Low Offer from an Insurance Company

After a natural disaster, homeowners should be able to expect that their insurers will be there to uphold their end of the bargain. Sadly, many insurance companies fail to adequately assess the damages that are caused by a disaster and, thereby, fail to fairly compensate their policyholders when they need it most.

A low offer from insurance company is often the experience for so many claimants. This is because making a claim with your insurance provider, according to United Policyholders, a national insurance consumer advocacy group, is basically a business negotiation.

This is because Insurance companies are businesses, thus, they will do everything they can to pay as little as possible on claims that their policyholders file. This means your insurance provider will send out their own claims adjuster to determine the extent of damages on your property, and there is a good chance they will not be as thorough as you would hope. Therefore, if you want a fair evaluation and assessment to your damages, you should consider working with a licensed public insurance claim adjuster or appraiser who can help you make sure you are treated fairly.

Basically, insurance company adjusters work for the insurance company that hired them, thus, they could only represent the interests of their employer. A public adjuster, on the other hand, works for you, thus, you can expect that they will act in your best interest and will present a comprehensive claim on your behalf. There are instances that your insurance provider will provide you with an adjuster, however, it is important to know that this adjuster’s loyalty will be with your insurer. For you to receive the insurance settlement you deserve, be sure to contact a public adjuster.

Another probable reason for your insurance provider’s low offer, in the event of damaging floods, is the standardized price list used by insurance adjusters in determining how much to reimburse homeowners for their losses. Some observers, however, see the figures in this list to be unrealistically low.

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Drunk Driving Prevention

People drive even though they are intoxicated because they believe that they are immune to accidents despite their impairment. But this is simply not true, not to mention that this kind of thinking is just reckless.

Drunk driving has become a nationwide threat, as it has claimed the lives of nearly 10,000 Americans and injured another 350,000 in 2011. These ridiculously high numbers prove that drunk driving is a legitimate problem, and we can only count on certain societal aspects to solve it.

The most vital aspect is the law and its enforcement. If there are laws against drunk driving and if there are authorities that effectively enforce these laws, drunk driving can be minimized.

It is important to note that Driving While Intoxicated, also known as DWI, is already considered an offense. Those who drive with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher may face various penalties, including substantial fines, license suspensions, probations, ignition interlock installations, and even jail times.

The website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® also mentions that those who have been injured in drunk driving accidents may pursue legal actions against the drunk drivers.

With all the legal problems associated with drunk driving, why does drunk driving continue to be a problem? Again, it is about enforcement. Local authorities should give the impression that they are serious in deterring this reckless driving behavior. They can do this by doing the following:

  • Making or improving drunk driving laws
  • Increasing the severity of DWI penalties
  • Increasing police visibility
  • Setting up check points on strategic locations
  • Encouraging drunk driving awareness programs

Sometimes, it is not about the strict enforcement of the law but the mindset of the people. By having drunk driving awareness programs, people will be more knowledgeable of the dangers of drunk driving, not only to themselves, but also to innocent motorists and bystanders that they may take with them to the hospital, or worse, to the grave.

To eradicate this nationwide threat, we should eradicate the confidence of drunk drivers in hitting the road. This can be done by everything mentioned above – increase the chances of arrest and let them know that even if they don’t get arrested, they may still be involved in a car accident.

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Truck Driver Error, One of the Major Causes of Truck Accidents

A study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) says that truck accidents are more due to errors committed by drivers of semi-trucks (also called 18-wheelers or big rigs). This is opposed to the results of a number of surveys which rather say that drivers of passenger cars are the ones more at fault in majority of road accidents involving trucks. The FMCSA, which is a separate administration within the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), has the primary mission of enforcing laws that will reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities involving commercial motor vehicles (CMV), such as large trucks and buses.

The most common truck driver errors that have been identified by the FMCSA include: driver fatigue; overspeeding or driving too fast for road conditions; drivers impaired due to use of prescription or over-the-counter-drugs; unfamiliarity with the road; lack of experience in operating a semi-truck; lack of focus on the road; distracted driving; improper attachment of trailer; failure to check “no-zone” areas or blind spots; failure to make sure that truck brakes are in good working condition; and, depowering of the front brakes to lessen wear and tear of tires and breaks and so save on operating costs. All these errors lead to many other things that directly affect the capability of truck drivers to react to danger correctly and on time.

It is common knowledge that semi-trucks pose a serious risk to other drivers due to their enormous size and heavy weight. Thus, if a driver does not possess the required skills to operate a truck safely or commits an error that results in an accident, fatalities and people sustaining severe injuries are not remote possibilities.

In 2013, records from the Highway Loss Data Institute, a non-profit research organization, showed 3,500 fatal large truck accidents. These accidents resulted to the death of 570 truck drivers, while the remaining count involved drivers of smaller vehicles, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Injuries, on the other hand, exceed more than a hundred thousand.

About half a million truck accidents occur every year, leaving so many victims and their families burdened with emotional and physical pains, and in financial difficulties. No one wants an accident to occur, inluding the truck driver who may be at fault in the accident; however, due to the injuries or death of victims, erring truck drivers should only be made to face justice as well as compensate their victims for all damages resulting from injuries.

Dealing with the aftermath of a truck accident can be difficult, if not seemingly impossible. Fortunately, with the help of a Tucson motor vehicle accident attorney, a victim may not only be able to get the justice you are seeking, but also the financial compensation he/she needs to cope with the aftermath of the accident.

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Foreclosure Defense: A Way to Keep Your Home from Getting Foreclosed

According to the America’s Debt Help Organization, about 4.2 million US homeowners lost their homes due to foreclosure between 2007 and 2014. Foreclosure, based on the definition of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is a legal process wherein a creditor or mortgage lender puts up loan collateral (most commonly a house) for sale to recover mortgages unpaid by a borrower. The process that leads to foreclosure usually starts after a borrower fails to pay his or her mortgage for three successive months.

Foreclosure has two major types: Judicial and Non-judicial. In Judicial foreclosure, a lender or mortgagee, which is usually a bank, is first required to file and win a lawsuit to have the right to foreclose on a property. While lenders normally do not make a legal move until a debtor has failed to pay the mortgage for three consecutive months, they actually have the legal right to foreclose on a property even with just a single default on payment.

A Judicial foreclosure procedure takes several months or a year to be completed. Currently, this foreclosure process is available in almost all U.S. states except in Michigan, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

In Non-judicial foreclosure, a lender does not need a court order to be able to foreclose on a property. This type of foreclosure, however, is only allowed if a “power-of-sale” clause is included in the deed of trust. The power of sale, whether in a deed of trust or mortgage, indicates the consent or a borrower to the selling of his or her mortgaged property through non-judicial foreclosure in the event that he or she defaults in payment. The lender, however, will first have to notify the owner of the property before his or her property is auctioned off.

The list of states where Non-judicial foreclosure is available includes Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming and the District of Columbia.

In states where both foreclosure processes are available, non-judicial foreclosure should be the process used if the borrower signed a mortgage that contains a power of sale clause; the judicial foreclosure process should be used, however, if the power of sale clause was not signed.

On the website of Ryan J. Ruehle Attorney at Law, LLC, it is mentioned how foreclosure can be a serious threat, especially to those contending with other debts. This is because other financial concerns can quickly render mortgage payments unaffordable. There are steps, though, as stated in the website, which can be taken to help prevent or delay the foreclosure process. Foreclosure defense is one of these steps which can protect owners from creditors who intend to have their home from being foreclosed.

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The Toxic Substances Emitted by Diesel

The stunt pulled off by Volkswagen, equipping its diesel vehicles with a defeat device, a computer software that is capable of automatically altering its vehicle’s engine operation and speed if it is being tested, was definitely a bold move. However, cheating its way into US market by making it appear that its cars produced clean diesel was a clear breach of public trust and an endangerment of public health, according to the US Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.

Cars that run on diesel may be the future of vehicles driven on American roads and highways; for the meantime, however, this is not an immediately foreseeable possibility due to the greater human health and environmental hazards produced by diesel.

While cars running on diesel engine abound in Europe, in the US these only made up about 3.2% of the total auto sales in the year 2012. This is because though diesel is 20% to 40% more efficient than gasoline, it is known to produce particulate matter and nitrogen oxide (NOx) which are more toxic than carbon dioxide, the global-warming gas emitted by gasoline-run engines.

The question that may pop up here is how is it that cars and trucks that use diesel, despite the threat of nitrogen oxide, are allowed to continue running on US roads and highways whereas cars produced by Volkswagen, which number close to half a million, have to be recalled? The answer, according to the US Department of Energy, is the use of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel which greatly reduces the stinky, sooty substance that diesel usually emits; of course, there is also the fact that carmakers have found a very effective means of trapping the type of air pollution emitted by diesel. Volkswagen, it seems is not aware of these, otherwise, it would have resorted to any of these two rather than resort to cheating – by equipping its diesel cars with a defeat device designed to reduce the emission of nitrogen oxides during testing. Outside a controlled environment, however, Volkswagen diesel cars are said to be emitting pollutants that are 10% to 40% higher than the limit set by the Environmental Protection Agency-enforced Clean Air Act.

Volkswagen diesel cars can definitely assure fuel economy and more mileage; but one other thing it has also assured is the buildup of rage among car owners and environmentalists. A Volkswagen emissions fraud lawyer may be able to explain to owners of cars who have been wronged by Volkswagen’s act of consumer fraud, how they may be able to hold the company accountable for the betrayal of their trust.

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How an IVC Filter can lead to Death

Pulmonary embolism is a severe risk for those who suffer from blood clots in other areas of the body. A leading cause of death, pulmonary embolism can occur if these blood clots migrate to the lungs. Due to the severe risks of this, IVC filters were created. These filters have been used since the 1970’s and are designed to catch blood clots with its cage-like legs before they can travel to the lungs. The device and its model have steadily increased since its inception, with more than 259,000 filters being used by the year 2012.

However, the very device used to prevent pulmonary embolisms in individuals suffering from deep venous thrombosis has been connected to deadly symptoms itself. The Bard G2 IVC Filter has been linked to 27 deaths and 300 injuries since its inception in 2005. While some minor symptoms can occur such as a headaches and chest pain, according to the website of Habush, Habush, and Rottier, they may be signs of deadlier consequences. Death has been linked to the filter mainly through migration or fracture of the device. When the legs of the filter break off, they often travel through the blood stream to other organs of the body, puncturing them. The device often migrates away from where it was surgically implanted as well, rendering the filter ineffective and leading to deadly consequences. Many individuals can also suffer severe heart injuries if the device migrates or breaks off near the heart, possibly leading to death.

The devastating and life-changing consequences of the device continue to grow in number as individuals are still dealing with the effects of the filter. Unfortunately, in the worst cases, the complications associated with the filter can lead to death, making it vital to be aware of the risks of the filter. If you have been implanted with a Bard G2 IVC Filter, contact a lawyer to learn more about your options.

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Who Is Entitled to File a Wrongful Death Claim?

To act with responsibility so as not to put anyone’s life in danger is both a moral and legal duty of any person. All human laws basically point to this, promoting and commanding at the same time respect for properties and, most importantly, human life.

It is for such reason why manufacturers of consumer goods have standards to comply with, why health care experts, like doctors, go through rigorous study and training, and pursue continuous growth, why laws that mandate the creation of a safe and healthy working environment have been passed, and why drivers, especially of commercial vehicles, are required to enroll in professional driving schools where they will learn and develop the skills necessary for safe driving.

Negligence or recklessness, however, continue to be the dominant behavior of so many people, choosing the excitement of taking risks over the safety of all those around them. Thus, because of these negligent or reckless acts, millions of accidents happen every year, accidents that injure millions of people and claim thousands of innocent lives. These injuries and loss of lives usually result from medical malpractice, car, truck, motorcycle or bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, defective products, poorly maintained premises, and workplace accidents.

Under the law, negligence has one presupposed factor: strict liability. This presupposed factor legally holds the negligent individual totally accountable for whatever result his/her negligent behavior leads to, whether injury of loss of life.

In the event of death, the victim’s surviving family, legally called the “real parties in interest,” may file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit through its chosen representative (may be a lawyer or any family member). The “real parties in interest,” first and foremost, refers to the dead victim’s, or decedent’s, husband/wife and children, whether biological or adopted). If the decedent was unmarried then the parents are the first in line. If the parents, however, are already dead, then some states consider the following persons as “real parties in interest”:

  • Those who were financially dependent on the victim, such as a life partner or a putative spouse. A putative spouse is someone who sincerely believes that he/she and the decedent were married
  • Grandparents and siblings
  • Any person whom the decedent cared for or supported while he/she was still alive, but who will definitely suffer financially due to the victim’s untimely death.

The victim’s untimely death can certainly cause devastating financial effects to his/her family and recognized dependents, making the need for compensation an immediate matter. While the law allows any family member to be the (family’s) representative, if this person lacks knowledge about the laws governing wrongful death and wrongful death claims, then it will do much good for the family to seek the help of a seasoned wrongful death lawyer, such as one from Louisville.

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Health Effects of PCBs

Studies show that polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs are definitely pollutants, and they are definitely toxic. Various lab animals exposed to varying levels of PCBs demonstrated adverse health effects, which were fatal at high doses. There are no conclusive study on humans as of yet, but it would be safe to infer that PCB exposure will also have deleterious, possibly carcinogenic, effects.

PCBs are synthetic organic compounds of chlorine and benzene concocted by German scientists in 1881. It served as a coolant for machines and insulation for electrical components. Swann Chemical Company first produced the PCBs in North America in 1929. Monsanto PCBs came into being when Monsanto Company took over production from Swann in 1935, and began selling PCBs under the brand Aroclor in the US. PCBs are persistent in nature, and released in the environment through use and manufacture.

There are 209 types of PCBs and they have various levels of toxicity, apparently dependent on how many chlorine atoms attach to the two benzene rings (biphenyls) in a PCB molecule. The more chlorine atoms, the less soluble it is in water. There are 7 PCB types that were widely used in North America until 1979, when the US Congress halted the production of PCBs.

The issues with PCBs are due mainly to its similarity in structure and toxic modality to dioxins, which are persistent organic pollutants. They get into everything: the soil, the water, and the air. They are very hard to get rid of, and so the risk of exposure is very high. Dioxins and PCBs are absorbed into the fatty tissue of animals, including humans, and affect vital organs.

PCBs are excellent for industrial applications, because they are very stable and resistant to degradation. However, this also makes them very dangerous to humans and the environment in general. Direct exposure is not necessary: a husband can bring it home on his clothes and affect his wife and children; a previously exposed mother can pass the PCBs in her body on to a breastfeeding infant. While there is no definite proof yet that PCBs are harmful to humans, scientists believe that it is only a matter of time before the first toxic exposure victims step forward.

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SXSW: What Are You Waiting For?

Are you interested in film, music, and interactive? Then surely you have already heard about the South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival in Austin?

Well, just in case you haven’t – SXSW is a week-long festival that occurs in Austin, Texas. This event has been going on since 1987, during a time when Austin was not even considered as one of the top 20 major markets! However, with its great potential and fair metropolitan, it was only ever the perfect venue for such a festival! Not to mention that place has been the place to be for a party – dating as far back as the 19th century!

This March, many celebrities will be in attendance – as well as musical groups and over a hundred worldwide premieres on site! These ten days are a promise of collaboration and celebration of each other’s accomplishments as tens of thousands of artists from all over the world come together in order to share their work, have their voices be heard? There are meet-ups with experts and enthusiasts galore as this really is the place to be, if film, music, and interactive is your scene!

SXSW limo ridesWhat better way than to arrive in style via a limousine ride from the Austin airport? Every comfort and every luxury is one you have well-deserved and seeing as traffic is abominable at busy times around Austin, such as this, then parking is only ever going to be a bigger nightmare. There is so much to do and so many things to see and people to meet at SXSW; do you really want that time hindered by something so easily corrected such as parking? This is not a time to sacrifice comfort as these are times and experiences you will want to remember for the rest of your life and in these times, you too are a star and deserve all the things that come with it!

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Birth Defects Linked to Zofran Use

Was your child born with a cleft lip, cleft palate, or congenital heart defect (CHD)? These are birth defects that are present collectively in more than 47,000 newborns in the US every year, with CHD being the most common. In most cases, the causes of these birth defects are unknown, and parents are encouraged to look upon it as nothing more than the roll of the dice. However, there are studies into these types of birth defects that link them to the use of certain drugs. One of these is Zofran (ondansetron) manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline.

Zofran is a powerful antiemetic (prevents nausea) that blocks 5-HT3 receptors in the central nervous system and the gastrointestinal tract. It is customarily prescribed as per Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for the prevention of severe nausea in patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy (using cytotoxic drugs) and post-surgery. In some cases where morning sickness is so severe that the mother is put in danger of severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalance from constant vomiting (hyperemesis gravidarium), she may be prescribed with Zofran or its generic counterparts.

The problem with this is Zofran is not approved for use in pregnant women. In fact, all antiemetics are not recommended for use during pregnancy because there are not enough studies to validate any risk-benefit analysis. However, when severe morning sickness threatens the health of the mother and child, physicians have no choice but to prescribe one. There are no warnings published by the manufacturer that Zofran poses a greater risk of birth defects to the developing fetus than any other antiemetic, so physicians have no reason to believe that it will harm the child. Ongoing studies indicate that Zofran may in fact be particularly prone to increase the risk of birth defects.

If you have been prescribed with Zofran and your child is born with a birth defect, you may want to consider filing a Zofran lawsuit. The manufacturer knew or should have known that it would pose unreasonable dangers to your child, and should have provided adequate warning to doctors and the public against its use. Contact a dangerous drugs lawyer in your state to explore your legal options in such cases.

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