cruise ship slip and fall injury attorney Louis A. Vucci, PA

A holiday vacation onboard a cruise liner is supposed to be a perfect getaway from the stress and the monotonous everyday life. A vacation boat itself, today’s cruise ship is designed like a mini city due to its complete and modern facilities. Quite better than a city, actually, because besides providing quality entertainment and luxurious comfort at very affordable costs, all possible source of fun and excitement have been built in and on it. But while total fun is never an issue while onboard a cruise ship, authorities remain concerned on the safety of the passengers, especially when an accident occurs while out at sea.

Floors becoming slippery due to sea the breeze, ship fire, the ship running aground or colliding with another vessel, rogue waves or a storm, etc., can often turn a great adventure into a nightmare. Another worse scenario is that when something wrong happens, passengers have very limited places to run to for safety.

Due to reports of different sea tragedies during the past years, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) enforced strict compliance with all international flag and port standards, requirements and guidelines to ensure the safety and security of each passenger. Plus, the Safe Return to Port requirement, which all cruise ships built starting 2010 should meet, has also been mandated. This requirement specifically states that the ship, despite an accident, ought to be able to carry all passengers safely back to port, and that all crew members, especially the medical personnel, should be able to skillfully handle all emergency situations.

Cruise ship lawyer Louis A. Vucci, PA, emphasizes the duty and responsibility of the cruise ship staff in making sure that passengers are safe from any risk of injury; this includes the presence of well-trained medical personnel that should be able to provide the medical assistance needed by the passengers.

Despite the laws governing cruise ships, however, accidents still occur and injuries are still often sustained due to the negligence of many crew members. While no crew member would definitely want a passenger to sustain an injury, being neglectful in his/her administrative duties cannot just go unpunished and be without any legal obligation to the injured. Thus, in the event of an injury, consulting with a highly-trained cruise ship injury lawyer will certainly be to the benefit of the injured victim.

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Motorcycle Accidents: Common Causes and Contributing Factors

Anyone who has had the experiencing of riding a motorcycle will be well aware of the many ways it can prove to be a fast and effective way to travel. On the flip side, these experienced motorcyclists would also be familiar with the many risks involved in using motorcycles on the road. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, motorcycle accidents lead to 30 times more deaths than traffic crashes that involve regular passenger vehicles. Collisions between cars and motorcycles are particularly deadly, given the discrepancy between these two different vehicles in terms of size, speed, and safety features.

There are a number of different factors that contribute to the recurrence of motorcycle accidents in roads all over America. Because of a motorcycle’s size, drivers that become momentarily distracted may take their eyes off the road for a second and miss a motorcyclist giving proper signal before they make a turn or merge into traffic. The lack of any protective chassis around a motorcycle can also cause riders to easily fall or become unseated by even the most minor of collisions. A simple fender bender between two cars can lead to neck and back injuries for an individual riding a motorcycle. It’s also common for motorcyclists to collide with open car doors in busy streets where people typically park their vehicles. These open door collisions can be mitigated and avoided by both motorcyclists and car owners. While car owners are encouraged to keep the doors of their vehicles closed while parked, individuals riding motorcycles should take extra care and maintain a safe speed while navigating down these roads.

Most traffic accidents can be avoided by following good safety practices on the road. Still, for some individuals, the effort to follow traffic laws and regulations won’t matter if they end up sharing the way with a negligent and reckless driver. If you should find yourself in a motorcycle accident despite taking care to mitigate certain risks, the best course of action might be to consult with accident attorneys that can help you learn more about your options.

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Construction Equipment Malfunctions and Workers’ Compensation

Working on a construction site comes with many hazards, and accidents have the potential to do serious damage. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that one-fifth of worker deaths occur in construction accidents each year. In such a hazardous environment, workers expect that their equipment will operate properly and safely. When heavy machinery malfunctions, construction workers can suffer serious injury or death.

Heavy-duty construction equipment such as cranes, forklifts, scaffolding, excavation equipment, trucks, and welding equipment can malfunction for a variety of reasons, some of which are the fault of the manufacturer and some of which are the fault of the operator or maintainer. Power tools can also malfunction due to a defect or failure to follow safety procedures, causing burns, electrocutions, or other accidents. The most common causes of malfunctioning construction equipment are:

  • Improper operation or operator error
  • Failure to properly maintain equipment
  • Defective equipment
  • Use of equipment beyond its designed purpose

Two of the most devastating construction accidents include crane collapse and scaffolding collapse. Scaffolding and cranes are typically several stories high and can crush workers with several tons of metal. If death doesn’t occur, victims may experience devastating injuries including brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations, lacerations, broken bones, or internal organ damage. Beyond the physical bodily harm caused by the accident, victims may experience financial devastation and psychological trauma affecting their relationships and ability to work.

Employees injured in a machinery malfunction may be entitled to workers’ compensation. According to Scudder & Hedrick, PLLC, victims can pursue compensation for medical bills, lost wages, reduced earning capacity, and psychological trauma. They may also be entitled to file product liability claims if the manufacturer is at fault for selling defective equipment. However, claims involving equipment malfunctions can be complicated. Legal teams must investigate the machinery, gather physical evidence, research occupational safety regulations, and analyze common practices.

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Types of Medical Malpractice Cases

Medical malpractice is a form of wrongful death and personal injury claim, according to the lawyers at Crowe & Mulvey, LLP. It is defined as the failure of a medical professional to provide proper care and treatment, leading to the injury or death of a patient. According to Nolo, an online hub for legal information, just because a patient was unsatisfied with a treatment, it does not automatically account for medical malpractice. For a case to be considered medical malpractice, there has to be some sort of negligence from the part of the medical professional, like when a doctor or a nurse potentially put the patient in danger because of the lack of knowledge about the practice.

Most medical malpractice lawsuits allege medical professionals of misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, as said by Nolo. The delay or misdiagnosis may lead to the patient missing the chance to be provided with surgery, treatment, or medication at the right time, which could lead to critical condition or death.

Birth injuries are also a well-known type of medical malpractice, and cerebral palsy is just one of the many injuries during childbirth that may have rooted from a professional’s negligence. The carelessness of a doctor during a woman’s pregnancy may also lead to adverse effects, like the failure to identify different complications, which would later take toll on the woman or the child.

A study back in 2006 proved that incorrect amount, incorrect prescription dosage, and just medication errors in general affect 1.5 million people in the country each year, according to Nolo. The excess or lack in the drugs may be the reason for the injury of the person.

Medical malpractice is one of the hardest cases to tackle under personal injury, because it requires an intensive look into the medical history of a patient and the medical records provided. Should one find himself/herself in a position where a medical professional has done them wrong, it is best to consult a personal injury lawyer to understand the situation further. This article dives further into problems associated with medical malpractice.

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What is Chapter 20 Bankruptcy?

For starters, ‘Chapter 20’ bankruptcy is not one process like other forms of bankruptcy. Chapter 20 is actually a combination of both chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcies. According to the website of Erin B. Shank, PC, chapter 7 is filed first in order to discharge unsecured debts before a chapter 13 is filed in order to set up a payment plan to pay off your remaining debts, which is often unpaid taxes. There are a couple benefits and reasons why chapter 20 bankruptcy might be the best option for you.

One of the foremost benefits of chapter 20 bankruptcy is that it can help you to qualify for chapter 13. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is beneficial because it allows you to set up a payment plan over the course of three to five years so you can pay off your debt, or at least catch up on payments, without stretching yourself too thin or having to suffer from relentless collectors. However, chapter 13 has debt limits in its qualifications. If your debt exceeds the limits, then you will be unable to file for chapter 13. Thankfully, chapter 20 can be a remedy for this. The first step in chapter 20 is filing for chapter 7, which can discharge some, or all, of your unsecured debt. This can make it to where you are within the limits and able to file for chapter 13.

Chapter 20 bankruptcy will also allow you to focus primarily on your priority and secured debts, such as your mortgage payments or unpaid taxes. If you filed only a chapter 13, then you may be required to also pay back a portion of your unsecured debts, such as credit cards, on top of your priority and secured debts. However, in chapter 20, you would first file for chapter 7, which would eliminate all or most of your unsecured debts. This would leave you with only the most important and serious debts to pay back, and allow you to commit to a payment plan that will get you out of debt faster or be more manageable for you over time.

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Your Neighbor’s Dog and You

According to the website of Ravid & Assoc, dogs are one of the most popular pets in the US, and according to the United States Census Bureau, millions of households in the US own at least one dog. Odds are, at least one of your neighbors has a dog. Hopefully, they take good care of their pet and you get along with them well. Sadly, that is not always the case. The website of Chris Mayo Injury Lawyers states that hundreds of thousands of people go to the emergency room every year for dog bites. While every situation doesn’t escalate to a dog bite or attack, it is something to be wary of if your neighbor’s dog appears particularly aggressive. However, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you live peacefully with your neighbor and their dog.

In the ideal situation there is no threat of an attack, either because the dog is well behaved or because the owner keeps them appropriately secured. However, the dog can still bark excessively and cause friction between you and your neighbor. In a situation such as this, communication is key. It is important to talk with your neighbor yourself and try to remedy the situation before ever contacting the police in order to prevent a long term grudge from forming. When speaking to your neighbor about their dog, remember to be calm and try to avoid accusations or blame – for many people, their pets are like their children, and how they raise them can be a sensitive issue.

Unfortunately, not every situation is ideal. Sometimes dogs get out or owners are not proactive enough to securely keep their dog in their yard. When owners allow their dogs to escape their yard, it puts not only the dog in danger but yourself as well. Just like the website of Abel Law Firm states, it can be difficult to tell the difference between an aggressive dog and a friendly one. If a dog you are not familiar with approaches you with a stiff demeanor, head down, with teeth bared or growling, it is best for you to try to remove yourself discretely from the situation. If you know the owner of the dog, try to contact them and let them know their dog is loose. If you cannot contact them quickly, or they do not take action quickly, you will have to contact the authorities to come and safely collect the dog in order to prevent any bites or attacks to others.

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What is an SR-22?

Most cautious drivers can go the entirety of their life without needing to know what an SR-22 form is and what it is needed for. Most people generally have an idea or vague notion that it has to do with car insurance, but there is a little more to it than that. For those of us who aren’t as cautious on the road, are a little forgetful at times, or are just plain unlucky, we need to know what the SR-22 is for and when we might need to file one.

What is it? The SR-22 isn’t necessarily insurance, but rather a form of verification. If you do not have car insurance and need to file an SR-22 form, then you will first have to purchase car insurance. If you already have it, then you will need to submit this form to your car insurance agency. What they will then do is send a form to the Secretary of State that lets the big guys know that you have proper coverage. What this is meant to do is make sure that any at-risk drivers (more on that in a bit) have the proper coverage. While an SR-22 doesn’t necessarily mean a type of insurance, your current coverage may have to be extended or your new coverage might be more expensive, depending on the particular company and your driving record.

Who needs it? Drivers who are considered to be at-risk are the ones who will have to file an SR-22. Drivers can be considered as at-risk when they are charged with a DUI, have an accident without insurance, or have more than three moving violations within one year. Part of your ‘punishment’ for these crimes will be filing at SR-22, to make sure that you have enough coverage. If your license was revoked or suspended, then an SR-22 will also be necessary to have this lifted so you can continue driving legally.

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Seatbelt Injuries

According to the website of Williams Kherkher, there are over 2 million car accidents each year. Seatbelts were designed as a way to reduce the amount of injuries and deaths from these collisions. In order for seatbelts to work as intended, they must be worn properly and be designed in a way that prevents harm.

Seatbelts are designed to be worn in a certain way. Often children, and even some adults, will buckle their seatbelt but then pull the chest restraint around to be behind them, overly loosen the waist restraint, or otherwise alter the placement of the belts to get more comfortable. When this happens the seatbelt will not be able to restrain the passenger as intended. If the belt that goes across your body is moved behind you, then in the event of a collision your upper body will be able to fly forward and hit anything that is in front of you, whether it be another seat or the hard plastic dash. This will also cause excessive strain on your waist when your upper body suddenly jerks forward and back, and can cause whiplash or other brain trauma when your head jerks back into your headrest. Seatbelts were designed to be worn in a specific manner, and if this is changed then they will be unable to protect you.

Even if worn properly, according to the website of Ravid and Associates, there is still the risk of a seatbelt defect. Sometimes it is a design flaw, for example some seatbelts are designed with the release button on the front face of the buckle. In these types of designs, forces involved in a collision can cause the belt to release and leave the passenger exposed as if they were not wearing it at all. If the belts are not designed in a way that evenly distributes the forces then they can cause additional injuries. Sometimes, belts will rip, break free, or will not properly lock and allow the passenger to fly forward unintentionally.

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Avoid Predatory Lending

Predatory lending is defined as ‘any lending practice that imposes unfair or abusive loan terms on a borrower’. This means that the lender, or the person who is going to be letting you borrow money, essentially cons you into accepting a loan with terms that hurt you. It could be hidden fees, unnecessary insurance, huge penalties, or any other number of sneaky, shady things that they include without your knowing or make sound way better than they are. According to the website of Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C., predatory lending is a cause for wrongful foreclosure. Don’t let those guys get your home. Here are a few signs of predatory and unfair lending to watch out for.

Excessive Fees. If you look at the fees you’re supposed to pay and they feel way overblown, then they probably are. With a typical loan, the fees are somewhere around 1% of the actual loan amount, but with a predatory loan it is inflated to around 5%. Watch out to make sure you aren’t paying more than you need to.

The Switch. Always read that document all the way through before you sign it. Often predatory lenders will ‘bait’ you with a good deal verbally, then do a ‘switch’ and get you to sign a document that is different than what they explained to you. Never sign a second set of documents that won’t be shared with all parties involved, and never leave blanks for the lender to fill in. You will regret it later.

Refinancing Often. Predators will get you to sign an unfavorable loan with the promise that it can always be refinanced later. What they hide is that each refinance will include more fees and can possibly increase your monthly payments and make you lose equity on your home.

Additions. Sometimes a predatory lender will try to get you to add in unnecessary insurance or other products that you either don’t need or are a rip-off on their own. Don’t let them trick you into it, and never let anyone convince you to get a loan for more money than you need or more than you are able to pay off in a reasonable amount of time.

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Medical Risks for Unborn Babies

Babies are fragile and must be handled with care once born into the world, but they are even more fragile when still in the womb. Any number of things can disrupt the development of a baby, and even the smallest hiccup in growth at this stage can lead to lifelong health issues. While just being careful, having a good diet, and following the instructions given to you by your doctor go a long way in protecting the health of your unborn child, it is still a good idea to be informed on what can go wrong.

During pregnancy your baby is getting everything they need from you. Everything you eat, drink, and inhale goes to them too. This is why it is incredibly important to eat healthy and avoid things like alcohol and second hand smoke, including medical drugs that have not been approved for use by pregnant women. However, sometimes this can happen accidently. Sometimes women will be taking birth control and still become pregnant. This can have serious consequences. Take Yaz for example – the website of Williams Kherkher states that Yaz can cause an increased risk of blood clots in women. If you were to get pregnant while taking Yaz it is possible for a blood clot to form in the placenta, starving your baby of oxygen and causing poor development or death. Always consult with your doctor before starting to take a medication while pregnant in order to avoid causing harm to your infant.

Even when you take special care during pregnancy and your baby grows and develops to be healthy, there is still the obstacle of birth for them to overcome. Birth is hard for mother and child, and sadly, in the chaos of birth injury to the infant can occur. Cesarean sections are sometimes necessary for the health of mother and child, but can cause the infant to suffer from lacerations, breathing difficulty, or other trauma. Natural births are generally believed to be safer, but according to The Driscoll Firm‘s website, vaginal births carry with it the risk of cerebral palsy. During delivery, even the smallest twist or pull in the wrong direction by the doctor can cause nerve damage to the infant, resulting in lifelong injuries. However, your doctor is still going to be more experienced than you are, and it is important to follow their instructions and consider their recommendations for the sake of your child. Their knowledge can be quite helpful in the difficult event that your child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

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