NTSB Issues Special Investigation Report on Tire Safety

Driver Dangers What Career Drivers Should Know to Stay Safe

The NTSB’s special investigation report on tire safety garnered significant media coverage, with all three major network evening newscasts reporting on the story. Much of the reporting has focused on the investigation’s finding that a majority of recalled tires remain on the road. For instance, the CBS Evening News reported that the NTSB “found as many as 80% of recalled tires do not get fixed.” NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart is shown saying, “A lot of that is something the consumers don’t have control over because they don’t know that they’re driving with a tire that’s subject to a recall.” According to NBC Nightly News, the NTSB “said there could be at least one million to two million dangerous recalled tires on the road.” Moreover, ABC World News reported that “millions of tires are under safety recall, but the vast majority of owners never find out about it.”

ABC News reports online that the NTSB called the current tire recall system “broken.” Hart is quoted as saying that the report “is the outcome of…investigations that uncovered several issues, some of which are systemic, that consumers cannot address on their own.” For instance, Hart mentioned that most motorists “don’t know they need to register their tires with the manufacturer in order to receive recall notices,” the article adds.

The NBC News website reports that during a meeting in Washington, NTSB investigators said that while “tire problems cause 33,000 accidents and kill 500-plus motorists” every year, “only one in five defective tires is being taken out of service via recalls.” Dr. Rob Molloy, acting director of the NTSB’s Office of Highway Safety, is quoted as saying, “Based on the work we did, that system is not working,” adding “it is completely broken.”

Meanwhile, the AP says that NTSB investigators were also “critical” of the NHTSA’s tire recall website, “saying consumers can easily become confused by the search process and come away believing their tires have not been recalled when in fact they were.” The NTSB “unanimously approved 11 safety recommendations,” the article says. Most of these recommendations are directed at the NHTSA, Modern Tire Dealer reports. Among the recommendations is a call for the NHTSA to “require tire dealers to register tires at the point of sale,” the article mentions. School Transportation News quotes Hart as saying that the “recommendations, if acted upon, hold the promise of saving some of the more than 500 lives lost to tire-related crashes every year.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

Understanding Your Best Defense for DUI-Related Charges

Understanding your Best Defense for DUI-Related Charges

Prosecutors and police departments have the law on their side of nearly all DUI-related cases. Given the fact that they have that advantage, you’ll want as many of the facts of the case on your side as possible. That’s why your best defense in a DUI-related case arises the moment you see that squad car’s lights in your rear view mirror. The facts of the case are the evidence, and if indeed you have consumed any alcohol before driving, you don’t want to give the prosecution enough evidence to convict you.

Speak as little as possible
From the time that the officer walks up to your window, he or she is evaluating you for intoxication. Simple single-word responses to questions are acceptable. If the officer asks where you’re coming from, just say “I have nothing to say.” Always be polite. You’re nervous, and you don’t want to get your tongue twisted. If you’re arrested for DUI, any observations that the officer makes in his or her report of your arrest can be challenged in court.

Don’t perform field sobriety tests
It might seem that you’re being commanded to perform field sobriety tests. However gruff the officer might be, they’re only requesting that you take them. According to the New Jersey criminal law attorneys at Clark & Clark, LLC, the law doesn’t require you to take any field sobriety tests, so don’t give the prosecution any further evidence by taking them. Most sober people can’t pass them anyway.

The cameras
It’s highly likely that your entire encounter is going to be audio and video recorded. That’s another reason why you don’t want to take field sobriety tests. Even when you’re in the back of the squad car being transported to the police station, you’re probably being recorded. Anything that you say or do that might support intoxication can be used against you.

The blood alcohol test
The fact that you gave a breath sample that supports a finding of intoxication doesn’t mean that that the test was accurate and reliable. Certain complicated procedures must be followed before, during and after a breath sample is taken. If the procedures aren’t followed, they can be kept out of evidence. Any result from blood alcohol testing should be investigated and challenged.

The facts of your DUI case are going to be the evidence against you. Don’t give the prosecution the evidence they need to convict you.

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 four-year-old husky Snowball.

Domestic Violence: Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid To Get Legal Help

Why You Shouldn't Be Afraid To Get Legal Help

If you or a loved one is dealing with domestic violence, you do not have to suffer alone. There are professionals who are trained in helping you to break free from the cycle of abuse. Although leaving an abusive partner can be terrifying, you need to get help before the abuse intensifies. When it comes to domestic violence, you should never be afraid to seek help through medical, emotional or legal support.

Domestic Violence Is Not Just Physical

One of the main reasons that people choose not to get help is because they are worried about how it will affect their family. Domestic violence is not always physical. Often, it includes emotional, sexual, economic or verbal components. The abuser may refuse to share financial resources, or they may encourage you to quit your job. By taking economic control, the abuser is trying to make you dependent on them entirely so that you cannot get help.

Legal Recourse for Financial Problems

If you are worried about leaving for financial reasons, you can get legal protection. You have rights to your earnings, and there are other programs that can help you to restart your life. Worries about finances do not have to stop you from leaving your abusive partner. Depending on your relationship status, the number of children in your family and the length of your relationship, you may be legally entitled to a part of the finances.

Rediscovering Your Confidence

Over time, an abuser may use verbal and emotional techniques to make you feel like you are unable to carry on with your life. They may isolate you from your friends and family so that no one is able to help you. Likewise, they may try to humiliate you in public or criticize everything about you. All of this is done to break you down so that you are not able to leave them. In reality, you have all of the tools and abilities necessary to become independent. There are domestic abuse hotlines and programs that are designed to help you get back on your feet and rediscover yourself. No matter how bad the abuse has been, you have the potential to start a new, happier life.

Remember: The Law Is on Your Side

As you work toward leaving your partner, remember that the law is on your side. Domestic abuse in any form is not allowed under law and carries a stiff prison sentence. You have a right to be safe, and there are legal options that can help you along the way. Talk to a San Diego domestic violence attorney to understand your options. It’s important to understand your rights, and a lawyer can help.

The Community Is Ready to Support You

If you are afraid of starting a new life, living on your own or finding a job, you do not have to worry. There are community programs that are designed to connect you with community members who can help. Often, there are transitional housing programs that you can use as you regain your independence. In addition, you can find programs to help with food, shelter, employment resources and childcare as you make the transition.

File a Protective Order

When you are ready to leave, you can make sure that your partner is not able to come near you again. A protective order will legally require them to break off contact with you. Through a legal advocate, you can learn how to file a protective order and ensure your future safety.

No one deserves to live with domestic violence, and there are programs that can help you. Legal advice can assist you in figuring out your rights to financial and economic resources. In addition, you can get a protective order against your partner so that you are kept physically safe. Shelters, transitional housing, community programs and counseling are all available to help you on the path to your own safe, happy independence.

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.

NHTSA Probes Jeep SUV Rollaway Complaints


The AP reports that the NHTSA is “investigating complaints that some newer Jeep SUVs can roll away unexpectedly after drivers put them in park.” Come 408,000 Grand Cherokees from the 2014 and 2015 model years are covered by the probe. The NHTSA “received 14 complaints from drivers, including five crashes and three injuries,” according to the article, which adds that “NHTSA posted documents about the investigation on Monday,” noting that “Jeeps have electronic gear selectors” but that the “shifter doesn’t move along a track like it does in most cars.” A Fiat Chrysler spokesman “said the company is cooperating with the investigation and that the agency hasn’t made any finding that the cars have a safety defect,” according to the article.

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

Friday Fun

We’ve always had cats, and it’s fun to watch them test the limits of their leaping abilities. Thank goodness they always land on their feet, as this video demonstrates.

Jury Rules for Plaintiff in Asbestos Case


Law 360 reports that “a Florida jury slammed Georgia-Pacific LLC with a $9.4 million verdict in a construction worker’s lawsuit alleging his work with the company’s asbestos-containing products in Saudi Arabia decades ago caused him to develop a deadly form of cancer, finding the company had negligently marketed a defective product.” According to the article, “the jury in Miami set the total amount of damages at $17 million, but found Georgia-Pacific bears 55 percent of the blame for plaintiff Roy Taylor’s terminal mesothelioma, and Taylor himself was 15 percent responsible.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

Six Crime Rates That Rise When The Economy Is Struggling

6 Crime Rates That Rise When The Economy Is Struggling

Many factors affect crime rates, and it’s hard to blame rising crime rates on just one condition. However, there are many logical reasons why certain crime rates may rise during tough economic times. The main reason: when people are desperate for financial stability, they may do things they wouldn’t otherwise do. Here are six crimes to watch out for during economic struggles.

Home Burglaries

During an economic recession, many people lose their jobs and become desperate for needed finances. Thus, more people may turn to home burglaries as an easy way to nab a few belongings while homeowners are out.

To protect your family, home, and belongings, keep your doors and windows locked when you’re away. Install a security system to make thieves think twice about robbing your home.


When they’re short on cash, some people won’t go so far as to break into a home. But they may think grabbing a few items they need at the store is easy to do and not very serious. Unfortunately, increases in shoplifting negatively affect the economy.


In difficult times, many people feel increased stress because they cannot find a job or meet their basic needs. They turn to excess drinking for comfort. Unfortunately, this leads to an increased risk for drunk drivers. Drive carefully and be aware of other drivers. If you see a suspicious driver, call the police.


In 1987, Wall Street experienced a major crash. During the next few years, the New York City murder rate increased. Some believe that the economic stress may contribute to an increase in violence and aggression.

To stay safe, always stay in public areas. Do not go out alone after dark.

Gang Violence

With more people out of work, many turn to gang activity. They may desire the protection a gang offers, or simply want to relieve their boredom. Also, during tough times, many people need to abandon their homes; the empty houses create places for gangs to congregate.

In addition, police departments may limit the number of law enforcement officials during hard economic times, making it harder to control gang-related crime.

Car Theft

Just as other types of theft increase during an economic downturn, car theft can also increase. Many people can’t resist the temptation of a car that’s easy to steal.

Thus, you should use a car alarm. You should always lock your car and never park it in an empty, poorly lit area.

Tough economic times sometimes bring out the worst in people. Take steps to protect yourself from crime when the economy struggles. According to experts at the Rosengren Kohlmeyer Law Offices, common criminal charges include DUI and robbery. By being prepared and protecting your home from theft, you can help ensure that you aren’t a victim of these crimes.

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.

Peace of Mind: A Guide to Backyard Safety


The weather is cooling down, and your kids are trying to squeeze every last ounce of fun out of the backyard. They’re going for one last swim, or one last jump on the trampoline, or one last adventure into the woods. You’re thrilled to see them playing outside, but you also want them to be safe, even when you can’t have an eye on them. The same goes for their friends and any guests you have over.

The fall is a great time to instill in your child good safety habits for playing outdoors. It’s also a great time to save money on backyard safety equipment, as stores and online retailers lower their prices to make room for winter gear. Here are a few tips and products for making your backyard as safe as possible before the leaves start falling.

Establish Boundaries

It can be easy to take for granted that your children know how far from the house they’re allowed to roam. Take the time to establish a boundary with your children early, even if you have a small, fenced-in yard. If you own acres of land, make sure you’ve provided clear markers for the edge of your property. Also make sure they know what areas are off limits, like storage sheds, utility meters and trees that are near power and cable lines. Help them to understand that these boundaries aren’t just about safety, but about respecting other people’s property as well.

Poisonous Plants

If you have a lot of greenery in your yard or you have a house that borders a wooded area, make sure to identify any poisonous plants and teach your kids what to avoid. As plants start to die off in autumn, it can be tempting to assume that your children are safe from harm, but poison oak and sumac can remain active until well after the first frost. If you have a garden, make sure your kids understand the importance of asking you for permission before sampling the harvest. You may want to avoid harmful pesticides or sprays if you know children will be in the vicinity.

Pool Alarms

A good pool alarm can monitor your pool for any disturbances to let you know when something or someone is in the water. It can give you some peace of mind that no one is playing in or around the pool without your supervision. Additionally, a quality pool alarm isn’t going to inadvertently sound when disturbed by a small animal or strong gust of wind. Poolcenter.com offers two types of pool alarms, a side-mounted model and a floating bouy-style model that can be easily removed from the pool when you’ve given the kids permission to swim.

A Trampoline

What kid doesn’t want a trampoline in the backyard? It’s a great form of exercise and can keep them entertained for as long as the warm weather holds up. A trampoline is going to make your house a popular destination for lots of kids, and not all of them are going to know how to jump safely. It’s always a good idea to post the rules for your trampoline. That way, everyone understands that only one child should be jumping at a time and that the safest place on the trampoline is right in the middle. If you’re considering buying a trampoline, consider a Springfree model, which re-engineered the traditional trampoline to reduce the risk of injury.

By Aaron Rote
Byline: #Chicago freelance writer and poet specializing in quick wit and quick turnarounds.

5 Legal Steps to Take After a Car Accident

5 Legal Steps to Take After a Car Accident

Time seems to slow down when you have a car accident. The seconds stretch out as the collision occurs. You get jarred in your seat as the adrenaline really starts to kick in. Maybe you jump out to inspect the damage. Maybe you run to the other car to check on the occupants or to yell at them for the accident. You don’t know what you’ll do. You are running on instinct.

However, when you run on instinct, you aren’t always thinking ahead. As a result, you might make mistakes at the crash site that cost you legally and financially later. To ensure you make the best of a terrible situation, here are a few legal tips you should use after a car accident.

Stay at the Scene

If you have a collision with another vehicle, never leave the scene. Even if the accident wasn’t your fault, you will still violate hit and run laws if you don’t stay (Source: Cohen Placitella Roth, PC.). However, if the damage to your vehicles aren’t critical, talk to the other driver about driving the cars to a safer location. To make sure the other person doesn’t flee either, take a picture of the car’s license plate immediately.

Call the Police

You should always call 911 if you have a car accident that results in injuries or property damage, even if those damages or injuries are minor. Police officers can calmly assess the scene and impartially assess fault. In addition, police have training to assess injuries, which can save lives and also decide a legal case.

Don’t Admit Fault

Never say you are sorry. You may know the accident is your fault. Or you could want to show sympathy for the other driver’s situation. However, if you apologize for anything related to the accident, it counts as admitting fault for the accident. As a result, you could be held liable for the property damage, emotional trauma, and physical injuries of the other party.

Document Everything

You want as much evidence as possible to document your side of the accident. Take as many photos as possible of the damage, the position of the cars, and any injuries. Talk with witnesses and record their statements. Don’t forget to write down you own perspective. While police officers will also collect information, it’s best to have your own record as well.

Exchange Insurance Information

While you document the scene, give your contact and insurance information to the other party. Make sure you have all necessary information as well. If the person driving doesn’t hold the insurance policy or doesn’t own the car, make sure you get the name of the owner too.

When you have these general steps memorized, you can respond to a car accident without further legal issues. However, if you do anticipate legal problems, talk to a lawyer.

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 four-year-old husky Snowball.

Friday Fun

This comedy gymnastics routine is funny, and the guy is an excellent gymnast.

Avoid the Mishaps: 5 Things Not To Do After a DWI Jail Release

Gavel, Alcoholic Drink and Car Keys on a Gradating to White Background - Drinking and Driving Concept.

You can still have hope. After all, even though the authorities arrested you for a DWI, you were still able to get out of jail on bail. Now you have the freedom and the time to start building a defense so you don’t have to suffer the law’s harshest consequences for your mistake. So you hire a lawyer, research online, and start compiling evidence that could protect you.

However, even if you accomplish all the above tasks, you still need to avoid certain actions if you want your court date to have the most favorable outcome possible. Avoid the five things in the list below to ensure your situation doesn’t become any messier.

Do Not Handle the Situation Without an Attorney

An attorney knows the nuances and complexities associated with DWI laws. You likely don’t. So you need guidance from an attorney like the ones from Buford & Gonzalez Austin DWI Attorneys if you want to avoid pitfalls and further consequences. An attorney can also help you avoid doing anything that could compromise your defense, including the other points on this list. Even if you only see a lawyer once for advice, you should still see one.

Do Not Drink Any More Alcohol

Your decision to drink alcohol and then drive got you in trouble. You should not hint at any return to this irresponsible action, even if you visit a bar with a designated driver. Stay away from alcohol both in public and at home until your case has come to some kind of resolution. And if you happen to have a couple drinks at dinner, keep your blood alcohol level well within legal limits.

Do Not Drive with a Suspended License

Even if you submit to a breathalyzer test, the authorities could still suspend your license for 90 days if you fail the test. And if you don’t submit to the test, they could suspend your license for 180 days. But even if you have doctor’s appointments or career obligations, you must not drive your car.

Ask your attorney to try and appeal the suspension, or have someone else drive you where you need to go. A violation of your suspension could worsen your DWI case.

Do Not Post Anything About Your Case on Social Media

Just as you would not post anything about criminal cases on social media, you shouldn’t say anything about your DWI case. You could accidentally say something that undermines your defense. You could also say something that alienates you from anyone who tries to help you, including your lawyer. Do not talk about your situation on social media.

Do Not Miss Your Court Date

If you miss your court date, a warrant could go out for your arrest, and you could face even worse consequences, even jail time, for staying away from the court. Attend your court date, whatever you do.

A DWI doesn’t have to turn into a disaster. Stay away from the five mistakes mentioned here so you don’t undermine your chances at a favorable legal outcome.

Author info: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on twitter: @RachelleWilber

Becoming an Advocate Against Drinking and Driving: What You Can Do

Becoming an Advocate Against Drinking and Driving What You Can Do

Every day, you hear stories on the news about someone being injured in a drunk driving accident. As a driver yourself and a responsible adult, you want to do your part to help prevent these tragic accidents from happening.

Fortunately, there are a variety of organizations you can join and steps you can take to advocate against drunk driving. Follow the steps below to make a difference in someone’s life and keep the roads safe.

Host Responsible Parties

If you host a party with drinks, you should let your friends know when they can and cannot drive home. If someone is too drunk to drive, call a cab, or make them get a ride with a sober friend. If nothing else, offer to let your friend stay at your house overnight.

You should also serve plenty of food along with your drinks and make sure your friends have enough water. Stop serving drinks at least an hour before you plan to end the party.

Let your guests know you have a firm anti-drinking and driving policy, and don’t waver even if they pressure you to let them drive home. Your behavior can encourage your friends to set similar boundaries. At the very least, you’ll keep a few more drunk drivers from heading out on the road the night of your party.

Join an Organization

A variety of organizations work to keep drunk drivers off the road, combat alcoholism, and raise awareness about drunk driving. Consider joining or donating to one of the following groups:

  • Drunk Driving Prevention Organization (DDPO): This non-profit group raises awareness about drunk driving and contributes to safe roads.
  • Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD): This volunteer-based organization advocates for anti-drunk driving laws, supports survivors and victims, and raises awareness about the problem of drunk driving within communities.
  • National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD): Advocates in this organization work to help alcoholics recover. They aim to keep roads safe by educating people about alcohol and drugs and providing resources for recovery.

Click here for more information regarding laws and consequences of drunk driving. Do some research yourself as well and see what other organizations are out there.

Host an Intervention

If you know your friend or family member has a problem with alcohol, don’t stay silent. You’re not just endangering your friend and family member’s life with your silence—you’re potentially endangering innocent people on the road.

If you think your loved one could benefit from an intervention, get in touch with a professional. During the intervention, you’ll be able to express your care, compassion, and concern for your loved one, and hopefully encourage him or her to seek treatment.

If your loved one isn’t amenable to an intervention, doesn’t want to seek help, or seems dangerous, protect yourself by setting firm boundaries. Let your family member or friend know that you won’t tolerate drinking on your premises and that you have firm rules about drinking and driving. Take a firm stance about drunk driving and encourage your loved on to do the same.

Apply these three tips to do your part to take a stand against drunk driving. You’ll make the roads a little safer for everyone, yourself included, and you’ll help those in need get help before a tragedy occurs.

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.

5 Tips for Battling an Injury Lawsuit That You’re Not Responsible For

5 tips for battling an injury lawsuit

Unfortunately, many individuals may at some point be the target of a fraudulent personal injury lawsuit. While a party may be sued for another’s injury, that person may have had nothing to do with the injury in question. Below are five tips for battling a personal injury lawsuit you are not responsible for.

Prove the Injury Was Planned

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, 836,000 people visited an emergency room in 2011 for completely self-inflicted injuries. While many of these were failed suicide attempts, many were also purposely done as cries for attention or for other reasons. In certain cases, the defendant’s attorney may be able to prove that the plaintiff harmed him or herself on purpose with the goal of obtaining a financial windfall.

Be Aware of Insurance Coverage

Another thing you should be aware of is that not all insurance policies are the same in regards to coverage for injuries. For example, the driver of the other vehicle may not have sufficient insurance to pay for his medical bills. If this is the case, he may try to make up the difference through a personal injury lawsuit. However, he may also have adequate coverage or be restricted from suing by the terms of his policy. Knowing what the other driver’s coverage actually says can prevent you from getting scammed.

Prove That There Was an Assumption of Risk

Certain activities are inherently risky. For example, skiing accidents that result in injuries are very common. If a person decides to ski, that person should be aware of the risks inherent in the sport. If you took a friend skiing who was subsequently injured, it’s very unlikely that you could be held responsible.

Prove that You Were Not Negligent

To win a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff’s lawyers must prove in court that the defendant acted negligently and that negligence resulted in the injuries sustained by the plaintiff. There may be ways to demonstrate you were not negligent in court. For example, you may have taken certain steps to insure the safety of other people such as salting a sidewalk during the winter.

Prove that Predicting the Injury Was Impossible

In other cases, it may have been impossible for a person or business to foresee that a person may be injured in a certain way. For example, a hazard may have formed suddenly due to an act of nature. The business or property owner may have not had enough time to act to protect others from injury. Having an experienced injury defense attorney on your side, like the ones from Trammell & Mills Law Firm LLC, will better your chances when proving that predicting the injury was not possible.

Many people at some point will face a personal injury lawsuit. However, being sued does not mean you will be forced to pay damages. If you can prove that the injury was not your fault, that you didn’t act negligently or that the injury was unforeseeable, you can win in court.

Author info: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on twitter: @RachelleWilber

How to Approach a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit as the Plaintiff

How to Approach a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit as the Plaintiff

Medical malpractice lawsuits involve an allegation that a medical provider fell below what is called the “standard of care” for their chosen specialty, resulting in harm to the plaintiff. The standard of care is what another practitioner in the same specialty would do under the same circumstances. If you believe you have been the victim of medical malpractice, you may wish to follow up with another medical practitioner to uncover what went wrong and to see if any problems can be corrected. You will also likely want to consult an attorney.

Examples of Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice can result in devastating consequences to a patient, and many people die each year as a result of medical malpractice. A few examples of medical malpractice include leaving objects or instruments inside a patient during surgery, operating on the wrong body part, making an incorrect or delayed diagnosis which results in delayed treatment, and prescribing the incorrect treatment for a particular condition. Sometimes medical mistakes occur but do not result in serious harm to the patient.

Do I need a lawyer?

Medical malpractice cases can be complex, and most medical providers will have a lawyer on their side–so it’s a good idea to consider hiring one also. If you think you have been a victim of medical malpractice, you will likely want to contact a law firm, such as McLaughlin & Lauricella, P.C. for a consultation. It is sometimes difficult to tell if you have been a victim of medical malpractice unless a professional examines your medical records. In most medical malpractice cases, an expert is required who can tell a jury what the medical practitioner did wrong that resulted in the plaintiff’s injury.

What should I expect if I file a claim?

Most doctors and other medical providers are not quick to settle a claim because this can affect their medical licensing and reputation and cause insurance costs to go up. Because these cases can involve multiple experts, they can take time to litigate. Both sides will have a chance to request evidence from the other side, such as any records and witness lists. Prior to trial, many cases are set for mediation to see if a settlement agreement can be made.

Medical malpractice can result in devastating losses and even death. Filing a claim can help recoup some of the losses due to medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost wages and other expenses.

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 four-year-old husky Snowball.

Friday Fun

I’ve had plenty of misadventures on the golf course, but never one quite like this drunk golf trick shot.

Structured Settlements: How They May be the Right Choice for Avoiding a Bad Credit Rating


Whether you already have a structured settlement or you are deciding between a structured settlement payment arrangement and a lump sum payout, your credit rating is a significant factor to be considered. Good credit is important. Access to credit and loans can impact a great many of life’s necessities:

  • Place to live – whether renting or buying, credit checks are a given.
  • Reliable vehicle – a good credit rating is required to lease or finance.
  • Higher education – student loans for you and/or your kids may be the only option to pay for college or vocational school.
  • Employment – background checks that include a look at your credit are becoming an increasingly common requirement for many positions.
  • Utilities and cell phones – good credit is a necessity for most cell phone contracts and may also allow you to avoid paying a utility deposit.
  • Insurance – eligibility and insurance rates are often impacted by a score attributed to you based upon many factors, including your credit rating.
  • Business loans – banks want evidence that you are a good risk before they will extend you credit.

Your credit score also determines what type of terms you will receive when applying for credit and the amount for which you can qualify. Suffice it to say, achieving a good credit rating is a worthwhile goal.

So, what does a structured settlement have to do with avoiding a bad credit rating? Well, one of the constants in the factors that affect your credit rating is the determination that you are financially responsible. Receiving reliable, consistent payments over a long period of time makes this an attainable goal.

Paying Bills on Time

Late payments reported on your credit report will send your rating in a nose dive. Receiving structured settlement payments helps you set a realistic and sustainable budget. Living on a budget has the benefit of ensuring that you will have enough money coming in to cover what needs to go out. This means you can pay your basic household bills, such as rent, utilities, internet and phone, on time every month. 

Spending within your Means&Keeping Low Balances

Creditors look for wise, responsible spending habits. Maxing out credit cards and carrying high balances are a definite don’t do when trying to avoid a bad credit rating. Unfortunately, a lump sum payment usually encourages the very spending habits you wish to avoid. But with structured payment arrangements, you can budget for what you need and make payments every month to keep your balances low or even non-existent.

Qualifying for Different Types of Credit

A little variety in the type of credit you have is a positive for your rating. Your steady income through structured payments makes you a better risk for lenders which increases your odds of qualifying for a variety of credit, such as student loans, installment loans, a line of credit and car financing, as well as credit cards.

When Selling Payments May Help your Credit

These are all tips for avoiding a bad credit rating. But what if you already have bad credit? Applying these practices over the long term will certainly help you improve your rating, but in extreme cases, it may be beneficial to sell some of your structured settlement payments in order to pay down debt, negotiate debt settlement arrangements with a collection agency and avoid costly fees, penalties and interest rates. It is a smart choice many of the times to sell structured settlements in urgent financial crisis.

So, despite the plethora of ads urging you to cash in on your structured settlement payments to buy big ticket items, pay down bills or even start your own business, the long-term benefits of receiving reliable structured settlement payments typically outweighs these very short-term debatable fixes. However, if you do decide that cashing in on some of your payments may be required to negotiate better credit terms, be sure to select a reputable structured settlement company that’s upfront about the pros and cons.

Author info: Strategic Capital aims at quick and efficient customer service in the secondary structured settlement market. Our experienced and knowledgeable experts understand the value of structured settlement payment arrangements and we always perform in the best interests of our clients.

Hackers Expose Vulnerabilities in Tesla Model S


The Christian Science Monitor reports on the efforts of two hackers who managed to override the systems of a Tesla Model S and turn it off while in low speeds. The article outlines the process by which Kevin Mahaffey and Marc Rogers hacked into the car’s system in order to expose security flaws and thereby encourage Tesla to improve its security. According to the Monitor, Tesla said it has issued a fix to the problem, and that all Tesla owners would be able to upgrade their vehicles by Thursday. The article briefly notes that the same two hackers were responsible for the hack of a Jeep Cherokee, causing the company to issue a recall “under strong pressure from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).”

Wired reports that a pair of researchers “have found that they could plug their laptop into a network cable behind a Model S’ driver’s-side dashboard, start the car with a software command, and drive it away.” In addition, security professional Kevin Mahaffey and Marc Rogers “could also plant a remote-access Trojan on the Model S’ network while they had physical access, then later remotely cut its engine while someone else was driving.”

The New York Post reports that Tesla said on Thursday that it “has sent a software patch to address security flaws in the Tesla Model S sedan that could allow hackers to take control of the vehicle.” The Dallas Morning News reports that the news “follows a similar attack on the Jeep Cherokee last month that prompted Fiat Chrysler to recall 1.4 million vehicles in the U.S.” TIME reports that the ability to quickly install a patch, instead of recalling the vehicles, may prove to be a big advantage for Tesla.

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.


Companies’ Use of H-1B Visas Raise Questions

H-1B Visa

In a front-page article, the New York Times reports that layoffs in which IT workers are replaced with immigrants on temporary H-1B visas, sometimes trained by the people they’re replacing, “are raising new questions about how businesses and outsourcing companies are using the temporary visas.” While federal guidelines say the foreigners should fill positions that American workers can’t be found for, legal loop holes mean that “companies do not have to recruit American workers first or guarantee that Americans will not be displaced.” In fact, “for years, most top recipients of the visas have been outsourcing or consulting firms” that “import workers for large contracts to take over entire in-house technology units.” The article focuses on Disney, which in October laid off 250 employees and transferred their jobs to immigrants on temporary visas brought in by an outsourcing firm based in India, some of whom were trained by the people they replaced.

The New York Times reports that Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) called on Secretary Johnson in a letter to investigate “potential misuses” of the H-1B visa program “after a report in The New York Times that technology employees at Walt Disney World in Orlando and other companies lost their jobs to immigrants and had to train their replacements.” The Times “reported Wednesday that about 250 Disney workers were laid off last year and many were replaced by immigrants hired by an outsourcing company based in India.” Former Disney workers are cited saying they “were struggling to find new technology jobs in the Orlando area” and have been told by local contractors with Disney that “they could not hire recently laid-off Disney employees until one year after their termination.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

How Technology Causes and Prevents Common Ailments


As technology becomes more and more a part of our lives, the positive and negative effects it has on our bodies and minds become more pronounced. The smartwatch that constantly sends you notifications gives you a pounding headache if you stare at it too long. The web browser that instantly provides a list of the top tropical vacation spots becomes a reason never to leave the house.

It’s hard to understate the ways technology has improved our lives, but as with all things, there’s a trade off. In recent years, a new crop of ailments have appeared whose cause can be tied directly to technology. But here’s the irony: The same technology that causes a health problem can often be its cure. You just have to know what to look for. The following are just a few common tech-related ailments and a few ways you can use technology to overcome them:

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Back when personal computers were first hitting the market, reports started to appear warning against the effects of carpal tunnel syndrome. CTS is a specific kind of tendinitis that affects the hands and wrists and is caused by overuse and abnormal posture. Personal computer keyboards were a primary offender. The first generations of keyboards were not designed to ergonomically support human hands. They were bulky, flat devices with heavy keys that you really had to push down on when you typed. This led to pain, numbness and tingling in the hands of frequent computer users.

Slowly but surely, PC makers and third-party companies, like Logitech, began to rethink the keyboard, which took on a variety of curved and angled designs that catered to ours hands’ natural position. Keyboard-induced CTS hasn’t been completely eradicated, but the ergonomic redesign means you can now find relief by simply taking a break and having a stretch, as opposed to needing surgery.

Text Claw

Smartphones have found themselves in much the same position that keyboards were in 20 years ago. As consumers leave their desktops behind in favor of smartphones, complaints of the fittingly named “text claw” have increased dramatically. Text claw is caused by the awkward hand position required to interact with a small touchscreen. As Medical Daily points out, the jury is still out on whether or not text claw is a form of carpal tunnel syndrome, but its symptoms are nearly identical.

Only recently have smartphone manufacturers started to design phones that take user comfort into account. Since the keyboard on a smartphone is also the screen, there are certain limitations to how you can change its basic design. However, smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge have incorporated clever tweaks, like a curved screen that more naturally cradles the hand. The Edge also wraps the screen around the side bezel so your thumb doesn’t have to strain to perform common tasks.


Perhaps the most common ailment caused by technology is eyestrain. This is actually a family of ailments that includes headaches, dry eyes and blurred vision. Certainly, anyone who has sat at a computer for an extended period of time has experienced some combination of these symptoms. There’s a common misconception that small screens lead to more severe eye strain, but it’s actually caused by low-light, low-resolution displays that force the eye to work harder.

Computer and smartphone displays have naturally improved over time, making it easier to avoid eyestrain all together. Nevertheless, eyeglass makers like Gunnar have designed lenses specially made for avid gamers and computer programmers who want to avoid a migraine after an all-nighter.

Author Info: Aaron Rote is a #Chicago freelance writer and poet specializing in quick wit and quick turnarounds.

Friday Fun

Not new, but still funny. Photos from You Had One Job!