Auto Accidents Due to Highway Defects: Arguing Against Government Immunity Challenges

When an auto accident occurs fault is often immediately attributed to the driver, who is usually deemed as careless, distracted, reckless, speeding, or drunk. After all, much more than half of the millions of car accidents recorded annually by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are caused by the factors mentioned.

There are times, however, when all the factors that contributed to an accident have been thoroughly investigated do traffic authorities find out that some accidents are actually due to elements that are beyond a driver’s control. Traffic enforcers work so hard to ensure and maintain safety on all US roads and highways; but what if the actual cause s of dangers are the very roads and highways where millions of motor vehicles are driven every day?

Road defects include simple cracks, improperly designed and constructed curvatures, deep pot holes, and uneven pavements. These defects, as well as the many more others, are usually due to the use of sub-standard materials, and very poor road design, construction, maintenance and repair.

The real major impact of road defects can be seen on the consequences of the accidents that occur due to these. No matter how careful a driver may be, or how much he/she obeys traffics rules, or regularly inspects and maintains his/her vehicle, an unnoticed defect on the road can cause him/her to lose control of the vehicle and end up suffering from a serious injury, such as paraplegia, quadriplegia, brain damage, severe orthopedic injuries, or even wrongful death. And each day a defect remains unrepaired, it will continue to pose risk of an accident to thousands of motorists.

Accidents resulting in injuries, however, even if due to a road defect, but so long as the driver can be proven as also having been negligent, can render federal, state, or local government agencies immune from liability: this is based on Federal and State Government Codes. Thus, it is important that where road defect is the major reason why an accident occurred and an injury sustained, a victim should be represented by a lawyer who is knowledgeable and well experienced about lawsuits based on road and highway defects or personal injury.

Resident Managers

Resident managers at storage facilities ensure security and fluid function. Providing a facility with protection comes with benefits and drawbacks, and not all places chose to have a resident manager. Assessment of the pros and cons enables an owner to decide if they want to implement a manager, or rely on other sources to monitor the area.

Pros for resident managers include living on-site, no appliance bills, no commute to work, and overall a low cost of living. While the owner determines the compensation package, these factors are commonalities offered to the resident managers. Owners can also determine the number of hours they will work. Often, the owners will arrange an inclusive package where the manager’s bills are covered. Living quarters are determined by what the facility can offer, and typically makes for ample living space.

On the other hand, cons of being a resident manager are evident as well. Living on site night and day can blur the lines between personal and work time. It can be difficult to “not work” when still at the workplace. It can also be tempting to “not work” when still at the workplace. What happens on a resident manager’s watch is their responsibility, however when not working, it is hard to shed the veil of responsibility.

The job of the resident manager is becoming threatened. Due to developing technology, resident managers are becoming less necessary. Security systems can now perform the same function of the on-site manager. Secondly, some owners are finding it more cost efficient to hire a manager at a daily rate. This saves them from paying resident manager’s bills.

If you feel more comfortable having someone present around the clock, choosing a site with a resident manager is a good option.

Robin Williams’ Family Feud Over Estate

“Genie, you’re free”, is the lachrymose tweet from the Academy on the event of Robin Williams’ passing on the 11th of August 2014. The world continues to mourn him and his memory while still holding fond memories of the famed actor – but those closest to Williams, those indubitably most affected by the loss, must now deal with a new kind of complication.

Susan Schneider Williams, the third wife and now widow of the Oscar award winner, has made claims against her co-trustees for unjustly moving personal effects found in Tiburon, California (also the home where the body of the famed actor was found after he hanged himself). She has defended this claim as one born out of fear as this estate, by rights, is one she is entitled to, following the trust that Williams himself set up. This was met with disagreement with the Williams children (Zachary, 33; Zelda, 25; Cody, 22).

The three have responded with a claim of their own, stating that the widow is willfully attempting to “obscure the language” so that more of the estate will go to her and going against the wishes of their recently departed father. Many have claimed that it is preposterous that this grieving family must be subjected to complex legal procedures while barely being able to grieve in privacy and peace – unfortunately, they are not exempt from the law; this includes probate law.

Peck Ritchey, LLC states on its website that cases such as this are complex and are hardly ever straightforward due to the fact that no will and testament is ever the same and there will be differences between the beneficiaries of the will. Legal experts must then be called upon the scene in order to investigate the manner while respectably and responsibly carrying out the just last wishes of the recently departed. It is undoubtedly difficult to deal with for any grieving family but it is an unfortunate truth that people must face – for there is hardly any freedom in death.

Paxil and Miscarriages

Pregnancy is not always the hearts-and-rainbows time that talcum powder and baby formula advertisements make it out to be. Women with a bun in the oven are often plagued by hormones gone haywire, and as many as 15% experience depressive symptoms. When left untreated, depression can increase the patient’s risk of preterm delivery, low birth weight, preeclampsia, and miscarriage. Those who miscarried were found to have elevated levels of serotonin in their system, suggesting that this naturally-occurring chemical in the body could be a contributing factor.

Depression is often treated using antidepressant drugs such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) which include Paxil (paroxetine). SSRIs essentially keep serotonin in the bloodstream longer than designed by blocking its reuptake or reabsorption by the sending cell. The reason for this is to counteract the depression; serotonin is commonly known as the “happiness” hormone (although it is not technically a hormone) to influence mood in a positive way although low serotonin levels are not necessarily the cause of depression. Serotonin in the bloodstream is believed to help in balancing moods and inducing a sense of well-being in depressed patients.

However, a recent study of pregnant Danish women on the effect of administering SSRIs in the first trimester indicates that it may increase the risk of a miscarriage by a factor of 1.27 and a similar risk (1.24) for women who discontinued SSRI pharmacotherapy in the last two trimesters. Because of this die-if-you-do, die-if-you-don’t situation, researchers believe that if a patient in her first trimester is already being treated for depression, it would be advisable to continue treatment despite the elevated risk of miscarriage. If treatment has not yet started, it is advisable that pregnant women avoid using Paxil and other SSRI drugs.

It is the duty of the drug maker to include such warnings in their labels. If you suspect that there has been misrepresentation about the safety of your medication in pregnancy which resulted in a miscarriage, you may have a case against the manufacturer or distributor. Contact an experienced dangerous drug lawyer in your area to find out if you have a legal basis for a lawsuit.

Reducing Roof Maintenance Costs

They say prevention is the best kind of cure, and that works equally well with your health and roofing, especially for commercial roofing. The costs of maintaining a building’s roof become significantly smaller when trouble is anticipated rather than met.

Roofing repairs are inevitable in commercial building’s maintenance cycle as regular wear and tear make them necessary. However, when a roof is regularly inspected and maintained, the cost of any repair will be much lower than if it is allowed to deteriorate unnecessarily. When a building manager reacts to a roofing problem when it occurs, they pay about 25 cents per square foot a year as compared to the costs of regular maintenance and inspection that avoids most commercial roofing problems at 14 cents per square foot. In addition to being less expensive, it helps prevent issues that might compromise their building’s code compliance.

It would also be important to note that commercial roofing that is subjected to proactive maintenance last nearly 40% longer than indifferently maintained ones before it needs to be replaced. This translates to huge savings in the overall building maintenance costs.

However when assessing bids for roof maintenance contracts it is important to look ahead beyond the bid price. The lowest bid is not necessarily the best, because it could be leaving out crucial long-term aspects of maintenance. The roofing contractor should be able to give an in-depth analysis of the existing and potential problem areas of the roof beyond what the human eye can see and a plan for how to avoid them. When a roofing contractor has an established business in the area, they are less likely to give the lowest bids because they are in for the long haul. One-shot bid contractors are interested in getting the contract and doing a flit when the excrement hits the fan. Choose a bid once you have established the bona fides of the roofing contractor and considered which maintenance contract appears to be the most proactive.

Some Steps To Take When Looking For A Lawyer

One of the hardest times in someone’s life can be filing for divorce. When it comes to the settlement, you want the fairest deal. The best way to do this is by finding a lawyer that knows the laws and will work for you! Read this article for more tips.

Why not have a lawyer ready to go in case something happens by putting one on retainer? You can now focus on finding the right lawyer you can definitely trust. Getting a lawyer that’s on retainer will also allow you to know that you’re able to get expert legal advice should you require it.

Make sure that your lawyer puts everything out on the table in regards to your options available. When going into a lawsuit, you will want to know all of the options that you have and if there is a plea bargain available. This will not only help you get the best result, but will ease your peace of mind.

If you already have a lawyer, like Williams Kherkher, feel free to ask them for advice. They can either tell you that they can take on your case, or point you in the direction of a lawyer who will help you out. When you already have a lawyer you trust, there is no reason to search out advice elsewhere.

If you need legal help, don’t necessarily use the lawyer you have worked with in the past. You may need a particular type of attorney, someone who specializes in the type of case you are involved in. Don’t worry, though. A specialist isn’t necessarily expensive, so you should be able to afford what you need.

Whether you are filing for divorce or served papers, you need to have the best lawyer possible during this process. Negotiations are often a long process, so make sure your lawyer knows your rights thoroughly. Remember these tips when selecting a lawyer through this very difficult time in your life.

Affirmative Defense

Just because an individual is charged with a crime it does not mean that a crime was committed. There are many situations where what a criminal act can be justified by mounting an affirmative defense.
An affirmative defense in criminal law is the legal justification of an act which would otherwise be criminal. Typically, an affirmative defense involves the presentation of extenuating facts or circumstances that excuse or reduce the gravity of the criminal act without disputing in any way the facts presented by the prosecution that led to criminal charges in the first place. In other words, a defendant with an affirmative defense accedes to the act being committed but presenting evidence that reduces or nullifies his or her culpability.

A common affirmative defense for homicide that a criminal defense lawyer would explore would be self-defense. An individual faced with imminent bodily harm has the right to use whatever force necessary, armed or unarmed, to prevent it. For example, a woman being raped uses a rock to hit her assailant on the head and the assailant dies, the woman may use self-defense to avoid prosecution for the death of the assailant. A similar legal defense is that of defense of others to justify the use of force on a third party to prevent harm from coming to others.

There are several other common affirmative defense, including duress, involuntary intoxication, and entrapment. In most cases, if the judge or jury accepts that there was justification for what happened, the defendant cannot be held culpable and is acquitted. The exception is the affirmative defense of insanity, in which the defendant is generally committed to a mental health institution, sometimes for an unspecified period of time.

In some cases, the affirmative defense serves only to reduce the original charge for a lesser one, consequently also reducing the severity of the penalty. It depends on the jurisdiction as state laws differ widely in their definition and interpretation of the particular affirmative defense presented. Because an affirmative defense is often complex, it is important that the criminal defense has a thorough understanding of the interplay of the relevant laws and their jurisdictional interpretations.

Preventing Auto Accidents

Distracted driving constitutes about 20% of auto accidents in the US. In 2012, 3,328 were killed in a car crash that involved a distracted driver, which means that more than 9 Americans died a day of that year because someone was not paying attention to the road.

This is a sobering thought, especially when considering that a significant number of people who caused an accident were distracted while using a mobile phone. This is a circumstance that has developed quite recently, and yet the impact is considerable. Aside from those who have been killed in such auto accidents, 421,000 were injured in 2012, which translates to 48 people every hour.

Merely reaching for, holding and dialing a number while driving increases the risk of a car crash 2.5 times, even for long-time drivers. It may seem that there is a simple method for preventing auto accidents due to mobile phone use: simply stop. But despite these statistics, which has held constant since 2008, almost half of all drivers in the US admit to persist in using mobile phones while driving. These include truck drivers, which is bad news for those who may have an unfortunate encounter with one of those big rigs.

While not a perfect solution, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has recently released regulations for preventing truck accidents due to mobile phone use. The FMCSA is the agency that monitors and regulates commercial motor vehicle operators, and the new regulation does not precisely ban mobile phone use but mandate safer ways of doing it. Central to the new regulations is the use of the hands-free features that are now basic to most mobile phones, and Bluetooth headsets for truckers are an excellent tool for regulatory compliance.

Auto accidents can be life-changing, so drivers must exercise due care when operating a vehicle. Distracted driving is a common way that this duty is breached. The majority of these distractions, and therefore the accidents that they lead to, are completely preventable. This makes injuries and deaths that are the result of such neglect all the more tragic. If you or a family member was injured by a distracted driver, you should consult with a personal injury lawyer to get some compensation.

The Lingering Effects of the BP Oil Spill

Nearly four years after the event and the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, also known as the Deepwater Horizon disaster, continues to be the focus of much attention. This is mostly because the effects continue to impinge on the people, the businesses, and the environment in the region.

Crude oil is a naturally occurring organic compound, but it does not mean that its introduction in significant amounts into the environment will not be harmful. Crude oil, also called petroleum, consists mostly of hydrocarbons, but it also contains pollutants such as quinoline and pyridine. Pyridine, for example, is toxic when it comes in contact with the skin, swallowed, or inhaled. Quinoline spreads easily in water and is known as an irritant. Chronic exposure quinoline is believed to cause liver damage and increase the risk for some cancers. Add to that the toxic effects of the dispersant applied to control the spread of the oil and you have a charming combination of chemicals to contend with.

The health effects of the spill have been well documented among those who live in the area. Aside from skin and respiratory problems, acute and chronic exposure to the oil spill has resulted in the development of mental and psychological disorders over the past four years.

It is not surprising then that people are staying away from the region. The sight of tarballs and oil-coated birds that continue to show up on the coastline is enough to discourage tourists, and as a consequence, many businesses have suffered enormous losses. Residents have lost jobs as well suffered illness or injury, and many have simply moved away.

Those who are sticking it out in the region are hoping to get back on their feet with the payouts from their oil spill claims against the rig’s operator British Petroleum, but the going is painfully slow as complex legal wrangling gets in the way. If you are in this situation, you should get an experienced BP oil spill claims lawyer to help you out, or you may be waiting for nothing.

The Effects of a Workplace Injury on a Marriage

When a couple makes the traditional wedding vows that include the phrase “in sickness and in health,” they are probably envisioning the usual ailments that come with age and lifestyle. These can usually be anticipated and prepared for, so while still difficult it is manageable. But when serious injury occurs because of a workplace accident, it often catches both spouses by surprise.

The trauma of a sudden catastrophic event is often difficult to cope with, more so when it happens without warning. One minute you are fine, the next minute you have lost the use of your legs. It is painful on so many levels, especially if it could have been easily prevented, and even the strongest marriages can be put to the test.

Workers’ compensation insurance is meant to protect both employers and employees from the financial consequences of a workplace accident at least, and with the proper guidance, a successful claim can alleviate much of the costs of an injury. But there is much more to it than the money.

When an injured employee becomes physically dependent on the spouse, it can put a considerable strain on the relationship. It can be difficult for one spouse to give constant care, and for the injured spouse to receive it. Oftentimes, a couple that has gone through such an experience needs marriage counseling to put things into perspective, and to get help in learning how to cope with the new situation.

Marriage per se is difficult enough, which is why 50% of people who get married in the US get divorced. Throw in physical injury or disability into the mix, and it could really muck up the works. When a workplace injury occurs, it is important not only to consult with a competent workers’ compensation lawyer to help you make a claim but also a trained marriage counselor to guide you and your spouse through the rough patches.

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