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Meet Tristen Park: Survivor of Two Accidents

Posted by on Sep 1, 2017 in Vehicle Accidents | 0 comments

While going about our daily lives, we often do not consider the dangers of doing simple things that are part of our daily routine, like crossing the street. It is hard to imagine being in the hospital for two weeks, unconscious while working toward high school graduation and getting ready for college. Even more unbelievable, after surviving the first accident, you graduate, but you get in another severe accident. Meet Tristen Park, survivor and fighter of two accidents.

Tristen Park was crossing the street in Mount Vernon, Illinois when she was struck by a vehicle. According to The Illinois State University, Park was immediately rushed to Cardinal Glennon Hospital (in St. Louis) and was under deep sedation for almost three weeks. During this time, Park was hooked up to a ventilator system while she was sedated and eventually was taken off of the ventilator when she regained the strength to breathe without machine assistance. Her recovery would take much longer, however, because doctors quickly diagnosed Ms. Park with a traumatic brain injury, which resulted in lost memories, severe headaches, and frequent confusion.

During her recovery, her family and friends rallied around her cause, creating a social media page dedicated to supporting her through the long process of recovering after the accident. Her surrounding community also got behind the cause, with her cheerleading team raising money through the sale of bows and t-shirts, and nearby businesses collected donations from customers and gave a percentage of their sales to the cause.

After months of speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational assistance, Tristen continued to work on school and participated in cheering. Her ultimate goal was to be admitted to law school and focus on personal injury litigation in order to help others like her who have been injured in an accident. After graduation, however, Ms. Park was again injured in another serious car accident. Against all odds, she was injured while riding in a friend’s car in the passenger seat. The resulting injuries from this second accident included another traumatic brain injury, as well as a broken neck.

Tristan Park did not anticipate getting into these accidents, especially at a pivotal time in her life. Park was focusing on cheer and school work, preparing for graduation and college, and instead found her life turned upside-down by two serious accidents. Her experience with these thoroughly preventable accidents piqued her interest in personal injury law and how personal injury attorneys (like this law firm in Louisville I found) can help the victims of serious accidents recover compensation for their injuries, lost wages, and other damages.

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Dangerous Defects: Child Car Seats

Posted by on Jul 27, 2017 in Personal Injury, Vehicle Accidents | 0 comments

When an accident occurs, ordinary car occupants can be protected by seatbelts, airbags, and other safety measures that can be found in the vehicle. But when it comes to small children, that is not always the case. The children may be small enough to warrant additional protections, such as child car seats.

Child car seats are specifically designed to avoid injuries to their young occupants. This prevention does not just scope accidents, because even simple events like sudden stops can cause injuries to small children in the right conditions.

But there are instances where child car seats are defective, so they fail to do their only job, ultimately leading to their young occupants getting hurt. According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, negligent car seat manufacturers may be held liable for selling defective products. But what are these defects anyway?

Restraints that are too tight

Child car seats have restraints to make sure that the young occupant doesn’t go forward or ejected in the event of a collision, similar to a seat belt. But these restraints can be tricky. If they are too tight, it may actually be the cause of the young occupant’s injury, and when an accident does occur, emergency responders may not be able to extract the young occupant immediately.

Restraints that are too loose

If restraints are too tight, they are defective. If restraints are too loose, they can also be considered defective. This means that child car seat restraints should be just right. Go either way and you can already hurt an innocent child. Using a child car seat that has a loose restraint is as effective as using no restraints at all.

Defective adjusters and buckles

Many times, the restraint problems are caused by defective adjusters, or adjusters that cannot be properly adjusted to make the restraints not too tight or too loose. Also, the restraining capability of child car seats does not just rely on the restraints themselves, but also on their complementing components, like the buckles and latches. Even if a child is restrained in the right tightness, it is useless if the buckles and latches don’t work, because the restraints cannot hold their places.

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What may Look Formidable does not always Guarantee Safety

Posted by on May 28, 2017 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

In any type of business, profession or activity, the one common thing that is almost always the source of danger and injury to unsuspecting victims is negligence. Negligence has resulted to so many mistakes and accidents which, in turn, have caused damage to properties, severe injuries and even untimely death.

Severe injuries and deaths are most common in car accidents, which can be due to failure of a driver to observe traffic safety rules; dangerous road conditions; or, manufacturing mistake resulting to a defective motor vehicle or motor vehicle pars that do not comply with government and industry standards.

Car defects, in particular, can be a major threat to car owners since defects are usually never detected until these have caused an accident. The belief that “the bigger the car, the safer the passenger” is also not always true as proven after the production of the “high and mighty” sport utility vehicles (SUVs). SUVs do look formidable since these are higher and bigger compared to ordinary cars. In the event of an accident, however, there is no guarantee that SUV occupants will be safe.

The very features that make SUVs look high and mighty, though, are also the very same features that put their occupants’ lives in greater danger. This irony actually lies in the SUV’s high design, which also means higher ground clearance and narrower track width: major factors in rollover accidents. Why? Because a higher ground clearance and a narrower track width make vehicles less stable on the road and reduce their steering capacity. Thus, during collision avoidance maneuvers at fast speeds or if these slide sideways or their tires trip over an object, the chances of these rolling over is almost ascertained. Adding to SUVs’ susceptibility to rollover are cargo and the number of passengers, especially if their weight is not equally distributed inside the vehicle.

According to Tucson car accident lawyers, “Advances in technology and increased awareness of the importance of safety on the roads have, in recent years, reduced the threat posed to public health and safety by car accidents. Nevertheless, car accidents remain one of the leading causes of serious injury and wrongful death in the United States each year, and the sad truth is that far too many of these accidents could easily have been prevented.”

Furthermore, these lawyers “believe that victims of car accidents should not have to pay for the consequences that they may face if someone else was to blame for their injuries. Fortunately, through the protections afforded by personal injury law, victims may not have to. In fact, they are often entitled to financial compensation and justice that allows them to better deal with the aftermath of a car accident.”

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Posted by on Feb 28, 2017 in Divorce | 0 comments

Marriages don’t always work out, resulting into divorces. Generally, divorces are filed because of disagreements between spouses. Divorce can be a sophisticated ordeal, resulting into more disagreements with the parties involved. According to the website of Kirker Davis, LLP, the most common issues associated with divorce involve child custody, division of property, alimony, and domestic violence charges.

Child Custody and Support
Contrary to popular belief, the courts do not have biases toward mothers in child custody. In fact, the gender of the parents don’t even play a role in determining custody. The best interest of the child is the main thing that determines whether he or she goes with the mother or father.

The same can be said for child support. The amount of financial support is for the best interest of the child, in terms of food, shelter, clothing, education, health, and other general factors that may affect the child’s life.

Division of Property
Properties, debts, businesses, and other liabilities are divided to the spouses upon divorce. This is a common thing to fight about because it directly affects the financial standing of both parties, so the husband and wife will fight for the best interest of themselves.
These properties may include houses, cars, lands, and even furniture. The most complicated liabilities include retirement plans and pensions. They may be complicated enough to warrant the assistance of experienced legal professionals.

Alimony
Alimony or spousal support exists to help bridge the disparity between the separating couple, a disparity that has occurred mostly because of the sacrifices in marriage. The best example of this is when the wife is a stay-at-home to look after the kids, while the husband gets to work.

Upon divorce, the wife will have limited financial opportunities because of her absence in the job market, making her more financially vulnerable compared to the husband. In these instances, the husband may be required to pay alimony for a certain period until the wife can reasonably sustain a life.

Domestic Violence Charges
Domestic violence refers to abuse committed to a member of the household, such as the spouse or children. It may come in many forms, such as physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, and even financial. This may be legitimate grounds for divorce and even charges against the abuser.

These may also be used to win over other legal matters concerning divorce, such as child custody, division of marital estate, alimony, and even settlement. This is especially true if the acts of abuse have had a significant impact on the abused, such as injuries resulting into lost time at work.

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Spinal Cord Injury resulting to Partial or Total Paralysis

Posted by on Sep 27, 2016 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

Each year, at least 12,000 individuals acquire a spinal cord injury (SCI), adding to the more than 200,000 already suffering from this condition in the U.S.. A spinal injury is a result either of a traumatic or non-traumatic experience. A non-traumatic spinal cord injury can be caused by an infection, disc collapse, inflammation of the spine, cancer, arthritis, or other types of illness; a traumatic spinal cord injury, on the other hand, is a result of a sudden, forceful blow that crushes, fractures or dislocates a region in the vertebral column.

A spinal cord injury is damage or harm to the spinal cord or spinal/vertebral column. Since damage to the spinal cord will cut the communication between the brain and the different parts of the body, affected areas of the body, which no longer receive signals from the brain can, therefore, become paralyzed.

The brain and the spinal cord form the Central Nervous System which, in turn, is made up of nerve segments that are protected by the spinal column/vertebral column (simply called backbone or spine). To cushion and protect the spinal cord’s delicate nerve tissues, the Cerebral Spinal Fluid (CSF) encircles it, keeping it undamaged despite impact; protection is only possible, however, if the impact is not extremely forceful.

The excessive force that a gunshot, a motor vehicle crash, a slip and fall or a sports-related accident causes can be serious enough to cause disability or even death. Injuries resulting to disability can result either to Paraplegia (partial paralysis) or Quadriplegia (total paralysis).

Paraplegia is characterized by loss of function and control on one side of the body. There are certain cases wherein a person suffering from paraplegia remains to have sensation on the paralyzed part of his/her body, In Quadriplegia, on the other hand, the parts of the body that are paralyzed or where functions and control are totally lost depends on the part of the spinal cord that has been injured. This means that the higher the area of the injury, the greater the extent of paralysis

Partial paralysis, which is almost half of all the cases of spinal injuries, may also be a result of medical malpractice or a mistake committed by a professional healthcare provider. As explained by the Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, LLC, it is more possible than not, that if anyone is suffering from a spinal injury, ssuch injury was sustained due to someone else’s negligent or reckless acts. Under the law, victims of personal injury ought to be compensated by the person, firm (or whatever entity) that caused such injury. Pursuing legal action against the negligent party is often necessary in seeking compensation.

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Defective Airbags

Posted by on Apr 26, 2016 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

Jacksonville, Florida resident Patricia Mincey, who has sued Jacksonville-based Honda Motor Company, Duval Motors and Japanese auto parts manufacturer Takata Corp., which made the defective airbags that her vehicle was in possession of, which caused her back to break after said airbags had exploded during a crash two years ago and made her a quadriplegic, recently passed away.

Mincey’s case against the companies would be rescheduled for trial on Aug. 15, 2016 in Duval County.

Attorneys for the family said they had uncovered overwhelming evidence that Takata falsified test results regarding their airbags, but never informed Honda about said test results, and that what the attorneys discovered gave credence to their lawsuit alleging that Takata knew about the defective airbags in 2001 and Honda learned about them in 2004, but neither of the companies immediately issued a recall.

Palm Beach Gardens attorney Ted Leopold, who is employed at a Washington, D.C. law firm that is handling the case, said Mincey’s death is related to the 11 fatalities he knows of which had been the direct result of the defective airbags in the Hondas manufactured in the United States, noting, “Takata knew that millions of vehicles would be driven with defective airbag inflators and vehicle occupants would be killed, or, like Patricia Mincey, seriously injured…the only thing the company did not know was the names of the people who would be killed or injured and the date those incidents would occur.”

According to documents analyzed by Reuters, Takata’s plant in Mexico had a defect rate that was “six to eight times above” acceptable limits, meaning there had been around 60 to 80 defective parts for every 1 million airbag inflators shipped.

Takata, meanwhile, denied allegations that they had prior knowledge of such defects, and said that such reports ae “fundamentally inaccurate” and “unfairly impugned the integrity of Takata and its employees”.

Attorneys at Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller and Overbeck, P.A. say that Takata is currently facing civil fines of $14,000 per day for not cooperating with federal investigation regarding the defective airbag inflators. As of April 14, 2016, there are still 85 million Takata airbag inflators in the U.S. that have yet to be called, information on the website of the LaMarca Law Group, P.C. shows.

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Open Carry/Gun Laws

Posted by on Apr 25, 2016 in Gun Control | 0 comments

Texas Attorney General Kenneth “Ken” Paxton, Jr. called out Dallas County for disallowing the carrying of firearms at a facility that housed courts, but he did not do so when Austin City Hall made the similar move.

There has been instituted a new law in the state of Texas last year that allow its residents to question the “no gun” signs that government entities post within their vicinity, especially if said firearms are concealed guns, giving teeth to a 2003 law that solidifies the right of handgun license holders to carry guns at most state or local government property. And so, when Paxton served Dallas County with a notice of violation, it is expected that the city of Austin would receive the same notice of violation. It didn’t.

What happened was, unlike Dallas County, the city of Austin took down its “no guns” sign at its city hall, even if it kept its gun ban in place in the building which housed its courthouse. Because the notice of violation specifically focused on the “no guns” sign, when Austin took down their sign, technically, they had complied with the ordinance of doing away with the gun ban.

Also, they can be said to not be violating any new law, because the exception in the law for where guns can be banned is the “premises of any government or court offices utilized by the court”.

Some residents argue that this provision allows gun ban on any building utilized by the court – meaning, the whole building, and not merely the part of the building which utilizes the court, is subject to the gun ban. Some residents want a narrower interpretation of the new ruling.

Paxton, a Republican, is of the opinion that government buildings cannot ban guns just because a part of their location is used by the courts or has a court-like function, meaning he might not agree with how Austin interprets the new law, attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter say.

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Court Reporting: A career to be considered

Posted by on Apr 24, 2016 in Court Reporting | 0 comments

Court reporting is a job that offers a lot of flexibility, opportunities, and career growth.

In a demanding and highly-valued job such as this, more and more people are being called to take a crack at it. They are afforded more leeway, given more incentives, and allowed more liberties. For instance, any person who graduated from a four-year college course can become a court reporter, and a fresh graduate can apply for the post. They can work from home, formulate a working schedule that would best fit their lifestyle, and experience employment opportunities in more than just courtrooms.

Those who do not have a college degree are not discriminated against. High school graduates can become stenographers or court reporters with little training, while more seasoned employees can also get themselves a more challenging job at courthouses.

Tri-C court reporting and captioning program manager Kelly Moranz said there are not a lot of people who have a personal interest in jobs leaning towards court reporting, noting, “People don’t usually roll out of bed and say they want to be a court reporter.”

According to Stratos Legal, one reason for the lack of interest of people in these jobs is the fact that they are not aware that being a stenographer does not necessarily mean spending your life sitting in court recording live testimony. Other people graduate to taking depositions in law offices, or providing the transcript for closed captioning for live press conferences, television, and sporting events, among others.

The captioning and court reporting program at Cuhayoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio provides certification for students who have completed between 18 months and three years of training, depending on how much they can commit and how badly they want to climb up the court reporting ladder.

Starting salaries for court reporting are between $45,000 and $55,000 a year, with more enthusiastic reporters making as much as $100,000 per year.

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Apple vs. Android: What do lawyers use?

Posted by on Apr 22, 2016 in Mobile Apps | 0 comments

Recent research has identified that attorneys in America are more likely to use an iPhone over other phones to go about their daily lives as purveyors of justice, whose tasks include storing the names and numbers of clients, judges, and witnesses relevant to their cases; conducting various researches into matters that might have an impact on their case; scheduling events in their personal and professional lives in their calendar; and maintaining communication with their firm.

In fact, the American Bar Association‘s 2012 Tech Survey shows that of the 89% of American lawyers who use a smartphone to facilitate their practice, 31% use a BlackBerry and only 16% use an Android; 49% of them use an iPhone.

Why do American lawyers prefer the iPhone? One factor might be because with other smartphones, one cannot download apps from third-party websites. Also, an app accessed in an iPhone can be used on an iPad and a Macbook, providing the user with flexibility, versatility, and accessibility.

An iPhone’s settings also have the ability to block some of an app’s intrusive processes of gaining personal information from your phone.

An iPhone also has the all-powerful iCloud, which can be pretty convenient when accessing emails or valuable documents, especially if one is in out-of-the-way places and has no time to go back to the office to grab that file. However, like with the BlackBerry and Android, the iCloud requires you to agree to term of service that states that “Apple may access, use, preserve, and/or disclose your Account information and Content to law enforcement authorities, government officials, and/or a third party, as Apple believes is reasonably or necessarily appropriate”, meaning Apple can use your information for reasons they see fit.

Finally, an iPhone has a long-lasting battery life and performance. An iPhone can function up to 10 hours, depending on gravity of usage. To contextualize, the iPhone can play music non-stop for 40 hours and remain on standby for 225 hours. Be warned, though, that heavy browsing quickly drains an iPhone’s battery.

According to Big Momma Apps, it is important that a law firm should have an app that provides information about itself, not only as means for advertisement, but also to perpetuate accessibility and communication continuity with its clients.

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Limousine Car Accidents

Posted by on Apr 21, 2016 in Personal Injury, Vehicle Accidents | 0 comments

Edgerton, Wisconsin-based limousine company Lyons Limousine and 20-year-old Janesville resident and driver Aaron Nash are being sued by 45-year-old Michael Johnson and 53-year-old Robert Rosa, both of Fitchburg, who are among those injured in a fatal accident that occurred on March 25, 2016 as Nash was driving Johnson, Rosa, 53-year-old Monona resident Terri Schmidt, 59-year-old Monona resident Kevin Schmidt, 61-year-old Verona resident Louis Corning, and 64-year-old Verona resident Donald Corning to Chicago, Illinois’ O’Hare International Airport for a vacation in Mexico.

The lawsuit, which was filed in the Cook County Circuit Court last Thursday, April 14 and which alleges five counts related to personal injuries received from negligence, also identifies Lyons Limousine owner Patrick Lyons and another company Nash works for, Zenith Limousine, as defendants.

The limousine flipped over and killed Terri Schmidt when Nash hit a construction barricade on the Illinois Tollway near Elgin. Police said Nash told them that he was blinded by the sun, causing him to not see the traffic pattern.

According to federal law, a person needs to be at least 21 years old to be allowed to drive commercial vehicles such as limousines. Federal authorities said on Tuesday, April 5 that they had shut down the operations of Lyons Limousine after investigations into the deadly accident uncovered that it was guilty of several violations.

According to the United States Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, “Lyon Limousine’s use of unqualified and underage drivers with poor driving records, lack of inspection, repair and maintenance records, and complete disregard of the hours-of-service regulations substantially increases the likelihood of death or serious harm to drivers, passengers, and the motoring public if not discontinued immediately”, with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration spokesman Duane DeBruyne adding, “The immediate aspect is the company is not allowed to operate”.

The website of the Clawson & Staubes, LLC: Injury Group says that since limousines are large vehicles with a wide turn radius, they probably are susceptible to big blind spots. Also, because of its size, limousines have a smaller space or room with which to stop in case its driver followed the vehicle preceding it too closely, or if its driver gets distracted by the phone or the global positioning system; this means limousines are more prone to crash as compared with smaller vehicles, adds the website of Karlin, Fleisher, and Falkenberg.

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