There is a Thin Line that Separates Sleep and Death: A Fatal Reality in Truck Accidents

On the night of January 27, 2014, an Illinois State Trooper, a bright yellow Tollway assistance vehicle and a heavy-duty tow truck all parked along the rightmost lane of the Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway to assist a Chicago-bound big rig which had stalled out in the same side of the tollway.

Aside from the flares that were sputtered on the pavement, the red and blue light of the state trooper’s squad car also strobed into the frozen night, while the Tollway truck’s amber hazard lights and large blinking arrow flashed visibly up to about 10 miles.

While everyone was busy assisting the driver of the stalled rig, another flatbed big rig that was loaded with three massive rolls of steel, approached on the same lane where all the said vehicles were parked. The approaching rig’s driver neither saw the flashing bright lights nor the flares as he was falling asleep (this was discovered during the court investigation) while driving at 63 miles per hour. Failing to change lanes, the flatbed rig rammed into all parked vehicles, bursting the patrol car’s gas tank, injuring the driver of the stalled big rig and instantly killing the driver of the Tollway vehicle.

Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that from April to July 2015 alone, 21 individuals died in a string of four big rig accidents, all due to big rigs’ drivers nodding off. These 21 deaths due to drowsiness are significantly small, according to authorities, however, as no blood test or roadside exam exists which would determine drowsiness; many truck drivers, who survive deadly accidents (and many of them do due to the massive size of their vehicle), would also not admit to having fallen asleep prior to the accident. Despite the lack of admittance from so many drivers, authorities remain convinced that most fatal truck accidents are due to truck drivers falling asleep – unless there are other reasons that would explain why many of them completely fail to notice other vehicles ahead or the bright flashing lights.

Thousands of fatal accidents occur due to people’s carelessness or negligence. Though acting or behaving in ways that will not endanger another person is a fundamental responsibility to every driver, millions seem to be oblivious of this legal responsibility once they get behind the wheel. Due to this, and due to choosing to act without regard for the safety of others and causing them harm as a result, the law allows innocent victims (or their families) to seek and receive compensation from liable, negligent truck drivers.

The worst consequence of a negligent act is the untimely or wrongful death of someone else. A tragic truck accident, though, is not the only cause of wrongful death. There are also car accidents; motorcycle accidents; construction accidents; medical malpractice; defective products; slip and fall accidents; and nursing home abuse/negligence.

In a wrongful death claim lawsuit, the family or dependents of the deceased can name the liable truck driver and/or his/her employer as defendants in the lawsuit. This lawsuit is for the benefit of the surviving family members and the decedent’s other dependents; all of them are legally identified as “real parties in interest.” A wrongful death claim is actually a special kind of personal injury lawsuit that is filed for the purpose of seeking compensation for whatever pecuniary or financial damages the dependents may suffer, like loss of the decedent’s financial support, loss of services and companionship, lost prospect of inheritance, and medical and funeral expenses.

According to a Georgetown wrongful death lawyer, it is understandable to feel incredible hurt and anger upon learning that the death of someone you loved was senseless and preventable. While legal action will do little to truly address your loss, a wrongful death claim may be used as a tool to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions and to address any expenses you’ve accrued as a result. Moreover, successful litigation of these claims can serve as a powerful deterrent and, hopefully, prevent future accidents from occurring.

Marital Rape: A Sex Crime No Spouse Will Confess To

Marital rape, or spousal rape, refers to any form of unwanted or non-consensual sexual intercourse or penetration forced by an individual upon his/her spouse or ex-spouse (penetration, which is completed through the use of force, threat of force or i the spouse lacks the capability to consent, may be vaginal, anal, or oral). In various studies on marital rape cases, offender and victim included individuals who were legally married to each other, are cohabiting with one another, divorced or separated. Regardless of the type of relationship, marital rape, which is a serious and current form of violence against women, is a very serious crime

In the website of the law firm Horst Law, it is explained that married individuals may be charged with spousal rape if they engage in sexual penetration that is unlawful because it is alleged that the defendant was armed with a weapon, caused serious bodily harm, or the couple has been separated and at least one partner has filed for either divorce or separate maintenance. A charge of spousal rape can be elevated to aggravated sexual assault if the defendant was particularly vile, cruel, or otherwise inhumane and either caused serious bodily harm or was armed with a weapon.

Though now considered a crime in all U.S. states, it was only in 1979 when Americans accepted the fact that a husband can actually commit the act of rape where the victim is his wife. Prior to said year, and for centuries, it was believed that no man could ever be held guilty of raping his wife. This belief takes its root from the English common law, from which many traditional laws in the U.S. are based. One stipulation of the common law said that it was legally impossible for a man to be pronounced guilty of raping his wife. This is due to a woman’s implied permanent consent to her husband having rights over her once she enters into a marital union; since this consent is considered to be permanent, it can never be retracted.

Marital rape is usually prosecuted as a Class C felony, while its aggravated form is considered as a Class B felony. Most states penalize marital rape with fines that range from several thousand of dollars to over $50,000, prison terms that may last for several years or for life without parole.

Proving Inadequate Security In Premises Liability Claims

When someone enters somebody else’s premises, there is always an assumption that has adequate security. Property owners are legally liable for ensuring the security of their tenants or guests. Unfortunately, many crimes and accidents have been caused by inadequate security. According to the website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, crimes in premises can be prevented if only the owner took all the necessary security measures in securing their property.

There are different kinds of security measures that property owners can implement in their premises. The owner of a property can have control of what will happen to their guests while inside their premises. If they were aware of any security threats and did not do something to remove such, the property owner can be held liable if a guest or tenant gets injured while inside the premises. The Restatement of Courts states that the plaintiff should prove that their landlord failed in their duty of providing reasonable care to guests or tenants.

Inadequate security can happen in any property. Whether it’s in an apartment, parking lot, parking ramps, shops, banks, ATM machines and others, proper security measures must be in place for the sake of the guest. In proving inadequate security, the plaintiff needs to prove that they were physically present on the property of the owner and that there was a breach in the duty to provide reasonable security.

Foreseeability is another important issue when proving inadequate security. It is up to the court to determine whether there were similar crimes in the same property or whether the owner knew or should have been aware of it. Likewise, the court may determine whether the previous crimes were violent personal crimes or just property crimes.

Adequate security may vary from one case to another. In some states, property owners hire a security team to protect premises. Other security measures include installing lights, adding locks and corresponding duplicate keys.

How Product Liability Insurance Protects You

Getting a product liability insurance is important especially if you are engaged in manufacturing products. If someone gets injured or even dies from using your product, you could be held liable for damages. Without product liability, you could end up paying a huge sum of money. This is where your product liability insurance will kick in. The victims will hold you responsible for whatever losses that will result from the injury or damage so you can use your policy to pay off those claims and keep your business intact.

According to the website of a Chicago personal injury lawyer, there is always an assumption that the product is safe whenever the consumer buys them. As a manufacturer of products, you always have the dilemma of ensuring the safety of every product that you sell. In addition,you always vouch for the performance of your products and that they are free from defects, errors, or misrepresentations. The fact that you are selling them to the market means that it is safe for use. But somewhere along the way, something can go wrong and your product becomes defective and your business can get in serious jeopardy.

Your liability can come from three fronts namely manufacturing or production flaw, design defect, and defective warning or instruction. Victims will make you liable and may seek damages and compensation. Product liability claims can have varying cost so having an insurance can save you some expenses. The lawsuit may not only claim damages but will also include other costs as well such as medical expenses, loss income, grievance if the liabaility leads to death. For this reason, it really pays to protect your business with a product liability insurance. It will give you the peace of mind when emergencies such as lawsuits arise.

CRM, Do I Need It?

Am I in need of CRM?

In this day and age where everything is online, digital, and on the go, tracking your business using a spreadsheet won’t cut it. To stay on top of your game, you need to know every single process happening on your sales funnel – from website clicks to actual leads, where they happen as they happen. Luckily, for those in the construction industry, CRM for construction contractors are now available to help them with their tracking needs.

But what exactly is CRM, and how will you know that you are in need of one? CRM, or customer relationship management, is a system used by many different businesses to track every stage of sales process. With this platform, contractors are able to objectively measure every transactions, giving them valuable insights about where they business stand.

You know you need CRM for your business if you are beginning to lose some important data. It could be the information about what your potential customers clicked on your website, or the contact details of those who visited your office or called your office phone. Whatever information is lost, each of them is important in trying to get a bigger, fuller picture about your company.

You also know that you are in need of CRM if you are starting to lose track of your sales personnel, especially when they are working on the go. Cloud-based CRM platforms allow you to track every business deals that your sales teams are working on in real-time, keeping you up-to-date with the latest developments.

With all the vital information about your customers, their needs, and the prevailing market conditions at your fingertips, you are able to treat your customers in a more customized manner. This way, you can provide exactly what they need while also giving them the best, most personalized buying experience possible.

Pilot Intoxication

Many have a fear of flying. While today air travel is one of the fastest, most efficient, and safest modes of transportation, many are still aware of the anxiety inducing dangers this form of travel is associated with. Some do not share in this anxiety, and assume that everything will go smoothly in their flight. Regardless, both kinds of [passengers put their trust and their faith in the crew of the plane which holds their lives. The pilot in particular is expected to be fully alert, aware and focused so as to best prevent any accident that could occur. Unfortunately, there are times when a pilot is not at their best when performing this difficult task. Pilot intoxication is one of the most preventable causes of airplane accidents and should not be tolerated.

According to the website of the Jeff Sampson Law Firm, some federal laws that are in place to prevent pilot intoxication include:

  • Pilots may not consume any alcohol within eight hours of their flight
  • No crew member or pilot may be under the influence of any controlled substance
  • Crew members may not have a blood alcohol that exceeds 0.04

These strict laws are in place to provide clear guidelines so that pilots have no excuses to not be fully aware of the risk they are putting their passengers in should they choose to violate any of these rules.

Plane crashes are some of the greatest tragedies a family can suffer. In some cases these catastrophic losses are simply tragic accidents, which could not have been prevented. However, at times these crashes are due to the intoxication of the most trusted member of the crew: the pilot. In these cases, the victim or families of the victims of such an accident may be entitled to certain damages to help ease the financial burden of such a loss.

What is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is a unique syndrome in which pain is experienced in a limb. There are two types of this ailment, and it typically results from a traumatic injury, surgery, or heart attack. There are numerable symptoms of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, and a person should be treated immediately upon recognition of it.

Traumatic injuries resulting from a crushing accident, car accident, or amputations can onset Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. When detected, characteristics define which of two types the case falls under. Type one is when the injury hasn’t resulted in damage to the nerves. It can be referred to as sympathetic dystrophy syndrome, and is the leading type of those afflicted. Secondly, Type 2 is when nerves have been injured as a result of the accident.

Symptoms include pain, limited movement, weakness, swelling, or sensitivity. These effects can subside without medication, however they can also persist for long amounts of time. If the pain does not go away, seeking medical attention is imperative to prevent further complications. If untreated, the injured can develop atrophy or contracture. Atrophy occurs when the body has weakened to the point where movement is limited, and contracture consists of the muscles tightening so much so to where muscles settle in a fixed, contracted position.

To treat Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, doctors can prescribe medicine or suggest therapies. Possible medicines are pain relievers, anti-depressants, or bone-loss medicines. Furthermore, patients can undergo physical therapy, spinal cord stimulation, or can utilize topical analgesics.

The website of Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, notes the injustice of a preventable injury. If involved in an accident in which another person’s negligence has resulted in your injury, you may be eligible for financial compensation.

Possession of Marijuana in Texas

The state of Texas deems the possession and sale of marijuana (cannabis) illegal. Penalties and fines would depend on the amount of marijuana the person possessed at the time the charges were made. Although the move to legalize marijuana has been accepted in some states, Texas has remained with their stand on criminalizing the sale and possession of marijuana, and has no provisions on the legal use of marijuana.

A criminal charge involving marijuana possession or sale can be a life-altering factor for a person. It can affect your personal and social life, and can greatly influence employment opportunities. Knowing how to face and deal with a marijuana possession, sale or manufacture charge is important so that it would not be a hindrance in your life. Finding the right Houston criminal defense lawyer can play the part in lowering prison sentences and fines or even have the charges settled without it having a to hugely affect your life.

The state of Texas classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance (Texas Stat. and Code Ann. §481.002), putting it in a category that has a high potential for abuse and does not possess a recognized medical value. Marijuana possession is considered a crime and punishment varies depending on the amount possessed, with the penalties increasing when in a drug free school zone (Texas Stat. and Code Ann. §481.121.). The same factor also applies to cultivation and selling of marijuana, with escalating penalties for selling to a minor or within a drug-free school zone (Texas Stat. and Code Ann. §481.120.).

Despite marijuana being illegal in the state of Texas, those who have been caught with possessing, selling, or manufacturing can still be liable for unpaid taxes in accordance to the stamp tax (Texas Stat. and Code Ann. §159.101A.). Despite marijuana charges being under the rule of statutory law, hiring a Houston criminal defense lawyer is still vital because they would know how to handle these cases in line with prosecutors and judges in the state courthouses.

Workers’ Compensation

A construction site is among the most dangerous types of working environments due to the dangerous tools, hazardous substances and huge equipment that workers will have to use and/or operate daily. A simple mistake in operation or any form of mishandling can result to severe injuries or an illness that can prove deadly.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (also called OSH Act), which was enacted by the US Congress in 1970, paved the way for the formation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA in 1971. OSHA was formed to ensure the strict implement OSH Act’s mandates, which were primarily for the assurance of a safe and healthy working environment for all workers, regardless of their job.

Despite the safety measures, though, accidents still occur, leaving the injured worker (at times) financially crippled. It was to save the injured employee from this financial hardship that the Workers’ Compensation Insurance benefit was required of employers to provide for their employees.

In cases of injuries, the Workers’ Comp is designed to cover lost wages, cost of medical treatment, rehabilitation, disability and death. Since the this benefit is intended as an immediate financial assistance to injured workers, a claims lawsuit need not be filed; the benefit can also be availed no matter whose fault the accident is.

Many workers are denied of their application due to the many and often confusing forms and documents that need to be prepared and submitted within the statutory time allotted for it. This makes it quite necessary for the injured victim to seek the help of a personal injury lawyer who also has extensive knowledge on Workers’ Compensation laws and experience in lawsuits concerning this issue. Through the help of a competent lawyer, the victim has greater chances of having his/her application approved and probably even within a shorter time. A San Diego personal injury lawyer is more likely to know exactly what kind of paperwork is required and when during these kinds of filings than the average person.

The Island of SXM

St. Martin is in rare company as far as islands go. Tucked away in the eastern portion of the Caribbean, this tiny island occupies a grand total of 34 square miles. While this is not remarkable in and of itself, the fact that this itty bitty piece of vacation real estate is the territory of two distinct European nations makes it noteworthy.

St. Martin is shared by France and the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Since 1648, the French have controlled of the northern parts of the island while the Dutch have the south. It’s the only place in the world where these two countries share a land border. The island’s population is ~78,000 people, with ~41,000 of them on the Dutch side and ~37,000 on the French side.

The vast majority of the island’s population makes its living through the tourism industry. Oddly enough, English is spoken throughout the island. Tourists come for the clean beaches, artisan shopping, and for unique foods.

Come to our island and have a wonderful time!

a plane lands on the island of st. martin