• General Legal, Guest Blogger

    Posted on December 30th, 2013

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    Was it Self Defense or Assault?

    Lawyer

    Assault and self-defense situations can be harmful to another person. If you were hurt by someone and fought back, you may feel that you were acting in self-defense. Many people are surprised to learn that they are in the wrong when they eventually deal with a legal case related to the incident.

    What is the difference between assault and self-defense, and how do you know if you are in the right? Assault is considered the act of hurting another person, while self-defense constitutes a legitimate excuse for assaulting another person.

    What is Assault?
    If you have a gun and you point it at another person, you are committing assault in most states. If you follow through on a threat and hurt the other person, it is considered battery. If you hurt the other person, you are usually at-risk for a legal claim, as it is easier to prove an injury than to claim a “he said, she said” type story. If you threaten violence toward another person, the court may end up finding you guilty of assault and could punish you with a restraining order. Bullying in school can be charged as assault in many legal cases, which might be eye-opening for many youth and teens that threaten others, even if they don’t actually physically hurt the person they are bullying.

    What is Self-Defense?
    For an individual to make a legitimate case for self-defense, they must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the other person intended to hurt them first, or did hurt them first. In some states, the verbal threat to hurt another person doesn’t automatically trigger a self-defense case. For example, if someone breaks into your home, and they threaten to hurt you, but do not make a move to do so, you could be charged with assault and battery if you punch or shoot them. However, other states feel that you can use physical force to protect yourself if another person is about to assault you.  If you are in a situation where someone assaults you, and you hurt them back, you also much run to safty and call the police, if you just continue to hurt them after they are no longer a danger to you, then you may be charged with assault!

    Hiring a Lawyer
    No matter what situation you find yourself in, you need to speak to a lawyer about your legal rights. A lawyer will review police reports, and take your statement, along with that of any other witnesses. This will help the lawyer determine if you have a legitimate case, and decide if they should pursue a lawsuit. If you have been charged with criminal assault, you should hire a lawyer immediately. The lawyer will help to build a case based on self-defense to help justify your actions against the other person. For the lawyer to prove a self-defense case, they will need to focus on proving three things: the accused person did not provoke the altercation, impending peril, and no chance of escape. If the lawyer can prove these elements in a court of law, they should be able to convince a jury to rule in your favor. Do your research to find a good personal injury lawyer specializing in self-defense claims. They can help prove your innocence and protect you from additional charges.

    This article was written by legal blogger, Dee Bronwinn.  Dee loves sharing her love of law thought blogging. Click here if you have been accused of assault or any other crime.

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  • Have You Been a Victim of Asbestos Exposure?

    If you work in an environment where you might be exposed to asbestos, you need to be properly informed about the risks of working near this material. Often, people are unaware that they are working or living in buildings that contain asbestos, and they usually don’t know the medical risks of working near this substance. This material has been used in the past as a building material because it is fire retardant, strong, and durable.

    The problem with asbestos is that it can release microscopic fibers when damaged. If a person inhales these fibers, they can become stuck in the lungs. Eventually, these fibers can lead to mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer. Many people have been unwittingly exposed to asbestos, and if you suspect you are a victim of corporate negligence, you may have legal options.

    Can I File a Lawsuit?

    Meet with an attorney to discuss your case. They will determine if you are eligible to sue your former employer for negligence related to asbestos exposure. Typically, the company you worked for, or the company that manufactured or installed the asbestos will be the party that pays for damages. There are also trust funds set up for asbestos victims in cases where individuals have died from asbestos exposure. To obtain detailed information on your case, or to determine if you are eligible for financial compensation, meet with an attorney.

    Mesothelioma Lawsuits

    The troubling aspect to mesothelioma cases is that the disease does not develop or progress on a predictable path. For many people, mesothelioma will take upwards of 10 to 40 years to develop from the time of original exposure. It is important to meet with an attorney and act quickly if you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma. In most states, you only have one year to file a lawsuit after your diagnosis.

    Based on the evidence in your case, you might end up settling out of court. This is a common practice with mesothelioma cases, particularly if an attorney is able to collect evidence of negligence and can identify a payment source. Usually an insurance company or an asbestos victims’ trust fund are the financial sources attorneys will use when working on a mesothelioma case. If you wind up going to court, your case can take two years or longer to close if it proceeds to trial.

    The amount of money you can recover is difficult to determine. The victims’ funds are almost completely depleted of money, and most companies that produced asbestos are bankrupt. The amount you can obtain will depend on the jury, along with the uniqueness of your case and how much you have suffered from asbestos exposure.

    Was I Exposed?

    There are a lot of people living in homes that were built before the 1990s. The majority of these homes will have construction materials that contain asbestos. If the materials are not disturbed, the asbestos fibers will probably not be released into the air. If the fibers are released, you should deal with the problem immediately.

    Older buildings may undergo renovations from time-to-time, which can easily disturb asbestos material. If your employer isn’t hiring professionals trained in asbestos removal, they could be placing your health at-risk. You will have a legal claim against your employer if they have put your health at-risk during the removal process.

    Byline: Frank Anderson recommends visiting yourmesotheliomalawfirm.com if you feel like you have been a victim of asbestos exposure.

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  • Unrightfully Charged with Injury due to Aggravated Assault?

    Being in a physical altercation with an acquaintance or a stranger can be an extremely frustrating and even traumatizing occurrence. Yet while that instance may be upsetting, it can be further unpleasant if you find yourself charged with a crime that was unbefitting of the situation. This largely happens due to information regarding the time of the arrest, and while it may leave you fearful, it can’t be counteracted to ensure you receive the best possible outcome.

    Why Were You Charged?

    In trying to combat this charge, it is important to understand why you alone were charged for aggravated assault. Most likely, upon your arrest, the officer present believed that you were responsible for the attack, and intended to cause physical harm on the other person involved. Additionally, and possibly due to the physical appearance of the second party, you may have been seen as the only aggressor, leaving you responsible with taking the brunt of the consequences. It is also possible, though not necessary, that few witnesses were on scene at the altercation, and mistakenly observed that you were the party to blame.

    What to Do Next
    First, and most importantly, it is imperative that you seek the services of a qualified legal professional when trying to defend yourself against this charge. Because the charge of aggravated assault can lead to a felony conviction, and because it is such a complex manner, your chances are highest if you are backed by top-notch representation.

    Beyond that, and after taking advice from your attorney, it’s necessary that you fully understand the individual requirements of convicting a person with such charge. In order for someone to be convicted of aggravated assault, beyond a regular charge of assault, this individual must have shown a complete disdain for the life of the other person, by intending to cause serious bodily harm with or without the use of a weapon.

    Most importantly, your relationship to other party involved in the altercation will matter greatly in fighting this charge. If you barely knew this individual before the event occurred, then there is a strong chance you can prove your lack of intention to harm them, due to there being no presence of a motive.

    Additionally, it is equally important to show the harm that befell you, if any, during this instance. While you may not have received any injury, even the smallest blemish as a result can help you argue that the ordeal was perpetuated by both parties, and instead was a fight on equal terms.

    Finally, in order to solidify your stance on this issue, it is imperative that you (or your attorney) speak with any witnesses present at the scene, and gain a comprehensive testimony that highlights your status as a victim as well. This direct information, if in your favor, is one of the quickest ways to help get the charge of aggravated assault dropped to something more favorable.

    Find Help Today

    If you have been charged with aggravated assault, it is important that you seek the help of a legal professional immediately. And when you do, make sure to follow these simple steps to overcome the charge and move on with your life.

    Byline: John Burke once had to hire a trusted Houston criminal defense attorney when his daughter was unrightfully charged with aggravated assault.

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  • Car Accidents, Personal Injury

    Posted on August 28th, 2013

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    Flip-Flops Contribute to Dangerous Driving

    The simple and humble flip-flops and not your “killer” stiletto heels, may be dangerous for women to wear behind the wheel.

    According to a recent survey conducted by in the United Kingdom by an insurance company, women who wear flip-flops  admit to being involved in numerous incidents or mishaps behind the wheel. Flip-flops are especially dangerous, because they impair the person’s ability to alternate between the brake pedal and the gas pedal. In some cases, flip flops can get stuck under the pedal, seriously increasing accident risks.

    Flip-flops are also believed to reduce braking power by as much as 3%. When a person is travelling at 60 mph, a drop of 3% in braking power can mean that the person travels at least 4 ft. before coming to a complete stop. That is more than enough time to cause an accident.

    Even more worryingly, the survey finds that many women drive wearing inappropriate, uncomfortable or even dangerous footwear. Such footwear like flip flops can be very dangerous for driving. Many women continue to wear such shoes even after they have been involved in an accident or near-miss accident wearing the shoe.

    As many as one in four female motorists in the study reported that they got their footwear stuck under the pedal. This is one killer wardrobe malfunction that could end in an accident.

    In fact according to the study, the most dangerous heels for women to drive in are flip-flops, bare feet, wedges, espadrilles and sandals. Even driving with bare feet can be dangerous. Many female motorists also reported that they had no problem wearing a certain type of footwear behind the wheel, even if they had difficulty walking in them.

     

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  • Brain and Spine Injury, Personal Injury

    Posted on August 25th, 2013

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    Behavioral Changes May Emerge Early in Patients with Brain Injury-Related CTE

    Persons, who suffer from chronic traumatic encephalopathy as a result of consistent brain trauma and develop behavioral changes as a result of the disease, may experience these behavioral changes or disorders very early in the disease. They are also likely to die early from the disease.

    Chronic traumatic encephalopathy is a condition that has only recently been spotlighted because of its association with consistent head injuries suffered by football players. The only way to diagnose chronic traumatic encephalopathy is through an autopsy after a person’s death. Many recent football player fatalities have been linked to this condition, and researchers believe that the disease progresses in one of two ways-through behavioral changes or cognitive impairment.

    In new research, scientists found that persons who display behavioral changes or behavioral disorders as a result of their CTW, experience these symptoms very early in the disease. These persons are also likely to die much earlier. In contrast, persons who have displayed cognitive impairment as a result of the CTE may find their symptoms emerging very late in the disease. These people are also likely to die later. In the study, as many as two-thirds of the patients who exhibited behavioral changes at a young age, also died at an early age.

    All of the subjects who were diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy displayed a combination of cognitive impairments and behavioral disorders. However, patients in whom behavioral disorders were more prominent died much earlier. The researchers believe that these findings can be taken to help identify the symptoms of the disease in persons who are consistently exposed to it while they are still alive.

     

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  • Brain and Spine Injury, Personal Injury

    Posted on August 21st, 2013

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    Treadmill Therapy Beneficial in Helping Treat Spinal Injury

    Training on a treadmill can have a beneficial effect on persons who have suffered a spinal cord injury. However, the therapy seems to be only effective in those cases where there is little inflammation as a result of the injury.

    Those were the findings of a new study that was conducted on mice recently.  The researchers experimented on mice that had suffered a spinal cord injury, and began the treadmill training just a few days after the injury.

    The researchers observed the signs of inflammation in the lumbar region of the spine at least 10 segments below the injury, within 24 hours after suffering the injury. This is believed to be the very first time that research has shown that spinal injuries can create spinal impairments many segments away from the site of the injury.

    Some of the mice were given treadmill training during the period in which the inflammation after the injury was high. The researchers found that the mice that were administered the treadmill therapy during this period of time, received no tangible benefits from the training. However, when the mice were given the treadmill training during those periods in which inflammation was at its minimal, there was a substantial improvement in their condition.

    In fact, the mice were able to use their hind legs to walk as a result of the therapy. Not only that, these mice also retained the benefits of the treadmill therapy for up to 42 days.

    The researchers found that the success of the treadmill therapy was crucially dependent on the levels of inflammation after the surgery. The good news however, is that this inflammation can be controlled using normal antibiotics.

     

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  • Aviation Law

    Posted on August 21st, 2013

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    About 12% of Plane Crashes Linked to Medication Use

    According to an analysis of general aviation plane crashes, as many as 12% of fatal plane crashes over the past 10 years have been linked to pilots driving under the side effects of medication. According to the Federal Aviation Administration between 2004 and 2005, medication was found in approximately 45% of pilots who died in plane crashes.

    Clearly, with all the focus on pilot fatigue and runway incursions, flying under the influence of medication has been neglected as an aviation safety concern. This is definitely a much neglected issue in the aviation industry, and there are finally signs that the Federal Aviation Administration has now decided to take the threat from pilots flying under the influence of over-the-counter medications seriously.

    The Federal Aviation Administration has issued an alert to more than 600,000 pilots across the country, to be aware of the side-effects of their medication before they take them. Many popular medications that are used to treat coughs and colds, for instance, come with several side effects, and the most dangerous of these is drowsiness.

    Unfortunately, many people take the risk of drowsiness from their medications very lightly, and do not refrain from driving, operating machinery or in pilots cases, flying after they have taken a couple of pills to treat that runny nose. When that kind of behavior is displayed by pilots, the consequences may be devastating.

    The alert applies to general aviation pilots, not commercial airline pilots. Commercial airline pilots are subjected to frequent alcohol and drug testing that can reduce the risk of operating a plane while impaired. In the case of general pilots however, there are no such requirements, and that means that these pilots may be at risk from the side-effects of non-prescription drugs.

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  • Motorcycle Accidents, Personal Injury

    Posted on July 24th, 2013

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    Motorcyclists at Risk of Accidents Involving Drunk Drivers

    A recent fatal San Jose motorcycle accident involving an intoxicated driver once again underscores the grave risk facing motorcyclists in San Jose and around California.  According to reports, the motorcycle accident occurred when a car that was traveling in the northbound lanes, crossed into the southbound lane and struck a motorcyclist.  The motorcyclist was declared dead at the scene of the accident.

    Investigators have managed to determine that alcohol was indeed a factor in the crash.  The motorist is believed to be a 23 year old man, who also suffered injuries in the accident.  This is the 22nd fatal accident in San Jose in 2013.

    Of all the risks facing motorcyclists on California roads, some of the biggest involve intoxicated drivers.  That’s because driving under the influence of alcohol results in aggressive driving practices that endanger the lives and safety of motorcyclists.

    For instance, drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs are more likely to drive at excessive speeds, and this makes it difficult for them to control the car or brake in time to avoid a motorcyclist.  Besides, drivers who are under the influence of alcohol are more likely to engage in reckless driving and aggressive driving, and very often, the targets of such aggression are motorcyclists.

    Unfortunately, San Jose motorcycle accident lawyers find that there is nothing much that motorcyclists can do to avoid being struck by an intoxicated driver.  In order to reduce the risks of being injured in an accident however, always wear a helmet while riding.  Try to remain as visible as possible, by wearing brightly colored clothing and stick reflective tape on your clothing, helmet and motorcycle at night.  Wear full sleeved pants and full sleeved shirts that are made of tough material, like leather or corduroy or denim.

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  • Brain and Spine Injury, Personal Injury

    Posted on July 19th, 2013

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    Speedy Tissue Loss Affects Spinal Injury Treatment

    Irreversible tissue loss that occurs after a spinal injury can impair treatment, and delay a person’s ability to recover many of the essential functions that are lost after a spinal injury.  New research finds that such tissue loss begins much sooner than earlier believed.

    According to the study which was published recently in The Lancet Neurology journal, tissue loss begins as quickly as 40 days after the person has suffered an injury.  That is much sooner than was earlier believed.  The investigative team analyzed a group of 13 patients who had suffered a spinal injury, and monitored their condition every three months over a period of one year after they had suffered the spinal injury.  After the one-year period was up, they found that the diameter of the spinal cord was 7% less than it was before the injury.

    There was also a decline in the corticospinal tract, which is the area of the spine that is mainly responsible for motor control as well as the nerve cells in the brain sensorimotor cortex, which is the area that is responsible for integrating the senses and motor system.

    The researchers found that patients who had suffered greater amount of irreversible tissue loss tended to have much delayed recovery, compared to those who showed lower declines in tissue amounts after the injury.  Earlier studies had held that it took years for this tissue loss to occur in the spinal injury site.  The good news is that new MRI technology definitely allows doctors to assess the quality of tissue loss, and determine the course of treatment to take.

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  • Personal Injury

    Posted on July 18th, 2013

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    Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Risks during Boating

    Most cases of carbon monoxide poisoning that people get to hear about are those that involve vapors that are released when a person is in a confined space.  However, it is equally possible to be outdoors, even on a boat, and be exposed to these dangerous fumes.

    Just recently, a 22-year-old man in Idaho died after being exposed to dangerous carbon monoxide fumes when he was on a boat with his friends.  You don’t expect to suffer from toxic poisoning when you are out in the open on the water, on a boat.  However, the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is very real, especially if you are sitting very close to the exhaust pipe on a boat. 

    Those risks are even more real when your boat is overcrowded, and there are far too many people in the vessel.  People, who are sitting at the back of the boat, may be in danger of carbon monoxide exposure.  In fact, experts recommend that if you’re boating with your friends this summer; avoid asking people to sit at the back of the boat, for long periods of time.  The risk of carbon monoxide exposure is much higher in these areas of the boat.  Sitting at the back of the boat, you are in close proximity to the exhaust pipe and the risk of exposure to the toxic fumes is very high.

    Even on an open boat, these vapors can build up very soon.  According to experts, look out for warning signs of carbon monoxide exposure like headaches, weakness, nausea or dizziness.  Carbon monoxide testing is not done on people who have suffered a boating accident or a drowning accident, and very often, these incidents are simply written off as drowning cases, even when the actual cause was carbon monoxide poisoning.

     

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