Easy to Avoid Driving Dangers


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When railroad employees need to get to another station without delay, they often don’t take the train, they take a van. Companies who transport those employees are under rigorously strict safety standards overseen by both the railroads and the federal government.

Three of the rules for railroad transport vendors help prevent accidents that may arise from distracted driving. But they aren’t for professional drivers only — they can help you avoid accidents too. Consider the reasoning behind these three primary regulations:

No drinking or eating while driving

Have you ever seen a driver wobbling down the highway, steering with his knees while trying to wolf down a cheeseburger? Have you ever been that driver? How about coffee and soft drink spills: does a sudden splash of hot coffee in your lap affect your driving?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than one in ten drivers reports “always or almost always eating and drinking while driving.” It is tough enough to eat and walk. Eating and driving is a sure way to lose focus on the road and that is why these railroad transport professionals don’t do it.

No passengers in the front seat

Railroad crew members are directed to the rear passenger area. None are allowed to sit up front next to the driver. Moreover, all conversation between the driver and the crew is limited to necessary instructions. Why would that matter?

More teenagers die in automobile accidents each year than from any other cause and the likelihood of a crash increases almost 400 percent when other teenage passengers are in the car, notes the Centers for Disease Control. Adults may be more experienced than teens, but they are still affected by the presence of other passengers. If the driver is talking to a passenger, his or her attention to the demands of driving is diminished.

You may not choose to force every passenger in your car to take the back seat, but being aware of the danger may help keep your eyes on the road. Always remember this when driving: Stay alert to the road, not to your passengers.

Pull over to call or text

This is the one we hear about most often. From train wrecks caused by texting to data indicating up to a quarter of all traffic accidents involve a cell phone, technology meant to help us can sometimes get in the way of common sense, notes TextingandDriving.com. Those same statistics say a driver is drawn away from focusing on the road for at least five seconds when texting behind the wheel. At 60 mph, that means traveling almost a quarter of a mile with the vehicle virtually piloting itself.

By now, every driver has been warned (some by legislation) not to drive while texting or talking on a cell phone. Over a million phone-related crashes each year is plenty of reason to pay attention to the warning.

How to save money and stay alive

In 2012, more than 3,300 people were killed and 421,000 injured because of distracted driving. While the three rules set down for professional drivers point in the direction of the problem, they are not all-inclusive. Anything that takes your focus away from the responsibility of driving is a distraction. It could be a pet in the car, a garage sale sign, wandering thoughts — the list could go on indefinitely.

Before drivers can be licensed to transport railroad workers, they are required to take a course in driver safety. That is an excellent idea for every driver, whether beginning or veteran. Begin with a refresher course in basic rules. The New Jersey permit practice test, for instance, is a free online course. Then check with your automobile insurance provider. Chances are high they will not only direct you to a certified driving safety course, but will provide a discount on your insurance bill for taking it.

When you take steps to defeat distracted driving, you can save money and help prevent an accident that could cost you or someone dear to you something even more valuable: Life.

This article is from Don Richardson, an auto mechanic, safety blogger and father of three. 

Law Schools Cutting Tuition See Enrollment Gains


The Wall Street Journal reports that law schools that have reduced tuition have seen increased fall enrollment. Three schools reduced tuition, while a fourth instituted a grant program to effectively reduce tuition. These schools saw enrollment increase by 22 percent to 52 percent for the fall. The schools reducing tuition were the University of Iowa College of Law, Roger Williams University School of Law, and the University of La Verne College of Law in California. The school with a grant for in-state students was Pennsylvania State University’s Dickinson School of Law.

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

Major Ways to Know if You Need an Accident Lawyer


Major Ways to Know if You Need an Accident Lawyer

Every year, almost four million people are involved in accidents that require hospitalization. While some accidents are not the fault of anyone, many accidents are caused by the negligence of another person. In these situations, suing for damages is often good recourse for victims. Here are a few of the major ways you can know if you should call a lawyer.

Intoxication, Poor Maintenance and Vehicle Accidents

Vehicle accidents injure thousands of people every year in the United States. In most cases, a two-vehicle accident is caused by the negligent actions of a single driver. Many different factors can contribute to negligence.

Intoxication is one of the easiest ways to assign blame in the event of a car accident. If a driver was intoxicated when he or she crashed into your car, responsibility for the crash will usually fall on that driver.

Intoxicants include alcohol, marijuana, opiates, sedatives and much more. According to the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), there are at least 4,393 substances, both legal and illegal, that can impact an individual’s judgment, cognition and motor skills.

The use of some legally-prescribed medications can also contribute to a car accident. Medications like Xanax, Vicodin, Ambien, Lunesta and many others can leave an individual dizzy and unaware of his or her surroundings. Drivers under the influence of these substances who cause accidents are liable for damages and injuries they cause.

Buildings and Negligence

Injuries that take place on private or public property may be the result of negligence. If an injury takes place on public property, it may be the fault of the local, state or federal government. For example, imagine that a subway entrance has several stairs that are at different heights. If an individual breaks his or her ankle while climbing these stairs, the city government may be legally liable for injuries.

Likewise, injuries that take place on private property can also expose the property owner to legal liability. If a retail store is negligent in the way it maintains its public areas, an individual who is injured in these areas may be entitled to a claim under the law. You will need a competent lawyer, from offices such as Cummings Andrews Mackay LLP in Edmonton, or others in your area, in order to recoup your losses due to injury.

However, there are some limitations to this law. If an accident is considered to be an act of God, no individual will bear responsibility for the accident. In these situations, an individual will not be able to make a claim.

Since navigating the world of accident liability can be very difficult for most people, it’s important to contact a law office for help. If you are injured, a lawyer can help you get the funds you deserve.

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.

Victim Of Medical Malpractice? What You Should Do Next


Victim Of Medical Malpractice What You Should Do Next
While it’s not generally like most healthcare providers to provide anything less than the optimal standard to their patients, things can still take a turn for the worst at any time. If you or someone you love is a victim of medical malpractice, it’s important to take a very specific number of first steps to recover from the error and be compensated for it.

Seek Medical Attention

If the physician’s error has left you injured or susceptible to illness or injury, contact a different healthcare professional right away. After seeking medical attention, report the negligence or error to your doctor. Depending on the type of injury or illness sustained from the malpractice, it might be beneficial to contact a specialist.

Study Your Case

There are many different types of medical malpractice classifications. Knowing what type of malpractice classification you’re dealing with can easily help you determine whether or not filing a claim is worth the effort. For example, a “Doctor Mistake, No Injury to Patient” case would represent something along the lines of a doctor prescribing a medication with an incorrect dosage. The dosage amount might cause a temporary side effect or reaction in the patient, but if the error is observed and caught before any injuries or serious illnesses are suffered, medical malpractice has not taken place.

File a Report

Filing a report is an important step because it will immediately trigger a state level investigation of the physician in question. You can file the complaint about your physician guilty of the malpractice with the state’s medical board.

Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer

Lastly, hire a personal injury lawyer to help you navigate the complex process of winning a medical malpractice claim. It is simply not possible in most cases to study up on medical malpractice in time for your hearing. In almost all situations, a personal injury lawyer is needed by the victim’s side to help them understand what has been done wrong and how to challenge it.

Completing these steps and acting as quickly as possible is the key to dramatically improving your chances of winning a medical malpractice case. Remember, the longer you wait to act on a medical error, the less likely your chances will be for compensation or recovery.

Informational credit to Kitchen Simeson Belliveau Llp.

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


Have you ever heard a song dedicated to colorectal surgeons? No, I didn’t think so. Here’s one:

Ways You Can Qualify For A Personal Injury Claim


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Whenever you make an accusation that someone has hurt you, you are going to need to have proof that your personal injury claim is legit. If not, you won’t be able to receive any compensation for what you’re saying happened. Sometimes this is a simple process, while other times it can be a long, drawn out battle. To ensure that you win your case, it is important that your situation truly does qualify for a personal injury claim.

Defendant Fails to Uphold Duty

For starters, in order for a plaintiff to qualify for a personal injury claim, there has to be some type of duty that the other party failed to obey. For instance, if there was a car accident, the duty would be along the lines of driving safely. Then, if it was later found that the defendant ran a red light, this would mean the duty was breached, which would make for a successful personal injury claim.

Other Party Partakes in Negligent Behavior

Any time when an individual doesn’t uphold to their civic duty like they should, this allows the plaintiff to put the blame solely on the other party. There was some type of negligent behavior on the part of the defendant that caused the plaintiff to get hurt, which once again qualifies the plaintiff for a personal injury claim.

Plaintiff Sustains an Injury

If an individual gets hurt because another individual is being careless, that qualifies for a personal injury claim. According to Cantini Law Group Accident and Disability Lawyers, one of the most well-known personal injury law firms in Halifax, the plaintiff has to then prove that the physical or emotional injury sustained occurred thanks to that incident. It is not the responsibility of the defendant to provide this proof. However, unlike a criminal case where there has to be evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, here the plaintiff just needs to hand over some type of proof that shows that more than likely the individual being accused was behind the plaintiff’s injuries. This type of proof can be everything from eyewitness statements to photographs of the incident.

The Accused’s Negligence Caused the Injury

Lastly, to qualify for a personal injury claim, it must be apparent that the other party’s breach of duty is exactly what subsequently caused the injury to happen. In other words, the defendant’s direct actions were what resulted in the plaintiff’s injury. If that’s the case, the plaintiff definitely has a personal injury claim on their hands.

Even though personal injury claims sound simple enough, there is a lot that goes into winning one of these cases. The individual must find out exactly how to qualify for these situations before taking action, so that they can save themselves time and money in the long run.

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

Cancer Group Urges FDA to Bolster Tanning Bed Oversight


The Hill “Healthwatch” blog reports that the “American Cancer Society (ACS) is urging federal officials to ‘impose greater control’ over the manufacture and distribution of tanning beds, citing an elevated risk of cancer from their use.” In a letter sent to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the ACS alleges that for the past two years, HHS has been “ignoring the advice of an advisory panel that recommended action against tanning beds.” They are “not safe and not appropriately regulated,” ACS Deputy Chief Medical Officer Len Lichtenfeld, MD, wrote in the letter. He also noted that sunlamps “used for tanning are currently regulated by FDA as Class I medical devices” and urged the agency to “reclassify tanning beds to reflect what scientists see as a link between the devices and skin cancer.” American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network President Christopher Hansen also signed the letter.

From the American Association for Justice news release.

Medical Research Renews Hope for Promising Mesothelioma Treatments


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The prognosis for people who are diagnosed with the asbestos-related cancer known as mesothelioma is often perceived to be poor, but new medical research is showing some more positive signs that certain drugs may well improve the treatment of this disease.

New approaches to treat mesothelioma are currently being subjected to clinical trials and they consist of a combination of traditional treatments together with some new ideas and innovations.

The promise of a better outcome

There are a number of ongoing clinical trials and some of the treatments being used include Endostatin.

Scientific researchers have noted that Endostatin has the capacity to destroy a tumor’s ability to grow blood vessels when combined with Angiostatin. This outcome has been achieved without harming normal cells and is a positive step in combating the effects of mesothelioma.

L-NDDP is designed to overcome the toxicity and drug resistance issues which currently limit the usefulness of platinum drugs such as Cisplatin. Intrapleural administration of this platinum product has been shown to tackle this problem and a recent trial actually produced remission in two cancer patients.

Other ideas being subjected to ongoing testing include the use of Lovastatin. This cholesterol drug has shown in recent studies that it has the potential to inhibit the growth of mesothelioma cancer cells.

Other notable studies include the use of photodynamic therapy to kill cancer cells using the energy of light and further studies to elaborate on the initial findings of a study that showed the ability of interferon interlukin to prevent the growth of mesothelioma cells in mice.

Clinical trials

If you are diagnosed with mesothelioma you will want to consider all your treatment options and you may be offered the opportunity to partake in clinical trials.

The decision to participate in a clinical trial is a deeply personal one and dependent on your attitude and what you feel is the right thing to do in your circumstances. The benefits of taking an active part in a clinical trial include access to health care provided by leading physicians in the field of cancer research.

You will also probably get the opportunity to gain access to new drugs before they become commercially available and you will also get the chance to make a worthwhile contribution to cancer research as well as taking proactive role in your own health care route.

You have to weigh up the risk associated with volunteering for clinical trials. These can include possible side effects from the drugs unknown to the doctors. There is the possibility that the new drugs being used turn out to be ineffective or simply don’t work for you.

If there is a positive aspect to being diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is that you can find access to plenty of the support that you need.

You can also take some small comfort from the fact that expenditure levels on finding successful treatments for this disease are at their highest ever level.

This article is from Katie Johnson , who has a diverse background in PR, journalism and digital marketing. She is focused on creating a unique community for family, friends or those who are diagnosed with mesothelioma or an asbestos-related disease.

Workplace Injury: What Your Business Should Cover


Workplace Injury What Your Business Should Cover-1

Workplace injuries are common in today’s world. Whether injuries in the workplace occur because of accidents, employee mistakes, or mistakes at the hand of the organization, businesses should know how to handle workplace injuries in order to keep their businesses safe.

Insurance Policies

Many insurance policies can be taken out to protect businesses from civil lawsuits from employees after workplace injuries have occurred. Insurance policies can also provide medical support to injured employees, money in the even of wage loss from time off work, and permanent disability insurance. Many of these insurance policies are beneficial to the employee and the employer: they provide financial assistance to injured employees and help employers avoid lawsuits.

Industrial Accidents in Remote Areas

Some businesses carry more risk than other businesses. Businesses involved in mining, forestry, oil and gas construction might need to implement extra workplace safety codes due to the high level of risk and danger involved in the jobs. 911 Industrial Response Inc., an industrial safety services company in Peace River specializing in remote workplace safety, provides trained emergency medical responders, emergency medical technicians, and paramedics in remote areas where immediate medical care because of a workplace accident can be hard to get. These individuals are specifically trained in pre-hospital care and have extensive experience in life-saving techniques when hospitals or medical treatment might be far away. Businesses who specialize in doing work in remote areas should be aware of the services available to them should workplace injuries arise.

Safety Training to Prevent Workplace Injuries

Often, workplace injuries can be avoided by educating workers about workplace conditions. Safety training can prevent workplace injuries in the first place and are also more cost-effective than the medical expenses, time off of work, and potential lawsuits involved in dealing with a workplace injury after it has happened. Safety trainings educate workers about how to keep themselves safe and what to do in an emergency in order to limit as much damage as possible.

Experts in the Field

All businesses should have insurance programs in place for their workers; however, businesses that are in remote areas and do dangerous work need more coverage. Relying on businesses that specialize in workplace injuries in remote areas will help keep your business safe. Industrial accidents in remote places can be dangerous because of the time it takes to get to a hospital. Because of this, businesses should have a plan in place for what to do if a serious workplace injury arises. Safety trainings can help reduce the likelihood of a workplace injury, but accidents will still happen. Knowing who to contact and having trusted experts in the field will save lives during these times.

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

How to Recognize Danger in the Workplace and at Schools


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Improved Prevention is a Group Effort, Says
Former Doctor & Personality Disorder Sufferer

Shocking acts of public violence continue to dominate the news: Shootings at Fort Hood and the Washington Navy Yard – considered workplace incidents, a stabbing at a Pennsylvania high school.

About 2 million employees are affected by workplace violence every year, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

“This is not simply a case of the 24-hour news cycle maintaining a captive audience with fear mongering,” says retired physician Mohinder Goomar. “In addition to the reported cases of workplace violence, who knows how many go unreported? A prevalent common denominator is untreated mental illness,” says Goomar, author of “It’s Just My Opinion,” (http://tinyurl.com/koshnfd), which discusses his experience with dissociative identity disorder (DID), formerly known as multiple personality disorder. 

“Because diagnosis and treatment of mental illness hasn’t progressed much in recent decades, we need to encourage lay people to be vigilant toward those expressing tendencies that indicate the potential for violence due to mental illness.”

Goomar, who has personally suffered the destabilizing affects of dissociative identity disorder (DID), reviews indicators of mental illness, which may lead to violence.

•  Marginalized or bullied students/coworkers. Students interviewed at the Murrysville, Pa., high school, where 16-year-old Alex Hribal is accused of stabbing 21 people, have said Hribal is a shy person without violent tendencies. The FBI, however, has found evidence that he was bullied online. Human beings are social creatures which almost always require companionship for mental well-being, especially for the development of a juvenile. Be sensitive to those who are socially challenged; pressure from bullying can have catastrophic consequences.

•  A consistent and emphatic victimization position. After pulling out a pistol and yelling what can be translated in English as “God is great!” Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan pulled out a pistol and killed 13 unarmed people in Fort Hood. Later in court, when Hasan was representing himself, he justified his actions by saying he was defending a group of Taliban leaders in Afghanistan, including a man named Mullah Omar. Those who perpetrate terrible violence often do so citing justice from a victimized position.

•  Readily apparent indicators of paranoia and a history of violent reactions. Aaron Alexis, the former Navy man who was discharged from the service for a violent altercation, was nonetheless allowed to work in the Washington Navy Yard as a contractor. He eventually shot and killed 12 people, and critically injured three. The FBI later said that he was under “the delusional belief that he was being controlled or influenced by extremely low frequency electromagnetic waves,” or ELF. These are clear red flags of mental illness that were ignored.

•  An aggressively litigious nature. The Guinness Book of World Records named Jonathan Lee Richards the most litigious man, having had court filings against Martha Stewart and New England Patriots football coach Bill Belichick, among many others. Having heard of his new title, he filed a suit against the record-holding institution. Richards also is a former federal prisoner. Outrageous legal action is another form of confrontation from those who constantly perceive grievances.

About Mohinder Goomar

Mohinder Goomar is a former medical doctor who, after emigrating from India, became board certified by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology and became an American citizen. He was chairman of the surgery department at Saratoga Hospital, in New York, had a private practice for head and neck surgery. After experiencing mood swings and a distortion of judgment, Goomar was diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder (DID). He was rehabilitated at a facility and lost his medical license for two years – to be followed by reinstatement of the license. Due to his DID experience, he did not have his license reinstated. His book, “It’s Just My Opinion,” (http://tinyurl.com/koshnfd) details his experience.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is September 27


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The Drug Enforcement Agency is sponsoring a National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, scheduled for September 27, 2014, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

On that day you can take medications to various locations for safe disposal. This is much better than throwing pills in the trash or flushing them down the toilet.

Please visit this page to find a location near you.

Death Toll from Faulty GM Ignition Switches Increases to 19


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In its lead story, the CBS Evening News reported that the “defective” GM ignition switches “did more harm than we knew,” as the death toll on Monday was raised from 13 to 19. The new toll “came from Ken Feinberg, who is in charge of GM’s victim compensation process.” He has “received a total of 125 death claims,” and since some are “still being evaluated,” the death toll is “expected to grow.”

NBC Nightly News reported that Feinberg, “who handled claims after 9/11, after the BP oil spill and other high profile incidents, says he has received 125 death claims related to crashes from the faulty switches.” He has “determined that at least 19 wrongful death claims are eligible for payments from GM,” which is “higher than the 13 deaths GM has linked to this defect.”

ABC World News reported that their Rebecca Jarvis interview Feinberg. ABC (Jarvis) added that Feinberg “said he’s using a more lenient standard and will award damages if the faulty ignition was the likely factor to cause the injury.” Families “will receive a take it or leave it offer, one million dollars in damages, plus an undisclosed sum.” ABC (Jarvis) adds that “we spoke to many of the families” and “some say will take the offer, others say they plan to sue instead.”

The Wall Street Journal reports that the new data comes after GM spent the last several months downplaying the death toll. In response to Feinberg’s announcement, GM said in a statement, “We have previously said that Ken Feinberg and his team will independently determine the final number of eligible individuals, so we accept their determinations for the compensation program. What is most important is that we are doing the right thing for those who lost loved ones and for those who suffered physical injury.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

Friday Fun


Can a turtle be a Super-Hero? This one saved a companion who had fallen on its back.

What To Do If You Are Accused of DUI


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For those who have been recently charged with a DUI, it is no lightweight charge you can just dismiss on your own. DUI charges are extremely serious charges – they can result in jail time. DUIs are frequently given for those under the influence of alcohol, but this is a misconception. Any consciousness-changing material that will leave one incapable of driving, including prescription drugs, is considered DUI. DUI charges were once considered comparatively mild violations, but this has transformed in recent decades. Now, a DUI charge requires the help of a criminal lawyer in every case – even if it is your first violation.

When you are pulled over for suspicion of DUI: Cooperate, but exercise your right to remain silent. If you’re pulled over for suspicion of DUI, the authorities will typically offer you a number of field sobriety evaluations (reciting the alphabet, walking heel to toe for many measures) that will help “show” or “disprove” your present state of intoxication/deterioration. Generally speaking, most lawyers recommend that you NOT take the field sobriety test. This is because many of the tests are so hard, and so open to interpretation, that they will most likely hurt your chances of being set free. It is much better to take a breathalyzer test.

Work with all the authorities and follow their directions, but *promptly* exercise your right to remain silent should you be put under arrest and read your Miranda rights. Don’t say anything additional to anyone and hire a criminal attorney who understands DUI. He or she’ll guide you on the most appropriate course of action at that point.

You’ll need a skilled criminal lawyer on your side, from the very start of your own case!

If you’re innocent of your DUI charges, you might believe you don’t need a criminal attorney. Sadly, this is simply not accurate. It’s no mistake that when you are read your Miranda rights, you’re told, “Anything you say can and will likely be utilized against you in a court of law.” That holds true if you’re innocent, too. For example, you must *never* give cops interviews unless your attorney exists. He or she’ll shelter you from making errors that could undermine your case and perhaps even result in real conviction despite your innocence.

Criminal lawyers will guide you through court procedures, and shield your rights. When you go to court, it’s not just about deciding your innocence or guilty. It’s about which side presents the most powerful, and convincing case. Will the prosecutor establish their case and “win,” or will your criminal lawyer?

When you have an experienced criminal lawyer on your side in court, you’ve got the most effective weapon potential to get your DUI charges dismissed. Your attorney will present the facts of your case to the judge or jury compellingly, succinctly, and certainly. The prosecutor will also do his or her best to try and establish your guilt, but in skilled hands, the facts speak quantities. A seasoned criminal lawyer can help you establish your innocence and place this behind you.

Getting a DUI is not only stressful, but also expensive. The expenses come from not just posting bail, and paying legal fees, but also from taking off time from your job to fulfill your sentence. The national average cost of a DUI is around $10,000 – but can be higher, depending on the severity.

For example, in a state like New York, the average cost of a first time DUI can range from $6000 to $10000

Here are some of the costs you’ll have to endure in a state like New York

  1. Minimum Fine – $500
  2. Auto Insurance Increase, $2600 – $6000
  3. Penalty Assessment $175
  4. State Restitution Fund – $100
  5. Alcohol abuse Education Fund – $50
  6. Blood/Breath Testing Fee – $37
  7. Jail Cite and Release Fee – $10
  8. Driving/Alcohol Awareness School – $175
  9. License Reissue Fee $75
  10. Attorney Fees (average) – $4000

If you’re guilty and/or certainly are a “repeat offender”

Eventually, if you’re guilty of your DUI charges and/or have previous DUI convictions, a criminal attorney will make sure that you are represented correctly on your trial and can work to reduce or dismiss any unjust charges, so that you’re guaranteed the very best results possible. In many cases, if you are previously convicted of a DUI offense, it will be much harder to prevent a conviction. If it’s your third or fourth time, you will probably go to jail, assuming you are guilty.

About The Author

James Denton, is a SEO blogger for the criminal defense law firm of Raiser & Kenniff, PC. The partners at Raiser & Kenniff, PC, are legal commentators, appearing on news channels such as FOX, and more. If you’d like to learn more about Raiser & Kenniff, PC – visit http://www.nyccriminallawyers.com

 

Five National Programs that Help U.S. Lawyers Get Involved with Pro Bono Work


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Whether you run a small law firm of your own, or work within a large legal association, you probably have heard about the importance of doing pro bono legal work. Some corporations like to participate in this type of work in order to improve their reputation within the community, while recent law-school graduates use this as a chance to gain experience.

No matter the reason for doing pro bono work, most legal professionals know how important and rewarding it is. However, busy lawyers find that it is tough to find time to get involved with a pro bono project, especially one that is available in their area. If you are looking for ways to get your firm involved in some pro bono legal work, keep reading to learn about some national programs that are widely available and easy to join.

American Immigration Lawyers Association

Unaccompanied Children Legal Call to Action

The current immigration crisis in the Western Hemisphere needs experienced immigration lawyers to offer their services to the many unaccompanied children now stuck on the southern borders. Thousands of young children need legal representation by qualified immigration lawyers now. If you are an immigration lawyer and have an interest in helping to solve this historic crisis, complete a survey at the AILA website. Completing the survey does not commit one to serve. It is an attempt by the association to find possible volunteers and gather needed information in advance. Both border communities and possibly detention facilities will need seasoned immigration lawyers.

The Military Assistance Program (MAP)

The AILA Military Assistance Program (MAP) is a collaboration between the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the Legal Assistance Offices of the U.S. military Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps. Volunteer immigration lawyers give free legal assistance to active duty service members and their families. The JAG Corps has been overloaded with complex immigration problems and they need the help of experienced immigration lawyers. Visit the website to learn more about where your legal expertise is needed, and how you can help.

American Health Lawyers Association

National Health Law Program (NHeLP) Pro Bono Partnerships

NHeLP Pro Bono Partnerships give law firms a chance to do meaningful pro bono work for health issues in low-income and underserved communities. These cases give lawyers an opportunity to secure health rights for the nation’s neediest and most vulnerable citizens. The program offers many pro bono opportunities throughout the nation, so whether you specialize in health law, or this is a cause you are interested in helping with—there are many areas that could use your help.

Innocence Network

National Innocence Project

The Innocence Network is an association that provides pro bono and investigative services for persons who are committed to proving their innocence of crimes for which they have been convicted. In 2013, the network of organizations exonerated 31 persons who were wrongfully convicted. This program is available both nationally and internationally—in 47 states, and several countries abroad. The program spans from the Innocence Project in California, to Alaska, and reaching even to the United Kingdom and South Africa. Though many states and countries have varying names for the project, they are all under the Innocence Network umbrella. Check the Innocence Network website to see if your state is a member, and learn more about how to get involved.

American Bar Association

Medical-Legal Partnerships Pro Bono Project

Partnerships between lawyers and medical providers team up to help low-income families who are having legal trouble which relates to needs such as housing and income. These partnerships integrate free legal services within a healthcare setting. Nearly 200 hospitals and health care centers in the U.S. give free legal services to patients and training for healthcare providers. Issues include housing, utilities, immigration, public benefits, education and family law.

No matter your personal legal skills, there is a program out there that needs your help. Whether you are interested in pro bono work to improve your reputation in the community, to get more legal experience, or simply because you want to help those in need, this will be a rewarding experience for you and your firm.

This article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write for business, finance, women’s interests, and technology. Dixie lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters.

Damages – Compensation for Accidents and Personal Injury


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Accidents are an aptly named concept. Occurring anywhere and anytime, road accidents are the leading cause of deaths in the US. Research indicates that about 1.3 million people die in road crashes every year. That makes an average of 3,287 deaths a day.A road accident, be it a completely totaled car or a mere fender-bender, most likely involves major expenses. It will not only have your car in the shop for a few days or more, but also have you filing claims for damages with an insurance company. In worst cases you would be making the rounds of a hospital.While not all accidents are similar there are certain steps that you can take to ensure that you are compensated for your losses. Figuring out what compensation you can be awarded depends primarily on the damages incurred.Were there monetary losses, physical injuries or was it a mental and emotional trauma? These are just a few questions you need to ask yourself.In personal injury cases, monetary damages are awarded to the person injured during the crash by the individual or the company found responsible for the accident. The damages to be awarded can be agreed upon after a negotiated settlement, or they can be ordered by a judge or a jury following a trial.Compensatory Damages

Most personal injury cases can be called compensatory, that is they are intended to compensate the plaintiff for what was lost due to the accident or the injury. A compensatory damage award aims to balance the monetary losses suffered by the plaintiff. This effectively means putting a dollar figure on every consequence of the accident.Damages like reimbursement of property loss and medical bills are relatively easy, but it is harder, if not impossible, to place a number on the suffering caused. Below are a few types of compensatory damages that are common in personal injury cases.
  • Medical Treatment
Damages awarded for personal injury cases more often than not include the cost of medical care associated with the accident. The reimbursement of treatment received and compensation for the medical attention required in the future due to the accident are covered under this.
  • Loss of Income
An accident may have adverse effects on your earning capabilities and/or salary and wages, thus making you entitled for compensation of the same. It is not only in lieu of the income you have lost but also the money you could have made in the future if it were not for the accident. This can be referred to as compensation for the victim’s “loss of earning capacity.”
  • Loss of Property
In the event of the loss of any property, vehicle, clothing or other item due to the accident, you are entitled to a reimbursement for repairs or compensation, at fair market value, of the property lost.
  • Compensation for suffering
Many accidents result in more mental trauma than physical. You can be entitled to be compensated for pain, and serious mental discomfort suffered as a result of the accident.Compensation for Emotional DistressLinked usually to more serious accidents, emotional distress damages compensate a personal injury plaintiff for the psychological ramifications of an injury. Serious accidents are often accompanied by trauma, fear, anxiety, sleep loss, etc. Some states consider emotional distress as a part of “pain and suffering” damage awarded to a personal injury plaintiff.
  • Loss of Enjoyment
In some cases accidents also result in an individual losing the ability to enjoy the more regular pursuits of life like walking, exercising and other activities. This can make you eligible for “loss of enjoyment” damages.
  • Loss of Consortium
Accidents can often leave an individual unable to enjoy their relationship with their spouse. The loss of companionship or the inability to maintain a sexual relationship can make you eligible for “loss of consortium” damages. Some states consider the impact on the relationship of a parent and a child separately. In some cases, loss of consortium damages may be directly awarded to the family member instead of the plaintiff.Punitive DamagesA personal injury plaintiff may be awarded punitive damages if the defendant’s conduct is found to be particularly careless. Punitive damages have a completely different rationale than compensatory damages, which are aimed to make the person “whole” again.The essential goal of punitive damages is to hit the defendant where it hurts, in the pocket book. They are a deterrent from further carelessness and egregious behavior on part of the defendant and others. It is not unusual for punitive damages to go into millions of dollars; most states though have a cap on punitive damage awards in personal injury cases.Plaintiff’s Role in Damages AwardedIn cases where the plaintiff’s negligence or inaction has played a role in causing the accident, or if their inaction has exacerbated their injuries, the damages awarded can be curtailed.

Comparative Negligence

If you have played any part in the accident that caused your injuries, there is a good chance that the damages will be awarded keeping that in mind. Most states adhere to a “comparative negligence” standard that links damages to the degree of fault in a personal injury case.

Contributory Negligence

In a small number of states, if you are deemed to be partially responsible for the accident you may not be able recover any compensation. These states follow the “contributory negligence” concept for personal injury lawsuits.

Failure to Mitigate Damage

Most states expect plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits to take steps to minimize the financial impact of the accident. If a plaintiff fails to get the necessary medical treatment after an accident, thus making the injuries worse, the damages awarded will be significantly reduced. You can get in touch with car accident lawyers in Raleigh for a free first counsel to get an idea of what damages are due to you.

Proving damages is usually a matter of keeping all the receipts from your medical bills, days missed at work, bills from vehicle repairs, etc. Keeping this documentation in order will give you a clear idea of the actual costs you incurred because of the accident.

Author Bio:

Michael Georgiou M.A of Business Communications, Marketing/Advertising University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Michael Georgiou is a dynamic business and marketing professional in the marketing division of Wilson Law, PA based in Raleigh, NC. He is an entrepreneurial guru with a proven success record in creative strategy, online branding, project management, and communication projects in both public and private sectors.

Driver Dangers: What Career Drivers Should Know to Stay Safe


Driver Dangers What Career Drivers Should Know to Stay Safe

When you’re driving as a career, you have to spend more time than regular commuters on the road, and with daily driving comes challenges and safety concerns you must stay aware of all the time.

To stay safe on the road and keep others safe from the load you may be carrying, it’s important to think about truck safety. These safety tips will help you stay alert and stay safe.

Motorist Safety
The number one concern drivers have to face is other drivers. You must always be alert to your fellow motorists because often they are not aware of how long it takes a truck to come to a stop. They also might not know that trucks have several blind spots.

You can’t regulate other drivers, but you can be alert and aware of the potential for problems. Keep a clear eye on the distance ahead. As one of the tallest vehicles on the road, you can spot trouble before others. Be prepared for stops before they become emergencies.

Before changing lanes, double and triple check blind spots and use a turn signal long before making a lane change or a turn. It’s best if you stay in one lane as long as possible to reduce the risk of an accident, but if you have to change lanes, use the turn signal promptly.

Vehicle Maintenance
It’s important to keep a truck maintained routinely before taking it out on the road. While repairs are being made, you could rent a truck, or find parts for trucks online. It can be tough to lose the revenue when your truck is in for repairs, but getting into an accident or equipment failure can be even more costly.

A full tank of fuel is imperative when traveling for long distances and over areas with inclement weather. Water condensation can cause trouble in the fuel lines, and brakes and wheels should be routinely checked for wear and repairs should be done immediately. Always have a good inspection done before long drives.

Staying Awake
Before you start your run, think about fatigue. Don’t wait until you’re five hours into the run to worry you’ve only had four hours of good sleep last night. A good, healthy meal filled with lean proteins and energy foods will give your body nutrients it needs and provide energy for hours after it is eaten.

Many truckers think caffeine-filled drinks like soda and coffee as well as high sugar foods like candy will keep you awake on the road. That sugar high will only last for a short amount of time, and the sugar crash can send you into a spiral of sleepiness. Don’t give in to the temptation of these quick treats.

Take a nap before heading out on the road too. A quick power nap can provide you with all the energy you need to make that long haul with ease. A nap while on the road can’t hurt either. If you need to pull over, don’t hesitate. You should nap instead of fighting fatigue. The monotonous drive over boring terrain can become mind-numbing. Keep your brain alert and entertained with activities. You can listen to music, bring along audio books, or listen to podcasts. If you’re still sleepy while driving, open the window and let the fresh cool air revive you. This is especially good if it’s cold outside. The shock will get your pulse up, and your heart pumping.

Safety on the road is extremely important to you as well as to other drivers on the road. These tips should help with staying alert and staying safe. It’s easy to become lax when a long haul becomes a routine. Be alert and present each and every time you get behind the wheel.

Information Credit: etrucking.com

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


Puppies and kittens, vs. mirrors.

Texas Homeowners Insurance Rate Increases


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I’ve been complaining about the Texas homeowner rate change procedures for as long as I can remember — the system is rigged in favor of insurance companies.

An article in the Texas Tribune provides some insight into this seedy business, this time relate to candidate for governor Greg Abbott. Here are the opening paragraphs:

As Texas neared the end of a decade-long legal fight over homeowners’ insurance rates with Farmers Insurance Group in December, the company’s employees PAC gave $50,000 to the gubernatorial campaign of Attorney General Greg Abbott — the top lawyer in the state’s case against the company.

The contribution took Abbott’s receipts in his race to succeed Texas Gov. Rick Perry to more than $75,000 since 2013 from the PAC of his courtroom opponent — a company the state alleged in a 2002 lawsuit had deceived and discriminated against Texas homeowners.

Critics of Abbott and of a still-in-dispute settlement the AG’s office offered Farmers that year under Abbott’s predecessor, John Cornyn, say that Abbott, as he has renewed the suit, has not fairly represented homeowners in Texas. They say those homeowners were charged too much by the company whose employees’ political arm has given generously to Abbott’s campaign.

For Farmers, “it was a sweetheart deal when it was struck in 2002, and it’s only gotten sweeter since then,” said Alex Winslow, executive director of the consumer advocacy group Texas Watch.

What You Should Know About Assault & Battery Injuries


Lawsuits are often filed when someone has been injured. When that injury is not the result of an accident, but rather intentional, then it may fall under the label of an assault and battery. What these terms mean, and the difference between them, can be confusing. Specific laws may vary depending upon the state you live in, however, there are a few general principles that can clarify the issue.

An assault is a situation in which you are made to feel a real, immediate, and intentional threat, or even touched in a harmful way, from someone else. The biggest factor that tends to confuse people is the fact that actual physical contact does not need to be made. In fact, in many cases, all that’s necessary to establish assault is your belief in the imminent threat, as long as it’s reasonable under the circumstances. It’s the threat that actually matters.

Battery takes place when another person makes intentional, harmful, or offensive physical contact with you. Again, actual harm doesn’t need to have taken place. What’s important in this case is that a reasonable person under the same circumstances would have felt that the contact was offensive or inappropriate and that the person who made contact with you intended to do so.

Just as the severity of injury can vary greatly from case to case, so can the potential amount of any award or settlement.

Now that you know the basic definitions of assault and battery, if you feel that you may be the victim of this type of crime, your next step should be to consult a qualified attorney to determine if you do indeed have a case and to answer any questions you may have.

This article is contributed by Rommel who writes for R. David Ayers, Jr. – Personal Injury Attorney, a Winter Park,Florida based law firm that specializes in personal injury cases.