People Accused of DUI should Remember that an Accusation is Just That: an Accusation, against which They have a Real Chance to Defend Their Rights

People Accused of DUI should Remember that an Accusation is Just That: an Accusation, against which They have a Real Chance to Defend Their Rights

May 24

Even kids know that drinking and driving is a dangerous combination. Thus, figuring out why so many drivers continue to drive despite being alcohol-impaired can be a frustrating endeavor. In 2013, there were 1,171,935 DUI arrests in the U.S., including in the District of Columbia. In 2010, based on records from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of arrests went as high as 1.4 million.

Despite the anti-drunk drivinga law, the government’s efforts in catching alcohol-impaired drivers, the harsh punishments, and all the educational ads that remind drivers of the dangers of driving while impaired, traffic authorities know that people will continue to get behind the wheel even if intoxicated. Thus, the justice system holds totally liable arrested drunk drivers for whatever harm they inflict on innocent victims. Besides the criminal charge and penalties, offenders can also face monetary liabilities and be ordered by the court to compensation their victim/s.

Driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a major traffic violation in all U.S. states. Though the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit in all states is 0.08% (this is the BAC level of those who consume four regular bottles of beer with one hour), police officers can charge anyone with DUI, even if his/her BAC level is below the set limit, if they believe that he/she is really impaired.

With about 10,000 fatalities every year due to drunk driving, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has exercised aggressiveness in catching and charging alcohol-impaired drivers. There have been times, however, when this aggressiveness, which has helped authorities successfully get drunk drivers off the road, has also resulted to innocent people getting arrested.

One reason for wrong arrests is due to the use of a breathalyzer device, for while it is true that breathalyzers can definitely measure alcohol which is present in alcoholic drinks, it will also give measurable BAC readings if one consumes food cooked in alcohol, or uses substances that contain (even small amounts of) alcohol, like toothache medicines and mouthwash. Acetone, which is detectable in the breath of those on high protein diets and diabetics, and other compounds that have a molecular structure similar to alcohol, may also result to BAC readings. Besides these, adhesives, plastics, varnish, paint fumes, and cleaning chemicals with rubbing alcohol, can also produce false BAC results.

According to a Nashville drunk driving defense lawyer, simply being accused of a crime can change your life. The penalties of a conviction can haunt you for years after you’ve served your sentence and may affect what kinds of jobs you’re able to obtain and even where you’re allowed to live. However, it’s important to remember that an accusation is just that: an accusation. You still have a real chance to defend your rights and protect your future from the challenges that would come with a conviction. You still have a real chance to defend your rights and protect your future from the challenges that would come with a conviction, such as jail time and fines.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Feb 27

The brain is one of the most important organs in the body, so it is not uncommon for brain damage to have devastating effects to its victims. According to the website of the Philadelphia personal injury attorneys of Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, LLC, brain injuries, particularly those inflicted by the negligence of another party, have a variety of legal options to pursue, like compensation.

Symptoms of brain trauma
Brain trauma can be classified as mild, moderate, and severe. Most of the symptoms of these classifications are similar, and their differences are mostly on severity. Mild traumatic brain injury symptoms include the following:

  • Confusion
  • Difficulty in concentrating and sleeping
  • Difficulty in remembering the traumatic event
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Loss of balance
  • Partial or total loss of senses, like smell
  • Sensitivity to light and sound

Moderate and severe traumatic brain injury amplifies the symptoms stated above, in addition to the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty in speaking
  • Difficulty in understanding speech
  • Eye problems, such as blurred vision and rapid eye movement
  • Paralysis
  • Seizures
  • Sensory problems, like limited sense of temperature and touch

Common events leading to brain trauma
Traumatic brain injuries can be sustained in many ways, but some ways are more common than others.

Car accidents: One of the most common ways to sustain such an injury is through car accidents. This can be sustained by hitting the head in hard objects and surfaces, such as steering wheels, dashboards, windshields, headrests, and pavements, and getting hit in the head by projectiles such as debris.

Sporting activities: Sports, particularly those that involve a lot of contact like basketball, football, soccer, and hockey, are common causes of brain trauma. The constant impact to the head can have a toll to the brain in the long run. Sports accidents, like landing or crashing with the head first, pose the same threat.

Slipping, tripping, and falling: Slipping accidents can occur because of slippery substances and defective escalators, elevators, and stairs. Tripping accidents happen because of obstructions, such as loose cables, and uneven surfaces like potholes. Falling accidents mostly occur because of unattended holes in dangerous places like construction sites, elevated places without safety mechanisms, and slipping and tripping accidents.

Compensatory Damages Include Things such as Lost Wages, Property Damages, and Lawyer Fees

Compensatory Damages Include Things such as Lost Wages, Property Damages, and Lawyer Fees

Feb 22

The classification of people who may be found entering another person’s property include an invitee, a licensee and a trespasser. Besides suggesting the rights of a person (inside an entered premise), this classification also tells of the level of care a property owner owes these people.

An invitee may be a friend, a relative or a neighbor. He/She who has a landowner’s expressed or implied permission to enter his/her property;

A licensee is a person, who also has a landowner’s expressed or implied permission to enter the property, but who goes there for his/her own amusement or purpose, rather than for business purposes. Party guests, family friends and everyone else who enter stores to ask about something or to retrieve something that they own, are also considered as licensees;

A trespasser ris a person who has no authority to be on someone else’s property; thus he/she is on the property illegally and, unless he/she is a child, the owner owes him/her no responsibility if ever he/she gets injured inside such property.

Property owners, especially those who own places open to the public, like malls, supermarkets, hospitals, government offices, parking lots, playgrounds, swimming pools, restaurants, food courts, churches, etc. (where the people are called licensees), have the responsibility of keeping their premises free from risks of accident at all times, or they can face legal complaints, more specifically, a premises liability lawsuit, from whoever gets injured in their premise.

One very common accident which can injure anyone is slip and fall. This accident, which occurs in public and private places cause injuries ranging from minor bruises to fractures or spinal column injury, neck injury and so forth.

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), more than 8 million slip and fall accidents occur in the U.S. every year. Their most common causes include wet, oily, icy or slippery floors or surfaces, defective staircases, uneven, loose or broken floors, steps, sidewalks or stairs, unsecured rugs or carpets, and, hidden or tangled extension wires.

Besides injury due to slipping, tripping or falling, premises liability also includes in its scope injuries that are caused by falling objects, open excavations, electrocution, broken benches or chairs, and so forth.

Failure to free one’s premise of injurious hazards is act of negligence. If this act result to harm, then an injured victim can pursue legal action in order to seek compensatory damages. The Ali Mokaram law firm says, “compensatory damages are designed to help the plaintiff to pay for the costs of recovering after the injury. These damages often include things such as lost wages, property damages, and lawyer fees.”

Causes and Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Causes and Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Sep 20

Everything in our body is controlled by the brain; thus, it is considered as the body’s most important organ. Anything that could impact the brain and cause a change in the way it functions will also affect the way the whole body operates.

An explosion, a sport or recreation-related accident, or a car crash that would cause a violent blow or a sudden jolt to the head can make the brain collide with the skull’s internal wall. This can severely harm the brain and result to torn nerve fibers or bruising and/or bleeding of the brain which, in turn, can lead to intracranial injury, which is more commonly known as traumatic brain injury (TBI).

An explosion, a sport-related accident and a car crash, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are not the only events that can jolt the head and eventually cause a traumatic brain injury. Other causes of TBI include:

  • Falls, which are very common among children 4 years old or below and adults above 75 years old;
  • Motor vehicle accidents, which commonly involve those aged between 15 and 19;
  • Collision with a moving or a stationary object;
  • Assault, which includes getting wounded on the head through a gunshot;
  • Accidents involving a bicycle or any non-motorized pedal cycles; and,
  • A smashed piece of skull penetrating the tissues in the brain.

The severity of a traumatic brain injury depends on the part of the brain that is affected and whether the injured area is widespread or affects only a specific part. For purposes of classification, however, severity is identified as mild, moderate or severe. While mild TBI patients may only experience temporary headaches and confusion, a severe case can lead to amnesia, coma, disability, unconsciousness or even death.

Sometimes, it takes weeks before signs and symptoms of TBI appear. Some of these signs and symptoms include: persistent headaches or neck pain; slowed reading, thinking, acting, or speaking; changes in sleep pattern; loss of sense of taste or smell; and, dizziness and moodiness. If, after suffering a violent blow to the head, though, a person begins to vomit repeatedly, or experience convulsions, numbness or weakness in the legs, arms, hands or feet, or slurred speech, then he/she should be taken to the hospital to be checked and given proper treatment.

According to the Spiros Law Firm, brain damage can occur for many reasons and with about 2.6 million Americans suffering a brain injury yearly, it is more common than many think. Brain damage is defined as the destruction or deterioration of brain cells. This damage is often localized and can affect specialized parts of the brain. Brain damage is almost always debilitating for any victim, impeding even the most basic life tasks.

Even a simple fall accident can result in severe brain damage. Regardless of the cause of TBI, though, if it is a result of someone’s acts of negligence, then the victim’s family better consider pursuing legal action against the liable party for the possible compensation that will help see the victim through the costly medical treatment he/she will definitely need.

Is the EB-5 Visa Right for You and Your Family

Is the EB-5 Visa Right for You and Your Family

Jun 19

The United States, like many other countries, offers foreign nationals the opportunity to obtain a Green Card which will allow them to enjoy conditional permanent residency through its employment-based (EB) visa programs, with EB-5 being the easiest and with the least processing delay time visa category.

EB-5, also called the employment fifth preference visa, is a program that allows foreign nationals to invest between $500,000 and $1 million in the U.S. The main purpose of this investment program is to help boost the U.S. economy through the creation or preservation of jobs for qualified American workers.

The specific requirement set by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which administers the EB-5 program, is the creation or preservation of 10 full-time jobs for qualified Americans. This may be done by investing $1 million in a new commercial enterprise or by investing $500,000 in a Regional Center, an organization designated by the USCIS for the purpose of helping foreigners who would like to invest in the U.S. satisfy the requirement which will lead to the approval of their EB-5 visa application.

The benefits that investors can enjoy through their EB-5 visa include:

• Lesser requirements; the following are actually not required: English proficiency; age limit; work/professional experience; educational degree; and job offer;
• Fast processing method which will enable an investor, his or her spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old gain conditional permanent residency and permanent residency in the U.S.;
• Privilege of working or studying in the U.S. (this benefit can also be enjoyed by the investor’s family);
• Freedom to live and work anywhere in the U.S.;
• Paying the same cost of tuition fee (as any other American citizen) in public colleges and universities;
• No travel restrictions in and out of the investor’s home country;
• Obtaining a U.S. Citizen status after 5 years of established permanent residency in the U.S.

With regard to this visa category, there are three things that matter most:

• that the investor is able to prove to the USCIS that the invested capital has been obtained through legal means; and,
• for the investor and his or her family to have the conditions in their visas removed (this visa will give them conditional permanent residency status for two years), the investor will have to satisfy the “create 10 jobs” requirement withing two years. Right after the second year, successful EB-5 visa holders can start petitioning for the removal of the conditions in their visas; and,
• that the investor fully understand that if ever he or she fails to meet the program’s requirement (which is the preservation or creation of 10 full-time jobs), there will be no way of getting his or her investment back. This is why having the amount required in the investment does not automatically qualify anyone to be a foreign investor.

In one website, specifically the AmLaw Group website, it is said that it is the duty of foreign nationals to know first if the EB-5 visa is really the best means for them and their families to obtain residency in the U.S. Any decision they will arrive at concerning this matter will definitely affect their future, especially if they decide to pursue the program and fail.

Understanding your risks of carpal tunnel syndrome

Understanding your risks of carpal tunnel syndrome

Feb 18

The median nerve, which can be found in the upper limb, is responsible in supplying nervous energy in the forearms and hands. When median nerve is damaged, muscles located in these areas might not get the nervous energy that they need. This results to a variety of different complications, such as numbness and poor muscle control.

There are a variety of ways how a median nerve could be damaged. This nerve, for instance, passes through the carpal tunnel – the cavity enclosed by carpal bones, tendons, and the transverse carpal ligament (bundle of ligaments under your wrists). When carpal tunnel is pressed, pinched, or damaged in any way, the median nerve might be affected, resulting in a condition called carpal tunnel syndrome.

Your risk of carpal tunnel syndrome depends on many different factors. According to the website of LaMarca Law Group, P.C., poorly-designed workplaces and insufficient breaks between work hours could result in different muscle conditions, including carpal tunnel syndrome. People who are at highest risk of this disease include those who work in production lines where movements are oftentimes repetitive and forceful. In some instances, clerical job workers, such as typists and writers, can also be vulnerable to this condition.

According to the website of the Champaign workers’ compensation lawyers at Spiros Law, P.C., it is difficult for a person suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome to get back to work. Symptoms commonly associated with this condition are weakness and numbness of the affected arm, making it almost impossible for them to perform their tasks.

Apart from occupation, there are other risk factors that may come at play in determining your risk of this condition. Women, for instance, have smaller carpal tunnel, which means they are at highest risk than men. Finally, health conditions, such as obesity, thyroid disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes, can weaken your nerves, including the median nerve.

What causes tread separation?

What causes tread separation?

Feb 17

In a report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Agency (NHTSA), fatalities resulting from car-related accidents went as high as 32,675 last year, or 89 deaths per day. Unfortunately, some of these accidents have been associated with DUI and distracted driving, and could have been prevented with vigilance and defensiveness.

But according to the website of Spiros Law, P.C., not all car accidents were a result of driver negligence. In some circumstances, a defective tire component can trigger injurious, sometimes even fatal car accidents. In these situations where drivers cannot do anything to prevent an accident, the manufacturer could be held liable for all the damages a victim may accrue.

If you will ask a Louisville personal injury lawyer about possible car defects that may result in accidents, one of the first things that will come to his/her mind is tread separation. The tread is the area of the tire that comes in direct contact with the road. When the tread is severed from the tire, the vehicle may go out of control, making your car more prone to accidents.

There are many possible causes of tread separation. An over-inflated tire, for instance, has an excessive pressure that may generate too much heat especially when dealing with rough roads, making your tire more prone to separation. Also, too much pressure inside the tire could make it more difficult for the tire to manage road shocks caused by bumps and potholes, making it more prone to blowout.

Wear out can also trigger tread separation. As such, it is important to rotate your tires regularly to avoid tire abuse. Also, tires with worn out threads and shallow grooves should be replaced immediately with new ones. Finally, only mount tires that have been manufactured within quality standards and have been force-tested to endure different road conditions.

Standard of care breaches: the case in nursing homes

Standard of care breaches: the case in nursing homes

Feb 17

Every year, thousands of dollars are being spent on litigation involving breach in standard of care. According to the website of Leichter Law Firm PC., a majority of these cases involve nursing homes, wherein nurses are accused of either negligence or lack of informed consent. Negligence happen when a nurse unnecessarily placed the patient in danger due to his/her recklessness or lack of training. For lack of informed consent, a nurse can be accused if s/he fails to inform the patient about the risks associated with the procedure s/he will be performing.

Nursing malpractice is one of the most common nursing home violation the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has constantly been citing for several years now. But apart from negligence and lack of informed consent, some nursing homes have been accused of breaching standard of care by employing nurses or aides that have previously been convicted with abuse. Employing staff guilty of sexual assault, violence, or theft could mean violating the regulations set by the CMS for nursing homes.

A nursing home could also be in violation of the regulation if inspectors found that the owner of the facility has been negligent in eliminating hazards that could trigger injurious, even deadly accidents, or if regulators received reports of accidents caused by unsafe environment. Failure to establish an effective infection control program is also an adequate ground for citation. Also, the facility’s failure to meet professional standards for services could also mean violating standard of care.

Nursing home violations are not only limited to the facility itself, its staff, and its services. During annual inspection or when a complaint against a facility is filed, inspectors probe for other possible violations. For instance, failure to store, prepare, and distribute food in a sanitary way could be a violation, as well as failure to ensure that regimen drugs are free from any unnecessary and dangerous substances.

Proving your copyright for a song

Proving your copyright for a song

Feb 16

In a bold and interesting move, international singing sensation Taylor Swift has recently applied to trademark certain phrases from her songs in her 1989 album to avoid them from being used on merchandises without authorization. Among these lines were “This sick beat,” “Cause we never go out of style,” Nice to meet you, where you been?,” “Party like it’s 1989,” and “Could show you incredible things.” In this day and age where piracy is pretty much common and people can just use someone else’s lyrics without permission to make their apparels marketable, Swift’s action in protecting her intellectual property seems timely and clever.

According to the website of Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C., there are a lot of ways on how you can secure copyright of your original composition. One old school way is to seal your composition in an envelope and send it to yourself via mail. A sealed, unopened envelope with a date in it could prove that you have written your song before the date indicated in the package. Due to its practicality (sending yourself a package doesn’t cost much money and effort), many people have been doing this to establish copyright. But although this method of protecting your intellectual property could be effective, there have been some cases wherein the evidence falls short in court.

Another easy way to establish ownership of a lyric or a song is to have some good witnesses that are willing to testify that you own the composition. It can be your friend, your colleague, a family member, pretty much anyone that have actually heard you sing or play your lyrics and are willing to stand as a witness in an event of a copyright hearing.

Finally, you can protect your work by registering your song in any of the copyright offices in your respective country or jurisdiction. In the U.S., for instance, the United States Copyright Office accepts copyright applications, but for certain fees.

Are divorce and death really comparable?

Are divorce and death really comparable?

Feb 15

In an interesting blog published in the Huffington Post, D.A. Wolf explored the possibility of comparing divorce and death: how similar (and dissimilar) they are with each other, how one thing could be more impactful than the other. Although we might have different takes on which one is worse, one thing is crystal-clear: both divorce and death are life-changing. Unless you don’t prepare yourself and your family for these uninviting possibilities, chances are you will definitely be caught off-guard.

According to the website of Marshall & Taylor PLLC, it can be difficult for a divorcing couple to end a marriage. Divorce is not just an emotionally-charged experience for adult couples; this process can be difficult for the children, too. A joint physical and legal custody, for instance, could be hard for children who will need to be shuffled between two parents in certain times of the week. Deciding who will pay who and how much is another legal struggle that can definitely be arduous for the couple. And so, having the best professionals on your side to help you decide on matters surrounding your divorce can be a great help in somehow alleviating these challenges.

Although both death and divorce cause despair and uncertainty, death in the family generally is worse than losing a marriage. But just like a divorce, legal disputes arising from a family member’s death can make things even worse. According to the website of Arenson Law Group, PC, failing to plan for your estate makes your family more vulnerable to estate disputes and conflicts.

No matter how unappealing divorce and death are, they are possible. And when they hit, they could hit tremendously hard. In times of emotionally-charged challenges such as these, it is important to maintain a mindset that’s positive and forward-looking. You should also be open to seek help and support from friends, family, and professionals if you need to.