Apr 21, 2015

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Teen Drivers Most Prone to Reckless Driving

One of the most basic things the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) makes sure before granting applicants a driver’s license is that they have learned and developed proper road behavior. Being a responsible driver never implies displaying superiority on the road, but treating all other motorists and pedestrians with respect. This respectful behavior entails a lot of things, including proper observance of traffic rules, not driving beyond the speed limit, never driving if intoxicated or under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, having undivided attention on the road, not using a cell phone while driving, avoiding any form of distraction while behind the wheel and never driving recklessly.

While drivers openly express that they never would want to be on the road at the same time with a careless and reckless motorist, so many, especially young and new drivers, fall prone to committing what they say they do not approve. This explains why as many as 2,650 teen drivers, aged between 16 and 19, die every year in car crashes and about 290,000 are treated in emergency departments due to injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the risk of figuring in a fatal car crash is three times higher in 16 to 19-year old drivers than those aged 20 and older.

Millions of Americans take to the road every day, as cars have now become the most basic means of transportation in the nation. The continuous increase in the number of cars on roads and highways, however, has not made roads safer for whether in cities, where traffic is always busy, or in urban areas, where traffic is almost always very light, accidents continue to happen – despite the proper road behavior that the DMV believes motorists have imbibed. According to the website of the Massachusetts personal injury lawyers at Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, one of the major reasons for these accidents is reckless driving.

The definition of reckless driving usually specified under state laws is that it is a willful and wanton disregard for the safety of persons and properties. Being convicted of reckless driving can result to: a misdemeanor crime; a substantial fine and imprisonment; automatic suspension or revocation of driver’s license; deportation; and, cancellation of parole.

Despite being a willful and wanton act, the website of Crowe Mulvey explains that innocent victims who are injured or killed by a reckless driver have the legal right to file a lawsuit against the irresponsible driver. It is important, though, that a victim is represented by a highly-qualified personal injury lawyer, who can strongly defend and uphold the victim’s rights and interests.

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Apr 16, 2015

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The Dangers Associated with the Use of Zofran

Before a drug gets approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for distribution, its manufacturer will first need to prove through tests that it is safe and effective and state the risks associated with its abuse or wrong use.

One particular drug that was approved by the FDA is Zofran, with generic name Ondansetron, for the prevention and treatment of nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. Manufactured by London-based GlaxoSmithKline, this effective antiemetic agent belongs to a group of medicinal pills known as 5-HT3 receptor antagonists, which block serotonin, the body’s natural substance which can cause vomiting.

Zofran is included in the list of medicines that are necessary in the basic health system; this list was prepared by the World Health Organization. In 2006 it also became the 20th highest-selling drug in the United States.

Due to Zofran’s efficacy in treating the condition it was approved for, its manufacturer became confident enough to recommend the drug even for non-label use. Even doctors followed suit, prescribing the drug to pregnant women, especially those who are on their first trimester of pregnancy, to relieve them of the discomfort caused by severe morning sickness.

Besides not being meant to treat the vomiting experienced by pregnant women, a very natural occurrence during the first three months of pregnancy, Zofran has never been tested on pregnant women, thus, the absence of notes that would show whether the drug is safe or can cause risks to the mother and her unborn child.

The adverse effects of Zofran soon became evident, though, as different types of birth defects all began to be linked to the drug. According to the website of the Zofran lawsuit attorneys at Williams Kherkher, these include heart ailment, cleft lip, cleft palate, mouth deformities, musculoskeletal anomalies, and others.

Birth defects are not the only complaints about Zofran, however, for other patients also complain of irregular heartbeat, dizziness, swallowing difficulties, body swelling, shortness of breath, rashes, and so forth.

Prescribing Zofran for off-label use, despite the absence of proof regarding its total safety, can be seen as an example of medical malpractice, which claims about 225,000 lives in the US annually. According to the website of law firm Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, medical malpractice victims have a right to pursue justice and file a case against the liable doctor.

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Apr 13, 2015

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DUI: An Administrative and Criminal Offense

If there is one traffic violation that Americans are keeping away from, it would be driving under the influence (DUI), also identified as driving while intoxicated (DWI) in some states.

A number of states actually differ in their use of the two acronyms. There are states which consider DWI as a more serious offense than DUI; in some other states, DUI means being under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs or both, while DWI refers to intoxication due to alcohol only. However, people should be aware that impairment in one’s ability to operate a motor vehicle is not limited to the use of alcohol or illegal drugs in some states, such as in California, where driving impairment due to prescription drugs can also end up in a DUI charge.

According to the website of Truslow & Truslow, Attorneys at Law, law enforcers are focused more than ever in apprehending suspected drunk drivers, that is drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08% or above. However, the overzealousness of some in enforcing anti –drunk driving laws has resulted, at times, to people being charged unjustly. Thus, while it is very important that a driver, who may be suspected of driving under the influence, pulls over when ordered to and performs or undergoes all the tests required by a traffic enforcer, it is also equally vital that he or she remains silent to avoid any possibility of him or her incriminating himself or herself.

Other than making sure that drivers are sober as they are get observed at sobriety checkpoints, law enforcers also keep an eye on possible drunken drivers. These are drivers who:

  • Make very wide or narrow turns
  • Use two lanes, straddling the road’s center line, or who drive on the center line
  • Drift from one side of the road to another
  • Almost hit something or someone
  • Drive too slowly and are overly cautious

A DUI charge always has two separate implications: an administrative offense and a criminal offense. The first falls under the domain of a state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and its immediate effect is suspension of one’s license, especially if the driver refuses to take a chemical test (consent to take a chemical test is a DMV condition in the issuance of a license). A DUI criminal offense involves a violation of a criminal law and is, therefore, subject to a legal proceeding, wherein a driver may be charged either with a misdemeanor DUI or felony DUI.

A misdemeanor DUI means that the drunk driver neither damaged any property nor injured anyone; however, the driver can still suffer up to 6 months imprisonment. A felony DUI is more serious due to injury of an innocent victim, prior misdemeanors or a prior felony DUI committed within the last 10 years.

Though a felony DUI conviction is definitely scarier than a misdemeanor DUI, being convicted of either offense can have a devastating effect in the personal and professional life of the convicted driver. But a charge does not have to end up in a conviction, granted that a charged driver gets represented by an experienced legal counsel. A criminal defense lawyer from the Law Office of Daniel Jensen, P.C., is one lawyer that a charged driver will definitely want to have on his or her side during this time.

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Apr 11, 2015

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Marriage Counseling and Couples Therapy for a Sweeter Union

Sometime in April of 2014 in, a 72-year old man passed away while in his daughter’s arms. The daughter said that her father died of a broken heart. He couldn’t live alone; not without his wife who had died the day before. The couple’s two children said that their parents had a great love for one another; yes, there were times when they argued, but their love was just much greater.

Many couples find the secret in loving each other or staying in love with each other until the end; sadly, this is not the case with many others who fail even in communicating well with their spouse, when they know too well that open communication is essential in any marriage.

Many books and, especially, films have provided a glimpse of marriage as a never ending source of romance, happiness and contentment. In reality, however, many, who enter into it, discover later on that, well, it may really be a bed of roses, but one that is not without sharp, prickly and annoying thorns.

Marriage basically results to what couples make out of it. If couples allow their honeymoon stage to be followed almost immediately by conflicts and be stubborn enough to hold on to the pride that will keep them from reconciling with each other, then one may just be led to suppose that entering into marriage with the person they have chosen to marry wasn’t just a good idea after all.

While marriage is a very important decision to make, more so is choosing the person whom one will marry. Austin marriage counselor Kathleen Snyder explains On her website that “relationship struggles and couples counseling can be difficult things for some couples to deal with” and, unless couples recognize that there is a problem in their marriage and have the desire and the willingness to do something about it, then this problem may just fuel the possibility of the marriage falling apart.

But for couples who want to save their marriage, there is a way and love, the second time around, can really be much sweeter and more fulfilling for both spouses. Marriage counseling and couples therapy can help couples find the way to end conflicts, and understand their spouse and situation more, for a marital life made better by knowledge and experience.

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Apr 10, 2015

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Construction Site Accidents

While job-related accidents resulting in injuries and illnesses are always possible in any type of working environment, construction sites always turn up as having the greatest number of victims, with thousands of injuries and more than 700 fatalities every year.

Federal and state laws mandating the assurance of a safe working environment for all workers are in effect all throughout the country. The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) works closely with its state counterparts in strictly enforcing federal and state health and safety standards that will benefit 30 million workers in more than 8 million worksites all across the nation.

Since it came into existence in 1971 as an offshoot of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) of 1970, OSHA has made an impact in the industrial field, reducing the number of injuries by 67% and deaths by 65% in the workplace. Thus, while the 1970s registered as many as 38 worker deaths per day, the much stricter implementation of OSHA rules, especially during the last few years, has resulted to only 12 fatal accidents in construction sites in 2012. Still a loss of many lives, but definitely so much lower compared with the past decades.

The notoriety of construction sites with regard to occupational accidents is pointed out on the website of the Abel Law Firm. The firm also points out the life-changing effects of the injuries and deaths, results of these accidents, in the lives of the victims and their families. Besides the physical and emotional sufferings that victims are made to go through, there is also the effect of crippling financial burden due to the costly medical bills and loss of income, elements that give the victims, or their families, the right to pursue compensation.

The most common accidents in construction sites, according to OSHA, are falls, being by struck by an object, electrocution, and being caught-in/between. OSHA identifies these as the “Fatal Four,” the cause of 58.7% of all work-related injuries and deaths.

OSHA safety standards as well as the specific safety requirements implemented by each state direct employers to ensure not only a safe and healthy working environment for all workers, but also to make sure that all workers are trained about safety matters and that a record, showing regular check and maintenance of all equipment, is always available.

Though it is a sad fact that accidents still occur despite all the safety requirements, harmed workers should be made aware of their right to financial benefits through the Workers’ Compensation Insurance coverage (which their employer should provide).

Besides the Workers’ Comp, injured workers may also qualify for the disability benefits provided by the Social Security Administration and may have the right to pursue further damages from their employer, depending on certain circumstances.

The Benton Law Firm points out on its website that victims have the lawful right to seek compensation for present and future damages that may arise from the injury. But it also advises victims to make sure that they seek the help of a qualified person injury, workplace injury or construction site accident lawyer, who will be able to help them get the maximum amount of compensation that they need and deserve.

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Apr 9, 2015

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Self-Storage: Features One Should Look For

Since the mid of the 1970s two substantial changes have become quite noticeable in US environments: the average American house has gotten bigger and the average family size has gotten smaller. A bigger house for a smaller number of people, though, still isn’t big enough to give space to everything that people end up buying. Thus, survey has shown that one out of ten families require extra space, even going to the extent of renting out a storage room, where they can keep, usually, mom’s and pop’s favorite things – things that they may have no need for anymore, but which they simply cannot throw away.

According to the National Association of Homebuilders, average houses in the US, which measured about 1,660 square feet in 1973, have increased to 2,400 square feet in 2004. But, rather than the size, what makes these new houses really different from the old ones is their having done away with the attic and the basement – places where families can store things and exciting places where children of the next generation can rummage through old photos and their grandparents’ most treasured things. This is especially true in the Sun Belt states, such as California, Florida and Texas, where many houses are designed as bungalows, dogtrots, ranches, country homes or contemporary mountain homes, and so forth. Due to the absence of spaces above and under the many houses built in these states, most self-storage facilities are, therefore, built in these locations.

Self-storage or mini-storage is a type of business which offers individuals, families and businesses an extra space for the things they need to keep safely. As the year 2010 began, more than 50,000 self-storage facilities owned by more than 30,000 companies are said to have already been developed in the US. Its rapid growth has even inspired a TV show, Storage Wars, about the rare findings in abandoned storage units.

Not all self-storage facilities offer the same features and security. Mopac Self Storage facilities in Austin, Texas, for instance, allow drive up access, 24/7 accessibility, RV/boat storage, and features remote cameras, fence protection, resident managers, personal access codes, and climate controlled units.

Rent of a unit is usually short term (monthly basis), though, long term lease is also available. In the case of non-paying tenants the lien law in each state may grant the facility owner to conduct lien sales or storage auctions in order to eject them. Some states, however, first require facility owners to make a public notice, through periodical ads, of the auction or sale; in other states, public notice made via the internet is enough. Until before the start of an auction, unit renters are given the right to settle their bill and so save their belongings (all the contents of their storage unit) from being auctioned.

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