Seatbelts can Save Lives, as well as Cause Death Due to Defects

There are lots of safe drivers, that’s a fact. Despite this, cars crashes still happen and the ones most prone to injuries are drivers and passengers who are not buckled up.

In some states,more and more taxicab occupants are turning up in hospital emergency rooms due to injuries sustained from slamming into the hard plastic barrier separating taxi drivers from rear seat passengers.

A car seatbelt, also identified as Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 208 (FMVSS 208), is a vehicle safety device that is designed to prevent car occupants from falling out or making contact with the interior of the car during a collision or a sudden stop. Due to their vital role in occupant safety, seatbelts are considered as Primary Restraint Systems (PRS).

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), highway injuries and fatalities have declined during the last 10 years. One reason for this decline is the rapid increase of seat belt use by drivers. Due to the protection a seatbelt can provide, all U.S. states, with the exception of New Hampshire, now have mandatory seat belt use laws to make sure that motorists will buckle up or face the possibility of getting a citation.

Seatbelt is still the best safety device that can protect car drivers and passengers from getting injured (or killed) during an accident. This crash-safety device is designed to protect car occupants from hitting with great force any of a car’s interior parts, like the dashboard, the door window or the windshield, as their car collides with another vehicle or a fixture on the road. State legislation on the use of seat belt was actually preceded by Title 49 of the United States Code, Chapter 301- Motor Vehicle Safety Standard, a federal law that took effect on January 1, 1968, and which required that all types of vehicles, with the exception of buses, be fitted with a seat belt in all seating positions designated by the law.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2009 record shows 33,000 deaths and 2.2 million injuries due to road crashes; more than half the number of those killed were not restrained at the time of the crash. While seatbelts may have saved thousands of lives, these devices have also been identified as the cause of injury or death rather than protection – due to poor or defective design. Fatal car crash records, in fact, show that, of the more than 30,000 deaths every year, at least 10,000 are said to have died due to a faulty seatbelt.

Defects in seatbelts include: a seat belt buckle loosening by itself; the belt tearing easily; the release button failing to work properly; and a vehicle being equipped only with a lap belt (which does not include an upper torso restraint). These defects can cause serious harm, like spine fracture, head and facial injuries, abdominal injuries, lacerations, internal organ damage, dislocations, concussion, and/or whiplash; the severity of some injuries eventually result to death.

The dangers a defective seatbelt presents can be too serious to ignore. This is why even giant automobile manufacturers are either ordered by the NHTSA to recall or are forced to make voluntary recalls of certain vehicle models due to technical problems and design flaws in seat belts. Chrysler, for example, had to recall 1.9 million of its cars and SUVs (in the U.S and around the world) due to airbag and seat belt defects linked to three deaths.

As explained in the website of the law firm Russo, Russo & Slania, P.C., “Advances in technology and increased awareness of the importance of safety on the roads have, in recent years, reduced the threat posed to public health and safety by car accidents. Nevertheless, car accidents remain one of the leading causes of serious injury and wrongful death in the United States each year, and the sad truth is that far too many of these accidents could easily have been prevented.”

With help from of a highly-skilled personal injury lawyer, a victim may be able to pursue financial compensation and justice that can allow him/her to better deal with the aftermath of a car accident.

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Employment Contract: A Vital Document in Any Type of Business

Starting a business requires so much planning plus the need to familiarize yourself with the various legal concerns which are always complicated and, with the many different types of business entities one can venture into, means different sets of laws (for each type of business) and contracts.

Business lawyers, like those from the law firm Williams Kherkher, would always point out the importance of being assisted by business attorneys when deciding what type of firm you would like to venture into. Business attorneys can help you accomplish with greater accuracy and clarity outline plans for business formation, contracts and all other legal matters, such as ownership, operation and company debts, taxes and liabilities. Whether you intend to venture into a privately-owned firm, a partnership with limited liability, a C-corporation or an S-corporation, a business attorney can be your best guide in understanding all the complicated business concerns, such as the employment contract.

A contract, in general, is one of the basic essentials when venturing into business. It is a document which outlines the agreement entered into by business partners, vendors and purchasers, employer and employee and others; it also speaks about the various aspects of business operation, like shareholding options, mergers and acquisition, licensing and distribution agreements, trademark or copyright and trade secrets. The contract also speaks about the extent and limitation of the relationship between contracting parties, stating in detail the rights and duties of each party, and the possible consequences and resolutions to be adopted in the event of failure to abide by any of its contents.

An employment contract, in particular, which is also called “contract of service,” “generally details the conditions under which it can be lawfully terminated by either party, and the correct procedure to be followed in its termination. It may be oral or written, express or implied, agreement specifying terms and conditions under which a person consents to perform certain duties as directed and controlled by an employer in return for an agreed upon wage or salary.”

To ensure the success of your business it is, therefore, important that the right contract is drafted; one that will easily settle any form of dispute between contracting parties.

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Construction Work Remains to be the Most Dangerous Career Field in the U.S.

Despite being repeatedly told by his brother to take extra care when working on their construction firm’s improperly built and wiggly scaffold, Ricardo, a 30-year-old construction worker who was employed in the same construction company as his brother, proceeded to work on said scaffold. After only a few hours of work on what was supposed to be his off work day that August 2016, the scaffolding he was standing on collapsed, taking down and killing Ricardo in the process.

The law firm Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.® clearly points out the dangers of construction work when it says that this one of the most dangerous career fields in the country and that it leads all other occupational categories in causing fatalities and serious injuries among workers.

Based on records from the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the most common cause of death for construction workers in the U.S. is falls from great heights, such as falling off from roofs, ladders or scaffoldings, on which about 2.3 million construction workers work everyday.

In 2014, of the 899 fatal accidents involving construction workers, 359 were due to falls; 54 of these 359 were falls from scaffolds. In 2013, a total of 291 of the 828 fatal accidents were cause by falls, making this typed of accident in construction sites the leading cause of death.

According to OSHA, ensuring safety in the workplace or in the performance of work is a major responsibility of employers. Employers must have the skill in planning projects well so as to ensure that jobs can be done safely. Aside from planning projects well, a couple of other safety measures include providing workers with the right equipment, meaning the right kinds of ladders, scaffolds, and safety gear, and training all workers on the proper and safe use of all equipment. In raising the awareness or workers and employers with regard to common fall hazards in construction jobs and on how falls from ladders, scaffolds and roofs can be prevented in order to save lives, OSHA has dedicated a web page.

Besides raising awareness on safety in the workplace, OSHA also encourages workers and points out their right to complain (to OSHA) about employers who they know and/or feel are negligent in enforcing the standard safety measures required and enforced under the law.

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Cash Benefits from Supplemental Security Income Program

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or State Supplementary Payment (SSP) was introduced by the Social Security Administration (SSA) in 1974. It was designed to makes cash assistance payments to individuals at least 65 years old and children who are blind or disabled persons, and who have limited income and resources (or who have no income at all). This cash assistance payment should help provide for its recipients’ basic needs, includting income limit, determining eligibility for SSI benefits, therefore, is not as simple as it seems. Almost all U.S. states, except Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia, pay a supplemental benefit on top of the SSI benefits received by qualified individuals. This supplemental payment increases the total amount not only of SSI payment but the limit of income as well. ing food, clothing, and shelter.

SSI is specifically designed for:

  • Adults who are disabled and have limited income and resources;
  • Children who are disabled and who have limited income and resources; and,
  • Individuals at least 65 years old who may be without any disability, but who meet the financial limits set under the federal benefit rate (FBR).

The FBR monthly income limit for 2016 is $733 for individuals and $1,100 for couples. Since Social Security Administration has its own method in computing income limit, determining eligibility for SSI benefits, therefore, is not as simple as it seems. Almost all U.S. states, except Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia, pay a supplemental benefit on top of the SSI benefits received by qualified individuals. This supplemental payment increases the total amount not only of SSI payment but the limit of income as well.

Under SSA definition, disability is a serious condition that:

  • Has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months;
  • Results in the inability to perform any substantial gainful activity (in the case of adults) or results in severe functional limitations (in the case of children); and,
  • Can result in death.

According to the Hankey Law Office, SSI cash benefits provide beneficiaries the much-needed relief from difficult situations. It has and still continues to help improve the quality of life, especially of those struggling to make ends meet.

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Insurance Quotes and Coverage Explained

Accidents can incur serious financial problems, which is why the state of Illinois mandates those who have vehicles to provide proof of their capability to handle any costs in chances of being in an accident. This holds true to any vehicle, even motorcycles. Those who live in the state of Illinois have to have motorcycle liability insurance before they are allowed to be on the road. This motorcycle liability insurance should be enough to cover for property damage and physical injuries if you caused the accident.

Just as with majority of states in the US, there are minimum insurance levels that you are required to meet in order to be able to ride your motorbike. According to the website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, the minimum insurance level for motorcycle owners in Illinois is: $25,000 coverage for injuries or death for one person and $50,000 coverage for injuries or death of more than 1 person in an accident, and $20,000 coverage for property damage. It may like a significant amount of money for insurance liability, but it might still not be enough to cover for the damages after being in a motorcycle accident. Many financial professionals recommend getting a higher insurance coverage than the minimum required by law in order to have enough money should the damages cost more.

When you get insurance quotes, you will also notice that there are other optional coverages that can make you financially equipped in case of accidents. Among them are comprehensive and collision damages, medical payments, and towing and labor. These optional insurance coverage can help make payments easier and less financially crippling. These are especially important, since the state of Illinois does not require riders to wear helmets when on the road. It is also important to have your insurance ID with you every time you are riding on the road as proof of your insurance and financial responsibility. This ID or proof should always be presented whenever it is requested by law enforcement.

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The Painful Realities of Wrongful Death

There are times when, no matter how some people act diligently and with due care, they still figure in accidents which can cause them severe injury, disability or, worse, death. The cause of the accident? Someone acting negligently or recklessly. This is why under the doctrine of negligence, which is the basis of personal injury lawsuits, everyone is morally and legally obligated to act responsibly so as not to cause danger to anyone.

Personal injury is harm done to someone because of wrongful conduct which, in turn, can be a negligent or reckless act that can result in accidents or mistakes which can injure or kill someone. These accidents or mistakes have many different faces, taking such forms as car accident, a defective, harmful product, a grave medical mistake, an accident in the workplace, a cruise ship accident, a motorcycle accident, and so forth.

Though the specific effects of these accidents vary, the consequences are the same: injuries that require costly medical treatment, loss of income due to inability to work, pain and trauma suffered by the victim while, in the event of death, funeral expenses and the many kinds of ill effects that the dead victim’s surviving family members and other dependents may undergo, like loss of the dead victim’s services, loss of financial support, lost prospect of inheritance, etc.

Compensation, in the event of a victim’s death, may be acquired by the surviving family members, legally identified as “real parties in interest,” through a wrongful death lawsuit. This lawsuit is filed for the main purpose of pursuing justice and seeking compensation for all the pecuniary/financial damages that the qualified dependents may undergo.

By “real parties in interest,” the law considers, first and foremost, the dead victim’s spouse and (biological or legally adopted) children. In the case of an unmarried victim, his/her parents are first considered; however, if the parents are already dead, then some states consider the following persons as the real parties in interest:

  • A life partner or a putative spouse (someone who sincerely believes that he/she and the dead victim were married) and all those who were financially dependent on the victim
  • The dead victim’s grandparents and siblings
  • Any person who received care and financial support from the victim (while he/she still lived).

A wrongful death lawsuit may be filed only by the surviving dependents’ personal representative (can be a lawyer or any of the deceased’s family members). The damages, however, which are considered compensable, may differ from one state to another and there is a time limit, also known as the statute of limitation, according to the website of the Cazayoux Ewing Law Firm. The statute of limitation differs among states; some have set only a year, while others give dependents two or more years.

If preparing all the documents necessary in filing a lawsuit may already cause stress to the surviving family, more so will the actual court proceedings, which can turn very emotional and painful for all those grieving the sudden loss of their loved one.

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Making Sure Your Potential Home is Safe

Home is where the heart is—or so it has been said. Many believe for it to be so as they consider their houses as their most important piece of property. It is a place of comfort and safety, a shelter from every storm. That why it then takes a special kind caution before you decide to put in all your trust and resources to a single home that may cost more than what it’s worth.

There are a lot of risks that come with buying a house and it is better to make an informed risk than one you did not know you were making. A lot of the risks and hazards that are present with a certain house can be resting within the walls – completely invisible and may not be felt until it has already had its effect upon the health of its inhabitants. Just a few years ago, there was a case of a couple who had purchased a previously foreclosed home, without knowing that it used to be a meth lab of a sort. They did not know of the hazard until they were already experiencing physical repercussions from prolonged exposure to the toxins, since the home was foreclosed without a decontamination process.

It is that lack of diligence that could end up cost so much more than just money. By California law, sellers are required to present a natural hazard disclosure (NHD) report to the buyer so that the buyer is aware of the possible hazards that surround the home. These hazards include not only the internal dangers but also the external ones such as the propensity of the surrounding neighborhood to suffer from fire, flood, or earthquakes.

There are many factors to consider when buying a home and this is more to protect you and your family from making a purchase that might have a few additional costs that you did not know you were signing up for. Be wise about these things and you, your heart, and your home should be just fine.

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Dealing with a Legal Battle Concerning Personal Injury?

Are you dealing with a legal battle concerning personal injury? Do you think that you are liable to file a personal injury lawsuit? The answers you’re looking for could easily be answered with a consultation as from then on, everything should be and will be taken care of for you.

The website of law firm Crowe & Mulvey, LLP says victims of accidents that have been injured are often too traumatized and stressed from the injury itself that all the technical work that comes with legal action is often placed as the last priority. This need not be the case as a capable legal team will be able to provide resources that can attest that you are given only the very best medical attention possible. Specialized lawyers who are familiar with the differences in various personal injury cases can also allow for you to receive a better deal with compensation come the actual trial, thanks to their better handle of the law.

The tree that is personal injury often extends to various different branches and all of them can bear different fruits. Subsets of personal injury include medical malpractice, unsafe premises, birth injuries, slip and fall accidents, automobile accidents, and even alcohol liability. This is not an exhaustive list of all the subsets of personal injury of course as there are quite a lot of different circumstances that come into play. These subsets are important due to the fact that in a court of law, every little nuance and detail can make or break any particular case. The littlest discrepancy can mean everything in legal battles.

It is due to these scenarios that some people are swayed against pursuing legal action. Little do these same some people know that a capable legal team can do more than just represent their case but they can also ensure that you can be returned to a state as normal as possible in order to live the rest of your life in peace and free from the repercussions of an accident that was not made of your own volition.

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Heart Disease and Dental Hygiene

It may be difficult for us to believe but the mouth is considered the “dirtiest” part of the body by medical experts, including Dr. Steve Kerrigan of the Royal College of Surgeons. This is qualified by the explanation that there are as much as 700 different bacteria in the mouth numbering in the thousands at any given time. This is why periodontal problems is an ongoing subject of concern for health researchers; gum problems often leave the individual vulnerable to bacterial infections because it provides an entry for these otherwise harmless bacteria into the body where it can do much more damage.

It has become well established since 2008 that there is a correlation between bleeding gums and the risk of heart disease. Heart disease is currently the top cause of death in western civilization, and a significant portion of those suffering from heart disease have been known to increase their risk because of two mouth-dwelling bacteria (Streptococcus gordonii and Streptococcus sanguinis) that have found their way into the circulatory system via bleeding gums. They stick to platelets which then form a protective clot to keep the bacteria from being attacked by white blood cells but which also has the effect of impeding the blood flow, causing heart problems.

Gum problems such as bleeding gums can often be prevented by having good dental hygiene and regular dental checkups for the early detection of potential problems. Aside from heart problems, poor dental hygiene has been identified as a contributory if not causative factor in many systemic diseases. According to www.drsteadmanleanderdentist.com, it is important for even busy people to find time to look out for their dental health to avoid bigger problems later on.

If you are experiencing bleeding gums, do not wait for the situation to get worse. Consult with an experienced dentist in your area and have the problem attended to as soon as possible.

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Cross Examining Witnesses in a Car Accident Lawsuit

Witnesses play an important role in a personal injury claim after a car accident. They will be the ones who will validate your claims on innocence and injuries, and would retell how the accident happened. Witnesses in any type of personal injury case are neutral sources of information that would verify what and how the accident happened. It is therefore important to have credibility for witnesses.

Credibility means trustworthiness or believability of a person. A witness who shows you can trust their testimonies and demeanor can be a credible witness, and their credibility is just as important as their testimonies in court. A witness that does not appear credible can damage your case and can negatively impact your claim, since the jury will find you guilty by association. Here are some important factors that can make a credible witness:

  • The testimony given by the witness during the trial is consistent with past statements or testimonies, others testimonies, and the evidence presented in the case
  • The witness appear to accurately recall the events of the accident
  • The witness had previous criminal records
  • The witness appears to be lying
  • The witness shows any type of interest in the outcome of the claim, whether financial or otherwise
  • The demeanor and attitude during the trail was hostile or friendly, or indifferent, and many others

A proper cross examination by an Oceanside car accident lawyer can question and help determine the credibility of a witness. It is important to know how to properly attack the credibility without appearing to be too eager or demeaning towards the witness. Your lawyer should know how to properly credit or discredit witnesses in order to help your car accident case. In order to ensure that witness credibility is established, it is important to discuss such matters with a trusted lawyer and see what are the advantages and disadvantages that bringing up witnesses can do to your case.

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