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All You Need To Know About Wrongful Death

Death is an inevitable fact of life. Each one of us will die and we cannot stop it. But when a loved one dies due to the negligence of another person, that is unacceptable. According to the website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, the sudden death of their loved one can have a huge impact on the surviving family members. The good news is that they can file a wrongful death lawsuit on the responsible party in order to ease their and pain and suffering.

Wrongful death is a civil case that can be filed against a person or business for their responsibility in the death of another person. The sudden death of the plaintiff could be the result of the following:

  • Negligence or carelessness
  • Design or product defect
  • Recklessness or gross negligence
  • Intentional acts

Depending on the state where you live, wrongful death laws lay down the specifics of filing a case against the defendant. It also explains the possible damages, the statute of limitations, and other procedures. As mentioned, the damages that can be recovered will depend on the state where the case was filed. In general, it will be the surviving members of the family or estate who will receive compensation for:

  • Lost financial support
  • Loss emotional support suffered by the survivors
  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral and burial cost

For a wrongful death case to be successful, it would have to satisfy the basic elements such as duty of care, act or omission that breached that duty, the action directly caused the injury or death, and there were resulting damages. As to who gets the damages? The court will consider several factors in the determination of the amount as well as the recipient. Punitive damages may also be awarded to the surviving members of the family.

Effects of Broken Bones in Children

Fractures, which happen when bones break, can have different effects on adults and on children, whose bones are more flexible because they are otherwise still growing, according to the website of Crowe & Mulvey, LLP.

Adults have around 206 bones in their bodies, with the largest being the femur or thighbone, which makes it possible for people to engage in activities such as walking and jumping. The smallest bones in the body are called stapes, which are found in the middle ear of humans and other animals and which are responsible for the production of sound waves in the ear, making it possible for the person or the mammal to hear. Some bones are flat, like those inside one’s skull. Some have a cube shape, like those that make up one’s wrist. However, most of the bones in one’s body are called long bones, which are found inside one’s arms, legs, hands, and feet, which are responsible for mobility and flexibility.

One can find out that one has broken bones if he/she gets an X-ray of the affected bone area. On an X-ray, bones have a whitish appearance. However if a bone is broken, the bone will manifest as dark-colored.

Children are more susceptible to bone breakage because their bones are still growing. An example of a breakage is the growth plate fracture, which happens near the end of the bone where the growth occurs. An X-ray of a growth plate fracture can appear normal, because growth plates are made up of cartilage, not bone.

A buckle fracture is characterized by an irregularity in the bone, not an outright crack. On the other hand, a greenstick fracture happens one side of the bone is slightly cracked, while the other side appears to be normal.

Complete, compound, and stress fractures can occur in both adults and children. A complete fracture happens when the ends of a bone are not touching each other, causing it to split into two parts. Meanwhile, a compound fracture happens when one of both ends of a bone have pushed through the skin. A stress fracture can sometimes only be detected by computerized tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans because they are so subtle that they can hardly be seen.

Staying Safe around the Pool

During the summer, pools are a great place to stay cool, get some exercise, and just have a good time wasting the day away with friends and family. However, it is essential that people recognize the dangers that come with pools.

If you are with children, you have to be especially cautious around pools. Always keep a close eye on them, and teach them water safety before letting them out of arms length around pools. Make sure they know not to dive in waters under five feet. Let them know running, yelling, and pushing by the pool is even more unacceptable than doing so in a setting like your house or school.

Keep children away from the drains and pipes inside of the pool as much as possible, especially if your child is on the small side. Also make sure to bring a cell phone to the pool with you, so if there is an accident you can call for help as soon as possible.

Do not take bad weather lightly. If there is a chance of bad weather, especially if there is predicted thunder or lightning, do not go to the pool. After bad weather has passed, still be wary. You never know if the storm is just temporarily ceasing or if it is done for the day.

Drinking alcohol poolside sounds like a relaxing addition to a day at the pool, but if consumed irresponsibly it could be a recipe for disaster. Think about what your limit usually is, and tone it down by two or three drinks when you are at the pool.

If you are an owner of a pool, you are obligated to keep those who are at your pool safe. That being said, if you are a host, keep your guests safe. If you are a guest, make the job of your host easier and behave well.

When Pedestrians Cause Car Accidents

When pedestrians are involved in a car accident, usually it is understood that the pedestrians are the victims and the car driver is the one who is at fault for the accident. This is generally the case, but not always what occurs. There are instances where pedestrians are to blame for the accident, either completely or only partially. As in any type of injury claim or lawsuit, it is important to determine who is at fault for the accident in order to see the legal responsibilities or each party.

In order to help determine who is at fault for the accident between a car driver and a pedestrian, there are many factors that the jury or judge will look into. Among the most important ones are the testimonies from witnesses, police report, gathered and presented evidence, and applicable laws for the case. When the car driver is the one determined to have caused the accident, awards may be given to the pedestrian in form of compensation for the injuries and damages brought about by the accident. However, in instances where the pedestrians caused the accident, the driver will have legal right to sue the pedestrian for the damages and injuries.

There are many ways in which a pedestrian can be the one responsible for the car accident, such as instances where they consciously commit jaywalking or crossing outside the crosswalk, crossing against the traffic signal, walking in areas where pedestrians are restricted, and even entering the street or highway while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Unfortunately though, even when the pedestrians caused the accident there are still some fault that is shared by the car driver. When shared has been determined by the court, two basic legal concepts are considered, depending on the state in which the accident occurred. States that follow pure comparative negligence rule would award compensation to the injured victim but the award will be reduced by the amount equivalent to the percent of fault the victim contributed to the accident. Another form of comparative negligence is the modified comparative negligence, where the injured person can be awarded compensation provided that they bear less than 50 percent of the blame for the accident.

Contributory negligence is the second type of rule used by several states. States that follow this implements the rule that if a person involved in the accident contributed in the accident, no matter how small the blame, they will not have legal right for compensation. In car-pedestrian accident cases where both parties contributed to the accident, they will be the one responsible for their injuries and damages caused by the accident. Although both parties do not have legal right to sue each other, though, they are still given the right to file for a claim from their own insurance provider.

The Right of Bicyclists on the Road

When road accidents involving a motor vehicle and a bicycle occur, there is no telling what sort of injury or danger the cyclist can be exposed to, considering the little or almost no protection on his/her body. Riding your bike on U.S. roads ought to be a safe activity, especially since the law recognizes your right to have a share of the road with other motor vehicles.

Despite the allotted bike lanes, a lot of drivers still stubbornly refuse to recognize the legally imposed bikers’ right, resulting to as many as 52,000 injured and 677 dead cyclists in 2010 and 2011, respectively.

There are a lot of ways that these nightmarish accidents may become reality. Some of the most common reasons why motor vehicles and bicycles collide include:

  • Making abrupt turns in front of bikers
  • Drivers intentionally cutting a biker’s right of way
  • Failure to slow down when making turns or at intersections
  • Drivers trying to beat a red light or choosing not to stop at stop signs
  • Drivers failing to check possible incoming bikers
  • Reckless driving by intoxicated drivers

Cars and other motor vehicles are among the leading causes of serious injuries and deaths of cyclists in the U.S., due to the carelessness or negligence of drivers, car manufacturers or other parties involved in road traffic activities. This perennial, yearly concern has always kept the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on its toes, continuously advocating road safety programs and working with car manufacturers to find ways to make cars better and safer. Drivers can help by giving bicycles more space, while cyclists can help by being more visible and signalling their intentions on the road clearly.

Thus, in 2013 one car company added another first in its line of technologically-advanced car safety features that are intended to further reduce the risk of car accidents which cause injury (or death) to pedestrian and bicycle riders – the Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with Full Auto Brake. If the driver fails to act immediately on his/her car’s flashing red light which warns of an imminent collision, the safety feature will automatically stop the car to lessen the force of, if not totally avoid, the impact. This safety feature is expected to reduce yearly accidents, injuries and deaths to more than half.

Collisions almost always leave bicyclists with severe injuries that require medical treatment and absence from work – costly losses for the victim. Financial suffering should never add to victims’ woes, considering the fact that the accident and their injury are the fault of someone else. For the compensation victims are legally entitled to, there is always a highly qualified lawyer who you can turn to for assistance and defense of your rights.

Safety Measures to Ensure Avoidance of Explosion Accidents

About 657 billion cubic meters or 657,000 liters of natural gas is used in all American homes and offices annually. Natural gas is highly combustible, making it extremely hazardous; however, without it, air conditioning systems, furnaces, boilers, clothes dryers, gas stoves, ovens and a lot of other things will not be able to function.

This gas is distributed to U.S. consumers by local gas utilities or local distribution companies (LDC). It passes through pipelines installed by these same distributors (which may either be privately owned or owned and controlled by the local government.

According to the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, a branch of the Department of Transportation, natural gas distribution pipes extend more than two million miles through cities, connecting distribution sites to consumer sites. To ensure total safety and the avoidance of accidents, such as a leak which can very well lead to an explosion, distribution companies implement safety programs, which include:

  • One Call Systems – refers to the “call-before-you-dig” 811 telephone number that was started in 2008. Contractors, excavators and customers are made aware of this number, which needs to be contacted before any digging (for pipeline installation), is made. This is to make sure that no facility or other pipeline is damaged in the digging process.
  • Emergency Preparedness – distribution companies or local utilities make sure that everyone is prepared for any possible natural disaster, by participating in local emergency preparedness and community programs
  • Technicians on Call – in the event of problems, like leaks, a group of well trained technicians can be relied on 24/7
  • Safety Education Programs – customers are informed through seminars held in community centers, schools and other associations about natural gas safety procedures; they are also told what to measures to take during emergencies
  • Leak Detection Equipment – the most modern leak detection tools and equipment are used by distribution companies to enable them to detect and immediately locate leaks in the distribution network.  Natural gas odorants are also used to make leak detection easier and faster.

Any unmaintained pipe or unchecked leak can result to an explosion, the effects of which can be severe, even deadly. In its website, The Law Offices of Vic Feazell, P.C., affirms this fact, and even identifies severe burns, spinal cord damage, and head and brain trauma as some of the worst effects an explosion can result to.

Wiring problems, furnaces, boilers, defective appliances, operating an electronic gadget, a lighted candle or a spark from one’s lighter (when lighting a cigarette) is enough to cause leaked gas to explode and engulf everything and everyone in flames. Thus, doing the extra work of checking that natural gas pipes are okay wouldn’t be so hard, especially with the knowledge that this is to ensure our safety, as well as of all others’.

Rick Coleman+