Recent Posts

Defending Child Support

It may seem incredible, but around Atlanta these days, I hear more and more often people who denigrate the very concept of child support. This argument seems to go as follows: child support is often misused. Instead of going to the child or children, the parent uses it for themselves. They either buy drugs or else they use it to avoid working. Therefore, we should eliminate child support altogether so that no one has an excuse not to work, and children have fewer parents on drugs.

I really think this misconception is important to correct because child support does so much good for parents and children. There may be room to improve the system, but it’s a system we need to maintain for many reasons, a few of which I’ve put down here.

It really does go to the kids. First of all, almost all child support money does go to the kids. Whether it’s paying for food, the house over their heads, clothes, or school activities, most parents receiving child support are conscientious and use the money the way it should be used. Those that take advantage of the system are few and far between.

It can make all the difference. Child support comes in all sorts of situations. Sometimes, it is there just so both households can maintain a certain level of comfort for the children. In other words, it might not be possible for them to go between homes in the same expensive town without child support going from one parent to the other. Other times, it’s there so one parent can continue to put their career second and take care of the kids. Particularly when kids are young, someone often has to either work part-time or not work at all in order to take proper care of them. Even if this isn’t the case, the cost of childcare is very high, and it can take a huge chunk out of any but the biggest paychecks.

There are also cases where child support really does allow the kids to eat meals every night or stay in a safe home.

In any of those cases, child care is a necessity. While it may seem more significant in certain families, anyone of those family arrangements mentioned above would be significantly worse without child support.

It’s the parent’s job. It’s better to think of child support not as money going to an ex-spouse, or as a means to allow an ex-spouse to be lazy, but as money that the children need when they aren’t with you. And that, really, is the whole job of a parent, to provide for what children need at all times. It may not be pleasant to hand money off to an ex-husband or ex-wife, but it really is making the lives of the children better.

Anyone who needs child support and either isn’t getting it or is afraid they won’t get it should contact an Atlanta child support lawyer as soon as possible. We need to stop making assumptions about these things and make sure parents are getting the money they need to do the best for their children.

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Biker advocacy group

Let me give you a simple slogan: “Looking Twice Saves a Life.”

I’m trying that out here to see what the reaction is. Let me know what you think.

Before you do, though, some explanation:

I’m not a biker myself, by my husband is, and several of our close friends. One of those friends, we’ll call him Daryl here, since I didn’t ask permission to publicize this story, nearly got hit by a semi on the road the other day. Daryl was riding along the interstate when this truck just decided to switch lanes. Daryl was in the middle of the trailer, too far back to speed up and too far forward to slow down. Thankfully, there was a breakdown lane and he swerved into that.

When he collected himself and sped back up, the truck driver gave an apologetic wave. It seems, he just hadn’t seen Daryl.

That got me thinking, how many bike accidents happen just because the driver of the bigger vehicle didn’t look carefully?

It turns out, a lot. In fact, not just a lot, most! According to this lawyer’s site, the majority of accidents involving a motorcycle are due to the other car performing some action without seeing the biker. It’s simply a matter of being more careful, or, in this case, looking twice.

So, the idea is to take this slogan and try and make it into something. I don’t have any experience with this, but I’d like to start a…I don’t know…organization maybe. A charity seems too big. I’d just like to have a local group here around Fort Worth that tries to raise awareness of this point. Maybe we could get some signs up on the side of the interstates. I’m sure there are enough bikers, and friends and family of bikers, to find enough people who support the idea of increasing the carefulness of those of us who drive cars and trucks.

What else could we do? I’m actually asking. Along with the slogan critique, let me know your suggestions for how a small group could help influence this issue. Commercials seem a little beyond my ambitions, but is there another way to get people’s attention and inform them of the issue?

I’ll be honest, I’m quite excited by this idea. I’ve always wanted to advocate for something, but politics is just too ugly these days, and I normally can’t find an issue I want to take a stand on. After what happened to Daryl, though, I think I could really get behind this and do something significant to help bikers in the area.

What should I call the group? All I have right now is Biker’s for Careful Driving, or BCD. Maybe I could make that American Bikers for Careful Driving, and then we’d have ABCD. That sounds fun and catchy, but again, I’m open to ideas.

So, send those ideas along, people, and if anyone is interested in joining up, contact me about that as well!

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Top Tips For A Successful Personal Injury Case

Life often throws unexpected challenges your way, and that can often include personal injury events. How the injury is dealt with is your decision. This article contains many tips you can use to prepare yourself for a legal battle. No matter what questions you have about the process, you will find the answers here, and if you can’t, check out this personal injury resource: http://www.abellawfirm.com/practice-areas/personal-injury/

Do not just take a personal injury lawyer’s word for it when it comes to their record. Talk to some of their clients, and ask the lawyer for a written record of their practice. This will give you a good idea as to how often this lawyer wins and what type of money he is used to dealing with.

Find a bar association to help you locate a lawyer nearby. This place will give you recommendations and present the file of your lawyer to date.

When choosing a personal injury attorney, you need to meet up with several different ones before making your selection. Lots of them provide free initial consultations to discuss the merits of your case. You’ll be able to get a good idea of the costs involved, which will help you determine the approximate price range for your case.

One of the most common types of personal injury lawsuits involve injury from a defective product. Products on the market are required to be safe for use, and when it can be proven a product is not the manufacturer can be held responsible. You and your lawyer have the obligation of proving the product is not safe.

Knowledge is important, so take note of what this article has to say. You need a good attorney that has your interests in mind and you also need to know what kinds of legal proceedings will be going on. It isn’t always obvious who is at fault in some of these cases which is why you must be capable of relying on your lawyer to make that distinction clear in the court room.

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Addictive Prescription Drug Overdose: Who is to Blame?

A 43-year old bipolar man, who had been addicted to prescription drugs since his teenage years, has had a long record of drug arrests and had overdosed many times, took a walk after dinner, one night, and then sat down to rest on a curb . . . he never got up again. For months, he had been taking Hydrocodone, a painkiller, and Carisoprodol, a skeletal muscle relaxant, along with seven other medications.

A female, 22 years in age, whose childhood had been ruined by excruciating stomach pains, which also caused severe indigestions, and who had suffered pain almost her entire life, was found by her father in bed (on the night of his birthday). She was curled up, pale, motionless and with blood from her nose. She was discovered to have abused her medications (pain reliever), which included Morphine and Methadone (a synthetic painkiller similar to morphine in effect, but which acts longer).

There are, at least, a dozen more stories like those above, wherein persons just suddenly drop, their lives snatched out of them. The identified causes of their deaths are drugs – an overdose of drugs. Not illegal ones, but those that have been prescribed by their doctors, such as pain and anxiety medications, most of which have very strong effects.

Narcotic pain relievers, which have been causing, at least, 20,000 deaths each year since 2009, is the new serious threat to health that America needs to face this 21st century, as revealed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And besides those who have been prescribed with, and overdosed, the medication, many other fatalities come from the groups of teenagers and young adults, who use the drugs recreationally, especially during parties. The most commonly abused addictive medicines identified by the CDC are OxyContin (a synthetic analgesic drug with effects like morphine), Vicodin (an Opioid analgesic that is used as a recreational drug; it contains acetaminophen and hydrocodone), Xanax (a sedative of the Benzodiazepine group that is taken to treat anxiety) and Soma (a muscle relaxant drug). These are usually mixed together by party people, who take and drink a handful of them to get the high that they want, not knowing the severe or deadly effect the mixture has. (Fatal overdoses are usually results of the combination of Benzodiazepines, used as tranquilizers, and Opioid analgesics, pain relievers which work on the central nervous system).

Doctors may be guilty of recklessly prescribing the addictive prescription drugs to patients with records of drug overdose; but what about parents who, in turn, put these within easy reach of their children? And since teens see their parents using these drugs, why, then, would they think that these can cause severe harm?

Drugs, whether prescription or over-the-counter drugs, are products of long research and clinical tests. These tests are required to prove their safeness and effectivity, so as to merit the Food and Drug Administration’s approval for patient use. These drugs, or medicines, are intended as fast relief for pains and other ailments, used to treat or keep illnesses from getting worse or just to maintain people’s good health.

Sometimes, proving liability where prescription drugs are used or overused, can be complicated. Is it the fault of the manufacturers, who may have failed to warn patients of the severe effects of their drugs when not used properly, the doctors, who have prescribed the strong pain relievers despite the patient’s tendency to overdose, the patients, who have overused the medicine or failed to properly secure the medicine, or the teenage / young adult abusers themselves, who ought to know the dangerous consequences of overdosing?

In a personal injury lawsuit, proving whose negligence it was that caused the injury or death of someone is long and complicated. It necessitates arguments and counter-arguments, proofs of negligence or reckless behavior, and the fact that this behavior caused the victim’s injury or death. Seeking the services of a highly-competent personal injury lawyer is often a necessity to bring the liable party to justice and for the victim to merit the compensation that he/she legally deserves.

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A Perfect Integration of Hardware and Software in Google’s Autonomous Car

From Google comes the possible solution to reducing the annual number of car accidents to as much as 50%, that is, by using a car that can operate itself and which can make the same decisions as a human driver would.

Designing and manufacturing autonomous cars within the next 5 to 8 years are the latest concerns of car manufacturers around the world. In an auto show in Frankfurt very recently, Mercedes-Benz displayed a prototype that is capable of accelerating and braking by itself, needing only a human driver to steer the wheel. Whereas Volvo, Toyota, Nissan, General Motors, Ford, BMW and Audi, according to the Los Angeles and New York Times, are not far behind in their plans.

Google’s huge participation in the whole thing is on the production of the software that will allow automakers’ cars to operate on their own; however, due to the slow-going negotiations, it seems that Google has decided to design and develop its own model, which, according to Google co-founder Sergey Brin, the company will release to the market in 2017. Even now, Google is conducting road tests in California, making sure that their newly developed technology works and is safe.

Autonomous cars are designed to significantly reduce driving errors through the help of sensors and cameras, laser-range finders and radars which are supposed to create a detailed map of the vehicle’s surroundings to enable it to react to any road obstacle. Besides having the capability of significantly reducing drunk-driving, speeding and reckless driving cases, it can also allow car owners to get off and proceed to work, while leaving it to park by itself.

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Minimum Wage Violation

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) mandates a minimum wage for all employees on the federal level. Each state may have its own minimum wage but it may not be lower than the FLSA rate. In Wisconsin, there are several categories for minimum wage which reflects the FLSA regulations and may provide the basis for any claim of minimum wage violation.

The current minimum wages in Wisconsin, effective as of July 24, 2009, are the following:

  • General Employees
    • Non-opportunity – $7.25 an hour
    • Opportunity – (less than 20 years old, employed for 90 days or less) – $5.90 an hour
  • Tipped Employees
    • Non-opportunity – $2.33 an hour
    • Opportunity (less than 20 years old, employed for 90 days or less) – $2.31 an hour
  • Agricultural Employees
    • Adults – $7.25 an hour
    • Minors – $7.25 an hour
  • Caddies
    • 9 holes – $5.90
    • 18 holes – $10.50
  • Camp counselors (adults and minors)
    • With board and lodging – $210 a week
    • With board only – $265 a week
    • No board or lodging – $350 a week

For employees for whom board and lodging is provided for the employees, the following are the maximum that may be deducted from an employee’s salary:

  • Non-agricultural Employees
    • Board
      • Non-opportunity – $58.00 per week or $8.30 per day
      • Opportunity – $47.20 per week or $6.75 per day
    • Meals
      • Non-opportunity – $87.00 per week or $4.15 per meal
      • Opportunity – $70.80 per week or $3.35 per meal
  • Agricultural Employees
    • Board  – $58.00 per week or $8.30 per day
    • Meals – $87.00 per week or $4.15 per meal

When employers fail to follow these guidelines for the minimum wage law as well as the maximum deductions for room and board, this may be a minimum wage violation. Provided the plaintiff is not exempt from the minimum wage law, a claim may be filed to recover lost wages and perhaps to get some compensation for any losses that resulted from a lack of proper compensation. For more information in Spanish about minimum wage laws in Wisconsin, your legal options can be further explained by an experienced lawyer.

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Drains Can Cause a Swimming Pool Accident

Small children are especially vulnerable to injury in and around swimming pools because they are curious, energetic and at the same time weak. Statistics indicate that drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death in children below 14 years of age. For children between 1 and 4 years old in that group, the leading cause is a residential swimming pool accident.

Drains are a necessary part of swimming pools. It circulates and filters the water that provides so much enjoyment to children of all ages. However, there is a dark side to those little holes at the bottom of any home or public swimming pool that can spell danger to children.

What most people may not know is that while relatively rare, the suction of a swimming pool drain can cause injuries, even death through circulation entrapment. This means that aside from drowning, drains can capture and hold body parts to the extent of disembowelment, such the case of 6-year-old Abigail Rose Taylor, who later died of her injuries. And because children are usually too weak to pull themselves free, most fatalities due to drowning because of circulation entrapment are children. There is the case of Virginia Graeme Baker, the 7-year old that drowned when she was trapped by the force of a drain’s suction to the bottom of the tub, prompting the passing of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act.

It is therefore important to keep an eye on small children at all times when they are in swimming pools, whirlpool tubs, hot tubs, spa or anything that has a drain. It doesn’t take a lot of water, or time, for a child to get sucked in and stuck. Even when no serious injury or death occurs, it can traumatize a child considerably. Only vigilance can keep a child from a swimming pool accident.

 

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Asbestos Exposure is Still Very Real

The health risks associated with asbestos have been known since the 1930s, and many countries have completely banned its use. In the US, however, the mineral is still being used in consumer and industrial products today because it is cheap, resistant to fire, electrical and chemical damage, and absorb sound. So it is not only old buildings and houses that you need to be on the look-out for, but things you may have bought or installed recently. If you work in certain industries, your exposure is likely both constant and extensive.

The reason why asbestos exposure is still a very real danger is because while new uses for asbestos have been outlawed, products that have traditionally used it are still considered legal. In the spirit of minimizing exposure, you should know what products in the US are likely to contain asbestos. These include (but not limited to):

Brakes and Clutch Linings – while American car makers don’t use asbestos in their vehicles, replacement parts supplied by third parties may still be doing so. These are usually cheaper than their branded counterparts, so most car owners opt to get those. While asbestos exposure is not a danger to you as the car owner directly, those that work on your car may be getting a free trip to mesothelioma (a type of cancer) or lung disease country.

Construction Materials – If you have recently had your roof re-shingled or your floor tiles replaced, you may have just brought in asbestos to your home. Other likely candidates are cement boards, cement pipes, joint cements and caulking compounds. Unless something happens to reduce these to dust, you’re not in any real danger of exposure, but when it starts to crumble with age, or you have it broken up for any reason, then that’s another story.

Fire Protection Gear and Clothing – Firefighters are required to wear respirator masks when fighting fire or doing training because exposure to heat exposes the asbestos layer. If you aren’t a firefighter, avoid having such things in your possession.

If you are in the automobile, construction or firefighting business, you should be aware of the danger, and your employers should follow federal regulations for minimizing asbestos exposure for their employees. If you have not been made aware of these dangers, or there are no safety procedures in the workplace concerning asbestos exposure, you may already be sick and not know it. Consult with an asbestos lawyer and your physician about your concerns, and get their advice. Hopefully you won’t need either of them. But if it turns out that you do, it is best to be prepared.

 

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Cosmetic Dentists

One of the first things people notice about a person is their smile. Since first impressions last, most people care a lot about having a perfect smile, and although not everyone is born with the perfect smile, with good cosmetic dentists, everyone can have one.

Many people tend to think of dentists as solely treating tooth decay and performing routine maintenance. In reality, dentists also perform cosmetic procedures to help fix any dental problems and also to enhance the appearance of the teeth.

Dental veneers are one of the most common procedures in dental cosmetics. As time goes by, teeth can end up chipped, stained, cracked, or just worn down. When this happens, veneers can be placed on top of the teeth to help protect them from discoloration as well as restore it to its former shape. Veneers can also be used on decayed or damaged teeth, as they can help prevent further damage by coating the teeth.

Cosmetic dentists use many options for veneers, though porcelain and resin types are among the most common. The most popular and highly recommended of these are porcelain veneers, mainly because they are better in adopting the natural look of the teeth and they are much more efficient in preventing stains.

Traditional veneers are long lasting; with the right maintenance, they can last from 5 to 10 years. Once they are put in place, they cannot be taken out. Also, since veneers are an accepted method in dental cosmetics, they are safe for the gums and offer more care for your teeth.

If you are considering getting veneers on your teeth, it would be best to ask professional advice from cosmetic dentists who can provide you with a better understanding of how it works and you can get the best benefits for your dental health. Not only will you be getting the perfect smile, you will also be saving and protecting your dental health for a long time.

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Understanding Seizures from Brain Damage

Ravid & Associates, P.C.Brain injuries are among the most severely damaging classes of injury an individual can endure. There are many possible consequences of brain injuries, including seizures. Seizures from brain damage caused by physical trauma occur in up to 7% of severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) victims. This is why TBI patients are often given anti-seizure medication to prevent seizures, which may possibly exacerbate damage to the brain.

Seizures can be either post-traumatic seizures (PTS) or post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE). These types of seizures are associated with the more serious TBI which can have a permanent effect on the brain’s physiology over time. However, PTS is primarily a temporary event and usually occurs shortly after the trauma, and not all moderate to severe TBI will present as PTS. PTE occurs even less frequently and may present much later, although it is more permanent than PTS.

Risk factors for PTE

PTS is thought to be a direct and immediate reaction of the brain to trauma, sometimes occurring within two seconds of the injury, and is differentiated from PTE which occur later and usually indicate permanent brain damage. However, PTS is thought to increase the risk of developing PTE. Children and older adults are thought to be more likely to develop PTE.

Over time, the risk for PTS decreases although there have been cases in which both PTS and PTE developed years after the actual event. Some experts place the window of risk up to 15 years. Ironically, it is possible that seizures from brain damage may actually make the TBI worse if it is long-lasting or if two seizures occur one after the other.

Other problems associated with TBI

Aside from seizures from brain damage, other medical conditions may develop including migraines, memory loss, mood swings, dizziness and inability to concentrate. Depending on the severity of the TBI, these problems may persist for months, even years. In some cases, the damage is permanent, often preventing the return to a normal life and work.

If you are at high risk or already suffering from PTS or PTE, you can expect to have significant medical expenses as well as considerable loss of income. If your TBI was caused by someone’s negligent actions or behavior, you may be eligible to receive just compensation for economic as well as noneconomic damages. Consult with a seizures lawyer to help you.

 

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