The Affordable Care Act (also referred to as “Obamacare”) has drastically impacted the way we perceive and manage health insurance. Whether an individual or a business, health insurance has become an integral part of everyone’s life. Questions that came up when the ACA was passed in 2008 must be answered again. Questions of mandatory coverage, extent of coverage, and cost of coverage are all relevant to small business owners trying to survive in a competitive marketplace. According to Slater Pugh, Ltd. LLP, running a business is a complex undertaking which requires careful planning and management of human resources in order to create a desirable work environment that also protects the interests of the company from potential damage.
The next few months will reveal to the American people the scope of the changes coming to the Affordable Care Act. Many have suggested a “repeal and replace” strategy, electing to completely scrap the current legislation and replace it with new policies. The implications of this strategy are unclear, as there are many replacement possibilities. One such possibility is the end of the mandate that everyone in the US have health insurance. This affects businesses by, in theory, reducing their costs. As a small business owner you would no longer have to cover your employees, saving you money.
In addition to removing the mandate requiring businesses to cover their employees, insurance plans themselves may get cheaper as a result of the repealing of the ACA. Currently, businesses with low risk employees are grouped in with businesses with high risk employees, raising the cost for your small business. If you choose to insure your employees despite the removal of the mandate, you may see your insurance prices decrease as you are given a price more indicative of your employees’ risk level.
None of these changes are set in stone, and the transition away from the Affordable Care Act is likely to be a multi-year process. It is essential to stay informed on legislative proceedings to be prepared when the insurance market changes.Read More
When people purchase a car, one of the very first things they consider is safety. They will be using the car to go to work, go places with their family, and others. But when the car they bought jeopardizes their safety, the website of Pohl & Berk, LLP reveals that there is a higher risk of injury to the driver and their passengers. The bad news is that many car defects do not surface until after an accident.
Cars that cause injuries due to defective parts did not undergo the proper safety testing. In this article, we will look at the most common automobile defects that can put the safety of people at risk:
Airbags can save the life of the driver and passenger during serious car accidents. Unfortunately, some airbags malfunction and fail to properly deploy when people need them. In 2015, several auto manufacturers implemented what is considered “the largest auto recall ever” due to defective airbags.
Defective Door Latch
Recalls of many vehicles were also done due to defective door latch. Doors are designed to ensure the safety of the passengers inside the vehicle. Defective door latch mechanisms can cause the door to suddenly fly open. When this happens, the passengers may suffer serious injuries.
Seat Back Failure
Seat back defects happen when the driver or passenger seats collapse during an accident. This usually happens when a vehicle is hit from behind which can result to the occupants being launched into the back seat. In March 2016, a Texas jury awarded $124.5 million to a family that suffered the devastating effects of seat back failure.
Since 1968, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has required all car manufacturers to use gazing materials in their windshields and rear and side windows. The purpose of this material is to keep glass shards from breaking apart during accidents. Unsafe windshields can cause traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations, and others.
These are just some auto defects that can cause injury or even death to drivers and passengers.Read More
Injuries Caused By Defective Machinery Equipment And Machineries
When working in factories that rely on machines and equipment, it is assumed that they have been tested and is deemed safe. After all, it is the responsibility of the company to ensure that these machines are working perfectly. This is not the case, unfortunately. Defective equipment can put the safety of workers operating them in great jeopardy. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, there have been several incidence of recall due to defects in machinery or equipment.
Employers can be sued for product liability if their machines or equipment are deemed defective and has caused injury or death to a worker. It is the responsibility of the employer to put in place safety measures and to maintain their equipment. Unfortunately, some companies want to cut down on their expenses and instead do the following:
- Buy inferior equipment or parts
- Postpone needed repairs or machinery
- Refuse to remove broken equipment from use on the workplace
- Remove equipment safety features which could slow down production
- Refuse to train machine operators
- Do not provide safety tools such as goggles, gloves, and dust mask
- Ignore complaints about defective machines
There are three different kinds of product liability lawsuits that injured employees can file against their employers :
- Defect in the design of the product/equipment. The injury was due to flaws in the design of the machinery in question.
- Defect in manufacturing. The equipment was designed outside the standard procedure and made in a different way than others found on the market.
- Defects in marketing. When the manufacturer fails to provide adequate warning or dangers regarding the product.
Under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment 1998 and Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 requires owners, operators, and controllers of equipment to display the installation and maintenance procedures of machines and equipment. It also requires handlers to be properly trained with using the equipment.
Assisted living is a living arrangement involving long-term care for those who are in need of personal care support for services such as medication, personal hygiene, transportation, and every day activities. It is a relatively new concept but is a growing option for elder care because of the range of services that provide elders with assistance but still give them their independence. The choice to put an elder adult to an assisted living can be both emotionally and financially complicated, but it is still important to be assured that your loved ones is safe and well taken care of.
There are some things that can point out whether you should consider assisted living or not, depending on personal reasons. According to https://www.senioradvice.com/, among the red flags that you should look out for is recent accidents that lead to a slow recovery or worsening of conditions. Accidents are common, but the odds of those are higher in older people, and due to their old age they might take longer to recover. Even a small bout of flu or cold can be dangerous if left untreated, and complications make the health decline quickly. Likewise, it may make every day activities difficult to manage and affect their skills that would enable them to live independently. Lots of clutter and poor housekeeping may indicate that the person is not keeping up with their daily chores or are forgetting to do them. Dents and scratches on their car are just simple signs that show that they are driving carelessly. If their pets and plants, or any hobbies are left unattended may reflect lack of self-care.
If you detect that your elder loved ones are having physical, emotional, and mental difficulties managing their responsibilities then it might be time to consider assisted living. Various research have also proven that loneliness and depression has a great impact on the health and well being of an older adult, and moving them to an assisted facility may ease the burden and get them to be with people in the same situation. This ensures that their health and well being as ensured and protected.Read More
Those who have suffered serious injuries or even death due to electrical accidents from broken high voltage power lines can file a personal injury or wrongful death claim against a number of government agencies. This is because these accidents are often preventable, and generally they are caused by poor maintenance or defective repairs. It is common for construction workers to be victims of electrocution, but anyone can be injured by electric shocks from falling power lines. It is therefore important for everyone to understand how to proceed should they consider suing a government agency following serious injuries or death of a loved one.
Initially, it is the power companies’ responsibility to inspect, maintain, and protect the power lines from causing accidents. If these power lines caused victims serious injuries, it is important to hire personal injury lawyers to help with gathering evidence and have legal representation in court. Aside from power companies, other parties that can be sued are electrical engineers, construction companies, building code inspectors, and government agencies. According to the website of Houston lawyer Ali Mokaram, government agencies generally have immunity from lawsuits, but sometimes they allow themselves to go to court.
In order to have a successful personal injury lawsuit against a government agency, an experienced lawyer should be present to guide you along the legal process. These types of cases are unique in itself and can come with intricate legal disputes. Aside from shorter statute of limitations, government agencies only allow lawsuits against them under specific restrictions, such as the municipality having purchased insurance meant for such lawsuits or if the accident was due to gross negligence. Despite varying rules between states regarding circumstances under which a victim can sue the government agency, but the rules within the state generally don’t vary. As with personal injury claims, evidence of negligence or recklessness, along with other proof such as police and witness reports, photographs, and victim’s testimony can give more weight to the lawsuit and ensure the success of the claim.Read More
Where job-related accidents are the issue, discussion is often focused on construction workers, whose job is always open to the worst kinds of risks. Personal injury lawyers may point out that this is because of the dangerous tools, heavy equipment and, sometimes, hazardous chemicals that they are regularly exposed to; add to these the altitudes (often rising to more than 10 floors) that construction workers need to ascend to be able to perform their task.
Before the turn, and during the early part, of the 20th century, construction workers who got injured while performing their job bore the consequences of their misfortune without assistance from their employer. Employers during those times were often saved from being held accountable for their workers’ injuries by reasoning out that danger is associated with the work and that the workers accepted the job despite knowledge of these dangers.
Thus, for the sole purpose of seeking financial assistance, at least to be able to afford the required medical treatment, workers had to file a lawsuit against their employer, a lawsuit, however, that workers usually lost. A lost lawsuit, though, was not the only effect of workers’ legal move – with it was the destruction of the relationship between the worker and his employer.
This predicament of workers made the government see the need for the passing of a law that will mandate employers to provide assistance to workers who get injured in the job: the Workers’ Compensation Insurance benefit, a federal mandate that was intended to provide workers, who sustain work-related injuries or who develop a work-related illness, financial assistance that will cover medical treatment and lost wages among others.
To further promote the wellbeing of workers another law was passed in 1970: the Occupational Safety and Health Act or OSH Act, which gave rise to the establishment of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) the following year.
OSHA’s task was to enforce the mandates of OSH Act, which was the creation and maintenance of a workplace that was safe and healthy, where employees will be able to work without fear or worry of suffering an accident.
Currently, despite OSH Act’s mandate and the existence of other laws (including state laws) that promote safety in the workplace, accidents still happen and workers still get injured. New York construction accident lawyers may quickly note that their state, there are laws that allow workers to file a lawsuit against general contractors, property owners or machinery manufacturers who fail to ensure safety on construction sites or the safety of equipment used.
Many employers, contractors or manufacturers of construction equipment, however, are not eager about fulfilling their responsibility towards injured workers when it comes to paying them additional compensation.Read More
From 2005 to 2007 driver error accounted for 93% of the total number of car crashes, making it the leading cause of accidents on US roads and highways, according to the National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey (NMVCCS).
Once behind the wheel there are so many things that a driver may do, or fail to do, that can compromise his or her safety and safety of other motorists and pedestrians. According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, these are called driver errors and these can happen through so many (often unnoticeable) ways, such as:
- Distractions behind the wheel (due to use electronic devices, like a cell phone, whether handset or hands-free, a GPS, radio, a movie player, etc. Eating, conversing with a passenger, looking at a map, applying makeup, and so forth, are also considered as forms of driving distractions
- Speeding, driving too slowly or driving too fast for conditions
- Risky behavior, like trying to beat a red light
- Tailgating, which is both illegal and a sign of aggressive driving behavior
- Driving under the influence
- Not wearing a seatbelt
- Drowsy driving
- Right-of-way errors/violations or failure to yield (especially at four way stops)
- Improper lane changing
- Improper turning
- Improper overtaking and unsafe passing (which can result to sideswipes, head-on collision, and running off the road)
While errors in driving can be committed by anyone, many studies, including one from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, state that teen drivers are the ones most prone to it. Teens are about four times more likely than older adults to make mistakes on the road. A personal injury lawyer may point out that their likelihood to commit these errors is usually due to distracted driving, lack of experience in dealing with emergency road situations, and an inclination to show off.
Every year, car accidents claim more than 35,000 lives and cause injury to about two million individuals. A serious injury, much more death, can change the lives of the families of the victims forever. According to the website of Spiros Law, P.C., victims have a right to file civil lawsuit that may allow them to pursue financial compensation for the damages, injuries and all other consequences of the accident.
Indeed, seeking compensation is a legal right of victims and their families – this is one very important legal fact that accident victims need to know, especially if the accident was a result of someone else’s negligence, carelessness or risky behavior.
Filing a civil lawsuit and fighting for the victim’s rights are not too simple, though. While there are those who choose to go into legal battle without legal representation, hoping that what they believe is obvious will also be viewed by the court as such, there are many more who decide to use legal help.Read More
Probate is the process wherein a Will, after being determined as valid, is carried out. The steps leading to probate begins with the filing of the Will at the proper court; with its filing is a request for its court approval. This is followed by the appointment of the Will’s executor, the person authorized by the court to administrate the state.
A Houston lawyer would inform anyone who is wondering how to set up their estate that a Will is a document which identifies a testator’s (the maker of the Will) assets and properties and the identities of those to whom he or she intends to bequeath these. It can also name the testator’s chosen executor of his or her estate – the executor is the person who will: carry out all instructions stipulated in the Will; make sure that all properties and assets mentioned in the Will are accounted for; pay all of the testator’s remaining debts and taxes; and, distribute the remaining assets to the testator’s heirs. The executor can be a family member, an accountant, a lawyer, or anybody, so long as he or she is someone who the testator fully trusted and who is, at least, 18 years old.
Despite having proven the validity of a Will, any identified heir or a child who was left out of the Will can file a petition in court to prevent the Will from being carried out due to a variety of reasons, including but not limited to:
- Dissatisfaction of relatives with the decedent’s estate plan
- The Will or Trust was drafted by the executor while he or she was mentally unstable
- Suspicion of forgery on some parts of the Will or Trust
- Different perceptions among family members on the meaning of fairness when applied to inheritance, such as a decedent’s child who believes it is only fair that he or she receives more due to the time, money and work that he or she put in, in taking care of the sick parent
- Dispute between children of separate marriages or between children from a previous marriage and the present wife
- Disagreement between the beneficiaries and a fiduciary (a person in whom total trust and confidence to protect and manage property and/or money has been given by the owner of such property and/or wealth).
Stopping a Will from being carried out (more commonly known as probate dispute) is usually nothing more than reemerging disagreements among family members. Though dormant for some time, these disagreements can be tension-filled, becoming misdirected anger that often end in lawsuits against one another.
A probate dispute can be complicated, burdensome, and upsetting. According to the website of the the Mokaram Law Firm, lawsuits can drag on for months or even years, often leaving estate beneficiaries with high court fees instead of an inheritance that will improve their economic situation for at least some time.Read More
Without any form of exercise, a pooch made to bask in inactivity can quickly become bored, overweight and even develop behavior problems, like destructive behavior (destructive digging, chewing, or scratching), attention-seeking behavior (continuous barking and whining) and/or unruliness (jumping on people or knocking down things) due to unused energy.
Even dogs need their daily dose of exercise, and one of the best ways to do it is through walking (besides running and playing). One big problem, however, is a lot of dog owners do not have the time to take their pet out for a walk due to work and other restricting schedules.
Where an owner lacks time, however, a pet care facility or provider can be relied upon. Pet servicing can help dog owners keep their pups in good shape.
As a dog owner who would entrust your pooch to a pet care facility, you owe it to your dog to find the facility that offers only the best kind of service. Like in walking your dog, for instance – you may not realize its importance, but a professional pet care provider would need basic information such as your dog’s age and your preferred types of activities for it. Because dog age and breeds differ, surely not the same activities or length of activities will have the same desired outcome for all pets. According to the website of Walk! ATX, this is why it is important to tailor activities according to a dog’s energy level. Otherwise, your dog may end up too exhausted or remain too excited for more jumps, walks, and runs.
Besides regular exercise, it is advisable that dogs are also given basic training wherein they’ll learn to perform the five basic instructions: stay, sit, down, come (for off-leash etiquette), and heel (for display of leash etiquette).Read More
In a contested divorce, which is settled in court, child custody is one of the major issues which spouses, through their lawyers, argue about, often to the point of discrediting each other before the judge, who will be deciding who the most qualified child custodian is.
Child custody experts, psychologists and legal professionals believe in the importance of a child’s having a strong relationship with both parents. Thus, if both parents are seen fit by the court, it usually decides on granting joint physical custody, wherein both spouses are given equal time with their children. According to the website of Alexander & Associates, joint custody is a special case, as the normal decision is to grant custody to only one parent. Whatever decision is made, though, judges, in all US states, consider one common factor: the best interest of the child. This is of absolute importance to every court, and the overall deciding factor of any decision.
Sometimes, though, court decisions do not bring about projected outcomes as some parents, either the one who has custody or the one with visitation rights, fail to live up to the court’s expectations, becoming neglectful in their obligations either in the proper performance of their function or in recognizing and respecting the other parent’s rights and personhood.
These failures are legally termed as visitation or custody interferences, which call for a modification in the court’s original decision. The following acts are considered forms of these interferences:
- Denying the non-custodial parent to enjoy his or her visitation rights by creating situations that will alienate the child from him or her
- Severing a child’s affections for the non-custodial parent through ill-talks, false accusations and/or negative comments
- Consciously and systematically brainwashing the children to turn them against the non-custodial. This negative attitude is known as Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS)
- Ignoring a divorce decree stipulation which says that the custodial parent should inform the non-custodial parent about his or her plan of moving to another city or state, or any plan of a change of residence. Many custodial parents actually relocate to a distant location secretly in order to keep the children away from the non-custodial parent and so have the children fully to herself.
There are other reasons, of course, that also warrant modifications to child custody arrangements. Some of these include:
- The custodial parent becoming unfit due to addiction or dependence to alcohol or illegal drug, or other legal problems
- Remarriage of the custodial parent
- The custodial parent passing away or developing a health problem that can restrict his or her duty in caring for the child
- The child, upon reaching the age of 12, requests for a change in living arrangements. The only reason why a court may deny this request is if it sees that a change will not be in best interest of the child.
It is possible for a custodial parent to be convinced that a child custody modification should be made in order to transfer custody rights away himself or herself or vice versa.Read More