Truckers are not Always to Blame for their Accidents

While most truck-related accidents and lawsuits put blame on the driver, it is important to point out not just to the general public but to truck drivers in particular that the driver is not always liable and should not always be blamed.

The obvious cases when the driver is at fault can be highlighted briefly. Drivers who drive irresponsibly either by driving too quickly or by driving erratically must hold the majority of responsibility for any damage they cause. Drivers who have been drinking or are on some other substance that influences their ability to drive safely should be held responsible to the fullest by the law. Drivers who are too tired also deserve some blame, although that may be slightly mitigated by other issues, as will be highlighted presently.

While drivers do deserve blame in the above instances, there are plenty of examples where the trucking company deserves at least as much censure, if not the whole liability. Take for example the issue of driver tiredness. While it is ultimately the individual driver’s choice to drive when they are too tired to remain in control of their vehicles, the fact trucking companies have put unrealistic deadlines on them is the primary cause of this choice. Pressure to deliver more quickly than possible, with the potential to lose income or even a job if those deadlines aren’t met, lead drives to make poor decisions in an effort to keep up. Again, while the ultimate responsibility is the driver’s the truck company deserves at least as much blame for creating those conditions.

Situations where the company deserves all the blame include mechanical problems with the truck. Whether the problem is a lack of servicing or a defect issue, these problems should have been seen to by the trucking company in the first place. Should a truck break down and cause damage due to these issues, it is hardly the fault of the driver.

Another issue is a lack of training down by the company. New drivers are incapable of knowing if they have had sufficient training. When trucking companies look to save money by cutting back on training and therefore put drivers on the road who are unprepared, it is again, the entire fault of the trucking company.

While these issues may seem unimportant to the average driver who feels a truck accident is a truck accident, it is worth pointing these issues out for two reasons. First, to rehabilitate the image of truckers who are too often seen as irresponsible and a risk to other drivers on the road due to their own faults. Second, truckers deserve to know that they are not necessarily at fault should an accident happen, and they should contact a trucking lawyer to discuss these issues further. A trucking company is sure to try to pin all the blame and liability on the trucker if they can in order to save money for themselves. This is often unfair and should be stopped if at all possible.

Chicago Alzhemiers Planning

Everyone reaches a point in their life where birthdays simply stop being enjoyable. You’re another year wiser, you have another year of valuable experience under your belt, but you’re also another year…older. Getting old is terrifying for many, especially for those of us who have had to witness a family member slowly forget their loved ones, and themselves. People can go from bright and upbeat to nearly catatonic, and in the late stages of the diseases, those afflicted may forget how to dress or even hold a spoon. The diagnosis of the disease is feared by all since there is no cure, and a misdiagnosis of the disease can cause a great scare as well as leaving the real source of the memory loss untreated.

According to the Chicago Tribune, a clinic in Ohio misdiagnosed over a dozen patients with Alzheimer’s Disease back in February. One man had multiple concussions from playing high school football and was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at the incredibly young age of 33. Another woman who had been told she had early onset dementia actually killed herself because of the diagnosis. It was eventually revealed that the Toledo Clinic Cognitive Center did not actually have a proper psychology or medical license to give out these diagnoses, and now more than 50 people are suing the clinic’s former director, Sherry-Ann Jenkins. According to the article, Jenkins’ husband was working for the clinic and was a licensed medical practitioner. He would sign off on medical tests for patients of his wife (who only had a doctorate in psychological studies, not an M.D.) even though he would never see the patients face to face. Reports of Jenkins’ methods claims that she would advise patients to seek holistic treatments, like coconut oil and playing memory games. Allegedly, she would also advise against taking medication or seeking a second opinion, which is a huge red flag. The clinic had over 150 doctors on staff, so it is unsure at this time how many of them might be under criminal investigation as well. The clinic shut down abruptly in 2016, so it is at least some comfort that they can no longer harm other patients.

Alzheimer’s disease is incredibly stressful for everyone involved, and a false diagnosis can result in many consequences. It is important to start planning early when you receive a diagnosis (from a legitimately accredited source, likely corroborated by another doctor) and to hire a lawyer who specializes not only in elder law but also Alzheimer’s planning specifically, like Peck Ritchley, LLC in Chicago. Once diagnosed with the disease, you may wish to update your will or designate family members to take over your power of attorney once your memory deteriorates past a certain point. It is awful when a misdiagnosis can cause you to preemptively make important decisions about your future, but in the case of a terrible disease like Alzheimer’s, you can never be too early, or too careful in seeking a reliable diagnosis.

Advantages of Suppressors

Gun suppressors have their distinct disadvantages. They make guns heavier and longer, making them harder to carry, especially on long periods of time. But many gun owners and enthusiasts see these disadvantages as minor setbacks, because they see the tremendous advantages of suppressors.

In fact, there is even a gun suppressor system out there that effectively combines rifles and suppressors into one device, so the rifles can have the inherent advantages of suppressors and minimize their disadvantages.

Avoid Ear Problems

A gun is not exactly ear-friendly, because of how loud it can be when shot. This is particularly true if you don’t use ear plugs and if you are indoors, because the closed space make the soundwaves go back at you. Constantly abusing your ears with gunshot noises can result into hearing issues.

Avoid Noise Complaints

The thing about noise is you are not the only one that hears it. The peacefulness of entire neighborhoods can be compromised if you don’t use suppressors, and when you think about it, that makes you look like a selfish person, for creating noise and not thinking about your neighbors.

Improve Awareness and Concentration

Suppressors may be effective enough to make it safe not to use ear plugs and other sound barriers. This means that you will be more connected to your surroundings. This means that you will be more aware of the environment and more focused, which can improve your hunting and shooting.

Improve Communication

Communication is an important aspect in almost everything, and that includes hunting with a group. If you are not wearing any sound suppressor like an ear plug, you will be able to talk and communicate more effectively with the rest of the group. This, of course, translate to better hunting.

Improve Accuracy

Suppressors are not just about reducing noise, as they can also reduce recoil. Recoil can greatly affect your aim, so reducing it is an automatic increase in accuracy. This is particularly notable to beginning shooters.

Factors That Influence Spousal Support

Factors That Influence Spousal Support

There is a variety of emotions involved in divorce. There may be anger, anxiety, depression, and even guilt. But the hassles of divorce do not end there, because the legal process can be complicated and time-consuming, especially if there are disputes involved. One of the common areas of dispute is alimony or spousal support.
According to the website of Higdon, Hardy and Zuflacht, spousal support is often granted for spouses who cannot adequately support themselves. The amount and length of the assistance may vary on a case-to-case basis, but there are factors that can influence them, such as those that are enumerated below.

Standard of Living

A couple that has a high standard of living will most likely involve a higher amount of spousal support, especially if this standard has been reached because of the effort of both parties and the marriage has lasted for a long time, like 10 years.

Earning Capability

The professional standing of both spouses, the marketability of their skills, education, health, and age determine their earning capability. Spousal support can be higher if the spouse has less earning capability. This is particularly important on cases where his or her earning capability has been sacrificed for the benefit of the marriage, like resigning from work for domestic reasons, or on cases where the spouse has physical or mental limitations.

Contribution to Marriage

The financial and familial contributions of the spouse are also taken into consideration. These contributions can lower his or her financial standing upon divorce. For example, the spouse may have sacrificed his or her job so someone can take care of the kids, so he or she may not be as attractive in the job market. He or she may have also helped in the career advancement of his or her partner, so he or she deserves a piece of the partner’s financial elevation.

Future Expenses

The spouse’s lower financial standing may make it hard for him or her to make ends meet, especially when this spouse has children. He or she may need financial assistance for the children’s food, shelter, security, education, health, and recreation. This can be particularly problematic if it involves a child that has specific medical needs.

Brain Injury: One of the Worst Consequences of Accidents due to Carelessness or Negligence

Every year, more than one million Americans receive emergency treatment due to injury to the head which often results to brain injury. Injury to the brain is very serious harm primarily because all our bodily functions are controlled the brain. Any harm to the brain, therefore, can change the way the whole body operates; it can also easily result to paralysis or death, of which about 50,000 are recorded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) each year.

Brain injury, also called intracranial or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), is caused by a strong jolt or very violent blow to one’s head. It is usually sustained in falls, explosions, acts of violence, sports accidents, boating accidents and car accidents.

The consequence of a traumatic brain injury depends on the area of the brain that is damaged, that is whether the injured area is widespread or concentrated only on a specific part. For purposes of classification, severity can be mild, moderate or severe. While the symptoms of mild TBI may only include temporary headaches and confusion, a severe case can lead to amnesia, unconsciousness, coma, paralysis or even death.

The symptoms of TBI sometimes take time before these appear. Aside from those mentioned above, other signs and symptoms include: persistent headaches or neck pain; loss of sense of taste or smell; dizziness and moodiness; changes in sleep pattern; and/or slowed reading, thinking, acting, or speaking. If, after suffering a violent blow to the head, a person feels numbness or weakness in the legs, arms, hands or feet, experiences convulsions and/or repeated vomiting, and begins to have slurred speech, then he/she should be taken to the hospital to be checked and given proper treatment.

Car accident is identified as the most common cause of brain injury. The negligence or recklessness of many other drivers can just render ineffectual other drivers’ careful observance of traffic rules – regardless of the safety features cars are equipped with.

As explained by a Toronto personal injury lawyer, injury to the brain can result to a victim needing life-long support, cognitive therapies, speech and language therapies and assistance in daily living activities. Due to all these treatment required, a victim will definitely need a much higher level of support and care than the bare minimum most insurance companies are willing to pay. On this end, a personal injury lawyer may be able to determine the lifetime costs associated with a brain injury and assist the victim and his/her family seek full compensation from the responsible party.

Source of Short Term Disability Benefits

Workers’ Compensation, or Workers’ Comp, and Social Security Disability are the two largest programs in the U.S. which offer cash benefits to workers who sustain serious injuries or illnesses that render them disabled. Though both programs consider employment as the basic requirement for eligibility to make a claim, these still significantly differ with regard to details of eligibility. While the Workers’ Comp considers a person already qualified even on the very first day of his or her employment, Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI requires a substantial work period and the payment of Social Security taxes which are automatically deducted from an employee’s monthly pay (this monthly tax, which is included in an employee’s paycheck, is called the Federal Insurance Contributions Act or FICA).

The type of injury or illness eligible for compensation, as well as the amount of benefits given by Workers’ Comp depends on the state. Though states may differ in some of the benefits awarded, these are sure to cover lost wages and cost of medical treatment, among others.

Workers’ Comp benefits are fast and sure financial benefits for workers who get injured on the job or who develop occupational illnesses due to exposure to hazardous substances. If an injury or an illness ends in disability, the amount of benefit will depend on the classification of the disability. Health providers classify disabilities under four types: Temporary total disability; Temporary partial disability; Permanent total disability; and, Permanent partial disability.

According to the website of Scudder Seguin, PLLC, total permanent disability (TPD) benefits are available for workers whose injuries are so severe that they cannot continue to work in any occupation; partial permanent disability (PPD), on the other hand, are available for workers whose injuries are permanent, but who can continue to work.

Injured workers usually have 30 – 45 days (from the day the injury was sustained or the illness was discovered) to notify their employers about such injury or illness. Failure to notify one’s employer can mean loss of right to file a workers’ comp claim. Besides this, there is also a statute of limitations within which the injured worker will have to file his or her application for benefits. States have different guidelines with regard to statute of limitation, but for guaranteed safe filing, this should be done within one year from the date of the accident or discovery of the illness.

Understanding how heavy truck brakes fail

A lot of motorists on the road are at risk of suffering incapacitating and fatal injuries when their vehicles are struck by trailers or semitrailer trucks. Though one of the common claims used by truck drivers involved in collisions is that the brake of their trucks did not work.

Unlike compact vehicles, heavy trucks use compressed airbrake systems to activate the parking and service brakes, as such systems have considerable advantages compared to hydraulic braking systems. Truck operators and owners are responsible for making sure that the braking systems of the trucks are properly working. Airbrakes should need proper and regular maintenance service for it to become responsive in critical situations. Though improperly maintained brakes may work in normal driving conditions, truck drivers may experience braking delays even they step hard on the brake pedal to make a sudden stop especially in emergency situations. Fatal accidents often are the result when the braking system of trucks malfunctions during operations. One of the common problems that arise in improperly maintained truck brakes is brake imbalance.

When braking system parts are not the same or its air pressure is not calibrated, not all of the brakes will have the same response. Trucks are at high risk of losing control and got involved in deadly accidents like jackknifing and trailer swingouts when its brakes are imbalanced. Truck braking systems also experience an imbalance when the load is not properly distributed inside the trailer. The brakes are likely to experience malfunction during operation if it is imbalanced. Another reason why truck braking systems fail is because the driver fails to properly inspect it before a trip. There is a law requiring truck drivers to look for potential truck problems every day and make documentation. If the driver overlooked a braking system problem in his or her truck, serious road accidents may likely happen.

Wrong Diagnosis: Tearing through the Fine Line that Separates Life and Death and Illness and Health

According to the United States National Academy of Medicine, adverse effects of medical treatment cause 44,000 to 98,000 preventable deaths and 1,000,000 injuries in the US every year. These adverse effects often result from medical errors which so many medical professionals, health care providers and legal professionals believe are totally preventable. (The National Academy of Medicine, known as Institute of Medicine (IOM) until June 30, 2015, is an American non-profit, non-governmental organization).

A medical error usually results from a health-care provider’s provision of an incorrect or inadequate method of care, or delivery of what actually may be an appropriate method of care, however, in a wrongful manner. These mistakes, which are most frequently committed by doctors and other health care providers, include: error in medication/prescription, as well as in the dosage of medicine prescribed: surgical mistakes; error in dosage of anesthesia; and, errors that result childbirth injuries or traumas, and misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis.

A big percentage of medical malpractice complaints is due to misdiagnosis or wrong diagnosis, a most common occurrence, especially in hospitals’ emergency departments, where hundreds of patients, with life-threatening conditions, are rushed every day. Besides having caused thousands of deaths in the past, misdiagnosis continues to put hundreds of lives in danger every day.

Many doctors will explain that there are health conditions, serious ones included, that are just too difficult to identify due to similarities of symptoms with many other types of illnesses; thus, some try to identify the real problem through what is called, “diagnosis of elimination.”

Some of these conditions that are difficult to identify include appendicitis, cluster headaches, migraines, polycystic ovary syndrome, fibromyalgia, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and sepsis or blood infection. In fact, there have been situations wherein: a young girl, who complained of abdominal pain, was diagnosed to be having just that, then, minutes after, her appendix ruptured; a 42-year old woman was discharged despite complaining of unusual chest pains, only to suffer a heart attack two hours after she left the emergency room; and, a male teen-ager who was sent home after being given Tylenol to treat his fever and chills, only to die shortly after due to blood infection or sepsis.

There is a very long list of actual situations, all depicting the painful and harmful consequences of misdiagnosis, including prescribing the wrong medication that only resulted to the worsening of the original complaint and the development of a new illness (an adverse effect of the wrong drug), and the performance of a surgical procedure when such is actually not necessary.

We trust doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to take care of us when we are sick or injured and that though we never even think about the possibility of these people worsening our lives through misdiagnosis or other error, they are still prone to mistakes despite being highly trained. Their mistakes, however, can tear right through the fine line that separates life and death, and illness and health. Thus, though one would wish that the effects of misdiagnosis would only be minor, many more times these have been deadly or the cause of life-changing situations in victims and their families.

Victims of medical malpractice, however, have the legal right to seek compensation for whatever preventable injury or harm they have been unjustly made to suffer.

Resolving Instances of Insurance Bad Faith

It is in the very nature of accidents to be unpredictable. There is always some possibility that an accident may happen in any given situation. The only way individuals can protect themselves from the potential risks and dangers of such unpredictable events is through preparedness and vigilance. One of the ways this can be done is through setting up safety nets to mitigate the consequences of accidents and natural disasters. Through insurance policies, individuals can set up a back-up plan that can ensure financial stability as they go through a traumatic event.

While insurance providers are an ideal solution for financial losses suffered by victims of accidents and other catastrophes, the reality of the situation paints a different picture. There are some cases when these providers fail to deliver on the benefits promised to insurance holders. Even when some people opt to pay for higher premiums for their insurance plans, there are still occasions when providers fail to hold up their end of the deal. Insurance holders then get payments that are significantly smaller than what they expected from the policy they were maintaining. In some select cases, insurance providers also outright refuse to provide policyholders with benefits based on legitimate claims. These incidents are considered an act of bad faith on the part of the provider, since they are violating the trust put to them by their clients.

Personal injury lawyers in Chicago are usually aware of other instances of insurance bad faith. Aside from the aforementioned scenarios, insurance bad faith can also happen through a provider’s improver evaluation of a claimant’s damaged property and through their failure to properly investigate claims made by policyholders.

Resolving insurance bad faith may seem overwhelming. Most people seem to be too daunted by the long processes involved in pursuing such cases.

Real Estate Litigation: Wrongful Foreclosure

Wrongful foreclosure is a civil action that is based on claims of foreclosure fraud. There are different aspects through which fraud may be committed during a foreclosure process and these include: predatory foreclosure mediators, botched documents or unscrupulous lenders. The most common cases of wrongful foreclosure, though, are forged signatures, altered documents and fraudulent eviction of homeowners by lenders, lawyers or consultants.

From 2009 and 2010 alone, 11 top financing institutions foreclosed about 1.2 million properties, causing the same number of homeowners to lose their homes. The move, though, was clearly seen as illegal as many of the homeowners: had just acquired bank approval either for the restructuring of their payment scheme or for a temporary delay in the payment of their mortgage; were not even late in their mortgage payment; or, their property was under the protection of federal laws.

The court proceedings that heard majority of the foreclosures during the housing crisis in the US revealed that these were not even the due to homeowners’ fault, who were thought to be defaulting in their loan payments. Rather, the foreclosures were due either to mistakes committed by banks or to practices (that are now held illegal) that highly and only favored banks and lenders.

While losing one’s home due to legitimate foreclosure can cause a homeowner a lot pain, a wrongful foreclosure, however, which is done through deception, can be subjected to a civil case wherein the affected homeowner may even be allowed to file for civil and punitive damages. Whereas the cause of the foreclosure is default in payment, banks or creditors cannot simply foreclose on it as the law offers property owners various means which will help them retain their property.

On its website, the law firm Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C., says that homeowners have the right to seek the aid and protection of the law in protecting their properties from the wrongful action of profiteers, erring banks, and other lenders.