Carrying Auto Liability Insurance: A Must for Drivers in the US

One important document that drivers in the U.S. will always need to carry is proof of auto liability insurance. This document is required every time a driver renews his or her car registration and driver’s license, and if ever he or she gets pulled over by a traffic enforcer or gets involved in an accident. In the 48 states where carrying this liability insurance is mandated, not having one can result to suspension of driver’s license and being required to file an SR-22, a document which proves that a driver has already purchased vehicle liability insurance; this document will have to be sent by the insurance firm to the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office where the driver resides.

Carrying auto liability insurance is actually just one way a driver can comply with the financial responsibility law, the law that requires drivers to prove that they have the capability to pay for damages and injuries resulting from an accident wherein they are at fault. While this law does not specifically require having auto insurance coverage, as many as 48 states saw that having one would be more practical as this will not result to at-fault drivers failing to make compensatory payments to those that they happen to injure. (Virginia and New Hampshire allow their drivers to prove financial responsibility through state-approved ways other than purchasing auto liability insurance).

With regard to the type of insurance coverage mandated of drivers, states are divided based on the type of the liability system that they recognize. In 12 states, which include Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Dakota and Utah, the no-fault auto insurance law is observed (of these 12 states, three are more correctly referred to as “Choice” states because these allow drivers to choose which type of insurance coverage they would actually want to carry: the no-fault coverage or the “fault”/“tort liability” coverage). Under the no-fault system, insurance companies compensate their own policyholders (policyholders are otherwise referred to as “first party”) regardless of who was at fault in the accident. The damages or the benefits that are to be paid to policyholders or to the first party are called personal injury protection (PIP).

The “fault” system, on the other hand, allows accident victims to claim compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance provider; victims, however, may also file a civil lawsuit against the at-fault driver if the compensation paid does not cover certain economic (lost wages) and non-economic (pain and suffering) damages.

An insurance policy being quite costly is no excuse for drivers not to purchase one. As Insure on the Spot explains in its website, not purchasing one may actually prove to be even more costly. The website also provides information on how drivers may find the best insurance deals at the lowest cost – by asking for a free insurance quote from an independent auto insurance company. Besides providing drivers with a list of the best insurance deals at affordable prices, an independent auto insurance company can also assist drivers in all their insurance-related needs, including the filing of an SR-22.

Pedestrian-Vehicle Accidents

Based on information gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a total of 4,743 people were killed in traffic accidents across America in 2012. Throughout exactly the same year, about 76,000 more people have been injured in traffic crashes. These numbers imply that one or more people will probably be killed in an accident every 2 hrs, and still another one is injured every 7 minutes. These trends merely demonstrate that personal injuries are a significant problem that needs to be prevented and prioritized.

The CDC also mention that injuries normally occur in populated areas and non-intersection locations. They are also most likely to occur at night. According to their own info, the many susceptible people in these scenarios are pedestrians aged 65 and older. Children can also be at high risk for accidents. The CDC estimates that about 1 in every 5 children between the ages 1-5 perishes in pedestrian injuries.

The website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® says that most pedestrian injuries are the result of some kind of negligence or driver error. Sometimes, the tiniest mistake at the wheel often leads to devastating conditions. These errors are often as simple as when drivers speed through school zones, residential areas, and parking lots, or fail to yield at crosswalks and stop signs.

Injuries can also come from a driver’s failure to correctly assess blind spots before making turns or switching lanes. In more tragic situations, drivers impaired by alcohol and other narcotic substances can also cause pedestrian accidents. Plenty of pedestrian injuries have been triggered by an individual that is driving while under the influence or drunk (DUI or DUI). Depending on the numbers from the CDC, alcohol impairment accounts in the year 2012 for 48% of fatal pedestrian injuries.

Is SR22 Insurance Really That Necessary?

In order to understand if SR22 insurance is necessary for you, there is a prior need to first understand what SR22 insurance actually is – and it isn’t an insurance policy, despite what the name might imply.

According to the website of the people with Insure on the Spot, SR22 insurance (sometimes called FR Filing) is necessary documentation in order to prove that your vehicle is insured and that you can be held financially responsible for your actions. It does not, in any way, replace a regular insurance policy for a vehicle in any way.

When is it necessary? That can be a bit more complicated.

It is made legally mandated for you to acquire SR22 insurance if you have incurred too many smaller infractions (such as three moving violations within a 12-month period, for example) or if you have been involved in one somewhat major incident such as one involving driving with insurance or driving while under the influence of dangerous substances. This kind of certification is necessary in order to provide proof that says that the state is allowing for you to be on the road again.

After all, these means of transport are practically a necessity in this day and age. Securing permission to be allowed to drive on the road again may be a matter of being employed or being homeless – and, funnily enough, most people tend to favour the former option rather than the latter.

It can be difficult to secure this kind of documentation however as insurance companies can regard marks like this on your driving record as risks and have a few options at hand, one of which is to deny you of a policy outright or charge you outrageously high rates. There are, fortunately enough, agencies out there that can help you navigate through the options that you have and allow for you to secure the policy and SR22 insurance that you need.

Species of Toxic Mold

Toxic mold is one of the growing health risks in many places across America. There are many misconceptions about “toxic mold” referring to only to one specific type of mold, however, there are hundreds of species of molds. Although majority of them are harmless and there are only a small fraction of them being considered toxic, molds (toxic or not) in great accumulation of them in an area can become a health risk. There are five species of molds that is classified as toxic: Stachybotrys , Penicilium, Cladosporium, Fusarium, Aspergillus. They can be found in damp spaces indoors and are often hidden from sight.

  1. Stachybotrys – known as the black mold, this specie of molds cause the highest health risks. From hay fever to liver damage, pulmonary edema, nerve or brain damage and even death, black molds is considered toxic that it has been linked to serious infant illnesses. Common symptoms include eye irritation, nasal and sinus congestion, hacking cough, chronic fatigue, respiratory problems, etc.
  2. Fusarium, Penicillium, and Cladosporium – these species of molds often cause asthma, nail fungus, and liver, lings, and kidney infections. Persistent cases of Cladosporium can lead to emphysema and pulmonary edema, while Fusarium can bring about gastrointestinal diseases, and can even affect a female victim’s reproduction system.
  3. Aspergillus – a family of molds covering 160 species, only 16 of them are considered toxic. Aspergillus is the least serious of the “toxic mold” family, and most illnesses can be treated.

Exposure to molds are an everyday thing, but if a person inhales a significant amount of spores they can lead to health problems. Although very common in states where humidity is high, molds can grow anywhere. Residents of Tennessee, as well as all parts of the US, can suffer from mold infestations if they are given an environment to thrive on. If you have suffered a medical issue because of neglect to remove a mold infestation, you could contact a Tennessee personal injury lawyer for help in filing a claim. It is not only important to make the person responsible accountable for their negligent behavior, reporting an infestation is vital in ensuring the everyone’s safety is protected.

The History of Firefighting

Firefighting is a profession we often let blend into the background of our society despite its necessity. People have been putting out fires since fire was discovered, but what caused fire to shift from a personal burden to one of the community? As comical as it is to say considering he did just about everything, it was Benjamin Franklin that pushed for organized firefighting.

On a trip to Boston, Franklin observed they were much more competent when it came to putting out fires than the citizens back home in Philadelphia. When he returned home from his trip, he contacted Junto, a group that focused on civic improvement, for advice on how to better fight fires in their city.

He also used his paper, the Pennsylvania Gazette, to raise awareness about the need for a community effort to improve firefighting techniques.

He pushed for chimney sweeps to be licensed by the city and held responsible if something goes wrong on their watch. He then brought together thirty men, who formed the Union Fire Company. They brought leather buckets along with strong bags to each fire. Citizens were also required to have leather buckets in their houses. This union met every month to discuss ways to improve their firefighting.

In addition to the Union, some men in Philadelphia chose to start their own fire fighting company.

Thanks to Ben Franklin’s efforts, Philadelphia became the safest city in the United States in regards to fire damage.

The website of Chris Mayo says that fire-related injuries can cause significant damage quickly. Without an organized union committed to putting out fires, we would be on our own in situations regular citizens are not trained to or have the equipment to handle. Due to the persistent dangers of fires, firefighters continue to be as important as they were when Benjamin Franklin founded them in Philadelphia.

Enforcing Prenuptial Agreements in Arizona

Prenuptial, or premarital agreements, are defined under Arizona State Legislature as the “agreement between prospective spouses that is made in contemplation of marriage and that is effective on marriage.” In most instances, the agreement is with regard to property, but anything can be included in the agreement provided it does not violate any other law or any one’s civil rights.

Most people have a negative reaction to prenuptial agreements, mainly because it indicates a lack of trust. However, as a Houston divorce lawyer can explain to you, prenuptial agreements have a few benefits for both parties. For one thing, it sets out in black and white the disposition of assets that may provide a measure of relief for concerned parties such as family members and children. For another thing, it obviates the need for litigation in case of a divorce, and considerably simplifies the divorce process in many ways. A prenuptial agreement may also provide a measure of protection of assets from creditors.

Arizona law on premarital agreements generally follows the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act adopted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws in 1983 with slight modifications. The short, sweet version of the Act states that any premarital agreement is considered valid and enforceable if it is written down and signed by both parties unless one of the spouses was under duress or there was a deliberate non-disclosure of assets/liabilities at the time of signing.

The court typically maintains the validity of the prenuptial agreement and therefore affirming its enforceability unless it is proven that the terms of the agreement is unconscionable or a criminal violation. It is therefore important to consult with a lawyer to handle any issues regarding the enforcement of prenuptial agreements in Arizona. The rules are there but open to interpretation, and it is fatally easy to be railroaded into a situation without proper legal representation. In fact, to avoid issues of enforceability, it is advisable to seek the counsel of a competent divorce lawyer when drafting a prenuptial agreement.

The Dangerous Results of Exposure to Silica

Every year hundreds of workers are diagnosed with severe health conditions due to their regular exposure to, or contact with, hazardous chemicals and other dangerous substances in the workplace. Most of these illnesses, however, are chronic, developing overtime and getting manifested only when these have already reached a stage wherein treatment is no longer possible. Cancer and lung disorder are the usual types of these disorders.

The organ most affected and easily damaged by toxic substances is the lungs and, depending on the kind of substance they are exposed to, the damage can be any of the following:

  • Bronchiolitis obliterans (BO), also called obliterative bronchiolitis (OB) or constrictive bronchiolitis (CB), a rare, deadly and incurable lung disease that results from the scarring or inflammation of the small airway branches called bronchioles (passageways where air passes through the mouth or nose to the alveoli, or air sacs, of the lungs). This lung disease can be caused by exposure to toxic fumes, such as ammonia, thionyl chloride, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, chlorine, nitrogen dioxide and diacetyl
  • Byssinosis, which is a result of regular inhalation of textile fiber dust
  • Chronic beryllium disease (CBD), which is caused by the inhalation of the fumes or dust of the metallic element Beryllium. This lung disease is acquired only by individuals who are allergic to the metal beryllium
  • Pneumoconiosis, or black lung disease, is caused by the regular inhalation of coal dust
  • Silicosis, which is caused by inhalation of dust-containing silica

Many workers are not fully aware of the deadly effects of many different kinds of minerals, especially silica. Breathing in silica dust (regularly) is common among workers whose job involves crushing or breaking of rocks and sands. Thus, many of them end up with the lethal lung disease called silicosis, which is inflammation and scarring of the lungs.

There are three known types of silicosis an individual may suffer from:

  • Chronic, which is the most common form of silicosis; the symptoms of which remain undetected for years. As it progresses, it becomes worse, and can even lead to the development of a heart disease.
  • Accelerated, it develops fasters compared to chronic silicosis and is acquired due to exposure to larger amounts of silica powder or dust in a short period of time.
  • Acute type silicosis that develops and worsens the fastest. Its symptoms include loss of weight, shortness of breath, fever, and coughing. Due to fast respiratory failure, death can result one or two years after symptoms manifest.

The effects of silicosis cannot be reversed. Thus, it is absolutely necessary that workers wear protective gears and that employers make sure that they do so. Failure of employers or supervisors to ensure worker protection can make them liable for whatever illness a worker may develop. Workers, on their part, should be aware of their health condition and make sure to contact competent Houston personal injury lawyers once symptoms of any illness appear.

Driver Fatigue a Likely Cause of Truck Accidents

If you have ever been behind the wheel of a car you have been driving for several hours, you may have experienced the sense of lethargy that steals over you without you realizing it until you jerk awake, hopefully not in the hospital. There have been stories of drivers who work the night shift that find themselves in bed when their last conscious action was turning on the ignition to drive home from work.

These are examples of microsleep episodes, short “naps” that the brain takes when an individual has not had enough sleep or is extremely tired. Microsleep typically last for a few seconds but it is possible to experience several episodes in a short period and the person is not even aware that such naps had occurred. The driver’s eyes are open but nobody’s home.

It is a condition that is likely to occur with long-haul truck drivers who are on the road for hours at a stretch and for days on end. While driver fatigue is to be expected because of the type of driving these truckers have to do, it can be significantly aggravated when truckers ignore the federally mandated hours-of-service (HOS) which are implemented precisely to prevent such occurrences. Even the most seasoned truck driver may find how fatally easy it is to fall asleep at the wheel of an 80,000-pound rapidly moving piece of steel and cause horrendous mayhem on life and property.

Truck drivers owe a duty of care to other drivers above and beyond that of a regular driver because of the size and weight of the vehicles they operate. As pointed out in an article on the website of the Sampson Law Firm, the potential for danger with an 18-wheeler is why the government has put regulations in place that are designed to neutralize some of that danger, including HOS. When truck drivers or companies choose to violate these safety regulations, they are guilty of negligence.

If you have been seriously injured from a negligent truck accident, you may have a valid claim against the truck driver and/or company for compensation. Ask a personal injury lawyer in your area for more information.

The Risks in Using Power Morcellators

On April 30, 2014, Ethicon,the unit of Johnson & Johnson responsible in the manufacture, sales and promotion of the pharmaceutical giant’s power morcellators, ceased distribution and sales, and ordered the withdrawal of the said devices from the market.

Ethicon’s move came barely three weeks after the US Food and Drug Administration issued a safety alert (on April 17, 2014) that discouraged doctors and hospitals from the continued use of power morcellators in laparoscopic surgical procedures, specifically in the removal of uterine fibroids or myomas through myomectomy and in the removal of the womb or uterus through hysterectomy.

FDA’s decision is based on medical reports regarding the possible spread of unsuspected cancer tissues, called uterine sarcomas, during morcellation treatment of women with uterine fibroids. Due to the lack of a device that can accurately detect the presence of uterine sarcomas, risk of spreading it beyond the uterus can happen as uterine fibroids are divided (or morcellated) into pieces.

Power morcellators are medical devices designed to cut an overgrown uterus or fibroids into pieces tiny enough to allow them to be extracted through 0.5-1cm incisions. These devices have been approved by the FDA to be used in laparoscopic (minimally invasive) surgeries. Since the early 1990s, many doctors began preferring power morcellator-aided laparoscopic surgeries over open surgeries (such as abdominal hysterectomy, which required incisions between five to seven inches long) due to the former’s many advantages, including tiny incisions that healed faster, shorter hospital stay, lesser blood loss, reduced pain and minimal chances of infection or complications.

Johnson & Johnson introduced three of the best engineered power morcellators in the market in 1998 which, many believe, actually set the standard on the way the device should be designed. These are Gynecare Morcellex, the Morcellex Sigma and the Gynecare X-Tract. Despite the accuracy and efficiency of J&J’s power morcellators, in particular, and the overall benefits provided by all power morcellators, in general, the FDA still find the risk of cancer not worth continuing the use of the devices.

Up to 50,000 morcellation treatments are performed in the US every year, with most of these for the purpose of removing uterine fibroids. Women who have been harmed by a morcellation treatment have to option to file a morcellator lawsuit to seek compensation for the injuries they’ve sustained. Though FDA’s safety alert does not totally stop doctors from using power morcellators, the FDA reminds them of their major duty in informing patients of the risks associated with the procedure.

Pursuing Social Security Disability Benefits

Not everyone are comfortable with applying for a Social Security Disability benefit, even when they are qualified or are in dire need of financial support. A certain number of reasons can come up that would require a person to apply for a Social Security Disability Insurance, among them is a truck accident. Truck accidents typically cause serious injuries and property damage, all accumulating to be a big financial burden to the victim. Applying for a SSDI benefit would help ease the financial situation of the victim while recuperating.

Many people find it difficult to file for SSDI benefits, or they might think it a hassle or a complicated process for them to do. There are a lot of things that people often misunderstand about SSDI, which is why the number of applicants for the benefits is low. This is despite the fact that many insurance companies force their clients to file for SSDI benefits after they are involved in a serious truck accident. Because not everyone is qualified for an SSDI benefit, it would be better to consult a lawyer who knows how SSDI and truck accident claims work, such as those from the Chris Mayo Law Firm in San Antonio. Many truck accident victims find it harassing for their insurance company or adjuster that are forcing them to apply for SSDI, regardless of whether it is applicable or not.

For those who are worried about whether their injuries qualify them for SSDI benefits or not, know that many SSDI laws take into consideration the daily activities, type of work, age, and education. These factors play a role in determining whether the injury and its effects will last a lifetime. Those who have been denied should know that they have the option to appeal their application (a better choice than to re-apply). Victims can also go back to work while receiving SSDI benefits, provided they contact their ensure their eligibility for the benefits and their smooth transition back to the workplace.

After surviving a serious truck accident, it may be possible to file an injury lawsuit as well. A lawyer would also prove instrumental in a person’s success, should this be the course of action they decide is best. He or she would be able to use those long years of training to determine what kinds of compensation you may be eligible for and from whom. In many cases, settlements are reached out of the courtroom, saving everyone involved valuable time and money.

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