Texting and Driving: A Deadly Epidemic

Driving is rarely considered a huge risk. Millions of people commute back and forth from work every day without a second thought. In fact, the only case in which driving is widely considered a danger is in the middle of the night, because of drunk drivers. However, some people simply don’t make it home safe due to cell phone related distractions such as checking email, receiving a phone call, or texting. Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® state on their website that although some car accidents are simply an unavoidable mishap, most wrecks can be blamed on negligent actions.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, texting and driving is six times more dangerous than drinking and driving. The NHTSA also states that you are 23 times more likely to crash if you text while driving. However, the practice simply hasn’t reached the same level of social stigma as drinking and driving. In fact, 34 percent of teens openly admit to texting while driving, according to textinganddrivingsafety.com. Clearly, younger generations simply don’t see texting and driving as a serious danger.

Despite the widespread social acceptance of texting and driving, the law is cracking down. According to “New Jersey court: Texting with a driver can get you in trouble, too,” an article in the LA Times, New Jersey appeals court ruled that if someone texts a person who gets in an accident shortly after receiving that text message, they can be held accountable for the damage. In this case, there must be proof that the person doing the texting knew that the recipient was driving.

In any case, victims of texting and driving may benefit from gaining legal representation.

Read more

Slip and Fall Accidents

Most people trip and get back up instantly, unharmed. However, some may experience recurrent medical issues or may even die from complications after falling.

When a slippery liquid or a misplaced object trips someone in public, the victim or the victim’s family may be entitled to compensation. In general, it is the responsibility of the property owner to ensure that the land or building is safe for others. However, determining if the property owner is at fault may be complicated. Laws on the subject are somewhat vague, and it is vital to prove the “reasonableness” of the property owner’s actions. If a property is not examined or cleaned regularly, for instance, and someone falls on a puddle caused by a leak, then the property owner may be held accountable for any consequent injuries. On the other hand, if that leak started the morning of the incident, the property owner may not legally be at fault.

Victims in most states must also prove that they were not being careless or clumsy. For example, if someone was sending a text message at the time of the slip, they may be held partially accountable for their own injuries.

According to Hach & Rose, LLP, a law firm in New York City, some common causes of slip and fall accidents include slippery flooring, bad lighting, or deep cracks in sidewalks. These are things that can and should be avoided; some cases of wrongful death have occurred where a victim dies from a fall due to someone’s negligence.

When someone has experienced injury or death from a situation that should have been avoided, it may be wise to seek legal representation.

Read more

Small Business, Big Issues

It’s a tough world for small businesses. New legislation may cause headaches for newer or less influential companies.
The health care reform, for example, requires businesses with 50 or fewer employees to determine if the health requirement is applicable to them. This complicates things; small companies simply don’t have the same human resource departments that big businesses do.  Small businesses like this flight school in San Antonio, TX., often have to handle HR issues on their own, without a full-time human resources department. Figuring out legal technicalities takes manpower, time, and dedication. The details of some legislation can be problematic for any business to decipher, let alone a small, newer one.

Immigration reform laws passed last June may also pose an issue for business owners. Most notably, some states have laws in place that make use of E-Verify mandatory. This means that companies in certain states are legally obligated to check each employee in a huge government database to ensure that they are legal to work in the United States. However, each state has their own laws on the topic, and employers are responsible for knowing these laws and enforcing them.

Along with this legislation, businesses must also ensure that older laws are followed diligently. According to the information found at the website of Cedar Rapids business lawyers Arenson Law Group, PC, employers must make sure their employees are paid at least minimum wage and paid overtime when any employee works over 40 hours a week. Many workers are unaware of the details of these laws, making it up to the employer to make sure that they are being paid the correct amount. No matter how ignorant of their rights employees may be, it’s the business’s obligation to comply with these laws. It is in the best interest of both employees and the business to do so.

These technicalities affect most businesses and can be confusing. However, many law firms offer detailed explanations or even free phone consultations. The website of Cary Kane LLP, a law firm in New York, lists specifically what the Fair Labor Standards Act mandates.

Small businesses can protect themselves by knowing their requirements and seeking legal advice when lost.

Read more

The Drug Dilemma: Is Your Medication Helping or Hurting?

When we think of harm from drugs, the first thing that comes to mind is often drastic misuse of the treatment; perhaps we picture an addict, or someone who drinks excessively with their medication. However, that isn’t always the case.

The process for getting a drug approved is complex and layered; in fact, it takes an average of 12 years to get a drug approved from start to finish. Each new medication is taken through a lengthy process of pre-clinical research, studies, and review before being cleared. Still, faulty – or even seriously dangerous – medications are getting through the Food and Drug Administration’s process and ending up on the market. Recently, many prescription drugs have been shown to have dangerous effects beyond their listed warnings.

Among them is Reglan. It’s meant to treat acid reflux, but it is also prescribed to expectant mothers experiencing nausea or morning sickness. A post from the Williams Kherker law firm in Houston, Texas, warns that this medication (also referred to as metoclopramide) may cause movement disorders such as Tardive Dyskinesia and Akathisia; victims may also experience Parkinson’s symptoms. It’s estimated that more than 2 million individuals have taken this medication.

This isn’t the only case of cures that may have hidden side effects. They aren’t always in the form of a pill or an injection; the website of the Williams Kherker law firm warns about a hernia patch by AlloDerm, a synthetic skin graft introduced by LifeCell. After 2000, many patients that were treated using the patch reported symptoms such as swelling, pain, abscesses, and severe – even life-threatening – infection. Some were forced to undergo more surgery to correct the damage.

Other than taking medications as prescribed, nothing can be done to avoid dangerous side effects. However, it may be advantageous to seek legal representation in the case of harm caused by medication.

Read more