The Potential Beauty in Scars

Posted by on Feb 18, 2017 in Personal Injury

Scars tend to be seen in an almost uniformly negative light. They are associated with blemishes and disfigurement, and are consequently treated as something to be hidden, corrected, or removed. For someone with major scarring from a traumatic accident or another case of more serious scarring, scars may be a source of lasting pain stemming from their connection to the trauma or the severity of the physical scarring, and plastic surgery or other procedures may be required to correct scarring in such cases to prevent more emotional and psychological damage for the patient. Such cases are extreme, however, and as Tucson personal injury lawyers may tell you, such surgeries can be financially traumatic as well.

On the other hand, there are less extreme degrees of scarring that come along with daily living and which usually do not require a doctor’s assessment. These scars are physically harmless besides the initial discomfort of the injury, but still hold the potential of inflicting emotional damage on the person who bears them, mainly owing to the predominantly negative connotation attached to scars. These scars, however, those that are not attached to trauma and have no medical need to be corrected, should and need not cause shame or embarrassment, though they so often do. There is a recent movement to reclaim our imperfections as indications that we’ve lived. As New Yorker writer David Owen notes, our bodies become “historical document[s]” where our “moments are memorialized in scar tissue.” Scars are unique to our experiences, unique to each individual. We change with each of these experiences and so do our bodies, signaling something potentially emotional or deep from the very surface of our skin. Dealing with scars is not always a matter of their physical correction, but a correction in our thinking that has conditioned us to hate any malformations in our body, anything outside of an unblemished ideal. Life is messy, though, and our bodies reflect this beautiful sort of chaos, providing us with lasting reminders of our lives and how we lived them.

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There will always be Unscrupulous People Who will Take Advantage and Try to Profit from the Misfortunes of Disaster Victims

Posted by on Dec 12, 2016 in Fraud

Hurricane Sandy, the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season and the second-costliest hurricane in the history of the United States, caused major damages to hundreds of houses in Atlantic City, N.J. One of those damaged, or was underwater, was Darrell’s mom’s house. To fix everything, his estimates amounted to more than a hundred grand, though, the amount that he received from FEMA amounted only to $14,000. This was despite the damage from the floors to the furnace (including water heater and boiler) that was documented by a FEMA adjuster. However, a report that came out two weeks later indicated that there was no damage to the boiler.

In October of 2015, three years after Hurricane Sandy, FEMA offered to review around 144,000 insurance claims filed with the National Flood Insurance Program due to alleged fraud and abuse by government contractors. After six months into the review, new allegations of fraud surfaced, this time, however, fingers pointed to FEMA, whose review process are alleged to be rife with abuse.

FEMA, acronym for the the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is a major agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security. Its mission is to “support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate all hazards.” (https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/videos/80684) To accomplish this mission, FEMA provides disaster recovery assistance (or grants) to every person and household, regardless of race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status.

Disaster assistance may include grants that will help pay for emergency home repairs (which include foundation, floors, walls, ceilings, roof, windows, furnace, air conditioning system, and septic or sewage systems), temporary housing, uninsured and underinsured personal property losses and medical, dental and funeral expenses caused by a disaster, along with other serious disaster-related expenses (in short, losses that are not covered by homeowners’ insurance.

With natural disasters and the federal government’s efforts in helping victims recover and rebuild, however, are unscrupulous people taking advantage of victim assistance, stealing from the government the funds that ought to go to disaster victims. The continuous committance of fraudulent acts has led the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Justice to create a Fraud Task Force charged with deterring, detecting, and prosecuting individuals who try to take advantage of victim assistance programs during disasters. This “Task Force tracks referrals of potential cases and complaints, coordinates with law enforcement agencies to initiate investigations, and works with the appropriate U.S. Attorneys’ Offices to ensure timely and effective prosecution of disaster-related fraud cases.” Furthermore, this Task Force acts quickly and aggressively to bring to justice whoever would try to profit from the misfortunes of disaster victims.

Since the creation of this Task Force, more than 900 individuals have already been charged with disaster-related fraud (in relation to Hurricane Katrina alone). While there are still many pending cases, some other cases have already been dismissed after having proved the authenticity of the claims of those charged.

According to a Baton Rouge criminal lawyer, due to the aggressiveness of authorities in bringing to justice fraudsters, federal charges are brought against anyone suspected of having stolen from the government. For those wrongly accused, however, so much is at stake. Clearly, having a highly-skilled criminal defense lawyer who can plan a defense that anticipates the tactics prosecutors are likely to use against him/her could really be necessary.

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Your Safety Net: Claiming Workers’ Compensation in North Carolina

Posted by on Oct 27, 2016 in Workplace Injury

You can experience many difficult consequences from falling ill or becoming injured due to workplace accidents. Aside from the obvious physical challenges brought about by illness or injury, going through such an experience is also sure to cause economic hardship. An illness or injury requires medical attention that could cost you thousands of dollars. It also means losing an opportunity to earn wages as you take time off to recover.

In such situations, you’re going to need to have a safety net to ensure that you and your family are well taken care of for the time of being. This is where workers’ compensation benefits come in.

In North Carolina, almost all employers are required by law to provide their workforce with workers’ compensation insurance coverage. The few exceptions to this rule include, in general, those that employ only a small amount of people into their organization. Businesses that have more than 3 people in their workforce are expected to weekly payments amounting to 66 2/3 percent of your weekly wage.

Filing for workers’ compensation begins with notifying your employer about your current situation. Submit a report of your illness or injury and include documentation from your doctor to this paperwork. Your employer is then expected to fill out and file all necessary forms to be submitted to the North Carolina Industry Commission or the NCIC.

Your employer or their insurance company will be responsible for the initial review of your claim. Should they deny your petition, the will need to send you and the NCIC appropriate notice to give you time to prepare an appeal. The appeal will be made through a hearing with the NCIC or, if necessary, the North Carolina Court of Appeals. In this process, it will be easier to have Raleigh workers’ compensation claim assistance from an experienced attorney.

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The Risk of Injury Faced by Bicycle Riders

Posted by on Aug 18, 2016 in Bicycle Accidents, Personal Injury

For thousands of Americans, riding a bike to work or for exercise is a way of life. Like a motorcycle rider, however, a bicyclist must know that absence or lack of bodily protection puts him/her at high risk of injury or death in the event of an accident.

In 2013, 900 bicyclists died, and about 494,000 were rushed to emergency departments due to injuries sustained in accidents. In 2014, the Educational Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety program, which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) introduced, was said to be a very big factor in reducing the number of fatal bicycle accidents, making it go down to 720, a 20% reduction.

Studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reveal that:

  • The most common victims in fatal bicycle accident are adolescents and young adults, aged from 15 to 29 and adults 45 years and older
  • Victims in non-fatal bicycle-related injuries are usually children aged between 5 and 14 and those between 15 and 24 years old
  • The two top contributing factors to bicyclist deaths are alcohol-impairment and failure to wear a helmet
  • The states of California and Florida are the top states where the highest number of male cyclists get killed every year

Thousands of bike accidents lead to fatalities or serious injuries every year. Thus, in an effort to keep bicyclists safe, many states have implemented the bicycle helmet law for children and adults due to the added safety that a helmet can provide. The U.S. Department of Transportation has also made known its Safer People, Safer Streets initiative this 2015 in an effort to improve non-motorized safety.

According to the law firm Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck, P.A., the trauma suffered by bicycle riders can never be undone, however, the parties responsible for causing the accident, which resulted to a victim’s injuries or death, need to be held responsible for their actions or inaction. Thus, bicyclists, who are injured because of the negligence of some drivers or someone who never did a good job, such as in maintaining and keeping roads, sidewalks or parking areas safe, may be able to recover damages for whatever injuries they suffer. Being represented by a highly-competent personal injury or bicycle accident lawyer may be necessary for the victim’s better chances of getting the compensation that he/she is legally allowed to claim and receive.

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Facts About The EB-5 Visa

Posted by on May 23, 2016 in Law

The EB-5 Visa is one of the many ways to get a Green Card in the United States. All an individual has to do is invest in a business and they can become a permanent resident of the country in no time. Every year, there are approximately 10,000 visas allotted for foreign investors and for their families. In 2015, there were 9.764 visas were used and 93% going to investors from Asia. More specifically, 84% were granted to Chinese investors and 3% granted to Vietnamese.

Aplying for a Green Card is a long and tedious process. A Russian EB-5 visa lawyer would probably be able to explain to you how you can avoid the time delay and strict requirements that are usually faced by applicants.The EB-5 visa applicant will be granted conditional residence status. After two years of stay, the foreign national will then apply to remove this status. Upon meeting the visa requirement, the foreign national will then receive full LPR status. Otherwise, their conditional status is either terminated, required to leave the US, or be placed in removal proceedings.

In 1992, Congress set up the Regional Center Pilot Program in order to create an additional pathway to LPR status via the EB-5 visa. For the reginal centers, the investment requirement is the same for the standard EB-5 investors. Visas from the Regional Center Program has grown over the years. In 2014, 97% of all EB-5 visas were issued from the Regional Centers.

When applying for an EB-5 visa, bear in mind that the average waiting time for processing is 13 months. The application will wiat in queue at the USCIS for about 8 – 15 months. Afterwards, it will take an additional six months or more for the review. Upon approval, the applicant will be notified and make an appointment in the nearest embassy or consulate in their country for interview. Once approved, they will need to present the documents upon their arrival in the US.

Two years after the approval of visa, the company where the applicant investeds will provide proof of job creation. You will need the Form I-829 to do this. Once reviewed and approved by the USCIS, the conditional status is changed to permanent and the Green Card issued to the applicant. The card is renewable every 10 years.

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Erb’s Palsy As A Result From Medical Malpractice/Negligence

Posted by on Nov 28, 2015 in Health

Despite improvements in medical and engineering expertise, there are still several things that could FAIL during labor. One of these is Erb’s palsy, also known as brachial plexus palsy. It’s a personal injury requires upheaval to the nerves situated close to the neck, and sustained just during precise distribution. The damage occurs if the baby’s throat is extended aside during a difficult distribution such as a breech presentation (feet first), continuous work, or expulsion of a substantial child. It might even be due to some instrument’s poor usage to help delivery or inappropriate strategy, by which event a doctor could be responsible.

The brachial plexus handles the activity of the forearms and arms. According to The Driscoll Firm website,  toddlers who experience Erb’s palsy may have weakness in partial or complete paralysis, or one single arm. Those effects’ permanence will depend on the magnitude of the injury as well as treatment’s availability.

You can find numerous levels of stress, from gentle (neurapraxia) to significant (avulsion). In neurapraxia, the nerves are wounded but not split, and so 3 months should be healed within by the nerve. Avulsion, however, could be the nerves from the spinal cord, which cannot be repaired’s complete detachment.

If you think that your child’s injury was as a result of negligence, perhaps you are ready to file a state for reimbursement. It should be observed that it may be challenging to verify neglect as this kind of harm could be related to components beyond the participating physician’s control, including inadequate health. Nonetheless, in the event the instances plainly reveal disregard, like the rejection of the physician to perform a section if it was requested by the caretaker, then that’s a matter that is different.

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Burn Injuries: Common Causes, Types, and First Aid Steps

Posted by on Aug 21, 2015 in Health, Personal Injury

Burn injuries can be extremely traumatic for victims, causing many lifelong consequences and effects. People who suffer from a serious burn injury face a long road of treatment and recovery that is often painful and difficult. These serious injuries can be caused by a variety of factors. Devastating car accidents that involve explosions, house fires, electrocutions and chemical exposure are just among the different types of accidents identified by the website of the Jeff Sampson Law Firm that can result in such painful and traumatizing injuries. Regardless of the cause, however, the effects of a burn injury can be mitigated if proper first aid is received by the victim.

The type of first aid assistance needed for a burn injury will vary depending on its severity. A first degree burn, which is superficial and common when the victim is scalded by a hot liquid, can be remedied by running the injured area under cool water for 3 to 5 minutes. A cold compress can also be used, but be sure that the temperature isn’t too cool as that can cause further damage to the skin. Once that’s done, burn ointment or aloe vera cream can be applied on the injured area before it is bandaged up using a clean piece of cloth or gauze.

First aid measures are different for the more severe second or third degree burns. Second degree burns cause victims an intense amount of pain, leaving blisters that look raw and wet. Meanwhile, third degree burns leave the injured skin looking charred, leathery, dry, or waxy. Sometimes, the skin might also look white or brown. A third degree burn affects the deepest layers of the skin, sometimes causing nerve damage. As a first aid response for these types of injuries, first remove any pieces of clothing or jewelry surrounding the area of the burn. (However, take note not to forcefully pry off any pieces that might have melted into the victim’s skin.) Afterwards, run the injured area under cool water for 3 to 5 minutes and then wrap it in clean cloth or gauze to keep the area sterilized and avoid infection.

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Equipment Malfunction

Posted by on Apr 27, 2015 in Law, Personal Injury

The greatest challenge that is probably facing construction firms today is accomplishing more in much lesser time. Construction is progress, and progress requires fast action. But, as buildings, which need to be constructed, are becoming bigger, taller and more intricate in materials and design, many workers are forced to render longer work periods, resulting to fatigue which, in turn, often compromises safety in the workplace.

One very common site in construction areas is heavy equipment. These include cranes (which are a must in construction works), road rollers, crawlers, excavators, caterpillar, loaders, forklifts, concrete mixer, and bulldozers. Heavy equipment, undoubtedly, help the construction industry accomplish more at a much faster rate. But due to their huge sizes, any of these can cause a disabling or fatal injury if operated wrongly or by an untrained and careless worker.

Recognizing the risks of accidents and injuries that employees, but most especially construction workers, are exposed to everyday the US Congress established in 1970 the Occupational Safety and Health Act (or OSH Act) which, in turn, gave rise to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA’s task is to ensure the safety of all working men and women through the creation and maintenance of a safe and healthy working environment; it is charged to set and enforce standards that will keep the workplace, as much as possible, free from accident-causing injuries.

It is clear, however, that having an accident-free working environment is quite impossible for, despite OSHA’s work, state laws and employers’ efforts, the US Department of Labor still received reports of as many as 4,585 fatal work-related accidents for the year 2013.

Records from the Department of Labor also shows that being struck by an object and getting caught in or between objects are among the top causes of deaths in construction sites (falls is number one), and that more than half of all construction site accidents involve employees who are in their first year of employment.

Workers still lacking in experience cannot be an acceptable reason for an accident, especially since OSHA also mandates that all employees should receive training about their job. Though workers, who sustain a job-related injury or illness, may claim financial benefits through their employer-sponsored Workers’ Compensation Insurance benefit, this is never an excuse for any employer or anyone in the construction workplace to be negligent of his/her responsibility in helping keep the work area safe for everyone.

The website of The Law Offices of Crowe & Mulvey, LLC, acknowledges the dangers that construction workers (as well as those passing by construction areas) face daily, these do not take away the fact that those who are liable for the accident may face a civil lawsuit through which the accident victim may seek, and be allowed to receive, compensation from them.

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The Perks of Having a Boat

Posted by on Feb 13, 2015 in Boats

Although a boat sounds like a luxury item reserved for the elite, buying a boat does not have to be a monumental expense if you know where to look. Second hand boats tend to be cheaper, especially if you are purchasing a smaller boat. Even if you do wind up shelling out a lot of money for a boat, there are many ways it is worth the investment.

If you are a fisher, you never have to worry about renting a boat when going fishing. This can add up over time, especially if you fish frequently. Plus, it will give you an excuse to go fishing more often. When you are feeling stingy, you will not be limited to the dock or the shore, because you have already made the purchase.

Boats are a great setting for a romantic night. There is something soothing and unique about retreating from civilization and spending the evening only focused on each other and the serenity of nature. All you need is a bottle of wine and a clear sky, and you can make simplicity exciting by changing the setting and slowing down the pace of a typical date night.

With a big enough boat, you could be the ultimate party host. Everyone loves a good barge party, so when you and your friends are looking to change your routine up or your child does not want to celebrate their birthday at laser tag for the fifth time, you have a perfect setting to make sure you and your loved ones are having a great time.

If you are concerned with where to put your boat, consider self storage. Ben White Mini Storage says on its website that if you need a little extra space, self storage is a great option, whether you are looking for temporary or permanent storage.

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Dock Accidents

Posted by on Sep 15, 2014 in Law, Personal Injury

Accidents involving cruise ships are getting more noticed than before, especially after the tragedy on January 13, 2012, which involved one of the largest ships in the world, the Italian cruise liner Costa Concordia, which carried more than 3,206 passengers and 1,023 crew members, when it sank after hitting a rock underwater off Isola del Giglio, Tuscany.

There are many causes of cruise ship accidents – some are natural, while others are products of human negligence or recklessness. But contrary to what many believe that the worst accidents happen to a ship only while it is in the middle of the ocean, well, think again, because there are fatal accidents that have occurred right in the pier, while the ship is docked.

Sometimes an accident that involves a docked cruise ship can turn out really bad because it can cause severe (even fatal) injuries not only to passengers and crew members, but to dock workers and/or pedestrians as well. And with the large number of freight carriers, cruise liners, and other equipment around, it would be hard to predict the severity of injuries and the degree of physical damage a dock accident can wreak.

Some of the accidents that can occur while a ship is in the pier include: a slip and fall that can cause mild to serious back injuries; falling cargo or cargo container, which can easily crush a person to death; workers accidentally getting hit by a cargo container (while it is being loaded on a container ship); fire breaking out is a ship’s cargo storage; docks workers being thrown off of their boats while working on a ship’s mooring lines (this usually happens when a ship pulls out from the port too soon, before workers actually clear the area).

Accidents occurring in docks can be very burdensome to whoever gets injured. Besides the pain and the suffering a victim has to experience, the maritime law is confusing enough for him/her to comprehend, plus the fact that filing a lawsuit against those responsible for the accident (after the tedious process of proving liability) can be done in a specific court only.

According to the website of The Vucci Law Group, P.A., two important things that a victim of a cruise ship accident ought to do are, first, seek legal help immediately and, second, make sure that the lawyer hired is truly competent – with extensive knowledge (about the maritime law) and experience (in maritime law litigations).

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