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Posted by on Oct 31, 2014 in Car Accidents, Drunk Driving | 0 comments

Facts about DUI Drivers Ought to Know

In May 2014, the National Transportation Safety Board made a recommendation that states should bring down the blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) level to 0.05% to lessen fatal motor vehicle crashes in the US which number to more than 30,000 every year.

All US states plus the District of Columbia presently consider it as a crime to drive a car with a BAC of 0.08 % or above (for commercial vehicle, like trucks, the proscribed level is 0.04%, while for individuals below 21 years old, it is zero tolerance level).

In majority of US states, as well as in the Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands and the District of Columbia, even a first DUI offense would result to an administrative license suspension (ALS); ALS also allows law enforcers to confiscate a driver’s license due to chemical test failure and the limiting of driving privileges, such as to/from the workplace.

A driver convicted of a DUI offense can be required to install an ignition-interlock device in his/her car to disable the vehicle’s engine if alcohol is detected in his/her breath. Some states have made this mandatory even for first-time offenders. Furthermore, the adoption of open container and repeat offender laws is being mandated by the federal government on all states. The open container law, which is being administered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) strictly “prohibits the possession of any open alcohol beverage container, or the consumption of any alcoholic beverage, in the passenger area of any motor vehicle located on a public highway, or the right-of-way of a public highway, in the states.” (http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/programs/154.html)

Driving under the influence or DUI is a serious offense in all 50 US states. The NHTSA has identified it as among the major causes of fatal accidents on US roads and highways, thus exacting severe punishments (that include imprisonment, hefty fines, mandatory attendance in a DUI school, suspension of driving privileges, and community service) on violators. Repeated offense can also end up in the driver being required to acquire an SR-22 form, which means higher car liability insurance premiums for, at least, three years.

While the overzealousness of law enforcers has, indeed, led to the prevention of many would-have-been alcohol-related fatal accidents, the law firm of Alexander & Associates says on its website that a considerable number of individuals suffer from undeservedly DUI charges and convictions that will change the course of their future for a long time. Drivers facing a DUI charge get in touch immediately with a DUI lawyer or with a competent Massachusetts car accident lawyer for the much needed legal help that they need.

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Posted by on Oct 24, 2014 in Cruise Ship Accidents | 0 comments

The Many Different Causes of Cruise Ship Accidents

The improvements in the cruise ship industry over the last two decades have simply been so impressive that the dramatic increase in the yearly number of passengers (many of whom make reservations as early as six months before the scheduled voyage) can only be expected.

Today’s cruise ships can accommodate as many as 4000 people on each travel (the biggest even has more than enough space for 6000 passengers and crew. The real cause of so many thrills to passengers is not the ship’s size, though, but the facilities that make just being on it awesomely exciting. For besides the much improved rooms that provide great comfort and a stunning view of deep blue, these giant cruise lines are designed with:

  • Medical centers with registered doctors and nurses to ensure the health and well-being of everyone on board
  • Cinemas, casinos, bars, pubs and nightclubs
  • Basketball courts, gyms, a mini golf course, fitness centers, health spas, facilities for games of ping-pong and pool, indoor and outdoor swimming pools with water slides
  • Hair and beauty salons, buffet restaurants, a library, tax and duty free shops, and so many other perfect sources of individual and family relaxation and fun

More than 20 million passengers, with at least 11 million coming from the US, spend a cruise ship holiday every year. And, although passengers are guaranteed fun and excitement, there have been occasions when safety has become a major issue, especially when the ship runs into a storm, is hit by rogue waves, collides with another ship, gets damaged by fire, crashes into piers, or hits a rock that creates a wide gash on its side, causing it to capsize and sink.

In 2010 the Cruise Vessel Safety and Security Act or the Cruise Passenger Protection Act was passed. This law, as well as the “Safe Return to Port” regulation that is enforced by the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), is directed at keeping all passengers safe or attended to when hurt and returned safely to port, especially after an accident at sea.

Adding to the mentioned causes of accidents is shore excursion, which is now conducted in almost all ports of call. Shore excursions make a cruise experience still more exciting and adventurous, as it can include archeological, cultural, and tropical island tours, dining on land, shopping for souvenirs at local outdoor markets, horseback riding, hiking, rock-climbing, ziplining, snorkeling through coral reefs, scuba diving, parasailing, jet skiing, and so forth.

In the event of an accident, seeking compensation will not be easy due to the complexity of the maritime law, the question of liability, the statutory period and the specific location of the court where a lawsuit will have to be tried. Due to all these, being represented by cruise ship injury lawyers will definitely be in the best interest of the victim.

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Posted by on Oct 23, 2014 in Cosmetic Surgery | 0 comments

Cosmetic / Plastic Surgery: Procedures that Only Licensed Medical Experts should Perform

Cosmetic and plastic surgeries are two procedures that have continuously gained number of clients in the US for the past years. Whether for medical or personal purpose it is obvious just how much individuals really care about their health or physical appearance. The only firm advice and reminder that medical experts can give patients (undergoing either a cosmetic or plastic surgery) is to make sure that they entrust this procedure only to a trained, licensed, skillful and experienced surgeon.

Both cosmetic and plastic surgeries are aimed at improving a patient’s body; however, these two procedures differ with regard to the outcome they intend to attain. Plastic surgery is focused on reconstructing a facial or bodily defect caused by a disease, burn, trauma, or birth disorder. the different procedures that a plastic surgeon may perform are tumor removal, scar revision surgery, laceration repair, maxillofacial surgery, hand surgery, reconstruction of lower extremity, repair of congenital defect, such as cleft palate, burn repair surgery and breast reconstruction.

The principles, procedures and techniques of cosmetic surgery, on the other hand, are focused entirely on enhancing an individual’s appearance. Its key goals are to improve proportion, symmetry and aesthetic appeal, and it can be performed on the neck, head and lower body parts either by a cosmetic surgeon or an aesthetic plastic surgeon. This surgical procedure is also optional since there is no damage on the area that will be treated.

Cosmetic surgery procedures include: skin rejuvenation (laser resurfacing, botox, and filler treatments), body contouring (gynecomastia treatment, liposuction, and tummy tuck), facial rejuvenation (brow lift, facelift, neck lift, and eyelid lift), facial contouring (rhinoplasty, and enhancement of the cheek or chin), and breast enhancement (reduction, lift or augmentation).

In 2013 the American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS) recorded 15.1 million cosmetic procedures (both surgical and nonsurgical) performed by board certified doctors. The five most popular surgical procedures undergone by women (during the same year) were breast augmentation, nose reshaping, eyelid surgery, liposuction and facelift.

With regard to non-surgical cosmetic procedures, the five most popular treatments in 2012 included botulinum toxin type A or botox, soft tissue fillers or hyaluronic acid, chemical peel, laser hair removal and microdermabrasion (a skin resurfacing procedure).

The team of specially trained and certified plastic surgeons at the Bergman & Folkers Plastic Surgery medical spa explains and emphasizes in its website the importance of having a doctor who fully understands how the body works in order to achieve only the best treatment, which is what the client needs and wants. Thus, before undergoing any cosmetic surgery procedure, make sure it’s a highly-skilled and licensed doctor who will perform the procedure.

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Posted by on Oct 19, 2014 in Premises Liability | 0 comments

Property Owners are Legally Obliged to Protect their Visitors from Harm

The US National Safety Council (NSC) Injury Facts records more than 8 million slip and fall accidents every year, making this type of accident one of the top causes of serious injuries in the US and the most frequent accident that results in premises liability.

Slip and fall accidents can be caused by wet or icy surfaces, moss-filled floors, uneven floors or walkways (especially those that are not well illuminated), unstable surfaces, exposed wires, absences of railings or guardrails, uncovered metal or wooden pegs, faulty stairs, unmarked obstacles, and so forth. While this type of accident can happen to anyone, those who are most seriously affected and hurt are people 55 years old and above. Injuries can include a fractured wrist or elbow, knee injury, torn muscle and ligament, back pain and fractured hip.

A slip and fall accident can happen not only in public places, such as hospitals, churches, malls, restaurants and near swimming pools, but also in private residences where one goes to as a visitor (as an invitee, a licensee or a trespasser, who is an unwelcome visitor, of course).

Identifying the injured visitor’s status on the premise or reason why s/he entered onto another’s land entails major legal significance as it will determine the landowner’s extent of responsibility for the safety and well-being of the visitor, as well as the extent of the visitor’s rights in seeking compensation. And where protection from harm is the issue, invitees are afforded the highest level.

An invitee refers to a person who has received (direct or implied) invitation from the property owner to come onto his/her property to further the owner’s purposes. Persons directly invited to special family gatherings, such as anniversaries, or those entering a shop to transact business with the store owner, are considered invitees.

Invitees are types of guests who naturally assume that the place they enter onto is totally safe; thus, in the event of an accident, which results to an invitee’s injury, the property owner (or anyone directly responsible for the maintenance of the place) can be held totally responsible.

A licensee is another type of guest who has been granted permission to be on the owner’s property; his/her presence there, though, is personal, as it is for his/her own purpose or amusement. Family friends and party guests (and those to whom an open invitation to visit has been extended) fit this visitor description.

Property owners are also obligated by law to ensure the total safety of licensees, unlike in the case of trespassers, towards whom owners do not owe the responsibility of giving warnings about the dangers naturally occurring on the premises (unless the owner becomes aware of a trespasser’s presence).

Property owners or those responsible in the maintenance or upkeep of a place, but who negligently fail to perform their duty, can be held accountable under the premises liability laws, in the event of an injury.

Both Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® and The Mokaram Law Firm explain on their websites the legal rights of injured victims to file a tort lawsuit against the negligent owner or administrator of the property, as well as receive compensation from them for the lost wages, medical bills and other difficulties they may be faced with.

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