Posted by Andy on May 2, 2015 in Personal Injury | 0 comments
The use of polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs has long been banned by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. This ban came in the late 1970s, when the controversy about PCBs manufacturer Monsanto came to a full boil. According to discussions that circulated around the time, the production of toxic Monsanto PCBs was found to have caused considerable devastation to the environment. The government also raised concerns about health risks caused by the toxic chemical substance, which were then widely used as coolants for a variety of commercial and industrial applications.
One major health risk posed by PCBs is damage to the immune system, which plays a vital role in fighting infections and diseases in both human and animals. The fact that PCB exposure can leave animals or people vulnerable to aggressive medical conditions like inflammatory diseases and cancer is particularly alarming. According to a fact sheet by the Environmental Protection Agency, a study conducted on Rhesus monkeys—a species that share around 93 percent of their DNA sequence with humans—shows that PCB exposure can cause the thymus gland to significantly shrink in size. Scientific tests on other animals also show that PCBs can slow down the production of important antibodies and other essential immune system elements, causing a decreased resistance to viruses and other infections.
The EPA fact sheet also points to a recent study conducted on humans that showed how increased PCB exposure can increase health risks for individuals infected with Epstein-Barr virus. The study concluded that those exposed to PCB and was infected with the virus saw increased chances of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Immune system suppression caused by PCB exposure can also increase the risk of cancer.
Immune system suppression isn’t the only health risk caused by PCBs. Prolonged PCB exposure can also effect the reproductive, nervous, and endocrine systems. PCBs have also been found to cause liver damage, high blood pressure, among other serious medical conditions.
Landlords have a lot of responsibility when it comes to maintaining the safety of their rented property. Among the newest environmental danger that is causing significant concern to tenants or renters is molds and “toxic molds”, with a number of tenants filing for lawsuits amidst the growing health concerns. Many people don’t really understand the technical and complicated scientific definitions of mold, giving way to a number of misconceptions about toxic molds and its real dangers. Not all molds are a danger to the health, and knowing which ones are is vital in knowing whether your health is in danger and if you have the legal basis for a personal injury claim.
Molds are a type of fungus that grows in warm, damp, and humid setting. It can grow inside or outside and they are considered a health risk if there is high concentrations in an area. Any type of molds, regardless of whether toxic or not, if they are in high concentrations can be detrimental to the health. Among the most common “toxic molds” are the Strachybotrys chartarum (S. chartarum) also called the black mold, and the Aspergillis. Having molds in the home does not mean immediate health dangers, but when a mold infestation is determined to be dangerous, the property owner has the responsibility of removing the mold infestation before it becomes a danger to the wellbeing of the tenants. If they have neglected or refused to perform their duty of care to their tenants, the tenants may have the right to contact a Tennessee personal injury lawyer regarding the danger they have been exposed to or the injuries that the property owner’s neglect of duties.
Mold remediation (the removal and clean-up of the mold infestation) is necessary even if the molds are not toxic. Many property owners tend to disregard mold infestations because their clean-up and removal are often expensive and laborious; the area should be thoroughly cleaned to avoid mold spores from being released, otherwise they might simply grow back. If these safety responsibilities are disregarded by the property owner and you as a tenant suffered damages (health or otherwise) due to mold infestation, you have the right to file a personal injury claim against the property owner to recover compensation.
Posted by Andy on Feb 11, 2015 in Injuries | 0 comments
Spinal cord injuries can be life altering. Whether they are acquired from a car accident, slip and fall, or any other incident at the fault of another, they can be held accountable. When injured on another person’s behalf, you can receive financial compensation. It is important to know the signs and symptoms of a serious spinal injury because the injuries can worsen with time, and getting to a hospital quickly can be crucial.
The website of The Sampson Law Firm speaks of two permanent disabilities that can result from spinal cord injuries: partial paralysis and total paralysis. Sings and symptoms of these two instances may be hard to detect when first in an accident. Neck and back pain, loss of bladder control, numbness or loss of movement are all indications that the situation is serious.
If any of these symptoms are apparent, taking the patient to an emergency room is pivotal. Time is of the essence in these cases, because internal bleeding and swelling can increase complications and problems exponentially. Until help arrives, the person should be kept still. The neck and back need to stay in the same position to prevent further injury.
Once the current situation is taken care of, doctors will perform a serious of tests to determine if the patient is partially paralyzed or totally paralyzed. Detecting symptoms and taking precautionary action at the site of the accident is of utmost importance because proper actions can aid to the extent to which the paralysis persists. Lacking basic knowledge about what to do can cause further damage, and set back the rate of recovery.
Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage is usually implemented in the states that follow the no-fault insurance policy. If you have personal injury protection coverage, your insurance provider would be the one who will provide the compensation after an accident regardless of who caused the accident and resulting damages. These would help cover for the medical bills, lost earnings, and other expenses that happened because of the accident. The payment will cover for some or all of the lost earnings, all depending on the limits that the state you are in requires.
As explained on the website of Williams Kherkher, PIP claims need to be done in cooperation with your insurer. Providing a recorded statement is essential in PIP claims, along with the requirement to have a physician selected by the PIP insurer to conduct a medical examination may be required by the state in order to determine the extent of the injuries and how much compensation is necessary. Failing to cooperate with the PIP insurer may cause you to be unqualified for any PIP benefits.
PIP claims are those that are filed to your own insurance company for payment of the medical bills and lost salaries. It will be the insurer’s responsibility to pay for the medical expenses as well as compensate for the salaries that you weren’t able to get because of the accident. When your medical bill is over the states’s no-fault limit, you will be the one responsible for paying for them. Additionally, states that follow the no-fault law when it comes to car accidents often does not permit victims to file for a personal injury claim against the offending driver, except in cases where the expenses have reached a certain amount of when the injury is deemed as adequately serious. The only legal right you have as a victim of the car accident is compensation for medical expenses and lost wages. And non-tangible damages such as pain and suffering is not provided.
Posted by Andy on Aug 21, 2014 in Personal Injury | 1 comment
Personal injuries can make your life miserable, but even if it’s not a serious injury, compensation may still be appropriate. There are a lot of things to go over when trying to get a personal injury case settled that you might not know about. The tips have been put into one article so you have one place to look for answers.
When hiring a personal injury lawyer, it is important to find a practitioner with vast experience working on behalf of plaintiffs. By researching the lawyer’s background and experience, you will be sure that you are engaging the services of someone able to work diligently to secure the compensation you and your family deserve.
If you are contacted by an insurance company that claims it needs to take a statement for their investigations, refuse to say anything to them. The best thing to do in this situation is to give them the name of your attorney and tell them to call him if they have any questions or concerns.
A very common type of personal injury lawsuit can be brought against a property owner when a customer slips or falls on their property. For example, according to the website of Morris James, if you fall and are hurt because of unsafe conditions, the property owner can be held liable for your medical costs. Make sure you keep detailed records of the situation. This can help you show the court or the defense the cause of and extent of your injuries.
Look for an experienced lawyer. While there are a lot of personal injury lawyers, not all of them are experienced. Personal injury law is extremely complicated, and an inexperienced lawyer may not be able to get you the outcome that you deserve. Look into past cases that they have handled to see if they were able to secure a substantial monetary settlement.
You should use these tips during the legal procedures you will have to go through for your personal injury case. In addition to picking the best attorney for you, some basic research can help you to make the most in your settlement. You need to be fully aware of what is going on if you are serious about getting a fair compensation.
Posted by Andy on Mar 7, 2014 in Criminal Defense | 1 comment
Everybody knows that cocaine is an illegal drug, and that a cocaine possession conviction can have serious consequences. The laws have become more stringent when it comes to drug crimes. The punishments for being charged with a drug crime can be severe depending on which state you are in. But what exactly is cocaine, and why does being accused of having it warrant a criminal defense lawyer?
Cocaine is an organic compound in crystal form derived from the leaves of the coca plant, from the tropane alkaloid ecgonine. The coca plant is a cash crop indigenous to South America, and has traditional and current medicinal, religious, and nutritional uses. Coca plant food products such as granola bars can be found commercially in supermarkets in fashionable suburban areas. The various components of the coca plant are used medicinally as a stimulant, much like coffee beans, as well as an anesthetic and analgesic, and for hunger suppression. It is also used to alleviate the symptoms of altitude sickness.
There is actually very little cocaine produced from the coca plant, less than 0.77%, and yet the coca plant is known primarily for this by-product. Cocaine itself was first isolated in 1855 by Friedrich Gaedcke, a German chemist who called it erythroxyline, but it was in 1879 that it was first applied in Western medicine as an analgesic, and then later as an anesthetic. At one point, it was used to counteract the effects of addiction to morphine, sold in drugstores as a cheap stimulant, and distributed as pep pills to German war troops during World War II.
It is now widely known that cocaine is a dangerous and highly addictive substance. It is one of the most popular illegal recreational drugs in the US, second only to marijuana. Cocaine is considered the most dangerous of all central nervous system (CNS) stimulants because it is highly addictive and can cause sudden cardiac arrest. It also alters the brain chemistry with prolonged use, leading to radical behavior and personality changes.
Although earlier reports stated that cocaine led to criminality, it was only with the Jones-Miller Act of 1922 that cocaine production and sales was finally prohibited. Cocaine is classified as a Schedule I under the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 and is an illegal substance to have, use, and sell in most countries.
Possession of cocaine is a felony, but the applicable prison term escalates with the amount of cocaine found on a defendant, who may face as much as 50 years in prison. Because of the severity of the consequences, it is important to immediately retain an Appleton criminal lawyer with extensive experience in dealing with drug crimes to avoid conviction or at least reduce it to a lesser charge. A lawyer can make a real difference for those who are facing these kinds of charges.
Posted by Andy on Feb 11, 2014 in Injuries | 2 comments
Construction workers are the ones who probably face the greatest risk of job-related accidents, considering the fact that they are surrounded by dangerous and heavy construction tools, large equipment and, sometimes, hazardous chemicals. Adding to the daily dangers that these workers face is the height that they often need to ascend, such being the place where their work needs to be done.
During the early part of the 20th century, job-related accidents involving construction workers increased in number and those injured, to be able to receive compensation from their employers, had to resort to filing a lawsuit. The argument that danger was actually associated with the work, though, or that the employer had nothing to do with the accident, was often enough to judge the injured worker’s claim as baseless.
Federal regulations on safety in workplaces were enforced only in 1971, when the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was formed. OSHA’s main concern was the regulation and enforcement of safety standards in the work place. The rules enforced by the administration were definitely of great importance in industrial and construction sites, where the level and instances of danger were always greater compared to other places of work.
Record of accidents in construction sites show that the four leading causes of injuries are electrocution, being struck by construction vehicles or equipment, being caught or pinned between equipment and a solid object, and falls.
Falls, particularly, present greater danger since by working from great heights, a worker has nowhere to run during emergencies, except on the limited space of the scaffold which he/she occupies. And figures show that more than a million workers work on scaffolds daily, in high-rise constructions sites and around the exterior of old, tall buildings that necessitate restoration of their aesthetic look.
Included in OSHA’s concerns was the recognition of certain types of scaffolds that ought to be used in construction sites. The safety of these scaffoldings have been considered, taking into account the reliability and sturdiness of these equipment under specific weather conditions and the materials loaded on these. OSHA reminds workers, however, that these construction equipment need to be competently assembled, the assembly double-checked and guardrails installed for extra protection against slips, before being boarded or used.
Any careless or negligent act that will affect the safe use of any equipment will have to be reported to site supervisors or to the employer who, in turn, should make sure that the equipment is checked before use so as not to put any lives at risk.
Nobody likes to think that health professionals may make a medical mistake now and then, but the reality is they do, and more often and in more ways than most people think. It is a daunting thought, and should be kept in mind every time one is tempted to trust blindly in doctors and other health professionals.
However, not all potential medical dangers can be laid at the doors of those who actually administer health care, such as physicians, nurses, orderlies, emergency medical technicians, hospital administrators, and so on. Sometimes, medical negligence can be attributed to those who do not deal directly with patients.
One example is the da Vinci Surgical Robot system designed, developed, and manufactured by Intuitive Surgical, Inc. Many hospitals have invested millions to have the privilege of adding this high-tech service to its menu of offerings to patients. While it is mostly used for gynecological and urological procedures, having the space age technology available increases the prestige of the institutions that have them. However, because it is a departure from the traditional surgical techniques, the technology requires that the human operators (surgeons) are trained and have acquired a familiarity with its use.
Unfortunately, the manufacturer has neglected to provide with enough training and clinical experience to the surgeons it certifies, as discussed in an article on the National Injury Law Center website. Ideally, a trained surgeon should be supervised when performing robotic surgery for at least 15 cases to achieve clinical proficiency. Many surgeons are trained for two days and then forced to operate unsupervised after only two supervised cases.
As a result, there have been many complaints alleging medical negligence against Intuitive for failing to provide adequate training, resulting in serious injury to patients. Some also allege that the design of the da Vinci’s surgical arms is defective causing tissue burns, while still others accuse Intuitive of making false marketing claims regarding the efficacy of the system over other methods.
Whatever the form of the medical error, health professionals, medical device manufacturers, and drug companies have a duty of care towards their patients. Failure to uphold this duty is actionable under tort law. If you or a close family member has suffered injury from medical negligence, consult with a personal injury lawyer specializing in these types of cases to find out your legal options.
Posted by Andy on Jan 30, 2014 in Injuries | 1 comment
The workplace is not a one-way street. Measures aimed at preventing workplace injuries can only be effective if both employers and employees are involved. When an employee is seriously injured at work, it not only adversely affects the ability of the worker to earn, but also impacts on the productivity of the company, which eventually trickles down to profitability. Therefore, it is in the interest of both employers and employees to promote a safe working environment.
Of course, workers’ compensation insurance, which is required for most employers in the U.S., can make it a little easier for an injured employee to recover some of the costs for loss of income and medical bills. There is also Social Security to provide permanent disability benefits for eligible workers. Employers are also free from liability for workplace injuries, although workers’ comp claims tend to increase premiums that the employers have to pay. Overall, however, it is much better to keep the worker working and the employer paying a salary.
One way that employers have used to keep workplace injuries down and worker productivity up is to due functional employment testing. This is a way for employers to ensure that eligible applicants have the skills and capability to perform the essential functions of a job prior to hiring. It is also a way for employers to find out if a workplace injury claim is authentic, and if an employee is fit to go back to work after an injury.
Functional employment testing is typically outsourced to a firm specializing in employment evaluation geared towards improving productivity, measuring functional ability and reducing injury, absenteeism, and employee turnover. This can translate to increased profitability from reduced premiums for workers’ compensation and employee health insurance, lower attrition, and better worker attendance and efficiency. Because of these improvements, it is well worth the time, effort and money to have the functional capacities evaluation program in place where appropriate.
People believe in happily ever after even in these cynical times, and this can be a good thing. It is entirely possible to be happy and stay married with one person, but what at least 50% of people who get married don’t realize is that happily ever after is not automatic, and eventually end in divorce.
Marriage happens after the wedding, when all the dresses have been packed away and all the champagne has been drunk. When real life steps in after the honeymoon is over, many find that they are not ready to work at a relationship so that together they can overcome the many difficulties they will face as a married couple.
Difficulties can surface even when a marriage is relatively ordinary. There can be problems with money, the children, relatives, living conditions, and so on. When extraordinary events happen, such as an accident which leads to serious injury and even disability, the resulting stress in the aftermath can be overwhelming. Couples who had no problems before may find that their dynamics have changed, and gradually drift apart as feelings of guilt, rage, depression, and resentment set in.
The most common causes of divorce have to do with communication. Couples who are not on the same wavelength and make no attempt to find one they can both be in are more likely to give up, fight, complain, and cheat. When one spouse feels that he or she bears the brunt of the responsibility in the relationship, it breeds resentment if it is not constructively aired. Most people are not sensitive to the needs of others, and need to be told when there is a problem.
Unfortunately, the main problem gets overshadowed by recriminations, insults, accusations, criticisms, and arguments.
It takes a very strong relationship to overcome the strain of a life-changing event such as serious accident, and many couples fail to bounce back. An article from Raleigh’s Marshall & Taylor, PC concludes that when the situation just becomes too difficult, repairing the damage may not be possible. Sometimes, the best thing can be to get a divorce and start all over again.