Posts by Edgar


The Consequences of a DWI Conviction


Posted By on Jan 3, 2017

An impaired or drunk-driving offense is referred to (in some states) as either driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI). However, in states where both acronyms are used, DWI means intoxication due to alcohol, while DUI means being under the influence either or alcohol or prohibited drugs.

In all U.S. states, driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08% or higher is a crime. First offenders are usually charged with a misdemeanor, granted that no one was injured or killed while driving under the influence. In such case (killing or injuring someone), plus if the BAC level is higher than 0.08% or if the offense is the third or fourth violation, the charge would be raised to something more serious: DWI felony or DUI felony.

In alcohol-impaired driving cases, drivers suspected of driving while intoxicated are pulled over by police officers and asked to take a breath-screening test, also known as the Alco-Sensor test – the purpose of which is to simply determine the possible presence of alcohol in the driver’s breath. A positive result can lead to an arrest and once the driver has been taken to the precinct, he/she will be required to undergo a second test, which is a chemical test of the saliva, urine, blood and/or breath (using an instrument like the AlcoTest, Intoxilyzer, DataMaster or Breathalyzer) to determine his/her BAC level. Refusal or failure to submit to this second test can result to revocation or suspension of his/her license – this is based on administrative license suspension laws from the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). (Submitting oneself to a chemical test, if suspected of driving while intoxicated, is one of the conditions of licensure as stipulated by the DMV. Thus, a license implies that a driver has implicitly consented to the chemical test required by DMV). Administrative license suspension laws are observed in the District of Columbia and in 41 other U.S. states.

If convicted of DWI or DUI, a driver may also be required to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in his/her vehicle. The IID is wired to a vehicle’s ignition; it will require the driver’s breath sample and will only allow the engine to start if no alcohol is detected in the driver’s breath. The device also requires periodic breath tests (while the vehicle is being driven) to make sure that the driver is continuously free from the influence of alcohol.

Furthermore, the court may require DUI or DWI offenders to fill out an SR-22 or Certificate of Financial Responsibility (CFR) form (also known as FR-44 in some states) to enable them to enjoy their driving privileges again. This requirement usually lasts for three years and one effect of this is higher vehicle liability insurance premiums.

Any person charged with DWI will need strong legal representation that will help him/her avoid unwanted penalties and which will save him/her from the harsh effects of a criminal conviction.

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The number of wage and hour lawsuits has increased over the years. According to a report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), lawsuits that violate the Fair Labor Standards Act have increased exponentially in the last few years. Since 1991, FLSA cases have increased drastically by 514%. In 2012 alone, there were a total of 8,148 lawsuits filed excluding the number of unpaid overtime cases filed under state laws.

According to the website of Leichter Law Firm, the FLSA requires employers to pay employees who render more than 40 hours of week a rate of one and a half times their standard pay. Unfortunately, this is not happening and employees are left with no choice but to file a case against their employers. If successful, the employee may be able to receive the following damages:

Lost Wage
Aside from overtime pay, an employee who works overtime should receive at least the minimum wage. They should be paid the amount established by either the state or local minimum wage, if either one is higher than the Federal minimum wage. Non-payment may subject the employer to a legal claim filed by the employee in court or with the state labor department.

Overtime Pay
The FLSA requires employers to pay employees who render overtime the appropriate compensation which is one a half times their regular rate.

Damages
Damages in an unpaid overtime claim may be any of the following:

Unpaid Wages.
A successful claim may entitle the plaintiff to receive unpaid wages equivalent to the amount that employers failed to pay.

Interest.
You will also be receiving the amount of interest on the unpaid wages depending on the amount set by law. In lieu of the interest, an employee may also receive liquidated damages.

Penalties.
Depending on the state, your employer may be required to pay some penalties aside from the unpaid wages due to the driver.
Attorney’s Fees. If you win the case, your employer will also be paying attorney’s fees for pursuing the case.

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As most airline companies are based overseas, making them liable for any accident or injury can prove to be a challenge. There are several factors that can cause aviation accidents but whatever they are it will almost always be fatal for everyone on the plane. Depending on the cause, different parties can be held liable for the airplane crash. Aviation accidents are governed by Federal and state laws. Most states impose criminal sanctions on the liable parties.

Aviation laws are designed to maintain safety. There are several government agencies that regulate the aviation industry. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) handles aviation safety. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigates accidents and provides safety recommendations to prevent future accidents. It is worth noting that these two agencies are independent of each other.

As to who can be held liable for aviation accidents? It will depend on the cause of the crash. For example, if the accident was due to human error or negligence, the liability will fall on the owner and operator of the aircraft. If the crash resulted from engineering or mechanical failure, the manufacturer or supplier of the components can be held liable.

The General Aviation Revitalization Act of 1994 (GARA) was enacted as protection for manufacturers of smaller private aircraft from any liabilities from accidents involving older airplanes and/or components. Under the law, a manufacturer of an aircraft or component part cannot be sued if the item has been operating for 18 years. GARA, however, is not applicable to aircraft that is involved in scheduled carrying of passengers or air medical services operations when the accident happened.

The liability will also differ depending on whether the flight was domestic or international. The rules will vary depending on the state as well as the airport. This is the reason why aviation accidents is one of the most complicated when it comes to determining liability. You can consult a Milwaukee accident lawyer for help on filing the case.

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Automobile and Pedestrian Accidents


Posted By on Apr 14, 2016

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Traffic Safety Facts 2013 Data show the following statistical figures on pedestrian accidents for the said year:

  • A total of 4,735 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes;
  • More than 150,000 pedestrians were also injured and treated in emergency departments;
  • 19% of all pedestrian deaths involved older adults or those aged 65 and above;
  • For every five children (below 14 years old) who died in traffic crashes, one was a pedestrian;
  • 49% of the traffic accidents that resulted in pedestrian death involved an alcohol-impaired driver, an alcohol-impaired pedestrian or both;
  • Most of the accidents that resulted to death of pedestrian occurred at night, at non-intersection locations and in urban areas.

Drivers of motor vehicles are almost always the ones blamed in pedestrian accidents. But while it is true that many drivers act recklessly or negligently while behind the wheel, some even deliberately driving too close to people to the point of almost hitting them, so many pedestrians have also become less careful when crossing the street. Below is a list of acts of negligence that drivers and pedestrians are guilty of:

  • Some drivers are guilty of speeding and aggressive driving; some pedestrians, on their part, are guilty of darting in front of vehicles, and failing to use designated cross walks.
  • Many drivers drive aggressively even during heavy traffic or drive faster during light traffic flow; many pedestrians, on their part, run through intersections or suddenly cross the street despite the high volume of motor vehicles on the street.
  • Many drivers are guilty of distracted driving, which takes away their attention from the road; some pedestrians, however, never check for possible approaching vehicles before crossing, while a number of others are much more absorbed on using their mobile devices, especially their cell phones, even when crossing the street.

As explained on the website of the Sampson Law Firm, ensuring the safety of pedestrians is not just the concern of motor vehicle drivers, of the federal, state and local governments, and private concerned groups. First and foremost, it should be the concern of the pedestrian himself/herself, which means, actually, of everyone in the United States because being a pedestrian is one thing that all Americans share in common.

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Despite improvements in medical and technological knowledge, there are still many instances that can go wrong during childbirth. One of those is Erb’s palsy. It is an injury sustained only during actual delivery and entails stress to the nerves located close to the neck known as the brachial plexus. The trauma occurs when the neck of the baby is stretched throughout a difficult delivery including a breech presentation (feet first), prolonged labor, or expulsion of a large baby. It may likewise be caused by the poor use of some instrument to ease delivery or improper technique, in which case the doctor might be responsible.

There are varying levels of trauma, from light (neurapraxia) to (avulsion). In neurapraxia, the nerves are injured but maybe not split, so the nerve should mind within 3 months. Avulsion, nevertheless, is the complete detachment of the nerves in the spinal cord, which can’t be fixed.

The brachial plexus controls the movement of palms and the arms. Infants who suffer Erb’s palsy might have partial, or numbness and weakness in a single arm or complete paralysis. The permanence of these results will depend on the degree of the injury as well as the accessibility to treatment.

It must be noted that it can be tough to prove neglect as this form of trauma might be attributed to factors such as poor maternal health, beyond the attending physician’s control. Nonetheless, when the circumstances clearly indicate negligence, which includes the refusal of the physician when mom requested a caesarean section to do it also, then that is a different matter.

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