What to Do after a Maritime Accident

Posted by on Sep 25, 2014 in Worker Injuries | 1 comment

There has been a recent expansion in the definition of a seaman under the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (Jones Act), a federal law protecting the rights of an injured seaman, to include particular shore-based maritime workers. If you have been seriously injured due to negligence while working in the maritime industry and you qualify as a seaman under the two-pronged Chandris test, you may be able to file a claim for damages against your employer. Here’s what to do.

Report It

Under the Jones Act, seamen have 7 days to report work-related injuries to a superior in order to qualify for damage recovery. However, a maritime lawyer would urge the injured worker to report the injury immediately to avoid casting doubt over the nature of the injury. The assumption is that if the injury is not reported as soon as possible, it was not serious at all.

State It

The next step is to file an accident report with your company (not the insurer) as soon as you are able to do so reliably. Make sure that you describe the incident sufficiently to indicate the negligence of the employer, if applicable, which is required to make a claim under the Jones Act. While this may be difficult to do, it will help your case considerably if you establish fault early on. You should also make sure that the injury was caused by negligence and serious enough to qualify under the Jones Act or you could be wasting everybody’s time and risking your job for no good purpose. Consult with a maritime lawyer before filing the accident report, or anything else for that matter.

Get Off

As soon as physically possible, get off the ship or shipyard and seek medical attention if you have not yet received more than emergency first aid. Your employer is obliged to ensure that you get proper medical attention by arranging for a medical evacuation when out to sea or in a foreign country with no qualified physician on board, or to go to a hospital when on shore. Once stabilized, seek your own doctor and strictly follow treatment orders to avoid casting doubt on the seriousness of your condition. Your employer’s insurer should be paying for your treatment; if not, consult with a maritime lawyer to find out if you can file a lawsuit, especially if you are looking at financial losses in excess of $15,000.

Settle or File

You can choose to accept a settlement from your employer’s insurer or file a Jones Act lawsuit. Just make sure that before you settle your case that you have explored the extent of your injury or you could be getting less compensation than you need, and once you settle you can no longer file a lawsuit to recover more damages. If the insurer is unwilling to settle the case to your satisfaction, then you will have to sue them.

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Facts about Boxing

Posted by on Aug 18, 2014 in Sport | 1 comment

boxingManny here! Today we’re going over typical rules for my favorite sport: boxing.

Boxing is a difficult sport to compete in. It demands peak physical stamina, toughness, and a degree of intelligence. Surely a boxer can be successful on brute strength alone, but adding a little bit of brainpower to physical prowess can lead to marked improvements.

A boxing match consists of a number of rounds (called the distance) that each last an amount of time. This can change from division to division, with most of the biggest money matches being slated for 12 rounds that are three minutes apiece. Obviously fighting another person for 36 minutes total is exhausting, so they call going the entire fight without being knocked down “going the distance.”

There are some things boxers are not allowed to do. Boxers are prohibited from having beards in the ring. Beards are scratchy, and can cut opponents. They also make it harder for trainers to see if and where their man’s been cut.

Boxers are also not allowed to bite, headbutt, or hit their opponents below their belt. Doing so can be grounds for a disqualification from the fight. Perhaps the most famous instance of this is when Mike Tyson literally chewed off a chunk of Evander Holyfield’s ear, spitting the freshly-ripped flesh into the crowd. Needless to say, he did not win that fight.

Boxing is a long-time sport with a storied history that is both vibrant and rewarding for those who take the time to follow it. While the sport’s future may be in question, its past is solidified in the annals of human history.

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Some Facts about Stretch Limousines

Posted by on Jul 25, 2014 in Cars | 0 comments

When we think of limousines, we think of long ones; these are actually stretch limousines and have an average overall length of 17.5 feet. However, this can go up to 100 feet at the extreme end, but this is highly customized.

The most popular traditional vehicles for stretch limousines include those made by Bentley, Rolls Royce, and Mercedes Benz. Non-traditional vehicles that have been “stretched” include Hummers, SUVs and Cadillacs. The benefits of stretch limousines, aside from the wow factor of course, is the increased leg room and/or occupancy as well as possible amenities such as a wet bar, sophisticated sound systems, and entertainment centers.

Most limousines are custom built because it is primarily a luxury vehicle, although there are standard limos for sale. Because even “normal” stretch limousines are longer than standard vehicles, the drivers have to be experts.

Historically, the first stretch limousine was built by Armbuster Stageway, a coach company based in Arkansas, on the request of a bus company in 1926. The company still exists, specializing in professional vehicles and building custom limousines for their customers.

Stretch limousines are basically elongated vehicles with an extended wheelbase, and may require special features. The longest limousine in the world was made in the US by custom carmaker Jay Ohrberg using a Cadillac. It has 26 wheels, a hinged section to help it turn and one driver’s cabin on either end for better maneuverability. It also sports a Jacuzzi, king-sized bed, swimming pool, and a helipad. It may not be possible to rent this particular limousine, but there are available ones that are pretty neat as well. Just tell your local limo rental company what you need, and they can probably come up with something.

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Pedestrians – Victims with the Worst Injuries in Car Accidents

Posted by on Jun 19, 2014 in Car Accidents | 1 comment

Though not everyone in the US may own or drive a car, there is one sure thing that all Americans have in common – everyone is a pedestrian, even for just a particular time within a day. A pedestrian is any person on foot. He/She could be walking, jogging, running, just standing at a street corner or waiting for the bus or a cab to arrive, and so forth.

In a car crash wherein pedestrians are involved (as victims), they are the ones who always sustain the most severe injuries, such as broken bones, neck injuries or spinal column injuries. Just when one would think that walking may be the safest thing to do on the street, wait until a reckless or negligent driver comes along as his/her arrival may and can change the whole scenario.

In 2013 different car manufacturers, in improving their brand of cars, began introducing built-in safety features that will make driving not just safer and more enjoyable, but which will make the vehicle an active factor in significantly reducing incidences of accidents wherein pedestrians get severely injured or die. Some of these modern safety features are the Obstacle Avoidance technology which, with the aid of a camera that has up to 660 feet scanning capability, will automatically stop the car or make the car steer around pedestrians to avoid hitting them, the Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with Full Auto Brake, and the Forward Collision Warning system and the Automatic Braking system.

With about 76,000 pedestrian injuries and 4,743 pedestrian deaths in 2012 alone, people on the street are considered no longer safe. It an article posted on its website, Houston Lawyer Ali Mokaram from The Mokaram Law Firm states that an accident resulting to an injury can very well affect an injured victim negatively by reducing his/her employment opportunities (due to the injuries), changing his/her life for good, at the same time.

There are many accidents caused by the negligence of other people and to this, Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.® state that victims have the right of recovering compensation from at-fault parties or individuals. Compensation usually covers lost wages (present and future wages), cost of medical treatment and even damage to property. Thus, it is necessary that victims seek legal counsel, who can fight for their rights and help them get that compensation that they legally deserve.

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Complexities of Medical Malpractice Law in Massachusetts

Posted by on Jun 16, 2014 in Medical Malpractice | 7 comments

The law is generally beyond the ken of the ordinary person. Even when it is not in legalese, the many ands, ifs, and buts that typically apply to any law can make a layperson’s head spin, and require the assistance of a lawyer specializing in that particular type of law to make heads or tails of it. Medical malpractice law is no exception, and the fact that each state has different laws governing it that continually evolves makes it even more complex.

Medical malpractice law in Massachusetts is a good example. There was a recent change in the state’s medical malpractice system that took effect in the last quarter of 2012. These reforms (see Mass. Gen. Laws Chapter 231 sections 60L and 79L) are designed to encourage early settlement or resolution of medical malpractice cases. A Massachusetts medical malpractice lawyer would be updated on these changes, but not necessarily a general practitioner in personal injury cases, so it is important to be specific when asking for legal advice and representation.

Medical malpractice in Massachusetts is defined as injury sustained by a patient undergoing treatment as a result of a breach in the standard of care expected of a healthcare professional or facility. While the standard of care is a fluid concept depending on a number of factors, Massachusetts utilizes a tribunal consisting of a doctor (a specialist in the relevant field), a judge, and a lawyer to establish the applicable standard for each case. However, even if the tribunal determines that the facts of the case does  not support a medical malpractice claim, the plaintiff can still proceed with the case after posting a bond, and use other expert witnesses to show that there was a breach, and that that breach was the proximate cause of the injury.

There is a three-year statute of limitations for medical malpractice in Massachusetts, although because of the reforms to the law mentioned above, there is a required cooling off period of up to one year during which the plaintiff and defendant/s can come to a resolution and hold off on filing in civil court. At any rate, if discovery occurs after three years after the alleged causative event, the plaintiff can still make a claim provided it is done no later than 7 years after the event.

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Outsourcing – A Source of Big Profits for Both the Host and Third Party Countries

Posted by on Jun 15, 2014 in Employment | 0 comments

The use of online technology in building a workable business that is capable of being run from any part of the globe was one of the most significant changes entering the 21st century – this may practically be considered as how outsourcing, also called strategic outsourcing or offshoring, started.

Outsourcing, in business lingo, is the contracting out of a business process by one organization to another, which is otherwise known as a third-party. The third party may be located nationally or internationally (thus, the term offshoring). This type of business movement or thriving is usually resorted to due to lack of skilled or expert individuals needed to fit certain job descriptions. It can also be due to the fact that outsourcing certain company projects or services proves to be economically favorable to the both organizations (with the third party organization creating jobs besides earning profits, while the host company saving much from overhead/operating expenses as cost of employment in chosen countries is far cheaper than in theirs).

Through outsourcing, host companies get to enjoy greater control and flexibility in their budget. Rather than hiring the experts themselves, this task will be the concern of the third party company, which will also be responsible in training their hired personnel for the outsourced project. Additionally, this helps create often reliable in other nations.

One of the countries considered by many top companies around the globe, as well as by many Fortune 500 companies, as a good place where to outsource services and other concerns, is the Philippines. Besides being one of the top countries in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, where non- voice and, especially, call center services are concerned, the country is also an emerging top competitor in the area of IT services, which include application maintenance, software development and web design, and in many other types of services, like computer animation, medical transcription, legal services, research, blogging and content writing.

Awareness of the business culture in western countries, strong skills in the English language, high literacy and expertise in various areas, competitive labor rates, and a firmly established telecommunications infrastructure, are just some of the factors that make the Philippines the first choice of many famous firms.

Outsourcing Philippines started in the 1990s, and became more famous at the turn of the century. By 2004 outsourcing in the Philippines was a major industry, worth an estimated $1.5 billion. In 2009, after only five years, the industry’s worth has ballooned to about $9 billion.

One particular service that some companies have really been successful in is medical transcription. In 2008, 43 companies were registered as providing the service – a growth of more than 300% from the 9 companies registered in 2003. Medical transcription involves medical reports, clinic and hospital reports, chart notes, therapy/rehabilitation notes, operative reports, and discharge summaries.

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Selling or Leasing Mineral Rights: Risks from both Alternatives

Posted by on Jun 13, 2014 in Natural Resources | 0 comments

One major concern resident in areas where shale gas abounds is whether to sell their property, along with their mineral rights, or sell or lease just their mineral rights. Shale gas, which relates to natural gas, are trapped inside shale formations, that is, fine-grained sedimentary rocks and, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the six top shale-gas producing areas in the US are the Eagle Ford Shale, which is located in Southern Texas, the Bakken Shale region in North Dakota and extending up to Montana, the Niobrara, which occupies parts of the states of Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming and South Dakota, the Haynesville region along Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana, the Permian region found in Western Texas, and the Marcellus, one of the longest shale regions in the United States.

Experts estimate that with the continuous discovery of new regions rich in shale gas plus the use of the most modern drilling equipment, the shale gas business is just starting towards its peak. Shale gas is the source of petroleum and natural gas, which is used in American homes and commercial buildings.

The greatest advantage, probably, of selling your property or mineral rights is the high offer made by interested companies, which can amount up to $12 million (an example of offer already made in the past); and this is cash up front, which you can use to pay existing loans, buy a new property, save for the education of your kids and for your retirement. The price of a property may still be higher, depending on where it is located.

Compared to leasing your mineral rights, which will give you a much less amount, and which may still get lower or lose any value if the property produces little gas or nothing at all, respectively, selling your rights will let you enjoy a huge sum, whether your land produces something or produces nothing at all – this is the risk faced by firms in buying mineral rights.

What some owners do is lease or sell half of their mineral rights, while just holding on to the other half or keeping it untouched. If the land is really productive, then this may be a perfectly wonderful decision. The problem is, what is the half you leased proves to be worthless as nothing can be extracted from it? Not only will the half you leased lose value, but your whole property will be considered worthless. Well, if you sell your mineral rights, surely, there will be advantages and disadvantages, but so will leasing it.

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