I’m Finally a Factory Worker…Sort of

It may seem a really odd dream, but when I grew up, I wanted to work in a factory. Of course, the image of a factory is often ugly and depressing. In movies, it is always a grimy job full of miserable people with no future to look forward to.

For me, though there was always something romantic about the factory, the engine that has fueled out whole modern life. It’s thousands of people working together to achieve a single goal: making the same perfect object over and over again. That may sound hokey, but it’s always a dream I’ve cherished.

You can imagine how big last week was for me, then, when I finally set foot in a factory, it was a pretty big deal. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, I don’t know yet, I wasn’t working in the factory, or at least not on the line. I’ve gone a different direction with my career. I’ve trained to be an expert in making sure factories are compliant with all environmental codes. It’s a slightly cleaner job, but one that should still let me spend a lot of my time in the factory. As a bonus, I’ll be working to make things cleaner and healthier for everyone, which might go some way towards getting people to change their stereotypes about what it means to work in a factory.

The job is a lot more complicated than you might expect. There are tons of codes on the book on the federal and state level. Plus, there’s all sorts of technological innovations I have to keep up to date on.

Still, it’s wonderful to be out there, to be part of it. I can spend my lunches with the other workers and spend some time walking along the line.

If there’s a downside, it’s only that I feel like a tourist there. The people working the line have been there for years, some for decades, and they know their job so well. They know the business top to bottom, and they know each other the same way. I’ll certainly get to know my side of things more as I get used to the position, but I move around so much, I doubt I’ll ever get to really be a part of that camaraderie.

That’s the price I’ll pay, I suppose, for taking the white collar work I’m in now instead of going straight into a factory. Still, this job has far better prospects than a factory job. The sad fact is, there’s just no certainty in American factories anymore, and I’ve already overheard I don’t know how many conversations about that very concern.

I hope we somehow manage to save these beautiful, massive works of industry. Not just because I love the work, but because they are so important to who we are. If we can clean them up, like I’m trying to help them do, I don’t see why we couldn’t turn into another Germany, and keep those factories open indefinitely.

Anyway, I just thought I’d share my thoughts.

Who Causes Car Accidents?

For mutually assured safety, drivers are responsible for making the right decisions on the road. Unfortunately, responsible driving isn’t always a reality and an at-fault driver can cause the death or injury of another.

Car accidents are a sadly common occurrence in the United States, standing in as a cause of 35000 annual fatalities according to Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. This averages to about 3,287 deaths per day and a tragic 20-50 million cases of injury and or disability daily. Auto accidents can be caused by many factors, from bad weather and automobile malfunction to drunk driving and speeding. While not all auto accidents are fatal, they can lead to debilitating injuries, costs, or damages.

In many cases, a lawyer can help gain deserved compensation for those who were injured or involved in an accident due to the irresponsibility or negligence of another party. In the cases of driving error, speeding, irresponsible driving, mechanical or highway defects, or drunk driving, the victim might want to seek a lawyer to earn compensation, especially if the victim’s or the offender’s car insurance doesn’t help to cover all costs of the accident. If involved in an accident, contact a car accidents attorney to get the deserved settlements.

The process for pursuing such compensation can vary depending on the case. The injured party is considered the plaintiff and the negligent driver, the defendant. In the preliminary phase, the option to settle might be the first and last step, if the at-fault driver agrees to pay the compensation in order for the lawsuit to be dropped. Many cases actually end in settlement, especially if the at-fault driver is clearly in the wrong and they or their lawyers admit to this wrong. If the settlement isn’t agreed upon, however, the lawsuit can continue and the parties will go to trial. If the lawsuit goes to trial, then the attorneys will fight to prove why the defendant was negligent or irresponsible in the operation of the motor vehicle. There are a lot of reasons to decide to go to trial or not, including how probable it is that you will win, how much money you’ll get out of the lawsuit if you do win, and how immediately you need compensation.

Negligence in driving can take the form of ignoring traffic signs or laws, unsafe driving, use of drugs or alcohol, or negligence of speed limits. However, there are many other sources of negligence or situations that might place the plaintiff in a position to press for compensation.

If the accident is not caused directly by another driver, another party might be at fault. If the accident was caused by a malfunction in the car itself, for example, the automobile manufacturer might owe compensation for the incident. Defective products such as airbags or safety accessories as well as mismanagement such as improper signage or road maintenance may allow the injured driver to press for payment. These malfunctions can either come from design or due to a bad manufacturing batch.

Paying You the Highest Amount is not Your Insurance Company’s Priority

All states in the U.S. require drivers to carry proof of financial responsibility, that is, a proof that they are capable of compensating anyone they might injure in a motor vehicle accident wherein they are at fault. This financial responsibility may be shown by:

  • Carrying auto liability insurance, which is the requirement in 48 states;
  • Paying the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) the required uninsured motor vehicle fee if they decide to register their vehicle as uninsured (paying this fee in lieu of purchasing an automobile liability insurance policy, obtaining a self-insurance certification, depositing money or securities, or securing a surety bond is a practice allowed in the state of Virginia; in the event of an accident, the at-fault driver would be held personally liable in compensating the person that he or she injures); or,
  • Depositing securities or money with the state treasurer or filing an SR-22 (these are alternatives to purchasing an auto insurance policy, a practice allowed in the state of New Hampshire).

The purpose of financial responsibility, or liability coverage, is to compensate an accident victim for the bodily injuries that he or she has been made to suffer and for all other costs or losses resulting from the injuries.

Some of the types of auto insurance coverage include:

  • This pays for injuries to others and damage to their property if were at fault accident.
  • Personal injury protection (PIP), also known as “no-fault.” This type of coverage pays for your and your passengers’ medical bills by your own insurer even if the accident is not your fault, and may also pay for lost wages, funeral expenses and other losses.
  • This will pay if your car was stolen or damaged by something other than an accident.
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist. This pays for damages resulting from an accident caused by an uninsured, underinsured or hit-and-run driver.

In the 48 states where carrying auto liability insurance is required, the type of insurance coverage that drivers need to carry depends on the “liability” system recognized in the state where they reside. In states where the “fault” system is recognized (also called “at-fault” or “tort liability” system), the tort insurance coverage is what drivers will need to purchase.

Under the “fault” system, accident victims can get compensation from their own insurance provider or from the at-fault driver’s insurance company; the victim may also decide to file a civil lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Compensation to be paid to the victim will cover cost of medical treatment, loss of income, pain and suffering, and damage to property.

In “no-fault” states, accident victims can recover financial losses from their own insurance providers, regardless of whose fault the accident is. Two major advantages this system has over the “fault” system is that, one, the victim will no longer have to file a lawsuit just to seek compensation (from the at-fault driver) and, two, seeking compensation will also no longer be a problem for: victims of hit-and-run; those whose are hit by a driver in a stolen vehicle; or those who are hit by a driver who is either uninsured or underinsured.

The Chicago car accident attorneys at Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, explains, however, that despite all the payments you made in good faith to your insurance company, it is pretty safe to assume that your insurer—not to mention someone else’s insurer—will try to avoid giving you any more than they absolutely have to pay you. Unfortunately, even getting the bare minimum can be a difficult task for accident victims.

An article in the website of consumeraction says that tt’s not uncommon for policyholders to disagree with an insurer about the value of their damaged or stolen property, whether a claim should be covered or what constitutes a fair settlement amount. One thing to remember during the claims process: Paying you the highest amount possible to settle your claim is not the insurance company’s priority. If your claim is denied and you believe it should be covered, or if you feel the payment you are offered is insufficient, it’s up to you to fight for what you think is fair.

 

All About Social Security Disability Insurance

All About Social Security Disability Insurance

The federal government has a way to protect social security members from the financial hardships of sustaining a disability. This is called the Social Security Disability Insurance, also known simply as SSDI. According to the website of the Chris Mayo Law Firm, applying and receiving the benefits of this insurance program can be very complicated. But certain factors can easily be understood, such as those enumerated below.

Eligibility for SSDI

SSDI is an interesting program, so it is not surprising that many people would like to receive its benefits. But unfortunately, not everybody is eligible to enjoy them. There are certain guidelines that need to be passed for a person to be viable for coverage. First, the person should be contributing to the social security program for a specific number of years. Second, the person should be truly medically disabled, either through injury or medical condition.

The age of the person and his or her number of years in employment are also taken into consideration. A combination of these factors may increase chances of approval. For example, a person who has worked for twenty years, diligently contributed to social security, and suddenly become disabled, may have more chances compared to a person who has worked only for five years.

Coverage of SSDI

Coverage can either be short-term or long-term, and this will depend on the severity of the person’s disability and how badly it needs medical attention and expenses.

Typically, the coverage is calculated in a way that involves a percentage of the person’s average earnings wherein he or she has contributed to the social security program. Different earning brackets have different percentage calculations.

Advantages of SSDI

When you look at it in a different perspective, SSDI is there to give back what the disabled person has contributed, especially now that he or she needs the financial cushion for the disability.

The clear advantage of having the benefits of Social Security Disability Insurance is that the person can now attend to his or her medical needs and have enough financial flexibility for everyday expenses. This may also prevent emotional and psychological problems that may arise from getting disabled and experiencing financial hardships because of it, such as depression, increased irritability, and disinterest in social activities and events.

Defective Trucks: a Result of Employer Negligence

The enormous size of big rigs or 18-wheelers, is enough to make this type of vehicle a threat on the road and, considering the fact that truck drivers usually drive for about 11 hours a day, concern on road safety can easily come into play. Concerns, such as the possibility of drivers feeling fatigued, as well as their skills and qualification before being allowed to drive a truck.

For many truck drivers, eleven hours of driving with very short rest periods is normal work. Due to this very tough and demanding task, a type of training, which will develop and further improve applicant and experienced drivers’ skills in operating a truck, and passing a test set by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), in order to earn a commercial vehicle license, are strictly required by the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986.

Despite federal laws and programs aimed at eliminating or substantially reducing truck accidents , the U.S. Department of Transportation, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), continue to record close to 4,000 deaths and more than 70,000 injuries resulting from the more than half a million truck accidents every year.

Though these may be alarming figures (but not as alarming as the statistics for car accidents), there is a more surprising study which shows that close to 80% of truck accidents are fault of drivers of passenger vehicles rather than of truck drivers.

Some of these faults include a passenger vehicle: crossing the center line and driving into a truck’s path, resulting to head-on collision; side-swiping a truck that is going in the same direction or heading the opposite direction; turning across a truck’s path; rear-ending a truck; and cutting in front of a truck and then slowing down.

There are many other causes why truck accidents happen, of course, like a driver losing control due to tire blowout or brake problems, worn-out tires, defective brakes or other truck parts, poorly maintained road, poor weather condition, driver fatigue, driving too fast for road conditions, cargo not properly distributed inside the truck, alcohol or drug impairment, and so forth.

There are more than three million trucks drivers employed in the U.S. and millions of them drive their trucks all across the U.S. every day. Besides federal laws that mandate trucking firms to make sure that their drivers are trained, skilled and not overworked, there are also laws which require these firms to conduct regular inspection, repair and maintenance of their trucks, and keep records of these maintenance jobs ready for government inspection.

According to the Ali Mokarram law firm, “While the number of fatal truck accidents continues to decrease year by year, 18 wheeler accidents still occur every day. Despite the numerous safety measures all trucking companies and their employees must follow, negligence persists as the prevailing cause of these accidents. Negligence comes in many forms, from a driver not checking his blind spot to a transportation company failing to properly maintain their vehicles.

Individuals involved in an 18 wheeler accident can attest to the severity of damage caused by these massive vehicles. These giants may be necessary to deliver the goods consumers need, but when the negligence of a driver or a transportation company causes injuries to an innocent victim, they need to pay compensation to those who suffered.”

Truck accidents almost always have disastrous results. Though studies may show that most of these accidents are due to errors committed by drivers of passenger vehicles, there may be clues that will prove otherwise. Besides having a good doctor who will see to it that you are out of danger, it will equally be wise to have a seasoned personal injury or truck accident attorney, who may be able to help you pursue justice and claim the compensation that you may be legally eligible to receive.

What Are The Potential Damages Available In Elderly Physical Abuse Claim?

When an elderly gets seriously injured or dies as a result of physical abuse in a nursing home, the relatives or family members can recover damages from the responsible party. However, proving damages may prove to be complicated. The court will consider several factors in determining the amount of compensation that the family of the elderly can receive. The website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg reveals that it is possible to collect damages from elderly physical abuse.

Mental Suffering

It is an established scientific fact that mental well-being is an important component of our health and quality of life. The court may award compensation based on this assumption.

Disfigurement

Disfigurement due to scars, amputations, hair loss, or other physical damages can have a negative impact on the elderly’s pride and dignity. It can leave them depressed, anxious, and may suffer from chronic mental conditions. The court may award compensation for any loss related to disfigurement.

Loss of Enjoyment of Life

An injury can greatly impact the elderly’s ability to live a normal life. They may no longer be able to perform activities without hindrance. For this reason, the elderly may also be able to recover damages related to loss of enjoyment of life.

Shortened Life Expectancy

The court will take into consideration the established standard life expectancy when computing for damages. The elderly’s attorney may be able to enhance the compensation as a result of medical and technological innovations which can extend life expectancy. Good habits and healthy lifestyle may also be included to increase the compensation.

Punitive Damages

When malicious or reckless behavior on the part of the nursing home is established, the court may award punitive damages. Violation of the elderly’s statutory rights can also be added to the compensation.

Wrongful Death

If the elderly dies due to the misconduct of the nursing home, the surviving members of the family of the elderly may file a wrongful death claim and recover damages in the process.

New Hours of Service Rule For Truck Drivers Already In Place

Driver fatigue is one of the known causes of truck accidents. This is because of the tremendous pressure that their employers put on them to drive as many hours as possible to accomplish their target. In an attempt to reduce truck accidents due to driver fatigue, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) of the US Department of Transportation established new Hours of Service regulations.

A Chicago injury attorney will tell you that truck companies can be held liable for any injuries that will be incurred for violating safety laws. The new rule took effect February 2012 and compliance started July 2013. The new regulations provides for the following:

  • The maximum average work week was reduced to 72 hours from the previous 82 hours
  • Truck drivers who has reached the maximum work hours can return to work after resting for 34 consecutive hours, including a minimum of two nights when their body clock demands the most sleep
  • Truck drivers can take a 30-minute break during the first 8 hours of their shift

The new ruling maintained the current 11-hour daily driving limit and 14-hour work day. Any trucking company that violates the new regulations could face the maximum penalties for each offense. In addition, companies could be subjected to a fine of $11,000 per offense if they exceed the driving limit by more than three hours. Drivers could pay civil penalties of up to $2,750 for every offense.

The new hours of service rule covers commercial motor vehicles used as part of a business and is involved in interstate commerce and fits any of the following:

  • Weighs more than 10,001 pounds
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination wright rating of more than 10,001 pounds
  • Designed or used to transport more than 16 passengers not for compensation and 9 or more passengers for compensation
  • Transports hazardous materials in a quantity that requires placards

An Overview of Wrongful Death Action

Wrongful death happens when an individual is killed due to the negligence or misconduct of another person. It is worth noting that wrongful death is a civil case even though there may be a criminal prosecution associated with the fatality. For this reason, the standard of proof in a wrongful death is lower than in a criminal case such as murder or manslaughter.

Wrongful death results from a wide range of circumstances such as medical malpractice, motor vehicle accidents, torts, manufacturing defects, or criminal activity. Each state has their own wrongful death statute, criteria and procedure for filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Unlike other tort doctrines, wrongful death does not exist in common law. Early English and American courts did not recognize these actions. In those days, when the tort victim dies so is their right to bring a case.

There is a distinction between wrongful death and survivor action. While both pay damages for the surviving members of the family of the deceased, the difference is in the payment of damages. In wrongful death, the proceeds of the damage is directly paid to the qualified beneficiaries of the deceased. In survival action, on the other hand, the damages are paid to the victim’s estate not to the family. However, the damages may eventually go to the family members.

As a civil case, wrongful death is filed by the surviving family members. The decision of the judge is based on a “preponderance of evidence,” and not the “beyond reasonable doubt” ruling for other cases. This means that the defendant may be acquitted of criminal charges but may still be guilty in a wrongful death case. According to the website of Mazin & Associates, PC, wrongful death is governed by a statute of limitations so it is important to file the case within the given timeframe or else all hope of recovering damages is gone.

What Damages Can You Get From a Product Liability Lawsuit?

A product liability lawsuit arises due to injuries or deaths resulting from a defective equipment or product. Most claims are based on some kind of negligence or strict liability theory. When buying a product from a certain store, there is always an assumption that the product is safe and will not be harmful to you or your loved ones. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, any defects in a product may arise during manufacture or assembly, shipping or distribution or from sitting on a store shelf.

Once it has been revealed that the injury or death of a person was due to a defective product, the next question that will come to mind is the possible claims that you will get. If you are looking for punitive damages, forget about it because these types of damages require a purposeful intent on the part of the defendant to harm the plaintiff. Product liability is based on negligence and in claims like these, it is unlikely that the defendant acted on some purposeful intent.

In a product liability lawsuit, one can claim for compensatory damages. It can be divided into economic losses and non-economic losses. The former can be easily calculated into monetary dollar accounts while the latter is more difficult to compute. Economic losses may provide coverage for the following:

  • Medical Expenses to pay for hospital and doctor bills, pharmaceutical and medicine bills, physical therapy.
  • Disability Costs which helps defray any expenses related to disability resulting from injury.
  • Lost Wages as the plaintiff may miss work and hence lose wages
  • Property Damage to help the plaintiff pay for any damages due to destruction of properties in casews of defective garden tools or cars.

Non-economic losses, on the other hand, are also called non-monetary losses or general damagaes. Depending on the jurisdiction, there are usually caps or limits to the amount of non-economic losses that can be awarded to product liability claims. These types of losses may include the following:

  • Loss of Consortium. This usually pertains to injuries that can have a negative effect on the relationship with a spouse or partner. This may include loss of affection, companionship and support.
  • Pain and Suffering. This includes pain, suffering, anguish, or loss of enjoyment due to injuries.

Manufacturers of products and equipments have the responsibility to ensure the safety of their consumers. At the same time, they have the duty to inform or warn customers about any potential danger to their product. For a company that fails to do so and a customer gets injured or dies, then they are liable to compensate for any damages or liabilities that may happen due to their negligence.

The Ramifications of Cerebral Palsy

Everyone battling the consequences of negligence could possibly be in lots of physical and mental discomfort as well as trauma. There are numerous medical implications that may come because of this of this happenstance, according to the website of John J. Driscoll, and one may be eligible to get a personal injury claim in order to obtain due reimbursement.

There is hardly another branch of persona injury which could trigger pain that is so much as medical negligence could. More particularly, a case if the result is really a birth defect in a new baby infant who must suddenly dwell the others of their life with a few type of sickness. That is difficult and distressing for a lot of parents to understand that their child has been bound to the ongoing battle as a result of somebody else’s wrongdoing.

An excellent range is between decisions and crashes and occasionally, someone’s’ result irresponsible decision outcomes in somebody else’s large amount of discomfort. One particular consequence to a child is cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy identifies minimal motor abilities that outcome into physical ailments. Cerebral palsy is often a consequence of medical negligence and may result into many costly surgical procedure and medicines that require to be frequently maintained merely to be capable of living as normally as possible.

In case you or somebody you know is living with cerebral palsy on account of medical negligence, you may have an individual injury claim. However, your timetable is not unlimited.