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.