S. are kept safe for the whole community.
If you were involved in accident caused by a distracted driver, know that there are legal avenues that allow you to seek just compensation. Don’t hesitate to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney working in your area. For example, victims living in Florida can visit the website of West Palm Beach car accident lawyers for more information.Read More
One of the reasons why some divorce cases become contested is because of the issue of division of properties and assets, the results of which will have a direct major impact in the spouses’ lives right after divorce. Due to its effect, being assured of a substantial share of assets (and lesser marital debts) will be important, especially for those who have sacrificed their own career and professional growth to spend their time in support of their spouse and to care for their children instead.
To save couples from the stress and worry that this divorce-related issue usually brings, many financial experts, legal professionals and even marriage counselors advise those planning to get married to consider entering into a pre-marital (or pre-nuptial) agreement. Besides the fact that a pre-nuptial agreement is never aimed at spoiling marital unions, it can also really provide lots of benefits if the marriage eventually fails.
Before attempting to decide “who gets what,” the judge (if the divorce is contested) or the mediator (in mediated divorce) will first need to determine which of the couple’s properties and assets are marital assets and, therefore, subject for distribution. A Houston divorce lawyer can tell you that properties identified as an inheritance or gift to one spouse during the time of marriage, profits earned from properties which one of the spouses got to own before the marriage, a property purchased by one of the spouses using the money that he/she earned before marriage, and all other properties mentioned in the pre-marital agreement are considered as personal and, therefore, cannot be divided between the spouses.
With regard to those that may be distributed, courts apply one of these two basic systems: equitable distribution or community property. In equitable distribution, marital properties and assets are divided fairly and reasonably (not necessarily equally) between the spouses. This system of distribution takes into account the following factors: the income and earning potential of each spouse; the age of each spouse; the spouses’ emotional and physical conditions; the tax consequences of the assets, properties and debts; the value of the personal properties [like retirement plans, 401(k) plans, business, business interests, bonds, stocks, financial incentives] of each spouse; child support (if there are children) and/or alimony requirements; the future financial needs of each spouse; the degree of contribution of each spouse in to the acquisition of marital properties; and, length of marriage.
The community property distribution system, on the other hand, is based on equality. In this system, the spouses are considered equal owners of all the properties and assets earned and acquired during their marriage even if only one of them had been employed. This legal position is also applied with concern to debts, rendering both spouses equally liable for all unpaid balances on car loans, home mortgages, credit cards, and so forth.
The community property system or equal distribution system is currently observed in nine US states (all other states observe the equitable distribution system: Wisconsin, Washington, Texas, New Mexico, Nevada, Louisiana, Idaho, California and Arizona.
It is important for those who may be undergoing a divorce procedure, to protect their financial future as well as ensure their capability to continue to provide for themselves and their family. Thus, being represented by a highly-capable property division lawyer who can help them secure this protection will definitely be among their best interests.Read More
There is no real difference in the legal qualifications and aptitude between a public defender and a private lawyer generally speaking. Both had gone to law school and are licensed to practice in their state as attorneys. In fact, public defenders probably have more extensive experience in criminal defense than most lawyers because they handle a lot more cases. However, it is precisely because a public defender is given a heavy case load that a defendant may not be properly represented in their case, and why a private lawyer that can pick and choose their cases is the better option.
The best criminal defense lawyers are those that do not necessarily have an extensive practice, but those that focus on specific types of cases. As pointed out on the website of the Flaherty Defense Firm, lawyers with expertise in handling particular crimes are peculiarly suited to protecting the rights and interests of the defendant to the full extent of the law. Public defenders are obliged to handle the cases that are handed to them, and this can turn them into a Jack of all trades but master of none.
A public defender could be juggling more than 20 cases at any one time. Because their case loads are typically not as heavy, private lawyers have more time to prepare for each case and focus on the finer points of the cases they handle that could spell the difference between a conviction and an acquittal.
Public defenders use state resources to prepare their cases, and in most cases they have to make do with what the budget will allow them. Private lawyers have access to investigative, documentation, and expert services that can help them build a more thorough defense than a public defender can hope to with their limited resources.
Public defenders serve an important purpose; to represent defendants that do not have the financial means to retain a private lawyer. However, if you are charged with a crime and you have the means to pay for your defense, you will find that the results will be worth the expense of retaining the best possible criminal defense lawyer in your area that you can afford.Read More
Theft is primarily defined as the illegal appropriation of property. According to the website of criminal defense lawyer Ian Inglis, the penalties for a theft conviction can be quite serious under the Texas Penal Code. When charged with theft and the property had actually been taken by the defendant, there are a few defense that a defense lawyer may apply depending on the circumstances.
One of the requirements for a charge of theft to stick is that there an intent to steal. If the defendant can prove that at the time of the incident he or she was under the influence of an intoxicating substance (drugs, alcohol, etc.) and had no mental capacity to form intent, it may succeed in having the charges dismissed or reduced.
If the property is the defendant’s obviously a charge of theft will not stick. However, there are circumstances when the defendant did take someone else’s property in the belief that he or she had right of ownership. The defendant took someone else’s luggage from an airport carousel, for example, believing that it was his or hers to take because it was similar or even identical to their property. The defendant has to prove that it was an “honest mistake” such as by producing their luggage and demonstrating that it does indeed look similar enough to have been switched.
This is a rather complicated defense for theft because the defendant has to prove that the property owner had induced the defendant to take the property in order to substantiate a charge of theft. A shrewd defense lawyer will have to show that the plaintiff had lured the defendant to commit the crime for whatever reason.
In most cases, returning the property cannot be used as a defense against a theft charge unless the defendant can prove that there was intent to return the property when it was taken. The defendant can claim that the property had merely been “borrowed.”
If you are facing a charge of theft, it is important that you understand your rights and protections under the law. Engage the services of a reputable defense lawyer in your area to help you avoid a conviction.Read More
With recent events leading to widespread discussions about activism and the internet, I’ve been thinking about what people can do in their communities to raise awareness about the issues that impact their lives. I mean in addition to taking to hashtags, Facebook, and other homes for “slacktivism,” there are real physical actions you can take to help foster change in your community.
There are many classes of people that can benefit from organized help, including the homeless, the elderly, and children. Organizing events to help a group of people can do a lot to raise awareness of the problems that group faces as well as brighten someone’s day. It doesn’t have to be anything major. I once went to a video game tournament at a local library. It had a great turnout and all the kids had a blast. They got to compete and cheer in a safe environment and many of them made new friends.
There are tons of ways you can try to bring your community together. Building a community is not easy, but it’s well worth the effort, as a strong community where everyone knows and trusts one another can work wonders.
The criminal defense lawyer is more than an officer of the court and a necessary personality in a trial. There are many roles that a criminal defense lawyer plays way before the courtroom drama commences. In fact, many cases don’t actually get to that point at all, and in general, that’s how defense lawyers prefer it.
A defendant can tell his or her lawyer everything without fear of it being used against him or her. This is the main purpose of the attorney-client privilege. In fact, if the lawyer breaks confidentiality, it can be grounds for the lawyer’s license to be suspended or revoked, and the leaked information still cannot be used against the defendant because it is “tainted” except in some circumstances. A criminal defense lawyer is still required to build the best possible defense for the client even if he or she knows the client is guilty of the crime, although they are barred from lying to the court.
The lawyer is also there to provide the client various scenarios that may pan out for a particular case, the client’s legal options, and to advise the client about the best course to take from a legal standpoint. In most cases, the defendant is clueless about the law, and the lawyer is there to elucidate matters.
The criminal defense lawyer is there to defend the client, if only to introduce reasonable doubt in the case presented by the prosecutor. The burden of proof is on the prosecution; the defense can introduce reasonable doubt by challenging any statement that is damaging to the client, and to present an alternate theory of the case to that presented by the prosecution.
When it is apparent that the evidence against the defendant is overwhelming, the lawyer can take on the role of negotiator during a plea bargain. Prosecutors generally prefer to settle the matter out of court because it saves on trial costs, but the defendant must bring something to the table to justify a more favorable deal. A good Houston criminal defense lawyer will know how and what to offer to minimize the severity of the punishment of the client and to indicate to the defendant when a deal is as good as it is going to get.Read More
One legal and moral obligation that all health care providers owe patients is provision of quality care. This means timely treatment, correct diagnosis and effective medication. Besides the commitment to save lives and treat patients well, the level of trust that patients give doctors ought to be more than enough for them to live up to patients’ expectations, and so provide fast and effective treatment to patients’ health concerns.
The ideal, however, is often deviated from by what is real, as hospital negligence, which leads to medical malpractice that often inflicts more severe harm in patients, is a reality in the US, as well as in all parts of the globe. Every year, more than a million individuals either suffer worse medical conditions or die because of medical malpractice, which can very well be prevented from happening.
The causes of medical mistakes vary; some of these are miscommunication between nurse and doctor, not enough time to really listen to a patient’s health complaints, wrong interpretation of a laboratory result, mix-up in patients’ records, wrong diagnostic tests, and so forth. Some of these mistakes lead to major medical actions, like surgery, but which actually only puts the patient in greater harm than on the road to recovery.
Negligence is often the reason why mistakes take place. While others may mention overworked nurses and medical personnel, or whatever excuse one may think of, the root cause of it all is still negligence. This negligent behavior usually results to surgery being performed on the wrong patient, operating on the wrong site of the body, injecting the wrong dosage of anesthesia, and many others.
New Hampshire medical malpractice lawyers are just a few of the many highly-competent legal minds who can help victims of hospital negligence and medical malpractice file a civil case (for damages) against the liable party, fight for the victim’s rights and interest and help him/her earn the full compensation that he/she is legally entitled to receive.Read More