Monthly Archives: August 2013

Avoiding a Record with the Right Criminal Defense/DUI Defense

Sometimes you can get carried away when you are out having a good time with friends or celebrating a momentous occasion, and forget about the sober driving rule. Whether you are driving under the influence of alcohol or marijuana, if you get caught you will need to get the right kind of legal representation to mount a criminal or DUI defense.

Even if you are not a habitual offender, once you have a record for DUI, you will be barred from many opportunities including certain occupations in both the private and public sector. You will also most likely face jail time and/or fines. In Illinois, according to an article from the Bruno Law Offices website, a first offense can land you in jail for as much as a year and a fine of up to $2,500. If you injure someone as well, you may be facing jail time of up to 3 years and a fine of as much as $10,000. These are pretty steep prices for a night out on the town.

The consequences are also severe for those arrested for marijuana possession whether behind the wheel or not in California, unless it is medically prescribed. An article from the website of Nashville criminal lawyers at Horst Law, states that the penalties for just being in possession of more than one ounce of marijuana is fine of up to $500 and 6 months in jail. It will not matter if you are not actually using it; possession is enough. If you are caught with it in a school zone, the penalties are even more severe.

To avoid getting a record for drunk driving or marijuana possession, you need to mount a criminal defense at once. If arrested for either of these offenses, say nothing and get in touch with a lawyer with the experience and knowledge to provide you with the best possible defense based on the circumstances of your arrest.

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The Costs of Personal Injury and Car Accidents

It is all fun and games until someone loses an eye….or an arm…or a life. We have all heard it before: “tragic car accident injures two, kills one,” or “drunk driver hits pedestrian, paralyzed for life.” The headlines are eye-catching, but in the end it is just a story and no more real than the movies we watch. You only realize how truly devastating it can be when it becomes your story.

The costs of personal injury due to car accidents are much more than financial, although this is the in-your-face aspect of any physical condition. Non-pecuniary costs include mental anguish and diminished quality of life. How can you put a price on happiness? This is made much worse when a car accident is the result of the negligence or carelessness of a third party.

No matter how careful one is when behind the wheel, there are still other drivers to think about. When car accidents are caused by the negligent behavior of another person, such as drunk driving or speeding, then it is just right that you receive compensation for the costs of personal injury from car accidents due to negligence. It is not always easy to come up with a number that will truly do justice to the loss and damage that has been caused by the irresponsible behavior of others.

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BP Oil Spill has Domino Effect on Businesses

A lot of attention has focused on the economic damages sustained by local fishermen and the tourist industry following the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion on April 20, 2010. The BP oil spill affected most of the coastal area on the Gulf of Mexico, including Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

There is no denying that the economic losses to individuals and businesses that depend on the fishing and tourism industry for their living are considerable. This is the reason why BP Plc agreed to the Economic and Property Damages Settlement; to provide compensation for those who can prove that their livelihood was directly affected by the environmental disaster. There are thousands of claimants involved in the class action suit that resolved into the Settlement, but not all of them actually qualify for compensation. Claimants must pass a variety of tests to see if the oil spill was the cause of their economic loss such as the V-shaped Revenue Test.

What most people seem to forget is that while tourists and fishing was the lifeblood of the area’s economy, people actually lived there as residents. As such, businesses not involved with either fishing or tourism were also affected. Many residents were forced to relocate as their livelihood dwindled to unsustainable levels. Those who hung on mostly did not have the disposable income to spend on retail stores, movie houses, dentists, and other non-essentials. So while these establishments are not dependent on the cleanliness of the water or the abundance of the catch for their livelihood, they are indirectly affected by the financial losses of those who do depend on the water, much like dominoes falling over.

Whether these other businesses affected by the BP oil spill will qualify under the Settlement remains to be seen. But with proper representation, the legal options open to the these businesses will be thoroughly explored.

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Practical Home Repairs and Improvements

Perhaps the most used and abused aspects of a home are its plumbing and floors. Because of that, these are usually the ones that need the most attention over time. Homeowners know that the costs of home repairs or improvement can be prohibitive, so one has to be eminently practical when deciding the what, when, and how to get the best value for their money.

An article  points out that indoor plumbing is something that most people take for granted until something goes wrong. Poor plumbing can cause a lot of damage to the rest of the home, not to mention the messiness and inconvenience of having any part of it out of commission. Plumbing is usually a network of interconnected drain and water supply systems, so when something goes majorly wrong, it can cost quite a lot to put it right. If plumbing problems come to the fore, the practical way to do home repairs/improvement is to have someone reliable to do it right. Plumbers perform crucial services with which the average person may not be able to find success.

The need for professional attention to get it right also applies to flooring. Hardwood floor should be maintained properly so that it will last. Hardwood floors are not only beautiful; they are also highly durable given the right circumstances. The biggest enemies of hardwood floors are water and sunlight, which causes warping and fading. This is why hardwood floors are protected by sealants or wax, but this needs to be replaced periodically as the protective layer wears off from constant use, and it should really be done by someone who knows how to do it right.

Homeowners may balk at the idea of forking out hundreds or maybe even thousands of dollars to have essential home repairs and improvement for plumbing, flooring, and garage door repair done by professionals, but getting it right the first time is more cost-effective than damage control and repair later on.

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Robotic Surgery: Medical Malpractice or Product Liability?

When one gets injured while under the surgical knife, the first thing that comes to mind is medical malpractice. But what if the knife was actually being wielded by a robot? This is more likely to fall under product liability if the injury is a result of a manufacturing or design defect rather than surgical error.

Science fiction has once again become simply science with the growing popularity of robotic surgery. There are many advantages to using robots in surgery. Aside from the wow factor, robot arms don’t get tired even after hours of surgery, so there are fewer accidents that happen on the operating table. Using robots also allows surgeons to be more precise when they work, which is important when dealing in micro-millimeters rather than centimeters. It also makes invasive procedures less so by requiring smaller incisions.

The technology has been around for some time, and many hospitals are jumping on the bandwagon because it looks good on their brochures to offer such high technology options to their patients. Unfortunately, there are some bugs to the technology that has led to some serious injuries to patients. The most well-known robot assistant in surgery is the da Vinci surgical system manufactured by Intuitive Surgical Inc., which is being sued by at least 25 patients for a variety of injuries caused by burns. Although it may be intimidating to go against such a big company, taking legal action in such cases is the responsible thing to do.

According to the website of Jeff Sampson, these cases are considered product liability lawsuits. Product liability is an area of law that focuses on protecting people from dangerous products. These products could be poorly designed, malfunctional, defective, or mislabeled. When they cause undue injury to ordinary people, their manufacturers can be held accountable.

It is also posited that some of the problems that may accrue from robotic surgery is related to the steep learning curve from using the technology. Doctors are simply not trained well enough to use the technology effectively, and robotic surgery is not yet well regulated. Patients who are considering robotic surgery should do their research regarding the need for such precise surgery, the consequences, and the expertise of their surgeon with the technology before consenting to the procedure.

If you have already sustained injuries due to robotic surgery, consult with a personal injury in your area to determine if your case falls under medical malpractice or product liability. Your lawyer will know how to proceed depending on the findings.

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Compensation for Truck Accidents Resulting in Disability/Disability Benefits

The aftermath of truck accidents is never pretty, especially when it involves the large ones like an 18-wheeler. However, it is usually the smaller vehicle that bears the brunt of the damage, and its driver and passengers often end up injured or dead. This is why licensing for truck drivers and other commercial drivers are more stringent than for ordinary folks; they have to be better drivers and more responsible because trucks can cause a lot more damage than a regular car.

When an accident happens because a truck driver is over-fatigued or simply careless, this is considered negligent behavior and renders both the truck driver and the trucking company liable for providing compensation for any injuries or deaths that may result. If a victim of this negligence is so seriously hurt that they are unable to work temporarily or permanently, compensation may also be forthcoming for disability via disability benefits.

Truck accident lawyers such as Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® in Wisconsin are very familiar with the devastating effects of such an event. They maintain that when the cause of an accident is negligence, the victim has the right to sue for medical bills, mental and emotional trauma, and other damages especially if it results in disability.

In addition, victims of truck accidents resulting in disability can claim disability benefits from the Social Security Administration, although it is not always easy to get approval. The different disability benefits that an accident victim may qualify for depend on the disabled victim’s circumstances.

Truck accidents can be life-changing, but with the right representation, disability does not mean the end of the road for the victim. All it takes is a little time and patience, and finding the right person to help one through the legal recovery process.

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