Wrongful Death and the Rights of the “Real Parties in Interest”

When natural disasters strike, besides damaging properties, these can also harm and injure people. Those affected can seek help from the state and can apply for benefits from their insurance provider to be able to recover from any losses. Though painful, victims can do nothing much since the destruction was through the act of Mother Nature; they can only prepare in order to hopefully reduce the amount and extent of damages and harm the next time another disaster hits them.

If the injury, however, happened due to other people’s recklessness or negligence, the simple thought of their thoughtlessness about your safety, thus, your injury, somehow makes the suffering more painful to bear due to feelings of anger or frustration.

There are different ways by which a person may be harmed or injured; some of these include; a motor vehicle accident, product defect, slip and fall accident, job-related accident and dental or medical malpractice. Worse than a severe injury which a person may sustain through gross negligence, though, is wrongful or untimely death. Whatever the effect of the harm committed against any person due to a reckless or negligent act, such harm will be called tortious act or civil offense and, under the law, the tortfeasor, that is, the person or firm which caused the injury, is legally required to compensate the victim for whatever damages he or she has been and will be subjected to.

In the event of the victim’s death a representative acting on behalf of the deceased’s survivors, also known as real parties in interest, can file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit. States have different stipulation with regard to who these real parties in interest could be:

  • The immediate family members: refers to spouses, children and adopted children. For unmarried individuals, immediate family would refer to parents;
  • Financial dependents, putative spouses or life partners: some states consider those who were financially dependent on the deceased, like a life or domestic partner, as among the real parties in interest. Some states also include a “putative spouse, ” or a person who, in good faith, believes that he or she and the deceased were married;
  • Distant family members: there are some states which consider grandparents, brothers and sisters as qualified to file wrongful death claims;
  • All those suffering financially: this stipulation covers anyone who is financially affected and made to suffer by the victim’s death; this is actually due to the loss of care or support resulting from death;
  • Parents of a deceased fetus: there are states that consider the fetus’ death a basis for a wrongful death claim. Other states, however, maintain that wrongful death lawsuits may only be filed by parents whose child was born, but died shortly after birth.

Most legal advisors, such as the team at the Law Offices of Williams Kherkher, suggest that you hire the services of a highly competent legal counsel who will be able to advise you with regard to your legal rights or the rights of the family of the deceased, as well as how to fight for such rights.

Learn More

Safety Technology for 18-wheeler Accident Prevention

As with anything else, most people turn to technology to solve their problems. When it comes to driving, motorists rely on their gadgets to enhance safety when they are travelling. The same applies to truck-trailers or semis, because it is a major problem when an 18-wheeler accident occurs. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, at least two rear-end heavy truck accidents occur hourly somewhere in the US. And when a big rig hits you, you will definitely know it.

It is therefore desirable that effective safety devices be installed in these highway behemoths. In general, the 18-wheeler accident prevention technique used for these devices is in the nature of a warning system. A typical safety gadget would give an alert whenever it detects that the driver is asleep, starts to drift to other lanes, or driving in an unsafe manner. Unfortunately, US highways are not designed for easy detection of legitimate and incidental obstacles, so drivers are subjected to constant, unnecessary and, eventually, ignored warnings. Whatever benefits that may have accrued from this system is offset by familiarity and the accompanying contempt.

There have been some developments on this front, however. There are some safety gadgets available that will actually apply the brakes when verbal warnings are ignored or go unheard (i.e. because the driver is asleep) and it becomes necessary. This will prevent or at least lessen the impact of an 18-wheerler accident considerably. Hopefully, more features of a similar kind will be incorporated in later versions of the safety devices currently being offered, such as something similar to the ignition interlock device required in some states for drivers convicted of driving while intoxicated or under the influence. Prevention is the best medicine, after all.

No amount of technology can replace responsible driving behavior, however. Avoiding an 18-wheeler accident rests mainly on the nut behind the wheel. If you or someone you know is ever injured in an 18-wheeler accident because the driver was over-fatigued, under the influence, distracted, or otherwise negligent, consult with a truck accident lawyer at once.

Learn More

Qualities of Good Content Writers

Content writers are a dime a dozen. Any half-bit, two penny joker with a working computer who can put together 300 or 500-word articles consider themselves content writers. And technically, they would be right. Content is, after all, anything that provides information to an audience for some purpose in a discernible medium. So anyone can make a 500-word rant about Justin Bieber and that would still be content. But that wouldn’t necessarily make that person a good content writer.

In order to find good content writers, you need to be on the lookout for certain qualities. Good content writers are people who are objective, conscientious, accurate, and form-conscious when they write. As much as possible, articles should convey a sense of detachment to increase its credibility to readers. An obviously biased article may lose some ground when it comes to people who genuinely want to know. Content writers may hold forth on opinions about what they are writing about, but these opinions must be backed up with facts and research.

Good content writers do not “fluff” an article just to reach the required word count. The material needs to be concise, substantive, informative and correct, and most of all, original. It should also engage a reader’s attention and interest in a positive way. A rant may be interesting to people who hold the same opinion about the subject matter, but may be objectionable or offensive to others.

Last of all, but certainly not least, good content writers always use correct grammar and have the ability to structure their articles logically and with good flow. It doesn’t matter how immensely valuable the information being presented is. If it is poorly organized and riddled by grammatical errors, it will be very difficult for the reader to follow, and the article will lose its informational value.

So if you need to find good content writers, always ask to see samples of their work. Most content writers take it as a given that they need to be able to write about a wide range of topics, so the actual subject matter is not important. What is important is that the writer demonstrates the qualities discussed above, and if the work shows this, you will have found yourself a good content writer.

Learn More

How to Prevent a Motorcycle Crash

There is always something in the news about vehicular accidents, but a motorcycle crash report almost always involves a fatality. A motorcycle is particularly vulnerable on the road because of its inherent instability, the speed at which it can travel, its size and weight comparative to other vehicle types, and the lack of protective shielding for its rider, according to personal injury lawyer, Ali Mokaram. And yet because it is a fast, economical and convenient way to travel, more and more people are opting for motorcycles as their preferred mode of transportation, especially those above 125 cc.

Tips on Avoiding a Motorcycle Crash

Be conspicuous. Motorcycle riders have a tendency to wear dark clothing and safety gear because they don’t show dirt so easily and they look cool. But for safety’s sake it is better to opt for something bright or fluorescent so that you can easily be seen by motorists, especially at night. If you really like black, at least have chrome fittings on your ride, and turn on your lights even in daytime.

Avoid weaving. Because motorcycles are so maneuverable, it is tempting to dart in and out of moving traffic to gain the advantage in traffic. But not all motorists signal when they turn, and not all look before changing lanes. Even if they do, by the time they see you it may be too late. As much as possible, stick to one lane, and choose the lane with the least number of vehicles.

Keep distance. Avoid getting too close to other vehicles, especially if you are on the highway. Larger vehicles tend to suck you in as they pass by at high speeds, and there doesn’t have to be any actual contact for you to lose your balance or get flicked off the road like a fly. Maintain a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you and your sides.

Be defensive. In a head-on motorcycle crash, the bike rider is sure to come off worse. So if you want to keep on riding, be defensive when crossing intersections and rounding a blind curve by slowing down..

It is in the interest of anybody who is sharing the road with motorcyclists to observe some safety rules to prevent a motorcycle crash. So if motorcycle riders would take care of their side of the problem, motorists will do the same.

Learn More

What is a TBI hematoma?

One of the possible consequences of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a hematoma. Most hematomas are as a result of some kind of trauma, although not all hematomas occur in the brain. You have probably had some type of hematoma before after a fall, bumping hard against something, or something hits you with some force.

A hematoma is blood that has leaked out of a blood vessel and collected in tissue, where is can cause some swelling or edema (fluid collection) and pain if the quantity of blood is large enough. It presents as a swollen area similar to a bruise, but a bruise is flat while a hematoma tends to be raised. A hemorrhage is the active leaking of blood outside a blood vessel; once it stops, then it is considered a hematoma if the blood collects in tissue.

While all hematomas are to be avoided, most will resolve without any medical intervention. In some cases when the hematoma is quite large, it may be necessary to cut into the tissue to relieve the pressure. Hematoma in the brain is considered the most dangerous because even a little pressure on the brain can have serious consequences.

There are three types of hematoma in the brain due to TBI: epidural, subdural and intracerebral. An epidural hematoma is when blood accumulates between the lining of the brain (dura) and the skull because of trauma to the temple. It develops relatively quickly. A subdural hematoma, on the other hand, progresses more slowly but because it is under the dura, it is more difficult to get to in case surgical drainage is necessary. The worst type of brain hematoma due to TBI is an intracerebral one, where the leak is happening inside the brain itself. Surgical drainage or a craniotomy may remove the leak, but often the damage to the brain has been done. However, in intracerebral hematoma cases where there is a significant amount of blood, the patient will not survive without surgical intervention. The size of the hematoma in the brain is determined with the use of a CT scan and MRI.

If you or someone you know sustained a traumatic brain injury due to the negligence of others, you may be facing considerable expenses for the treatment, recovery and long-term care resulting from brain damage. Contact a TBI lawyer as soon as possible to recover damages.

Learn More

Category D for Topamax Side Effects

Pregnant women are often vulnerable to side-effects for drugs they are relatively safe under different circumstances, such as the anti-epilepsy drug Topamax (topiramate). While the mothers themselves may not suffer permanent damage, birth defects can ensue with certain drugs. An unborn child is in rapid development; changes in the mother’s food and medication intake has a significant impact on the child. For this reason, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) created a categorization for drugs specifically for pregnant women.

There are 5 FDA pregnancy categories, ranging from “safe” (no evidence of risk of birth defects) to “dangerous” (clear evidence of high risk of birth defects). Prescription drugs that may have been in the market for years under a safe category may be moved to another category if there is new evidence regarding its effects on a pregnant woman. There have been numerous instances when this has happened, such as when adverse Topamax side effects began to emerge. Unfortunately, this means some harm has already occurred to either the mother or the child, and it is usually the child.

Category A is considered safe for pregnant women. The FDA does not actually call any drug “safe.” Rather, it states that studies “failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus.” Category B drugs are also considered safe for pregnant women, except that the FDA qualifies that there have been “no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women.” So if further studies show otherwise, the drug can be moved to Category C.

Category C drugs already demonstrated adverse effects on animal fetuses, although “no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans” have yet been carried out, and it is believed any risk is outweighed by the benefits of the drug. So this is more or less a tossup, and hopefully no real harm happens to the child or the mother with its use. Topamax used to be a Category C drug before complaints started to come in. It is currently a Category D, which has been shown to have “evidence of human fetal risk.” In the case of Topamax, it has been implicated in the increased number of children of mothers taking Topamax born with birth defects (oral-facial clefts). Even if a drug is under Category D, some physicians can still prescribe it provided the dangers are clearly explained to the patient.

Under Category X, however, the benefits of the drugs thus classified are considered to be outweighed by the risks it represents to pregnant women and their unborn children. Doctors will only prescribe this to women if they are not pregnant and under birth control medication, under strict supervision and if there is no other alternative.

Topamax manufacturer Johnson & Johnson has issued new labels in 2011 to reflect this risk, but for some children it may be too late. If you or someone you know has a child born with oral-facial clefts due to Topamax side effects prior to 2011, contact a birth defects lawyer in your area to see if you are eligible for a personal injury claim.

Learn More