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Cruise Ship Nightmares: From Dreams to Disasters

Vacations are usually hard to come by as the times these days barely allows for them anymore. They are seen as a luxury, a few days of Eden-like freedom from the humdrum of everyday life, and are often worked towards as an end goal in mind. A cruise vacation is often one suited for people who truly want to get away but don’t want to be rooted to a particular spot for a prolonged period of time. After all, the promise of cruise ships is often that of total escape. Imagine then that this dream is suddenly ruined and made into a nightmare most foul?

According to the website of the Vucci Law Group, P.A., a lot of harm could come upon unwitting passengers due to negligence, such as an ineffective hiring process or ineffectual safety procedures. One of the most devastating consequences of negligence to this degree is that of sexual assault.

Cruise ships are notably large, usually, and often requires sufficient security in order to maintain the peace and safety of the passengers on board. However, due to the lack of security or perhaps even a passenger or a crew member with ill intent, these incidents are not completely unheard of – and warrant just as much legal action, if not more. What is meant to be a well-earned vacation from the stress of everyday life to turn into this kind of traumatic experience that will undoubtedly follow the sufferer for the rest of his or her life? It is near the epitome of appalling.

Too many cases have been dismissed or have been jeopardized due to improper handling or misrepresentation of a case that occurs on a cruise ship. A legal claim of this nature requires specialization and expertise; only then can you claim the justice that is so rightfully due you.

Privacy and your Workers’ Compensation Claim

Workers’ compensation insurance is required in all states for eligible companies. This is to ensure that employees with work-related injuries will have the financial assistance they need to get medical attention, sustain them until they are able to get back, and disability benefits for those who may not be able to get back to work at all. But like with any insurance company, the default stance is to deny a claim and barring the fact that the injury is not work-related, the next best thing is to find grounds for denying the claim based on medical records and other private documents.

Under normal circumstances, medical records are confidential but insurance companies have the right to gain access to relevant information to investigate a workers’ compensation claim. The main purpose is to find evidence that the claim has no medical merit. However, some insurers make a practice of obtaining medical records that can have no possible relevance to a current claim.

According to the website of Morris James LLP, in some instances, insurers make a point to delve into a claimant’s social network accounts under the guise of investigating a claim such as for disability. Aside from looking for evidence that the claimant is fit to go back to work, it is speculated that these tactics are also designed to pressure claimants anxious to keep their medical records private to drop a claim.

While it can be hard to prove that insurers are abusing their prerogative to access personal records, a claimant can avoid it in the first place by retaining the services of a competent workers’ compensation lawyer to deal with insurers. In that way, the claimant’s privacy is protected as much as possible under the law, and the insurer gets the message that the claimant cannot be intimidated.

If you are uncomfortable with the information the insurer is asking you to surrender, consult with a workers’ compensation lawyer first to find out your legal options. You have the right to keep your private business from prying eyes, even when claiming for workers’ compensation.

Possible Causes of Aviation Accidents

Transportation authorities, including those from the Aviation Safety Network, acknowledge that air travel is the modern day’s fastest and safest means of long-distance travel. This high safety rate in the aviation industry would never have been achieved if it were not for the major improvements undertaken so as not to have a repeat of the accidents that occurred in the past.

Among these improvements are air traffic control (ATC) system upgrade, promotion and assurance of teamwork in the cockpit and the eradication of the idea that the “captain is god,” setting up of the TCAS II collision-avoidance system to help avoid collision accidents, installation of lavatory smoke sensors, use of electronic devices or transponders, upgrade of the rudder Rx, installation of smoke detectors and automatic fire extinguishers in all commercial airliner cargo holds, Mylar insulation replacement with fire-resistant materials, and upgrades aimed at eliminating chances of electrical sparks.

Overall safety, though, does not depend only on improvements and upgrades; airline managers and personnel will also need to strictly observe flying protocols, pilots should always be in perfect health and should never be allowed to pilot a plane if under the influence of alcohol or seen drinking an alcoholic beverage during flight, the aircraft should be regularly maintained, fuel supply should always be checked and replenished, and so forth.

While the most common cause of aviation accidents is pilot error, there also have been instances when mistakes leading to accidents were traced to an air traffic controller, a ground or maintenance crew, or to a member of the airline’s top management. And the main reason resulting to the flight error is almost always an act of negligence.

While aviation accidents seldom occur, the consequences are usually catastrophic whenever these happen. Harm to passengers is not limited to physical injuries or death, though, for even emotional or mental trauma would still render the liable party legally obligated to compensate the victim.

In the event of an accident, the airline owner would usually settle privately with the affected passengers, offering them a settlement amount that they would keep undisclosed. A passenger who is not familiar with the tort law, which governs personal injury (injury resulting from another person’s negligence) can be offered an amount way below that which the law may allow. Being represented by a highly-competent legal counsel, such as a Houston personal injury lawyer, may help the victim get the maximum amount of compensation allowed by the law.

Some Facts about Atrial Fibrillation and Xarelto

One of the main conditions that anticoagulants are designed to manage is atrial fibrillation (A-fib), sometimes referred to as an irregular heartbeat. This irregularity happens because the two atria (upper chambers) of the heart are out of sync with the ventricles (lower chambers). As a result, the blood flow is not as smooth as it should be and some blood can pool in the heart chambers. This can lead to the blood clotting before it is pumped out, which is not a good thing. An anticoagulant such as Xarelto (rivaroxaban) is prescribed not to treat the irregular heartbeat but to ensure that whatever blood that does pool in the heart chambers do not clot.

It is estimated that there are about 5 million people in the US who have A-fib, and the projection is for twice that by 2050. Age increases the risk of developing the condition; more than 4% of all Americans over the age of 60 and 10% over 80 have the condition, and 35% of those that have the condition will have a stroke at some point in their lives. A-fib-related strokes are thrice more likely to be fatal than strokes of another origin and more likely (2.5 times) to kill women than men.

Having medication that can prevent A-fib strokes is certainly desirable provided that the cure is not worse than the disease. Anticoagulants have been plagued by serious side effects of one type or the other ever since warfarin was first prescribed in 1950, and new drugs such as Xarelto designed to prevent A-fib strokes have not done much better. In fact, Xarelto lawyers claim that the new drug is too dangerous to be sold because not only does it have various potentially fatal side effects, there is no approved or effective reversal agent for it. In other words, if you get in trouble with Xarelto, all you can really do is to cross your fingers and wait for it to be flushed out of your system.

If you have been caught between a rock and Xarelto and suffered serious injury, you need to let other people how dangerous it can be. Consult with a Xarelto lawyer to find out how you can hold the responsible drug companies accountable for your injuries and losses.

Look No Further The Best Tips About Personal Injury Are Right Here!

Nobody wants to run into a situation where hiring a personal injury attorney is necessary, but accidents do happen and sometimes legal representation is the only route to take. In this article, we will discuss some of the most important information involved in hiring a personal injury attorney and making your case. Continue reading to make the best decisions for your personal and financial well being.

Seek medical attention. If you find yourself injured, see a doctor as soon as possible. In addition to being good health advice, you will need the doctor’s diagnosis and paperwork from your visit as evidence. Make sure you document everything, and keep copies for yourself. Failing to get medical attention after an accident or injury can actually reduce the award amount in a personal injury case.

Always go to the hospital if your injury may be the fault of someone else. If you do not fully document your injury as soon as you can you put yourself at risk for not getting the money that you may deserve in a settlement. So, if you want to protect yourself, be sure to visit a doctor right away.

It is important to keep close track of any and all paperwork pertaining to your case. Also, you should keep notes from physicians and everything related to your particular case. Save emails from your doctor about your injury.

Bring all of the necessary paperwork to your initial consultation as this is very important for your personal injury lawyer to develop a solid case. Make copies of each of these documents too, as you will want to have one just in case. This puts you in the best position to team up with your lawyer and win.

While nobody wants to wind up in a situation where hiring a personal injury attorney is necessary,  sometimes life leaves you with no other choice. The website of the experienced personal injury lawyers of Pohl Berk says that by taking some time to investigate your options, understand how to represent your case well and hire the best attorney for your unique situation, you can make educated decisions. This can help you to win your case and get back to your life.

Road Behavior, A Major Determinant of Car Accidents

To earn a driver’s license in the US, one has to take a driver’s education course, pass a written exam, take a driving lesson which would familiarize him/her with US roads and, finally, go through a road test, which would somehow show how he/she will behave when behind the wheel.

Despite some differences in requirements (among states) for one to earn a driver’s license, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in each state, which grants the license, will make sure that the applicant knows and will observe all traffic rules to help ensure road safety.

Based on statistical records, however, it is obvious that some drivers, after having earned their license or as they become more familiar with the road, start to set aside road courtesy and place their driving style and preference above the safety of people who share the road with them. This is one reason why there are still millions of cases of car wrecks due to drunk-driving, driver error, over and under-speeding and reckless driving.

Though identified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) only as the third major cause of road accidents, speeding presents a much greater danger than any of the other causes, because while speed will mean lesser time of travel, it can also mean greater damage and more severe injuries in the event of an accident (according to the NHTSA, the top cause of car accidents is drunk-driving, while not wearing a seatbelt is second).

Another equally dangerous road behavior that has resulted to a high rate of car wrecks is reckless driving, which is committed through many different ways, such as weaving from one lane to another, making abrupt lane changes, not slowing down at intersections, not stopping on red lights and stop signs and tail-gaiting, among others.

It is good to know how many drivers hate and fear sharing the road with speedsters and reckless drivers, as shown in one study; surprisingly though, when asked if they have driven recklessly and/or have violated speed limits before, these same people have confessed guilt, but reasoned out that they needed to keep an appointment or that they did not intend to harm anyone.

Accidents, obviously, are never intended or these wouldn’t be accidents at all. All it takes is for one driver to set aside road rules to put all others’ safety, including his own, at risk. If anyone can not give his/her undivided attention on the road while driving, then maybe it is time for him/her to ask someone who will, to drive for him/her instead.

Professional Nursing License Defense

In 1903 the Nursing Practice Act, which was the first nursing law in the US, was approved and enforced by the federal government through the regulatory agency or the Nursing Board of each state. In the US, there are as many as 61 Nursing Boards which are tasked to:

  • To protect and promote the safety of the people
  • Recognize schools of nursing
  • Set up the standards of the nursing profession
  • Examine and license qualified applicants
  • Control the practice of professional and vocational nursing
  • Interpret the Nursing Practice Act (NPA), as well as rules relating to education and licensure of nurses
  • Take complaints and conduct investigations on the probable violations of the Nursing Practice Act
  • Exact disciplinary actions on violators through proper legal action

After years of rigorous and patient study in order to complete an accredited nursing program, a nursing graduate will then have to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) before obtaining his/her license. Though quite demanding, those can be nothing compared to what is expected of a licensee (or nurse) during the practice of his/her profession.

For a meaningful profession and to make sure that one’s license is always in good standing, a licensee will need to: be English proficient; conform with specific requirements of the nursing laws of the state where he/she is practicing his/her profession; undergo continuous education to maintain clinical competence; and, possess good moral character, which implies not committing any criminal act.

Being ethical is required as much as being competent and qualified due to the vulnerability of the patients entrusted under nurses’ care. The only sad thing about this is that, due to the ethical perspective, complaints against nurses, as being unprofessional or unethical, can become (and many indeed have been) too personal an issue. Complaints have also come from different sources – patient, co-worker, employer, the hospital itself, and even from the nurse’s irritated partner or spouse.

Nurses have be criticized about so many issues, legal and even personal matters (which have no connection, whatsoever, to their clinical practice). Complaints against nurses are forwarded to the state’s nursing board which, then, informs the concerned nurse about such complaint. To be able to defend and redeem oneself from the negative effects of complaints/accusations, especially those without basis, hiring a good licensure defense lawyer will be a very commendable act.

Defending a nursing license is a very complex task for someone who is not an expert in the license defense law. And since, for nurses, being a licensee is the core of their life and activities, losing their license due either to a fraudulent accusation or a short span of weakness that led to a wrong act, can be too much of a penalty.

Insurance Bad Faith and the Strategies Employed by Insurance Providers...

A house, which may be nothing more than just a profitable commodity to real estate firms or the basis of business for property insurance providers, assumes a totally different value in the eyes of the family that owns it. For a family, the house that it was able to purchase through hard work is a treasured property Thus, a family would embrace every means to improve it as well as protect it from threats of destructive calamities by putting it under insurance coverage.

There is no telling, however, what extent of damage a disaster may cause. It will all depend on what type of disaster happens and how hard it will hit a particular property. It could be a storm, a tornado, a hurricane or fire – the effects of these can be a destroyed house part, which will only require simple replacements and repairs, or total destruction, which will require the building of a totally new structure.

A day or two after a calamity, such as a hurricane, independent adjusters are usually seen, eagerly assessing the extent of damages to properties. These adjusters are usually new to job, untrained and content in evaluating the damages from where they stand on the ground. Thus, it is not surprising that the estimations they come up with are more often incorrect than correct, resulting to a very low amount of financial benefit from the affected family’s property insurance provider.

The adjusters and the small amount of benefit (others even consider it good luck if claims for insurance has been approved, despite the small amount of cash) are actually strategies employed by many insurance firms to keep them from releasing big cash. Other insurance providers would even deny claims outrightly, using technical error as the reason of denial of the claims. The fact is, this so-called technical error is nothing more than a skipped box or a missed signature.

To policy holders, whose claims have been denied or whose benefits are either delayed or way below the amount stipulated in their policies, any of these situations can be both infuriating and very irritating. To insurance claims attorneys and other financial experts, however, this is one classic case of insurance bad faith, a situation wherein an insurance provider violates the very contract it has made and signed with the policy holder – to enable it to keep as much profit as it can.

Having a highly-knowledgeable and experienced insurance claims lawyer to help you from the very start of your application will be an intelligent decision. Well-versed in the laws governing insurance providers and policies, this lawyer can help you keep your claims application from being rejected plus enable you to receive the amount closest to that specified in your policy.

Causes of Truck Accidents in Texas

Collisions involving semi-trucks or 18-wheelers are always dangerous due to the capability of these huge vehicles to cause major damages, severe injuries or death. Especially in the state of Texas, where the number of trucks on roads and highways has greatly increased, the safety of more motorists has also been put at a greater risk.

In its serious attempt to significantly reduce the number of semi truck accidents, which number to more than 250 annually, Texas has been strict in the implementation of state and federal laws affecting truckers and drivers. Besides the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, which are directives addressed to truck operators all across the US, Texas has also imposed its more rigorous laws which require strict care in the maintenance and operation of trucks and in the hiring of qualified drivers. Some of these rules include:

  • A drug test on all drivers before employment, but most especially at the most practicable time following an accident. Operators must also regularly conduct a drug test on all drivers
  • Demonstration of the proper and safe handling of a truck by the driver
  • Drivers should be able to speak and understand the English language, has no record of serious violations of road safety laws and must be of proper age (at least 21 years old)
  • Drivers must observe traffic rules all the time, safely load all cargo, inspect the truck regularly, never drive when sick or fatigued, and so forth
  • Drivers must also keep a log which will indicate information, such as the start and end of their duty, total number of miles driven for the day, the name of their co-driver, etc.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the arm of the US Department of Transportation that is charged to implement all the safety rules and standards in the trucking industry, the most common causes of truck accidents in Texas are speeding, drunk-driving, reckless driving, aggressiveness on the road, running off the road, poor driving conditions, brake defect/failure, overloaded truck, inexperience or lack of training of the driver, etc.

Besides the possible severe physical injury a victim in a truck accident may sustain, the trauma the experience can cause may be enough to alter the lives of some people. Accidents are usually results of the negligent or irresponsible acts of some people. And since these acts can lead to another’s harm, the law holds the negligent person with the duty of compensating the victim for all the damages the injury will cause.

Common Causes of Wills and Estate Planning Disputes

There are instances when it is necessary that a doctor or a psychology expert should evaluate the mental capacity of a testator (a person making a will or a trust) before he/she begins to write down who the beneficiaries of his/her assets will be. A doctor’s or a psychologist’s expert diagnosis regarding a testator’s mental condition could be enough to rebut any claim that a person was mentally unable to fully   know and understand the importance of his/her decisions as he/she wrote his/her will.

The testator’s mental capacity is the most common ground in will, trust and estate litigations. These litigations usually arise when a child or a spouse feels that he/she has not been fairly treated by the testator. Though fair treatment is a very subjective issue, it is enough for anyone to challenge the validity or contents of a will (through a Will contest) and estate planning documents. It is not necessary that a family member should have been disinherited for him/her to challenge a Will; the mere fact that he/she feels that what was left for him/her was not  the amount of wealth or size of property that he/she actually deserved, then a Will contest may be filed.

Estate and trust disputes are always sensitive matters as these involve family members battling one another after divorce or the death of one spouse. Not being able to settle things amicably may be the result of the more complex types of relationships among family members, so that divorce or a parent’s death can even cast the surviving parent against his/her child (and vice versa) or cause sibling rivalries, when it comes to financial matters; a clear proof that family and money do not always spell happiness and love.

As disputes, regarding a Will’s authenticity, can become really complicated, especially if several dissatisfied heirs become involved, it will be necessary to be represented by a knowledgeable and competent lawyer who is very familiar with Wills and estate planning laws, as well as the laws of the state under which these issues are to be disputed.