Semi-Truck Drivers Getting Drunk on the Road

Posted by on Aug 18, 2016 in Drunk Driving, Truck Accidents | 0 comments

Compared to a light pickup or any other form of vehicle, an 18-wheeler, also called semi-truck, big rig or tractor-trailer, that is running at 65 mph will require about 525 feet before coming to a full stop (that is 209 feet longer that the distance required by a light pick-up truck). Due to its size and weight, it will also require a different type of braking system and a different set of tires.

A semi-truck weighs about 80,000 lbs., making it 20-30 times heavier than a passenger car. While this weight can make this type of vehicle incredibly tough in road crashes, the same feature is source of great disadvantage where braking or coming to a full stop is the issue.

A semi-trailer’s length and weight make it necessary that it be operated only by a licensed commercial vehicle driver who, it is supposed, has received proper trainer, has developed the required skills and has passed the tests required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Despite qualification, though, once on the road, many semi-truck drivers lay aside the rules on safety driving in order to complete a job as fast as they can and get the chance to do another – all for a higher take home pay.

What this means, however, is longer time on the road, little time of rest between driving duties and, at times, taking drugs or drinking alcohol during stops. The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for for truck drivers, by the way, 0.04% (lower than the 0.08% limit for drivers of passenger cars). Semi-truck drivers operating their truck despite a 0.04% BAC can result to DUI, while if caught with a 0.02%BAC, they can be suspended from operating their truck for a total of 24 hours.

As affirmed by the law firm Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck, P.A., many truck drivers and trucking companies do everything they can to stay safe on the roadway. The sad reality, though, is that not everyone exercises this level of caution, putting unsuspecting motorists in harm’s way. Drivers forced to exceed the set hours of service restrictions, drivers who abuse alcohol and/or amphetamines while behind the wheel, or drivers / companies that fail to keep their trucks in good working order regularly expose everyone on the road to serious risks. Truck drivers and/or trucking companies that are at fault should be made to face the law for their reckless behavior. With this is their legal responsibility in compensating innocent victims who have suffered injuries because of their irresponsible acts.

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Cost Of Assisted Living Facilities

Posted by on Apr 18, 2016 in Elder Issues | 0 comments

As the numbers of seniors increase each year, many adult children are looking into other options of caring from their parents without spending too much. In the United States the cost of elder care can be considerably expensive, so in order to ensure that you will be able to find a good assisted living facility without having to cost you an arm and a leg, there is a way that suggest you can look into.

Consider long-term care insurance or LTCI. This type of insurance is effective in covering for costs that are not included in a private insurance plan. This can significantly lessen the impact of health care needs, and since majority of companies refuse insurance to people with preexistent health issues it is ideal to purchase one before any health problems begin. One way that a senior can get a long-term insurance care is by converting their life insurance policy to a long term benefit plan before the insurance plan expires or is surrendered. Any active life insurance policy that have a death benefit amounting between US$ 50,000 and US$ 1,000,000 is convertible to a long-term benefit plan that would immediately be open to cover for any senior care needs.

This particular financial alternative is great for seniors because it offers a number of benefits, namely immediate payment for health care needs, zero cost for application and no limitations on care, no premium fees, no waiting period, and no obligations to be terminally ill since all health conditions are recognized. Those who have LTCI are legally allowed to switch their in-force insurance policy in order to enroll for the benefit plan and will be eligible to order tax-exempt payments to pay for their housing and health care expenses.

The majority of Americans are not aware that their Medicare is not a comprehensive health care insurance for seniors over 65 years old and it will not be covering for the cost of their long-term care. Alternatives such as mentioned above is just among the ways that seniors can pay for their health care costs, especially if they are considering moving into an assisted living facility.

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Drunk-driving: A Senseless and Cruel Act

Posted by on Nov 13, 2015 in Drunk Driving | 0 comments

At about 2:30 a.m. of April 22, 2015, a 19-year old female driver in a Toyota Prius collided head-on with a pickup truck along Highway 50 near Stockton Boulevard in Sacramento. The female driver was on the fast lane of Highway 50, going eastbound in the westbound lane during the time of the crash, which killed her and the three passengers of the pickup truck. Prior to the collision, the young driver was said to have been driving in the wrong direction, swerving around other vehicles for several miles. Weeks of further investigation revealed that the female driver had a blood-alcohol level of 0.20% at the time of the fatal crash.

Drunk driving is a major traffic offense in all US states. Alcohol, as it has always been proven, impairs a person’s motor skills and mental capacity, as well as affects his/her coordination, reaction time, judgment, perception, and overall capability to keep his/her focus on the road. Lack or loss of control over any of these skills can easily result in a crash that may injure or kill not only the drunk driver himself/herself, but also his/her passengers, pedestrians and other motorists. It is due to the increased risk of harm that may befall innocent lives which makes drunk driving a major offense.

Though the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level limit for car drivers is 0.08 percent, studies have shown that even at 0.02 percent BAC level, a person’s driving ability and response time can already be affected. The possibility of figuring in a crash increases after 0.05 percent BAC, becoming even higher after 0.08 percent; thus, under all state laws, an individual is considered alcohol-impaired if he or she has a BAC level of 0.08% or higher and, if caught, will be charged with drinking under the influence (DUI) or drinking while intoxicated (DWI). However, to further reduce the risks brought about by drunk-driving, some states authorize traffic enforcers to charge a driver with impaired driving or DUI even if such driver’s blood alcohol concentration level is below 0.08 percent, so long as the arresting officer sees that the driver’s abilities are impaired.

In 2013, there were 1,171,935 DUI arrests in the US 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. With these staggering figures some traffic authorities are even thankful that the number of fatal accidents (due to alcohol and/or illegal drugs impairment) does not go beyond 10,500 every year). Well, thanks to stricter laws, the zeal in enforcing these laws, the harsher penalties, and to the efforts of private groups, like the Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) which, since 1980, has helped in the passing of new DUI laws, such as the Zero Tolerance law (which prohibits drivers below 21 from having in their blood system any measurable amount of alcohol) and the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) law (which authorizes an arresting officer to confiscate the license of drivers who refuse to take or fail a breath test.

Traffic authorities, however, know that despite all the efforts from government and private groups, people will continue to get behind the wheel of their vehicles even if intoxicated. Thus, the justice system will hold them liable for any damage they get to inflict on those that they injure or kill simply because drinking and driving is an irresponsible act that they willingly choose to do. An Indianapolis drunk driving accident lawyer might add that aside from the criminal charge and penalties, offenders often also face monetary liabilities or compensation which they will legally have to pay victims of their irresponsible behavior.

The families of those who were killed on the dawn of April 22, 2015, referred to the death of their loved ones as “senseless killing.” Though they know that the tragic event can no longer be undone, they are hopeful that they will receive the compensation that they legally deserve, and at the same time send a message to others not to make the same senseless and cruel act.

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Auto Defects

Posted by on Jul 30, 2015 in Product Liability | 0 comments

So many of us rely on cars as our main means of transportation on a daily basis. It is often assumed that our cars are safe and provide a shield against many driving hazards. But when a car has some sort of defect, this safety can be compromised. Defects can put drivers at a higher risk of a dangerous car accident and lead to serious consequences.

One of the most common automobile defects is tire blowouts. Tire blowouts can be terrifying, leading to a sudden loss of vehicle control. What many people do not realize is that these blowouts are often a result of a defect with the car, such as a problem in the manufacturing of the vehicle. Another problem that can be caused by a manufacturing or design flaw of the vehicle is brake malfunction, such as the brakes suddenly failing to work as an individual is driving. These two instances can cause serious injury in the event of an accident, which are often unpreventable if these two defects take place.

Defects also affect safety precautions in a car. When airbags fail to properly deploy in a vehicle, accidents can become even more dangerous to an individual. Improperly installed airbags or defective airbags in a vehicle can cause an individual to be put an increased risk. Another defense against driving dangers, seat belts, may also be affected by auto defects. According to the website of Crowe and Mulvey, some common seatbelt defects include the locking apparatus failing to activate and the locking apparatus becoming unlatched upon impact. Airbags and seatbelt are two of the most important safety features a car possess. When these features, along with tires and brakes, are compromised, the results can be far worse than a normal accident.

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Offshore accidents an “epidemic” in Louisiana

Posted by on Apr 2, 2015 in Law | 0 comments

There are thousands of production platforms off the coast of Louisiana as the state and areas surrounding the Gulf of Mexico enter a boom in oil production unseen in recent years. This is unexpected, considering how oil prices continue to plunge as supply exceeds demand. Experts say investment projections in oil and gas production infrastructure is in decades rather than years, and if a project is underway, it is hard to pull back.

However, watchdogs maintain that state and federal laws confer too much self-policing to oil and gas companies, especially over safety regulations on offshore rigs. There was intense pressure on regulators to do their jobs following the devastating 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion, but that was almost five years ago. Oil and gas companies and their affiliates are again largely on their own, as predictably as the tide turns. With only 99 inspectors policing about 4,000 offshore rigs, it is perhaps not surprising.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement reports that offshore accidents are on the decline, with 226 injuries reported in 2014. This is half of what it was in 2007. Nevertheless, some if not all of these 226 injuries may have been preventable if oil and gas companies invested more of their profits in safety measures.

According to the website of Lake Charles personal injury lawyer N. Craig Richardson, negligent employers are liable for serious injuries and fatalities that happen in offshore platforms. This is little enough comfort for the injured and survivors of a worker who gets killed, such as the 24-year-old Turnkey Cleaning Services who died while doing maintenance work on a dormant rig just off South Pass. Three other workers were injured.

If you sustained serious injuries in an offshore accident, it is your right to get compensation. Consult with a personal injury lawyer experienced in dealing with oil and gas companies to find out your legal options.

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The Makings of a Great Defender

Posted by on Feb 28, 2015 in Law | 0 comments

A person who knows about hard work will work hard for others. This appears to be the mantra by which personal injury lawyer and managing partner of law firm Williams Kherkher, John Eddie Williams Jr., abides by. The son and grandson of union longshoremen, John grew up with a strong work ethic. This is something he brought with him when he entered Baylor University on a full athletic scholarship, and he graduated first with a business degree as cum laude, and as lawyer at the top of his class.

His mother approved of John’s decision to go on to law school even though he had a good future in the corporate world. It was a decision that would pay him back in spades, although it took years of hard work before he finally realized his dream: to be an advocate for people who needed help.

Williams was always passionate about the law, but what he learned as he clerked for big corporations in the early years is that the “little guy” often had no voice. He used his passion for the law to make those responsible accountable for their actions and he wasn’t afraid to take on the big ones. He proved this when he took on the tobacco companies in 1995 on behalf of the state of Texas, which was suing them for health care costs. Tobacco companies were notorious for being slippery eels when it came to civil litigation, but Williams and his co-counselors hammered at the convoluted case until it began to unravel for the tobacco industry. The final verdict was a huge victory for Texas with a $17.3 billion settlement, and a landmark case for the legal representatives.

Williams is proud of the number of people he has helped with the support of the law firm’s staff and lawyers. Personal injury cases are tough nuts to crack, but Williams has shown time and again that he isn’t afraid of a challenge. He wins, too. Williams has an impressive track record for his involvement of most of the major pharmaceutical and personal injury cases in the US, including cases of asbestos exposure.

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The Sad Truth About Juvenile Offenses

Posted by on Jan 24, 2015 in Law | 0 comments

Children are known for their still wide-eyed take of the world for they are still so naïve, vulnerable, and susceptible to external suggestion. That is why it is the responsibility of their parents or legal guardians to guide children into becoming law-abiding, uncompromising assets to society.

A Collin County criminal defense lawyer would probably argue that it is due to negligence or improper parental care that a child could be convicted of juvenile offense. According to some legal experts, there are some families who would be more content to simply pay the fines and allow for the crime to remain on record, thinking that the effects will disappear or become expunged over time. This is not advisable as anyone with a criminal record is almost automatically given less opportunities of both a professional and educational nature. There is also the psychological stigma that surrounds against any person who is with a criminal history, therefore affecting the social life of the accused.

There are many implications that await anyone who is on the other side of the bench in a court proceeding and there are also several defenses that could be used in order for justice to be favored. The rights of every individual must be upheld and protected in a court of law and the right legal team will take care of all of that. It is the responsibility of the attorneys handling the case to do all they can to protect and represent their client to the best of their ability, allowing for the right party of the case to reign righteous and free from conviction.

If you or someone you know has been accused of a juvenile offense in Texas, contact legal aid immediately for they know the ins and outs of this kind of court case like the back of their hand. You will end up thanking yourself for having gotten help that is more than knowledgeable with such a complicated, intricate legal procedure.

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Retaliation Protection under Texas Laws

Posted by on Dec 27, 2014 in Healthcare Issues | 0 comments

A few HMOs and PPOs have such a large customer base that they wield a lot of influence in the industry. A service provider that is habitually not being paid on time for services rendered even with a clean claim may be reluctant to complain for fear of losing the contract as retaliation.

One of the biggest hindrances to the effectiveness of the Texas Prompt Pay Act is this reluctance by service providers to expose this practice, and so it becomes vicious cycle. According to the website of prompt pay law firm Williams Kherker, the medical community is unable to provide adequate health services to the public because they are not being paid according to their contract in a timely manner for their hard work.

The solution is at hand, and retaliation should not be a concern. The Texas Insurance Code (§1301.066 and §843.281) and the Texas Administrative Code (§11.901(a)(2) and (8)) address the legal protection of service providers that file prompt pay violations from retaliation from insurance companies.

HMOs are forbidden by Texas Ins Code §1301.066 and §843.281 from cancelling, terminating, or refusing to renew service contracts of medical providers and health service providers for filing formal complaints against or appealing decisions of the HMO.

The Texas Administrative Code, on the other hand, requires that service provider contracts include anti-retaliation and prompt pay provisions. This gives the service provider legal protection and encourages them to report any illegal or unfair practices of the carrier, including delayed payments for clean claims.

Of course, some insurance companies will attempt to exert their influence by retaliating anyway on service providers that complain, confident that they have the legal muscle to do so. The laws say otherwise, and with the help of an experienced and competent prompt pay lawyer, these insurance carriers will find out they made a bad mistake.

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Cool Roof Systems for Commercial Buildings in Hot Climates

Posted by on Aug 27, 2014 in Roofing | 1 comment

Commercial roofing provides protection for the building from the elements, mostly from water and air damage. But another major function of roofing is to keep temperatures inside any building, commercial or residential, at comfortable levels, and that means providing insulation during both hot and cold weather. It is much more difficult to design a roof that keeps cool in the summer and warm in winter, but roofing contractors in Texas have figured out a way to have the best of both worlds.

The system is called cool roofing and makes use of three layers of structure: a reflective surface, above-sheathing ventilation (ASV), and above sheathing radiant barrier. The key to keeping the building cool is in the ASV, which is essentially space between the outer roof and the foil insulation leading to a vent at the top where heat can escape back out rather than radiate into the house like a convection oven. In a commercial building, this will work well with a low-slope roof as the ventilation shaft will more efficiently carry the heat away than a flat roof.

This type of roofing also works well in keeping the cold out during winter because while the design prevents heat from entering from outside, it also keeps in heat that’s already inside, such as that from a heater. This means significant reductions in both cooling and heating costs as temperature regulation is much more efficient.

When designing a new building or planning on replacing an existing roof in Texas, it is important to specify a cool roofing structure to the contractor such as Black Slate Roofing, LLC. It may cost more to have a cool roof installed, but the benefits over the long run can more than make up for any additional outlay on labor and materials at installation.

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Eradicating Workplace Accidents: The Primary Duty of Managers

Posted by on Jun 26, 2014 in Hazards, Law | 0 comments

Employers in the US, whether from the private or government sector, are obliged provide their employees with a safe and healthy work environment to significantly reduce, if not totally eliminate, occurrences of accidents in the workplace. This duty is base on the mandate of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, a federal law that was enacted by the US Congress in 1970. The Act requires the assurance for a safe and healthy working environment for all employees, the conduction of training in the area of occupational health and safety, and the provision of vital information, research and education on the same area.

In 1971the Occupational Safety and Health Act or OSH Act gave birth, in turn, to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which is tasked to fully and strictly implement all the safety standards mandated by the Act, such as a workplace free from mechanical dangers, excessive level of noise, heat or cold stress, exposure to toxic chemicals, poisonous gases, radiation, unsanitary conditions, and other hazards.

The Hazard Communication Standard or HCS, is another mandate that OSHA enforces. This federal mandate, which was passed into law in 1980 and took effect in 1986, gives those exposed to hazardous chemicals in the work area the right to be informed about the type of danger they are exposed to and how they can protect themselves from such danger.

The HCS, also known as the Right-to-Know law or the Worker Right-to-Know Legislation, also requires manufacturers and importers to attach Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and warning labels on all their hazardous products. And, besides indicating on the label that a product is poisonous or hazardous, there should also be information on the product’s safe storage suggestions, potential health effects, precautions for use, emergency first aid instructions, and contact numbers for further information.

On its website, Scudder & Hedrick, PLLC, explains that each type of work environment presents a unique set of safety risks; thus, employers should take full responsibility in implementing the necessary measures that will prevent accidents from occurring. Anticipation of potential problems through risk assessment, safety training, provision of the necessary protective equipment, installation of safety barriers and so forth, are just few of the precautions that ought to be observed inside work premises.  While OSHA maintains that accidents can be avoided, this will only be possible if owners of firms and their managers observe government safety standards, and the employees follow company safety rules.

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