Texas A&M Study Shows Reflective Signs on Rural Highways May Pose Safety Hazard

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The Roads & Bridges reports a recent Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) research project has revealed that “signs along rural highways” can cause disabling glare due to their brightness which may limit a driver from detecting distances of potential roadside hazards, a major safety concern. Roads & Bridges says the project, co-sponsored by FHWA and the Texas DOT, sheds light on a new aspect to retroreflective signs.

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

Understanding Personal Injury Law and Social Security Disability

Understanding Personal Injury Law and Social Security Disability

Personal injury law and social security disability law are two separate areas of practice that both involve a person’s medical condition. Many attorneys who take cases in one area also take cases in the other. This article will discuss some of the basics in these two areas of practice.

Understanding Personal Injury Law

Personal injury law focuses on how another person’s negligence caused injury to a client. A common example of a personal injury case would be a rear-end car accident where the person who was hit from behind is suing the person who hit them for damages. The person who was not at fault (or plaintiff) can file a claim asking for payment of medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses that can be easily calculated. These are known as special damages. The plaintiff can also ask for what are called general damages, or compensation for damages that are harder to calculate, such as for pain and suffering and for diminished future quality of life. In some cases, a plaintiff’s spouse may also be entitled to damages. Law firms like The Lucky Law Firm assist clients in both personal injury and social security disability cases, as well as other matters.

Understanding Social Security Disability

Social security disability is a form of payment by the government for those who are unable to work due to disability and have paid into the social security system via taxes for a required number of years prior to the onset of the disability. In a social security case, the person assigned to the claim will review the claimant’s medical records to determine if that person is truly unable to work, either temporarily or permanently, due to their disability. Both physical and mental disabilities may qualify a person to receive social security disability payments, if it is determined that the person will most likely be unable to work for at least the next twelve months. After a social security disability claim is approved, then the claimant will receive back pay from the Social Security Administration back to the time they became disabled. Many claims are denied after the first application and approved after an appeal hearing.

These two areas of the law differ in some ways, but for attorneys, both require careful reading of a client’s medical records. Medical records are one of the main types of evidence that can be presented in these types of cases. It is important for anyone who is considering filing a claim for disability or personal injury to seek medical care, because medical records may be used at a hearing or trial to prove the claim.

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.

Reasons Why You Should Never Say Anything Without Your Attorney if You’ve Been Charged

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Most of the time, people have no problem speaking with police. However, what often begins as a simple discussion ends up with the person being charged with a crime. Yet, while most people believe they are obligated to speak with police at any time, the fact is a person should never say anything without an attorney being present.

Keep Your Ability to Negotiate

Even if you are guilty, it’s best to not admit that right away. An attorney can use that time to negotiate a plea bargain or reduced sentence in exchange for a confession. In some instances, an attorney may find new evidence that could lead to the charges being dismissed.

Authorities May Assume You Are Lying

During a conversation with authorities, you may inadvertently leave out details that could prove crucial in proving your innocence. If this happens, law enforcement will automatically assume you are lying and trying to hide something.

Don’t be Fooled by Offers of a Lower Sentence

One reason many people talk to police is because they are told that if they do, they will receive a lesser sentence and the police will put in a good word for them. That never happens, since police do not have the authority to offer any deals based on a person’s statements or confessions.

Unknowingly Involved in Illegal Activity

If a person has unknowingly been involved in illegal activity, speaking with police alone could result in charges. By having an attorney present, people can avoid being charged with a crime that could greatly alter their lives.

Wrapping Up a Case

Once police charge someone with a crime, they simply want to wrap up the case as soon as possible, sometimes without concern for a person’s guilt or innocence. Having an attorney present will lessen the chances of this happening, since it will diminish the chances of saying something that can be used against you.

Miranda Rights

In some cases, police fail to inform people of their Miranda rights or people say they understand them when they don’t. Since anything you say can and will be used against you, having the assistance of an attorney can ensure you have been read your rights, understand them, and know what to say or not say.

Being charged with a crime can put one’s freedom and way of life on the line, so it’s crucial to have the best legal representation possible in order to protect your civil and constitutional rights. It’s important to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible if you are facing charges, say the experts at Druyon Law.

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.

Four of the Most Common Medical Malpractice Suits

Four of the Most Common Medical Malpractice Suits

Medical malpractice statistics are reported to the Centers for Disease Control, but until service providers realize the patient bore the brunt of the malpractice case, the lawsuits will continue. The Center for Disease Control in the United States reports that most medical malpractice suits are due to medication errors or failure to correctly diagnosis cancer, heart attacks, or meningitis. The Centers for Disease Control reports misdiagnoses by primary care doctors accounts for 26 – 63 percent of all malpractice claims. These are four more of the most common lawsuits that occur in the health field each year.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapists paid $44 million in malpractice claims over a ten-year period according to a CNA Healthpro study. The example lawsuit in the publication settled for $200,000 and cost $90,000 in legal fees with the patient being a 9 year-old child. Risk management is an integral part of a physical therapist’s business practice and when inadequately assessed, results in all kinds of damages. Students in any online doctorate of physical therapy school or program have to be versed in what kind of legal trouble they may face. Only well-educated and experienced professionals can avoid lawsuits when they take the time to diagnose properly.

Heart Attacks
Heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States kills 610,000 Americans annually. One in four deaths is due to heart disease and coronary heart disease kills 370,000 Americans in a year. All medical care providers are required by law to recognize signs and symptoms of heart attacks, but failure to recognize and diagnose symptoms of a heart attack is a leading cause of medical malpractice suits against physicians. Early detection and intervention is critical in preventing death due to heart attack.

Unfortunately, most of us do not recognize all the symptoms of impending heart attack, and 47 percent of sudden deaths due to heart attack occur outside the hospital. Doctors are expected to recognize chest pain, upper body pain, discomfort in arms, neck, or upper stomach, shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, or cold sweats, and doctors must take patients’ blood pressure and check their cholesterol. They must also know the contributing factors, which increase a patient’s risk of heart attack including diabetes, being overweight and obesity, poor diet, physical inactivity, and excessive alcohol use. Yet today doctors are sued for malpractice if they do not correctly diagnose these symptoms in their patients. They must recommend exercise, physical therapy, and weight loss to reduce patients’ risk of heart attack.

Childbirth 
The Center for Disease Control maintains a data base of infant birth and infant death data. Risk factors like age of the mother, ethnicity, race, birth weight, number of days premature, plurality, prenatal medical care, diet, the education level of the parents, birth order, marital status of the parents, and cigarette smoking or substance abuse by the parents all cause or contribute to infant deaths.

Infants who die at birth usually die from congenital deformities, low birth weight, and sudden infant death syndrome. In 2010, 35.2 percent of the infants who died were premature. There are more lawsuits filed with childbirth every year because they can be such sensitive cases.

Medication Errors

Adverse drug events result in 700,000 emergency room visits and 120,000 hospitalizations annually. New medications are constantly being developed, and new uses are discovered for old medications. Americans on average are living longer and eighty-two percent of all Americans take at least one prescription medication daily, and 29 percent take five or more medications daily.

Prescription drug overdose, especially the abuse of painkillers, leads to 44 deaths daily in the United States. Painkillers prescribed in the United States have quadrupled since 1999, and no decrease in pain has been reported. Legal and regulatory efforts attempt to prevent misuse, abuse, and overdose of prescription drugs.
Doctors and clinics everywhere have come under scrutiny for lawsuits and in return more and more restrictions and procedures have come into place to prevent them. These four of the most common cases are just some examples of where attention to detail is ongoing.

This article is from Brooke Chaplan, a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.

Friday Fun

I’ve done a lot of bicycle riding, both as a kid and as an adult. But I don’t think I could do one single thing that’s shown on this video of road bike skills.

Protect Your Rights: What To Do If You’ve Been Charged With A Serious Crime

6 Things You Should Do If You Are Facing Criminal Charges

You have rights even if you have been charged with a serious crime. You must react to the charges quickly in order to protect yourself and to prevent the situation from escalating. You should know what to do if you have been charged with a serious crime.

Stay Away From Places and People Associated With the Crime

You need to stay away from all the places and people associated with the crime you are charged with. Do not go to places where you supposedly did something wrong or where accusers or witnesses are located. Do not try to contact or talk to the people involved with the case. You want to stay away even if it is inconvenient.

Do Not Discuss Your Case

It is important to never discuss your case with prosecutors, police or friends. You could say something innocent that will be twisted until it becomes an incriminating statement. You do not have to talk about the events surrounding the crime. Stay silent and do not even write down anything about the case, even if you think it will assist a lawyer.

Preserve Any Evidence of Your Innocence

If you have any evidence that shows your innocence, then gather it up and preserve it. Put it in a safe place where it cannot be lost or stolen. This type of evidence could be documents, receipts or even text and picture messages.

Do Not Agree To Testing or Actions

Police or prosecutors might approach you with an offer to take a test that will prove your innocence such as a DNA test. Never agree to testing, plea deals or other actions. Decline them every time until you are represented by legal counsel.

Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer Immediately

You should contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately when charged with a serious crime. You can request to talk to your lawyer if you are in jail or in police custody. A lawyer will come to your defense and protect your rights through the entire process. Talking to a criminal defense lawyer in Atlanta is critical when you are facing criminal charges.

Avoid Illegal or Questionable Behaviors

A final step is to avoid illegal or questionable behaviors. The police or investigators might be watching you, looking for anything suspicious. You generally want to avoid doing things like drinking alcohol or other actions that could be used against you later.

Do not try to face criminal charges alone. This is a mistake police and prosecutors will exploit to win a conviction. The best course of action is to demand a lawyer and then stay silent until your attorney arrives and speaks with you.

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.

Five Social Security Disability Myths That Simply Aren’t True

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Social Security is a vital program for millions of Americans. It provides much-needed monetary and medical benefits for the elderly, the disabled, and dependents of deceased workers.

Unfortunately, the Social Security Administration gets a bad rap. Many people don’t fully understand everything the agency does, and subsequently most people’s opinions of its programs are based off misinformation and inaccurate reports.

The disability insurance program in particular tends to have a lot of misconceptions. Here are five of the most common:

  1. Disability Benefits = Welfare

Disability benefits are not welfare. Far from it. Social Security Disability is an insurance program, which means you have to pay into it to receive benefit coverage in the event you are unable to work due to a medical condition. It’s just like the retirement program but with different eligibility requirements and different payment accounts for the benefits, so if you are eligible for the program, you should feel no qualms about applying. You paid into the program in case a medical condition prevented you from working, and now you need coverage. It’s not a government handout; you worked hard for these benefits.

  1. Most Social Security Disability beneficiaries aren’t really disabled. They’re just too lazy to work.

The Social Security Administration’s disability approval process is actually quite stringent and thorough. In fact, it has some of the strictest requirements of any developed nation in the world. Fraud is incredibly rare and really only accounts for less than one percent of benefit payments. Additionally, disability beneficiaries tend to be elderly, which is understandable since we usually experience greater health complications the older we get. The vast majority of disability beneficiaries are between the ages of 50 and 65.

  1. If my doctor tells the Social Security Administration that I am disabled, I’ll automatically be eligible for benefits.

While a doctor’s support can be beneficial to your case, it is not the end all be all for approval. The Social Security Administration will evaluate your income and medical records to verify that you meet the program’s requirements, and if they have any questions about your eligibility, they will send you to a consultative exam to gather more information. It can be a long, drawn-out process. Try to remain patient, and make sure you are getting information to the Social Security Administration in a timely manner to ensure your case is evaluated as soon as possible.

  1. Nobody is ever approved the first time they apply. You have to submit multiple applications.

It’s easy to see where this rumor comes from. After all, nearly 70 percent of initial applications are denied. However, the Social Security Administration has no policy or formula that denies all initial claims. It’s just incredibly hard to prove you meet the program’s requirements without going before an Administrative Law Judge for a hearing. If you are denied for benefits after submitting an application, don’t just fill out a new one. File a request for reconsideration, and keep moving through the appeals process until you are approved or run out of options. If you just file a new application, you will more than likely continue to be denied.

  1. It’s not worth applying because the disability fund is going to run out next year anyway.

Although the Social Security Disability Insurance trust fund is expected to run out of its reserves by late next year, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t apply for benefits. As it moves closer to insolvency, Congress will start feeling the pressure to act—either by reforming or reallocating funds out of the Old Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund. Reallocation isn’t a new concept; actually it’s been done multiple times in the past to keep both programs solvent. Even if worst comes to worst, and the reserves do temporarily run out, the Disability Insurance fund will still bring in enough money to keep paying out 80 percent of benefits.

All in all, the Social Security Disability Insurance program is quite effective and helps millions of Americans who are unable to work through no fault of their own. Hopefully you never need to use these benefits, but if you do, you can rest easy knowing they’re available to help you through this difficult time in your life.

Author Info: Alyssa Vincent is a writer for DisabilityGuide.com, a website dedicated to helping individuals with disabilities navigate the Social Security Disability process.  She lives in Salt Lake City and enjoys reading, blogging and riding her Vespa. 

Asbestos Fibers Found in Crayons Made in China

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The San Francisco Chronicle reports a study released by the Environmental Working Group, an environmental health advocacy organization, found asbestos fibers in some Chinese-made crayons and crime-scene fingerprint kits in Bay Area stores and online. Asbestos was found in four of 28 boxes of crayons and two of 21 kids’ fingerprint testing kits that researchers observed. The crayons were labeled with popular cartoon characters like Mickey Mouse and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Sonya Lunder, lead author of the study and senior analyst with the group, said, “The right number of children’s toys that should be contaminated with a carcinogen is zero.”

CNN reports that labels on packaging indicated that the toys and crayons with asbestos fibers “were made in China and imported to the United States.” The report by the EWG Action Fund did not list the amount of asbestos found in the products, but the powder from the crime lab kit is considered more dangerous, said Dr. Jerry Paulson, the former chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council on Environmental Health, as they’re “much more available to the lung, where asbestos does its damage.”

Fox News notes the crayons were purchased from February to May 2015 from Party City and Dollar Tree, while the crime scene toys were purchased through Amazon.com and ToysRUs.com.

TIME reports the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission “has no ban on the material in crayons,” but said it is “investigating the EWG’s findings.” U.S. Sens. Edward Markey (D-MA) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) called on retailers to issue a voluntarily recall of “toxic products.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

What Can You Do if You Are Involved in a Class Action Lawsuit?

What Can You Do If You Are Involved in a Class Action Lawsuit

When you are involved in a class action lawsuit, you may feel that there’s nothing you can do. After all, there are many people involved in the suit, and it seems like waiting it out is the best thing to do. However, there are a few things that you can do to become involved in the class action lawsuit.

Stay Active in Following the Progress

One thing that you can do to further the lawsuit is to stay active and monitor the case. It may be helpful for you to provide your testimony to the trial if more evidence is needed. You can also help get the word out so that more people are aware of the trial; as more consumers add their complaints to the trial, the liability of the company will increase.

It’s important that the jury knows the full extent of damage caused by the company; if you are inclined to help more people join the lawsuit, then you could really help the trial along. As an added benefit, this tactic could be much better for your own peace of mind than simply waiting for the results of the trial

Become an Advocate for Your Cause

The class action lawsuit is a great starting point for making more people aware of the injustice that a company has done. In addition to the lawsuit itself, you can get involved in spreading stories about the problems that you and other users have had with the company. In this way, you can get some relief while also protecting other consumers from experiencing the same problems.

In some ways, a class action lawsuit can be the best start to talking about larger issues that consumers face. By staying active and leveraging the power of the lawsuit to back your claims, you can start to draw large-scale attention to the problems that the company has created.

Some class action cases can be beneficial to the participants because it provides a way for consumers to get justice against a large company that has wronged them. This benefit can go beyond just the monetary compensation for an individual. The benefit of getting your story out there and having your complaints heard by other consumers can help to alleviate some of the burden of being wronged. In order to get the most out of a class action lawsuit, it’s important to seize that opportunity to seek justice for yourself and other people affected by the claim.

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.

Friday Fun

Kids — 38 Test Answers That Are 100% Wrong But Totally Genius At The Same Time.

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Natural Disasters: How to Prepare to Keep Your Family Safe

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Turbulent weather caused by a natural disaster can be a devastating experience. The unpredictability of weather patterns means preventive measures are essential to protect you and your family from injuries or worse. Fortunately there are great resources available that will prepare you for any type of dangerous weather. Here are tools to help you prepare if a natural disaster lands in your backyard:

General tips to follow prior to and during a natural disaster event:

1) Prior to the weather event occurring, have a discussion with your family on the household emergency plan. Arrange for a contact person outside of your region that would be able to accommodate your family. Discuss an escape plan that includes where the family should meet if people get separated. Practice safety drills and know where local emergency shelters are in your city.

2) Learn basic safety and emergency aid skills and keep your home equipped with a first aid kit. Local American Red Cross agencies will sponsor classes if you want to receive specialized training.

3) Stock supplies like water, canned goods and other non-perishable items (don’t forget the can opener). Know where your flashlight, batteries and portable cell phone chargers are located.

Plan for specific disasters

Flooding

Flooding is the most common natural weather event in the United States. Consult the FEMA flood map to determine if your property is susceptible to flooding. To protect yourself, raise all of your electrical components to reduce the risk of shock or electrical fire. Waterproof your basement if you live in a flood zone. For your physical safety, go to higher ground if water is accumulating to dangerous levels. Under no circumstance, try to walk over a stream or drive over flooded roadways. If water rises before you are able to escape your home, try going to the attic or even roof. Wash your hands if you’ve come in contact with any floodwater.

Tornadoes

According to FEMA, nearly every region is at risk for a tornado. If a tornado is impending, go to the basement or an inside no-window room to shield yourself from flying objects. Injuries are usually a result of debris flying in the air, so you want to minimize points of entry. For extra protection, cover yourself with something sturdy as if you are taking cover, like a mattress or heavy table. If you live in a mobile home, make every effort to leave and seek other shelter.

Monsoon

If you are in area subject to monsoons, under no circumstances, stand near a pole or tree. It is best to stay in your home or if you are on the road, remain in your vehicle. Prepare your vehicle for a disaster by doing things like adding all-terrain tires from Kuhmo, purchasing a high quality battery and keeping an emergency bag in your car with water and other supplies. For extra protection, avoid large wide areas and do not huddle close together with people.

Earthquakes

When the shaking starts to happen during an earthquake, stay where you are. Avoid doorways and cover yourself with your hands and arms to prevent being hurt from fallen debris. Avoid all windows and grab any sturdy covering so you are able to move with it while the shaking continues. If you are in your vehicle when the earthquake hits, stop as soon as possible and remain in your vehicle. Avoid electrical wires and buildings if outside.

Hurricanes

Hurricanes are slow moving weather events so people often have ample time to prepare. If officials ask you to evacuate because your home is in the pathway of the hurricane, it is prudent for your safety to listen to this advice. For those who make the decision to stay, use plywood to cover all windows and seek a room that will be safe from all flying debris. Anchor all items down and trim trees so they won’t land on your home.

Use common sense and don’t be caught off guard when a natural disaster hits. Prepare yourself to save your loved ones as well as your property.

Rudri Patel is a former lawyer turned writer and editor, wife, mother and observer. She has written for Brain, Child; Huffington Post; First Day Press; and Mamalode. She is seeking grace in the ordinary.

Going to Criminal Trial as a Minor: Is it a Major Ordeal?

Going to Trial as a Minor Is it a Major Ordeal

Minors can go to trial when charged with a crime, but the juvenile court system is different from what adults will experience. It can actually be worse for a growing child who is scared and unsure of what is happening so it’s best to prepare early for what you might need to expect. This process can make trial as a minor a major ordeal.

The Process Can Be Humiliating and Stressful
Going to trial can be a humiliating process. Although not likely to face a jury, the opposing attorneys and the judge are likely to do everything possible to paint the minor as a bad person. The judge might even be very harsh on minors in the courtroom. This type of process can leave a juvenile feeling alone, helpless, and stressed until the trial ends.

Juveniles Can Be Detained until Trial
Something to consider is minors can be detained until trial. The juvenile might have to spend time in a detention center until the trial date. This action can be ordered in the middle of trial if necessary, and some jurisdictions actually place minors in the same facilities as adult criminals and felons for federal crimes. Detention can be a very traumatic experience and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Potential Penalties Can Be Harsh
The ruling at a trial could come much faster than expected, and the potential penalties imposed can be harsh. Punishments might include time in a detention center, extensive community service, probation, or forced participation in a diversion program for something like driving while under the influence, or a DWI.

There Could Be Collateral Consequences
It is important to remember there could be collateral consequence for minors found guilty of DWI, drug possession, or violent crimes. Those consequences can include denial of federal benefits, denial of federal student loans, and problems finding employment before the records are sealed. Not all juvenile records are sealed in every jurisdiction as well.

Juvenile Court Is Hard On Families

A final point to consider is how going to trial as a minor can affect family life. The family might feel conflicted or could be anxious about the outcome of the case, and a trial can create rifts between family members.

Juvenile court is incredibly serious. It can change the life of a minor forever and the negative consequences can even seep into adulthood. It is always best to avoid going to trial as a minor by negotiating a plea deal or by avoiding criminal activity completely.

This article is from Brooke Chaplan, a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.

Understanding Your Legal Rights After a DUI

Understanding your Legal Rights after Being Charged with a DUI

An arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) can be frightening and few people know what their legal rights are after an arrest for such a crime. The majority of people who are charged with a DUI are unaware that they are over the legal limit, thinking that the few drinks they had with friends were not enough to cause them to drive while under the influence. There are rights that you have after being charged with a DUI, however, that can protect you and give you a better chance for a fair sentence.

Burden of Proof

In a DUI case, it is the prosecution who has the burden of proof that you drove a vehicle and were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If the defense can prove that either of these two requirements is false, the prosecution may not be able to prove that you are guilty. If you are in a parking lot with your vehicle running, for example, your attorney may be able to convince a judge or jury that you were not driving under the influence.

Legal Justification

In most states, a police officer must have legal justification to stop you. In other words, they must have probable cause to believe that you were drinking and driving. If you can prove that you were not driving erratically or in a manner that demonstrated intoxication, it is possible the policeman had no justification to stop you.

Miranda Warnings

After being charged with a DUI, or any crime, the police are required to read you your Miranda Warnings. Most people recognize the Miranda Warnings as “reading your rights.” What many people do not know is that the Miranda Warnings must be read at the time of arrest and that they must be recited correctly. If the police officer fails to read you your rights or recites them incorrectly, your DWI lawyer may be able to exclude certain evidence at trial, such as a blood test required after arrest.

Police Report

You are entitled to a copy of your police report after the arrest. If there are any statements in the police report that are not true, your attorney may be able to exclude them. For example, if the police officer wrote that you were staggering when you got out of the car and your clothes were disheveled, they must be able to prove that this was true. If you have witnesses to testify that it was not true, you may be able to refute the police testimony.

Breath, Urine and Blood Tests

You have the right to refuse any breath tests at the scene of the arrest, but, in some states, this can lead to an automatic suspension of your license. If you submitted to a breath test, it is possible to refute the results as the test is not always reliable. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration guidelines require that an individual must be observed for 20 minutes before a breath test is administered. If it was not 20 minutes after you were stopped, you may be able to refute the test. Breathing tests must be calibrated at regular intervals and you have a right to request calibration records. Most states no longer use urine tests as they are the least accurate, but states do use blood tests, especially in the case of an accident where someone was killed or injured. A blood test is more difficult to refute than breath or urine tests, however.

These are some of the rights you have after being charged with a DUI which may help you fight the charges against you. The best option is to not drink before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle, but if you find yourself in a position where you have been charged, it is important to know what rights you have.

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.

When Should You Consider Settling Out of Court?

When Should You Consider Settling Out of Court

A personal injury can have a significant impact on your personal life, determining your ability to work and whether or not you will have continuing medical problems in the future. If you are involved in a personal injury case, acquiring an attorney with knowledge and experience can be critical in ensuring that you receive appropriate compensation for your injury. A settlement is a sum of money that is offered to compensate the injured party. A number of factors come into play when considering when to settle your case out of court, instead of extending that dispute through a lengthy court process.

Ongoing Medical Needs

Legal experts recommend refraining from considering a settlement out of court until your medical condition is thoroughly evaluated and you know the extent of the disability, whether temporary or permanent, and how your life will be affected. These considerations will influence the amount of compensation you will need to stabilize your condition and normalize your life in future years. Even a settlement, though, can potentially cover your medical needs. Consider Ladah Law Firm’s case results for a snapshot into potentially settlement outcomes.

Returning to Work Duties

Another consideration for the injured party is whether he or she will be able to perform their usual work tasks, will have to seek a different form of employment or possibly will not be able to work at all. Agreeing to a settlement amount before you know the true impact of your injury on your ability to work can leave injured parties at a serious advantage if they find they are unable to support their families.

Family Responsibilities

A serious injury can cause severe disruption in an individual’s family. The focus on medical care, disruption in income and other matters can create an atmosphere of chaos and distress. Many plaintiffs feel that settling out of court will allow them to return to normal more quickly and reduce the amount of stress the injury has caused to their families. Frank discussions with an attorney can help determine if settlement is the best course of action for these individuals and their families.

Ability to Wait

Another consideration is a practical one. Plaintiffs may feel they cannot afford to wait through a long, involved court case over disputed amounts of compensation and may feel it’s more beneficial to settle for an amount, so that they can resume their lives as normally as possible. This is a personal consideration that plaintiffs must decide for themselves.

If you have questions about receiving a settlement for your personal injury case, do your homework and figure out how a settlement will influence your finances, timelines, and medical conditions.

About the author: A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica Oaks 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.

Friday Fun

Ever wonder how the Amazon warehouse works? The Amazon warehouse has been automated by robots for years now, but I only recently saw a video of the little creatures in action. Fascinating.

Are You Entitled To Compensation If You Suffered Food Poisoning From A Restaurant?

Are You Entitled To Compensation If You Suffered From Food Poisoning From A Restaurant

When are you entitled to compensation for injuries that you have incurred? Usually, the answer is when someone else is clearly at fault, and you have suffered an injury for which there can be compensation. It’s easy to think of this process in terms of things like a car accident or even a slip and fall, but what about a more nebulous issue? It’s possible to raise the question of liability when it comes to something as common as getting food poisoning from a restaurant. Whether or not you are entitled to compensation is an interesting question, and one that cuts to the very heart of the law.

Food Poisoning As An Injury

Let’s start at the very beginning of liability – with the injury. Is food poisoning an injury? If it makes you sick enough to go to the hospital, one could say that it is. If you miss work, it’s likewise clear that some kind of injury has occurred. If you had a bit of a sick stomach and walked away? There might not be any injury of which you can speak. You have to have some kind of quantifiable harm happen for there to be any sort of liability, so that’s the first question that must be answered.

What The Restaurant Owes You

The next question is whether the restaurant owes you any kind of duty of care. Unless you signed some kind of waiver (which in itself may not be valid), a restaurant clearly owes each of its patrons a duty to prepare food well. This not only means that the food should be cooked, but that it should use ingredients that will not cause illness. It’s a bit more of a gray area if you have an allergy of which you did not inform the cook. Though, what you’re looking for is a violation of the basic relationship between the restaurant and patron.

Getting The Compensation You Deserve

So, are you entitled to compensation if you suffered from food poisoning at a restaurant? The short is answer is “maybe.” However, an attorney can help back up your case to get the compensation you deserve, say the experts at Pritzker Law. It depends on the circumstances under which the offending food was consumed, as well as the harm that you suffered. If you do believe that you suffered some kind of harm, you should always meet with an attorney to discuss the next step. While food poisoning may not always be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of liability, it may be a problem that deserves some form of compensation.

Getting food poisoning can be very serious, especially for people who already suffer from various health conditions. If you have suffered from even moderate food poisoning from a restaurant, it’s important to talk to a lawyer.

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.

Is A Career In Law Worth It? Six Reasons You Should Pursue A Law Education And Career

6 Reasons You Should Pursue A Law Education And Career

Becoming an attorney takes many years of studying, but in the end, it is a rewarding career choice. You’re looking at around a four year undergraduate degree, three years of law school, and another six months in passing the bar exam and getting sworn in. It requires both personal and financial sacrifices. These are six reasons why that sacrifice and investment pay off.

Dollars

The median income for attorneys at well over $100,000 a year speaks for itself. Many attorneys that are known on a national level earn considerably more. Even solo practitioners can reap a hefty income when concentrating on practice areas like personal injury or white collar crime.

Ability to help others

Lawyers are uniquely situated for helping the unfortunate guy or little old lady. You may not make as much when you occasionally undertake their representation, but intrinsic reward has its own value. You’re helping somebody who needs help. You might also get a referral three years down the road that pays for your kindness tenfold.

The bad guys

There are some very bad people out there that need to be put away. An undergraduate degree in criminal justice can be the first step toward becoming a prosecutor. It also prepares you well for the thought process needed in law school. You can make a tremendous contribution to your area by prosecuting bad guys and keeping others safe from them. Earnings of most senior level prosecutors are well into six figures. The benefits packages are generally strong too.

Mind games

A legal education and career will keep your brain sharp and intellect challenged for a lifetime. Lawyers learn that every rule has exceptions, and they continually analyze them. They read, write and interact with others daily, often on an intellectually competitive level. For decades they’ll employ their analytical abilities from dawn until dusk, even when retired. When you think like a lawyer, you’ll think that way for life.

Legal diversity

A chemist or engineer can go into patent law. Teachers can go into educational law. Athletes can be sports lawyers and agents. Pilots can be aviation lawyers. Biologists can be become environmental lawyers. Whatever one’s primary interest is, they can specialize in that area of the law.

Well-educated

No matter what area of law you decide to focus on, it will require a great deal of education and studying to get there. A criminal justice degree can give you the information needed to succeed in your career. Because lawyers need to keep up with the new laws a regulations, they are always in touch with the world today.

There are other great reasons for becoming a lawyer, and the rewards are well worth the sacrifices. With hard work and a passion for law, you can get the job of your dreams and make a positive impact.

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.

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The Importance of Having a Good Trial Lawyer in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

The Importance of Having a Good Trial Lawyer in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Whether you are charged with DUI where someone was injured or someone slipped and fell in your home, anyone can become the defendant in a personal injury lawsuit. Too often, people rely on their insurance company to handle such claims, thinking there is no need for an attorney. The fact is, whenever you are charged in a personal injury lawsuit, you need to hire an attorney who specializes in that type of law.

Claims Assessment Experience

One of the most important reasons you need an attorney when charged with personal injury is that good trial lawyers have experience in assessing claims. They can tell you from the beginning what you are facing regarding the claim and whether or not you may be able to settle out of court or can expect to go to trial. When it comes to settling claims, the advice of an attorney is invaluable.

Investigative Abilities

One of the things that a trial lawyer can do that you cannot is investigate the accident thoroughly. One of the things they will look for is whether the victim was at fault, or even partially at fault, for the injury. In some states, if it can be proven that the plaintiff contributed at all to their own injury, their case can be dismissed or their award reduced. Because trial lawyers have a team of investigators available, they are able to look at the details of the accident and determine whether or not you were totally at fault or the plaintiff contributed in any way.

Knowledge of the Law

The average layperson knows very little about the intricacies of law. For example, if you are pulled over and a breath test shows you are over the legal limit, many people believe that they are automatically guilty. A DWI lawyer would tell you that assumption is wrong. The fact is that there are many different aspects of law that could mean what looks like a “cut and dried” case may not be at all. In a personal injury case, the law is even more complicated as there can be many defenses available that show you were not responsible for someone else’s injury. A highly qualified trial lawyer will understand the aspects of law that apply to your case and be able to advise you on what steps to take to minimize or eliminate the claim against you.

Even if it seems that the claim against you is minor and you believe it will be an easy one to settle, hiring a trial lawyer is highly recommended, especially in personal injury cases. Whether the injuries to the other person seem minor or not, an attorney can provide you with quality advice to be sure your rights are protected.

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.

Best Ways to Build the Necessary Skills for a Career in Law

Best Ways to Build the Necessary Skills for a Career in Law

Becoming a lawyer can be a difficult path, yet a rewarding career later on. Lawyers work in many different areas, such as criminal or commercial, and perform a variety of complex tasks. Successful lawyers are skilled with managing stress, multi-tasking, and dealing with mentally and emotionally intense situations. However, a lawyer needs more skills before they can build a successful career. Below explains three key competencies every aspiring lawyer should develop and maintain.

Apply Organizational Skills
Lawyers in any field must be able to juggle equally demanding tasks while quickly preparing for cases and responding to urgent problems, and you must have excellent time and task management skills. Students can build these skills through applying time and organizational techniques in their personal, academic, and work life. Learn how to use a day planner, smart phone calendar, and Outlook calendar at the same time. Aspiring lawyers should learn how to centralize and standardize the procedures for completing tasks to ensure accuracy and timeliness. For example, use an Excel spreadsheet to track and follow up with all projects and homework assignments. This will allow you to set deadlines, quickly access important information, and plan on future required actions. A good organizational skill set can set you up to finish your Masters in law degree and get you started in a career.

Practice Communication Skills

Lawyers must have excellent communication skills, including reading, writing, speaking and listening. Consider taking debate, public speaking or leadership classes. Practice reading complex legal material and writing a comprehensive review that persuades the reader to action. Learn how to actively listen and ask in-depth questions. Since so much of communication is done through email, consider taking a business writing class that will teach you the necessary skills and techniques for writing a professional email. The key to effective communication is learning how to be thorough with consistent follow-up. Practice effective communication techniques every chance you get. Ask for feedback from professors and other students on how to improve your communication efficacy and style.

Obtain a Master’s Degree in Law

According to the American Bar Association, almost 120,000 law students enrolled in over 200 law schools in 2014, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 10 percent increase in employment for lawyers over the next 10 years. A Master’s degree in Law is an excellent way to learn the necessary professional skills through formal training and education. Consider volunteering at the court or a legal organization so you can apply techniques and improve your skills.

All organizational and communication skills are a must for lawyers. In addition to this, a master’s degree in law is an excellent way to academically build skills. The American Bar Association offers career advice and resources here. It’s up to you to find your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to your career in law. It takes time, but as you build up these skills you will have the necessary support you need to move ahead into the career you want.

This article is from Brooke Chaplan, a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.

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