We trust that the buildings we enter are safe and functional for at least the time that we will be there. This is reasonable and necessary to live our day to day lives without fear. However, this trust is sometimes misplaced. Especially as a building ages and the wear and tear starts to affect its structure, a premises can quickly become unsafe. It is, in this case, the responsibility to property owners to care for and maintain their buildings so that they may remain safe for all who enter. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always occur.
According to this website, common premises liability cases involve: elevator / escalator injuries, slip and fall accidents, porch collapse, stair collapse, fires, toxic molds, lead paint exposure, mercury poisoning, pesticide exposure, swimming pool injuries.
Any accident involving the collapse of a structure in a building is often the result of the wear and tear that comes with a buildings ageing and frequent use. A building is way more likely to break down as years pass than due to an initial design flaw right after it is built. Buildings must be maintained and these structures must be consistently reinforced as time goes on so that injuries can be avoided. It is the responsibility of property owners to maintain their structures.
Injuries caused by dangerous premises can be extremely harmful and in some cases, life threatening. Because of the nature of such incidents, these are rarely simply unfortunate accidents. Many times, they would have been preventable if there had been proper upkeep and care of the building by property owners. Therefore, these often the fault of the carelessness or neglect of the product manufacturer or another party. In these cases the victim of such an injury may be owed certain damages.
Cerebral palsy, which is currently the most common neurological or brain disorder among children in the US, is an incurable, chronic condition that affects muscle coordination, body movement, sensation, perception, cognition, speech and many other brain functions. This disorder is a result either of abnormal brain growth or brain injury, the causes for which may have occurred before, during or after childbirth.
There are four major categories of cerebral palsy, each being based on the part/s of the body affected and the severity of the effects. These categories (and their sub-categories) include:
- Spastic. This form of cerebral palsy is the most common in children; it also disrupts normal growth, limits stretching of muscles during movement, causes abnormal movements and malformations in the development of muscles and joints. Spastic CP has five types:
- a.1. Spastic diplegia – which affects both legs or both arms, though, the legs are the ones most usually affected.
- a.2. Spastic quadriplegia – this is the most incapacitating and severe type of spastic cerebral palsy, affecting all four limbs of the body.
- a.3. Spastic hemiplegia –this disorder impairs the limbs on one side of the body (one arm and one leg).
- a.4. Spastic monoplegia and spastic triplegia – the first affects only one limb ( one leg or one arm), while the second affects three limbs. These types of CP are very rare, though.
- Athetoid or dyskinetic cerebral palsy – this involves slow and uncontrolled writhing movements of one’s hands, arms and/or legs, as well as involuntary facial grimaces and drooling. This type of cerebral palsy does not affect a child’s mental ability, though, allowing him/her to even possess above average intelligence.
- Ataxic cerebral palsy – a child suffering from this type of CP can be deemed as clumsy and/or jerky. It also causes tremors or shaky movements, and difficulty in maintaining balance, in patients.
- Mixed cerebral palsy – is the combination of any two types of cerebral palsy; however, the most common is the combination of athetoid and spastic.
Many of the causes of cerebral palsy are results of acts of negligence that lead to medical malpractice. Such being the case, Chicago cerebral palsy lawyers usually determined to help victims of cerebral palsy in Chicago seek those liable for the cause of the disorder, and have them ordered by the law to pay the maximum amount of compensation which will enable the victim to receive the medical care and treatment that he/she needs, for as long as he/she needs it.
When talking about a vehicle’s most important safety features the parts that many experts commonly identify are the tires. Tires directly affect and influence any vehicles’ braking capability, stability, handling, steering and traction as these are the ones that have direct contact with the road; thus, when tires are defective or fail, these can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle and possibly suffer a tragic accident, especially if the vehicle is running at highway speed.
To make sure that vehicles and aftermarket vehicle parts would never cause accidents or would be able to provide enough protection to drivers and passengers if ever an accident occurs, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an agency of the federal government, has issued the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) and Regulations. These regulations on safety standards specify the minimum safety performance required on motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts; all manufacturers are called to conform and certify compliance with this regulation, which aims to protect the public “against unreasonable risk of crashes occurring as a result of the design, construction, or performance of motor vehicles,” as well as “against unreasonable risk of death or injury in the event crashes do occur.” (http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/import/FMVSS/)
Data from the National Transportation Safety Board indicate close to 11,000 tire-related accidents in the US every year; these accidents leave about 200 dead and 6,000 injured. Some of the identified causes of these accidents include:
- Tire Defects – this may be due to poor manufacturing standards or poor engineering tire design.
- Tread Separation – the result of the tire’s belts getting torn apart from one another. This leads to the tread getting detached from the tire while the vehicle is at high speed. Tread separation, which is actually due to manufacturing flaws, like insufficient tire bonding, increases the risk of catastrophic accidents;
- Tire Blowout – usually due to a cut or a puncture in the tire’s sidewall which, in turn, is due to a faulty rim that either causes the bead to break or a cut into the sidewall. Tire blowout can also occur because of low or high air pressure in the tire or if the vehicle drives over a sharp object, like a nail.
- Sidewall Zipper Failure – this tire failure is so named due to the zipper pattern that usually appears after tire damage occurs; it is characterized by the tire’s sidewall’s explosion which can occur while the tire is being inflated.
- Bead Fracture – this is due to the high stress suffered by the bead that has gotten caught on the rim during tire mounting. Bead fracture can result to low-pressure explosions that can end up in very serious injuries, like head injuries, dismemberment or even death.
It is very important that manufacturers produce good tires and that drivers make sure that their vehicle’s tires are in good condition, especially before a long drive. While auto manufacturers advise car owners to replace their vehicle’s tires every six years, tire manufacturers lengthen the years to 10 (tires wear faster in southern states, though, because of the high temperatures in the region).
According to the website of Pohl & Berk, victims of accidents (due to tire defects) have the right to pursue legal actions against liable parties, as well as receive compensation from them for all the present and future damages they will suffer due to whatever injury they have sustained.
First-time defendants are often bewildered by how fast things can happen in a courtroom, and they are left wondering if their “suspended” sentence or “probation” is a good thing when brought up on misdemeanor charges such as driving under the influence (DUI) or petty theft. This article briefly explains what some of the more common sentencing terms mean, although if you have a competent criminal defense lawyer representing you, the explanation will be much more in-depth.
“Probation” and “suspended” sentence often go hand in hand. When a judge finds you guilty of a misdemeanor, a jail sentence is imposed. However, there are circumstances where the judge will decide that instead of sending you directly to jail to serve out your sentence, the sentence is “suspended” and you are granted probation terms instead. In effect, the judge is saying that you can avoid going to jail provided you satisfy the conditions of probation such as not getting arrested again for the same offense.
A “suspended” sentence is just that; it’s like an axe hanging over your head. If you commit another crime within the probation period or violate any of the terms of your probation, the axe will fall and you will go to jail to serve your sentence.
Probation is usually granted to people who are first-time offenders. Judges tend to be more lenient towards those who have a clean record prior to the charge because the presumption is that it was a mistake that will not be repeated. It’s not as good as a dismissal, because you still get a misdemeanor conviction tacked on to your record, but it’s better than going to jail. Also, if you complete your probation without trouble, your misdemeanor charge may qualify for expunction. Expunction is basically removing the charge from your record. This is not an easy process, but it can be done with the help of an expunction lawyer.
Obviously, you will want to complete your probation, but if circumstances lead you to violate any of the terms i.e. inability to pay the imposed fine, your lawyer may still be able to argue for reinstatement of your probation by asking for a “dismissed” or “suspended” fine if you do not have the means to pay it. The court may consider to dismiss a fine outright i.e. never collect it or to order other conditions in lieu of the fine i.e. traffic school, thus effectively suspending it until completion of the requisite conditions, at which time the fine is considered no longer collectible.
Divorce can be devastating, but according to the website of the Marshall Taylor Law Firm there are situations in which divorce can be a blessed relief. Infidelity is one of the main reasons for divorce, but there exist circumstances, at least in North Carolina, when your divorce lawyer may instead advise a different legal action first: an alienation of affection lawsuit.
Similar to a personal injury lawsuit, alienation of affection is a common tort law that allows a spouse who has been cheated on to demand compensation from the philandering spouse for it in civil court. It differs from adultery, which is a degree misdemeanor in most states where it is illegal that can include fines and jail time, because there has to be proof of sexual intercourse. With alienation of affection, which is not a crime, the aim is to get compensated for the loss of affection.
In order to qualify for an alienation of affection action in North Carolina, the plaintiff has to basically demonstrate that the marriage was a loving one prior to alienation because of a third party. The complaining spouse (scorned man/woman) can sue that third party for taking away the love and affection of the wayward spouse. In one case, a Raleigh woman married for 33 years sued her husband’s girlfriend for alienation of affection and won. She was awarded $9 million in damages. Whether she eventually divorced her husband is not detailed.
Alienation of affection is a centuries-old law that is currently in force in 7 states. Like with any tort, the plaintiff has the burden of proof, and alienation of affection can be difficult to prove. Since North Carolina is a no-fault divorce state, it would be easier to simply file for divorce, but perhaps resulting in much less satisfaction. A divorce lawyer would be invaluable in assisting in such a case.
If your spouse has been unfaithful, your natural reaction is to call it quits. But you can get back at your spouse’s paramour before filing for divorce by suing him or her for alienation of affection. Consult with a divorce lawyer in your area about helping you pursue this course of action.
More than half of the 73.8 million youths in the US in 2012 (who were all under the age of 18) were said to have either already been exposed to crime and violence or suffered abuses in the home, school and/or community. About 35 million have also experienced and sustained injuries from physical assault.
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) revealed that many of these youths have also been charged with criminal acts, like drinking, driving while intoxicated, drug abuse, disorderly conduct, gambling, vagrancy, vandalism, arson, carrying or possession of a deadly weapon, aggravated assault, robbery, rape and other sex crimes, murder, and so forth.
Juvenile crimes are reported to hit the highest point between 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., which is after school hours. About 1.5 million arrests were actually made in 2011 of persons under the age of 18.
Males are the ones more likely to commit crimes, though the number of females being caught has also been increasing steadily.
According to authorities the rise in the number of arrests is simply due to the more zealous and serious efforts of police officers in enforcing the law and not necessarily due to an increase in the number of juvenile offenders. This more concerted effort is aimed at preventing those who are caught from becoming repeat offenders, most of whom usually ending up as regular criminals. Furthermore, those within the age bracket, whether guilty of a crime or not, are made to understand that conviction does not only mean fines and citations – they are also educated on how even one arrest record can affect and damage their future professional lives.
Thus, despite being poor, being affected by problems in the home or school, peer pressure, gang membership, lack of supervision from parents, or exposure to a hostile environment during childhood, committing a crime will always mean punishment (which may include rehabilitation or imprisonment), as well as corrective measures.
The criminal lawyers in Fort Walton, FL, whose website can be found at www.flahertydefensefirm.com, offers vital information on juvenile offenses. The website discusses the different types of offenses a juvenile may be charged with and the legal options available to protect his/her future from possible ruin.
A car collision can cause severe physical injuries to the drivers involved and to the car’s other passengers (if there are any); imagine, however, the severity of harm it can cause pedestrians. Without anything to protect them from the forceful impact of an incoming vehicle, an accident will surely not leave a pedestrian unscathed: worst scenario is he/she may either suffer a severe injury or untimely death.
An article on the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® airs the same concern, saying that the pedestrian will always be in the losing end; more so if the vehicle involved in the accident is an SUV or a truck as these vehicles’ bumpers can be higher than the pedestrian’s waist level [studies have shown that when a person is hit by a car (the bumper of which is below the person’s waist level), it would lift him/her onto the car’s hood; if the vehicle’s bumper is above the waist level, though, then the pedestrian can be thrown forward first and then possibly be run over by the vehicle].
Every year, around 70, 000 pedestrians figure in a car accident; about 4, 500 of these are fatal or end in death a few days after the accident. According to the National Safety Council, the greater majority of non-fatal pedestrian accidents happen in urban areas, where the volume of cars and pedestrian activities are always high. Fatal accidents, however, are more frequent in rural areas, where traffic is much lighter, allowing vehicles to run a greater speed; the absence of sidewalks, shoulders (as pedestrian facilities), paths and street lighting at nighttime (for greater visibility of pedestrians) also increase the risk of accidents.
Now, what makes pedestrian safety a concern for everyone? The fact that all Americans use streets and sidewalks longer and more often than driving their car. In fact, being a pedestrian is one thing that all Americans have in common. Besides walking, the description of a pedestrian also applies to joggers or to someone waiting for a cab or the bus at a street corner – it actually refers to anyone who is on foot.
To make streets safer for pedestrians and motorists, some car manufacturers have began introducing accident avoidance technologies in motor vehicles that will give drivers the needed capability to avoid crashing into anything or anyone. Among these modern safety features are the Forward Collision Warning system, the Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with Full Auto Brake, and the Automatic Braking system. While there are features that simply slow down the vehicle to significantly reduce the force of impact (leaving the rest to the driver), there are systems that are capable of fully activating the brakes (without the need for driver input).
Accident avoidance technologies actually use car computers and sensors (radar, laser of video data) to detect any imminent collision with a pedestrian or another vehicle. Not all newly manufactured vehicles, however, are equipped with an accident avoidance technology, thus, one may consider choosing one (when purchasing a vehicle) that is equipped with a safety device.
Regardless of the type of vehicle or the place, if a pedestrian is injured, in any way, by a motorist, then one of the important things he/she ought to consider is seek the help of a Santa Clarita personal injury lawyer. A victim may be entitled to compensatory claims from the liable party/individual, but more often than not, however, it will be necessary to prove the other’s liability and support the injury with proper documents – a task that will definitely become easier and more orderly with the assistance of a personal injury attorney based in Santa Clarita.
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was made into law by the US Congress in 1994. It gave the federal government the power to fight domestic violence, a problem of pandemic proportions in the US and around the world.
Based on the definition of the U. S. Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), domestic violence is a “pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner”. This abusive behavior can befall “anyone regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender”; it also takes different forms, including psychological, economic, emotional, verbal, sexual, and (the most common) physical abuse. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domestic_violence_in_the_United_States)
Battering and abuses tend to worsen overtime, making the experience more traumatic and the effects, much longer lasting. Worst, even children suffer, by being directly harmed too and developing the attitude of tolerating violence or becoming violent as they become adults.
The legal remedies offered by the state and the federal government to battered individuals, however, have provided them hope, making them come to the open and break their silence. With the passing of the laws and making domestic violence (DV) a civil and/or criminal offense, many sexual assaults, stalking, dating violence, and domestic abuses have been prevented and perpetrators charged and convicted. Besides these, there have also been a 51% increase in domestic violence reports and 49.8% reduction in abuses and violent acts by intimate partners.
Criminal prosecution of those charged fall under assault and battery laws, menacing, harassment, or false imprisonment (a tort and a common-law felony due to the act of restraining a person in a restricted area without justification or consent).
Due to the severity of a domestic violence accusation, whether it is true or baseless, it will be wise for the accused to, first and foremost, obey any court order, including refraining from making any contacts with his/her accuser either directly or indirectly (through emails, texts, phone calls or a third party, such as a friend, relative or work colleague – violating this order can result to imprisonment and more difficulty in defending against the accusation). It is, therefore, safest for the accused to keep away from the accuser and to seek a competent lawyer immediately. An Austin criminal lawyer is one specific legal counsel who can help the accused fully understand his/her best options, as well as the nature of the litigation process. The litigation process can be long and complex, so having someone who knows what they’re doing on your side when you’re accused of a crime can be incredibly beneficial.
Option to act may either involve going to trial to fight the allegations (which can be costly, time consuming and which could result to an unmitigated sentence) or entering a no contest/guilty plea (which can mean more moderate punishments compared to the punishments after a conviction). While the accused is faced with not so favorable options, a criminal defense lawyer will be able to clarify everything and help him or her come up with the most favorable result.
This August 2014, Nissan North America is set to recall 226,326 more its cars (for a total of 664,628 vehicles) due to a defect in the cars’ air bag inflators. The inflators, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, were found to be at risk of rupturing when deployed during a crash. These can send metal fragments flying out and cause passengers serious injuries. Besides Nissan, other big car companies, such as Kia, Hyundai, Mazda, Toyota, Honda, Ford, Chrysler and BMW, have also made recalls (in recent years) on certain lines of their cars due to the same problem – faulty air bags.
Years earlier, in 2004, more than 1.4 million recalls were recorded by the NHTSA. These were all due to wiring problems that can make airbags suddenly deploy for no reason at all. An airbag, otherwise known as Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 208 or FMVSS 208, is designed to provide cushion and protect the driver and occupants from hitting solid objects (like the dashboard, window or steering wheel) inside the car. Airbags, no doubt, are vital in car crashworthiness; but depending on how these have been manufactured and installed, these can either save thousands of lives or injure thousands instead. Three possible reasons for airbag-related injuries include: failure by the manufacturer to install the air bags inside the vehicle; the air bags do not deploy or deploy without cause; and, the airbags deploy despite a low-impact crash only, causing injury or death to the driver or passenger.
The most common cause of harm is due to airbags deploying despite low-impact crashes. This may be because of incorrect installation, the airbag itself was defective or there was no proper safety instruction. In this case, the victim and/or his/her family can file a claims lawsuit, especially if it can be proven that the product was really defective – a clear basis for a product liability lawsuit.
In the event of an injury, which can be linked to an airbag, it will be wise for the victim to immediately seek the assistance of an Appleton personal injury lawyer, who can help determine whether filing a lawsuit against the manufacturer is an action worth pursuing or not.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were about 6,800 fatal car crashes on US roads during the first quarter of 2014, a 4.9 percent decrease from the 7,150 fatalities recorded during the same time the previous year. Probably good news, but 6,800 is still definitely a very high number, considering the fact that car accidents can easily be prevented . . . if only all drivers will behave the way they should when driving.
The Ausband Firm, through an article posted on its website, gives a clear scenario of the possible consequences of a car crash: bruises and lacerations on different parts of the body; pain and soreness on the chest, neck, legs, arms and back; neck, head or spinal column injury; the need to undergo a surgical procedure to treat an injury; or, untimely death. The firm further explains that victims of negligent, at-fault, drivers may be able to receive compensation which will, somehow, help them go through the pains and the many damages resulting from the injuries.
The most common causes of road injuries and fatalities, based on NHTSA data, include driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI), overspeeding, improper overtaking, tailgating, right-of-way violation (which is failure to recognize others’ right on the road), and texting or use of a handheld phone while driving.
Texting while driving is a form of distracted driving, another driving hazard which also includes other acts, like eating and/or drinking, applying makeup, fixing a tie, combing or styling the hair, reading as map for directions, reaching for something, adjusting the radio or any electronic device, and so forth.
Anything that will take one’s eyes or mind off the road, or will make one take his/her hand/s off of the steering wheel, is considered distracted driving. And while anyone can be guilty of committing this dangerous driving lapse, young drivers, aged between 18 and 25, are the ones identified to be the guiltiest, especially when it concerns texting or talking on a cell phone while driving.
A surprising research result very recently conducted by a private research firm shows, however, that majority of teen drivers who text or talk on their cell phone while driving have their parents, who are checking on them, at the other end of the line. Many are even left with no other choice but to answer their cell phone, which would not stop ringing until their parents hear their voice.
Regardless of the cause of the driving distraction, result will always entail property damage and/or harm to another individual (another motorist or a pedestrian). It is important that victims seek the help of Wisconsin personal injury lawyers to make sure that all things necessary for a personal injury case to prosper are acquired, that the case is filed properly and all evidences are in order. All these are to enable the victims to merit the compensation they legally deserve.