Asbestos – The Major Cause of Mesothelioma

Posted by on Oct 22, 2014 in Health, Personal Injury | 1 comment

One of the most dangerous types of cancer that an individual can develop is Mesothelioma due to the fact that it remains undetectable until it has developed to a certain stage wherein any form of treatment will no longer work. Mesothelioma forms in the mesothelium, which is a kind of coating that protects the different major internal organs of the body. Its symptoms usually appear 15-50 years after a person’s exposure to Asbestos, a “miracle” mineral, which is this chronic cancer’s major cause.

Asbestos is one of the most widely used chemicals around the world due to its remarkable efficacy, elasticity, sound absorption, tensile strength, resistance to chemical and electrical damage, resistance to heat and fire, abundance and availability, and affordability. Its use extends from the most common household items and appliances, such as fabrics, irons, toasters, dishwashers, refrigerators, and deep-fryers, to commercial and industrial equipment, like brakes and clutches, generators, steam pipes, turbines, hot water piping, insulators, boilers, cement, floor coverings, roofing, acoustic insulation, and so forth.

Inhalation of asbestos fibers (either regularly or in great quantity) is what poses the risk of developing mesothelioma. Individuals who are most prone to having this malignant lung cancer are workers in processing plants, shipyards, mines, auto manufacturing plants, construction sites, as well as plumbers, electricians, firefighters, etc.

The height of the use of asbestos happened in the mid 1900s, but it was only during the 1990s, when an alarming increase in the number of mesothelioma cases began to be reported around the world, that its manufacture and trade began to be banned in some parts of the world.

Some of the symptoms of Mesothelioma include shortness of breath, unexplainable weight loss, fatigue, frequent coughing and reduced respiratory function; these symptoms, however, can also be seen in many other types of (less serious) illnesses, thus, making it still harder to detect and identify the person’s real health condition. However, awareness of having been exposed to asbestos, even in the distant past, and then showing these symptoms would give some hint on the possibility of the presence of the cancer. Seeking the help of a Houston personal injury attorney can help the victim of asbestos and mesothelioma decide the best legal options available for the compensation that the law may entitle him/her to receive.

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The Good, the Bad, and the Untreated of Chlorinated Water

Posted by on Aug 3, 2014 in Water Treatment | 0 comments

Did you know that municipally-treated water can still be harmful to your health and home?

According to American Water, the chlorine used to disinfect water for residential use can cause damage to plastic components in faucets and appliances and leading to that annoying drip, drip, drip in the middle of the night. Chlorine is also a caustic agent, so when there is too much chlorine in the water it can cause the colors of fabric to fade and dry out skin and hair. In areas with a dry climate such as Texas, you don’t want to use chlorinated water doing more damage to your skin than the sun and wind.

You will know if municipally-treated water contains excessive amounts of chlorine because it irritates the eyes, much like swimming in a pool with a poor filtration system. But more importantly, recent studies suggest that drinking chlorinated water increases the incidence of certain diseases, including but not limited to cancer, childhood asthma, and liver problems.

The reason water is treated with chlorine because it kills off harmful pathogens that may be lurking in the water. However, the benefits of chlorine are significantly offset by its adverse effects, and most people wonder what can be done to minimize these effects.

One solution would be to install a whole house water filter system that would remove much of the chlorine in the water as well as soften the water. In Texas where the water hardness is rated at more than 1,000 ppm (parts per million) which is extremely hard, this is a definite need. With a whole house water filter, all the taps, faucets and showerheads will be efficiently spewing out clean, filtered water. While the initial investment may be considerable, savings from preserving the integrity of your water pipes and fixtures as well as less energy used by water heaters will pay off it off in the long term.

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Workers’ Compensation Insurance Benefit: A Win-Win Solution for Employer and Employee

Posted by on Jan 22, 2014 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

Employees in the U.S. who sustain work-related injuries or develop an illness due to exposure to dangerous chemicals at work, are entitled to immediate financial assistance that will cover tier medical treatment and which will cushion them from the effect of a possible financial crises due to loss of capacity to earn and the inability to immediately go back to work.

Such right is stipulated in the Workers’ Compensation benefit, a law that was passed in 1908 for the very intention of providing the much financial assistance needed by injured workers. Before the passing of this law, workers needed to sue their employers just to avail of the needed compensation. Besides damaging employee and employer relationship, the lawsuits were often won by employers, who always resorted to any of the following arguments:

  • Assumption of Risk – which states that due to the danger associated with the job, possibility of injury should be accepted
  • The Fellow Worker Rule – this argument was used if the cause of the injury was a fellow worker, saving the employer from any responsibility
  • Contributory Negligence – an argument that holds the injured worker himself/herself as the cause of the accident due to his/her negligence or carelessness

If ever there were instances wherein the employee won the case, the compensation he/she was awarded with was either delayed or much less than what he/she actually expected and deserved.

Between 1911 and 1920, majority of the states implemented the workers’ compensation benefits law with certain changes to align it to the laws in their own states. Filing for injury benefits through workers’ compensation ensured employees of financial assistance as this insurance benefit was not dependent on the financial capability of any employer. One item the benefit stated, however, is the employer’s freedom from any and further financial and/or legal obligations once the benefit has been awarded.

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Nursing License Defense

Posted by on Jan 12, 2014 in Licensure | 0 comments

Nurses are the lifeblood in any healthcare facility, although doctors get most of the public’s attention. Without nurses, patients would not get the constant monitoring and care they need in hospitals, nursing homes, or long-term home care.

As such, nurses wield a lot of power over their patients, and this is not always a good thing. Health agencies are aware of this, which is why the conduct of nurses are closely monitored and their licensing requirements constantly updated. This is the best way to ensure that only qualified, competent and conscientious nurses are allowed around the most vulnerable members of the population, meaning the sick, the elderly, and the very young.

However, all systems have flaws, and sometimes unjust or unfounded charges may be brought against a nurse that may cause the suspension or loss of the license. Whenever a nursing license defense becomes necessary, it is always best to consult with a lawyer with extensive experience and a good track record in the relevant jurisdiction. According to the Leichter Law Firm website, there are complex processes involved in nursing license defense and only a duly trained lawyer would know how to work it. One should not trust one’s future and career on the advice of well-meaning friends, family members or colleagues unless they have the legal training for it.

But the worst thing a nurse brought on charges can do is to depend on the Internet. While it is always a good starting point, the Internet is not wholly reliable when it comes to correct information; it takes a lot of discernment to separate the chaff from the wheat. Any tip or advice that comes from sites like nurses’ forums and chat rooms should be taken with a grain of salt; taking it for gospel truth could be the fastest way to get booted out of the nursing profession without a shot fired.

When in need of nursing license defense, check the Internet for law firms specializing in the field as well as ask around for referrals. Most reputable law firms will provide an initial consultation for free. Narrow it down to the one that seems to be the most competent; the expense may be well worth it.

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Hair Salon Services

Posted by on Jan 9, 2014 in Health | 0 comments

The stress of everyday life has made the choice of hair salon more than a matter of grooming; people who feel frazzled can find sanctuary in the relaxed and pampering atmosphere of a good hair salon. But not all hair salons are made equal. Most people, especially women, find time to evaluate and assess the hair salons to find just the right one to give them what they need, especially for special occasions such as weddings.

Most men have no concept of the importance of finding just the right establishment when it comes to hair care and treatment. To them, a haircut is a necessary evil and they take as little time and consideration over it as possible.

For women, the conditioning and care of hair is a time-consuming task, and must be given as much attention as any part of the body. This is especially true in the humid heat of Houston which invites frizz and dryness to take up residence. But finding the best salon in Houston means not only finding the best hair care facilities and the most experienced people in various disciplines; you want the extras as well. Aside from proper hair care, many women want the total salon experience to wash away their cares.

Hair salon services in the best places go far beyond hair and makeup, although an excellent cut is always the most important aspect when it comes to hair. But the best hair salons need to provide more than good grooming facilities; patrons need to feel relaxed and rejuvenated when they emerge, so perks such as available massage facilities or a good cup of cappuccino can go a long way towards customer satisfaction.

When looking for the best salon in Houston, keep an eye out for these little touches. While secondary to experienced professionals and excellent facilities and products, it is what often makes a good experience great.

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Medical Dangers

Posted by on Jan 7, 2014 in Dangerous Products | 0 comments

There are a lot of things that pregnant women are cautioned against: stress, alcohol, rich food, cigarettes, emotional upheavals, and certain drugs. This is because the medical dangers that would otherwise not affect an individual may have unfortunate results on the growing fetus.

This can be a problem for women who are on necessary medication for a confirmed medical condition. One of these conditions that pose a conundrum for both physicians and patients is that of depression and/or anxiety. Pregnancy often triggers wild emotional swings in women who are not normally depressed or anxious because of the hormonal changes endemic to childbearing. In women diagnosed with mental disorders are often prescribed with drugs such as Zoloft to control the symptoms and the discontinuation can often lead to disaster.

Zoloft side effects are common to most of the drugs in its class, namely the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), but Zoloft (generic sertraline hydrochloride) was considered somewhat safer than other SSRIs with milder side effects. Manufacturer Pfizer had actively marketed it as safe for pregnant women if taken in small doses, even those with no prior mental disorders. Many physicians thus counseled women having difficulty coping with the emotional swings of pregnancy that controlling symptoms of depression and anxiety would be beneficial to the baby.

What Pfizer failed to warn these physicians was that prescribing Zoloft in the first trimester of the pregnancy significantly (2.8 times) increased the risk of birth defects, including but not limited to heart defects. It was a medical mistake that would affect hundreds of children born to mothers prescribed with Zoloft and multidistrict litigation.

If you or a family member has been affected by Zoloft side effects or other forms of medical mistake that could have been prevented if provided with the right information and resulting from the negligence of others, it may be advisable to consult with a personal injury lawyer regarding your rights. These medical dangers often have long-lasting and costly consequences, and the parties responsible for inflicting them should be made to pay compensation to ease at least the financial burden.

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Pedestrian Accidents and Negligence

Posted by on Jan 5, 2014 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

A car accident that involves a pedestrian often results in serious injury, and perhaps death. There is no fair contest between speeding metal and yielding soft flesh, which is why 33 states in the U.S. have a modified comparative negligence policy when it comes to car-pedestrian accidents. The thought of being severely injured in a car accident is an absolute nightmare. And knowing that this tragic could be caused because of someone else’s carelessness is absolutely sickening. This means that there is more emphasis on the driver when it comes to liability, and as long as the fault of the pedestrian is 50% or less (51% bar rule) or 49% or less (50% bar rule), the pedestrian or qualified family member may make a personal injury or wrongful death claim against the driver. In its pure form, comparative negligence places the limit to the extent that the pedestrian is at fault at 99%, but the awards will still be reduced by this extent. Twelve states enforce this pure form of comparative negligence.

On the other hand, there are 5 states that maintain a pure form of contributory negligence when it comes to a pedestrian accident. This means that if the pedestrian is in any way, in the slightest degree, responsible for the accident i.e. failing to use the crosswalk, then no claim can be made against the driver, even if the driver was demonstrably negligent  i.e. intoxicated. These states are Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, Maryland and the District of Columbia. The burden of proof falls entirely on the plaintiff to show that the victim was in no way at fault for the accident, and that the driver was wholly negligent. In these states, the legal representation of the plaintiff must be exceptionally skilled in pedestrian accident cases.

In the states that follow the modified comparative fault rule, such as Pennsylvania which follows the 51% bar rule, the burden of proof is a little lighter, although the degree of fault of the pedestrian will reduce the award by that much. It still requires a competent lawyer to ensure just compensation as the driver’s insurance lawyers will stretch the point as far as it will go to prove the victim’s fault beyond the threshold given half a chance to avoid paying any claim.

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Business Oil Spill Claims

Posted by on Jan 4, 2014 in Oil Spills | 0 comments

Business oil spill claims have ground to a halt as the federal court intervenes in the BP claim to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals that many fraudulent, illegitimate or over-assessed business claims have been settled by Economic and Property Damage Class Action Settlement Agreement administrator Patrick Juneau.

The 5th Circuit judges have ordered District judge Carl Barbier to order the halt of all claims processing until investigations into these allegations have completed. This has serious consequences for those whose claims have already been processed and approved but not yet paid as well as for those with pending claims.

The court decision also has consequences for those who are hoping for a favorable BP claim appeal based on the hitherto generous mandate of BP that claims would not have to prove that the oil spill was the cause of economic losses. BP has since changed its tune as more and more claims came pouring in. The Settlement allows BP to challenge each and every claim, individual or business, and has succeeded in successfully denying a majority of the claims.

It is undeniable that the 2010 oil spill had a significant and disastrous impact on most individuals and businesses in the immediate and secondary areas servicing the coastal region surrounding the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. More than three years after the disaster, the environmental and health hazards continue to persist, causing many residents to relocate. Businesses are not so fortunate. Many who have invested in the area find themselves holding the bag with no way to pay their way out of their financial troubles, and had looked to the settlement agreement to bail them out. The expulsion of people from the affected areas has further harmed these businesses, as they now have fewer customers in the area who can consume their goods and services.

The claimants, legitimate and otherwise, have no choice but to wait for the courts to finally resolve the issue and the claims processing resume.  For those who are not part of the Settlement group or who have opted out may still make a claim under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA) in the meantime. It is important to have competent legal representation for OPA and other claims to improve the likelihood of receiving rightful compensation.

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What to do if You Are Accused of Cocaine Possession

Posted by on Jan 2, 2014 in Criminal Laws | 1 comment

The penalties for criminal charges vary from state to state, but a criminal conviction whether in Texas or Massachusetts can pose serious hindrances to one’s personal, financial and social life. According to the Houston-based Law Office of Kyle Sampson, being accused of a crime in Texas can become an untenable situation unless you have competent and experienced legal representation. The same holds true for any state in the US, so it is in anyone’s best interest to avoid being convicted of any crime, such as cocaine possession.

Cocaine possession is the most serious of drug charges. It is considered a Class A category, keeping company with other controlled or illegal substances such as heroin, methadone, ecstasy, methamphetamine, and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). To be in mere possession (on a person or in premises controlled by a person) of the smallest amount of cocaine, even if it is just a plastic bag containing trace amounts of it, is enough to be charged with possession of cocaine. For larger amounts, the charges can be elevated to intent to distribute or to supply, which carry much heavier penalties than mere possession.

There are always defense to any criminal charge, including drug possession, but it all depends on how the case is presented that it will be considered by a court of law. In most cases, a competent defense lawyer would prefer that the charges are dropped or dismissed based on lack of evidence, a technical flaw in the arrest, or any circumstances which will cast doubt on the integrity of the evidence available to the prosecution. The dramatics of the court trial seldom go as popularized in television.

A good defense lawyer will stop the charges on its tracks as much as possible, but will be prepared to present a plausible defense in court if necessary. To do this, the lawyer must have the requisite knowledge of the law, the resources to produce the depositions and documents to prove the case, and experience in the court to pull it off. The alternative of engaging an inexperienced lawyer can have far-reaching consequences that may cost a defendant more in the long run.

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