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.

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

Some Superlatives Just Don’t Work

People of Texas pride themselves on being the largest and biggest in everything, but being named the state with the biggest problem with their nursing home facilities in the country is not something to be proud of. In fact, it is a downright disgrace.

This rating is based on a report by an advocacy group based in Florida, which gives the nursing facilities in its home state a good (B) if not great rating. Texas warranted an F because a whopping 94% of the surveyed facilities found deficient or severely deficient in providing state-mandated minimum level of care to residents. The biggest problem found in these facilities is the severe lack of direct care provided by staff, indicating that residents are largely neglected most of the time. When considering that these residents are mostly unable to care for or even get around by themselves, this is indeed a big problem.

Cases are on the rise but the state is slow in imposing sanctions or yanking licenses for facilities that have been repeatedly cited for violations. Nursing home abuse lawyers have their work cut out for them even in cases where videos from hidden cameras show actual physical and verbal abuse being doled out by nursing home staff. Part of the blame for this state of affairs is placed on the constant shortage of experienced staff, but that is no justification for the failure of the administration to properly monitor their staff and ensure the safety of the residents.

As pointed out at http://www.habush.com/practice-areas/medical-malpractice/nursing-home-malpractice/, nursing homes are there to provide professional health care for the most vulnerable of the population, and need to meet certain standards of care. Unfortunately, it is not so easy. It is only when victims and their families take action in civil court to hold the responsible parties accountable that these nursing homes are compelled to honor their duty of care.

Child Adoption in North Carolina

A married couple who are unable to have children of their own may consider adopting a child the next best thing. However, it is not an easy or simple process; it is not like picking up a puppy in the pet store. There are laws in place that are designed to protect the rights not only of the child but also the birth parents and the adoptive parents. But because there are many and, ifs, and buts in the laws, it can get pretty easy to get lost in the forest and fall into quicksand.

In an ideal world, a pregnant female who is unable to care for the unborn child will give it up for adoption so someone who has a better chance of providing a good life for the child can do so. The child will grow up well and healthy, and everybody goes home happy.

However, more often than not a snag happens to clog up the works. The birth mother may change her mind right after giving birth or just before the grace period expires, the birth father may assert his custodial rights, or it turns out that the adoptive parents do not qualify under state adoption laws.

In North Carolina, this is embodied in the North Carolina General Statutes (Chapter 48) which endeavors to provide concise guidance for the judicial process that will smoothen the way for a clean, final adoption. Under the law, for example, adoptive parents may be held responsible for some expenses of child birth but only up to a certain limit, so the birth mother cannot legally demand more than that.

Even in North Carolina, it is advisable to hire a lawyer in the area specializing in adoption to oversee the entire process. Adoptive and birth parents are typically not aware of their rights, and it is up to the lawyer to ensure that their client’s rights at least are protected.

Birth Injuries and Medical Malpractice

Not all birth injuries can be considered medical malpractice. Medical malpractice requires that it be proven that but for the negligent action or inaction of the medical professional, the injury would not have happened. There are other factors that may have led to the injury.

There are many types of birth injuries, and in most cases, they occur when there is some difficulty in the delivery. The birth injury can be mild such as some minor bruises, or it could be severe, such as traumatic brain injury. Some of the milder birth injuries that eventually resolve itself over a short time include forceps marks on the face and head, lacerations, subconjunctival hemorrhage, caput succedaneum, cephalohematoma, and those involving the brachial plexus. However, any of these injuries can be life-changing or -threatening if they are carried to extremes.

More serious birth injuries include fractures, brain trauma, and facial paralysis. Any of these will require intervention and close monitoring, and may nonetheless result in permanent disability.

Birth injuries may be due to difficult labor, size of the baby, cephalopelvic disproportion, or baby position. These do not necessarily qualify for medical malpractice because it would not have mattered who the medical practitioner was; the circumstances would have still been the same. However, if the birth injury occurred because the physician or medical staff failed to act according to accepted medical practice i.e. respond appropriately to profuse bleeding, then that could be medical malpractice.

If your child suffered birth injuries because your doctor, the attending nurses, or other members of the medical staff acted negligently, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice case. Consult with a personal injury lawyer in your area specializing in medical malpractice to have your case assessed.

Investigating Nursing Home Abuse

Federal law under the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 (NHRA) imposes rules and regulations specific to elder care establishments that receive payments from Medicaid or Medicare. These rules are generally more stringent than the standards of care required of wholly privately-funded nursing homes, although when abuse is reported, they are held just as liable. States may also, and do, have their own laws governing nursing homes over and above federal law, although they may be patterned after the NHRA.

But according to the website of law firm Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® in Wisconson, nursing homes cannot be relied on to provide residents with the care and attention they require. When it comes to incidents of abuse or neglect, the nursing home may be found liable for the actions of their staff members or other residents if they are aware of it but fail to report it to the designated authorities.

Under Texas law, anyone can report incidents of abuse or neglect, and in the case of nursing homes, this includes administrators and owners. Once a written report is made to the designated agency, the agency will then begin an investigation within 24 hours of receiving the report. Anonymous tips alleging nursing home abuse or neglect are not given the same weight as a named source, and the agency may choose not to do an investigation.

Typically, the investigative process begins with an unannounced visit to the care facility. The investigator will then observe and interview residents for signs of abuse or neglect and other witnesses that may corroborate the report. The investigator may also conduct a physical inspection of the premises and document the findings in writing and with photos. It may be necessary to obtain a court order to carry out some or all parts of the investigation.

A report from the investigator must be submitted within 30 days after the investigation has been completed. It will contain the findings of the investigator, and recommendations for future action

What are Trusts?

Trusts are often associated with the rich, but a trust is an instrument often used in estate planning. So as long as an individual has some property, a trust may be formed as an arrangement for the disposition of property.

Basically, a trust is a system by which property may be settled in favor of another person under the management of a third party, referred to as a trustee. A trustee may be an individual or a bank, and serves as the fiduciary agent.

Trusts are entered into for a variety of reasons. It could be for the benefit of a minor, whose age precludes responsible management of the property, and usually ends when the beneficiary reaches the age of majority. A trust may also be used as part of a will, setting the terms of how assets will be distributed to beneficiaries. It could also be for tax purposes.

Another reason why trusts may be a good way to pass on property is the issue of probate. Under the traditional will and testamentary trusts, beneficiaries have to go through probate, which can be expensive as well as long-drawn out. One kind of trust that bypasses probate is the living trust, wherein the property owner (settlor) is still alive but created as a contingency against disability or incapacity. Married couples can also double their estate tax exemption if they include a formula clause. However, because such trusts repose a significant amount of control to the trustee, it is important that this person is someone who has a reputation for honesty.

In the US, the laws governing trusts depend on the applicable state, although 25 states have, as of July 2012, patterned their laws after the model Uniform Trust Code. It should also be noted that while state law prevails over the terms and conditions of trusts, federal law on tax issues also apply.  In general, trusts are taxed based on circumstances. An experienced attorney will know what type of trust will best suit the requirements of a client under the most favorable tax terms.