My Granddaughter Wants to be a Trucker

By on 11-07-2017 in Personal Injury, Trucking Accidents

My granddaughter wants to be a trucker. I find this to be at once cute and also worrying.

She is, after all, only twelve, and she may still be young enough to have silly dreams with unrealistic ideas about different jobs. What did I want to be at twelve? I wish I could remember. Perhaps I still held out hope of being a superhero or a pirate. I don’t want to crush such dreams because, after all, she’s still a kid.

But is she? It’s been so long since I was twelve. And, unfortunately, I wasn’t particularly “there” when my son was at that age. I’ve been trying to make up for those mistakes by helping with my granddaughter, but one of the problems is that I lack that first go-round experience that might have made these situations easier to know how to respond.

My worry is that she is old enough to be thinking more clearly about her future life choices and that either this shows she’s falling behind in maturity compared to her peers or else, she actually wants to be a trucker.

I want to be clear that I don’t think there’s anything wrong with truckers, at least in theory. Stuff has to get transported, and as far as I can tell, they do a fairly good job moving that stuff around the country. The pay doesn’t seem to be too bad, and families can be raised on the income trucking provides. I don’t think a trucker is necessarily a worse person than anyone else in the world. Truckers are just people like everyone else. If I meet one in line at a store or at a bar, I don’t think worse of him.

But I don’t want my granddaughter to be one. Having searched my heart, I think I have three reasons for this, primarily at least. First, I want something better for her. She’s clever and charming, and I think she could go far in any career she chooses. She could be a doctor or a lawyer or run a corporation. She’s that smart. That may be the grandpa blinders I’ve got on, but I think it’s honestly true.

Second, she’s a girl, and while I’m all for a woman taking on any job a man does, I worry that the life of a trucker would be more dangerous for her. She’d be out all night, sleeping in rest stops, spending time perhaps around disreputable people.

Third, trucking is dangerous. There are lots of trucking accidents, and she’s more likely to get hurt doing that than working in an office in some fancy skyscraper.

Am I overthinking this? I just don’t know. Again, I didn’t get this part right the first time around. My son isn’t worried. He’s bought her some model trucks and even wants to take her to ride along with a trucker friend he has sometime over the next month.

But I’m still worried. I want her to have such a good life, and I just don’t know how to help her right now.

Workplace Injuries in Raleigh NC

By on 8-25-2017 in Workplace Accident

Most Americans spend nearly one-third of their lives sleeping, and another third of their lives at work. It is only reasonable that you should feel safe where you work if you spend so much time there, but for those who work dangerous jobs, that is not always the case. That is why worker’s compensation is so important. Knowing that in the event of an injury you will not be financially crippled or completely out of a job is a comforting thought. North Carolina is actually below the national average for workplace injuries, and while that is fantastic, it is still important for all employees to be covered.

Workplace injuries are more common in industrial jobs, but in North Carolina, ALL business that employs three or more people must have worker’s compensation insurance, according to the North Carolina Industrial Commission. This is incredibly important because even nonindustrial jobs such as working at an animal shelter can still put employees at risk of serious harm or infection. Even if you are an independent contractor of a company based in North Carolina, your employer must still be required to carry worker’s compensation insurance. Unfortunately, there are exceptions to this rule. Certain employees of railroad companies need not be covered by this insurance, and farms that employ fewer than ten nonseasonal workers also do not need to provide worker’s compensation insurance. Some may argue that these rules are in place to give small businesses the chance to grow by not burdening them with needing to purchase insurance to cover all of their employees, but I think it would be far more ethical to allocate state funds to these new businesses so that every employee can feel safe at work.

According to the North Carolina Department of Commerce, in 2013, the number of injuries in the workplace decreased from 2012, and North Carolina was only one of 12 states that were below the national average. While that is an impressive statistic, it did not last for long. The number of fatal workplace injuries jumped in 2014, and then again in 2015, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. The industry that had the most deaths was the private construction industry at 30 deaths, most from slips and falls. A whopping 95% of the 150 total work related deaths in North Carolina were men. 25% of these deaths were workers who were self-employed, which is incredibly important because the North Carolina Worker’s Compensation act provides many exceptions to those who own their own businesses.

Even though worker’s compensation is the norm for most North Carolina workers, there is a lot more the state could do to protect its workers. In the event that you are injured at work, contacting a Raleigh worker’s compensation lawyer might be your best bet to ensure you are covered. North Carolina could start by expanding the NCWCA to include those who are self-employed, as well as small businesses. Helping out our employees in the event of an injury is definitely worth the cost.

How to Appeal a Denied Long-term Disability Claim

By on 5-28-2017 in Personal Injury

If your long-term disability claim has been denied, you should not just mope and give up. You should stand up and fight for the financial assistance you deserve, because after all, you can make an appeal for the insurance company to reconsider your claim. Below are the following things you can do to effectively make an appeal.

Study the denial letter

Before anything else, read and thoroughly understand the letter of denial, because it contains the reason why your claim is denied. It is important to know the reason so you know what aspect of the claim you can improve. For example, if the denial letter says that your claim has been denied due to the lack of medical evidence to prove your disability, you may want to get more medical records and opinions from your physician.

Check the deadlines

The denial letter contains not just the reason behind the denial, but also the deadlines to make and file an appeal. It is important to take note of these deadlines, because there is nothing more tragic than a legitimate claim being denied just because the deadline has not been reached.

Get the right records

Insurance companies and mediators may fail to get all the proper records that can effectively prove your disability, so it is your duty to make sure that all records, such as X-rays, MRIs, surgery reports, and emergency room records, are included in your appeal to improve your claim. The lack of proper records is often the reason behind the denial, so having more of them always gives you better chances.

Ask for testimonies

Testimonies may not be as powerful as official medical records, but they can help in improving your case. Ask family members and friends to write their observations and opinions on how you are physically limited because of your medical condition.
It is even better if these testimonies come from the right authorities, like physicians and vocational experts.

Get legal help

According to the website of Fields Disability, there are long-term disability attorneys – attorneys that know how the system works and can help your application to be accurate, complete, and submitted on time. Sometimes, having professionals who know how to navigate these legal matters is your best bet in getting your claim approved and your appeal reconsidered.

Fire Hazards in Offices

By on 2-21-2017 in Uncategorized

Property owners should ensure the safety of their premises, especially if it is used by other individuals. In fact, they are legally required to do so, as failure to commit to this responsibility can result into premises liability claims.

According to the website of the premises liability lawyers of Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, LLC, one of the most common premises liability issues is fire. Fire accidents don’t just happen at home, as they can also happen in workplaces such as offices. Below are some of the fire hazards in office spaces, so property owners and employees alike can minimize or remove their risks.

Wiring Issues
Faulty wiring typically results into fire accidents. Make sure that your area has a proper wiring system and consult professionals for possible damages and maintenance. There are also instances where the wiring issues have been caused by the negligence of the property owners and employees, such as the case for the overuse of extension cords.

Since the use of electronic devices has become more prevalent, more and more offices are becoming prone to extension cord and power strip overuse.

Defective Office Equipment
Computers are the primary equipment in most offices. Though desktops and laptops have mechanisms to prevent overheating and fire, these mechanisms may be defective and malfunction. To ensure the safe use of desktops, give them ample space to avoid blocking the heat from escaping. For laptops, avoid using them on soft surfaces where their heat circulation can also be compromised

Defective Appliances
Appliances that can be found in office spaces can also be fire hazards. Make sure that these appliances are functioning properly to avoid accidents. This is especially true for appliances that involve heat, such as coffee makers and hotplates.

Combustible Materials
The presence of combustible materials can amplify the dangers of the other fire hazards in this list. If combustible materials are present near wiring issues, defective office equipment, and defective appliances, they may become the catalyst to spread fires. In offices, the most common combustible materials are papers, folders, partitions, and carpets.

Steps to Take After You’ve Been in a Car Accident in Philadelphia, PA

By on 10-18-2016 in Car Accident

Car accidents happen more and more frequently all over America. In Pennsylvania alone, a total of 121,317 traffic crashes were reported in the 2014. According to data from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, these accidents caused 1,195 fatalities and left almost 80,000 people injured and in need of medical attention. On average, these numbers translate to about 14 crashes every hour, 9 injuries every hour, and 1 death every 7 hours.

Considering the frequency that car accidents happen all across the state, Philadelphia residents should learn to prepare for the possibility that they too might find themselves in a similar situation. Take note of the following steps that could help make insurance claims and possible personal injury claims go over more smoothly.

According to Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky LLC, the first step you should take is to write down the make, model and license plate number of the other car involved in the collision. You should also use this time to take note of the other driver’s personal details, particularly their name, contact number, address, and insurance details. After exchanging information, try surveying the damage caused by the collision and take pictures of your car and the other driver’s using your mobile phone. At this point, you could also ask any by-standers about what they witnessed and write down their account of the accident. You can then contact your insurance provider to inform them of what happened.

With all of this out of the way, you should go ahead and get checked for any injury. You should also contact a car accident attorney and discuss with them legal options you can pursue. To help your lawyer build a strong case, make sure you keep track of time you missed from work due to the crash and resulting injuries, as well as making estimates to how much it would cost to get your car repaired.

If you have been in a car accident, it’s important to remember to direct all questions from insurance providers to your attorney. Remember that you shouldn’t talk to anyone other than your legal representative regarding the situation. Allow your lawyer to help you mount a strong case and communicate with them openly and honestly.

The Dangers Caused by Reckless Operators of Jet Skis

By on 7-22-2016 in Boating Accident

In separate accident involving a jet ski: a sophomore wide receiver from Duke University suffered head injuries and remains in critical condition; three women died and four others injured after the former’s jet ski collided with a 20-foot powerboat; a pop-reggae star was critically injured after his jet ski crashed into a Miami Beach bridge; and, a former astronaut who piloted the Atlantis space shuttle in 2008, died after another jet ski crashed into the one he and his 22-year-old son was riding.

Jet skis, also known as personal water crafts (PWC), immediately became popular after these were first introduced in the mid 1960s by Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP); BRP called it Sea-Doo at the time. The reasons why these vessels immediately became popular were because of their affordability, low maintenance cost, ease of use, and their ability to operate in shallow waters (close to shore), reach a speed that is above 65 mph, and high maneuverability.
Though much smaller that a real boat, a jet ski has the power of a much larger boat. Besides the danger of being operated by inexperienced, inattentive or intoxicated individuals, crowded waterways, and speedy and erratic jet skis increase the likelihood of accidents that may result to serious injuries or even death. This is why taking a boating safety course, though not mandated in some states, is important for boat or PWC owners, as well as for all those thinking of going on a boating adventure or operating a jet ski in the near future.

In 2007, reckless or careless driving was identified to be the leading cause of jet ski accidents. Based on the definition made in the Personal Watercraft Act of 2005 in the U.S., the meanings given to reckless driving includes, but are not be limited to the following:

  • Weaving or wake jumping through congested traffic;
  • Following too close to another vessel, including another personal watercraft; and,
  • Swerving at the last possible moment to avoid collision

There are, currently, 1.3 million Americans who own a jet ski and more than 85 million who use at least one every year. Rules and regulations on the operation of jet skis vary by state, though the most basic ones include proving that one is at least 12 years old (some states require 16 as the base age), attending a very short lesson on how to safely operate a jet ski and, for those who intend of renting one, a fee of $95 per hour.

Operating a jet ski requires not just love for thrill and adventure; more than these, it necessitates knowledge on proper and safety operation and the intent to operate one safely, that is without being a threat to the safety of others.

In their website, the Charleston boating accident lawyers at Clawson Staubes, LLC: Injury Group mentions how serious injury can result when jet skis are operated by someone who fails to exercise good judgment or follow the law. Reckless or careless operation of a jet ski continue to injure and kill hundreds of innocent individuals every year. No one is taking away your right to enjoy and have great fun on the water; however, having fun should not be without exercising responsibility. If you cause an accident because you acted recklessly, regretful or not for what your recklessness resulted to, your actions shall certainly have legal consequences.

What Types of Insurance Coverage are Required in Your State?

By on 2-24-2016 in Insurance

Drivers who get pulled over and caught without car liability insurance can be issued a traffic ticket for violation of their state’s mandatory insurance law. Besides a traffic ticket, they can also suffer suspension of their driving license, asked to pay costly fines and be required to carry an SR-22 filing to have their license and driving privileges reinstated.

Other than the need to be able to present their insurance card when asked by a traffic enforcer, drivers also need to show proof that they carry car liability insurance whenever they renew their license and car registration. What millions of drivers do, however, is immediately cancel their policy or stop paying premiums after they have accomplished their registration needs; thus, besides having their license renewed, they also free themselves from the burden of paying costly premiums and still get to keep the insurance card which they can always show to traffic enforcers whenever it is asked of them.

Except in the state of New Hampshire where drivers only need to show their capability to provide sufficient funds in case of an at-fault accident, or in Virginia, where a driver can register an uninsured car on the condition that he/she deposit cash or securities with the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), all the other 48 US states mandate carrying car liability insurance.

Depending on the state where a driver resides, he/she must carry either tort car liability coverage in tort-states or the no-fault car liability coverage in no-fault states.

In tort states, the car accident victim can file a civil lawsuit against the at-fault driver. The amount of compensation that the victim is legally entitled to receive, which usually covers medical treatment, lost wages, pain and suffering, will be paid by the at-fault driver’s insurance provider. There are 38 states where this type of insurance coverage is mandated.

In no-fault states, which include of Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, and Utah, the insurance provider pays its own policy holder in the event of an accident, regardless of whose fault the accident is. Due to this, the driver who claims to be the victim in the accident need not file any lawsuit against the at-fault driver, making payment of compensation faster. (The states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Kentucky allow their drivers to choose which coverage they would want to carry, either the no-fault car insurance or the full tort car insurance.)

For extra protection of those in tort states, however, due to the millions of uninsured drivers who continue to drive on US roads and highways, states also require their drivers to carry Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage.

Uninsured motorist coverage covers accident victims’ economic losses and damages in accidents wherein: the at-fault driver does not carry auto liability insurance; the vehicle used by the at-fault driver was stolen; or the accident is a case of hit-and-run. Underinsured motorist coverage, on the other hand, is designed to supplement the at-fault driver’s policy, the amount of which is not enough to cover costs of all covered losses.

Though states require only the minimum liability limit for auto insurance, millions of drivers still find insurance policies too costly to maintain. Wausau, WI car accident lawyers say, however, that drivers need not be tied to paying expensive premiums. Many firms like itself help drivers find the best insurance deal that is within their budget. Moreover, the auto insurance quote provided by these firms is comprehensive and perfectly helpful, besides being free; drivers can also ask for quotes online.

Are Blood Clots Dangerous?

By on 10-03-2015 in Personal Injury, Product Liability

It can happen anywhere. Long haul flights, busy traffic jams that can last for hours and hours, or even just lose track of time while you’re sat on your office chair – blood clots can happen to you. But are they dangerous?

In order to understand the danger and threat that anything poses, you must first understand what it is.

What, exactly, is a blood clot? Well, you know that there are involuntary movements in your body that keep it going for the entirety of its duration, right? Blood flow is one of those things. Blood constantly runs through your body – and will continue to do so for all the rest of your life because it must. Blood flows through your many, many veins in order to support your body. Now, naturally occurring blood clots happen when a vein – such as the deep vein – breaks or is unable to continue the blood flow. The cells then coagulate within the vein and create a clot, making it impossible for the blood to flow through the body. If the flow is disrupted, it could severely damage the affected area.

This is especially true for cases regarding Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). The deep vein must be regularly moved for blood flow to be stimulated. If the body is still for too long, the blood in the vein could coagulate and clot. According to the website of the lawyers with Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, if the clot is large enough then it might cause pulmonary embolism, a situation wherein a blood clot disrupts the blood flow to the lungs, thereby damaging the organ. If unable to be quickly acted upon, the results could be fatal.

This can be serious and since the damage is internal, it can be difficult to immediately spot the signs and therefore action must be taken immediately. Other instances of blood clotting can occur due to external trauma or the malfunction of preventative surgical devices such as IVC filters for people who have higher risk for blood clotting, such as pregnant women or diabetics.

Common Cruise Ship Accidents and Injuries

By on 7-02-2015 in Personal Injury

For a lot of people, vacationing on a cruise ship is quite an ideal scenario. After all, cruise ships offer tourists the very best of a variety of travelling experiences. Cruise ships allow passengers to tour one destination after another while enjoying luxurious accommodations. Aside from being able to experience exotic locales through excursion activities, cruise ship passengers also experience a variety of activities while travelling out on the open sea.

Still, despite the convenience and luxury that cruise ships offer, passengers will have to keep in mind that there are certain risks involved in this method of travel. The risk of accidents is significant during shore excursions. In these events, passengers typically take part in activities like scuba diving, jet skiing, and bungee jumping. Without proper maintenance, there’s a huge possibility that the equipment used in these activities could be defective. There’s also the risk of facing accidents as passengers are transported from the ship to the shore through small boats called tenders, and as they are being transported from one venue to the next through motor vehicles.

The website of the Louis A. Vucci also points to the possible dangers that passengers can face while on board the cruise ship itself. These dangers are associated with the typical risks involved with traveling at sea, such as large waves, sea storms, and icebergs. Defects on the facilities and equipment on board can also cause fires and electrocutions. Another common accident occurs when a cruise ship fails to dock properly at the port, causing sudden lurching and other unexpected movements that can lead to passengers slipping and falling. Incidents like this can result in broken bones, head trauma, and spinal cord injuries.

Cruise ship passengers should be able to enjoy their dream vacation without worrying about disastrous incidents that may come their way. Unfortunately, reality points to the fact that these passengers should be made aware of the dangers they could face while enjoying their trip. Hopefully, these precautions can serve as a way to help vacationers be more discerning with the cruise line they want to patronize.

An Overview of Drug Possession Laws

By on 6-30-2015 in Criminal Defense

Drug-related crimes are consistently met with aggressive punishment across all 50 states in the United States. According to the website of the Bruno Law Offices, 1.9 million drug arrests were made across the nation in the year 2006. Among the drug violations that entail strict penalties is the possession of illegal substances. While the specific punishment for drug possession charges varies depending on state laws, those convicted with such a crime can expect to face consequences that could leave devastating long-term effects.

Across America, drug possession generally refers to the willful possession of illegal substances either for recreational personal use, distribution, sale, or other similar endeavors. Any individual who is caught having specific amounts of drugs like cocaine, marijuana, heroin, methamphetamine will be charged with a crime and can expect to meet harsh punishment. Most drug possession laws in the U.S. delineate penalties based on the quantity of drugs found on a person. For example, individuals caught with smaller quantities of drugs are set to meet penalties that are less stringent than those caught with large amounts of a specific substance. Some drug possession laws also recognize that there are some substances that are more dangerous than others. As a result, individuals found to be possessing highly addictive drugs like heroin meet steeper punishment compared to those in possession of drugs like marijuana.

In Texas, for example, an individual carrying less than 2 ounces of marijuana will be charged with a misdemeanor. This entails up to 180 days of jail time and a maximum fine of $2,000. In comparison, getting caught with more than 4 ounces of marijuana is already considered a felony. Meanwhile, as Ian Inglis Attorney at Law points out on his website, cocaine possession is an automatic felony. Depending on the amount found on a person, cocaine possession can be considered a state jail felony, third-degree felony, second-degree felony, first-degree felony, or an enchanted first-degree felony.