Understanding Punitive Damages In A Drunk Driving Incident

Posted by on Nov 4, 2016 in Automotive Dangers | 0 comments

Time and time again we have been constantly reminded of the dangers of drunk driving. One cannot deny the effects of alcohol on the judgment and decision making capability of a driver. While there have been efforts to curb drunk driving, there are still negligent drivers who endanger the lives of pedestrians and other drivers. DUI can severely inhibit a driver’s motor function and reaction time, which is important when driving a car.

Aside from being criminally charged, a drunk driver also faces stiff penalties as a result of the injury they have caused. Under the law, the plaintiff is entitled to receive monetary damages to indemnify them from potential losses or injury. Monetary damages are designed to help replace what the plaintiff lost. Another kind of damage that the court may award to the plaintiff is punitive damage.

The aim of punitive damages is to punish the defendant for their malicious or reckless behavior. While monetary damages are awarded by the court, punitive damages will come from the defendant. They are in place in order to protect the public and warn others that committing a similar crime will subject them to similar penalties. While it is allowed by the judge, it will still be the decision of the jury on whether or not punitive damages will be granted.

In general, punitive damages are awarded for outrageous behavior. These are acts that are done with a bad motive or with a reckless indifference to the interest of others. Because of its potential to cause harm and serious injury, drunk driving has been considered as outrageous conduct. In awarding punitive damages, the jury should consider not only the actual accident but also the circumstances surrounding it such as motive, relationship of the parties involved in the accident, provocation, and the driving history of the driver.

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Eligibility Requirements for SSDI and SSI Benefits

Posted by on Sep 20, 2016 in Social Security Disability | 0 comments

There are two Federal programs that provide assistance to people with disabilities: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which pays benefits to “insured” disabled individuals and certain members of thier family; and, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) pays benefits to disabled individuals based on their financial need.

SSDI and SSI are the U.S. Federal government’s two largest programs aimed at providing financial assistance to qualified individuals or individuals who meet the criteria set by the Social Security Administration. SSDI was introduced in 1956, while SSI was created in 1974. Though both are managed by the SSA, each address different disability needs and have different requirements for qualification.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), specifically, pays benefits to insured members who are totally disabled. “Insured members” refer to individuals 65 years old or below, who:

  • Have worked long enough (or recently enough) and have paid Social Security taxes or Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes while employed (these taxes, which are paid on a monthly basis, are automatically deducted from their salary);
  • Have earned the SSA-required number of credits (four credits earned every year); and,
  • Are suffering from total disability which: (i) renders them incapable of performing their previous work or any other work; (ii) has either lasted for a year or is likely to last for at least a year; and, (iii) can be expected to result in death.

The Social Security Administration has drawn up a list of severe medical conditions. If an insured member’s claimed disability is included in this list, and if he/she has earned the required number of credits, then he/she may be eligible to receive the benefits paid through SSDI. Otherwise, SSA will require an evaluation to determine if his/her health condition is serious enough to be considered a form of total disability.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, on the other hand, are paid to individuals who are, at least, 65 years old, blind, or disabled and whose income or resources fall within the federal benefit rate (FBR) determined by the government.

SSI is aimed at helping provide for the basic needs of its beneficiaries, including food, shelter and clothing. In a number of states, SSI benefits application is also considered as application for food stamps, while other states allow the benefits to be supplemented by Medicaid to cover prescriptions, doctor’s fee and other medical care costs.

As explained by the Hankey Law Office, disability benefits vary in amount and duration. Whatever the amount a beneficiary will receive, though, it will always be a reliable source of income that will make a world of difference in the lives of disabled individuals and their families. To make sure that applicants for claims get approved for either an SSDI or SSI benefit, or both, having an experienced Social Security Disability Insurance Lawyer helping them through the whole process may be advantageous.

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The 10 Most Common Workplace Safety Violations

Posted by on Apr 22, 2016 in Workplace Injuries | 0 comments

The workplace is a worker’s second home away from their home. They spend 8 to 9 hours or sometimes even more in the office. For this reason, employees often feel safe at their workplace. However, accidents can happen anytime and the workplace is no exception to the rule. Workplace injuries can strike any employee in the performance of their work. According to the website of The Benton Law Firm, approximately 4,400 workers were killed on the job around the country in 2012. From this number, 20% came from workplace accidents in construction sites.

The U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) revealed that most of the deaths in the construction industry came from falls, object strikes, electrocution, and caught in/between. The OSHA calls them the “Fatal Four.” The agency noted that if risk reduction measures were in place, accidents in construction sites would decrease by 50 percent.

Companies have the responsibility to ensure they adhere to safety standards and make the workplace a safe place to work in for their employees. Unfortunately, a huge number of companies have failed on the aspect of workplace safefty. The OSHA has cited various workplace violatrions which has resulted to the death or injury of workers. Here are 10 of the most frequent workplace safety violations as listed by the OSHA.

1. Fall Protection. Falls is considered as one of the “Fatal Four” causes of workplace accidents. For this reason, they should see to it that they have installed fall protection measures such as harnesses. For elevated job sites, there should be guard rails, toe boards, and safety nets.

2. Hazard Communication. Workers should be properly warned and informed about potential hazards specially the customers who are working on chemicals. This should be indicated in the label or safety data sheet.

3. Scaffolding. In order to complete some tasks, a scaffolding is oftern required. 7 out of 10 accidents happen when the planking or support gives way, workers slip or struck by falling objects.

4. Respiratory Protection. When noxious gases are inhaled, the worker can instantly die or acquire long term diseases. Thus, offices must provide employees with respirators to protect them from harmful dusts, fogs, smoke, gases, vapors, mists, and sprays.

5. Lockout/Tagout. This has sonething to do with the regulation of hazardous sources of energy such as electrical, pneumatic, mechanical, thermal, and chemical. Management must see to it that machines or equipment are diasbled before they are serviced by machine operators and electricians.

6. Powered Industrial Trucks. Employees are at risk of getting injured or killed due to heavy objects flipping over as a result of the weight loaded, falling off of docks, and striking other employees. Management must ensure that the workers who are operating forklifts are trained or certified. Employees who are below 18 years old must not be allowed to operate these machines.

7. Ladders. Maintenance personnel tasked to change a lightbulb are extremely at risk of getting injured due to the ladder’s stability issues or potential for falling. Likeiwse, some employees are required to use tall ladders in awkward locations in the performance of their jobs. Managers should make sure that the ladders the employees are using is structurally sound to suport the weight of the workers and that the rungs are free from slipping hazards such as oil and wet paint.

8. Electrical-Wiring Methods. Electrical work is a hazardous job and while this is applicable only to electricians and other related workers, every employee must be kept safe from wiring hazards. Thus wiring should be carefully installed and should be done by qualified personnel.

9. Machine Guarding. Moving machine components may subject employees to various injuries such as burns, lacerations, crush, amputation of a body part, or worse death. For this reason, it is important that all machines with moving parts, must be safeguarded all he time.

10. Electrical – General Requirements – Although associated with the 8th violation, this safety standard covers all safety regulations for electrical tasks such as PPE, job planning requirements, and circuit exposure.

Workplace injuries can be avoided and reduced as long as management will ensure that the workplace safety aspect is covered and guaranteed.

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Malpractice and Cerebral Palsy

Posted by on Nov 13, 2015 in Medical Issues | 0 comments

Taking care of an unborn child may be a rather challenging project for an Obstetrician, also called an OB/GYN, particularly if the mother has vices, like drinking and/or smoking, or taking a specific drug for a severe illness. Women, of course, understand that whatever enters their physiological program, whether it be food or drug, may function as either toxin or nutrient to the baby in their womb. That is why physicians would require all of the essential information they can get from pregnant and expecting women, so they’d be able to furnish correct and timely therapy, together with the appropriate drug, which will maintain both mom and child healthful and safe until the baby’s birth.

Medical negligence is one dreaded factor that will ultimately change the life of the unborn and the family to whom they belong. Neglect through incorrect and improper therapy by an OB/GYN during the mom’s pregnancy period or negligence by those included throughout the baby’s delivery, such as giving the mom an inappropriate dosage of anesthesia or applying an excessive amount of pressure to the kid’s head (when forceps are utilized), can lead to serious harm, like cerebral palsy.

Cerebral palsy is just one kind of birth defect that affects hundreds of recently born infants in the United States annually. This sickness is a form of brain injury or a problem in a baby’s mind development that may influence his or her motor function or damage his or her muscle coordination which, subsequently, may make jogging, playing, working, eating as well as talking difficult for him or her.

Before the 80s, physicians believed that CP was due to brain injury due to the possible starvation of oxygen to the brain of the baby during birth or labor. This error was fixed after studies showed the possibility of damage to an unborn’s brain was higher during the very first six weeks of pregnancy than during labor or delivery. The possible factors which could harm or change the mind development, which the research demonstrated, were: a problem in the brain’s development procedure; bleeding within the brain, which will be an illness called Intracranial hemorrhage; or Periventricular Leukomalacia (PVL), a deficiency of air to the brain that triggers severe injury to the brain cells. PVL endures from extremely low blood pressure and disease or normally occurs when the mother provides early delivery, use of drugs that are illegal.

Every mom will certainly desire to give birth to a baby that is healthy. But besides knowing how exactly to take good care of the healthy baby and her kid, having an excellent physician who may have genuine care for her and her kid is just as important. No mom, for example, might want to have the exact same experience of one 46-year-old woman whose periods had ceased. She was diagnosed as only heading through menopause, a possibility to get a girl her age; though, it might also have been something else, like pregnancy, as an example. Had she not insisted on a pregnancy test, no one, perhaps not even her physician, might have found out that she was already five weeks on the road. She decided to shift physicians -saving her child from harmful remedy that was possible that she didn’t actually want.

It is a truth that is sad, but medical negligence is real. And mothers, whose child could be afflicted by cerebral palsy, may think it wise to seek advice from a legal viewpoint concerning their child’s status. If evidence reveal that their child’s CP is a result of their doctor’s irresponsible acts, then the legislation supports them to pursue justice and permits them to record a claims litigation for the harms their child and family have been, and certainly will be, subjected to.

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3 Myths About Car Insurance: Debunked!

Posted by on Aug 7, 2015 in Finances | 0 comments

When getting car insurance, there are a lot of facts that often get tossed around whenever debating about whether or not you should get insurance in the first place. Some facts may scare you off of it, some might get you to go way over budget on coverage that you may not need. Here are a few myths about car insurance, debunked for your benefit!

Myth 1: The color of your car matters? False.

Did you know that a majority of car colors were only created due to the rise of female drivers? While these are pretty dated facts, it was first noted that the various colors were offered merely to provide a more vain option for pickier people and, back in the day, some women were more prone to pick based on look and color while men were more knowledgeable with what went on under the hood. While insurance companies really couldn’t give a hoot on whether or not your car is in the color of the blood of angry men, they do care about the kind of car you have as most policies will show that sports cars tend to have higher rates than, say, sedans do.

Myth 2: My lifestyle can determine my rate? True.

Since quite a lot of coverage policies do have certain specifications for possible circumstances, not everyone has the same kind of rate and policy. If you are a younger driver or one with less experience then, chances are, you would have a higher rate. Some companies also give higher rates to men rather than women.

Myth 3: I don’t need car insurance? False.

There are some people who can get away without car insurance; surely I could too, right? Wrong. While most times it is a legal requirement for people to make sure that their vehicles are insured, it is also the most recommended move for you to make. From information taken from the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, you could be the best and most law-abiding driver on the road and still need insurance because not everyone on the road will make the same safe decisions that you do.

Insurance is necessary as an investment for both your property and for yourself as your own health insurance may not suffice in the event of motor vehicle accident.

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Three Kinds of Mesothelioma

Posted by on Apr 6, 2015 in Medical Issues | 0 comments

Asbestos used to be one of the most dependable materials used for construction due to its durability and ability to withstand heat and fire. In its more solidified form, asbestos is not quite dangerous – it is only when it is broken up into particles and inhaled that it can become dangerous. There are many negative consequences that come with exposure to asbestos but there is none quite as lethal as that of mesothelioma, a kind of rare cancer that can take years to form before it is detectable.

There are three different kinds of mesothelioma. The first is Pleural Mesothelioma; this is the most common of the three and it is when the cancer lines the victim’s pleura, or the protective lining of the lungs. The second is a bit more unusual and it is that when the mesothelioma affects the abdominal cavity; this one is called Peritoneal Mesothelioma. The rarest of the three is the one where the cancer attacks the membrane surrounding the heart and this is called Pericardial Mesothelioma.

The thing about this kind of cancer is that it can take years before symptoms can actually start to show up and it can be too late before it is actually detected. The earlier that it is detected, the slower that the cancer’s progression can take place. There is no cure for mesothelioma and the medical expenses that it takes to treat this particular disease can be extremely stressful to deal with.

That is why, should you have been exposed to asbestos, it is important to get yourself checked with any of the diseases that might result from the exposure. The help of mesothelioma lawyers can allow for you to gain compensation for the expenses that this kind of experience can cost – as it will not just cost you more than just medical expenses.

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Stroke: One of the Possible Consequences of Wrong Diagnosis

Posted by on Feb 19, 2015 in Medical Issues | 0 comments

During consultation visits with a doctor, the questions of a walk-in patient usually center only on what their illness is and how frequently they should take the prescribed medicine; others go further and ask for an alternative diet, one that would keep them healthy and in good shape.

It is natural for patients to fully trust doctors; they are the experts, anyway, when it comes to health. Sadly, one reality is that even the best doctors can commit mistakes. In fact, more than a quarter of a million people die every year due to medical mistakes, making this the third most common cause of death in the US.

Wrong diagnosis is among the many different results of medical mistake or medical malpractice. Error in diagnosing a patient’s real condition is due to failure in detecting the warning signs of a real and more severe health condition, like one that can lead to a stroke.

Stroke, which is also known as Cerebral Vascular Accident (CVA), is due to a pause in the flow of blood to any area of the brain. This could be because of a blood clot in the blood vessels or a clot in the Cholesterol plaque. Before a major or large stroke, a patient usually suffers a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) first. TIA is what medical professionals identify as a warning or mini stroke; it usually last for only about 20 minutes, as the flow of blood usually resumes afterwards.

A stroke is definitely preventable, but only if its symptoms are detected early and correctly so that the patient can be given proper medication and advise on how to avoid it. Failure to diagnose it and render proper treatment, however, can easily result to paralysis or patient’s death. In fact, according to the American Stroke Association, more than 500,000 individuals suffer a stroke every year. From the total, about 200,000 end up disabled, while the many more others end up dead.

Determining the symptoms of stroke, though, can be difficult due to the symptoms’ resemblance with other serious health conditions, like severe migraine attack or diabetic hypoglycemia. The presence of other warning signs, though, like unexplained severe headaches, dizziness, loss of coordination or balance, difficulty in understanding or speaking, difficulty in walking and in seeing either from one or both eyes, and weakness or numbness on only one side of the body, may be interpreted as signs of stroke; but to be more certain, requiring the patient to undergo more tests may be called for. These symptoms, especially TIA, should never be taken lightly. On the contrary, patients displaying these symptoms should be given emergency care.

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