We in this country owe so much to those who serve to keep us safe. While most of us complain about the small struggles in life, they are putting everything on the line in order to give us the right to complain.

The tasks they face are not always as simple or straightforward as they can appear to civilians. Even when they are not deployed, in fact, even when they are not on active duty, their actions have greater consequences than the average civilian’s.

And, just like so much else in the lives of serving men and women of our country, bankruptcy comes with extra concerns and responsibilities.

Bankruptcy is traumatic for anyone, of course. There’s an element of humiliation combined with a long period of stress from struggling to pay off debts. Whether it’s a business that’s failed to get off the ground or personal debts that have collected around us without the funds to at least get what we owe under control, there’s a sense of failure that also comes along.

That’s true for everyone, but for those in the military, bankruptcy has an added risk, according to the Erin B. Shank, P.C. site (a Texas-based bankruptcy attorney).

For them, there’s the risk of losing their security clearance. For those soldiers who require their security clearance to do their job, this can be a serious blow. It could also affect the long-term career trajectory of a soldier or officer who is looking at moving up and might otherwise have good prospects.

Imagine how difficult your own life would be if your personal debts were held against you by your profession, or if key elements of your skillset were unable to be used. What if lawyers were disbarred for having debt? What if businesspeople were forbidden to take upper management positions? That’s the sort of difficulty bankruptcy holds for soldiers.

This is particularly sad because so many soldiers are sure to struggle with debt. The average pay for those serving is not particularly high. As the Army website makes clear, while there’s a lot of room for income growth at the officer level, soldiers can earn as little as $19,000 a year, which is hard to live on for any of us.

The fact our serving men and women have to struggle with these issues and face such serious consequences is wrong. More should be done to assist them with financial planning. At the same time, they should be paid higher wages so fewer soldiers face the risks of bankruptcy in the first place.

These two steps would go a long way to eliminating the devastating threat that hangs over those who serve when finances don’t go their way, as they often don’t for many of us.

Considering all they are willing to sacrifice for us, it’s the least we can do to provide them with a reasonable financial strategy for success.


read more

On becoming old

It’s never a comfortable thought, but at some point, you have to admit you’re getting up there. I had that moment the other day. I’m still hale and hearty at 63. I work full-time. I run in the mornings. I do yard work on the weekends. I still feel good.

But, I’m 63, which I realized the other day when I pulled my back lifting up some branches I’d just cut off the tree. My wife came out to help me inside, and she said to me—my wife of 32 years—“you’ve got to be more careful, Nick, you’re not a young man anymore.”

Not a young man. When did that happen? Somehow, in the back of my head, I still had the idea that I was on some level still a young man. The trick, I realize now, was just moving the goal posts every decade or so by redefining young by comparing it to someone older.

I was young at twenty, no problem. At thirty, I was young compared to the middle-aged guys at my firm. At forty-five, I was young compared to the guys stepping out the door. At fifty, to the ones who lived on golf courses in retirement. And at sixty-three…well, there are guys older, of course, but I don’t know that I’d count as young in comparison to any of them.

So, here I am, not young. And it has me thinking about all kinds of uncomfortable thoughts. I’m a realistic, down-to-earth person, and I’ve long accepted my mortality. I’m not trying to hide my age or hide the number of years I likely have left. At the same time, I’ve never really sat down and done the calculations or done anything about those facts.

Or I hadn’t, until now. Having a few days off from work to rest the back, I decided to start looking into a few of those old guy issues that you have to get around to eventually.

I’m now the proud owner of a living will, for instance. I’ve set down all the requirements for how I want things to go when it comes down to it if I’m not able to make the call at the time.

I’m also working with a lawyer on what we might call my dead will. That’s more complicated than I expected it to be. I have my wife and the kids, and two grandkids now as well, and a brother who’s older and a sister who’s younger. Exactly how to divvy all that up fairly has been hard, but in a way, kind of fun.

When my wife found out how I was spending my recovery time, she had a little cry about it, which was sweet of her, but she was appreciative as well. It’s the sort of thing I think she’d probably wanted to get on me about but never felt comfortable forcing the issue. Well, it’s always nice when an old man can make his old lady happy.


read more

Handling Oil Rig Accidents

Oil rigs present a lot of risks. Working in the middle of the ocean, with long hours, fatigue, heavy machinery, and inevitable mistakes, dangerous encounters are bound to happen. With the leading causes of oil rig accidents being negligence and natural disasters, it is important to know to know that legal action can be taken if you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an oil rig accident.

In April of 2015, an oil rig explosion occurred in the Gulf of Mexico. Pemex oil company sends people to the middle of the ocean in search of oil. In 2013 the company already experienced a fatal explosion, killing 37 people. Then in 2015, disaster struck once more for Pemex oil company.

After the explosion occurred on the Abkatun Permanente platform, 300 workers had to be evacuated. On top of the evacuation, 45 were injured, and four were killed in the accident. According to abcnews, Pemex claims that there was no spilling of oil in the duration of the explosion. Cotemar, the contractor for the Mexican oil services company, was among those who were killed. As people were forced to jump into the shallow waters of the ocean and run from the explosion, eight fireboats attempted to come to the rescue, along with helicopters.

No matter what the line of work, work-related injuries are always subject to legal action. Injuries and the fatalities of your loved ones can leave you feeling lost and worried about future income. Serious injuries can inhibit your ability to work and provide for your family, so it is important to get the compensation you deserve. Oil rig companies are equipped with plans and staff to ensure a lawsuit doesn’t come about and will offer you settlements and incentives not to take legal action, but only an experienced lawyer can inform you of whether it is smart to take the settlements or not.

It is very common to be lost in the legal process, so lawyers are there to guide you. According to Williams Kherkher, their frequently asked questions ranging from if the injured party has to see the company recommended doctor, to determining who is at fault, and deciding what the next steps to take are. Lawyers have the answers to all these questions and more.

There are many causes for oil rig accidents, and no matter the cause, there is compensation for you. With the unreliable weather in the middle of the option, you never know when an accident is going to happen. Not to mention the recipe for disaster that is long shifts, heavy machinery, and equipment failure that can lead to an accident. Whether the accidents are truly accidents or they are negligence, carelessness, or recklessness of employees, you can still get compensation for your injuries. Don’t let the company cheat you of what you deserve and get an experienced lawyer who will fight for you.


read more

How to Deal With a Serious Injury

Serious injuries can strike for many reasons. Unfortunately, serious injuries can be debilitating, whether they result in brain or nervous system damage, irreparable physical damage, or cognitive issues, if a serious injury was caused by another person or party, an attorney can help the injured receive their deserved compensation. Serious or catastrophic injuries are not simple scrapes and bruises. To be classified as a serious injury, the resulting harm usually will include the nervous system and motor system damage, intense scars and burns, loss of physical and mental capability (such as vision or hearing loss), or orthopedic problems. Serious injuries can be catastrophic to daily life and can cause extreme physical and mental trauma. While there are many other forms of serious injury, be sure to speak with an attorney to decide whether your case falls into this category.

The sad truth is that serious injury lawsuits often bring about a lot of extra stress for the injured, especially because there are usually insurance companies to deal with, according to law firms like Williams Kherkher. But the payoff can be worth the fight. Many serious injury compensations include medical bill reimbursement, payment for lost wages, property damage, and more. Even noneconomic damages such as the mental stresses caused by the injury can be included in the compensation.

The first step in creating a case for your serious injury is to take action right away, as there are usually time limits that constrain the injured in making a claim. While it is most likely difficult to deal with the stresses of the law after yourself or a loved one was seriously injured, it is beneficial to make your case known right away by speaking with an attorney.

Many personal injury cases are the result of car accidents, which are some of the harder cases to fight. This is because insurance companies will be quick to get involved and work their hardest to ensure that a case doesn’t actually make it to court. Insurance companies have a lot of money at their disposal, and their attorneys are prepared to fight for most cases. Therefore, it becomes extremely important to have an experienced attorney on your side if your case concerns insurance companies.

It is also important to have a personal injury attorney, as the specific field of personal injury can be difficult to navigate for the inexperienced. There are different types of appropriate attorneys depending on the case at hand, and for serious injuries, a personal injury attorney is the best option. Consider the experience of the attorney you choose. Keep in mind their record of recovering compensation for clients as well as their financial resources. Consider this like choosing a surgeon for a much-needed operation: you don’t want a cardiologist performing an orthopedic surgery or vice versa. Thus, choosing a personal injury attorney can set you on your way to gaining the best compensation for your serious injury.


read more

Child custody is always an emotional legal battle. In fact, according to the website of Marshall & Taylor, P.C., it is frequently the most contentious issue that arises during a divorce proceeding. Of course, this is just understandable. This is your children we are talking about, and as much as possible, you would want to stay with them as long as you can, and you would want to minimize how they are affected by the separation of their parents.

But how is child custody even decided? There are various factors in consideration, but mainly, child custody is decided with the best interest of the children in mind. But what really constitutes best interest? Below are some factors that may give you a better understanding.

Parents’ ability to provide

Each parent’s financial standing is taken into consideration, as well as factors that may help sustain or increase this standing, such as the parent’s profession, job stability, skill marketability, age, and health in relation to earning capacity. But it is important to note that this is not mainly about the parent, but about the children, and how they can be more secured when it comes to food, shelter, security, education, health, and other aspects of a dignified life.

Parents’ relationship with children

Both the mother and father have some level of sacrifice for their children. It is often not a contest that will give them bragging rights, but just a genuine sacrifice because of love. But this can also be a deciding factor in child custody, as courts may favor those who have better relationships with their children and those who have sacrificed more, such as those who are the ones always feeding the children and giving them emotional support.

Parents’ willingness to cooperate

There are different kinds of custodies, such as physical, legal, joint, and sole. Parents who show signs of cooperation during the court proceedings may receive more favorable decisions from the courts. Again, this is for the best interest of the children, because the willingness of their parents to cooperate show emotional maturity and willingness to minimize how the children are affected by the separation.

Children’s choice

Nothing speaks best interest more than the children’s preference. Their choice is always taken into consideration, but they don’t weigh much compared to the parents’ ability to provide. This is because at the end of the day, the children’s choice may not represent their best interest.


read more

How Ridesharing Can Prevent Drunk Driving

Ridesharing companies have stormed into the transportation sector, giving people more transportation options. The services of Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing companies are easily accessible through mobile applications, so it is not surprising that this accessibility and convenience have translated well to commuters.

But commuters are not just the ones who are enjoying ridesharing services, because even those who have their own vehicles are starting to see the advantages of ridesharing over bringing their own cars. One of the biggest advantages is the fact that the responsibility of driving is being passed onto someone else – the ridesharing service driver.

If these drivers leave their vehicles at home and let a ridesharing service driver do all the driving and fighting on the roads and their traffic jams for them, they avoid stress and arrive at their destinations fresher. This also means that they may become more productive at school or work.

But passing the burden of driving is not just about convenience, because sometimes, it is about safety. Driving under the influence of alcohol is against the law, because states and jurisdictions are aware of its dangers, such as injuries, property damages, heavy traffic flows, and worst of all, deaths.

The accessibility and convenience of ridesharing services are putting drunk drivers off the road. Though drunk drivers may have limited body coordination and comprehension, navigating through the ridesharing apps on their mobile phones is simple enough. All they should do is to enter a pickup point and a drop-off point and wait for their drivers to arrive.

Drunk people are also likely to feel comfortable. Too comfortable, in fact, that they may feel drowsy, fatigued, and even fall asleep on the vehicle. If they are in an Uber or Lyft, they are not worried of falling asleep while at the wheel. Their drivers will not take advantage of it as well, as ridesharing companies greatly filter their driving applications.

Using ridesharing is a good alternative of risking their lives on accidents and their financial status on fines, penalties, and jail times that may result from DUI convictions. According to the website of Truslow and Truslow, DUI charges can be defended, but do you really want to risk everything, when there are accessible and convenient ridesharing services you can use when you are drunk?


read more

Property owners have the responsibility to ensure that their properties are safe for visitors. If they fail to take this responsibility and an injury or death has happened, they may be held liable. This is called premises liability.

Getting injured because of someone else is always bad news. Because property owners, manufacturers, and maintenance workers become negligent, you are the one who has to suffer. The best way to avoid accidents is by being diligent yourself and knowing what kind of accidents can occur in certain premises.

Premises liability may come in many forms, like dog bites, fires, slips and falls, and swimming accidents, but one form seems to be overlooked – elevator and escalator accidents. These accidents may seem ridiculous, because elevators and escalators are not the most complicated machines. But these accidents still occur, and we should be worried.

Defects and Malfunctions

Elevator defects and malfunctions happen for many reasons. Maybe the elevator is not installed properly, has missing parts, or is not receiving adequate maintenance. This can cause pulley system malfunctions, rapidly dropping the elevator in the shaft. Elevator passengers are also at risk of harm because of faulty safety systems like door malfunctions, water springkler malfunctions, and wiring malfunctions that may cause electrocution and fire.

Like elevators, escalators can be defective and malfunction if they are are not properly installed and maintained. There are well-documented cases where an escalator passenger has fallen into the moving interior parts of the escalator because of step yoke breakage and other support mechanism failures. Sudden stops and starts of an escalator can also startle passengers, causing them to slip and fall.

Entrapments

Aside from defects and malfunctions, entrapments are also common causes of elevator and escalator injuries. Body parts and pieces of clothing are known to get caught in the moving parts of elevators and escalators.

In elevators, the hand and feet of children are often victims of entrapments, may it be because of elevator defects and malfunctions or negligence. There are also known cases of women hair getting caught in the doors.

In escalators, a person’s clothing and feet are often the victims of entrapments. Long clothes like dresses are ingested by the moving steps and adjacent skirt panels. Fingers and toes of children can also be caught in the gaps between the steps and the panels, causing serious injury and even amputation.

Though negligence on the part of the victim can be associated with entrapments, the overall design of the machines should also be taken into consideration.


read more

Carrying auto liability insurance is a mandate in the U.S. Thus, whether you drive a car or a truck and regardless of the kind of driving history you have, you will have to be insured. Being insured is complying with the Financial Responsibility law, the law which requires drivers to prove their financial capability in paying the damages and losses suffered by victims of accidents due to their fault. Other than having insurance coverage, compliance with the Financial Responsibility law may also be done by demonstrating financial capability in ways approved by the state, like: depositing securities or money with the state treasurer or filing an SR-22, which is the case in the state of New Hampshire; or paying the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) the required uninsured motor vehicle fee, a practice allowed in the state of Virginia.

Where drivers decide to carry auto insurance, the type of coverage they need to carry depends on the liability system recognized in the state where they reside. Currently, 38 states, also known as “tort” or “fault” states, require the tort liability coverage; the remaining 12 states, also known as “no-fault” states, require the “no-fault” insurance coverage. The 12 states where this “no-fault coverage” is required are Utah, New York, North Dakota, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Kansas, Hawaii, Florida, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Kentucky; drivers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Kentucky are actually allowed to choose which coverage they want to carry.

Drivers, especially those who cause accidents, can lose their driving privileges and be required to carry an SR-22 filing if they are found without insurance coverage. An SR-22 is a certification required by the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV); its purpose is to inform the state DMV that the driver who has been required to carry an SR-22 filing is already insured.

Despite carrying auto liability insurance being a basic driving requirement, millions of drivers in the U.S. choose rather to drive without insurance, saying that insurance policies are too expensive. According to Abel Law Firm, while independent car insurance companies know this to be a fact, they also say that driving without insurance can be much more expensive, especially if the uninsured driver ends up causing an accident. Independent car insurance firms, by the way, offers drivers free online insurance quotes from different insurance companies. These quotes are meant to allow drivers compare insurance deals and prices to help them find the best, yet lowest-priced deal that they need to have.


read more

Power morcellators were once praised for their ability to remove noncancerous tissue and fibroids during a hysterectomy or a myomectomy.  The morcellators worked by entering through a small incision in the abdomen and breaking up masses into smaller pieces that were then removed.  However, a link was soon found between women undergoing procedures with these devices and then developing dangerous forms of uterine cancer. In fact, according to Williams Kherkher, 1 in 370 of women who underwent a procedure involving a power morcellator result in the development of some form of uterine cancer.

Before these procedures, many doctors failed to check patients for cancerous growth or tissue. When this is the case, power morcellators often spread cancerous tissue and cells into other areas of the body, leading to more serious or developed types of cancer.  Some of the major types of cancer caused by power morcellators include metastatic leiomyosarcoma, uterine cancer, uterine sarcoma, and endometrial stromal sarcoma.  All of these cancers have the potential to be life-threatening if not caught in the early stages.  Unfortunately, many unsuspecting women can become victims of these dangerous cancers after a procedure involving a power morcellator.

The FDA issued a “black box” warning for these morcellators. According to the pharmacy Walgreens, a black box warning is the strictest warning put in the labeling of prescription drugs or medical products by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) when there is reasonable evidence of an association of a serious hazard with the drugs or product. While the makers of the devices, Johnson & Johnson, recalled them in 2014, the warnings came too late for many women who had already developed uterine cancer.


read more

Technology is an unavoidable part of modern society. Nearly every individual has a cell phone, making the use of it during driving a dangerous reality. Countless individuals use their cell phones while operating a vehicle putting other drivers on the road in serious danger. Texting or talking on one’s cell phone can lead to reckless and distracted driving behaviors. Even a momentary lapse in attention is all it takes to lose control of an automobile and cause an accident, according to http://www.shw-law.com/.

There are a number of reasons a person might be using their cell phone while driving—looking at their phone for directions, making a call, or responding to a text. Regardless of the reason, distracted driving caused by reasons such as cell phone use is one of the leading causes of fatal collisions. When an individual checks their cell phone to send a text or make a call, not only are they not looking at the road for a period of time, but they are often driving with only one hand on the wheel. Even if an individual claims to be able to look at the road while on a phone call, they are often more distracted and thus unable to respond to dangers or obstacles on the road in a timely manner. Other dangerous driving behaviors that can be caused by texting and driving are swerving out of your lane, not paying attention to traffic signals, and being unable to control speed.

Unfortunately, these are only some examples of dangerous driving behavior that can take place when a driver is texting or talking on a cell phone. Numerous accidents are caused by careless driving by individuals on their phone every year. Not only can these accidents cause severe injuries, but, in the worst cases, death. Technology may be an integral part of society, but using a cell phone and driving should not be.


read more