Sleep Apnea, a Sleep Disorder that is Causing Strings of Truck Accidents

On the night of January 27, 2014, Douglas Balder, an Illinois State Trooper, parked his patrol car along the rightmost lane of the Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway to assist a Chicago-bound big rig which had stalled out in the same side of the tollway. Also providing were a bright yellow Tollway assistance vehicle and a heavy-duty tow truck.

As the red and blue lights of Balder’s squad car strobed into the frozen night, the Tollway truck’s amber hazard lights and large blinking arrow flashed visibly up to about 10 miles; flares were also sputtered on the pavement.

Renato Velasquez, who drove a flatbed big rig that was loaded with three massive rolls of steel, however, neither saw the flashing bright lights nor the flares. Failing to change lanes, he rammed into all parked vehicles at 63 miles per hour, bursting the patrol car’s gas tank, injuring the driver of the stalled big rig and instantly killing the driver of the Tollway vehicle. A court discovered during the investigation into the case that Velasquez, the driver of the rig that rammed into all parked vehicles, was falling asleep moments before the accident.

Accidents involving big rigs have been occurring with startling regularity, especially those wherein drivers have fallen asleep. From April to July of 2015 alone, 21 individuals died in a string of four big rig accidents, all due to drivers nodding off. Authorities believe that wrecks due to fatigue are significantly undercounted, there being no blood test or roadside exam that will determine drowsiness; drivers also would not openly admit that they falling asleep, thus, the accident.

Besides drivers being pushed past their limits, being made to drive for longer hours, the law has also made it hard to screen drivers for sleep apnea, a sleep disorder. Employers, on their part, have also failed to ensure that their drivers and those that they hire do not have this disorder (basically to make sure that they have enough drivers, experienced or not, to complete all job orders).

An article in a website called Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, says that tucking companies are expected to follow a number of state and federally mandated regulations in the hiring of truck drivers. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for these companies to be negligent in their hiring practice. Knowing this, there is good reason, therefore, for victims of big rig accidents to take legal action against the trucking company, especially if they believe the truck driver, who caused the accident, should never have had the opportunity to be behind the wheel.

Mastering The Perfect Dog Walk

Walking your dog is a great way to have some exercise for both you and your pet canine. It is not only the perfect time to bond with your pet dog but also to have some outdoor fun. According to the website of Walk! ATX, walking your dog should be done with enthusiasm and filled with love. But sometimes walking your dog can become a frustrating experience especially if you do not know how to properly walk your dog.

Walking your dog is not only beneficial to your pet but also to you. It will help keep them mentally stable. By nature, dogs are walkers/travelers so it is not enough that you have a large backyard or to take your dog to the park. As Cesar Milan, the Dog Whisperer puts it, “To your dog, your backyard is like a large fish bowl where they are trapped. Fish swim, birds fly and dogs walk. Having a dog should not be about only fulfilling our human needs, we owe it to out dogs to give what THEY instinctively need. “

Here are some tips on how to become a master in walking your dog.

1. Walk in front of the dog

The most important thing when walking your dog is to reinforce their minds that you are the leader of the pack– the alpha. When going out of the house, you should be the first one out and not the other way around. During the walk, your pet canine should either be beside or behind you during the walk. Letting the dog walk in front of you can result to behavioral problems in the dog. They can become hyperactive, neurotic, or obsessive-compulsive.

2. Train your dog to walk on one side

Your pet dog must be trained to walk on one side of you. You would not enjoy the experience if your dog will constantly weave back and forth or run around in circles. You could end up tripping or injuring yourself or your dog. If they keep circling around, show them what you want by doing these steps:

  • Use a short leash so you can keep your pet on your side and also to have control. Attach the leash to the top of the neck of your pet so you can easily guide, communicate, and correct them. Make sure that it is not short enough that you will be dragging them.
  • Make him get the idea of walking beside you. Offer them treats for staying by your side. Increase the distance between treats until they get used to walking beside you even without treats.

3. Maintain your posture

Maintain a good pace. Keep your shoulders back and your head held high. Your pet can easily feel any tension or lack of confidence on your part. Walk with pride like a strong leader. Your pet can sense it and will respond accordingly.

4. Keep off the grass

According to the ASPCA Poison Center, lawns and gardens can be bad for your canine friends. Insecticides and certain types of mulch can bring problems to your pets. Plant such as tulips and daffodils can contribute to the landscape but certainly not to your pet dog.

5. Bring some extras

If you are planning to go on a long walk, make sure to bring along some extras such as water, treats, and toys. Water can help alleviate whatever thirst your dog is feeling especially during the warm season.

Also, you can bring along some goodies and treats. Walking your dog is also a great opportunity to practice and perfect some tricks. Lastly, carry some extra poop bag especially if you are going on a long walk.

Walking your dog can be a fun experience as long as you know the proper way to do it. With these tips, hopefully you can become a master of walking your canine friend.

Some Facts About Firearms That You Need To Know

A firearm is defined as a portable barreled weapon designed to fire or launch one or more projectiles often driven by the action of an explosive force. The first primitive firearms came into existence during the 13th century in China. The earliest form of firearm is the single-person portable fire lance that was combined with projectiles. Eventually, this technology found its way into East Asia, South Asia, Middle East, and Europe. The firearms of old used black powder as propellant. Today’s firearms would use smokeless powder or other propellants. They have rifled barrels for added spin to the projectile for enhanced flight stability.

Modern day firearms are usually classified according to their caliber (e.g 45mm, .357) or their gauge, the kind of action they use (muzzle, breech, lever, revolver, semi-automatic, or automatic) and the kind of deportment (hand-held or mechanical mounting). Advancements in technology have paved the way for quieter, lighter, stronger, and reduced recoil technology, such as integral suppressors.

With violence on the rise anywhere in the world, owning a firearm may seem to be your best protection. In a recent study published in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, it was revealed that there is a negative correlation between gun ownership and violent crime in international countries which means that more guns will translate to less crime. It is worth noting that in the United States is the most heavily armed country in the world at 88 guns for every 100 citizens.

In addition, countries with strict gun control laws have reflected a substantial increase in murder rates compared to the countries that have less strict laws. The FBI crime statistics revealed that states that have implemented Concealed Carry in America reported reduced murders by 8.5%, rapes by 5%, aggravated assaults by 7%, and robberies by 3%.

However, since 1950, every public mass shooting incidents in the United States took place in areas where there is a ban on citizens to carry firearms. Even with a strict gun regulations, Europe accounted for 50% of the 6 worst school shootings.

In Kennesaw, Georgia, the Mandatory Gun Law, enacted in 1982, required heads of household to maintain at least one firearm in the house. This resulted to a decrease in burglary rate by 89% in contrast to just 10.4% for the whole state. The rate of violent crimes in the city is still 85% lower than the state or national average.

Another interesting fact is that in the United States, there are 270 million firearms owned by civilians as compared to 897,000 carried by law enforcers. Also, 2 out of 10 gun owners own 65% of the firearms. Since January 2013, increase for gun rights has increased to 52% up from 45% as the percentage for seeking gun control has dropped by five percentage points from 51% to 46%.

In places where the use of handguns or firearms is illegal, there has been an increase in the number of violent crimes. In the United Kingdom, the ban on handguns resulted to 2,034 violent crimes for every 100,000 people. In the United States, there were 466 violent crimes committed for every 100,000 citizens.

Medical Malpractice : Even Doctors Make Mistakes

Doctors are often looked up to as people of wisdom and authority. Whatever they say will surely be followed. But what if the person we look up to is the one who caused the injury or death to your loved one? This is one simple case of medical malpractice. This is nothing new in the field of medicine. In fact, according to the website of Union Law Firm, medical mistakes are claiming the lives of more than 100,000 patients yearly in the United States alone. According to Forbes, in 2012, over $3 billion was spent in medical malpractice payouts.

However, it is worth noting that just because the doctor made a mistake does not make it a medical malpractice already. To be deemed as such, the act should satisfy three conditions. First, there has to be a form of negligence in some way. Second, the negligent act of the doctor caused harm to the patient. On its website, Crowe & Mulvey, LLP revealed that medication errors can have a huge impact on the lives of patients.

Medical malpractice is defined as a practice or act of a physician that deviates from the standard practice in the medical community which results to injury or even death to a patient. It is considered as “negligence” on the part of the doctor. To make a doctor liable for medical malpractice, four elements must be present: 1) there is a professional obligation owed to the patient; 2) there is breach of duty; 3) such breach caused injury to the patient; and 4) resulting damages.

When it comes to medical malpractice, one should always keep in mind that just because a doctor made a mistake or a patient was unhappy with a treatment method or result does not necessarily mean there is malpractice. Here are some of the most common errors that have found their way in the annals of medical malpractice cases:

1. Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis

Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis represents a huge chunk of medical malpractice cases. When a doctor makes a wrong diagnosis or delays it, the patient might miss treatment options which could have help prevent serious harm or even death.

2. Childbirth Injuries

The negligence of a doctor can result to several fetal injuries, such as cerebral palsy and seizure disorders, bone fracture, and others. But these conditions or injuries often result from other factors outside of medical malpractice.

3. Medication Errors

A 2006 study revealed that medication errors can cause harm to 1.5 million Americans yearly. The error can happen in various instances such as during the initial prescription to drug administration. The most common example of errors in medication is when the patient gets more than or less than what should be prescribed.

4. Anesthesia Errors

Errors in the administration of anesthesia is usually more fatal than surgery mistakes. A small amount of error by the anesthesiologist can cause permanent injury, brain damage, or even death. Medical malpractice comes in even prior to administration when the anesthesiologist fails to check the medical history of the patient for possible complications or they fail to notify the patient of the potential risks if preoperative instructions are not followed. Some of the most common anesthesia errors include failure to monitor the patient’s vital signs, using defective equipment, administering too much anesthesia, or improper intubating of patients.

5. Surgery Errors

During surgery, a surgeon or nurse can commit medical malpractice in a variety of ways. For instance, the surgeon might make an error during the procedure itself. Some common operating room procedures include puncturing internal organs, surgery on the wrong body part, or leaving surgical instruments in the body. There is negligence on the part of the nursing staff during the administration of post-op care which could lead to serious complications.

Every individual is entitled to the best and appropriate health care and no one should take it away from them. Medical malpractice is one of the ways that such right can be taken away from them.

Understanding The Three Types of Product Liability

If you have been injured or suffered other damages from using a certain product, you may have grounds to file a product liability claim. In order to determine the validity of your claim, it is important for you to have knowledge of product liability. It is worth noting that every state follows the same basic laws, but they vary somewhat. To prove liability, you must not only show that the product had defects but that they also resulted in your injury. The Consumer Product Safety Commission maintains a list of the dangerous products that are recalled every year.

According to the website of Ritter Personal Injury, products that are defective or unreliable can result to physical trauma or even death. Some products that can cause injury include consumer products such as electric appliances, hair dryers, pools, and ladders. Children’s products like defective and injurious toys, defective safety gates, toy guns, and others can also cause injury. Industrial products like cutting discs, defective drills, arbors, and others can lead to severe and catastrophic injuries or deaths.

As stated in the website of Abel Law, despite the advances in shipping technology and globalization, many people buy products without knowing where they were made or how closely the production is being monitored. If the product has caused serious hazards to you or your loved ones, it is possible to seek damages and repayment for the losses you incurred.

When a product is defective and resulted to injury, there are three possible defects that could have caused it:

Design Defect

A product that has a defective design means that the entire product was poorly designed or not properly tested. For this reason, all the other products can be a potential hazard to the user. Some examples of a defective design include a car that can flip over while turning a corner or a sunglasses that is not able to protect the eyes from ultraviolet rays.

Manufacturing Defect

In manufacturing defect, the product had a fine design but the flaw or hazard arise in the making of the product. In this scenario, not all the products will be hazardous but just the product with flaws in manufacturing.

Marketing Defect

Here, the defect has to fo with the failure to provide appropriate warnings and instructions about how to properly use the product. If proper warning is not give, consumers could likely get injured and you could be held liable for not informing the public about it.

While many products may not carry defects, it may still bring about injuries not because of their flaws but due to user error.

Social Security Disability – What You Need To Know

Disability is something that not all of us would want to entertain. Unfortunately, it is a fact that we cannot get away with. In the performance of our jobs, we can get involved in accidents which can lead to disability. When this happens, we could end up temporarily or permanently unable to work. Consequently, it could result to loss of income and eventually livelihood. But you do not have to feel miserable and sorry. There is a way to get your income back and this is through social security disability insurance. The Social Security Administration says there were a little over 8.9 million Americans on Social Security Disability in 2015.

According to the website of Chris Mayo Injury Lawyers, social security disability can provide a crucial source of financial support and assistance. The benefits they can get is enough to support themselves and their families. It is therefore important to have an understanding of the process so that you will know your rights and avail of them in case you get disabled.

Social security disability insurance dates back to the mid 1930’s with the enactment of the Social Security Act of 1935. This law called for a system of retirement benefits for older persons and their survivors. In the 1950’s, Congress passed legislation establishing a program for assisting low income disabled workers. In its first 20 years, it has seen a dramatic increase in both the number of applicants and the number of approved benefits. The 1970’s was marked by high unemployment rates which made it difficult for disabled people to find a job.

For almost 60 years, SSDI has helped an increasing number of workers and their families replace lost income. Several factors have contributed to the increase, the primary factors are :

  • The baby boomers reached their most disability-prone years between 1990 and 2011
  • More women have joined the workforce in the last few decades and they have put in a lot of work to become eligible for disability benefits.

Figures from the Social Security Administration revealed that disability benefits were paid to just 10.2 million people in 2013. 87.4% of disabled beneficiaries came from the workers. Male beneficiaries accounted for only 52 percent. A third of the beneficiaries were diagnosed with mental disorders. As of March 2013, the average monthly benefit for a disabled employee amounted to $1,129 with the men getting $1,255 monthly and the women $993 a month. A total of 1.9 billion children of disabled workers and 160,000 spouses of disabled workers received supplemental benefits from Social Security.

You should file for disability benefits as soon as disability kicks in. The benefits will not kick in after six months of disability. The waiting period starts a month after the agency decides on when the disability began.

When To Consider Filing For Divorce?

Getting married is one of the most important milestones that an individual can experience. Marriage is something that entails a lifetime commitment to the person you are marrying. It requires emotional, mental, and financial readiness. You do not get married thinking that in 1, 2, 5, or 10 years, you will become disappointed and hopeless that you married the wrong person.

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a perfect marriage. As they say, you will only get to know your partner once you get married. Marriage can be difficult in a lot of ways. It comes with a lot of pain and stress. It is not all about good times; there will also be tough times. That is why there is a promise of “for better or for worse” when couples are getting married.

While there are couples who are able to patch things up and able to survive the rough times of their marriage, there are others who are unable to resolve their differences, and conclude that their best option is divorce. While there are those who still believe that everything will work out fine for their marriage, there are others who think otherwise and decide to put an end to their marriage. While many people still believe that 50% of marriages end in divorce, the New York Times has shared statistics refuting this statistic.

Considering divorce entails a lot of thought for the couple. According to the website of Marshall & Taylor, PLLC, divorce can be a difficult and financially straining process. There are many factors that you need to consider before deciding to end your marriage and move on. Here are some questions that you need to answer before filing for divorce:

1. Is the marriage worth saving?

When you married your partner, you may have already been aware that there will be problems that will come along the way. When you gave your “yes” to your spouse when they proposed, you have already signified your readiness to tackle whatever difficulties you might encounter. With that in mind, you need to ask yourself if you can still salvage or work out your relationship.

2. Have you tried seeking help?

If you and your partner are not able to resolve your marriage issues by yourselves, you can always get professional help from marriage counselors and therapists. If counseling is not working, try to look for another counselor before saying “That’s enough.”

Remember that even the most skilled counselor will not be able to fix your marriage. The effort would have to come from you and your spouse. If you truly want to save your marriage, you need to put effrot into salvaging it.

3. Has it caused so much stress on your part?

Every relationship comes with stress. Whether its financial, emotional, oe mental, your married life will always come with stressors. If you feel stressed out, try to open up with your partner. It is the basically the reason why you are partners. You need to resolve your differences together.

4. Is your standard for marriage too high?

When you got married, you must have your own perception of marriage. Try to evaluate your standards perhaps you might be shooting for the stars or setting the bar too high. Perhaps this perception of yours might be putting pressure on your spouse. \

5. Do you still love for your spouse?

Perhaps this could be the biggest factor to consider when considering divorce. If there is no spark left, are you willing to re-ignite the fire?

Married life is not all about living happily ever after. It also has challenges and difficulties. Communication will always be important to make your marriage work. There is no such thing as perfect.

The Different Types of Bankruptcy Explained

Managing a business can be a real challenge, especially when it comes to the financial aspects. Handling the expenses and the different costs associated with the business can take its toll on your company’s coffers. Companies that need financial assistance can rely on lending institutions for debt to keep their business on its feet. However, the money that you will borrow may not last for a long time, and unless you can earn revenue, you may have to file for bankruptcy at some point.

While it can provide you with a temporary solution to keep your business afloat, struggling with debt can be an overwhelming situation that is hard to get out of, according to the website of this Fayetteville bankruptcy lawyer. If you feel that you can no longer cope with the financial situation of your company, it may be time to consider bankruptcy. According to the American Bankruptcy Institute, over 33,000 businesses filed for bankruptcy in 2013. Other bankruptcy filing statistics can be found through the US Courts website. But what kind of bankruptcy are you going to apply for? Read on and find out about the different kinds of bankruptcy.

According to the website of Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C., there are five kinds of bankruptcies that businesses can avail of. These types derive their name from their respective chapters in the United States Bankruptcy Code. They are dependent on several factors, including whether you are an individual or corporation.

Chapter 7 is the easiest method for paying out debts, but is designed for individuals, not businesses. This kind of bankruptcy requires the applicant to make less than their state’s median income for a household of your family’s size. With Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you sell all your non-exempt assets being held by the debtor in order to settle the debts to the fullest extent possible. Once the bankruptcy is over, your so-called “dischargeable debt” gets removed. This type of bankruptcy will take around four months to finish.

Chapter 11 bankruptcy is the most complicated type and is applicable to businesses. Here, you keep your business functioning, maintains all assets, and devise a plan to pay off the debt. In the past, a business used to have an unlimited amount of time for coming up with the reorganization and payment scheme. The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act changed that to 120 days. If you are not able to submit the plan within the allotted period, the creditor can submit their own plan.

Chapter 12 bankruptcy is designed for farm owners. The business owner still has control while they work out a repayment plan with their creditors.

Chapter 13 is like Chapter 11 but the main difference is that it is designed for individuals. The owner also makes a 3 to 5 year repayment scheme. Depending on the income of the company, a percentage of the debt can be discharged.