What Legal Options Do Victims of Drunk Driving Accidents Have?

Drunk driving or alcohol-impaired driving remains a serious issue all over the United States. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or IIHS, over 6,000 fatalities could have easily been prevented in 2014 had the driver involved not been under the influence of alcohol at the time that the accident occurred. It follows that thousands of people could have also been spared from serious injury in the same year.

It’s a tragic thing to consider that one person’s moment of reckless behavior can lead to long-term consequences for another. Those that have been seriously injured in drunk driving accidents know how torturous this situation can be. What legal recourse do you have now that your options have suddenly been limited by an injury that could have been easily prevented?

Victims injured in drunk driving accidents have every right to pursue legal action against those at fault for the crash. This gives victims the chance to recover punitive damages that will be awarded by a judge or jury, which could help cover their medical expenses, lost wages, as well as compensate for the trauma and pain associated with such accidents. In some cases, victims may also file a law suit against the bar or restaurant that had served the drunk driver responsible for the accident. For example, the state of Pennsylvania considers serving a visibly intoxicated individual alcohol a crime.

Of course, as with anything in legal procedure, filing civil lawsuits involving drunk driving accidents can be complicated. Victims will need to seek legal counsel from attorneys with experience working personal injury cases. If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a car accident involving an alcohol-impaired driver, do not hesitate to contact a qualified lawyer for more information.

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Make Sure You can Trust Your Surgeon

Make Sure You can Trust Your Surgeon

Many hospitals and clinics show commitment in the provision of quality patient care through continuous modernization that will lead to service upgrade, a roster of the best doctors, specialists and highly-qualified nurses, and making sure that patients are diagnosed correctly and given timely treatment.

This is not the case in some medical facilities, however, resulting to their being tagged as bad hospitals or having bad doctors due to the frequency of medical mistakes and malpractice committed in them. As a result of the lack of authentic concern to patients and the errors made in patient care, many hospitals, doctors, and other medical professionals, have been named as defendants in many legal claims for damages.

Medical malpractice, which refers to professional negligence or provision of sub-standard care to patients, is a frightening reality in the United States. Its effects include life-threatening conditions, prolonged illness or even death. But equally frightening as the effects is the fact that these mistakes are results of negligence or carelessness by medical experts – some are even committed by famous and highly-respected doctors in the U.S. In 2010 alone, the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services reported about the death of 180,000 Medicare patients: a small figure compared to the 210,000 to 440,000 affected patients which was printed in the by members of the Journal of Patient Safety.

One example of medical malpractice that continues to greatly harm patients is surgical error. Errors committed in the surgical room vary; there is surgery performed on a wrong patient, incorrect surgical procedure, surgery on the wrong site of the body, incorrect dosage of anesthesia, improper suturing and so many others.

In its website, the Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck, P.A. law firm says that, though complications during surgery may be uncommon incidents, the consequences are significant when they do occur. Surgeons who commit surgical errors can easily alter the quality of life of patients, who also end up needing expensive corrective treatment.

Victims of surgical errors have the legal right to file a tort or civil lawsuit against negligent doctors and/or medical staff to hold them responsible for the injury they cause. The first logical step (for victims) in pursuing a civil suit is making sure that they have a determined and seasoned medical malpractice lawyer or personal injury lawyer who will be able to strongly defend their case

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When a Truck’s Brakes Fail to Function, Who Will be the Liable Party?

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a truck’s braking system must be able to “provide for safe and reliable stopping of the commercial motor vehicle.”

The FMCSA’s standards on trucks’ brakes and brake parts is one specific law that is geared towards helping ensure the safe operation of trucks. A truck’s braking system is one of the most important parts of a semi-trailer, also known as a big rig or an 18-wheeler. If a truck’s brake malfunctions, a major traffic accident is most likely to follow.

The most common reasons why brakes fail are thinning or wearing out of brake pads, brakes getting suffused with grease or oil, brakes overheating, and brakes and/or brake components failing to meet the required standard on construction, installation and maintenance – all of which help prevent excessive fading and grabbing.

If a truck’s braking system malfunctions, blame may fall on any of the following:

  • Manufacturer, who may have failed to meet the automatic brake adjustment system require under the law.
  • Driver, who either fail to perform a pre-trip inspection of his/her vehicle’s braking performance, or who may have deliberately unhooked or depowered his/her truck’s front brakes (and rely instead on the brakes of the trailer and downshifting to slow down and stop the truck) in order to minimize expenses due to worn out tires and brakes.
  • Company or people who loaded the truck. Improper loading or failure to evenly distribute a truck’s load can easily result to brakes overheating and malfunctioning.
  • People who fail to maintain the brakes or who may set brakes improperly. Trucking firms and, specifically, drivers, are required to make sure that brakes work properly. This is why, under federal regulations, a maintenance record, which will show the performance of scheduled/regular maintenance of trucks, should be kept and made readily available by trucking companies.

Besides those already mentioned above, other common truck brake problems, include poor air pressure, condensation, worn break components, brakes out of adjustment, use of substandard pars in the manufacture of brake parts, damaged, disconnected, or punctured hydraulic fluid lines, and worn tires.

In its website, the Abel Law Firm says that ensuring that brakes function well is crucial to a truck’s operation. Thus, trucking companies, parts manufacturers and drivers all have their own responsibility in strictly following the mandated safety regulations. Any failure on their part can result to a civil lawsuit filed by the victim and/or his/her family for the purpose of seeking justice and the compensation that is intended to cover all the damages (the victim) is made to suffer.

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Saving your business with Strategies, not with Tactics

An owner can choose to be tactical when dealing with a failing business. A tactical owner will immediately start looking for ways on how to save the business. He may choose to file for bankruptcy, or apply for business loans. In the U.S., where many businesses are funded and supported by immigrant investors they may even consider teaming up with an established regional center to get funds.

Or, he may choose to be strategic about it. A strategic owner chooses to step back and formulate a general plan of action. While part of his strategy could be any tactic mentioned above, he will not fail to identify first the problems and their underlying causes.

Unlike a business tactician, a business strategist has a richer, fuller view of what’s happening and what’s ahead. He can see his business in these levels: corporate, industry, market

Corporate-level strategies

Corporate-level strategies are designed to address your company’s issues at the business level. These strategies will deal with solutions on how to streamline operations, increase productivity, and improve employee engagement. Reorganization, retrenchment, and process-level reforms are products of corporate-level strategies.

Industry-level strategies

Industry-level strategies create impact on how your company is position with the rest of your opponents. With such strategies, your company can find ways on how to increase customer engagement while holding a stronger market foothold against your competitors. Online and in-store advertising can be a result of industry-level strategies.

Market-level strategies

Market-level strategies are strategies that address your company’s issues with the rest of the market, not just with your industry. Here, you get to learn what is needed to keep afloat, increase revenue and grow customer base. Is it high time to diversify your portfolio and offer new products? Are you ready to penetrate a related industry? Do you need to open market overseas? There are just some of the questions that market-level strategies can answer.

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Important Information about Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Claims

In 2010, an oil drilling rig operated by British Petroleum (BP) exploded on the Gulf of Mexico just off the coast of Louisiana. This terrible accident caused a giant oil spill that led to devastating effects that are still felt today. More than five years later, the area surrounding where the oil spill originally occurred continues to suffer from environmental and socioeconomic unrest. Aside from the impact left by the oil spill to nature and wildlife, the accident has also caused a significant number of businesses and non-profit organizations to suffer property damage and financial losses.

Through a settlement agreement, BP made a commitment to provide compensation for these damages and has paid up to $2.3 billion in settlements until they started issuing appeals for majority of claims made by those affected by the accidents, particularly by businesses and non-profit organizations. As such, plenty of these establishments have been forced to close their doors or file for bankruptcy. BP argues that much of the payments they’ve issued in the past were for non-legitimate claims, alleging that the payments have been carelessly awarded by court-appointed settlement fund administrator Patrick Juneau. The Big Oil giant also emphasize that their original settlement contract included a clause allowing them to appeal any claim that is more than $25,000.

These legal disputes have made it difficult for small-time owners and operators to keep their establishments running. Most legitimate claimants whose compensations have been appealed aren’t even aware of the process they need to undertake in order to receive the payment due to them. However, a December 2014 ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States can change the tides. The highest court of the country has made a unanimous decision to decline the appeal that BP made of their original settlement agreement. This development could signal that claimants can finally receive proper payment to cover damages they’ve incurred due to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

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