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An Overview on the Causes of Birth Injuries

Even before the mother delivers their baby, family, friends, and relatives are wishing for a safe delivery and a healthy baby. Months before the expected date, the mother’s doctor has been providing helpful advice on to ensure the safety of the infant. When the day of birth comes, our wishes for the health of the baby only disappear during delivery. And just when we thought the baby is already healthy, the doctor delivers the bad news that the infant has suffered an injury.

Birth injuries can be a devastating condition that can bring distress to the parents of the baby. Who wouldn’t be? After waiting for nine months for the baby to come, receiving such kind of news can turn the excitement into disappointment. According to the website of Russo, Russo & Slania, PC, birth injuries can happen for a variety of reasons but most of the time, it was due to the negligence of the attending medical personnel. Among the major causes of birth injuries include:

  • A large infant especially if the baby weighs over 4500 grams CPD
  • Instrumental delivery
  • Breech position of the child, vaginal delivery, and emergency caesarean section during labor
  • Premature birth which includes a small head and incompletely formed skull can result to ‘champagne cork popping’ increasing risk of intracranial hemorrhage
  • Shoulder dystocia
  • Other risk factors that can affect delivery of the baby include:
  • Primagravida or untried pelvis
  • Short labor which could result to precipitate delivery of a premature infant
  • Long labor which could be a sign of CPD
  • Oligohydramnios
  • Congenital abnormalities

A difficult delivery may also contribute to the risk of birth injuries. If there is fetal distress, there might be a need to expedite the delivery of the child. Birth injuries may also be caused by a combination of mechanical trauma and hypoxia. Although they can be minor, birth injuries can have serious and lifelong effects on the baby.

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Tips For Avoiding Distracted Driving

One of the biggest factors that contribute to car accidents is distracted driving. When you use your smartphone, check up on your kids, or eat while driving, you lose focus on the road. The split second that you take your eyes off the road can spell the difference between colliding with another vehicle and saving the life of your passengers. In 2013, distracted driving contributed to 3,179 deaths and 431,000 injuries from motor vehicle crashes.

According to the website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, car accidents can have overwhelming consequences which could include financial debt on your part. Bear in mind that distractions and driving cannot mix. With that in mind, here are some tips on preventing distracted driving:

  • Never take your eyes off the road. Fully focus on your driving. Use your mirrors and be aware of incoming pedestrians or cyclists.
  • Make all the necessary adjustments before heading off to your trip. Set your GPS, climate control, sound system, and seats before departure. Plan your route and check traffic conditions in advance.
  • Store loose gear and other rolling distractions in the car. This way, you will not feel tempted to reach for them on the floor of your seat.
  • Check the seat belts of your kids and pets before you proceed with the trip. If they require attention, pull over to the side of the road to attend to them. Reaching something in the backseat can make you lose control of your vehicle.
  • Avoid texting or calling while driving. If that can wait, do it when you are no longer on the road. But if it is that important, pull over to the side and do the texting or calling there.

When driving, many lives can be endangered if you pay attention to distractions. Stay focused on the road and you will reach your destination safely.

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Carry Automobile Insurance Coverage or Suffer Penalties

If you get involved in a car accident, when you register your vehicle and whenever renew your driver’s license, one document that you are usually required to present is proof of automobile insurance coverage. Auto liability insurance or any state-allowed proof of financial capability, such as a bond, is a basic requirement for driving in all US states.

Many people find it odd that auto liability insurance is mandatory. Furthermore, since this mandate is only at the state level, laws regarding what type of coverage to have and the minimum amount of coverage, therefore, vary.

Two most common types of automobile insurance coverage are the full tort car insurance and the no-fault insurance, also known as the personal injury protection (PIP). In states that require full tort insurance coverage, the drivers involved in an accident can file a lawsuit against each other for two purposes: determine who is at fault in the accident and to seek compensation from the liable party. Compensation is paid to the victim by the liable party’s insurance provider. In states where no-fault insurance or PIP is required, however, no lawsuit needs to be filed since there is no need to determine whose fault the accident is. As its name suggests, “no-fault” insurance is financial coverage for the benefit of policy holders themselves. This means that you and the other driver involved in an accident will be compensated by your respective insurance providers regardless of who is at fault in the accident.

Since proving financial responsibility (through insurance or bond) is mandatory, being compensated in the event of an accident should, therefore, not be a worry to any driver. Sad to say, though, but this is not the case because, according to the Insurance Research Council, 1 in every 8 drivers continues to drive freely on US roads and highways despite being uninsured. If you live in a no-fault state, this may not really be a problem since your compensation will come from your own insurance provider; but what if you reside in a tort state?

To be assured of compensation, drivers in D.C., and 20 other states (Wisconsin; West Virginia; Virginia; Vermont; South Dakota; South Carolina; Oregon; North Dakota; North Carolina; New York; New Jersey; New Hampshire; Nebraska; Missouri; Minnesota; Massachusetts; Maryland; Maine; Kansas; and, Illinois) are required to carry Uninsured /Underinsured Motorist coverage on top of their auto liability insurance.

To many drivers, especially student drivers, this may prove too expensive. It is for this purpose that independent car insurance companies exist: to help drivers find the best automobile insurance coverage that is within their budget, regardless of their age, driving experience, the type of vehicle they drive, credit rating, and past traffic violations.

Rather than trying so hard to elude your responsibility in carrying auto insurance, you should know, as the firm Wausau, WI car accident lawyers say, while “car insurance can be expensive, driving without insurance can end up being even more expensive.” Also, not carrying one can result to your driving privileges being suspended. In order to lift this suspension and have your driving privileges restored, you will have to comply with one court requirement, which is the filing of an SR-22 (this usually lasts three years and means higher insurance premiums).

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Speeding: A Reckless and Irresponsible Road Behavior

Concerning mobility, the faster a car travels, the lesser time it will take to reach its destination; with regard to road safety, however, the faster a vehicle is, then the higher its risk of getting involved in an accident.

Speed is one factor that greatly affects mobility and safety. While doing things fast can bear positive results, like more finished work, results are usually not the same when speed is applied in operating a vehicle. Speeding, in fact, is the third major reason behind fatal car accidents. Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show about 13,000 lives being lost annually due to speeding which, by the way, refers not only to driving above a determined speed limit, but also to driving too fast for a given road condition.

Different reasons have been given by people in explaining why they have driven at inappropriate and illegal speeds. These reasons include: trying to be on time for an appointment or for work; the need to stick to schedules; not being aware of what the speed limit is; feeling that they are still driving at safe speed even when driving over the speed limit; keeping up with slower drivers (those who actually observe the speed limit) causes pressure; they will not be caught anyway or, even if they are caught, any damage they may cause will be handled by their insurance provider.

Besides increasing chances of car accidents, speeding, and more so, excessive speeding (which is driving more than 40 km/h over the speed limit), also significantly affects the consequences of car crashes. So that, other than the possibility of causing major damage to properties, greater speeds can also result to more severe injuries or death.

An article on the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.® explains why breaking the speed limit endangers other motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians: speeding makes a driver lose control of his/her vehicle easily, especially when making turns or along curves; it makes stopping the vehicle at crossroads and stoplights more difficult; it reduces a driver’s reaction time to danger; and, it increases the force of impact during collisions.

Speeding’s greatest costs are physical injuries and fatalities. A more detailed explanation of the effects of speeding, as well as the right of innocent victims who are made to suffer due to the behavior of irresponsible and reckless drivers, is posted at www.pohlberkattorneys.com.

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A Sure and Effective Way of Losing Weight

The best weight loss products, the best weight-loss diets, safe and successful weight-loss program, diet pills, prescription weight loss drugs, diet books, top appetite suppressants, weight-loss surgeries, etc. are merely few of the thousands of weight-loss advertisements people see on TV, in magazines and on the web. Even the government boasts of its newly designed weight-loss tool, a free Body Weight Planner, which it claims to be the most scientifically precise weight-loss device in the market to date.

For the past decade, the growth in the weight-loss industry has been nothing short of being astonishing. With more than 100 million American trying various ways, foods and products that will enable them to lose those extra, unwanted fats and pounds, it is no wonder that the industry continuously rakes in about $20 billion revenue every year.

But while studies show a steady increase in the number of Americans who are getting sufficient exercise, there seems to be no correlation between this number and the number of those losing weight. On the contrary, obesity rates still continue to rise all across the US and, of the million dieters, only nine US counties have registered a decrease in obesity, but a very small decrease, sad to say. The main reason, it seems, is because the more active people become the more calories they also tend to consume.

Losing weight, of course, is not just subtracting numbers on the weighing scale. Rather, it makes a person feel so much better, makes him or her more energetic, much younger looking and, most important of all, sexier and, thus, more attractive and more confident.

Losing weight, however, can be a formidable challenge for some people, as explained by weight loss professionals at the weight loss center of the website of Bergman Folkers Plastic Surgery. It may need to follow a program and would require the guidance of a trained medical or weight loss professional, who will help ensure attainment of the type of body a person wants, while keeping it healthy at the same time. However, due to the differences in the ways that people’s bodies respond to weight loss programs or plans, these will necessarily have to be specifically tailored to fit a person’s unique needs and situation. Furthermore, the effects of these programs should also help establish in a person a habit which will help keep him or her healthy for years to come.

Though exercise may not always result to weight loss, it is never suggested that people cease doing it for it will surely help keep the body more fit and healthy. But, for a really effective way of losing weight, which is sure to work for years to come, then going to a weight loss professional may be the best course to take.

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Bypassing Benefits from Workers’ Compensation for the Right to Sue an Employer

Workers who get injured on the job or who develop a work-related illness can file a claim with the Workers’ Compensation ( also known as Workers’ Comp) for benefits that will cover cost of medical treatment and hospitalization, lost wages, rehabilitation, retraining, disability, and death (which includes payment of benefits to survivors of the worker killed on the job). The usual wage replacement is two/thirds of the injured worker’s average wage; however, there is fixed maximum amount set by states so that the benefits will not go over it.

Workers’ Compensation is a program that is mandated and administered by states. It is designed to provide benefits to workers whose injury, disability or illness is work-related. Because it is almost exclusively financed by employers (this is, however, contested by many economists who believe that employees pay a substantial cost in the program in the form of lower wages), it, therefore, acts as a sort of an exchange wherein injured employees, by choosing to receive workers’ compensation benefits, automatically waive their right to sue their employer to further seek additional compensation.

Though Workers’ Comp pays benefits regardless of whose fault the accident which caused the injury is, there are limits as to the types of injuries that may be paid. As a rule, benefits will never be paid to workers whose injuries are self-inflicted, who were intoxicated at the time of the injury, or whose injury is a result of actions in violation of a law or company policy.

The fixed maximum amount of monetary benefit that Workers’ Comp awards to injured workers is really quite low. At two/thirds of the injured worker’s average wage, it will definitely not be enough, especially if the injury leads to temporary or permanent disability, or a severe chronic illness. Workers’ Comp does not also compensate injured workers for their pain and suffering and makes no provision for punitive damages, which will also serve as punishment to an employer for failing to eliminate dangerous conditions in order to ensure safety in the workplace.

Despite the really quite low amount of cash benefit that Workers’ Comp awards to injured workers, the website of Spiros Law, P.C., explains how many injured workers still greatly rely on it so as not to totally suffer disabling financial conditions. But worse than the receiving an inadequate amount is not receiving anything at all due to denial of claims, a situation experienced by so many injured workers. This denial of claims, which the website of the Hankey Law Office also mentions, stems from employers’ and insurance companies’ attempt to avoid their duty of making payments by arguing that the injury or disability sustained by the worker was not work-related. Thus, instead of paying benefits to qualified injured workers, a much lower settlement payment would be offered which unsuspecting workers would be forced to accept all due to the simple fact that they are unaware of what their legal rights are.

Besides affirming their right to receive Workers’ Comp benefits, it is necessary that injured workers know and understand that they also have the right to seek higher compensation by suing their employer – a legal move which can enable them to receive damages that will also cover pain and suffering, punitive damages and mental anguish, in addition to all those that Workers’ Comp would have provided. To be able to sue their employer, though, they will first have to waive their right to Workers’ Comp insurance.

Aside from the right to sue their employer, injured workers can also pursue legal action against third parties, such as suppliers or manufacturers of the defective products or toxic substances that they used at work, or any other outside contractor who may have caused the injury. While suing an outside contractor does not require waiving their right to Workers’ Comp, paying a portion of the Workers’ Comp insurance benefit already received may be necessary. The employer and insurance provider may otherwise be allowed to join injured workers’ side in the lawsuit in order for them to recover the value of the benefits that they already paid.

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Employees’ Basic Rights to Equal Employment Opportunities

Every individual in the United States, regardless of educational qualification, previous work experience, or expertise, has the right to enjoy equal employment opportunities. Promotion of employees’ rights and the prohibition of any form of discriminatory practices in the workplace are protected, upheld and enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which the US Congress established in 1964. EEOC’s enforcement of anti- discriminatory practices takes its basis from Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the federal mandate that strictly prohibits any form of workplace discrimination based on one’s sex, race, color, religion, and national origin.

Besides Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, EEOC is also tasked to enforce other employee-protection laws, including:

  • Equal Pay Act (EPA)of 1963, which protects men and female employees from wage discrimination based on sex or gender;
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967, which protects employees and job applicants aged 40 or above;
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, which is actually the first comprehensive civil rights law in the US. ADA addresses the needs of those with disabilities and strictly prohibits their discrimination in employment, public accommodations, public services, and telecommunications;
  • Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) of 2008, which protects Americans from being treated differently or unfairly because they possess genes that increase risk of development of a disorder, such as cancer, heart disease, or diabetes; and,
  • Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which is an amendment on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the inclusion of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and the transgender (LGBT) in the list of classes that Title VII protects

Many employers, co-workers and clients/customers have already been found guilty of various forms and practices of workplace discrimination; many of them have been charged, while the employees who filed the complaints have been compensated (a victim claiming monetary damages due to intentional employment discrimination is allowed by the Civil Rights Act of 1991). However, despite the laws and their corresponding penalties against offenders, the war against workplace discrimination is still far from being over. As The Melton Law Firm mentions on its website, “far too many employers engage in discriminatory behavior towards current and potential workers, whether consciously or not.” This is why the EEOC continues to inform employees of their right to equal opportunities to employment and their duty to expose unjust practices under the assurance of confidentiality plus legal protection from any form of retaliation from their employer.

Laws against employment discrimination are aimed at promoting the rights of all current and potential employees to equal and fair employment opportunities and in establishing balance and order in the workplace. As mandated by these laws, no employee should and deserve to be mistreated, fired, not hired, given a more difficult job assignment, given smaller compensation, skipped for promotion, training and fringe benefits, or denied any benefit or opportunity related to employment.

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Possible Legal Solutions to Ending Domestic Violence

In 1994, the US Congress passed into law the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) to empower the federal government to fight domestic violence, a major social malady that has continuously caused pain and suffering to many members of families across the US. This persistent social problem, of which millions of incidences are recorded every year, mostly affects women, especially those aged between 15 and 44.

Domestic violence, as defined by the US Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), is a “pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. This abusive behavior can directed against anyone, regardless of age, gender sexual, orientation, religion or race; it also takes different forms, such as physical, emotional, sexual, psychological, verbal and financial.

Domestic violence frequently involves intimate partners; thus, its perpetrator can be the person with whom the abused is married to or is living with. Regardless of who the perpetrator is, however, for the victim, it will always mean trauma, physical injuries, fear and loss of self-confidence. This is why victims usually become withdrawn, problematic, and often unsure and easily embarrassed. Equally worse is domestic violence’s effects on the children, especially male children, who are usually left feeling afraid, confused, stressed, and guilty and/or ashamed, for not having enough courage to defend and protect their abused parent.

The effects of domestic violence are usually long lasting and tend to worsen overtime, besides making the experience more traumatic for victims. In many children, who often witness the abusive acts, the attitude of tolerance to violence, besides the possibility of becoming violent and abusive themselves as they turn into adults, can very likely be developed.

The law firm Arenson Law Group, PC mentions on its website the possibility of domestic violence forming into a dangerous pattern of continuous abuse. Not only are these situations highly damaging to one of the parties, but they can also last for a long time.

Two possible legal solutions to leaving a violent marital relationship, according to the website of Marshall & Taylor, PLLC, are divorce and filing for a restraining order. While divorce may be worth considering, the act of filing for divorce up to the first court hearing will definitely take time, thus the possibility of the abusive partner retaliating and becoming more violent and abusive. Through a restraining order, however, an abuser can be legally required to leave the house and stop all forms of contact and harassing or interfering conduct, while ensuring provisions for child custody, child and spousal support, and visitation.

Domestic violence can both be a civil and criminal offense and state and federal authorities are bent on strictly enforcing laws that will prevent and stop abusers from further harming and injuring family members who cannot defend themselves. But to enable authorities to charge and convict offenders, victims will need to find the courage to come out and file complaints.

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Drunk-Driving: An Entirely Avoidable Result of Gross Negligence

Records from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that in 2010 more than 1.4 million drivers were arrested due to driving under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, or both. Driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious traffic violation in all US states. First time offenders, if they did not cause any property damage or physical injury, can be charged with misdemeanor; a felony charge, however, awaits repeat offenders and first time offenders who injures or kills someone or whose blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is above the 0.08% federal limit.

As explained on the website of a Milwaukee car accident attorney, “alcohol and drug intoxication can have a profound impact on a person’s ability to operate a car or motorcycle. These substances can slow a person’s reaction time, cause a lack of focus, impair decision making, and lead to other dangerous behaviors.”

A blood alcohol concentration measurement chart from the CDC shows the equivalent BAC level for certain number of beer bottles that a person consumes. A 160-pound man was asked to undergo this measurement test and the bottles of beer for each BAC level were all consumed within an hour.

2 bottles of beer = 0.02% BAC
3 bottles of beer = 0.05% BAC
4 bottles of beer = 0.08% BAC
5 bottles of beer = 0.10% BAC
7 bottles of beer = 0.15% BAC

Due to differences in alcohol tolerance, there are individuals who, even at two bottles, already experience slower reflexes. However, despite this impairment and the already basic knowledge of the dangers of drinking and driving, as well as the legal warnings, stiffer penalties, the increased number or frequency of sobriety checkpoints, and the greater visibility of law enforcement agencies on public roads and highways, so many still stubbornly choose not to listen. The result is that, every year, more than a million individuals are arrested. The worse part, though, is on the number of lives lost due to these violators of the anti-drinking and driving law. In 2012, there were 10,322 fatal car accidents due to alcohol- impairment, while in 2013, the total number of deaths was 10,076.

Drunk driving is a serious problem in the US. It is a continuous threat to pedestrians, motorcyclists, bicyclists and all other motorists on the road. It can cause tragic accidents that can totally alter victims’ lives. Louisville car accident lawyers may point out the tragic fact that accidents that are due to drunk driving are entirely avoidable as these occur only because of the gross negligence of individuals attempting to drive even while intoxicated.

Alcohol not only impairs drivers’ motor skills and mental capacity, it also affects their reaction time, perception, judgment, general ability to focus on the road, and coordination. This is why the law can hold drunk drivers totally liable for any accident that may result from their imprudent decision to drink and drive.

A personal injury lawyer also knows the various serious consequences of a car accident to a victim and his or her family. Besides the physical injuries and the mental and emotional trauma due to the accident, there are also the costly medical treatments and possible loss of income due to time spent away from work.

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