Roman Thinker Cicero

Roman Thinker Cicero

During its long rule, Rome produced numerous great thinkers. Among them was Cicero, an accomplished lawyer, orator, philosopher, and political theorist. Cicero contributed much to the western rhetoric, and his ideas are still taught in universities across the U.S., over two millennia after his death. Here is an image of Cicero, immortalized in marble.

Here is Cicero, immortalized in marble

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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: Dischargeable Debts vs. Non-dischargeable Debts

Bankruptcy is useful in relieving overwhelming financial debts. When someone files for bankruptcy, their financial assets (valuable property such as houses, vehicles, personal belongings, jewelry, etc.) can be used to pay off liabilities. Sometimes filing for bankruptcy can exempt people from paying specific debts; these debts (made avoidable by bankruptcy) are referred to as dischargeable debts. In contrast to dischargeable debts, liabilities that must absolutely be paid off by the debtor are called non-dischargeable debts.

Under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, dischargeable debts can include penalties like car accident claims, personal loans, credit card debt, business debt, leases, mortgages, utility bills, automobile loans, and medical bill debt. Dischargeable debts are able to be forgiven by the creditor because of its nature as an unsecured loan. Unsecured loans are not protected by use of collateral; rather they are dependent upon the debtor’s promise of payment. Since unsecured loans are typically higher risk they have higher interest rates. Since people filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy are usually unable to pay debts with assets, their dischargeable debts are forgiven.

Though dischargeable debt can be relieved more easily, debtors must contend more seriously with non-dischargeable debt. Non-dischargeable debts are secured, or priority, loans. When a debtor enters into a secured loan agreement with a creditor, the debtor must pledge to pay the creditor back by way of collateral. Should the debtor be unable to fulfill payments, the creditor will collect the collateral from the debtor in the form of valuable property. Until the debtor can cover the cost of the payment, the creditor will remain in possession of the collateral. Chapter 7 bankruptcies considers tax debts, spousal support, child support, alimony, government fines, student loans, personal injury debt, court penalties as existing under the classification of non-dischargeable debts.

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Hospital Negligence

Hospitals are responsible for their employees’ actions, therefore when one of their employees act in a negligent way that causes harm or injury to a patient in the hospital, the patient has the right to sue. Hospital negligence can have a wide range of consequences to the health and wellbeing of the patient, from detrimental setbacks to catastrophic, lasting effects.

Any type of malpractice that occurs on a hospital setting, such as errors from doctors, nurses, technicians or any other hospital staff can be filed under hospital negligence. Based on a study by the Institute of Medicine, every year about 98, 000 people die because of medical errors in hospitals, errors that can be prevented. Medical malpractice is the sixth (6th) leading cause of death in the United States, killing more people per annum as compared to diabetes, pneumonia, and Alzheimer’ disease.

When filing a lawsuit against a hospital for negligence, there are some important things that need considerations. First, it is vital to prove the unreasonable action of the hospital staff that caused the injury directly. Unsuccessful efforts or failure of the treatment (if the treatment was accepted based on doctor’s information) are not grounds for hospital negligence. Next, some special laws are applicable on doctor medical malpractice: statute of limitations refers to a certain timeframe in which a patient can file a lawsuit against the hospital (lawsuits filed after this time period may be barred despite its merit), and expert affidavit where in some states it is necessary to get a written document signed by a hospital expert to confirm the medical malpractice that occurred has caused the injury, making sure to indicate the format and timing of the document it correct.

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Car Accidents Resulting from Tire Explosions

When travelling at high speeds, a tire explosion can lead to serious injuries or even death. The integrity of a vehicle’s tires can spell the difference between a minor mishap to total wreckage of one or more vehicles, especially in a densely travelled area.

Losing tire tread means loss of control, which can easily lead to a roll over no matter what type of vehicle one is driving when travelling at high speeds. This is because it can result in yawing, which is when the vehicle swings to the side. Loss of control of the vehicle would make it difficult to reverse this sideways motion, causing the vehicle to tip over, possibly involving other vehicles in the immediate vicinity. While the accident may be said to be no one’s fault, liability may accrue to the tire manufacturer, depending on why the blowout occurred. There are several types of tire blowouts resulting from a defect in the manufacturing or design of the tire itself.

Bead failure explosions occur when a design defect affects the tire mounting process. This usually occurs in light truck and passenger tires with a .037 inch weftless configuration. When the bear wire is impeded during inflation, it can exert low pressures that will nevertheless cause the tire to explode at pressures as low as 38 pounds per inch.  Such an explosion may result in severe injuries if it occurs close to a flat surface.

Another cause for tire explosions is when there the sidewall of the tire has a defect that will result in a zipper failure. Such incidents often occur when the tire is being inflated, and there is no way to determine if a particular tire has this inherent weakness.

In either case, serious injuries or death can result, and the liability lies with the manufacturer. If such an incident occurs, a report which specifies a defect in the design or manufacture of the tire may be the basis for a product liability lawsuit.

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Air Bag Defects Can Cause Serious Injury

Air bag defects are causing car manufacturers a lot of headaches recently. A recall of more than 3 million cars worldwide was due to suspected air bag defects causing improper inflation. The air bags were supplied by Takata Corportation to Honda, Mazda, Nissan and Toyota. Chrysler is also recalling its 2013 Chrysler Town and Country, Dodge Grand Caravan, and Ram Cargo Van models because of a spotty software may cause the side air bags to inflate on the wrong side of the vehicle i.e. not the side where the crash occurred.

Air bags are supposed to increase the safety of a vehicle’s passengers in the event of a crash or accident, and in most instances it does. But when a product has a design flaw or manufacturing defect, it can end up causing serious injury instead of preventing it. The problem with air bag defects is that it often only becomes apparent when something bad happens and subsequent investigations reveal the culprit. In some cases, it may not even be possible to identify the proximate cause of injury because the vehicle was too damaged for forensic investigation.

While air bags are a great idea, advances in technology is making the permutations for air bag defects higher. As the system becomes more interactive and complex, the number of moving parts and steps in assembly increases the chances of a glitch happening, and makes it more difficult to catch a mistake. On the other hand, millions of lives have been saved by a properly functioning, intuitive air bag system. It’s a Catch 22 all around, and all you can do is hope that the batch of air bags you got in your car is a good one.

An article on the website of the Disparti Law Group in Chicago maintains that making a manufacturer pay for any product defect that may cause injury to consumer is not only your right but a responsibility. Consult with a product liability lawyer and find out your legal options to set things right.

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The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: Living with your Family without Deportation Worries

The US government’s federal program called the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the policy that gives immigrants, who were taken to the US illegally as children (or before their 16th birthday) but who have no criminal history, the right to study and be employed for two years without the threat of removal or deportation. Details of the information can be referenced from an article found in the website of William Jang, PLLC, which says that the Deferred Action, based on US President Obama’s memo, can merit approval for up to two years at a time and can be extended so long as the concerned immigrant meets the requirements.

The requirements that immigrants will have to meet to gain eligibility to the program are:

  • Must be under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012 (the day President Obama signed the memorandum on “Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion with Respect to Individuals Who Came to the United States as Children”)
  • Must have arrived in the US before their 16th birthday
  • Must have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, to the present
  • Must have been physically present on US soil on June 15, 2012, and during the filing of request for consideration of deferred action with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
  • Must have entered the US before June 15, 2012, without inspection or their lawful immigration status expired on June 15, 2012
  • Must be presently enrolled in school, have finished or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have earned a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States
  • Must not have been convicted of any criminal offense, whether it be a significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors or a felony, and must not be a threat to national security or public safety

Though the program does not provide a path to permanent residency, it gives all concerned immigrants the chance to be with their parents in peace and without the fear of being deported. It’s actually a chance of being one complete family, without any deportation worries plus the right to study and employment for a period of two years and even more.

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Personal Injuries Due to Rollover Accidents: Injuries which Ought to be Compensated

The continuous increase in the number of motor vehicles on US roads seems to give rise to the increase in the number of vehicular accidents annually too. This number exceeds five million every year, leaving more than 2 million seriously injured and 40,000 dead.

There are two main types of motor vehicle accidents: the first is that which fall within the driver’s control, like speeding, reckless driving, driver error (such as failure to use signal light) and the many different forms of driver distraction; the second type lies outside of the driver’s control, such as road defects and car defects which can be blamed on the manufacturer.

Either type can result to (head-on, angle or side impact, run-off-road, and rear-end) collisions, with the extent of damage and severity of injuries usually dependent on the speed of either or both vehicles. Besides collisions, there is another accident, which is much more damaging, to which both types can result to – rollover accident.

Rollover accident is the next deadliest type of road accident after head-on collisions. It almost always results to high rates of severe injuries and fatalities due to collapsing vehicle roofs, leaving the driver and passengers crushed inside. Among all types of vehicles, SUVs are the ones most prone to rollover accidents as their center of gravity is higher from the ground compared to cars. For this reason, manufacturers have introduced devices, like the electronic stability control system (ESC), which would give drivers more control of the vehicle, reducing the chance of a rollover.

An article found in the website of Willis Law Firm states that the usual causes of roof collapse that result to the vehicle’s occupants being crushed inside are roof pillar failure, defective roof materials, faulty vehicle design or roof pillar placement and intrusion of the roof into the occupants’ space. All these causes can be attributed to manufacturer’s fault or negligence, while the injury (or death) that they cause is called personal injury.

A personal injury is any harm sustained due to someone else’s negligent or reckless behavior. Victims who suffer personal injuries would find the information found on National Injury Law Center‘s website really helpful and a relief as the site says that civil law provides innocent victims of others’ negligence the opportunity to pursue action in the form of a personal injury claim; this is to allow victims to receive from the guilty party the compensation that they legally deserve.

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Speeding: A Major Injustice on the Road

Every day, millions of cars fill US roads and highways, carrying people from one place to another. The convenience, comfort and speed of travel that a car provides passengers have made this means of transportation a necessity for Americans, as well as for people around the world. But like any other piece of invention, if abused, it always causes bad results.

One sad thing about cars is that many drivers do not know how to use them responsibly. Once behind the wheels, drivers easily forget all the education, advertisements and reminders that speak about road traffic rules and safe driving that will ensure their and everyone else’s safety on the road.

As a result, more than five million vehicular accidents are registered every year, with at least 40 thousand of these resulting to deaths. The top four causes of car accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), are reckless driving, speeding, drunk-driving or driving under the influence (DUI) and driver error, such as failure to wear a seatbelt. And among these causes, the third largest number of lives is lost through speeding. It is totally surprising, however, to know that the many drivers who are scared of speeding and hate speeders are guilty of driving over the speed limit too.

Speeding increases the chance of an accident and, thus, compromises the safety of others on the road. The website of Yearout & Traylor, P.C., states the ill-effects of speeding in the plainest language when it says that speeding makes the road dangerous and the possibility of an accident higher since it:

  • Reduces the driver’s reaction time to danger
  • Makes slowing down or stopping the vehicle much harder
  • Lessens the driver’s control over the vehicle

The website of Spiros Law, P.C., likewise denounces speeding and questions the recklessness of other drivers, stating that irresponsible or negligent drivers have no right to cause innocent victims to suffer. No matter what the reason speeders have for going over the speed limit and it does not matter too if they do not mean to do it; only one fact holds – they make the road dangerous for everyone else.

Thus, if you or someone close to you becomes involved in an accident due to another driver’s speeding, make sure you contact a highly competent personal injury lawyer immediately. He / She will definitely be your ticket in bringing the culprit to justice to make him / her realize the great injustice he / she has committed.

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Your Right to Appeal a Denied Long-Term Disability Benefit Claim

The continuous increase in the number of work-related injuries or death during the turn of the twentieth century left many workers struggling financially as their injuries rendered them temporarily disabled, causing loss of earning capability while needing to shoulder medication and medical treatment costs.

Two Acts, which ensured that workers, who developed an occupational disease, were injured, disabled or, worse, killed, during the performance of their job, whether inside or outside company premises, were given financial assistance or were compensated, were passed into law during the twentieth century. The first of these laws was the Workers’ Compensation Benefit, which became a law in 1908 and which was specifically designed to cover medical expenses, wage replacement, disability, rehabilitation or healing period, or death); the second was the Social Security Act of 1935, which was designed to provide financial benefits to employees who may be suffering from a long term or permanent disability or medical condition that usually lasts for about a year or more.

Filing a long-term disability claim under the workers’ compensation benefit can lead to much disappointment, though, according to an article found in the website of Scudder & Hedrick, PLLC, as people assigned to evaluate claim applications are more aggressive in finding faults to have these applications denied.

It’s almost always the same when filing a Social Security Disability Insurance claim, as stated in a webpage owned by Hankey Law Office, P.C.; not only will it take months to have your application evaluated, but there is no certainty that your application will get approved despite the wait for such length of time and compliance with all the requirements, which includes having a disability that meets medical criteria, having worked long enough and has paid enough Social Security taxes.

In the event of a denial to your application, you have the right to make an appeal, that is, to have your application re-assessed; while to have greater chances of winning the appeal, it is important that you be represented by a lawyer who is very well versed in laws on compensation benefits.

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Dog Bite Injuries and Surgical Mistakes: A Clear Result of Human Error and Negligence

Besides being man’s best friend, dogs are also among the best-loved animals in the planet, making them the most common household pets in the US and the rest of the world. Not all breeds of dogs can be totally tamed, though, as there are certain breeds which have been determined as more hostile than others that even their own owners sometimes suffer attacks and bites.

These breeds that are more likely to attack include rottweilers, wolf hybrids, Alaskan malamutes, and pit bulls, which are responsible for far more fatalities than any other breed.

An article in the website of Hull & Zimmerman, P.C., a law firm in Denver, says that there are as many as 4.7 million recorded dog bites in the US every year with about 800,000 requiring medical treatment- a surprisingly large number considering the bond that usually exists between man (owner or not) and dog. Some dog bites are, indeed, quite serious, resulting to nerve damage, laceration, disfigurement and paralysis, broken bones and infections; worse, there are dog bites that even require the victim to undergo reconstructive surgery to repair damage to their skin. Dog bites to the face can easily disfigure a person, and reconstructive surgery is expensive.

Surgery can be another major concern for dog bite victims, however, as what ought to be reconstructive surgery may end up as a source of a bigger problem. These surgical errors are a complete breach of the trust patients put on the surgical team under whose care they are entrusted.

There are different types of surgical errors, like wrong site surgery or surgeries performed on the wrong part of the body, surgery on the wrong patient, surgical instruments being left inside the body, infections due to use of unsanitized gloves, surgical tools or operating room, improper incision, and perforation of the artery, other organs or tissues, which can result to excessive bleeding or organ damage.

One recorded incident that has led to a surgical mistake involved two patients with the same first and last names; others are caused by mixing up of patients’ medical records, biopsy samples and X-rays, fatigued or over-worked medical staff and surgeon, inattentive or distracted surgical team member and many others.

Whatever the reason is behind any surgical error, or the real cause of the dog bites and attacks, which is the only reason why you need to go through the surgery, only one thing is certain – everything is due to human error or negligence. Being bitten or attacked by a dog can cause you grave danger, but so can undergoing medical treatment for a dog bite injury. In the event that you become a victim of any of these erroneous and negligent acts make sure you have a really good personal injury lawyer who is totally determined to fight for your rights. Your lawyer can help you hold the responsible party accountable for the wrongs against you and help you fight for financial compensation for the costs associated with your injury.

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