Drunk Driving Accidents: Causal Factors

The worst car accidents are those that involve preventable errors. This is especially true on cases where the errors have been done because of recklessness or utter negligence. They become even more tragic if an innocent party has been involved and hurt.

One of the best examples here is drunk driving. Drunk drivers often cause accidents, even though it is fairly easy to avoid the practice. There are instances where they crash on their own or collide with other unsuspecting motorists and pedestrians.

According to the website of Hach & Rose, LLP, those who have been involved in auto accidents caused by drunk drivers may have legal options. This can be a nice way to prevent drunk driving accidents, but sadly, they still happen. Below are the most common causal factors that surround them.

Reckless or Negligent Driving

The most obvious factor is reckless or negligent drivers, because of course, they are the ones controlling the vehicles. Alcohol can negatively impact their driving, resulting into accidents, and worse, deaths of innocent parties.

There are only two ways to avoid this factor – by making the car inaccessible or getting a designated driver. If drivers cannot control themselves, it is better to leave the car at home and take public transportation. If they already have the car with them, they can get a friend to drive them home.

Dram Shop Liability

The website of Clawson & Staubes, LLC: Injury Group has mentioned that licensed commercial establishments who overserve alcoholic beverages to their customers may be held accountable if an alcohol-related accident occurs.

When you think about it, these establishments should not be the only ones limiting alcohol serving, but also private individuals organizing house parties and the like. Saying no to a customer or a friend is sometimes the only way to prevent injuries and deaths.

Law Enforcement

It can also be said that drunk drivers are still on the roads because of confidence that they will not get caught. This means that the law against drunk driving is not enforced enough to deter individuals from even trying driving while under the influence of alcohol.

The best way for the local government to show how serious they are against drunk driving is by tightening law enforcement. Prioritize drunk driving cases in court. Set up sobriety points near dram shops, freeways, and other strategic locations. They can also create drunk driving programs to spread awareness.

Common Choking Hazards for Children

Children are not just physically and mentally limited to protect themselves, but they can also be curious and reckless, putting them at risk of injuries. One of the most common causes of injuries in children is choking. As the adult, you have the responsibility to make sure that the children are in safe conditions to prevent the risks of choking.

The common choking hazards for children are listed below, because the first step to prevention is knowledge.

Food
Children have the tendency to not chew their food and swallow it whole, putting them at risk of choking. The most common food items that can be choking hazards are hard and round, such as nuts, seeds, popcorns, candies, raisins, hotdogs, and even chunks of meat and vegetables.

That does not mean you should avoid these food items altogether. You can cut them up to smaller pieces, so when the child accidently swallows them whole, they will not be stuck in the throat. Also, discipline the child to focus on the act of eating and to employ the proper eating position to prevent accidental choking.

Toys
Consider the toys you get for your child, as they can be choking hazards as well. This is especially true on small toys, such as balloons and marbles. But even big toys can be choking hazards, especially those that have small detachable parts that your child may put in his or her mouth. Avoid these kinds of toys or at least read the age-appropriation of the toys before you buy them for your child.

Toys as choking hazards are taken seriously even by the legal community. There are lawyers who specialize on choking hazard claims on children toys, such as those from Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®.

Small Objects
Any small item inside or outside the household can be a choking hazard, such as coins, pins, magnets, and rocks. Always supervise your child to make sure that he or she is not putting small objects in the mouth. Even better, make small objects inaccessible for your child. Put the coins, pins, and magnets on places where they are organized and not on the reach of your child.

Defective Seat Belts

Of the more than five million vehicular accidents all across the U.S. in 2012, more than 2 million drivers and passengers required treatment in emergency departments, while more than 30,000 lost their lives. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), had the drivers, who got involved in accidents, only wore a seat belt, then the number of injuries and deaths could have been cut by no less than half.

A seat belt is a crash-safety device; it keeps a car driver and other car passengers from sustaining serious or fatal injuries during crashes. It is designed to keep their bodies from colliding into a vehicle’s hard interior surface or with another passenger, or from being thrown out of the car. To be truly effective in providing the protection it is intended to provide, however, a seat belt should be a combination of shoulder and lap belts.

Though seat belts have kept millions of drivers and passengers safe during collisions since the 1950s, there have also been times when these have failed to immunize anyone from injury or even death. Serious injuries or death have occurred when the force of impact is very strong (such as the force created as two speeding vehicles collide) or if there is a defect in the seat belt design or material.

In 1995, as many as 8,428,402 vehicles in the U.S. which were equipped with seat belts from Takata Corporation of Japan had to be recalled. The recall was made due to complaints filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, saying that portions of the release buttons on the Takata seat belts could break off and jam belt latches – this could cause the belts to unbuckle in auto crashes. This defect was linked to 47 injuries. In November of 2015, Tesla Motors Inc. also decided to recall its entire all-electric Model S fleet due to a single incident wherein its sedan’s seat belt assembly broke.

According to a Dallas car accident lawyer, defects in seat belts is a result of an error committed because of carelessness or negligence. Due to this, what has been intended as a safety device has, instead,become a threat to life. Defective seat belts are products of negligent manufacturers and, under the tort law, innocent victims are given the right to seek compensation from parties whose actions unjustly cause injuries to others.

Assault and Battery: Who Can be Held Guilty of This Act?

Assault is a deliberate act which puts a person in fear of physical harm that he or she may be about to suffer. This definition connotes that physically harm need not be inflicted and that merely causing another person to fear its possibility is already an act that deserves punishment.

Assault, however, is just a threat. If there is actual physical harm on another person, then this would be battery. Before, assault and battery were considered separate crimes, with battery being taken as “completed” assault. Currently, however, many modern laws no longer distinguish between the two crimes and refer to assault as a crime of actual physical violence (despite the absence of distinction, it is still possible for a person to be convicted only of assault without battery, such as when he or she raises his or her fist in a threatening manner, but without actually throwing a punch. In like manner, a person may be convicted only of battery without assault, such as when he or she pushes or punches someone else from behind, without first making nay threats).

With regard to the penalties and sentences for an assault and/or battery conviction, state laws vary greatly. Conviction can include fines and/or imprisonment, and, depending on how severe the offense is and the criminal history of the offender, a repeat offense will most likely result to stiffer penalties. Stiffer penalties will also be meted out on offenders whose victim is a family member, a person living with the offender, or a public servant, such as a police officer, a firefighter, a paramedic or a teacher.

Assault (or simple assault) is a misdemeanor crime; however, if the threat is made with a weapon of any kind or with the resolve to commit a serious crime, then this shall be considered as aggravated assault, which is a felony. Likewise, an assault committed against a person, with whom the offender has a relationship, is considered an aggravated assault or a felony. A person, on the other hand, commits an aggravated battery if he or she accomplishes it using a deadly weapon or if he or she has intent to commit murder or other serious harm.

As pointed out by a San Diego personal injury attorney, the courts can punish more than just the perpetrator of violence and assault. Legally, people who aid and abet, counsel or encourage the assailant or assailants are liable, even if they did not physically harm the victim or victims. In addition, owners of a property or a business firm where the attack occurs, can be held legally liable if the case is assault.

Common Overtime Pay Violations

Each individual department in the workplace has their own respective goals to meet. There are instances when the regular working hours is not just enough to meet their target. As a result, the employees need to work overtime with the authority of their managers of course. After rendering the extra hours, the bad news is that they may end up not being paid their overtime pay.

The website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® reveals that employers devise several ploys to keep themselves from paying overtime pay. They use their employees ignorance of overtime laws to work their way around and deny employees of their overtime pay. Here are some of the tactics that employers use to avoid payment of overtime pay:

  1. Classifying Employees As Independent Contractors
    Employers are aware of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) which disqualifies independent contractors form receiving overtime pay. This way, aside from not paying employees overtime pay, employers are also exempt from paying state and Federal taxes for independent workers. However, if the employee works 40 hours weekly, they are really entitled to receive overtime pay.
  2. Paying employees straight time
    Rather than pay their employees 1.5 times their regular rate, employers make their workers as hourly paid employees.
  3. Unauthorized Overtime
    Employers will tell employees that their overtime was not pre-approved by their superiors and hence have the grounds not to pay overtime pay. The law requires employers to pay employees for the excess of 40 hours per week if there was prior approval.
  4. Employers classify their workers as commissioned employees
    The first thing that an employer will tell their employees is that they are “commissioned” and hence not entitled to overtime pay.
    These are just some of the ways that employers use in not paying their employees with overtime pay.

When It’s Time For Assisted Living

Dementia is a very serious mental health problem that can cause riffs in the family if family members don’t know how to care for them. Although many families would rather have their every one in their family be with them, caring for those with dementia can take its toll and cause exhaustion, both physically and financially. This is the reason why SeniorAdvice.com suggests finding an assisted living facility for your loved one to ensure that they are well taken care or and their health are looked after.

There are various signs that point out your senior loved one is better off in an assisted living than staying at home. Among such sign are them wandering off on their own for long times and the incident has become more frequent. This can lead to injuries that could be serious or even fatal given the fragile state of their health. Another pronounced sign is their increased irritation or aggression that can disrupt everyday family routine. Other signs are the increased in care needs and the stress that it causes to the caregiver. Dementia may require more than just physical help, and caregivers are often not well equipped to help provide these increasing needs, which can lead to problems in the long run.

It is always very hard to decide putting your loved one in an assisted living facility and have them be away from you and your family. However, it may be the best choice if your elder loved one is seriously in need of care and you are not able to provide them the much needed help that they need. Assisted living facilities provide health care and attention to their residents to guarantee that they are given the best experience in their senior years. Planning ahead would help in making sure that finances are not compromised, and make sure to stay informed and updated on options regarding financing elder care and how to provide them with not only the right care but also the appropriate activities that will help keep them healthy and enjoying life.

Children Injured during Birth Still have the Right to Grow to Their Full Potential

All the months of discomfort and, finally, the labor pains felt by an expecting mother are suddenly turned into the most wonderful of feelings as she gives birth to her baby through the help of caring doctors and other health care providers. Giving birth to a healthy baby, however, can only be ascertained if the doctor, under whose care the expecting mother is, takes good care of her, makes sure that the baby inside her womb is healthy, and delivers her baby in a way that will not cause the baby any injury.

Regular and accurate monitoring of a baby during pregnancy should be properly managed. This means that, from the first tests until the time of birth, a doctor is legally obliged to follow and provide the medical standards of care in order to protect the unborn and his/her mother, as failure to do so can lead to pregnancy complications and/or injuries during birth.

Birth injury, also known as birth trauma, has various causes. It could be delayed birth, oxygen deprivation, or difficult delivery, which happens if the mother’s birth canal is too small, the fetus is in an abnormal position in the uterus (during birth) or the baby is too big. Whichever it is, though, thousands of birth injury cases have been committed and reported in the past, with the majority of these pointing to the same reason – medical malpractice.

It takes only a single mistake from an obstetrician and his/her team to make a baby suffer a lifetime of medical problems; worst, however, are mistakes that cause a baby’s death. The sad reality is, despite their training, doctors and other medical personnel are often guilty of medical negligence, the identified major cause of injuries during birth and the reason behind most of the 28,000 yearly cases reported to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

That injuries during birth are more common than you might believe is one fact that any medical professional will affirm. Any baby can suffer from a bruise or a broken bone during the birthing process; however, these injuries are mild and will heal on their own after a short while. A personal injury attorney may tell you that some injuries, though, are much more serious, causing permanent complications, such as total paralysis of facial nerves (Bells’ palsy) or bleeding underneath the skull (Cephalohematoma) – injuries that are results of the improper use of forceps or vacuum during delivery.

Most hospitals and doctors carry medical malpractice insurance, which is meant to protect them (and, more importantly, the people they hurt) in the event of a medical mistake. Now, a child, whose physical and/or mental possibilities have been gravely affected due to a medical mistake, still has all the right to grow to his/her full potential; however, the cost of surgery, therapies and other medical treatment that may be required are definitely high. Through this medical malpractice insurance, required treatments may just be made possible; thus it is very important for parents to identify if their baby’s injury is or is not due to a malpractice by an incompetent or inattentive medical professional.

I’m a Good Driver: Do I Need Insurance?

Insurance is only for those who could get into car accidents, right?

That is quite a common assumption among those who assume that they do not need car insurance. After all, if you perform well on the road and abide by all the traffic rules, then you are protected, right? The unfortunate, dark truth is that you can be as careful as you would like to be while on the road and if someone else chooses not to be and crashes into you, that is still going to cost a lot in repairs and damages – costs that could have been covered by your car insurance if you had thought to have it.

After all, as expensive as investing money on your new car can be, it can even more than triple the cost to repair all the damage that a car accident can do without car insurance. After all, accidents can usually cause major inconveniences in the form of personal, debilitating injury that causes permanent or temporary disability. Aside from the medical costs that could come out of that injury, lost wages would also then need to be taken into account and not all insurance plans can cover absolutely everything.

Car insurance is protecting your future self from any accidents or unfortunate events that may happen to you. Sometimes, there is no one to fault in the first place and the accident could have been caused by some kind of inclement weather. The troubles that this unfortunate incident causes could have been immediately handled by the insurance policy that you avail of, if you had availed of a policy in the first place.

You can be the greatest driver in the history of the United States of America and still get into a car accident. After all, you share the road and some of the people you share the road with may not take the same safety measures that you do.

Drilling Rig Workers are included under the Jones Act

There are many offshore oil and gas rigs in and around Louisiana, which means that a good portion of the state’s population works as offshore workers. Jobs with drilling operations are often highly paid because they are inherently dangerous. Nevertheless, employers are still expected to take reasonable measures to ensure the safety of their workers.

Unfortunately, many drilling companies continue to cut corners when it comes to compliance with safety regulations. Because there are not enough inspectors to regularly check on the thousands of rigs in Louisiana alone, they rely on employers to police and self-report on compliance. Inevitably, accidents happen that can have serious consequences for the workers.

This is why the Jones Act is such an important piece of legislation. It protects people who work on a vessel or ship as well as offshore workers that work on rigs, barges, drill ship, construction barges, and recreational boats…in other words, anyone who works on any surface that is on the water. The Jones Act is 46 U.S.C. 688 passed by Congress in 1970 and details the liability of operators of any movable structure on water for worker injuries. Since it is a federal law, it applies to all US-based operators.

However, the Jones Act is different from the workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation law is a not fault-based. It does not require the worker to prove that the employer or any person in management was at fault or negligent, or that there was a defect in equipment, machinery, or safety gear. Under the Jones Law, the worker is required to prove negligence in some form on the part of the employer or fellow workers which put the seaworthiness of the vessel in question.

According to the Mokaram Law Firm, claims under the Jones Act can be extremely complicated. It would be fatally easy to make a mistake that would get your negligent employer off the hook. If you believe you have a claim under the Jones Act, make sure that you consult with an experienced maritime injuries lawyer.

Airbag Defects in Product Liability

Airbags are supposed to protect you in the event of an accident, not hurt you worse than if it hadn’t been in place. Airbags are required safety equipment in most modern cars, and in general they provide crucial just-in-time protection to car passengers. That is, if they are properly constructed and installed.

Automobile makers usually contract out systems like airbags to other manufacturers and simply install them in the cars. Honda, Nissan, and Mazda source their airbags from Japanese company Takata Corporation, which is an old hat in vehicle safety equipment manufacturing and is in fact the second largest supplier in the world. It’s a no brainer. And then the first problems started showing up.

It turns out that certain batches of Takata airbags installed in millions of these cars were defective. They had a high risk of explosive detonation instead of simple deployment when it is activated. The airbags literally exploded and sent shrapnel out, and in a confined space like a car, that is deadly indeed.

Investigations revealed that this tendency to explode may be due to excessive moisture and insufficient pressure during production, and there is some speculation that ambient humidity may exacerbate the risk of explosive deployment. In areas like Tennessee, where there is high humidity during the summer months, this is a major concern. Many of the relevant vehicles had been recalled, but not everyone knows about it.

According to the website of Evans Moore, LLC, manufacturing defects happen; this is why manufacturers perform quality control checks. Takata knew or should have known that the airbags were defective, and should have informed their clients about the problem to avoid causing harm to vehicle owners. If you have been seriously harmed because your airbags exploded, report the incident to the appropriate agency to prevent harm to others. You should also consult with a product liability lawyer in your state to help you find the responsible parties and file a claim for your injuries.

« Previous Entries