Car accidents are often devastating enough to cause injuries and deaths, but for some reason, they are still fairly common in American roads, as if people are not doing enough to prevent them from happening.
The accidents are even worse if they have been caused by negligent or reckless parties and have injured innocent motorists and pedestrians. Usually, this party is another driver, a designer or manufacturer of a vehicle or its parts, a construction company, or a local government.
The driver is the one controlling the car, so it is not surprising that he is one of the most common causes of car accidents. The worst drivers are those who drive while drunk, under the influence of drugs, or fatigued. But those who are reckless on the road, such as those who speed, street race, and tailgate, are not any better.
There are times where even the most diligent drivers get involved in accidents because of the incompetence of the designer or manufacturer of their cars or their parts, like when airbags fail to deploy properly, brakes do not do their one job, doors don’t latch fully, seatbelts don’t properly restrain car occupants, or tires give in.
Even a safe driver with a car free of defects can be involved in an accident, and this is because of another external factor â€“ the condition of the road. The construction company may be responsible for the construction and design of the road, so if the road has construction and design problems that have caused accidents, it may be held liable. The most common problems include dangerously abrupt turns, overly narrow lanes and shoulders, and use of weak materials that make the road too vulnerable to defects.
Another entity that can be held liable for road defects is the local government. Most of the time, it is the one handling the maintenance of the roads in its area of responsibility, so any maintenance problem that results into a car accident is on them. The most common maintenance problems include defective traffic lights and road signs, overgrowth that may influence visibility, debris that is not properly cleaned up, and pavement defects such as potholes.
What to Do
Prevention will always be better than cure. But if an accident does happen, the website of Mazin & Associates, PC, has enumerated the things you can do, including contacting authorities for help and making sure to get important information such as name and phone number of involved motorists.
There are Laws that Protect Employees from any Form of Discrimination and Retaliation
“The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. It is also illegal to discriminate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.
Most employers with at least 15 employees are covered by EEOC laws (20 employees in age discrimination cases). Most labor unions and employment agencies are also covered.
The laws apply to all types of work situations, including hiring, firing, promotions, harassment, training, wages, and benefits.”
The EEOC was passed into law by the United States Congress in 1964; its primary task is to uphold and protect the rights of all individuals in the U.S. to equal employment opportunities by enforcing Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, a federal mandate that illegalizes any form of workplace discrimination.
Though many discriminatory practices in the workplace have already been exposed and many of those complained of and found guilty, including employer, co-worker or client, have been brought to justice, the fight to finally stop workplace discrimination is still far from being won. Employees should bear in mind that no EEO law violation will be exposed and no violator will be held liable if everyone, especially the victims of discriminatory practices, will keep silent.
Well, truth is, not complaining will not make matters worse and keeping silent will keep unaffected employees safe – as long as they do not become the target of discriminatory practices. However, employees should be aware that the very laws which protect them from discrimination and harassment also protect them from retaliatory acts. The EEOC, besides enforcing Title VII, also prohibits punishing employees and job applicants who assert their right to be free from harassment and all forms of employment discrimination. Asserting one’s EEO rights is legally called “protected activity,” and it can take many forms, including:
Filing or witnessing in an EEO charge, complaint, investigation, or lawsuit;
Informing a supervisor or manager about discriminatory practices, including harassment, in the workplace;
Answering questions during an employer investigation regarding alleged harassment;
Refusing to follow orders aimed at discriminating anyone;
Resisting sexual advances or intervening to protect a co-employee;
Requesting accommodation of a disability or for a religious practice;
Asking a manager or co-workers about salary information to uncover possible discrimination on wages; and,
Participating in a complaint process, or opposing discrimination.
While discriminatory and retaliatory acts (such as denial of a promotion or a raise, demotion, being fired from work, reduction in salary and/or bad referencing) are obvious, some are made with subtlety to make them least apparent, like change in work shift or job relocation.
The John Melton Law Firm strongly emphasizes the illegality of discriminating or retaliating against workers who exercise their rights. Proving someone guilty of any of these illegal practices can be difficult, however, especially without help from a skillful and experienced discrimination or retaliation lawyer. Thus, having legal help, especially in the filing of a legal complaint, may prove greatly advantageous, considering the fact that even the filing a complaint has a statutory limit.
Thousands of Car Accidents Still being caused by Drunk Drivers
Driving while under the influence (DUI) of illegal drugs or alcohol is totally illegal due to the big risk it puts other motorists and pedestrians into. Long before actually getting to sit behind the wheel of their own car, drivers have long learned that drinking and driving are a very dangerous combination.
The author of One for the Road, a book that looks at the grassroots of drunk driving in the U.S., says that love of drinking and love of driving are both deeply rooted in the nation’s culture. This is why, despite stricter laws, harsher punishments and heavier fines, so many Americans still drive while under the influence.
In 2012 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) received 10,322 reports of fatal motor vehicle accidents that involved alcohol- impaired drivers. Two years prior to this, more than 1.4 million drivers were arrested after they were found intoxicated either by alcohol or illegal drugs.
The present blood alcohol concentration limit for drivers in all U.S. states is 0.08%, while for drivers below the age of 21, a “No Tolerance” policy, is in effect. This policy mandates that no trace of alcohol should be found in their blood system while they are driving, (traffic accident by the way, is the leading cause of death among teens). Punishment for violators include huge fines, jail term and probable loss of license.
The law sees drunk driving as a grave act of negligence, much more so if someone gets injured or killed. Drivers who will be found intoxicated will be charged with DUI, or driving under the influence, a serious violation of road safety rules. Depending on the BAC level or if anyone is hurt in the accident, the punishments become heavier and the fines, more costly; there are also the possibility of the court ordering that an ignition interlock be installed inside the driver’s vehicle and the acquisition of an SR-22.
As explained in the website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, DUI is characterized as having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over 0.08%. While this is the threshold at which it becomes illegal to operate a motor vehicle, one may still be charged with a DUI if his/her BAC was below the legal limit. In many states, such as in Tennessee , there is what is called an “implied consent” law. This law declares one’s position behind the wheel of a vehicle as consent for mandatory submission to a chemical test. Refusal to submit to a chemical test should an officer ask him/her to do so will result in automatic revocation of his/her driver’s license for a period of at least one year, depending on his/her history of being pulled over for intoxicated driving.
Bankruptcy: A Legal Solution to Save Yourself from Crushing Debts
When America’s economy took a downturn in 2009, many were laid off and not many found a high-paying one which would allow them to maintain their life style.
Failing to earn enough to afford one’s needs and pay all bills, such as credit card billings and other monthly bills, then financial problems can easily set in. Before one even realizes it, there is a chance that his/her debts would have grown to an amount that may be impossible to manage.
Even today, this is one common scenario for thousands of Americans. Worse, after just about two or three months of lapsed payments, particularly to banks and credit card companies, a person’s loan or account would be considered as bad debt and he/she would referred to a collection agency which, more often than not, resorts to harassing tactics to make him/her pay.
Crushing debts have caused many individuals so much worry and stress; these have affected family and professional relationships, many of which getting destroyed. Debts, however, are not unsolvable problems, for the law offers legal alternatives to enable individuals with overwhelming debts to address their problem and regain control of their financial situation. One such legal solution is bankruptcy, a legal declaration of one’s inability to settle personal or business loans. One immediate and beneficial effect of filing for bankruptcy is that once it is filed, all attempts by agencies to collect debt payments will stop. This is called “automatic stay.” Creditors will also lose any right of having a debtor’s salary garnished or his/her bank account levied.
Chapter 7 or liquidation bankruptcy, which enables a person to pay his/her debts through the liquidation of some of his/her assets. With regard to business firms, these will need to cease operations, as a court-appointed trustee sells or liquidates all assets owned by these. Residual proceeds, after having paid all creditors, will be returned to the individual or business owners;
Chapter 11, or business reorganization, the business owner usually acts as trustee (if the court does not appoint one); he/she also becomes a debtor-in-possession since the law allows continuous operation of his/her business and;
Chapter 12, which is designed for farmers and fishermen with a regular annual income and who own the whole or more than half of the farming/ fishing business; and,
Chapter 13, which allows a debtor to make a three-year or five-year proposal through which he/she could pay all of his/her debts.
According to the Bradford Law Offices, PLLC, whatever the unique circumstances of your situation may be, you do not need to suffer under the weight of overwhelming debts. Most people do not realize the number of different remedies that exist which could help them get out a financial crisis. With the help of a skilled Bankruptcy lawyer, however, they may just be able to find the solution that will allow them to regain a strong financial foothold.
Drunk-driving is a major traffic offense in all U.S. states. This is because alcohol impairs a person’s motor skills and mental capacity, and affects his/her coordination, reaction time, judgment, perception, and overall capability to keep his/her focus on the road. Lack or loss of control over any of these skills can easily result in a crash that can injure or kill not only the drunk driver himself/herself, but also his/her passengers, pedestrians and other motorists. It is due to the increased risk of harm that innocent individuals may befall which makes drunk-driving a major traffic violation.
Though the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level limit for car drivers is 0.08 percent, studies have shown that even at 0.02 percent BAC level, a person’s driving ability and response time can already be affected. The possibility of figuring in a crash increases after 0.05 percent BAC, becoming even higher after 0.08 percent; thus, under all state laws, an individual is considered alcohol-impaired if he or she has a BAC level of 0.08% or higher and, if caught, will be charged with drinking under the influence (DUI) or drinking while intoxicated (DWI). To further reduce the risks brought about by drunk-driving, however, some states authorize traffic enforcers to charge a driver with impaired driving or DUI even if such driver’s blood alcohol concentration level is below 0.08 percent, so long as the arresting officer sees that the driver’s abilities are impaired.
In 2013, there were 1,171,935 DUI arrests in the U.S. In 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of arrests went as high as 1.4 million. With these staggering figures some traffic authorities are even thankful that the number of fatal accidents (due to alcohol and/or illegal drugs impairment) has not gone beyond 10,500 during the recent years). Well, thanks to stricter laws, the zeal in enforcing these laws, the harsher penalties, and to the efforts of private groups, like the Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) which, since 1980, has helped in the passing of new DUI laws, such as the Zero Tolerance law (which prohibits drivers below 21 from having in their blood system any measurable amount of alcohol) and the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) law (which authorizes an arresting officer to confiscate the license of drivers who refuse to take or fail a breath test.
Traffic authorities, however, know that despite all the efforts from government and private groups, people will continue to get behind the wheel of their vehicles even if intoxicated. According to Williams Kherkher, “Individuals who drive drunk often convince themselves that they are fully capable of operating a vehicle. In reality, drunk driving can cause individuals to execute a number of extremely dangerous driving behaviors including: speeding, tailgating, running red lights or stop signs, ignoring traffic signals, changing lanes without looking, weaving/swerving between lanes, overly aggressive driving, failure to use headlights or turn signals, and falling asleep behind the wheel. These behaviors, among others, exhibited by drunk drivers can cause catastrophic accidents.
“Every year,” as mentioned by Milwaukee personal injury lawyers in their website, “thousands of Americans are seriously injured or killed in motor vehicle accidents caused by drunk drivers. These incidents are tragic because they could be wholly prevented were it not for the recklessness of those persons who choose to drive after they have consumed alcohol.”
The possible financial burden victims may suffer due to an accident, according to West Palm Beach injury attorneys, is due to extensive medical bills, lost wages, and painful injuries that can keep them out of work for an indefinite period. Thus, besides possible jail time, thousands of dollars in fines, and license suspension, the liable party can also face monetary liabilities or compensation which they will have to pay to their victims.
In accordance to statements made by Toronto car accident lawyers of Mazin & Associates, PC, a car accident is an emotional event that can alter a victim’s life. Still, an individual is under no legal obligation to engage in assistance upon witnessing a car accident. If a situation arises, where someone’s life is at risk, the humane action may be to offer assistance; however, it is up to the moral code of the individual whether he or she wants to assist the victim. There are several reasons why an individual might refuse to offer assistance. Perhaps the person is in a rush or he or she assumes somebody else will stop. The most common reason for inaction, however, is fear.
Fearing they may further injure the victim, individuals choose not to intervene. They do not want to face the legal implications that may occur because of their good intentions. The Good Samaritan Law serves to terminate such inactivity. The legislation protects well-intentioned individuals who offer medical care for victims. Although each state adopted this legislation, there still exist state variations concerning the application of the law. Several states like Alaska, Arizona, Minnesota, and Georgia protect anyone who offers aid to an injured victim regardless of the person’s medical experience or knowledge in emergency care. On the other hand, other states like Michigan, New York, and Utah only extend protection to trained medical personnel who possess an extensive knowledge in medical practice and emergency assistance such as nurses, paramedics, emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics. Moreover, the location where aid is performed can inhibit whether an individual receives immunity under the Good Samaritan Law. Despite the protection offered by the Good Samaritan Law, otherwise altruistic individuals still refuse to offer assistance due to the law’s different caveats.
The workplace is supposed to be one of the safest places to be in. It is the job of every employer to ensure that the workplace is safe and conducive for their workers. Fayetteville workers’ compensation lawyers of Scudder & Hedrickl, PLLC reveals that workplace accidents can have devastating consequences on a worker. It can bring them tremendous pain and suffering, costly medical bills, and time away from the job.
According to statistics published in the website of Benton Law Firm, there were around 4,400 workers that were killed on the job in 2012. This is a testament to the fact that the workplace can still be dangerous. Let us take a look at some of the most common causes of workplace accidents:
Housekeeping serves as a major indicator of a company’s attitude towards production, quality, and worker safety. A poorly maintained work area makes workers prone to hazards and threats. Good housekeeping is essential in workplace safety.
Neglecting Safety Procedures
Safety procedures are in place for the welfare of every worker. Ignoring these measures intentionally is a recipe for disaster and could endanger the safety of workers. So for your own safety, follow office safety procedures.
Working for 8 hours can be grueling and exhausting. This is the reason why there are breaks in place to give workers time to recharge and recover their energy. Employees should then take advantage of their breaks.
Slick floors and high-traffic areas can also be a source of workplace accidents. Dangerous conditions can also result to premise liability lawsuits.
Stress is one of the leading causes of death. It can have a huge effect on the human body. It can also serve as distractions or can affect workers emotionally, physiologically, and mentally. Fostering a supportive environment can be an excellent way to prevent stress.
Workplace accidents are becoming rampant nowadays. Employer and employee must do their part in minimizing the number of workplace injuries.
What Is The Difference Between A Car and Truck Accident?
When cars and trucks collide, the result could be devastating. Due to their sheer size, any collision with commercial trucks will almost always result to serious injuries or worst death. A Truck accident lawyer in Atlanta will tell you that truck accidents can cause undue suffering to those the driver of the car will leave behind. Truck and car accidents are different in a wide range of aspects.
Perhaps the most obvious difference is the consequence. As they are larger and heavier than cars, accidents involving cars will result to greater harm. Aside from that, the problems associated with trucking accidents can be more costly, complicated and difficult than a car accident. There are unique aspects of truck accidents that make it different from car collisions.
Another difference between truck and car accidents lies in the manner damages are awarded to the plaintiff. In car accidents, as Oklahoma City car accident attorneys from the Abel Law Firm will tell you the plaintiff may be able to receive compensation depending on the circumstances. The central concept in a car accident is to pay the plaintiff in such a way that the surviving loved ones will return to the same position they were before the accident.
In truck accidents, the injured person needs to sue a truck driver for all the injuries and any consequences that arise from the accident. Similarly, the prosecutor can receive compensation for accident-related bills such as medical care, rehabilitation, and others. They can receive damages for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, and non-economic damages.
Given the seriousness of truck accidents, most drivers are required to carry insurance with higher liability limits. So unlike in a car accident, the potential settlement value in truck accidents is much higher. Likewise, in a truck accident, the trucking company can be held liable for the accident. In a car accident, there is no one else liable except the driver.
Sex crimes can have a serious consequence on the offender. The fact that they will have to register as a sex offender alone is already a crime. Being convicted of these crimes can seriously alter their life. The seriousness of the offense will also depend on the type of the crime. The category will also determine the penalties and jail sentence. In this article, we shall take a look at the types of sex crimes.
First degree sex crimes involve sexual penetration and the presence of other factors which indicates the severity of the offense. It may involve a minor victim, blood relative, or mental or physical handicap. It may also involve the presence of force or threat.
In second degree sex crimes, there is no sexual penetration but the action involves the presence of several factors mentioned above.
In third degree sex crimes, there is sexual penetration but the other aggravating factors of first degree sex crimes are absent. These offenses involve a victim who is 13 to 16 years old and the offender is a relative.
A fourth degree sex crime is any offense that does not rise to the category of various felonies. The victim is a minor and mentally handicapped and the offender is a blood relative. It also involves force or threat, false pretense or surprise, and unethical medical treatment. Fourth degree sex crimes are misdemeanor offenses but is really a felony.
A sex crime is a serious offense. The charges that will be filed against the offender can really affect their reputation and personal life. They may even find themselves arrested while on vacation. It will now be up to their lawyer to make the charges lighter. Even so, you will be tagged as a sex offender all your life and that alone can be a life changer.
Aside from slip and fall and falling debris, another major accident that can happen in the construction site is electrocution. This is understandable as these areas require high voltage of electricity. Electrical work is a commonplace in the construction site which exposes workers to electrical hazards such as live wires, poor wiring, deteriorated wires, and others. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration ranks electrocution as one of the “Fatal Four” causes of death in construction sites.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, three are three main causes of electrical accidents in the construction site and they are the following:
Electric Shock. This happens when a finger, hand, or arm is placed across an electric current. As the body is mostly made up of water, it can be a good conductor of electricity. Electric shock can be mild, moderate, or severe. Severe shock can result to respiratory or heart failure
Electrical Burn. These accidents happen when severe electric shock causes the tissues to burn. They can either be external or internal. The internal type can make its way to the bones and deep tissues.
Electrical Fires. Electrical fires when electric current ignites flammable materials. Putting them out with water can be risky as it could cause electric shock.
Flammable materials left near exposed electrical wiring in the workplace
Faulty or substandard wiring
Lack of preventive devices such as ground fault circuit interrupters, three pronged outlets, or polarized plugs.
According to the website of Clawson & Staubes, LLC: Injury Group, electrocution can cause severe bodily injuries or even death. Taking preventive measures is key to lessening fatalities in the construction site.