What if the Dog Responsible for Your Child’s Injury is Your Own House Pet?

The lovable traits of dogs and the number of dog bites reported in the U.S. every year simply present a contrast. It wouldn’t be a surprise if one would ask, how it can be possible that a fun and loving animal, such as a dog, could be responsible for as many as 800,000 bites, many of these requiring emergency medical treatment, some necessitating re-constructive surgery, while a substantial number too being fatal, especially if the victim is a baby or a child (below nine years old), or a senior citizen.

Dog owners are fully responsible for the care and health of their pet dogs. This responsibility includes making sure that their dogs get their daily dose of exercise, besides giving them the right food on timely intervals. Dog exercise, according to dog experts, should be a part of a dog’s regular activities. Being energetic animals, a dog’s unspent energy can be directed to destructive chewing, constant scratching on the wall, door or floor, knocking over of furniture, whining, digging, jumping up on people, play biting or rough play. Though a sad fact, but many owners realize too late that unused energy can make their pets injurious, even to them, but most especially to their children.

The website Hankey Law Office says that dogs are natural predators, and are capable of inflicting great physical damage on – or even killing – a person very quickly. Some dogs are inherently aggressive and may have a history of attacks; others may be otherwise docile pets which attack without warning.

Expert and concerned dog owners agree that dogs may actually be dangerous, but this is limited to certain breeds only. Among the many breeds of dogs in the U.S., the ones identified by experts as the most dangerous are the Rottweiler and Pit bull terriers (and their mixes). It may be surprising to know, but in a number of states, courts have even given police officers permission to shoot Pit bulls if these show any threat of attacking or biting anyone.

Children are always the ones at risk from dog bites due to: their natural curiosity, which may cause them to unintentionally provoke a dog; their play behavior, which can appear challenging or irritating even to a normally patient dog as well; and, their inability to recognize the warning signs of a dog attack and to defend themselves when a dog actually attacks.

Victims of dog bites or dog attack can pursue legal action. The only question is, what if the dog responsible for the injuries or, sadly, death of your sibling or child is your own house pet (this has been the situation in so many instances). A competent dog bite lawyer (also called a personal injury lawyer) may be able to help clarify the legal matters concerning such issue.

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Causes of Boating Accidents

As the boating season begins, the U.S. Coast Guard is, once again, reminding all boaters to boat responsibly while on the water. 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.

The U.S. Coast Guard maintains that the major type of water-related boating accident is collision of two boats. In 2008 alone, this type of accident numbered to 1237, injuring 856 and taking the lives of 60 others.

Boat collision is a result of the any one or a combination of any of the five major contributory factors in boat accidents. These factors include:

Operator inexperience. For the 15 years, operator inexperience has been the top factor in watercraft accidents. Many erroneously think that they will learn everything on the water. However, by not being familiar with boating laws and regulations, the rules on correct and proper navigation, and what should be done in weather-related emergencies, many boat operators only lead themselves, and their passengers, to dangerous situations.

  • Operator inattention. In 2008, inattentive boat operators caused 488 accidents which resulted to 28 deaths and 329 injuries. Inattention can be deadly. Even huge vessels (in the past) met tragic accidents because many crew members were either partying with their passengers or busy doing something else.
  • Improper lookout or improper forward watch. Many collisions can be avoided if a boat operator is able to navigate safely and so avoid anything that may cross or be along its path. An extra pair of eyes and ears would be a big help in assuring safety.
  •  Excessive speed. The impact created each time a boat bounces off and back on the water can stun and throw anyone overboard. Excessive speed increases the force of impact, putting everyone at much higher risk of getting injured. Too much speed also reduces a boat operator’s chance of reacting to emergencies on time.
  • Alcohol. Many boat accidents occurred because the operators were alcohol-impaired. Alcohol affects a boat operator’s vision, judgment, balance and coordination. Because of alcohol, capsizing boats and drunken passengers falling over board have been common causes injuries and deaths.

As explained by a Charleston boat accident lawyer,out on the water, boat operators are expected to follow many laws. For instance, boat operators must observe the Rules of the Road, may not operate their vessel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, may not operate the boat in a manner that is reckless, and may not exceed certain speeds while within designated areas. Violation of any of these laws can very likely result to an accident, one wherein the liable operator can face civil and criminal lawsuits as a consequence.

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What are the types of product liability claims?

As wage-earners and consumers, it is just right for the people to expect that the goods they purchase are made to high standards. The notion is that the manufacturers have made the product following certain regulations and subjected them to investigation. When you buy something, you expect it to be of your convenience. Unfortunately, there are products that were poorly made and that cause injuries or illnesses to consumers, with the worse outcome being death, as said by the legal team at Pohl & Berk, LLP. This is where product liability lawsuits normally begin.

A defective product liability claim means just how it is – a claim saying that a particular product caused the injury, illness, or death of someone and that the claimant is alleging a company for the poorly crafted product. According to Nolo, while you may be sure that your case falls under product liability, there are types of it that could narrow down your claim – defective manufacture, defective design, and failure of proper instruction.

A defectively manufactured product is the most common among the three. It is determined when there is an honest error at the factory where the product was made. For example, a batch of glass bottles broke and was immediately discarded, but there are glass fragments that contaminated the other bottles, which led to the injuries of the consumer.

A defectively designed product, on the other hand, is not manufactured with error, at least none that the company knows of, but there are claims saying that a particular kind of product is naturally harmful. For example, a vehicle has the tendency to accelerate even when the brakes are stepped on, despite the lack of mishap in the manufacturing of the car.

Lastly, there is also the manufacturer’s failure to give instructions or warnings regarding the correct way of using the product. Basically, if operating a product requires a different step than usual, it must be disclosed by the company.

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Can I Be Charged with Conspiracy without Doing Anything?

In order to be convicted of a crime, the crime itself first needs to be done, right? Well, maybe this is your first venture into the idea of conspiracy. And, sad to say, conspiracy of a crime is a crime in and of itself. Conspiracy is to plan committing a crime with one or more people. It can be as simple as a heist with the intent of breaking into a house or as severe as a terrorist attack against a civilian population or an attempt at the life of the President of the United States.

If the crime being conspired is of a certain degree, it could land you in prison for 25 years with no chance of parole. According to the website of the white collar crime lawyers at Cazayoux Ewing Law Firm, there is every chance that before you even think you are being watched for conspiracy that federal agents have been monitoring your movements for a long time before that. The most innocuous questions in the wrong context could be potentially incriminating if you perceive that you can handle a criminal accusation at a federal level. It can be tempting to just talk your way out of it and assume that everything is going to be fine. But so many people put themselves in danger by assuming that they know how to work a system they know little to nothing about.

Being a defendant in a federal court case for conspiracy can be one of the most stressful experiences that a person could ever endure. Federal agents not only have almost limitless resources as well as years and years of extensive training in situations such as this but plaintiffs usually have the upper hand by having had more time in their preparation. That is why it is always advised to immediately contact an experienced legal professional who has dealt with criminal defense cases at a federal level.

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Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Sexual harassment is a serious problem in many workplaces across America. As a matter of fact, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission—EEOC for short—reports having received a total of 6,862 sexual harassment allegations for the year 2014. The issue is also commonly heard about all over media outlets, often with news reports showing that such incidents can happen across a number of industries. From Hollywood to the academe, sexual harassment in the workplace remains one of the most common obstructions that need to be eradicated as soon as possible.

Sexual harassment is generally described as any unwelcome sexual advance. This can include request for sexual favors, and any other physical or verbal contact of the same nature. The website of the Fort Smith injury lawyers of McCutchen & Sexton – The Law Firm also include incidents like making inappropriate jokes or innuendos, making indecent gestures, unwelcome touching, and talking about explicit sexual acts also count as sexual harassment. When it happens in the workplace, sexual harassment is understood as a clear violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from discriminating against both employees and job candidates due to their gender, sex, race, ethnicity, national origin, and religion.

Employees who become targets of sexual harassment can make two types of claims. The first one involves incidents that involve an employment decision in exchange for unwanted sexual attention. These incidents are referred to as ‘quid pro quo’ and they include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or any other acts that involve having an employee submit to sexual attention in exchange for opportunities like promotions, projects, and special assignments. The second type of sexual harassment claim involves incidents that make for a hostile work environment. These are incidents that make the workplace a challenging arena for employees, subjecting them to intimidation, hostility, and other offensive behaviors.

Anyone who has been subject to such incidents should not hesitate to seek out legal counsel right away. Sexual harassment is a serious issue that can affect a person’s income and employment opportunities. If you have been a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, speak with an experienced sexual abuse attorney to learn more about options you can take.

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The Probate Process in a Nutshell

Drafting a will and deciding on how your properties and assets should be handled after death requires plenty of thought and consideration. It’s important to make sure to think ahead and decide on an arrangement for distributing your estate. As much as possible, you want to make sure that loved ones will be well taken care of after you’re gone. It’s also crucial to choose an executor, the one responsible for administrating your estate, that you trust enough to carry out your specific instructions.

With the details polished and a will prepared, the probate process will go on smoothly. Basically, the probate process involves the establishment of the validity of the will. Your appointed executor will have to wait until its content is checked and validated before administrating all instructions made.

The probate process starts with the filing of the will to the local probate court. After your death, the executor will have to file the necessary papers. Aside from the will, supplementary documents should be included in this step. These documents should help prove the validity of the will. An executor will also typically have to provide a full list of your estate, including details about your properties, assets and debts.

Afterwards, the court will officially approve the will and formally appoint the executor to act as an administrator of what you left behind. At this point, the probate process will involve two main stages. First, the executor will have to pay all the debts that you’ve left behind. In some cases, this might mean that the executor will have to sell a few assets and properties in order to make such payments. Next, the executor can finally distribute all the remaining assets and properties to your appointed beneficiaries.

The probate process can be drawn out by certain complications. As such, it would be better to work with experienced lawyers during estate planning. According to probate lawyers in Chicago, will disputes are a common occurrence in American courts. You can avoid future complications for your executor and beneficiaries by making a sound plan.

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Important Facts about Sinkholes

Sinkholes, like other natural hazards, can lead to a significant amount of devastation. Aside from damage to properties and infrastructures, sinkholes can lead to a lot of injuries and fatalities. As such, it’s important to learn important facts about how such accidents happen and how we can be prepared when it happens.

A sinkhole is basically a depression in the ground that is formed when the top surface collapses. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, sinkholes are a usual occurrence in areas called karst terrains. These are landscapes where the rocks beneath the earth’s surface are soluble and can be dissolved by the naturally occurring groundwater that circulates around it. Eventually, with enough water, soluble rocks such as limestone and gypsum will lose structural integrity, causing the ground—along with the structures built on top of it—to collapse.

In the U.S., karst terrains are common in Florida, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Missouri, and Texas. Certain areas in these states are particularly susceptible to sinkholes, especially during cases of intense rainstorms following dry spells or droughts. These, however, aren’t the only places where sinkholes can occur. In fact, sinkholes can also occur due to human intervention.

The same basic principle happens when the ground collapses into a human-induced sinkhole. These types of sinkholes are caused by poor practices and planning in water-pumping and construction. The water circulating around the ground and concrete will eventually make the surface unstable and collapse.

Natural hazards can be hard to predict, but individuals can keep an eye out on areas where sinkholes might possibly be forming. A sinkhole could be observed if there are structural cracks in walls and floors of a building. Depressions in the ground could also make it difficult to close doors and windows properly. Foundations, fence posts, and trees could also be seen becoming more and more exposed as the ground sinks further into itself. Any cracking in the ground with a noticeable circular pattern is another indication of a sinkhole.

Despite these indications, some sinkholes can still be hard to observe. As such, it might be hard to predict if your home or surrounding property is in any danger. The only way such accidents can be prevented is through careful observance of proper construction regulations. Contractors building homes should be wary of such risks and look up natural disclosure reports in the area.

For example, in California, there have been numerous reports of sinkholes in the past few years. Just last year, The Weather Channel reported several incidents of sinkholes in the state following several days of steady rainfall. Contractors should then check for a California natural hazard disclosure report that could help show significant patterns in sinkholes and other similar catastrophes.

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