General Mills Recants “Like Us on Facebook and You’re Stuck With Arbitration” Terms


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I’m sure no one at General Mills read my blog post Friday about their outrageous attempt to deny consumers access to the judicial system, but consumer outcry has forced the company to backtrack on this new policy. Good for General Mills, and for all consumers.

The company explained it in a post on their own blog:

We’ve listened – and we’re changing our legal terms back

As has been widely reported, General Mills recently posted a revised set of Legal Terms on our websites. Those terms – and our intentions – were widely misread, causing concern among consumers.

So we’ve listened – and we’re changing them back to what they were before.

We rarely have disputes with consumers – and arbitration would have simply streamlined how complaints are handled. Many companies do the same, and we felt it would be helpful.

But consumers didn’t like it.

So we’ve reverted back to our prior terms. There’s no mention of arbitration, and the arbitration provisions we had posted were never enforced. Nor will they be. We stipulate for all purposes that our recent Legal Terms have been terminated, that the arbitration provisions are void, and that they are not, and never have been, of any legal effect.

That last bit is from our lawyers.

We’ll just add that we never imagined this reaction. Similar terms are common in all sorts of consumer contracts, and arbitration clauses don’t cause anyone to waive a valid legal claim. They only specify a cost-effective means of resolving such matters. At no time was anyone ever precluded from suing us by purchasing one of our products at a store or liking one of our Facebook pages. That was either a mischaracterization – or just very misunderstood.

Not that any of that matters now.

On behalf of our company and our brands, we would also like to apologize. We’re sorry we even started down this path. And we do hope you’ll accept our apology. We also hope that you’ll continue to download product coupons, talk to us on social media, or look for recipes on our websites.

Our legal terms? You’ll find them right on our website. You’ll also find they’re back to what they always were.

How to Know if You Need an Injury Lawyer


How to Know if You Need an Injury Lawyer

The expertise of an experienced personal injury lawyer is critical when it comes to navigating through difficult legal technicalities. When it comes to getting the settlement you deserve, the assistance of an injury lawyer is necessary. But how do you know when an injury lawyer is needed?

1. You Suffered an Injury at the Fault of Another

Did you incur an injury because of someone’s wrongdoing or negligence? Perhaps your injury occurred because of a workplace hazard, or you were involved in an auto accident that was caused by someone else. In cases like these, you should consult an injury lawyer as quickly as possible. An experienced personal injury lawyer can even potentially resolve your case via settlement before it goes to court.

2. You Were a Victim of Toxic Exposure

Were you exposed to a chemical that made you sick? In a case where you were in contact with a chemical that caused sickness, such as asbestos or a pharmaceutical drug, the case is tried as a toxic tort. Nolo.com accurately divides toxic torts into four categories: consumer products, such as pesticides; exposure at home, such as mold; pharmaceutical drugs; and occupational exposure, such as workers’ exposure to hazardous chemicals. If you believe you’ve been exposed to a toxic substance, you should consult an injury lawyer.

3. You’ve Incurred an Illness or Injury Because of a Healthcare Provider

Medical malpractice cases arise when a patient was harmed while being treated by a healthcare professional. Opposed to common belief, medical malpractice is not limited to just doctors. If you were injured or became ill at the hands of a nurse, phlebotomist, or any other healthcare provider, you should contact a personal injury lawyer immediately.

4. You Have Been Disabled

If you’ve been disabled at the hands of someone else, regardless of the degree of your disability, an injury lawyer can help you get the best settlement from a long-term or permanent disability claim. A personal injury lawyer can help you accurately determine the settlement you should request. If you’ve been disabled because of someone’s negligence, you should contact an injury lawyer today.

Suffering an injury or illness can cause long-term physical, psychological and financial strain for you and even your loved ones. It is important that the person or business at fault face the consequences to help ensure that you will receive the compensation you need and to prevent this type of negligence from occurring again. If you feel that you have been injured because of someone’s wrongdoing or carelessness, an injury lawyer can help you receive the settlement you deserve.

Information Source: Law Offices of Savin & Bursk

This article is from Anica Oaks. A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.

Outrageous — General Mills Attempts to Limit Your Ability to Sue Them if You Use a Coupon


The New York Times reports that General Mills, “the maker of iconic cereals like Cheerios and Chex as well as brands like Bisquick and Betty Crocker, has quietly added language to its website to alert consumers that they give up their right to sue the company if they download coupons, ‘join’ it in online communities like Facebook, enter a company-sponsored sweepstakes or contest or interact with it in a variety of other ways.” The Times notes that “anyone who has received anything that could be construed as a benefit and who then has a dispute with the company over its products will have to use informal negotiation via email or go through arbitration to seek relief, according to the new terms posted on its site.” ‘Although this is the first case I’ve seen of a food company moving in this direction, others will follow – why wouldn’t you?’ said Julia Duncan, director of federal programs and an arbitration expert at the American Association for Justice. “It’s essentially trying to protect the company from all accountability, even when it lies, or say, an employee deliberately adds broken glass to a product.”

The New York Times reports that General Mills said on Thursday “that an update to its new legal policies, which stated that consumers ‘joining our online communities’ could not sue the company, did not apply to people who visit its Facebook pages and Twitter accounts.” The firm “was responding to an article in The New York Times on Thursday about the new policy, which broadly asserts that consumers interacting with the company in a variety of ways and venues no longer can sue General Mills, but must instead submit any complaint to ‘informal negotiation’ or arbitration.” In an email received by the Times on Thursday, General Mills spokesman Mike Siemienas “said the ‘online communities’ mentioned in the policy referred only to those online communities hosted by the company on its own websites. ‘It is very clear that if you do any number of things, you are covered by these changes,’” AAJ’s Duncan said.

Among the other media entities reporting on this story are the Christian Science Monitor, the AtlanticABC NewsTIME, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

From the American Association for Justice news release.

Friday Fun


Who knew a video about dumb ways to die could be fun?

Lost A Loved One? Ways To Find Peace After Death


Lost A Loved One Ways To Find Peace After Death

When a loved one has passed away, it can be difficult to continue with your day-to-day life. Through the grieving process, it is possible to find peace and come to terms with the reality of the death of a family member or close friend. Read on for some practical ways to find peace after the death of a loved one.

Reinvest Your Emotional Energy

If you had a close relationship, investing the emotional energy you spent during that person’s life can be therapeutic. This doesn’t mean that you are replacing them; rather, by doing volunteer work, adopting a new pet, or strengthening relationships with children and grandchildren, you are able to create something positive from the loss.

Find Support

Talking to friends and family members about the person who died is a good way to help come to terms with the loss while celebrating his or her life. You may also want to look into support groups for others in your situation, whether you’ve lost a child, spouse, parent, or other family member. If you are struggling with the circumstances of the death, you may consider working with an attorney such as a wrongful death attorney in Chico.

Maintain Your Normal Lifestyle

While you may find it difficult to do so at first, carrying on with regular activities like attending work and school, seeing friends, and practicing hobbies can help bring some comfort to you during this difficult time. Avoid making any major changes, such as moving or switching careers, for at least six months to a year after your loved one has passed.

Remember Your Loved One in a Healthy Way

Moving on and finding peace does not necessarily mean letting go of your loved one. You may find that talking about him or her with friends and family and remembering favorite memories is a good way to feel connected to the person who has died. Mementos and photographs are also helpful for keeping a deceased loved one close to your heart even after they are no longer physically with you.

Seek Counseling

Everyone grieves differently, but if you find that you are still having trouble coping up to a year after the death of your loved one, you may want to speak with a counselor trained in helping clients deal with grief. He or she can help you move past your feelings of loss and improve your quality of life.

This article is from Savannah Coulsen, a freelance writer. She lives in Long Beach. Savannah loves to read and write and she hopes to write a novel someday. Savannah also loves learning and is a self-proclaimed health guru.

Alleviate Pain & Rehabilitate With Yoga as Therapy


This article is from Alicia Emmett, a chiropractor, health nut, and softball team captain

Depositphotos_39445403_xs

Yoga is more than a spiritual discipline, exercise, or relaxation technique. Yoga can serve as a method of rehabilitation while recovering from an injury. Not only can it help heal the body, it can help with the mental and emotional healing process as well. While dealing with the stress of a lawsuit, along with the aches and pains from your accident, hit the mat as one way to recoup and get your life back on track.

Mind + Body Rehabilitation

Recovering from a serious accident can come from natural mind-body healing, rather than pain-relieving medications or even surgery. Paul Mitchell Gold, an ashtanga yoga teacher, advocates yoga as a healing mechanism. He shares that the body naturally reacts to an injury by contracting or armouring. Yoga helps loosen and rehabilitate the afflicted area, even if you have to scale the movements, take breaks or move more slowly. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments and be in tune with your body. Muscle soreness is normal, but back off if you feel pain in the joints and modify your approach.

Yoga also helps achieve higher awareness and states of presence that can heal the body and mind. Since the two are interconnected, mitigating mental anguish aids with eliminating physical suffering. Start by engaging in yoga to replace stress with serenity. Yoga’s complementary union between postures and breathing restores vital energy and quiets the mind. With a calm head space, your body can work toward alleviating pain in a relaxed state.

Yoga as Physical Therapy

Along with daily meditation for the mind, treat the following types of injuries and pains with a dedicated yoga fitness program.

  • Back pain: Relieve soreness with a yoga sequence that includes Downward-Facing Dog, Child’s Pose, Pigeon Pose, and Cat and Cow Pose. These four postures target large back muscles and elongate the spine. Pigeon Pose stretches the hip rotators and flexors that can agitate the lower back if tight. Cat and Cow Poses loosen back muscles and eases tension. Try these beginner poses by using the Everydayhealth.com guide.
  • Muscle soreness: Repair an injured muscle back to health and restore balance by opening up the muscles. Opened-up muscles and proper breathing will increase blood flow, boost detoxification and increase elasticity. Relax muscle reflexes and contractions by sitting cross-legged and raising intermingled arms in the Sit Easy Pose. Open up the chest and strengthen the back and arms with Cobra Pose. Lie on your stomach and place forearms and palms flat on the floor. Raise your chest. Yoganonymous also recommends three yoga poses that can help relieve sore muscles and aches.
  • Neck pain: Release neck tension and alleviate cervical spine-related pain with an 8-pose yoga sequence, including 8-Point Shoulder Opener, Cow Face Arms and Thread The Needle. Yoga instructor Heidi Kristoffer believes in the cure of yoga. Kristoffer shares in her Mind Body Green bio that lengthening and strengthening through yoga helped repair a herniated disc in her cervical spine and avoid surgery on two broken vertabrae in her lumbar spine. After being in a serious car accident, she was able to go to her yoga mat to alleviate pain and even eliminate herniations. Check out the Mind Green Body yoga posture slideshow recommended by Kristoffer for relieving pain and feeling more open.

Arrested: How to Keep a Bad Situation from Getting Worse


Arrested How To Keep Bad Things From Getting Worse

If you find yourself arrested by local law enforcement, then you find yourself in a bad situation. Avoid worsening your situation by arming yourself with knowledge. Having an understanding of the criminal legal process will provide you with the tools to better navigate through that process, whether you committed a crime or not.

Understand the Process

Arrest, of course, is the first step. Next, you are transported to a detention center for booking, which entails surrender of personal items, physical and background searches, identity verification and documentation, and input into the booking system. Most jails allow at least one free local call. All other calls must be collect or placed with a prepaid calling account. For most county jails, someone can create an account to accept inmates’ calls through a third-party provider. Incoming calls are not allowed.

Be Patient and Keep Cautious

The bail bond process cannot begin until all arrest and booking procedures are complete. The booking process could take less than an hour in small localities or several hours for larger or busier facilities. Your bail bonds agency will do what it can to expedite the process, but according to a Sacramento Bail Bondsman, jail personnel will process at their own speed.

There is no assumption of privacy when in custody. All communications can be monitored except those with an attorney, and other inmates sometimes act as informants. Therefore, do not talk about the circumstances for your arrest with anyone until released.

Find Assistance from People Who Understand the Process

Standard bail schedules specify the bail amounts for common crimes. If you cannot pay the full amount, you will need to raise funds, secure a loan or contact a bail bonds agency. Chances are you will not have the means to pay your entire bail up front. Most arrestees pursue their release with the assistance of a bail bonds company. Choosing a reputable, accessible and experienced agency is important in your situation. Bonds agencies will charge a non-refundable premium, usually 10 percent of the full bail amount.

Process After Posting Bail

When your bail is posted, you will be processed according to the facility’s schedule. Your possessions will be returned and you will be given a receipt or notice with court appearance information. You must appear in court at the scheduled date and time or risk having the court issue an arrest warrant. Also, if you fail to appear as scheduled in court, your bail is forfeited and your bond is revoked, which means you will be liable for the full amount of the bail.

Focus on obtaining your release from jail first, and then figure out how to stay out.

This article is from Savannah Coulsen, a freelance writer. She lives in Long Beach. Savannah loves to read and write and she hopes to write a novel someday. Savannah also loves learning and is a self-proclaimed health guru.

Five of the Most Infamous Crime Cases in the U.S.


This article is from Hannah Whittenly  a mother of two and a freelance writer out of Sacramento, California.

Five most infamous crime cases in the US

Criminals make big headlines in the United States–either their crimes are so heinous, their individual circumstances so outrageous, or their trials are so highly publicized that we can’t help but remember everything about them. Here are five of the most infamous criminal cases the U.S. has seen:

Michael Jackson
While any criminal case involving the King of Pop would get headlines, the accusations lobbied against Jackson were particularly heinous. His underage accuser claimed that Jackson lured him to his amusement park-themed estate, named Neverland, and there he plied him with alcohol, invited him into his bed, and molested him. Jackson was ultimately found not guilty of all charges, and settled out of court in a related civil case.

Joseph Edward Duncan
Duncan was arrested for molesting a young boy, and was out on $15,000 bond in Minnesota when two young children were kidnapped from an Idaho home and the rest of the family murdered. Duncan was arrested again upon his discovery in a restaurant with a young girl from the family. He also faced sentences for convictions of child rape and murder in California.

George Zimmerman
George Zimmerman was a neighborhood watch volunteer on duty when he spotted 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was visiting his father in the neighborhood. Immediately suspicious, Zimmerman called 911, and against the dispatcher’s suggestion, followed Martin, confronted him, and ultimately shot him. It took prosecutors several months and much outrage from the community to arrest and charge Zimmerman, who was ultimately acquitted of murder. This case had deep racial implications and divided many Americans.

Adam Lanza
One of the most harrowing and heartbreaking school shootings was perpetrated by Adam Lanza, who shot his mother early one morning and then went on a shooting spree at the school where she taught. He shot 26 second graders and their teachers, some of whom lost their lives protecting their students. Before being confronted by police, Lanza turned his weapon on himself.

James Holmes
On opening night of the Batman movie, “The Dark Knight Rises,” James Holmes opened fire on a packed movie theater, killing 12 people and injuring 70. Holmes had parked his car near the emergency exit, entered the theater, set off tear gas canisters and began firing into the crowd with multiple weapons. Holmes is facing trial currently, and it is expected that his defense attorneys will raise a question of his mental state in some form.

These crimes are hardly a scratch on the surface of some of the most infamous cases in the history of the U.S. What’s more, some of these cases are relatively recent. Good criminal lawyers have been essential to dealing with each of these cases fairly and accurately. Digging deep into America’s past, there are dozens of highly famous and highly terrifying crimes in our rich and storied history.

Seven Reasons to Retain a Lawyer


7 Reasons to Retain a Lawyer

Whether you have been charged with a crime or are filing a personal injury lawsuit, it is in your best interest to retain a lawyer for numerous reasons. An attorney understands how to apply the law to your case, and he or she also understands how case law also comes into play. Too many individuals try to proceed without representation but do not have an appreciation as to the interplay between federal laws such as the Federal Torts Claims Act and state laws. Here are seven reasons you should retain a lawyer.

1. Having a personal injury lawyer from Montgomery or your local area may persuade the jury as to the merits of your case.

First, a lawyer has persuasive skills and can argue your case before a jury. He or she will know how to persuade the jury to the merits of your case. You want an injury lawyer that can best persuade the judge to award you damages from your injury or if you are the defendant, you want a lawyer that can persuade the judge you are not liable to pay the prosecution for their injuries.

2. A lawyer will stand up for your constitutional rights.

If you have been charged with a crime, a lawyer will understand your constitutional rights. He or she can analyze the evidence from the point of view that your constitutional rights are at stake. For example, evidence obtained in violation of your Miranda Rights may be inadmissible in trial and can completely alter the outcome of your case.

3. A lawyer understands local court rules.

A lawyer can apply procedural court rules to your case and abide by them. A lawyer can also help you abide by the same rules that will help you case move along more smoothly when it comes to the trial. Without a lawyer to help you know and understand the procedural rules of the court, it will make it harder to win your case.

4. An attorney can negotiate with defense attorneys from insurance companies to achieve a better settlement.

An attorney knows how to leverage certain facts of your case to achieve an increased settlement for your case. If at all possible, it is better your lawyer gets you the settlement you deserve rather than going to trial.

5. An attorney understands the rules of civil procedure and how they impact your case.

An attorney understands how the rules of civil procedure may apply to your case and allow you to interplead another defendant that is liable. It is also possible that he or she may be able to remove you from the equation altogether.

6. An attorney will provide you with zealous representation in court.

An attorney will approach your case with an energetic attitude and provide you with zealous representation at every stage. This makes him or her more persuasive to a judge and a jury about the merits of your case.

7. An attorney understands what is at stake in your case.

A lawyer understands what is at stake in your case whether you have been charged with a crime or are trying to secure a settlement. He or she understands that effective legal arguments are necessary for your case in order to protect you from jail time or to get you the compensation that you deserve.

These are the top reasons everyone should secure an attorney when he or she is dealing with legal issues. An attorney can analyze the relevant issues in your case and apply the law to the facts of your case.

This article is from Lizzie Weakley, a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. She enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her three-year-old husky Snowball.

Statement On General Motors Ignition Recall from the American Association for Justice


General Motors has received a lot of media attention lately, and for good reason. It turns out that the company decided to put the GM Cobalt (and other models) on the market even though it knew there was a problem with the car’s ignition switch.

It was a decision that has cost people their lives, and it was—like so many other harms that could have been avoided—uncovered by a trial lawyer. That is what you do. Just like AAJ member Lance Cooper, and his clients, Ken and Beth Melton, you seek truth and accountability every day.
The themes of corporate greed and deception uncovered in the Melton’s tragic story keep recurring. It is up to all of us to continue to educate the public about the work that trial lawyers do to protect families and hold corporate wrongdoers accountable.
Here are three things you can do right now to increase visibility on this issue:
“We know what we know today only because of the Melton’s pursuit of justice, their willingness to file a lawsuit. Our civil justice system, it’s often maligned. But, you know, it remains a great check on our free enterprise system. Often, it serves as a more vigilant force than the government itself.”
Commitment and determination can make a difference. At the American Association for Justice we are proud to give you the support you need to fight for your clients.
Part of that support is the advocacy that we do on Capitol Hill on behalf of you and your clients. I invite you to read about the issues we are working on in our Legislative & Regulatory Update, and if you have any questions, please contact us at public_affairs@justice.org.
Sincerely,
Linda Lipsen
CEO
American Association for Justice

Friday Fun


I’ve long been a fan of stop-motion video, but here’s a new twist — DROP-motion video!

dropped from greg condon on Vimeo.

 

Featured Link — Mesothelioma Lawyer Center


This information is from the Mesothelioma Lawyer Center.

For many years the asbestos industry attempted to suppress research which linked asbestos to serious medical conditions, including mesotheliomaasbestosis, and lung cancer. Physicians in the United Kingdom were the first to connect long-term exposure to asbestos with respiratory illnesses as early as the late 1890s. However, because the manufacture and sale of asbestos products generated huge profits, several makers and distributors alike made efforts to hide from the public any evidence of their products’ harmful effects on people.

In other instances, business owners and employers were made aware of the dangers of asbestos, yet continued to allow their employees to work in a dangerous environment. The heat-resistant properties and the insulation that asbestos provided made it a convenient mineral to use in several different buildings, plants, facilities, factories, steel mills, and more. Unfortunately, most of these victims didn’t find out they had cancer until decades later. Many victims are still unaware since it can take over 20 years for symptoms of mesothelioma to surface. That’s why it’s imperative to get regular medical check-ups if you’ve worked or been around asbestos.

Because this suppression of facts was intentional and motivated by the huge profits to be made from the manufacturer and distribution of a harmful product, victims who suffer from mesothelioma may be able to seek financial compensation. An experienced mesothelioma attorney will be able to provide additional information and let you know your chances of a successful lawsuit.

Due to the increase in the number of asbestos-related cases, many lawyers now specialize in representing those that have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and other diseases caused by asbestos. Known as asbestos or mesothelioma lawyers, these specialized attorneys concentrate exclusively on helping victims that have been diagnosed with asbestos cancer and other asbestos-related diseases. The attorneys at a mesothelioma law firm differ from general practice lawyers as they have specialized training and expertise regarding the various asbestos-related diseases, as well as the relevant laws and regulations which govern the manufacture and distribution of asbestos products.

Pros and Cons: Full Service Lawyer or Specialty Lawyer?


This article is from Kara Masterson, a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing about business and law, and spending time with her dog Max.

Lawyers

When choosing a lawyer, you will make a huge life-changing event. For this reason, it is smart of you to choose wisely and look for one who will get you the desired results. With that being said, you can get a full service lawyer or a specialized lawyer. Here are the pros and cons of each.

Full service

Pros: With a full service lawyer, you can walk into the office and ask any questions. Then, when you go to court, you will not need to worry about the experience of the attorney. A good legal professional should know plenty of other people in the field. When he or she does, it is possible to make headwind during a trial. For this reason, it is wise to choose a full service lawyer.

Cons: Certain situations make more sense with a specialized lawyer. When you are going through a big divorce, you will probably want a qualified divorce attorney on your side. Otherwise, you will not feel at ease when you need to talk to your ex-spouse’s lawyer.

Most full service lawyers became that way out of necessity. When making errors, many opt to leave their specialty and jump on to something else. Check your full service lawyers history, if possible.

Specialty

Pros: As mentioned, if you need a serious attorney who has a proven track record in a certain area, you will do well with a specialized lawyer. Furthermore, a specialized lawyer will know the system inside and out. Many full service lawyers will feel at odds when in certain courtrooms. An experienced specialty attorney will know the particular process.

Cons: At the same time, some specialty attorneys have a hard time in the system because their contacts may not reach as far. Depending on your case, your lawyer may need to consult others. This is a time-consuming process. Sometimes a lawyer will not have the knowledge and will have to talk to his or her colleagues.

Different circumstances have different requirements. When you want to hire a lawyer, you should consider the pros and cons of a specialist versus a full service attorney.

Information credit to Gittens & Associates, Lawyers in St. John, Newfoundland

Five Reasons Why Talking To Professionals Is Crucial When You Are Injured In A Car Accident


This article is courtesy of Anita Ginsburg, a freelance writer from Denver who often writes about home, family, law and business. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family when she isn’t writing.

5 Reasons Why Talking To Professionals Is Crucial When You Are Injured In A Car Accident

Being in a car accident can be one of the most traumatic experiences in a person’s life. Whether or not you are seriously injured, you should seek advice from some key professionals before you enter into any kind of settlement agreement with an insurance company. Going through the legal process after a car accident can be stressful without some help.

The Insurance Company Does Not Represent Your Best Interests

Many people who have been involved in a car accident for the first time are often impressed with the speed of the insurance company. Do not make this mistake of believing they know what is best for you. The insurance company wants to process your claim as quickly as possible to avoid you having ample time to retain counsel. Also, the quicker the insurance company settles your claim, the less time you have to complete a medical exam.

Injuries

Remember that in many cases the extent of the injuries caused by a car accident may not even be apparent until a few weeks have passed. Be sure that you allow yourself sufficient time to be examined by your general practitioner.

Diminished Value

This is another trick that the insurance company will try to get away with. Whenever your automobile has been involved in a wreck, there will be diminished value to the property. You will have to address this issue prior to agreeing to a settlement. If you fail to bring it up, the insurance company will not address diminished value with you until you have already settled the claim. After the fact, you might get a letter stating a Supreme Court case that they claim lets them off the hook.

Negligence of the Other Driver

Make sure you are talking to the police officers and other emergency responders at the scene of the accident to find out if the other driver is suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol and other distractions. Was there something in the road that caused the accident, or was the other driver distracted by a cell phone or another passenger? Also be sure you follow up and obtain a copy of the police report. Many jurisdictions have these reports available online within just a few days for a nominal fee.

Emotional Trauma

Depending on the extent of the injuries, and whether or not your children were involved in the car accident, you may benefit from counseling. You will know in a few days how severe the emotional toll of the accident is on your life. Many people have trouble sleeping and experience severe anxiety after a car accident. There is no shame in seeking professional help so you can adjust back to your normal daily life.

Please consider these tips before you enter into a settlement agreement with an insurance company.

Informational Credit to The Law Office of Lawrence A. Puritz.

Injured On The Job? What To Do & The Four People You Should Speak With Immediately


This arctice is from Chaleigh Glass. Chaleigh is a freelance writer and photographer who lives in the amazing city of New York. When she isn’t writing Chaleigh loves to travel and explore all that the big city has to offer.

injuredonthejob

How will you determine if your injury can be filed as injured on the job? Well, any injury that you acquire while performing any scope of work can be classified as injured on the job. It can be as simple as falling from your chair while working to getting into a car crash while delivering products for your company. If you happen to have pre-existing conditions like heart problems or back pain, the law in some states are still willing to give you a workers’ compensation claim if the action of you working made the “pre-existing condition” worse, which may have caused further complications and new injuries. There are different cases and solutions for each circumstance. If you happened to be injured on the job here are the four people you should talk to immediately:

Talk To Your Supervisor

If you manage to get injured on the job the first person you must talk to is your Supervisor and let them know what is going on. If your supervisor is not around then speak to your corporate nurse because she will have to notify your supervisor of the situation. Fully explain the cause of the injury, when it happened and where. Ask for a written note or orally notify them, then you can notify the next person in the chain of command.

Speak With Your Employer

You must talk to your employer about being injured on the job. Bring the written note you were given (or made) to inform the employer of your injury. Be aware of your health since there is a time frame to file a notice. To protect yourself, you should act promptly to avoid missing the vital deadlines of these type of injury claims. Each state is different, so you should inquire about the time period in your specific state. Do not wait to long before asking these questions! Once your employer is informed of the injury you will need to visit a basic Doctor.

Company Doctor or Medical Examiner

Usually your employer will give a list of doctors for you to choose from. If they do not give you a list of doctors to see, you can easily see a medical examiner. This might be a better option than a company doctor. With an unbiased opinion, the Independent Medical Examiner in Jackson MS  might be able to help you cover more in compensation. They’ll provide a diagnosis on the injury and the plan of care. If you do go to a company doctor you must discuss with them what happened so they can help distinguish who was at fault and if any compensation should be granted. Once the company is informed of the diagnosis, you are given a choice to pick your treating doctor.

Once notice is given to the employer, most states require that the employer give you a doctor or a panel of doctors to choose from that you will decide upon as the doctor that will provide your diagnosis and plan of care. If no choice is given, then you are free to go to your own doctor. Your company can offer a choice of doctors at a later date.

An Accident Attorney

An accident attorney can help you navigate your way through this long, tedious, and most of the times, very complicated process. Unfortunately because of workers comp fraud, and other scams that people have done, to milk their company for as much money as possible, the legal process can get very exhausting and overwhelming, so consulting with an attorney who is specially trained and knows the ropes would be a good idea.

After talking to these basic four people, your employer will inform you of the compensation you will be receiving. I am hoping that you will never become injured on the job, but it definitely pays to be informed and prepared! Not only will it help you during any type of injury, but it will also help provide for your family if you do get injured on the job.

Family That Claims L.A. Hospital Froze Woman Alive Can Sue


Want some nightmares tonight? Read this from the Los Angeles Times:

The family of a woman who may have been prematurely declared dead, awoke in the hospital’s freezer and struggled before ultimately freezing to death can go forward with a lawsuit against the hospital, an appellate court has ruled.

Maria de Jesus Arroyo, 80, was pronounced dead in July 2010 at White Memorial Medical Center in Boyle Heights after suffering a heart attack. When morticians received her body a few days later, they found her body facedown, with her nose broken and cuts and bruises to her face, injuries so severe they could not be covered up by make-up, according to court papers.

Arroyo’s husband and eight children initially sued the hospital alleging the body had been mishandled after her death. But during litigation, a pathologist who reviewed Arroyo’s injuries concluded the injuries most likely occurred while she was still alive – that she had been “frozen alive,” “eventually woke up” and “damaged her face and turned herself face down as she struggled unsuccessfully to escape her frozen tomb,” according court records.

Friday Fun


I should call this one Little Known Scientific Facts rather than Friday Fun. Here’s the deal — when I walk around the house with a cup of coffee I tend to spill some. It never happens at the office, maybe because we have larger cups there.

There are two problems with me spilling coffee at home. First, almost every room in our house has white wood floors. Second, I’m married. So the coffee spills really show up, and my wife does NOT like that.

The science comes in when I look at my coffee spills. The drops, when they dry, always create brown rings in a circle with a clear center. When I spill other liquids, they just make a solid drop. Why does coffee make a ring?

I found the answer in this video and explanation. If you have an inquiring mind, read on. If not, I’ll catch you next time.

Drop a bit of detergent, and chances are it’ll dry with all the particles spread evenly throughout the area that was once a puddle. The same with a muddy pool — when it dries, you don’t see the bits of mud all swept to the outer lip. But when you dissolve coffee grounds in water, then spill the suspension, a very physical rearrangement happens: the grounds go from being evenly dispersed throughout the liquid, to being clumped crustily on the edges when it dries. Scientists call this the “coffee ring effect” (though full disclosure, coffee isn’t actually the only liquid to do the ring thing — you’ll know from evening cocktails that red wine will do the same to your linoleum).

[T]he shape of the drop is like an over-turned bowl, fat in the center, sloping down to the edges. And because the edges are less packed with water molecules, the water out there evaporates more quickly. But here’s the thing: when the drop hits a surface (whether it’s a countertop or a page of your journal), that surface catches the rim of the droplet in a wrestler-like grasp — the rim gets PINNED to the surface, and can’t move. Ever. So as the water evaporates, escaping as a gas, the pinned drop can’t shrink into itself. Instead, it flattens out — keeping a constant width as it pushes water from the center out toward the stuck rim. And as the water is pushed toward the rim, it carries with it all those dissolved particles (coffee grinds!) … which stay behind after the water evaporates. Voila! A ring is formed.

Toyota Recalls Nearly 900,000 Vehicles, Again


In continuing coverage, the AP reports that Toyota has issued a recall of 880,584 RAV4 and Lexus HS 250h vehicles because a fix announced last year may not have solved a problem involving loose suspension nuts that can rust and separate from the vehicle. The AP notes that nine crashes and three injuries have been reported to the NHTSA due to the problem and at least 131 owners have complained to NHTSA and Toyota. Toyota had recalled the vehicles last August for the same issue “but spokeswoman Cindy Knight said the repair procedure in the previous recall was incorrect.”

From the American Association for Justice news release.

Workplace Violence: Who Is Liable?


This article is from Emma Sturgis, a freelance writer living in Boston. She writes on a variety of topics, including politics and law. When not at her computer, she enjoys film noir and rock climbing.

Workplace Violence Who Is Liable

Each year, about two million American workers are victims of violence in the workplace. Workers have a right to safety at work, and employers must provide safe conditions in which all controllable dangers are noted and protected against. Even with safeguards, however, workplace violence still occurs. It ranges from intimidation and abuse to physical harm and homicide. The causes of workplace violence are usually grouped into four categories: disgruntled employees, unknown assailants, displaced domestic violence, and sexual harassment. Who is liable for damages caused by workplace violence varies by cause:

Disgruntled Employees

A disgruntled employee generally sees themselves as wrongly treated by the employer. Usually, after some disturbing actions, such as loud complaints and other inappropriate behaviors at the workplace, the disgruntled employee commits a violent act, usually against a fellow employee. No one can guarantee that a particular employee will behave reasonably, but employers can be held responsible if there is no pre-employment screening to help weed out potential troublemakers. Performance evaluations and employee assistance programs should be in place to keep an eye on potentially volatile employees.

Unknown Assailants

Some workplaces, like bars and restaurants that stay open late into the night with few employees on duty are easy targets for troublemakers. These places may be difficult or expensive to protect, but an injury attorney in Edmonton, representing McCourt Law Offices, reports that employers can be held civilly liable if an employee is robbed or assaulted while on duty and unprotected.

Displaced Domestic Violence

Domestic violence at home often becomes domestic violence in the workplace. It is not uncommon for people who suffer abuse at home to report threatening calls from their abuser at work. Sometimes these threats escalate to confrontation at the workplace, which endangers not only the victim but their coworkers as well. To reduce these threats, employers should take measures to aid the abused worker by approving any reasonable request for transfer to another work site or allowing time off for court cases or doctor visits.

Sexual Harassment

Almost anyone in the workplace can be involved in sexual harassment, including employers. Violence that stems from sexual harassment may be charged against the employer as violating state or federal anti-discrimination laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1994.

Anyone who has been injured from violence in the workplace should consult an injury lawyer to become informed as to their personal rights and receive possible compensation for physical injury and pain and suffering. No one should suffer violence in the workplace. If you have been a victim of any violence on the job, seek legal advice now.

Oscar Pistorius: Five Things to Know About the Intense Court Battle


The South African murder trial of Oscar Pstorius has nothing to do with injury or disability, but I’m sure many other people are as fascinated by the trial as I am.

This article is from Kara Masterson, a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing about business and law, and spending time with her dog Max.

Oscar Pistorius

The murder trial of athlete Oscar Pistorius is being heralded as a case of the century, and puts South Africa’s legal system in the international spotlight for one of the first times since apartheid.

1           It is a Bench Trial

Apartheid took its toll on South Africa’s legal system. The country abolished jury trials out of fear that white jurors would automatically convict any black defendants regardless of justice. As a result, all of the country’s trials are bench trials, presided over by a single judge who makes the full decision. This is in stark contrast to most other common law systems of the West that rely on juries for basically all criminal matters.

2           Pistorius is Claiming Mistaken Self Defense

Pistorius’s defense is centered on the notion that he mistook his girlfriend, Reva Steenkamp, for a burglar when she was behind his bathroom door. In order to defend himself from this supposed threat, he then shot multiple times through the door, fatally wounding Steenkamp. He didn’t realize he had killed his girlfriend until he returned to the bed and found her missing, and then he broke down the bathroom door to find her body.

3           Witnesses Do Not Seem to Support Pistorius

Witness testimony does not seem to support Pistorius’s account. They recount hearing screams and several shots, including a man’s voice calling for help. This raises many questions about what actually happened, since there are no true eyewitnesses. Why would Pistorius call for help if he was already armed and prepared to kill the intruder?

4           Pistorius May Still Be Convicted of Manslaughter

Even if Pistorius is not found guilty of homicide, which carriers a life sentence, he may still be convicted of lesser manslaughter charges. Many legal experts assume that the judge will consider shooting an unknown individual behind a closed door without taking any measure to identify that individual to be reckless and negligent.

5           Pistorius Seems Sincere

Although the evidence and witness testimony does not strongly support Pistorius, he seems sincerely apologetic about his actions. One witness who arrived shortly after the incident claimed to have found Pistorius holding Steenkamp’s body and praying, begging God to save her. Considering other testimony that claims Pistorius had a short temper, had cheated on a past relationship and was generally considered prone to rage-filled outbursts, it is not for sure that the judge will see his remorse as true. The fact remains, however, that in order to be convicted of murder, Pistorius would have had to intend to kill his girlfriend and the act would need to have been premeditated.

The trial is still ongoing and is expected to last several weeks at minimum. Pistorius may have the option to appeal the verdict if it is not in his favor.

Information credited to Houston Criminal Lawyers, Houston Trial Attorney