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Am I Qualified to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Lawsuits can be quite a pickle to ponder on, especially if you haven’t the knowledge of specialization that is required in order to successfully file a claim and have it be represented in a court of law, should there be a trial for it. There are a lot of strict deadlines to think of and even the littlest bit of evidence can turn the whole thing around in an instant.

These kinds of cases are not the ones that are like the ones you see in Law & Order where everything can be solved in forty five minutes, with commercial breaks. In real life, there are no breaks and often enough, it is far, far more complicated than what most television shows portray – no matter how much you wish things could be that simple.

Now, coming back to the question: are you qualified to file a personal injury lawsuit?

The truth of the matter is that every case regarding a lawsuit of this nature is so complicated every time that it is hardly ever straightforward. According to the website of Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, the circumstances determine the way a case moves due to the fact that there are many contributing factors that could render the situation as one that merits a lawsuit or not.

A personal injury lawsuit is one that requires specialization due to its broad nature, meaning that it covers a lot of ground. There are many types of personal injury lawsuits, some of which then require for the legal team to come up with resources in order to back their clients’ claims as well as treat the injuries necessary. Attorneys handling these types of cases must also be knowledgeable of the effects and aftermath that an injury of whatever caliber is inflicted upon a client in order for the injured to be granted a better compensation deal for the damage sustained.

Some of these claims include instances of child injuries, broken bones, premises liability, defective pharmaceuticals, medical malpractice, et cetera. If you or someone you know has suffered an injury due to the negligence of someone else, contact a professional immediately in order to know if you are eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit or not.

Parental Liability for a Minor’s Driving in California

Most people still remember the case of the 16-year-old Texan who caused the death of 5 people and seriously injured 2 of his own passengers while driving drunk in mid-2013. It caused an uproar because his “affluenza” defense (he was spoiled rotten by rich parents and could not be held criminally liable for his bad behavior) earned him 10 years probation, mandatory rehabilitation, and no jail time.

In reaction, a California lawmaker introduced a bill in January 2014 that would have banned the use of the “affluenza” defense in California courts. The bill was shot down, however, because opponents stated that putting a limit to legal defenses presumed that juries were not capable of making a reasonable determination about the merits of a defense.

However, California does have laws that address the civil liability of parents or legal guardians for property damage, injuries, and deaths caused by a minor’s driving. This is encoded in the California Vehicle Code § 17707, and unlike the section that deals with general liability of parents or guardians for damages caused by a minor’s “willful misconduct” limiting the liability to $25,000, there is no limit to the consequences of a vehicular accident. The website of Ritter & Associates discusses the potential costs of a serious car accident, and they can be huge and life-changing.

In other words, if a minor (under 18 in California) causes and accident that results in injury or death because of negligence or recklessness while driving, whoever signed the license application (usually the parents or legal guardian) will have to pay whatever damages a court determines is appropriate to a certain case. This includes awards for pain and suffering. If the “affluenza” teenager had been a California resident, he may still have gotten off with probation, but his parents could be sued in civil court for the wrongful deaths and personal injuries their son had caused.

If you have been seriously injured in a car accident where the negligent driver was a minor, you can sue the parents or legal guardian for compensation. Find an experienced San Diego personal injury lawyer in your area to discuss your case.

Drain Entrapments: Not-So-Common Premises Liability Claims

Aside from the danger of slip, falls, and drowning, another and dangerously hidden dangers of pools, spas, and hot tubs are the drains. Although very visible at the bottom of the pool, these “hidden” dangers have caused a number of drowning accidents and have prompted the creation of The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (P&SS Act) after the victim, Virginia Graeme Baker drowned after getting stuck in a drain. This Act establishes the safety requirements for pool and spa drain covers, ensuring that they meet certain conditions that would lower the chances of entrapment.

The Act was signed into law in 2007, and spas and pools that were constructed since 2009 are compelled to have them. Additionally, this Act forbids the sale, manufacture, and distribution of suction covers and outlets that does not have the necessary safety certification. What generally makes these drains dangerous is their action: they are submerged suction outlet that pumps the water for circulation and filtration. Because of the possibility of it as a suction entrapment danger, the risks of those that are not fastened properly increase the chances of serious injuries to swimmers. Aside from injuries, these risks can also lead to death.

Despite the various laws enacted to protect swimmers from such dangers, the danger is still present and all throughout the United States, pool and spa drain safety is still a major concern. According to the website of Oklahoma personal injury lawyers these risks are not only for children but also for adults. Because of the strong vacuum effect, loose straps, jewelry, and hair, and even body parts can entangled into the suction drain. This could lead to drowning or death.

It may be difficult to file a personal injury claim when the accident occurred within the confines of a private property, but there are still ways that compensation can be awarded, especially if the accident occurred to poor installation of the safety suction drains or outlets or if there was defects in the product. In the event that the accident occurred in a public spa, pool or hot tub, the government can be held accountable for premises liability for failing to uphold and practice safety standards. Consulting with a personal injury lawyer who understands the laws in your state will further explain the chances of winning compensation awards after an unfortunate drain entrapment accident.

The Latest Dining Place to Watch Out for in Houston

Besides being the fourth largest city in the United States and home to NASA’s command center, another amazing treat that you can find anywhere in Houston is a plate-filled appetizing meal, whatever time of the day.

From burgers, pizza and steak to international cuisine, you will never run out of choices. But there is one food craze Houstonians are buzzing about – fusion cuisine, a combination of the best elements of various culinary traditions. Fusion cuisine is one of the various innovations in the food industry since the 70s; this is basically a result of the influx of immigrants and tourists in this large city.

In fact, this Fall 2013, the people of Houston are bound to enjoy a new set of cuisine, which is Mexican-fusion food, that is guaranteed to tempt their palates. Trenza, which is owned and operated by celebrity chef Susie Jimenez, opened in Upper Kirby the first week of November 2013. It ensures a unique dining experience where patrons can choose to dine in its stylish dining room that has an open kitchen view, in the lounge for casual dining, at the chef’s bar, where you can enjoy a surprise menu while socializing with the chefs and other guests or in private dining rooms for a more intimate and romantic dinner with your loved one.

Trenza, which means braid, will serve Latin menu, its specialty, Indian dishes and (its own style of preparing) world flavors. The real catch, however, is the Latin-Indian fusion which, as Chef Susie, herself, says, includes; “the lamb vindaloo sopes, sizzling shrimp [carpaccio-like], with hot lemon saffron oil and served with crostini], the signature dish is ceviche with jalapeño mousse.”

Besides the unique, great-tasting dishes, restaurant Trenza also offers private cooking classes, daytime cooking classes and set menu classes (to be handled by special guest chefs). Those who just love to prepare special meals will surely to find these classes informative, entertaining and very exciting.

Choosing Garage Doors

Choosing garage doors can a bit overwhelming for some, especially for first-timers or for those who have not changed their garage doors for a long time. Today, with the number of options available, it can be difficult and time-consuming to pick the right one to your house. To help you, here are some things that you should consider when choosing your garage doors.

First, choose the right design. There are a lot of options out there in the market, and since the garage door makes up a big portion of your house, it should be something that also compliments your house. You can add windows or panels for individuality or as personal touch. You should also consider the size of your garage door when choosing your design. Choose colors and style that flatter your home.

Next, ensure the safety. Garage doors are generally large moving objects which many people come through, therefore it is vital that safety is strongly upheld. There are options such as pinch-resistant doors that push away fingers which could become trapped between panels, and tamper-resistant brackets that lower chances of accidents or injury from tension on garage door components. Insulation can also provide safety from fire hazards that could occur in the house.

Make sure you choose the right material for your garage door. To help you with this, think about how long you want your garage door to last, how much strain it can take as well as the yearly maintenance that it may need should damages occur. These help determine the type of material you are looking for in your garage door. Another thing to think about is the warranty of the garage door. Lots of manufacturers give warranty to their products, although most does not go over a years’ warranty. Find a manufacturer that gives you the peace of mind when purchasing and using their products.

Lastly, consider your budget. They may seem expensive, but generally garage doors are budget-friendly. Choose the garage door that’s close to your budget but does not compromise all other factors mentioned above. Think that what you choose will have a significant impact on your garage and your home as well, for a long period of time.

The Keys to “Generation Y”s Happiness

Generation Y, or those in their 20s, are more likely than their parents or grandparents to take the “pursuit of happiness” to heart.

The generation is characterized by high expectations and a heightened value on teamwork and family. Work-wise, a Forbes article states that this generation isn’t interested in a big paycheck—they’re more inclined to value friendly co-workers, a fun work environment, and an employer that values their work style.

This new breed of 20-somethings longs for adventure and enrichment, even placing family over their jobs. They tend to long for positive feedback and are more willing than any generation before them to relocate to find their ideal workplace. The modern 20-something professional will likely leave their resume up just in case something more fulfilling may come along.

Although they may be criticized as being unrealistic or uncommitted, this generation has the potential to be the happiest (and most productive) yet.

If refusing to settle is wrong, who wants to be right?

Gluten-free Food for a Healthier and Worry-free Diet

The beginning of the year 2000 ushered in a new trend in the food and dining business, which is centered on offering food and dishes that are more safe and healthier to the body: food categorized as “Gluten-free.”

The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) reports that there are about 12 million Americans experiencing food allergies; more than three million of these are suffering from celiac disease. Celiac disease, which causes damage to the small intestine, is a digestive illness; it obstructs the absorption of food nutrients that result to malabsorption and causes an abnormal reaction to gluten, the protein naturally contained in barley, rye and wheat. Besides the daily food we usually consume, gluten is also used in the manufacture of vitamins, medicines and lip balms.

As more and more Americans are becoming greatly concerned about their health and conscious of the kind of food they eat, restaurants, hospitals, cafeterias, school and office lunchrooms, university dining halls, hotels and even convenience stores, have made it their main concern to offer allergy-friendly and gluten-free food. Besides promoting good health, these establishments also say that it has been good to their business.

Even with the continuous growth of this trend in the food business, the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG), through organizations, such as the Gluten-Free Restaurant Awareness (GFRAP) and the National Restaurant Association, is consistent in its endeavor in working, especially with dining establishments, to ensure that they offer food and dishes that are safe for all types of clients and customers.

Surprisingly, even those not affected by the celiac disease have also begun to prefer gluten-free food, which they say increases their energy and keeps the bellies from bloating. Thus, besides restaurants, health food stores and groceries are also beginning to offer and stock more gluten-free products.

In Baltimore, University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research medical director Alessio Fasano, M.D., agrees that reversing to gluten-free diet does promote good health. For those with celiac disease, Dr. Fasano states the gluten “is truly evil”; it damages the small intestine that can result to nutritional deficiencies and severe gastrointestinal distress which, in turn, can lead to osteoporosis, infertility and intestinal cancers, if untreated.

With gluten-free food being offered in majority of the restaurants and other food establishments all across the US, dining out or buying food is now more healthy and worry-free. Thus, the next time you go out to eat, consider sampling the foods at a gluten-free restaurant.

The No-Fault Auto Liability Insurance – A Cheaper Way to Financial Protection

“Save lives, prevent injuries, reduce vehicle-related crashes”: this is the major task of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a branch of the Department of Transportation and one of the agencies of the U.S. government’s Executive Branch.

On its website, Ravid & Associates, P.C., does not disprove the fact that some car accidents are due to “unavoidable and unpredictable” occasions; more, however, are results of another motorist’s recklessness or carelessness on the road.

True enough, as the usual major causes of car crashes are drunk-driving, over or under-speeding, recklessness and driver error (especially because of the use of hand held phones and other forms of devices that cause driver distraction). And, sad to say, but the numbers of those who sustain severe injuries or those who end up dead, due to these car accidents, still number to millions or thousands, respectively.

For this reason, every state in the US mandate drivers to have sufficient auto liability insurance, and the one kind of this type of insurance that has become quite famous now is the no-fault auto liability insurance.

Through no-fault auto insurance, your insurance provider will pay for the injuries that you, as their policy holder, have sustained, regardless of whose fault the accident was (injury suffered by the other driver will be paid by his/her own insurance provider). The payment, called the personal injury protection (PIP), covers lost wages, due to days of work missed, medical bills and property damage. The desire to still pursue additional payment for damages to property can be done in court.

No-fault car liability insurance renders premiums and legal costs lower than at-fault insurances. This is because the former would no longer necessitate legal or court procedures associated simply with determining whose fault the accident really is – this means no more court fees to pay. This court procedure is what actually requires at-fault drivers to pay higher premiums.

Presently, there are 12 states that require drivers to carry no-fault car liability insurance; these include Utah, Pennsylvania, North Dakota, New York, New Jersey, Minnesota, Michigan, Massachusetts, Kentucky, Kansas, Hawaii and Florida.

OSHA, Working to Ensure Safety and Health in the Workplace

The many different work-related accidents in the past have all contributed to the US government’s decision to enact a law that would ensure and enforce health and safety in the workplace for the benefit of all employees in the US.

This led to the creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 which, in turn, gave rise to the creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the task of which is to ensure that all work sites are compliant with the government’s safety standard and are medically safe.

Among all work places, construction sites are acknowledged as the most dangerous due to the dangers and risks constructions workers are exposed to. These dangers, according to the website of Hach & Rose, LLP, which are also the usual causes of construction accidents, included scaffolding problems, falling tools and/or equipment, crane collapse, construction vehicle (such as cranes and forklifts) accidents.

Much earlier than the OSHA, the Workers’ Compensation Benefit was passed into law in 1908. The primary intention of this law was to give immediate financial benefit to workers injured during the performance of their job; those who developed job-related illnesses were also covered by the law. Workers’ comp was intended to financially assist the injured worker in his/her medical needs and to provide temporary monetary assistance due to loss of capacity to work and earn a wage.

Construction site and other job-related injuries number to more than two million every year, while the number of deaths total to about 14,000. Many other laws have also been created to significantly reduce these numbers. Government standards were also set regarding the quality of the tools and equipment to be used, provision of health stations where workers can avail of immediate treatment in the event of an accident and education of workers regarding proper use and maintenance of everything in the workplace.

OSHA believes that many workplace accidents can be prevented; all it takes is the business’ strict compliance with the agency’s policies. Failure to still maintain safety in the workplace, despite all the communications issued by OSHA regarding job safety and health, would already be a clear indication of an employer’s negligence in performing his/her duty for the benefit of the employees.  If you have been injured at your workplace, or specifically a construction site, an employment attorney or a construction accident lawyer may be able to help you with your situation.

The Hope to Rebuild After the Storm: A Hope Lost Due to Insurance Providers?

A year after hurricane Sandy hit and devastated the United States, many are still homeless and battling with their insurance provider about the claim they believe they deserve, which will enable them to rebuild either their ruined of torn down houses.

The superstorm, according to the US National Hurricane Center, was 2012 Atlantic hurricane season’s deadliest and the second costliest storm to ever hit the United States. This October 29, 2012, Category 2 storm, affected as many as 24 states, most especially New Jersey and New York, wreaking damages estimated between $50 and $68 billion and claimed more than 150 lives; 72 deaths happened during the storm itself, while 87 more lives were lost after the storm, due to accidents during the cleanup phase, carbon monoxide poisoning and hypothermia or extremely low body temperature because of power outages.

New York City, specifically, which the superstorm severely affected, suffered the destruction of thousands of vehicles and homes, flooding of the majority of its road tunnels, suburban communities and subway system, destruction of many business establishments and homes due to fire, power outages for several days, closure of businesses, such as the New York Stock Exchange, for days, and closure and evacuation of hospitals.

Almost everyone was in need of urgent care which many did not even know where and what the source would be, for almost all the residents of the city and neighboring states were just like them – victims of the natural disaster.

Equally worse, though, is the fact that even after a year, so many of those whose homes the storm destroyed are still homeless. Their hope to rebuild their destroyed properties cannot be started or finished as these individuals are still fighting against their insurance provider on the issue of hurricane insurance claim. With regard to dealing with Insurance companies for the financial benefit that ought to enable them to have a brand new start, it would seem that the storm has also washed away all their hopes.

Many legal experts believe that many Insurance firms employ a delaying strategy in releasing the claims of policy holders. This is besides assessing damage to properties inaccurately to give them the reason to award a benefit that is far below what the policy holder expects.

Sad to say, but, sometimes, dealing with Insurance providers is worse than dealing with a destructive storm. Insurance policies and the laws governing the Insurance business are long and complicated that for the policy holder to deal with his/her provider alone would be a hopeless endeavor. Having a legal expert to help you fight for your rights would be much advisable; this way, no Insurance firm would be able to mislead you about any stipulations indicated in your contract.

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