Truck Accidents and the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act

Truck Accidents and the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act

Apr 08

Driving for as long as 11 hours straight is normal to many truck drivers, especially if the cargo they carry needs to be delivered fast and on time. Thus, even feeling fatigued or sleepy, the mental resolve to make a timely delivery makes them forego personal needs for the sake of work requirement. This attitude, however, has proven detrimental many times as this takes away their focus on driving and reduces their ability to react to emergency situations on the road. Furthermore, it increases their inability to notice smaller vehicles, whose drivers also fail to observe proper care, tailgating the truck or driving in its “no zone” area when they know they shouldn’t.

A commercial freight truck, otherwise called a big rig or an 18-wheeler, weighs 20-30 times heavier than a car. Its enormous size requires a longer stopping distance, while its height and length often only serve as obstacles for its driver to notice smaller vehicles driving behind it or along the passenger side. Thus, when making a right turn, trucks often accidentally squash unnoticed cars driving on its right or “no zone” area, while failure to make a full stop when necessary usually results rollover accidents or crushed lighter vehicles that are lined along its path.

The risk of an accident and possible serious injuries to innocent victims are among the major reasons why the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act was passed into law in 1986. Prior to the issuance of a license to operate a commercial vehicle, the Act mandates the necessity of a special training, the possession of the skills and knowledge necessary in operating a truck safely, and passing a three-part skills test on basic control, vehicle inspection, and road test. These are supported by other requirements, which include having a Commercial Learners Permit (CLP), acquisition of a copy of a Commercial Driver’s Licensing (CDL) Manual issued by the applicant’s state, proof of residency and medical tests.

Besides the special training, tests and other requirements which are intended to guarantee safe operation of the vehicle, different federal and state laws have also been put into effect to make sure that truck drivers are always focused on the road and never sleepy and that their vehicle is always in good condition and without any defective or malfunctioning parts. Laws pointing to these concerns include the maximum number of hours of service and required length of rest between duties, the prohibition of the use of a cellphone while driving, the lower blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level limit, which is 0.04%, maintenance and regular check of the truck, required standard on truck parts, and so forth.

In 2013 more than 3,500 large truck accidents were reported to the Highway Loss Data Institute, a non-profit research organization. In these accidents, 2400 cars and other smaller vehicle passengers died, while the fatalities on the side of pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists was 540 and on the side truck passengers, 570.

While there are studies which show that, more often than not, car drivers are the ones at fault whenever they figure in an accident with trucks, there is one fact that holds true in majority of road mishaps: that most happen because of negligence.

Negligence is the basis of personal injury and, under the law, victims of personal injury can file a claims lawsuit against negligent individuals who cause accidents. Many victims, however, are not aware of their legal rights, how to go about legal procedures and how much compensation they can be entitled to receive.

Different Strokes for Different Folks

Different Strokes for Different Folks

Feb 20

Some people’s idea of swimming has always been treading water just well enough to not drown. Learning proper swimming techniques is not a part of everyone’s childhood summer. The good news is it is never too late to learn. Swimming can be a lot of fun and a great workout, but before you can go jumping into the water expecting instant results, you first must get some background on different swimming styles.

The most common style is the freestyle stroke. This stroke provides the most speed and involves kicking your legs as you swing your arms over your head and into the water one at a time. In order to achieve the correct form, you must keep your body as straight as possible.

The backstroke is like freestyle in the sense that you are still kicking your legs and alternating swinging arms. However, you must float on your back as opposed to swimming with your chest in the water. Make sure than when you begin, all parts of your body except your lungs are under the water.

If you have ever seen a frog in water, you already have a good idea of what your form for a breaststroke should be. A breaststroke involves bending your legs and pushing them out underwater and pushing water outward from your chest.

The butterfly stroke requires core strength, because you must stabilize your core to keep good form. The butterfly involves swinging your arms over your head at the same time and a dolphin-style kick, which entails keeping your legs together while kicking.

Make sure that while swimming you stay safe. A day at the pool can often end in injury. There are many ways a person could be hurt at the pool. Diving boards can break, people can slip and fall along the edge, and there’s the danger of drowning. Know your limits and do not swim alone, especially if you do not have a lot of experience doing so.

The Fatal Walk

The Fatal Walk

Jan 13

You never imagined that when you took the dog out for its daily walk that you would end up in the hospital with life-changing injuries. You can’t help thinking as you suffer tremendous pain that if you had been only a minute earlier or later leaving the house you could even now be enjoying a quiet hour reading a good book with a tall glass of icy lemonade at your elbow. You never even saw the car coming.

This is unfortunately not an uncommon scenario. Pedestrian accidents happen more often than we think. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) one pedestrian is injured every 7 minutes in a vehicular accident somewhere in the US. That’s 76,000 injured annually. A grimmer number is one every two hours; that’s more than 4,700 pedestrian accident fatalities every year. In fact, pedestrian deaths account for 11% of the total number of motor accident fatalities every year. So perhaps lying on a hospital bed with a broken back may not be so bad after all.

Actually, it is.

Serious pedestrian accident injuries are often devastating; many are life-changing. It can result in permanent problems such as paralysis, loss of limbs, extensive disfigurement and scarring, and traumatic brain injury. Aside from significant medical expenses, a serious pedestrian accident injury may result in extensive if not permanent loss of income as well as prolonged life care, something that the average person cannot afford. If the accident was caused by the negligence of the driver such as excessive speeding, failing to stop at a crosswalk or making a sudden turn at an intersection, the victim has the right (and probably the need) to sue for compensation.

If you have been seriously hurt in a negligent pedestrian accident, you may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver and other responsible parties, if any. Find an experienced pedestrian or car accident lawyer in your state to represent you in your lawsuit for best results.

Make Smart Choices In Your Personal Injury Case

Make Smart Choices In Your Personal Injury Case

Aug 25

You can have physical and emotional injuries from a dog bite or a fall. Holding the guilty party accountable may be the only option you have in terms of paying medical bills and earning compensation for pain and suffering. Seeking the advice of a personal injury attorney can really help your case; keep reading to discover how.

When in a car accident, write down what happened as soon as you are safe to do so. For example, what you were doing when it happened, how you are hurt, what damage there is to your car, what damage there is to the other car, and what you think caused the accident or how the other driver was at fault.

Get out of your vehicle and take photographs of the scene from several different angles. You should take pictures of your vehicle and that of the other party. This is important since it will prove the damages were not exaggerated by you or the person you got into the accident with.

Seek medical attention. If you find yourself injured, see a doctor as soon as possible. In addition to being good health advice, you will need the doctor’s diagnosis and paperwork from your visit as evidence. Make sure you document everything, and keep copies for yourself. Failing to get medical attention after an accident or injury can actually reduce the award amount in a personal injury case.

It is possible to locate a personal injury attorney online, but don’t forget to check with people that you know, either. You may be surprised at the number of people who have had to deal with a similar situation before. Ask for their recommendations or find out if they had a negative experience with anyone in your area.

Juvéderm: The Best Solution to Nasolabial Folds

Juvéderm: The Best Solution to Nasolabial Folds

Jul 11

In June 2006, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the use of Juvéderm, the only hyaluronic acid dermal filler and the first gel formulation with smooth consistency, to treat and eliminate smile/laugh lines or nasolabial folds, which are creases of the skin that run from the sides of the nose down to the corners of the mouth. Juvéderm is actually a family of hyaluronic acid (a substance naturally present in human skin) dermal fillers that offers smooth, long-lasting youthful facial skin, without the wrinkles and the folds.

Unlike any other hyaluronic acid dermal filler products available, which have granular consistency gel, only Juvéderm has smooth consistency, making it flow easily into the skin (upon injection) to fill scars and hollow places on the face. Juvéderm formulation also contains lidocaine, a local anesthetic; this is to provide comfort to patients during treatment.

For ultimate, beautiful results, an expert would highly recommend the combined application of Juvéderm and Botox, for while the latter treats wrinkles, which form with muscle movement, the former focuses on static lines and wrinkles, those that appear when the muscles of the face are at rest.

Besides treating nasolabial folds Juvéderm is also used to enhance the cheeks and the lips, to give these the added fullness for still greater looks (the lips also lose fat and shape as a person ages). Lip enhancement, using Juvéderm, usually last for about six months; treated areas where thicker formulations of hyaluronic acid are injected into the facial skin, the duration is between six to twelve months.

Juvéderm, though, is not recommended for patients who have allergic reaction to bacterial proteins or to those who have severe allergies or have had anaphylaxis in the past (anaphylaxis is a delicate allergic reaction to antigens). Juvéderm treatment, especially when combined with Botox, is guaranteed to provide any individual with beautiful looking skin that will always make him/her look good and feel good.

Potential Uses for Medical Marijuana

Potential Uses for Medical Marijuana

Apr 03

The jury is still out regarding the efficacy of medical marijuana, but studies indicate that it may be a better alternative to currently accepted pharmaceutical products for certain conditions. Like with so many chemical treatment protocols, however, cannabis is associated with undesirable and sometimes serious side effects.

One of the most common uses of medical marijuana is the alleviation of the nausea associated with chemotherapy, called appropriately enough as chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting (CINV). Cannabis is believed to be more efficacious in controlling CINV than standard antiemetics including metoclopramide and promethazine. Short-term side effects may include increased appetite, dry mouth, hallucinations, muscle twitching, ocular problems, mild depression, and dizziness. Ironically, it appears that with prolonged used of cannabis, the patient may develop a condition called cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome. The main symptoms? Nausea and vomiting.

Cannabis is also often used as an analgesic to ease chronic pain associated with neuropathy, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia. There is no definitive risk-benefit analysis for cannabis use for chronic pain, but it is considered a safer alternative to opioids in some severe cases.

Spasticity (involuntary muscle movements) is also thought to be something that can be controlled with cannabis and cannabinoids, so it may be a possible treatment for conditions such as multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and Tourette’s syndrome. Because of the potential for unwanted side effects, the cannabis option is usually only considered when other treatments have proven to be ineffective.

However, because of the bipolar legal status of cannabis in the US, patients use this alternative treatment at considerable risk. A quadriplegic man in Colorado (where medical marijuana is legal) with uncontrollable muscle movements was terminated from his job because he smoked marijuana at home to control his symptoms. The man sued his company for wrongful termination. Historically, state courts have upheld the right of employers to terminate employees for use of medical marijuana even outside the workplace. The Colorado case is no different, but the Colorado Supreme Court has surprisingly granted a hearing to consider the ruling of the lower courts. If the Supreme Court decides to overturn the verdict in favor of the plaintiff, it would set a precedent that would potentially benefit registered medical marijuana users in Colorado.

An Overview of Family Law and Child Custody in North Carolina

An Overview of Family Law and Child Custody in North Carolina

Feb 24

Family law regarding divorce in North Carolina does not require any wrongdoing on the part of either party. But according to the website of Marshall & Taylor, P.C., there are many ways for a marriage to become intolerable without either party doing any actual wrong. This is what is called a no-fault divorce, and most states subscribe to this type of divorce.

However, most no-fault divorce states do not require a period of separation as grounds; North Carolina requires a couple who want a divorce to live separately for at least one year before they can make a petition. The only other basis for a North Carolina divorce is incurable insanity. To be eligible to petition for a divorce, at least one of the spouses has to have residency of at least 6 months in North Carolina.

It is important to note that an absolute divorce can be finalized by the court even if no provisions or agreements have been made outside the dissolution of the marriage. This includes the terms of the property division, spousal support, child support, and child custody agreement. Once the divorce is final, these concerns may no longer be addressed. By default, there are no provisions for spousal support or alimony, and equitable distribution of property will apply. Any other arrangement must be presented before the court before the divorce decree is signed.

Mediation is required to negotiate the terms of the divorce, especially property division and child custody, before the case is presented in court. However, if the spouses both waive mediation or there is good cause to dispense with it such as time constraints, then it may be skipped.

A most important factor in a North Carolina divorce is the question of child custody. Without a written agreement, the court is empowered to decide which way the best interest of the child lies. This is determined by a number of factors, including the role played by each parent in raising the child, the proposed living arrangements, and the existing relationship between parent and child.

The Effects of Suffering a Serious Accident

The Effects of Suffering a Serious Accident

Feb 21

There are many consequences to a serious accident. The first thing that comes to mind is physical pain. It could be a busted leg, head trauma, burns, bruises, or damaged organs. It is very hard to think around that until medical attention is rendered. In the meantime, the spouse, family members, and friends will be stressed, worried, and traumatized until the accident victim has been stabilized.

As the victim starts the road to recovery, the next thing that becomes a primary concern is the costs involved. Aside from the hospital bill and medical expenses, a serious accident usually means loss of days, if not months or years of work that the average American can seldom afford.

The physical stress and financial worries can slowly overtake the relief of being alive, and this can eventually add tension to a marriage or other personal relationship. This is further aggravated if a spouse has to take time off to care for the injured individual. This may mean additional loss of income if it is a two-income family, which is not covered under workers’ compensation insurance of the caregiver spouse.

There are also significant effects on the victim’s life if the injuries lead to permanent disability. Even if one develops adequate coping skills to at least have a relatively normal life, it may bar the accident victim from going back to the same type of work. This can lead to a lot of anger, frustration, depression, perhaps even suicide. Certainly, a serious accident of this magnitude would be a life-changing event.

If it turns out that the accident was caused by negligence such as a drunk driver or defective equipment, this may just be the last straw to break the camel’s back. This is the reason why it is important to hold the responsible party legally accountable. Suing for compensation does not just serve a practical purpose; it is punitive. It sends the message that such conduct is wrong, and will not be tolerated. With the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer, that message should come out loud and clear.

The Importance of Choosing a Reliable Plastic Surgeon

The Importance of Choosing a Reliable Plastic Surgeon

Feb 17

The Internet has posed a challenge for the discernment of the public. Because it is so easy to advertise online and make unsubstantiated claims, the consumer is often overwhelmed with the choices confronting them and confused about what to believe. The maxim “don’t believe everything you read” is truer today with the advent of the Internet than at any other time.

But while it is confusing, the Internet also provides the consumer with the opportunity to see what is out there. Small firms and big firms are at last on a level playing field when it comes to advertising, and the only advantage that the best ones (no matter what size of the pocketbook) have is that of reliability.

Consumers today are sophisticated; they know that just as businesses can make any claim they want, they can also post reviews and feedback about their experiences with these companies that will guide other consumers in their choices. This is an important freedom because it helps consumers avoid being victimized by bogus or unscrupulous businesses. It also helps consumers narrow down choices for reliable companies.

A good example would be finding a reliable cosmetic surgeon. Cosmetic surgery has become much more accessible in the last 10 years, partly because more surgeons can now advertise their services online. Increased competition and better technology has also driven down costs, which is good for patients. Unfortunately, it has also encouraged the proliferation of uncertified and unqualified doctors offering low-priced services to the detriment of their patients. The results can be horrific, and it is very difficult to recover from a botched operation. Victims of these unethical practitioners can and do file medical malpractice lawsuits, but the damage is done.

This is why it is crucial to do extensive research before choosing someone to do plastic surgery. Choosing a reliable plastic surgeon all boils down to qualifications and the easiest way to check this is to check for board certification as well as accreditation with the relevant professional associations. You can also check for reviews and feedback by past and present patients, maybe even engaging in a chat. After all, the proof of the pudding is in the looking.

Baseball and the BP Oil Spill Claim Appeals Process

Baseball and the BP Oil Spill Claim Appeals Process

Feb 15

British Petroleum (BP) has been in hot water since its Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in April 2010, killing 11 people outright, effectively closing down the Gulf of Mexico coastal cities to tourism, and devastating the region’s environment. It has cost the oil giant billions in clean up operations as well as for fines imposed by the federal and state governments for a variety of violations. It will cost it even more in individual and business loss claims.

But BP has an ace up its sleeve.

Under the settlement agreement it had reached with the legal representatives of thousands of business owners, BP will pay claimants who are part of the class action suit based on a prescribed computation. However, BP reserved the right to challenge any individual claim over $25,000. So far, BP has denied 75% of these claims, and has actually attempted to scrap the entire agreement, arguing that with regard to the eligibility of claims, the terms of the agreement were being improperly interpreted. The courts denied the petition, and approved claim payouts may not be resumed.

Of course, this does not really help a plaintiff whose claim has already been denied. Fortunately, the agreement also includes provisions for appeals, but there are several stages with strict deadlines that an appellant cannot afford to miss.

The most important part of an oil spill claim appeal is the submission of the final proposals, what is referred to as Baseball Arbitration rules, culled from the way baseball contracts are made. The rules allow both the appellant and BP to submit a proposal for what both sides believe is fair recompense based on the circumstances. The appeals board, made up of lawyers chosen by the court, will choose one or the other, or recycle the claim back to the Settlement program.

If the appellant misses a deadline at any point in the process, but especially final proposals, he or she could end up with nothing even if the claim is legitimate. An experienced BP oil spill claims appeal lawyer knows the rules, and will make sure that does not happen. This is why it is important for an appellant to retain one from the get go.