Senate Report Shows Mercedes, Ferrari, & Daimler Vans are Selling New Cars with Takata Airbags.


Reuters reports the US Senate released a report on Wednesday that said Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, and Daimler Vans have admitted to installing defective Takata airbags in new vehicles. The Hill reports Sen. Bill Nelson, ranking member on the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, said, “New vehicles with defective airbags cover pretty much the whole spectrum, from low-priced cars to the highest-end models,” he added, “They also underscore the failure of certain automakers and regulators to level with people about the true extent of the problem and to have the cars fixed before they’re sold.” MLive (MI) reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has said the automakers have until the end of 2018 to recall all affected vehicles, but in the meantime the cars can still be legally sold since “newer airbags would take time to deteriorate and automakers will presumably fix them via the recall before then.” The automakers are under no legal obligation to disclose the potentially faulty airbags to customers.

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

Friday Fun

Do NOT try this at home! “That’s A Moron – Parody of Dean Martin “That’s Amore”

NHTSA Calls Out People Bragging on Twitter About Texting While Driving


Hot Hardware reports that the NHTSA will call out people who brag about the use of smartphones while driving on Twitter. The effort is part of a NHTSA campaign called #Just Drive aims to “emphasize the true danger of distracted driving, and it features a couple of great taglines, ‘Don’t Let An Emoji Wreck Your Life,’ and ‘If You’re Texting, You’re Not Driving.’” The article mentions the NHTSA’s responses on Twitter have “remained cool and collected.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

Avoid These 3 Risky Smartphone Tasks to Become a Safer Driver


It’s no secret distracted driving is a terrifying phenomenon. The CDC reports, on average, eight people are killed every day due to crashes involving a distracted driver. And as if there weren’t enough things vying for a driver’s attention — passenger safety and finding that prime radio station — smartphones have introduced almost limitless temptations to turn your focus away from the road.

With all this in mind, what are some of the worst tasks you can be doing with your smartphone while driving? And how can they be avoided? Read on for answers to this and gain tips on how to be a more responsible driver so you can enjoy safety on the road — for yourself and others.


This won’t come as a shock, but texting is one of the most dangerous things you can do while behind the wheel. It turns out 25 percent of all car accidents in the U.S. are caused by texting while driving. That’s an enormous figure. Furthermore, reading a text message (and typing back a response) takes several moments and causes your complete attention to be directed away from the road in front of you.

If you find yourself frequently texting while driving, limit your ability to do so before you ever turn your car on. Put your phone on silent and place it somewhere out of reach. You can stick it somewhere where it would be accessible in the case of an emergency, but still far enough away that you’d have to stop the car and unbuckle your seat belt to reach it. This way, you won’t be tempted to glance at your phone if you hear a text notification, and you physically will not be able to get to the phone until you’re in a safe spot.

Checking Email

While we know texting is dangerous, checking email is definitely worse. Many of us are busy professionals and have bosses or clients who expect us to be on call throughout the day. Thus, we justify checking our email while driving because we have committed to being constantly available to our employers or clients. But think for a moment how much less available you’ll be to those individuals if you end up in a serious car crash; it’s just not worth it.

To avoid the compulsion to check email while driving, try the same strategies outlined above with regard to texting. In addition, consider setting an “out of office” auto-responder each time you get in the car. This way, anyone seeking you out with an urgent matter can quickly see you’re unavailable and will know when you’ll be able to be reached again.

Looking at Your GPS

This last habit is one that many logical people feel justified about: periodically checking your GPS while on the road. You need to know where you’re going, don’t you? Well, yes, you do. But did you know you’re four-times as likely to get in an accident when reading behind the wheel?

If you rely on GPS for directions, turn on the voice setting to have the directions read aloud to you and turn off the dashboard. Another idea is to review your driving directions before leaving home so you know what to expect while driving and don’t need to avert your eyes from the road. All it takes is one second to make a grave mistake.

Not only is distracted driving a potentially lethal activity, but it also is becoming more and more heavily regulated. Be sure to familiarize yourself with distracted-driving laws and safe practices in your home state. If everyone shifted their attention back to the road and away from their smartphones, our roads would be astronomically safer — and that starts with you.

Author Information: Rebecca Hasulak is a prolific writer and dangerous dreamer. She sharpened her skill with the written word while she was an Associate Editor of a beauty and pop culture magazine, and further during her time as a Public Relations Executive. Rebecca now writes and delivers PR services under her business Quotable PR, and is happiest when with her daughter and loved ones. Follow her @BecksChristine.

Legal Expectations: What Attorneys Want from Paralegals

Legal Expectations What Attorneys Want from Paralegals

Lawyers hire paralegals to make their lives easier. Much of the work an attorney does can be done by a paralegal. It is against legal ethics for paralegals to give legal advice to clients or to appear on behalf of a client in court. Otherwise, paralegals can do pretty much anything a lawyer can do and for a much cheaper rate.

Paralegal Studies Degree or Certificate

Most lawyers expect their paralegals to have some type of paralegal degree. Some law firms will only hire paralegals who went to ABA-approved paralegal programs. The American Bar Association recommends two and four year colleges, many of which offer an option for obtaining an online paralegal degree.


Many lawyers want paralegals with a particular set of experience. Paralegals only receive an overview of a limited number of practice areas in college, and they will not receive training in every area of law. Most of a paralegal’s experience comes from hands-on learning through internships or previous jobs.

Most lawyers and law firms specialize in only a few types of law, and they want to hire a paralegal who has some experience in that area. For example, a personal injury law firm would be less likely to hire someone whose only experience is in bankruptcy law. Likewise, criminal and civil lawyers handle very different types of cases. Most law firms do not want to train someone from scratch and prefer to hire someone who already knows at least most of the job.


Paralegals should be skilled at legal researching and writing, as these skills are sought after by almost every lawyer who hires a legal assistant. Lawyers also like to hire paralegals who are good at technology and are skilled at learning new things. Skills that were once valuable, like taking shorthand and using a typewriter, have been replaced with online transcription software and apps. With current advancements in e-discovery and online court filing, it is important to hire a paralegal who can adapt and change with the times.


Paralegals need to function well under stress, because most lawyers have a lot of things going on at once. For the same reason, most lawyers want to hire a paralegal who is very organized and efficient. In some jobs, paralegals have a lot of contact with clients over the phone and at the office. Therefore, most lawyers want to hire paralegals who are good at communicating orally as well as in writing.

A paralegal who hopes to find a job in today’s legal environment should know more than the latest word processing software. Especially in a small law firm, paralegals might be in charge of office management and billing in addition to doing legal work. It is important to find the right paralegal degree program and to secure an internship to learn the ropes. It is also important to stay on top of the latest trends in legal technology and develop strong communication skills. By doing these things, a paralegal will be able to find and maintain success in the legal profession.

This article is from Marlena Stoddard, who writes on health, parenting and everything in between. Originally from Senoia, GA, Marlena lives in Santa Rosa, CA with her husband and two children. When she isn’t spending time with her children or writing, Marlena enjoys hiking and photography, animals and painting. For more on Marlena, you can follow her on Google+.


3 Potential Consequences of Drunk Driving

3 Potential Consequences of Drunk Driving

Even if you do not feel impaired, driving a motor vehicle after having too many drinks is very dangerous. Everyone knows that drunk driving can lead to legal charges, but being imprisoned or fined are not the only penalties that you will face if you are driving while under the influence of alcohol. Here are a few other potential consequences that you might face if you choose to drive drunk.

You Will Lose Your License
The legal penalties for drunk driving often include suspended or revoked driver’s licenses. Even a first conviction with no previous charges may result in up to two years without a driver’s license. Depending on where you live, this may make it very difficult to do daily activities. In small towns without public transportation, some people end up losing their job if they can no longer use a car to travel to work, and even running simple errands becomes difficult.

Your Career May Be Damaged
If convicted of a DUI charge, you may have trouble finding places to work in the future. Any sort of criminal background check will show either a felony or a misdemeanor, and most businesses are unlikely to hire someone who was convicted of drunk driving. Even if no one was harmed in any way during your drunk driving incident, you may have difficulty furthering your career. Depending on the policies of your employer, you might even be fired from the job you currently hold after the DUI conviction.

You May Lose a Lot of Money
According to Denver attorney Kurt Zaner, a person who is injured by a drunk driver may be able to successfully win a civil lawsuit against that driver. This means that if you drive drunk and injure someone, that person may be able to sue you for compensation. In addition to paying for medical bills, you might end up having to pay for the injured party’s lost working time or impaired physical abilities. Therefore, between the fines you may owe the government and any money you lose in lawsuits after the criminal case, you might find yourself impoverished after the drunk driving accident.

The many potential consequences of drunk driving can ultimately be overwhelming. Not only will you face legal penalties and potential guilt from harming another person, but you will also find that drunk driving can negatively affect your lifestyle and habits. Because drunk driving is widely condemned, the repercussions after one drunk driving arrest may continue to haunt you for years.

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

How could anyone possibly resist exploring a site called TheUselessWeb?

3 Tips For Caring For Your Car After An Accident

3 Tips For Caring For Your Car After An Accident

Vehicle accidents are stressful events that can result in significant physical injuries and financial loss. However, there are some things that a person can do to limit the financial damages that are caused to a vehicle in an accident. Taking a little time to care for the vehicle after an accident can result in saving money and getting the vehicle repaired and back on the road quickly and safely.

Area Safety

Once the passengers in a vehicle are safe from harm, a person involved in an accident needs to take action to protect his or her car from further damage. Hazard lights should be used to signal approaching drivers of the location of the vehicle. If the scene is safe, and with police permission, the car should be moved to the side of the road. It is also important that all damage to the vehicle is documented with photographs and included in the police report. The photographs and police documentation will help to ensure that the vehicle damage is covered by the at-fault party.


Unless the damage from the accident is only cosmetic, the vehicle will need to be inspected for safety before driving. A visual check of tires, suspension components and under the car for leaking fluids should be made before starting the vehicle. If the vehicle looks safe to drive and starts, it should be carefully driven until the vehicle is determined safe to drive. If the vehicle must be towed, it is better that the vehicle be moved on a rollback style of wrecker than a hook and chain or wheel lift wrecker.

Prevent Further Damage

After an accident, the car should be stored in a safe location where it will not be vandalized or objects stolen from the car. Not only will safe storage keep the car from being damaged further, it will also preserve the car in the event that an inspection is needed to determine fault or the extent of the damage from the accident. Safety devices such as deployed air bags and baby car seats will need to be replaced after an accident.

When the immediate problems of an accident are over, the real stress can begin as a person tries to negotiate with insurance companies and repair shops to get the vehicle fixed. A person experiencing problems after an accident should contact an Atlanta car accident attorney who can help him or her to get the settlement that is deserved in a timely manner. By getting professional help by workers like this you can make sure that both your family and your car get the care that they need.

Author information: Kare Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max. You can find Kara on Facebook and Twitter.


Self Defense Practices for Women

Two womans fighting hands in white kimono on black background

Too often women are faced with the reality of being ill-equipped to defend themselves when in a vulnerable situation. Predators are unpredictable and, as a woman, it is best to know how to protect yourself when encountering a potential attack. Here are a few useful tools a woman can possess to enable herself to feel safer, wiser and more prepared in a precarious situation.

Martial Arts

There are many different styles of martial arts that teach self-defense techniques. Tae Kwon Do can be useful for women with strong legs, as the practice teaches many ways to make your opponent defenseless with a single kick. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu focuses on combat that occurs on the ground; the movements can enable women to escape sexual assault when finding themselves underneath the body of their attacker. Another form of martial arts is Aikido. This style teaches students how to use an opponent’s own strength against them using techniques such as joint lock and throwing. Most martial arts classes are inexpensive and offered at local community centers and YMCAs.


A dog is a great line of defense against intruders in the home. Security lights can be invasive and security systems and alarms can be steeply expensive. A trusted canine companion can be trained to guard you and your home, allowing you to feel more secure while you’re in the house. For women who worry about traveling alone in the wilderness, it is useful to bring a dog along as it can deter most predators from entering your camp.


Although carrying a concealed weapon may create the illusion of security, a gun is only as useful as your skill to use it. Take your time when choosing a handgun for yourself — be sure to test different gauges, hand grips and barrel lengths. Once you find the right gun, head to a firing range to practice shooting with it. It will help you feel solid in your ability to handle the firearm. If you are uneasy with the idea of handling a gun, opt for an air pistol or BB gun until you’re ready for a weapon with more power.

Other Tools

If having a weapon of some sort puts your mind at ease, but a gun isn’t for you, there are less intimidating options that fit conveniently on your key ring or in your purse. A taser, pepper spray and a billy club can all be compact enough to fit in a small bag to carry with you at all times. You never know when dire measures may need to be taken, it is best to be prepared than to be taken off guard.

Author Info: Whitney Chandler – A wild woman writer of the western outdoors.

4 Situations When You Absolutely Must Call a Lawyer

4 Situations When You Absolutely Must Call a Lawyer

It’s easy to think that you can handle a serious legal matter on your own, but a lot of people who try soon discover that they don’t have the necessary legal knowledge and expertise. A lawyer is an investment that helps make certain that your legal matters are handled quickly, efficiently and correctly.

You can typically resolve basic legal matters—such as early-stage consumer protection concerns, personal disputes and sales contracts—on your own or through an organization, government agency or media outlet. You absolutely must call a lawyer if you face any of the following:

Major Contract Transactions

Contracts contain fine print and highly specific, complicated legal language and terminology. You should never attempt to handle divorce or separation contracts, will and inheritance documents, real estate transaction forms, adoption paperwork, or bankruptcy filings on your own. A lawyer is a must for contract negotiations where fine print can lead to loopholes or technical terms can be easily overlooked. Only a lawyer has the skills to correctly interpret contract terms to settle breach disputes.

Criminal and Civil Lawsuits

Any action you take during a criminal or civil lawsuit can make your situation worse. A lawyer who specializes in criminal or civil law knows the various defenses that defendants have used in the past to win their cases—and what defendants have done to sabotage their claims. A lawyer uses this knowledge to create a case customized to the situation. A lawyer can also tell you whether you should accept a plea deal or settlement arrangement.

Medical Malpractice Cases

Victims of medical malpractice often suffer permanent injury or die. If you or a loved one becomes a victim, you should always seek out the counsel of a lawyer to review the unique circumstances around the event. A lawyer can tell you if you have a legitimate case. A lawyer can also help you receive the highest possible settlement. More importantly, a successful lawsuit helps give you the peace of mind that the person or persons responsible received appropriate punishment and can harm no one else.

Automobile Accidents

Lastly, automobile accidents can be a legal mire, and a lawyer can help you find the best solution when that accident results in injury, property damage or death. Don’t be mistaken, however, calling a lawyer immediately following a serious car accident is probably not the best course of action. A car accident lawyer in Louisville, Kentucky, recommends first making sure everyone is safe and out of harm’s way, then calling the police and the insurance company before, last of all, calling an attorney. Car accident lawyers help drivers who feel that they have been unjustly sued and injured parties seeking restitution to make sure their lives are not upended by an errant driver or accident.

If you feel you need a lawyer, then don’t hesitate to contact one today. Most lawyers offer free initial consultations. Many lawyers also offer reduced fee and credit payment plans.

This article is from Marlena Stoddard, who writes on health, parenting and everything in between. Originally from Senoia, GA, Marlena lives in Santa Rosa, CA with her husband and two children. When she isn’t spending time with her children or writing, Marlena enjoys hiking and photography, animals and painting. For more on Marlena, you can follow her on Google+.

Legal Implications – What is it Like to be the Victim of Assault?

Legal Implications

Assault is a crime that takes many forms, but its repercussions are always the same. The victims of assault always end up with emotional devastation that takes years to heal. The victim of the crime of assault is usually distrustful of people afterward. Such a person may cringe or flinch when an intimidating person comes near. In the worst cases, assault victims remain in a protective shell for the rest of their lives to prevent other people from hurting them.

What Is Assault?

Assault is a crime that can be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the state and the nature of the crime. The simplest case of assault may involve a threat from one person to another. To qualify for assault, the threat has to truly intimidate the victim and have a violent nature. The assaulter does not necessarily have to physically hurt the victim, although such an action can classify as assault, as well. Professionals, like those at McLaughlin & Lauricella, P.C., know that aggravated assault is a form of assault in which the assaulter does connect physically with the victim. Aggravated assault cases are cases that involve dangerous weapons such as guns, as well. Furthermore, aggravated assault includes sexual crimes and assaults.

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is a horrid crime in which the offender forces the person or attempts to force the person to engage in sexual activity. The offender uses physical force or threats of harm to intimidate the victim into submission. In some cases, the offender takes advantage of someone who is inebriated. The victim is often left with horrifying memories and a great deal of work to do to overcome the low self-esteem that erupts after such an ordeal.

How the Courts Treat Perpetrators

The court system has no tolerance for assaulters, especially ones that partake in sexual crimes. The sentences for people who are guilty of assault range from one year to 25 years. The time that it takes for a victim to heal from the wounds varies according to the severity of the violation and that victim’s state before such a thing occurred. Many times, victims have to deal with further abuse by people who do not believe their stories. That just causes the healing to grow in difficulty. Eventually, the light shines on these persons again, but it often takes years of recovery before the person is okay and can move on in a healthy fashion.

Author’s Information: Bio: 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 and Facebook.

Friday Fun

I love magic, and Darcy Oake is really, really good.

Personal Injury Claims – What You Need to Mount a Decent Defense

Personal Injury Claims

There is a possibility that you will lose a personal injury case, especially if you are partly responsible for the plaintiff’s injury or injuries. This does not mean you should not try to beat the case if you have enough evidence to lift your responsibility. The following are a few defense strategies to beat a personal injury case.

Proving Risk Was Disregarded

A good strategy that a lawyer has against the plaintiff is to prove an assumption of risk. This strategy is seeking to show that the plaintiff knew that a risk was involved regarding the accident. Proving this can be done in numerous ways, such as showing that the plaintiff was aware of the risk beforehand. Making the plaintiff aware of the danger could be as simple as a sign that warned people of the risk.

Finding an Unbiased Jury

One important task that a lawyer has to deal with is ensuring that the jury is not biased regarding insurance companies. The lawyer is trained to ask the right questions, and they analyze the answers given for those questions. Professionals, like a Boise personal injury lawyer, know that asking the right questions is crucial to any case. Some jurors might have had some trouble with insurance companies before, such as being denied a claim. These biases might incline a juror to give money to the plaintiff without really assessing the evidence before him or her.

Proving Contributory Negligence

Another type of evidence that a lawyer will attempt to find is proof that the plaintiff contributed to the incident through willful negligence. This could be something as simple as not wearing prescribed glasses, which might have helped him or her avoid the incident. Amassing enough evidence to prove that the plaintiff was completely at fault might actually lift your responsibility of the plaintiff’s injuries. Of course, there are some instances where the responsibility is split, but that really does depend on your specific case.

Plaintiff’s Failure to Mitigate

It is possible that the plaintiff failed to mitigate after his or her own health or employment status. This means that the plaintiff might have purposely avoided looking for work, which means that you are not responsible for any wages lost in that instance. It is also possible that the plaintiff did not seek medical attention or did not follow the doctor’s advice. This means that the amount of medical expenses that you are responsible for can be significantly reduced.

These are just a few defense strategies that a good lawyer may use to help you beat a personal injury claim.

Author information: 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

What to Do After a Car Accident When It’s Not Your Fault

What to Do after a Car Accident When It’s Not Your Fault

A large number of car accidents take place all over the U.S every day, some of which are due to the drivers’ faults. Then again, there are car accidents that happen due to other’s faults. Nevertheless, getting involved in a car accident can put you in a state of shock, whether it is your fault or someone else’s.

No matter how the car accident happened, you will have to follow some basic steps if you want to claim your insurance. It’s important to remember that dealing with your own insurance company after an auto accident can be stressful and time consuming. If you have to deal with the insurance company of the other people, you might have to compromise your sanity.

To make things more bearable, here are some tips to handle a third-party claim successfully.

What is a Third-Party Claim and How Does it Work?

A third party car accident claim is made by the injured party with the insurance company of the person who was at fault. Third party car accident claims are the most common type of car insurance claims made in the U.S. The insurance claim will allow you to receive compensations for the lost wages, medical expenses, pain and sufferings due to the accident.

Before claiming a third party car accident claim, you must determine whether you are eligible for one or not. Not every accident results in a third party claim, so in order to file a third party car accident claim you must be able to prove that you suffered a serious injury or permanent impairment.

To decide whether you qualify for the claim, the court will look at:

  • The nature of injury
  • Extent to which the injury affects your normal life
  • Degree of treatment required and costs involved

One more thing that you must do before filing your claim is contact your personal injury lawyer.  A lawyer would be the best person to guide you through the claims process and also help you out of you have to file a lawsuit against the miscreant.

How to Make a Third-Party Car Accident Claim

If you are lucky enough to escape death, the first thing that you must do is to file a third party car accident claim. Making a third party claim is nothing too complicated – you just have to write a letter to the concerned insurance company.

The complications start after you file the claim. Before writing the letter, make sure you get in touch with the concerned insurance company over telephone and inform them about the claim as soon as possible. Prompt notice can make a big difference, so you should never overlook the “giving notice” stage.

In the written notice, you must tell the insurance company that the accident occurred due to its policy holder’s fault and you must also provide the insurance adjusters with all the basic details about what happened at the accident site.

There are a few more things that you must do, to ensure you are able to handle the claim without hassles:

  1. Collect All the Required Information

Gather all the required information such as the faulty driver’s address, insurance company name and policy information. Take pictures of the car accident scene, so that you have enough evidence if you are pulled to the courtroom. Gathering the right information is the key to make a successful claim, so make use of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ free smartphone WreckCheck App or other mobile apps provided by the car insurance companies, to collect and exchange the right information.

  1. Inform Everyone Who Must Know About the Accident

Apart from notifying the other person’s insurance company, you must also file a complaint with the police. The police will investigate to find who is at fault. The insurance company will also perform its own investigation to determine who is at fault based on the driver and witness statements, police report and physical evidence.

You must also consider informing your own auto insurance company about the damages made to your car and the injuries you suffered. This will establish a good relationship with your auto insurance company and will help you make a collision claim in case the other person’s insurance company denies the charges and you don’t get any compensation.

  1. Get an Authorization Before Going for Repairs

Theoretically, once you have informed the other person’s insurance company, you can take your car to a repair shop and get yourself check-up by a doctor and expect the insurance company to pay the bills. But that does not happen every time.

Many insurance companies require you to get an authorization from them before heading towards a repair shop or seeing a doctor. So, make sure you get a written authorization from the insurance company that it accepts liability and is ready to pay for the repairs and treatments. Also, remember that insurance companies can recommend auto repair shops but can never force you to take your vehicle to a specific repair shop.

  1. Know How to Proceed

Oftentimes, the insurer of the at-fault driver might deny charges and refrain from taking liability. If you decide not to fight the at-fault driver’s insurance company, you can file a claim with your own auto insurer, which in turn can choose to fight the other insurance company to prove the faults of its policyholder.

In case you decide to fight the other insurance company, you must appoint an experienced and skilled lawyer who can help you navigate the insurance laws. But remember, the lawyer can claim a portion of the compensation that you receive, if you win the case. Lawyers would also help you understand the unfair claims settlement practices act for your state, so that you take advantage of the act and get compensated within time.

Depending upon the extent of damage done to your vehicle or yourself, you need to choose the right recourse.


By knowing what to do after meeting with an accident (due to someone else’s fault) and how to handle the third party car accident claim, you can make sure you get compensated accordingly. Gather information and involve everyone who can help you make the claim successful.

In case you are unable to handle the intricacies, you can hire an experienced lawyer to handle the case on your behalf and help you get the maximum compensation.

About the Author

Robert Burks is Marketing Manager at Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C., one of the leading personal injury lawyer firms in New York City. He has experience of more than a decade in writing about law and legal issues, particularly personal injury and medical malpractice law.

ODAR Unveils “CARES” Plan for Hearing Backlog


With a backlog of nearly 1.1 million claimants awaiting Administrative Law Judge hearings at the end of 2015, and an average processing time of 512 days, SSA’s Office of Disability Adjudication and Review has created a plan to speed up the hearings process. The plan, known as Compassionate And REsponsive Service (CARES), was announced via a post at SSA’s newsletter. If the plan is successful, average processing times will decrease to 270 days by Fiscal Year 2020. However, the success of the plan depends on many factors, especially how much administrative funding Congress allows for SSA. And even if the plan is eventually fully implemented, backlogs and average processing times are expected to rise during the current Fiscal Year.

GM To Offer Technology That Could Prevent Hot Car Deaths


NBC News reports that General Motors is offering a technology called the Rear Seat Reminder in its 2017 GMC Acadia SUV, which is “designed to detect when a motorist puts something in the back seat and then issue an alert when they’re ready to exit the vehicle.” Child safety experts hope the car will help prevent the death of children in hot cars. President Janette Fennell has praised the Rear Seat Reminder and said, “New technology must be added as quickly as possible on vehicles to help prevent these needless deaths and injuries.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.


Friday Fun

This post is not funny, but it is fascinating. It’s a repeat of Carl Sagan’s “pale blue dot” talk. I never tire of listening to him talk about space.


How to Use Environmental Law to Help the Global Green Initiative

How to Use Environmental Law to Help the Global Green Initiative

As a whole, the world has progressed in leaps and bounds since the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, considered to be the first environmental legislation in the United States. Today there is an entire faction of laws regarding the environment and conservation. These laws are in place to work towards a cleaner earth. More specifically, they help to work towards the goals outlined in the Global Green Initiative.

What is Environmental Law?
Environmental law is a combination of international, federal, and state treaty laws that usually relate to issues of pollution, global warming, natural resource depletion, and clean water. These laws are in place to protect humanity from themselves and the explosive, near-sighted nature of capitalism. The Administration of Environmental Regulations is the main agency in the United States that administers environmental regulations. In addition, most states also possess their own environmental enforcement agencies. Both have the capacity to pass and enforce regulations through fines, legal action, or criminal proceedings.

Types of Environmental Laws
There are two main categories of environmental law: pollution control or remediation, or conservation of natural resources. International treaties or agreements regarding reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, protection of endangered species, or prohibiting the testing of environment-damaging weapons all influence what laws are passed and why.

Environmental Law Violations
Violations of the environmental laws are usually handled in a civil fashion, with the assignment of fines and civil damages to those affected by the breach. However, there is a trend emerging that favors harsher punishment. People in the field are favoring laws that criminalize environmentally destructive behavior. This can mean prison time for offenders who violate property laws, or even executives in business who allow pollution.

A Role for Citizens
As in any kind of law, the first role of a citizen is to obey the laws. Research laws in your area carefully, and consider ways to lower your own environmental impact. More and more people are entering the field of energy consumption. Online master’s degrees in energy or environmental science can be pursued from the comfort of your own home, and have many fields of application. More than these personal changes, citizens can use their familiarity with local laws to report suspicious or illegal activity. Spreading views and information in the community you live in is an excellent way to further the overall environmental goals worldwide.

In conclusion, citizens can adhere to and enforce environmental laws in their area in order to help the Global Green Initiative. In this age of budding green technology it is more important than ever that people understand the legal aspect of environmental science, even if they do not pursue it as a career.

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.

Personal Injury and Resort Liability: What Happens When You Get Hurt on Vacation?


(Image Source)

You have finally booked yourself off for some rest and relaxation. The idea that you might become injured while you are on vacation is the furthest thing from your mind; but it can result in a lot more than inconvenience. It is a possibility you may not have thought of, but one that every individual should be aware of before they head out on a vacation.

In the event that you are out on a holiday and become injured, do you know the steps you and your family should take to document and report your accident? If the injury you sustain on vacation could be something that impacts your ability to work, exercise or conduct your normal activities of daily living, what you do within the first twenty-four hours of your accident matters.

How Often Are Americans Injured on Foreign Vacations?

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 23% of deaths of American travelers happen while they are in a foreign country. The CDC reported that from the years 2009 to 2011, approximately 2,773 Americans died from non-natural causes including collisions, injuries, and violence.

Complications for Uninsured Travelers

The last thing people think about is health or injury insurance, when they are planning their vacation. Unfortunately, many Americans do not anticipate that they will be injured, or they feel that the regional health and medical care will be sufficient to address their needs, in the event of an accident. This misconception places travelers at both great personal and financial risk.

Health insurance for a vacation can cost as little as $50. Provided in a supplemental travel insurance plan, is emergency care and some plans even offer emergency travel from the vacation destination back to the United States, for quality care. Travelers without insurance (or those who have personal insurance that does not cover them while out of the country) can be subjected to cash-for-service payment by foreign healthcare providers, and possible treatment delays (even during an emergency) until payment is received.

Substandard medical care in many countries (which are not comparable to American providers), delays in testing and treatment, or price gouging or cash-only payment requirements can place the injured person at a great risk of health complications, or even fatality. Hospitals and medical staff in foreign countries where insurance coverage is not available can also withhold dispensation of medications, including insulin or pain relief prescriptions.

What Happens When You Are Injured On a Resort?

The first twenty-four hours after your injury is critical for documentation. If you feel that the hotel, tour company, driver or staff have been negligent, or that their actions contributed in a direct way to your sustained injuries, you may have sufficient grounds for a personal injury case; assuming that you get all the facts and details before you leave.

  1. Seek Immediate Medical Evaluation

It is important to see a doctor immediately after a personal injury. This is because waiting for long will make it difficult for you to prove the injuries sustained. Also, by avoiding medical evaluation on an immediate basis, you may risk your health and well-being.

  1. Document with Photography

You’ve heard the saying that a “picture is worth a thousand words.” This statement is never more true than when it comes to personal injury and litigation. Without photographic documentation, it is your word against the resort, and photographs are admissible, reliable evidence that can help you build a successful personal injury case.

Take pictures of the injury or sites of injury. Take multiple pictures of the location where the injury occurred, at the time of the accident. Waiting to document the scene of your injury can give unscrupulous individuals time to address the cause of your injury, including poorly stored equipment, tripping obstacles or other signs of negligence.

  1. File a Police Report

No matter what country you are visiting, when you have an accident that involves damage or a personal injury, you must report it to the authorities. This protects travelers in two ways; first it creates a legally binding statement that is admissible in court. Second, it verifies the nature of your injury at the time of loss. A policeman will document the nature of the injury as well as contributing factors, which again, will help substantiate personal injury claims in court.

  1. Get Statements and Witness Contact Information

Since vacation resorts and destinations are full of travelers from around the world, tracking them down a month or two after your accident (should you wish to pursue legal action) can be difficult if not impossible. The hotel or resorts adhere to privacy laws and will not release guest contact information, unless court ordered to do so.

Before you leave the resort, ask for names, telephone numbers, mailing addresses and email addresses for individuals who witnessed the accident or injury. Another quick way to do it with a mobile device is to connect with them on LinkedIn, after you gather their contact information. That way, if telephone numbers change, you will be able to contact them through email. New Orleans personal injury lawyers (who had experience with vacationers during Katrina), recommend that all travelers record their observation of the accident and circumstances on your phone, but back up your statements to a secure file destination, such as DropBox or Google Documents before traveling home (just in case).

A personal injury can impact your family for a month, year or decades, depending on the severity. Insure that you and everyone you know are prepared to take the essential steps immediately following an injury, and remember to safely store your legal documentation in the cloud, on the ride home.

Author Bio: Aaron Z. Ahlquist is a Louisiana Personal Injury Attorney with Herman, Herman & Katz, LLC, a law firm based out of New Orleans, LA. He has served his clients in the areas of union and employee-side labor, employment law, complex and commercial litigation, class action and mass tort, etc. As an attorney with HH&K, he has been recognized as one of the Top 40 Attorneys under 40 in the State of Louisiana by The National Trial Lawyers Association.

All You Need to Know About Legal Highs, and How They Are Riskier Than Illegal Drugs


(Image Source)

The Psychoactive Substances Act has just come into effect in the UK, prohibiting the production, supply, and importation of synthetic substances – called legal highs – that can have the same effects on the human body as some class-A drugs. On the other hand, a lot of these substances can still be sold legally under different names across the Atlantic.

The dangers of using legal highs aren’t fully known, but it is clear that they do pose short- and long-term health risks to users. As such, while these substances seem to be similar to illegal drugs, they can be a lot more dangerous.

Read on to know more about legal highs, and how they are different from illegal drugs.

What Are Legal Highs?

Legal highs, also called New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), illegal legals, or illegal highs, contain one or more chemical substances and are designed to produce the same or similar effects to illegal drugs like cannabis and cocaine. However, legal highs are structurally different, and are often sold as research chemicals. To get around the law, they are also advertised as being unfit for human consumption and marketed as bath salts, incense, or plant food.

How Are Legal Highs Sold?

Legal highs that are marketed as bath salts, incense, or herbal smoking mixtures come in attractive packaging with contents that look like dried plant cuttings or herbs. Legal highs sold as powders can have flour to crystal-like consistency, and can range from white to yellow to brown in color. Pills and capsules come in various sizes, shapes, and colors.

What Are the Effects of Legal Highs?

Legal highs, like other psychoactive drugs, can be divided into three categories as follows:

  • Stimulants: These compounds make you feel energized, more physically active, chatty, fast-thinking, and euphoric. They act like cocaine, ecstasy, or amphetamines.
  • Downers: These type of compounds are also called sedatives; they make you feel relaxed or sleepy, reduce inhibition, lower concentration, make you forgetful, slow down reactions, and induce euphoria. The effects of downers are the same as those of cannabis and Valium.
  • Psychedelics: Also known as hallucinogens, these substances alter perception and make you hallucinate, and induce feelings of euphoria and enlightenment. They have similar effects to that of LSD and ketamine.

Apart from these three, there’s a separate type of legal highs known as synthetic cannabinoids, which forms a big part of the legal highs market. These substances act similarly to cannabis – relaxing the mind, altering consciousness, and inducing euphoria.

How and Why Are Legal Highs Riskier Than Illegal Drugs?

Since most legal highs have never been tested, their reactions upon human consumption are unpredictable. Consuming these substances can pose short- or long-term health risks that aren’t yet known. A few health risks of consuming legal highs are detailed below.

  • Stimulants can induce anxiety, confusion, panic, paranoia, and psychosis. These substances can also weaken the immune system, and put stress on the heart and nervous system.
  • Downers place you at-risk for accidents by slowing down reactions and making you lethargic, unsteady, and forgetful. Mixing these substances with other drugs and/or alcohol can cause unconsciousness and also lead to coma and death.
  • Psychedelics can cause confusion and hallucinations, thereby interfering with your judgement. Consuming these substances can also cause you to behave erratically and put your own safety at risk.
  • Synthetic cannabinoids can cause agitation and increased sweating, blood pressure, and heart rate. Consuming these substances in larger doses can lead to life-threatening intoxication.

In addition to these side-effects, many legal highs have been recently created by combining new chemicals in various ways. What’s more, forensic testing of these substances has shown that they contain ingredients or chemicals different to those mentioned on the packaging. Due to this, you can never be sure of what exactly you are consuming when using legal highs.

Note that legal highs that look the same or claim to be similar to other products may vary in strength, and have different effects on different people. Also, the risks of combining these substances with other drugs and/or alcohol can increase considerably.

Is Claiming Personal Injury Compensation Possible?

Consuming legal highs is certainly risky, but just because you’ve been injured by taking these drugs doesn’t mean you can’t claim personal injury compensation. If someone else caused your accident, leading to injury on a physical or psychological level, get in touch with Rhode Island personal injury lawyers immediately.

Ensure that you have a clear view of how the accident took place and who caused it, along with necessary evidence to support your claims. Know your rights, and you may be able to get the compensation that you deserve.

Now that you know all about legal highs and how they are different from illegal drugs, use your judgement when consuming these substances. Lastly, if you feel that you or a loved one has been injured as a result of someone else’s mistake, take the right actions promptly.

Author Bio:

Kathleen Standley is a freelance content writer & blogger and a marketing geek. She is an avid reader and has been writing and blogging since the last 5 years. Presently, she works with Mike Bottaro – a Rhode Island Personal Injury Lawyer and Founder of The Bottaro Law Firm, LLC based in Cranston, RI. In her spare time, she loves to hang out with friends and enjoys meeting new people from her industry.