Health Risks Associated with PCB Exposure

By on 5-04-2015 in Personal Injury, Pollution

Polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs refer to a group of up to 209 chemical compounds that were widely used as coolants and insulators for a variety of industrial and commercial purposes. These compounds have unique properties that make them particularly useful for capacitors, transformers, and other electrical equipment. PCBs are known to have electrical insulating qualities, and are nonflammable and able to withstand very high temperatures. Aside from electrical tools and construction materials, PCBs were also used for a variety of commercial products like flameproof Christmas trees.

Before the U.S. government imposed a ban against the use and manufacture of PCBs in 1979, these widely used chemical mixtures were solely produced by the agrochemical company Monsanto under the brand name Aroclor. Monstanto monopolized the PCBs market for almost 4 decades until controversy regarding its safety to human health and the environment came to light. It was soon found that Monsanto had long been aware of the toxicity problem of the product they were manufacturing. In fact, internal communications that surfaced during a long legal battle showed that they actively tried to hide the devastating effects caused by PCB contamination to water sources near their Anniston, Alabama chemical plant. Because of public pressure, the production of Monsanto PCBs came to a full stop two years before the federal ban.

Today, the health risks associated with PCB exposure have been well-researched and established by the scientific community. The Environmental Protection Agency recognizes PCBs as probable human carcinogen. They also point out that prolonged PCB exposure can cause other non-cancer health conditions. In particular, researchers have found that PCBs can affect the immune, nervous, endocrine, and reproductive systems of animals and humans. PCB exposure is also known to cause liver damage and chloracne, a severe acne-like skin irritation. Some studies on animals also found that PCB can cause birth defects and other fetal health issues.

Tips To Finding A Lawyer That Works For You

By on 8-25-2014 in Personal Injury

Have you found yourself with a court case and not sure how to find the right attorney. Maybe you’re friends don’t have experience with this specific type of case, and they don’t know where to point. Or maybe you’re looking for a lawyer that you can establish a long-term business relationship with. Keep reading to learn more.

You may find that your friends, family, and coworkers can provide a wealth of information when it comes to finding a lawyer who can best fit your needs. Ask around and see what experiences people have had with particular lawyers, or if they have any advice for you based on their circumstances.

If you need a good lawyer, ask your friends, relatives and colleagues if they know anyone. It is best to get a recommendation from someone you trust rather than hiring a lawyer who spends a lot on promotional campaigns. If you cannot get a recommendation, do some background research on different lawyers.

When looking for a good lawyer, make sure to obtain personal references. Talking to the local community that have experienced issues similar to you. For instance, if you’re a victim of sexual harassment, speak with a women’s group. Ask them about the lawyers they had and what their experiences were like.

Check for your lawyer’s record to see the accomplishments that they have in their field and whether or not there are any issues in the past. For example, Pohl and Berk have their accomplishments displayed prominently on their website. The object is to get the best lawyer available in your budget, so do your research to find one that fits the bill. This choice can make a large difference in your life if you are facing a serious issue.

Now that you’re aware of what it takes to find a good attorney, get to shopping! With the tips you’ve learned, you should find it fairly easy to locate the right attorney for your case. You can now share this knowledge so your friends and family will be able to use it as well.

Penalties For Possession of Marijuana

By on 4-25-2014 in Possession

Marijuana, the common name for plants of the cannabis genus, is one of the most common recreational drugs in America. Possession of marijuana is considered a criminal offense, and an individual doesn’t have to own the marijuana themselves to be convicted. The amount of marijuana you have been caught with will determine your penalties, although there are other factors such as earlier convictions and other offenses which can also affect sentencing. In general, however, the more marijuana in an individual’s possession, the harsher the penalties will be.

Possession of large amounts of marijuana can put you in danger of being charged with drug trafficking, and this can lead to serious penalties. However, there are several factors that courts look into when deciding on your penalties which may mitigate the seriousness of the charges, such as;

  • Misdemeanor penalties – people who are caught for the first time with marijuana are sometimes only charged with a misdemeanor and have penalties that include a fines, suspension of drivers license, and relatively short jail sentences. If it is your first offense, you can ask the court to discharge the case against you, or could opt to meet certain conditions pertaining to your penalties and ask the court not to put it on your criminal record.
  • Felony penalties – those who have already have a history of marijuana possession charges may be charged with a felony. The penalties for this charge are often much higher.

Being charged with marijuana possession can have serious ramifications, with consequences that may affect the individual for the rest of their life. It can restrict your employment options, your ability to obtain a loan, and many other issues. Complex legal issues and serious convictions can take a toll on your life, so if you have been charged with marijuana possession, it is always best to contact a lawyer.

Contacting a lawyer is essential in making sure that you are best protected. If you have been wrongly or too harshly charged, an experienced lawyer will be able to effectively defend you, making sure that you get the best results.

Surgical Errors Costly for Patients

By on 10-28-2013 in Legal Concepts, Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury, Product Liability

It seems that robots designed to assist surgeons in certain operations are becoming more human every day. A recent incident reported involved the most classic of surgical errors: retained surgical instrument.

Roughly 80% of all robot-assisted operations are gynecologic in nature, such as hysterectomies. The most recent adverse event which captured the media’s assistance was the case of a Portland woman who complained of chronic abdominal pain shortly after having a da Vinci robot-assisted hysterectomy in 2012. After months of enduring the pain and going through a whole gamut of treatments, it was finally discovered through an X-ray that a metallic piece from the robot had broken off and had been left behind. It seemed too incredible to be true.

There were 367,000 procedures done using the da Vinci Surgical System in 2012, and a relatively small number of adverse events have been reported with its use, certainly not much different for what has been reported for a relatively similar approach using a laparoscopy, which is also minimally invasive. But because Intuitive Surgical Inc., manufacturer of the da Vinci robot, had made such glowing announcements about the technology, people expected much more than the system could deliver. Moreover, there were implied and expressed guarantees to surgeons reluctant to try the system that led to preventable surgical errors arising from inadequate training in its use.

According to the National Injury Law Center, many of the patients who had a negative experience with the da Vinci system had to have additional surgery to rectify surgical injuries; and those were the fortunate ones. Others had irreparable damage done, leaving them with diminished capacities. Some have even led to death. While any surgery carries risks, the use of robot-assisted technology has opened up new vistas in surgical errors, which is why Intuitive is being sued for these injuries rather than the surgeons or hospitals.

Supreme Court Ruling Upholds DNA Testing of Violent Criminals

By on 6-04-2013 in Criminal Defense, Legal Concepts

Supreme Court DNA RulingIn a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court decided that it is not a violation of constitutional rights to take DNA samples from suspects of violent crimes at the time of arrest.

The majority’s opinion, written by justice Anthony Kennedy, likened the practice to fingerprinting and photographing, both crucial measures already practiced by law enforcement to help them identify and convict suspects. The decision will help police identify criminals who have been tied to multiple crimes and may even exonerate individuals who are wrongfully behind bars.

However, the opposing justices see the measure as an drastic increase in police powers and believe that allowing DNA samples to be extracted upon arrest for violent crimes will lead to the same being allowed for nonviolent offenses. Prior to this decision, it has been normal practice to collect DNA samples after a criminal is convicted of an offense rather than at the time of arrest.

More than half of the states and the federal government already allow DNA swabbing at the time of arrest. Of course for a person’s DNA to be of any use in court, investigators will have to have found a matching sample at the scene of a crime to use as evidence.

Preventing Dog Bites in Children

By on 5-29-2013 in Dog Bites

Every year, 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs. This translates to more than 12,000 bites per day, with children being the victim in most cases. Clearly, dog attacks are a common occurrence and more should be done to reduce this startling trend.

One of the best ways to reduce the number of dog bite injuries is to understand what makes dogs bite in the first place. While not all dog bites are completely preventable, they are often the result of someone behaving in a way that agitates the animal. Dogs are incapable of outright telling you that they do not like the way you’re behaving, but their body language can help you decipher how they feel before they show you by biting.

Dogs typically bite after being annoyed. For example, they don’t enjoy being hugged, but children like to hug dogs. This positions their faces right next to the dog’s jaws, making it the easiest target for a bite should the dog become adequately upset. Dogs who are protecting something, such as food or a toy do not like it when their belongings are taken away and will sometimes protect what is theirs. When a dog is sleeping, it is best to leave it alone since they don’t take to kindly to being startled.

When teaching a child how to interact with a dog, it’s good to teach them that animals are living beings who are worthy of respect. Children should try to be mindful of how the animal feels rather than giving in to the urge to handle the dog however they want. When confronted with a new dog, kids should always ask the owner for permission to pet it first and make sure the dog is alright with being touched by letting it sniff their closed hand.

Responsible dog owners will do what they can to train their pets to be accustomed to being around people, but sometimes dogs bite without warning. When this happens, the dog’s owner can be accountable for any resulting injuries. A dog bite lawyer can help people who have been attacked by someone’s dog secure such compensation. Of course, doing everything you can to not be bitten in the first place is ideal, but that simply cannot always protect you in all circumstances.

Common Automobile Defects

By on 5-25-2013 in Auto Accidents

Getting behind the wheel of a car is a common, everyday occurrence for millions of people. However, very few of them stop to consider how cars are complex pieces of machinery, built from a multitude of parts and components. With so many parts going in to the construction of any given automobile, there’s a huge chance that defective parts occasionally slip through the cracks.

There are many ways an automobile can be defective. Some of the most common defects include airbags that do not deploy properly, seat belts that don’t lock up the way they should, brakes that fail to stop the vehicle, and tires that blow out. These all present clear dangers.

One of the worst results of defective automobiles is that they can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle and get into an accident, which can cause serious injuries to the driver or other people on the road.

Accidents that are caused by defective automobile components can be blamed on the car’s manufacturer. A car defect injury lawyer can help people who have lived through such accidents make a claim for injury compensation.

Due Process of the Law

By on 5-18-2013 in Criminal Defense, Legal Concepts

due process of the lawPeople who are on trial for crimes, no matter how heinous the accusations against them, are entitle to due process of the law. That is, their rights to life, liberty, and property should not be ignored or taken away simply because of a horrible, unsubstantiated accusation unless it is proven to be true in court.

Under the law, the court system must assume defendants are not guilty until their guilt is proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. This means prosecutors must display abundant evidence that supports the accused criminal committed the offense. At the same time, it’s important to remove any doubt from the jury’s minds that the individual did not commit the crime.

While it may seem difficult to follow due process when an alleged crime creates widespread passion, such as is the case with mass shootings and terrorist attacks, even these people deserve a chance to defend themselves in a court of law.

In such proceedings, the prosecutor has the burden of proof, meaning it is up to him or her to prove to the court that the law was broken by the suspect in the way he or she is accused of breaking it. The defender’s role is to do everything he or she can to discredit or disprove witnesses and evidence against the accused criminal.

The right to legal defense is one of the most important available to you in the event that you are charged with a serious crime. Your right to due process entitles you to legal counsel and helps protect you from being wrongfully convicted.

What is Medical Malpractice?

By on 5-16-2013 in Medical Malpractice

For good reason, medical professionals are among the most highly-trained groups of people. Their successes and failures are often matters of life and death, where anything between a lapse in memory to a small mistake can make a huge difference in whether a patient survives. Doctors are trained to take the correct actions during medical emergencies, but sometimes the pressure of knowing another human being’s life is in their hands can cause them to waver and make poor decisions. When such a poor decision leads to the patient sustaining an injury, the doctor could possibly be held accountable for his or her mistake in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Because medicine is a complex and ever-changing field, medical malpractice can occur in many ways. Generally, however, for an accusation of malpractice to be valid, a doctor must have behaved in a way that is contrary to what most other doctors would have feasibly done when presented with a similar situation. Malpractice can be something as subtle as misdiagnosing the patient to something as blatantly incorrect as performing a surgery in the wrong place.

Medical malpractice can result in severe, life-threatening, permanent injuries to its victims. For example, doctors perform surgeries in the wrong place with astonishing frequency, which can be devastating in cases of amputation. Amputating the wrong limb means the correct one still needs to be removed, leaving the patient’s life altered in a way he or she never imagined. Receiving the wrong diagnosis can have similar consequences, as the patient’s condition may worsen while receiving treatments for an ailment he or she does not have.

It’s important for patients to do everything in their power to remain informed about the treatments being offered by their medical professionals. This can help prevent mix-ups that shouldn’t ever happen such as pharmaceutical errors. If your doctor’s course of action is making you uncomfortable, you should consider getting an opinion from another physician to protect and reassure yourself.

If you believe you are a victim of medical malpractice, contact a New Hampshire Medical Malpractice Attorney today. A lawyer will be able to guide you through the complexities of your case in this difficult time.

The Dangers of Reckless Driving

By on 5-04-2013 in Auto Accidents

Car crashes are now one of the leading causes of death for teenagers and young adults. Reckless driving is one of the reasons for these car crashes. This moving violation is treated as misdemeanor, and anyone caught with this offense can face fines, suspension or cancellation of driver’s license, deportation, or revocation of parole. There are also differences in penalties, depending on each state and the specifics of the offense.

In order for a person to be convicted of this charge, it should be necessary to demonstrate the driver’s disregard to safety and it should be presented in the form of testimonies, either from witnesses or from police reports. Anyone breaking laws such as those in the following can be charged with reckless driving:

  1. Banning pedestrians from crossing in from of oncoming traffic.
  2. Prohibiting crossing train tracks while there is oncoming train.
  3. Over-speeding, under-speeding, or speeding regulations.
  4. Sudden swerving or repeated violation of traffic signals.
  5. Driving to escape or avoid a police officer or anyone from the law.

The main problem with reckless driving is that is poses a great risk not only to the driver, but also to other people around them; they might kill or harm people, pets, and their passengers, and they can severely damage properties. This is not only a naturally hazardous activity, but a generally public safety issue.

If you are operating an over sized vehicle, truck, or 18-wheeler, it is especially important to be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to the road. Truck accidents can end up very unfortunate for both parties, involving damaged vehicles and traumatic injuries.

As for teenagers and young adults accounting for most of the victims of reckless driving, there are many programs aiming to educate and inform everyone about preventing it. There are many campaigns that advocate against reckless driving and offer tips such as setting family rules about driving (especially at night), establishing and enforcing consequences, and losing driving privileges for breaking the rules.

A car accident does not only cause serious injuries, they can leave traumas and even a loss of life. Being a responsible driver needs more than knowing the rules, it all about respecting other motorists and the laws.

When Driver Errors Occur …

By on 5-02-2013 in Auto Accidents

When a car accident occurs, it is not only the driver that is in danger of being injured, other motorist and even innocent pedestrians can be harmed. One of the many reasons why pedestrians become victims of car collisions is because of driver errors. Although there are instances where the pedestrian may be at fault, this can be a very rare situation. Driver errors are the leading causes of serious pedestrian accidents, injuries and fatalities in the United States.

Many people ask why drivers commit many driving errors which attribute to severe pedestrian accidents. The fact is that there are many reasons why these errors occur, and some of them are:

  1. Speeding – the most obvious cause of many road accidents, speeding gives a driver lesser time to avoid any problems that he or she can encounter while driving. A speeding car can easily get out of control, especially in very bad weather conditions or poor road conditions. Speeding can make a driver react defensively once something would jump out in the middle of the road. There is a reason why police gives speeding tickets, and why places have specific speed limits.
  2. Driving under the influence – whether it is alcohol or drugs, driving while intoxicated not only endangers the drivers’ life, but poses a great threat to other motorist and everyone around them. Drunk driving is the leading cause of deaths in the car accidents, so everyone should just avoid drinking and driving.
  3. Drowsy driving – an often neglected cause of accidents, being sleepy can cause you to lose concentration while you are on the road. Driving while sleepy has just about the same effect as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, so no matter who important an event is, if you are feeling tired and sleepy, it would be safer to just take a rest.
  4. Distracted driving – one of the cause of many road accidents, people who lose focus while driving can miss an important turn, curve or animal on the road and could cause an auto accident.

Each and everyone has a responsibility for the safety of people, therefore even while drivers have the freedom to move about in highways and open roads, they are still required to follow extreme caution while driving in heavily populated areas to prevent any pedestrian accidents.

The Real Culprit behind Multiple-vehicle Motorcycle Accidents

By on 5-01-2013 in Auto Accidents

A motorcycle is a fast and cool way of getting to your destination; it also ensures an exciting riding experience, is easy to maneuver and allows you to drive through narrow spaces – these are just a few of the many reasons why it remains to be a popular means of transportation in and / or out of the city.

According to the site of Ali Mokaram from the Mokaram Law Firm, unlike a car driver, though, a motorcyclist is more vulnerable to road injuries since he or she has almost no other protection, aside from the helmet, to cushion his or her head and body in the event of collision. Thus, with no seatbelt, airbag and other safety mechanism, the motorcyclist always has a higher percentage of sustaining severe injuries compared to a car driver.

One danger motorcycle drivers are always exposed to is multiple-vehicle motorcycle accident – a road mishap that is usually the fault not of motorcyclists or reckless drivers, but of negligent people seated behind the wheel. This means car, van or truck drivers who violate or fail to recognize motorcyclists’ right-of-way, making abrupt turns or traffic lane changes without care; thus being the victims, motorcyclists end up as the ones sustaining the worst injuries.

Studies have consistently shown that it is drivers and not the riders who ought to be blamed in multiple-vehicle motorcycle accidents. Due to their recklessness on the road, these drivers usually resort to ill-driving tactics, like approaching motorcyclists too closely on the side and “buzzing” them, getting too close behind motorcyclists (tailgating) and failing to yield. Any driver who acts aggressively or carelessly on the road, putting the lives of other motorists and / or pedestrians in danger is, by law, called reckless. Their actions, especially when these end up harming or injuring others, can be considered crimes or civil offenses.

Victims of motorcycle accidents, especially multiple-vehicle motorcycle accidents, have the right and the duty to bring any reckless driver to justice. Besides the possibility of being able to collect damages from them, these victims may also be saving other riders who may get injured due to their reckless driving.

Truck Brake Defect: One Cause of Road Disaster

By on 4-25-2013 in Auto Accidents

An 18-wheeler truck, which others call a big rig or a prime mover, definitely looks impressive on the road, but only when it is driven safely, not putting other motorists and pedestrians’ lives in danger. Drivers of these massive vehicles undergo rigid training to help them develop the necessary skills that will enable them to handle their rig well. With the long hours these drivers spend on the road, though, and with the size of their vehicle, which sometimes hinders them from seeing other motorists, some drivers fail to observe road safety, causing devastating accidents that result to severe injuries or death.

There are about 500,000 trucking accidents in the US annually; about 5,000 of these are fatal. Though the major reason for these truck accidents is driver failure, there are still instances when the problems are attributed to factors that lie beyond the driver’s control – truck defect or malfunction.

Since trucks are extremely big and heavy vehicles, these necessitate particularly manufactured parts that will operate well and function perfectly with all other parts. These parts ought to be subjected to rigorous quality tests before they are supposed to be made available in the market. Even the slightest sign of failure to pass standard tests can result to devastating accidents on the road.

Some of the highly essential parts these trucks have are those that compose the brake system. Malfunctioning brakes on trucks is nothing short of disastrous. These huge vehicles oftentimes travel long distances without applying or using its brakes; it cruises continuously, sometimes for hundreds of miles before needing to slow down or come to a stop. When their braking system malfunctions, there is no telling how severe the effect of collision with other vehicles can be.

Thus, truck brake parts manufacturers, quality inspectors and distributors have the grave duty of ensuring that their products are safe, in good condition and operational. Any failure on products sold will be the responsibility of these parties, who will, by law, owe all injured victims the compensation that will cover all damages done.