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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