Giving Up Your Car. Is It Worth It in the Long Run?

It’s no surprise to anyone that Baltimore’s traffic has been found to be amongst the worst in the whole country. According to a new study, Baltimore ranks 19th in the country for worst traffic. Any of us who have wasted a decent chunk of our lives in that traffic could have probably guessed it was that bad. If anything, we would have ranked it higher. How bad is it elsewhere in the country if Baltimore is only 19th?

It’s got me thinking that I need to reexamine my transportation options. I’m not often in Baltimore anymore, but I get sick of the traffic in Providence as well. But what am I to do? I’ve narrowed my options down to these:

  1. Walk everywhere – I could just buy a good pair of kicks and start walking. The public transportation isn’t so bad around where I live. I could probably get by with a bus pass. On the plus side, I’d get healthier. Less time sitting, more time walking. And I like walking around the city. On the negative side, though, the bus and walking takes longer, and I’d still have the traffic to deal with. Plus, the bus pass cost and the cost for tickets anytime I do want to go to Baltimore or elsewhere. It just seems like a pain.
  1. Get a bike – A little faster than option number 1, and another great way to get in shape, but the negatives are obvious. First, it’s more dangerous. Not every driver is very bike aware of bike friendly. I’d also have to deal with all the smog coming out of the buses and cars I’m not driving. And then there’s winter. How much biking would I actually do in the winter? I can’t see myself bundling up in five layers to make the trip to work every day. Really, I think this is the worst option, but I’m including it for completeness’ sake.
  1. Get a REAL bike – I like this idea. A motorcycle would allow me to move through traffic quickly. It’d be faster than a bike or walking/busses, and it’d be cool. Besides, I’d be able to go to Baltimore or anywhere really without needing to get tickets. I’ve always dreamed of having a motorcycle and taking trips during the summer. But that’s the summer. We’d still have the winter to deal with. And even if I could somehow get through that season, motorcycles pretty dangerous. I’m not the bravest person, and when I look at the statistics and the list of potential injuries that I found on the Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini LTD. website, I just don’t know if I have it in me to actually sell the car and make such a drastic change.

So, I probably won’t do anything. I’ll keep the car, and I’ll survive the traffic. Maybe I ought to consider something a little less drastic to stop stressing about the slow commute. I could start listening to audiobooks, say, or look for some other kind of handsfree activity to make the time pass more easily. Still, when I think about that dream Harley…Maybe next year.

Junk Bonds: Advantages and Disadvantages

Investing comes with risk, but sometimes, that risk is just a necessary hurdle for significant financial gains. One of the best examples to illustrate this is junk bonds. Junk bonds are high-risk and high-return corporate bonds. They are usually categorized as non-investment grade because of various reasons, such as the following:

  • The company that owns the bonds is not financially stable
  • The company may not be able to sustain payments if business and economic conditions falter
  • The company is alarmingly vulnerable to opposing conditions

Advantages

Like other commodities, junk bonds have advantages and disadvantages. The most obvious advantage is the fact that they can yield high returns. Of course, it is important to note that to get those high returns, investors should be aware that they have to overcome the high risks as well. But when they do, they are sure to get significantly higher points compared to other commodities.

Second, the value of the bond has a chance to spike up, especially if the company has improved its credit rating. This is particularly true for companies who have suffered from unfair credit ratings from the past, because you can feel the spike even more.

Third, it can also be argued to be better than stocks when it comes to high-risk investments. This is because bondholders are paid first before stockholders, so you can still get something back if the company goes down the drain.

Disadvantages

The most obvious disadvantage of junk bonds is the fact that it is high risk, in the sense that you can actually lose money especially when there is a default. Another disadvantage is related to the credit advantage mentioned earlier, because credits go both ways. If the credit rating of the company deteriorates, so is the value of the bond. This idea can also be applied on interest rates, in the sense that a rise in the interest rate results into the fall of bond value.

So many people have lost money because of junk bonds because of these disadvantages. According to the website of Erez Law, brokerage firms and financial advisors may be held liable for this, especially if the investment has been discovered to be unsuitable for the investor’s status.

 

Despite the BAC Limits and the Anti-Drunk Driving Law, many Truck Drivers still Drive while Intoxicated or Alcohol-Impaired

Despite the BAC Limits and the Anti-Drunk Driving Law, many Truck Drivers still Drive while Intoxicated or Alcohol-Impaired

Use of alcohol and drugs by truck drivers, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), remains to be the second most common cause of accidents involving big rigs (also called 18-wheelers, semi-trailers or trailer-trucks). With the enormous size of these vehicles, an impaired truck driver behind the wheel completes the threat of possible accident that may easily result to severe injuries or death (impaired-driving may be due to alcohol intoxication or due to the effect of illegal drugs or legal drugs, such as over-the-counter or prescription medicine).

Operating Class 8 trucks, which include big rigs and other commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GWVR) above 33000 lb., requires that the driver has a commercial driver’s license, possesses the necessary skills in the safe operation of a truck, is not feeling fatigued or sleepy, and is not impaired or intoxicated.

To ensure that the last requirement is met, the government has set 0.04% as the legal blood alcohol concentration limit for drivers of 18-wheeler trucks. A driving under the influence (DUI) charge and heavy punishments await those who will be caught with this BAC limit while driving. While those caught with 0.02% BAC level may not be charged with a DUI offense, they, nonetheless, can be issued a 24-hour driving suspension. These limits are only for drivers who will be discovered to have said BAC levels while operating a truck; those who are off-duty, but registers a 0.08% BAC may still incur a DUI charge.

Despite the BAC limits and the anti-drunk driving laws, data show that prior to crashes, many drivers were, indeed, intoxicated or alcohol-impaired. This is because many drivers consume a bottle or two during stopovers, while sharing stories with other truck drivers; some also choose to bring along extra bottles which will keep them company during the long, tiring and lonely long drives between counties.

For drivers of big rigs, staying sober while on duty is a legal responsibility. It has been explained, time and again, that alcohol- impairment can lessen one’s ability to safely operate a vehicle, much more a big rig. The risk of injury and death, especially to drivers and passengers of smaller vehicles, is the reason why drunk-driving has been made illegal. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 5,000 small vehicle occupants die every year in accidents where trucks are involved; number of deaths among truck drivers, on the other hand, number to about 700.

According to the law firm Russo, Russo & Slania, P.C., “Commercial trucks are some of the largest vehicles on the road, and as a result, they can pose a serious threat to other motorists. Truck accidents are often far more significant in terms of impact than other types of car accidents, due to their size and weight, and the possibility of serious injury or even death resulting from these types of accidents is typically much higher than normal.

Truck accident victims are often left in a difficult situation, trying to recover from a serious injury while coping with costly medical bills and lost income. Fortunately, compensation may be available in these situations.”

To be able to claim this compensation, however, a victim of a truck accident will need undeniable proof and strong argument that it was indeed the truck driver who was at fault in the accident. A seasoned personal injury or truck accident lawyer may be able to help the victim on these aspects for a higher chance of claiming the compensation he/she will need for his/her medical treatment and other losses. This is because proving liability, specifically proving that the truck driver is at fault will not be a simple task. Due to this, a civil lawsuit, even with evidence showing the truck driver’s liability, may still turn out to be a very challenging task.

When Cars, Bikes, And Pedestrians Collide

For health and fitness buffs, one of the best forms of exercise is biking and walking. One cannot deny the positive effect of riding a bike and taking a walk on the health of an individual. But all that healthy lifestyle can disappear if a reckless driver gets into the picture and collides with the bike or the pedestrian. A Georgetown car accident lawyer is aware of the various expenses that may come to the way of the victims.

When the pedestrian or bike gets into a close encounter with a car, the most at risk are the biker and the pedestrian. In situations like these, determining who is liable for the accident will depend on various circumstances. There may be different causes of these accidents and here are some of them:

  • The driver’s failure to see the bicycle
  • A right turning car that did not take into consideration the presence of the biker or pedestrian
  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Unwillingness to share the road with bicycles
  • Not making the proper adjustments for inclement weather

A bicycle is considered as a vehicle and hence is governed y road rules. In the determination of liability, the main issue that will serve as the deciding factor is the right of way. When there is no traffic signal, the vehicle that arrived first has the right of way. If the vehicles arrived simultaneously, the car on the right has the right of way. If there are traffic signals, it will determine who has the right of way. If the bicycle is not detected y the sensors of the traffic signal, it is up to them to place their bikes near their sensors.

Other determining factors in the filing of a lawsuit will also be determined by the type of intersection and whether the car is turning or going straight.

4 Mindsets That Cause Construction Site Accidents

Construction sites are one of the most hazardous places to work in. Exposed wires, falling debris, slippery surfaces, and others can subject a construction worker to injuries or even deaths. According to the website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, construction site accidents can be mitigated by adhering to safety regulations and implementing safe working practices. Construction accidents can be fatal that the employee could even lose his working ability.

However, there are instances when construction accidents are not caused by these hazards or the negligence of employers but due to wrong mindset. When an employee reports for work without the proper attitude, chances are they are opening themselves to injuries. Here are examples of four mindsets that result to construction accidents:

1. Rushing

Construction workers are pressured to accomplish their tasks in the quickest time possible so they can proceed with the next task or finish ahead of time. When a construction worker rushes things, it reduces the quality of workmanship and chances are they will not follow the correct safety guidelines. Construction sites need to adopt a safety first policy even if it means not finishing the task on time.

2. Frustration

There are many factors in the construction site that can make workers frustrated. Poor procedures, bad communication, low salary, and personal problems, and others can contribute to construction accidents. It is then up to the employer to turn their frustrations into something positive.

3. Fatigue

Fatigue plays a huge part in construction accidents and injuries. Again, this has something to do with meeting work deadlines. In order to finish their work on time or even ahead of it, workers would be working long hours and then report for work without sufficient rest or overworked. Employers should set realistic deadlines and achievable goals for their employees.

4. Complacency

Employees have the wrong notion that because they already have gained the experience with the work, they will not be subjected to injuries or accidents. This kind of mindset will give the employee a false sense of security.
A professional and well-trained employee should always carry the proper mindset when working in the construction site. This way, they can keep themselves free from accidents and injuries.

Wrongful Death

Fourteen-year-old Andrew Joseph III died after he was ejected from the Florida State Fair on Student Day in 2014 as he was trying to traverse Interstate 4 to return to the fairgrounds to get to his ride. But for 44-year-old Andrew Joseph Jr. and his wife, 45-year-old Deanna, the fight is just starting. They want action so that other children will be sure that they would be safe at the fair for years to come.

With this in mind, they staged a protest on Thursday, February 4 of the fair’s annual Student Day, noting that measures designed to keep students safe are not well-implemented, and they also filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Florida State Fair Authority, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, and the Hillsborough County School District.

Schools allow students to attend the fair’s Student Day each year, freeing their schedules for the day by canceling classes. However, in 2014, violence ensued in the festivities, causing police officers to arrest 12 individuals and to eject 99 others from the fair, of who Andrew Joseph II was one of. Police deputies dropped him off at a location 2 miles from the fair; he was killed as he was apparently walking by the side of the highway.

The lawsuit that the Josephs filed against the defendants claimed that their son was falsely arrested and taken without probable cause. They also alleged that most of the students who were arrested were of African-American descent, saying, “Student Day has had a continuous history of civil rights abuses” and that it targets “African-American students and juveniles for arrest, ejection, and unjustified law enforcement intervention”.

The Josephs not only want to make the fair safer for future generations, they also want to see the people whose actions contributed to the death of their child held liable for their negligence.

The website of attorneys at Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller, & Overbeck, P.A. says that a wrongful death claim can be made if a plaintiff believes that there is a legal cause to sue a defendant for the death of a person. Plaintiffs should be people who will be negatively affected by the demise of the person because they are directly related to them; for instance they are immediate family members such as spouses, children, parents of unmarried children, life partners, financial dependents, or putative spouses (similar to common-law spouses).

What You Need To Know About Emphysema

Our lungs are made of small air sacs called alveoli that facilitate efficient exchange of carbon monoxide and oxygen in the blood. When the lining of these air sacs become weak, it may rupture and form bigger air sacs. Bigger air sacs would cause the lungs to diffuse less oxygen into the blood. Once you exhale, bigger air sacs can also make it difficult for your lungs to expel old air, which could fill up the air sac and leave no room for gas exchange. This condition is called emphysema.

It is not easy to notice signs and symptoms emphysema until in its further stage. Typically, a person with emphysema experiences shortness of breath. As the disease progresses, the patient may have difficulty in breathing even while at rest. Decreased mental alertness, discolored fingernails and lips, and weakness may also tell you that not enough oxygen is reaching your tissues. Tests such as lab examinations, imaging tests and lung function tests, are recommended to diagnose emphysema and determine its severity.

Although smoking is the leading cause of emphysema, outdoor pollution, such as vehicle emissions, has also been associated with this disease. Unfortunately, not all vehicle manufacturers take the business of reducing exhaust pollutants very seriously. In fact, some even chose to defraud the system. According to the website of lawyers from The Driscoll Firm, Volkswagen has intentionally sold hundreds of thousands of cars installed with software that could lower the amount of mono-nitrogen oxides emitted by the car during an emissions test.

Although the damages caused by emphysema are irreversible, there are available drugs and treatments that can slow the progression of the disease. Inhaled steroids and bronchodilators, for instance, may help in shortness of breath; while antibiotics may help you fight against lung infection.

To prevent emphysema, you should not smoke or make yourself exposed to second-hand smoke. If you are currently smoking, you may consult with your doctor about the possible ways on how to quit. You should also wear protective mask when outside a polluted road or when working with dust or chemical fumes.

Burn Injuries

Burn injuries are some of the most painful and dangerous injuries a person can experience. Burns refer to injuries to the skin which can result in severe skin damage and cell death. Burns range from minor injuries- or “first degree” burns- to severe and sometimes life altering traumatic injuries- or “third degree” burns.

There are four types of burn injury: thermal, chemical, electrical, and radiological. Thermal burns refer to burns involving prolonged exposure to heat- ranging from contact with a hot surface, such as a stove, contact with an open flame itself, including explosions, or contact with a hot liquid, such as boiling water. Chemical burns refer to burns sustain from exposure to toxic substances such as certain acids and alkali substances. Electrical burns are sustained from exposure to an electrical current. These burns are unique in that they can cause damage in areas other than the point of contact. Radiological burns are caused by exposure to radiation or radioactive substances. Though these are some of the rarest types of burn, they are also some of the most dangerous, and may require a decontamination process.

Louisville personal injury attorneys are usually aware that some of the most common causes of burn injuries are “fires, chemical exposure, explosions, and electrical incidents.” Effects of a burn injury can be physically and emotionally painful for the victim and require extensive periods of recovery. Unfortunately, in many cases, a burn injury was preventable and occurred due to the carelessness of another. Should you or someone you know be the victim of a preventable accident resulting in a burn injury, you may be entitled to certain damages which can aid in the medical expenses associated with burn injuries.

Do More than Watch the Dog Whisperer

You probably know on some level that it is cruel to keep your dog confined to your house or yard for weeks on end. However, because you do not feel you have the time, you content yourself with marveling at how Cesar Millan handles all those troublesome dogs, and congratulate yourself on your own well-behaved pet. In the meantime, your pet watches with you, feeling more and more unhappy and depressed.

All dogs need exercise, and some breeds need it more than others do because being physically active is what they were born to be. Unfortunately, many pet owners do not appreciate how psychologically and emotionally harmful it is to keep their dogs from working off their energy. They become frustrated, depressed, and hard to manage. They may also develop physical problems like obesity.

Fortunately, according to the Walk! ATX website, Austin is a dog-friendly city, so you should not have any problems in giving your dog the exercise it needs except what you create for yourself. If you really don’t have the time or inclination to do well by your dog, there are dog walkers in Austin that can do it for you.

Not all dog walkers will do, however. Most dogs can sense when a person is simply doing a job, and when he or she has an affinity for dogs. Just like people, dogs respond better to people who they like. They also tend to be more obedient with dog-walkers that exude leadership qualities, so you can be sure that your dog will not run amuck.

Before engaging a dog-walker to give your pet much-needed exercise, take time to evaluate your dog’s behavior around him or her. Reputable dog-walkers understand the need to establish a relationship at first, so they will offer the first walk without charge. Do yourself a favor; go with them at least on that first walk.

Status of Benicar Lawsuits

It is too soon for any significant developments to occur in the Benicar lawsuits currently playing it out in civil court. It was only in July 2013 that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning that the hypertension medication could cause sprue-like enteropathy in some patients. As it says on the website of the personal injury lawsuit attorneys at Williams Kherkher, personal injury lawsuits concerning dangerous drugs are protracted and complicated affairs.

Sprue-like enteropathy mimics the intestinal disorder called Celiac sprue, more commonly known as Celiac disease, which is the pathologic incapacity to digest gluten. Celiac disease sufferers manage the disorder by avoiding all forms of gluten. Patients with sprue-like enteropathy do not respond to this kind of management. The Mayo Clinic noted that discontinuing the medication Benicar resulted in the alleviation and eventual disappearance of the symptoms. When reported to the FDA, the agency subsequently issued the warning and ordered a change in the labels of Benicar.

There had been no connection made between Benicar and their gastrointestinal disorder until recently. Typical symptoms include chronic diarrhea, sudden weight loss, dehydration, and nausea. These would usually go away almost immediately after the patient stops taking Benicar. However, some patients that had been on Benicar for a significant period had already sustained damage to their intestines called vilious atrophy.

The first lawsuits filed against Japanese drug manufacturer Daiichi Sankyo and US marketer Forest Laboratories Inc. were in early 2014. The common claim is that the manufacturer knew or should have known that Benicar could cause these adverse effects from prolonged use. Daiichi Sankyo had only carried out clinical trials for three months, when they knew or should have known that the prescription for hypertensive medication is typically six months or more.

If you have suffered serious injury because of Benicar, you should not hesitate to present your case for an individual trial, and possible inclusion in a future class action lawsuit. Contact a reputable Benicar lawyer in your state to find out your legal options.

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