Car Accidents Caused by Highway Defects

Car accidents are unfortunately a common occurrence across the United States. As found by the United States Census Bureau, about 10.8 million motor vehicle accidents were reported in the year 2009 alone. In most of these cases, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration points out, about three fourths are caused by traffic violations and driver’s errors. Another common factor contributing to these numbers are dangerous road conditions caused by highway defects and poorly-maintained streets.

Highway defects and other dangerous road conditions can place drivers in a lot of risky situations that could lead to serious accidents. In these accidents, they also face the risk of serious injury that will undoubtedly leave devastating effects on their individual lives. According to Spiros Law, P.C., common highway defects include potholes, uneven payments, lack of important traffic signs, and lack of guardrails along the edge of the road. Other common highway hazards include shoulder drop-offs, water pooling, and hazards blocking the roadway.

Such highway defects and hazards can easily be avoided with proper road maintenance. The local government is held responsible for such duties and is in charge of making sure the roads meet safety protocols. In cases of accidents caused by dangerous road conditions, the government is typically free from any liability as long as they follow approved construction plans. As such, they might be exempt from paying victims their deserved compensation.

Victims have the legal option to seek out compensation for damages caused by injuries from highway accidents. As they point out, injuries from car accidents can really leave profound effects on an individual’s life. If you have been in a crash caused by dangerous road conditions and other highway hazards, you might be able to hold your local government accountable for the accident you experienced. It would be good to consult with the Mokaram Law Firm to learn your options.

Workers’ Compensation: What to Do After an Injury in the Workplace

Accidents can happen anywhere, even in the workplace. This is especially true for people working in high risk industries such as construction and transportation. U.S. federal law, through the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, mandates specific safety requirements that all employers must follow. However, such precautions still can’t fully prevent the instances of workplace injuries that happen in the country.

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration notes that there have been about 2.9 million cases of private industry workplace injuries in 2013. They also name the following as common causes for workplace injuries:

  • Falling from heights
  • Slipping, tripping or falling due to hazards
  • Getting struck by objects
  • Constant lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying of heavy objects
  • Constant repetitive and rigid motions
  • Accidents involving heavy equipment, machines, or vehicles
  • Toxic exposure
  • Acts of violence and harassment

These scenarios and accidents can lead to a lot of injuries for workers. Depending on the specific scenario, these high-risk situations can lead to minor injuries such sprains, bruises, lacerations, contusions, and fractures; as well as more alarming injuries like burns, amputations, brain trauma, and spinal cord injuries.

If you have been injured in similar workplace scenarios described above, it’s important to know that you have options to help you cope with the long-term consequences. According to the website of Ravid and Associates, workers’ compensation benefits can help alleviate financial concerns that go with having to deal with a serious accident that can halt your ability to work. With the help of an experienced attorney, you can get assistance with filing your initial claim and making necessary appeals. A lawyer can also help you pursue the payment for your approved claim. Contact a qualified law professional to learn more about your options.

Probate Shortcuts for California Residents

The probate process can be long and expensive. This is especially true in California, where the Probate Code has mandated a statutory fee for services rendered by the probate attorney. This fee is made up of a specific percentage of the value of assets going through the process. As such, beneficiaries might be burdened by financial constraints while they try to sort everything out. Thankfully, the law provides several options that could help ease the probate procedure.

California law has streamlined procedures that could allow inheritors to forgo the lengthy probate process altogether. These procedures can be accomplished through a simple affidavit or petition, and is especially meant for smaller estates or for inheritors that are surviving spouses or registered domestic partners

Spousal or Domestic Partner Property Petition

A surviving spouse or registered domestic partner can have inherited assets transferred to their own estate through a Spousal or Domestic Partner Property Petition. All one has to do is fill out several required forms have everything filed to the state probate court for approval. Remember to attach the Will to the petition to make sure the process goes through smoothly. Without a Will, there could be limits to which assets can be transferred to the surviving spouse or partner.

Affidavit for Claiming Property

For smaller estates, the best avenue is to file an affidavit asking for transfer of personal property and assets. In California, this procedure is limited only for estates that are valued at no more than $150,000 or those with real estate with up to $50,000 in value. In these cases, all an inheritor has to do is create a short document that asserting their wish to transfer assets and have it signed under oath. The affidavit could take up to 2 to 6 months to process, depending on the type of assets and properties involved in the estate.

Even if these procedures are far simpler than the usual probate process, inheritors can still face a lot of hurdles if they expect to do everything on their own. It’s always best to seek out legal counsel in order to avoid any difficult scenarios. A Houston lawyer may be able to help you learn more about alternative legal options like the ones discussed here.

Keeping Roads Safe: Drunk Driving Prevention

It’s an unfortunate reality that car accidents are a common occurrence in the United States. According to data from the United States Census Bureau, there were 10.8 million reported motor vehicle accidents in the year 2009. The road can pose plenty of risks for drivers. That’s why it’s important that drivers help keep the roads safe by following prescribed traffic rules and safety practices.

Traffic violations and offenses can lead to more than just fines and a court date. Drivers who are careless and negligent on the road can cause serious accidents and injuries. This is particularly true for those who insist on driving while drunk. As found by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, alcohol-impaired driving happens too frequently in roads across the country. In fact, data shows that drunk driving has caused over 10,000 deaths in 2012. One way the government tries to curb these numbers is by stricter implementation of important traffic policies and regulations.

Among the policies that have been helpful in recent years are sobriety checkpoints established in several states across the country. Through checkpoints, the police can flag down drivers suspected of driving while under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI). They can then check for the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level usually through a breathalyzer test. Anyone found driving with a BAC level beyond what’s legally mandated could stand to face penalties such as jail time and license suspension. It’s illegal for private individuals to be driving with a BAC level above 0.08 percent. For commercial drivers, the legal BAC level is at 0.04. Meanwhile, anyone under the age of 21 is under a zero tolerance policy, meaning that they shouldn’t have any trace of alcohol in their system.

Drunk driving can lead to devastating consequences, especially when other people become seriously injured in the accident. As the website of Williams Kherkher puts it, such consequences are easy to avoid as long as drivers remain aware of their responsibility behind the wheel. If you have been injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, know that you can take legal action and receive just compensation for the trauma you experienced.

Erb’s Palsy: Potential Dangers during Childbirth

Childbirth is a definitive moment that expectant parents happily look forward to. However, the joy such an important occasion brings can be eclipsed by carelessness and negligence on the part of the medical staff. Unfortunately, there’s great cause for concern about birth injuries caused by medical malpractice. It’s important to bring awareness to such issues to make sure expectant parents learn the risks and potential dangers that could happen during childbirth.

Erb’s palsy is one of the most common birth injuries in America. It is characterized by paralysis in the arms caused by damage to the upper nerves in the area. Because of the fragility of their condition, newborns are the most susceptible to this medical condition. The slightest mistake during delivery could cause significant damage. If the medical staff is not careful, they could accidentally affect the nerves responsible for movement and sensation in the arms.

Erb’s palsy usually results from crucial mistake committed by doctors or nurses a difficult childbirth. In particular, significant nerve damage to the arms can result from the medical staff pulling the infant’s head at the wrong time, using inappropriate medical tools, and applying excessive force on the shoulders when pulling the baby out of the birth canal.

Children who develop Erb’s palsy can face a long road of long-term medical care. If it remains untreated, the damage to the nerves can become permanent and lead to muscle atrophy and paralysis. Because of this, parents should be on the lookout for signs of this serious condition while there’s a chance to surgical repair the damage. Among such signs include a baby’s lack of response to touch and lack of movement in the arm area. Parents should also watch out for their baby’s inability to grip with their hands, or if their arms remain flexed and held close to the body.

If your child developed Erb’s palsy due to medical error, don’t hesitate to seek out legal counsel. Recovery and treatment of Erb’s palsy can be expensive and time consuming. Parents should be allowed to receive just compensation for the trauma their child has been made to experience. Contact an experienced birth injury attorney in your area to learn more about your options.

BP Claims Appeal: Will the legal battle finally end?

The legal battle over the 2010 British Petroleum (BP) oil spill has yet to find its definite conclusion. When the drilling rig operated by the oil firm giant exploded, the accident left in its wake many devastating consequences for the Gulf of Mexico and the nearby Louisiana coast. Aside from significant environmental impact, the BP oil spill also caused socioeconomic unrest for the surrounding area.

A number of businesses, particularly those in the fields of tourism and hospitality, commercial fishing, and shrimp and oyster farming, have suffered great financial losses because of the oil spill. To compensate for these losses, BP promised to settle any damages caused by the accident to both businesses and individuals. The Big Oil company has made up to $2.3 billion in settlement payments until they recently stopped and started appealing majority of the claims. They argue that Patrick Juneau, the Louisiana court-appointed settlement fund administrator, has been carelessly awarding payments to claimants that have no legitimate proof that they have been affected by the oil spill. They also maintain their right to appeal any claims that exceed $25,000, emphasizing that such a clause was part of the original settlement contract they agreed to.

Because of such disputes over the original settlement agreement, even legitimate claimants are stuck in a waiting game. Plenty of the affected businesses continue to suffer damages to their current financial situation, with some having forced to declare bankruptcy. The website of the BP claim appeal lawyers at Williams Kherkher estimates that claimants are still waiting for a total of $7.8 billion in compensation payment.

In December 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States made a unanimous decision to decline BP’s appeal of the original settlement agreement. Because the country’s highest court is BP’s last avenue for appeal, this development could finally signal the long-awaited end to the drawn out legal battle. Affected businesses can only hope that receive their much-deserved compensation payments as soon as possible.

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