Will Your Dog Bite?

Each year, dog bites account for numerous emergency department visits and hospital stays in the country. Apart from physical injuries, dog bite victims may also have to deal with the trauma that the event had caused. A person bitten by a dog may develop extreme fear of dogs, and may easily be frightened or feel anxious even at the slightest sound of a dog bark. According to the website of the Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, LTD, some cases of dog bites can be too traumatic that they may even cause post-traumatic stress disorder, an anxiety disorder that can affect a person’s day-to-day function.

Physical and psychological injuries are just some of the many things a victim should have to face after an attack. According to studies, a person bitten by a dog would have to spend more than $18,000 for hospital stay, which is approximately 50% higher than the cost of hospital stays not associated with dog bites. For severe dog bites that resulted in irreversible injury, the medical cost could be higher.

If you own a dog or are living with someone who owns one, it is always important to check your pet’s propensity to do harm. This way, you can avoid unprecedented medical bills and possible legal troubles by mitigating your dog’s risk. Here are the factors that might tell whether the dog is more prone to attack a person or not:

  • Gender – Male dogs are 6.2 times more likely to bite than female dogs.
  • Use of chain – Chained dogs are 2.8 times more likely to bite when freed as compared to those who are unchained.
  • Neutered – Intact dogs are more likely to bite than spayed or neutered.
  • Breeds – Among the most dangerous dog breeds are Pit Bull, Rottweiler, Husky, German Shepherds, Alaskan Malamutes, Doberman Pinschers, Chow Chows, Great Danes, Boxers and Akitas.
  • Place of attack – Most attacks happen in public places (i.e., sidewalk, alley, park or playground), while some attacks happen in the owner’s yard or house. Rarely, attacks happen inside the victim’s premises.

Protecting Children from Dangerous Toys and Products

The last year saw the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission or CPSC issue around 17 million recalls for toys, childcare items, and other products intended for the use of children. Items such as cribs, play sets, baby carriers, car seats, and clothes were among the millions of items pulled out of the market for failing to meet the safety standards imposed by the government through the Consumer Product Safety improvement Act of 2008.

The strict policies imposed on the regulation of toys and other child-intended products come as a result of a tragic accident involving a 16-month old baby boy in 1998. Danny Keysar was found by his parents strangled and suffocated underneath a Playskool Travel-Lite crib that had collapsed on top of him. Even when the crib in question had already been recalled by the CPSC 5 years prior to Danny’s accident, it was clear that the safety nets weren’t enough to ensure that these defective and dangerous products don’t cause further harm to the public.

Through the efforts of Baby Danny’s parents, the U.S. Congress had eventually passed a bill to address this very issue. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, also nicknamed ‘Danny’s Law’ was passed by the congress as a way to establish better policies regarding the safety of products release in the market, especially those intended for the use and care of children. Among the mandates included in this law is the issuing of registration cards that come with products purchased after June of 2010. With these cards, manufacturers are able to contact customers immediately should a certain product need to be recalled.

Product liability cases are a great cause for concern. Dangerous and defective products can cause so much harm, leading to serious injuries that could very well affect victims for a significant period of time. As a result, it’s important that those in such a situation reach out appropriate legal counsel to learn more about the steps they can take to pursue just compensation.

What to Do When in Madison, Wisconsin

Often referred to as the City of Lakes, Madison is well-known for its glacial waterways and picturesque setting. The lakes surrounding the area—Mendota, Monona, Wingra, Kegonsa, and Waubesa—ensure that visitors will be greeted with breathtaking sights and landscapes. It also boasts a diverse population that allows the area to have the feel of both a big, active city and a laid-back rural town. These are just some of the few attractions and activities that Madison has to offer.

The Wisconsin State Capitol towers at the heart of the city. Its architecture was patterned from Washington’s Capitol building and features a dome that is 284 feet high. The interiors boast murals and stone work following European styles, as well as a majestic skylight. Just nearby, you can catch local farmers selling their produce in weekend markets at the Capitol Square during the summer months.

Further down from the Wisconsin State Capitol, you will catch a glimpse of one of Madison’s surrounding lakes. You can observe the entire view of Lake Monona by coming to the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center. There, you can climb to the rooftop terrace and take in one of Madison’s most noteworthy scenes.

Visitors looking to learn more about Madison’s culture and history can drop by the sprawling University of Wisconsin campus. Because the city is often considered a college town, a walk through the campus can help you witness the cultural diversity that brings life and interest to Madison. One important place you need to see there is the university’s Arboretum and Geology Museum. There, you can see well-preserved ecological systems and a variety of flora.

Protecting Items in Temperature-Controlled Storage

Deciding on which storage facility to put pack your things into can be confusing and even complicated to many people. There are some things to consider when finding the right storage facility, and in order to get the best from your money (as well as keeping your valuables and important stuff safe), you have to know which ones are secured and can protect your belongings. One of the most important things to consider is finding a storage facility that would provide you with good services and have a pleasant relationship with.

First, you have to think about the type of storage unit you are going to need. This will depend on the amount of valuables you are planning to store, and whether there are fragile things that might need specific requirements. You might want storage units that can provide protection to your temperature- sensitive items. Some storage units can give such services and can save you money. If you are planning to simply store your stuff in the storage unit and not needing to get items from time to time, you can find a small one with just enough space to put everything inside. However, if you are planning to take some stuff every now and then, make sure to get a storage unit that can give you space to move about. Don’t end up needing to take the box at the very back of the unit under a stack of other boxes.

There is also the matter of finding a storage facility that offers great security and monitoring. Although the common garage-style storage units already offer security, climate controlled storage units will not only provide protection for your temperature-sensitive items, but since they are indoors they offer tighter protection from theft and damages.

Likewise, consider talking with the storage facility about insurance coverage, and whether your items are covered in cases of emergency. If not, think about buying an insurance policy to protect your items in the storage unit, whether from a third party company or from the storage facility themselves.

The Benefits of a Labor Union to an Employee

No matter who you are or in which US state you live, one necessary thing that you surely desire is a stable, good-paying job. Well, there are many others, of course, like a 40-hour work week, overtime pay and paid vacation, but job stability still ranks first.

The many changes in the job sector, however, are obviously not pointing towards the fulfillment of such desire as more and more employers (all across the US) are beginning to adopt the “employment at will” doctrine, which gives them the legal power to dismiss an employee even without good reason, as well as find ways that will minimize their duty to providing employees with good pension coverage, health insurance and/or a safe and healthy working environment. And by sending more jobs off-shore, contracting out jobs, hiring more part-time, contractual or project-based workers, and regular down-sizing, job instability only continues to rise – all for the purpose of gaining bigger profits (often) at the expense of the workers/employees.

Believe it or not, the sad plight of workers was a very common sight too during the 19th and (early) 20th centuries. And if it were not for the unions that workers formed during those days, it will be hard to even think about the conditions workers may be in today.

Unions are essential because these help improve the lives of workers and their families; but more than just this, unions greatly contribute to the nation’s economic growth and help guarantee solvency of a business firm through lower employee turnover, higher productivity, a better-trained and more competitive workforce, improved communication in the workplace, quality of product and service, and health and safety in the workplace.

The first union in the US was the National Labor Union (NLU), founded in 1866, followed by Knights of Labor in 1869. The most famous, though, was the one formed in 1886 – American Federation of Labor (AFL). It was the AFL that was successful in negotiating an increase in the wage of its members and in enhancing safety in the workplace. Based on the 2010 report of the Bureau of Labor Statistic, there are now more than 60 unions representing more than 14 million employees in the United States, people employed as nurses, engineers, IT/computer professionals, police officers, teachers, writers, government workers, airline pilots, mechanics, doctors, construction workers, pharmacists, office workers, actors, plumbers, factory workers, and so many other types of work.

Besides helping ensure fair treatment in any working environment, unions also provide a seeming endless list of benefits to all its members, like a wage that is 30% higher than non-union members, discounts in so many establishments and to many types of services. Furthermore, because of unions, workers and employees now enjoy: at least the state-determined minimum wage, 8-hour work day, weekends without work, sick leave, paid vacation, anti- discrimination laws, lunch breaks and other breaks at work, social security, workers’ compensation, holiday pay, employer health care insurance, overtime pay, pensions, compensation increases and evaluations, employer dental, life, and vision insurance, the right to strike, unemployment insurance, wrongful termination laws, whistleblower protection laws, and a whole lot more.

Due to the fact that unions are often engaged in legal matters for the care of its members and its successful operations, the law firm of Cary Kane LLP mentions (in its website) the importance of having a legal counselor, who is highly-competitive in employment law, especially in matters concerning arbitration and unfair labor practice proceedings, dealing with governmental agencies, such as the DOL, litigation at the federal and state level, negotiating and managing collective bargaining agreements, and so forth.

Copyright Infringement and Illegal Downloads

Thousands of people download movies from legal peer-to-peer (P2P) sites like BitTorrent with impunity, but just because the hosting site is legal doesn’t mean that the files are not subject to copyright laws. If the movie is copyrighted and you download it, you can be sued for copyright infringement. This is something that numerous people all over the US are finding out to their dismay after they illegally downloaded the 2013 film “Dallas Buyers Club.”

Dallas Buyers Club LLC has already filed more than 1,000 lawsuits against individuals who were initially identified only by the internet protocol (IP) addresses, and whose identities were culled from internet service providers after being served with a subpoena. In many cases, the defendants settle between $2,000 and $5,000 rather than go to court, making for a pretty expensive movie that can be downloaded legally from sites like Amazon for less than $10.

However, when it comes to litigation, there are some issues with using the IP address to identify the culprit. For one thing, the internet service provider can only identify the person who pays the bill, who may or may not be the one doing the actual downloading, and who may or may not be aware of such activity. It is even possible, in this wireless age, for the actual culprit to be a neighbor piggybacking on the signal. This is clearly a challenge for Dallas intellectual property lawyers on both sides of the fence, as well as for lawyers outside Dallas, TX.

Copyright infringement through digital piracy is an ongoing problem with copyright owners, and even with increasingly sophisticated traceback capabilities, it is too easy for a case to fall apart if the defendant does not want to settle and mounts a viable defense. Moreover, the defendant may actually be perfectly innocent, so a lawsuit would have wasted the time and resources of both the plaintiff and defendant.

Finding the Best Nursing Home to Save Your Loved Ones from Abuses

There are about 16,000 nursing home facilities (15,465 of which are certified) in the United States that provide care to more than 3.3 million senior citizens and people needing rehabilitation. Despite this big number of facilities, it can be hard to find the right one for your aging parents or grandparents due to the widespread reports about nursing home abuse committed against elders.

A move by the federal government in coming up with a list of the best nursing home facilities in the US is a great help to many American families, making the search faster and a lot easier. When looking for a facility, families usually look for one that is accessible to the family, provides a supportive environment, is affordable and, most importantly, ensures the best care, especially to those with ailments. The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, on the other hand, when rating a nursing home facility, bases its evaluation on factors, such as quality of care, number of certified nurses and nurse aids, and results of health inspections which are conducted by the state.

A five-star rating is the highest mark a good nursing home facility would earn and as of January 2013 about 3,036 nursing homes have been given this rate by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The actual number of facilities given a five-star rating and the specific states where these are located are Georgia (59 five-star nursing homes), Virginia (60), Connecticut (64), North Carolina (69), Kansas (78), Missouri (78), Minnesota (79), New Jersey (85), Indiana (87), Michigan (87), Wisconsin (100), Iowa (103), Massachusetts (111), New York (116), Texas (130), Ohio (137), Florida (141), Illinois (156), Pennsylvania (160), California (312).

The kinds of abuses suffered by nursing home residents are physical, emotional, sexual and financial. The usual perpetrators of the abuses are the facilities’ employees themselves, most of whom are overworked due to the number of elders they need to assist daily. Though overworked, the law does not give them any excuse, even warning them of a possible charge of felony if found guilty.

An injury that an elder cannot or refuses to explain about or a sudden change in a resident’s behavior can be signs that he/she is experiencing abuses from the hands of his/her caretaker or from other co-residents through the influence of caretakers. So many abuses remain unreported because the abused are not willing to talk. Being more sensitive to the changes in your loved one’s behavior or disposition will surely help bring to the open any cruel act committed against them.

If you believe that your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, contact a nursing home abuse attorney today. They will be able to help guide you through the process as they have lots of experience in this area.

FELA – A Railroad Employee’s Protection against Erring Railroad Employers

The tremendous increase in the use of trains in transporting people and cargo between the latter part of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century also saw a great increase in the number of work-related accidents involving railroad workers.

It is the duty of railroad employers to make sure that their employees are provided with a place safe enough to work in. Besides state laws, there are also federal laws on the standards of safety that employers need to follow. In the case of railroad work, some of the safety standards include:

  • Proper job training of those hired
  • Tools and equipment needed to perform job should be in good working condition
  • Sufficient lighting in work area
  • Enough man-power to accomplish required work
  • Area of work is properly maintained and cleaned
  • Proper supervision of and in the workplace
  • Provision of safe walkways
  • All the train’s brakes (hand or manual brakes) should be without defects and in good working condition (including connecting pipes, air reservoirs and air hoses)
  • All and each of the parts of the locomotive should be safe for use and always working properly

If an injury is sustained by any employee during the course of his/her work, he/she is protected by Federal Employer’s Liability Act or FELA, giving him/her rights to file a claims lawsuit against the railroad employer for financial damages, like medical expenses, disability (partial or permanent) and wage loss.

FELA was passed by the US Congress in 1908 to solve the financial problems railroad employees (and their families) were put into in the event of employee injury or death. For the FELA claim to be valid, however, three important facts will have to be proven:

  • That the employee was injured during the performance of work
  • That the work area was not totally safe, the equipment and/or tools available for use were defective
  • The accident was a clear result of the unsafe work area or working condition

Understanding your rights as a railroad employee and knowing well what FELA stipulates are ways of ensuring that you never get to suffer financial troubles in case something goes wrong in the workplace.

Workplace Slip and Fall Accidents – Always a Liability of the Employer

Some people who would hear about a severe injury sustained from a simple case of slip and fall may refuse to believe that such thing is possible and may even think that such is a total non-sense. How will falling on your butt cause so much harm? It can definitely cause people to find the situation funny, but for it to cause a serious injury? Impossible!

To the more than two million victims of slip and fall accidents every year, however, this is far from being a joke. For it can result to fractures, causing severe pains, even impairment. The Consumer Product Safety Commission or CPSC knows this to be a fact, saying that most slip and falls are workplace accidents, causing the victims to miss work, the number of days depends on the severity of the injury sustained.

According to the CPSC, a slip and fall accident is the most common cause of injury in the workplace and hip fracture is the injury typically sustained by victims, whose ages usually fall between 15 and 24. The commission says further that the most common reasons why such accidents happen are exposed wires, slick or slippery floors, inadequate lighting, uneven steps or floors, unnoticeable slight elevations on floors, spills or wet floors, absence of warning signs or guardrails where these ought to be present and other forms of hazards that can cause a person to slip or trip.

Though the accident is usually blamed on the victims themselves, for failing to take notice of possible dangers or take extra care when walking, it is still the owner of the firm or establishment (if the accident happens outside the office) who has the greater responsibility over the cause of the accident.

It can be a case of negligence on the part of the owner or employer (and his/her representatives in the persons of managers and supervisors) in seeing to it that the workplace is always safe from possible accidents that could easily be avoided. Such negligence is also the usual cause of additional costs for the firm, which has to compensate the injured employee for medical treatment and wage loss if the accident causes the employee to miss work.

BP’s Claim Appeal: A Further Suffering for Many Business Firms

British Petroleum’s (BP) attempt to temporarily stop payouts in settlement of business loss claims gained grounds last July 2013, three years and three months after its oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico spilled 210,000,000 US gallons or 4.9 million barrels of oil into the sea. The spill, identified as the United State’s worst ecological disaster and the world’s biggest sea oil spill, wreaked havoc in marine life, affected people’s health and caused businesses to lose big money.

The past years have seen BP settling class claims from the government, business firms and individuals, paying more than $25 billion in total (including payment for clean up), thus far. But claims over the past year have only continued to pile up, and poor BP obviously has realized late that some of the payouts it has made were on fraudulent claims.

The sadder fact is, it has become obvious, through an investigation into fraudulent claims, that some lawyers have included clients as claimants despite the fact that the business losses these clients have suffered are in no way related to the oil spill.

The effect of the appeal is that those who really suffered losses due to the spill will not be paid yet and, due to the claim appeal that has been granted to BP, even those who were initially recognized as authentic claimants will now have to fight for their money.

Obviously, those really affected by the spill plus BP’s granted claim appeal are yet to suffer the worst effects of this marine disaster. Bankruptcy may not be a distant possibility too for some of these businesses which, until now are still struggling for recovery, especially those whose existence rely basically on marine life or on the sea itself (this includes sea food restaurants, yachting, boating and other sea-based businesses).

Immediately after the spill, BP resorted to an eligibility test to determine if a business making a claim has really suffered losses. Now, it has shifted to determining the real cause of losses to know if the claim made is really spill-related or not.

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