Pirate Thespians

The Workers’ Comp – Not the Only Source of Compensation in some States

Posted by on Jun 29, 2015 in Injury, Workplace Accidents | 0 comments

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.

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Driver Error – Cause of Many Injuries and Deaths

Posted by on Jun 27, 2015 in Injury | 0 comments

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.

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Probate Dispute: Disagreements among Family Members

Posted by on Jun 26, 2015 in Trusts and Estates | 0 comments

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.

Los Angeles 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 Seegmiller 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.

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Choosing the Perfect Pet Servicing Facility for Your Dog

Posted by on Jun 25, 2015 in Pets | 0 comments

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).

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Things that Warrant Modifications to Child Custody

Posted by on Jun 24, 2015 in Family | 0 comments

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.

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.

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Hit & Run: Why People Flee from the Scene of an Accident

Posted by on Jun 21, 2015 in Criminal Defense | 0 comments

Getting injured in a car accident that is a result of a driver’s negligence or carelessness is bad enough; it becomes worse, however, if that driver flees the scene and leaves you with nothing, save the injury and, probably, the traumatic experience which might play in your mind repeatedly.

Hit-and-run accidents are becoming a major concern for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). For the past ten years this type of accident has only increased, causing a rise in the number of fatalities, severe injuries and property damages, at the same time.

In states where death is very high, the government’s response is tougher laws, more serious charges and harsher punishments. In Arizona, for instance, a five-year automatic suspension of the license of a driver who flees the scene of an accident is applied; the suspension becomes 10 years if death is linked to the accident – and these do not include time in jail yet.

According to the website of the Law Offices of Kyle Sampson, in the state of Texas, intoxicated drivers who fail to render aid and flee from the scene of an accident can be charged with a second-degree felony, which carries with it up to 20 years imprisonment (before September 1, 2013, the charge was third-degree felony with a 10-year maximum prison term.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a non-profit, charitable organization dedicated to helping save lives through traffic safety education and research, found that majority of hit-and-run accidents involved intoxicated drivers (based either on account of witnesses or from the guilty driver’s own confession after he or she has been caught).

But rather than due to criminal intent or total unconcern for the safety of others, the reasons given by many drivers, which included being very young to be charged with a serious offense, driving without a license, or having high blood alcohol content (BAC), all centered on fear of being charged with multiple serious offenses which, in turn, can very well affect their future. Thus, like in any kind of situation where one would find himself or herself in danger, the first thought is always to save oneself, thus their act of fleeing from the scene.

The possible long-term consequences of such serious charges can have harsh penalties on a driver’s future. Stay careful out there!

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