Violence Against the Elderly

A woman described to be 5’5 with a small build, who has a definitive mark of a mole on her chin and was wearing a hooded sweatshirt with yellow lettering, sunglasses, and a knit cap, took out her knife, stuck it on the side of an elderly man on Nov. 17, 2015 around 1:22 p.m. in the 4800 block of West Charleston Boulevard in Las Vegas, Nevada and demanded that he give her all the money from his automated teller machine.

According to, nowadays, more and more elderly people are targeted to become victims of abuse – physical or otherwise. One cause of this is the changing cultural strata wherein old people are not that respected anymore by the younger generation, unlike in the golden times when they are treated as the fountain of wisdom and all things great. A lot of youngsters nowadays do not place value on the status of the elderly, and thus they disregard their welfare and sometimes prey haplessly on elderly people, who they can outwit and overpower.

Also, people who suffer from substance abuse find the elderly easy targets who can be easily subdued and are usually powerless against force and manipulation. This occasion becomes more prevalent with the rise of unaccompanied and isolated elderly people who find themselves living alone in urban cities without their children or grandchildren living in the same house with them.

Women, in this case elderly women, will still find themselves on the brunt of the receiving end of violence, simply because they outnumber men and because they may also be more socially and economically dependent on people around them.

Another factor why the elderly become victims of abuse is because they are not properly housed; this means they do not have people taking care of them, or if they are living with people, these people are co-boarders in a rental home that the elderly people are forced to room with due to lack of financial capability to rent or own a house by themselves.

Dangers of Dog Bite Injuries

Children in many cases are warned to not talk to strangers or to pet strange dogs. This is because both situations are potentially harmful to kids, who would most likely be the population to be bitten or abducted. In the latter case, it can happen to anyone no matter what the age. More that 4 million men and women in the US are victims of dog attacks and about 17% of the injuries are significant enough to require considerable medical attention.

Dog owners are generally responsible for the behavior of the pets, much more when they’re in areas that are in public places or there are people on their property that have a right to be there. Also, mild injuries may entail substantial costs to the victim as the typical method requires tetanus and anti-rabies pictures.  The website of the Massachusetts personal injury lawyers of Crowe & Mulvey, LLP says that these health-related expenses and additional costs shouldn’t be shouldered by the sufferer if the bite was unprovoked and the casualty had a legitimate reason to maintain the place, i.e. public park.

Depending on the state laws where the injury happened, the dog owner may be responsible for injury caused by their pet the possessor despite not having any previous incidents or knowledge of their dog being dangerous. When the owner neglected to make sure the security of individuals around their dog with knowledge that it was not safe, the owner might be found not only civilly but also criminally responsible. In all cases, pet owners have to exercise due care to make certain that their pets pose no danger by keeping them leashed in public and controlled inside the house when at home. Owners whose dogs caused injuries resulting in death could possibly be ordered to have the dog put down to stop it from creating more harm.
Dog bite victims’ and their family members and have every right to prosecute for damages, including a loss in income for lost days of work regarding serious canine attacks together with pain and suffering.

Pulmonary Valve Stenosis

Pulmonary Valve Stenosis is a congenital heart condition in which the pulmonary valve, the main valve that controls blood flow from the heart to the lungs, is defective causing a lack of blood flow. The condition can be mild or severe, with severe cases often worsening over time. Mild to moderate cases often result in heart murmurs, shortness of breath, chest pain, loss of consciousness, and fatigue. Severe cases can lead to further complications which include infections in the lining of the heart, heart pumping problems due to stiffness and weakness of the heart, irregular heartbeats, and heart failure.

Though causes specific to pulmonary valve stenosis are unknown, many professionals relate the disease to genetic abnormalities. However, children who develop pulmonary valve stenosis often have other congenital heart complications for which causes are known. Therefore, the same risk factors associated with other heart defects are often associated to pulmonary valve stenosis as well. These causal factors include the following:

  • Rubella
  • Diabetes
  • Usage of certain medications
  • Alcohol
  • Smoking

While clear links between many of these factors and congenital heart diseases have long been known, some of the most recent findings in the exploration of causal factors related to congenital heart defects are in the usage of certain medications. For example, recently it has been discovered that a drug known as Zofran (Ondansetron) can increase the risk of a child having an underdeveloped heart by 20 percent. To learn more about these Zofran side effects, click here. Despite the fact that the drug was originally developed and approved for usage in the treatment of cancer and post-surgery patients suffering from nausea and vomiting, doctors across the world often prescribe the drug “off-label” to pregnant women with similar symptoms leading to them unknowingly increasing their risk of giving birth to a child with heart complications.

Factors Resulting to Cerebral Palsy

About 10,000 newly born babies and children, who are in the first years of their lives, are diagnosed with cerebral palsy every year. This neurological or brain disorder is an incurable, chronic condition resulting from brain injury or abnormal formation of the brain due to inadequate supply of oxygen (to the brain).

Cerebral palsy affects the communication between the brain and the muscles, resulting to uncoordinated movement and posturing. Its causes may be congenital (and, thus, present at birth) or acquired (which occur during a child’s early years). Some of the specific reasons which may lead to cerebral palsy, include: lack of proper care for the pregnant woman; alcohol and/or drug dependence during pregnancy; undetected and/or untreated maternal infections during pregnancy; severe cases of jaundice; premature birth; very low birth weight; failure to recognize and treat fetal distress; failure to discover a prolapsed umbilical cord; inflammation of the umbilical cord; extreme use forceps or vacuum during delivery; and, failure to see the need for a C-section procedure, especially if the child is too big to pass safely through the birth canal.

Besides these, there are also four types of brain damage that have been identified as causing cerebral palsy:

  1. Periventricular Leukomalacia, or PVL, a condition wherein fluids fill the lateral ventricles (holes or empty spaces) created inside the brain. These holes are results of damage to the white matter of the brain. PVL can cause spastic cerebral palsy and intellectual impairment.
  2. Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy, or HIE (also called Intrapartum Asphyxia). This brain injury is caused by the prolonged deprivation of oxygen to the brain, a situation also known as intrapartum asphyxia. HIE can result to severe impairment among infants.
  3. Intraventricular Hemorrhage, or IVH, is bleeding inside the brain, which can either kill or damage that area of the brain responsible for development and motor function.
  4. Cerebral Dysgenesis, which is brain malformation or abnormal brain development, can be due to: a brain that does not fully develop; a brain the developed abnormally; a brain that developed, but with incomplete organization; and, a brain that did not divide completely.

The founding of the Cerebral Palsy Research Registry in Chicago may be a giant leap in helping all other US states gain a deeper and wider understanding of cerebral palsy to enable medical experts, medical therapists and all others concerned with the rehabilitation of cerebral palsy patients, come up with much better programs that will further bring out the best in children suffering from this brain disorder.

Despite the CPRR’s work, which gives cerebral palsy in Chicago a new light, cerebral palsy lawyers continuously work to help cerebral palsy victims attain the justice they deserve and receive the compensation they may be entitled to.

The Dangers of Mislabeling

Consumers are becoming more conscious about what they are buying. We want to know that what we are eating was made with integrity and is of high quality. Unfortunately, marketers take advantage of that and will tailor their labels to make you think what you are buying is what you want. In reality, the brand you are buying may be no different from its “inferior” competitors. Here are some foods that are often mislabeled.

Cage-free and free-range eggs are not all they are cracked up to be. The requirements to be able to label eggs cage-free or free-range do not ensure that chickens are living in a wide open space, or even a pin where they can spread their wings. They are often let out of their claustrophobic living quarters only a few minutes a day, and have a diet unhealthy for their digestive system. Fortunately, a way to tell that your eggs were made humanely is to check if the word “pastured” is on the carton.

Similarly, “wild” salmon typically spends about half of its life in a hatchery. If you are buying your fish between the months of November to March, it is most likely not wild. Also, if you want truly wild salmon, you are going to have to pay the price for it. If you bought wild salmon for a relatively cheap price, it is most likely not as wild as you would assume.

Some companies will even fail to include that there are nuts or dairy in their product, creating a risk for those that are allergic or intolerant. In addition, there have been cases of nutrition labels having incorrect information, posing a threat for diabetics. The website of Pohl and Berk says that mislabeling can cause serious harm to those with certain moral lifestyle choices and health issues.

Product Liability

Protecting Americans from defective and injurious products is one of the so many important duties accomplished by the federal government through its branch the Bureau of Consumer Protection. Every year US courts hear and decide over thousands of product liability lawsuits filed by consumers who have been injured by defective products. This is because despite the many laws that are supposed check all manufactured products, approve standard-compliant goods and reject those that are poorly made and defective, the latter still end up in store shelves ready for picking by unsuspecting buyers.

Thus, as part of protecting consumers, the Bureau’s tasks include:

  • Formulation, promotion and enforcement of fair marketplace laws
  • Accepting complaints from consumers regarding substandard and defective products and conducting investigations about these complaints
  • Educating individuals and businesses about their purchasing or manufacturing rights and responsibilities
  • Protecting the American public from defective, misleading and sub-standard goods by ending unfair and fraudulent business practices
  • Filing of product liability lawsuits against business firms and individuals found guilty of misleading consumers and/or violating consumer rights.

Product liability refers to the legal responsibility of manufacturers, distributors and sellers in compensating consumers harmed or injured by their defective or harmful products. It is actually based on the assumption of negligence, an act many manufacturers are guilty of. Negligence can result to failure to add an important step in the process of production or failure to produce goods that comply with industry standards. Regardless of whatever it results to, though, injuries sustained due to someone else’s negligence are always called personal injuries.

Personal injuries, especially serious ones, always entail medical treatment and a recovery period, which will necessitate a person to skip work (if he/she is employed). Though the law allows people, who sustain personal injuries, to receive compensation from the liable party, the real extent and effects of the injury, as well as the amount of compensation, will have to be determined through a lawsuit.

Rights to Compensation

Having a well-written demand letter can pave the way to a constructive negotiation that can ultimately lead to a more favorable result for your personal injury claim. The demand letter in an injury claim will be the one to set the stage for a settlement negotiation, and it made by you (the injured party) and would provide the details and circumstances surrounding the accident and the information on medical treatment. It should be drafted after you have been released from your physician’s care, or when you have reached the highest level of healing after the accident.

You need to gather all the necessary information relevant to the accident in order to make a strong and comprehensible argument for your right for compensation; police report of the accident, witness statements, lost wage information, medical records and bills, and other significant information should be collected and presented. It is also necessary to recount how the accident occurred – this recognizes your version of how the accident happened and give the insurer a view of how you would present your testimony to the jury should the claim go to court. Make sure to recount how the incident occurred as accurately as you can, with the police reports and witness statements helping to back up your story. T should also be able to establish “fault” – proving that the other party was the one responsible for the accident. A strong evidence of liability, such as a citation from the police report, can help further establish your claim.

After a detailed explanation of the facts and events related to the accident, the medical treatment and bills (along with the expenses during the course of the recovery), and the lost wages, a summation for a specific amount of compensation should be made according to the combined expenses. In order to have room for negotiations, you should have a higher amount in your demand letter. Having a lower amount can leave you with no room to negotiate a higher price, therefore you should have a significantly higher amount in order to have a fair amount of compensation to recover. For more information, see the website of the Jeff Sampson Law Firm

Report Concludes Majority of Construction Accidents is Preventable

The construction industry is inherently risky business, which is why there are strict safety rules and regulations that are in place. This is especially important in a city like New York, where there are always numerous construction projects ongoing. Unfortunately, making the rules and enforcing them are two different matters.

A report was submitted by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) based on data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on workplace accidents in New York for 2012. There were 196 work-related fatalities for that year, and construction workers accounted for 19% of these deaths, and 19 people in this category were immigrant workers.

The causes of these accidents were not part of the data, but a review of the construction site inspections from 2010 to 2012 showed that at least one safety violation was observed in two-thirds of the sites visited. This does not include construction sites that the short-staffed OSHA did not manage to inspect within that period. It is estimated that the OSHA will only be able to do a complete inspection of all construction sites in New York in 103 years at current staffing rates.

This failure to enforce safety regulations may be the reason why construction site owners and managers continue to ignore them in the interest of lowering costs. It is only when something happens and a New York City construction accident lawyer comes knocking that the owners sit up and take notice, but by then it is too late for at least one worker.

This is not to say that preventable construction site accidents are confined to big cities such as New York City. Construction accidents due to negligence can and does happen in smaller cities as well such as Appleton in Wisconsin, but it is undeniable that an Appleton personal injury lawyer would not have as heavy a workload as a counterpart in New York City. Despite the infrequency, however, the devastation for the victim and the family is just as bad.

If you have been seriously injured or a family member was killed in a preventable construction accident in New York City or Appleton, you have the right to at least get compensation for your financial and other losses as well as your pain and suffering. Consult with an experienced construction accident or personal injury lawyer in your city and find out your legal options.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Exemptions in North Carolina

When you are in dire financial straits, Chapter 7 bankruptcy could be the only way out of an ever-deepening and increasingly frightening hole. According to the website of a Raleigh Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer in North Carolina, it is the most common type of private bankruptcy filed because it allows you to discharge or eliminate many debts through liquidation of your assets. Best of all, it allows you to keep certain assets from being drawn in to discharge debts by claiming exemptions.

Under a Chapter 7 filing, the bankruptcy court assigns a trustee to oversee the assets of the debtor to commence liquidation. However, there are state-specific exemptions to what the trustee can legitimately include in the asset collection. There are also federal exemptions for Chapter 7, but depending on the sate, the debtor may not have the choice to use it over state exemptions. That is the case in North Carolina. Even if federal exemptions are more favorable to a particular debtor, they have to follow state laws. This can be good, because the state law also allows married couples to “double” their exemptions by each claiming for full exemptions under the law.

In North Carolina, the exemptions include:

  • Primary residence up to $35,000 equity, $60,000 if debtor is over 65 years old or the property is held under a joint tenancy or by the entirety with right of survivorship with the debtor’s spouse deceased
  • Burial plots up to $35,000 equity
  • One motor vehicle up to $3,500 value except where the vehicle was purchased within 90 days of filing for bankruptcy
  • Clothing, furniture, appliances, books, and other personal property up to $5,000 with additional $1,000 for each dependent not to exceed $4,000 except where the property was purchased within 90 days of filing for bankruptcy
  • Damages awarded in a personal injury or wrongful death suit with certain exceptions
  • College savings accounts up to $25,000 not including contributions made within the 12 months prior to filing for bankruptcy
  • Health aids
  • Tools and implements of trade up to $2,000 except those purchased within 90 days of filing for bankruptcy
  • Unpaid wages earned 60 days prior to filing for bankruptcy
  • Tax-exempt retirement accounts, IRAs and Roth IRAs
  • Pension benefits of rescue workers, law enforcement officers, firefighters, legislators, teachers, and state, municipal, city, and county employees
  • Compensation benefits for unemployment, work-related injuries, victims of crime, aid for the blind, and families with dependent children

If you plan to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you need to be fully aware of state laws that govern it to avoid problems and missed opportunities. Consult with a bankruptcy lawyer in your state to maximize your benefits under the law.

Update on Car Accidents due to GM Faulty Ignition Switch

It appears that the worst news can get even worse. Recent analysis of car accidents between 2003 and 2010 indicate that the original 13 deaths conceded by General Motors (GM) as a direct result of a faulty ignition switch assembly it installed in its vehicles as far back as 2002 is only the tip of the iceberg.

An independent analysis by Reuters journalists of the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data for that 7-year period point to the possibility of at least 74 deaths from car accidents may be directly attributed to the defective ignition switch. While this does not mean that there is conclusive proof of this possibility, the mechanisms of the accidents were consistent with the fatal crashes described by GM. GM cars were also overrepresented in the number of vehicular accidents that occurred during that period compared to other car brands.

GM has so far issued 45 recalls of its vehicles for the pesky ignition switch assembly which any San Antonio car accident lawyer would claim that the beleaguered automaker knew from the beginning to be substandard but used anyway. The total number of vehicles recalled to date exceed 39 million, a staggering number any which way one looks.

The faulty ignition switch has a tendency to move out of the “run” position, which in turn affects the brake and steering mechanisms, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle. At the same time, the position change turns off the crash sensor of the airbag, keeping it from deploying when a crash occurs, increasing the risk of serious injury or death to the driver and passengers.

There have been in excess of 650 claims against GM’s settlement program that addresses legitimate cases of injuries or deaths resulting from the failure of the airbags in the defective cars to deploy. Cases were the airbags did deploy will not be eligible for the program, but compensation may still be sought through civil litigation. If you live in Texas and suffered serious injury because of the faulty ignition switch in your GM car, a Waco personal injury lawyer would be able to advice you about your legal options.