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Not Even Bankruptcy will save Companies from Compensating Mesothelioma Victims

Posted by on Jun 23, 2015 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

From the first half of the 1900s until the 1970s thousands of American firms employed millions of workers whose job required exposure to asbestos. Shipyard workers alone, who were tasked to build World War II ships, were estimated at 4.3 million; they were also exposed to thousands of tons of asbestos, which was used to make steam engines, steam turbines, boilers, insulate piping and other ship-required equipment. (The US Navy, likewise, made a great number of its men and workers handle this element during the building of ships and ship equipment).

Asbestos was (and is still) considered a perfectly useful mineral. Its cheapness because of its abundance, its elasticity, which gave it strength, and its resistance to heat, fire, electrical and chemical damage, led to its use as component of so many different products, which included: fire, heat and acid resistant gaskets; fireplace cement; fire retardant coatings; fireproof drywall; drywall joint compound; lawn furniture; roofing and flooring materials; pipe cement, concrete and bricks.

Asbestos, however, contained and released sharp, tiny fibers which, when inhaled and never expelled (one way is through coughing), can be implanted in the lungs where these can cause damage which can lead to deadly results.

One of the deadly effects resulting from the inhalation of asbestos fibers is mesothelioma, a lethal type of cancer that damages the cells that protect the lungs, the heart and abdominal organs. One characteristic of mesothelioma that puts those diagnosed with it totally at the losing end is its extremely long latency period, which is 40 years or more (there are instances wherein the symptoms appear much faster, especially if the amount of asbestos exposed to and the amount of fibers inhaled are too great). Thus, by the time this deadly, chronic cancer becomes diagnosable, it would already have developed to a stage wherein no type of treatment is longer possible.

According to the website of the mesothelioma attorneys at the Williams Kherkher law firm, Many companies responsible in exposing their workers to asbestos have already ceased operations after filing for bankruptcy due to the large number of civil lawsuits these were faced with; some others, though, were bought by giant firms. The closure of such companies, however (or the merger of others with a wealthier firm), neither lessens the right of mesothelioma victims from pursuing these, nor lessens the victims’ chances of receiving the full amount of compensation they are legally entitled to receive.

Civil lawsuits can be complex processes for the victims and their families. Besides all the documents that need to be prepared, computation of damages resulting from the work-related illness will also have to be done accurately. There are many other legal details that need to be addressed and, in all these, only a specially trained lawyer will be able to provide the kind of assistance required.

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Mineral Rights and Associated Taxes

Posted by on Mar 20, 2015 in Mining Rights | 0 comments

Mineral rights can be taxed on both state and county levels. The county level tax is levied through ad valorem, which is Latin for “according to value” and is billed and pain only once a year. In some states, including Texas, the ad valorem tax is only applicable when the minerals are generating income and is paid alongside the state severance taxes.

Since mineral rights are categorized as real property, they are taxed according to their estimated “fair market value”. This refers to the amount (or price) that a willing buyer will pay for a mineral interest in the current market conditions when it is being sold in the open market. Just as with any person, those with mineral rights want to pay as minimal a tax as possible, and this often means lowering the fair market value. In order to maintain fairness, the state of Texas mandates an appraisal method where the market value of where a mineral rights owner is appraised county ad valorem tax is through the value of the discounted cash rate of the discounted cash flow as projected for future production. County ad valorem tax is not included in income tax in last year’s revenue.

The mineral rights owner will be given an estimate on the value of their minerals each year around March given by the county appraisal district. This would provide the mineral rights owner the chance to view their profits and determine whether they would want to sell mineral rights or keep them to get royalties. It is important for the mineral rights owner to talk with those who know how these process works in order to avoid legal complications and not get scammed from your profits. Because county tax and state tax is different, and it is not included in the income tax, many mineral rights owners get confused and end facing legal problems. It is therefore recommended to talk with someone who specializes in mineral rights in order to avoid such difficulties and get the most from their mineral rights.

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Can You Trust Your Doctor to be Accountable?

Posted by on Feb 1, 2015 in Medical Lawsuits, Personal Injury | 0 comments

More often than not, people put their absolute faith unto medical practitioners. After all, simply practicing in the field requires incredible knowledge and sacrifice as a lot of dedication is demanded from these professionals. However, they are but only human and can make mistakes. Due to the fact that they deal with something as precious and fragile as human life, the littlest mistake could result into the most devastating consequences.

Medical malpractice is a subset of personal injury law that holds medical practitioners accountable for any injury that their practice may have caused onto a patient, either intentionally or unintentionally. There are many intricacies that are laid within cases such as this. For example, if a doctor were to misdiagnose a patient due to outdated knowledge or careless, reckless behavior then that is grounds to charge legal action. According to the website of the Abel Law Firm, some physicians may possibly prescribe potentially dangerous pharmaceuticals with devastating side effects .

There are many possibilities and subtle changes that could shift the scale in anyone’s favor – and it isn’t just purely physicians who may be charged with medical malpractice. Healthcare providers as well as other professionals within a similar field (e.g. nurses, paramedics, etc.) are also to be held accountable for any injury that a patient might attain due to negligence. It is a risky profession and the cost of one mistake could be great and terrible for everyone involved.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of medical malpractice, it is highly recommended for you to seek legal aid that is knowledgeable about this specific branch of law in order to save everyone time, stress, and effort. An attorney for this case must not just have the wits for court but also the technical know-how of medical jargon and procedures in order to confidently and justly represent your case.

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Some Clarifications about the Texas Prompt Pay Act

Posted by on Dec 13, 2014 in Insurance | 0 comments

The Texas Prompt Pay Act (TPPA) was enacted in 2003 and it is specific to the state of Texas. This was in response to the lobbying of doctors and hospitals that were contracted by Health Management Organizations (HMOs) and Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO) that were for years not being paid in a timely manner. HMOs and PPOs are actually health insurance companies, and as such are subject to federal and state laws governing insurance companies. A Texas prompt pay lawyer will typically have doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies as clients for TPPA cases.

However, the TPPA is different from the Prompt Pay statutes, which apply to insurance companies in general, and although it also address the timely payment of legitimate insurance claims they have different rules and regulations from the TPPA. In addition, there are certain prompt pay laws that actually refer to the rules governing payments by the government to its contractors.

The different uses of the term “prompt pay” can be confusing for the lay person, and adding to the confusion is the fact that states have their own statutes for each of these uses. When referring to prompt pay law, you have to be specific about your circumstances so that you get the information you are looking for.

Specifically, if you are a healthcare provider in Texas contracted by an HMO or PPO to provide certain services and you are experiencing unreasonable delays or denial of payments, you are most probably covered under the TPPA rather than other statutes. Consult with a prompt pay lawyer in your area to see if you are eligible for protection under the TPPA. The TPPA is embodied in the Texas Insurance Code as well as the Texas Administrative Code that address the Department of Insurance if you need more details (28 Rule §21.281).

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Restraining Order Basics

Posted by on Nov 19, 2014 in Divorces | 0 comments

Domestic violence is perhaps one of the most insidious types of abuse because it occurs between people with a close relationship and behind closed doors. It often goes unreported because the victim or victims are reluctant to let other people know about it, especially if the abuser is a spouse or a parent. But when it does get reported, the law can go into action to prevent further harm to the victim even before allegations of domestic violence or abuse can be proven, and that is through the issuance of restraining orders, also called protective orders.

Restraining orders are generally issued by state courts to prohibit contact between the subject of the order and the petitioner and/or the victim of domestic abuse or violence. These are normally for a limited time only until the allegations have been investigated, but may be extended. The duration varies from state to state, and the punishment for violating the order range from a fine to mandatory jail time.

Applying for a restraining order is usually done with the assistance of the same lawyer who will also represent the victim in domestic violence or abuse cases. The Woodlands divorce lawyer would cite Texas Family Code § 71.001 when applying for a restraining order in Texas, which would suspend the firearm license of the subject of the order among other things. The duration of a Texas restraining order is a maximum of 20 days but may be extended up to two years under specific circumstances.

In North Carolina, a domestic violence restraining order is called a 50B, referring to North Carolina Code § 50B-1 which addresses this issue. The duration of the order can be up to one year and may be extended for another 12 months as needed. According to the website of Marshall & Taylor PLLC, an emergency restraining order may be ordered by the court against a subject if there are indications that there is an immediate threat of harm to the petitioner or other parties, but this is only in effect for 10 days. An extension will require at least one court appearance where the subject of the order may or may not put up a defense.

Violating a restraining order in Texas may result in a fine and may be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on what form the violation took. If an act of violence is involved, the subject may be imposed a minimum of two years in jail. In North Carolina, a restraining order violation is a Class A1 misdemeanor, which means a fine and a maximum of 150 days in jail.

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Medical Dangers of Recreational Viagra

Posted by on Nov 15, 2014 in Medical Lawsuits | 0 comments

Just like E and marijuana, Viagra is being used (and abused) by men who not only have no prescription for it but no erectile dysfunction (ED) at all. They do so to prolong an erection rather than to achieve it, as ED drugs are meant to do. In fact, Viagra (sildefanil) and other phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors are considered among the most commonly prescribed drugs in the US today.

What many of these abusers do not realize that taking a prescription drug for recreational purposes can be dangerous. Viagra has recently been linked to an increased risk of melanoma skin cancer, which had given rise to a number of lawsuits being filed against manufacturer Pfizer for failure to warn.

Aside from melanoma, non-ED Viagra users also increase their risk of exacerbating cardiovascular problems if they already experience cardiac issues such as chest pains, congestive heart failure, low blood pressure, coronary heart disease, and exercise intolerance. The reason Viagra and similar drugs are prescription drugs is because they can pose real medical dangers when taken unadvisedly, such as recreationally.

But this doesn’t let Pfizer off the hook. While it may be argued that since non-ED sufferers should not have been prescribed with the product in the first place, there is also a very good argument that perhaps if Pfizer and other manufacturers for similar products had disclosed the risk they would not have taken the drug at all. Pfizer knew or should have known that there were such potential side effects associated with Viagra. As pointed out on the website of personal injury law firm Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, this is part of their responsibility as a drug manufacturer.

If you have developed cardiac problems or melanoma from using Viagra or similar products, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact a defective drugs lawyer in your area to find out more about filing a Viagra lawsuit.

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Importance of Body Contouring

Posted by on Nov 12, 2014 in Cosmetics | 0 comments

Obesity is a major health problem globally, but especially in the US, which had the highest incidence in the world of obese or overweight adults (72%) in 2007. Things have improved somewhat, but the numbers are still high. It is no wonder then that fad diets and workouts have been making a killing in the market.

But those who do succeed on losing weight on a sensible diet and exercise regimen face a different problem: unsightly loose skin. Significant weight loss can result in skin flaps on the torso, arms, thighs, and chest that will just not go away, which is why body contouring is the next step in looking and feeling great.

According to the Bergman Folkers Plastic Surgery website, body contouring is the answer to achieving the body image that is so important for psychological and emotional health. However, body contouring procedures need to be performed by experienced surgeons with the skills and equipment to achieve the best possible results.

It is a sad fact that many cosmetic procedures do not produce the expected results, largely because of the failure of the physician to explain to their patients the precise nature of the procedure and they can and cannot expect as well as the lack of skill or experience of the surgeon performing the procedure. In many cases of cosmetic surgery, including body contouring procedures such as abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) and liposuction, it can take months or even years before achieving the desired results.

Not everyone is a good candidate for body contouring, which is why it is so important that a potential patient consult with a reputable plastic surgeon before committing to any procedure. If you have recently lost a lot of weight and are frustrated with the amount of extra skin you still have, you may want to consider body contouring. Consider only the best surgeons with the skills and the equipment to give you the best results possible.

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Public Lewdness in Texas

Posted by on Nov 10, 2014 in Criminal Laws | 0 comments

The general definition of “lewd” is crude or offensive in a sexual way, and that is essentially how Texas law defines public lewdness (TPC § 21.07). It is when an individual deliberately engages in certain sexual acts in public or in the presence of someone who will be offended or alarmed. These include sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse, and sexually-explicit contact with another person, animal or fowl. Being convicted of public lewdness in Texas is a Class A misdemeanor, good for up to one year in prison or $4,000 in fine or both.

While it may not seem like a big deal, the fact that it is considered a misdemeanor means that it is a crime. It may not be a heavy hitter like a DWI (driving while intoxicated) charge in legal terms, although first-time offenders get off with a misdemeanor as well, but it is much more humiliating because public lewdness is a sex crime.

The key phrases in this charge are “knowingly engages,” “in public” and “another is present who will be offended or alarmed.” In some cases of public lewdness, the defendant was not aware that the location was considered a public place i.e. a private club, or that another person was an inadvertent witness to a private sexual act i.e. in a deserted beach.

As pointed out on the website of the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, no one wants to be labeled as a sex criminal, especially when the sexual act or conduct was between two consenting adult humans. In any cases, public lewdness was not done with the requisite knowledge of the defendant, or it may not have happened at all. If you are charged with public lewdness, you should take it as seriously as a DWI or other criminal charges. Engage the services of a competent Texas criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to avoid a conviction.

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Determining The Value of Mineral Rights

Posted by on Nov 7, 2014 in Mining Rights | 0 comments

One of the most difficult things for most mineral rights owners that have no intention or capacity to do mining themselves is to decide is whether to sell or lease their rights. Some stress in no uncertain terms that selling mineral rights is the worst thing under any circumstances based on a limited set of facts. The truth is, the wisdom of selling your mineral rights depends on many factors.

Location is of course one of the most important factor in the valuation of any real property, including mineral rights. As stated on the The Mineral Auction website, the price will depend on the perceived potential of profit. For example, if your mineral rights are located in proximity to locations known to produce profitable amounts of natural gas, oil, or marketable minerals, then it will drive the price up. The reverse is also true.

The rule of thumb is, it is better to lease if you are sure that the land will produce because you will royalties. However, if there is no certainty that the land will produce, it may be a good idea to sell, especially in states where dormant laws (inactive mineral rights may revert to surface owner after a certain period) are in effect. Texas has no such law, but mineral rights in areas that are a considerable distance from known deposits may never be worked at all, so it would make some money with no repercussions to you when you sell your mineral rights.

Another big question is whether the offer is reasonable or not. Like in any business, you need to know which way is up, and that’s not easy when it comes to mineral rights. Don’t be afraid to ask around. Consult with two or more professionals that know the ins and outs of the business and compare their quotes to make sure that you get the best possible deal.

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Jackknife Truck Accidents Common with Semis

Posted by on Nov 6, 2014 in Personal Injury, Trucking Accidents | 0 comments

Jackknife accidents are to trucks as rollover accidents are to SUVs. Because of their design, these vehicles are predisposed to these kinds of accidents, which is why according to the website of law firm Williams Kherkher, their operators are expected to use appropriate caution when driving them.

Tractor-trailers or “semis” are most especially prone to jackknifing because in many cases when the driver brakes too hard at high speeds or the road is wet or slippery, the trailer follows the laws of inertia and continues to travel, slewing around the stationary tractor. Unfortunately, because semis are typically huge vehicles, one that jackknifes almost inevitably involves vehicles, structures, and people in its immediate area usually causing major property damage and injury.

The same thing can happen when semis in Houston, for example, are involved in vehicular collisions, because it still means sudden deceleration. And to add insult to injury, these trucks usually carry cargo that can at the very least cause traffic to halt if it spills over or in some cases pose a threat of toxic or hazardous material exposure or fire. As a Houston personal injury lawyer may point out, these can have serious effects on property and individuals for an extended period of time.

When truck drivers make a mistake or act recklessly and cause a jackknife accident, they are considered liable. However, while in many cases jackknife truck accidents are due to driver error (either the truck operator or the other vehicle’s driver), in some instances a defective or malfunctioning part may be the culprit, so it may not be in the power of the driver to prevent the incident. In such cases, liability may lie elsewhere, such as the truck company that was aware of the problem but neglected to do anything i.e. needed brake repairs or the truck manufacturer or part manufacturer for defective design or part i.e. faulty tires.

In any case, if you have been seriously injured in a jackknife truck accident, you may be able to get compensation for your injuries. Consult with a truck accident lawyer in your area for more information.

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