Whenever you get behind the wheel, there’s an expectation that your journey will be safe and uninterrupted. However, as John Lennon said, “Life is what happens when we are busy making other plans.”

While you always intend to arrive safely, unexpected road events can disrupt those plans. Regrettably, despite adhering to all road safety rules, you might be in a car accident.

So, what’s the next step? The aftermath of an accident can be stressful as you deal with both physical and emotional trauma. Yet, in this challenging time, there’s a ray of hope: securing personal injury compensation with the assistance of a dedicated car accident attorney.

The Search for a Car Accident Lawyer

Yes, you may understand the indispensable role of a car accident attorney when seeking compensation. But this is just the beginning. How do you actually find the right one? It may seem complicated with so many attorneys out there today.

But things don’t have to be difficult when you follow this recommended path to finding the right car accident attorney for your case. Here is a rundown of some of the factors to keep in mind in your search:

Attorney Fees

Legal help doesn’t come cheap. But you don’t have to dig into your pockets when working with a personal injury attorney  since most use a contingency fee structure. This means the attorney will not ask for any money upfront.

And if you think about it, this model is quite helpful, as you may be dealing with mounting medical bills at the time. With the contingency fee structure, the attorney will get their payment from the compensation you are awarded if you emerge victorious. Most attorneys cap their cut at around 33 percent.

Experience

As you may know, personal injury is a diverse field with many branches, from medical malpractice to workplace injury to animal bites to car accidents. Similarly, most lawyers specialize in a specific branch of personal injury.

Therefore, you should work with a lawyer who specializes in car accidents. The ideal attorney should have taken cases to trial and succeeded, as this bolsters your chances should an out-of-court settlement fail in your case.

Communication

Personal injury law is complex, so it’s understandable that you have many questions. You may want to know what your chances of winning are or what strategy the lawyer will use to ensure your victory.

“A good personal injury attorney should be meticulous and communicative. They should ensure the client fully understands their situation using easy-to-understand language and answer their questions politely and thoroughly,” says attorney Michael McCready of McCreadyLaw Injury Attorneys. As such, don’t be afraid to ask what methods of communication they intend to use if you work together.

Their status

It’s no secret that your attorney’s status in the legal community may affect your case. If you work with a well-respected attorney, the odds may be in your favor. As such, feel free to ask how many of their cases have come from attorney referrals.

You can also do your homework to find out more about their reputation. You can contact the state bar to determine if they have faced any disciplinary actions.

Are they backed by a firm?

You’ll want to work with an attorney with enough resources to handle your case. This means they are backed by a resourceful firm with access to staffers who can handle your case, however complex it may be.

Does the attorney have an organized office space? Do they have other staff available? If so, this is an indication that they are running a professional business.

Conclusion

A qualified car accident lawyer may just be the weight required to tip the scales in your favor and help you win the case. While you may pursue the case yourself, this is inadvisable, as your chances of winning may be lower. And with our list of the factors to look out for when seeking a car accident attorney, finding the right attorney doesn’t have to be complicated.

Also known as driving while intoxicated or under the influence, drunk driving refers to drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more. Lower BACs also constitute drunk driving for those under 21 as it is illegal for minors to consume alcohol.

How to Avoid Drinking and Driving

There are several different ways you can safeguard yourself and your loved ones against drunk driving. Though the most straightforward solution is to abstain from alcohol while in public or when you may otherwise have to drive, the reality is not always this easy.

Below are some tips on ensuring no one gets behind the wheel after drinking:

  • Before going out, pick a designated driver who will abstain from drinking; if necessary, have everyone give their keys to the designated driver.
  • Do not go out alone if you know you will be drinking; if you are going out alone, use a driving service like Uber instead of driving yourself.
  • Never get in a car if you know the driver has been drinking; if you realize a driver is drunk after getting in a car, exit as soon as possible.
  • If must drive, make sure to eat a meal and stay hydrated; wait as long as possible before driving again.
  • If you are hosting an event that involves alcohol, arrange for guests to sleep over, have sober drivers on hand, or arrange for driving services.

Detecting Drunk Drivers On The Road

Drunk drivers pose a threat to you and your passengers even if you are not the one under the influence. If a drunk driver hits you or otherwise involves you in an accident, it can result in lengthy hospital stays for either yourself or your passengers. In a worst case scenario, such an accident may even be fatal.

Roughly one-third of all accident fatalities result from drunk driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This translates to one person dying due to drunk driving roughly every 52 minutes.

Below are common signs that someone is driving while intoxicated:

  • Making unnecessarily wide turns or weaving while turning
  • Drifting across lanes or being otherwise unable to stay in one lane
  • Driving very slowly or intermittently driving slowly and quickly
  • Braking erratically or making sudden stops for no reason
  • Not responding to traffic signs or having a late response

If you suspect a driver is drunk, do not attempt to engage them or attempt to get them off the road. Instead, try to navigate away from them and call 911 or other local law enforcement. Give them any identifying information you noticed, such as the car’s make or model, but do not follow the vehicle to get this information.

Consequences of Drinking and Driving

There are serious repercussions of drinking and driving. Depending on the circumstances surrounding drunk driving, you could be charged with anything from a misdemeanor up to a felony.

Even first-time offenses can result in fines of up to $10,000, community service, a suspended driver’s license, or even jail time. If you do keep your license, you will have to pay higher insurance rates and may have to pay to install an ignition lock device. These are just the consequences related to you — if you hurt someone else, you will likely have to pay their hospital bills or other medical expenses. A DC DUI lawyer can help you navigate the legal process and mitigate the repercussions if you have been charged with driving under the influence.

Riding a motorcycle is undoubtedly exhilarating. They are fast, fuel-efficient, and relatively easy to navigate.

However, with this thrill comes a lot of danger. Statistics have shown that motorcycle crashes are 30 times more likely to be fatal than vehicle crashes. Sometimes, riders are unfortunately treated as second-class road users, leading to increased accidents and fatalities.

Here are some tips for motorcyclists to stay safe on the road.

Always Wear Biking Gear

Motorcyclists are vulnerable road users. Unlike drivers, they do not have protection from impact during accidents. The only protection such motorists have comes from the gear they wear.

That said, it is vital to ensure that you are properly dressed. Many riders want to look “cool” and neglect wearing proper biking attire, a decision that might have catastrophic outcomes.

Never go for a ride without a helmet. Remember that head injuries cause most fatalities in bike crashes. Ensure that your helmet is DOT-approved, and if it is open-faced, use shatter-resistant glasses or goggles.

In addition, you can wear biking jackets, pants, and boots. These attires are made with leather, which will protect your body from injury or at least reduce the magnitude. You can also protect your hands with gloves.

Inspect Your Motorcycle

Make a habit of inspecting your motorcycle before hitting the road. Check that your brakes, tires, and lights are working as intended. Also, always do a short test ride, as it will help you detect mechanical hazards before you head out.

Riding a poorly maintained motorcycle is equally hazardous. Do not neglect the regular service and maintenance with your mechanic. Change your oil, chain, and other worn-out parts as soon as you realize they need replacing.

Pay Attention

Like other road users, motorcyclists are required to be attentive when riding. Avoid distracting habits like listening to loud music or using your phone.

Keep in mind that most accidents are caused by human negligence. As a motorcyclist, you must be on the lookout for distracted motorists and other potential hazards like gravel or bad roads.

Check The Weather

Always check the weather forecast before heading out. This will help you prepare for bad weather or avoid it altogether.

Adverse weather conditions like snow, ice, and rain increase the risk factor for motorcyclists. You might have a hard time focusing when exposed to these conditions.

Bad weather also reduces your bike’s grip on the ground. You could easily skid and crash. Finally, these conditions equally reduce visibility.

Follow Traffic Rules

Bikers are not exempted from obeying traffic rules. They must maintain order and keep all motorists safe. Therefore, the quickest way to cause an accident is to ignore road signs.

Always use turn signals when turning or changing lanes. Avoid making sudden movements on the road. Adhere to other road rules like observing the speed limit.

Follow other vehicles from a safe distance. This will give you enough time and space to react to unprecedented events. Motorcyclists are advised to equip their bikes with anti-lock brakes, which help steer safely in emergencies by preventing wheels from locking up.

Conclusion

Riders have the same rights and responsibilities as other road users. Therefore, they are responsible for their safety and that of others.

“A lot of motorcycle safety ultimately boils down to safety gear,” says attorney Walter T. Clark of Walter Clark Legal Group. “Ensure that you and your passengers have the right safety gear and are always focused on safety while on the roadway.”

Last year, Britney Spears was released from her conservatorship, which had lasted since 2008. The pop star controlled her finances, health, and well-being over the years. The indefinite conservatorship forced her to pay the legal team involved. Spears and her fans would later celebrate after it was terminated in November 2021.

A conservatorship (or guardianship) is the legal role given to a person to manage the activities or resources of another person. It is the court’s appointment of a guardian or conservator to manage a person’s affairs who cannot handle them. This may be due to their mental capacity, age, or physical disability.

The Problem of Conservatorship

Although the idea of a conservatorship aims at supporting incapacitated individuals, the praxis isn’t always healthy. There have been many cases where a conservatee experienced toxic relationships with their conservators. We can find an example in the case of a certain Nick Clouse.

Nick Clouse experienced severe memory loss at 18 after an accident. Subsequently, his mother and stepfather would petition to be his legal guardian. This would make them responsible for all his financial and health decisions.

Years later, Clouse recovered and desired to make his own decisions. However, his parents refused to grant him his rights back. Subsequently, Clouse had his lawyer file a petition to end the guardianship. Eight months after the legal battle, he finally gained his freedom.

Leaving a conservatorship is not easy. People involved in it often find themselves in a Catch-22 situation. To regain their freedom, they would need a lawyer.

However, they would require money for that — something they don’t control. Luckily for Clouse, he could find free legal representation through Indiana Disability Rights.

Perhaps the biggest issue with conservatorship is that individuals are usually unaware of the agreement. Most times, they do not have a say. For example, some states allow the right to counsel for people entering guardianship. Others do not. In the latter situations, only the petitioners are involved. The incapacitated aren’t allowed to contest the hearing.

In other cases, some laws do not require medical evidence to be submitted. This is dangerous because guardianships can be granted without the proper knowledge of the prospective conservatees.

A Shift Towards Safer Options

“Cases like Britney Spears and the Nick Clouse have shed light on the problems of conservatorships, highlighting the need for alternative options and greater emphasis on the freedom and decision-making rights of individuals with disabilities, said trust and estates attorney Kerri M. Castellini.

In recent years, many states in the US passed laws that favored less restrictive guardianship alternatives. According to the Adult Guardianship Guide, “Most states have enacted laws that require a court to consider… evidence to explore less restrictive means as practical alternatives to guardianship…”

One of these alternative options is supported decision-making. The conservatee would have a support group of friends, family, or paid support members to consult before making important decisions. With this, the individual still gets to make the final decision after being advised.

The Effect of the New Laws: the Future of Conservatorship

It is easy to think the new enforcement has solved conservatorship problems. There is no denying there is good progress. After all, some states have passed laws allowing for supported decision-making.

However, reforms like these take time to be fully adopted. More states need to be educated on the importance of freedom for people with disabilities. Attorneys need to be aware and willing to consider the proposed alternatives.

Surprisingly, some are unaware that car accidents are the foremost cause of injury in the United States. This country experiences millions of vehicle crashes yearly, leading to over three million injuries. Statistics show that 90 Americans die daily from motor vehicle accidents.

Perhaps, apart from recovery, compensation is the first thing you or your loved ones think about when involved in a car mishap. You want to know how to recover damages from the at-fault motorist’s insurance firm.

This short piece explains the legal options you can explore after a car accident to claim compensation.

When You Can Sue for a Car Accident

You can only institute a lawsuit for a motor vehicle accident if another person or motorist negligently caused the accident.

At this point, we should understand what negligence entails. Negligence is when a motorist violates or breaches any traffic law or regulation, which leads to harm. It means the intentional, negligent act of the driver leads to an accident that injures someone or a group of people.

Examples of negligence entail driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, erratic driving, and speeding. In addition, it may take the form of carelessness, like drowsy or distracted driving. Some motorists will be texting or calling while driving. If they lose control due to this act and cause an accident, the victim can hold them responsible for negligence.

If another motorist’s negligence triggered or contributed to your car crash and subsequent harm, you can hold them liable for every cost and pain you incurred. The law mandates such negligent drivers to pay for their ill actions if you can prove such allegations against them.

However, your lawsuit lacks merit if the driver’s negligence was unrelated to your harm. In other words, you must prove that their negligence caused your harm for your case to be valid. It means you must cross the hurdles of technicalities to stand a chance of recovering damages from your injuries.

The Compensation You Can Receive for a Car Crash

Many factors dictate the compensation a victim can get for a car accident. Some of these factors include the severity and permanence of your injuries. Sometimes, a car accident compensation can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to cater to medical bills and other costs, like lost earnings due to incapacitation.

While the compensation cannot take away your pains, it aims to restore you to where you would have been financially if the mishap had not happened. It entails economic compensation to repay you for all medical bills and other costs associated with the injury that you have sustained. It also covers possible future ongoing medical expenses, such as physical therapy or medical care.

Furthermore, you can get non-economic damages for the emotional and physical trauma you experienced because of the injuries. This compensation ensures you do not suffer pain or trauma in vain.

The court awards punitive damages in some cases to punish the at-fault party. These punitive damages will serve as a warning to those who may likely toe a similar negligent path.

Speak to a Lawyer

If you have sustained injuries or lost a loved one to a car accident caused by a negligent driver, hire an auto accident attorney to recover compensation,” says Attorney Rustin Smith of Smith Hulsey Law. They will protect your rights and go after the at-fault motorist to ensure adequate compensation. Allowing an attorney to handle your case will help you concentrate on healing.

Domestic violence is a pervasive issue affecting victims worldwide. Fortunately, survivors of domestic violence have legal options available to seek justice, protection, and accountability. This article will delve into the legal claims associated with domestic violence, including restraining orders, criminal charges, and civil lawsuits. Understanding these legal avenues empowers survivors to take action, hold perpetrators accountable, and secure the safety and support they deserve.

Restraining Orders: Seeking Immediate Protection

One important legal recourse for survivors of domestic violence is obtaining a restraining order, also known as a ‘protective order’ or ‘order of protection.’ A restraining order is a court-issued legal instrument that limits the abuser’s actions and interactions with the victim. It serves as a crucial tool in providing immediate protection from further harm.

To obtain a restraining order, the survivor typically files a petition with the court detailing the incidents of abuse and the need for protection. If the court finds sufficient evidence of domestic violence, it may issue a temporary restraining order, which can later be extended to a permanent order after a hearing. A restraining order can obligate the abuser to stay away from the survivor, the survivor’s residence, workplace, and potentially other designated locations. It may also impose restrictions on contact, including phone calls, texts, emails, or social media interactions.

Criminal Charges: Holding Perpetrators Accountable

In domestic violence cases, survivors can press criminal charges against their abusers. Criminal charges seek to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions and can result in penalties imposed by the justice system. The specific charges vary depending on the jurisdiction and the nature and severity of the abuse.

Survivors can report the incidents to law enforcement, who will investigate and gather evidence. Prosecutors will then determine if there is enough evidence to proceed with criminal charges. Common criminal offenses related to domestic violence include assault, battery, stalking, sexual assault, violation of a restraining order, or other relevant charges.

If the abuser happens to be convicted, they may face penalties such as fines, probation, mandatory counseling, anger management programs, or imprisonment, depending on the severity of the offense. “Criminal charges not only hold the abuser accountable but also further safeguard other potential victims from domestic violence by ensuring they are aware of the offender’s toxic history,” affirms Attorney Mark Sherman of The Law Offices of Mark Sherman, LLC.

Civil Lawsuits: Seeking Compensation and Remedies

In addition to pursuing criminal charges, survivors of domestic violence may choose to file civil lawsuits against their abusers. Civil lawsuits provide an opportunity to seek compensation for the damages suffered due to the abuse, including medical expenses, therapy costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. These lawsuits also serve as a means to hold the abuser accountable and obtain legal remedies.

Civil lawsuits in domestic violence cases can take various forms, including personal injury claims, wrongful death claims (in cases of fatal domestic violence), or claims for emotional distress, invasion of privacy, or other relevant causes of action. Survivors should consult with an experienced attorney specializing in domestic violence cases to assess the strength of their claim, understand their legal rights, and navigate the complex legal process.

Civil lawsuits offer survivors a chance to tell their stories, present evidence, and seek justice in an environment different from a criminal court. While the state brings criminal cases to protect society’s interests, civil lawsuits are initiated by the survivor to seek redress for their harm.

It is important to note that civil lawsuits have different burden-of-proof requirements than criminal cases. Survivors must establish their claims by a preponderance of the evidence, showing that it is more likely than not that the abuse occurred and caused the damages claimed.

Conclusion

Domestic violence legal claims provide survivors with important avenues for justice, protection, and compensation. Restraining orders offer immediate relief by restricting the abuser’s behavior and contact. Criminal charges hold perpetrators accountable through penalties imposed by the justice system. Civil lawsuits allow survivors to seek compensation for damages and obtain legal remedies. By understanding and utilizing these legal options, survivors can take the necessary steps to secure their safety, hold perpetrators accountable, and embark on a path toward healing and recovery.

The latest data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) paints a grim picture of U.S. roadways in 2021. The statistics show that there were more deaths on American roads last year than in any year since 2005. According to the NHTSA, an estimated 42,915 people lost their lives in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2021, a 10.5 percent increase from the previous year’s 38,824 fatalities.

The NHTSA report includes fatalities of pedestrians, cyclists, and anyone else involved in a crash. This alarming increase in traffic deaths is a cause for concern, and it highlights the need for continued efforts to improve road safety across the United States. The NHTSA recommends various measures to reduce traffic fatalities, including the use of seat belts, the prevention of impaired driving, and the enforcement of speed limits.

“As we move forward into 2023, it is crucial for everyone to prioritize road safety and do their part in reducing traffic deaths. Whether it’s driving safely, wearing a seat belt, or following traffic laws, we all have a role to play in creating safer roads for everyone,” says accident attorney Jeffrey Lowenthal of Lowenthal and Abrams Injury Attorneys.

The NHTSA also records that there has been a 16 percent increase in fatalities from multi vehicle crashes and crashes on urban roadways. The agency claims that this is the largest year-over-year increase for incident-specific data. There were other notable increases:

  • Fatalities of those aged 65 or older increased by 14 percent.
  • Pedestrian deaths increased by 13 percent.
  • Fatalities in crashes that involve at least one large truck increased by 13 percent.

What Is the Reason Behind the High Rates?

According to NHTSA estimates, traffic deaths rose in all 44 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico in 2021. These high fatalities can be linked to the increased distance covered on U.S. roadways compared with 2020. Experts believe this resulted from people traveling more after the lockdown limitations were abated.

Looking at preliminary data reported by the Federal Highway Administration, vehicle miles traveled in 2021 increased by about 325 billion miles. That is an increase of about 11.2 percent compared with 2020.

The fatality rate for 2021 is 1.33 fatalities per 100 million miles traveled. When compared with 2020, the estimate is at 1.34. But, regardless of the additional miles traveled, there were no significant changes in the fatality rate based on miles from 2020.

Reactions to the High Fatality Rates

U.S. Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg, described the issue as a crisis that Americans must face together. He also reassured that the Biden administration is taking important steps toward reversing the “devastating trends.” He referred to the National Roadway Safety Strategy, which was recently announced, and Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is aimed at improving safety. It includes the newly introduced Safe Streets and Roads for All program which invests in reducing roadway crashes and fatalities.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is currently being implemented. The law boasts of advancing Complete Streets policies and standards, updating the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, and increasing funding for the Highway Safety Improvement Program.

The NHTSA is doing its best as well to help control the issue. The agency has launched the Click It or Ticket campaign, which will work with special enforcement efforts to raise awareness about seatbelt safety. It also launched a technical assistance program to help states address the continued rise in fatalities.

NHTSA also released $740 million to fund the 402 State and Community Grant Program, Section 405 National Priority Safety Program, and Section 1906 Racial Profiling Data Collection Grants.

Will There Be Positive Trends in the Following Years?

Dr. Steven Cliff, Deputy Director of NHTSA, believes as long as safety efforts are redoubled, the current road crisis is preventable. Looking at the statistics, it is easy to be pessimistic. But, with the efforts made by the government and road agencies, things might get better in the future. As long as more actions are taken, and more awareness is made, there can be a change.

Most times, people who drive under the influence do not know the magnitude of their offense and the potential punishment. Drunk driving charges can shatter your life in numerous ways. For instance, convicted drunk drivers spend much more on their motor insurance and find it challenging to secure well-paid employment. In some cases, the authorities can even revoke their license. This article highlights how a DUI case can negatively impact one’s life.

Financial Implications

Intoxicated drivers usually face severe financial consequences for their unlawful acts. Apart from the high cost of DUI charges, it may also lead to a substantial increase in motor insurance rates. The expenses may include driver’s license reinstatement, auto insurance, and vehicle-related costs.

Those convicted of a DUI often lose their driving privileges for a while and pay a reinstatement fine. You must also settle impound lot charges to retrieve your vehicle. After recovering your license, you may need to install an ignition interlock item in your car and pay all associated bills.

Convicted drivers must also enroll in DUI classes, which may cost between $500 and thousands. A sound and exceptional DUI attorney can help you reduce the charges through a robust case argument.

Consequences on Career and Work

DUI matters are usually time-consuming because they can run for several months. Your career could suffer if you need to attend trials or serve prison time. Additionally, some employers avoid hiring convicted individuals.

The record will remain a permanent dent in your life if you cannot expunge your DUI conviction. It must appear in your criminal history anytime you apply for a job. Some employers do background checks to see if you provided accurate information in your application.

If your current position requires that you must have a commercial driver’s license to drive company vehicles, you may need to find another job.

Those convicted of a DUI also find it challenging to further their studies because some institutions reject students with a DUI on their records. While some other institutions might admit you, they will often reject your request for financial aid.

Civil Litigation

Suppose you caused harm to another person while drunk driving; you may face a civil lawsuit and probable criminal consequences. Handling these sorts of prosecution can be emotionally and intellectually draining.

Credit Challenges

Before any organization will lend you money, they will thoroughly investigate your financial background, employment history, and credit history. DUIs affect essential variables differently, which may lead to the rejection of your application.

A DUI can affect one’s credit history negatively in different ways. A DUI convict must follow court regulations to avoid more criminal charges. They also pay huge fines and legal costs associated with their case.

These unplanned fines and charges may also hinder you from appropriately catering to your urgent needs. All these will accumulate to affect your credit negatively.

Ask for Legal Guidance

Anyone who has experienced it will tell you how stressful and challenging it is to be accused or convicted of an offense. You may become afraid of arrest. In addition, a drunk driver-triggered vehicle mishap can cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Avoid driving while intoxicated because you can harm yourself and others.

“Hiring a record-proven DUI lawyer will increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome and help you concentrate on your everyday life while the case goes on. A competent DUI attorney can help to make the court drop the charges or reduce them in a challenging situation,” says DUI attorney Mark Sherman.

An increasing number of newborns are left irreversibly disabled, or worse, due to avoidable birth problems caused by errors in medical care during and after birth. According to studies, the infant mortality rate in South Africa is around 27.8 deaths per 1,000 live births. The data on newborn death shows that medical negligence is on the rise in South Africa, which is cause for alarm.

“When parents visit the hospital with their infants, they expect doctors to diagnose and treat them with due care and attention,” says medical malpractice attorney Russell J. Berkowitz. Sadly, pediatricians, nurses, and medical personnel make mistakes and these errors can cause serious injury to infants. Additionally, these mistakes may lead to medical malpractice claims against pediatricians.

The Most Common Cases Constituting Pediatric Medical Malpractice In South Africa

Pediatric malpractice can cause child health to deteriorate in many ways. However, there are other more common instances of medical negligence, particularly when it comes to misdiagnosing illnesses. Some of them include:

#1. Meningitis

Meningitis is the most common ailment associated with pediatric malpractice. According to  research, meningitis occurs in 40 per 100,000 cases, which is ten times the rate in the overall population.

Meningitis can be challenging to diagnose and treat in children since the symptoms are non specific and resemble flu symptoms. As a result, the harm to a newborn is typically progressive. In some cases, it can lead to irreversible damages if a medical expert does not appropriately diagnose the condition of a child promptly.

#2. Appendicitis

Appendicitis, a prevalent medical emergency among children in South Africa, is another common pediatric condition. According to a survey, appendicitis misdiagnosis is between 28 and 57 percent of children from two to twelve years of age in South Africa.

People may mistake Appendicitis symptoms for urinary tract infections or pelvic inflammatory disease. As a result, there are many initial misdiagnoses of newborn appendicitis cases.

Even after a correct diagnosis, the condition may have advanced to the extent that treating it, like meningitis, becomes far more challenging. The consequences of not having the appendix surgically removed promptly can be lethal.

#3. Oxygen Deprivation and Damage to the Nerves

According to studies, birth asphyxia, commonly referred to as oxygen deprivation, is the top cause of injuries in South African newborns. Premature placental detachment, commonly due to an entangled umbilical cord around the neck, causes oxygen deprivation. In South Africa, the rate of newborn brain injuries caused by oxygen deprivation varies between 8.7 and 15.2 per 1000 births.

Another common injury in newborns is obstetric brachial plexopathy. Obstetric brachial plexopathy occurs when the head of a baby is squeezed too tightly during birth, damaging the nerves near the base of the neck. Damage can also occur in newborn arms or wrists, thus, leading to Brachial palsy, Erb palsy, or Klumpke palsy.

#4. Medication Prescription

Medication prescription errors are also a prevalent cause of pediatric malpractice.  In line with research, more than five percent of medical malpractice in the treatment of children is due to medication errors.

Medication errors can have even life-threatening consequences for  a child. According to statistics, doctors are to blame 69 percent of the time.

What to Do If Your Child Suffer Any Medical Negligence

If your child sustains an injury due to medical malpractice, you have to consult an experienced pediatric negligence attorney as soon as possible. When it comes to receiving reliable healthcare, you have to defend the rights of your child. If medical personnel are to blame for your child’s injury, they must be held accountable.

It is about seeking compensation for child suffering and ensuring that similar things do not happen again. A victorious pediatric malpractice lawsuit can impose punitive sanctions against a medical staff member found guilty of negligence, which can act as a deterrent.

Not only does the medical malpractice claim serve as a deterrent to the doctor in question, but to all medical professionals who learn of it. In general, people expect pediatricians, pediatric nurses, and any other medical personnel involved in the care of children to stay watchful. Unfortunately, there are instances when the only way to keep children safe is to ensure they are too afraid to make a mistake in the future.

Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim For Minor

It is common for families whose child sustains an injury or dies due to medical malpractice to decide to file a compensation claim. The claim might be filed against the medical practice or the state, depending on where the injuries happened. According to South African legislation, the filing of medical malpractice claims must be within three years after the injury date.

However, in unusual situations, this time limit  can vary. For example, if the injury sustained develops over time. However, the safest and recommended approach is to take action within three years. If the claim is against a state or provincial hospital, the institution notification must be in writing within six months of the incident.

In instances where a child sustains an injury, and no parent or guardian has filed a claim on their behalf, the Prescription Act comes into play. The Prescription Act allows for a one-year delay in the prescription term once the injured child has reached the age of 18. Furthermore, to win a medical malpractice lawsuit, there must be proof of negligence.

Possible Outcomes After Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim

After filing a pediatric medical malpractice lawsuit against the liable parties, the victim’s family expects to get compensation for damages. The parents may be entitled to reclaim any treatment costs depending on the severity of the injury. Also, they may get compensation for their child’s pain and suffering and compensation for projected future loss of income or earning potential.

If a child passes away due to pediatric medical malpractice, any claim may be restricted to burial costs and general damages for pain and suffering suffered by the parents.

Furthermore, one or both parents may experience a diagnosable psychological injury such as difficulty in grief, which could affect their capacity to work. Parents can file a claim for lost earnings or earning potential if this is the case.

Final Thought

Medical providers should always be careful when treating children as it will not only prevent avoidable injuries but   will help them avoid medical malpractice lawsuits. If your child sustains an injury due to negligence by an obstetrician, nurse, pediatrician, orthopedic surgeon, or other medical providers, your child may be entitled to compensation. However, you should consult a knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney before filing a lawsuit against the responsible parties.

Fraud is any dishonest deception intended to gain something by taking advantage of someone. It is an act of profiting from someone else’s loss. The basic elements of fraud include:

  • The intention to deceive
  • Misrepresentation of material fact
  • Knowledge of falsehood
  • Reasonable reliance by the victim
  • Injury suffered

Fraud can be a criminal or civil tort, depending on the situation. These two are different, and as such, criminal fraud cases will be handled differently from civil fraud cases. This article highlights the types of fraud, and their differences.

What is Criminal Fraud?

“Any action intended to deceive another through false representation of fact that causes a legal detriment to the person who relied on such information, according to criminal fraud law, amounts to a crime.” Criminal fraud is regarded as a “white collar crime.”

It is a crime that involves deception and cheating another party to gain a financial advantage over them. It includes using a false representation of facts to deceive an individual who is made to believe such information is reliable.

Local, state, or federal prosecutors usually enforce a criminal case. These prosecutors must prove that a defendant willingly committed the fraud, intending to enrich themselves from it and that the victim suffered losses. Even in cases where the fraud was unsuccessful, prosecutors can still pursue a criminal fraud case.

What is Civil Fraud?

Civil fraud is a type of fraud that also involves a forged misrepresentation or inducement. The plaintiff in a civil fraud claim must prove that they suffered damages from the act.

If the plaintiff in a civil fraud case wins, the defendant will have to pay back economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include loss of income, property, and other financial assets. Non-economic damages would cover things like pain, stress, and suffering.

What Differentiates Criminal Fraud from Civil Fraud?

“A basic difference between the two types of fraud cases is that a criminal fraud case usually occurs between the government and an individual, while a civil fraud case is between two individuals,” says attorney William M. Bailey of BK Law Group.

In a civil fraud case, the plaintiff who goes against the defendant is the victim of the fraud. But in a criminal fraud case, the government (prosecutors) attempt to prove the defendant is guilty of the fraud they are accused of.

Another difference is that the defendant faces possible imprisonment or probation, paying fines, and restitution to the victims in a criminal fraud case. However, in a civil fraud case, the punishment is often to reimburse for the damage suffered by the victim.

The difference here is that civil fraud cases are concerned solely with the payment of damages. In contrast, a criminal case will sanction the guilty defendant with fines, prison time, and other punishments.

One way a civil lawsuit differs from a criminal lawsuit is that the burden of proof is placed on different parties. In a civil case, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant caused them injury through fraud. But in a criminal case, the prosecutor must prove the truth of the charges, and that the defendant committed fraud beyond a reasonable doubt.

Civil cases also see less publicity than criminal cases due to their nature. A lot of criminal cases involve witnesses, and may involve news coverage as well.

Conclusion

Criminal and civil are the two types of fraud that can lead to a lawsuit. While both cases have deception in common, they still differ.

Accidents are a common sight on U.S. roads — nearly 14,000 crashes are recorded each day. Therefore, knowing what to do and what to avoid after a crash is vital.

It is expected that you will be confused, shocked, or angry after an accident. However, the steps that you take after the crash should be intentional. First, ensure that you seek medical attention for injuries sustained, as health always comes first.

Next, ensure that you get a police report on the accident. Once all this is settled, you can hire a personal injury lawyer to advise on the next steps, like filing a personal injury lawsuit. Lawyers are very helpful in such circumstances due to the following reasons:

They Help Estimate the Value of Your Damages

Accidents will most certainly cause property and financial losses to the victims. While seeking compensation, it is common for insurance companies or the party at fault to offer a little reimbursement, often less than what you have lost. Having a lawyer by your side will protect you from under-compensation.

Lawyers know what to look for when making a settlement claim. When calculating your losses, they will include long-term costs like lost wages and medical bills. Moreover, they will also help quantify other aspects of your compensation claim, like psychological trauma, pain, and suffering.

They Give Professional Advice

Lawyers are very resourceful in guiding you after an accident. Firstly, they help you avoid pitfalls when speaking to insurance companies, authorities, and other parties. They will help generate statements that cannot be used against you in later stages of the case.

Similarly, they will provide tips on optimizing your case. This includes collecting vital information after a crash. Additionally, they will advise you to gather certain details from the accident scene as well as keep track of your medical and transport expenses.

Finally, they will instruct you on the steps to take. Without proper knowledge of personal injury claims, you might make mistakes that will impact the outcome of your claim. “Your lawyer may guide you on the course of action, especially if you are uncertain about what to do” says Andrew S. Kryder of The Kryder Law Group, LLC Accident & Injury Lawyers.

They Represent You in Court

Following up on the case may be challenging if you are still recovering from the accident. Moreover, you may not be accustomed to the intricacies of the legal system. You might also have difficulties with the documentation process and meeting court deadlines.

An experienced lawyer can help you achieve all this without your direct involvement, which is helpful if you do not want public attention. They can collect important evidence and witnesses to help your case. Handling a personal injury claim by yourself might also be intimidating, especially when dealing with big companies.

They Help You Fight Intimidation Strategies

Employers and insurance companies can devise intimidation strategies like threats and lowball settlements to prevent you from filing a lawsuit. An attorney will help react accordingly to pressure from the workplace and other strategies by insurance companies to delay the claim process.

The Takeaway

Filing a personal injury claim is a long and complicated process. Fortunately, lawyers can help simplify the process by calculating your losses, gathering evidence, and representing you in court.

A good lawyer will also advise on what to do and avoid to improve your chances of receiving legitimate compensation.

As part of a broad criminal justice reform approved by President Donald Trump more than three years ago, the Justice Department will start transferring hundreds of offenders out of federal prisons this week.

In legislation published in the Federal Register on Thursday, the Department of Justice explains how “time credits” for convicts will function. The bipartisan legislation aims to encourage offenders to participate in recidivism-reduction programs, which could help them reduce their jail time.

It also makes obligatory minimum sentences less stringent and provides more leeway to judges in passing sentences. While the transfers are slated to begin this week, the exact number of inmates who will benefit from it is unknown. However, according to the government, “thousands” of convicts will be affected.

Inmates can earn time credits under a law enacted in December 2018 that allows them to earn 10 to 15 days of credit for every 30 days they participate in prison programs to minimize recidivism.

Anger management and addiction treatment are among the programs available, as are educational, career, and social skills workshops. The news of the publication of a finalized regulation came two months after the department’s inspector general raised concerns that the Bureau of Prisons had failed to apply earned time credits to nearly 60,000 federal offenders who had finished the programs.

It also came just a week after Michael Carvajal, the director of the jail service, announced his resignation in the face of rising criticism of his leadership. Both Democratic and Republican senators have pressed the Biden administration to do more to implement additional provisions of the First Step Act, and the FBI has been accused of dragging its feet.

For years, the bureau has had a serious staffing deficit, forcing teachers, cooks, nurses, and other employees to work as correctional officers. Employees have long maintained that taking them away from their other responsibilities to guard convicts causes delays in implementing the First Step Act because they have less time to teach seminars, examine release papers, and provide inmate services.

According to the Justice Department, the total number of programs for which offenders are eligible has risen, and detainees will not be penalized if they cannot participate due to circumstances beyond their control. For months, the department has been attempting to enhance bureau staffing.

The inmates who will benefit from the enactment will be placed in supervised release programs, home confinement, or the bureau’s residential reentry centers, also known as halfway houses. Inmates can earn time credits dating back to the First Step Act’s enactment in 2018.

The Law Outlines How Inmates Can Be Released

According to the Justice Department, specific offenders to be the first beneficiaries of the time credit program include:

  • Inmates with time credits that is more than the number of days remaining on their sentence
  • Inmates whose release is less than one year
  • Inmates who are on supervised release

Transfers are in the works. More are expected in the coming weeks when time credits are applied to convicts’ records. The rule also alters the definition of a “day” of credit at the agency.

To qualify for time credit equivalent to one day of jail term, offenders would have to participate for eight hours in specified academic programs or prison occupations, according to a suggested version released in January 2020.

However, the final version alters the timeline and states that the last criterion “was inconsistent with the law’s purposes.” For every 30 days that inmates participate in programs, they will receive 10 days.

Inmates who stay in lower-risk categories for the entire 30-day term will receive an additional five days of credit. According to advocates, the approved definition of a “day” will make it simpler for a wide range of prison programs to count toward time credits, allowing more prisoners to be eligible for early release.

Barriers Affecting the Implementation of the First Step Act

“In recent years, the Justice Department’s implementation of the First Step Act has run into serious roadblocks as there have been many concerns raised from different quarters” says criminal justice attorney Jeffrey Lichtman. Among these are the need to reassess the risk and needs of all federal detainees using new standards and a lack of space in prison programs due to recurrent staffing shortages.

This came after advocacy groups objected to the bureau’s use of a rebranded version of its security assessment system rather than building a new one. The Prisoner Assessment Tool Targeting Estimated Risks and Needs (PATTERN) is a tool that uses an algorithm to examine all convicts and decide whether they are at high, medium, low, or no risk of reoffending.

The Justice Department altered the assessment program it was using to change measures. These measures potentially introduced a racial bias months after the bureau completed the legislation’s mandated “risk and needs” assessments. The assessments were revised to eliminate questions about an offender’s age when they were initially arrested and whether or not the inmate was offered the chance to turn themselves in at a jail.

However, campaigners claim that the PATTERN tool still has weaknesses and that it has resulted in racial discrepancies in its judgments in some circumstances. According to the rule, the department will continue to analyze the tool, consult outside experts, and attempt to “address and mitigate against racial bias or other inequities.”

Conclusion

Thousands of inmates will be relieved by this announcement, most especially those who have worked hard to turn their lives around and reunite with their families and communities as productive, law-abiding citizens. They can qualify for early release into welfare homes or home confinement if they acquire enough credits.

In some situations, offenders may be able to earn up to 12 months of credit toward supervised release. This initiative has given many prisoners hope of finishing their terms earlier than initially thought.

Some people may have the perception about the back seat being the safest spot for passengers. While this may have been true at one time, new safety technology in vehicles have made this assumption incorrect.

Recently, the numerous safety advancements in the automobile world have improved seatbelt technology among other changes. However, many of these advancements have predominantly benefited front-seat passengers.

After a car crash, the effect of the impact can be far worse for back-seat passengers than for the occupants in the front. Some reports indicate automakers are yet to offer the same safety features for back-seat passengers. However, there are plans to develop a technological safety feature for back-seat passengers.

Fatal Injuries Common With Back-seat Passengers

Studies have shown that back-seat passengers are faced with more fatal injuries than front-seat passengers. In the event of a car accident, back-seat passengers can experience:

  • Severe concussions
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Chest, Abdominal, Neck, and Spinal injuries
  • Bone fractures

Why Riding in The Back Seat is More Dangerous

The lives of front-seat passengers are at risk if back-seat passengers refuse to wear their seatbelts. This is because the space between them offers no protection from the impact of a collision.

Additionally, in the event of an accident, unfastened backseat passengers can be propelled forward, causing significant or even deadly damage to the driver or front-seat passenger.

However, safety isn’t assured for back-seat passengers who put on their seatbelts at all times. This is because some automakers create enhanced seatbelt technology for front-seat passengers while not offering such technology for back-seat passengers.

This is why, if compared to front-seat passengers who fastened their seat belts, buckled back-seat passengers are at higher risk of being severely injured in a car crash. Some vehicles have a more advanced front-seat belt option that adjusts instantly if a collision is likely, but this technology is not always used for seatbelts in back seats.

Even the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has advised people aged 55 and over to always stay in the front seat. In their study, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that a higher number of fatalities were back-seat passengers between ages 50 to 80. They called on the auto industry to make the back seat a top priority in their newest auto technology.

Back Seat Safety Features Motorists Wish Were in Place

The safety of back-seat passengers is important. Automobile manufacturers are going ahead to create safety features that will safeguard all vehicle occupants, even as the auto industry and safety authorities learn more about the value of back-seat safety technology.

Some of the features that can provide additional safety for back-seat passengers include:

1. Airbags for Back-seat Passengers

Front-seat passengers enjoy the airbag safety feature. This feature can also be provided for back-seat passengers. The airbags can ensure that back-seat occupants do not collide with any hard surfaces, and prevent them from being fatally injured in the case of a crash.

Air-filled back-seat belts are available in some premium vehicles, minimizing the force on the occupant’s chest if there is a collision. Some auto manufacturers include airbags that expand from the back of the front seat, providing additional protection for the head, neck, and shoulders of back-seat passengers. The back airbags can be further tested to see if they are compatible with child car seats.

2. Individualized Protection

Back seats can be engineered to automatically change to accommodate the demands of a broad range of passengers of different sizes, ages, and shapes. There are reports that seat belt manufacturers are developing technology that adapts the position of the shoulder belt to the passenger to provide a secure fit.

3. Crash Simulation

There are no crash test ratings for the safety of back-seat passengers. Researchers at the Center of Injury Research Prevention are test running better safety measures for back-seat passengers using computational human body models.

These models measure how well a booster seat protects a child even if they are not sitting correctly. Some researchers are also running simulations using taller or shorter occupants than usual, as crash simulation mannequins do not typically reflect these people.

Ways to Make the Back Seat Safe for Children

Children and babies frequently occupy the back seat of a car. Even if a car does not have the latest back-seat belt technology, parents and guardians can do the following to ensure that the back seat is safe.

1. Choose a Suitable Car Seat

The process of selecting a safe spot in the car can be pretty challenging. Parents or guardians must determine whether it is suitable to switch their child from a back-facing seat to a forward-facing seat in addition to selecting the seat.

Except if the child’s height and weight matches the limits listed on the car seat label, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that children under the age of two ride in a back-facing car seat. Children should sit in a booster seat and remain in a forward-facing car seat until they can no longer fit in it. A pediatrician can recommend the safest car seat based on a child’s height, weight, and age.

2. Dispose of Loose Objects

Most times, objects such as cans, plastics, and other items are frequently left on the passenger seat, the floor, or the console between the front seats by drivers. These objects can cause harm to a driver or passengers if there is a sudden halt or collision. It is advisable to put all loose objects in the trunk of a car, glove compartment, or behind the seat pockets.

 3. Change Faulty Car Seats

If a car seat has torn straps or is otherwise defective, it should be changed immediately. Car seats are costly, but parents should avoid buying used car seats to cut costs.

It is difficult to determine if the second-hand product was correctly used and maintained. If there are loopholes like some parts missing or broken, it may not protect the child from severe injuries if there is a car crash.

Conclusion

Back-seat passengers are at higher risk of injuries in a car crash. Automakers can help in minimizing this risk by paying more attention to the safety of backseat passengers while coming up with new car safety features.

Dump trucks are standard in areas close to construction sites or quarries. Dump trucks are essential to the construction process by transporting materials to building sites. These multipurpose heavy-duty trucks transport large volumes of loose materials such as dirt, sand, ores, gravel, and more.

Unfortunately, dump trucks can also be dangerous, especially in tip-over accidents. Over the past few years, dump truck accidents have steadily risen, as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reported, and can cause severe injuries and death.

What Makes Dump Truck Accidents Dangerous?

In 2019, dump trucks accounted for 8 percent of all fatal accidents involving large trucks and buses. These trucks were involved in more than 6000 crashes that resulted in severe injuries during the same year.

A dump truck can become dangerous when there is instability or unevenness during the dump. The Texas Department of Worker’s Compensation (TDI) mentions how this can occur in many ways below:

Stability of the Truck End Dump

When the back-end box carrying the materials in the truck is raised, the truck’s center of gravity can become unbalanced. The lack of stability on these trucks during unloading can increase the chances of a tip-over accident.

Uneven Loads

In addition, the truckload can be packed unevenly, furthering the chances of a tip-over accident. Sometimes the truck driver may need to unload on uneven ground or slopes. This may cause the load to not flow appropriately during dumping, increasing danger for the driver and those around the truck.

Wheel Stability and Mechanical Factors

The truck’s stability may also be compromised if the back wheels settle unevenly while dumping. Finally, mechanical factors can also contribute to the dump truck’s stability. Some mechanical factors include poor suspension, uneven tire pressure, and worn or inadequate components in the lifting system.

How to Prevent Dump Truck Accidents

How can you prevent dump truck accidents? The TDI has recommended several tips you could follow to prevent dump truck accidents:

Stick to the Weight Limit

This may seem obvious, but you may be surprised how many people ignore this rule. Ignoring the weight limit increases the chances of an accident as it can tamper with the truck’s stability.

Use the Right Type of Truck

The nature of the job will determine the correct type of truck. Note that there are different types of dump trucks, each designed for a specific job.

Lighten the Load

It is best to lighten the load whenever the truck carries poor flowing materials. This will help maintain stability and reduce the chances of an accident.

Check the Ground before Dumping

Before dumping, you should ensure that the truck is on even ground. It would be best if you stayed away from soft, uneven surfaces. Also, always dump away from vehicles and people.

Maintain the truck

Ensure you have a strict maintenance schedule for the truck with regular inspections. Failing to identify malfunctions or damages to the truck can easily lead to injury.

Conclusion

Ultimately, it is the duty of employers and dumps truck manufacturers to enforce federally approved safety procedures to prevent workplace injuries. Workers are entitled to a worker’s compensation claim whenever they sustain an injury while at work.

If a dump truck is involved, the worker may file a claim against the manufacturer for additional damages. Lastly, if the truck was sold in an unsafe condition, the worker can file a lawsuit against the manufacturer, supplier, or distributor.

Therefore, you must adopt adequate safety measures to prevent dump truck accidents. Apart from injury and death, these incidences can result in potential lawsuits.

0 Comments

If you are convicted of a crime, you can expect several outcomes at sentencing, one of which could be probation. Probation means you do not have to serve time in jail, which can be quite a relief.

However, not serving time in prison doesn’t mean your life will not be disrupted. Sometimes the terms of probation can be so restrictive that keeping them is almost impossible. If you are taking probation as part of a plea deal, it is best to work with a criminal defense lawyer to ensure that the terms of your probation match your charge.

There are also situations where probation is a condition for release for individuals that have served extended time in prison, which also comes with strict control.

You Can Travel But With Restrictions

One significant restriction which comes with probation is out-of-state travel. However, the restrictions can vary based on the terms of individual probation sentences and the underlying circumstances, such as if the person serving the probation had done time for a felony offense.

If you get probation as a first-time offender or through a plea deal, the terms of your probation could be much lighter, and the probation officer may not be so rigid in granting a request to travel when necessary, for example, for a job. But travel restrictions may be much stricter if your probation comes after serving considerable jail time or a felony conviction. Under such circumstances, the probation officer and the court may deem you a flight risk requiring you to report to the probation officer every few days.

But even then, the probation officer has the liberty to grant your request to travel based on the seriousness of your reason for travel. However, you must maintain contact with your probation officer the entire time and communicate any change of plans to avoid a violation of your probation terms.

Probation Violations

If there are reasonable grounds for suspicion of probation terms violations, your probation officer can order your arrest. Under such circumstances, they do not need to get a warrant of arrest or serve the judge with an affidavit. If convicted for probation violations, you risk facing additional sentencing.

In most cases, violation of probation terms results in prison sentences. If you are charged with probation terms violation, you may want to speak to a criminal defense lawyer for help securing a favorable outcome.

It may also be possible to modify your probation terms depending on your state of residence with the help of a lawyer and your probation officer. However, a review of probation terms mainly depends on a probationer’s compliance with the terms in a given period.

In some states, the waiting period for a term’s review is six months. In others, you have to wait until you are halfway through your probation period. Either way, good conduct is a significant factor in determining your success in having your terms reviewed.

A Lawyer Can Help

It is not a legal requirement to maintain contact with your lawyer throughout your probation period. But you may still want to keep them close because you may encounter complications.

For instance, poor communication can hinder your chances of getting travel clearance, so you may want to channel your communication with the probation officer through your lawyer for such matters. Alternatively, you can involve them when you encounter challenges in your quest to get clearance.

×

Subscribe to our mailing list