At-fault Parties in an Accident should Pay for Their Victim’s Losses and Damages Resulting from the Accident

The U.S. Coast Guard compiles statistics on all reported recreational boating accidents in the U.S. and, based on their records, the numbers of accidents, injuries and fatalities are follows:

  • Number of accidents: year 2013 – 4,062; year 2014 – 4,064;
  • Injuries: year 2013 – 2,620; year 2014 – 2,678; and,
  • Fatalities; year 2013 – 560; year 2014 – 610

For so many years, alcohol-impairment remains to be the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents. The top five leading contributing factors to accidents, meanwhile, include:

  • Operator inexperience. For the past 15 years, operator inexperience has been the leading cause of boat accidents in the U.S. Many boat operators, obviously, are not familiar with the laws and regulations on boating, rules on correct and proper navigation, knot tying, and the necessary things that should be done in weather-related emergencies.
  • Operator inattention. Rather than focusing on the water and where the boat is heading, many operators get distracted with what is going on onboard, making timely reactions to emergency situations impossible.
  • Improper lookout or improper forward watch. When operating a boat, steering clear out of danger can be more effectively done with the help of someone who can provide extra eyes and ears. Many accidents due to collision could have been avoided had the operator been given help navigate its way safely, avoiding anything that may cross its path.
  • Excessive speed. Just as speeding on the road is like some sort challenging the angel of death, so too is operating a boat at too much speed. The force impact created each time a speeding boat bounces off and back on the water can be strong enough to stun you and throw anyone overboard, leaving him/her with not enough strength to swim to safety. Boat owners and operators ought to know that drowning is the number one cause of death in the water and 80% of those who drowned were reported as not wearing a life jacket.
  • Alcohol. Boating while impaired or boating under the influence (BUI), according to the Boating Safety Resource Center, the U.S. Coast Guard’s Boating Safety Division’s official website, is just as deadly as drunk-driving. Alcohol, especially at sea, can affect a boat operator’s balance, coordination, vision and judgment, much faster than on land. Due to alcohol, capsizing boats and drunken passengers falling overboard have been common causes of injuries and deaths.

The federal BUI law enforced by the United States Coast Guard applies to all types of boats, including the largest ships, rowboats and canoes; it also includes foreign vessels sailing through U.S. territories and U.S. ships on the high seas.

The threatening effects of alcohol when it is consumed while on sea include:

  • Deterioration of judgment and cognitive abilities, rendering wise assessment of situations, processing of information and making good choices, much harder;
  • Impairment in physical control, resulting in failure to make timely reaction to dangers, lack of coordination and problem in balance;
  • Decrease in peripheral or night vision and depth perception, difficulty in identifying colors, especially green and red;
  • Failure to pull self out of the cold water, causing hypothermia and death.

It is always expected of boat operators to: follow boating laws; never operate their vessel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol; never operate the boat in a manner that is reckless; and, not exceed certain speeds while within designated areas. Failure to follow any of these may not only result to an accident, but to them being totally liable for whatever untoward incident they will cause.

Operating a boat while drunk is a clear act of recklessness and negligence and according to the law firm Mazin & Associates, PC, when people are neglectful, the people they hurt should not be made to endure the additional financial consequences of the injury. The medical costs, rehabilitation, and any other treatment they need for their recovery should be compensated by the party that hurt them.

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Truck Driver Error: The Reason behind Majority of Truck Accidents

“The large commercial trucks that barrel down our most well-traveled thoroughfares should be regularly maintained and properly operated in order for these vehicles to safely reach their destinations”. This statement is posted in the website of the Baton Rouge personal injury lawyers, where they further say that “any failure to uphold the safety standards trucking companies and their drivers are expected to maintain may lead to catastrophic accidents.”

While personal injury lawyers know that a number accidents involving trucks may be blamed on drivers of passenger cars and other smaller vehicles, they also know most truck accidents are due to errors committed by truck drivers themselves – this was also proven by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) through a study that it conducted (the FMCSA is a separate administration within the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) that is tasked to enforce laws aimed at reducing crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large commercial trucks.

According to the FMCSA, truck driver errors include driver fatigue, sleepiness, driving too fast for road conditions, overspeeding, impairment due to prescription, over-the-counter-drugs, illegal drugs or alcohol, lack of experience in operating a semi-truck, lack of focus on the road, distracted driving, and failure to check “no-zone” areas or blind spots.

As stated by an Atlanta truck accident attorney, the consequences of a serious truck accident can be life-changing for victims and their families. Aside from the physical and emotional trauma sustained in the accident, the costs associated with the recovery process may be more than any victim can bear. Due to this, victims should get all the necessary legal help which will allow them to pursue compensation for the economic burden resulting from the accident, which includes cost of present and future medical care, cost of any rehabilitative care, lost income, and pain and suffering or any diminishment in the overall quality of the victim’s life.

In 2013, the Highway Loss Data Institute, a non-profit research organization, recorded 3,500 fatal accidents involving large truck; accidents that resulted to injuries, on the other hand, were more than 100,000. These injuries and deaths are results of the millions of truck accidents that occur every year which leave not only English speaking victims and their families burdened with emotional and physical pains, and financial difficulties. The long list of victims also includes non-natives in the U.S., like Spanish nationals, who do not know how to speak English. This disadvantage has made many of them recipients of unfair settlement deals with abusive truck operators. The Milwaukee injury lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, however, say that, like all other Americana, non-natives deserve justice too. Through the help of Spanish-speaking lawyers, they can now have fair and strong court representation which will help them claim the full amount of compensation they legally deserve.

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No-zone Truck Accidents

A semi-trucks or an 18-wheeler (also called a big rig or a tractor-trailer) is about 70 feet long and weighs around 80,000 lbs. – this is about 20-30 times the weight of a passenger car. Due to its size and weight, this vehicle can easily crush anything on its path if ever its driver loses control over it and causes an accident.

A semi-truck’s size and weight are not the only features that make it a threat on the road; there is also its total length (combined length of truck and freight trailer), which is a cause for its driver to fail to notice a smaller vehicle that may be driving around it. The areas around an 18-wheeler are called “no-zone” or blind spot areas. These areas refer to spots where crashes are most likely to occur because smaller vehicles are not noticeable to the truck driver. These “no-zone” or blind spot areas, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), include:

  • Front area, where smaller vehicle can be rear-ended or crashed by a truck if ever its driver makes a suddenly slows down or makes an emergency stop. Cars slowing down right after overtaking a truck is actually one of the things truck drivers badly hate;
  • Rear area, where smaller vehicles tailgate a truck. Tailgating is not just really dangerous and a major traffic safety issue, it is also legally prohibited in all states; and,
  • Right or passenger side of a truck, where a truck driver can totally fail to notice smaller vehicles. If a truck makes a right turn, the vehicle to its right can also easily be crushed.

On its website, the law firm Ausband & Dumont talks about the occurrence of many serious accidents simply because truck drivers often fail to be reasonably aware of vehicles that enter any of their truck’s “no-zone” or blind spot areas.

One consoling news for victims of truck accidents is their opportunity to seek compensation from the liable party for their damages which include property damage and injuries.

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Benefits of SEO Content

Recent changes to Google’s search result algorithms have increased the need for well written content on websites seeking to increase their rank. Rather than rewarding sites who simply stuff web content with keywords, Google now bases a website’s rank on how relevant and useful these keywords are to its visitors. While the benefits of well written on-site content are obvious, many overlook the benefits of off-site content when planning their SEO strategies. Similar to on-site content, off-site content can also help increase rank, traffic, and encourage a response from website visitors.

There is a wide array of SEO techniques, but the most commonly used strategy is known as link building. Link building is essentially an online popularity contest. The more credible links a website has linking back to it from other websites, the higher it will be ranked by Google. However, while quantity is important, quality is seen by Google as a better indicator of how useful a website may be to those searching for specific content. In other words, a single link on a large, reliable website is much more effective at raising one’s rank than are several links on smaller, unreliable sources.

As previously mentioned, the more useful an article is to a website’s visitors, the more likely readers will be to share it. For this reason, many businesses use professional copy writers to help create shareable articles.

Well designed and written websites can encourage visitors to naturally share and link back to a website they like. These natural links are among the most effective factors determining the ranking of a website in Google’s eyes. As stated above, links are all about quality as opposed to quantity. The better the content on a website, the more likely it is that a large reliable source will find it, like it, and link back to it.

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The Difference Between Provisional and Non-Provisional Patents

One of the most common dilemmas inventors face is how to protect their ideas and inventions. In the U.S., patent laws exist in order to protect physical and intellectual property developed by inventors. According to the website of patent attorneys Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C., a patent grant to an inventor confers the right to exclude others from making, using or selling an invention. Though filing for a patent may seem like common sense, choosing the type of application to file can often be a long, difficult, and confusing process.

Whether to file for a provisional or non-provisional patent can be determined by looking at several factors such as financial conditions, stages of development, tolerance for risk, and the marketing process. While they may seem like two mutually exclusive processes, it is important to note that they are simply two different routes one can take to reach the same goal. If one files for a provisional patent they must still file a non-provisional patent within a one-year period to maintain protection for their invention or idea.

The main difference between the two types of patents is flexibility. Once a non-provisional patent is filed, the inventor can no longer make changes to that patent if further developments are made to the product. With a provisional patent, an invention is protected for a period of 12 months during which an inventor can continue to fine tune their invention. Because provisional patents are not final, an inventor can include any changes made to their invention when they file for a non-provisional patent. In addition, the extra time allows an inventor to conduct market research before choosing to file for a more expensive non-provisional patent.

Another difference between the two is cost. Non-provisional patents are much more complicated and costly. Additional cost are often associated with non-provisional patents due to fact that many inventors must hire a patent attorney to help with the application, While provisional patents have a much less complicated application, it is often not recommended for inventors to file for these patents on their own. This is because a poorly written application can limit the protection an inventor receives for their idea.

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Passenger Van Safety

As the most popular traveling month begins, many Americans chose to travel by way of America’s highways. As a result, it is not uncommon for larger families to rent passenger vans to comfortably get them to and from their destinations. Unfortunately, for several years now, the NHTSA has warned travelers about the dangers of these large vans. According to the website of Ravid and Associates, accidents can result from unavoidable and unpredictable circumstances. However, the sad truth is that many accidents are the result of carelessness or recklessness on the part of others.

As a result of their design, passenger vans are particularly sensitive to rollover accidents. In addition, many inexperienced drivers are often unaware of the different driving dynamic of these awkwardly long and narrow vehicles. However while these vans are inherently less safe than smaller passenger vehicles, one of the most important things passengers can do to lower their risk of injury in an accident is to wear their seat belt. With over 9 million motor vehicle accidents being reported annually in some recent years according to the website of Pohl Berk, it is concerning to know that the NHTSA has warned that 88 percent of people killed in rollover crashes involving 15 passenger vans were not wearing their seat belts.

Unfortunately, for many, wearing a seat belt and being knowledgeable of a large van’s driving characteristics may not be enough to protect themselves from the danger of these vehicles. As previously stated, negligence by third parties can result in serious injury or even death from an accident involving 15 passenger vans. For example, the website of the Vucci Law Group states that accidents can occur while passengers are being transported to and from excursions by cruise ship companies. According to the NHTSA, several outside factors contributing to a decrease in van safety include passenger overloading, unmaintained suspension and steering components, and underinflated or old tires.

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Product Liability Vs. Medical Malpractice

When patients are injured as a result of a dangerous drug or defective medical device, it is important that the party at fault be determined not only to be held accountable, but to also prevent others from suffering similar unfortunate outcomes. Because laws involving medical manufacturers differ from those involving medical practitioners, legal help is often necessary to accurately determine who is liable for any wrongdoing. However, even with the help of a legal expert, the line between who is at fault is not always clear.

Recent examples of cases involving a medical device known as the da Vinci Surgical Robot demonstrate how liability can often be determined on a case-by-case basis. The medical device was originally designed to give surgeons better range of motion and provide patients with less invasive surgeries with faster recovery times. Unfortunately, da Vinci Robot lawsuit attorneys have shown that it is possible for the robot to cause burns and tears of intestines, punctured blood vessels, severe injury to the bowels, excessive bleeding, and death. In one case, the manufacturer has been found liable due to design flaws that lead to the death of a 24 year-old woman. Other cases have resulted in both doctors and hospitals being found guilty of medical malpractice due to improper use and lack of training.

Another case in which the lines of accountability are blurred involve the birth control drugs Yaz and Yasmin. Having found the drugs to increase the risk of blood clots in women, along with other serious side effects, the FDA forced the manufacturer, Bayer Pharmaceuticals, to update their warning labels in order to inform women of the associated risk. However, while in some cases simply informing doctors and patients about risk via labels relieves manufacturers of any duty to patients using their drug, they may still be held accountable for their drug’s defects. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, it is essential that any company, like Bayer, that manufactures and releases dangerous medications be held accountable for their side effects.

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Debt Collectors and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Whether due to unexpected or personal circumstances, individuals can become overwhelmed with debt they can no longer handle. Understandably, creditors have a right to claim any money they are owed. However, as the website of Greenway Law, LLC states, these creditors can resort to unethical or illegal behavior when seeking repayment. As a result, individuals subject to harassment may incur additional emotional pressure on top of the stress associated with being unable to pay off their debts. Fortunately, legal measures such as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) protects individuals from creditors who resort to harassment in an attempt to collect what they are owed.

According to the FDCPA, debt collectors are required to send all information in writing regarding any claims they make against an individual within five days of initial contact. The FDCPA also gives individuals the right to dispute any claims against them by submitting a written letter to the creditor. However, though intended to protect debtors, the FDCPA gives creditors the right to renew a claim if they submit proof of the debt.

Seeking payment over the phone is a common practice by many creditors. However, the FDCPA  places restrictions on debt collectors regarding what they can say or do over the phone. Some of these restrictions include using abusive or obscene language, harassing with repeated calls, calling between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. or at work without a debtor’s permission, discussing debts with others apart from an attorney, making false threats, claiming to be an attorney or law enforcement official, and misrepresenting the amount owed. It is recommended that individuals keep records of all conversations and voicemails as well as a record of the day and time collectors call, the name of the agency, and the amount they state one owes.

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Filing for Workers’ Compensation

According to the website of the LaMarca Law Group, P.C., workers’ compensation is a form of insurance employers are required to purchase in order to pay for the health and rehabilitation expenses as well as any lost wages of employees who are injured on the job. It is important to note that once an employee files for workers’ compensation they give up all rights to sue or take any form of legal action against their employer.

In order to file a claim, an injured employee must first notify their employer of their injury. Depending on the state in which one is employed, the time frame to notify an employer ranges anywhere from a couple of days to two years. It is recommended that one includes the date, time, and location of the injury. It can also be extremely helpful to include a detailed description of how the injury occurred and, if applicable or possible, a list of witnesses.

Once an employer has been notified, one should immediately file a formal workers’ compensation claim. Failure to do so in a timely manner can lead to an insurance carrier denying your claim. If one has suffered an injury or illness that developed over time, the time frame to file a complaint begins as soon as they are forced to take time off of work due to an injury or to see a doctor for a work-related injury as well as when one knows or suspects that the injury was work-related.

Unfortunately, as stated on the website of Ravid & Assoc, often times it can be difficult to actually receive workers’ compensation benefits that employees are entitled. Sadly, too many employers attempt to minimize workers’ compensation rates by disputing employees’ rights to coverage. However, proper and complete documentation of the injury and related treatment can help protect an employee against such disputes.

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