National Safety Council Tips that Will Help Avoid Motorcycle Accidents

After the long winter, when spring comes in full swing, one thing that is really noticeable on roads is the sudden increase in the number of motorcycles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), as of 2011, motorcycles accounted only for 3% of all registered vehicles in the US, yet, when it comes to traffic fatalities, motorcyclists account for 14%.

Records from the National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA) Traffic Safety Fact Sheet show that in 2012, motorcycle accidents injured about 93,000 riders and killed 4,957. Compared to car passengers during crashes, the likelihood of motorcyclists getting injured is five times more, while the likelihood of them dying, 30 times higher. This is due to the lack of gears that would cushion and protect a rider from the force created during impact, thus, making him or her vulnerable to different kinds of severe injuries, especially head injury, which is the most common cause of death in motorcycle accidents.

There are two classifications of motorcycle accidents: single-bike motorcycle crashes and multiple-vehicle accidents. Single-bike motorcycle crashes, which are more common, involve just a single motorcycle and it can be the result, either of negligence or recklessness on the part of the rider, or factors beyond a rider’s control. Examples of these, include riding under the influence of alcohol, speeding (especially when approaching a bend), faulty equipment and road hazards, which can cause a rider to lose control of his/her bike, ending up with him/her crashing on asphalt or hitting a road fixture, such as a lamp post or concrete barrier.

A multiple-vehicle accident, on the other hand, involves another vehicle, such as a car, an SUV, etc., and is the more deadly of the two types. According to the NHTSA, some of the most common causes of multiple-vehicle accidents are driver distraction, a driver being under the influence of alcohol, a driver using a cellphone while driving, a driver failing to notice an approaching motorcycle and a driver refusing to respect a motorcyclist’s right of way.

The website of the personal injury law firm Cazayoux and Ewing points out the sustained efforts of government and private agencies in improving awareness among drivers of the possible dangers that motorcycle riders may face if they fail to observe the presence of motorcycles on the road. One way through which this awareness is conveyed is via the declaration of the month of May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. It is during this month when the National Safety Council (NSC) explains the dangers and vulnerabilities that motorcycle riders face on the road and the ways that would help everyone avoid accidents, save themselves from getting hurt, as well as from injuring a motorcyclist. These NSC tips should help attain the above objectives:

motorists should observe motorcyclists’ right of way and should be extra alert when they are near;
never tailgate a motorcycle, drivers should rather allow a greater following distance behind it;
drivers should be extra careful at intersections where most crashes occur (a very common incidence when drivers would be making a left turn at intersections);
motorcyclists are entitled to use the full lane width of any road. No driver should deprive them of this right by sharing the lane with them;
motorcyclists should never drive along another vehicle’s blind spot;
motorcyclists should refrain from riding during poor weather conditions; and
motorcyclists should always use turn signals before changing lanes or turning

No law, more so, reminders, will save motorcyclists from the possibility of being hit by another vehicle or from losing control of their bike due to poorly maintained roads or road hazards, so long as there are individuals who will obstinately refuse to observe what the law mandates.

The Components of Trade Secret Misappropriations

A trade secret is something that a company or business uses in the manufacturing of its product or service that they keep a secret. This can be a device, method, formula, program, process, pattern or technique. According to the website of Kohler & Hart SC, trade secrets must retain certain features to be protected under law.

First, a trade secret must be that, a secret. There must be a reasonable level of security taken by the owner to keep the information hidden. Second, the trade secret must provide a competitive advantage to the owner over other producers in the same category. Essentially the secret must retain economic value. Lastly, there must be consistent efforts to keep the information secret. This is often in the form of non-disclosure contracts that must be signed by any who learn of the secret.

There are three main ways that misappropriation can occur. First, a person or manufacturer can intentionally get the information when they are not meant to have it. However, it is legal for other manufacturers to attempt to get the information by reverse engineering products. Second, if the information was obtained illegally by another person but given to you and then you publish it, you can be accused of misappropriations. You must have knowledge that the information given to you was obtained illegally prior to publication. Lastly, if you have signed a non-disclosure agreement but tell even one individual about the trade secret you can be accused of misappropriations.

Trade secret misappropriation accusations can be complex and confusing. There are many different parts that must be proven before the prosecution can obtain the rights to accuse you of misappropriations.

Pharmaceutical Errors: When Drugs Cause Dangerous Effects

Advancements in science and technology have helped the pharmaceutical industry to create better solutions to the most pressing medical issues. However, there are times when these solutions lead to unforeseen effects. Defective pharmaceutical products make up a large number of all product liability lawsuits filed in America. It’s an unfortunate fact that there are some drugs and medications which lead to effects opposite to what they were originally intended for.

The website of the National Injury Law Center found that pharmaceutical errors and other similar issues are usually caused by several factors. One of these involves the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is the agency tasked to examine new medical products before approving them for public use. Sometimes, the most scrupulous testing process can miss certain problems and side effects. This is especially true for cases when physical manifestation of certain side effects take time.

However, pharmaceutical companies are typically the ones most accountable for controversies involving new medical products. Plenty of companies market their products for uses that aren’t approved by the FDA. Among such controversial cases involve AlloDerm, which is a skin grafting tissue manufactured by LifeCell Corporation.

Medical issues involving damage to skin cells are typically addressed through a surgical procedure called skin grafting. In order to repair this damage, surgeons make use of skin from another part of the patient’s body. LifeCell was able to introduce an alternative around the year 1992. Instead of harvesting skin tissue from the patient’s body, doctors can make use of a biologic tissue processed from donated human tissue. This alternative was primarily intended for skin grafting procedures done on burn victims. However, LifeCell has been marketing the use of AlloDerm for breast reconstruction and hernia repair.

Unfortunately, AlloDerm has reportedly caused several issues for patients who have undergone such procedures. A 2010 study in the Journal of Plastic Surgery, which was conducted by doctors from the University of Cincinnati and Harvard Medical School, looked into the infectious complications caused by the product during breast reconstruction surgeries. Another research published in the medical journal Springer Link, found that hernia repairs using AlloDerm led to a complication rate of 24 percent. . Patients typically complain of complications involving infections, perforations, and abscesses. Considering these grave consequences, it’s no wonder that filing an AlloDerm lawsuit is the common route that patients take to find just compensation. People considering this sort of action often contact defective pharmaceutical lawyers for guidance.

What is Personal Injury Protection or PIP Insurance?

According to the website of The Seegmiller Law Firm, car accidents are a common problem in roads across America. According to the 2012 statistical report by United States Census Bureau, there has been an average of 10.6 million motor vehicle accidents between the years 2004 to 2009. Because drivers are constantly facing risks while on the road, the government has mandated several safety nets in case the worst happens. Among such policies is the Personal Injury Protection or PIP insurance, which is required of drivers in a few select states.

Personal Injury Protection is a type of insurance coverage required by several states that have policies involving no-fault accidents. Individuals with PIP insurance can receive compensation for medical costs and other financial burdens caused by an accident regardless of who may have caused the accident. The amount covered by PIP insurance will differ from state to state. There are states that mandate a minimum requirement for insurance companies, but drivers can opt to purchase PIP coverage at higher amounts. The states that require PIP coverage are the following: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida, Utah, Michigan, Minnesota, Kentucky, Kansas, Hawaii, and the District of Columbia.

If you do not reside in a state that requires Personal Injury Protection, there are still several options that could allow you to pursue compensation for damages and injuries caused by a devastating accident. According to the website of Insure on the Spot in Illinois, options like collision coverage could protect a driver from damages regardless of who caused the accident.

Meanwhile, compensation for accidents that have lead to fatalities or serious injuries can be resolved with the help of a personal injury lawyer. In worst-case scenarios, your best option is to consult with an experienced legal professional to learn how you can best address the situation that’s in front of you.

When Cerebral Palsy is caused by Medical Negligence

Cerebral palsy is a serious medical condition that has profound effects on a person’s mobility. Patients suffering from cerebral palsy, also called ‘CP’ for short, have difficulty with maintaining their balance and posture. Depending on the type of CP they have, they might also suffer from stiff muscles and uncontrollable spasms and movements. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability in American children.

Cerebral palsy results from abnormal brain development caused by damage or injury. In most cases, this abnormality is caused by the lack of oxygen in an infant’s brain or body. It is usually classified as either acquired or congenital. Acquired CP is caused by brain damage that occurs after an infant is born, typically resulting from infections or head injuries. Meanwhile, congenital CP refers to brain damage that is caused by complications before or during child birth. These complications include infections during the mother’s pregnancy, premature births, and low birth weight. Infants can be susceptible to both types without much warning. As such, medical professionals are responsible for making sure risk factors and complications are addressed immediately. Unfortunately, this isn’t always true. Tragically, as it says on the website of the Driscoll Firm, some medical professionals make crucial mistakes that lead to this grave diagnosis.

When cerebral palsy is caused by medical malpractice, it is usually due to the following scenarios:

  • Failure to monitor fetal stats and heart rate during labor and delivery
  • Failure to perform a C-section procedure on time when conditions of the pregnancy makes it necessary
  • Failure to properly diagnose and promptly treat infections in infants, or during a mother’s pregnancy
  • Failure to address a prolapsed umbilical cord and other similar complications during childbirth
  • Failure to properly handle delivery room instruments like forceps and a vacuum

As eloquently described on the website of the Chris Mayo Law Firm, the birth of a child is a significant milestone for parents and families. It’s unfortunate that such an important event can be eclipsed by the tragic reality of medical malpractice and birth injuries. It’s crucial that parents-to-be are aware of risk factors that could lead to a serious diagnosis and its many difficult consequences.

Court Reporting: Basic Facts about an Essential Part of Litigation

The litigation process relies on the support of many key players to ensure a successful trial. One of these important roles is filled by court reporters. With the help of a court reporter, the court can ensure that important legal proceedings are well-documented and accounted for.

Basically, a court reporter is tasked to transcribe and create official reports of court hearings, depositions, and other similar proceedings. While it may sound like a simple task, court reporting is an important part of the litigation process. After all, documentation is essential to the entire judicial system. Every moment of a trial or court hearing needs to be transcribed and recorded for future reference. Aside from that, court reporting can also help lawyers with documenting depositions and build stronger cases. With a certified record of a testimony, lawyers can countercheck for any contradicting statements as they move on with arranging their case.

According to the website of Houston court reporters at Stratos Legal, a court reporter’s essential tool is the shorthand system. As you can imagine, legal proceedings can take a really long time, and court reporters will have to note down as much as 200 words every minute. The shorthand system allows a court reporter to follow every step of the proceeding by using symbols and abbreviations in place of lengthy sentences and phrases. Court reporters typically use a special kind of typewriter called a stenotype to make their task a lot easier.

Certain advancements in technology also contributed to the improvement of court reporting and litigation support. For example, there are court reporting services that have online repositories so transcripts can be easily accessed online. There are also some that offer digital videography. Video documentation is especially helpful for depositions complicated by geographical issues.

Plan Ahead: Why Estate Planning is Important

It might be uncomfortable to consider, but death is an integral part of the human experience. If you are fortunate enough to have experienced a long, full life so far, it might be time to think ahead and start drafting a plan for your estate. Even when you still have quite a long way until the inevitable happens, it’s better to have a properly arranged plan to make sure both your estate and beneficiaries are well taken care of.

According to the website of the Chicago elder law lawyers at Peck Ritchey, LLC, estate planning is the process of making important decisions and necessary arrangements about how you want your properties and assets handled in the event of your death. This will entail distributing your personal property, real estate, investments, and other assets among your chosen beneficiaries. Estate planning can also include choices you’ve made in terms of how you’d want to be cared for and treated in case you won’t be able to make such decisions for yourself in the future. Specifically, it can also entail defining who will have power of attorney over important legal decisions made in your behalf, as well as plans for nursing home care.

To start, you will have to draft your Will. As you may know, this is the legal document where you can officially declare all the specifications of the plans and arrangements you’ve decided on. In your Will, you will have to delineate how you’d want your assets and properties distributed among heirs that you can name. You will also have to name an executor who will be responsible for making sure that all the plans you’ve detailed in your document are properly accomplished.

As mandated by federal law, a Will can be drafted by any individual over 18 who is of “sound body and mind”. The document will be validated as soon as you sign the it with at least two witnesses present. You can also enlist proper legal help to have your Will officially notarized and avoid further disputes down the line. You can also consult with lawyers to learn which decisions and arrangements you’ll need to prioritize in your will. Because estate laws vary from state to state, you should work with a lawyer with sufficient experience working in your area.

Unsafe Work Sites: What Causes Common Construction Accidents

Construction is undoubtedly one of the most dangerous industries in the United States. As reported by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, construction site accidents in the year 2013 have led to 796 fatalities. These reported cases made up around 20 percent of all fatalities that occurred in workplaces across America. Considering such alarming information, it’s obvious that there’s a pressing need to curb these numbers and prevent them from growing in the future. One way to do that is by raising awareness about this important issue.

Employers have the responsibility to create a safe working environment for their personnel. Common construction accidents can be easily avoided as long as work sites are well-regulated. Construction companies can protect employees their employees through stringent safety regulations and taking necessary precautions. The simple fact is that employers can prevent the growing number of construction site fatalities if they learn to address the wide-range of issues that typically arise in work sites.

According to the website of Hach & Rose, LLP, unsafe work sites are commonly caused by the following factors:

  • Inappropriate safety equipment
  • Lack of proper safety precautions and protocols
  • Continued employment of workers who are not fit or qualified for demanding physical labor
  • Use of faulty or damaged machinery and equipment

The Law Offices of Vic Feazell, P.C. say on their website that the following scenarios are typical contributors to the growing number of construction work-related injuries:

  • Slip and fall accidents caused by hazards on the worksite
  • Repetitive motion and heavy lifting
  • Prolonged exposure to toxic chemicals

Personal injury lawyers from both firms also add that these accidents often result in serious consequences. In many cases, workers end up suffering from traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations, and most tragically, wrongful death. These injuries can also leave profound effects on the workers’ ability to continue working and earn an income. As such, their families can also suffer greatly due to such accidents. All in all, construction site accidents can lead to grave outcomes. Victims shouldn’t be afraid to seek just compensation. To learn of your legal options, consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area.