A Lack of Consensus is the Problem

The recent New York City truck attack has left a lot of questions to be answered for the city, for the country, and for everyone. There have been countless articles written trying to dissect how it happened, why it happened, and especially how it can be prevented.

Unfortunately, there are very few good answers to any of these questions. How it happened can be understood well enough. CNN has highlighted the major events quite well. Go ahead and click on the link to understand that.

That is, tragically, the easiest part of this situation. Why is harder to understand. There are many reasons that have been speculated about not just for this attack but for previous ones. These answers tend to have a political tinge to them just like the solutions that will be discussed below. Whether it is a matter of an evil ideology, poor immigration laws, or a lack of proper mental health assistance, particularly for immigrant communities, no answer is entirely satisfying, and none feels entirely complete, perhaps because of the blinders, political beliefs put on all those speculating.

Without a great answer, there are, of course, few satisfying solutions. Immigration bans have been raised once again, which is not surprising considering the current administration. Though it is less relevant to this particular case (more on that below), gun laws have also been addressed by those on the other side of the aisle, as have issues of mental health. A desire for greater supervision over some immigrant communities as well as a desire for more integration has been suggested, depending on the political allegiances of the expert.

Again, while all of these may have some potential positive effects, none feels holistic in its approach to the problem.

That may be because the problem is larger than the two dominant political ideologies of America are capable of addressing. The issue encompasses issues of mass violence that goes beyond the problems of Islamism. Recent mass shootings highlight other issues that seem to be related if not directly comparable. Problems with using vehicles as weapons ties into problems in Europe as well as issues of the massive number of large vehicles on the road and the number of irresponsible drivers in general.

The problem, then, as well as the solution may be a matter of a lack of any unity between beliefs, communities, and political ideologies in the country anymore. With such vastly different living experiences, beliefs, and even concepts of the truth, there’s little room for a consensus to grow on any issue. With cracks showing up over every issue in the country, it is hardly surprising to find something growing in the shadows.

The primary issue to address, then, is the lack of national consensus. Should America find a way to bridge that gap, perhaps moderate policies that address all sides of this issue can come through and make America a safer, more unified place to live.

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The Dangers of Truck Driving

Driving a large semi-truck is much different than driving a sedan, and it requires a lot more specialized training so that potentially deadly accidents and loss of commercial property are kept to a minimum. However, truck drivers often work long hours, and they experience sleep deprivation on the road in much higher proportion of normal drivers. Because of this, it seems proper that state and local governments would try their best to encourage drivers to pull off the road so that they can rest before their driving ability becomes impaired, but North Carolina made this more difficult in 2016 by cracking down on drivers pulling off the road to rest on exit ramps.

According to this article from Fleet Owner, the decision to issue more tickets to truck drivers who pull off the road to sleep was politically motivated. The increase in ticketing resulted in over 400 new tickets issued to truckers for parking illegally. Allegedly, a political donor who owns a hotel and winery near the I-77 interstate complained that the trucks were unsightly, so the state government decided to inflict harsher punishments on truckers parking on exit ramps. In order to justify this, they used traffic data from the DOT that suggested parking on the on-ramps is dangerous and causes fatal accidents, but the article counters that accidents involving semi-trucks accounted for only 1% of the total accidents in North Carolina from 2010-2014. Out of these accidents, the article claims that the accidents that involved a truck that was parked on an exit ramp were primarily caused by drunk drivers of other automobiles. Furthermore, the government based their conclusions on faulty data where deaths were counted four times instead of one, vastly overstating the number of deaths that occur because of a truck parked on the shoulder. Even so, a highway patrol officer said that “even one death is too many,” implying that the practice of ticketing truckers is not going to stop.

It seems fair that truckers should get off the road and stop at rest stops, but sometimes a trucker may not be able to make it in time. North Carolina must make an effort to increase the number of rest stops along the highway so they can accommodate more truck drivers. Considering that the vast number of crashes that occur when a truck driver is parked on a ramp is caused by other drunk drivers, it may be in the best interest of the driver to seek help from a truck accident lawyers like those from Goings Law Firm in South Carolina so that the blame is rightly placed on the drunk driver and not the parked truck.  

Government decisions should never be made to accommodate political donors, and evidence should never be cherry-picked to fit predetermined conclusions. Truck drivers are lucky to find representation in private law firms because they will help them where the government has failed. Maybe this same political donor ought to give money for the purpose of creating new rest stops.

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Estate Planning In Chicago

Most of today’s modern popular media is focused on the young; advertisements, television shows, new box office hit movies, video games, cell phone apps, and even the news. Newspapers are dying out, being replaced by online articles written in a hip young style to attract millennial readers. The only things you hear about being targeted towards the elderly are pharmaceutical ads and life insurance commercials. Unfortunately, many people do not particularly care about the rights of the elderly since they are no longer relevant in popular media, but that does not mean that they should be bullied around by family members or children when it comes to estate planning. This article from CNBC goes over a variety of ways that you can be sure your last will and testament are airtight.

The first point the article addresses is being sure that you have a pre planned funeral that is already paid for. This is definitely important, since if there are no pre planned arrangements, your family may panic in their grief and select an option that may be much too expensive, or even unfavorable to your tastes. In order to make sure your body is treated properly and respected after death, having a funeral arranged can protect you and your family. You can also set up a committee of family members to manage your revocable trust. They can help you determine when you no longer have the mental capabilities to continue donating to the trust, and this can avoid a humiliating court battle for adult guardianship and allow you to keep your dignity, assuming you trust the family members you appoint. The article also states that having multiple probate litigation lawyers work on an estate plan for both you and your spouse can provide extra protection from predatory family members who may wish to subvert your plans. The fourth tip to ensuring you will be protected is to never underestimate how long you might live after retirement. Medical advancements are being made every day, and the population is living longer and longer. Unfortunately, medical treatments are also more and more expensive, so living frugally and making sure you have enough money to last through many more years than you expect you need is a priority. If you do not allocate your retirement funds properly, you may find yourself in a situation where you are transferred to a nursing home against your will.

Our elderly population is large in the United States, and it important to provide these citizens with the respect they deserve, both as citizens and as human beings. Protecting yourself in your old age with the proper legal aids can mean all the difference in a world in an age that always looks forward to the future, without regarding the past. The elderly helped shape this country, and we must make their last years as comfortable as possible, especially if we wish to be given the same treatment when we ourselves reach that point.

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Common Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

Cosmetic dentistry involves dental work that improves the cosmetic aspect of the mouth, such as the color of teeth and gums, their shape, alignment, and how they relate to create a perfect smile. It is important to note, however, that cosmetic dentistry is not just about vanity, because it can also be about oral health, like how properly aligned teeth can promote comfortable chewing techniques and avoid jaw problems.

Teeth Whitening

This is probably the first thing that comes into your mind when it comes to cosmetic dentistry, which is understandable, because people almost always associate the teeth first when it comes to oral health. Teeth can experience staining or discoloration because of bacteria and plaque buildup and constant exposure to harmful products such as coffee and tobacco. With whitening procedures, teeth can revert to their natural color, or if you want to, they can even be a few shades lighter through bleaching.

Dark Gum Treatment

According to Dr. Gary Bram, dark gums may be the result of natural skin coloration or a gum problem. Either way, it doesn’t change the fact that dark gums can be quite unappealing. There are known solutions now to treat dark gums, such as laser treatments. However, it is important to get a dentist that has received an advanced certification in laser dentistry.

Implants and Dentures

Missing teeth can kill your smile, especially if they are on the front side. But getting implants and dentures is not just about cosmetics and gaining back the smile you have lost. This is because the gaps that form in your mouth when you lose teeth can become a problem in the long run, like how they can result into bone density loss and jaw shrinkage. Not only do implants and dentures make you look more complete, they also prevent such problems from occurring.

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If you have been Arrested for BUI, You are right to be Worried

With the boating season soon to begin, the U.S. Coast Guard is once again reminding all boaters to boat responsibly. This means not operating a boat or any other water vessel recklessly, always making sure to wear a life jacket, taking a boating safety course; getting a free vessel safety check; and avoiding consumption of any impairing substance, the first of which is alcohol.

Boating, no doubt, can be totally fun and relaxing; however, boating requires many skills which a boat operator may not possess or even a skilled operator may not be able to apply well if he/she is alcohol impaired. These skills include: peripheral or night vision, focus, reaction time, especially in dangerous situations, cognitive abilities and the ability to correctly identify colors.

Due to alcohol-impaired operators, hundreds of boat accidents have already occurred, seriously injuring operators and passengers alike. There have also been many instances when intoxicated passengers would fall overboard and eventually drown, especially those not wearing a life jacket. While out at sea, alcohol will affect any person’s balance, coordination, vision and judgment, much faster than when alcohol is consumed on land. This is due to the overall marine environment, where the boat’s operator and passengers experience the sun, wind, sea water mist or spray, engine noise, vibration and motion. Thus, due to alcohol, capsizing boats and drunken passengers falling over board have been common cause-of-death reports.

The specific threatening effects of alcohol when it is consumed while on sea include:

  • Deterioration of judgment and cognitive abilities, rendering wise assessment of situations, processing of information and making good choices, much harder
  • Impairment in physical control, resulting to failure to make timely reactions to dangers, lack of coordination and problem in balance
  • Decrease in peripheral or night vision and depth perception, difficulty in identifying colors, especially green and red
  • Failure to pull self out of the cold water, causing hypothermia and death

Due to the dangers that may result from boating under the influence (BUI), states and the U.S. Coast Guard strictly implement the BUI law, warning potential violators of the harsh penalties they will face in the event that they infringe the mandate. States render it illegal to operate any type of boat when under the influence of alcohol or drugs; in addition, the BUI law enforced by the United States Coast Guard is a federal law, so that it applies to all U.S. ships and other types of boats (including canoes and rowboats), as well as to all foreign vessels sailing on U.S. territorial waters.

If arrested and charged with BUI, a Destin criminal defense attorney with the Flaherty Defense Firm would have you know that because of the challenges associated with navigating a criminal trial, it’s beneficial to seek support.

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Slip and Fall: A Possible Cause of Severe Injuries

Slip and Fall: A Possible Cause of Severe Injuries

Sometimes, an ordinary case of slip and fall can result to injuries that no one would even think can be severe. Many victims, however, will tell you that some incidents of slip and fall have resulted to fractures which have caused them great pains or impairment.

Slip and fall accidents are among the top causes of injuries in the U.S., according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which also says that more than two million fall injuries requiring treatment from hospital emergency room visits are recorded every year. The commission further gives the following details about this cause of personal injury:

The most serious consequence of falls is fracture, hip fracture, more specifically;

In working environments, slip and fall is the most frequently reported accident and source of injuries. Besides being the top reason for lost time at work (some extending to as long as 31 days), it is also the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims;

The most common causes of the accident include spills on floors, weather conditions, plumbing issues, uneven steps or floors, inadequate lighting, unnecessary clutter, slick or slippery floors, lack of guardrails, railings and warning signs, exposed wires and other trip hazards

The ones most prone to a slip and fall accident are adults aged at least 55; but while this accident can “only” cause fractures (especially hip fracture), spinal cord injury and brain injury in some elders, it can be fatal to some others. Due to all these, the U.S. Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC) declared fall accidents involving elderly adults as a national epidemic and that an individual’s proneness to this type of accident increases with each decade of life spent.

Though an injury sustained through a slip and fall accident may be blamed on the injured person himself / herself, the property owner, who is mainly responsible for making sure that his / her establishment or property, especially if it is a commercial or public place (like a mall, a restaurant or eatery, any paved establishment), has greater responsibility over any untoward event that might occur within it.

Failure by the owner to ensure total safety in his / her property would redound to negligence which, if it results to an injury, will require compensation for the injured individual. Injured victims on the other hand, will definitely find having a legal professional on their side, an expert on tort law and personal injuries, an advantage in fighting for their rights and interests.

According to the Mokaram Law Firm, “While we all have some degree of responsibility in watching where we are going, property owners also have a legal duty to ensure their premises are in safe condition for all those entering the residence. When property owners or government entities know about a hazardous condition and do nothing to repair it, they can be held liable for negligence in the event that someone slips and falls on their property.”

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How To Prevent Maritime Accidents

Over the years, there has been a reported decrease in the number of maritime accidents. This has been attributed to improvements in the shipping industry as well as efficient navigation systems. However, despite making great strides in the field of safety, maritime accidents have still happened. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, most of the accidents were preventable if not for the negligence of the owner or crew of the vessel.

The good news is that maritime accidents can be prevented by taking the necessary precautions and safety measures. Here are some ways of preventing injuries and fatalities in the maritime industry:

Conduct Crew Training. The incompetence of the ship’s crew had been a major cause of accidents and injuries in ships. Providing sufficient training to the crew can greatly help in reducing unnecessary accidents. The employer must instill a “safety first” mindset on their crew.

Improve Equipment and Material. Lack of equipment and poor material may also play a huge factor in causing maritime disasters. When equipment fails, a disaster or accident is bound to happen. For example, when the ship is not able to detect an incoming vessel, there could be a collision and many lives could become lost.

Strengthen passenger training. Training is not only important to the crew but also to the passengers. Under international law, passengers must be given a safety briefing within 24 hours before the ship departs. The passengers should be oriented as to where they need to go or what should be done in case something happens at sea.

Abide by maritime rules. Just like the rules of the road, it is important for ships and other maritime vessels to follow the rules of the sea. The guidelines for maritime travel are contained in the Coast
Guard’s Navigation Rule: International-Inland as well as the International Regulations for Preventing Collision at Sea of the International Maritime Organization.

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Types of Damages

When you hire a personal injury lawyer to help you with your claim, you are essentially giving them the responsibility of ensuring that the compensation or settlement given to you will be “fair” and coincides with the injury that the accident caused. A great number of personal injury claims often lead to settlement out of court, mainly because going to court would be costly and will not always provide a good result. It is therefore important for personal injury lawyers to have a justifiable injury settlement to avoid spending unnecessary time, effort, and money for a court-based process.

Each personal injury claim is unique, and so Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, suggests that in order for you to have a fair and appropriate amount of compensation for your damages (legalese term for injuries and losses), you have to understand the damages that are applicable in your own specific case. Damages have three basic types: the economic, non-economic, and punitive. Unless the injury was very severe and the defendant acted very egregiously, punitive damages may not be necessary and will not be a part of the settlement. Economic damages can easily be proven with records, documents and receipts showing your expenses (both past and future) relating to the injuries and property damage, while non-economic damages will cover for emotional and/or psychological damages that the accident caused. This may be harder to compute and would need further evidence to be presented in order to justify the amount given.

After an amount has been determined, it will be your lawyer’s responsibility to inform the other party through a demand letter. There should always be room for negotiation, so it is highly advised to have an amount higher than the “bottom line”. The other party will present a counteroffer lower than your given settlement, and negotiations between both parties will eventually lead to a settlement. If not, then the claim will go to court and either the judge or jury will decide on the amount of compensation.

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Highway Defects and Car Accidents

Automobile accidents are sadly a common event across the United States. As found by the United States Census Bureau, about 10.8 million auto injuries were reported in the year 2009 alone. In most of those circumstances, as the NHTSA points out, around three-fourths are caused driver’s errors and by traffic offenses. Yet another frequent factor adding to these numbers are dangerous street conditions brought on by highway defects and poorly kept roads.

Other hazardous street conditions and freeway problems may place drivers in plenty of high-risk situations that could result in injuries that are severe. In such mishaps, they also confront the risk of significant harm which will definitely leave devastating results on their lives that are individual. According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, common highway defects include potholes, uneven repayments, deficiency of important traffic indications, and lack of guardrails over the edge of the route. Other typical highway dangers comprise make drop-water pooling.

Dangers and such highway problems may easily be prevented with proper street maintenance. The local government is kept responsible for such obligations and is accountable for making sure that the roads and safety methods meet with. In cases of injuries caused by road conditions that are hazardous, the government is normally free from any responsibility as long as they follow accepted building strategies. Therefore, they could be exempt from paying victims’ compensation that is earned to them.

Casualties have the legal choice to look for reparation for damages caused by injuries from highway accidents. Injuries from car mishaps can definitely make serious effects on an individual’s life as victims explain. In case you are in a crash due to hazardous street conditions and other highway hazards, you might not be unable to carry your municipality answerable for the accident.

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Exposure to Toxic Substances

All careers have some risk associated with them. Even desk jobs can lead to injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome. However, some careers are far more dangerous than others. Employees of these jobs are at a much higher risk for severe injury or danger. Some jobs, such as construction, require employees to work closely with a variety of substances that are considered toxic to be exposed to. If these toxic substances are not properly stored or handled, there can be severe consequences if employees are exposed to such a substance. It is important to be aware of the chemicals, the proper precautions that must be taken when handling them, and the potential consequences that can occur If these precautions are not taken, so that employees may be as prepared as possible when working closely with these substances.

According to the website of Oklahoma personal injury attorney Ed Abel, effects of being exposed to a toxic substances can include: poisonings, respiratory illnesses, brain damage, some forms of cancer, and neurological damage. There are three different types of toxic substances. The first is chemical substances- these are inorganic substances and are most commonly found in the workplace on construction sites. The next is biological substances. These occur naturally and result in bacteria and viruses that can cause sickness and infection. Physical toxins, such as asbestos, are toxic due to the way their physical nature interferes with biological processes.

Sometimes injuries or diseases caused by exposure to toxic substances are due to a tragic accident that could not be avoided. However, sometimes these unfortunate situation occur due to the negligence or carelessness of an employer or other party. In these cases, the victim of such an exposure to a toxic substance may be entitled to certain damages.

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