How Drunk Driving Leads to Car Accidents

How Drunk Driving Leads to Car Accidents

Jul 23

On the road, all drivers face the possibility of accidents and injuries due to a variety of factors. The odds of such incidents occurring can easily be curbed by following traffic rules and safety measures. In an ideal world, drivers can help make roads safe for everybody by taking extra care and precaution behind the wheel. Unfortunately, reality tends to paint a different scenario. There are moments when carelessness and negligence rule the open road. This is particularly true for cases of alcohol-impaired driving.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are about 30 people who die in car accidents involving drunk drivers every day. Following this trend, the CDC concludes that about 1 person dies in an alcohol-related accident every 51 minutes. In the year 2012, they also found that there were about 10,322 reported fatalities caused by alcohol-impaired driving. These alarming numbers only show that the road can remain unsafe as long as there are individuals who remain negligent of their responsibility as drivers.

In all states across the U.S., the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for driving is at 0.08 percent. Driving with a BAC level above this prescribed limit is against the law. While penalties vary from state to state, punishment for driving while under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) can be severe across the board. Anyone caught driving over the 0.08 limit can face imprisonment and suspension of their driver’s license.

However, it’s important to know having any amount of alcohol in one’s system can seriously impair the ability to drive. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependent (NCADD), drivers can begin to lose the awareness they need for driving starting at a BAC level of 0.02 percent. The following are just some of the effects that alcohol can have on a driver’s system:

  • .02 percent BAC: Relaxation, altered mood, and some loss of judgment lead to a decline in the driver’s visual functions and ability to multitask
  • .05 percent BAC: Impaired psychomotor performance, slower eye movements, and reduced coordination lead to difficulty in stirring and processing new visual information. These effects also reduce the driver’s impulse response in emergency situations.
  • .08 percent BAC: Poor muscle coordination leads to difficulty with vision, hearing, speech, and balance. Impairment in reasoning and judgment also significantly reduces the driver’s ability to process new information and react to it accordingly.

One way to curb alcohol-related car accidents is through raising awareness. Learning the effects of alcohol can allow people to see how much the substance can impair their ability to drive. When drivers learn the devastating consequences of driving while drunk, they can be implored to be more careful while operating their vehicles.

Difference between Mesothelioma and Asbestosis

Difference between Mesothelioma and Asbestosis

Jun 24

Although mesothelioma and asbestosis are both caused by asbestos exposure, there are some key differences.

The main difference between both is that mesothelioma is cancerous while asbestosis is not. Asbestosis is a lung disease caused by inhaling asbestos fibers that causes the victim to be unable to take full, deep breaths. The asbestos fibers cause lung scarring and stiffness of the lungs. Mesothelioma is a cancer of the mesothelial tissue that can affect the lungs, stomach, heart, and other organs. Although different diseases, asbestosis can develop into the more serious mesothelioma if not treated properly.

Another difference is how the diseases develop. Asbestosis is caused by the patient breathing in asbestos fibers and them becoming stuck in the lung’s air sacks. These air sacks are also known as alveoli and become scarred from the asbestos fibers causing the lungs to become more and more stiff over time. Mesothelioma develops when asbestos fibers enter the the lining of the lungs and cause the deadly cancer.

Asbestosis and mesothelioma do carry some similar symptoms, however. Both diseases are characterized by shortness of breath, coughing, chest pain, and weight loss. Unfortunately, these symptoms in both cases can be mistaken for less serious conditions. Mesothelioma carries more serious symptoms as time progresses.

Doctors are able to see the difference between the diseases, even if the symptoms are the same, through scans of the lungs. The treatments for both diseases are different. Asbestosis treatments, such as antibiotics and inhalers, are often focused on slowing down the progression of the disease. Mesothelioma treatments cannot usually treat the disease and are more focused on improving quality of life and prolonging life expectancy for the patient.

Although mesothelioma is often more serious than asbestosis, both diseases can prove fatal to those carrying the diseases. Asbestosis can even develop into the cancerous mesothelioma. What makes these diseases even more terrifying is that symptoms can take 10 to 40 years to show after the diseases develop.

If you suspect you have been exposed to asbestos or suffer from asbestosis or mesothelioma, you can find more information about the steps you can take and more about the diseases.

The Effects of PCBs to the Nervous and Endocrine Systems

The Effects of PCBs to the Nervous and Endocrine Systems

May 08

Polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs have been banned in the United States since 1979. Before this ban was imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), PCBs were widely used for a variety of industrial and commercial processes. These complex c chemical compounds proved to be particularly useful because they were nonflammable, and had the ability to withstand high temperatures and insulate electricity. As a result, its sole manufacturer in the U.S. earned huge success from the product and quickly became a leader in the chemical industry.

Unfortunately, it became clear that Monsanto had been aware of the devastating effects caused by PCBs to human health and the environment and opted to continue operations despite this knowledge. As a result, plenty of Americans continue to grapple with the risks caused by prolonged PCB exposure.

Toxic Monsanto PCBs can affect a person’s health in many different ways. The most notable health risk is the fact that PCBs are classified as a probable human carcinogen. Aside from cancer, PCBs can also affect the human body in other ways. Several scientific studies found that PCBs can some impairment in the nervous and endocrine systems.

According to a fact sheet by the EPA, PCB exposure in newborn monkeys resulted in a significant decline in cognitive development. Researchers found that monkeys exposed to PCBs can suffer deficiencies in visual recognition, short-term memory, and learning ability. Similar studies conducted in humans show a similar pattern. The EPA also points to a scientific study that showed how PCBs can cause disruption in the endocrine system of both humans and animals. In particular, PCBs have been shown to affect thyroid hormone levels.

These results show that PCB exposure can cause significant threats to an individual’s health and well-being. As such, it’s important that the public are made aware of how they can mitigate the risk of exposure to such toxic chemicals. The people most at risk to PCB exposure are workers who come into close contact with older models and materials that have PCBs. Workplaces should have proper regulations in place to ensure that employees are protected from prolonged chemical exposure.

What to Consider When Buying a Car

What to Consider When Buying a Car

Mar 16

When picking the right car for you, there are many factors that must be considered. Some people so overwhelmed that they cannot begin to even understand what that criteria is. Here are a few things to think about to narrow down your car search.

The first thing you need to establish is your price range. Do not bother looking at a new Mercedes-Benz if your budget is $20,000. It is perfectly normal to fantasize about driving the hottest and most expensive new car around, but make sure that fantasy does not turn into a reality that puts you further in debt than your student loans did.

After you have established your price, think about what type of car you want. If you are just looking for practicality, most sedans will suffice. If you can afford a mid priced car, your big decision would be between either a luxury or sports car. People that are raising children tend to choose a luxury car, since it is typically the more family friendly car.

Next, how environmentally friendly do you need your car to be? If the answer is not at all, you can keep jeeps, trucks, and hummers on your list. However, if good fuel economy is important to you, look into hybrid, electric, or most small cars.

Finally, decide how important safety is to you. A good rule of thumb is that the bigger the car in an accident will most likely have less damage, but monitoring safety is a bit more complicated than that. Once you have narrowed your choices down to a few cars, research their crash test report ratings. Also look into whether or not they have had any recalls. Personal injury attorney in Louisville Jeff Sampson says that car accidents can have serious consequences for individuals as well as their loved ones, so take safety seriously when buying a car.

Zoloft: From Depression to (Birth) Defects

Zoloft: From Depression to (Birth) Defects

Feb 06

Many women in the United States of America suffer from anxiety and depression. A serious medical condition, this is an internal battle that can sometimes take an entire lifetime to defeat. Due to it being quite an internal problem, with symptoms that are difficult to detect and prove, a lot of women are often too frightened to be diagnosed with the illness. And an illness, it is, and one of the primary challenges of the battle is dealing with the popular stigma that denies its existence.

Anxiety has been called the illness that is linked with possibility, wherein the person who suffers from this disorder is too paralyzed by the fear of what could be that they are left debilitated and in a state of constant panic. It can be crippling and numbing; the fact that anyone who might suffer from it continues to live on a regular day is an extraordinary feat in itself. One can only imagine the kind of stress that this can cause a pregnant woman, a person making and carrying life within her, who suffers these illnesses; and much more if the medication for this illness causes for birth defects on her child.

This has been the case, as reported by evidence presented on the website of defective pharmaceutical attorneys with Williams Kherkher with the drug called Zoloft. The use of Zoloft, a popular anti-depressant commonly used to treat patients diagnosed with major depression or anxiety, has been linked to a variety of cases of mothers who have complained that the drug is the reason why their babies have been born with possibly life-threatening conditions such as heart failures or severe deformations. This can be the birth of additional and unprecedented health bills as well as a lifetimes worth of stress and increased symptoms in mothers already having to deal with mental problems.

If you or someone you know is going through a situation similar to this, legal action is an option available in order to attain compensation and justice from the guilty party responsible for this additional grievance.

The Effects of Domestic Violence Charges

The Effects of Domestic Violence Charges

Dec 08

Domestic violence is always regarded as a serious offense, but the wheels turn slowly in civilian life because there are many rights that have to be taken into consideration before the law can go into effect. In many cases, domestic violence requires a preponderance of evidence before an abuser can be brought to justice.

Domestic violence is a particularly sensitive subject because it strikes at the heart of an individual’s personal life. Anyone accused and convicted of being capable of physical, emotional, or psychological abuse of their nearest and dearest often become a social pariah, talked about and reviled privately if not publicly. It all boils down to the same thing: loss of respect and credibility.

Unfortunately, domestic violence usually occurs behind closed doors, so it is easy for someone to make false allegations of domestic violence for various purposes, such as for leverage in divorce or child custody, or even for revenge for a perceived wrong. This is not to say that domestic violence does not happen; in fact, there are many cases that go unreported. But that does not mean that all cases of domestic violence are automatically true.

According to information found on their website, a criminal defense lawyer from the Law Offices of Richard A. Portale, P.C. would likely suggest that a person accused of domestic violence immediately find out the details of the charges and consult with an experienced attorney before doing or saying anything. It can spell the difference between a conviction and a dismissal.

If you are facing domestic violence charges, it is important that you retain competent counsel. Being charged with domestic violence is bad enough, but a conviction for even a misdemeanor for domestic violence will have far-reaching consequences for your social and professional life.

Limo Fun Facts

Limo Fun Facts

Sep 30

Did you know that in Driving Miss Daisy the car that was most closely associated with the movie was a 1949 Hudson Commodore sedan but it wasn’t a limousine? She had a chauffeur (which incidentally is derived from the French word for “stoker” because the earliest cars were steam driven, just like a train, and had to be “stoked”) but in order for the car to be considered a limousine, it had to have a partition separating the driver from the passengers. Which brings us to our next fun fact.

The word “limousine” is taken from the name of a region in France called Limousin where the shepherds wore cloaks that was said to resemble the canopy covering the driver portion of the first cars built for the rich in 1902. Nobody seems to know who actually built the first limousine but the first stretch limousine was built in 1928 by Arkansas-based Armbruster Company, which was actually a bus but with attitude. It was often used to transport musicians Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller and their equipment to and from concerts. This was the beginning of the “band bus” using limos, so if you hire a limo for your band, you’re being faithful to the tradition established by music legends.

The reason for the partition was to give the passengers privacy, but it was a sad time for limo drivers because in the first limousines, the driver partition had a roof but was open on the sides so they were exposed to the elements. Fortunately by 1939, limousines were the first automobiles to be equipped by The Packard Motor Car Company with modern air conditioning, so drivers could now work in relative comfort. It wasn’t like car air conditioning today, however; it was bulky and not thermostat controlled back then. But while the air conditioning was a necessary evil, stretching a limousine beyond the realms of reason is not. Riding in a stretch limousine is indeed a hard-to-miss status symbol, but when it is 100 feet long, it is just ridiculous. Imagine trying to steer the thing! But hey, it was good for an entry into the Guinness Book of Records, so it isn’t totally impractical.

Defective Products can Strike Anywhere

Defective Products can Strike Anywhere

Sep 29

A recent verdict for the plaintiff that filed suit for severe injuries caused by a defective table saw illustrates that we all live around products that can inflict grievous harm in the most unexpected ways.

Of course, a table saw is inherently dangerous, which is why wood workers treat it with the caution it deserves. But in the case mentioned above, 30-year-old Brandon Stollings was using a Ryobi Model BTS20R table saw that kicked back, something he could not have guarded against and a product defect that could have been easily corrected by adding a riving knife (a curved metal) to the design of the saw to prevent kickbacks. As pointed out in the website of New Tork-based law firm Hach & Rose, LLP, consumers have the right to expect that the products they use are safe. Stollings lost an index finger and part of two fingers in the 2007 incident. It was one of many product liability cases that involved kickback incidents with defective table saws, many of which were only fitted with the riving knife fix in 2010.

Many manufacturers breach their duty of care to their consumers because they are reluctant to go through the added trouble and expense of changing product designs or manufacturing processes which can cause injury to consumers. Manufacturers only take action when they are brought to book with legal action.

This was the case with table saw manufacturers, which had already been warned in 1998 by the Consumer Product Safety Commission that the existing safety features of their table saws were ineffective. A Houston personal injury lawyer would interpret this as a resistance to change and a breach of their duty of care as manufacturers, and present it as such during litigation.

While compensation is available to those who suffer injury from product defects, it would be infinitely preferable to avoid such incidents altogether. Stolling was awarded more than $1 million in damages, but would probably have preferred to keep his fingers.

If you have been injured by a product defect that could have easily been prevented by the manufacturer, you could have a case against the manufacturer as well as the distributor or retailer if they had known about the defect but failed to warn you about them. Consult with a product liability lawyer in your area to find out your legal options.

Some Facts about Immigration to the US

Some Facts about Immigration to the US

Sep 26

Immigration to the US is subject to a complex body of laws, chief of which is the Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA), but there are other laws that supersede the limitations imposed by the INA i.e. number of permanent immigrants allowed per year (675,000). These include presidential and congressional discretion for refugees, asylum seekers, and other vulnerable populations as well as exceptions for close family members.

Even though some types of immigration applications are given priority, such as when it involves family unification, the process is incredibly long and complex, requiring copious documents and following a long series of steps. It is often difficult for the uninitiated to make sense of the process, let alone accomplish them successfully.

One of the main reasons that people want to migrate to the US is to achieve a better way of life than what is available in their home countries. This is by far the most difficult type of immigration to accomplish, as many applicants that venture into Texas have found. An experienced and knowledgeable Austin immigration lawyer can smooth the way considerably by handling all the legal requirements for the petition, but even then it is not at all easy and requires considerable coordination and patience. Often it involves an application of a temporary visa before permanent employment-based immigration can be applied for. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) limits these types of applications to 140,000 a year spread out over many categories from exceptional workers to unskilled laborers.

Another common reason is to be with family or to marry a US citizen, and for all of these reasons there are certain criteria that must be met to be entered into a complicated system of calculations to determine the limits to the immigration applications that the US can grant in any given year based on relationship and preference.

If you want to immigrate to the US, you will be well-advised to seek the expertise of immigration lawyers. Without their assistance, you will have a hard time accomplishing the steps needed to make any headway into the immigration process.

Eyes on the Road: Common Cause of Truck Accidents

Eyes on the Road: Common Cause of Truck Accidents

Sep 24

Truck drivers are constantly on the road for hours at a time. This can lead to boredom and a sense of complacency and many truck drivers relax the hard and fast rule that all commercial truck drivers should constantly observe: eyes on the road.

The most common cause of truck accidents is not intoxication, it’s not even fatigue; it’s inattention. Because of the number of hours they spend behind the wheel with no mishap, they take it for granted that a few seconds reaching for the compact disc in the glove compartment or picking up a dropped can of soda will not make any difference. And that is when accidents happen.

According to the website of Williams Kherkher, one of the top causes of 18-wheeler accidents is distracted driving. A recent accident that killed an East Texas truck driver and seriously injured 3 others was said to have been because the truck driver failed to observe in time that traffic had been stopped on Interstate 10 East due to an earlier accident in Louisiana. It doesn’t seem possible that any driver would fail to observe that vehicles were not moving up ahead, and it can only be speculated that the driver was distracted by something or someone.

In South Carolina, a pedestrian was killed when struck by an 18-wheeler at the mile marker 122 on Interstate 20 in Lee County. The case is under investigation, but in all likelihood the driver had been momentarily distracted or had swerved trying to avoid an obstacle on the road. As pointed out in the website of the Goings Law Firm, LLC, truck accidents often have serious consequences for survivors, but fatalities such as this one are equally devastating.

If you have been seriously injured or an immediate family member was killed in a truck accident because the driver was distracted or inattentive, this is a case of negligence. Contact a truck accident lawyer in your area to find out how you can file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against the driver and other responsible parties.