Posts by Noah

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 As New Yorker writer David Owen notes, our bodies become “historical document[s]” where our “moments are memorialized in scar tissue.”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 Wisconsin 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. 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 regional 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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